Sunday, March 12, 2006

Does a Revver's video impressions/ratings mean it's good?

Does a video's rating and total views mean it's any good? Nope. I've had some of my worst videos get good ratings & impressions, while some of my better ones die a quiet death in the obscure sea of legacy Revver videos.

So how can you improve your ratings and views (and ultimately the ad clicks)?

1) Give your video life beyond Revver:
Since Revver is still in beta, traffic to the site is relatively low compared to other video sites. Revver's leaders confirmed to me that most of the views and ad revenue comes not from Revver.com's portal but via other sites posting Revver videos. So the way you get traffic to your Revver video is by placing them on higher-traffic video sites. My most popular video is "Scary Santa" with more than 3,000 views. That traffic is clearly coming from somewhere else- not Revver.com. The weird thing is that I didn't place it anywhere! Someone must have lifted the HTML and posted it, and I'm happy they're making 20% on each ad click- slightly less profit per ad click for me & Revver, but way greater volume than I'd ever get on Revver.com. So everyone wins.
2) Time your posts carefully
The most recently posted video gets a lot of impressions since people are automatically redirected to it when they rate any video. The longer your video sits as the most recent video, the more impressions you get. This is really a factor dictated by luck. If you post it at 3:00 a.m., you'll probably stay as the "most recent" for a few hours because few people post at odd hours. Then again, traffic is low during that time. I can't confirm this yet, but I think that the view/ad click ratios are higher for the video that sits as the "most recent," because newbies to Revver are more prone to rating and more prone to clicking ads.
3) Get high ratings
Ultimately good content is the most sustainable way to get good ratings. And high ratings increase views (and ad clicks). That said, very few people rate videos on Revver (or YouTube), so it's easy to manipulate. Have your friends and family give it high ratings. Since the ratings function has been buggy for weeks, I've gotten lucky with "Revver interns," which had a good rating before the rating functionality went on vacation. It's held a nice run on the Top Ratings list. Critical: If you sustain in the Top Ratings list, you'll get much better views (and ad clicks) over time.

The bottom line is what I've stressed all along: you can't yet count on Revver.com's portal to deliver your videos big volume. You have to tag your videos and market them elsewhere. Revver won't disclose the third-party sites that give them most of their traffic to videos (believe me, I've been begging them for weeks). So it's a mystery for now. If you figure out how to back-track your ad clicks to source location, let me know!

The other option is you can create your own affiliate site like Fuzzy did with www.Revverberate.com. But then you've got to figure out how to get it traffic, which is not an inexpensive feat. For this blog, I get cheap traffic by buying Google keywords, but I was paying more than $1 a visit when I ran an Adwords campaign (those text ads that appear on certain sites like the ones at the top of Revverberation.com. In this model, you pay a certain amount per thousand impressions and pick the sites that take your ads. I was getting loads of impressions but the click-thru is VERY low).

Coming soon: I'm working on a Revver affiliate site designed for bored cube workers. I'm packing it with Revver videos and trying to figure out the most efficient way to drive traffic to it. More on that in the next week.

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