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YouTube Insights Hangout on Air – Feb. 2014 | YouTube Advertisers

YouTube Insights Hangout on Air – Feb. 2014 | YouTube Advertisers

Tara: Hi, everyone. Welcome to the second
edition of YouTube Insights Hangout On Air. I’m Tara Walpert Levy and I lead the ads marketing
team here at YouTube. And as some of you know from our last show, this episode always follows
our release of the YouTube Insights report which is our quarterly digest of insights,
data and trends that are happening in video. If you haven’t seen it, you can go check it
out at, I think at google.com and just type in “YouTube Insights.” And don’t worry
if you haven’t read it yet. You can still follow along with this conversation. Our goal
is to let all of the detailed stats live on their own in the report and to bring in some
experts and folks from the field that we can have some fun speaking a little bit higher
level about the trends that pop in the report. So, we have a great group today to talk about,
in particular, fanship, the difference between a passive viewer and a truly engaged fan and
how you turn audiences into the fans and customers by getting them to choose to really engage
with content that your audiences and customers care about. So, we shared some best practices
on how to do that in the report and we’ll be interested in hearing what the group today
has to share. Guys, you’re all leaders and experts in this field. What I’d love to do
is have each of you start by introducing yourself and just give the audience a bit of a sense
of why you’re here. Ze, why don’t we start from you? Ze: Hi. I’m Ze Frank. I’m the EVP of video
for BuzzFeed. I run a production company out here in LA that is focused on social video
and last year and a little bit, we’ve been heavily involved with YouTube and we’ve
come to about 70k subs to close to four million and are in the 70-90 million month review
range. So, we’re all in, so to speak. Tara: Well, I knew you’ve got experience with
this yourself. You’ve got a million subs personally, right? Ze: That’s right, yeah. Tara: Very cool. Okay. Awesome. It’s good
to have you. Jill. Jill: Hi. I’m Jill Kinney. I oversee the branded
entertainment function at Gatorade and also influence our marketing. So, we do a lot of
long-form, short-form content and we’re going to be doing more with YouTube moving forward.
And I unfortunately do not have a million subscribers yet. Ze: But you should. But you should. Jill: Something to look forward for. Tara: We’re going to assure how on this call.
It’s only a matter of time. Okay. Kelly? Kelly: Hi. Bryan: Hi. I’m Bryan Smith. This is Kelly
Schoeffel. We head a strategy at 72andSunny which is a modern ad agency based in LA and
Amsterdam. Some of our clients are Target, Samsung, Activision and Google, most of which
are very active on YouTube and central to a lot of the marketing we do with them. Tara: Awesome. Okay, and Allison? Allison: Hi. I’m Allison Stern, co-founder
of Tubular and we’re a mission control for online video. So, we help brands and publishers
grow audience on YouTube through data-driven recommendations and we’re excited to have
some of our data on the YouTube Insights report. So, thanks for having me on the Hangout today. Tara: Very cool. We’re excited to have you
all. And thank you for the data and insights you provided for the report, Allison. Why
don’t we just warm up? I’d love to get a sense, if we’re going to spend a lot of this conversation
talking about fans and how you build fans, we’d love to just get a sense from each of
you. Is there a brand that you are a particular fan of as a consumer? And maybe we’ll work
backwards, Allison and start with you. Allison: Yeah. So, I love GoPro. I actually
love to ski and I love video as you know so, it combines two of my passions. And they’ve
done an amazing job on YouTube, building a community around adventure and sharing your
successes and your action successes with friends. So, I’m impressed with what they’ve done with
the brand and I also love the product. Tara: Very cool. Yeah, I aspire to having
one of those GoPro videos, I suppose. I’m not sure I can keep up with quite the level
of activity those guys demonstrate, but what they’re able to capture is amazing. Bryan?
Kelly? Bryan: Yeah. I’m a big fan, and have been
for a long time with Lego. I’m a lifelong nerd and the father of a nerd-in-the-making.
And the product itself is a big part of our daily lives and as a marketer, I really admire
the kind of stories Lego can tell, about the really high level with the recent movie, but
also things like the collaboration of the branded with Google. It feels like very modern
marketers, something I think we at 72 admire. And personally, it just gives me great satisfaction
every day to build with Lego. Kelly: Yeah. Lately I’ve been really kicking
out over a little brand at Target, full disclosure on one of our clients, called Kid Made Modern.
It’s a line of craft supplies created by Todd Oldham. And I don’t even have kids, but I
still use them because it has a really, really clear mission. It was really designed to help
families and kids live a more empowered creative lifestyle when faced with a lack of creativity
in schools. So, right now it’s just a product line. They’re not doing much in the social
space, but it feels just like a huge opportunity because what they stand for is really important. Tara: That’s awesome. Those are the brands
I think that are having the easiest time moving folks from viewers to fans as if they’re a
cause or a passion above and beyond the product that viewers can really connect with. So,
I’m sure you’ll take good care of them. Kelly: We’ll try. Tara: Jill, what about you? Jill: For me, professionally, I really admire
Dove and what they have done from a content perspective. I know Redbull seems like a more
obvious choice to look at and actually what they do is pretty amazing from the content
creation standpoint. But Dove is interesting because they have developed a reputation for
quality content. You know to look for it. And they’re able to convey the brand belief
of beauty from the inside without having too many product messages and you walk away more
engaged and feeling more empowered by the brand. So, Dove is a brand that we’ve looked
at a lot. Tara: Cool. And Ze, what about you? Ze: You said, as a consumer. So, for me it’s
Nikka Whiskey which is a Japanese brand that I just, from a consumption ad, I would have
to call them [inaudible 00:07:00]. And hopefully they’re listening right now because I’m a
big fan. You know, from a professional standpoint, I would say that especially in this capacity,
I’m a fan of any brand that is willing to really engage in a dialogue around what branded
content is and what it could be. So, recently I’ve had some really great conversation with
Purina and we’ve done some work with them. And I really do think that that is where we
are right now. It’s that it is a dialogue and there isn’t a hard and fast rule, but
I think that thinking of branded content as content and also some sort of a handshake
between the brand and the content creator is the most exciting place to be. And I’m
always happy when that dialogue can happen. Tara: Yeah. Absolutely. It’s interesting because
you really see brands today, I think, going the full gamut from folks who really embrace
that and are partnering deeply with content creators and developing ongoing series and
things like that. So, folks who are just actually doing really simple things to take advantage
of the media. One of the things I was thinking about as you guys were talking, like you talked
about Lego and you talked about Dove and one of the brands that moved me recently is…I’m
a huge sucker for the P&G moms campaign. And in particular for the full-length stories
of what’s happening with the athletes and their moms. And what all three of those brands
do is they simply take advantage of creative capabilities that weren’t there before the
web which is, they can actually tell a full story that might not otherwise be available
in a 15 or a 30-second spot. We’re just at the beginning. I’m sure we’re going to see
a lot of folks pushing the envelope a lot more aggressively as we move forward. But
it’s amazing to see even the simple difference in moving someone emotionally that just a
few more seconds can make. So, to that point it was interesting. We talked
about viewers and fans like that’s a given thing. I think it’s still pretty hotly debated
out there. What’s the difference between a viewer and a fan and does it matter? So, we
talk sometimes about the fact that YouTube today reaches more 18-34 year olds than any
cable network. But is that what matters? Is it the reach that matters or is it the level
of engagement? And do you think that the folks on YouTube are viewers or are they fans? Does
it depend on what they’re watching? How do you guys think about it? Ze: You’re going to have to give us a cue
on who goes first. Tara: You can jump in. But Ze, since you leaned
in, I’ll call on you. Ze: Sure. I mean the answer to that question
is both. I think that you have a continuum from a certain amount of passivity to a high
level of engagement. And part of that has to do with the amount of point of contacts
that you have available and also just general awareness. So, I think with almost, with most
campaigns anyways, you’re really talking about trying to hit a spread between increasing
what I would call just general viewership and then also providing opportunities for
people who might characterize themselves as fans. And maybe that’s the key to this, it’s
self-characterization on the fan side. You give them opportunities to express themselves
and things like that. I think that from the work that we do, we’re most interested in
social spread which necessarily means that the distribution between fans and viewers
is always going to be there, right? Because we’re always going to be looking for people
to spread beyond some sort of an inside bubble, which proves there’s some really interesting
challenges because you really want messages that are going to resonate very, very broadly
so that they can have maximum reach. Tara: Yeah. I think that’s right. And it’s
interesting when you say self-characterization. I think that that element of choice, once
again, we can see very clearly who is choosing to engage with the content, to share the content,
to refine the content. And that gives us a demarcation, I think to your point, of fans
versus viewers that we haven’t had before. And it’s nice to be able to measure our content
against that test of how much of that fan engagement is it really driving. I mean, Bryan
and Kelly when you…Oh, I’m sorry. Go ahead, Jill. Jill: No, I was just going to come in on that.
I mean, as soon as you’ve chosen to watch the content, it automatically moves you closer
on that continuum to more of a fan. And obviously that’s the Holy Grail. You’d rather have fans
that are engaging with your content. And that’s what gets me so excited about content versus
advertising. It’s, of course, because the choice that’s made and the inherent engagement
that happens. You can share it, which is also of course what we want. We’re always looking
for that earned media that we call it. I think Ze, you called it something else. But that’s
how we characterize it. The more that people are inspired enough to share it, that’s the
ideal. Then you reach a wider audience of course. Tara: Yeah. You know, Jill, it’s interesting.
You talk about content versus advertising. Tell me how you think about the difference
between those two? In some ways, you got to argue they’re becoming one and the same. Jill: Well, actually that is true to some
extent and I think, and I can say this because I don’t do specifically the advertising for
our brand. I think Gatorade is a brand and there are many others that the advertising
is of such high quality that it is engaging. I guess what I’m saying though is, with advertising,
you put it on air or place it somewhere and there isn’t a choice to watch it. It’s interrupting.
I know not on YouTube, but in other places. So, when I’m talking about content, I’m talking
about the fact that you have a choice. Typically, there’s more of a story there versus just
spouting messages. Man: YouTube Ads has just joined. Tara: Sorry, guys. That was not to indicate
that what you were saying was not engaging. I was not…I am a fan. [inaudible 00:13:43]
on our end. Jill: Okay. Tara: But you were just wrapping up on saying
the…Where I left you? Was that the quality of the advertising made it content approach
or actually proactively engaging and sharing? Is that right? Jill: Right. Right. Bryan: And I think for us, fandom is what
we aspire to. And that’s a really high bar to get to. Certainly we don’t really like
to talk about the people we’re targeting with our work as consumers. That’s treating them
as a transaction. They’re people and we want to have relationships with them. Allison: Yeah. I guess, since I’m the data
nerd on the call, I wanted to share something interesting, which is, in the last 30 days
alone, there are 65,000 videos about Samsung that were uploaded onto YouTube and only 20
of them officially came from Samsung. So, it’s really amazing to think about all the
fans out there and the fact that they’re just so passionate about brands that they’re actually
creating content. It’s not just sharing it or viewing it, but actually creating videos
dedicated to your brand. And so many brands out there don’t even know that that content
exists. For example, with Samsung, in the last 30 days there were 22 million views on
fan-uploaded content and only 2 million views on official Samsung content. So, just to know
that that really avid fan base exists out there is amazing. Ze: It’s such an interesting point, too, because
I think that in this context, we’re really talking about a behavior set on a platform,
right? We’re talking about the way that a fan might act, interact with content on YouTube.
But the weird complexity with all this is that we are fans of brands in real life, right?
I mean, every person develops these relationships. They might not express it in such unique ways
as uploading video content, but it is this kind of like broader, bigger ecosystem. And
I think about this Daniel Kahneman principle where you have to see something a number of
times before it actually sinks in. And I think about that kind of relationship between viewership
and fandom is that this is probably some sort of a power lock where there’s a subset of
people that are fans and then the overall viewership. And yes, we’re moving people towards
fandom, but most likely the relationship between those two carts stays somewhat even so that
the trick is raising all oats to some extent. Tara: Yeah. Well, that’s a good analytical
challenge for you, Allison. Maybe you guys can come up with the curve of what it takes
to convert a viewer to a fan. But your point is interesting. We actually see that a lot.
That’s true across a number of major brands, that the fan-created content dwarfs the brand-created
content. And it’s interesting…Go ahead, Jill. Jill: I was just going to say, we’re talking
about fandom. But I think it also goes to brand ownership. And that’s one thing we’ve
started talking about a lot. If you can get to wear your, in our case athletes, when athletes
feel ownership of the brand as much or more so than us being the owners of the brand,
that’s really ideal. And obviously they have to be fans first before they’re going to feel
that ownership and then they will create content. Bryan: Yeah. That’s such a brave brand behavior
as well. I think that’s something we talked a lot about. So, we are working on Call of
Duty and a bunch of other Activision brands and certainly, those are deeply passionate,
opinionated audiences. And for any major brand, you’ve got a traditional model of command
and control. We’re going to dictate what our brand is about and to embrace the community
of people who are passionate about your brand. Well, sometimes by the way, just like any
fan have bad days with you, it’s a real behavior shift on our end to be able to say it’s not
just about what we make and push out to you. It’s also about embracing what you’re doing,
shining a light on the best parts of it and responding when you’re not so happy. It really
changes the dynamic force. Kelly: I think it is a relationship, an intense
relationship, when done right. And like any relationship, you can’t just let it grow stagnant.
We were talking about, I would say one of the biggest brands out there: Beyoncé. And
even though she is a beyond critical mass in terms of fans and people raising their
hands to engage with her in all capacities, she still continues to blow minds, dropping
her visual album. Just raising people, acknowledging them, bringing her into her life in ways that
I think few celebrities have. She keeps raising the bar. I think she understands it’s a relationship
and you can’t let that wither away. Tara: Yeah, I think that’s right. And it’s
one of the really interesting and challenging things I think for a number of brands right
now, right? Because there’s an always on nature to that, that is different than how many of
us that grew up in the branding world where you’d have these massive spikes around a particular
campaign or a particular product launch and then you’d have more minimal coverage for
quite some time until the next big piece of news that you wanted to radiate out. Whereas,
as you’re pointing out, the customers are there all the time. If you’re going to have
a strong relationship, it’s going to be there all the time. And thinking about how we navigate
to that behavior is interesting and challenging. Allison, I don’t know if that’s something
you see in your data in terms of whether brands are producing content in a steadier basis
like more traditional content creators or you see more big spikes and drops. Allison: Definitely what you’re saying is
spot on. There’s this transition happening from campaign-based marketing to this evergreen
concept where you have to create a channel that’s always living and always interacting
with fans, which can be quite challenging. But I think it’s actually just about changing
the way you think about it. If you think about Redbull or GoPro or people who have really
built entertainment channels on YouTube, they’ve seen a lot of success. But even smaller-based
evergreen concepts like beauty brands that are constantly engaging with influencers.
I actually think Beyoncé is a best practice for another reason because music channels
often have trouble because they’ll release a big album and then their channel will go
dormant for a long period of time. What Beyoncé does is, she’ll do behind-the-scene, she’ll
do Q&A, she’ll put up every piece of content, things that you wouldn’t ordinarily think
of content, but something like her doing behind-the-scenes with a fan that someone just catches in a
casual moment will get a million views. So, just… Bryan: I don’t think that those two models
are mutually exclusive either. But certainly you need in marketing to have big spikes where
you dominate in your category, where you really grab people’s hearts. But that’s not a sustainable
model. It’s about layering. In order to get that big spike, you do something that’s very
broad, very massive and push it as much as you can and pull with it. And then it’s layering
in stuff where if you’ve got a smaller fan base, how do you keep them feeling like you’re
nurturing that relationship and be okay that maybe that the view count of those assets
may not get into the millions, but the people who are engaging are engaging deeply and are
committed to your acting upon it? Ze: I mean, we were talking abstractly. Just
a sort of in the weeds example is I think that we’re right at the point where we have
the kind of real time reflexive data where we can think of something which we hear called
live piloting where you…I will say this. We’re talking a lot about these very kind
of aggressive brands. But obviously, some brands, they have been around for a long time,
they have a very, very set way of doing things and it’s a little difficult to come into this
conservation at full force. So, I think a very easy way to think about this spike versus
build paradigm is, when you have success with a piece of content, thinking about iterating
on it I think is a really awesome thing, right? I mean, a lot of times, a brand will have
a big hit and then it will be another six months, eight months or a year before another
big campaign comes out. But all that time, you can think about iterating against, “Hey,
why do you think that video worked? What exactly resonated? Let’s try something else. Let’s
try another video. Let’s try a series of videos where the content producer and the brand are
iterating experimentally with the use of data towards something.” And I have to say that
when I look at the expenditure on national TV spots, I think about an eighth of that
budget. If an eighth of that budget went into test piloting in front of a live audience,
some of those concepts, even some of the actors, what kind of impact that could make? So, I
think there’s a lot of really exciting opportunities, blending data and some of the creative core
of these industries. Tara: I think that’s a great point. And you
talked about the range of traditional or more avant-garde brands. I’d say one of the places
we get the most questions from folks who are more traditional today and want to dip their
toe in is, “All right. Well, if we look at the content creators, what can we learn from
the content creators? What are people actually watching on YouTube?” So, we talked a little
bit about that in the latest report. And you keep mentioning Beyoncé. Music is obviously
endemic to YouTube and so it’s probably not terribly surprising that that was the number
one genre for the 18-34-year old audience. Were there other things that you saw in either
the differences between men and women or age groups or just in total that interested you
or surprised you? Bryan: For us it’s a fairly obvious observation
that the channels that are popping are channels with voices, with creators who have a specific
point of view on the world and I have characters that people form relationships with. And that’s
something, again, I think we want our brands to pursue as well. That is to just tell people
about the story, tell them about your product, have a point of view that people go, “Yes,
I believe in that.” Like Dove has done. Like Old Spice has done. Champion something bigger
than your brand and then, where possible, bring characters in that people can have a
relationship with. Tara: Yeah, I think that’s right. I mean,
that’s the difference between trying to share the heart of your brand with the heart of
your audience versus trying to put together a quick good product spot. They are wildly
different things and I think folks have always wanted to do the former. It’s not like anyone
ever said, “I don’t want to tell a good story.” Or, “I don’t want to connect with people in
a meaningful way.” It’s just that there are a lot more tools at our disposal now to do
so. Jill: Right. And all that measurement model,
you know, we’re part of Pepsi Co., we’re part of a big brand, all the measurement models
are set up more to support the traditional advertising. So, it’s a little bit tougher
to be able to demonstrate what it is that you can create when you’re releasing content.
We all have the hypothesis, it’s more engagement. And obviously the click through rates tell
us something. But especially for our particular brand, that’s been something that’s a big
challenge. It’s the measurement. Tara: Yeah, I think that’s right. That’s actually
been a huge focus for us recently. There were some announcements that we made yesterday
at the IAB on exactly this point because we recognize measurement has been a big gap for
a lot of brands. And frankly, rightly so. But it’s interesting because to the point
Ze was making, in theory, actually digital should give you better measurement than you’ve
ever had before. So, if you think about any of the brand metrics, issues of brand recall,
brand awareness and then approaches, any of those things all the way through to sales,
one of the challenges I think in immediate date is that you often don’t get that information
in time to iterate live, right? You get it after the campaign and you assess how well
you did or didn’t do and make decisions for next time. What the web should allow you to
do is to actually get that information real time or pretty darn close and at a scale you
couldn’t achieve previously. So, I think working with the industry, this is a pretty big focus
for us and a lot of other players, to make brand measurement actually a reason why you
would invest specifically in more made-for-web content as an advantage, not even a priority.
But I think you’re right, that we’re still on that journey. Allison: And that’s exactly the challenge
that Tubular has been attempting to solve as well. I think that some of my favorite
data from the Insight report was around women liking cake and men liking bacon. And when
you really have got it down to that granular level, if you think about a cooking show on
TV, you might know the gender of the audience of the entire show. You’d never know recipe
by recipe who is watching, what they thought, what they said, what their response was. And
Tubular has really captured that data. One interesting thing in response to Ze’s love
for whiskey is actually, if you look at the data in terms of what cooking topics cue most
male, it’s whiskey and corndogs. Ze: There you go. There you go. I have been
proven analytically to be male. I just wanted to follow up on a couple of these points.
I think you would start it out asking what was interesting about the data that came back.
To me, the segmentation is interesting to some extent. But the other side of it is just
a reminder of how complex the audience is. I mean, it’s amazing and wonderful and probably
one of the most profound things that’s been happening in the network world is, you know,
you start typing some bizarre question into Google and it’s already answering it for you,
which is a signifier that lots of people are thinking the same thing. So, I think one of the really interesting
challenges here is also where you’re getting your cues from in terms of serving these needs.
And one is, I think that there’s a lot of really interesting potentials for targeting
and refining this kind of gonzo taxonomy that Netflix thinks about. And then the other one
is also sort of thinking about maybe there’s a different kind of emotional human taxonomy
just about our experience as people that can serve as a foundation for content. And we
think about that from a social perspective quite a bit, that maybe storytelling and character,
maybe those aren’t the fundamental, like bottom line principles. Maybe it’s things like joy
and happiness and finding yourself in media, hearing someone say something that you’ve
been thinking all along, but no one has actually said. This kind of stuff just blasts wide
open the way that we think about content and the way that we think about opportunity. And
that’s what’s really exciting. Tara: That’s awesome. That’s inspirational
to me. Bryan and Kelly, you guys must get asked about this kind of stuff all the time
by clients. I mean, how do you react to that? Do you think we’re in the middle of a major
shift? Are you driving clients? Are clients driving you? Bryan: You take it? Kelly: In terms of bringing stuff like into
digital platforms? Tara: In terms of thinking fundamentally differently
about how data and interactive access and these more fundamental human connections might
reshape how you think about storytelling. Kelly: Yeah. I think we’re all learning it
in real time. Obviously there’s a lot we can do with data. There’s a lot we can do fast
enough. A lot of it is not having access to it or having the right tools or skills for
reading the data that’s out there. There are so many signals. How do we separate them?
So, I think something we always hold ourselves to is looking at the data, but looking broadly,
too, about the cultural context and really using culture as a parameter, which is where
YouTube comes in handy a lot. I think from the report, obviously the food phenomenon
popped up to us as the main trend growing equally with men and women, which is probably
surprising to some. And that’s on one side, kind of ground up. And on the other side,
you see like the Super Bowl this year. There were two brief yogurt commercials. Like obviously,
our relationship with food is shifting from all sides. What does that mean? What do all
those data points mean? And what is it pushing against in culture? And that’s why we try
to mind a lot of the insights and tensions, the ways our brands to either bring who they
are to the conversation or find a new way in. Tara: Yeah. I know that makes a lot of sense
and it’s a good segue. The food phenomenon was part of why we profiled Jamie Oliver and
his channel in the report. And we talked a little bit about how he was able to grow his
channel from zero to 600,000 subs. And what we get asked a lot is, “How can I do that?”
Whether it’s a content creator or a brand. Now I’m curious. Ze, you’ve done this personally
and you’ve done it as a company with BuzzFeed. You both have millions of subscribers. What’s
some of your advice on best practices for if you’re just starting up building a channel?
How do you think about building audience and building fans? Ze: So, I’m going to be a little bit of the
contrary in here and just point out that we don’t really think about subscriber growth
especially because our model is very much about social spread. And only about 10% of
our views come from subscribers. So, we really think about the main…First, I’ll talk broadly
and then I can talk about my channel. But I think that the biggest thing is to try and
understand what the mechanisms of growth are. And in certain cases, that might point you
to trying to really understand the YouTube algorithm. In our case here, what we really
try to do is understand what the different facets of social growth are. And part of that
is a content challenge. So, kind of ripping apart formats and trying to focus on what
categories of content or how we might experiment against those categories would lead to social
spread. And then there’s also framing and then network properties. In terms of my own channel, I think that for
me it was when I really started thinking about the mechanisms of growth and iterating against
those mechanisms that you saw the shift in my channel. I had previously really been focused
on emotion and participation. I value both of those, very much so. And in that case,
the paradigm was very much about subscribers because I needed people to do things, physical
things, make things. And then when I became really interested in growth, you can start
to see that I just started experimenting. There has to be a talking head. Maybe that
requires people to actually like me. So, I removed that and moved more to imagery and
footage and voice over and abstract it to something that yielded more growth. Tara: Cool. Allison, from a quantitative perspective,
are you guys seeing anything that you think would make for some good tips for folks starting
out? Allison: Yeah. I think there are three secrets
to YouTube success in terms of growing a channel. The first is content. So, it’s very much about
the content that you create. The second is collaborations. So, it’s really important
to collaborate with native YouTube talent and people who already have audiences on YouTube.
And I think when you’re starting from scratch, it’s very hard and one of the best ways to
do it is to partner with existing talent on the platform. And the third is consistency,
which we’ve already discussed a bit, this concept of evergreen. And even if it’s posting
once a month and that’s your consistency, I think it’s really important to establish
a schedule that keeps fans coming back. Bryan: Can I speak briefly on that collaboration?
We’re giant fans out here. I think the traditional ad world, sometimes, there’s skepticism about,
“Oh, are you just borrowing interest or is this a paid endorsement?” And I think we’re
really beginning to see a lot of successful experiments where it’s not, where it is a
win for everybody involved, where if it’s done authentically and that’s clearly the
key. Where it’s authentic to the brand and to the creator and to the audience, the brand
gets that lift off that you’re talking about. We’re inserting ourselves into a conversation,
into a community that’s already there that aligns with our brand values. The creator
frankly gets validation that, “I’m on a big stage, not just for paycheck, but having major
brand.” And said, “You matter. You’re great.” And then your fans go, “My guy just made it.
He’s been blessed.” In the world of Call of Duty, we did a collaboration with FPSRussia
who is a massive presence on YouTube. But working with him, we got crazy results on
our end. He got one of his most highly viewed videos. And I think his fans said, “First,
we love Call of Duty. We love that FPSRussia would do something with it.” But also, “My
guy just made the big leagues.” And when he appears as a cameo on our big multi-million
dollar live action trailer, that he’s been anointed by the gaming gods. Tara: Yeah? Yeah, it’s pretty amazing. You
guys have taken that one to the top of the ads leaderboards so many times that you clearly
got something going there. I recently talked about the ads leaderboard. It’s interesting
that none of you has actually mentioned the promotion as a success strategy for building
your channel or for building your initial audience and fan base. And I’m curious. That’s
one of the things that does actually come up as a source of tension a lot. Folks are
so enamored with the owned and earned portion of the platform that it almost creates this
inner resistance to the idea that one should have paid media around it. But when we look
quantitatively at most of the successful channels on YouTube or frankly even most of the successful
videos on YouTube, most of them have a strong hook, particularly early on whether it’s paid
advertising or celebrity endorsement or whatever it is. Something has given it a little bit
of a jumpstart. So, curious to just get some reaction on what role do you think promotion
plays in the appreciation and development of fans for your content. Ze: I think it’s a very great part of the…Sorry. Allison: Go ahead. I was going to say promotion’s
really… Tara: All right. All right. Jill: We all agree. Ze: Who’s talking? Tara: Allison, go ahead. Allison: Great. Ze is a video star so the
fact that I, the data gets to talk first is cool. We see that with promotion. It’s an
extremely valuable distribution channel and one of the cool things about TreeView is that
it really is earned media in a way. So, because people are choosing to watch and they skip
if they don’t want to watch it and you’re literally only paying for people that are
viewing that content through, that actually the price goes down the better your content
is and engagement goes up. And it is a really amazing ad unit and a successful way to promote
your content. We could say that. Tara: Allison, we may have to put you on our
payroll. Bryan: I’ll go a step further and say that
we love TreeView, not just because it’s efficient for our brands, but because it’s such a great,
and I’m going to say it, it might sound terrible. It’s a great stick for advertisers to raise
their game. The way that we interpret it, this is the bar you need to cross now. You
now know if people are walking away from your advert. You’ve interrupted them. You’ve bothered
them. You’ve wasted their time. They’re skipping you. That’s not just like, “Oh, shucks!” That’s
a fail, a creative fail. And hopefully, this becomes a key metric not just of, “Hey, did
we get people to watch this thing?” But, “Is our work touching people? Is it connecting
with people?” Can that be a key data point for us as we think about what it makes for
effective work? Tara: Cool. Jill, how do you feel about the
stick? Jill: No, absolutely. Couldn’t agree and we
just did something after Peyton Manning broke the…this was obviously pre Super Bowl. But
after Peyton Manning broke the record for most touchdowns in a season and we had something
ready to go and use TreeView so we knew who was engaged with it and you’ve got to have
the pain behind it to help fuel it. And then of course you still are looking for the earned
media as well. So, you need something that’s going to light it on fire at first. Otherwise,
you can have the greatest content in the world. If no one sees it, who cares? Tara: Yeah. Kelly: Yeah. I think sometimes truly we’ve
had even resistance from clients who haven’t done a TreeView before. They don’t understand
the matchmaking capabilities. You have this great content, but if it’s in the right place,
they’re putting you together. You’re the opening act or the thing that the person really wants
to see. So, with Bryan’s point, we have to create great content, but it has to honor
the environment, honor the content creator and honor the reason why the people are there
in the first place. So, I think that’s to shake up our game and really speak to like
designing for the platform or designing for just, I don’t know, not just putting the ad
online, but really thinking about what’s going to be the best prelude to the content they
are there to watch. Tara: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I love
hearing it from folks outside ourselves. That’s fantastic reinforcement. And frankly, we do
see that. If you look at most of the…you know, we publish a monthly ads leaderboard
that shows actually what ads were most watched and shared that month. And while some of the
big breakout TV hits are on there because they’re simply great ads and they tend to
have the reach to make the list, most of the ads that are there every month are made for
web or made for YouTube for all of the reasons that you guys just described. Ze, do you want
to offer a contrary point of view or are you with the guys on this? Ze: No, no. I’m not the token contrarian here.
Actually I agree with everything that’s been said. There’s some really great seamless integration
capabilities with Google analytics, ad words and TreeView where you can really get the
content in front of the right people, which I think is super exciting. And obviously that’s
a scenario that all of us would want. And then the other side of the coin is something
that we were talking about before in various ways, which was that…I think we’re really
talking about exponential growth. And I think that all of us are very interested in growth
patterns and thinking about some of the network characteristics that lead to this kind of
minimal condition for something to really catch on and spread. And I think things like
TreeView are definitely part of that equation. We do tests sometimes where we will unlist
videos and by just TreeView against it to see what kind of social spread comes out of
it and what kind of engagement activity comes out of it. And I think that it’s going to
be a really interesting next couple of years as the ad products evolve and as the content
starts to evolve also towards making the best use of formats like TreeView. Or you got 5
Seconds. Tara: Yeah. No, I think that’s right. And
it’s fine. When you talk about exponential growth, one of the stats that we highlighted
in the report was the fact that when people were exposed to TreeView, for those who, to
your point, shows to watch and self-engaged, it actually drove the engagement on the channel
ten times. So, it just seem remarkable, I may double and triple check that. But I think
you’re right. There’s this ripple effect here in the platform and the question is just,
how do you start the ripple and how do you keep that ripple going? So, I guess the last
thing I’d say is one of the other challenges that we often encounter, and I suspect many
of you do too, and frankly it’s reflected even in the conversation today, is that this
new world is complicated and there’s a lot to think about, there’s a lot that’s experimental,
there’s a lot we’re also learning together. As we wrap up, if you were going to give just
one simple piece of advice to a brand that’s watching this and thinking about, “Gosh, I
really should be investing more significantly in developing my fan base”, what piece of
advice would you give them? Bryan, why don’t we start with you? Bryan: Yeah, something we came up before,
which is experiment. Because this is early days right now and certainly, when traditional
marketing must list, go all in right now. Push the big thing out in the biggest way
possible. And certainly we should still be doing that at times. But it feels like if
we’re looking to create fandom, light a bunch of small fires, see which ones stick and then
tend that one. We don’t have to necessarily make everything a hit right out of the gate.
We can build it over time. Tara: Great. Ze: I will just jump on that. Sorry. Tara: It’s all right. Ze: Let me just jump on that and say I absolutely
agree and I think probably the biggest challenge is probably organizationally, it’s deciding
that you’re going to try this iterative process. It’s clearing some discretionary budget for
that process and really focusing on friction, friction on approvals, giving some decision
makers autonomy to really follow this and get the best information that they can from
the process. Because I think that ultimately we are talking about some process changes
here. We’re talking about a new kind of information exchange between content creators and brands
and ultimately, it’s going to lead a long conversation in the best possible way. Tara: That doesn’t sound simple, but it does
sound like good advice. Ze: That’s right. Tara: Jill, what about you? Jill: I think to build on what Bryan said
in terms of experimenting, which is huge and what goes along with that I think is having
a little bit more humble approach than probably what we typically as big brands have had.
Speaking about this traditional advertising model, it’s like we tell you what we want
you to hear. And I think being open to learning from the content creators that have had success
and making sure that it’s a little bit more of a collaborative back to if you’ve got fans
and a little bit more co-ownership of the brand, which is scary. But the more that we
can do that, I think that you can reach success. Tara: Cool. Kelly? Allison: My advice is, your fans are on YouTube
and you should be there, too. It’s important to be a part of the conversation that they’re
already having. And I think that there’s a spectrum of involvement. At the far end, it’s
creating an agile digital media studio where you’re creating content specifically for YouTube
and you’re iteratively responding to it based on engagement. I think at the other end of
that spectrum which is probably the place to start is just respond to comments. Know
who your top fans are. Know who your influencers are that are already fans of you. Believe
in comments on random videos where people are speaking passionately about your brand.
And that requires almost nothing, an hour a week. And it can be very meaningful in terms
of building relationships with your fans. So, I think there’s a wide spectrum and just
dipping your toe into the waters is extremely important. And then eventually, a year later,
you can have the studio. Tara: Awesome. Kelly, did you want to add
anything? Kelly: Yeah. I think I’d go full circle to
where the conversation started. Recognize them as fans and treat them like fans. You
are a fan of something that’s interesting enough to earn your time, your attention and
your love and your devotion. We were talking about subscribers as a nice functional term.
It’s pretty transactional. It doesn’t really capture the emotion or relational element
of what these brands are really trying to achieve. So, I would say the brands don’t
have [inaudible 00:46:59]. Really think about getting human beings to care about you. Bryan: Or change the platform on YouTube.
Maybe we don’t have a subscribe button. Maybe we have… Tara: I’ll tell you that that went to my head
as you were talking. I think that’s a really great point. And really, guys, I feel like
I’ve learned so much chatting with you guys today. I appreciate it. I’m sure the audience
did, too. And I would say that my biggest takeaway actually is sort of this point we
ended on, which is the emotional component of us as marketers and what that takes to
be successful on YouTube as well because I think we spend a lot of time as an industry
talking about the intellectual aspects of this. How do we close measurement? How do
we do a better job experimenting? How do we follow audiences where they are? But I was
really struck by some of the comments that you guys made about the humility and the bravery
that it takes as a brand to do some of these things. And in the same way that the table
was loudly pounded for the “treat people as people”, “fans as fans” and tap into
the emotional aspects of our audiences. One of the biggest things I’d take from this is,
as we talk to marketers, to tap into those same emotional aspects and remember that marketers
are people, too. All right. Thank you guys so much for being here. I really appreciate
it. Ze: Thank you very much. Jill: Thank you. Kelly: Bye. Tara: Bye.

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