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by on Dec 25, 2006 at 7:47:30 pm

I'm trying to figure out how I can use Youtube to get more PR for my business. Has anybody used Youtube/ Google Video ? Any results?

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Mark SuszkoRe: YouTube
by on Dec 27, 2006 at 4:40:09 am

Not personally yet, but have seen some done well and a lot more done badly. You could look up the horrible car crash of an effort Sony did for the Christmas PSP rap viral as one bad example. It became famous as a laughingstock and got a lot of play that way but the effect was negative. You could look at the "Lonelygirl" project which was made to look amateur, but wasn't. Carleton Draught's fabulous 'Big Ad' spot was a broadcast spot that was given very limited airplay by choice, so as to keep it from burning out early, but they played the heck out of it over the web as a stream to keep a buzz going all year.

If you are considering this channel, ask yourself what you're selling and if this is an apropriate venue to say something about your biz or just an attempt to do something cutting edge (like Sony tried) without a real reason to do so. If for example you're an editor and you want to put out a calling card for your editing skills, something like the re-edit of West Side Story into a horror trailer can create some buzz. Go look that up on if you haven't seen it yet, also the re-cut of "the Shining" into "Shine"; a family fun film...

The guys who made that short subject, "405" was it? Where the jet lands on a freeway and the nose gets stuck on a hapless car in traffic... they made that whole piece to demo their Fx and production skills to the LA market, so that's a perfect viral.

The first issue for a viral is it has to appear totally anonymous, so you don't make it obvious who released it but you leave a trail of crumbs for people who want to find you to track. When folks put out an accidentally blatant viral it immediately loses street cred. Something about the voyeuristic thrill of discovering something on your own and sharing it around an "in crowd" I guess. But inauthenticity is often easily detected by the youTube crowd and they are merciless when they find a trickster.

Where this anonymity "rule" can be broken is if it's a straight news event or if you really want to make a special point about the authorship as part of the statement. I'm thinking here of protest videos, political statements, and sample clips from your in-progress documentary production that just might happen to still need extra financing. You just can't make it a straight-on commercial, that would be death, IMO.

What kind of thing were you thinking about doing?

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Tim WilsonRe: YouTube
by on Dec 27, 2006 at 2:45:27 pm

[Mark Suszko] "What kind of thing were you thinking about doing?"

The one and only important question.

YouTube today is in the same state as the web itself ten-ish years ago. The idea had kind of been around for a while, but somebody found a way to get traction -- back then it was Netscape for browsing, now YouTube for video.

Back then, people said, "Hey, this internet thing is blowing up -- I need to get me a home page." Then they threw something up in the middle of all the cat fanciers, Elvis freaks and UFO nuts and waited for something to happen. It didn't.

Today, it's "Hey, YouTube is happening -- I need to get me a video up on YouTube." Then they throw something up among the mashups, bootlegs, and South Park clips and wait for something to happen. It won't.

Now, obviously, plenty of people are using the web and YouTube to get something done -- but the successful ones decide first what they want to accomplish, and create a strategy to pull off THAT thing.

That said, I don't think generating lift for a YouTube video is that much different than doing it for a website...but it doesn't happen by accident, and happens best when you have an actual reasons why that's the best medium for your message to back up your strategy.

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George SockaRe: YouTube
by on Dec 28, 2006 at 6:40:40 pm

I have used it a few times. With minimal success, but it is a learning thing, and I may noit b ethat bright. YouTube IS where the web was 10 years ago, but the learning experience that people got was what is now creating the modern web. Figuring out how to use an open market vehicle like YouTube now to sell yourself will, IMNSHO, pay off when your paying customer asks you to pull off a LonleyGirl15 for them. Hard to speak about intelligently if you have never done anything like it. Scary thing is, Loneygirl was, AFAIK, pulled off by amateurs - not us "Seasoned Pros". They simply thought outside the box - or maybe did not even know a box existed.

BTW, I remember my first paying web project - did the graphics in MS Paint. Probably in 1996. Right up there with teh cat fanciers. That client now runs a world wide web based event management service.

So go fro it. Do it. Over and over till you get it to work.

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GregRe: YouTube
by on Dec 27, 2006 at 2:53:25 pm

Hi Mark and Tim,

My thoughts are to create a simple video cut to music with suggestive words on the screen. The goal would be for people to view it and show others, perhaps emailing a link to others, to create a buzz leading people to my website. Sort of a PR type of thing. I'm trying to figure out if this would be worthwhile, as most of my clients are large corporations.



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Mark SuszkoRe: YouTube
by on Dec 27, 2006 at 6:25:43 pm

The relatively few times I forward someone a URL link to a You-tube video, it has either been over the top hysterically funny or clever, or of something directly related to some particular narrow interest of my and myself, or it shows some exemplary kind of masterful execution. Anything less is not worth it.

So, what is it about your web site?

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Mike CohenRe: YouTube
by on Dec 28, 2006 at 9:07:12 pm

If you look at the top viewed videos every day, they tend to be related to sex, football (soccer), the occasional tv show bootleg clip and perhaps one or two clips from the viral success stories. But to become a viral success takes a lot of luck given the 30,000 new videos appearing daily on YouTube.
I use it for my personal videos - it is thrilling to me to have 1000 views of my last vacation video.

But relying upon YouTube for business success is questionable. Remember most of the large advertisers posting on YouTube are quite successful already (Sony, Panasonic, NBC etc)

And the others have pointed out that blatant advertising gets derided pretty quickly.

A video of words set to music sounds pretty boring.

Look at the viral top 100 on ifilm or the top videos of the month or year - if you can make something that either entertaining or clever go for it.

That being said, I have found some people using YouTube to host videos for use on their own website in niche areas. But that is primarily a matter of free hosting thanks to YouTube.

Post your video and link to it here - let the COW experts give you some guidance.

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GregRe: YouTube - Thanks
by on Dec 29, 2006 at 3:55:13 pm

I'll give it a try, and let you know the results. I've created a similar video for a large corporate convention and had many people asking for a copy, so I'm confident of the subject matter.

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ArniepixRe: YouTube - Thanks
by on Dec 31, 2006 at 4:36:02 pm

If you already have a website, why not just host your video there? If you send your prospective clients to You Tube, you run the risk of them being distracted by all of the other You Tube videos, and what started as your demo becomes a fun search for Japanese Fiddler on the Roof & the singing house cats.


Now in post: Peristroika, a film by Slava Tsukerman

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Tim WilsonWhy would you YouTube?
by on Dec 31, 2006 at 5:49:27 pm

[Arniepix] "If you already have a website, why not just host your video there? If you send your prospective clients to You Tube, you run the risk of them being distracted by all of the other You Tube videos"

My thinking exactly. Even if the only thing you have on your website besides your video is your phone number, you've already accomplished something that YouTube cannot, without the distraction of South Park clips.

I'm a new media guy. I dig PVR, PSP, and video for MP3 players. I have no idea why you'd bother with a website and NOT have video on it -- no matter what kind of website it is. (And seriously, how many websites do you visit for any reason that don't have video?)

More than that, I truly believe that if you're not preparing a strategy for mobile video, you're in this business on borrowed time.

And believe me, I love YouTube. Just last night my wife and I were doubled over watching Steven Colbert's speech at the White House Press dinner. In the past week alone, I sent Ron Lindeboom a link to the COW version of the THX animation, got the uncensored "D**k in a Box" SNL video from a VP at Avid, and saw Todd Rundgren's Utopia performing The Ikon for German television in 1974. Search for "Chris Bliss juggling" at YouTube, set it play it full screen, turn up your speakers and prepare to be amazed -- especially if you dig The Beatles. I think YouTube is a miracle, nothing less.

But I can't for the life of me figure why anyone would try to conduct business using YouTube. So I'm especially interested to hear from anyone who's tried it -- WHY? And if you did, HOW? And how did it go?

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Tom McNallyRe: Why would you YouTube?
by on Jan 1, 2007 at 6:18:45 pm

I'd put it up on both YouTube and your website. You can direct people to your website for professionalism and use YouTube as a potential marketing tool via their search engine. Some people do not know what to do or how to start a media campaign. The first thing they may think of is YouTube and will search to see examples. You've got nothing to lose.

Tom McNally

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Tim WilsonRe: Why would you YouTube?
by on Jan 1, 2007 at 6:38:22 pm

There's no reason not to put anything on YouTube. It's cheap, it's fun, and you can send your link to all your pals who send you videos of a kitten in a cup, Gnarls Barkley and "My Bubby wishing you a Happy New Year." (I got those from YouTube's front page today, btw.)

I really am curious if anybody here has come up with an actual strategy that's best implemented via YouTube. I genuinely hope so. But I haven't heard it yet.

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George SockaRe: YouTube - Thanks
by on Jan 1, 2007 at 9:36:57 pm

Therein lies the rub. You CAN direct people you KNOW to your own web site. The rest of the world, however, will never find you. But Youtube exposes you - and more importantly your client's message to millions.

Obviously, the Youtube demographics may not be for all products and services. But by dismissing it out of hand, you close off this part of the world to your message,

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Tim WilsonRe: YouTube - Thanks
by on Jan 2, 2007 at 2:31:33 am

[George Socka] "You CAN direct people you KNOW to your own web site. The rest of the world, however, will never find you. But Youtube exposes you - and more importantly your client's message to millions."

Actually, search engines are one tool among many to direct the world to my website. :-) Far better than YouTube's blunt search tools ever could. I also know what I expect to achieve once people DO find my web pick up the phone. Click to send me an email.

Compare this to YouTube. Blunt search tools at best -- much better optimized to browse. Best case scenario: I post the perfect video, and tons of people see it. What then? There's no link back. I can include a URL at the end of the video, but I have to hope someobody remembers to type it in before they get distracted by that clip of a baby panda sneezing. (Hilarious, by the way. Check it out.)

Go back to the analogy I first raised, to the web ten years ago. Hey, I hear the internet's hot! Let's get a home page!

Anybody can do that. The value that we add for our clients is a way to turn that web page into money. Here are a few guidelines for site design....for getting seen by search engines...for getting links from other's the part of your message that can work best on the's what won't work on the web.... You get the picture.

I'm not dismissing YouTube at all. I'm just waiting for the rest of the story about how to actually use it to drive business to my client's door. I've yet to hear anyone describe a strategy that includes YouTube other than, "hey, that YouTube thing sure is popular!" I see how YouTube can turn that into money. But what about my client? What can my real-world client (not Nike, not Saturday Night Live) expect to accomplish with YouTube? How do I help them do that?

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