The 7 Things Every Marketer Should Know About Online Video

Here is the fresh new list of 7 things every marketer should know about online video. This will be on the final exam, and it’s not “open book.” Remember folks, I’m not the greatest marketing director in history. And I’m certainly not the best online-video creator (even though I’m the second Google result when you search “fart”). But I don’t know many other people that have a leg firmly placed in each world… marketing and online video.

This list can save you months of research, reduce your risks, impress your colleagues and help you lost 20 pounds in 2 weeks. 


  1. They’re Here. Your customers are watching exponentially more videos online than they were 6-12 months ago. Don’t pull a, but recognize that “watching and experimenting” can be as dangerous as making calculated investments in the space and measuring them. 
  2. Buyer’s Market. The ROI of reaching customers via online-video is better today than ever before because it’s a buyer’s market. Assess your options, run tests, measure and scale. But if you spend the next six months on the first step, you’ll lose revenue potential and find the space shifted while you were stuck in “ready, aim” mode.
  3. Find a Sherpa. A calculated investment means you’ve done 3 things- you’ve been prudent about your spending, followed the rules of social media, and analytical on results. The best way to be prudent and stay within social media is to find a “sherpa” who has learned the mountain. Someone who already knows the taste of success, and the pain of making a mistake. 
  4. Analyze Impact: Every stupid list has a “measure and improve” step, but let’s get specific. Very few brands will measure online-video’s direct impact on sales. Likewise, I can’t tell you that paid search is selling my product, but I’ve doubled its budget every year because  have good assumption-based ROI models. If you can’t track sales, simply do a test/control or pre/post using the next realistic proxy measure/driver of sales (enrollment, site visit, intent, awareness). 
  5. Measure Persuasiveness Not Impressions. If you read the third tip, then we agree that impressions is the worst proxy ever. A video view is different from the fraction of a percent of banner impressions that actually get registered by the human eye. We know that, and we accept that if we engage a prospect in an entertaining and persuasive manner for 30-90 seconds, than we’ve increased intent to purchase. Just like a good salesperson is more effective than a brochure, video is the most visceral, engaging and persuasive form of mainstream media… especially if the audience connects with the star. If impressions are exciting to your boss, then stick with nickel CPMs via ad networks. There’s a reason they’re a nickel. 
  6. Please Don’t Just Advertise. You’re going to use this channel to advertise- brands will always advertise. But think beyond the ad play– it’s public relations, sponsorship and product placement too. An online-video star is like a small network or publication. He or she has a loyal audience, and you want to be more than an ad. You want to be a giveaway on Oprah or a Coke cup on the American Idol judges table. 
  7. Find Existing Crowds, Don’t Try Gathering Them. Please don’t invest in your own content or building a brand-focused entertainment channel ( Nobody cares about your brand but you. Find people that have spent the past two years growing audiences who have “asses in seats.” Don’t put on a broadway show about your product- participate in the show that’s already “standing room only.”

nalts youtube poop

19 Replies to “The 7 Things Every Marketer Should Know About Online Video”

  1. ^ It’s the economic depression, Kevin….. and everyone’s realization that we just elected Jimmy Carter Jr to make things worse with Chicago-style back room politics. People are scared.

  2. The Dow ended up today, Obama will end the ban on embryonic stem cell research on Monday, and it’s a beautiful day outside. See, nothing to be scared about.

    Have a great weekend.

  3. Can you BELIEVE Rihanna went back to Christ Brown????

    That’s about as much “serious conversation” as I can take these days without throwing up.

  4. Hey Kevin

    Let’s try and rig Charlie’s room Pee Wee Herman style so he enjoys going to bed.

    I was thinking some kind of automatic pulley that straps him down to the bed…and muzzles him?

    Just a thought. Get back to me and let me know!

    Chow Mein!

  5. Not that I disagree with you at all, but one could argue that with one foot planted firmly in the creator domain, can you be completely impartial in your recommendation? I can just hear some reading this and muttering to themselves “of course he advocates spending money by using established talent, he IS established talent”.

  6. You gotta remove that “He makes a video every time you poop” slogan. You aren’t making many videos, and I’m all backed up!

  7. @12. Ok I’m sorry about that lame post.

    Now, I have a listmakers question. Do you guys decide at the outset, “7 sounds good, I’ll find 7 things to be on this list”; or do you write down all the things that seem to apply, and then number them?

  8. I don’t care.

    And I agree with DahliaK. If I waited for you to come out with a video before I pooped, I’d be backed up to next Sunday.

    @3: Electing Jimmy Carter Jr. is not such a bad thing. If we’d listened to Jimmy back in the day, we wouldn’t be in the pickle we are in now. He was the first to try to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, but no one wanted to even try to conserve. There was an attitude at the time that still exists in certain circles today that we will never need to conserve because Mother Earth will always provide.

    We need to completely change the way we think and the way we do things in this country or we are doomed to fail. Trickle-down economics didn’t work when Reagan tried it, and it didn’t work during 8 years of the Bush administration. The only way we will survive this recession is to get people spending and the only way they will spend is if they have more money. Cutting taxes on the rich doesn’t do that; look where it got us.

    Anyway, enough of my ranting.

    @8: That’s because she is one of the women who think they can’t live without a man, regardless of how he treats her.

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