Monday, May 17, 2010

COS Social Media in Review - YouTube

Welcome to a new blog series we're doing called COS Social Media in Review! We will talk each week about certain sites we're on and why we're on them! This week we're starting with YouTube!

YouTube is generally thought of as the end-all and be-all of video placement. It’s true that you can’t ignore the online video giant and your videos need to be there, but as far as book video goes it isn’t the best placement from a sales standpoint.

YouTube is a great place for silly videos, celebrity videos, controversy and pop culture. Not the greatest place for book video. Now, like any other landscape, that can always change, but at present this is true.

Yes, there are book videos that have tens of thousands even hundreds of thousands of views, but those are the exception, not the rule. The majority of COS Productions book videos get over 5000 views each with many that have tens of thousands. And yes, I’ve seen the Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters video that got over 200,000 views, but please see above explanation of what kind of videos do well on YouTube, those videos will do well for quite some time.

So WHY should is COS on YouTube at all? Here are some reasons-

1. YouTube is the #2 search engine on the internet
2. YouTube is one of the first places people go to when looking for a video they’ve heard about.
3. YouTube gives YOUR VIDEO great SEO across Google and other search engines.
4. You can’t ignore a place that has so many potential viewers.
5. YouTube has a lot of accessories like easy mobile phone viewing, captions, easy sharing, etc.
6. YouTube uses HTML5 which can be seen on iPhones and iPods unlike Flash

COS actually advertises our YouTube channel throughout the year in order to bring in new subscribers and build viewership. Making people aware that our YouTube channel is the “go-to” place for book video helps create a central place readers are aware of for books on YouTube.

COS has more than just one YouTube channel. Since moving toward a genre-specific business plan with our video distribution we have begun to create more genre specific sites so that people interested only in a certain genre of book can go there. Yes, we could make playlists on our main channel, but there are benefits to having these in addition to the main channel. You can see one of our other YouTube channels by going to YouTube and looking for InFaithNetwork.

Technically speaking it is important to watch what YouTube is doing behind the scenes. They are such a giant that the future of video technology can often be seen there first. We have someone who monitors all the new technology and opportunities YouTube offers to both viewers and content creators. COS has taken some of the YouTube technology and employed it for better mobile device engagement and we’ve even been able to create a simple software program wherein we can input a YouTube link to one of our videos and we are given special embed code that gives the highest quality, quickest upload speed and removes any other ads or videos at the end.

YouTube analytics is a great help to us as well. It lets us know who is watching, from where, how they got to us and who is using the video. We did a study a little over a year ago to see how long someone watches a video. Unless that person was very famous, the video had media or pop culture tie-ins or it has something that stood out over all other book videos happening at that time, people really only watched book video for about 90 seconds. What that told us is that we needed to get the call-to-action message in before 90 seconds was up. This information changed how COS did video and we now try to keep all videos under 90 seconds as a rule. Of course some videos really do work best with more content, such as author interviews or music video trailers, but for your standard book video viewer 90 seconds is golden.

COS has received over 2.5 million views to our YouTube channel and we’ve created a wonderful community there. Our subscriber numbers continue to climb.

• This series of articles reviews a variety of social media venues that Circle of Seven Productions and/or Reader’s Entertainment employees across the online universe.

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