Yesterday Variety (which has taken a particular interest in Youtube’s influence lately) published a report that suggests more consumers turn to YouTube for TV content than obvious competitors like Netflix and Hulu.
Unexpected right? Well when you dig into the category as the article eventually does what you realize is that TV content in the study is a definition which reaches beyond episodic. It should come as no surprise that some of the top performing channels on YouTube are TV based - Kimmel (4.6M subs), Fallon (4.5M subs) and new entry John Oliver.
In a relatively short period of time Last Week Tonight has managed to drive a huge audience to its channel with many videos typically passing the 1M mark.
Since launching the channel in March 2014 it has grown to 772,742 subscribers with over 94 million video views.
So how is John Oliver doing it? Im shamelessly stealing most of this insight from a colleague who manages partnerships at YouTube Canada:
At his core John Oliver is behaving like a YouTube creator and following a very basic set of rules for success:
1) His channel has amassed a strong library of over 63 videos in a short period of time
2) His content is consistent, topical and regularly scheduled
3) His fan mail skit on YouTube sources user content from comments which in tern drives more interaction
4) Engagement on his channel grows and his videos become more likely to be recommended to other users
5) He leverages off platform channels to drive his audience to his YouTube videos (Over 700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter every minute
Want to learn more about creator strategy on YouTube? Check out the YouTube creators playbook.
One of the most exciting implications of a resource like Google Trends is the ability for brands to measure and develop an understanding of their consumer’s behavior using an easily available tool. It’s famously very good or not so good, depending on who you ask, at predicting flu outbreaks.
At Google (and I’m assuming elsewhere as well) marketers call consumers who tell brands through choice, engagement etc, “hand raisers”. Google has other products that help you measure the impact that advertising media is having on your brand - a particularly great one is called Brand Lift.
This week a coworker was speaking to my team about a brand he was engaged with that is struggling to reestablish relevance amongst its prime prospect after years of decline. One thing led to another and I found myself on Google Trends looking at historic search volume of brands I have a particular interest in. I was reminded of an incredible interview with Supreme Creative Director (great job title, right?) Brendon Babenzien about realness, authenticity - ultimately the subject I was really interested in: relevance.
I’m uninitiated in the streetwear world. It’s an entire, somewhat terrifying culture that I find fascinating but won’t pretend to be an expert in. I recall a time when Supreme, one of the most influential of these brands, seemed to blow up out of nowhere. From one day to the next Supreme hats and hoodies were appearing everywhere.
One of the first times I heard about LA based Odd Future was when a writer at AUX.TV (my former employer) wrote about their rise to internet fame on Tumblr. According to Google Trends that’s around the time that the group appeared to begin breaking out - approximately Sept/October 2010. Articles like this one in the LA Times called out the band’s style (referencing Supreme hoodies) within the first few sentences.
Anybody paying attention to the rise of OFWGKTA will tell you that the band had a significant impact on the rise of Supreme - it’s is right there in every photo, video and style article. The band’s brand and the brand’s brand are intrinsically connected. But the question is, can you measure it?
One of the examples we use often at Google which clearly represents the relationship between brand in market and search demand is Volvo Trucks and “Dynamic Steering” as a way of illustrating the measurable impact that their now iconic hero video had on interest in the brand. Searches for dynamic steering skyrocketed from virtually zero after the release of the video.
So I decided to see if I could use trend data to support the commonly held belief about the impact Odd Future’s rise had on consumer interest in the Supreme brand (captured below).
It’s by no means scientific but at worst the correlation in search volume is telling me that I might be on to something. For a marketer wondering if their offline & online investment is having an impact this can be a very powerful bit of information to build on.