YouTube Trends Hopes To Find Out What Makes a Viral Video Hit

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It’s that time of the year when every website and publication under the sun trots out a top ten, best-of-the-year type of list. These sorts of things are generally churned out to lure in readers by reflecting the year that was. Best-of lists are a cheap trick (don’t worry, ours is on the way) but they work every time. Like this list which profiled the year’s most popular videos on YouTube. Found on this list are all of the expected suspects – Double Rainbow guy, Old Spice guy, that Bad Intruder guy. Our interest in what makes a viral video hit has never been higher. The folks at YouTube have picked up on this interest and have recently launched YouTube Trends.

According to YouTube’s blog, the new feature was born out of curiosity as to what YouTube viewers were watching most.

“The idea for YouTube Trends started with our desire to find new ways of identifying the viral and newsworthy content people love to share and packaging it in an easy-to-digest format,” YouTube wrote in a blog post. “With over 35 hours of video now uploaded to YouTube every minute, we wanted one place to distill the videos people were sharing and discussing with their friends as well as understand what YouTube could teach us about our culture and current events.”

YouTube Trends also will include the launch of a new dashboard, a twice-a-day collection of the top videos called “4 at 4” and a YouTube Trends blog which profiles the hottest and most watched videos.

The release of YouTube Trends is a testament to our collective fascination with viral videos. For many marketers and advertisers, 2010 will be remembered as the year when commercials went viral (thanks again, Old Spice). The line between entertainment and marketing became blurrier as promotional clips became bona fide watch-again hits. YouTube Trends will give marketers in hopes of a video bonanza a chance to see what people are gravitating toward.

And Now a Word from our Sponsor: Online Videos that Sell Brands

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We seem to be at a crossroads with online videos. One well-traveled path is littered with videos that stay on our collective conscience for about three minutes or until the next shiny video gets posted to our Facebook page. Down the other path, are videos created by businesses which are actually more

March Madness is a Slam Dunk For Online Marketing

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Although many would argue that the practices and decisions of the NCAA are prehistoric and out of date, the marketing around March Madness is decidedly 21st century. As the 64 teams were picked, dozens of big name companies have already hopped on Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube to engage basketball fans and potential customers alike in a plethora of more

Brandsplat Video Report on Twitter’s Location Finder, YouTube and Lady GaGa

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This week’s Brandsplat Video report episode 17 covers Twitter’s opt-in location finder, YouTube and Lady GaGa’s newest video chock full of product placement.  Check it out! Or click here for more Brandsplat vids

Brandsplat Video Report on Twitter’s Location Finder, YouTube and Lady GaGa from Enzo Cesario on Vimeo.

Digital Face Lift #1- Hostess Snack Cakes

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This is the first in a  special series of  Thursday blogs that aims to give familiar but dated brands a digital face-lift by using social media, original videos, article marketing, mobile marketing and blogging.

The Patient: Hostess Snack Cakes purveyors of Twinkies, Cupcakes, and Ho Hos.

The Ailment: Hostess suffers from a chronically lame website, a lack of identity, a dwindling presence online, and a sagging social media strategy.

Prognosis: Grim. If the snack food brand refuses to step into 2010, Twinkies could be a thing of the past.

Recommended Treatment: When the going gets tough, the tough reach out for something fun. Sure, Twinkies are the exact thing films like Food Inc. are warning people against. Yet Hostess Snack Cakes like cheesy action films or reality TV serve their purpose: in moderation they provide a little fun and a little escape. So there’s no reason the classic junk food can’t get an update and survive well into the next decade.

First off, Hostess needs to lighten the heck up. Jeeze. It’s Ding Dongs, not prunes for crying out loud. Their website is a flat, bland affair with little reason to ever return other than the promise of coupons upon signing more

The online brand building wheel.

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hubandspoke

If you’re a savvy digital marketer, it’s not enough to have a great website. That’s a given. The name of the game today is expanding your reach beyond your main site. If you start to think of your main site as a hub, and other digital assets like Facebook fan pages, blogs, email campaigns, etc. as spokes or offshoots from the hub, then you’re on the right track. Like a spoke, the additional digital property should be robust enough to support the hub, or your main site. The more spokes you have, the more marketing muscle. If you think of it, digital assets like Facebook and Twitter can cross-over in many areas thus offering a double-whammie. For example, you can automatically send your tweets to your Facebook fan site to keep your fans in the loop. You can also take content like blog entries and post them on your facebook site. In effect, your spokes are can and should cross each other to add support to your hub. Why do this? Here are a couple of reasons:

1) Multiple Entry Points. Some people are on Facebook all day long and consider Twitter a waste of time. The converse is true too. So why limit yourself to one or the other? By spreading your content across multiple platforms, you make it easier for people to interact with your brand.

2) Spreadable Content. If you have a great blog post, why not share it with your closest followers on Twitter or Facebook. Be careful though, you don’t want to bombard your friends with shameless self promotion. As long as your content is good enough, people will be open to a link to your blog. So spread away.

3) Cross-Promote. Let’s say you just created a great YouTube video about the latest widget your company just created on a shoe string budget. Why just use the YouTube platform to promote it? Announcing your opus on Facebook, Twitter, blogs etc., may expose your video to an entirely new audience that would have never come across it. It’s a no brainer.

Having your content spread across multiple platforms can help SEO and can make it easier for people to find you. It can also establish a lasting digital footprint across the web and on search engines. As long as you are creating killer content, why not roll it out in more than one way. Get it? Roll it out. Wheel. Never mind.

Online Video Marketing: Vimeo Or YouTube?

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To hear some people talking, if you want to engage in online video marketing there is really only one option – YouTube. But that’s far from the case.

While YouTube gets the lion’s share of traffic for online video creation, it may not necessarily be the best choice for you in terms of marketing yourself online with video. Or, at the very least, it may not be your only choice.

But let’s take a look at the pros and cons in a little comparison:

YouTube

  • OK, YouTube wins the traffic battle hands down
  • You can create your own channel and market yourself through that channel, picking up dedicated followers along the way
  • Networking and making friends is easy on YouTube
  • YouTube has a promotional video program you can join
  • YouTube has a rich and diverse categorization procedure

Vimeo

  • Vimeo may not have the traffic, but what they don’t have in traffic they make up for in quality
  • Better HD – high definition; the quality here is much better
  • Vimeo also has channels and networking
  • You can create your videos online using Vimeo’s video creation technology
  • Vimeo’s categorization isn’t as rich and diverse as YouTube’s, but it is more creative and very well organized

1-for-1 Comparison

If you judge by quantity of bullet points, YouTube wins. But, remember, Vimeo’s superior HD technology is outweighs YouTube’s pros and Vimeo has some of those in common with YouTube. Take out the common pros – categorization, networking, and channels – and all YouTube really has going for it traffic and promotional videos. Vimeo has better HD technology, online creation tools, and a thriving community. That’s why many online marketers are using Vimeo over YouTube.

Thankfully, it isn’t a matter of either/or. You can actually do both. My recommendation is to create your video online with Vimeo then upload your video to YouTube. That will get you the high quality of Vimeo’s technology and the traffic at YouTube – the best of both video marketing worlds.