Last week, Jay Kelly and I had the privilege of attending the Google Partner Summit at Pier 36 in NYC. We joined over 1,200 people from across the world who have earned the Google Premier Partner status. The event was filled with a top lineup of leaders talking about what is new and next with Google, and how Google Partners can add value to their client relationships.
One of my favorite sessions from the Summit focused on YouTube.
Amy Yury, Director of Global Video Product & Sales, kicked off the afternoon with a session on why video matters and how to connect with audiences based on richer, deeper storytelling through sight, sound and motion. Amy shared a case study from Purple Mattress. The little-known company went up against industry giants and, through the use of humor and storytelling on YouTube, made magic happen with their product.
In July 2017, Purple (a Utah-based company) became the first publicly traded mattress with a one-billion dollar merger. Their deep understanding of the customer and ability to effectively tell a story on channels where their customers spend time is impressive—to say the least. Below are some of the fantastic examples that they shared.
Surprisingly, 20 percent of US adults no longer pay for television. However, there are 1.5 billion monthly logged-in viewers on YouTube who spend at least one hour a day watching on mobile alone. What does that mean? We can we reach core affinity and in-market audiences when building and investigating custom affinity fans. Purple did it. So, how might that apply to higher education? What if you were to build a core affinity audience for a specific sport based on the recruitment of student athletes to your university? What about a specific program, major or performing arts club. By creating your own custom affinity audience fans in YouTube, you can more effectively reach the right audiences.
Another key strategy Amy covered was the Life Events categorization. Life Events (based heavily on really good machine learning) popped up quite a few times throughout the presentation. Through simple artificial intelligence, Google can figure out “if-then” scenarios that allow us to understand what life events users are experiencing at various points in time. So, what if based on specific searches, we know that a prospective student is graduating from high school and looking for a specific college program? Better yet, what if we know when someone is looking for a job change, rewriting their resume and searching for ways to get a promotion? These insights would tune us into people who are looking to bridge the skills gap and take the next step in their career. A graduate degree may be exactly what they need.
YouTube Pro Tips for Colleges and Universities
The energy in the room during Amy’s session was palpable. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty excited about the ways that artificial intelligence and machine learning are advancing platforms like YouTube and, in turn, empowering marketers to work faster, smarter and more efficiently. YouTube affinity audiences, life events and search query audiences (in alpha Testing) pose great opportunities for our industry. Are you using any of the tactics to reach prospective candidates on YouTube? Message me your ideas. I’d love to hear how these strategies are working for you.