YouTube’s Crisis of Plethora
Most businesses are converts to the new orthodoxy that online video marketing is the marketing of the future. Social Media Examiner’s “2012 Social Media Industry Report,” found that 76 percent of marketers are planning to increase their use of YouTube and video marketing in general. The same report found that, in the coming year, video marketing will get the largest share of investment from marketers.
While online video marketing gives businesses a tool for engaging with their customers in meaningful ways, it’s not easy to get your videos noticed. Currently, 35 hours of video footage are uploaded to YouTube every minute. This number should do two things: it should tell you that YouTube is a hub of activity (which is something you likely already know), and it should tell you that getting noticed on it is easier said than done.
It’s easy for marketing videos to get buried beneath the endless avalanche of cat videos.
You can’t guarantee that your video—no matter how polished or zeitgeisty—will be watched, but you can make it more likely that it will. Here are some tips to help you distribute your video in such a way that it will get watched.
Use Available Audiences
The key to distributing a video is to use your current customers and brand advocates. Your current customers have already been convinced that your brand offers a valuable service and they will, as a result, be more receptive to the prospect of promoting your materials. They will already “get” your message and understand your “value proposition.”
Use your current social media resources to advertise your video in advance. Tell your Facebook “friends” that you will be posting a video online or that you have taken the ambitious step of setting up a channel devoted exclusively to your brand. By alerting people who are already receptive to your message about your videos, you may be able to attract an initial burst of views, as well as some valuable earned media.
In addition, before releasing your videos, you should send an email to your database of previous customers, telling them that you will be doing so. This email should emphasize that your online video marketing materials will provide customers with information and continuing support.
All of these tactics are designed to generate the crucial early support your video will need if it is going to avert oblivion.
Supplement Your Networks
In addition to courting your established audience, it’s a good idea to conscript your content partner’s network into your distribution strategy. If, for instance, you are creating video content in partnership with a video blogger, it’s quite likely that s/he will have a distribution plan and a network readily available. These are invaluable resources.
Similarly, digital studios will generally possess a circle of contacts who they regularly distribute content to. In addition, they are likely to have favored networks and have a presence across multiple video channels.
Make Your Content Easy to Discover and Remember
Given the quantity of content—video or otherwise—on the Internet, it’s not likely that your customers will be able to remember where they can find and access your video content. No matter how compelling and no matter how loyal they may be, your customers are likely to lose track of your video and your channel, as they try to stay afloat in an ever-swelling sea of online content.
That’s why you need to make it easy for your customers to locate your online video marketing. Allow your customers to subscribe to your channel through RSS, as well as iTunes or Miro. And don’t skimp on the widgets: adding these to your video content can make it easier for your customers (and new converts!) to grab your content and add it to their social networks. These aren’t hard to add and they make it easier for customers to recall and distribute your online video marketing content.
Finally, you should always employ browser plug-ins like Addthis or Shareaholic to get your video content to web bookmarking sites like Reddit, Delicious, Digg and Stumble Upon.
Video may be the future but it’s going to be an inhospitable one. A lot of marketers naively think that videos will—unsupported—boost their brands and entice legions of new customers. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. If your online video marketing materials are not supported by a coordinated and well-orchestrated distribution strategy, there is a good chance they will end up unviewed and unremembered.