May 08

Is YouTube a clever way to market for free? Yes, but…

A client and colleague has recently been researching video and how he can use it to market his insurance business. Video is a great idea, as long as you create relevant content that will entertain and inform the people you want to see them – in other words, videos that have value for your target market.

He sent me the link to a YouTube video someone posted, saying that the video was done for free and posted on YouTube for free and asked, Clever idea, isn’t it?”

He told me that to find the video I need to go to YouTube.com and search for “luxury car, chauffeur super bowl commercial.”

I didn’t bother to search for the video – I already knew what I needed to know to answer my friend’s question. Here’s my reply”

“So, did not watch the video, but can tell you that success on YouTube relies on people knowing about your video AND passing it on. Since you have to search for ‘luxury car, chauffeur super bowl commercial’ I’m guessing not a lot of people know about it, UNLESS he has a great e-mail list and let that list know about it. He does have the Super Bowl thing going for him, but I can only imagine how many Super Bowl-related videos are on there.

“Viral video is still in its early stages, and the little research that’s been done says it’s effective when people pass it on and remember what was being advertised. I saw a really funny video about how guys get sent to purgatory for buying their wives bad gifts, like a vacuum cleaner on her birthday, and it was a video made by a jewelry store chain. I remember the video, but I can’t tell you which store it was.

“Your best bet is to go with educational videos that help your clients and target market – advice on choosing insurance products. Send the link to your clients, and ask them to pass it on saying that you’ll give a referral bonus to them if their lead becomes a customer. Now the stakes are real!”

That advice applies to any industry: Make videos that help your clients and target market. Let them know the video is there. And ask them to pass it on. Then measure your response by asking new inquiries how they heard about you.

Yes, YouTube can be a clever way to get new business on the cheap. But your video has to be entertaining, useful, and passed along.