September has been a productive month on the social networking side of things, with the introduction of our branded channel on YouTube. It’s still underway, and elements are still being tweaked, but here it is as it stands currently, nonetheless: http://youtube.com/outskirtspress.
The advantage of having a “branded” YouTube channel–as opposed to a “normal” YouTube channel– is that Google (the company that owns YouTube) provides some controls and filters to more precisely control how visitors and subscribers interact with your channel. For example, you can turn “off” the advertisement that appears in the upper right hand corner. It’s currently “on” for us because it apparently needs to be “on” in order to activate advertising “overlays” which we have in conjunction with sponsored YouTube videos; and I’ll talk more about YouTube overlays and sponsored YouTube videos in a future post.
In addition to the controls and the additional graphic “skins” one can add to a branded YouTube channel, one of the other advantages is the ability to turn “off” that advertising. Why would someone want to turn off the advertising, or even care? Well, when it’s an ad for Doritos, I don’t care so much. But when it’s an add for one of our competitors, it’s not so great. This concern refers back to a posting I wrote a while ago, introducing a term I coined “Adsensiphobia.”
Adsensiphobia is experienced by marketing people when they are faced with the dilemma of directing potential customers to a website on which some of their competitors may be advertising (either via banner ads or contextual text ads in a Google AdSense box). Free PR distribution services are notorious for this, as are MySpace, YouTube, and many other “Web 2.0” websites. I fear a day will come when Twitter decides it needs to monetize its traffic via AdSense, as well.
Ultimately, however, altering your marketing initiatives due to adsensiphobia is self-defeating and, in the long run, pointless. Thanks to XML, even distributing your press release through paid distribution services like PRWeb doesn’t protect you, since some AdSense-specific websites exist solely to pick-up the XML feed from PRWeb AND display contextual AdSense links (which probably include links to your competitors). If your book or company has proven to be profitable for AdSense advertisers, there is no getting around it; and by refraining from distributing to every possible outlet solely because of adsensiphobia, you are really only shooting yourself in the foot.
If you are marketing a company and experiencing adsensiphobia, ask yourself this… is it realistic to believe that your potential customers have never heard of your competitors? People don’t drink Perrier because they are unaware of tap water. They drink Perrier because Perrier has established its value to its customers. At the same time, does Perrier slap stickers for Evian on their trucks? No.