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SEM 20/01/09 – will we see a shift in calls to action?

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A subtle shift in calls to action reaps rewards in Search…

I am who I am because of everyone

“I am” – TV ad campaign by Orange prompts users to use search. In fact the campaign and it’s call to action “search online for I am” saw an 15% lift in traffic to the Orange website reports the New Media Age.

This week’s new media age revealed that Orange intends to look at further ways to use search calls to action within its advertising after Spencer McHugh, Orange head of brand communications, revealed the campaign had increased web traffic to Orange properties by 15%.

The use of such prompts to search online, whether it be a direct call to ‘search’ or other active phrases such as ‘Compare the market’ or ‘Quote me happy’, are nothing new, but the point is the former appears to be becoming a mainstream technique.

Both Google and Yahoo approached Orange to better understand the effectiveness of the campaign; for them it’s surely the holy grail if brands actively encourage consumers to search online.

One interesting point that was brought up by Orange was the uniform approach taken by brands in Japan, where this is a very established trend. There brands all use the same standard iconography in their ads, with keywords highlighted in a search box, next to a magnifying glass or mouse pointer.

Orange’s McHugh told new media age that such a standard process would make sense as the trend develops in the UK – like the AOL Keywords box so prevalent a few years ago.

Maybe it’s too soon to be thinking about that as it’s a trend that’s still growing, but certainly, for me, it’s the one to watch in 2009.

Search online for I am

Search online for I am

Visit the ‘I am everyone’ website…





Written by shootstreet

January 21, 2009 at 1:31 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Viral Analysis –

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In this post I will examine the reasons for the success behind the marketing of this promo for ABC Local Radio – Why Athletes Should Wear Pants.

The Brief

String Theory created two ABC Local Radio promos to highlight their Olympic Games coverage. Only one promo could be chosen for the Television campaign. However the other promo, which was a humorous take on why listening to the Olympics is better than watching it; featuring staged photos of athletes in tight fitting clothing revealing lumps, bumps and bulges. The promo was thought to be worthy of promoting in an online space. However, it couldn’t appear to be from the ABC or be promoted by an ABC person.

The Response

A story, a talking point was created for the promo – ‘Too hot for TV’. That the powers that be within the ABC had rejected this pitched promo, only for it to be leaked to the internet by an insider. To help authenticate the story a title card announcing that this video was a ‘pitch’ was added to the start of the video. In addition to this, the most provactive image we could muster was chosen as the video’s thumbnail and a slightly odd and suggestive title was given to the video – “Why Athletes should wear pants” – a title that suggest this video contains some form of nudity or a revealing image.

The Launch Strategy

Without going into too much detail here. A launch strategy was planned with the basic goal of getting as many eyeballs onto the promo within its first 24 hours on YouTube. Essentially we used social media sites like DIGG, social network sites like Facebook and email marketing to drive people to the promo. In addition Blog authors, media websites and people with a prominent presence in the media were alerted to the leaked video by anonymous sources. And luckily for us it worked. Of course leaking a video about the Olympics just prior to the Olympics is a significant advantage.

The Results: Overall Statistics

The viral's vital statistics

The viral's vital statistics

YouTube Insight

YouTube Insight is the free video metric tool available to video owners and provides metrics in the following categories:

  • Views
  • Popularity – by Region, Country and State
  • Disovery – the source of your views
  • Demographics – who is watching by age and gender
  • Hot Spots – significant moments in your video

Views

With a staggering 250,000+ views and counting. This promo far exceeded the 50K target that was hoped for by the end of the ABC Local Radio Olympics broadcast.

Popularity

Why Athletes should wear pants

Views by Country: Why Athletes should wear pants

Discovery Summary: Source of views

Video Discovery Summary

Video Discovery Summary

As we can see from this metric. Related videos account for a staggering 72% of all views of this video. So lets have a look at those related videos to see which ones where driving views of our video and why.

Disovery: Related videos summary

  • The number one ‘Related video’ alone accounts for 19.0%
Related Video Summary

Related Video Summary

Discovery: The number 1 Related video:

The Ten Hottest Female Athletes (SFW)

  • Added: 28 February, 2008
  • Views: 378,323
  • Ratings: 316
  • Comments: TBC
The Top Ten Hottest Athletes

The number 1 related video: The Top Ten Hottest Athletes

Discovery: Related videos – how are these videos related?

So lets examine the reasons why this video and Why Athletes Should Wear Pants are related. Essentially there are two main reasons:

  • Category: SPORTS
  • Tags
Related video tags
Discovery: Related video tags

The Top Ten Hottest Female Athletes has 16 Tags (keywords)

  • Hot
  • Sports
  • Talk
  • Hottest
  • Sexy
  • Female
  • Athletes
  • Sharapova
  • Jennie
  • Finch
  • Amanda
  • Beard
  • Danika
  • Patrick
  • Allison
  • Stokke

Why Athletes Should Wear Pants has only 6 Tags that match with the number 1 related video:

  • Athletes
  • Sharapova
  • Allison
  • Stokke
  • Amanda
  • Beard

But those 6 matching tags allow this video to appear as a related video where ever this video is played. Both videos popularity play off each other.

Demographics

viral-demographics1This video proved most popular with Men aged 45-54. The reason: mid life crisis? No. I believe a provocative thumbnail and title is responsible.

Hot Spots

Syndication

A search for the video’s YouTube ID reveals that the video has been syndicated to over 70 websites that hosts YouTube content.

viral-syndication

Written by shootstreet

January 20, 2009 at 2:59 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Essential Web Metrics

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Thanks to Whosbloggingwhat.com for highlighting these great articles on Metrics.

Here’s a cheat sheet of the 8 most important metrics we should be tracking.

1. Traffic Sources – where is our audience coming from?

  • a. direct visitors – the ones that visit your site by directly typing your url in their browser address bar
  • b. search visitors – the ones that visit your site based on a search query, an
  • c. referral visitors – the ones that visit your site because it was mentioned on another blog or site.

WHY?

These are the 3 main visitor types; there are many others, but these visitor metrics should be tracked and measured individually, identifying trends that affect each category; Eg. events or offline activity driving direct visitors, search terms and sites that regularly drive traffic.

2. New vs. Returning visitors

WHY?

The way a first-time visitor interacts with your site is very different from how a returning visitor interacts. To improve first-time visitors conversions you have to isolate it from the conversion rates of your loyal or returning customers and determine what they see when they visit the website for the first time and how you can improve that experience. Usability plays an important role in reducing the bounce rate for first timers.

3. Return visitor conversion – isolate these metrics for a greater insight into visitor experience

WHY?

Why did this person return to our site? Did they return once or twice? How can we get them to return regularly?

4. Interactions per visit – increase time spent on the site.

WHY?

Our current goals:

  • a. Increase downloads
  • b. Increase iView audience
  • c. Increase offline audience

And could also include interactions we don’t currently faciliate. Like comments on trailers or vodcasts.

Even if your visitors don’t convert, it is important to monitor their behavior on the site. What exactly are they doing, how can you get them to do more of it, and how can you influence this behavior into conversions? For example, what are your page view rates per unique visitors, what is the time spent, comments or reviews made, and so on. Each of these interactions is important, and your goal should be not only to increase these interactions (e.g. increase time spent on the site), but also figure out how you can leverage these increased interactions into increased conversions (which might be downloads, subscriptions, purchases, etc.).

5. Value per visit – how can we apply this metric?

WHY?

The value of a visit is tied directly to the interactions per visit. You can calculate this simply as number of visits divided by total value created. Calculating value per visit is difficult because there are many intangibles involved that create value that is hard to define. For example, blog visitors create value every time they add a page view to your traffic (because of cpm advertising) but they also create an intangible value when they comment on your site. Similarly, visitors on e-commerce sites create value every time they purchase a product, but they also create a somewhat incalculable value when they leave a product review or when they spread word of mouth.

6. Cost per conversion – how can we apply this metric?Funding…

WHY?

The corollary to value per visit, and one of the most important metrics, is cost per conversion (alternatively: lead generation costs or cost per referral). It doesn’t matter if you have high conversions and high value per visit if your costs are so prohibitive that your net income is zero or even negative. While trying to increase conversion, keep your costs per conversion and overall margins in mind.

7. Bounce rate – a measure of low interactions

WHY?

Your initial goal when trying to increase all five of the metrics above is to minimize your visitor bounce rate. The Bounce rate is the rate at which new visitors visit your site and immediately click away without doing anything (very low time spent and no interactions). A high bounce rate can mean several things, including weak or irrelevant sources of traffic and landing pages that aren’t optimized for conversion (have a poor design, low usability or high load times). Bounce rates for e-commerce sites are often called abandonment rates, i.e., the rate at which people abandon their shopping cart without making a purchase. This is usually a result of an overly complicated checkout process, expired deals, forced cart additions (e.g. to see the actual price of the product, add to your cart), and so on.

8. Exit pages & Entry pages

WHY?

To maximize conversions you need to dive deeper into your exits and figure out at what stage in the process your visitors are exiting the site (or in the case of ecommerce, abandoning their shopping cart,) and optimize the process accordingly.

Other references:

http://mashable.com/2009/01/12/track-online-traffic/

http://mashable.com/2007/06/25/analytics-toolbox/

http://mashable.com/2007/05/09/27-google-analytics-features/

http://blog.kissmetrics.com/the-8-most-important-conversion-metrics-you-should-be-tracking/#more

Written by shootstreet

January 19, 2009 at 2:48 am

Posted in Uncategorized

The Viral Strategy

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Viral Video Strategy: A summary

  • What is viral marketing
  • Viral Video best practice
  • Our viral video activities
  • How to launch a viral (with help from Dan Ackerman Greenberg)
  • The golden rules of viral video
  • Challenges for us

What is viral marketing? (According to Wikipedia)

Viral marketing …[ed]…refers to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives (such as product sales) through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of pathological and computer viruses. It can be word-of-mouth delivered or enhanced by the network effects of the Internet.[1] Viral promotions may take the form of video clips, interactive Flash games, advergames, ebooks, brandable software, images, or even text messages.

Viral Video Best Practice (aka what makes a good viral video)

  • Make it short: 15-30 seconds is ideal; longer formats can work but the shorter the better, break down long stories into bite-sized clips.
  • Don’t make an outright ad or a promo: if a video feels like an ad, viewers won’t share it unless it’s really amazing.
  • Have a great thumbnail: This is your number 1 selling point, this is your poster, this alone will get you views. Particularly in YouTube.
  • Have a compelling title: This is your number 2 selling point. Make the viewer say, “Holy shit, did that actually happen?!” Ex: “Stolen Nascar”
  • Make the viewer question the content from the title: give a viewer no choice but to investigate further. Ex: David Stratton attacks ABC colleague

Trends in viral video content

What is real? What’s not? (too real to be true)

Humour & Odd

Tests, games & puzzles

Fake News reports

VFX driven videos

BBC Penguins could also fit under this category

Leaks, exclusives & behind the scenes

  • Underbelly2 – ‘unofficially’ leaked clip pulled down prior to early reviews
  • The Lenovo Tapes – Lenovo laptops branding exercise

Banned promos (where they really?)

How does one spread a viral in YouTube?

In November of 2007, Dan Ackerman Greenberg, the co-founder of a clandestine video marketing company, was the subject of a guest interview in Techcrunch. His article, entitled The Secret Strategies behind many “Viral” videos, received a barrage of criticism. Mostly due to the perceived dubious techniques he claimed to employ in order to rack up views for his clients. In his defence, Dan responded with another article in which he attempts to clarify some of the points he made. I have summarised all of his points and added a few of my own…

Getting onto the “Most Viewed” page in YouTube

The core concept of video marketing on YouTube is to harness the power of the site’s traffic. …something like 80 million videos are watched each day on YouTube, and a significant number of those views come from people clicking the “Videos” tab at the top. The goal is to get a video on that Videos page, which lists the Daily Most Viewed videos.

Firstly, Viral Video key points (based on Dan Ackerman Greenberg’s article)

  • Make it short: 15-30 seconds is ideal; longer formats can work but the shorter the better, break down long stories into bite-sized clips
  • Optimise your Thumbnail: YouTube gives you 3 thumbnail choices. Use the most provocative image you can – or embed a specific thumbnail into the timeline using the YouTube thumbnail caculator or read more about the ratio rule at Techcrunch.
  • Optimise your Title: Titles can be changed a limitless number of times, so we sometimes have a catchy (and somewhat misleading) title for the first few days, then later switch to something more relevant to the brand.
  • If uploading ONE video – optimise your Tags for ‘Related Videos’. Find the most relevant and popular videos in YouTube, analyse it’s Keywords and align yourself with this video by using as many of the relevant tags you can.
  • If uploading MULTIPLE videos: See Strategic Tagging below…
  • Design for remixing/responding: create a video that is simple enough to be remixed or responded to over and over again. Ex: “Dramatic Hamster” , “Star Wars Kid”
  • Don’t make an outright ad: if a video feels like an ad, viewers won’t share it unless it’s really amazing. Ex: Sony Bravia
  • Make Comments: Encourage others to comment, generally the more controversial the comments the better. If you have mulitple logins, login and make your own comments.
  • Make the video a Favourite: Encourage viewers to add it to their favourite videos list.
  • Rate the video: Encourage viewers to rate your video.
  • Make YouTube Annotations in your videos: These can be notes or URLs to other sites or other videos.
  • Add Captions and subtitles: Allow people to enjoy your video in other languages.
  • Add Video Responses: Or encourage others to Respond to your video with one of their own.
  • Get Subscribers: Encourage your audience to subscribe to your videos.
  • Make it shocking: give a viewer no choice but to investigate further. Ex: “UFO Haiti”
  • Use fake headlines: make the viewer say, “Holy shit, did that actually happen?!” Ex: “Stolen Nascar”
  • Appeal to sex: if all else fails, hire the most attractive women available to be in the video. Ex: “Yoga 4 Dudes”

Upload all videos at once…then Rinse and Repeat

When our first video [ has reached the Most Viewed page], we delete our second video then re-upload it and using Strategic Tagging (see below) we have another 48-hour window to push it and our other videos to the Most Viewed page. Rinse and repeat. Using this strategy, we give our most interested viewers the chance to fully engage with a campaign without compromising the opportunity to individually release and market each consecutive video.

Strategic Tagging: Leading viewers down the rabbit hole

YouTube allows you to tag your videos with keywords that make your videos show up in relevant searches. For the first week that our video is online, we don’t use keyword tags to optimize the video for searches on YouTube. Instead, we’ve discovered that you can use tags to control the videos that show up in the Related Videos box. So how do we strategically tag? We choose three or four unique tags and use only these tags for all of the videos we post. I’m not talking about obscure tags; I’m talking about unique tags, tags that are not used by any other YouTube videos. Done correctly, this will allow us to have full control over the videos that show up as “Related Videos.” When views start trailing off after a few days to a week, it’s time to add some more generic tags, tags that draw out the long tail of a video as it starts to appear in search results on YouTube and Google.

How to make it onto the Most Viewed Page

  • Blogs: We reach out to individuals who run relevant blogs and actually pay them to post our embedded videos. Sounds a little bit like cheating/PayPerPost, but it’s effective and it’s not against any rules.
  • Forums: We start new threads and embed our videos. Sometimes, this means kickstarting the conversations by setting up multiple accounts on each forum and posting back and forth between a few different users. Yes, it’s tedious and time-consuming, but if we get enough people working on it, it can have a tremendous effect.
  • MySpace: Plenty of users allow you to embed YouTube videos right in the comments section of their MySpace pages. We take advantage of this.
  • Facebook: Share, share, share. We’ve taken Dave McClure’s advice and built a sizeable presence on Facebook, so sharing a video with our entire friends list can have a real impact. Other ideas include creating an event that announces the video launch and inviting friends, writing a note and tagging friends, or posting the video on Facebook Video with a link back to the original YouTube video.
  • Email lists: Send the video to an email list. Depending on the size of the list (and the recipients’ willingness to receive links to YouTube videos), this can be a very effective strategy.
  • Friends: Make sure everyone we know watches the video and try to get them to email it out to their friends, or at least share it on Facebook.

Each video has a shelf life of 48 hours before it’s moved from the Daily Most Viewed list to the Weekly Most Viewed list, so it’s important that this happens quickly. As I mentioned before, when done right, this is a tremendously successful strategy.

Metrics/Tracking: How we measure effectiveness

The following is how we measure the success of our viral videos. For one, we tweak the links put up on YouTube (whether in a YouTube channel or in a video description) by adding “?video=1” to the end of each URL. This makes it much easier to track inbound links using Google Analytics or another metrics tool. TubeMogul and VidMetrix also track views/comments/ratings on each individual video and draw out nice graphs that can be shared with the team. Additionally, these tools follow the viral spread of a video outside of YouTube and throughout other social media sites and blogs.

The golden rules of viral

1. Don’t patronise your audience – they bite

Viral marketing is a great way of targetting the media savvy 20-35 y.o. market, AKA the ‘entertain me or f@#k off’ generation. This generation don’t mind advertising & clever marketing as long as it’s entertaining. Take a look at some of the comments left by the YouTube audience in response to the video David Stratton attacks ABC colleague that was part of the campaign to promote Review with Myles Barlow. While you’re at it, take a look at Myles’ video response – Myles Barlow attacks David Stratton.

I think it’s cool that David would lend his public persona to promote Review. It says a lot for the show!
He is joking. It is clever promotion.
Very clever marketing? Well, not too clever, because everyone’s realised it’s marketing. Haven’t they??
lol I don’t think the ABC are expecting people to believe that it’s real. It’s fun…ride with it.
As you can see… they were onto us within the first 24 hours – but they liked it…

2. Viral videos are not TV promos

It won’t always work to plonk a TV promo on the interweb and hope that it finds an audience. It’s an entirely different medium and people are less likely to promote your promo if its an obvious promo. There are of course exceptional excetptions to this rule and the Penguins – BBC did manage to pull it off, with the help of Terry Jones, some penguins, some VFX and a rather expensive Advertising Agency.

3. Make it interesting, make it engaging, make it debatable…give it TALKABILITY

The authenticity of the video’s content  is one of the biggest issues of debate when it comes to viral videos. The more comments and lively debate your video has, the more it will be promoted by the recommendation engine within YouTube.

Useful References

The top 10 virals of 2008 (according to Campaign / Brand Republic)

The top 5 Chinese language virals of 2008 (according to China)

Written by shootstreet

January 16, 2009 at 3:36 am

Posted in Viral

Hello world!

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Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

Written by shootstreet

January 15, 2009 at 11:16 pm

Posted in Uncategorized