Friday, March 30, 2012

Somebody that I used to know: Gotye's YouTube hit by the numbers

Gotye is having a bit of a good time right now showing the value of virality and the power of producing really great content. It's created all kinds of value for him and I'm delighted for him, if a little jealous.

What his success cements in place is youtubes place as the number 2 search and discovery tool on the internet. Yes, it is a video platform, but a lot of content from slides to songs are being converted for the purpose.

Lets have a look at the current state of Australian (Belgian born) artist Gotye's massive viral hit. Here it is if you missed it.

Posted in July of last year there are now over 133 million views on the original official video.

Amazing! What a story, right? Only half the story really though.

Here's what else is happening form a quick glance at youtube and only counting videos that got over 500,000 views the song has spread around by another 117 million views via other users. Those extra views include covers, lyrics versions, parodies and live performances.

Here's the breakdown (Original song posted in July last year)
133 million views
117 million secondary views of the song
630 thousand likes on youtube
170 thousand comments on youtube
7 million likes on Facebook
185 thousand shares on Twitter
7 thousand Google +1's

Just using our very basic counting method that pushes Gotye's total viral spread to over 250 million on youtube. That is a vast reach and it cements youtube as top of the pops in a range of categories.

It's the second biggest search engine in the world after Google.
It's the winner in content sharing and virality across the entire social spectrum.
It's the winner in content discovery.
It had over 2 billion searches per day 2 years ago
Arguably the biggest music search engine with the music from the second largest video property VEVO syndicated into it's platform too.

Why is it the winner?
Not only is it the second largest search engine on it's own. It also integrates seamlessly with Googles universal search operating since 2009 so videos often end up on page one. In the social sphere it is almost unique in it's ability to not only use it's own network to spread content virally but also every other social network as well and drive that traffic back to itself or control the content viewing experience and the measurement thereof.

Seriously though, 133 Million views on a single video since last July is impressive right? But what if I told you that I could show you a story almost as impressive and immediately related.

Remember that 117 Million extra views for the song? What if I were to tell you that over 81 Million of them were for a cover version posted in January this year. What if I told you that over 3.5 Million of them were for a parody, not of the original song, but of the cover version and that the cover had triggered a series of parody versions that are all well into the hundreds of thousands in views and still growing? Interesting right.

Here's the breakdown (Remember this is a cover version posted in january)
81 million views
5 million secondary views of the song
760 thousand likes on youtube
135 thousand comments on youtube
4 million likes on Facebook
247 thousand shares on Twitter
12 thousand Google +1's

Some interesting take aways here
100 thousand more people actively liked the WOTE version on youtube.
100 thousand more people shared it on twitter.
5 thousand more people +1'd it. Almost twice as many.

It's clear to see from a distribution and reach perspective that this cover version of the original song added value to the original. It also added value for Walk Off The Earth but then value from content isn't a zero sum game.

It's also important to remember that none of this would be possible without youtube. Where's your content? Is it good enough to compete for your audience in this global market?

I do love Gotye's version but I actually prefer the WOTE cover version so I'm posting it here.

Oh and before I forget Here's that parody. Enjoy :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bees with Guns (and Electric Fences)

My post about shooting bears a few days ago has seen a pretty big response. And a few emails asking me to explain myself. So here goes..

Bees aren’t sexy and they aren’t big and powerful. A bee contributes. A bee is by default part of a community. A bee works hard to build supply and defend that community for his own sake and for the sake of others.


A bear is a solitary predator who looks out for himself and only has interactions with others when he wants something. Bears are only interested in what something can do for them. They are not interested in contributing or in building.

The contrast between these two is the most stark when you consider that honey is one of the things bears like most. They love it but they produce none of the honey they consume.

What if we rename ‘honey’ as ‘value’. Bees work hard in a community to build up all the value and a place to store it. Bears don’t contribute and they don’t build value. They not only take the value built up but have absolutely no problem in destroying the place that holds the value either.

I doubt that bees, if they were asked, are terribly enamored of bears.

Think about the market
A lot of traditional marketers and many business people are bears. Bears don’t understand contribution. Bears don’t understand concepts like giving value first, customer service and caring about things outside yourself.

Both these models work by the way. Bears and bees both survive well and will continue to. It’s worth remembering though, that bears can only continue to do this because the bees can't stop them and they can't warn the next hive.

With the interconnectedness of communities these days, does the same apply to your brand or business? Is being a bear sustainable for brands?

In the bad old days no one could stop the message, no-one could warn the next community or group to build an electric fence, now they can and do. Information about who you are as a digital citizen is available to everyone. As many big brands brands and companies are discovering, stealing one group's honey can lead to fences being built for you all over the digital landscape.

Of course being a big bear meant something once. It meant you didn't have to care what people thought. But when the bees have guns and electric fences, however tiny, it all starts to add up.

Reputation and it’s affect on the bottom line have become so important that no one is big enough to steal someone's value and get away with it any more?

Don't be a bear, bees are much harder to shoot...

Bonus Update: If you don't want to shoot the bear you could always take the advice of Dwight Schrute. :)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

SEO in Dubai

Dubai Internet City - UAE
I'm over in Dubai in the UAE doing bits and pieces and also enjoying the amazing city landscapes, architecture and gorgeous food - and since the start of planning my trip, I can't stop thinking about how Dubai is marketing itself online.

Firstly, the properties are fantastic, and while prices for some things seem high, others are quite cheap.

You can book a 5-star hotel (apart from the resorts) with over 130 to choose from for between €50 and €100 a night (about 250-500 AED). We found that affiliate and visitor information sites (like,, and YouTube) were by far the best sources to determine our budget for hotels. The worst were the actual hotel websites.

Our first hotel, located in Bur Dubai, was really suitable for Business travellers and was close to the airport. When contacted directly, they quoted amounts about 4-5 times higher than the hotel comparison sites for the same hotel.

So, when approached by someone who eventually found their hotel online, and could have made a direct booking with no commission they chose to instead accept 75% less via a hotel reservations site and pay a commission. This makes no business sense to me at all.

The hotels we did book were based on what we could find out about them on Trip Advisor (discounting any blatantly "I've a bee in my bonnet" negative posts), but mostly on what we saw on YouTube. Good quality information, showing guests about what they offer, what they can do and where the hotel is located costs considerably less than handing over 75% of your projected turnover from internet-based sales.

It's a remarkable lesson for business owners - when you underinvest in your website and web assets (like your website, YouTube Channel, twitter, Facebook page) - then it will have a direct and potentially fatal cost to your business.

SEO adds value to your business by bringing the end customer with the product developer. Affiliates add less value and more cost to the transactional business.

Ultimately we found the best value via a travel agency in Kerry - who gave us the best advice and value on our second hotel, which was just unbelievable.

Some of the Global Companies in the DIC

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Simple and Easy

Great ideas, great marketing and even greats music is usually (not always) simple.

Beautifully magnificently, awesomely simple.

There is a habit, in our lazy use of language, of confusing the idea of simple with the idea of easy.

Making a point in a long rambling discussion is easy. It requires knowledge but because you have an engaged (or captive) audience, it doesn't require hard work to deliver that knowledge. It might be "long" work but it's not hard, it's not difficult. Anyone can do it with enough time.

What if you don't have a captive audience? What if you don't have time? What if you need to grab them as they drive by, digitally or physically.

The message you see or hear is often simple. Trying to make it simple is the hard work.

Don't think it'll be easy, don't do long and don't do complex. Don't be lazy

Do the hard work to make things simple.

Inspired by the guys at the #imuroadshow today :)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Just shoot the bear

Bee's are a community that work together to produce food in the form of honey for the next generation. Bears don't add value and just take it for themselves

If you're adding value and someone is just taking it then fire (shoot) them.

Don't let them spam your blog, advertise on your facebook, add you on Linkedin or suck up your time.

Bonus Update: The video below considers some other options if you choose not to shoot the bear (and have time on your hands). Enjoy. :)