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Video Marketing Success: Follow the Money

Posted on March 14, 2011 in SEM, Articles

Source: Search Engine Watch

YouTube is monetizing over 2 billion video views per week globally. So, follow the YouTube partners who are making that money.

They include established media companies like Sony Pictures and Universal Music Group; new media companies like Mondo Media and Machinima; and YouTube web hit-makers, users who have created extremely popular videos on YouTube.

For example, take a closer look at Next New Networks, an independent video production company based in New York. As Danny Goodwin reported last week in his post, “YouTube Buys Video Producer Next New Networks,” the company behind two of YouTube’s top videos of 2010 has yet to see meaningful revenue from advertising despite having 2 billion views and more than 5 million subscribers.

That’s why “Google will pay less than $50 million for the company, according to two people briefed on the terms of the deal,” who then leaked the ballpark figure to Claire Cain Miller of The New York Times. Nevertheless, this was enough money for company COO Liam Collins to do “The Google Bought Our Company Dance” on the conference table, as Frank Watson noted last week.

How did Next New Networks become successful in video marketing? And, more importantly, what lessons can you learn from their eight-figure success story?

If you haven’t seen them yet, check out YouTube’s two most watched videos in 2010, the “Bed Intruder Song” by the Gregory Brothers and “Key of Awe$ome: Tik Tok Keshia Parody: Glitter Puke” by Barely Political, one of the more than 60 independent producers who have partnered with Next New Networks.

The “Bed Intruder Song” now has more than 74.6 million views.

And “Tik Tok Keshia Parody: Glitter Puke” now has more than 68.3 million views.

According to Ben Relles, who headed up programming and development at Next New Networks, there were three key drivers for this success.

  1. Betting on new talent for a new medium: In December 2009, Next New Networks launched its Next New Creators program and one year later had added over 65 top emerging creators in the space, including The Gregory Brothers. These Next New Creators already represent more than 50 percent of the monthly viewership of the company’s popular, award-winning networks.
  2. Consistent programming, not just viral hits: Both The Gregory Brothers and The Key of Awesome regularly and consistently created new episodes to grow their fan base. The Gregory Brothers now have more than 810,000 YouTube subscribers, and Barely Political, home of Key of Awesome, has more than 1,250,000 subscribers. As a result, each series regularly breaks the 1 million mark on new episodes.
  3. Optimizing for how audiences watch online: Next New Networks increases subscribers, search results, and related videos by focusing on great packaging in terms of branding, metadata, and thumbnails to stand out in search and related video results, and including calls to action within programming and packaging that drive viewers to subscribe on YouTube, social networks, or in email.

Now, there are other factors behind their success. For example, Next New Networks saw two other massive impacts on audience growth in 2010: effective cross-promotion of episodes, shows, and channels using tools like YouTube annotations, as well as increased viewership coming from sharing on networks like Facebook and Twitter.

But, that’s their story and they’re sticking to it.

And now most of the team that brought you Next New Networks will be working with YouTube content partners and a variety of emerging talent to help them succeed in video marketing.

So, if you have presidential parodies or “annoying” but lovable fruits, you can get help transforming them into viral sensations and triumphant social memes. Will you get rich?

According to the YouTube Blog, many of their over 15,000 partners worldwide are “making enough money doing what they love to buy a new house, or even make a career out of their videos. In fact, the number of partners making over $1,000 a month is up 300% since the beginning of 2010 and we now have hundreds of partners making six figures a year. But frankly, ‘hundreds’ making a living on YouTube isn’t enough and in 2011 we know we can and should do more to help our partners grow.”

Will this improve the odds that you’ll be successful in video marketing? Just follow the money.