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Using YouTube to Promote Your Business

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on October 21, 2008

YouTube, at its best, is a free medium where low-cost productions garner millions of views and get picked up on newscasts. Does your campaign have potential? Here are three approaches to using YouTube to promote your business:

1. Video Contests. At its core, YouTube is a huge video contest to see who can garner the most video views. Thus, a logical and proven campaign strategy is to channel the YouTube community’s natural posting and viewing behaviors by sponsoring a contest. To maximize your investment, use the contest by seeking media coverage. And don’t forget to promote the contest on your Web site or micro-site.

2. YouTube and Events. Make your company the most talked-about exhibitor at events by using YouTube. Take Intel, for example. At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Intel was able to draw a crowd and leveraged the results on YouTube to demonstrate the power of its Core Duo processor. Attendees who lined up to dance in front of a green screen were multiplied by Intel Core Duo Processor technology into a grooving chorus line, echoing Intel TV ads. One of the resulting YouTube videos, Intel Dancing Dork, made YouTube’s most-viewed list during CES.

3. Viral Views. An example of a great landing page for a viral video is Mr. Torimoto vs. SolidWorks Robot Challenge, a race between an origami master and SolidWorks design software to create a robot. Mr. Torimoto, in a Jackie Chan-esque performance, folds paper into an impressive robot, beating SolidWorks by mere seconds, but a more compelling demo of SolidWorks’ software could not be imagined. The last of many chuckles comes with SolidWorks challenging Mr. Torimoto to execute a change order and make his robot taller, at which point Torimoto pulls the computer’s plug. This fun video on the SolidWorks site is surrounded by offers for free software trials and white paper.

One note: Always consider YouTube as the hosting site, but don’t be afraid to go it alone. In fact, that’s what SolidWorks decided to do. It could have posted Robot Challenge on YouTube to draw even more viewers. But in order to get better video quality and to make sure all the viral activity put viewers within one click of its offers, it chose to host itself. SolidWorks sacrificed total views for a better video experience and, in its estimation, more leads.

Kevin Strehlo
Senior Vice-President, Global Client Services
San Juan Capistrano, Calif.

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