Tracking viral video advertising campaigns

In my blog I recently wrote about what constitutes a proper viral video . A great viral video spawns many conversations in many communities. To spawn many conversations requires the video to go places, which is why so many videos that are intended to go viral are being uploaded to a multitude of social video sites.

From a content owner's perspective, this is a very different way of dealing with video content. Traditionally, video content is monetised directly. Even video ads are typically distributed on the Web on real estate that is either under the control of the content owner or of an advertising agency. Instead, in today's Web, the power lies in letting go. Letting go of the control of one's video and in turn receiving more viewers and creating more conversations, which influence the behaviour of consumers.

If content owners are enabled to measure the influence of the videos that they "let go", there is really no negative side-effect of letting go. A good example of a successful measurement of a social video marketing campaign is at Global Neighborhoods .They used a website and YouTube video to reach their target community, which they had researched well beforehand. In an unusual move, they put all their video assets on YouTube and made them available under a creative commons license to make sure their target audience interacted massively with the content. They started a relationship and a conversation with their target audience, which brought them thousands of customers.

Measurement was a key part of their campaign. Their campaign measurements were extensive and included Web metrics, video metrics, and paper-based customer questionnaires. In the end what mattered was the number of customers for their new product. However, they were able to tell that about 47% of their customers had come to the new product through the Internet.

Further analysis of the video views and comments was undertaken, too, since YouTube provides these measurements. The lessons learnt from these measurements were not shared in the article, but their emphasis on measurment and the impact it had on the positive result is overwhelming.

Injecting video into social networks does not necessarily mean losing control. With the right tools it is possible to monitor what is happening and to be able to become involved in conversations.

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