As a marketing consultant whose primary role is to advise clients on the best mix of marketing solutions to promote their products or services, I decided to hire myself for a project that hits close to home. In fact, the project lives in my home and calls me Dad. Spencer Kane, my 15 year old son, is a teen pop singer/songwriter who is starting to make an impact in the independent music industry.
Social Media’s Role
Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube are the cornerstone for teenagers to discover and share all things important to teens. Mobile phones (smart phones) are the currency of social life for my son’s peers. The Facetime or Skype options are all ways these targeted demographics (Spencer’s fans) share their lives with one another. Ok, so nothing revelatory here, just building a foundation for my journey so far.
In the summer of 2011, Spencer’s first single was published on Youtube with an official music video. Justin Bieber posted videos and look where he is, so there must be something to this method of using Youtube to promote a product. . . er, I mean, my son.
Executive after executive stated that every artist (signed or unsigned) MUST build a loyal fan following. The advent of the internet has radically changed how artists can be discovered or followed. Singers like Taylor Swift, Colbie Caillat, Justin Bieber, and Austin Mahone are just a few Internet-based amateurs who were discovered because they focused their music to an online audience.
Online Promotion is Easy Right?
So we have Spencer’s music videos on YouTube and they were getting modest views, hence, a modest fan following. I decided the most important strategy in promoting Spencer would be to maximize the number of views on his YouTube channel. Uploading new videos on a regular basis would feed the appetite of his fans. We’ve done that, but growing the base of fans was still a challenge.
Google’s AdWords for Video
Google has recently introduced (November 2011) a beta tool for video ad campaigns. I was solicited to switch our Promoted YouTube Ads to their new platform. We were seeing approximately one percent view rates (similar to click-throughs, but measured as actual video views instead of just clicking on the ad). After a lengthy training phone call from their support team at Google AdsWords, I was told that Spencer’s music videos would gain considerable increases in views in a short time if I would just try their new platform.
Increase in Video Views
We have nearly tripled the amount of video views for his YouTube channel in just three weeks versus the normal weekly view rates. We’re seeing well over 2.25% view ratio now versus the previous one percent. This may still seem low, but it is ever expanding his fan base because we have targeted several foreign markets versus the U.S. and are seeing a great rise in Twitter and Facebook followers alike.
Google’s newest video ad platform is tremendous. Imagine having the ability to customize the commercials on the Superbowl based on the viewers’ personal interests. Instead of seeing Dorito commercials when you personally don’t care for them, imagine seeing a Lays Potato Chip commercial instead.
AdWords + YouTube = Success
This new platform combines both Google and YouTube search engine technology into one platform that allows video ads to be seen on Google’s advertiser network sites and on YouTube. It drills deep into the heart of user interests because it knows users’ search habits over time and allows ads to appear when certain keyword combinations are queried or specific types of websites are visited.
Expanded Media Exposure
For example, if someone searched Google for Selena Gomez and visited the New York Times article about her, Spencer’s video ad may very well appear on the NY Times website next to the article about Selena. Talk about expanded market exposure. What’s beautiful about this new ad platform is that it didn’t require an increase in ad budget. I still pay the same daily amount as before, and have already seen over two times the traffic. Imagine if I had a real marketing budget to work with instead of the leftover grocery budget each month.
Selfishly, I hope Spencer Kane continues to grow in popularity (www.spencerkanemusic.com) and that his videos are seen worldwide by millions. Until those are reached, I will continue to tweak and adjust the video ads we are using while sharing the lessons learned.