Videos did not gain immediate popularity on the internet. Although everybody was interested in them, sheer technical and resource limitations prevented it. But with the improvement of relevant technology as well as bandwidth, we have now reached a stage where videos are threatening to replace texts and images as the most preferred medium. After all, if you can communicate everything audio-visually then why bother about anything else?
YouTube started as a video sharing site and has evolved into a social network in itself. Its acquisition by Google and subsequent integration with its services has made it into a powerhouse of millions of users waiting to be tapped by the marketeers. It can also be seamlessly shared and integrated with most other social networks. Other similar video sharing sites such as Vimeo have also taken cues from YouTube. So, here are a few tips that can help marketeers realise the full potential of the videos on social channels.
Develop the YouTube channel:
Now anyone can upload videos and even your account itself is called a "channel". But to look like a professional channel takes a bit of hard work. Firstly, your videos must be of good quality and all of them must maintain certain uniform standards. Then there must be an introductory video at the top introducing you or your brand. You can also consider making a YouTube trailer, including snippets of your best videos to show to the new visitors who are not yet following you. While you can post YouTube videos elsewhere, you should consider it as a complete network in itself. So, always keep basic SEO in mind. Write good descriptions for each video and include relevant keywords. Never miss a chance to share these videos on other platforms and also embed them in your blogposts, wherever they are relevant.
Do not ignore Facebook videos:
Facebook now allows one to upload videos directly. It is certainly a good idea to mix up your content and introduce some variety with videos. You can also set a feature video for your fan page which would show up at the top. You can use this feature to promote your latest launches or use it for brand introduction. It also easily grabs and plays YouTube videos and it seems that it is gearing up for a more video-oriented future.
Age of short videos:
However, the bigger earthquake is happening in a different format. The other type of videos that are gaining traction now are the short videos. While bandwidth has improved, videos are still considered memory-heavy files and they do not load quickly all the time. The trend of extremely short video has arisen to address this issue, especially for mobile. For instance on the photo sharing app Instagram, one can also upload short videos directly. Considering their popularity, some new mobile only social networks have set up for this purpose only. This new breed of networks include Vine which can be considered the Instagram for videos but these videos last only a few seconds. In this fast paced world, more and more people are opting for such short form content and many marketeers have shown remarkable creativity in utilising them.
Also, these short videos are easy to share on messaging apps such as WhatsApp. Keeping this in mind, another new breed of apps such as SnapChat has entered the market. Here, people can message videos but they last only for a short duration decided by the sender. After that it remains in the server but the recipient cannot access it. By doing this, they have turned social networks on their heads. In a world where social media has invaded our privacy and people get embarrassed by discovering their own five year old photographs on such networks, SnapChat has revolutionised the system by focusing strictly on the “present”. So, just share and savour the moment as it happens. They will disappear after some time and will not come back to haunt you in the future.
So, brands cannot ignore these new and innovative video trends considering the fact that millions of people are using them. In fact they are also more favourable for business. According to reports Instagram has 50% more engagement than Twitter and this is likely to be true for other such apps too. The future belongs to videos and the brands must take note of it and integrate it in their marketing strategies.
By Blair Strasser,
Marketeer, Blogger and Founder of eMerchantBroker.com