Using video to your business’ advantage
With so many businesses taking advantage of the internet and social media, cyberspace has become crowded.
On average, 500 million tweets are sent out every day by Twitter users, while half a million Facebook likes happen each minute. This huge amount of content posted every day means businesses and regular users have to work much harder to get their message out there, read and interacted with. Using video and moving content is a great way of standing out and grabbing the attention of your friends, followers and boosting web traffic.
Why is video becoming more popular to promote my business?
According to computer giant Cisco, video will account for 69% of online web traffic by 2017 [http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/visual-networking-index-vni/complete-white-paper-c11-481360.html]. This web traffic is largely due to the growth of streaming sites such as BBC iPlayer, Netflix and Amazon Prime, but a sizeable chunk of it comprises of more traditional video-on-demand sites like YouTube and Vimeo. YouTube is the world’s biggest and most used video sharing site, while Vimeo is the darling of indie film-makers and web designers. Either one of these sites can be used to upload video content which each site will then host for free. You can share or ‘embed’ these videos on social media or your website.
Video content can be simple to make. They can be demonstrations of your products, tutorials or video blogs where you simply talk to the camera about a different topic in each video. They can be done with a simple webcam, or if you want to invest more time, money and effort, a proper video camera complete with good video editing software and graphics. The amount of commitment you make is up to you and what audience you are targeting. By putting your video on your website, or by sharing it on social media, you can be sure to get hits and views from the web traffic and followers that you already have, and there’s the possibility that they’ll share your video if it’s particularly good. Then your video can even go viral, which means it might even be seen by millions of viewers across the globe.
You don’t necessarily have to make the video content yourself either. You can share other videos that reflect your ethos or what you’re trying to say to your customers or followers. A private tuition company could regularly tweet or post video blogs on educational topics, for example, or a firm that prides its online presence on being playful and interactive could post songs, or comic videos tailored to its customers or followers.
There are other great ways to draw in even more attention to your posts on social media. Perhaps the best is the GIF. GIFs (short for Graphics Interchange Format, for the more technical reader) are basically small animated clips that can be stored like an image file. They can be taken from television programmes, where they often feature a subtitled caption beneath, or created from photos or text. They have gained a recent resurgence on the social media site Tumblr, and since then they’ve been added to Facebook and Twitter, but GIFs have been around a very long time, and were popular on the internet in the late 90s.
GIFs can be uploaded as attachments to tweets and Facebook posts, just like you would attach a photo. They’re best used in a humorous way to express feelings that are otherwise not easily translated through text online. Such examples include facial expressions and quotes from popular television characters and personalities such as Parks and Recreation’s Ron Swanson or The Apprentice’s Lord Sugar. Vines (short loops of video, like a GIF but longer) are used for the same purpose, and although new ones can no-longer be uploaded, Vine’s archive of loops can still be used to similar effect.
GIFs, Vines and Periscope (a live video platform linked to your social media account) are great ways to mix up your video presence online and stand out from the rest. The hallmark of some of the best and most interactive social media accounts is a variety of different video strategies, from embedded YouTube clips to live video streams through Periscope. It’s best to experiment and find the platforms you like best and will connect most with your customers, clients and followers!