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Ever notice how hard it is to turn off your inner marketer? In the waning days of 2010, it wasn’t New Year’s parties that had my mind buzzing; it was web video, and not just spots like this one, featuring YouTube “phenomenon” Keenan Cahill. Admittedly, Cahill’s videos — in which he dances and lip-syncs to popular music songs — are attention-getting. After his November 2010 appearance on “Chelsea Lately”, during which comedienne Chelsea Handler aired a clip of Cahill’s then-latest Web video featuring a guest appearance from the rapper 50 Cent, hits for said video skyrocketed from 9,000 to 3.2 million views in two days. Numbers like these are impressive, and demonstrate the limitless creativity of the consumer and reach of the medium. Even more persuasive are the statistics from the video-sharing website. In 2010, YouTube topped 1 billion subscriptions, had more than 2 billion views daily and claimed that 24-plus hours of video content was uploaded per minute. In 2011, marketers will witness nothing short of a Video Invasion, and we’re not the only ones who think so. Forrester Research has concluded that online videos are five-times more likely to get a top Google ranking over text pages, and a few weeks ago it was reported that Facebook is second only to Google in driving video traffic online. Simply put, web video is begging to be seen and heard, and wise marketers want in on the broadcast.
Maybe I’m just blogging out loud, but it seems as if there’s some “un-taped” potential in web video. With more consumers acquiring video-capable Smartphones and more social networking sites pushing video features, brands should consider how to see and be seen.
There are countless ways savvy brands can utilize web video. Some of the most obvious include making any video content they do have available online. Set up a YouTube channel, and share web videos not just on Facebook, but also on Twitter, which last year gave users the ability to view web videos in their Twitter feeds, instead of having to click through a link to another site. Vertical Marketing Network and client James Hardie proved to be ahead of the game when they asked consumers to get creative in 2009, running a contest for “Hardie Home” owners to show off their James Hardie siding by submitting YouTube videos that answered “Why I Love My Hardie Home.” Here’s how it worked:
And because I know you want to know, here’s the winning submission.
It’s as if entertainment and information have joined forces for not just the brand’s benefit, but also the consumer’s, as well. Everybody plays, and everybody wins. Moreover, marketers should also consider this: within the last few months, promoted videos on YouTube hit 500 million views. Promoted videos are exactly what they sound like: paid video advertisements, and YouTube claims that since launching them two years ago, “thousands of advertisers have taken advantage of this ad format to entice likely customers with videos about everything from smoked brisket recipes to magnetic jewelry to sneakers. Politicians and political activists have used promoted videos to argue for a proposition or against an issue. And large companies have reached wide audiences with movie trailers, recipes, and ideas for Halloween.” Not only that, but in the last year, there’s been a more than six-fold increase in the number of times viewers have clicked to watch a promoted video.
Whether it’s your idea or that of a loyal consumer, web video can extend your brand “virtually” everywhere. Go ahead: push play.