Home  › Marketing › Strategies

An Early Peek Into the Vlogosphere

  |  April 26, 2005   |  Comments

Challenges and opportunities for marketers in the vlogosphere.

In January of this year, the first video blogging (or vlogging) conference was held in New York City. But, unsurprisingly, most people attended vloggercon 2005 online.

According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, an estimated 8 million Americans have blogs and 32 million have read a blog, up 58 percent from just 10 months earlier. Technorati, a blog search engine and measurement firm, reports roughly 23,000 new blogs are created every day.

Video blogging is still nascent, and it's unclear how it will grow up. With broadband penetration at a tipping point and low-resolution digital video cameras available in cell phones and PDAs, it's only a matter of time before vlogging becomes an opportunity (or a major challenge) for marketers. Imagine consumers regularly posting hidden-camera videos of a customer service failure at a bank or a retail store. It's closer than you might think.

Today, there are only a small number of well-trafficked vlogs, and many are purely entertainment-oriented, such as Steve Garfield's, or more news oriented, such as Rocketboom. Google, Yahoo, and other portals are looking into hosting vlog services, however, and Google recently announced it's including personal vlogs in its video search function.

Online video has been around for a long time, but with broadband's ubiquity and the explosive growth of text-based blogs, camera phones, and small, inexpensive digital cameras with video capabilities, the rise of vlogs seems inevitable. Vlogs' popularity rose noticeably after the devastating tsunami in Southeast Asia. Dozens of vlogs sprung up distributing raw tsunami video footage. People sent email containing obscure tsunami URLs depicting gruesome imagery. Later, the same footage ran on the evening news. The major news networks all pulled from the same sites, but more complete, newsworthy footage was available sooner because of vlogging.

There are many socio-economic and political ramifications of the vlog trend, but in this column, I'll focus on the challenges and opportunities for marketers:

  • Embrace the vlogosphere. The blog, vlog, and moblog (define) phenomenon is nascent but powerful. Don't underestimate the power the medium can have on your brand. Monitor vlogs and learn from them. After all, they can represent free, incredibly useful customer feedback (that all of your customers have access to, particularly now that most blog entries have a long search engine shelf life).

  • Your customers will produce your commercials. What happens when every customer, or potential customer, can produce a commercial for your product or service -- damaging or championing your brand? Vlogs have reach and credibility, even more than traditional broadcast stations in some cases. Think about the Dan Rather fiasco. Reading a blog about the scale of a new IKEA store is a much different online experience than actually seeing it, as Christian Brower showed viewers on his vlog recently.

  • Harness the power of brand love. If you're confident about your brand, give your customers a voice, a community, even a camera, so they can share the love for your brand or actively participate in your brand experience. A great example of that is Microsoft's Channel 9. The site attracts 900,000 software developers a month, who flock to watch interviews and demos and share their experiences.

  • Know thy vlogger. Although I haven't seen any data on the vlogging demographic, based on the vlogs I've seen it's a younger, tech-savvy market -- ages 15-34. They are, of course, the most highly coveted consumer market, as they are the cultural tastemakers.

It's early in the vlog movement. Beat your competition to the punch by harnessing this growing trend's power. Good luck and let me know how you do.

ClickZ Live San Francisco This Year's Premier Digital Marketing Event is #CZLSF
ClickZ Live San Francisco (Aug 11-14) brings together the industry's leading practitioners and marketing strategists to deliver 4 days of educational sessions and training workshops. From Data-Driven Marketing to Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email, this year's comprehensive agenda will help you maximize your marketing efforts and ROI. Register today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Kingdon Mark Kingdon joined Organic as CEO in 2001 and has led the company to its current position as a leading digital marketing agency. Prior to Organic, Mark worked for Idealab and provided strategic guidance to emerging companies. Earlier, he was a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he led the America's retail and distribution industry practice and managed the PWC and Lybrand merger and was a leader in the e-business practice globally. Mark is a member of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences and serves as a Webby judge. He's also a regular contributor to Three Minds, Organic's blog. Mark received his MBA from the Wharton School of Business and a BA in Economics from UCLA.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get the ClickZ Marketing newsletter delivered to you. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

BigDoor: The Marketers Guide to Customer Loyalty

The Marketer's Guide to Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty is imperative to success, but fostering and maintaining loyalty takes a lot of work. This guide is here to help marketers build, execute, and maintain a successful loyalty initiative.

Marin Software: The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising

The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.

WEBINARS

    Information currently unavailable

Jobs

    • Interactive Product Manager
      Interactive Product Manager (Western Governors University) - Salt Lake CityWestern Governors University, one of the 20 largest universities...
    • SEO Senior Analyst
      SEO Senior Analyst (University of Phoenix (Apollo Education Group)) - San FranciscoSEO Senior Analyst   Position Summary...
    • SEM & Biddable Media Manager
      SEM & Biddable Media Manager (Kepler Group LLC) - New YorkAs an Optimization & Innovation Manager at Kepler Group, you will be on the bleeding...