Let’s face it—the rapid growth of video sharing has made nearly everyone scramble for a foothold in this latest wave of social media technology. No sooner did Vine grow to near uncontrollable popularity than Facebook announced that they’d be unveiling their clone of the Twitter app. On June 20, Yahoo finalized the acquisition of Tumblr only to turn around on July 3 and add Qwiki to its growing list business accoutrements.
Youtube, Instragram, Vine, Klip, Qwiki, Vimeo, Viddy, Socialcam …that’s right, video sharing is everywhere.
Since it began eight years ago YouTube established itself as the world's biggest video sharing platform and has become the world’s second largest search engine (behind Google). Not only are we watching billions of videos every day, we also use YouTube for other non-text based searches. An upfront message in a video has far more value for a marketer than a message buried deep in an email.
YouTube users not only watch billions of videos, but they upload in excess of 100 hours of videos every minute. It’s not a fad or a trend. It’s a way of life.
Other video sharing platforms have emerged since YouTube began, but the race to jump on the video sharing bandwagon more or less began when Twitter acquired the six-second video sharing platform Vine in January. According to Compete.com, what started modestly with 77,000 unique visitors in January grew to 3.6 million unique desktop users five months later. No one can afford to ignore stats like these.
The online advertising world has been relentlessly searching for ways not only to draw in more traffic, but for methods by which they can measure user engagement. Not just clicks on links, but how much time each person spends on that page. The more time people spend, the better the odds they like what they read or see. That’s music to an advertiser’s ears.
But what’s the agenda for social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter? It’s not enlightenment; it’s about getting people to watch more ads. Say what you like about privacy, but the information they gather enhances these sites and gets people coming back for more.
Promotions, announcements, fun branding, news reporting overseas…diverse brands like USA Today, Urban Outfitters and even Turkish journalists are finding creative ways to incorporate Vine into their marketing and media strategies.
The opportunities are nearly endless for marketers to use video sharing platforms to spread their message in the best possible way. Here’s why:
· Marketers are able to share content and engage with users via platform communities who are already interacting with each other.
Kissmetrics notes that “housewares e-tailer StacksAndStacks.com reported that visitors were 144% more likely to purchase after seeing a product video than those who did not.” Even Land’s End now has “live chat personal representatives that you can talk with either by text or face-to-face.”
Video sharing has become an effective way to communicate with users. There’s a lot more to come as companies like Vine and Instagram learn how to make better use of the market that has exploded around them. Meantime, it’s a good thing for both users and brands alike. Instead of wading through endless emails trying to find the message, a solid, short video can say it all.
Gabriel Shaoolian is CEO of Blue Fountain Media, a leading New York-based digital agency that last year drove more than 200 million monthly visitors for its clients. MediaPost Online Video Daily blogger P.J.Bednarski is on vacation and will return Aug. 7.