Friday, March 25, 2011

YouTube most powerful medium?

With all the hoopla over Twitter turning 5, let's not forget the most powerful medium still in play.

YouTube's force is only growing with no end in sight. YouTube has forced major changes for movie studios and TV networks, created a new life for music videos, prompted the development of new software and forced PR pros to develop entirely new strategies and action plans.

YouTube views continue to climb in monumental proportions. YouTube's own statistics, are mind-blowing.

  • 35 hours of video are uploaded every minute.
  • 70 percent of YouTube traffic is from outside of the U.S
  • More than 700 BILLION playbacks in 2010.
Who is taking advantage of this? Just about everyone.

Who are reaping the rewards? The savvy.

Two recent examples of the power - and consequences - of YouTube are Lady Gaga and Rebecca Black.

If you can sit through it, the one-hour Google interview of Lady Gaga is fascinating. She reveals a lot about her savvy use of video and Google, and just about any medium to keep her brand in play.

Then, we have poor little Rebecca. Yeah, poor little, 47-million-view Rebecca whose "Friday" music video has earned her cash, fame and, as we have seen countless times in similar circumstances - scorn.

PR pros have focused much of their YouTube attention on protecting their clients and companies, bracing for an online "hit" (read: Dominoes), or figuring out how to market a product via YouTube.

Seriously, all you need are these two examples.

PR pros hate it, I mean really HATE it, when a client says either: "How do we make this viral?" or "Can we get on Oprah?"

Here is my comeback: Unless you are willing to do something extreme - aka, "get noticed" for doing something totally unexpected - you won't get 47 million views of your video. And, what do you see on YouTube? People. Creative people. Like this guy.

But, you tell your clients or company, you can maintain and enhance your brands with a range of other YouTube videos and online efforts.

And, yes, this effort costs money. More than what Rebecca paid, but probably less than what Lady Gaga is spending on hauling her stage around.

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