Backing up free YouTube marketing campaigns with ads

Here in Australia, many agencies are starting to include viral video elements in their online marketing campaigns. The biggest question they all face is: how will we make it go viral?

YouTube is a large international site. Uploaded videos don't easily rise above the general noise of the site.

If you are prepared to spend some money, there are ways in which videos can be lifted above the noise within YouTube. Particularly good candidates are the YouTube front page and search results pages, where a video will be exposed to many eyes and get a much better chance of being picked up and shared with friends, aka "going viral".

YouTube Australia offers three different types of advertising on the front page: a masthead, an expandable video unit, and a video ad, each of which can be booked for a 24 hour period. The YouTube front page is localised, so your ads can be exposed to an Australian audience.

If you would like to target your audience further, you may want to consider advertising on search results pages. You can target age group, gender and interest areas of the searchers, thus reaching more valuable eyeballs.

An example of a campaign that has successfully used such an approach is posted on a recent AdAge article : advertsing pushed Geico's "Numa Numa" video over 500K veiws on the first day, reaching more than 1.3M overall views by now.

There is a myth out there that a social video marketing campaign on YouTube - or more generally on social networks - can be done for free without spending any money on placement. The myth continues that merely publishing good content will automatically make it go viral. This simply is not true. Just because you don't pay for the original placement, doesn't mean your campaign can do without media buy expenditure.

There are strategies for exposing videos to more eyeballs - cheaper and more expensive ones. Advertising your social videos is one way - paying experts to execute a seeding strategy is another.

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