Web Video Creators Take Lessons on How to Promo From Branded Entertainment
To hear Wilson Cleveland tell it, Web video creators need to get over themselves when it comes to marketing.
“I think there’s a stigma among independent creators that paying to promote your work is somehow inauthentic or selling out,” said Mr. Cleveland, who has helped produce, publicize and even act in multiple branded entertainment Web series.
Mr. Cleveland knows what he’s talking about, thanks to a background in promoting advertiser-backed content. A few years ago, he both starred in and helped orchestrate the production of “Leap Year,” a scripted comedy about small business startups that was underwritten by the advertiser Hiscox, a small-business insurance company. And as part of his work on that show he was responsible for delivering viewers through paid ads and free social media.
Mr. Cleveland produced his own Web video short film that he hopes to turn into a series. Instead of just posting it to YouTube and hoping for the best, Mr. Cleveland took what he’d learned from his branded entertainment experience to try and promote “Spin,” which depicts a heated interview between a financial journalist and a Wall Street executive.
The Wall Street Journal
From Jan. 28 through Mar. 6, he spent $5,000 on on paid advertising (the movie cost $12,000 to produce). The bulk of that modest outlay naturally went to YouTube, and the rest was split between Twitter, Facebook and even LinkedIn.
“In my experience producing branded content, I’ve learned how the paid media machine works,” he said.
Beyond paid media, Mr. Cleveland created fictional editorial about the characters in “Spin” that he posted on BuzzFeed and Medium.
Has “Spin” gone viral? Not quite. To date, the video has generated 272,000 views overall–not bad for $5,000 in marketing spending. The hope is that now Mr. Cleveland has a fan base that he can use to help attract investors or advertisers.
“There’s an audience for everything,” said Mr. Cleveland. “But the Internet owes you nothing but a means to be seen.” Read more here