By Andrew Ballenthin
Yesterday I attended the last Advertising Week 2010 presentation by Jonathan Lister, a Google Managing Director, on the "Evolution of Online Video". I give the presentation 7 out of 10. Jonathan shared widely available statistics, spoke mainly about YouTube versus the broader arena, and shared widely available stories. My biggest disappointment was the failure to significantly demonstrate the relevance of how video is assisting a wide array of businesses achieving monetizable results now and in the future for the cases he did share.
Jonathan Lister did the typical social media marketing mistake of over-blowing video and YouTube's potential by representing a few success stories versus talking about the reality for the masses. Many of the audience questions at the end were fumbled demonstrating his lack of depth in YouTube's analytics and future strategies.
Considering the talk was on the Evolution of Online Video, Jonathan missed the boat as he plugged away at YouTube versus the complete lay of the land. There were even multiple chuckles from the audience as the slide came up presenting Google's Nexus phone due for 2010 as people recognized Google's self promotion versus industry objectivity on multimedia phones and the industry's evolution of multiple leaders.
As a side note, I recently came across this article on TechCrunch and found 10x more value from a few minutes of reading versus one hour of sitting in Google's dissertation Context is King: How Videos Are Found And Consumed Online.
How Yahoo Saved My Futile Search Results
But let me back-up and share how I should have known it wasn't going to the stellar presentation from the beginning. I Google mapped the address on the ticket, which didn't include a postal code, and was pleased it was only 6 city blocks away from my office. Due to cold weather, and a lack of walking time, I took a taxi. I gave the taxi the address on my ticket and... he couldn't find it. Finally after driving aimlessly around he dropped me off with no sign of where to go next, but it was "somewhere close by".
I guess the puzzled look on my face caught some passerby's attention and they shouted over a few times to get my attention. "This way", one of them volunteered. We entered a building that was not "search friendly": no signs posted the way to the event. We chuckled among ourselves as someone remarked, 'a Google presentation without a way to search and find the presentation room??' Thankfully the good samaritans walked me the rest of the way because I had no idea where to go. As we took our separate seats I said thanks, we made introductions and I was pleased to find that Yahoo employees had rescued me.
A Few Statistics And Points From The Presentation
So back to the presentation. Here are a excerpts that were worth noting if you haven't seen them recently;
- 50% of people are willing to pay for premium content. Keep in mind this is Boradcast Network produced content versus User Generated Content or Professional User Generated Content.
- Online video advertising was up 34% in 2008. We were told no 2009 statistics were available.
- YouTube is a social media network because of interactivity, not just a video viewing site.
- As advanced mobile device proliferate more video is being uploaded and this trend is expected to dramatically change the landscape of video content and interaction in the near future.
- YouTube is moving from a user generated site to a platform as more networks and professional productions are offering their content through YouTube.
- Video can should be a part of extending every marketing campaign. Uploading bloopers or commercials can give marketing spend added life beyond the initial campaign.
- Peer generated content is expected to occupy 25% of the captive market by 2013.
Non of these statistics will come as a wow if you do a bit of research. However they are a good reminder that technology and how we communicate with each other, our peers and our clients are in a state of change.
2009 Video Success Stories
Jonathan Lister shared several online video success stories but missed the points on how they had achieved direct and indirect monetization. Monetization and success metrics are important whenever talking about social media and it's future place in business. Without these overlays we're only talking about hypothetical value to a business. Following are a few of the stories covered and my overlay of monetization and metrics.
Remember the story of Susan Boyle? Did you know that just 6 of her top videos have over 151.7 million views? YouTube propelled Susan from being on a "Britian's Got Talent" to being an international household name overnight. Online video helped record labels see there was demand for her talent across the world. Wouldn't you like to know you have a product or service that's in high demand before it's even available for sale? How much is the research data worth to you? What is the value of the pre-launch campaign and the mass media coverage Susan Boyle achieved before even launching her career?
The video "JK Wedding Entrance Dance" has over 41 million views on just one video. That upload resulted in the bride, an aspiring choreographer, gaining prime time TV coverage. She was offered several jobs which enabled her to choose a career she wanted in an area she loved.
The "Evian Roller Babies" YouTube video had over 40 million views between the Europe and the US version. I don't believe the video can be tied to an increase in sales but it was a PR success as multiple magazines, websites, and social networks generated Word Of Mouth Marketing on a phenomenal scale. From a brand recognition perspective the campaign was launched in July of 2009 during the peak of summer's heat: not a bad move for reminding people to buy Evian when they're buying water and cooling off. Think of how much would it cost run a full PR campaign that was pushed into mass media. Also look at the value of the brand recognition and the fact viewers spent 61 seconds captivated versus a 15-30 second TV spot. What value would you assign for that viewership if you were Evian?
It should be remembered that these stories are exceptions rather than the rule. My research for clients on YouTube campaigns has often returns the conclusion that those who dominate their space started months and years ago with online video. What does separate the winners from those with lack luster results is getting started, persisting, refining presentation and content, and nurturing their relationships in this arena. If you want to be the business with tens or hundreds of thousands of views the best time to get started is now before your competitors set the standard you have to match or surpass.