Marketing on YouTube: A Double-Edged Sword

For Handshake 2.0:“Brands that let their channels lapse and fade away into the wasteland of untidy and untended pages lack a clear understanding of how to useYouTube as a social media vehicle,” writes Catherine-Gail Reinhard, creative director at Videasa, on Mashable.

A branded social media account requires a strong commitment. B.L. Ochman, a social media strategy consultant to Fortune 500 companies and the head of, wrote about how starting a Twitteraccount and then not using it can be damaging to a company’s brand. AYouTube account can certainly be valuable, but requires just as much care.

Opening a social media account can help a brand take control of its image in a particular outlet.  Domino’s Pizza faced a marketing nightmare in April of this year, when two employees filmed a disgusting video they’d later claim was a hoax.  The video, which hit YouTube and spread like wildfire across the web, was followed by a smart response by the company president: terminating and filing suit against the involved employees, gutting the specific store for sanitation reasons, and posting a response on YouTube. The immediate damage from the employees’ video was measurable, but DPZ showed a quick recovery.

In this instance, a response of some kind was absolutely necessary, and this format was likely to reach those who witnessed the original.  But companies need to be thoughtful when creating a YouTube presence.  A strong YouTube campaign by a brand could give leverage to existing and future negative content, and engaging in online discussion will increase a brand’s responsibility to respond to negative user-generated content.  Again, it’s a matter of commitment.

As many bloggers have pointed out (here, and here, and here…), a viral video does not guarantee revenue.  The revenue results from great branding and smart strategy.  So, a company has a video people are talking and tweeting about.  That’s great.  But are they going out and buying the product?  Do they even know what the product is?  As always, a smart strategy must come first.


About jessthecopywriter

Clarify brand offerings with concise copy. Create compelling content that enhances brand value. Develop creative campaigns that utilize new media to improve brand reach.
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