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How to Pick the Right Brand Ambassador

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With the rise in popularity of social media, influencers and third party content, brands are clamoring to figure out a marketing strategy that intuitively incorporates these new marketing formats in order to obtain a competitive edge.  One of the most popular ways brands are aligning with influencers is through brand ambassadorships.

 

With so many influencers showcasing large followings and a steady stream of content, it can be confusing as to which influencer would best represent your brand. Here are four simple tips on how to pick the right influencer for your brand:

 

  1. Profile - A good brand ambassador is an influencer with a decent following who has been creating content for at least a few years. A decent following ranges from 5,000 to over a 1 million subscribers. The key thing you're seeking is an influencer with experience. You want to be sure this person is consistently posting content and that there are no large gaps of time between the posts. Influencers with good sized followings treat their platforms with a sense of professionalism which ensures they will treat your brand ambassadorship with the same respect and attention.
  2. Personality - When seeking a good brand ambassador, you will want to seek someone who fits the identity of your brand. For example, if your brand manufactures healthy skin care products, your best brand ambassadors will be women and men who are health conscious, have great skin and who speak about healthy alternatives when it comes to beauty, food and wellness. The key is to seek those who are already in alignment with your brand vision.
  3. Credibility - A good brand ambassador has the trust and validation of his/her audience because of the consistent and trustworthy content he/she has churned out over the years. Take the time to sift through some videos or blog posts and see how they handle product reviews and hauls. Are they honest about the products or do they blindly endorse any and everything they receive. A good influencer will not sell themselves to the highest bidder - they will only promote and highlight products they believe in, use and stand by. Their credibility translates into brand awareness, loyalty and recognition for the products they endorse on their channels.
  4. Professionalism - In order to foster a healthy and successful relationship with an influencer, it's highly important that he/she is professional. Being that this individual will be an extension of your brand to the public, its best to pick an influencer who converses with his/her followers in a professional manner. In addition, the influencer should be open to feedback from you in regards to campaigns and content so that both parties are happy with the arrangement. You can gather a lot about an influencer just by seeing how they conduct themselves via their social media channels. Do an audit of their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram platforms.

Signing up with a great brand ambassador can be the difference your company has been seeking. From increased consumer exposure to increased revenue, there are a myriad of benefits that come from working with an experienced influencer.

 

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10 Ways to Boost Your YouTube Subscribers Today

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In the world of influencer marketing, it's all about followers. Every day, you're seeking ways to increase your subscribers or followers so that you can garner attention from top brands and begin to make some revenue from your channels and/or platforms.

Well, here at Content Blvd, we're all about helping you create the platform of your dreams with compelling content that engages your audience and helps identify you as a thought leader and content creator.

Here are the top 10 ways to increase your YouTube followers today!

 

  1. Write out your scripts.

Preparation is the key to success. Before sitting down to film a video about your latest shopping haul or a product review, you will want to jot down a script. You may be wondering why you need a script? It will keep you organized, on task and help you describe the product and/or brand with more clarity and accuracy which equals better content and higher audience satisfaction.  

 

  1. Create evergreen content.

Evergreen content is the content that you will become known for. It's the foundation of your channel. For instance, if you're a technology influencer, your evergreen content may consist of gadget hauls, app reviews and trend reports. This is what your audience comes to you for. It's your bread and butter and surefire way to increase followers.

 

  1. Consistently post on a weekly basis.

The more often you post, the more followers you will acquire. Audiences love to see consistent posting as they feel confident you will deliver high quality content on a weekly basis. Many influencers have become one of the top sources of information for consumers when shopping.

 

  1. Personalize your video thumbnails.

Make sure your thumbnails are customized so that audiences can clearly see what the video is about before even clicking on it. You will find that your click through rate increases significantly when you start using customized thumbnails.

 

  1. Produce a channel trailer.

Giving your channel a trailer is a highly creative and effective way to showcase your channel to new followers. Make it short, to the point and a good representation of you, your content and your channel. Just like at the movies when a trailer wets your appetite, a good trailer will have followers hitting the subscribe button.

 

  1. Incorporate compelling call to action buttons.

There's nothing more compelling than including a sign up now or subscribe today button in your videos. Many potential followers will be quick to sign up when given the chance.

 

  1. Keep videos under 5 minutes.

Audiences have short attention spans so you will want to make sure your content is concise, well-thought out and under five minutes. The longer the videos, the more apt the audience will be to move on. The most highly converted videos were under five minutes according to Comscore.

 

  1. Invest in a good intro and outro.

Just like a great trailer, you will want to create a personalized intro and outro that lives at the beginning and end of your videos. This intro and outro are branding bookends that help identify your channel and lend a more professional feel to your content.

 

  1. Edit. Edit. Edit.

Great editing is the key to great content. Cut out any unnecessary footage or content that doesn't push your overall content forward. Be sure to include some interesting angles and cuts so that your videos are entertaining and  informative.

 

  1. Meta tags are your BFF.

Audiences seek out videos and content via keywords searches in major search engines like Google’s. Search engines rely upon the words you use to describe your videos, as well as the video’s titles and meta tags. Be sure to be as descriptive as possible to ensure the search engines have what they need to serve up your videos when they match a user’s search criteria.

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YouTubers: Find Your Voice!

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So, you've taken the plunge and launched a blog/vlog/website and you're posting content weekly and receiving some decent feedback from followers. You're loving the momentum of gaining new followers weekly until you hit a wall. Your numbers seem to have hit a plateau and you're noticing that you aren't making traction with the brands that you want to create content for.

 

As content creation continues to climb in importance for brands and advertisers, influencers and YouTubers are finding it imperative to treat their channels and blogs as brands. The more thought you put into treating your channel or blog as a brand, the better chance you have to gain numerous followers, acquire brand ambassadorships and get highlighted in the media.

 

One of the issues that may be causing this stagnation is not having a voice. When we say voice we don't mean your speaking voice (unless you sound like Kermit, as that has been shown to be a major hindrance for success regardless of content or platform). When we say voice, we are talking about your overall tone and style when it comes to your content creation.

 

For example, if you're a beauty blogger/vlogger and your content centers around product reviews, tutorials and trends, your voice should be fun, informative, conversational and light. You wouldn't want your content to be serious, rigid and authoritative.

 

Here are four ways to create a brand voice that will help your content resonate with followers and attract potential brand ambassadorships:

 

 

  1. Figure out your content zone

Research the many types of content you can create and zero in on the forms of content that resonate with you most. For example, tutorials, product reviews, haul videos, trend reports, giveaways , blog posts, tips, quotes, memes etc... Assembling the types of content you want to focus on will bring you one step closer to finding your brand voice.

 

 

  1. Describe your brand voice in three words 

Fun. Quirky. Informative. These are three words that can very easily describe several popular bloggers/vloggers' brand voices. When you look at and listen to your content, do you notice some consistent themes? Do you use humor to capture your audience's attention? Do you prefer to educate and inform? You will notice that there are a few key tones that weave themselves throughout your content. Once you identify these three tones, be sure to write them down so you can consciously create content with these identifiers in mind.

 

  1. Demonstrate how you want your voice used 

Even though you're a team of one right now, that may change down the line. It's important to document how you want your voice used during content creation so that when you employ freelancers or other consultants to help with your blog, vlog or website, they will have a clear understanding of the tone/voice and how to properly use it. There's nothing worse than content that has several different tones and voices. It leaves the audience confused and not able to trust that your content is authentic.

 

  1. Edit your voice 

As your brand evolves, so will your voice. Over time, the voice you started your blog/vlog/website with will change which is to be expected. A brand voice audit is a great way to revise your voice to reflect any changes or new direction.

 

The more you treat your blog/vlog/website as a brand, the better chances you have at making money creating compelling content and attracting real interest from brands and other organizations seeking content and brand alignment with influencers.

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5 Reasons YouTube Trumps Facebook in Digital Marketing

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On paper it shouldn’t even be a contest. In 2007, when Facebook reached 100 million users, a new and relatively obscure video clip site called YouTube was just starting to experiment with pre-roll ads. In 2012, when Facebook boasted 618 billion daily visitors, YouTube was only just beginning to evolve from clip site to social-media platform and search engine. And in 2013, while Facebook took in a staggering $1.8 billion in ad revenue with the help of mobile ads, YouTube was still trying to decide if it was TV or Internet.

 

So what changed? Why are advertisers now focusing on branded digital-video content the same way they went after Facebook “likes” in 2011? Because YouTube achieved the one thing that is out of the control of every innovator, analyst, consultant and brain trust in the world—it became a cultural phenomenon. Does that mean it has now surpassed Facebook as the go-to platform for marketing dollars? Here are five arguments that say this is the case.

 

YouTube’s power is in the hands of the user, not an algorithm

 

YouTube has become the second-largest search engine in the world because it gives people the power to find the videos they want when they want. This is opposed to Facebook, which uses algorithms to determine what a user might like and then displays something similar on their feed. There are those bloggers who claim that neither YouTube nor Facebook has the edge in how videos are viewed—that there’s room for both search and curated videos. But this writer says that he’s almost never seen a curated video pop up in his FB feed that he’s wanted to see. And until Facebook can actually read people’s minds—instead of using algorithms to attempt the feat—that will remain the case. Marketers would do well to put their dollars in branded content people willfully engage with.  

 

YouTube viewers stay longer

 

That’s right. As a whole, YouTube viewers have longer attention spans than Facebook users. Part of this has to do with the nature of both platforms and how visitors engage with them. Whereas Facebook users tend to watch a video clip for between 20-40 seconds, the typical length of a YouTube video is around three minutes. That means those that visit YouTube do so automatically primed to experience longer content. Marketing pros say that brands can and should take advantage of this extra time to develop more in-depth content that reaches a wider audience.

 

Mobile favors YouTube as well

 

One area where Facebook still holds sway is mobile devices. After all, everyone’s always checking their FB feed on their smartphone. But this overlooks a staggering trend among YouTube visitors—that one billion of them watch videos on their mobile devices every day. Not only that, the typical YouTube session viewed on a smartphone or tablet lasts around 40 minutes. That means while today’s generation is constantly on the go, they somehow manage to take the time to watch the equivalent of an hour-long network TV show on their handheld. Hardly an inconsequential stat. Moreover, this audience is the target demo marketers crave. According to statistics, YouTube’s mobile app reaches more 18-49 year olds than any cable channel.

 

YouTube is search

 

As mentioned above, YouTube evolved from clip site to social media platform and then ultimately to search engine. In fact, it is now the second-largest search engine in the world. That’s a lot for Facebook to compete with, since they fundamentally do not operate in the way Google operates. For marketers, this means greater power of optimization through YouTube and this will only increase over time.

 

YouTube has the views


To bastardize Bill Clinton’s old line, it’s the views, stupid. And YouTube’s got ‘em. By 2015 YouTube had achieved a whopping 40 billion views of branded content. Oh, and 18 billion of those views occurred in 2014 alone. This has led to certain brands, such as GoPro, successfully turning their business operation into a media juggernaut.  
The intent of this piece isn’t to suggest that Facebook is now irrelevant. Indeed, they are already putting up a robust fight against YouTube in the battle for digital-video supremacy. Now users who find that perfect Facebook video can upload it to their blog without including the supporting FB post. Also, folks can sync comments from publisher’s posts to their page and vice versa. But is this enough to stop the meteoric ascension of YouTube and its quest to deliver digital-video content to an audience voracious for imagery? Only time will tell.

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What Makes a YouTube Marketing Campaign Successful?

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You share your products with YouTubers because you want their audience to see them. Unlike a typical ad buy, or sponsored content purchase, working with YouTubers to share your products without compensation is a form of PR, which means it's more authentic, credible and engaging than advertising, but for a fraction of the price.

 

That doesn't mean YouTube placements are better, cheaper ads; they work differently. So how should a YouTube campaign's success be measured, if not like an ad? Let us count the ways.

 

First, a word about how consumers buy.

We all know that social media and other trusted sources of information now play a much more important role in consumer buying behavior than do brand-driven communications. In fact, Millennials claim not to be swayed by ads at all. According to a recent study by Elite Daily, Millennials also consult social media prior to purchases, trust authenticity over content, and want to engage with brands, not simply be sold to.  These factors mean they buy differently than consumers in the past; it's not a linear sales funnel.

 

While Millennials get all the attention, the truth is most consumers now follow new buying patterns. As we discussed in regards to gaining more media impressions as a key component of your marketing efforts, McKinsey found that after a consumer starts to think about buying, the number of products they'd consider actually increases. It's no surprise then that

 

In order to get your product into consideration, it has to show up in the places your potential buyer is going to look: organic searches`, blogs, YouTube channels and their friends' social feeds. If an exposure to your product is the initial buying trigger, that's great. But it doesn't mean they're on the path to buying your product. You just kicked off the investigation process. Your buyer still needs to find more supporting evidence that your product is worth a try, and that information can't come from you.

 

User-generated, third party info is where it's at: Lots of useful exposures to your products in lots of places, generated by people other than you. You need to get your product into the mix of user-generated content, because your finely crafted messaging and tightly controlled sales funnel is largely invisible to almost every consumer who might want your stuff, and is ready to buy.

 

Does that mean you should never expect clicks and purchases from a YouTube marketing campaign? No. Interesting and highly differentiated products (and offers) get clicks. But because YouTube product mentions are different than ads, there are more ways they can provide value as a part of your marketing strategy.

 

5 Ways Your YouTube Marketing Campaign Creates Value

1. Honest, Third Party Content

No matter what you kind of content your company creates, it's still branded content. Sometimes, it's super cool content and consumers love it. Creative agencies get paid big bucks to make a brand look cool.

 

Way back in 2002, when snowboarding had just arrived in the mainstream, it's young stars were fighting to maintain their independent, definitely-not-a-sellout type images. Danny Kass was among the best of the best and coolest of the cool. When asked why he didn't want to accept a lucrative Mountain Dew deal, he provided the pithy reply, "Because I don't want to Do the Dew-- dude."

 

Even before social media was a thing, Danny valued his personal brand more than the money someone could pay him to endorse theirs. Danny's made a lot of money from endorsements and his own brand since then, but the point remains: his image was important to him, and it still is.

 

Today, everyone is aware of their personal image and how they can harm or help it with every choice. YouTubers and other influential creators want to serve their audiences first-- authenticity and integrity are central to the choices they make. Product companies can't easily game them, which is why their mentions of your products matter so much.

 

You get all this, sure-- it's how PR works. But do you also plan to leverage their content to use through your own channels? You should be prepared to tweet, facebook, blog, pin, email, make supercut videos... of every mention you get. When the cool kids talk about your product because they want to-- not because you paid them-- you win. So use it.

 

 

2. Total Videos Found in Organic Search

After Google, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. While many videos will only yield a small number of views, search marketing and digital PR pros know that crowding the first few pages of organic search with the results you want is more powerful than just about any paid media strategy.

 

Sponsored videos you pay for don't get found in organic search because Google only wants to put editorial content there. That's one big reason why giving products away to YouTubers is such a worthwhile strategy.

 

Google "Aquis hair towels" and choose Video for your search results. A full 8 out of 10 results on the first page are the direct result of placements Aquis secured by working with YouTubers through Content BLVD. The nature of search engine optimization is such that these videos aren't just showing up in isolation. They are all contributing to Aquis' online credibility. Now, the more Aquis does online, the higher every item will rank in search.

 

 

So while any given video may not yield a crazy number of views, it will likely add to your organic search footprint. The more videos you get published, the more listings are created in organic search results, helping more consumers find you when they are ready to buy-- not necessarily at the moment the videos are published.

 

3. Total Social Shares

We've seen an interesting phenomenon occurring when YouTubers feature products they found through Content BLVD. As smart media producers, YouTubers tend to share their videos across Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and more. They talk about products before and after creating their videos. And, surprisingly, their social activity about a product or video can garner more engagement than the video itself.

 

Loyal followers are all too happy to share what they consider to be worthwhile posts from their favorite influencers. Again, while a single video may not grab the views you hoped it would, the ripples of influence often reach far beyond YouTube itself. Be sure to listen and watch for these value-added mentions and share them with your own followers.

 

Let YouTubers know about your other social media handles, so they can mention your company directly. Influence is media agnostic. Just ask your customers.

 

4. Total Video View Counts

No doubt about it, if your product is seen by a lot of viewers in the first few days after it's video is published, you're ahead of the game. Not only is it creating brand awareness, but your target audience is tuning in because they like and trust the YouTuber's channel, and those feelings tend to rub off on your product.

 

At the same time, a popular video may contain a less-than-ideal mention of your product, while a barely-seen video may showcase a testimonial or review you are eager to use and share as much as possible. A large number of video views is a great result, but far from the only result that matters.

 

Many more YouTubers discussing your product will do your brand more good in the long run than a single video with lots of views. (See reasons one through three, above.) That's why total views across videos is more important than the number of views any one video captures.

 

 

5. Feedback and Impressions You can Use

When we first launched our private beta in the spring of 2015, a number of product companies and their agencies saw an immediate benefit: unbiased product feedback. Many companies spend huge sums of money recruiting users who can help steer their product development and marketing efforts.

 

Our marketplace helps make that process happen with a tiny fraction of the time, effort and expense it would otherwise take. Not only do YouTubers provide unbiased feedback, but the discussion of your product in the comments section often holds key revelations that you need to hear. Is something unclear about it's use? What's their opinion of it compared to competing products?

 

It's normal for people inside your company to be crystal clear about what makes your product different and better. Those ideas, however, aren't always apparent to, or appreciated by people outside the company, even would-be supporters.

 

And, in the event the YouTuber is unwilling to share a product with their audience because they don't like it, that becomes a valuable learning opportunity for you. We're working on ways to solicit more feedback directly from YouTubers, so you can use Content BLVD to market your products, and also learn how to develop and market them better.

 

By connecting with YouTubers who are also part of your target customer base, you're gaining value that you just don't get by pushing out a marketing campaign with no built-in feedback.

 

6. Clickthroughs to Your Website

Any marketer would love more clicks. If you don't get customers to the right page, how else would they buy? It's a valid question, but if it's your only measure of success, then you're missing out on a great deal of what we discussed above, given that the typical buying process is now a consumer-driven investigation, rather than an ad-driven funnel.

 

If clicks matter most to you, you'll need to focus on giving customers a great reason why. Are you offering a discount? A special deal? A giveaway? Is your product something that's truly different and interesting? Does your website or product page offer some other kind of value that is clear and compelling? Of course, special deals can be hard to work into an earned media placement without it seeming like an infomercial, defeating the honest and authentic nature of the mention, so use the tactic carefully.

 

Aquis Hair Towels reported a 44% increase in website traffic during the first few weeks of their Content BLVD campaign. A high quality product with clear benefits, a raving YouTuber user base and free product giveaways helped make their product stand out. Increased clicks can and do happen.

 

But remember, consumers are exposed to hundreds of products a day (some say thousands). Well over 99% of those exposures trigger no clicks. Yours has to be different in some substantive way in order to earn one. Generally speaking, PR efforts aren't click magnets. (Of course, these days, neither are ads.)

 

7. Purchases

This is when you get the money.  Aquis succeeded in ramping up their sales by 20%! Given that they were pushing no other marketing channels at the time, it seems their Content BLVD campaign was a clear success. That kind of outcome from just 22 YouTube videos is the exception, not the rule, and it's significantly influenced by the wide appeal of their high quality product.

 

If your YouTube marketing efforts directly drive sales, that's fantastic. Revenue, however, is only one of many good reasons why you'd choose to put your products in the hands of influencers. So before you begin choosing YouTubers and shipping products, take the time to consider the outcomes that are most meaningful to you. Sophisticated consumers demand sophisticated marketing strategies.

 

How else do you gain value by working with YouTubers? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments! And if you enjoyed this article, please tweet:

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The Future of Brand Marketing is Here and It’s Name is YouTube

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Brand marketing has rapidly evolved from a high-minded exercise in logo design, positioning and broadcast messaging into a nuanced and flexible strategy for winning the hearts and minds of consumers. It's now more about having a conversation than using a megaphone. While YouTube is not the only place great brand marketing is happening, they're working hard to set the standard.

 

The YouTube Advertisers channel is slowly but surely building great content to support the marketers who know their success hinges on deep engagement, rather than "spray and pray" advertising. The changes we're seeing are led by PR people who already understand that earned media isn't scripted, and who already collaborate on content creation, rather than "owning" the process, like their counterparts in the creative department or ad agency are used to doing.

 

As part of the YouTube Insights Hangout on Air series, "a quarterly insights jam for brand marketers," Tara Walpert Levy, Managing Director at Google, talks with four marketing industry leaders about lessons learned from YouTube in the last year, and resolutions for 2015. Here's what they had to say.

 

What were some of the key online video learnings of the past year?

According to Allison Stern, Co-Founder of Tubular Labs, "brands are really starting to embrace YouTube as a platform, and brands embracing the kinds of content people want to consume on YouTube, and having a lot of really amazing partnerships with YouTube creators...

 

Rob Gorman, Chief Digital Officer, Global of GroupM stated,  "Perhaps

 and people like us. There is less looking up and more looking across and feeling like they're joining in." (A trend we discussed in depth here.)

 

Dramatically lower cost of production, change of mindset and faster  speed are often overlooked as a key insights going forward, said Joshua Spanier, Global Media Director at Google. He added,

 

 said Evan Ellman, Global Video Strategist, Anheuser-Busch InBev.

 

Sounds like it's time to get your brand on YouTube, start collaborating and seeing your reach and engagement soar. For more on these thought leaders' resolutions for 2015, watch the recap below or catch the full 47 min Hangout here.

 

 

What did you learn about brand marketing on YouTube in the last year? What's your YouTube strategy for 2015? Curious to hear your thoughts or questions in the comments!

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Sorry YouTube, #YouScrewedUp. That Halftime Show was Awful

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Crickets. That's the sound of Twitter's reaction to the YouTube Halftime show. It looks like it got no love on YouTube, either. Why? Because it was the opposite of what viewers expect to see from YouTube stars. No Epic Meal Time bacon bonanzas. No Freddy Wong explosions. Just a poorly produced talk show. I'm sad for you, YouTube.

 

Looking back, however, it's pretty obvious how this happened. Let me explain.

 

When we first read YouTube's announcement that they would put on their own live halftime show, we were excited. Erika Putinsky wrote about it in Superbowl XLIX: NBC vs. YouTube? As we see it, media is going through what feels like an inevitable evolution from monolithic broadcast programs to an endless stream of independently produced content. Content that caters to whomever it chooses. Content which is unrestrained by the likes of network execs and advertiser sensitivities. Content that's truly fresh and creative. Content that's dictating where pop culture is going, rather than simply trying to be cool by association.

 

So how did a production that includes many of the most popular creators on the planet end up so so awful?

 

1. It was obviously produced by non-YouTubers.

The intro song was kind of fun, but after that, things just fell apart. It was as if the producers were unaware of what actually makes YouTube videos so fun and engaging. They ignored the fact that many of the creators they put on stage know how to attract as many as a million views per day and said, "No, let's do something way more boring, instead."

 

A morning talk show-like science experiment, a bouncy house battle, and... gasp... liquid nitrogen making a cloud of steam! Who are the grown ups who thought of this and how is it that no one intervened, what with over a hundred creative minds sitting right on that stage? Which brings me to the second point.

 

2. We barely saw YouTubers doing their thing.

YouTube creators aren't like regular celebrities. They don't attract attention simply by being on screen, like an old episode of Hollywood Squares. We don't need to get them on stage and out from behind the characters they portray because, most days, they're playing themselves, talking directly to the audience, not sitting in the audience. Or on an interview couch.

 

As Michelle Penick wrote in a previous article about the influence of YouTube celebrities, it's that personal connection that's so powerful. YouTube celebrity appearances don't make for content in and of themselves, like Hollywood stars do, just for walking on a sidewalk. We like YouTubers best when they are doing the creating and talking right at us. We like their edits, special effects and off-the-wall sidebar comments. We never needed them to be stage performers. Think: Saturday Night Live Digital Shorts vs. Opening Monologue. It's the digital shorts everyone watches online all week, never the monologues.

 

In fairness, there were some short videos mixed in, including a challenge to create a fictional ad for Harley Morenstein's eponymous cologne. But there were also some clips that looked like horrible attempts to engineer pranks and ad lib entertainment that fell worse than flat; they cratered.

 

3. YouTube isn't live, and it's crowdsourced.  That's what makes it so awesome.

When new videos are released, they don't capture millions of views the moment they go live. Even the most popular videos of all time need to build up a head of steam, rarely going viral on the day they're released. If the people behind this debacle had let the YouTube talent on stage actually do their thing, and drive the creative direction of their own individual videos, letting the best ones get the attention they deserve, this production could have scored some big wins.

 
Instead, they sucked the awesomeness out of the room by trying to make YouTube more like TV. They slowed it down and gave us half as much action in twice the amount of time. Don't we all love YouTube because it isn't at all like TV? Yeah. That's what I thought. When you bank on one piece to win over millions, you're placing a risky bet, and probably watering it down in the process. But when you let creators do what they do, you're bound to see better stuff emerge, and gain viewers over the days and weeks that follow.

 

4. YouTube was actually just trying to promote itself to advertisers.

Hey people with the money, look at who we have over here! Look at our cool studio! Look, our talent can act all mature and stuff and sit still in a TV set like all those other shows during which you buy advertising!

 

That's what I think was actually going on here. Briefly, I did think they were attempting to add up the audiences of all the YouTube creators they had in the show and capture maybe tens of millions of viewers in one go. But I don't think they were that dumb. I think they're more cynical.

 

It felt like an introduction to those who don't get YouTube, like they wanted to package up the talent in one easy-to-digest episode.

 

YouTube executives seem to think they somehow manage the talent, or at least could manage the talent. That's nonsense. Sure, you want to provide resources and support to the talent who is lining your pockets, but just so we're clear, no one at YouTube the company actually gets the creative process of the independent creators who make it what it is. If they did, they would have let it happen, not work so hard to produce a train wreck.

 

The irony of all of this is that the channel which put on the live show, YouTube's AdBlitz channel, is a vehicle for a lot of very popular content... Superbowl commercials that gain as many as 20 to 40 million views! That YouTube could summon none of that creativity for themselves is mind boggling. I love YouTube and am glad that it's growing into such an important media channel. Unfortunately, none of those reasons why it is were on display last night.

 

Whatever YouTube's goals in producing their live halftime show, I can't image they met any of them.

 

I'll leave you with the best part... the intro song performance which, naturally, wasn't even live.

 
What do you think? Could YouTube have done a better job? If so, how? We're curious to hear more thoughts because, honestly, we were rooting for them and we hope they find a better approach for next year.

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Super Bowl XLIX: NBC vs. YouTube?

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It seems like an unlikely competition for sure. Who would have the audacity to battle the NFL for the halftime show audience, one that topped 115 million people last year? A halftime that features Lenny Kravitz, Katy Perry, and the commercials that will be analyzed and discussed for weeks after the big game...

 

Duh, YouTube.

 

The choice to target the younger demographic with Katy Perry is most likely NBC's play to reach the millennial audience, but YouTube might just intercept the pass.  According to YouTube's Blog,

 

For the first time, YouTube will host a Halftime Show produced in collaboration with Collective Digital Studio that will be live streamed on the AdBlitz Channel. Filmed at the YouTube Space in L.A., the show will feature more than 20 YouTube creators and musicians with over 60M combined subscribers including Harley Morenstein from EpicMealTime, Freddie Wong, Rhett and Link, Toby Turner and more.

 

But is it a competition at all, or just another way to immerse us in advertising-as-entertainment?

 

Even if YouTube does pull significant numbers of viewers away from the NBC broadcast, it's unlikely YouTube will derail the expectations of brands banking on their approximately $4.5 million per 30 seconds of Super Bowl advertising. Why? Because YouTube is a key medium for spending more time with Super Bowl ads, including voting and further engagement. YouTube's AdBlitz channel, where the festivities are happening, is unabashedly about advertising.

 

 

eMarketer told Market Place Morning Report, YouTube ad revenues are positioned to top $2 billion in 2015. If advertisers learn how to leverage their YouTube presence effectively, they are likely to receive much more value than the $2 billion they put in. The Super Bowl collaboration seems like a great way to get advertisers thinking about how to do that, and plow more TV spend directly into YouTube.

 

Let's be honest-- everyone knows TV's dominance is waning. Why else would Pepsi's hype machine insist we all need to get hyped for something that, in days of yore, came with hype baked in? We're all immersed in as much media as we can handle, and specifically that which we choose to watch and when, not, by and large, what's merely broadcast at us.

 

Perhaps one of the greatest features of the live Super Bowl is as a pop culture experience, shared by millions at the same moment. Now, with their live broadcast, YouTube can offer that very same thing, while continuing to offer the self-guided media consumption that makes it so powerful.

 

Will the battle of the halftimes be the grandest marketing experiment of year? Are we witnessing the transformation of mass media? What do you think?

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