Musings About Online Marketing

Set Your Content Free

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Look Ma! I’m not ranting about Google!

This one’s going to be about the people who say “Leave my $#1+ alone” when it comes to how they want to display their content across the Web. While I don’t think it’s this huge, massive issue, and most people understand the power of viral marketing, it’s still funny to see that a few industries still don’t get it.

Yes indeedy, I’m going to talk about this article that gives a great illustration of the power of viral marketing, notably this portion of the article (which is a quote from the New York Times op-ed piece referred to in the Mashable article):

“When EMI disabled the embedding feature, views of our treadmill video dropped 90 percent, from about 10,000 per day to just over 1,000. Our last royalty statement from the label, which covered six months of streams, shows a whopping $27.77 credit to our account.”

I’ve never understood why anyone would want to disable embedding on YouTube – you’re cutting so much potential traffic off, and the numbers referenced above show that. 10% of their views came from people watching the video on the actual YouTube website. That’s all. So, if you are restricting access to a video on YouTube, you are limiting yourself to 1/10 of your potential audience. Why would you ever do that? This especially applies to the music industry, but anyone who restricts their content in such a manner limits the potential of what they can achieve through social media channels.

This is my best guest as to why some companies restrict their content so much:

People might use the content for their own evil purposes.

There’s really a couple of ways to look at this one – if your content is a video or podcast, and someone is embedding it – the only way they could steal any sort of credit for it is if you did a poor job of branding yourself within the video itself. In 4-H, we always had an lead-in, introduced ourselves, and included a summary at the end for our method demonstrations. If you follow that formula, you are identifying yourself and your product within your presentation, so if someone is embedding your content, what do you have to worry about? They can’t alter that content in any way shape or form… by embedding it, they are showing your video as you intended it to be.

Does the same thing apply to blog posts and articles? I would say that as long as it’s only an excerpt and links are provided, then there should be no issue. Again, the key is to identify yourself or your business within the content to make it harder to steal.

The bottom line is to educate yourself. Understand how these things work and how you can make them work for you. If you can’t do that, I promise you there are people and companies out there that can. Don’t fear it simply because you don’t understand it. Word of mouth is by and far the most powerful form of advertising out there, and viral marketing is simply the digital form of that.

Just a random Wednesday morning thought. OK Go has shown the power of having great (even unbelievable) content. By making it available to the Web in general allows you to reach an audience that extends far beyond whatever venue you are using to display the content. Below is the “unofficial” video for “This Too Shall Pass.” Notice the State Farm product placement throughout. Both OK Go and State Farm have the right idea. 🙂

One other video to enjoy is this song from the Coathangers (the language is NSFW, so put your headphones on). This one goes out to all the haters who don’t want to share their crap… in a tongue in cheek manner, of course.


Written by rogersikes

March 10, 2010 at 11:23 am

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