Friday, January 4, 2008

Marketing to Women Online: Attracting Your YouTube Audience

Female vloggers (video bloggers) and personalities have relied on the ease and accessibility of popular video sites to build and sustain significant audiences. Many users can produce engaging, entertaining content at little to no cost. But with so much content out there, how can women just starting out reach their audience?

Most have turned to YouTube as their default video hosting and community site; and while it may be easier than ever to upload and share your clips online, drawing people to your content can be a challenge. Is there a set formula for creating a “viral video”, or does the organic nature of the web make it difficult to reach your potential audience directly?

YouTube and other hosting sites such as Yahoo! Video, Metacafe, and Revver offer similar features (search by category, user comments, embedding), but can one site generate a greater audience than others? Like traditional media, content is key – and while YouTube may offer an extensive catalog of videos, a lot of the good stuff can get lost in the mix.

Taking advantage of the reactive nature of the internet means more than just uploading a video and waiting for people to watch. Engaging viewers is just as important. In an August 2006 interview with Wired Magazine, comedian Dane Cook describes how social networking and video sites helped to garner a mainstream audience by maintaining an open and immediate online dialogue with his fans.

Users often produce outstanding content that never makes it to Time’s Top Ten, but there are ways to enhance your view count. Second party services such as Vodpod and SplashCast allow users to showcase and embed selected videos to a customizable, personal video channel. These and similar sites not only optimize organic search engine ranking, but also incorporate your content into their own exclusive communities.

Some may be hesitant about levering open source tools and community sites to establish an online presence. Those now taking advantage of Web 2.0 may express concerns over privacy, security, and public perception; but as internet culture and technology extends its reach across other media, new users are quickly adapting. Lee Gomes of the Wall Street Journal, for example, studied how users engaged YouTube and determined growing trends amongst specific groups. However, as online content continues to grow at a seemingly exponential rate, reaching your audience early becomes increasingly important.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button