Attract Even More YouTube Views With These Optimization Tips

Attract Even More YouTube Views With These Optimization Tips

Attracting more viewers to your YouTube videos is by no means easy. There are a variety of important things to do to get more people watching, one of which is proper video optimization. Here is a series of optimization tips that will help you catch people’s interest more and boost your viewership.

Write the perfect video title

When coming up with a title for your video, the goal is to make it as descriptive as possible. Incorporating the right keywords is the first step here. Consider which terms your audience will most likely use to search for your video. YouTube’s own autocomplete function is a surprisingly helpful tool for determining keywords. Other common options you can go with are:

Use these tools not just to create your list of keywords, but also to determine which ones will bring the best possible results.

Don’t just drop your keyword into the title. For the keyword to perform as intended, you have to incorporate it organically. Using it in a question is a good tactic, as it will pique people’s interest, telling them that you are going to answer that question.

You also need to provide some context in your video title to give people a better idea of what the video is all about. Add situational words or phrases to direct it to specific subsets of your audience. You can also include appropriate superlative words to create more emphasis on your title’s topic.

Use your descriptions wisely

While you can write any length of video descriptions, you need to pay attention to the first 125 characters. This section serves as the meta description for the video that is shown on the search results in and out of YouTube.

When writing this section, use the primary keyword you want to associate with the video. Make sure that it is well-incorporated to the text to give people a better context. Your short video description should also fit within the character limit to be sure that it won’t be cut off when displayed on the search results.

Beyond that section, your description should provide more helpful information for viewers. Some ways you can do this are:

  • Giving additional details: You can clarify some of the points in your video or add details that might not have been covered.
  • Having a transcript: Adding a written transcription of your video makes it more accessible to viewers while boosting its discoverability.
  • Adding relevant links: Direct your viewers to external links that build up on your video’s information. This could be articles, websites, or even other videos.
  • Including your channel signature: Make sure that every video you upload has links to your associated pages, like social media profiles or your personal website.

These tactics turn the description into an integral part of your video content, getting viewers more involved.

Tag your videos the right way

Having a tagging strategy will help make your videos more discoverable. One strategy you can employ is the tag tree method. It involves breaking down your video title into different phrases that viewers might actually use to search for your videos. Blogger Jessica Stansberry, who developed the method, demonstrates how it works in this video.

Once you have a selection of tags, don’t just drop them randomly. Add the most relevant ones first, then order everything in terms of decreasing relevance. This ensures that YouTube will be able to categorize your videos for the most appropriate tags. Don’t stuff too many tags in your video tag section; 20 should be enough to cover a video effectively.

Optimize after uploading

A common misconception about YouTube video optimization is that it is done only before uploading. For your videos to perform well, you need to continue refining it for future audiences. Go through your analytics and see how your video performs, then make adjustments.

Feel free to experiment on the tweaks you do on your videos, like:

  • Add an end screen: YouTube lets you quickly create end screens for your existing videos through the video manager. Include links to your other videos or external sites.
  • Create custom thumbnails: Rewatch your video, and find the clip that would best describe it. Upload that image as a new thumbnail, and see if it’s better at generating audience interest.
  • Rewrite your descriptions: Experiment with different description content that will best fit the video and your audience.
  • Retag your videos: If you find that your videos are not drawing in more viewers, you can try revising the tags to get a better fit for your target audience’s search habits.

Make sure that you record your test results for use in future videos.

These tips are just part of the different strategies you can use of optimizing your videos. Explore other techniques, and you will soon be attracting more viewers to your videos.

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Why YouTube Views Disappear And How You Can Regain Them

Attracting views to your YouTube videos is a tedious process. You often need to do a lot of marketing and promotions just to gain a few hundred views. That is why seeing your view count drop can be a nerve-wracking experience. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you may be losing views and learn some effective remedies.

The truth behind lost YouTube views

The main reasons why you lose views is because of YouTube’s own auditing process. Unlike before when the site only starts to audit when a video goes past the 300 views mark, auditing now begins immediately once your video starts gaining views.

During the initial review of registered views, YouTube takes a hard look at the following factors:

  • Duration: The site checks whether each view is over 10 seconds long. Fake views typically just load the player and don’t play the entire video.
  • IP address: YouTube takes note of whether many views are coming from a single IP address. It then decides if that is a result of abnormal user behavior.
  • User-agent strings: Checking the devices where the views originated from works similarly to looking at the IP address.
  • Referral URL: Views coming from the same link can be either natural (like when people visit from your blog) or unnatural (like when the video is embedded in a video advertisement).

These tests ensure that all the views checked by YouTube are 99% real, with all the initial views guaranteed to come from actual people.

After the initial tests, YouTube does additional passes on subsequent views. These extra audits are less harsh than the initial ones, but they test more specific video elements. These are continuously done on your content with the purpose of filtering out the “bad” views while registering the real ones.

Losses caused by drops in subscribers

Another reason why you might lose views is due to a drop in subscribers. YouTube regularly cleans out its accounts list, taking down dead accounts or those that have been inactive for a long period of time. The views associated with these types of accounts eventually get delisted as part of the audit process.

YouTube also actively goes after bot accounts used to inflate the number of views and subscribers. Since these are prohibited under the site’s rules, the actions against them can have a significant impact on view counts. Not only will you lose views; YouTube may also impose certain punishments, like temporarily pausing of your views counter.

Other reasons YouTube views disappear

It is also worth noting that YouTube routinely updates its algorithm. In such cases, some of the counted views will get delisted if they do not comply with the new rules. The site will typically notify you beforehand of such changes.

There are also rare instances when YouTube experiences an error in data reporting. One such incident happened in 2017 when YouTube experienced a glitch that caused its system to inflate total channel view counts.

These errors are repaired within a few days, but the sudden drop in view numbers after the fix had surprised many users.

Rebounding from a view count drop

The best way to know if your channel is experiencing a significant drop in views is by looking at and understanding your YouTube analytics. This will give you an accurate picture of the number of views you are losing real-time.

The analytics will also help you determine the possible cause of lost views. For example, you might notice a drop after the first few seconds, indicating that your audience may be losing interest while watching your videos. It could indicate that your targeted keywords are reaching the wrong people.

Recovering from a drop in views follows the same process of how you gained them in the first place. Some strategies you can employ for getting more views again are:

  • Optimizing your videos: Refine elements like the title and description of your video to let people know what the video is all about. This makes it easier for them to discover your video.
  • Improving your audience retention: Try different ways to improve your video quality, like adjusting the length, the actual content, or your background/location to get people to watch more.
  • Re-promote your videos: Double down on the promotional efforts you do for the videos that have lost views in order to get them back into public consciousness.
  • Share on new communities: Look out for new groups within your niche where you might not have yet shared your content, then introduce your videos to them.

These tactics will take some time to work to bring back lost views, so you need to be patient in doing them.

Losing YouTube views is definitely not a fun experience for any video creator. Once you understand the reasons behind it, you will be able to formulate a way to recover quickly. Try out the tips and strategies we showed, and you will definitely come back stronger in the video listings.

Increase Your YouTube Views with These 10 Easy Tactics

Increase Your YouTube Views with These 10 Easy Tactics

Many of us use YouTube for personal or business purposes. If you own a YouTube channel, then you know how frustrating it can be to build and grow one. Due to the heavy competition on the video platform, you have to work harder and smarter in order to make your YouTube channel reach a wider audience.

If you like to increase your YouTube views and grow your YouTube channel, you have to apply the right tactics. Here are 10 easy tactics you can implement right away to establish a bigger presence on YouTube.

Optimize your videos with the right keywords

Before people can appreciate your YouTube videos, they have to be able to search your videos first. You can make your videos searchable on YouTube and other search engines by using the right keywords. For instance, the video title must match the words people would use to search for your video. Once you crafted a nice title, test it by running a YouTube search with your chosen keywords. If there is no result or if your video did not come up, try rephrasing the title by thinking like your audience or using keywords used by your top competitors.

Organize your videos into playlists

Make it easy for visitors to view all the videos on your YouTube channel. Do that by organizing your videos, and a good way is to create playlists that will group videos according to types.

Grab attention with thumbnails

Pick the best scenes in your video as your thumbnail. People will get a good preview about your video through those small, clickable images. By using attractive, catchy, relevant thumbnails, you should be able to pique your viewers’ interest and have them click, watch, and like your video.

Check out how to do custom thumbnails with this video tutorial:

Make a channel trailer

A trailer for your YouTube channel will be good for your branding and establish a unique first impression. A trailer will encourage viewers to keep coming back to see more of your interesting stuff. YouTube expert and consultant Alan Spicer shared some tips on how to make a good channel trailer:

Have a clear call-to-action (CTA)

People may enjoy your video, but they have this tendency to forget subscribing to your channel or liking your video. It’s up to you then to remind them to do such things by putting a clear call-to-action (CTA). Post the CTA at least at the start and at the end of the video so that people won’t miss doing what you want them to do. Look again at Allan Spicer’s tutorial on making a channel trailer above; he mentioned CTAs multiple times in that video.

Have a consistent schedule

Consistent video uploads let people know that you are involved in and dedicated to growing your YouTube channel. People follow channels they find interesting, but they will lose interest and unfollow you if they don’t have new content in weeks or months. Having an upload schedule (say, on a Wednesday) will make people anticipate your upcoming videos and encourage them to watch regularly.

Cross-promote your videos

Cross-promotion is a winning strategy you shouldn’t ignore. By filling out your social media profiles with embedded links of your YouTube videos, you can bring in more people from other platforms to visit your channel.

On the other hand, you can also encourage your current YouTube followers to share your videos on their own accounts. This will also widen the reach of your YouTube videos.

Create videos for trending topics

While you have a niche to target, it wouldn’t hurt to make videos on trending topics a part of your video marketing strategy. Take for instance those video creators who rode on Fortnite’s wave; the videos aren’t necessarily about the game, but these video creators were able to get millions of views by leveraging Fortnite’s popularity. Just like this Fortnite Dance Challenge that has been popularized by the Eh Bee Family:

If you want to know what trending topics to use, you can check out YouTube itself, visit Twitter, or use keyword tools.

Collaborate with fellow YouTubers

Reach out to people within your niche, whose values and content are aligned with yours. By collaborating with other YouTube channel owners, you can promote your channels with each other’s audiences and possibly gain an all a new set of subscribers.

Do contests or giveaways

You can generate more engagement within a short period by running a contest or giveaway. The prizes don’t have to be costly, but you have to ensure that it’s something that your followers will be interested in. You can also explore collaborating with other brands for those prizes. In this manner, you and that brand will both benefit from the attention generated by your contest or giveaway.

Make sure to follow YouTube’s contest rules and guidelines. Failing to do so can result in punishment for your channel.

If you include any of these 10 strategies into your YouTube marketing strategy, you’ll be able to amass those precious YouTube views and subs over time. Start implementing these tactics today, and see your YouTube channel grow in no time.

How Custom Intent Audiences Can Boost YouTube Marketing

How Custom Intent Audiences Can Boost YouTube Marketing

Making your YouTube ads more visible to your target audience is vital for promotions, but can be a challenge. One tool you can use here is custom intent audiences. Let’s find out what they are and how you can take advantage of them.

What are custom intent audiences

Custom intent audiences are a newer targeting option provided by Google AdWords. It works by showing your YouTube video ads to people who have used your selected keywords to search for similar products. According to Google, the option lets you go beyond pre-determined audience segments and go after people who are actively looking for products like yours.

The option also lets you take advantage of the growing trend of consumers using both regular searches and video to learn about products. In fact, 80% of buyers frequently switch back and forth between the two when doing their research. This video demonstrates how easy it is to create custom intent audiences for this purpose.

The ad targeting option works similarly to traditional search-based campaigns. This lets you apply the same strategies used for such campaigns, like:

  • Choosing the right keywords: You can use custom intent audiences to further take advantage of successful keyword lists that you already have for search campaigns.
  • Segmenting your audience traffic: Using a simple but definite segmentation strategy makes it easier to see the differences in your ads’ performance. Making one ad group for your brand and another for generic product searchers is a good start.
  • Track your conversions: Custom intent audiences are designed to generate direct responses. This means you need to diligently track the actual conversions you get from them.
  • Set up the right bids: Tracking the conversions you get from these audiences helps you not only choose the mode of ad bidding, but also decide how aggressive you can bid.

Following these tactics will make it easier to set up a custom intent audience-based campaign and integrate it with an ongoing search campaign.

Custom Intent Audiences’ unique attributes

Despite the similarity to search campaigns, video ad campaigns targeting custom intent audiences have unique attributes you should know. One of these is that they are not dependent on whether people clicked or engaged with your ad. Your audience lists are instead built based on your target audience’s original search efforts.

This makes custom intent audiences useful for retargeting audiences that did not respond to your initial search ads. Custom intent audiences can also help you capture new audiences, as they will even target audiences who use search terms semantically similar to the ones you assigned.

Another unique thing about custom intent audiences is that they work better with larger ad groups. This is because bigger groups provide the algorithm with more data to refine your targeting. You would also want to try using a larger number of keywords to better capture all the possible audiences for your video ads.

Different ad formats

Custom intent audiences will effectively work for different ad formats, but the ones that you should consider are:

These ad formats can be used for different marketing objectives, giving custom intent audiences greater versatility.

Using custom intent audiences for YouTube ad targeting can take some time to get used to. Once you become familiar with it, this option will give you greater flexibility in how you target and engage potential customers. Explore and learn how you can effectively incorporate it into your greater ad campaign.

YouTube’s Top Channels For February Show Interesting Trends

The top YouTube channels for February are showing some interesting trends that video marketers will want to take note of. The strategies used by these top channels can help inform your own strategies so that you’re prepared to do what works now, not what used to work!

YouTube's Top Channels For February Show Interesting Trends

India on the rise

According to the data provided by video analytics firm Tubular Insights, the top ten channels attracted a total of 13 billion views. Those in the top four spots got at least a billion views each. These channels are:

  1. T-Series: 2.8 billion views
  2. Cocomelon-Nursery Rhymes: 2.6 billion views
  3. SET India: 1.4 billion views
  4. Vlad and Nikita: 1.2 billion views
  5. Like Nastya Vlog: 973 million views
  6. Kids Diana Show: 953 million views
  7. Badabun: 863 million views
  8. ZEE TV: 846 million views
  9. SAB TV: 796 million views
  10. ABS CBN: 775 million views

Tubular Insights’ data covered only those channels that primarily produce original content. The company noted that the top ten list didn’t change much from its January rankings, with only a few movements.

One of the interesting insights seen from the top ten channels is the rise of India-based video creators. The most viewed channel, T-Series, is run by the country’s largest music label. In fact, it is the most watched channel since 2018, attracting two billion views every month. The channel’s most popular video is this fun music video, which has gained 706 million views.

The three other Indian channels included in the top ten are SET India, Zee TV, and SAB TV. Like T-Series, these three channels are owned by major media outfits.

Tubular Insights said that the trend continued as you looked further down the top 100 rankings. Some of the most prominent inclusions were:

  • Goldmine Telefilms: #46
  • IndiaTV: #57
  • Aaj Tak: #69
  • Khandeshi Movies: #71

The analytics firm noted that many of these channels experienced a major increase in their rankings, moving up at least a hundred places. It explained that the boom could be attributed to the fact that India has the second largest number of Internet users, behind China, and they’re finally getting decent enough connections to watch YouTube videos.

Music engages viewers the most

Another trend Tubular Insights observed in its February data is the large amount of engagement that musical acts are getting. This might not come as a surprise, considering that the T-Series channel itself is tied to a record label while many of the other channels in the top ten produce their own music-related videos.

The trend is more prominent with individual artist channels. Some of the acts that experienced an increase in engagement rates during the study’s 30-day period are:

  • Ariana Grande: 2.9x increase over the average YouTube engagement rate
  • Marshmello: 3.2x the average rate
  • 1theK: 3.2x the average rate
  • BLACKPINK: 3.4x the average rate

The company added that K-pop is one of the regional genres that experienced significant growth in 2018. During this period, Korean acts like BTS and BLACKPINK have steadily penetrated the global scene, attracting audiences from different countries.

Taking advantage of these trends

Of the two trends Tubular Insights highlighted, the first one is more region-centric. This means that India-based video creators, or those that already have global reach, are in the best position to take advantage of it. That shouldn’t stop you from creating content that might be to the liking of Indian viewers. Study their preferences, and see how you can apply them to your videos. This will give you the opportunity to capture your first overseas audience.

Meanwhile, the increased engagement that musical content and artists are getting opens plenty of opportunities for marketers from different industries. Explore how you can include more music-related elements into your YouTube content. Collaborating with popular acts will also help increase your brand visibility, like this one that e-commerce site Shopee did with BLACKPINK.

The two trends highlighted by Tubular Insights’ February data illustrates the continuously changing preferences of YouTube’s global audience. Get this full report, and study it to know how you can ride the trends and get more viewer engagement on your videos.

How Jimmy Fallon Attracted 2.6 Billion YouTube Views

How Jimmy Fallon Attracted 2.6 Billion YouTube Views

Comedian and host Jimmy Fallon proves that he is still king, not just of late night shows but also of YouTube, as he attracted 2.6 billion views on the platform in 2018, and nearly 11 billion in total.

Huge online viewership

The stunning reveal came courtesy of video marketing analytics provider Tubular Insights. Their data showed that Fallon’s The Tonight Show YouTube channel gained the views within the span of 12 months.

During that period, the channel uploaded a total of 1740 videos. Of these, 255 attracted at least a million views each. The most popular video uploaded, “Musical Genre Challenge with Ariana Grande,” gained an impressive 48 million views on its own.

Other videos that proved to be big crowd drawers were:

  • Kevin Hart is Terrified of Robert Irwin’s Animals: 27.8 million views
  • Jimmy Fallon and Kevin Hart Go Back To High School: 23.4 million views
  • Ariana Grande Surprises Fans: 22.8 million views
  • Avengers Infinity War Cast Sing “The Marvel Bunch”: 21.1 million views
  • Jack Black Performs His Legendary Sax-A-Boom: 21.1 million views

Musical numbers performed by guests on set are some of the most popular content on the channel. Having The Roots as your house band pretty much guarantees that you’ll have some good music from time to time! There are also skits done by Fallon and his guests, which generated plenty of audience interest over the year.

Fallon’s growing global audience

While 42.6% of The Late Night Show’s YouTube viewers are based in the United States, the larger portion of views comes from 75 different countries. The top five non-US countries where Fallon’s views came from in 2018 were:

  • United Kingdom: 65.9 million views
  • Brazil: 60.6 million views
  • Canada: 57.7million views
  • Germany: 35.4 million views
  • Australia: 31.0 million views

This does not come as a surprise, as Fallon’s show was also broadcast internationally even before his foray into YouTube.

The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon is also the fastest growing channel dedicated to a late night show host. It recently reached a milestone of being the first such channel to reach 20 million subscribers. This is twice the numbers achieved by other late night show hosts like Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel. In honor of the achievement, the channel posted this video.

Why Jimmy Fallon is a success

One of the reasons why The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon is popular is the kind of content the channel uploads. Many of the videos are select interview clips featuring celebrity guests. There are also the skits performed by Fallon himself. Quick-hitting musical numbers are also a frequent theme. This variety of content lets it capture a larger demographic across different countries.

The channel also uploads new content frequently. In fact, it uploads clips just a few hours after their respective episodes have aired on TV. This turns it into a secondary venue where viewers can catch up at their own leisure. The tight upload schedule also helps keep viewers engaged with the channel longer.

Jimmy Fallon takes full advantage of the shareability of YouTube videos. The clips the channel uploads are short and easily digestible by the audience, which also makes them ideal for sharing with others.

The show even carries this over to its other social media pages, posting shareable content like memes. This helps increase the reach of its videos significantly as more Twitter followers leads to more YouTube views when those videos are shared on his Twitter.

Jimmy Fallon’s success on YouTube is a great demonstration of how traditional broadcasters can leverage social video to grow their viewership. Watch his clips and learn more about his video marketing tricks while you laugh at his antics.

The Minefield YouTube is in Because of Kidfluencers

The Minefield YouTube is in Because of KidfluencersIn 2018, the highest-earning person on YouTube was a seven-year-old boy named Ryan. Forbes reported that Ryan ToysReview earned around $22 million from June 1, 2017 to June 1, 2018. That amount is before tax and operational fees are deducted, but that is still quite a lot for a seven-year-old kid. His parents won’t confirm, but Ryan has endorsement deals with several toy companies since Ryan ToysReview YouTube channel started in 2015 (when Ryan was only three years old).

Ryan is not the only child on YouTube though. There’s also Jojo Siwa, a 15-year-old YouTube content creator who had posted multiple videos from a Target Store. Why Target? Because she has branded apparel lines with the general merchandise store chain. In one video, she bought one piece each of her merchandise. Another video showed Jojo treating her younger brother to a $500 shopping spree, still in a Target Store.

 

When you finish watching these kidfluencers’ videos (whether they are toy review, vlogs, or YouTube gaming channels), more videos targeted at kids are suggested on the sidebar or below the video. In fact, Ryan’s ToysReview YouTube channel has this tagline: “Toys review for kids by a kid!” As there are so many child influencers on YouTube right now influencing millions of children all over the world, it’s becoming difficult to monitor and regulate. This puts Google in a legal and ethical minefield, and it’s not clear how they intend to go about it.

Regulating advertisements with kidfluencers

Dona Fraser, the director of the Children’s Advertising Review Unit, said in a statement, “The uptick in sponsored content and child influencers is very overwhelming. This has exploded in front of our eyes. How do you now wrangle every child influencer out there?”

Since it started in 2015, YouTube had always operated under (or beyond) the radar of traditional advertising rules. This could be due to the following reasons:

  • The site has grown so much that regulating it is becoming more difficult. There are one billion active users each month. There are around 23 million YouTube channels, with more being created every day. That’s a huge crowd to police. What’s more, there are over 8 million children using the YouTube Kids tool.
  • It’s difficult to distinguish which content is ads and which ones are not. There are creators making sponsored content which masquerade as creative content, and kids are the most susceptible to this kind of programming. It’s different for the TV industry since everyone knows that ads are inserted during breaks. There is a clear distinction between what are ads and not ads… Except for sponsored placements in shows, which are usually disclosed in the credits.

In 2017, the Federal Trade Commission warned Instagram influencers to properly disclose if a post is sponsored by a company. That is why you can see some Instagram posts by influencers tagged as sponsored, labeled as a “paid partnership” with a brand or company, or simply have #ad in them.

 

 

As for YouTube, tagging a video with a “paid for by” text that runs throughout the video is a major turn off to most viewers. This is according to Kristine Pack of Family Fun Pack, a YouTube channel which has eight million subscribers and dozens of sponsored videos. Nonetheless, Pack stated that she always disclose when her video posts are sponsored.

YouTube has this to say, “YouTube content creators are responsible for ensuring their content complies with local laws, regulations and YouTube Community Guidelines, including paid product placements. If the content is found to violate these policies, we take action, which can include removing content.”

Are children even allowed on YouTube?

YouTube has evaded rules about children on TV and ads, probably because of the age restriction stated on its terms of service. It says there that only children 13 years old and above can use YouTube:

 

However, it’s clear that children or their parents aren’t telling the children’s true age when signing up. You can clearly see this by just looking at all the videos targeted at smaller kids, most of which are suggested at the end of a toy review or any video with children on them.

“If they really were honest brokers about whether kids were allowed on the platform, they wouldn’t have so much kids’ content,” Colby Zintl, vice president for Common Sense Media, pointed out. Common Sense Media is urging Congress to strengthen policies in allowing children to use social media sites like Google and Facebook.

To address this problem of younger children using the video content site, Google launched YouTube Kids, a mobile app version targeted at kids younger than 13 years old.

 

YouTube Kids supposedly does not show sponsored videos. YouTube can filter such videos; there is a checkbox that video uploaders should tick if they receive money or free products when they upload the video to the main YouTube site. Despite this initiative, YouTube Kids was muddled with controversies such as:

  • There are still sponsored videos on YouTube Kids: The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood found sponsored content uploaded by famous influencers. This could mean two things: either the uploaders aren’t being honest and aren’t ticking the right checkbox, or that Google is not serious about filtering videos on the kids’ app.
  • There are still inappropriate contents on YouTube Kids: Advocacy groups for consumers and children complained to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that YouTube Kids contained content inappropriate for children. They say that there are vulgarity, sexual language, and jokes about pedophilia on the mobile app.

All these things show how difficult it is for YouTube to monitor all contents on its site. In 2017, the company attempted a major cleanup by purging thousands of videos aimed at kids that have inappropriate content. However, this wasn’t enough.

Just this February of 2019, a blogger exposed how easy it was to access pedophile-related contents on YouTube because they ride on innocent video clips of children. This revelation prompted advertisers such as Disney, Fortnite, and Hasbro to suspend their advertising on YouTube.

As a response, Google deleted hundreds of accounts that left pedophile-oriented comments. They also disabled the comment section of some videos that feature minors.

Josh Golin, executive director of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, said, “YouTube is pretending not to be a site for children when it suits them. And yet they are heavily profiting from children being on the site.”

A child advocacy group further stated that 80% of American children aged six to 12 years old use YouTube. Because of this, Google can collect their personal information, and earn from targeted ads without obtaining consent from their parents as required by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act or COPPA.

 

 

COPPA and Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood are among the advocacy groups that are calling for the FTC to probe Google.

Will the Story Format Work on YouTube?

In 2013, Snapchat introduced a new way to share one’s moments to the world. It was called Snapchat Stories. This “story format” became so popular that other social media sites made their own versions. In 2016, we got Instagram Stories. Then, in 2017, WhatsApp Statuses, Facebook Stories, and Skype Highlights were born.

Later in 2017, YouTube joined the story format bandwagon; the video-sharing website released YouTube Reels. However, critics and naysayers have questioned this move. To them, Reels represented YouTube’s cheap attempt to mimic Snapchat and Instagram’s success.

What is story format?

In a nutshell, the story format is a narrative collection of short posts, photos, or videos. The stories are viewed in sequence, either through a programmed delay or by manually moving to the next one.

Why did the story format become such a hit? Popular with young users, stories let people share life moments in snippets. The stories are short—they don’t exceed 30 seconds, and they only stay online for 24 hours. While stories expire after a day, it’s enough time for posters to preserve moments they deem worthy of being shared and for their friends to check the stories multiple times.

YouTube Reels

YouTube Reels signaled YouTube’s foray into the story format. In 2017, the Reels were initially launched on a limited release. They feature brief, rough videos of up to 30 seconds long. Like in Snapchat and Instagram, users can put stickers, filters, and music.

YouTube Reels’ advantages

However, unlike that of other platforms where the story appears on top of the app, Reels are viewed in a separate tab, making Reels less obtrusive. Also, users have the choice to view (or not to view) Reels of other users. Moreover, a Reel lasts more than 24 hours, a welcome feature for posters who want extended exposure for their stories.

YouTube Reels’ disadvantages

YouTube Reels suffer several drawbacks.

  1. The Reels have a flawed design where users can only comment with images and short videos. Not only does this feature reduces engagement, but it’s also inconvenient for users. Moreover, there are no options to swipe up or do video linking.
  2. As YouTube narrowed down Reels to content creators with at least 10,00 subscribers, YouTube missed the opportunity to boost Reels’ popularity. This is unlike other platforms who have their story formats available for general users. While acquiring 10,000 subscribers isn’t that hard, new users and small channels will have a hard time making their presence on a site as crowded as YouTube.
  3. Lastly, since YouTube has higher production values than other sites, expect content creators to have a slow upload on their stories.

At best, Reels is just a filler for YouTubers to engage followers between uploads of standard content. At this time, YouTubers should pay close attention to their analytics and see if they are being helped more by YouTube Reels, or another story format on a different platform when it comes to driving views and engagement.

Is the story format for YouTube?

The story format doesn’t fit with YouTube’s core brand. What really made YouTube so popular is that it has an exemplary collection of video content. That’s the YouTube brand—people go to it either to watch videos or to host their own. Name me one video sharing site that is as prominent as YouTube; probably, you’ll come up with maybe one or two.

Compare that to Instagram who is now ruling the story format space (it has overtaken Snapchat). It’s the go-to platform for light videos, sneak peeks, and never-before-seen footage. It’s successful in achieving the core purpose of the story format, that is, to engage and connect with users.

So for YouTube to try to compete with Instagram in the story format arena, it looks like the move is a big gamble. Though feasible, short-form videos are not what drives people to go to YouTube. Whether YouTube decides to move forward with the story format (through YouTube Reels) or to focus efforts on its core brand remains to be seen.

Facebook expands ad breaks while YouTube has new ad extension

Facebook expands ad breaks while YouTube has new ad extensionIn this digital age, change is constant. That is why it is not surprising to find out that social media giants such as Facebook and YouTube are upgrading and expanding some of its features. And advertisers are the ones that will be affected by these new features.

Here are some of the upgrades that you need to know from these two social media giants.

Facebook Ad Break Expansion

Facebook continues to dominate when it comes to ads. Over the years, it has improved its ad system to better help marketers find their customers as well as for customers to only see ads that they want to see. Facebook’s technique and strategy proved to be effective as many brands and services continue to use Facebook advertising as one of their digital marketing strategies.

But despite the good things about Facebook’s ad system, there is still a lot to improve. And Facebook itself knows that. That is why it keeps on testing new features to better serve marketers. One of the features that they have been testing out is their Facebook Ad Breaks on videos.

Facebook has been encouraging advertisers to focus more on producing ad videos. This is because videos are more visual and engaging as compared to 2D images and other graphics and plain text content. Aside from that, videos are easy to consume. In just one click on the video, you get to see everything.

Facebook ad break is a good way to encourage advertisers and even Facebook users to produce more videos for the platform because Ad break is the process of earning money from videos. Videos will play and a break from the video will occur to give way to a short ad. Ad breaks are automatically added to Facebook videos you recently uploaded.

Facebook ad break is only available in certain countries. And now that they see its effectiveness, Facebook decided to open it to other countries. Now, Facebook added 14 more countries that will benefit from the ad break.

These 14 countries are Bangladesh, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Jordan, Malaysia, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirates.

The History of Facebook Ad Breaks

You will be surprised that Facebook has over 75 million daily watch visitors. With this engagement, it is only right to use this opportunity for advertisement. People are watching so you need to use this to promote brands and services. That is why Facebook decided to test ad breaks in February of 2017.

Then, they expanded, and in August of that same year, they tried testing it on Facebook pages. However, not all Facebook pages get to experience ad break. Only Facebook pages with over 10,000 followers and that have generated over 30,000 one-minute video view. This is reasonable since some Facebook pages do not have videos that Facebook can put an ad break on.

Also, the ad break was only available in five countries before. The first five countries to experience ad break are the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia.

Then, to be able to gauge its effectivity, they introduced ad break to more countries in different continents such as in Europe, Central and South America, and Asia. There were 21 countries in these continents that get to experience ad break that happened in September 2017. And now, Facebook decided to open it to more countries.

Why do you need to care about this? If you are an advertiser, it is a clear indication that Facebook wants advertisers to produce more videos.

YouTube: Ditching Call-to-Action Overlays

YouTube is still the king when it comes to videos. It’s also one of the social media giants that get tons of advertisements just by putting ads on most watched videos. But YouTube is not just about putting ad videos at the start of the video. It also has other ways for advertisers to market their product.

One of the traditional promotional strategies of YouTube is the call-to-action overlays that have been with the platform since 2009. These calls-to-action overlays pop in the corner of every YouTube video. While people are watching they can see these overlays and they can click it to see the website or the product being promoted.

And now, YouTube is ditching this ad feature and replacing it with a more engaging and clickable ad feature.

You won’t see any overlay on YouTube videos now, but instead, you will see a solid ad banner below the video with a call-to-action button. The new ad feature contains a logo, a title, a subtitle, and a call-to-action button. Advertisers can be creative in thinking of the best call-to-action button, to ensure that viewers will check out their website or their products.

However, this new ad extension will only be available for the TrueView in-stream ads. YouTube will soon apply it on bumper ads and discover ads.

This new ad extension is a good opportunity for advertisers and marketers. Because this new ad extension is said to have a higher conversion click.

This change may be a minor one and won’t really affect your overall YouTube or digital marketing strategy. However, this change can be a way to more upgrades and features when it comes to the advertising system of YouTube. And YouTube users and creators should watch out for more upgrades on the platform.

These are just some of the minor social media changes that you need to know. Whether you are a user. an advertiser,  or marketer, these new features and upgrades, minor or not, can affect your overall digital marketing strategy. That is why it is only right to check your digital marketing strategy every now and then to see if it will be affected by the new changes from these social media. Also, whether you like to use it or not, it is not up to us. Rather, Facebook and YouTube have the power to change their platform whenever they want and however they deemed it to be.

So if you are a marketer, better to watch out for these social media updates to make necessary changes to your digital marketing strategy or your social media plan.