There's been such a buzz around the internet marketing sector lately about driving traffic to your web site using videos uploaded to places like Google Video and YouTube. Since I could never get anyone to give me any solid answers with real data, I decided to do a case study on whether or not this method really works.
To that end, I created two videos, one for my cat pictures blog and another for my dog pictures blog. I created one on the 12th of December and the other on the 13th, and uploaded both of them to Google Video and YouTube.
To watch the videos and, if you like them, send them to your friends and family, here's the links:
Here are snapshots of the Google Video view counts and ratings as of today, December 26th:
That's 5,130 views from just Google Video. I have gotten 624 views from YouTube. That's 5,754 views of my videos so far to date, and the numbers are not slowing down. I'm getting about 800 views a day now, so the numbers are rising fast.
Did This Translate Into Revenue?
The real question here is: sure, a lot of people viewed the video, but did any of those people visit the blog and click the ads? Let's not forget, I created these videos to drive traffic and make money, right? So did that happen?
Before going into detail, though, let me explain something. I put an advertisement in front of and after the videos telling viewers about the blog. That way the last thing they see after seeing the video is an ad for my site, which is related to the video.
Google Video gives you a link to the site, but it's not very visible and so few people actually click it. YouTube doesn't let you have a link at all. So it's important to advertise your site in the video (at the end especially), so people will type your domain name into their browser.
Since people typing the domain into their browser doesn't give me any referrer data, I have to estimate the traffic figures. That's not so hard to do, though, since I haven't done any advertising or had any change in search engine ranking for either site since I put up the videos. So it's a safe assumption that any significant rise in traffic is due to the videos.
Let me show you my YPN stats for the dog blog so you can see how the numbers played out, and we'll examine them in a bit more detail.
13-day Stats Before Posting the Video
13-day Stats After Posting the Video
Okay, the first thing to notice is that I had 594 more impressions in the 13-days after the video was published than in the 13 days before, a 19% rise in traffic. That by itself is significant, since if you'll recall from my article writing case study, it took more than twice as long to get a little more than half that number of impressions.
But the added traffic isn't important if it doesn't convert into clicks. Traffic is great, but if it doesn't generate revenue, what's the point? That's where the real gold was in creating these videos. Did you look at the click-through rates of the before and after stats?
The click-through rate for the blog more than doubled just from the video traffic, and although I can't show you the dollar figures, I made more than two and a half times as much in the 13 days after the video than in the 13 days before. That proves that the video traffic was revenue-generating traffic.
The cat video generated about the same amount of additional visitors and a 50% increase in revenue. So the videos really helped the bottom line of both sites.
Don't Start Creating Videos Just Yet!
Creating the videos is easy if you have the right tools and know how to use them. But I learned a bunch of tips, tricks and methods for creating great videos using only FREE software tools. Did you notice that my videos got great ratings from the viewers? What I learned is what made that possible.
I also have a way to kick-start the viral spread of a video so it doesn't just get lost in amongst the thousands of other videos out there.
That's why I'm putting together a video tutorial that I'll be releasing next week that shows you how to create videos, add music and the advertising to your videos, and some tricks I used to help the videos generate even more traffic from the traffic that my site was already getting.
Look for an announcement about the video tutorials next week. If you're not on my email list and you want to be notified when the videos are released, sign-up for free here.