There’s no question that YouTube is not only a critical marketing tool, but is actually increasing in importance for TV marketers.
The new and expansive State of Social TV 2019 report from ListenFirst tracked data around 7,716 TV Pages on YouTube and concluded the platform was one of the highest growth social media networks for TV Pages. For instance, comparing Q1 2019 to Q1 2017, views of video posted by TV programs on YouTube increased by 135%. In addition, fan growth of TV Pages on YouTube increased by 211% in the same time period.
Understanding the value of the platform for TV fan outreach, the next question is, of course, how can the media and entertainment industry get the most out of YouTube? Here, as the result of a year spanning study of the top performing videos on the platform, are the key learnings ListenFirst found for publishing TV related content on YouTube:
MASTERING THE THUMBNAIL
Thumbnails should be kept simple, focusing on 1-2 key elements: Facial Expressions and Key Wording.
- There should be a stark contrast between foreground and background elements. Excess clutter and dark backgrounds should be avoided.
- Titling and Tagging need to complement each other to tell a complete story. That being said, it’s not necessary to put your entire title in the thumbnail, the simpler the better.
For now, the testing will be limited to some users in Canada, but if Instagram thought this experiment was important enough to include in the F8 keynote address, there are likely eventual plans to make Private Like Counts the permanent and global status quo.
TAGGING TO A “T”
Tags should be ordered from specific to generic, as well as capitalize on Google/Youtube suggested tags and use terms that are both similar and different from competitor posting.In order to grow audiences, viewers must have a clear understanding of what is being uploaded to the channel, what is currently airing, and more specifically, when they can expect it.
KEEP THEM COMING BACK
You can keep users on the platform longer through the use of annotations. Viewers will continue to watch your videos, which in turn will improve your channel’s overall watch time and help boost your videos in discovery.
- Commenting can be used as a tool to spark conversation, prompting fans after a recent upload.
- Engaging an audience via the comment section allows for viewers to feel more connected to the show in addition to being more willing to invest their time, if they feel their voice will be heard.
A typical upload should consist of an intro, body, outtro; or Show/brand, primary content, end card.
- Logos can be placed at the beginning or end of a video, but the main takeaway is that the audience should be getting a polished product.
- Credits should typically be avoided. Credits indicate an end, and like a movie, once the credits start rolling it is time to leave the theatre. This generally results in damaging watch time as well as a poor retention rate.
THE PERFECT ENDING
YouTube highly rewards channels with large watch times, and end cards with direct calls to action are what helps drive this performance.
- End Cards can be utilized to springboard a conversation and increase audience engagement.
- Direct calls to action can prompt users to like, share, subscribe, pose new questions, as well as elaborate on common interests or theories.
So, in a way it’s not a new problem, and how we’re combating that at ListenFirst is we have a very good benchmark framework so that even if the metrics are not public where you can see one brand’s post got a million likes and another brand’s post got two million likes, it doesn’t matter. Because ListenFirst has a great relationship with all of our customers, all the client data that comes in is aggregated, anonymized and contextualized to provide benchmarks.
Like any platform, YouTube has its own best practices that marketers need to master in order to optimize performance. Learning these tactics is a critical step in giving brands the needed edge to stand out; and the more analytics driven insights you have access to, the more you’ll be able to differentiate your TV related content for the digital audience.W