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May 25, 2015

The Rise of Social Video: A New Way to Market Your Business

We all know YouTube is a force to be reckoned with. It is without a doubt the largest and most prevalent social video platform, and its dominance won’t diminish any time soon.

Constantly innovating for a more pleasant user experience, YouTube is the pinnacle of video content. In fact, in June of 2014 YouTube briefly became the most visited social platform, temporarily beating out Facebook. That same month, Cisco Systems predicted that by 2018 between 80% – 90% of all global consumer web traffic would be accounted for by videos.

Given how large this video phenome has become and how popular video has grown across the internet, others are setting out to jump on the digital video bandwagon in hopes of achieving comparable success. Not only have most social media sites now been swamped with massive amounts of video content, but an array of new and innovative video sharing platforms have sprung up to bring this form of visual content to center stage.

Here are some of the top video sharing platforms to get your business discovered and drive additional conversions:

Vimeo

While YouTube is for everyone, Vimeo is geared toward filmmakers, artists, professional videographers, or anyone else who seeks to share high quality work. Vimeo provides a multitude of benefits for producing videos such as free video tutorials, a stock music library, and translation and subtitling tools.

The site has a clean appearance, it is super easy to use, and best of all there are no video advertisements. This means that the likelihood of an individual watching your video in its entirety (or even viewing a few more) is far higher than if video ads were required viewing.

On the flip side, since there are no ads the site does charge $17 per month for a business plan, however, that really amounts to a small fee when compared to the potential benefits and reach. Since Vimeo is a smaller platform than YouTube, there is a tight-knit community in place. To really leverage this, comment on other people’s videos and become engaged on the site. There is enormous potential here for brands that commit to consistency and quality.

Instagram

Instagram is a photo and video sharing service that has gained massive success and momentum over the past few years. The company’s mission is, “to capture and share the world’s moments” and that is exactly what they have been doing with an estimated worth of $35 million. The platform provides users with various tools such as a multitude of filters, an image stabilization feature for shaky videos, as well as numerous other means to develop videos with a slightly more professional feel. Instagram videos can range anywhere between three and fifteen seconds.

The site itself is owned by Facebook. This ownership allows for simple and easy integration of cross-promotion efforts. At the end of the day, having these two sites linked together will allow additional followers to be gained from both portals, regardless of which one the brand was discovered on.

Vine

Another video sharing site that has risen in popularity right alongside Instagram is Vine. By now, most have seen these short, typically funny, six second snippets around the internet. These videos are often looped, which is excellent for product demonstrations or comedic effect. By taking advantage of this looping process or stop motion, businesses have the opportunity to develop some highly informative and creative videos. This is important in an era where the average attention span is constantly diminishing due to sensory overload.

Vine is owned by Facebook’s largest competitor, Twitter. Because of this, there are similar advantages to using Vine. Twitter’s control over the platform enables the integration of hashtags and the same ability for cross-promotion between websites.

Ocho

Somewhat new to the video sharing game, the free app Ocho gives users access to a plethora of videos slightly longer than Vine’s. On Ocho, video creators get an additional two seconds, allowing for 8 second videos to be generated. Backed by billionaire and Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban, Ocho serves up a continuous stream of clips for users to enjoy. In an announcement about the app, Cuban stated that, “Ocho is redefining the way we share our stories through creating a powerful, video-based social network in a way that hasn’t been possible until now.”

This new video platforms gives users the ability to narrate videos after the initial shooting with a voiceover feature. Additionally, all videos are shot with a 16:9 aspect ratio even if users hold the phone horizontally or vertically.

Ocho also flaunts the fact that comments can only be made in the form of a video reply. The lack of a text reply will keep people accountable for what is said in comments, largely cutting down on the “troll” factor. If you are unfamiliar with the term “troll” visit the YouTube’s comments section.

MikMak

MikMak is a brand new iOS video app currently available only on the iPhone 5, 5s, 6, and 6+ devices. This app seeks to revolutionize infomercials to be geared more towards the millennial generation. MikMak produces 30 second “minimericals” selling devices or products. Gadgets, jewelry, kitchenware, and home goods (all priced at less than $100) are some of the things that one can expect to find. The short videos are designed to be fun to watch and funny in content. All writers and hosts to the videos have varying backgrounds in improv.

Rachel Tipograph, former global director of digital and social content for Gap, and the founder and CEO of MikMak was quoted on the new platform as stating, “Shopping sends dopamine to the brain, yet ecommerce tends to be the least emotional place on the internet. By MikMak taking a millennial, entertainment-first approach to mobile commerce, we’re able to build an emotional relationship with the customer that modernizes elements of infomercials that drive conversion and loyalty.”

These video sharing platforms are only a few of the sites that have recently hit the scene. Video is the next big wave in social media all across the internet. In order for an organization to continue to be relevant in the eyes of an increasingly tech-savvy demographic, uploading videos is a must.

Do you think that video is poised to dominate the social stratosphere before 2018?


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Digital producer, online marketer, community manager, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney-Brown has been managing cross-functional teams for online businesses since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, massively multiplayer games, community management, social networks, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, nonprofit director and spiritual counselor. Learn more at her personal website, or find her on Facebook and Google+.

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