Working at Bent Pixels: My Internship Experience

The Position
My position as Channel Manager for the Channel X department of Bent Pixels has been an extremely enriching experience within the world of digital media. I immediately reported to Rod Zelli who reported to Reed Lucas. I also helped out our Channel X colleague Sam Weller. The communication on our team worked very well, as Reed delegates to Rod and Sam but also maintains connection with me. Rod is very clear in explicating what he would like me to do and is helpful in teaching me when there are tasks I have not yet gained the expertise for.

The Clients
The clients with whom I worked most closely with include SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, Petco Animal Supplies, House of Blues, HartBeat, JAKKS Pacific, and Little Orbit. Each client has a unique plan for their goals, dailly scope of work, and approach to handling their YouTube channel. For SeaWorld, I helped manage 9 channels that represent their various parks and affiliations and we focus on brand management. For Petco, House of Blues, and Hartbeat the major focus was on audience engagement. For Little Orbit and JAKKS Pacific, I assisted with Influencer Outreach.

The Scope of Work
My daily scope of work revolved mainly around the ebb and flow of work and client requests in the Channel X department. I began my summer by working on channel management and channel optimization. I learned how to set up a channel with playlists, video uploads, banners, and more. This was a helpful start to my position because I was able to fully understand the background of YouTube and the navigation of the channels. Channel management was my first big responsibility. Daily tasks included checking in on all the channels we manage to monitor for overly negative comments or spam as well as responding positively to comments and questions from fans. This helps maintain a healthy channel because it promotes creator/audience connectivity. Channel X audience development lets fans know a channel is paying attention to them. Daily work also includes new video uploads to the appropriate channel. These involve applying proper Video Search Engine Optimization (VSEO), tags, and titles to ensure that the video has a strong searchability on YouTube and is more likely to be found by users. We also apply annotations to videos to create calls-to-action that encourage the audience to engage further with the video by clicking on related links. Channel optimization and upkeep is an important process for maintaining the brand and representation of the client.

Influencer Outreach is another aspect of Channel X that consists of branded campaigns by YouTube personalities. Bent Pixels has created a relationship with many prominent and influential YouTubers who each specialize in a different expertise. For example, when representing JAKKS Pacific, we reach out to toy reviewers and collectors to form an agreement where we provide the toy and added perks in return for a creative video showcasing the product. We target YouTubers who boast at least 10,000 subscribers in order to create the biggest impact in reaching an audience that watches their relevant content. Influencer Outreach begins with research, to which I was able to dedicate a lot of my time. As each toy, game, and campaign is different, we look for individuals who will fit the image the company is looking for and deliver a video that will aptly spread the word about the product. Our Influencer Outreach campaigns have generated up to $75,000 worth of media.

Lastly, my position was also able to branch out into the brands aspect of Bent Pixels in which I assisted in digital rights management and client proposals. For digital rights management I learned the process of dry-claiming and searching for copyright properties. With client proposals I was taught how to assess a channel through how it is successful and how it can be improved and augmented by Bent Pixels’ services. This helped me understand the way to evaluate our worth in a relationship with a client and the services Bent Pixels has to offer in transforming a YouTube channel as well as a company’s media representation.

The Impact
My position with Bent Pixels has extensively expanded my knowledge of the YouTube world, the technological aspect of digital media, and the future of advertising. In applying what I have learned with Bent Pixels to my career as a student, I have been able to enrich my skills in communication and entrepreneurship. As a communication major I focus strongly on the world of media and its impact on society. In this position I have been able to see YouTube grow to the world’s most trafficked social media outlet and have witnessed the impact of brand representation on social media. Companies that put effort into their YouTube channel have access to the future of advertising. The public is looking online for reviews, opinions, and examples of products they want to buy or businesses they may visit. It is invigorating being part of a business that contributes to such a forward-looking mentality. Additionally, as an entrepreneurship minor I have been able to experience a stable but exhilarating start-up atmosphere. The small office team allows me to have hands on experience with everyone from my fellow interns to the CEO. This allows me to see the impact I am making in the company with every email I send and task I accomplish. Additionally, I am in contact with the clients we represent and able to see the significant role our clients play in our livelihood as a young company. Especially regarding the technological aspect of our company, I have felt very fortunate to apply what I’ve learned in the classroom as well as hone new skills that I would not have gained on campus. I have learned a significant amount about the world of YouTube and its role in the future of digital media. This field is only continuing to grow and the skills I have learned here will be invaluable to my interest in the field of media and advertising.

by Mackenzie Hummel

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