Take a moment to think about the last time you watched a video online. Whether it was a work-related tutorial, a promotional clip on a landing page, or a montage of funny cats, you’ve probably watched a video within the past day. If you have, you’re in good company—every day, 100 million Internet users watch at least one online video.
You’ve probably heard about the value of using video as a marketing tool even if you hadn’t seen the above statistic before. Video marketing has skyrocketed across industries in the past few years, and there are plenty of social video sites that have proven to be great platforms for connecting businesses and individuals.
What Video Sites Are All About
Video sites provide a platform for businesses, professionals, and amateur filmmakers alike to share their work with a large audience. Good social video sites make it easy to embed videos so that they can be shared on different sites, from Facebook to personal blogs.
Sites like Youtube make it easy for users to find the type of video or specific clip they’re looking for by doing a keyword search or clicking on a channel. You can also get video recommendations based on things that you’ve previously watched and favorite videos that you like.
What Businesses Can Benefit from Video Sites
If you already have a video on the landing page of your website, you may think that you’ve successfully tapped into video marketing and your work is done. However, if you stop there, you’re missing out on the vast potential of social video sites. These sites are beneficial to all types of businesses because they give you the chance to attract viewers who may not have found you through your website. They also make it incredibly easy for the people who like your video to share it on their own social media channels.
Some types of promotional videos that do particularly well on video sites include:
Tutorials. Oftentimes, it’s easier to learn how to do something if you can see someone else do it first. If you can teach viewers a cool trick or life hack that’s relevant to your industry, as Lowe’s does with their Fix in Six Vine series, you’ll attract interest and get more shares.
Demonstrations. If you’ve got a new product that you want to show off, do it by sharing a video that shows the item in action. If you can do it with a sense of humor, as BlendTec does in their viral Will it Blend? series, even better.
Animation. If your company excels at graphic design, you could create an animated infographic or sketch about your industry. You could even try stop motion, something that’s become popular in Vine videos.
Q&A. Have an expert in your business answer questions asked by customers or questions that are often asked about your industry.
Testimonials. Consumers are more likely to buy something if they’re given a recommendation, and they’re even more likely to trust a product or brand if they can see real people singing its praises instead of just reading a review.
Examples of Individual Sites in This Category
There’s no shortage of social video sites and apps out there; this is just a small sampling. When choosing what sites you want to post to, it’s important that you think about the demographics you want to attract and the types of videos you are creating.
Blip. Think of Blip as cable TV in web format. They release web series in a number of different categories including animation, comedy, drama, and entertainment, and their shows get more than 30 million views each month. Blip’s series all come from independent producers and are carefully curated, so if you want your business to get on the site, you need to deliver a very high-quality web series.
Metacafe focuses on curating short-form entertainment videos in the categories of movies, video games, TV, music, and sports. Their videos receive 40 million worldwide views per month, and the site may be a good outlet for your company if you work in the tech or entertainment industry.
Socialcam is a mobile app available for both iPhone and Android devices. It allows users to film and edit videos of any length on their phones, store those videos in the cloud, and share them to social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter. Its ease-of-use may make it a valuable tool for companies that are just beginning to produce video campaigns.
Youtube. As both the biggest video platform and the second biggest search platform in the world, Youtube is a force to be reckoned with. It’s also a great platform for just about any business because users can upload videos for free and easily share those videos across many different social media sites.
Vine is an incredibly popular mobile app that allows users to film and share 6-second long looping videos. Both amateur filmmakers and businesses have embraced the constraints of the medium to create clever, quick viral videos.
Vimeo attracts over 100 million worldwide viewers each month and tends to be popular within the demographic of younger college graduates. The site is similar to Youtube in that anyone can upload videos, but it puts an emphasis on creative short films and movies.
Daily Motion is a French video sharing site that is available in many different languages and attracts over 116 million unique visitors each month. Their format is very similar to Youtube; site visitors can search for videos using keywords, browse popular clips, and easily upload videos as a registered user.