Remixing the routes

Archive for the ‘Word-of-mouth’ Category

How much does a viral video clip cost on average?

Posted by annplugged on May 13, 2007

“Some 43% of experienced marketers said they spend between $5,000 and $10,000 on video clips in their viral campaigns, while 49% of less-experienced marketers said they get the job done with $2,500 to $5,000 in spending,” according to the “2007 Viral Marketing Survey” made by Marketing Sherpa (via emarketer).

Viral Video clips costs

However, in another graph of the survey, it also turns out that while 29% of the video clips yield great results, 13% os them show dismal results. Compared to audio clips, viral video clips are more efficient: audio clips were said to be 21% great, and 21% dismal. So there you go: video is a must.


Posted in Marketing, Online, Statistics, Video, Web 2.0, Word-of-mouth | 10 Comments »

Viral Campaigns Work Better with Microsites, Games, Video clips

Posted by annplugged on May 13, 2007

Marketing Sherpa’s survey shows that “Experienced viral marketers recognize that creating a separate presence for viral campaigns can have a huge impact. “Creating cool microsites” topped all other tactics, with 37% of very experienced marketers saying they produced great results. One-third thought that online games brought great results. (quotes emarketer in Viral Marketing’s Video Love Affair). And video clips? Right on the third place with 29%.

Viral marketing solutions

It is undeniably logical that microsites work so well, but not because viral marketing is a different kind of communication. Of course, a viral package travels faster if it is smaller: that’s what a compact microsite can ensure (i.e. a separate, easy to navigate site with light content). That’s what a 1-3 minute well-done video clip can ensure. But just like any other successful online communication, a viral video works better on microsites as they are a lot more targeted and easily discernible.

What makes microsites work better?

  • The navigation of microsites requires minimal efforts (most of them has a simplified navigation, short menu, yet transparent link to the corporate network consistting of other sites – like a family tree with some pioneering relatives)
  • The content of microsites is highly restricted, concentrating on one action, one task, one offer etc.: keeps visitors focused and interested – in theory they are informative and entertaining
  • Microsites are short: visitors have less time, less patience, brevity is key to success
  • Microsites are meant to be cooler than the average official homepages (where you cannot be cool on each and every page, can you?): easier to make separate entities harmonize with the preferences, style, values, attitudes of target groups. True. But microsites also tend to be braver in their communication. My assumption is that they are not necessarily cooler in a sense that they are more teenager like, more ‘dude-ish.’ Rather, they are coller in a sense one can be cooler in a micro-community. Wine-makers can know how to be cool in winery, lawyers have their own slang on which microsites can build upon.
  • There is more room for experimenting on microsites with different marketing strategies, and communication stlyes etc. as they are separate from an enterprise’s/ organization’s main, all-inclusive website
  • The visitors of microsites are coming through more convincing channels (viral by nature ensures this), and from deeper points of the funnel
  • The efficiency of microsites is a lot more reliably measurable and analysable (no extra pages to play in the results, less distraction to further web pages etc.), you can more easily track sales, orders, subsciptions, registrations, downloads, calls, etc.
  • The separate URL of a microsite enhances the SEO value: usually contains valuable keywords that immediately contribute to better placement on search results pages in Google, Yahoo,,, in all the search engines, basically. Mind you, if that single microsite is commentable (works as a one-page blog), you can build a community around the niche topic of the microsite, and comments will bring more valuable content, including important keywords to that very site. We could also dicuss the link strategy, inbound links, etc.
  • Microsites can be quickly made: no need for months of consultation, and hard thinking of the menu structure, content, harmonizing the mission statement or mantra etc. – oh, by the way, they are also cheaper than full websites.
  • Microsites can be more flexibly improved: primarily for two reasons: a, you get sharper statistics to base your tests upon, b, just like in the previous point: no need to re-structure the whole site (it takes 5 min to change the background color, the font, the placement of a widget etc.) and to convince everybody in every department. Further thoughts on this on Microsite.
  • Depending on your business, and marketing campaign, ad revenues from text links at the bottom of the microsites are easier to implement (just think of the Google AdSense program and the rules that are getting stricter – it is more simple to comply with the AdSense expectations on a single page), so you can turn your site into a source of revenue.

If you come to think of it, a good microsite is like a good landing page – way ahead the funnel, exploiting the pulling effect of viral marketing, right to the target, call to action sites.

But if you really come to think of it, a good video clip is like a good microsite: short, sharp, entertaining, focused, separately working from the main site, easily measurable (downloads, click-throughs to another site etc., number of comments, inbound links, experimental etc.

So is it worth making microsites, especially with video clips? Definitely yes. Is there a proliferation of microsites (esp. with clips)? Definitely no. Why not? Well, it still takes extra time, investment, understanding, risk taking on behalf of the businesses that wish to advertise, so they may think it is more simple and cost-efficient to use their traditional, established business website, many times linking the video ad to their front pages. If you look at the ROI, however, it may easily turn out that sticking to the more complex homepage as a (viral) video landing page may backfire, and bring less exploitable data, fewer leads than a well-structured microsite with an entertaining video clip. Also, agencies may make less profit from cheaper, more simple microsites than full-suite homepages, web presence so they may not be really motivated to learn making efficient microsites, and to offer them among their services.

But back to the survey carried out by Marketing Sherpa: it sounds as if the most efficient solution would be to combine microsites with games and video clips. I do not claim that they are easy to combine well, but they are surely well worth experimenting with. And once you experiment with one or the other, why not with both?

Posted in Marketing, Online, Statistics, Video, Web 2.0, Word-of-mouth | Leave a Comment »

Seth Godin: All Marketers are Liars (Google Talk in the Author series)

Posted by annplugged on May 11, 2007

Here is another great presentation by Seth Godin from February 2006. It is based on his book, All Marketers are Liars subtitled The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low Trust World. But the focus is not on this somehow (it only comes up in the discussion phase how the ‘360 degrees web presence’ makes any fraud the worst thing to risk for businesses, or for anyone).

The first half of the presentation is instead where Seth tries to outline why he thinks Google has succeeded to date and how repeating that could really help Google moving forward. He says: “there’s a belief among a lot of companies, especially in the valley, especially on this road, Amphitheater Road (Google’s HQ address) is that technology wins. And what I want to sell you really hard on is, not that technology wins, because I don’t think it does. I think what technology does, is it gives a you a shot at marketing. And if you don’t buy into that the company sooner rather than later is going to smash into a wall. Sun Microsystems said technology is going to solve every problem, then marketing will take care of itself…. I believe that the underpinnings and what made Google work were some brilliant, maybe not intentional, but brilliant marketing decisions.”

The story that Google sells is that ‘I am your friend,’ with the right tool at the right time. And it is very much in line with Google’s personalized search project, the next big phase in Google’s (I wanted to say ‘life’ suddenly), in Goolge’s focus. What does Seth suggest for Google? To start to build their permission asset, to build the ability to have people want Google as a closer partner. He is totally convinced that people want it.

Challenge: according to Seth, Google Mini‘s challenge is that small and medium-sized businesses rarely tell each other about their successes (his remark is related to a Googler called Patsy’s question on Google Mini), discovered new tools, solutions. They don’t tell it to a friend. So it’s not entering a marketplace that’s geared to have these evangelizing, word-of-mouth conversations. Consequently, Google as an organization needs to bring small enterprises together to have these conversations (see Google Groups, and also Google AdWords seminar series, and also Google Academy for Educators for such events). “what you can do is share a couple of case studies, and then get out of the way (!), and let them tell each other the truth. And as you build these communities of people who talk to each other, things happen.”

Seth refers to the TV Industrial Complex, his notion on how traditional marketing works through mass media: buying ads, interrupting people and thus getting more distribution, then more profit, which in turn is recycled into more ads to interrupt more people. He suggests that that’s why web 1.0 was not successful, that’s why many of the old-school advertisers still think merely in CPM (cost per thousand impressions), and buy keywords, yet keep sticking to the old design and funnels of the already stale website. They do not adapt.

As a solution he recommends the so called Fashion Permission Complex (again as a buyer- prospect communciation process):

  1. step 1: make sth worth talking about (or womm) (the important footnote he adds is that “If you can’t do that, start over.”)
  2. step 2: tell it to people who want to hear from you
  3. step 3: they do what other people used to think others would do, i.e. marketing
  4. step 4: (the hardest part) get permission from these people to tell them about your next fashion (so as your asset base grows think about the iPod, and the 60.000 people tuned into Steve Job’s keynote…) And you end up not trying to find customers for your products but products for your customers.

Some of his examples, jokes overlap with ones used in the TED Talks, but again he has very entertaining new illustrations (e.g. the socks for 11 year old girls – I would surely go for it if I was still 11 years old.

Posted in Google, Marketing, Online, Presentation, Subtitles, Talks, Video, Web 2.0, Word-of-mouth | 5 Comments »

Seth Godin: Sliced Bread, Ideas that Spread are Bizarre by Nature

Posted by annplugged on May 11, 2007

The success of sliced bread is whether you can spread the idea or not. Nowadays, we could say, the success of sliced books, mags etc. (selling chapters, or even pages separately, besides full books) depends on idea spreading too.

“In a world of too many options and too little time, our obvious choice is to ignore the ordinary stuff. Marketing guru Seth Godin spells out why, when it comes getting our attention, bad or bizarre ideas are more successful than boring ones. And early adopters, not the mainstream’s bell curve, are the new sweet spot of the market. Seth’s presentation at TED Talks is from 2003, yet it is still worth watching.” (from TED Talks)

The title of his keynote speech comes from Otto Frederick Rohwedder‘s 1917’s ‘invention,’ selling pre-sliced bread by means of using loaf-at-a-time bread-slicing machine. About ten years later the idea became widespread: after a longish time focusing on the patent and technology of the machine, the idea struck Rohwedder that the idea of pre-sliced loaves needs to be spread. What is its relevance today?

First, choose a presentation title that is bizarre, and yet show its relevance (even rhyme?) to your talk. 🙂 Ok, there is something more to it than this.

Seth Godin claims that we live in an era of idea diffusion, at the heart of which is TV and stuff like TV. It makes me think of Joost (the online peer to peer TV streaming technology by Skype inventor Niklas Zenströmm and Janus Friis, now still in the testing and program-database grabbing phase), and the buzz surrounding it, including advertisors, publishers, marketers, and yes, very much early adopters who are now either in the beta test already or pleading for an invitation. It makes me believe that this presentation has not lost from its freshness and validity. Especially that watching together a TV program and sharing ideas real time is part and parcel of Joost: letting people go for the fringes, spreading idea. Is Joost bizarre yet? I very much think so (but not for a long time).

The TV Industrial Complex simplified process is described by Seth Godin as follows:

  • buy ads
  • get more distribution
  • sell more products
  • make a profit
  • buy ads
  • get more distribution
  • etc., on and on

What makes the process outdated is that users have a lot more choices, but a lot less time (and let’s add: and a lot-lot less patience in the age of attention deficit).

Seth states that if you drive a car and see a cow next to the road, you will not pay attention, as you have seen hundreds of cows (now, my own experience is that almost anyone I know likes to shout out ‘cows’ ‘horses’ ‘sheep – your family, dude’ ‘hey, look, some kind of prey bird’ and stuff like that. So personally, we are not bored with normal cow-spotting from moving cars). Seth goes on to point out that you need a purple cow to come out of invisibility and ignorance: a purple cow is bizarre wnough to draw your attention (luckily, I have not see one, not even one for a Milka ad filming: it would have been eye-catching but somehow repulsive, too). So a purple cow is remarkable (in a sense that it is also worth ‘making a remark about’ – i.e. blogging about, or me-mailing about it).

The top-selling DVD in America changes every week, and not because there is a new top film, but because it is fresh, new, just heard about, “because people notice it.”

“Mass marketing is about marketing average products for average people, smooth out the edges: they would ignore the geeks, and God forbid, the laggards” (i.e. the two flatter parts of the bell curve: the early adopters and the late-comers). It is only for the central, the majority.

“But in a world where the TV Industrial Complex is broken, I don’t think that’s a strategy we wanna use any more,’ says Godin. He suggests targeting the early adopters, geeks, those who are obsessed with something. Simply, the central majority is very good at ignoring advertising. Products need constituencies with an otaku (obsessive fan). So it is of utmost importance to talk to the early adopters who really listen and make it easier for them to spread the word, to make it go thorugh the bell curve.

And his recap in light of the above:

  • Design
  • Don’t play safe, stay on the fringes by being remarkable

Posted in Joost, Marketing, Online, Presentation, TED Talks, Video, Word-of-mouth | 3 Comments »