Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

YouTube marketing 7 – you’ve gone viral; now what?

Posted in Web 2.0 marketing by Timothy Platt on November 6, 2012

This is my seventh installment in a best practices series for developing more effective YouTube and similar video clip marketing campaigns (see Web 2.0 Marketing, postings 64-69 for Parts 1-6.) I began this series with a brief but focused discussion of some of the key factors that you need to take into account when developing a marketing message, and video marketing in particular that is more likely to catch public attention. My goal in this series up to here has been to help you increase your chances that your marketing reach from your videos will expand by word of mouth and consumer to consumer link sharing. And ideally this reaches a tipping point where your message goes viral and reaches a very wide audience. This posting begins at that point and with a very simple question: what comes next?

And I turn to the basics and by that I mean the very, very basics as I begin addressing that question, and to lessons learned from the first dot-com bubble. The first-round online business startups that got caught up in that made a lot of mistakes, some of which I have already discussed in the course of writing this blog (see, for example my Startups and Early Stage Businesses directory and also see Business Strategy and Operations and its Part 2 continuation page.) Many, for example, tried launching without a clearly defined business plan or business model, and many were hobbled by lack of any real management or leadership experience and from lack of effective strategic planning. But essentially all of these business failures held at least one very significant self-imposed challenge in common. They all simply assumed that site visitor counts and counts of “sticky eyeballs” could be equated and directly so with monetizable value and with market strength and business value. Then the bubble burst.

• You have produced a video marketing message for one of your marketing campaigns and you have posted it to YouTube and people started viewing it. You embedded it on a prominent page of your web site and used social media to help people find it, and they really began to – and to share links to it with their friends – and this spread and your message went viral. So you have a lot of viewers. What now?
• Viewers who do not themselves connect with your business and do business with you can still be of real value to you and your business if they help you connect with others who do.
• For longer-term value, word of mouth-spread recognition concerning your business, and with favorable impressions shared can help boost the reach and visibility, and recognizability of your brand and this can lead to long-term value.
• But ultimately, and from a business marketing perspective, the viewers who really count here in determining the effectiveness of this marketing campaign are the ones who follow through on viewing your video to actually doing business with you and making completed purchases.

When a marketing video goes viral, it captures the attention of a very wide audience, only part of which would fit the demographics of people who would fit your targeted marketing profiles as likely customers. That might very well mean capturing business from unexpected directions – and you do want to identify when that happens so you can revaluate and refine your understanding of what your real markets are. But you do want to include in your video message a hook that can help both you and your potential customer connect.

• You can, for example, offer a brief and easy to remember code word as a discount or special offer code, and then include a field on your online sales transaction forms for entering it. This both tells you which of your customers have come to you from the marketing video, and it incentivizes them to do so.
• And, of course, if you have phone-in purchasing order capabilities and/or phone-based customer support for consumers who have pre-purchase questions, your phone representatives would be prepared to capture this information and enter it into their transaction process screens too, and repeat the message from that video about any savings or other incentives offered.

The idea here is to not simply collect viewers, but rather to convert their viewings into increased sales, and both for overall numbers and by increasing demographic reach – by expanding your effective potential target market. That means systematically developing operational processes for both better understanding who is reaching out to you, and for completing transactions coming from a wider market than you have initially assumed. I am going to look into that in my next series installment. Meanwhile, you can find this and related postings at Web 2.0 Marketing.

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