Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Short Takes: 6.10.08

Here are some interesting XM and online marketing news items and links for your perusal:

  • The Top Video Site for Teens Is...: Since none of you (I am guessing) are between the ages of 12 and 17, this news may surprise you: According to Nielsen Online's video measurement service, the top video destination for teens is... no, not YouTube... Stickam. Most of you probably haven't even heard of Stickam (unless you have teens in your household). The site is a live webcam chat community that permits subscribers to have video chats with up to 12 people at once. Other features include the ability to capture and share video, photos, and audio.

    Some early press has focused on the unseemly uses for Stickam video chat, particularly among teens old enough to know better but young enough to think their inappropriate video stream won't end up on YouTube. Stickam is trying to transcend this reputation by attracting bands, DJs, and entertainers. For example, indie rockers Story Told installed a 24-hour webcam in their living room, allowing for a constant conversation between band members and fans. The band credits this exposure for sparking 10,000 downloads of its album.

  • Web Video Ads to Increase 50% per Year: IDC tells us that Web Advertising will double from 2007 to 2012. The growth of online ad spending will vault it from "the number 5 medium all the way to the number 2 medium in just 5 years," with a growth rate eight times greater than advertising at large.

    IDC is forecasting much of this growth will come from the shift of video advertising from television to online. Internet video ad revenue will grow sevenfold from $0.5 billion in 2007 to $3.8 billion in 2012 at a CAGR of 49.4%.

    Video advertising promises to be as successful on the Web as it has been on television, but it seems quite apparent it will take a much different form between these two media. Consumers are rejecting the current TV model of lengthy disruptions filled with numerous 30- and 60-second spots, and they seem much more accepting of the ad model found on sites such as and Hulu, which feature much briefer ads that cannot be skipped.

    Successfully migrating video advertising from television to the Internet will take care to understand how the two media are different. While it might be desirable from the brand perspective, it seems very unlikely that broadcasting the same 30-second spot on TV and online will be a workable ad model.

  • Speaking at a Conference? Get Twitterized: Speaking at a conference has always been a great way to get noticed in your industry. It's also been a good way to embarrass yourself if you show up unprepared, if your public speaking skills need polish, or if your presentation is too focused on selling your company and not enough on providing value to listeners.

    In the old days of two years ago, news of a great or horrible presentation would travel slowly. But today, thanks to Twitter and other social media, speakers face a room full of people, but they might be speaking to many times more than that. Not only may your words and information travel quickly and widely, but critiques of your performance and insights can be broadcast before you even leave the podium.

    Unnerving? Perhaps, but you aren't powerless against the power of your audience's Tweets. Check out the insightful post on the Influential Marketing Blog, which can help you prepare for and manage the social media aspects of public speaking in 2008. Tips include creating your own Twitter account, using search and tracking tools to monitor buzz on your presentation, and responding to Tweets so you can be part of the discussion that occurs after the event.

  • The Importance of Brand Personality in the Age of Social Media: Sun Microsystems' blog features a brief and thoughtful interview with Rohit Bhargava, a founding member of the 360 Digital Influence team at Ogilvy (and publisher of the aforementioned Influential Marketing blog.) He has words of caution for brands that believe personality is created through social media. Bhargava notes that personality is about more than just social media; it starts with "being unique, authentic, and talkable."

    He challenges brands to consider "personality moments." For example, do you have a story to tell, do your employees know it, and do you let them spread the word? Do you fall into the trap of "featurespeak," focusing too much on the product and your pitch? No interaction with a consumer is too small--for example, what is the error message users get on your website when the reach a broken page? When you send your customers products, what message does the packaging provide?

    Check out the blog for more provocative questions, such as what to do if your brand personality isn't sticking. (Hint: If you're authentic, it will stick.)

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