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Advertising? Try videos on YouTube

business Updated: Jan 09, 2011 22:49 IST
Sanjay Soni

Marketing brands through videos can be a very interesting and rewarding exercise. Done right, it even manages to get more attention than perhaps a brand’s advertising can.

The “Cat Playing Piano” video on YouTube grossed 18,707,050 views, beating all three major US TV broadcasting channels taken together. YouTube videos like this one rapidly gain audience when people who see the video want to share it with others.

The best YouTube videos are the most interesting ones. Done right, a “premier rush” video of a new, anticipated car model to be launched at a car dealer’s outlet can get a lot more views than a regular TV ad. The trick would be in making it share-worthy.

One thing I notice that invariably works is humour. What do most of the viral videos have in common? They make you laugh. Nothing works like humor to keep the viewers glued to your video. For this reason, the “Youth Soccer Goalie Scores on Her Own Team” video captured a million plus views on YouTube. If such humour could get attached to a brand in a relevant way, it would definitely attract attention.

However, any video that promotes a brand has to be real. A hoax would give it the wrong kind of reputation.

If a brand’s video just attract viewers to watch it, it is unlikely to bring any business advantage. A call to action in the video, possibly towards the signoff, would perhaps work better.

More ambitious than one brand video would be a dozen videos — the brand gets its own video channel and if they attract people, it gives the brand the advantage of greater coherence.

A few things I noticed with good video efforts on YouTube: those videos that were taken to their audience — email list with email message embedding the YouTube link; tweeting about the video on Twitter; video featuring on a Facebook profile — got them much more interest and attention.

A brand’s video can create greater traction if the brand also invites customer testimonials, goes on to hold contests, rewards generously and puts the clips up online.

The writer is managing director,
Logix Microsystems Ltd