If you’ve ever experienced the StumbleUpon effect, you know that counting clicks can be misleading. You wake up one morning to find that your traffic numbers have skyrocketed after your blog post became a featured item on the popular bookmarking site. 12,000 hits in 24 hours! Amazing. But the majority of those people only stayed as long as it took to hit the Stumble button again – maybe 2 seconds. No engagement, which means no ad views and they’re probably not coming back.
This is why YouTube is now looking at Time Watched as the main component for ranking a video’s popularity. Now, instead of being rewarded for people who click then move on, content creators will get points for viewers who stay with the video to the end.
It’s smart. It also means that creators won’t be able to take the top spot with a provocative screen-shot and title. Now, they have to produce engaging content if they want to rise to the top.
To help you get a handle on what’s working and what isn’t, YouTube has added new metrics to their analytics dashboard. The “Views” report has enhanced “Estimated Minutes Watched” data and they’ve improved the data slider so you can change the date range quickly.
They’re also beta testing an Annotations report that lets you see the activity associated with the pop-up comments on a video. Since these comment boxes are clickable, they’re the best way to drive traffic to your home page from YouTube, so measuring the success of those notations is critical.
YouTube is an excellent marketing venue for any company, big or small. And now that they’re rewarding creators for uploading engaging content, anyone can land in a featured spot on the home page. All you need to succeed is a video camera and a great idea.