Monday, October 13, 2008

Bridging The Gap - YouTube Links to iTunes, Amazon, and Others

The biggest problem faced by Web 2.0 technologies involves measuring the success of a campaign in dollars. Creation and distribution of content is the first step to a great campaign, but how does one move from clickthroughs to actual sales. Last week YouTube took steps to sell - albeit through affiliates - content related products and services online.

The new model has been reviewed by many analysts, bloggers, and pundits; so I am not going to cover the specifics of how it works (read marketingpilgrim, seorountable, adverlab, and searchengineland for more details). Rather ADMAVEN will look at the fundamentals of the YouTube model; and why bridging the gap between social media campaigns and direct sales is so critical to the future of online campaigns.

Linking products and services directly to YouTube videos on a content specific basis allows vendors to benefit from product placement, use of music, and overt commercials that are often viewed by millions.

The holy grail of all social media is moving one step past the clickthrough rate to the conversion rate, or number of viewers that actually perform the desired action, such as purchase, register, or otherwise interact with a vendor.

When advising clients on how to properly execute social media campaigns, it is important to ask yourself how a campaign might be structure to remove as many layers between viewing content and actually making a purchase, registration, etc...

Too few campaigns measure success based on number of clickthroughs or video views alone. As we move forward in the Web 2.0 space, these metrics will become increasingly irrelevant as the industry restructures toward conversion rates.

Nicholas Kinports (follow him on Twitter @ADMAVEN) has worked in the interactive technology world for over 15 years. He is the Digital Strategy Lead and founder of Chicago-based digital marketing firm lonelybrand, where he directs the creation and execution of digital marketing programs that generate measurable signups, conversions and sales.
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