Did you hear that Google is reading lips in 2009?

Online marketing strategy is supposed to be about connecting with vs. interrupting the audience for search in 2009, and gaining attention and eyeballs via contribution and relevance. This next generation of web mentality is also being separated from the past by being characterized as user-contributed vs. user-generated, meaning that users aren’t just participating, they are actually shaping and dictating the web experience in real time with peers. Other buzzwords lately include the “executable web”, and “internet of services”. It’s as if any part of the web can be considered an application, shaped by users as they see fit. Then there are natural distribution models in place, such as social media and networks and email if content is deemed worthy or helpful.

  Applications are also running on multiple devices and contrary to beliefs of the past, is NOT just for kids. I hadn’t seen a Blackberry Storm in person until I was passed one by a man in his 70’s. The device belonged to him and he was showing me all of the hip things it could do.

  So there’s this neat new stuff happening and that’s great. As an agency person, I keep a look out for remarkable online campaigns and just general content, big and small, and have seen campaigns that have absolutely knocked my socks off. The problem has been where I these campaigns, and that is usually exclusively on interactive marketing blogs… and nowhere else.

  Have you noticed something when you do a Google search lately? Seems like when you search the results look… just a little different than they did before.

  For example, Google the word “dunk”. The results start by looking pretty normal, you’ve got the paid stuff on the right, the first result is a Wiki, the second is Nike, the third is another Wiki and then… Images. OK, that’s cool. Then there are video results. VERY cool.
If I’m in YouTube and search for “dunk” as we did on Google, it looks pretty similar. Google applies AdWords functionality to allow advertisers to bid on YouTube search terms that trigger ads to appear in a “sponsored video” section of the YouTube search results.
There’s some natural results, some paid results, and wow, the first video is the same as when I Googled the same word.

  Video related advertising and marketing on the web has a lineage that has mirrored the ability of marketers to design models that worked within the confines of technological abilities and constraints of the time. We’ve all seen it evolve as a standard :15 or :30 spot was just dropped online, then maybe combined with a banner ad, then you have your branded content stuff (i.e. BMW Films, Nike movies that promote their line of skate board shoes, etc.), and then “user-generated content” video campaigns. Wow, users can have “ownership” of the brand. Clearly not all forms of online video marketing are being represented here, but you are a super smart and you know that.

  There’s been some notable success with video-based marketing online. It’s been more art and less science though, developing content based on psychographic information and combining that with placement and distribution on the web in places we know where to find the audience or, hope they will find it. We know we want to develop great content for the audience to interact with, and we know we want them to find it and hopefully share it. In most ways this is still a push vs. pull method.

  Right now Google is in beta of its new GAudi. Wikipedia defines GAudi as:
a widget for iGoogle, a beta product which indexes the audio of YouTube videos in the “politicians” channel.
In the summer of 2008, Google shared on its blog that they had introduced the Google Elections Video Search gadget on iGoogle, and that it would transcribe and index the spoken content on YouTube’s Politicians channels.

  Then, just like that, you had brilliance such as “Barack Roll

  Basically, that gadget allows you to type any word into a search engine, get a list of all of the political speeches that contain that word, and also within each video, markers allow you to jump to the relevant part of the speech where the word is actually spoken.

  Now it’s getting bigger and better, with Google Audio Indexing (aka GAudi) in Google Labs.

  As an agency guy that really likes doing video, this makes me excited. For a while now we’ve been talking to clients about creating relevant content for the web (video or other) and how important that is to their online audience, creating interaction and brand immersion, yadda yadda yadda. That is still true and important. When Fender puts anything online, I’ll be with the first guitar nerds checking it out! But there’s this other implication, and that is obviously search.

  The whole idea is that GAudi will catalog all the words uttered during a video or audio clip. Then all of that transcript will be added to a searchable database that is used pretty much the same as a search in text-based websites.

  This would make LOTS of sense for Google because it more or less gives the YouTube Ad Sense model a shot of video and audio steroids. Who is monetizing web video now? *clap clap clap clap

  For the rest of us that are NOT Google perhaps we have another transition to adapt to. Hopefully it’s the beginning of all these lines getting blurry in terms of people finding us, our companies, and content we develop online. It adds a far more measurable quality to the intention to be relevant and be found naturally. Viewers can still discern whether you are pulling the wool over their eyes, or supplying them with good content, but you can dictate with a level of certainty, how relevant your content will be to their search. And knowing is half the battle!