Sometimes it can be difficult for indie authors to think about video, but having a YouTube channel with book trailers, author interviews, and more can help boost an author’s platform. In order to find out what kind of videos work best, My Web Presenters (MWP) Digital Media has a new video marketing comparison tool, which can help users with their video strategy.
Simply copy and paste your YouTube channel URL, as well as up to 10 competing YouTube channel URLs, hit the “Compare Now” button and get video stats, social stats, and information about the channels, as well as an overall score for easy comparison.
You can see how it works here:
Joel Chudleigh, of MWP Digital Media, kindly offered to answer my questions regarding the company, and the tool.
S.R.: What is MWP Digital Media and what does the company aim to do?
J.C.: MWP Digital Media is a video production company that focuses on helping our clients get a return on investment from video production. We saw that many companies were buying videos from production companies without a strategy and without a marketing plan. This is almost always a mistake. There needs to be a plan in place in order to get an ROI from video as there does with any other form of marketing. Some clients do just want videos but generally we help our clients develop a strategy for video production and marketing and also advise them on how to use their videos to reach the intended audience.
S.R.: How did MWP Digital Media come up with the video marketing comparison tool?
J.C.: We had a need internally to analyse our clients’ current videos against their direct competitors current videos to see who is doing what in their industry. We would spend hours analysing clients videos performance in terms of social shares, comments, subscribers gained, etc. and then do the same for competitors too – this process can literally take days to map out an industry.
We developed it in Google Docs initially using xpath to access the API’s but it did not work at scale due to Google Docs limits so we developed the web based tool that you see now. We decided to make it public as we hope that it will benefit businesses with their video strategy and ideally help us to raise awareness of, and trust in our service.
S.R.: How exactly does the tool work?
J.C.: When a user enters the YouTube channel URL’s the tool calls upon various API’s – of course YouTube as well as Twitter, Google+ and Facebook. The tool pulls in all of the factors that we felt are most important from those API’s on all of the videos in all of the channels analysed and then some of the data is aggregated to give channel scores.
For example to calculate average shares per video the tool goes through the following process:
- Counts the number of videos on the YouTube channel
- Counts the number of shares on Facebook, Twitter & Google+ of all of the video URL’s within that channel and adds them up.
- Divides the total number of shares of videos by the total number of videos.
S.R.: How did MWP Digital Media decide which metrics to compare? What is the method behind calculating the score?
J.C.: This was determined through much discussion internally and is still being tweaked. There are about 20 indicators of performance given in the public YouTube API and we went through them and determined which ones are worth including and which are not.
We then ranked the indicators in order of importance in terms of how clearly they indicate a strength of a channel. For example simply having thousands of videos is not an indicator of quality or success at all, neither is total views as you can have one video that racks up a high view count due to it’s title but then the users do not end up watching it and no one shares it, therefore even average views per video can often be a skewed stat. The tool factors this kind of thing in.
The most important indicators of a successful video strategy are things like subscribers and achieving a high number of new subscribers with each video. Also, a high number of social shares across all videos and not simply focused on one video that a channel got lucky with is a good indicator of a company that is getting things right.
These indicators have a higher weighting in our algorithm.
S.R.: What, in your opinion, is a good score to aim for? What’s a good goal to have compared to other channels in your niche?
J.C.: This is the biggest misunderstanding of the tool. There is no such thing as a good score to aim for.
The tool is a comparative tool and when you compare two or more things you are comparing the difference between them rather than against a general average. Therefore if you compare channel A with channels B & C then Channel A may have a score of 65, but then if you add in channels D & E channel A’s score could be 34. It always depends on the channels you are comparing against.
The way that the tool works is to take all of the channel URL’s that a user enters and to rank the channels by each of the indicators in the algorithm. So for example imagine there are 10 channels entered and there are 10 indicators as part of the algorithm.
Channel A wins on indicator 1 so gets a 100% score for that indicator and then all of the other channels are scored based on their variance from the winning score. If you compare a big channel against lots of small channels you will typically see that the big channel gets close to 100% and the others all have tiny scores, this is because comparatively they are much weaker channels and the big channel won on all 10 of the indicators (note: there are not 10 indicators).
S.R.: Of the detailed metrics MWP Digital Media’s tool provides, which do you think are the key indicators for determining how to approach a video strategy?
J.C.: I briefly mentioned this in response to question 4 but to be specific we think that the key indicators are ones that show a level of commitment on the part of the viewer. For example average subscribers per video upload, average shares per video and average comments per video.
These all point towards whether a channel is generally well received or not over time and not just on one video.
S.R.: Do you have any examples or case studies of the tool being used? If so, can you please share some details about how it worked?
J.C.: We have a number of examples of how we have used the tool to find opportunities for our clients but we are unable to specifically disclose these at this time but we are hoping that we will be able to in the future. Sorry to be so annoyingly vague….To give you a general idea though the tool quickly helps us to see which channels in an industry are doing well and what their most popular videos are and why. It points us towards the areas where we need to dig in deeper in our research quickly.
When conducting any kind of research there are often a number of rabbit holes that you go down that lead nowhere; the competitor comparison tool has helped us to find the correct holes to go down to find the necessary answers.
Click here to try out the tool.