Wednesday, September 15, 2010

TV v YouTube

Back in March we ran an incredibly successful campaign with a YouTube video blogger that resulted in a permanent tripling of our sales. 3 weeks ago A Current Affair ran a story that featured us which has also had a massive impact on our business, and I thought I'd write a post comparing the two.

The YouTube campaign saw 197,000 people visit our website on the day the video went live, and 500,000 people for the week, a massive traffic spike. More people visited our website that week than watched the video due to people spreading the word about the site to their friends via word of mouth and social networks.

A Current Affair is watched by 1.3 million people, however the story drove less than 15% of the traffic to our site that the YouTube promotion did! 22,000 people visited our website the night of the A Current Affair story and 70,000 visited in the week that followed.

It's obviously a much bigger step for people to go from their TV to our website compared with a YouTube video to our website, particularly when the YouTube video had a clear call to action to visit our website to design a pair of shoes and enter the competition we ran in conjunction with Blair. That said, it's nothing other than amazing that a 16 year old YouTube video blogger can drive 7 times the traffic to our website that one of the top rating TV shoes in Australia can!

That said, while traffic is great, sales is what we care about.

Initially the YouTube campaign saw very little uplift in sales. The 500,000 people visiting our website were predominantly 11-15 year old girls, and they aren't our target market. Eventually, with some additional social media work from us, word spread from this audience to their older friends, older sister and their mum's and within 2 weeks of the video going live, sales had settled at triple what they had been prior to the video, and they never went back.

For the A Current Affair story the increase in sales was immediate. The story aired at 6:30pm on Wednesday 25 August and within 2 hours that day had become our record sales day. The following day, Thursday, doubled that new record and Friday would have been a record day as well except for the previous two. It's 3 weeks since the story aired and our Australian sales seem to have settled at more than double what they were. The overall volume increase in sales from the A Current Affair story is slightly higher than the increase the YouTube campaign lead to, but the difference isn't large. Clearly we're very pleased with both campaigns!

Type of Customer
The 70,000 people who visited our website following the A Current Affair story were the highest converting potential customers, compared with the 500,000 who visited following the YouTube promotion. That said, the 500,000 who visited our site are very tech savvy and the increase in blog posts and social media chatter will have had long term benefits for SEO and brand awareness. The 70,000 from A Current Affair are much less tech savvy so these other benefits will be less from this group. For example, we've had a lot of emails from people who have never purchased online before and would like to physically see our shoes before purchasing - providing more motivation for us to set up a Shoes of Prey store.

What's also interesting is the type of customer purchasing from us after each promotion. The YouTube promotion lead to a whole range of different people buying from us, professional women buying work shoes, brides to be buying wedding shoes and women who love fashion designing shoes to match the season's trends. The A Current Affair story was a custom fit angle rather than a custom design angle. In the last 3 weeks we've sold an incredible number of wide shoes, narrow shoes, shoes with different sized left and right feet and very large or very small shoes. That's slightly dangerous territory for us to be getting into, because custom fit is difficult online, but we're confident we've got these issues worked out. The ideal story for us would have been a custom design story, but in the world of PR you can't always pick the angle, the media organisation will want to go with what their audience will be most interested in, and we're certainly more than happy with the results!

What I find amazing about this is that on the whole, the two campaigns have had a fairly similar effect on our business. A 16 year old video blogger working out of her bedroom in the US has had as much of an impact as one of the top rating TV shows in Australia. Digital media is often pitched as a great niche marketing activity, while TV is pitched as a way to get in front of a mass audience. Our experience would indicate that's not necessarily the case anymore.

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