I have talked a lot about wine and video and how wine and video and, in particular, how wine on YouTube behaves. YouTube is not centered on evergreen content… instead it is focused on vloggers. It is easy to figure out–just look behind the curtain and view the analytics. The analytics tells you what YouTube views as not just important but their only concern. Look at realtime data and you see two specific performance metrics: 60 minutes and 48 hour rates. Well that is to view the just published video and how it performs immediately and the 48 hour is to view the highest point a video might perform and again this is only for the general vlogger not for evergreen content producers. For vloggers these two-time points are key to success/non-success but that does not describe how evergreen content performs as it performs over time not just on release.
Like it or not YouTube–evergreen content may not be the majority of videos published but if you look at all product reviews, how to’s, technology, cooking etc. this is part of that large community of evergreen content producers. And this is important because even those who look for successful video influences should look at over all performance rates over time versus the short run.
YouTube also has the peculiarity of minutes viewed as singularly more important than clicks. No one knows the YouTube algorithm exactly but most likely there is no value to clicks any longer–but I would question that move and say it is a mistake. What the viewing public has access to… is only the click rate. So I view clicks equally as important as content minutes viewed and more factors as well.
What I simply did was review all my video clicks and then graphed it. I had an intuitive sense of how my videos perform but wanted to verify and see if there was a pattern. I suspected there was one but I was only looking painstakingly at each video in the video manager. There is not a lot of insight there but viewing simple performance metrics I had a sense of how videos perform over time. The above graph represents over 2,000 videos and their click rates from channel inception (2009) to today (2019) – ten years worth of data. This curve which I call an evergreen curve (relevant content and shelf stable) I believe this represents many evergreen categories – wine is certainly one of them. Wine is superbly complex, easily more complex than any other consumer category. This curve shows to me there is a viewer who is selectively looking for very specific wine content. There are many other metrics YouTube and Google offer: I am endlessly fascinated with video performance.
There are two specific spikes on my channel that I would like to highlight my number one and number two YouTube videos. While it seems like something out of the ordinary it is something that continues to lead view performance even today. If I were to guess about what would have been my top ten videos I most likely would not have guessed correctly. So video performance is the willingness to be surprised in both directions. I have an axiom for YouTube video content behaviour: “that what you think will be successful is not and that which you least suspect will be successful.” I might be the first person to say this–but the sentiment rings out at Vidcon year over year in producer workshops.
Here are some features of what contributes to click rate behaviour:
- Well known brands and well-distributed brands overall have high click rates
- Lesser known brands have a lower than average click rate
- Lesser known brands with support from producer or even fans either meet average view rate or exceeds it–a brand simply giving a like, RT and comments can add value to video and chances for increased click rate which ultimately reflects back to them
- Reviews on rare varieties are most often below average click rate
- Overviews on well known AVA or appellations tend to do well and smaller, lesser known regions perform well below average
- Spirits reviews in general perform multiples above average –probably because though the category is large but it is not as large as total wine SKUs and has no vintage
I point out all of this information because I know that if a casual viewer is looking at performance rate and looks at say the last three-to-six months it may appear that video performance is low on a wine channel–instead it is something that does well in the medium and long-term.
I know that someone might make a quick judgement without understanding wine videos and how they perform. I had recently requested a sample bottle from a certain brand in Napa Valley and they were clearly not interested in video. What I was told was that I could get a bottle if and only if I can get a review or article in hard copy media (magazine, newspaper). I know no one is going to pick up an article on this producer as their story has been told extensively. My story objective was how is one of their recent vintages today?
Clearly the print only approach is futile and not realistic. For this particular producer I wouldn’t reach out to again. I am not going to pitch the impossible because I suspect if I did it would still result in a ‘no’. This producer is not worth my time now. I think this person represents many producers who view the printed word as the only word that is important. I do think video is very important and without looking at an evergreen content position we remain stuck. Stuck insofar as many video producers I do not think take an evergreen video approach and give up quickly. I do think there is an expectation of wine video content to perform like a non-wine vlogs–immediate and with unrealistic click rates.
I am not sure that non-video content performs any differently. So far my very elementary data analysis of written pieces tends to show that evergreen content performs similarly to video. Wine producers, I think have been accustomed to seeing pieces about their wine in print and like hard copy media but this format is that content comes out and it is quickly forgotten. Online media is searchable and the quest to know about wine, wine history, winemaking, science, and individual wines is open for anyone to find at anytime in the future.
There is a wine video viewer that is seeking content on YouTube and I suspect when they go to the platform they cannot locate wine content because it does not exist for their specific search–over time people start to think wine video content is simply not there.
I have long advocated for more wine video content producers and that it is a valid media. Jancis Robinson in one of her wine videos questions wine video. She says and I am paraphrasing that wine videos are a “spectator sport.” I don’t agree with her position.
Video is about adding layers of connection and stickiness to view that the written word cannot quite convey.
So I still believe in wine video production and have the long time presence. I enjoy it and I believe in the video medium and it is something that is accessible, conveying more than just a written word but a rainbow of possibilities. Smartly engaging analytics and knowing how to view and being curious to see the longer view of what wine content does can guide to success and planning on how to use and reimplement that content for future consumption.
I am glad I did this study and confirming thoughts I had about the evergreenness of wine video content. If you are a wine producer and thinking about video think of your content as something that will become evergreen. And if you are a video producer of wine videos like myself think about the long-term goal and your anchor is to think about how your videos are evergreen. It is certainly good for my media kit!
James the Wine Guy
Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.
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