Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr. The list goes on. You know where I’m going with this – it’s a post about social platforms. Sure, but specifically, what’s the most powerful social platform for organic search, and generating interest from online users who are new to you?
That’s easy; YouTube. With hundreds of millions of users and over a trillion (that’s right) total views in 2011, YouTube is the driver for more “Pleased to meet ya” introductions than any other social platform.
Think about it. When someone shares a brand’s link with you on Facebook or Twitter, it’s probably a brand you already know (and it’s also likely to be a YouTube video). Plus, it’s not necessarily a public link, but limited to your friend’s friends. If you search for videos on certain topics, you’ll come up with all kinds of YouTube videos from people and firms you’ve never heard of, and they’re all public. That’s power.
YouTube is where introductions happen. For brand awareness and demand generation, engagement with an existing market base is nice, but you need a constant flow of new people to hear about you.
Making YouTube Even Better
You already have a collection of YouTube videos, and you know how well they drive people to your company. But if there is a weakness to video, it’s that it is still a passive activity. Instead of getting involved with friends, discussing topics, planning events and sharing links, video is something you have to sit and watch. Whether it’s a two-minute movie trailer, a ten-minute infotainment piece, or a half-hour webinar, there is only one display.
The viewer’s job is to watch, and there are usually no supporting materials, links, downloads, or any other type of interactivity taking place. There are sometimes annotated links within the video, or below it, and there is of course a comment thread below. But the process is linear. A viewer can only click a link when it appears, and has to wait to see it. They also have to rewind to see it again (See the popular Frankskayak video to decide whether this is annoying or not).
With business videos of presentations, demos, and events, there are often PowerPoint slides or images, and a single video screen must switch back and forth between the slides and the speaker. TED makes some incredibly powerful (and viral) videos on various topics, and even these must switch between the speaker and the slides, and viewers must pause or go back if they miss anything.
It would obviously be a huge improvement to wrap a YouTube video into a player that includes slides and video side-by-side, as well as chapters that let the viewer select the section of video they want to see. It would also be nice to have links to sites and downloads that are always present.
And you can do all of it using existing YouTube videos, without any need to alter them.
An Example of an Enhanced YouTube Video
KnowledgeVision has added the capability to embed YouTube videos into its online video presentation platform. The example below shows exactly how it works using an existing TED video, “TED Talk on KnowledgeVision: How to Air Condition Outdoor Spaces”:
Basically, you can enhance any YouTube video with KnowledgeVision’s advanced interactive features, including synchronized presentation slides, clickable reference links, navigation, searchable transcripts, and social media widgets. YouTube videos are no longer linear, but become complete multimedia experiences. It should be noted that the above example took less than an hour to create.
YouTube already introduces your company to new people around the world, so instead of an ordinary, one-dimensional YouTube video, you can show them a completely interactive presentation within minutes. You can go from “Hi, here’s my brand!” to “Hi, here’s my brand, the details of what we do, any materials you need, and the links to find out more.” Now that’s an introduction.