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March 28, 2017

Leave Competitors Behind by Using IT Solutions to Analyze YouTube Videos

By Special Guest
Tatsiana Levdikova, an IT/Tech Journalist at EffectiveSoft

 The power of social media is hard to deny. People from all over the world communicate with each other via social media websites, apps, etc. Such platforms represent an avenue through which brands can engage customers in a meaningful conversation by receiving feedback on their products and services, answering clients' queries and asking their own questions, informing customers about discounts, and more. In short, companies use social media to "feel the pulse" of the audience. Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook (News - Alert) are some of the most popular platforms that companies choose to build their online presence.

 The competition between businesses is high, and organizations do their utmost to outrun the rivals. Some of them use the information squeezed from social media in their marketing strategies. It means that companies utilize not only the information that can be found on group pages they manage, but also the data obtained from social media platforms with the help of technology solutions.

 The Importance of Video Content

 Still, some important websites are neglected when it comes to the extraction of valuable information. Organizations do not take into account one essential fact: videos uploaded by users do have an impact on businesses. And millions of U.S. dollars lost by United Airlines following a single video complaint illustrate this influence.

 Today, people tend to upload their video reviews of different products and services to such websites as ExpoTV and YouTube (News - Alert). The latter is the best example of websites that often get too little attention from marketers and researchers given difficulties associated with the analysis of video content.

 However, marketers do not consider the statistics: YouTube has over a billion users who spend hundreds of millions of hours watching videos. Besides, every minute, users upload 300 hours of video to YouTube. Videos can give more important information to researchers than text-based websites like Twitter (News - Alert). As it is impossible to search for all the relevant videos manually, companies will have to address a software development company to get a tool able to extract the data they need from YouTube videos. But it is worth the trouble.

 Speech Analysis

 Video reviews convey opinions of their authors, and these opinions can be added to the knowledge base with the help of voice recognition tools that are widely available on the Internet. Following that, researchers can use natural language processing (NLP) tools (e.g. Sentiment Analyzer) to analyze the sentiment of the textual data and to extract some valuable details. For instance, bloggers may mention some features that they dislike in a particular product, and researchers can take these features into account while working on its improvement.

 Why YouTube Videos are Relevant

 YouTube videos can play an important role in opinion mining. People use their voices to express different emotions, and the analysis of vocal modulations can help researchers gain a better understanding of the speaker's opinion. Some scientists (e.g., D. Datcu) work on automating emotion recognition techniques. Experts use specific speech characteristics to indicate emotions of a speaker: duration, pitch, intensity, etc.

 Facial expressions should be analyzed, too. There are universal emotions (surprise, anger, sadness, etc.) that can give facial recognition software developers sufficient clues for detecting emotions. Given the fact that there is, as a rule, only one person who conducts video reviews, and this person looks at the camera most of the time, it is easy to make use of face recognition software that is able to read facial expressions. nViso and FaceReader are examples of such emotion recognition solutions.

 The Role of Comments

 Videos are not the only source of data that marketers can utilize. Comments are also crucial; popular videos attract hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of comments on a daily basis. These comments may also comprise some relevant information about products or services discussed in the review. Comments may be reviews themselves. Therefore, it is evident that marketers can benefit from making use of the data extracted from comments.

 Uses of Information from YouTube

 If there are still some doubts about the usage of the information obtained from YouTube videos and comments, the list of applications found below will make you forget about them.

  •  First, marketers will get unlimited access to feedback from customers about their products and services. There are many product video reviews on the Internet, so marketers can receive the information they need right from the videos.
  • Speech recognition solutions eliminate the need to spend money on customer satisfaction surveys. They can help specialists find out if a customer is satisfied with a product/service.
  • Nowadays, there are many vloggers. Viewers can press "like" or "dislike" under a YouTube video, but vloggers will not get a full picture of what exactly users like and dislike in the video. They may read comments left by viewers, but the number of opinions can be too high to read them all. So, the analysis of comments with the help of NLP solutions is the right choice in this case. And here is the reason: such solutions can assist researchers in extracting the information about strengths and weaknesses of the video.
  • Advertisers are also granted a chance to gain a considerable advantage from making use of IT solutions. Many videos lack detailed descriptions and they are hard to categorize. However, the analysis of videos' content can help experts see which videos better fit the customer needs.
  • From the users' perspective, the situation is similar: software can significantly improve search activities, and users will get a full list of videos they may like.

 Issues to Consider

Yet, there are some issues that developers of these IT solutions should address.

  • When it comes to understanding customers' satisfaction, software cannot tell to what extent the client is satisfied with a product/service. So, determining the level of satisfaction represents a problem that software developers will have to solve.
  • Cross-cultural distinctions also matter: audio and video cues may vary from country to country.
  • Slang is another challenge. Experts should keep in mind that some words and phrases may have a different meaning in the natural language.
  • Not all vlogs are in English. It is important that vendors make sure their software can work with the most widely spoken languages.
  • Speech recognition solutions may not work properly, and it is always better to have a human employee to check the final text.
  • Though comments seem to be easier to analyze, this is not always true. There are many "noisy" comments that must be removed before launching the analysis. Here is one more harsh issue: not all comments speak about videos. They may represent opinions of other users about the same product/service. So, if possible, IT solutions should be able to separate such comments from each other depending on the purpose of the research.

 Conclusion

Nowadays people actively express themselves online, and social media platforms are their beloved destination. The user-generated content represents a fertile research field, as businesses can relish the advantages data squeezed from it can give to businesses.

Many researchers focus on the analysis of textual information, while the analysis of videos (and product reviews in particular) remains untapped. Organizations that deploy information extracted from videos and comments left by users have a good chance of outrunning their competitors. Such analytics tools can also be integrated with custom e-commerce solutions to give marketers unrestricted access to new data.

About the Author

Tatsiana Levdikova is an IT/Tech Journalist at EffectiveSoft, a custom software company that unites 250+ experts.


 


Edited by Alicia Young

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