SXSW 2012, this is the second year I went to the SXSW Film and Interactive Festival, it was another great experience. (You can read 2011 post here.) SXSW is a large festival that spans multiple weeks, which is broken into three categories, Film, Interactive, and Music. The Film and Interactive sections appeal to me the most since that’s where my work and passions lie. According to SXSW Film and Interactive combined attract over 30,000 registrants.
So many great panels, talks, and people at SXSW 2012, I will try to recap some of the awesome ones.
This talk was given by Prerna Gupta, CEO of Khush. Khush develops musical applications that leverage artificial intelligence technology in fun interactive ways. In this talk Prerna explains how she was able to ‘hack’ the YouTube system to obtain viral marketing for her products. As CEO of Khush, a small development company, primarily existing of developers, Prerna took the lead for marketing their mobile apps, and she says she became obsessed with viral videos. Customers who purchase the app after watching one of her viral videos are more engaged, and spend more money on her applications. Prerna defines the ‘viral building blocks’ as music (cover songs, original music, humor/parody, etc), surprise (shocking, cause for sharing), cuteness (puppies, kittens, people respond to cuteness), B00bs (both men and women respond), humor (parody really works, celebrity parody, parody can become a successful formula, absurdity can work), celebrity (having a real celebrity, or referencing them through parody). Prerna goes on to talk about how production is becoming more affordable with the advent of DSLR video technology. She informs that one should pay attention to the YouTube thumbnail, and to hack what thumbnail appears. Seeding the video is important for getting the video views started, she will send out new videos on e-mail list servs, post them on message boards, and utilize existing social networks. Forbes wrote a post about the talk here.
This talk, which was given directly after ‘Hacking YouTube,’ took a 180 degree turn in tone, given by Jeremey Sanchez and Robert John Davis of Global Strategies and Ogilvy. Instead of attempting to break down virality to a science, they attempt to build meaningful lasting relationships through video. They are much more interested in helping build brands, and the idea of ‘going viral’ is scary to them, because they say if a video goes viral most likely it’s because most people are making fun of it. They would rather focus their energies on how to make videos relavant to the brand. They talked about the interesting differences between Adage’s and Unruly’s viral charts. An interesting statistic that they presented is that less than 4% of YouTube videos receive more than 100,000 views.
And they list their five step program as:
Have a plan: What is the trigger event? Use Google Insights and Trends. The click after play is most important.
Creative in context: The video needs to do a job, by bridging content, being promotional, and leading to engagement.
Optimize first: Make sure the video is optimized for search. The sum of the long tail SEO is greater than the initial views of the head. Understand the basics of metadata (title, description, tags), and leverage them. Audience retention is of absolute importance. Don’t underestimate the value of a great thumbnail.
Distribute and promote: Utilizing paid advertising services is a great way to get the views started, such as advertising through YouTube, Google, and Facebook.
Measure what matters: There are volume oriented metrics and business orient metrics, the latter being more important. Tools such as Salesforce help with this. Most meaningful metric is PPI (post play interaction)
Gary was giving a fireside chat, and caught him giving some good tips on brands and leveraging social media. Gary has built a small empire from utilizing social media.
Some other pics…
There is so much I want to share, so I hope to update this post, but wanted to get it out now.