YouTube Fan Finder may just be the best thing that has happened in a while for indie artists and small businesses too. Youtube announced the YouTube Fan Finder service on November 12th but to date I haven’t seen much press about it. It deserves your attention if you are trying to build or promote your brand through videos on YouTube.
In short, Youtube is offering to promote your channel on YouTube for free via Google’s True View video ad format. They say that they will target the ads to people who are your most likely fans. They do this by “using a matching science that looks at what people are already watching on YouTube to find people that might enjoy your channel. It brings you the people that will keep coming back to your channel over and over again”. Their best practices and tips for the service are available as a pdf file at this link.
The ads will run as skippable, pre-roll ads. I am sure you are familiar with that type of ads if you spend any time on YouTube. They show up before the video you were intending to watch and you can skip them in 5 seconds. You have 5 seconds to grab the attention of the viewer and make them your fan.
Youtube Fan Finder Benefits
As someone who has been doing video marketing for 5 years I can tell you that promoting a video on YouTube and on the web is not easy. Many sites and services try to “sell” overnight success to unwary content producers. Most of them are a waste of money. To become a Google Certified Individual on Adwords takes a lot of study (like 800 pages) and passing a series of tests. Becoming a Google Partner Agency, as we are, takes even more. Just because you can sign up for an adwords or Virool account and start posting ads doesn’t mean you should do it by yourself.
You can’t buy views. That is the wrong attitude to have when considering a video marketing campaign. There are sites where you can still buy a million bot views pretty cheaply but those are not views. A computer bot simply plays your video over and over again. The problem is that no one is watching so no one will see your impressive number of views. You won’t make any sales or book any gigs. Then, in a short time, YouTube will identify the bogus views and delete them anyway.
In order to properly build a promotional or video marketing campaign for a video you have to consider many factors. Who is your ideal viewer? How do you target them? YouTube Fan Finder will do this part for you.
In addition to identifying your target audience and campaign goals (sales, brand building, etc) I also do basic SEO on client’s YouTube channel page and video pages when I run a campaign. Then I manage the campaign on a day to day basis to make sure it stays on budget and is achieving the goals you have.
The information I have seen on the YouTube Fan Finder program does not mention how many views they will give you for free or the time that your free campaign will run. Obviously it won’t be forever. I think it will be long enough though to give users of the YouTube Fan Finder service a taste of what a properly managed campaign should do.
What it should do is put your content in front of real people. In the past you had to try to get your song played on the radio in order to get exposure to a large audience. Now the radio is next to impossible to get a song played on. But the web has an audience bigger than any radio station and that audience is available to everyone who knows how to promote themselves or their content.
To get started with Youtube Fan Finder just long into your YouTube channel and go to “Channel Settings”. If your channel is eligible you should see a link to the Youtube Fan Finder resource there. Good luck.