Integrating Videos Into Your Social Media

14 10 2009

It’s funny that the migration of ad budget from TV to online isn’t because people don’t like watching TV. I would argue that traditional TV categorization is simply too limiting for your average online user who wants to watch what they’re interested in and now. It’s not so much an issue of the content being better online, but simply that users can more efficiently search, locate and watch video online than through their cable box TV guide, the only constraints being availability. This explains the continued growth of sites like YouTube and Hulu.

For social media marketers, video arguably is much more efficient and effective in eliciting responses from the audience (especially when done well). Many large brands have figured this out and moved quickly to export their very expensive commercials online, as well as taken steps in certain instances to create specific videos meant primarily for online consumption. For small companies however, online videos can be even more powerful and effective as compared to a traditional TV spot. Two of my favorites are below:

TOMS Shoes


I chose these videos because they very effectively elicit strong responses (TOMS Shoes: inspiration/charity; BlendTec: Humor, WTF?), but also because they look to have been produced with very doable budgets. No fancy special effects or celebrity spokespeople, just good ideas that translated to engaging video.

It’s no wonder that both of these have became phenomenally viral; TOMS Shoes video has been viewed 150k times and BlendTec’s video as of this post has been viewed a staggering 7.3m times.  Ah, the magic of free promotion!

It shouldn’t be that much of a surprise really; people loved what they saw and what makes social media so powerful is that it’s MUCH easier to share online videos (forward the link, retweet it, post it to FB, digg it, etc.) compared to TV spots which only become viral with word of mouth – when’s the last time you loved a commercial enough to record it and show it to your friend later???

I’d encourage folks to check out the YouTube profiles of both Tomsshoes and BlendTec for examples of great use of video in the marketing mix.

I’ve recently begun conversations with some folks that do video production and hoping to pick their brains on how to create effective videos on the cheap so I can share it. Until then, it’s clear that you need to be at least thinking about how you might go about getting videos up about your product/service and incorporating it into your strategy. Brainstorm it, come up with a good idea, bounce it off some friends to make sure it isn’t terrible, consider how you’d produce it yourself, then get a real quote and try and do the math on value vs. cost. Good luck!

More reading:
Macktalk on video integration.
e-Commerce guide on unleashing your inner video producer.