Last week in New York, the brand discussion around YouTube changed forever. And that’s a big deal. Why? Because at ÜberTube 2014 Brand Summit—the first event of its kind—Pixability backed up the potential of YouTube for brand marketers with numbers. Real numbers. Done right, YouTube can outperform even display advertising. And television? Yup, that too.
So what’s the issue? For many years we had metrics for print, television, and radio. But the digital world, which includes YouTube, has different measurement criteria, which many brands continue to challenge. You don’t weigh yourself with a ruler, so why would you measure YouTube with TV metrics? ÜberTube 2014 Brand Summit, held in NYC at the Gansevoort Park Avenue, was laser-focused on thinking differently about content, advertising, results, and major brands on YouTube.
Fortunately, the brand leaders who joined us in New York weren’t going along with the norm either. In a previous blog post, I discussed the motivation and market drivers for creating the ÜberTube 2014 Brand Summit. Allow me to share some of the highlights from the April 29th event below. Or, since this is all about video anyway, go ahead and watch the ÜberTube 2014 Brand Summit highlights reel below.
Lucas Watson, Vice President of Global Brand Solutions at Google, said it best in his ÜberTube keynote when he stated, “When brands get confused about what they can accomplish with YouTube, I remind of them of one simple fact: YouTube moves people. YouTube can move people to choose your brand, it unlocks audience participation, and it’s effective at influencing your customer’s head, heart, and feet.”
As one of the driving forces behind the platform that reaches more young audiences than any cable network and four times as many 18-34 year olds as any other digital video offering, Lucas knows what he’s talking about. And he knows YouTube is only getting bigger. By 2016, Lucas acknowledged, “Google will require twice the size of today’s internet to power YouTube alone. So it’s time for brands to move [to leverage YouTube and its data]. It’s time to move.”
The theme of the morning event was YouTube’s vast reach and proven effectiveness at driving measurable results for brands. Rob Ciampa, CMO of Pixability and ÜberTube MC, reminded attendees that their audience “is now making lifelong brand decisions on YouTube. And if you don’t embrace that, well, your competitors certainly will. We’ve seen so much misuse of something that is so powerful. It’s time to pay attention to the data and leverage everything YouTube’s vast community has to offer.”
An action-packed lineup of high-profile speakers was delivered in a few short hours at the exclusive event. ReelSEO’s Greg Jarboe reminded attendees that “YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine and social media platform. It’s a big new world that has a lot of opportunity.” But not all brands are doing YouTube right just yet, NPR’s famous (and always opinionated) Bob Garfield made very clear. Garfield chastised brands to “stop “f***ing up YouTube and take advantage of the fact that unlike television, on YouTube content is being viewed by an audience who has selected it. YouTube lets you actually gather data on your target audience. So, you know, use it!”
Brand thought-leaders Marisa Thalberg of The Estée Lauder Companies and Alex and Ani’s Ryan Bonifacino shared their perspective on the value of YouTube in a panel moderated by digital agency MashburnSackett’s Jonathan Sackett. Thalberg stated, “There’s a long road between understanding and mastery, and that’s the journey everyone here probably feels like we are on with YouTube. But the fact is that you can’t get closer to point-of-purchase than YouTube when it comes to engaging potential customers.” Bonifacino added, “You have to make significant investments into technologies, data, and analytics and partner relationships to succeed on YouTube.” Which has been my point all along, let it be noted. It all comes back to measurement and the numbers.
Bettina Hein, Founder and CEO of Pixability, reminded brands that YouTube is not directly equitable to television or search or social media: rather, it is a unique beast: a combination of all three. It solves problems, it allows brands to get new customers, and it allows brands to connect with and move those customers. But brands have to optimize their brand channels, create the right content, and continually measure performance with the right metrics to ensure success on the platform.
Along the same vein, Andreas Goeldi, CTO of Pixability, proclaimed, “The ad campaign on YouTube is the new focus group of today. You can do a lot with TV, but you can do so much more with YouTube when it comes to showing your audience content, targeting the right viewers, and measuring their engagement and your brand’s impact.”
Adweek’s Michelle Castillo moderated a panel with Maker Studios’ Jason Krebs and StyleHaul’s Alison Kennedy on TV versus video. Krebs was clear in his opinion: “Buying space next to PewDiePie is the same thing as buying prime time TV space—and is probably more effective.” Kennedy stressed that “the real opportunity for brands on YouTube is spotting and responding to trends in almost real-time. You can’t do that on TV.”
Lucas Watson summed up his ÜberTube keynote by leaving listeners with this thought: “YouTube allows you to co-create your brand experience with the people that you serve. Everything is built around a two-way dialogue between you and your consumer. And you can absolutely get free dialogue around your brand on YouTube—as long as you spend a little first to feed the fire.” Aptly stated, Lucas. YouTube is an incredible marketing, advertising, and customer engagement tool for brands, but it does require advertising spend to get things going and continued measurement and optimization to keep them burning bright.
P.S. Data and measurement just happen to be two of Pixability’s core strengths. Just saying.