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If I were to go out on a limb, I would say social media videos are now as important as photos were in 2012-2013 in creating more engagement on social media.

And the reason I say this is because video is a major component of digital marketing. By 2017, it is expected that video traffic will be 67% of all consumer web traffic. If you aren’t sharing video yet, here are the best social platforms to get started on and reach your target audience.

 

YOUTUBE:

Youtube is the second most visited website in the world for a reason. The monthly visits surpass one million and over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month – that’s almost an hour for every person on earth! Who, after all, would prefer reading a dense white paper over watching what feels like a personal conversation with a business owner? I don’t see many heads nodding.

YouTube’s audience is huge, and comprised of a wide variety of strong, connected communities. There are so many different genres of YouTube channels out there that it can be easy to say, “let’s attract everyone to our channel!”, but I promise you that won’t be effective at building subscribers or getting leads. In order to use YouTube effectively, your videos must be tailored to your audience.

This platform provides a much more accessible medium for reaching your customer base, building relationships, establishing your expertise and really branding your business’ unique personality.

 

FACEBOOK:

I know for a fact that when I scroll through my news feed every second post is a video, either shared or uploaded. This could be because there has been a 50% increase in use of video from May 2014, and since then, there has been an average of 1 billion video views on Facebook each day!

Facebook wasn’t traditionally thought of as a video platform in the same way as YouTube, BUT, they have some interesting features. Firstly they have introduced ‘view counts’, and secondly ‘autoplay’, or the ability for videos to play automatically in user’s news feeds.

If your target audience already uses Facebook (which I am sure that they do!), then using this platform can help grow and reinforce your online community.

 

VIMEO:

Vimeo is known for its aesthetically gorgeous and high-quality videos. It first started around the same time as YouTube, and in the decade since its launch they have gone in completely different directions.

For business, however, Vimeo is better for hosting high quality content, rather than extending your reach, eg/ infomercials and product tutorials .

 

VINE:

Vine is Twitter’s answer to YouTube. A six-second video played on a loop. Vine is only new, launching in Jan 2013, but it currently has 40 million users.

Vine has great potential, but for now marketing on Vine is a hit and miss venture, and videos rarely gain traction. Also users question ‘why use this when I can just use Instagram’. On the surface it seems similar, but Vine could be described as Niche YouTube for creative, short-form videos.

 

INSTAGRAM:

Is an image-driven social network all about sharing and photos and videos edited by digital filters. One major advantage of using instagram is that is connects to several other social networks making it easier to share, therefore easier to brand.

Instagram, originally a photo based social media platform, introduced the ability to shoot a 15 second video and apply a filter on top. This enabled companies to show off their brand, product or service in ways that were impossible before.

 

There you have it, friends – the best social media video platforms to reach your target audience. Each of them is unique in its own way, and it’s up to you to figure out how best to create engaging content for the video platforms that work for your business.



So, you have made the decision to get involved in online video and video marketing! You have chosen the video style that fits both your businesses personality and goals, so now it is time to start thinking production.

I hear you thinking that it might be possible to self produce to save money, BUT I would highly recommend not going down that path! Firstly I think its only fair to tell you that you should hire a professional, not because we don’t think you are capable, but because there are other companies releasing high quality and professionally shot videos, which you don’t want to compete with.

There are a lot of factors that go into a decision like this, and finished video quality is actually only one of them. So let’s break down each choice—video self production or professional production—by the respective worries that you may have:

COST:

The single most common reason that companies and individuals decide to self produce their online video is budget. If you compare the cost of hiring a professional against the cost of pulling out your iphone and filming yourself, there is a huge difference. When the cost is the most important factor in your decision, this seems like a no-brainer.

It can be significantly less expensive to make your own videos than to get someone to do it for you. The long and short of it is that professional video production companies charge for their services. But, when you think about it, it’s cheaper to do almost anything yourself. I could opt to buy all the timber and build my new backyard deck myself, or I could buy the oil and give my car a service. This is all well and good, but if you don’t know what you are doing then it’s probably not going to turn out so well.

CREATIVE CONTROLS:

When you want to self produce your own online videos, you have 100% of the creative control. When you hire a professional, you almost always have the final say in the decision, but they will always bring their own experience, expertise, and ideas to the table.

Video production firms make videos for a living and have seen more than you most probably have or will. Much like any business. video production agencies pay attention to what their peers and competitors are doing, so they know what’s working online. These companies are able to collaboratively pool together ideas that spring from their experience and work with the root concept you have developed.

PRODUCTION VALUES:

When you self produce, your video will look self produced. If you want your video to have the best production values possible, you simply cannot choose to do it yourself… unless of course you happen to be an expert in video production.

Professional video production firms have some huge benefits to offer you in the area of production values. First off, they have better cameras, lighting equipment and editing capabilities. When you self produce, you’re sacrificing the quality production values that high end equipment brings with it.

The second major benefit professional production companies offer in the realm of production values is related to their experience.  They know more than you ever could, and that insider’s expertise leads directly to a finished product of noticeably higher quality.

ADDED VALUE/SERVICES:

Most professional video production firms offer a wide variety of additional services such as scripting, casting, and marketing.  Those that don’t offer such services usually at least have solid relationships with vendors who do. If you self-produce, you have to either do it all yourself, or at least go out and shop for such vendors on your own.  Obviously this can add tremendous time to your overall project, further removing you from your day-to-day core operations.

TIME:

When you make mistakes as your own video producer, that costs you time.  Think about everything you don’t know about video production, from lighting to lenses to blocking and framing.  You’ll be using trial and error in making several of these decisions, and you’ll make many more mistakes than you realize.

Every decision you make will cost you more time than it would a professional.  What kind of camera should you use?  Don’t know?  Maybe you can do some online research and read some reviews to find out which camera is best?  Of course you can… but it’ll waste four hours of your life.

In conclusion, I would advise almost anyone to look for a professional.  There are fewer risks, and the potential for huge upside.  And if you value your time, then self-producing can often end up costing you more than paying even high-dollar video production firms to handle the project.



As the consumption of online video continues to rise, major brands continue to invest more and more money in it.

Here are 15 interesting facts about online video which clearly show that if a picture is worth a thousand words, videos are worth well over a million

1. Using video on landing pages can increase conversion by 80%. – Eyeview Digital

2. Videos increase the length of time people stay on your page, giving your brand message longer to sink in. – Unboune

3. 18-34 year olds are watching 53% more online videos than this time in 2013 – ReelSEO

4. $6.3 billion will be spent on video ads in 2015 – Huffington Post

5. Every month, 40 billion videos are streamed in the U.S. -MarketingProfs

6. Video advertising on desktop devices alone is expected to grow 21% annually until 2019, when it will contribute 54.6% of total desktop display ad revenue across the Web. – Wall Street Journal

7. 44% of executives somewhat or strongly agree that video will be the de facto form of communication in their organisation in the next 5 years. – Ramp

8. Facebook users are posting 75% more videos than last year. – Advertising Age

9. 76% of marketers plan to add videos to their sites, making it a higher priority than Facebook, Twitter and blog integration. – DIGIDAY

10. 52% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the format of content with the best ROI – BrainShark

11. Mobile video consumption continues to rise rapidly, up 16 times what it was in 2011. – Marketing Land

12. There are 4 billion video views on YouTube PER DAY! – Expanded Ramblings

13. Forty-four percent of U.S. email marketers report increased engagement rates in messages containing video. – CMO

14. 90% of online shoppers at a major retailer’s website said they find videos helpful in making shopping and buying decisions. – Video Brewery

15. Videos increase people’s understanding of your product or service by 74%. – Digital Sherpa



There is a multitude of different online video destinations, and a built in audience that comes with each, but what works for one person may not work for another. The point of this blog is to cover some of the major video portals, outline the pros and cons and help you determine which is the best platform for you.

YouTube:

We’ll start with the granddaddy of them all, YouTube.  No online video portal has more videos or more viewers than YouTube.  It is the most popular destination for both video creators and viewers.

Pros:

  • It’s free to use for anyone.  Free is good.
  • It’s also a Google-owned service, which suggests you can expect a certain level of quality and features.
  • There is some evidence to believe that YouTube videos have a higher chance of showing up in Google search results, perhaps by virtue of YouTube’s auto-captioning and the close relationship between the two companies.
  • It’s the most popular video site, with more potential viewers there than any other single destination.
  • It’s dead simple to use
  • Channels allow creators to build a fan base
  • Monetisation: You can allow ads to be placed on your video, or place links yourself to drive traffic to other websites or shopping carts.
  • YouTube Insight gives uploader great statistics on their videos, helping inform future efforts.
  • Accepts a wide variety of video formats

Cons:

  • Competition.  As the largest portal for video online, your video can get lost in the noise of the millions of other videos uploaded the same week.
  • Because so many people and businesses use YouTube, you might struggle for differentiation
  • Also, as with most portal sites, you run the danger of some of your viewers watching on YouTube.com instead of your own website, decreasing the likelihood that they’ll convert.
  • There is also a 15-minute time limit for all users except partners, which could severely limit your potential if your idea needs more time.
  • Comments are notoriously off-colour and crass.

Simply put, YouTube is the largest and most successful video destination site on the web.  For this reason alone, many video creators choose YouTube as their distribution method of choice.  But it’s not always the best match for every video.  However, many videos are cross-posted to YouTube by creators in addition to another portal, to further ensure a wide audience.  With few exceptions, I generally recommend all my clients upload their videos to YouTube as either a primary or secondary distribution channel.

Vimeo

Vimeo is a respectful community of creative people who are passionate about sharing the videos they make. Vimeo is more a place for art—instead of finding a lot of cat videos, you’ll find a lot of short films, stop-motion, visual arts pieces, and the like.

Pros:

  • Vimeo community guidelines specify that harassment, personal attacks, and general insulting behaviour will not be tolerated.  Your account will be removed if they feel you are overstepping the bounds of civil disagreement.
  • Focused content is the key.  There is a huge list of video content that is not allowed, including video game footage, music videos, television clips, and more.
  • Niche-focused community helps drive views to videos of a particular topic or style.  For instance, users are encouraged to find other users that share their interests and develop relationships organically.  While this can take time, the huge long-term benefit is a built-in audience for future video clips.
  • Videos of almost any format can be uploaded.  And the upload process is pretty simple.
  • Basic accounts are free, and allow up to 500MB of storage.
  • The community is very lively and strong, and there appears to be a genuine desire to assist and encourage each other.
  • Under a Vimeo Plus account, users can make some customisations to the video player.

Cons:

  • No commercial content is allowed.  Only videos created by you, the user, with a non-commercial bent will be allowed.
  • The general narrow content restrictions (no music videos, no movie clips, no marketing material, etc.) might preclude you from using Vimeo right out of the gate.  Also, even if your first video matches their guidelines, future videos may not, and it could be a mistake to fragment your videos across multiple platforms.
  • Smaller overall audience size than, say, YouTube, which might make it tougher for your video to find an audience quickly.
  • Anything but a Basic account will cost you money.

Vimeo is for artists and art, and not for personal videos or video blogging.  However, if you are a creator of artistic videos looking for a community in which to thrive, Vimeo could be the best choice for you.

Metacafe

Pros:

  • Auditions.  There is a community of volunteers that works to give a look at all the new videos uploaded every day.
  • There is no restriction on the kinds of users that can sign up.  Metacafe welcomes individuals and Hollywood studios with open arms—provided the content meets their guidelines.
  • The highest rated videos can earn cash for the creators under the Producer Rewards program.
  • They try to stay hands-off, letting the community of users drive pretty much everything that happens on the site.
  • Zero-tolerance policy for defamatory, racist, sexist, or homophobic material or discussion.
  • Cloning is barred, which is nice for the viewer.
  • Sexually explicit material is not allowed, which is a bummer for Mark.

Cons:

  • Content limitations in topic and genre.
  • Content is also limited to under 10 minutes in length.
  • Audience size.  In some ways, Metacafe is a bit of an alternative to YouTube, where there appears to be a higher level of respect and discourse.  However, it comes at a price—a significantly smaller prospective audience.
  • The site is solely dedicated to showcasing short-form videos from the world of movies, video games, TV, music and sports. If your product has got nothing to do with that, steer clear.
  • It highlights that this website is mostly for males – so there is only one target gender here

Metacafe is a place for short original entertainment videos, from the world of movies, video games TV etc. If this describes the kind of online video you make, then you should give them a look.  However, if you want the flexibility of adding longer videos or videos of any variety you please, then this is not the home for your content.

Some other examples of video destinations are:

Daily Motion, Blip.TV,  & Yahoo Video.

Video platforms are all unique, and there is something to praise and something to criticise in each of them.  Many video creators will utilise multiple platforms for their work hoping to maximise the reach of their videos.  Since many video viewers are extremely loyal to their platform of choice, this cross-pollination strategy is often the best way to ensure your video finds an audience.

Because it is the most popular video platform for individuals and businesses alike, our next instalment will focus on YouTube.

 



After creating your own video, you canuse it to communicate in ways that other marketing tools don’t allow. In saying this, both video and other marketing tools (websites, direct mail etc), can be used together to enhance and generate business. Most companies communicate online to some degree, and video is a powerful tool to support their online communication.

You can use video to monitor consumer behaviour and connect emotionally with your customers by using a variety of different systems that are both effective and economical for any company. Video can help your marketing online in these four primary areas:

  • Behavioral analytics: YouTube and other video hosting sites provide extensive viewer data that can give you deep insight into the behavior of viewers who interact with your videos.
  • Conversion: Online retailers have publicly shared statistics showing that a posted video can increase the odds of a customer purchasing an item by as much as 35 percent.
  • Efficiency: Software developers continually find new ways to integrate sites so that video messages can be easily shared and broadcast via social media networking.
  • Search engine optimization: Internet search sites have made video a key factor in their search formulas. Posting an abundance of video on your website can move you higher in the search rankings — broadcasting your marketing messages to an even larger potential audience.

Emotional benefits of video marketing

Video is like telling a story, and through this form of communication it enables companies  to use sight and sound to connect emotionally. The viewer simply watches and lets the story unfold. Outstanding video entertains and influences viewers by invoking a series of emotions that result from showing images that connect their hearts and their brains with your product or service.

Efficiency of video marketing

If the old age saying is true and a picture is truly worth a thousand words then imagine the sheer volume of information that video can communicate. A simple 2- or -3-second video image can transmit tons of historical, emotional, and academic information simply from the imagery portrayed in the shot.

So is online video for you? Online video is pretty much for everyone, and it might eventually end up being absolutely vital to any successful web presence.