Random Traffic Grows Real Traffic

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post on how Microsoft was making some good/viral TV clips for their (at that point) upcoming video game Halo 3. Problem was that these videos were on TV only, nobody at the marketing agency thought it necessary to post them on YouTube, but enthusiasts corrected that. My blog post listed these videos, and can be found here.

Since I posted this article, it has increasingly gathered readers. 100% of them come via search engines, looking for “Halo 3″ (I am amazed that some search engine ranks my article so highly! still can’t figure out who that is exactly). I bet you none of these viewers have any interest in marketing, start-ups or any of the other things tend to write about. So, is this traffic actually worth anything?

Turns out, the answer is yes. Since this traffic has increased, the traffic from search engines to my other articles has increased with exactly the same rate. In other words Halo 3 has the same proportion of overall searches now than it did a month ago. When you look at visits of ‘halo 3′ searchers to my site, this will give you some impression of how much the overall volume has increased:

Traffic

What this means. This is a virtuous circle effect. More traffic drives more traffic. An article that people pick up “for the wrong reasons” can indirectly drive high quality of traffic to the site. When more people click on my site via Google, my Page rank increases. The increased Page Rank drives more traffic. More search clicks increase my Page Rank, etc etc

I think this trend will continue until an equilibrium point is reached at which point the effect will diminish. Or maybe the search engine takes the traffic away again. In any case, until either of the two happens, I am happy to lean back and see the traffic grow. I actually didn’t post any articles this week partially just to see what would happen to he traffic: still growing. Nice.

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Online Marketing Example with a Halo

After I slammed Microsoft in an earlier post for their bad marketing efforts related to Windows Vista, I have today come across a great example of online marketing by Microsoft, if only it was online marketing by intent…

Halo 3What I am referring to is the great marketing effort by Microsoft Games for its newest Xbox 360 blockbuster video game Halo 3. Although I am not that much into ‘shooter’ games, even I couldn’t evade all the buzz surrounding the game. Anyway, what I was more interested in than the game itself was how it was marketed. Take a look at the videos below:

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjLuqfb-1-4]

These five clips from part of a Microsoft television ad campaign. That’s right, a TV campaign. So why am I talking about them in the context of online marketing? What happened with these clips is akin to what I talked about in my last post: all ways lead to the Internet.

Although initially shown on TV, these clips were ultimately uploaded to YouTube. If you look closely, you will find that the descriptions in the titles of the videos etc show that these clips were most likely not uploaded by the Microsoft Games marketing team, but rather by enthusiasts, but this is obviously an assumption. So, here you have a big company making some, arguably, very intriguing clips, paying probably a lot of money to have them broadcast on TV (I wouldn’t argue against that, actually), only to find them on the Internet, where they probably belonged in the first place.

The essence of this post is this: Combined, these four videos above and the many many copies that exist of them on YouTube alone, have been watched by several million people by now. This cost Microsoft nothing (at least not in addition to having produced the clips). Most importantly, these people watched these videos, because they wanted to watch them. Think about it, this is highly targeted, relevant, opt-in ad watching. And its free. And that, to me, is the beauty of great online marketing.

Additional thoughts:

In essence, I think that all TV ads should probably be uploaded on YouTube by the producers. Why? It costs next to nothing to do that, so little harm done. People might pick it up, they might forward it to their friends, incorporate it in their blogs etc. If these videos are on YouTube, they might go viral amongst people who care about them. If they don’t, little is lost, I can only see a potential upside of doing it, but no downside.

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