The latest Buzz Marketing Tool: Online Video – 6 tips to master it from Musicians Friend

In the growing world of online video, there are dozens of vendors with excellent solutions who can help you achieve your goals. The only catch is, first you have to figure out what those goals are.

As with nearly everything else in the speed-of-light world of the web, online video has emerged practically overnight as an effective buzz marketing tool, and retailers are scrambling to catch up with those who’ve used it effectively. Who can forget the buzz around the Old Spice videos? Talk about an effective marketing campaign.

But where do you start? According to Mark Deruyter, Senior Manger Customer Acquisition, and Luke Noffke, Customer Acquistion, Social Media, Video Commerce, Musicians Friend, this is where:

– Begin to layout initial plan: timing, budget, partners, assets

– Identify, interview and assess potential partners

– Identify internal resources

– Create engagement flow charts/channel buckets

– Review tactics and potential partners with key players

– Create final plan and verify that each channel fists into the correct bucket

But let’s break some of that down. There are lots of things to consider when looking for a video partner. In-house video creation that leverages employees can be cost-intensive and may require multiple videos a day, while other options like automated video can save money but won’t provide new content. Retailers therefore must decide how involved they want their ecommerce platforms to be with online video.

Deruyter and Noffke made the point that online videos can’t just ask customers to engage, they must motivate users to engage and participate with the websites they exist on, be they social media sites or an actual ecommerce platform. For instance, Musicians Friend found that if the company asked someone to talk about a microphone, they might get a few comments, but if they asked them to sing into the microphone, they got 1,000 posts – a drastic difference and hot buzz marketing tool.

The company held a contest on its site to promote social and video interaction where Gus G, Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist, filmed a 20 second or so video advertising a contest to “win his rig,” by visiting the Musicians Friend Facebook page, liking the page and entering the contest.

“The video was by far the biggest contest we had on social in terms of sign ups,” said Luke. “It directed people to our Facebook page and grew our Facebook fan base.”

If videos don’t have an inherently buzz marketing worthy component (like an Ozzy band member), then its our job as retailers to create that buzz and get people excited about our brand.

Once you have some ideas about what video(s) you will be creating, you must decide on your platform and also how you will be using ads in and around your videos. Musicians Friend analyzed YouTube In-Video Ads vs. Google Display and found that the in-video ads were more expensive but weren’t getting the best results. Now the company is leveraging the promoted video option with benefits that are twofold:

1. When customers click on promoted videos, they’re branded so they reinforce the brand image.

2. When customers click on videos, it cookies them on the brand page so afterward, for 14 days, the company is serving up its ads and paying less per customer, per click.

And finally, you have to remember that the video channel is the most collaborative channel you will have to manage, so make sure all your staff is bought in.