Talks on YouTube Advice at NAMM 2016 Impart Helpful Tips
A couple of talks at the National Association of Music Merchants Show the past couple of days have sought to impart some wisdom regarding YouTube. Taking place at the Anaheim Convention Center, Jen Lowe of Boom Boom Percussion, moderated a panel discussion yesterday on “Your YouTube Channel – Tips, Tricks and Analytics”, which featured Ben Werlin of MusicStoreLive, Nick Gordon of D’Addario, and Michael Zapanta of MZFilms.tv. And this morning, Shane Kinney and Tony Interlande, both of Drum Center of Portsmouth, spoke on “Create Effective Videos for YouTube, Facebook, and More”.
In “Your YouTube Channel – Tips, Tricks and Analytics”, Lowe did a really great job not only weaving in between the featured panelists, but also at summarizing their salient points. One example was when she described one of Zapanta’s points that one way to think about making a successful video is to consider “the way that the video makes you feel, the way it tells your story and making it remarkable.” She also summarized one of Werlin’s points, after he said they hired people to produce their videos, by saying that making videos is “creating an online experience – that’s really important; trying to create an online experience, which is an amazing key point.”
Gordon started out by pointing out that statistics and analytics are different for different social media platforms. For instance, Facebook, in his experience, has “far exceeded YouTube in gathering impressions”, although “YouTube is, often times, the native site in which a video is hosted.” He pointed out that “Instagram is fantastic, but only they are only 15-second clips, so you have to use it strategically.” Gordon said that for those “with smaller marketing budgets, we need to leverage whatever we can and use networks” to get out their videos.
He also observed that, “more and more, we’re trying to rely on analytics for all of our decisions.” His company used to do a lot of print marketing, “but it’s impossible to track that.” Now, he’s “highly strategic with our marketing money. Where I have data, I’m feeling easier when I’m spending money.” He also pointed out that time and resources are limits on how many social media platforms one company can really succeed with. For instance, “if you have a small team, you need to focus on one, but if you have a bigger team, then you can branch out on multiple platforms.”
In the session on “Create Effective Videos for YouTube, Facebook, and More”, Interlande said that videos are “not so much about the views, but the retention.” With retention – how long people are watching the videos – “that’s when you know your videos are being watched purposefully.” One thing that helps is to not put YouTube advertising in front of the videos, since their videos are already advertising, but people can monetize them if they so choose to, as Kinney pointed out. People want their videos quickly. Kinney said that the average view time on their videos is 55 seconds. “People tend to want 1 minute videos, but it may vary, depending upon one’s customer base.”
Kinney also said that one doesn’t have to invest heavily in equipment since a lot of people have smart phones these days and can make a video with that. Yes, with the quality of the videos, Kinney said, “If we want our message to get across, you have to take the time to make them.” However, with sound quality, it’s not worth taking a lot of time to get it perfectly down, since “people don’t seem to appreciate the sound quality as much as we do.” “I notice the audio quality, as do some other people,” Interlande said, “but most people don’t notice the audio quality.”
When it comes to the meat of the video – what do people talk about, Kinney suggests to “use manufacturers’ bullet points, discuss how this product may differ from prior models, talk sincerely about how the product affects you, then play the instrument.” Kinney also suggested to create a sandwich, with the same outro as one’s intro, such as they do with their company’s logo before and after the “meat” of their video sandwich. When creating the video, one wants to convey the instrument more than the playing of the instrument, as well as getting them to want to buy that product.
With YouTube, Kinney suggested “don’t not organize your playlist – file them into playlists.” He also, like Gordon pointed out, said that “YouTube is the central hub for all of your videos.” However, Kinney also went on to discuss other social media where one can share one’s YouTube videos, such as eBay, Facebook, Instagram, and Reverb. “Think of Amazon as a bazaar/street fair; while eBay is a virtual storefront.” “Reverb is the little guy in the online marketplaces”, where they sell music instruments only.
With Facebook, since they make captive videos more visible, rather than shared links, Interlande pointed out, “it’s not as effective”, so one should upload videos directly to Facebook. However, Kinney pointed out, “the video format is completely different”, since people don’t have the attention span to watch a long video, so make a call to action – just get to the point and encourage the engagement.
While “videos are still in its infancy stage on Instagram”, said Kinney, “Instagram is really the red hot thing right now.” However, with this social medium, he said, “I encourage you to use your phone, since it’s really easy to send the videos from your smart phone to Instagram.” And, just as with Facebook, one wants to encourage engagement.
As the various social media continue to grow, evolve, and more, this area of create video content for social media will be an ever-changing and dynamic field, with a lot to learn for those either in the music industry, such as at NAMM, or those who are not.