It's moving day! Find us on the main YouTube blog!

Friday, August 6, 2010 | 7:52 AM


Faithful BizBlog readers, it’s been a little over a year since we launched this blog to focus on what matters most to advertisers and partners on YouTube. Thanks so much for your readership!

In an effort to make sure you get all YouTube info in one place moving forward, we’ll be consolidating the BizBlog back into the main YouTube blog starting Tuesday. We’ll be posting business-related updates with the tag “BizBlog,” so here’s how you keep up with us:

1) Subscribe to the
YouTube blog and sort by the “BizBlog” label
2) Follow us on
Twitter or friend us on Facebook
3) Are you a small business? The
Google Small Business Blog brings together all the info you’ll need to know about Google’s products and features.
4) Let us know what you want to read going forward by filling out the survey below

See you on the main blog, and thanks again for visiting the BizBlog!

Online Marketing, For Action Heroes

Wednesday, August 4, 2010 | 7:00 AM


Sylvester Stallone’s interview for his new movie, 'The Expendables', starts off innocently enough. But then it gets real. A little too real.

On Monday,
Lionsgate Entertainment unleashed one of the coolest customizations of the YouTube Watch Page we’ve offered to-date. Fresh off their promotion of ‘The Expendables’ at ComicCon, Lionsgate has pumped their YouTube advertising full of testosterone, and hopes to see big results at the box office.

Lionsgate has been placing its footage on YouTube for awhile now, in the form of
promotional trailers and clips, television shows and full length films. So why this inspired creative approach to ‘The Expendables’ trailer where Stallone interacts with the ‘mercenaries’ in other videos?

“We’ve promoted ‘trailer overlay experiences’ for past films like ‘
Daybreakers’ and ‘My Bloody Valentine 3D’ to great results”, said Lionsgate’s VP of New Media for Theatrical Marketing, Danielle DePalma, “This time we took the idea for ‘The Expendables’ to the next level by including a human element that surprises the user and turns something as simple as an interview into a bad-ass experience that matches the film’s fun and intensity.”

A bad ass YouTube experience? Precisely. It’s not about just getting your content uploaded anymore. There have to be drivers to your videos. For Lionsgate, that’s been
the Youtube Homepage, the brand channel, Promoted Videos, and offline activities. DePalma went on to say, “Any offline event as powerful as Comic Con translates into buzz online, which is critical to marketing success. In the case of ‘The Expendables’, the energy and excitement from the overflowing crowd in Hall H and the thousands of fans proudly displaying their Expendables tattoos and pumped up by the cast signing and materials turned into extraordinary word-of-mouth via Twitter, Facebook, and blogs.”

Granted, not every business can attend trade shows or leverage large budgets for custom gadgets and Stallone-caliber endorsements. Lionsgate had the assistance of
The Visionaire Group to pull together their YouTube customization. Nevertheless, if you're Sly-less and without a digital creative agency, there's still something to learn from 'The Expendables'. Have a diverse range of drivers to your video online and off, bring the element of surprise to your ads in ways that delight your audience, and hey - don't forget to SHARE.

Posted by Kate Rose, YouTube Communications recently watched
Rocky Remix

From Blog to Book - And Back Again

Tuesday, August 3, 2010 | 8:03 AM


In an age where hardcover books are feeling threatened by the web, publishing houses are learning new tricks. Increasingly, Random House and other large publishers have given book deals to web memes from ‘LOLcats’ to ‘Shit My Dad Says’, and have turned back to the web in order to market them.

Random House, in particular, expertly leveraged the power of YouTube with their blog-turned-book,
Awkward Family Photos. During pre-sale weeks, authors Mike Bender and Doug Chernack posted videos of Mike’s grandparents reviewing the book on YouTube and used an InVideo campaign to help them go viral.

Soon after, their blog spawned a community of people commiserating and celebrating their awkward family moments. Best of all, the videos landed the book on the NY Times’ bestseller list, right behind ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’.

Co-author Doug Chernack says, “We were screenwriters at the time, and we’d never done a book before. There was no easier way to get something going than YouTube. Since we posted, thousands of people reached out, saying how much they loved the videos and wanting to know when the next would be posted.”

From a marketing perspective, using
YouTube’s InVideo Ads was the right choice for Random House in generating buzz for this new book. Their Marketing Manager, Jay Sones, said, “We thought the YouTube ads were a great way to connect the video audience to a print product that they would really enjoy and, based on our ad metrics and book sales, we were right.” Overall, the clickthrough rate on the videos was 0.51%, up 10x that of other creatives. The average cost-per-click was $1.70, and the views and customer engagement were sky high (128,000 views at the time of this posting). Because of its cost-effectiveness, Random House will explore video and other online marketing tactics for their emerging eBook and digital business.

Sones also identified a critical part of the success of this book, “The authors are incredibly talented internet marketers. They’ve got a pitch perfect ear for what’s going to go big on the net. They’ve also got a sharp awareness of their brand and their viewers.” Ask co-author Mike Bender whether it was his talent for web marketing, and he’ll deny it. But he will talk about the authenticity his grandparents brought to their role as spokespeople. “They are who they are, it’s very real, and that’s why people have responded.”

There’s a lesson here for companies looking to launch a new product. Mike Bender said it best; “You have the opportunity to do something really creative to get the word out. Folks can smell when someone’s just trying to sell them something. Make them laugh and you’re 95% there.”

5 Questions For David Schoonover, National Manager of CRM and Digital Marketing, Kia Motors

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 | 7:02 AM


Last year, Kia Motors launched the 2010 Soul through a series of clever creatives featuring ‘soulful’ hamsters. You know the ones. Day breaks on a morning commute and hamsters clog the freeway, all spinning on exercise wheels. Meanwhile, three ‘enlightened’ hamsters roll up in their Kia Soul, blasting hip-hop and wasting the hamster wheels off the line.

In tests of that creative, Kia found that it resonated more with their 18-34 year old target demographic than any creative they’d ever run before. So they made the unusual choice to re-vive the ‘Soul Hamsters’ through a second big media push which includes a large YouTube component, including Wednesday's masthead. We wanted to know why Kia’s ‘spokeshamsters’ worked so well, and what their plans were for viewers. Here’s what Kia had to say about the campaign:

Kia was very successful with its launch of the 2010 Soul last year through the clever 'Soul Hamster' spots. It's unusual for a car company to do another big media push in the second year of a launch. What were the results of that original campaign, and what prompted Kia to revive 'Soul Hamsters' on YouTube?

“This or That” is the rebirth of the initial Kia Soul award winning advertising campaign and brings back the loveable Hamsters due to popular demand. Soul is a unique and highly personalizable urban passenger vehicle and the new spot builds on that creative theme. The new “This or That” campaign is now on cable, in theaters and online and visits to are up more than 2.5MM visitors since launch. Further illustrating the campaign and vehicle’s popularity, Soul videos on YouTube have more than 2.6MM views. Soul fans on Facebook doubled to more than 29,000 in the first two days after its release and today there are more than 80,000 fans.

You're sponsoring the YouTube masthead today, and it features a contest called "Who's Next?", searching for the next YouTube star. To do this, you've partnered with current YouTube stars, Smosh, ShayCarl, and LisaNova. What do you hope these partners will add to the campaign?

We are constantly working to engage our fans. The Kia Soul has attracted a new audience to the Kia brand and engaging these fans through the “Who’s Next?” contest gives them the opportunity to have fun with the Soul’s playful personality. These celebrity judges provide us with the best of both worlds in that they have huge established communities that largely consist of the Soul target customer. Furthermore, their hard work and success lend an edge of credibility as well.

The masthead is just the beginning of your media push around the Kia Soul. What else are you doing on YouTube and online to drive contest entries and brand engagement?

Social media is an important part of the marketing strategy for the Kia brand and Soul and engaging passionate enthusiasts in this space creates additional opportunities to build buzz through a new, interactive experience. Our social activations include blogger outreach with partner
Fanscape, communications by the judges themselves to their subscriber base, and outreach to Kia’s own established social community. In addition, there also is video distribution and an e-mail blast with Tube Mogul.

If you can forgive the alliteration, what is it about rapping rodents that resonated so well with your demographic? In other words - what worked about this particular creative? Why not push features instead of spokeshamsters?

In place of a traditional and formulaic car ad, the cool hamsters in the Soul commercial continue to entertain in cinemas, on television and online in a big way. Understanding that the Soul’s primarily
Gen Y audience plays a great deal in the digital space, and that they viewed the first hamster commercial multiple times, the newest hamster experience is rich with details in the hamster world as well as through music and additional integrated Soul content for audiences to discover with repeat viewings. Youthful consumers want to feel unique within their group in an effortless way, not an obvious one. While they have their own bold and distinct style, they don’t want to look like they are “trying too hard”, so the Hamsters personified all of the Soul’s unique features.

Additionally, music and in-car entertainment is an increasingly important factor for today’s car buyers so building off of several catchy music groups from the first Soul commercial, “
This or That” features the popular ‘90s hip-hop group, Black Sheep, which further resonates with the youthful demographic.

The 'Soul Hamster' spots originally ran in theaters and on TV last year, and then seamlessly transitioned to the internet. With other Kia advertising, do you need to tailor your ads directly to an online audience, or can you just cut down a longer television commercial?

Several Kia commercials start in theaters because they have an entertainment value and theaters provide a wide reach. Each vehicle has a different demographic and we tailor our advertising efforts to individual audiences to keep our efforts fresh and appealing. Sometimes a cutdown of the TV ad works. Sometimes when we shoot the TV ad, we shoot extra or side footage to create an Internet-optimized version. And sometimes we shoot strictly for Internet, like we did for the Moochie webisodes ( It all depends on the strategy.

Bite-Sized Business Insights (And No Preservatives)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010 | 1:39 PM


Mozilla's founding Chair, Mitchell Kapor, was once noted to say, "Getting information off the Internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant". It can be an overwhelming experience, particularly when you're looking for information to help your business succeed.

Today, we hope to turn that gush of information into something a little more palatable. We are proud to launch think with Google - our new YouTube platform for sharing business insights and industry viewpoints delivered in bite-sized, inspiring and actionable talks.

The channel has many leading thinkers offering their insights on trends, creativity, marketing, business strategy, consumer insights and more; helping you navigate in the dynamic business landscape. Contributors already include Zappos’ CEO Tony Hsieh, Amazon’s Managing Director Brian McBride, innovative author and speaker Don Tapscott and London Mayor Boris Johnsson.

The hope is that this will become a thriving business community in the spirit of YouTube – so head to the channel, listen to the thinkers and feel free to make your voice heard.

What Advertisers Can Learn From Observing The YouTube Community

Monday, July 26, 2010 | 9:00 AM


A few weeks ago, a bunch of us from YouTube attended VidCon, an online video conference produced by and for the YouTube community. During the three-day event there were plenty of screaming fans, music performances, and Justin Bieber-inspired hair cuts. To quote YouTube partner extraordinaire, ShayCarl, "If you have an internet connection and you were NOT at VidCon then you are obviously still using 56K. NOOB!!"

You don't have to have attended VidCon to learn from the event, though. Conference organizers, Hank and John Green, aka the
vlogbrothers, made sure there was ample opportunity for YouTube's top partners to teach the next generation how to be successful on YouTube. We took good notes and, as it turns out, many of these tips could help advertisers be successful on YouTube, as well.

1) You can't make it on YouTube alone.

Make friends and build relationships with producers who have audiences, then leverage their audiences through cross promotion, shout-outs and annotation referrals. Many popular YouTube producers are also willing to create branded entertainment videos or provide
product placement opportunities.* Some partners, like whatthebuckshow, have been very successful with these opportunities, building trust with viewers at the same time by calling out the product placement in videos when they occur.

*Keep in mind that certain
FTC Guidelines may require disclosure of endorsement relationships between advertisers and partners, so you may want to check with your legal counsel.

2) Keep to a schedule and theme when publishing content.

Expectations are important. People want to know what type of videos they will be watching week after week on a particular channel. They like a recognizable topic and show format for the videos. That doesn't mean that producers can't mix it up, but consistency definitely counts. The top partners, like
sxephil, also highlight when they publish new episodes in the header banner of their channel so fans know when to return for fresh content.

3) Think about the next action and viewer engagement.

YouTube is an interactive medium. What do you want someone to do after watching your video? Ask them to rate, comment, or share your video. Ask them for their opinions. You can even ask them to click on a link and purchase your product. Top partners often respond to previous comments in new videos. This also provides a great opportunity to get to know your fans and build deeper relationships.

4) Cross-platform promotion and the first 24 hours are huge.

As soon as partners upload a new video, they notify their fans via Twitter, Facebook, etc. (Their YouTube subscribers are automatically notified when they return to the site and log in.) They also email influential blog editors and traditional media outlets that are relevant to the topic or that have featured them in the past. Leverage every distribution channel you can to promote your new video. There are a lot of ways people discover videos, so leveraging as many outlets as possible increases the chances of discovery. (Be careful not to spam though!) Advertisers shouldn't forget about using paid media to launch new videos either. Both
Promoted Videos and traditional display advertising can provide lots of additional views.

5) Watch comments, but not too closely. Obsess on

Comments can provide valuable feedback and additional information about your videos and your audience. Viewers will tell you what they like and don't like about your videos. But you need to have a bit of a thick skin since there will always be haters and trolls; don't take them too seriously. Good content will always get plenty of positive comments, as well. Focus on watching Insights to determine where and how people are finding your videos and if any external sources are directing a lot of traffic. If you do discover that a particular blog is sending you a lot of referrals, reach out and say thanks. Then add them to your notification list for the next time your publish a video. Hot spots will also tell you when people start to lose interest in your video.

Posted by Rick Silvestrini, Product Marketing Manager (and nerdfighter), just watched '
Top 10 Moments from VidCon'

Second Season of Effie Worldwide's "Ideas That Worked" Webinar Series

Tuesday, July 13, 2010 | 1:22 PM

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After the huge success of last year’s webinar series, which we co-hosted with Effie Worldwide, we are proud to announce that we shall be reprising the series again this year. Today we invite to you register for the first installment in this free series, which will take place on July 20, 2010 at 2 pm EDT. All the webinars and tons of great case studies are always available for you on theEffie Worldwide YouTube Channel.

If you join the webinar, you will hear directly from the esteemed agencies and marketers responsible for three off the best Effie Award-winning video and social media campaigns:
recently came back from VidCon 2010