5 Things I Learned at the Google Office about YouTube

Content is King

Video Content is King

Video content is KING and YouTube needs their best content creators to make more videos.

I recently attended YouTube’s 2nd annual “YouTube Creator Day” at the Google office in Atlanta. This is an invitation-only event hosted by YouTube for their content video creators in the area with at least 1,000 subscribers. With over 400 hours of content uploaded per minute to YouTube, why would YouTube need to ask their creators to create more content? It’s not just about quantity of content, quality of content.

The day covered 4 main areas:

  • TrueView
  • Best Practices for Growing Your Channel
  • Collaborating with other YouTube Creators
  • Panel Discussion with Full-Time Professional YouTubers


Presented by Courtney Heimlich, Senior Account Manager at Google

  • TrueView is YouTube’s Ad Platform that delivers ads to reach advertiser’s desired target market. ROAS is over 7X that of TV.
  • Only 54% of video ads are seen on desktops due to other tabs, windows open, as opposed to 95% of Trueview ads seen on mobile smartphones or tablets – http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/249562/google-finds-46-of-video-ads-are-never-seen-meas.html
  • #MobileFirst – Over 50% of all YouTube traffic is on mobile smartphones or tablets
  • Google’s TrueView revenue share split with creators is 50/50. Creators get 50% ad revenue.

This is a snapshot of my channel’s YouTube traffic by device. Mobile & Computer are almost equal. Mobile + Tablet is about 60% of all traffic on my channel.

Best Practices for Growing Your Channel

Presented by Karolina Chodkiewicz, YouTube Partner Manager, Entertainment presented the 3 areas to grow your channel.

  1. Be Found
  2. Keep ’em Watching
  3. Engage Your Audience

This section included tactical points of how to position “Cards” are truly clickable on mobile but annotations are not.

  • Add your branding watermark to all of your videos
  • Intros should be 3 seconds or less
  • Optimize your videos for SEO by:
    • Always put your most important keyword first.
    • The first line of your channel’s “About” section is your metadata
  • Always create a custom hi-res thumbnail image for each video (never use the suggested thumbnail image)
  • Ideal channel watch mix is 30% watch time from subscribers and 70% from new viewers
  • YouTubers have their fans, but it’s a different relationship. YouTubers are more like friends, brothers, or sisters to the audiences – rather than celebrities who are seen as idols. Successful YouTubers will stay online for at least an hour after posting a video so that they can respond real-time to any video comments.



Mary Xu , YouTube Partner Manager presented best practices in finding collaboration partners and creating collaboration videos to increase viewers and subscribers.  YouTube encourages collaboration between creators to encourage cross-channel promotion. This is the age-old marketing tactic that says, “Birds of a Feather…”

Panel Discussion


De’arra & Ken 4 Life – Dating Couple making skits, pranks and challenges 3 days/week

Zabrena – Beauty and Fashion Vlogger

GlamTwinz334 – Hair and Makeup  from identical twins

These panelists were poised and professional and gave answers so eloquent, I thought I was in the audience of an Opera Winfrey show. Each panelist would say something so poignant and eloquent, the audience would be so moved to applaud. They were all full-time YouTubers, aka YouTube is their Job.

Key Learnings

  • Cyberbullying is real
  • There is money to be made from brands, but stay true to your subscribers first
  • All edit videos themselves either on Final Cut Pro or iMovie
  • “YouTube Money” is best in December as advertisers pay more and good in August for Back-to-School

Advice for YouTube Creators:

  • Don’t forget that your subscribers got you to where you are on YouTube. Be Authentic / Stay Authentic
  • Let brands come to you, but only create content that is valuable to your subscribers
  • Set boundaries between your personal life private and your YouTube life
  • Stay organized / create a schedule and stick to it of content production

Each Panelist had an interesting backstory:

Glamtwinz334 are from Montgomery, AL and had no money for college. Each twin worked 2 jobs and produced YouTube videos (3 total forms of income) to save up enough money to move to Atlanta and attend Aveda Institute. They attended Aveda school up to 11 hours/day and continued to produce YouTube videos. Upon graduation, they YouTube channel was profitable enough for them to make YouTube  videos full-time.

Zabrena worked a full-time job while producing videos on the weekends and on her lunch hour. She decided to produce videos full time after her she was laid-off from work with support from her husband. She currently has over 276K subscribers.

Ken worked at Home Depot in merchandising and quit to create videos on YouTube full time

Final Thoughts:

I was completely inspired by everyone I met. The Dream is still alive on YouTube.

Google is metrics driven. For example, email support for creators with 15K minutes watched within the last 90 days. Google provided more stats that I could fit on this blog post.

This isn’t just YouTube pushing video, in the past week, I’ve seen at least 3 case studies on why video is King of Content.

Here is my YouTube Creator Day Recap Video

Here are 3 more examples (not from YouTube Creator Day) on the importance of video as a marketing tool.

Church’s Chicken Fastest Drummer

Church’s Chicken held a fastest drummer competition as a docu-series on YouTube.

The series generated 5 million views and 18 million impressions, a 12% sales increase in a single

weekend in Atlanta during the regional competition and an 18% sales lift in Nashville during the finals.


My LinkedIn friend Sangram, CMO, Terminus posted his perspective on how disruptive video fueled the growth of Tarminus – Sangram – https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/5-disruptive-video-marketing-hacks-fueling-growth-my-startup-vajre?trk=mp-reader-card


HootSuite held a webinar on Why video matters and how to do it right in conjunction with releasing new features on their product that integrates with YouTube. https://hootsuite.com/webinars/enterprise/video-goes-social

Caroline Dunn is an experienced marketing executive combining her natural leadership ability and engineering education in marketing communications, content marketing, social media, and product management. She has a proven track record in exceeding sales objectives, leading execution teams, and campaign management.

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