Tuesday May 06, 2014

Video on Social: Are We Too Dumb or Too Busy to Read?

social videoWe keep hearing how important video is to social marketing and content marketing. We hear it…but hearing it doesn’t magically build studios in corporate offices or fund brand video teams to actually make this type of content. Most brands are lagging behind the video necessity.


So let’s talk about that necessity.


Entrepreneur.com’s Jayson DeMers declared online video’s role in marketing will only get bigger this year. I think Jayson would be the first to tell you he’s hardly alone in this belief. Cisco says video will account for 69% of global consumer Internet traffic by 2017. The GB equivalent of all movies ever made will cross IP networks every 3 minutes. Shutterstock found 61% of Americans watched about 397 online videos in January. And oh yeah, 36% of those were ads.


Much of what we heard about video’s shortcomings has lost validity. Videos aren’t good for traffic referral? YouTube grew 52.86% in referrals from 9/12 to 9/13. People won’t watch long videos, especially on little mobile screens, right? Yes, short might be better for your strategy, but the truth is that 53% of mobile viewers spend over half their time on videos over 30 minutes.


Why the video domination? Are we just too dumb to read anymore? Quite the contrary. Nearly two-thirds of us learn more effectively visually, and our brains process visual data faster. Not only are we not dumb, we’re smart enough to move to the most efficient means of information assimilation available.


Nor are we too busy to read. We have time to read, but because we are indeed busy, we’re going to allocate that slower-moving reading time more selectively. We’re doing a lot of skimming, setting aside a few top contenders to read later…if we get around to it.


So if you’re going to rely on written word only (and hey, nobody loves written word more than me), what you write must have enough value or be entertaining enough to survive this ruthless skimming & eliminating process.


Increasingly, the same is true even of video. It’s hardly “special” anymore. 6 billion hours of YouTube watched per month, 100 hours of video uploaded per minute, 1 billion mobile video views per day; that’s the environment in which your little ol’ video has to somehow get noticed and start getting shared.


Here’s your tweet for the day: Video is becoming so dominant that soon, scanning social channels will be almost the same experience as channel surfing.


Include videos in your strategy. Craft them to appeal to your fans. Don’t patronize. Don’t manipulate. Make sharing super easy. Optimize your videos for YouTube (the 2nd largest search engine). Use an analytics platform to monitor performance. Be consistent. And know that even if you do everything right, your video still may bomb. Major feature films do, despite stars, money and formulas, so why should you be any different?


And if you’re stuck in “but I don’t know what kind of videos to make” mode, watch for Friday’s Social Spotlight, in which I’ll pour forth multiple ideas.


@mikestiles @oraclesocial
Photo: freeimages.com

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