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An Overview of YouTube’s Recommendation System

YouTube was created in 2005 as a video-sharing platform. After a year, Google bought YouTube and made it the largest video-sharing platform globally. It was also 2nd in rank as most visited in the world. Of course, its parent company, Google, ranks 1st.  Today, YouTube connects more than 2 billion people with 720,000 hours of videos uploaded daily. 

According to a video marketing agency Hong Kong, YouTube has been continuously working on improving its features and tools. The platform also aims to help brands and creators get an optimal response on every video that they upload. Let us now take a deeper look at YouTube’s recommendation system.

What is YouTube’s Recommendation System?

YouTube believes that there is a unique audience for every video. So, it is their job to find the best audience for an uploaded YouTube clip. The platform has spent more than a decade building the best experience among YouTubers. So, it comes up with a recommendation system to boost overall viewership among channels, subscribers, and video views. YouTube’s recommendation system started in 2008. During that time, the system ranks popular videos to create a big trend on the page. Today, it is entirely different. The recommendation system is now base on a YouTuber’s viewing habits and online activities. They are tailored according to specific interests coming from billions of video content on the platform. 

A digital marketing speaker Hong Kong defines YouTube’s recommendation system as helping people find videos that they are interested in and get value out of them. YouTube’s recommendation system works in two main areas – YouTube’s homepage and the “Up Next” panel. YouTube’s homepage is what people see first as they open their accounts. Here, YouTube’s recommendation system displays personalized suggestions of the latest news and trends. YouTube’s “Up Next” panel appears after a viewer finishes watching a video. It suggests new videos relevant to the content of what a viewer has recently watched. It also suggests videos that the system thinks the user might be interested in. 

How Do YouTube Personalizes Its Recommendation System?

According to a social media agency Hong Kong, YouTube is the largest social media network for video-sharing. As such, its recommendation system constantly evolves. Its custom curation continuously learns from 80 billion signals. These signals include clicks on a video, reactions from viewers, survey responses, and watch time. 

  • Clicks. Every click on a video is a strong indication of interest from the viewer. After all, nobody will click on something that he or she does not want to watch. Although, clicks on videos do not actually mean watching them. Sometimes, the click only shows an intent to search for more related videos. That is why YouTube enabled the “Up Next” panel. It is to make it easier for viewers to find relevant content that they might be searching for. 
  • Reaction from Viewers. There are different ways in how a viewer can react to a YouTube video. He or she can either comment, dislike, like, or share the video. He or she can also save the video on a playlist or subscribe to the YouTube channel that created it. YouTube’s recommendation system uses these signals to rate a video as positive or negative. Likes and shares as signs of a positive engagement. While dislikes signal negative responses on the part of the viewer. These reactions from YouTube viewers can affect the ranking or star system of a video. 
  • Survey Responses. YouTube also conducts surveys from time to time. It is to make sure if viewers are really satisfied with the videos they are watching. Here, the platform asks participants to rate the value of a video from one to five stars. Such metrics determine how satisfying a YouTube video is. Furthermore, YouTube asks viewers who have given a rating of one or two stars the reason why they rated the video as low in value. Only videos with four or five stars are rated as high-value content. YouTube is aware that not all viewers will respond to the survey. So, its machine learning has been designed to predict potential survey responses to all viewers. 
  • Watch Time. YouTube watch time is the length of time a viewer stayed to watch video content. Watch time allows YouTube to better know what a viewer will most likely watch. For example, most Wimbledon fans watch 20 minutes of highlight game clips and only a few seconds of match analysis. YouTube’s recommendation system will assume that Wimbledon game highlights are more valuable than match analysis.

THE BOTTOM LINE

YouTube’s recommendation system ranks videos by incorporating all the signals mentioned above.  Its main goal is to give viewers the content they love and help creators gain optimal reach on their video content. At the same time, YouTube’s recommendation system also aims to prevent the spread of harmful misinformation. 

Reference: https://blog.youtube/inside-youtube/on-youtubes-recommendation-system/

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YouTube Ads for Small Businesses

YouTube is the 2nd most popular social media platform. It is also the 2nd most visited site globally, next to Google. With 1.9 billion monthly active users, nothing can beat the platform’s power when it comes to video marketing. A video marketing agency Hong Kong has noted that: every minute, 500 minutes of YouTube videos are uploaded. It equates to 30,000 hours of videos every hour and 720,000 hours of videos daily. No wonder videos became the most popular way to consume content.

Around 82% of people visit YouTube for entertainment. Only 18% of YouTubers follow a brand or a business channel. But there is no question that YouTube is a powerful branding and marketing tool as 30 million visitors go to this video-sharing platform daily. So, if you want to expand the reach of your video ads and campaign, YouTube is the right place to stay. Below, we will discuss some YouTube Ads for small businesses.

WHY SHOULD BRANDS AND BUSINESSES ADVERTISE ON YOUTUBE?

A digital marketing speaker Hong Kong highlighted that YouTube is more than just a video-sharing platform. It boasts of almost 2 billion users every month. So, you are missing out on a huge market of target audiences if you don’t use YouTube as part of your marketing strategy. A YouTube exposure is a versatile way to engage with the online community. Here are some reasons why brands and businesses should advertise on YouTube:

  • About 70% of modern consumers bought a product after watching a YouTube video.
  • Around 90% of global shoppers discover a new brand or product on YouTube.
  • There are 96% of people learn more about a product or service through YouTube explainer videos. 
  • YouTube video ads are a cheaper way to boost engagement and reach. Typically, brands and businesses only pay when a user watches the video for at least 30 seconds or when someone clicks on a banner, card, or CTA (Call-To-Action) within the video ads. They only cost around $0.10 to $0.30 per view. 

YOUTUBE ADS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

A social media agency Hong Kong notes that YouTube offers a variety of ads for small businesses. These are called TrueView video ads and have been recently categorized by the platform into two groups:

  • Discovery Ads are video ads paid when somebody clicks the video ads’ thumbnail. These include Display video ads, Overlay video ads, and Sponsored cards.
  • In-Stream Ads are video ads paid when a user watches the video for at least 30 seconds or when someone clicks on a banner, card, or CTA (Call-To-Action) within the video ads. These include bumper video ads, skippable video ads, and non-skippable video ads.

Display Ads

These types of video ads appear at the right side of a featured video right above the suggestions list. They are a less popular video ad format on YouTube. But they still generate positive results for awareness, discovery, and reach. Display Ads are a cheaper alternative to Google SEO ads. Promoting a competitive niche using display ads only costs 3 cents per view. The key to these video ads is to include phrases in your niche that people commonly search. As such, Google will display them to people searching for such phrases. These ad formats are designed for desktops.

Overlay Ads

Overlay Ads are transparent content that appears on the lower 20% of a regular YouTube video. They can either be image or text ads. These ad formats are great at driving traffic to a YouTube channel or website. The key to making overlay ads work on YouTube is to insert them within relevant, engaging, and entertaining videos. Brands and businesses often use overlay ads on welcome videos to encourage viewers to click on a YouTube channel and stay. Though overlay ads can be placed naturally on any YouTube video. These ad formats are designed for desktops. 

Sponsored Cards

They are a recently-launched YouTube ad format. They are featured content displaying relevant videos. Most of the time, they contain a featured brand or product. It is a teaser card about the brand or product that lasts for a few seconds. One thing good about Sponsored Cards is that an advertiser or marketer does not need to do anything to set it up for monetization. YouTube will automatically insert these cards on monetized videos. It is a new way to earn extra income. These ad formats are designed for both desktop and mobile.

Skippable Video Ads

Skippable video ads are the most common YouTube video ads. They can be seen before, in the middle, and after a regular YouTube video. They can be skipped after a duration of 5 seconds. Brands and businesses only pay for skippable video ads when the viewer watches them for at least 30 seconds. They keep your YouTube advertising cost down but provide the most accurate targeting options. 

Non-Skippable Video Ads

These are video ads that viewers must watch before viewing or continuing to view regular video content. They are video ads that typically last for 15 to 20 seconds. But they can also be extended up to 30 seconds. These video ads can be played before, during, and after another video. The result of this type of ad format is that they allow your message to be understood in full by the viewers.

Bumper Ads

Bumper Ads are also non-skippable video ads. The only difference is that they last for a shorter duration – 6 seconds. A viewer must watch a bumper ad before being able to watch the main video. These video ads deliver short and memorable messages to target audiences. They are only paid per impression and are charged by CPM or cost per thousand impressions. 

Reference: https://influencermarketinghub.com/how-much-do-youtube-ads-cost/

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The 4 Go-To Social Media Platforms for Video Marketing

Today, we are operating in a world where one good video can lead to a massive social media following. As 96% of social media users spend 100 minutes daily on video consumption. They are becoming one of the most effective formats for ads and campaigns. According to a digital marketing speaker Hong Kong, videos combine imagery with effects, sounds, and text to paint a full picture of a concept or message. This makes them more engaging, fun, and interesting among modern consumers. In fact, video viewers claimed that they retain 95% of the messages on the videos that they have watched.

Among brands and businesses, videos have been an effective way to boost brand awareness. According to a social media agency Hong Kong, video ads are the number one way for consumers to discover a brand in social media. Around 84% of consumers were convinced to purchase products and services after watching a video. But with so many social media channels existing today, brands and businesses have been challenged with the decision on which channel can their video ads work best. Below, are the 4 Go-to social media platforms for video marketing from a video marketing agency Hong Kong.

YouTube

Three former PayPal employees-Chad Hurley, Jawed Kareem, and Steve Chen created the concept of YouTube in 2005. With the idea of people sharing home videos, the site attracted 30,000 visitors daily shortly after its limited launch. Upon its official launch in December 2005, YouTube has been serving 2 million video views daily. Such an unprecedented traffic growth became a problem for the YouTube team. They need to allocate more resources to cater to their growing number of users. As such, YouTube was sold to Google for $1.65 billion in 2006. From then on, Google has negotiated deals with different entertainment companies for the exclusive copyright of their videos on YouTube. Today, there are around 2.3 billion monthly viewers on YouTube. It ranks second in Facebook when it comes to global engagement.

What makes YouTube a go-to social media platform for marketing is being cost-effective. Creating a YouTube channel is free. All you need to do is create a Google account or integrate your existing one to YouTube. You can also upload videos on YouTube for free. But if you would like to post video ads, you will need to upgrade to either a business or creator account. There are several video ads you can publish on the platform. Customer videos, explainers, training, webinars, etc. can take your video marketing strategy to the next level.  

Facebook 

Facebook was conceptualized by Mark Zuckerberg as an exclusive college app in 2004. Little did he know that it would become the largest social media platform in the world. Today, there are around 2.8 billion monthly active users (MAU) on the king of social media. It also houses 90 million pages for small and medium-sized businesses. This makes Facebook the second go-to social media platform for video marketing. More than 4 million video views happened on Facebook daily. Short videos with a length of 2 to 5 minutes perform well on the platform.

Facebook video ads are in-feed videos recommended on user news feeds. Stories that last within 15 seconds allow brands and businesses to connect to their target audience in an authentic way of introducing what they could offer. Behind the scenes, event teasers, product launches, Q&A, unboxing, etc. are just some eye-catching video ads that commonly became a hit on Facebook. Vertical videos with text descriptions of not more than 300 characters have better engagement by 0.18 to 0.39%. They received an average engagement of at least 5 comments, 12 likes, and 1 share.

TikTok

Formerly launched as a “Douyin” in 2016, TikTok was created by ByteDance, a Chinese tech giant. During that time Facebook and Instagram are both banned in China. So, ByteDance created a video-sharing social network similar to them. In 2017, the company acquired Musical.ly and merged it with Douyin resulting in its rebranding into a new name, TikTok. TikTok allows users to create 15- to 60-second short musical clips. In 2018, TikTok became the world’s number one downloaded app with roughly 663 million downloads. Today, the TikTok app has been downloaded 2 billion times.

What makes TikTok a go-to social media platform for video marketing is its straightforward format that became a hit among millennials and older generations alike. They have also evolved to a large number of video categories such as animals, baking, comedy, DIY, facial treatment, food, sports, etc. Brands and businesses from different industries and niches can publish relevant video ads based on these categories. By creating entertaining and fun video content, TikTok has lightened up the world of video marketing.

Instagram

Instagram was launched in 2010 by an American Computer Programmer, Kevin Systrom. Kevin got the idea when he wanted to share a picture of the perfect pizza he had cooked with his friends. He was also a lover of whisky and wanted to share his photos on his adventures from time to time. When Instagram was launched, it became a hit in just three months nailing down 1 million users. After less than 2 years, Facebook bought Instagram for a whopping $1 billion.

Over the years, Instagram has evolved from a photo-sharing app to a video-sharing social media platform. In-feed Instagram videos allow marketers to update their feed post daily with a 60-second clip. They are optimized for mobile viewing and product-tag enabled. Instagram Stories ads are only 15 seconds long. But brands and businesses can upload a series of these ads as a Carousel. With such types of video ads, you can add hashtags, links, product tags, and stickers to boost engagement and reach. With $1 billion monthly active users on Instagram, you won’t go wrong going to the platform for video marketing.

THE BOTTOM LINE

There are lots of social media platforms that brands and businesses can use for video marketing. What is important is to publish video ads on those that have enough reach. It will also be smart to choose a social network that makes it easy for you to get creative with video publishing.

Reference: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/go-to-social-media-video-platforms

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Fixing the Common Mistakes YouTubers Make

With the rising demand for video marketing, YouTube reported revenue and user growth in the first quarter of 2021. The platform now has 2.3 billion monthly active users and an advertising revenue of $6.8 billion. This is a 49% jump from its last quarter of 2020 report. YouTube’s reach is even higher than its total number of users. Its auto-play feature makes it even more powerful to tap into 2.85 billion Facebook users, 1.16 billion Instagrammers, 3.1 billion Messenger users, and 2 billion WhatsApp users. No wonder YouTube ranks as the second most popular search engine and second most popular social media platform. 

Around 62% of brands and businesses use YouTube to upload video ads and content. 90% of people say that they discover a new product through YouTube videos. Yet, a lot of marketers get frustrated about their YouTube marketing results. Here are some of the most common mistakes YouTubers make and how to fix them. 

Failure to Optimize Video Thumbnails

A digital marketing speaker Hong Kong notes that the most common mistake YouTubers make is the failure to optimize video thumbnails. A thumbnail is a smaller version of a full digital image. A video thumbnail is a still image that serves as a preview on YouTube videos. Like a book cover, it should be designed to entice viewers to click and watch the video. A great video thumbnail creates a professional look on YouTube videos. It also fulfills the expectations of video searchers. For example, when a searcher is looking for videos about how to create a Facebook ad and the thumbnail shows a screenshot of a Zoom call, they may not find it interesting and relevant to click and watch. Let your video thumbnails speak to your viewers. Giving them a relevant preview of their expected answers will let them click the link and watch your YouTube video.

Uploading Every Thing They Do

Another common mistake YouTubers make is uploading everything they do. While it is highly recommended to consistently post on Facebook and Instagram daily, people on YouTube consume video content differently. YouTubers need to be strategic about what to publish on their channel. They have more chances to get found by uploading videos twice a week. Better yet, make it once a week or once a month and stick to it. In this way, you can focus on making quality content to position yourself as a trusted source.

Uploading Promotional Videos Most of the Time

Another mistake that YouTubers commonly make is uploading promotional videos all the time. According to a social media agency Hong Kong, every brand and business should follow the 70-20-10 rule when posting content. Modern consumers don’t want brands that are too pushy or salesy. That is why every YouTube video must have a job to do. YouTubers should create educational videos 70% of the time. These should help the viewers learn how to solve their pain points and problems. Sharing videos on YouTube may not be a common practice. But YouTubers should once in a while do it. They can also credit and link other channels or co-YouTubers 20% of the time. This is to establish rapport among brands, creators, and the YouTube community. YouTubers should then be uploading only 10% of promotional videos. This is because most people go to YouTube for education and entertainment. By giving those values to your viewers, your YouTube channel will surely reap success.

Using Confusing Messages on Videos

It is somewhat easy for YouTubers to create a lot of individual videos that evolve on random topics. But one common mistake YouTubers make is uploading irrelevant videos that may not be helpful to your viewers. Subscribers of a YouTube channel expect to see videos relevant to the channel’s niche. But if they saw videos that do not fit, they can drive these channel subscribers away. The best way to create videos with consistent messaging is to consider the next logical question most viewers may ask after watching a video on your channel. Create videos that interest them based on the niche or topic of your YouTube channel. 

Using Video Titles from an Expert’s Perspective

A video marketing agency Hong Kong has noted the importance of creating a headline or title on YouTube videos that relate to the viewers. Most YouTubers made the mistake of creating video titles from an expert’s perspective. Because of this, viewers avoid clicking the video link since they don’t understand the technical terms on the title. YouTubers should always have the audience in mind when creating video headlines or titles. Take into account how people make a search. Create titles similar to the languages they type on the search box. The easiest way to know this information is to share a poll via YouTube’s Community tab. Here, you can ask 1,000 subscribers about what they want to see on your YouTube channel. YouTubers can also observe relevant YouTube channels to identify the exact language that a particular group of audience use. 

THE BOTTOM LINE

Translating YouTube success into business growth means creating video content that serves both the audience and the business. This strategy calls for consistency in video messaging and posting. At the same time, YouTubers should always think about their audience. They should educate and entertain them to lead them into conversions.

Reference:https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/5-mistakes-new-youtubers-make-and-how-to-fix-them/