How to Advertise on YouTube

We YouTube Partners require two things to make money: a large number of views, and advertisers. Thanks to Kalle Tompros of SearchEngineWatch for summarizing the options available to advertisers. These include promoted videos (which requires advertisers to have videos on YouTube), homepage takeovers, instream ads (prerolls), and text overlays. For more options, see YouTube’s how-to page.

With online-video advertising projected to grow 30%, advertisers are increasingly looking at YouTube ad options. And as Mashable reports, the first quarter of 2012 showed record-high online advertising revenue, citing an IAB/PWC (see AdAge).

Online-advertising revenue continues to grow with an all-time high last quarter (click image for IAB/PWC report)

Here is my 2 cents on some of the right YouTube options based on the primary approaches (direct response and awareness):

  • The best option for direct-response oriented advertisers are promoted videos and text overlays. They’re not expensive and can be triggered on search queries like Google adwords. Time magazine also covered online-video advertising for small business.
  • Advertisers with larger budgets can gain reach and awareness through more expensive prerolls/instream and homepage takeovers.
Want a crash-course on how to buy YouTube videos? See the YouTube Advertising channel. There’s a nice page that triages advertisers based on their goals: direct response, brand awareness, product launch, and even reputation management and audience engagement.
YouTube describes its offerings based on various brand/media goals (click image to see page)

Finally, there’s a video that explains the analytics tutorial. Go forth and advertise, media buyers. And be sure to keep Nalts in your media plan!

Is Online-Video Catching Up to TV?

It's getting harder to make a case that TV still reigns.

Brightroll published its annual report about video advertising, and here are some highlights via TechCrunch.

This information jives with Forrester’s prediction that online-ad spending will overtake TV in 2016. And eMarketer’s statement that online-video is the fastest-growing portion in digital advertising.

Highlights:

  • The Brightroll data comes from a survey of advertisers about how they’re approaching online video and what their budget plans are for the coming 12 months.
  • 64 percent said they believe that online video advertising is equally or more effective than the ads that show up on TV. That’s a big deal.
  • Why is online-video rivaling TV?  Because 70 percent of Internet users watch video online, meaning scale/reach is now possible.
  • Most respondents see online video as more effective than both display and social media. That’s notable given the market’s increasing obsession with mobile and social-media ads.
  • 30 percent of respondents said they expect online video to grow faster than any other type of advertising. That’s actually oddly conservative. Remember eMarketer estimates that US online video ad spending will grow by a compound annual rate of 38% in a five-year span ending in 2015, making this by far the fastest-rising category of online spending. Do the other 70% feel otherwise?
  • Performance metrics continues to confound media buyers. About 70 percent said that they needed a more clear ROI and success metrics to justify increasing spend on online video. And about a third want more info about the impact their online video buys have on offline purchasing. TV has had more time to develop metrics and prove results.

As any new media emerges, there’s a dance between the evangelists and skeptics. We saw it when the web arrived. We saw it at the dawn of display. We saw it with paid search (which the survey suggests is still the favorite of advertisers). Now we’re seeing it with the ongoing debates about the merits to TV and online-video.

But now it’s hard to deny online-video and praise TV has the bedrock of branding. With apologies to Mark Cuban (who is still a skeptic of online-video). It’s time to recognize that both TV and online-video have a powerful role in advertising and marketing, and that’s why most media-buyers are savvy enough to plan, buy and measure TV and online video together (eMarketer).

Remember what Nalts has been saying for many years, kids. Eventually we won’t have terms like “TV” and online-video. We’ll just view video as a channel or media manifestation whether it occurs on a computer, mobile device, HDTV, pad or those new fangled cathode ray tubes.

The Onion Lampoons Viral. Tide Runs With It.

Last week, The Onion ran a wonderfully fictitious article by “Fred Hammond, Director of Digital Video and Social-Media Ad Integration, Tide Detergent.” Onion, you had me at hello. The desperately hipster editorial promotes his own low-involvement brand, and all of the cool (yet faux) social-media programs that try to engage Tide customers. Clearly Fred has read my “Stupidest Article on Social Media Ever.”

My absolute favorite line: “Go to Tide’s website and hang there for a while. It’s a totally awesome place to go and play online games and meet other cool fans of Tide products.” Because we always want to hang out with fellow customers of our brands.

The article opens by making reference to an “awesome new web video by Tide detergent.” A video that “everyone is discussing it on popular blogs and linking to it from social media platforms.” Sadly, there is no such video.

But in a self-deprecating and timely display, Tide and Digitas filled that void. Embedded below, please find Tide’s very own lampoon, which has already gotten some industry trade magazine attention (MediaPost). Per The Onion, Tide provides a hip rocker, puppets and groovy 80s music. Just 10K views so far, but that beats the ExpoTV product reviews littering Tide’s YouTube channel with views as low as 15. Even more notable is the sheer number of positive “likes” the video has so far (even though we know where some of those are coming from). And the video ends well like those rare SNL skits. Meet the bird in the laundry basket who tweets the finale.

Tweet

Some brands have cringed from The Onion satire. Others would have ignored it and moved on. Tide and Digitas get credit for embracing it, and riding it fairly quickly — especially by P&G standards. Despite my temporary Twitter hiatus, I couldn’t help but notice an @nalts tweet by Digitas’ John McCarus (who I met while working on a different P&G brand). His self congratulatory tweet just fits the whole thing beautifully.

Now for the learning for brands and social media folks:

  • Laugh at yourself. It makes others laugh with you, instead of at you.
  • Humanize the brand as being self deprecating
  • Move quickly (this wouldn’t have worked as well if it took one more week to post)
And the final lesson is revealed in this priceless quote by the fake author: “Everybody in my office has been going crazy for this video. It’s practically all we’ve been talking about.” Do everything you can to avoid drinking your own Koolaid and thinking/communicating that your brand is way cooler than it is. Let other people tell me how cool your brand is. 
In appreciation of this campaign I promise to: a) buy Tide, b) give Digitas props, c) not sue P&G for infringing on my Nalts logo.


 

Bidding Farewell to Daisy Whitney’s New Media Minute

Daisy whitney 2

Daisy Whitney, creator and producer of “The New Media Minute” is ending the nearly 5-year-old show. Whitney posted her final episode last week, and says she’s, “just going old school reporting on media in articles and columns instead.”

Whitney will continue her reporting on new media for such outlets as MediaPost, Cynopsis, @Beet_TV.

For as long as Daisy Whitney has been posting videos, we’ve been posting about her transforming hair and outfits. Now what? Whitney tweeted, “But all good things must end, and it’s better to end on a high note as George Costanza taught us.” A lesson I should have considered on YouTube before I jumped the shark.

Daisy whitney

Are Video Preroll Ads on Rise or Decline?

Yes. Video prerolls are both growing and declining. The good news for viewers is that we saw fewer prerolls. But we saw more “polite prerolls” (option to escape) in Q1 2011 as reported by AdoTube/eMarketer. Since this doesn’t include YouTube data and presumably a small sample of total online-video ad streams it does need to be taken with a grain of (Morton’s: when it rains it pours!) salt.

Viewers will appreciate fewer prerolls (as reported by AdoTube), and advertisers will enjoy more "engagement" models
This "Right Guard" ad begs for engagement. Did you notice the "close" button?

Forget prerolls, friends. The increasingly competitive ad networks have a whole sleuth of weapons in their online-video ad formats that range from the innocuous “polite pre-roll,” to a bit more ominous names like in-stream takeover, ad selector, in-stream skin, inside-out roll, interactive overlay, video-in-video, interactive gaming overlay, data entry and capture, branded player, over the top, and beyond stream. I believe that Seroquel example, placing a “reminder” ad without “fair balance” adjacent to depression content is (shhh) a violation of FDA guidelines, but I digress. ANY of these ad-format names beats the “fat boy” branded by Point Roll.

Take a look at some of the bold “engagement” formats presented in AdoTube’s ad-format gallery and you’ll see why viewers are, according to eMarketer, about 30% likely to engage in an ad… even when not forced (hence the term “polite”). You’ll also see that it’s often not clear there’s an opt-out available.

The eMarketer report, titled “Options for Online Video Ad Viewers Leads to Higher Engagement” is encouraging. With online video being one of the leading (if not #1) fastest-growing portion of a marketer’s “media mix,” advertisers will want and expect formats that achieve their goals: from branding to engagement. This chart is important to viewers because it shows that “cost per impression” remains the dominant percent of spending. In “cost per impression” (often called CPM, or cost-per-thousand), the advertiser simply pays a few bucks to reach 1,000 eyeballs without much accountability.

"Cost per impression" still leads, but more interactive "engagement" ad formats are increasing (Brightroll Data)

While few of us welcome more aggressive online-ads, this also substantiates a business model to fuel the medium’s growth. While it’s easy to complain about intrusive ads (especially as the pendulum seemed to swing dangerously to the advertiser’s benefit in the past year), it’s a vital element to online-video’s maturity. If the advertisers don’t get what they need, friends, we won’t be seeing our content for free.

There are three ways to increase “engagements” in this online-video advertising medium, and I’ll list them from best to worst in order of sustainability: novelty, creative and targeting:

  1. Novelty: A new ad format generally enjoys a period of high engagement that’s deceptively high. We’re curious about what the ad does, and may not realize we’re engaging, so it’s not necessarily suggestive of purchase intent. In early February, a debut YouTube customer of YouTube’s “skip this ad in x second” preroll told ClickZ he was seeing a 30% engagement rate. That’s far higher than we’ll see as a norm, and a tribute to the novelty effect.
  2. Creative: Great creative always wins, and this is a fairly enduring trait. While overall engagement might slip when we’re “numb” to an ad format (like monkey-shooting banner ads, or even the “InVid” format that creeps up on YouTube… the best creative wins the best attention, engagement and results.
  3. Targeting: Ultimately the most sustainable and important characteristic of a high-engagement online-video ad is its ability to reach the right target. I can engage in a tampon ad, but it’s not going to sell more maxi’s. But if I get a rich-media ad over (or adjacent) to my valued content, then we’ve got a win-win-win (advertiser, publisher, viewer). That’s where we can expect Google/YouTube to be better in the long haul, but it appears the sophisticated advertiser networks are ahead. These ad networks marry data from a variety of sources to serve ads invisibly on the videos across a variety of websites.

So what are the takeaways to advertisers, video sites and us viewers?

  • First, the options available to advertisers means that online-video ads will begin to get as aggressive as other forms of interactive ads. This has positive and negative effects, but as long as it’s targeted it’s sustainable.
  • YouTube, which reports very little about its ad performance, has not radically departed from its debut formats, with the exception of breaking its early commitment to make pre-rolls optional. Now most pre-rolls are mandatory, but we can opt-out of some after a few seconds (at which point the “opt-out” means the advertiser pays YouTube and the creator less).
  • Ads are a vital cost-offset for those of us that have been enjoying free video content for 5 years and would like that to continue without avoid pesky Hulu-like subscription models (unless a “value ad” bonus to the cable contract, assuming we haven’t “cut chord.”).
  • And finally, Morton’s salt can be trusted. Trusted I say.

 

10 Commandments For YouTube Cause Marketing

The Social Media for Nonprofits conference series kicks off in SF w/ @kanter, @GuyKawasaki & @jdlasica. bit.ly/lWLDQO #nonprofit #nptech

http://socialmedia4nonprofits.org/

Perfect timing for what I’d planned this week… The 10 Commandments for YouTube/Viral Marketing for Causes and Non-Profits…

1. Though Shall Not Stop With Text. If you blog, also vlog. Use video to simplify your message, and to SEO optimize it. A good video travels farther than great words.

2. Honor Thy Description. Pack cause-related videos with dense descriptions and tags, and links to websites placed prominently where they can be seen in YouTube’s truncated description.

3. Useth Thy Stigmatized Words Too. In thy language, be true to the “right” way to speak about thy cause. BUT also use words people actually search. If you’re promoting equal rights, add politically incorrect terms too.

4. You Shall Not Carry Thy Message Alone. Find those with large YouTube audiences who share your non-profit’s mission. Ask them to carry your message in their own voice. Expect not your boring video to be found and go viral.

5. Be Not Boring. In Title and Thumbnail Especially. A non-profit need not be dull. If humor, dancing, song and shock aren’t appropriate… than use emotional videos to promote sharing. Use metaphors or images to reach the hearts of viewers. Be bold, controversial, kind and uplifting. Don’t paint a hopeless situation. Fire people up with how close we are to solving your challenge, and find an entertaining way to ask them to help you reach the nearby finish line.

6. Ask Not Just For Money. Social currency is as important as cash. Just like asking for a token amount ($10) ask viewers for small gestures. A “like,” comment or “favorite” on a video is a donation that will help many others find the video, and that may be worth more than the non-social currency you call cash.

7. Focus Not on The Viral Video Idea Alone. Don’t stop with video ideas that you think may fly. Focus instead on getting the video seen via as many social mediums as possible. Ask your Facebook friends to share them, and highlight other videos related to your non-profit (even the “competitor” counter intuitively). Rather than do one “big” video, do many, many that are customized to various audiences and stakeholders.

8. Get Input Before Campaign. Ask people who are immersed in the medium for ideas. Even if they have none, they’ll be more likely to share your final work because they have “buy in.” It’s harder to say “no” when asked to spread a message if you’ve already provided some ideas before the message was cooked up.

9. Use Thy Coalition To Reach Webstars. YouTubers are bombarded with direct pleas, and begin to ignore messages (especially those via YouTube mail). Ask your advocates to reach out to YouTube “stars” via Twitter and Facebook. What top Tuber can ignore dozens of pleas mentioning his/her ne and a cause or non-profit? We all search our names on Twitter at least daily.

10. Time Thy Campaign to Project4Awesome. This Fall program spawned by the Vlogbrothers is the annual cause-awareness initiative on YouTube and even the least-viewed videos are usually seen more than the best-produced cause videos.

Pharmaceuticals and Humor? Check out the Trade Mag

So you know I like to market pharmaceuticals? I know what you’re thinking… commercials complex language and frightening “side effects.” But frankly I’d like to see all ads “fair balanced” like Rx ones.

  • “This Toyota is moving forward, but we didn’t really test the breaks.”
  • Best Buy’s convenience is over-shadowed by its higher prices and poor customer service.”
  • Or “this movie’s trailer is awesome but the plot is implausible and dull.”

Say what you’d like about “big pharma,” but if I’m gonna market…  I quite like the idea of marketing things that matter. Medicines matter (at least to me). Could they be cheaper? Sure. So could coffee. At least it’s illegal to be dishonest in this industry, and that’s kinda cool.

So anyway I’m back marketing pharmaceuticals, right, and I find this article in the industry magazine (thanks to a flurry of texts, tweets and e-mails). It’s about the FDA’s department (DDMAC) that holds pharmaceutical companies accountable to appropriate marketing laws and regulations.

There’s a fabulous quote from me in what’s a rare and refreshing example that even the Rx industry is allowed to have a sense of humor. Unless you’re into marketing molecules online (and the nuances presented by social media) you’ll perhaps not find this as darned near as witty as me. But you can always visit my little ePharmify.com to watch inside-joke videos about the industry. It’s featuring the only video of me online that features a complete comb over (with actual head shaved).

So the picture below is of Tom Abrams speaking at a recent conference, but the trade magazine (Medical Marketing & Media, MMM) uses a file photo that must be older than some of my kids. Abrams in the director of of the Division of Drug Marketing, Advertising and Communications (DDMAC) and I love him as a patient but fear him as  a marketer. If you get even a warning letter from DDMAC your career can come to a swift halt. I introduced myself to him at a recent conference and told him I’d give him free online-video consulting to guide the social-media guidelines the division has been promising for a while.

So with that perhaps boring and unnecessary context, I quote from the April Fool’s edition of the magazine:

As predicted by MM&M back in February, Abrams named former Propecia marketer and viral videotrepreneur Kevin Nalty to lead a new division dedicated to policing online marketing. “The Internet is great for porn, toilet humor and cute pictures of small, furry animals,” said Nalty, “but disseminating information about prescription drugs? People, trust me — stick to fart jokes and we’ll all get along just fine.”

I can already read your comments. This post is not funny to you. So I’ll make it up by telling you my totally unrelated but funny story of my friend David.

Online Video (2010 in sad pictures)

Wowzer how about the peaks and valleys of online video in the past year. I had a peek at Alexa.com to see how some of the smaller independent online-video sites are holding up. Not too well based on traffic. A caveat: Alexa does not capture visitors precisely, or count the embedded views. So these pictures may tell a sadder story than reality.

Still, it’s clear that the top online video properties are mostly established players not independents (below is Nielsen chart from last year). Hulu, YouTube and Facebook are well-backed startups or owned by large companies, and the rest are established media brands (MSN, Fox, CNN, ESPN, MLB).

The lesson learned from the flat or declining charts below? While there are plenty of places to benefit economically from the convergence of computers and television, the odds are not good for creating a profitable independent destination even if it’s supported by advertising. If you have a desire to create a video community, you’d be wise to use OPP (other people’s programming) and stick to the curating and community.

  • Revver (first site to share advertising revenue with creators). Revver, like YouTube, was designed not as a website but as a publisher/creator platform. It was perhaps too early to the space. YouTube and Facebook show that what matters most in a new industry is to get critical mass and leadership position. Profit comes later.

  • Veoh, now part of Qlipso, a social-content sharing company… down from earlier in 2010.

  • Metacafe seems to be returning to its low from last spring. It appears to be morphing into a shell for Hulu.

  • Blip.tv is holding its own… and most of its views are probably embedded elsewhere so not represented here.

  • FunnyOrDie isn’t trending significantly, but continues to be mercurial in traffic. One moment flooded with traffic for a new celebrity video, and otherwise mostly forgotten. Fortunately it seems well sponsored with entertainment advertisers, rather than paltry network ads.

  • Vimeo, with its focus on a creative and artistic community, is one of the few independent online-video sites doing quite well at attracting traffic.

To end on a sad note, “hyped Internet television startup” Joost is “spinning off” as an advertising network. So if you’re trying to make money in the online-video space, you’d better get a cool haircut and some teenage fans.

Why Old Spice Is Killing Social Media in 2011

Okay first check out this top-10 list of social-media marketing fails and wins. I just happened to find the Canadian article titled “Top 10 social media hits and misse in 2010,” and my own video hiding in it. Can you find it? Yeah that’s me as the press secretary for Tony Hayward. The accent is fake. I’m not British.

I love the Old Spice campaign, but it’s going to cause some serious road kills in 2011. Why?

Wieden + Kennedy , the advertising agency behind Old Spice’s grand 2010 marketing campaign, turned actor Isaiah Mustafa into a household name. And they made it look easy, so now everyone’s going to want to “pull an Old Spice..” In fact I’ll have to write a new book called “Beyond Old Spice.” Caution ambitious agencies and brands… this was a major coordinated effort that involved significant media spending and crafty use of social media. It’s going to be imitated a lot in 2011 and poorly so.

Anyway I’m giggling that the Globe & Mail (Amber Macarthur) article happened to select my YouTube parody about BP to demonstrate that fail online.

You can’t imagine how weird it is to be reading about social-media marketing, and notice your video is the example.

I’m really big in Canada. I keep telling you that, and it’s like you don’t believe it. Nalts is to Canada as Jerry Lewis is to France. I’m the friggin Shanecarl Wheezyhiga of Canada.

Someone needs to put the computer down and leave Starbucks immediately, as he rapidly tumbles down the hill of unproductivity entering hour number 10. I feel the Via coursing through my veins. The irony is that I’m in the Starbucks at which I shot the exterior shot of the via sponsored video, but they wouldn’t let me tape in the store. I wonder if BP would let me tape in its lobby. Maybe the BP Canadian office.

Every Social Media Event in 2011: YIPES

Check out this mother-load of social-media events and conferences compiled by JD Lasica (yes he’s alive and kicking, thank you). If it isn’t a complete list, then there are far too many damned social-media events. If it is complete, there are still too many damed social-media events.

What’s clear to me is that it’s time to narrow not broaden the scope of “social media” conferences, and start niching into either industries, medium (blogs/video), function (PR, advertising, marketing, journalism) or specific regions. I can’t envision 500 national cross-industry internet marketing conferences in 2011, can you?

I’m staring at this list and about each event I’m thinking:

This could be the best place to network, stay current, share my goods.”

And simultaneously thinking, “this is going to be one of those awkward events with a vendor/buyer ratio of 39:1, 11 non-English speakers in each breakout room, and I’ll literally get dumber by the minute listening to some newly self-appointed social media expert.”

Perhaps I’ll just stay in a local hotel and read the Stupidest Article About Social Media ever. Hey maybe it’s time for a rewrite of this year-old piece of poetry. (Checks article). Nope, it’s all still perfectly accurate and useless.