After a good presentation at Ad Age DigitalWest on Tuesday, Lucas Watson, YouTube’s new Vice President Of Global Sales And Marketing, talked with this blogger in the dressing room at Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco. The focus of Mr. Watson’s visit to Ad Age DigitalWest on Tuesday, was to present YouTube opportunities to marketing brand managers.
The objective of this interview was to present Mr. Watson to the YouTube Partner Community.
For those who don’t know, the Zennie62 channel has been part of the YouTube Partner stable since 2007, when Steve Grove, then and still the head of News and Politics at YouTube, encouraged me to sign up for the program.
Since then, and with the help of the great YouTube Partner staff, this Zennie62 on YouTube Channel has grown to over 40,000 daily views from 1,609 videos, and a total of 28.4 million views to date.
Over that time, I’ve attended two YouTube Partner meetings, the most notable one in downtown San Francisco in 2009, where I met some notable YouTube Partners like Cullen’s ABC’s, Noah Kravitz (now with TechnoBuffalo), Jaamal Finkley of BlackTree Media, and even got to slide down the Google Tube…
To another more sequestered YouTube meeting in San Bruno. There we met YouTube’s staff that were handling sales and marketing prior to Mr. Watson’s arrival. At the time, and that was just over a year ago, YouTube was concerned with how to reach advertisers and marketers better, and that was in large part of the focus of that meeting. I said then that advertisers and marketers still don’t get digital media, and I stand by that remark today.
The good news in 2011 is they’re trying to and to help them, YouTube brought in Lucas Watson, a 17-year Procter & Gamble Co. veteran who led was their Digital Marketing Director to become VP of Sales and Marketing for YouTube.
Why Mr. Watson? Well, here’s a hint:
He was the person at P&G behind the successful Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” Commercial Series, which increased sales of Old Spice as much as 107 percent.
Now, Watson’s task is to try and get advertisers to spend more at YouTube. How can YouTube Partners help Mr. Watson and YouTube achieve that overall objective? “I think two things,” Watson said, “One. Stay focused on delighting the user. At the end of the day, if people like the content you make, and the audience is there, the brand-building support will be there. At the same time, I would urge you to think about two things: One: to the degree that you can develop content (and) play in areas marketers would like to be associated with, we desperately need that. So for example, many brand-builders are telling me they wish they could reach Hispanic audiences better. So if you’re a content creator that can attract a Hispanic audience, then you should be on YouTube.”
AdWords For Video
Another problem has been that local news videos don’t get the advertiser dollars needed to help develop a fiscally viable local news business. Watson said that a new program, opening in the 4th Quarter of 2011 (this year) will allow the use of AdWords For Video. As Watson said it “will allow small and local businesses to advertise their brands with video for the first time on a self-service way.”
“So much the way you’d buy search advertising on Google, or much the way you’d by an ad on Facebook, you’re now going to be able to buy ads on YouTube in a self-service way. And so the ability, if you’re a local news reporter, or local business, or local content-creator, and you want to be an advertiser for local brands, that’s going to become possible now in the 4th Quarter. So I urge you to become familiar with how AdSense for Video works, and start developing relationships with local brands that your content would be connected to.”
Videos And International Brands
One problem we have at Zennie62 on YouTube is that our videos have an international reach, yet we can’t seem to get International brands on the channel. I had the idea of making a set of videos in French for that market, but frankly haven’t made that a focus because I wasn’t sure the returns were worth it in the test video I made. What’s Watson’s take? “Often times, I don’t know if content-creators think about what kind of brands would be a good fit for their content. And so if you’re the X-Games, it seems logical today that Red Bull in Mountain View, or GoPro and these brands are associated with the X-Games. But too often people are out their making great content, and not thinking about which brands would actually enhance or support the experience. And often times, just by making the suggestion or connection.”
Lucas word to YouTube Partners is if you have a brand that you want to work with, say Ford or Toyota for example, bring your case to YouTube Sales And Marketing staff and they will help you make the connection. The best way for you to do that, is to reach out to your YouTube Partner representative.
The Next YouTube Phase
Watson’s addition signals the next phase in YouTube’s development as an online entertainment and news destination service. But the key for YouTube is in how it connects companies like Ford with content-creators like iJustine or Zennie62, or any of the over 15,000 YouTube Partners.