- Let’s see, there was my (I’m Julie Perry, the Social Media Director here at BLAST) blog post back in February detailing seven ways to get website traffic from YouTube.
- Next, our BLAST Social Media Specialist Sean Ireton presented an analysis of how Indiana pro sports teams utilize social media, including a look at what these teams were doing on YouTube. Sean discovered that all of the teams–the Indianapolis Colts, Indianapolis Indians, Indiana Pacers, and the Indiana Fever–were sadly missing the mark by NOT having a YouTube channel. As Sean pointed out, although these teams do incorporate video into their own main websites, they mistakenly choose not to make their content more readily searchable and FINDable on YouTube, which ultimately could help them enhance community outreach, gain further fan support, and increase ticket & merchandise sales.
- And at the beginning of this week, BLAST Social Media Specialist Emily Trimble highlighted what she has learned are the five easiest ways to optimize a YouTube channel. (Hey marketing/PR departments for the Colts, Indians, Pacers, and Fever—those tips are on us…have at ’em!) 😉
We certainly hope all of these valuable YouTube strategies, tips, and tactics have proven useful to our readers, but I’m sure the question in everyone’s mind is now:
“So how’s that workin’ out for ya?”
- How does establishing a YouTube channel presence, optimizing your YouTube channel & videos, and interacting within the YouTube community (part of our BLASTmedia “secret sauce” when it comes to YouTube marketing and PR) produce REAL measurable business results?
- How does including YouTube as part of your overall social media strategy drive traffic, increase conversions, and improve SEO (search engine optimization) for your targeted keywords on either YouTube (now the 2nd largest search engine) or within Google Universal Search?
Well, to address a few of those areas of measurement, allow me to share a month’s worth of traffic results–as provided by Google Analytics–for our BLASTmedia.com website.
What we want to look at here is not only where our traffic is coming from, but what is the quality of that traffic…And how engaged do visitors seem to be with the content on our site once getting there (which usually indicates it is qualified, targeted traffic with an interest in our product/services)?
Finally, while we unfortunately do not currently have a means of tracking immediate conversions, I’m happy to point out how our behind-the-scenes ninja efforts have affected our search engine rankings on YouTube for some of BLASTmedia’s top keywords. (Although, sorry: many of the tips on how we do that won’t be revealed in any blog posts. Again, that’s the “secret sauce” which allows BLASTmedia to beat out not only our competition, but our client’s competition.)
Firstly, take a peek below at BLASTmedia’s website traffic between February 1 and March 3, 2010, just after we launched our very own BLASTmedia YouTube channel on January 25, 2010:
If that image above is too fuzzy, be sure to click on it to open it in a new window.
Now, onto the analysis:
In this view of traffic during the first month our channel was up, YouTube was the #6 highest referral source to BLASTmedia.com.
I should also point out some other social media sites that drove traffic our way. As you see above:
- Twitter was BLAST’s #3 source of traffic (after direct and organic sources) from 2/1/2010 to 3/3/2010
- Facebook came in just behind Twitter at #4
- Even Digg and LinkedIn ended up pulling us some hits, as they came in at the #7 and #8 sources, respectively
BUT, which traffic referring site yielded us the highest level of audience engagement?
- Twitter: While Twitter produced 300 traffic hits to our site compared to 81 visits from YouTube, site visitors coming over from Twitter only spent just under HALF the amount of time on our site (2:17) than those from YouTube (4:07). The percentage of new visitors was only 59% from Twitter compared to 71.6% from YouTube. Furthermore, visitors from Twitter produced a higher bounce rate of 58.33%, while the bounce rate of YouTube visitors was only 37.04%. OH, and I should point out that BLASTmedia has 18 employees tweeting on our behalf throughout the day, while we have just the one YouTube channel sending us traffic with little effort on our part (set it and forget it, baby).
- Facebook: The BLASTmedia Facebook Fan Page (c’mon, please come “Like” us!) also produced more traffic hits than our YouTube channel (216 vs. 81); however, the bounce rate of Facebook visitors was even higher than Twitter at 72.69% (remember, YouTube was only 37.04%), and they only spent 1.5 minutes on our site, with fewer than two pages viewed (compared to 4:07 minutes spent on the site by YouTubers, who also viewed an average of 3.57 pages on our site).
- Additional Referrals: The #5 traffic source for BLASTmedia’s website between February 1 and March 3 came from a blog post that was picked up by PRDaily.com on March 3rd. A link to this post was also sent out in PRDaily’s accompanying email newsletter. As you can see, it led to a good amount of traffic to our site during that time. Having said that though, with a 93% bounce rate, only 1.15 pages viewed, and an average time spent on the site at only 0:12, that meant it was not as valuable traffic in terms of audience engagement. (Very likely given the source, this was just fellow PR professionals looking to check out another firm’s site. A quick peek, and they were gone.)
* We also received a small amount of traffic from HoosierPRSA.org (#9 on the list), the Indiana chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, and this traffic spent a good deal of time on the site, visiting an average of 4.55 pages per visitor. (Um, okay, this might have something to do with the job posting we placed on the site that day.) 🙂
- Now let’s review those YouTube numbers again: The bounce rate of only 37.4%, 71.6% new visitors, an average of FOUR minutes spent on the site, and over 3.5 pages viewed! These numbers far exceed the stats from the other sites.
The Winner: YOUTUBE
(We’re going with quality over quantity here)
Overall, what this tells us is that people coming over from YouTube have gained enough information before clicking over, and they’re pre-qualified and wanting more information about BLASTmedia’s PR and Social Media Services. They’ve had their interest piqued enough by our YouTube promo video, as well as the client videos we’ve featured on our channel, and they are looking to find out more about us. (Ah, the power of video to connect with an audience and deliver a powerful message.)
Another notable achievement of our BLASTmedia YouTube channel–which again was launched on January 25th–is that in just under three months, we are already up to 428 subscribers:
It is also worth noting that only two of the videos featured on our channel are ones that we produced and uploaded ourselves—the rest are playlists made up of BLASTmedia clients’ videos. They are hosted on client channels…we’re just featuring them on our own.
So to everyone who thinks they can’t set up a YouTube channel until they have a library of video content, that’s not true. You simply aggregate OTHER people’s content. In BLASTmedia’s case, we have clients with content. For you, it might be a collection of videos related to your niche, or simply of interest to your target audience.
This is what our client Stuffitts Shoe Savers has done with their YouTube channel (only the top playlist you see there is Stuffitts’ original content). I should also point out that up until we took over Stuffitts’ social media back in late February, that channel had only 4 subscribers (now up to 141–w00t!).
Not to mention the BLASTmedia featured video views are, at the time of this post, up over 6,000...and rising fast:
And finally, let’s address one additional benefit which cannot be seen by the Google Analytics picture above, and that is how valuable our YouTube video marketing efforts have been to our SEO efforts.
Searching the following keyword phrases on YouTube currently yield the following results:
- social media agency – BLASTmedia’s promotional video is #5 on YouTube SERPs (not counting the promoted video result at top)
- pr firm – BLASTmedia’s promotional video is #6 on YouTube SERPs
- public relations firm – BLASTmedia’s promotional video is #4 on YouTube SERPs
YouTube’s analytics programs, YouTube Insight, also gives us the list of search terms visitors have used to find our videos (which is another way we know that leads we are receiving from YouTube are from our target audience):
YouTube Insight provides us this further bit of positive feedback by showing us a graph of our video views during the February 1 thru March 1 period in question. The traffic to our videos was very consistent, ranging between 80 and around 130 views per day, with a brief spike that brought us between 160 and 200 visits in a day:
Now THOSE are the type of results you want to be seeing from a YouTube marketing and social media campaign! The best part is, we’re now able to repeat these results for many of our BLASTmedia clients’ YouTube channels, including our newest social media clients since the beginning of April, ZOMM, Etón Corporation, and Dexim.
And we’ve only just begun…If you are looking for how to leverage public relations and social media (YouTube and beyond) in ways that actually impact your business, give us a call!
Update: It occurred to me since posting this piece (thanks to a colleague of mine pointing it out) that the traffic numbers included here might not seem too significant to Internet marketers (my background) and those knowledgeable about traffic generation–especially via social media.
I should point out that at BLASTmedia, we do not actively promote our services as a primary source of client leads. For that, we have a full-time sales person on staff. Therefore, none of our Tweets are geared toward driving traffic back to OUR site (if anything, they are geared to our clients’ sites or are just our day-to-day communications with friends and colleagues). Any traffic we receive from these social media sites is a bonus to our current system for gaining new business leads.
Furthermore, our efforts to promote BLASTmedia via social media tools is done more to show that BLASTmedia is able to “walk the walk of the talk we talk” when it comes to mastering the tricks of the trade.
For an example of traffic results for an actual product & website where my YouTube optimization and traffic strategies were used to drive traffic (and ultimately sales) on a website, check out the Google Analytics results during a 6-month period from April 3, 2009 to October 3, 2009 for my YouTube Secret Weapon product (a DVD course I created).
This shot shows YouTube as the #3 traffic referral to my landing page and/or blog over at YouTubeSecretWeapon.com and brought in nearly 4,000 hits in that six month period (click the image to get a closer look):
(You can visit the official YouTube Secret Weapon YouTube Channel.)
So for those who are focused on quantity and want to look at a campaign that was actively seeking traffic and sales from its social media marketing efforts, there you go. 🙂
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