The Future of YouTube Marketing: Lenovo Aims to 'Seize The Night'

Lenovo, the PC maker, recently implemented a new YouTube marketing strategy that is rapidly becoming a must-read case study for all business people. What makes their campaign different is that they gained hundreds of thousands of YouTube views and followers without doing any marketing at all. Instead, they got their loyal customers to do it for them.

Lenovo created a competition called 'Seize The Night,' asking 15 finalists to create an alternative ending to a video, with the winner being the entrant with the most views. One of the video producers, Joshua, organized and filmed a massive cycle ride in London he organized on a Lenovo laptop. Featuring hundreds of cyclists, the video has quickly taken off, going viral and spreading the Lenovo brand for free.

This marketing strategy is notable for a variety of reasons: The video producers create and market the films on behalf of Lenovo; The total number of views are spread out across a range of videos, not just one; And those that watch are the target market of Lenovo -- in this case, students. As a final bonus, the video producers are from around the world, and thus each video is tailored towards their individual local culture. For example, Joshua's video features a hired 'Boris Bike' which is famous in London.

Creating a video competition, therefore, is quickly becoming a fantastic way for social media marketers to get more YouTube content seen by thousands of people (who are targeted and of value to their brand). It's comparatively very cheap, and gains a much higher return on investment. So is this the future of YouTube marketing?

Viral cat videos that amass millions of views seem to have warped our perceptions on what is a video success. Remember that only a few years ago, a Hollywood movie with 10 million 'views' was considered a blockbuster.

Tom Church is an award-winning marketer in London, UK. He writes about the latest marketing trends and methods at Communication Is The Key.