5 Tips for getting donations on Youtube!

You may have seen this video where I was doing a workshop and interviewed an amazing young man named Amaar, I also wanted to see what effects the Beta donation tools on youtube would yield.

I will look at the engagement data and donation data to see what we can learn.

Viewed in 10 days by 2,500 people around 2,000 of those were my subscribers

50% male and 50% female

50& UK & US and 50% 91 other countries

Video was 7m 30 in duration with no adverts served.

Average view duration 3m47

The donation flow is amazingly simple,

You are watching a video, and at a specified time, ideally well timed with the content, a small box, known as a card teaser appears for a few seconds in the top right hand corner.

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If you click this teaser you get shown the full card overplayed on your video

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Cards can be used to link out to a number of 3rd party sites for donations or crowdfunding which you can see here https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/6083754 including Givey!

This new Beta functionality is the first time you can use cards to donate through Google’s own system without leaving youtube! you can give to virtually any US registered not for profit, for free (fees covered by google) with their partners http://www.networkforgood.com.

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A draw back that has to be noted is that in some cases the money will not reach the charity you picked, in fairness this is highly unlikely http://www.networkforgood.com/about/privacy/

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It only really happens if charity turns out to be dodgy or they don’t have payment details for them, which is apparent in the long tail of small charities but medium and large are all good to go.

– When you click the card you are presented with the following donation opportunity to Donate, pretty cool! although shame they can’t do $1 micro-donations.

You can then complete your card details in context without leaving youtube!!

So what did we find?

My First donation call was @ 5m 2/3 way through and 60% saw it.

Second call was @ 6m30 and only 30% of the audience saw it.

They were both visual and audible as well as technically in context

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In hindsight I think half way through video is latest to make a call to action.

Some other general engagement learnings whilst I am at it,

My average retention of viewers is as follows…

60% for dancing videos

50% for poems

40% for interviews

What is interesting is these styles get longer in format and lower in retention.

With an average view time of around 2m30 regardless of length as longer videos have this lower retention.

I lost 30% in 30 seconds in this video  – this is fairly common for me and below average performance as per below,

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You can see this is not normal as it is significantly below average on the average youtube video

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Even though it picks up over time

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I was half asleep, I think I need to work harder on engaging introductions, maybe some cool titles or higher energy or a hook to the end of video.

Now on to the actual donation card data, this is where it gets new and interesting…

Firstly, It worked! Hoorah!!!

This is where it gets interesting…

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Whilst both times I asked verbally and a cheeky teaser popped up and a similar amount, around 7% clicked to expand it.

A whopping 70% went on to click ‘donate now’  in the first call out, but a measly 3.5% clicked on the second call out.

This is HUGE 20X LESS engagement on repeating the request. 

This shows me that it is not worth doing the second but the introduction of cards is a big deal and worked amazingly well!!

Also more importantly $73.55 was raised through card 1. THANKYOU PEOPLE :)

And a big fat donut – zero was raised through card 2, adding more fuel to my fire!!

This means I raised approximately $30 per thousand views! – 10x more than the equivalent advertising CPM.

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It is also worth noting that both calls massively out performed the other ‘card test’ I had done promoting a musician whose music I used in the back of a poem! even though the poem video had more than double the views. – Clearly there was no verbal or visual accompaniment which I would think contributed considerably.

The final call to action I tried was a normal annotation with a link to doctors without borders on Givey, this was in the final 30 seconds where engagement was already down to 28%, I wanted to see the CTR.

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Estimated 700 viewers and 28 viewers clicked to Givey ,  = 4% roughly CTR

8 sessions on givey clicked the action button = 28.5%

i am surprised at the level of conversion, I guess viewers who make it to the end of content are more committed therefore probably statistically more likely to take action than a random viewer in first 30 seconds.

There are many pros and cons of internal vs 3rd party donations on youtube which I will go into in another blog but all in all felt like a very nice on site experience and am really proud to be a part of this exploratory work with youtube for good.

These are the first 5 questions this experiment throws up for me…

  1. What happens if you change the donation text on card?
  2. What happens if you change small donation default?
  3. What happens if you should how many others have given?
  4. What happens if you allow user to ‘add donation history to G+ profile’ both to share now and store a giving frequency.
  5. What happens if we A/B split test Google VS Givey

I will leave you with a few personal learnings that you could implement too!

5 Conclusions and Tips for Youtube Donation Videos with Cards.

  1. Make really exciting opening 30 seconds
  2. Make primer message to make user feel ready
  3. Make donation visual, audible and Card call at 2/3 minutes
  4. Keep video length to less than 5 minutes
  5. Use outro to thank people, link to more info and invite to share

I can’t wait for the next step of this : )

Let me know any thoughts you have or curiosities that were not satisfied?

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