Can YouTube Really Boost Your Brand?

August 20th, 2008

YouTube boosts your brandIn the United States a 71-year-old presidential candidate has made YouTube part of his campaign strategy. His competitor achieved YouTube stardom last year with a renegade music video created by supporters rather than political operatives.

If Senators John McCain and Barack Obama have turned to YouTube a crucial part of their market outreach – what about you? Shouldn’t YouTube be part of your branding strategy?

It’s easy to overlook YouTube as a quirky entertainment phenomenon. But make no mistake about it, web video is radically changing the landscape for marketers of all kinds: corporate, not-for-profit, causes & activists, and political campaign teams alike.

Right now most marketers and communicators are still absorbing the astounding reality that you can video broadcast whatever you like, whenever you like, to a mass audience for a pretty reasonable sum of money. This is a mind-boggling reality. This power is almost dizzying. No offence to the TV networks out there, but we really don’t need you like we used to.

But…be forewearned…this ability to broadcast brings with it enormous responsibility. You don’t want to contribute to that unfortunate, desperate mass of video content that is bypassed for being boring or pointless.

That’s why the secret of success in this YouTube era is to focus in on great storytelling. Use the people on your team who understand how to weave a compelling tale (in writing and on video). And listen when they tell you: “No we can’t do that, it’s too schmaltzy.” Or, “I really don’t think we have a story here.” Or, “If we want people to understand, we have to use words and images they relate to.” (Plug: You can also hire a firm that helps with YouTube marketing services and storytelling services like Soya Marketing in Vancouver, BC.)

If you start and end with honest-to-goodness storytelling and a strong journalistic style, YouTube can and should be a central part of any brand strategy.

P.S. A final note: Malcolm Gladwell is using YouTube too (indirectly and directly) and we’re pretty sure he knows a thing or two about how to tip the marketing see-saw.

*By the way, your 17 year old has now been sitting at his computer for 22 hours straight now. He is no doubt downloading both a skit from Saturday Night Live and a short lesson on how to apply for and complete his MBA all on YouTube. Oh yes. This is the way of the future.

This blog post is written by a guest blogger and friend of Seed the Web:

Deborah Collins, Partner
Soya: The New Marketing & PR
Offering YouTube Marketing Services & Brand Storytelling
http://www.soyamarketing.com/

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