YouTube Insight's initial metrics provide details on how often videos are viewed, where in the world they achieve the greatest popularity and how they compare to their competitors' shorts.
The program, which updates statistics daily, answers a desire that marketers have across media--the ability to test and measure messages and creative toward calculating their impact on brand awareness and consideration, and eventual purchase decisions.
Inch by inch, marketing measurement is expanding. "However, I think YouTube needs to step up Insight a bit more," says Jennifer A. Jones, VP/public relations and social media strategy for Fletcher Martin. "Right now, it offers the same sort of metrics most traffic-monitoring sites deliver--visitor numbers and map locators. I'd like to see more click-from and click-to information to truly measure the reach of a campaign."
Video posting by marketers is "certainly a growing practice," she says. The Atlanta-based Fletcher Martin recently completed a new spot for Arby's and immediately posted it to YouTube in addition to buying media time in select broadcast markets.
"What I love about all new media is the immediate ROI these tactics deliver," Jones says. "Traditional marketing campaigns don't generally yield such instant and exact measurement."
From Fertile Ground To Friendly Skies
Delta Air Lines currently has 28 videos posted to YouTube and linked to Delta Blog (http://blog.delta.com) to supplement content about its services, destinations and staff.
The carrier began posting to YouTube in November to engage customers in the travel experience in a new way, as well as to "advertise and build our brand to a global audience, drive viral activity, inform customers of new benefits and reach new demographics in the changing media environment," says Kristen Manion, Delta's general manager of direct marketing.
With so many objectives, Insight was a welcome addition to YouTube's direct relationship with Delta. Manion will leverage the tool to understand viewer preferences and trends within each target market.
"The ability to track the popularity of videos in comparison with other videos during the same time period across different locations could help tailoring and testing of messages," she says. "It may also be possible to use these metrics to plan promotional campaigns and take advantage of the best time to release new offerings and to target users in specific locations at certain times during the life cycle of the campaign."
The current Insight offering pleases Manion because it enables Delta to analyze the origins of video viewership, track the arc of a video's popularity, enrich internal customer analytics with external data and measure seasonal trends.
"Delta is also looking into the potential to use trends, spikes and clusters of geographic viewership from Insight to guide search decisions such as when to bid or optimize more aggressively in search campaigns," she says.
The Forest For The Trees
As does Jones, Manion hopes Insight will expand its metrics set, adding the ability to match day/time watched to audience to give a more direct comparison to traditional media.
"The more information you have, the better it is," says David Berkowitz, director of emerging media and client strategy at 360i, New York. "It would be even better if you could compare multiple videos side by side, and also view more benchmarks on industry averages--'your video gets 50% of its viewers from YouTube search compared to 30% for all YouTube videos'--and better yet, get benchmarks by the category of the video."
"It's great that YouTube is stepping up with some measurement capabilities," Jones adds. "Insight will definitely help marketers in tracking user-generated content relating to their brand as well as their own content."
But measurement-pressed marketers "don't just want to know who viewed a video and where they live. We also want to know when they clicked out; what they viewed prior to and next; if they sent the videos to others and how many of those people viewed, etc.," she continues.
"The whole point of viral campaign measurement is to see how the video is moving online--the total life cycle of a video."