Avoiding Common Youtube Marketing Mistakes

Best Practices Stats & Measurement

Mashable recently published a great article titled “Top 5 Youtube Marketing Mistakes Committed by Small Businesses“  I definitely see all of these from companies of all sizes all the time, fortunately all are easily avoidable.

1. Having Unrealistic Expectations

“No matter how good your content is, you can’t just upload a clip, sit back and wait for people to come to you — you need to have a promotion and distribution plan.”

I don’t know if this is really a mistake or agencies failure to communicate. Everyone’s definition of viral is different and as marketers we need to make it very clear just how difficult it is for content to get seen. Having a video go “viral” is extremely unlikely and gets more and more unlikely every single day. There’s over 35 hours of video uploaded to Youtube every single minute. You need to make your content stand out, every big marketing campaign you see out there usually have a significant amount of promotional dollars behind it.

2. Thinking Small

“There are plenty of small brands that think they need to be a Nike or an Adidas to be successful in social video,” says Wood. “This is simply not true! Any brand, large or small, can score a hit in social video.”

This may seem like the opposite of their first mistake, we spend a lot of time making sure our clients have realistic expectations but that’s not to say viral success is impossible. Shoot for the stars!

3. Treating a viral video as a commercial

“YouTube requires as much thought as any other social media channel and shouldn’t be looked at as a dumping ground for marketing videos,” says Gonzalez. “Everything you post should represent your brand’s personality and inspire some type of reaction from your viewers -– whether it’s provoking thought, laughing out loud or making a purchase.”

Get involved with the Youtube community, I see brands throwing their videos on Youtube and never bothering to log back in to respond to comments, post bulletins, subscribe to other channels and just generally treating Youtube like just another place to host videos and link back to them on their Facebook page. Brands and marketers need to treat Youtube like another viable social platform otherwise their not only missing the point but they are missing out on a valuable opportunity to connect with consumers and beef up their views.

4. Putting All Your Eggs Into One Youtbe Basket

“It’s certainly the biggest, but don’t forget that YouTube isn’t the only online video platform, and it may not offer the best chance of success for your brand. Vimeo, for example, could be considered a more credible platform for creative professionals.”

If you’re spending the time and money to produce quality content, then why not get the most traction possible for said content.  I’m a big fan of syndicating and distributing it to as many places as possible. I use OneLoad from Tubemogul to upload my videos across multiple platforms. It doesn’t have to be as time consuming as you might imagine. I set up email alerts on secondary video sharing sites that notify me when someone comments on a video so I don’t have to constantly log in or out. It’s not that I get a ton of traction from these channels but often time when I do a Google Video search I see videos from Metacafe, Viddler, etc. routinely showing up at the top. Fish where the fish are. Don’t be confused though, Yotuube is still the go to site for online video.

5. Basing Success On View Counts Alone

“Too often, businesses produce videos and hope to get 1 million views. On today’s social web, success isn’t always counted with stats or measured in view counts — meaningful engagement is what matters.”

The beauty of digital marketing is the ever expanding things we can measure so much especially with online video. Although Youtube hasn’t caught up to some of the other video hosting solutions like the before mentioned Tubemogul as far as analytics go we’re still head and shoulders of where we we’re six months ago in being able to measure engagement and collateral views.

Not all views are created equal, the more targeted a view the more expensive that promoted view is going to be. Our CEO, wrote about this extensively in a four part blog series last October.

In addition to the 5 mistakes outline by Mashable, I would add a sixth.

Not optimizing videos for search

You’ve heard it all before, Youtube is the second largest search engine blah blah blah. But neglecting to do basic things like add metadata to your videos can be a costly mistake.  I’ve seen Fortune 500 companies putting videos up and not even bothering to add titles or tags. Youtube’s machine generated transcriptions have come along way in the last year but their still fairly inaccurate. I use these as a template and edit them to ensure accuracy. It’s important to understand the way search engines index video and do what you can to help your content stand out.

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