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How Budweiser Fumbled Its Superbowl Ad in Search

In terms of search rankings, take a look at this screenshot and try to spot what’s wrong:


The answer? Of the three videos that appear in the top results, only the middle one is actually owned by Budweiser — the company that spent millions of dollars to produce and air this commercial during the Super Bowl.

The massive video taking up the entire page above the fold is owned by Clevver News, a popular celebrity gossip channel on YouTube that, amazingly enough, is even able to sell advertising space to people trying to view Budweiser’s ad. In a crazy twist of digital marketing irony, Budweiser (or even worse, its competitors), could be accidentally paying to show an ad on a video of its own ad!

And that’s not even the whole story. The third result is the only actual webpage among the top three results. And instead of being a Budweiser property (that could include actual call-to-action and conversion event like, call me crazy, actually finding a place where I can buy Budweiser), it’s owned by a Florida newspaper. Budweiser is missing out on social shares, likes, subscribes, and leads by releasing control of almost all of the onscreen real estate of their own branded search.

This is a digital marketing disaster. Budweiser isn’t maximizing the potential of what is probably the single most expensive piece of marketing content money can buy. Even if your company doesn’t run anything close to Super Bowl (we here at Conductor certainly don’t), there’s a key lesson in how to make sure your video content is getting found.

What can digital marketers do to avoid this?

Here at Conductor, we are proud to announce our very own YouTube integration: Channel Insights for YouTube. If you’d like to learn more about how Conductor integrates with YouTube in order to help you capitalize on the value of your digital marketing assets, check our our Product Features.

That said, whether you use Searchlight or not, here’s two crucial tips for making sure you aren’t letting your video content go to waste.

1. Use your YouTube Analytics Data

Google no longer tells you what keywords are driving traffic to your site. This has presented a major challenge for SEOs and marketers. It makes effectively prioritizing, executing, and evaluating the effectiveness of your SEO programs significantly more difficult. Interestingly enough, YouTube doesn’t have this limitation and will give you data on what keywords are driving traffic to your videos. Take advantage of this data!


You may have to figure out who within your organization handles YouTube analytics. But when you do, make sure that the keywords that are driving traffic to your videos are part of your SEO strategy. If you use a platform like Searchlight, make sure you are tracking those keywords. You want to make absolutely certain that video content driving traffic on YouTube is also showing up for your customers searching on other search engines. twitter-icon

2. Always have a strategy for publishing video content digitally

Video content doesn’t have to be a Super Bowl commercial to resonate with your audience. What it does need, however, is a strategy. We hear from many of our larger customers that this can be very difficult due to organizational silos making it challenging for the digital team to plan effectively. That being said, it’s critically important.

When video content is being discussed at your company, bring the question of goals on the digital side. How many visits should this video drive? How many conversions? Where in the buyer’s journey is the video targeted: early stage awareness or late stage decision-making? When you have goals in place, it becomes far easier to force coordination to make sure that what needs to get done actually gets done.

Video content doesn’t have to be a Super Bowl commercial to resonate with your audience. What it does need, however, is a strategy. twitter-icon

Here are a few core questions to think about when video content is being released:

  • Is there a landing page with a call-to-action set up for the video to be embedded?
  • Is the video scheduled to publish at the right moment across all digital properties?
  • Has the search team brainstormed keywords relevant to the video content?
  • Does the digital advertising team have a strategy to leverage the video?
  • Are roles and responsibilities for monitoring and reporting digital progress defined?
  • Is the competition likely to do anything to try to counter our push? What’s the plan if they do?

A big part of the reason why we here at Conductor advocate for a Web Presence Management approach is this very challenge: your audience is having conversations all over the web, not just on your website. You need to expand the scope of your digital marketing efforts to try to capture traffic and attention across the web.

Interested in amping up the video SEO for your brand? Learn more about Insights for YouTube and check out our Five-Step Process for Ranking on YouTube.

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