Marketing Week got off to a fast start with an impassioned keynote address on the importance of online video from Kevin Nalty this morning in the crowded Canadian Ballroom in Toronto’s Royal York hotel.
The marketing and viral video expert shared lessons and insights about how social media is changing and how it is changing marketing.
The one-time marketer with Merck and J&J has more recently become a YouTube star for the quick, easy and highly effective videos he produces for the ultra popular video sharing site.
Online video is emerging as one vital social media tool in the marketer toolbox because it is the “most visceral of all forms of social media,” he said.
In a wide-ranging address that covered the most important recent trends in social media, Nalty, who now runs Nalts Consulting, offered practical tips and solutions interspersed with examples of effective YouTube video and colourful anecdotes–including a candid digression on his recent hair transplant.
“Viral is dead,” he told the audience. “Every once in a while someone proves me wrong with an exception,” he added referring to the recent roller-dancing babies video for Evian.
But the fact is even the most successful viral videos aren’t getting as many views as popular YouTubers.
“Get your video onto YouTube,” he said. “If you have approved video and it is not up on YouTube, shame, shame, shame.”
Nalty also encouraged marketers to “meet the new stars,” that is, people on YouTube with an online reach far greater than that enjoyed by mainstream stars like Oprah. “There are people here at your disposal that have huge followings. Their audience loves them, they’re micro-celebrities and they do promote [brands].
“A little cheque will go a long way, especially if they’re in college,” said Nalty.
One of the problems with many social media efforts is the false belief placed in the value of impressions. Everyone talks about impressions, but those are meaningless, he said. “An impression isn’t an impression, unless it makes one.” In other words, don’t get excited about views, ultimately the goal is having an impact on consumer behaviour.
However, he also illustrated the cost-effectiveness of YouTube for marketers by referring to a recent effort for the TV recording system Tivo. The campaign generated one million views. Of those one million views, how many of those views needed to turn into sales for the campaign to break even, he asked the audience. The answer: 0.0035%.
And in terms of the best person to own a company’s social media, Nalty said the ideal candidate is “less of a targeter and more an improv comic.” The person can’t simply be broadcasting to targeted potential customers. He or she needs to be able to roll with issues as they unfold and hold open conversations in real time.
Nalty’s address kicked off a full day of speakers and roundtable discussion sessions during Marketing Week’s Digital Day. Afternoon speakers include Google Canada’s Jonathan Lister and Louise Clements, head of sales for Facebook in Canada. The day will conclude with a closing address from David Weinberger, co-author of the Cluetrain Manifesto and the recent Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder.