YouTube and VidCon: What You Need to Know

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YouTube and VidCon: What You Need to Know

By Jeremy Carroll, Director of Videography

“Metrics matter. First, they prove that people gave a ‘hoot’ about the content you created,” said Tania Yuki, CEO and founder of shareablee.com (a major resource for digital marking analytics and statistics). I will say that her original quote was expressed in much more colorful language than what is used here. 

“Second, it showed that their giving a ‘hoot’ translated into something valuable for the people who funded the content,” Yuki said.

Yuki is just one of dozens of keynote speakers that spoke to digital marketing professionals and creators at this year’s VidCon conference in Anaheim, California. 

Amidst the endless lines of selfie-taking, energy drink abusing, iPhone consuming pre-teen “influencers,” there’s an unseen war raging. Not one fought with bullets and bombs, but with algorithms and analytics. 

This is where VidCon comes in: To teach professionals and creators alike in how to navigate this digital battlefield of optimization, targeted viewership and marketing dollars. 

According to reference.com, 1 billion people use YouTube monthly. Brands and creators have taken notice and are racing to drive this massive audience to learn about their products and personas. The magical, invisible guiding hand that makes all of this possible is the notorious, ever changing algorithm.

Developed by Google and Facebook, online algorithms use machine learning and artificial intelligence to watch your every move. This is what shapes your internet browsing experience. They influence everything you look at, from what you were last shopping for to how long you’ve looked at a specific Instagram post of that delicious cupcake account that you’ve been telling your friends about.

It’s not all scary news, however. These algorithms and analytics tell us a lot about where our society is going, what it values and where it’s been. 

As a press member, I was able to experience the “Industry Track” of panels hosted by some of the biggest names within social media inner circles. These tracks taught us everything from how to optimize your Instagram posts to how to structure a video marketing campaign for nonprofits. 

One session that stood out was titled “Everything Nobody’s Telling You About Social Media Fraud.”

Hosted by Social Chain CEO Steven Bartlett, the session talked about brand recognition, how to get your brand seen by your desired customers and how to keep them coming back. In fact, advertisers have spent $1.6 billion on Instagram marketing alone. Bartlett also revealed that social media marketing isn’t as straight-forward as having lots of “followers.” 

“There has been hundreds of millions of dollars of social media fraud,” he says. “Twenty-five percent of influencers have bought engagements or followers.” 

This spurred advertisers to pressure tech companies to clamp down on false accounts and to ensure that their money is not being wasted on false numbers. One Instagram account alone had nearly 1 million followers, yet only sold 31 T-shirts within a month. Quick math proves a poor ROI at thousands of dollars per post for the T-shirt brand.

VidCon provided an insider’s perspective on the social media industry that most of us interact with every day. Understanding that every move you make on each social media platform is being monitored, tracked and monetized should help us make wiser, safer media decisions for ourselves and more importantly, for our families.