I interviewed Dave Evans, Social Media Expert and author of the best-selling book, "Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day" as well as "Social Media Marketing: The Next Generation of Business Engagement," about what he considers to be the special advantages to integrating video with social media marketing strategies for business; and why he considers video to be a very important "social technology, probably more so than text."
Social Video is an Integral Part of Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing professionals today realize that we're having more content thrown at us from an increasing number of channels, especially through popular social and business networks like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, just to name a few. This massive increase in content online has made the pace of business faster than ever before, which places greater demands on businesses to participate with others on these social networks – i.e., to be "social”.
Here's more of what I mean by that:
- We (business liaisons) are expected to regularly and quickly engage with our stakeholders to the conversations continually popping up around our business.
- At the same time, there is a lot of "noise" on the Web we need to cut through to reach our customers, as we have increasing competition for their attention.
- So, the bar has been ratcheted up for the type of content we need to produce that will effectively get and keep their attention.
Video online is no longer being dismissed by general business as something for personal entertainment on YouTube. The improvements in technology, along with audience familiarity and participation, have made it become a true social platform for business; that which easily integrates with Web content on our own business properties (Websites and blogs), and across all the major social networks. Video online is no longer viewed primarily as a "YouTube thing." It has finally become a "social technology," that easily integrates with web content on our own business properties and across all the major social networks.
You can now understand why an ever-increasing percentage of Internet users expect businesses to have video on their websites, on popular video distribution sites, and on social networks. But it's not only the creation of video content itself that they expect. More importantly, consumers want business to offer video that is "social video."
Social Video Marketing Explored & Defined
So what exactly does it mean to be social with video marketing and what is social video marketing? Well, here's my revised attempt at a definition, in the least amount of words possible:
Social video marketing is the use by businesses of video content online to foster continual interaction (i.e., participation) between people around that video, which positive effect naturally persuades them towards taking an action, which benefits that same business.
OK, not short enough to put on a bumper sticker, that's for sure. We also asked some known thought leaders in the space what was their own definition for social video marketing (here).
Interview: Dave Evans on Social Media Marketing for Business
I think the real differentiator is participation between people versus interaction, between a Web site and those who use it. For example, someone reading a review or using search to find something is interactive. But two or more people curating data, rating the usefulness of something, making a review and then purposely sharing that review with others, is social.
Is video naturally a "social media?”
Sure, and probably more so than text. The issue is technology: It's only the last few years where it's gotten really easy to point, shot, upload, share, react…all in video. Seesmic and others offer video blogging, and Amazon (and others) offer video reviews. It's actually easier to use video…so as the technology catches up this will become much more important.
How do you define "social video marketing?”
Social media marketing is the use of social tools and technology – blogs, video sharing, support communities – by business for business purposes. Social video marketing has the same definition, except specifically relating to video.
What's an example that comes to mind of how it means to be social with video for business?
One of the cliché examples is Coke + Mentos -- Coke could have done more with this at the time (of course, looking backwards we all could have done more with nearly anything!). Amazon's ratings, the use of video in our columns at ClickZ are all examples of this same idea carried forward.
Do you see any special opportunities with using video in social media for someone's business?
Yes. Storytelling with video is really enhanced, and well as "showing how something is done." Humans are visual, so the use of video in teaching and persuasion (aka, "marketing”) is a natural.
What do you see are the challenges for doing video with social media marketing?
That would be technology and bandwidth. Text is pretty on the latter, and when limited to English it's easy on the former as well. Language complicates text entries (most "international" marketing sites have multi-lingual navigation, for example, but social posts are in whatever the primary language the sites members operate in: Think about Orkut and its rise as a Brazilian (Portuguese) social network.) Video solves some of this, since activities "look the same" in any language. Tech is still a factor, as is tagging (again, language enters combined with the requirement to tagging properly) but that will resolve itself.
What are some of the elements you need to have with video and social media marketing?
From my POV it's less about video and more about "social.” The social elements are participation, collaboration, etc. Marketers can create "one way" (push) video just as easily as they can mis-use a blog as a talking platform. So, it's really paying attention to the social elements, and then making sure that (for example) commenting, replies, etc. can all be entertained via the video platform being used.
What mistakes do you see people make with attempting to do social video marketing?
Creating ads and non-participative videos, with the expectation that they will "go viral.” Yes, some videos do go viral, but most don't. We share what we find useful, and being able to participate and re-cast the communication with our points makes a (video) message more useful. Forgetting the role of the participant is the biggest mistake I see across most social channels.
What examples social video marketing do you recommend for our audience to check out?
The best I've seen – but I'm really limited in my knowledge here – is Amazon and the emergence of the video review. This combines the essential element – participation – with the presentation of a core message (as most "traditional" video marketing does as well) – and so truly becomes social content, not just static (fixed) video riding on a social platform like YouTube.
As a successful social media expert and journalist, what advice would you like to share with our audience for what they should keep in mind when they're doing social video marketing?
Just to emphasize the point about participation: Make sure that viewers can also contribute, change, reply, add, question… through the same video channel as the core post (and video) was offered in.
About Dave Evans, Social Media Marketing Expert
Dave Evans is the Co-founder of Digital Voodoo and the author of best-selling "Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day," as well as "Social Media Marketing: The Next Generation of Business Engagement." Dave is a frequent keynoter and leads workshops with the American Marketing Association as well as Social Media Executive Seminars, a C-level business training provider. Dave also writes a social media column for ClickZ.