Monday, 2 February 2009

Do you tube?

Just how far can brands go with YouTube? Does it really extend brand reach and how can you measure the value it adds to your business? These are just a few questions I’ve been asking myself recently as I get to grips with why I think video is an essential part of the customer engagement process.

On a personal level, I love YouTube. I use it to listen to new bands and duck into the viral offerings that so easily clog my attention. I spend 2 to 3 hours every week ambling around, with no particular aim and no pressure to find one. I use the TV channels and enjoy the offerings some of the major brands have uploaded. I can choose what content to access and when, then move it to wherever I want to display it on my personal networks. That is the beauty of the tube and why I think it has longevity.

The doomsayers predicted the death knell when the Google behemoth moved into town but thankfully the paranoia was short lived. More and more brands are dabbling with YouTube as a marketing milieu, some are really getting stuck in and, dare I say it, having fun! Yes, that’s right, big brands are releasing the shackles and coming out to play.

I’ll throw a few obligatory stats into the mix to assuage the doubters. According to comScore, the number of online shoppers watching retail videos has gone up 40% since October 2007 (read the eMarketer article here). In the US,  adding video or streaming media is rated by 43% of retailers as the most important site feature they will add to their site this year. Yes, that is the US speaking but as we all know that’s a canny barometer for the UK and we are only lagging 12 months behind in terms of adoption. Econsultancy has a helpful article with a list of major UK retailers using video well. My personal nudge is Knicker Picker, a great example site to use when explaining the beauty of online video to a male audience…..

And from the customer’s point of view, what’s so special about YouTube? Quite simply, it is another tool that enables people to engage with content on their terms. Unlike TV where adverts appear regardless of whether you want them, online is on demand. And let’s not forget the viral effect. I don’t mean viral in the sense of some digital agency using seeding strategies to push the content, I mean viral from friends and colleagues exchanging stuff they like. I was sat having a nice cup of tea with a good mate of mine and he started talking about what Durex are doing on YouTube and told me to check out their videos. Later that afternoon, an email landed in my inbox with an article on Durex and YouTube. Coincidence? The article gives a good insight into how video can really, really engage people online. I highly recommend visiting YouTube and watching their “Doggy Style” video – this would probably hit the censors via traditional media but on YouTube there is a more open-minded audience with a keener sense of humour. Watch it, I challenge you not to laugh, especially when the Durex dogs check out the camera! Oh and did I mention, this video has been viewed over 800,000 times.

Brand reach anyone?

No comments: