Users are bombarded with new sites and apps that spring up every five seconds. It's becoming increasingly difficult to know what's the next big thing and what's just more noise and clutter.
Enter new media marketing for new media products! A rash of online promo videos for social products show how Internet and mobile entrepreneurs have taken lessons from traditional broadcast advertising as much as they have from YouTube.
For some social sites and app developers, online videos have served as great promotional tools as well as product demos. Unlike traditional branding-focused prime time TV spots, these vids focus heavily on features/benefits and how-tos. Unlike late-night direct response commercials (here's looking at you, Billy Mays), they feature slightly hipsterish, soft-sell approaches replete with helpful screen shots.
Best of all, the videos have given great ROI (that's "return on investment" for you non-advertising types).
In 3 days, the video got "4,000 views and great responses" before Vimeo took it down; apparently, the site doesn't allow commercials. However, the E team got the video up on YouTube.
"Sign-ups spiked as soon as the video started being posted around," said Olmos, "and it also works great in pitches and presentations."
All this was acheived with no marketing budget and little support from major bloggers and Twitter influencers.
"There's no question that the adoption of Birdhouse benefitted hugely from the exposure that came from the promotional video we put together," said cofounder Adam Lisagor. "We knew from the beginning we'd be making a video people would enjoy despite any interest in the actual app. We heard over and over, 'I don't even know if I'll use Birdhouse, but the video made me buy it.'
"This is something that almost all software developers overlook: the power of entertainment to communicate why you built it and why you want others to enjoy it as much as you."
A third video we've seen is almost a straight-up live demo for LoveToGoOut.com, a new site that aims to organize pub crawls, club nights, and other nocturnal, boozy get-togethers.
"Originally, the video was created to promote the site at a local university event here in the UK," said advisor Barry Pace.
"[We] haven't promoted this too much online (if at all). Measurement of success is more about local awareness rather than attempting to monitor any buzz online."
Nevertheless, if current trends are any indication, site traffic will spike with proliferation of the video.