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Video Killed More Than the Radio Star

RIP, 'How To' Manual  This Sunday, like many before, I spent the majority of my morning endlessly scrolling through Facebook videos. Among the clutter of makeup tutorials, dogs playing musical instruments and babies eating lemons, I came across a video titled ‘How to do a Backflip in 5 minutes’. ‘Why?’ I thought to myself. Surely, no one wants to learn how to do a backflip from someone on the internet and risk being paralyzed. Turns out, the video had over 7MM views and tons of positive comments. While I’m sure many of these viewers were social content trolls like myself, many of these viewers were actually searching ‘how to do a backflip’ and, creator, Pigmie, apparently delivered. This got me thinking. First, of why so many people want to learn how to do a backflip, and in what situation they would perform such a stunt? Second, how anyone with access to the internet can virtually learn how to anything online. For example, some of YouTube’s all-time favorite ‘How to Videos’ consist of ‘How To: Dance, make a paper airplane, curl your hair, make cake, get six pack abs in 3 minutes, draw, tie a tie, do makeup. (Prepopulated YouTube search on July 17th) Clearly, people are searching for a wide range of videos on how to do virtually everything and anything. According to Cisco, in 2017, 69% of internet traffic will be video. And, it’s no surprise that people are using this video content as a mean to satisfy their information and entertainment needs. Don’t take it from me… check out this nifty infographic created by our friends over at HubSpot - https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/video-marketing-statistics So, let's get down to it. How exactly can businesses benefit from shareable, social videos?  Regardless of product, industry or offering, companies can create impactful, informational and helpful videos to create an engaged audience and generate earned viewership for your company. For example, these ‘how to life hacks’ are great opportunities for brands to create video content or sponsor an influencer to incorporate their product into their videos. Take it from this awesome campaign by Ziplock ‘Life Needs Ziplock’: https://ziploc.com/ Let’s bring it back to our backflipping friend. Unless you have a gymnastics company, this video would likely not impact your company, right? Wrong. Your company has the opportunity to, when the opportunity is right, earn a ton of viewership. Pigmie’s video, for example, could be a great space for a medical or insurance company to engage with consumers or sponsor a ‘follow up video’ on how to file an insurance claim after you injure yourself. People are constantly searching for ‘how to’s’ relating to hundreds of other fields; medical, travel, insurance, automotive and much more. Questions like “how do I get a car insurance quote,” “how do I get a new passport”, “how do I change a tire”… and, you got it, guess who should be showing up in response to these searches with helpful tips? You. Exactly. It is inevitable that video will soon be the main source of information share between companies and consumers. So, don’t get left behind. Let us help you. We are experts in social, social video, influencer marketing, video production and online marketing. To learn more about how we can get you more shares, views and buyer conversion rates, click here.    

Google Helpouts: Thoughts from AMP SEO & Social Experts

How do you make YouTube better? Personalization and authenticity in real time. It's no surprise that Google seems to have mastered the art with the launch of their latest offering, Google Helpouts, personalized Q&A sessions from certified industry experts. So, what makes Google Helpouts different than YouTube? With over 600,000 how to videos on YouTube, it would seem an answer for everything already exists, but what Helpouts revolutionizes is real help from real people in real time through video. As Greg and I were talking about the endless possibilities of Google Helpouts and its core differentiators, he shared this touching anecdotal example. I'm 32 years old and I still type 'How to Tie a Tie'? into YouTube's search box once a year, and even then I can't follow the directions. Imagine if I could pay some style guru named Marcel in France to give me a personalized tutorial on all the funky knots I know I'll never use? In his awesome French accent he'll say, 'No, you're doing it all wrong. You were supposed to make a loop with your left hand first. Watch me!'? With the advent of Helpouts, I look forward to Greg's perfected Windsor knot. More importantly, what do Helpouts mean for brands? By now, most of us understand content truly is king.  Content Marketing has taken both social and SEO to an elevated level over the past few years ' operating under a simple premise - write about stuff people search for and promote it where people can find it. Now, our brains really started working, if content is king, what is personalized real-time content? Preliminary hypothesis led Greg to the following: 'Personalized Content is the King on Steroids.'? But, really, at its core, personalized content is personal. This means, Helpouts allow brands to create personal connections with existing and potential consumers. Now you're not just a long tail keyword that pops up in search results, you are a video adding value in the moment a consumer is looking for it. And over time you have the ability to become their resource, someone they trust. These Helpouts provide added visibility for your brand and branded content and if it is actually helpful, these videos will drive some serious social chatter, establishing you as a thought leader in your space. How Can You Start Using Helpouts now? One way brands can get attention on Helpouts is by sponsoring content creators who align with their offerings, and offer these sessions for free. This allows for some creative freedom, but also provides brands an opportunity for increased impressions. Another way a brand can take advantage of Helpouts is by applying a YouTube-like approach. Brands can own the Helpout and provide critical information about the goods and services it owns and show consumers the value of their products and services as well as how they maximize their efficiency. Additionally, similar to YouTube, Helpout videos can be embedded into websites, which further increases SEO value by having valuable content pieces available on the company domain, rather than on the main Helpouts platform. Final Thoughts from the SEO & Social Corners  Greg's thought: As digital marketers rooted in SEO, Google Helpouts speaks to the most important element in the evolution of SEO over the past few years, giving users what they want. Give users what they want and the social chatter, meaningful blog posts, authoritative inbound links, and earned organic traffic will follow. It's simple marketing really. Rachel's thought: And simple marketing is about integration, which is why as a digital marketer rooted in social, Google Helpouts compliment everything that makes social exciting - connecting to consumers in an authentic in way in real-time. It now longer provides brands the opportunity to hide behind a tweet or a YouTube tutorial. It's real two-way communication, which we both think is pretty exciting. I wonder if there's a Helpout on how to make AMP agency your marketing agency? No need, just click here.  

How to Implement the YouTube 'One Page'? Redesign

Released in beta in February, YouTube has formally rolled out its new One Channel redesign for all users. The redesign features a number of changes intended to optimize the YouTube experience across platforms/devices while providing creators with more opportunities to engage ' and grow ' their audience via exposure to more relevant content. Per YouTube's Partners and Creators Blog, there are three core changes that you should be aware of which will help you get the most out of your new One Page channel design: Design Channel Art to visually identify your brand YouTube's Channel Art (akin to Facebook's Cover Photo) replaces the former ability to customize a background image. While some creative control is lost with this change, Channel Art allows for visual consistency across desktop, tablet, mobile, and TV displays. Additionally, social links that are added in the 'About'? section will be automatically overlaid as social buttons on top of your selected Channel Art banner. The new Channel Art feature ensures that your visual identity will automatically scale to any size screen (see pages 3 and 4 for dimensions), and that your social links will display on any device with a browser. Get creative with your Channel Art and show off your brand's personality! Create a Channel Trailer to encourage visitors to subscribe to your channel The redesign provides additional utility for brands by allowing the ability to serve distinct Featured Video content based on whether or not the viewer is subscribed to your channel. The subscribed view is personalized for each user based on their unique viewing history while the unsubscribed view provides an opportunity to showcase a 'Channel Trailer.'? For subscribed users, this content is served as a 'What to Watch Next'? recommendation with the default setting serving videos that a user has not yet viewed. For unsubscribed viewers, the Channel Trailer serves as an introduction to your channel. Google recommends keeping the content short ' think of it as an elevator pitch for your channel ' and having explicit calls-to-action to motivate viewers to subscribe. Create custom Shelves to control how your videos and playlists are displayed The 'One Page'? redesign also allows brands the ability to customize how content is organized and displayed on your channel. Based on your content themes and insights into how your audience consumes your content, you can now choose from multiple layouts to best organize and highlight your content into customized shelves. Shelves can feature collections of grouped videos or highlight favorite playlists ranging across owned and/or curated content. In-shelf navigation allows users to explore more of your content without leaving your channel homepage. Sample One Page Layout: Laura in the Kitchen   For samples of the One Page design, visit the following channels: Laura in the Kitchen:  http://www.youtube.com/user/LauraVitalesKitchen Intel: http://www.youtube.com/user/channelintel Vice: http://www.youtube.com/user/vice Real Madrid C.F.: http://www.youtube.com/user/realmadridcf The Pet Collective: http://www.youtube.com/user/ThePetCollective Channel Art Display Dimensions: How it works for Desktop: Total Size: 2120 X 350 px Safe Area (Always visible): 1280 X 350 px Centered on the image Flexible Area (maybe visible): 420 px to the left and 420 px to the right of the safe area   How it works on Mobile On mobile, YouTube will be using the safe area (red box in diagram above) scaled down to the width of the mobile screen (which varies by device).   How it works on Tablets On tablets YouTube will be using a slightly wider slice which is indicated by the pink box above. The aspect ratio of this slice is 1536 px by 350 px.    

The Internet's Role in the Bus Monitor Story

Based on the nature of today's 0-60 news cycle, I'm assuming that most people reading this post have already seen the headline ' Bus Monitor Bullied by Middle Schoolers ' and the correlating YouTube video which features 10+ minutes of truly ugly, vile behavior as a group of young teenagers verbally taunt and bully 68 year-old bus monitor Karen Klein. If you haven't already seen it, you can find the video here, but be forewarned'?¦ it's incredibly hard to watch. The controversy/buzz surrounding the video has been meteoric. But so has the outpouring of support. And in conjunction, Karen is quickly becoming a household name ' appearing on the Today show this morning and being featured as a lead story across many news outlets including the headline story on CNN.com at the time of this posting. What promises to follow is another (and most definitely a necessary) look at the growing trend of bullying and a slew of perspectives and questions around how to counter the rise of this type of behavior among teens. But what may or may not occur is a broader look at what role the internet played in this story. The internet you ask? Yes. Although the incident occurred on the most non-digital place in the world, a school bus, I believe it was heavily influenced by internet culture and the post-event hysteria has been driven primarily via the web. Here's how: The trajectory of the story ' from online video upload to national news ' occurred because of the shift in how we access news. Rarely do we see major headlines that are the driven by long-term investigative reporting. Instead, we seek immediate, reactive coverage of headlines that are made prominent based solely on the viral nature of the story being passed along. Karen Klein was made a celebrity (for lack of a better term) by the internet. And major news outlets in turn are now telling her story. As cruel as the internet can be, it is also uniquely inspiring. Having been exposed to the YouTube video via Reddit, a gentlemen in Canada decided to setup a group funding site to try to raise $5,000 to send Karen on vacation. He was bothered by the video and wanted to do something nice for her. A pretty simple proposition, but one that likely could not have occurred without web-based donation platforms and simple e-commerce functionality. 24 hours later, more than $300,000 has been pledged to Karen by over 14,000 people. Her vacation is likely to take the form of retirement. The Internet is a wonderfully complex thing. As a digital marketer, it's my life blood. And personally, it's how I consume most content, maintain many relationships and find daily entertainment. Yesterday, I had two drastically contradictory moments with the internet ' one extremely depressing interaction when I watched all 10 minutes of the school bus video, and one ' which I'll hold on to for much longer ' where my faith in humanity was restored when I stumbled upon the inidiegogo fundraising page created for Karen. Have you had any moments with the Internet lately? Was it positive or negative? Leave a comment below and share.

  • 3 min read
  • June 21, 2012

The Internet's Role in the Bus Monitor Story

Based on the nature of today's 0-60 news cycle, I'm assuming that most people reading this post have already seen the headline ' Bus Monitor Bullied by Middle Schoolers ' and the correlating YouTube video which features 10+ minutes of truly ugly, vile behavior as a group of young teenagers verbally taunt and bully 68 year-old bus monitor Karen Klein. If you haven't already seen it, you can find the video here, but be forewarned'?¦ it's incredibly hard to watch. The controversy/buzz surrounding the video has been meteoric. But so has the outpouring of support. And in conjunction, Karen is quickly becoming a household name ' appearing on the Today show this morning and being featured as a lead story across many news outlets including the headline story on CNN.com at the time of this posting. What promises to follow is another (and most definitely a necessary) look at the growing trend of bullying and a slew of perspectives and questions around how to counter the rise of this type of behavior among teens. But what may or may not occur is a broader look at what role the internet played in this story. The internet you ask? Yes. Although the incident occurred on the most non-digital place in the world, a school bus, I believe it was heavily influenced by internet culture and the post-event hysteria has been driven primarily via the web. Here's how: The trajectory of the story ' from online video upload to national news ' occurred because of the shift in how we access news. Rarely do we see major headlines that are the driven by long-term investigative reporting. Instead, we seek immediate, reactive coverage of headlines that are made prominent based solely on the viral nature of the story being passed along. Karen Klein was made a celebrity (for lack of a better term) by the internet. And major news outlets in turn are now telling her story. As cruel as the internet can be, it is also uniquely inspiring. Having been exposed to the YouTube video via Reddit, a gentlemen in Canada decided to setup a group funding site to try to raise $5,000 to send Karen on vacation. He was bothered by the video and wanted to do something nice for her. A pretty simple proposition, but one that likely could not have occurred without web-based donation platforms and simple e-commerce functionality. 24 hours later, more than $300,000 has been pledged to Karen by over 14,000 people. Her vacation is likely to take the form of retirement. The Internet is a wonderfully complex thing. As a digital marketer, it's my life blood. And personally, it's how I consume most content, maintain many relationships and find daily entertainment. Yesterday, I had two drastically contradictory moments with the internet ' one extremely depressing interaction when I watched all 10 minutes of the school bus video, and one ' which I'll hold on to for much longer ' where my faith in humanity was restored when I stumbled upon the inidiegogo fundraising page created for Karen. Have you had any moments with the Internet lately? Was it positive or negative? Leave a comment below and share.

Reaching Teens through Social Media

'If you are not online, you are completely out of the loop ' you don't have a life, you don't really exist,'? is how one thirteen-year-old describes the importance of being online. For teens, it seems as if online is the new real world. Teens spend an average of 31 hours per week online and much of that time devoted to social networking. To get a better understanding of their social media usage, AMP conducted an online survey of 114 teens, ages 12 to 18. We found that social media consumes most aspects of teenagers' lives with no signs of stopping. In fact, 62% of teens report using Facebook more often this year than they had last year. This may be due to the fact that many consider social media to be more real than their real lives. For brands to have the greatest impact with teens on social media, they must cater to teens' online behavior. Where Teens Are Our findings uncover behaviors that brands can leverage to reach teens in this space. Facebook is by far the most often used social network with 91% of teens having an account. Furthermore, 86% of teens report that they like to get information about brands on Facebook. Youtube is the next most preferred site with 71% having an account, and 31% looking for brand interaction. Twitter follows in a close third with 50% having an account, and 25% wanting to tweet with brands. Brands should focus on communicating with teens on Facebook but also consider reaching teens on Twitter and YouTube, depending on which channel is most appropriate for their objectives. When Teens Are Online Between classes, sports, and part time jobs, teenagers lead busy lives. So, when should brands connect with teens? The sweet spot is between 2pm and 8pm. 79% of teens report that they typically are online after school, and 68% are online before bed. Although many teens log on in the morning (41%) and between classes (31%), speaking with them after school will allow for a more in-depth, meaningful interaction. What Teens Want from Brands To optimize interaction with teens, brands need to consider who teens are and what they want. It is important for brands to understand that teenagers "want a genuine experience, they want to be heard and recognized by the brand.'? For brands, this data suggests brands should not just continuously self promote. They should converse with teens, especially encouraging teens to include the brand's products in teenagers' status updates and pictures, as 63% of teens say posting status updates and pictures the main activity they do do on social media. It also allows brands to reach teens' online networks. 40% of teens have more than 300 Facebook friends, and 30% have more than 100 Twitter followers. So, these posts can be seen by a great number of other teens. When your brand is trying to reach the largest audience possible, it can be difficult to resist posting too much. The likelihood of being un'followed' or un'liked' is relatively low as 90% of teens have never un'followed' on Twitter, and 60% of teens have never un'liked' a brand on Facebook. However, it is important to build a positive relationship with teens, so try not to post too often. No matter how interesting the content, frequent posts come off as spam. 38% of teens consider it an annoyance to clog up their Facebook news feed, and 60% cited over-tweeting as a reason to un'follow' brands. Teens report that they do want to hear from brands about new products, coupons, promotions, and giveaways - just not six times in one day. Brands that understand where, when, and what to post will have the greatest impact on teens through social media. Learn more about our social media marketing service.

I Know You 'Like'? Me, But Can I Get a '+1'??

Getting a '+1'? doesn't only apply to guest lists anymore. Google recently launched its new social sharing button, which will compete against Bing's recent partnership with Facebook and the 'Like'? button. While Facebook is one of the most popular sites on the Internet, Bing still doesn't compare to Google in terms of search engine user percentage. Even after last year's Bing/Yahoo! merger, the two engines combine to make up only about 14% of the total market share in the United States (Google has an impressive 85%). So even though Facebook activity may be influencing Bing's organic search results, the Bing user base is still relatively small for the partnership to have shown great impact thus far. With unsuccessful past social media experiments of their own, Google is using their new +1 button as a means of influencing their own search algorithm. The social aspect of +1 comes from the fact that users need to be logged into a Google account (Gmail, YouTube, Webmaster Tools, or other Google powered channels). From there, Google users can see which of their friends liked certain content, whether it's displayed on a link from a search engine results page, or an actual piece of content from a website. A recent study showed that 90% of online consumers trust recommendations from people they already know, and 71% of online consumers admit that reviews from family members and/or friends influence purchase decisions (Econsultancy July 2009, Harris Interactive June 2010). This data, coupled with the growing popularity of Gmail, and the worldwide popularity of YouTube should help get the +1 button to penetrate the psyche of a large amount of Internet users. I mentioned above that the +1 button can be applied to pieces of content and search listings, but the +1 button isn't only limited to organic listings. Paid listings can also benefit from the button. Google separately monitors which people clicked the +1 button sildenafil using a color coded display, which shows whether a user clicked the button on an organic listing, a paid listing, or on a website. The implementation versatility of the +1 button, combined with the social experience could have a great impact on click through rates for both organic and paid listings. Google has also rolled out detailed tracking solutions to support the +1 button. In Google Webmaster Tools, a user will soon be able to track detailed +1 activity, search impact, and demographic data. In Google Analytics, users will soon be able to track visits that were affected by social media engagement, which will pull data from all social media sites (Facebook, Twitter'?¦etc). It remains to be seen if the Google +1 button will catch on with Internet users, but if it does, the tools are in place to revolutionize the Google algorithm and bring social based search to the mainstream.

I'm a Hauler, Baby, I Just Want You To Know

Should I get the matte taupe eye shadow or the shimmery plum eye shadow? Decisions like these make life so difficult'?¦ Well, perhaps they don't make life difficult, but they certainly interest a lot of people. And who would've guessed? Hauls are the latest phenomenon in marketing ' in fact, so revolutionizing that our own CEO Gary Colen recently chatted with The Boston Globe about hauls and their influence (and no, I'm not being sarcastic ' you can read the article here). So what exactly is a haul and what makes them influential? Hauls are videos created by fashionistas in which they discuss their recent fashion and beauty purchases, and ongoing shopping bargains, to enthusiastic viewers in search of shopping advice. Such self-made videos have been sweeping YouTube for more than a year and some have been garnering views of nearly 48,000 per video. That's right, 48,000 views. Want more numbers? You got it: more than 200,000 hauls have been uploaded to YouTube this year, and posts are expected to rise as the holiday season ramps up. Needless to say, retailers are seeing the potential in hauls and persuading vloggers (or 'haulers'?) to pitch their products through seeding, gift cards and other goodies. The amount of money each hauler makes depends on the number of views their videos have. More views = more money. Some haulers disclose their earnings in sponsored posts, while others discreetly accept. And now for the fun FTC part: FTC guidelines that took effect in December 2008 state that haulers must disclose if they received free products. However, many of them are unaware of this; so when working with haulers, make sure to inform (or remind) them about open disclosure. Haulers also earn money through YouTube's Partners Program, which gives them a share of profits from ads that run prior to, and appear alongside, their videos. MakeupByMel, for instance, earns $12,000 a year through the program. Regardless of the kinks that haulers are encountering, they are quickly making headway in the world of marketing. Some have appeared on morning shows ' and one set of hauler sisters even have their own reality show. This frenzy makes me wonder, though, how long will this movement last? Or is it just another passing fad? Anyways, back to the important stuff'?¦ matte taupe or shimmery purple?

Rockstars Can Teach Us a Thing or Two About 'Going Viral'?

Earlier this summer, my esteemed colleague Matt Rainone shared his thoughts on ways that content can go viral online. The content he specifically referred to was related to memes ' organic user-generated content that happens to catch on and gets rapidly spread across users online. On the other end of the viral video spectrum is manufactured content, created by brands with the specific goal of 'going viral'?. One such example of this is something that we all grew up with ' the music video. As the music industry has been turned on its head over the past decade and a half, the music video has become even more of a critical element to an artist's promotional repertoire. While music videos have moved largely from TV rotation to online, the dynamic for how we watch music videos has changed as well. We no longer have to endure brutal cable countdown shows (remember TRL? guuhh) for the hottest videos; instead, we can watch virtually anything on-demand. Therefore, the need to create unique, buzz-worthy music videos is as important as ever. Many brands today share a similar goal with their own unique content (and often, what sounds appealing to a brand manager does not nearly sound as appealing to a consumer). What can we learn from music videos that will allow marketers to create better content? Now of course Lady Gaga is going to get a ton of traffic for any video that she releases, regardless of what the actual video contains. I'm fully expecting the next video to be her dressed as an overgrown baby, covered in cows' blood and dancing in a midnight graveyard surrounded by eunuchs. Seriously, I swear some of her videos are filmed inside my night terrors. But other videos have been hugely successful that haven't been driven by that same caliber of star power. Here are three examples of great videos that have become big hits on the tubes: 1.) Cee-Lo ' F*** You Oh! Profanity! Is it the catchy retro hook? The easy-to-follow typography? The use of the f-bomb? Probably all three. This video is a great mix of an amazingly simple but effective creative direction paired with an incredibly catchy song and a chorus that is decidedly radio unfriendly. The video was posted August 19th and within one week had nearly 3 million views. Key Takeaway: Simpler can be better. Shock-content does have talk value. 2.) Bed Intruder Song ' Antione Dodson and The Gregory Brothers Clearly, sexual assault is a not a laughing matter and luckily nobody was hurt during this incident. When Antoine Dodson was interviewed by WAFF in Huntsville, AL after an assault on his sister, he was naturally upset and provided a very animated response to the reporter. That first video, in and of itself, was hugely popular and made its way around the Internet. But when Autotune the News got a hold of it, they turned it into Internet gold. The result has been a single that is currently ranked #44 on iTunes. Mr. Dodson has also enjoyed microcelebrity status and is currently selling merchandise and fundraising to move his family to a better neighborhood. Preferably one where kids, wives and husbands don't need to be hidden. Some may recognize that the Bed Intruder video was similar to DJ Steve Porter's Press Hop videos (Press Hop 1, Press Hop 2 that took classic moments from sports press conferences, chopped and remixed them together in a similar fashion. Key Takeaway: Quality ingredients make a quality product. Both instances of remixes reused content that was already very popular with audiences (copyright infringements notwithstanding). 3.) OK Go ' This Too Shall Pass This may have taken the better part of a long afternoon to build'?¦ The thought of building a four-minute-long Rube Goldberg is enough to give me a slight migraine (luckily we have an in-house production team!). Now imagine filming it in a single take. Sheesh. Obviously, the appeal here is the astonishment of the scope of planning and execution that is involved. I'm willing to bet that 16,261,591 viewers probably agree. This isn't OK Go's first trip to the rodeo either, you may remember they had another killer video with Here It Goes Again, another great single-take video from 2006 which has net over 52.3 million views. Key Takeaway: Creating compelling content is not an easy task. Sometimes it's the most difficult road (both in time and cost) that will yield the best results.

The Next Wave of User Generated Content?

In July, Japanese band sour released a new video for its song 'Hibi no Neiro'? (Tone of Everyday). As of today, the video has received over 1.6 million hits on YouTube and even for those of us that don't understand Japanese it is something that you must see. The video was directed by Masashi Kawamur, Hal Kirkland, Magico Nakamura, and Masayoshi Nakamura and by (and of) the band's fans only using their webcams. Clearly there was a script or set of guidelines for the fans to follow, which allowed the band to maintain control over the finished product but still allowed fans to participate and experience the band in a new and exciting way. Is this the next wave of user generated content? Could be'?¦ it seems to have worked for reality TV (i.e. The Hills, The City, etc) and it is a way for brands to maintain their integrity and essence while still inviting consumers participate in creating a brand experience. What do you think? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfBlUQguvyw&fmt=18

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