May 18, 2010

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

This week YouTube announced it gets 2 billion hits per day.

Only seven months ago it was 1 billion hits per day.

As one of the prime vehicles for user-driven content many see YouTube becoming part of the 'media cloud' under the Google brand that will dominate the skyline in the next couple of years.

So what does this mean for brands?

Well for established brands traditional media will continue to be an important part of their marketing mix. Australian adults still watch over 3 hours of TV per day on average. The developing Apple media empire will still deliver value through magazine and newspaper advertising, albeit in a different format.

For emerging brands though it is worth considering what represents the best value for money and what people are actually viewing these days in terms of content. Where should you focus your spend and how should your create authentic brand experiences?

From a certain perspective, user-driven content = authenticity. For a large share of the market what they consume online through YouTube, Vimeo, Digg and the like or through countless blogs is real. TV is not real.

There are some easy ways to grow your brand through online content sharing.

1. Give your customers or audience the tools and incentives to create content on your behalf. Many brands do this well already with much success. Why try and sell a product to a cold prospect when a customer can do it that much better for you?

2. If you are looking at an integrated campaign choose your channels carefully. Last year I experienced a great intiative by Subaru as part of the 'All About the Driver' campaign. My Subaru was given a pit stop spruce up on Kings Way during peak hour. Awesome! The follow up was a cold, impersonal phonecall. What a let down.

3. When you create content to share make it interesting, infectious and organic. Sure you can make nice ads but if it stinks of advertising, its online potency will be reduced. T-mobile hit a sweet spot with this campaign...

This clip has had over 20,000,000 views so far on YouTube.

For now TV will still be important to many brands in keeping front of mind but if your brand is an aggresive new player ask yourself: "Will our (brand) revolution be televised?"

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