by: David Wigder

According to Jupiter Research, more than 20% of online users in the US regularly view videos online today.  This segment is growing rapidly, driven by the adoption of broadband and emergence of video sharing sites such as Grouper, Veoh, vSocial, and YouTube, recently acquired by Google. 

Marketers are taking note.  Once the domain for sharing consumer-generated content, such sites are increasingly being seeded with professional content including movie trailers, TV commercials and news stories. 

For green marketers, video sharing offers a powerful new channel to reach consumers and promote their message.  Specifically, video sharing enables marketers to:

  • Engage consumers through compelling, multimedia experiences
  • Facilitate word-of-mouth marketing efforts
  • Attract highly influential online users they can leverage as brand advocates.  In fact, 28% of users that view online videos regularly “ranked themselves as the first person people come to for recommendations about TV and movies, compared with 12 percent of all online consumers” according to Jupiter Research (Online Video Search, 11/06)

To assess the state of green video sharing, Marketing Green recently surveyed YouTube’s top “green” videos (based on number of views).  Here is what we found:

  • Green marketers are experimenting with online video, though with varying degrees of success.  Green videos can be categorized as either pro-environment or anti-environment.  They are being produced by an array of organizations - including Hollywood film studios, non-profits and news agencies – as well as independent filmmakers.  Somewhat surprisingly, no product companies made the top list, though a quick search yields content from eco-friendly campaigns by GE and Toyota.
  • Overall, the most popular videos had a mix of entertainment and celebrity appeal.  Moreover, most top-viewed videos were distributed to support more extensive, multi-channel marketing effort – say to promote Al Gore’s movie or TBS’s Earth to America! comedy, rather than produced as stand alone content in of themselves. 
  • Only three videos, all directly related to An Inconvenient Truth, have been seen by more than 100K viewers* to date.  This is significant because it says that most environmentally related videos appeal to niche audiences that perhaps have high pre-existing levels of awareness and understanding of these issues. 

Top 10 Pro-Environment Videos on YouTube 

Video Title

Topic Source Celebrity Views
“A Terrifying Message from Al Gore”

Global warming

Paramount

Futurama Al Gore

1,287,858

An Inconvenient Truth – Trailer

Movie trailer

Paramount

Al Gore

659,940

Will Ferrell on George Bush on Global Warming

Global warming

“Earth to
America”, TBS

Will Ferrell

137,710

Robert Redford on Saving the Arctic Refuge

Protect ANWAR

NRDC

Robert Redford

106,910

Water Powered Vehicle

Hydrogen-powered vehicles

Fox News

NA

102,968

A Global Warning…

Global warming

Independent Film Maker, WordofMouth

NA

56,619

Global Warming: From ‘If’ to ‘When’

Global warming

Health Politics.org

NA

43,248

Blue Man Group video featured on ‘Earth To America!’

Global warming

“Earth to
America”, TBS

Blue Man Group

42,359

The Bush Administration’s approach to Global Warming

Global warming

TheDaily Background. com

NA

34,984

Greenpeace anti-SUV Commercial

Anti-gas guzzler

Greenpeace

NA

32,448**

Top 5 Anti-Environment Videos on YouTube 

Video Title

Topic Source Celebrity Views

Al Gore’s Penguin Army

An Inconvenient Truth Parody

Anonymous

NA

471,871

Global Warming - Glaciers

Refutes Global Warming

Competitive Enterprise Institute

NA

105,042

Global Warming – Energy

Refutes Global Warming

Competitive Enterprise Institute

NA

43,849

Michele Bachmann doesn’t believe in global warming

Refutes Global Warming

Individual

NA

41,705

Al Gore: An Inconvenient Story

Anti-Al Gore

Competitive Enterprise Institute

NA

30,177

 


Jupiter Research reports that the top three ways for video users to “discover” videos include recommendations from friends, search engine results, TV/movie preview or trailer and directly from online video sites.   For green marketers to have significant impact, they must leverage these tactics in order to appeal to a mass audience. (Programming for Three Screens, 12/06).

 

Tactics for green marketers to consider:

  • Facilitate word of mouth.  Embed “pass-along” tools with content.  Identify key influencers and seed with content.
  • Enable search. Pay for relevant keywords and align ad copy.  Optimize landing pages for natural search.  Tag online videos to enable video search engines to crawl them. 
  • Create compelling content.  Content does not have to be associated with the latest blockbuster movie for it to be compelling.  Our quick assessment of green videos on YouTube suggests that comedic formats have broad appeal.  Case in point: “A Terrifying Message from Al Gore” produced by Paramount was by far the most viewed video – 2x over the actual trailer for the movie – through a clever parody of Al Gore using Futurama characters. 

Yet, serious documentaries can play to broader audiences but may require celebrities that leverage the affinity of the actor to legitimize the cause and broaden its appeal to do so.  Two examples include Al Gore and Robert Redford, the latter paring up with the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) in a video that promotes saving the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from drilling. 

News articles may be more challenged to generate broad appeal, not by the nature of the content, but rather by its apparent lack of exclusivity which may diffuse the audience base across multiple channels.

  • Distribute through existing video sharing sites.  This may include organic seeding or paid placement of content when appropriate.   In addition, links can be created from popular blogs, boosting reach.

*Interestingly, the top anti-environmental video, “Al Gore’s Penguin Army”, was released by DCI Group, a PR agency, while the producer and financial backers remain anonymous.   

** Listed twice.  Other listing has 25,733 views. 

Original Post: http://marketinggreen.wordpress.com/2006/12/26/video-sharing/

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