If there’s a fault in Inbound Marketing strategy, it’s that it prioritizes content creation that benefits multiple areas of a business’ online presence. For instance, blogging is so eagerly encouraged because blog writing 1) draws customers in with new content, 2) provides more pages for search engine optimization, and 3) is a natural situation for calls-to-action that enable companies to “nurture leads” and commence e-mail marketing campaigns.
Another example is the specific ways in which companies prioritize social media platforms. LinkedIn is the top option for many marketers because of the way company pages and groups are ideal for prompting users to head to the home site. In addition, LinkedIn is an inherent social exchange for blogging because it is specifically oriented toward B2B/professional users.
So—what’s the slight fault in this strategy? It’s that when Inbound Marketers focus entirely on the content areas that inherently have multiple advantages, they tend to lose out on the content creation that is more demonstrative of a business’ uniqueness.
Visual Content is Beneficial Without Helping SEO
In a recent post, we pointed out eighteen companies that are especially great on Instagram. Imagine the kind of engagement they’re getting from consumers that companies limited to blogging and tweeting are not. Yes, there is no way Instagram has the kind of SEO benefit that a blog provides, and yes, photography and video production are often time intensive activities. But, which option holds more potential for showing off your company culture, text or imagery? Which has a higher probability of going viral, blogs or video? Which is a more crowded online environment—blogging or video sharing?
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You see what I’m getting at. Building a solid content force is advantageous on multiple levels, but if you can’t reach into visual media, it will be hard to tell that you have something attractive to offer consumers or potential clients. This is where social video marketing comes into play.
Forget SEO for a second, and think about total engagement. On Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, most companies don’t aim to make each social interaction into a site visit. Instead, they build an audience and forge ways that that audience naturally reaches the home site. This is the goal for social video marketing.
Engaging Social Video Marketing
The aim is to use sites like Vimeo, YouTube, Instagram, or Vine to share flavorful social content that reaches your audience in new, exciting ways. Today, we’ll be talking about the non-rapid social video sites, YouTube and Vimeo.
Often, we think of these two sites as video hosts. You upload your video, choose an embed option and put it right into your website. In this form, Vimeo and YouTube only help you avoid hosting large files (benefiting page load speed). This isn’t social video marketing.
The better choice is to both embed and engage the social networks of these video platforms. Think about Vimeo or Youtube as a potential audience, just as you do with LinkedIn or Facebook. Imagine which personas you’re aiming to engage, and draw up a full strategy on what your objectives are for the platform. But which platform should you use?
A Comparison of Vimeo vs. YouTube
Here is the real comparison of today. When you think of Vimeo and YouTube, the two big social video sites online, you really should imagine two different cultures of social video sharing.
First, YouTube is a site that grew out of video blogging (or vlogging). Consistently, it’s been an option in which lightly edited video is situated alongside high-quality professional film making, and both types have huge success in gathering views. People tend to utilize “found film,” video content that others have created, and often, there is a conversation of response videos.
For some businesses, this side of YouTube society could be a huge point of engagement. Depending on your audience, “How To” videos, films that show off company culture, and fun demonstrations are entirely appropriate. And the big advantage with YouTube, is that it has the largest number of potential viewers (i.e. visitors) of any video sharing site.
YouTube is also a good choice because it is fully aligned with Google Plus. So, your account is the same, and share-ability is increased. Also, because Google has your site information within YouTube and Google Plus, your YouTube page will often appear alongside your website in search results.
But YouTube’s popularity has its down sides. Yes, you can be “found” more easily because there is a larger audience, but you can also get lost in the magnitude of YouTube activity. If you don’t actively engage in the various pseudo-communities on YouTube (channels, topics, social trends, etc.), it will be difficult to really produce the effect of social video marketing.
The other option, of course, is Vimeo. To users who know it, many people think of Vimeo as the hoity-toity of social video sites. To post, you need to produce high-quality videos that are edited and well-produced. The goal is to create video that impresses rather than to show off your skill with a webcam.
To me, Vimeo screams professionalism in the same way that LinkedIn does. If you want to show your business off to people who pay attention to good film production (such as B2B clients), engage audiences on Vimeo. Analysts will note that Vimeo’s visiting population is smaller and total uploads per month is lower than YouTube, but if you’re good, Vimeo is a chance to be a bigger fish in a smaller pond (14 million registered accounts vs. 1 billion on YouTube).
As most people note, Vimeo is well liked by artists and interaction designers because it has a cleaner look than YouTube. Just like YouTube, it can be embedded easily, but Vimeo has the added convenience of not placing ads before or after your videos. This is a distraction that has become increasingly annoying about YouTube, even when you’re just embedding a video on your site.
So, as you plan how you want to expand your content and social media marketing, consider how your business could play into the realms of social video. You might spend more time creating high-quality content and you might have to invest in building a following, as you probably had to do with Twitter or Facebook, but you could gain a unique edge on drawing people to your products and services.