What Bieber and Blue Rodeo can teach you about marketing your videos

Your videos may not feature Justin Bieber or Blue Rodeo, but that doesn’t mean these Canadian artists don’t have something to teach you about video marketing.

Hamilton, Ont. is hosting the Juno Awards Mar. 15 to recognize the best in Canadian music, and when you log onto Juno TV after the awards it will be powered by Vidyard, a Kitchener, Ont.-based video marketing and analytics solution provider.

Vidyard CEO Michael Litt said they’ve worked with the Junos since 2012 to power the Juno TV property on their web site. At that time, they showed Litt a room where all the live Juno award shows going back over 60 years were stored on video tape.

“They’ve been digitizing that content to put it on the web and give Canadians access to these great moments in Canadian music history,” said Litt. “Our technology was the most suitable for what they wanted to do: deliver a unique viewing experience to their viewers.”

For the Juno awards ceremony, all the video will be uploaded to the platform before the event, securely so the winners aren’t leaked. Litt said the Junos are particularly interested in the analytics behind the videos for these and past awards performance videos. The data – who is getting more views, Bieber or Blue Rodeo – helps advise them which videos to promote on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and their web site. The Junos also use Vidyard to manage their YouTube channel.

“If you’re not someone who is looking to make money off pre-rolls with YouTube it’s pretty cumbersome to build a loyal audience,” said Litt. “[With VidYard] they’ve been able to build a loyal audience.”

Having worked with the Junos for three years, Litt said they do have some interesting learnings for other marketers working with video.

Archival footage was used to produce a video of Celine Dion's fashion at the Junos from 1989 to today, powered by Vidyard.
Archival footage was used to produce a video of Celine Dion’s fashion at the Junos from 1989 to today, powered by Vidyard.

“The thumbnail you display and click to launch the video on Juno TV is incredibly important. Logos and text don’t perform as well as recognizable faces,” said Litt. “If there’s a favourite artist like Justin Bieber, using his face as one of the thumbnails for a video he’s involved in will drive higher clicks for that video. We do a/b testing to ensure the right thumbnail is promoted.”

With split testing for thumbnails, the Vidyard platform can be used to pick up to eight different frames from the video or images you’ve uploaded, and they can be tested in perpetuity. Other customers are even targeting thumbnails to specific people based on other data that may be available, said Litt.

So are you a Bieber or Blue Rodeo fan? The truth may be in your thumbnails.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras is a technology journalist with IT World Canada and a member of the IT Business team. He began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada and the channel for Computer Dealer News. His writing has also appeared in the Vancouver Sun & the Ottawa Citizen.

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