5 Marketing Takeaways from the London 2012 Olympics YouTube Channel
By Steven Shattuck, Blogger and Ambassador for 12 Stars Media
While millions of Americans watch the games of the 30th Olympiad unfold
live on tape-delay, the London 2012 host committee is maintaining a dynamic YouTube Channel with content that you won’t find anywhere else. While the channel itself isn’t a flawless example of how to use to the medium, there are a few things that businesses and organizations of all sizes can takeaway (besides the typical advice of transcribing, filling out titles, descriptions and keywords, etc.) to improve their own YouTube presence and video marketing strategy.
Plan Your Strategy Over Time
The London 2012 host committee didn’t wait until the Opening Ceremonies to begin producing and uploading videos to YouTube. In fact, they got started about four years ago. This shows a concerted effort to tell the story of the 2012 games from beginning to end. If you click to the very first last (oldest) page of videos on their channel, you can track the evolution of the games from the building of stadiums and venues, to behind-the-scenes planning of events and eventually the torch relay leading up to the opening ceremonies. You can bet that as the 17 days of the actual games unfold, more and more content will be added.
So what can the average small-to-medium-sized business glean from this approach?
For existing businesses who are just now diving into video marketing, you won’t necessarily have the ability to chronicle the creation and opening of your business, but you can take a look into the future to see what long-form story you want to tell over time. Set goals for future content: new locations, new menu-items, new service offerings, etc. If you are just starting out in business, invite people in to see a work-in-progress, rather than just creating content about your business. I have seen startups successfully create video diaries that track the creation of their business as they work through business plans, meet with investors and eventually launch their product. These kinds of authentic videos endear themselves to audiences and create lasting relationships.
Find a Balance Between Promotion and Storytelling
A common struggle for businesses when producing videos is deciding what kind of video to make. It’s easy to only produce videos that promote, but those types of videos rarely create a lasting impression on an audience. As you browse through the London 2012 channel, you’ll notice a healthy balance between videos promoting events and behind-the-scenes videos that create value to the viewer, whether they be serious and educational or just plain fun. They also make use of several format types, including b-roll montages, animation and traditional interview-style storytelling. There’s no reason that you can’t promote your mobile app, show off dancing mascots and show reverence to an ancient tradition all on the same channel.
Varying Degrees of Quality is Okay
A YouTube Channel doesn’t have to be populated by only polished and expensive-looking videos. A little mobile spontaneity is okay too. Among the almost 350 videos on the London 2012 channel, you’ll notice professionally produced and flawless “corporate” videos right next to man-on-the-street interviews that look as if they were probably shot on an iPhone or Flip-type handheld camera. As you look to produce videos for your own business or organization, don’t get too hung up on perceived “quality” – tell your story in an authentic and entertaining way, and viewers will forgive technical flaws.
Lots of Videos Means That Organization is Key
If a high-volume of videos is your goal (and it should be) it’s critical that you make use of Playlists to organize your videos into category types so that users can easily find and access the content they’re interested in. A subject like the Olympics lends it self to many different types of videos, and the London 2012 channel does a nice job of organizing their myriad of videos. My only qualm is that their playlists are not featured on the channel homepage sidebar.
Experiment with Interactivity
One video that stands out to me on the London 2012 channel is a Google+ hangout with Usain Bolt. Not only is the hangout itself hosted here, but so is a video that was used to promote the hangout.
With the recent Google+ integration, users can now initiate hangouts through YouTube and store the recordings on their channels. This represents an enormous opportunity for interviews with people around the world. Unfortunately, there is only one such example on the London 2012 channel. It will be interesting to see if they attempt more hangouts with athletes during and after the games. For the average marketer, Google+ hangouts are a great way to remotely capture testimonials or subject-matter expert interviews. You can even use them to host a webinar with far greater interactivity than a typical Webex or GoToMeeting.
Have you noticed any interesting use of video on the London 2012 YouTube Channel that we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments section below.
Let the games begin!
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Published: July 31, 2012 By: