Webcasts: A Hot Marketing Tool
“We needed to create buzz, but felt the media would not touch it,” Kania recalls. The tactic that was proposed: three short (less than one-minute) commercials posted on YouTube.
“What happened is what is supposed to happen in an ideal world. They became viral,” she says.
From the YouTube exposure, the videos quickly migrated to other sites popular with the 18- to 29-year-old male set, including MySpace, Break.com and Heavy.com.
“They kind of spread like wildfire, sort of overnight. It was a lot of fun for us here in the office to watch it happen. The hits went from 1,000 to 10,000 and suddenly 100,000, and now, we are upwards of
4 million,” says Kania.
From an initial printing of 18,000 copies, the book has gone on to sell more than 40,000 copies. “The primary marketing campaign for the book was these videos,” Kania notes. Eventually, “the campaign became the news,” providing media coverage the book would not have otherwise gotten.
“They’re exactly what videos are supposed to be,” Kania says. “Something you want to show somebody, something you want to pass on.”
For Kania, as for other webcast users interviewed, the content of the video matters more than the content of the book itself; still, “you have to pick the right book to do it. You can’t do this type of marketing on every book,” she says.
“You really want to pick the right book with the right tone for who the audience is,” she continues. “We knew the ‘Average American Male’ audience was guys between the ages of 18 and 29, but we had to go to where they are. They’re not in the bookstore. You have to think outside the bookstore and market to where people are.”
The book’s success has inspired a sequel, “The Average American Female,” whose marketing will feature—what else—online video, probably spoofing the commercials for the male version.