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YouTube Gives Brands Advice on Using YouTube as an OVP

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For any companies creating online video YouTube is too big to ignore, but also too big to take lightly. On May 19, YouTube announced that users now upload 100 hours of video every minute. That’s a lot of competition. How do can brands stand out in that kind of crowd?

Speaking at a panel in the Streaming Media East conference in New York City, Vanessa Pappas, global head of audience development for YouTube, gave advice on how brands and content creators can use YouTube as an online video platform.

The first step, besides making great content that people will want to watch, is to help viewers find that content. Optimize video for YouTube, Pappas said. Keep in mind that YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and a massive social networking site. Use metadata to help people find videos when searching. Format video pages and channel pages so that people will see them as engaging.

Build loyalty in the audience. Having people watch one video is great, but getting them to subscribe and come back is far better. Subscribers watch 50 percent more videos than non-subscribers, Pappas said. Encourage viewers to subscribe and come back for more.

When creators and companies begin with online video, one of the first questions they need to answer is should they build an audience on their website and on a YouTube channel, or focus their video efforts on a YouTube channel alone. Pappas recommended that people start with the easier approach and focus on YouTube, a site with a built-in audience. Grow a devoted following on YouTube first, and only then think about creating video areas on other sites. It’s hard to create two video sites at once, Pappas said, remembering her time working at Next New Networks. Unless the site already has a devoted audience to play off us, think about building an audience on YouTube first.

Sometimes the transparency of YouTube can frighten brands: They turn off the hit counter or the comments, afraid of viewer feedback. Avoid that kind of thinking and be transparent, urged Pappas. Turning off the comments only limits the ability for a video to grow and spread.

One way of attracting new viewers is to collaborate with other YouTube creators on videos. Be authentic when doing this, Pappas said, and find the right match for the content and audience. Understand what the content is all about and work with other video creators with similar profiles.

If a brand's content is popular enough, they might be able to charge for it. Pappas explained that YouTube recently began offering a paid subscription model for select partners. That means subscribers can pay a monthly fee (generally a couple bucks a month) to view exclusive content. While getting people who already enjoy free online video to pay for it might be an uphill battle, it’s another option for content creators.

A simpler way to create revenue from content is to serve ads on it. Turn on advertising for the channel, Pappas said, and don’t worry that viewers will mind Today’s viewers are used to online video ads, and YouTube’s TrueView format, which viewers can easily opt out of, has proven popular.

Watch the full panel discussion below:


Using YouTube as an Online Video Platform

As viewers continue to flock to YouTube, brands are reevaluating it as a practical alternative to costly online video platforms. In this session, experts will critique YouTube’s cost benefits, built-in audience, established marketing channels, native device compliance, and technical features, as well as discuss YouTube’s platform as a destination for engagement. Learn the pros and cons of using YouTube as a video platform and hear which content and distribution strategies YouTube is best suited for.

Moderator: Paul Kontonis, GM, Magnet Media Originals
Speaker: Rob Sandie, CEO, Founder, vidIQ
Speaker: Vanessa Pappas, Global Head of Audience Development, YouTube
Speaker: Avi Savar, Founder, COO, Big Fuel
Speaker: Paul Cooney
, YouTube Partnership Manager, AOL

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