Video is quickly becoming the favored form of content consumption among online users. By 2017 video traffic will account for 67 percent of all consumer web traffic. Why? In today’s age of information overload, videos provide a quick and easy way to digest information. Unlike text or even photos, videos are more engaging and research suggests that a single one minute video is worth 1.8 million words. The numbers back this up as 85 percent of people who view product videos are more likely to make a purchase. Luckily, videos just aren’t for large companies anymore. Thanks to social video sites it is cheaper and easier to produce and distribute your own videos. If you aren’t doing social video marketing, here are some of the best platforms to start on.
Unless you have no access to the internet, you’ve most likely visited YouTube at least a couple times. It is currently the second most visited site in the world with monthly visits exceeding 1 billion. Of all the video platforms, YouTube has the biggest audience and, in fact, reaches more 18-34 year olds in the US than any cable network. If a video goes viral on YouTube it’s possible that it could be viewed by millions of people and shoot your company into the spotlight. Unfortunately, it’s more likely that your video will go unnoticed. If you want to grab people’s attention you need to highlight your company’s creativity by producing humorous, detailed videos about your business or industry. Remember to keep it short, preferably around 1-2 minutes in length. Since YouTube is also a social platform, you should also interact with any commenters and comment on other videos that might relate to your business.
Unlike YouTube, Vimeo focuses on high-quality, informative videos. While certainly much smaller than the video giant, Vimeo still pulls in a respectable 100 million visitors per month. It’s an excellent place for businesses to host their quality content such as infomercials and product tutorials, but it is still difficult to extend your reach without paying into their tiered access. If you do happen to have the budget, Vimeo Pro is the only way that you can promote your brand with search engine visibility. It also offers advanced tracking and statistics and a customizable video player.
You might be more familiar with Instagram as a photo sharing site, but it also allows short videos. . If you run a B2C company, sharing videos of your product on Instagram might net you plenty of exposure and reach as 40 percent of the most shared videos on the site were created by brands. Some of the most popular brands on Instagram are from the entertainment industry, retail and fashion, sports and restaurant chains.
Like its parent company (Twitter), Vine focuses on short, digestible tidbits but this time in the form of 6 second video on a loop. It’s a fast growing network, with over 40 million monthly users. As it is connected with Twitter, users can easily tweet their videos to their followers. Vine has a lot of potential, but marketing on it is still fairly hit or miss with most videos not gaining any traction. Still, if you want to try it out make sure that you use appropriate hashtags to describe your video and try to keep the video humorous.
Google Hangouts is unlike the other services listed as it is not a video sharing site. Instead, it focuses more on the social aspect of social video. Unlike YouTube or Vimeo, Google Hangouts allows you to actually connect with your audience through their various features such as text chatting and, more importantly, video chatting. Many businesses have used Hangouts to host Q&A sessions or hold live demonstrations of their products. There is also a record and share feature, which means that you can easily use these hangout session as part of your content marketing strategy. All of these features is skyrocketing Hangouts as the preferred way for businesses to actively engage their customers.
Social Video Best Practices
As with all marketing strategies, you will need to keep your ideal audience in mind before you actually create your videos. Check out what other similar companies are doing and see what you can emulate and what you can change to stand out. As well, don’t forget to share your videos across your social media channels to really increase your visibility.
Ivan Serrano is a web journalist hailing from San Jose, California. He is adept at writing about social media, technology and global business. During the little free time that he gets, he loves to practice his photography and watch all of the football and hockey that he can.