The Growing Dominance of Social Video Content

With the recent releases of Google+ Hangouts On Air, Facebook’s OoVoo, and Sean Parker’s Airtime, it seems that social video is the new trend emerging among content marketers.

More money and attention are being spent on developing and producing it as marketers increasingly focus on this medium.

The services offered by these websites include one-on-one chat (Airtime), as well as group chat (OoVoo and Google+ Hangouts).

In the case of the newest video arrival, Airtime, which is a cleaner version of Chatroulette, some skeptics aren’t convinced that people will adopt this new technology.

“Video chat is still mostly advertised as a way to teleconference, talk to distant relatives or conduct remote job interviews,” writes the Washington Post‘s Hayley Tsukayama. “And random interactions, as exciting as they may seem, are still mostly reserved to, say, app game matches. Putting a face — even an anonymous one — out there still feels personal.”

Unlike Airtime, the proposed benefits of sites like Google+ Hangouts and OoVoo include getting to know the customers face to face and responding to their needs. The services are also there to help launch products, hold contests, demonstrate how to use products, and host live talk shows.

Dell, for example, turns to Hangouts for customer service.

“We have used hangouts for customer support, to showcase new or other product features, and to connect with customers about various matters that they have indicated an interest in,” said Richard Binhammer, director of social media and community at Dell, in an interview with ragan. “We enjoy connecting with our customers this way, and it’s a great chance to showcase different Dell offerings and engage in conversations about them.”

In addition to connecting with customers, Hangouts are being used by businesses to hold meetings and clue employees in on the latest happenings. Kaplan CIO Edward Hanapole told the Wall Street Journal that over 200 employees at his test preparation company “use Google+ and Hangouts on a daily basis to connect development teams with product managers, collaborate on product creation, and to conduct both management meetings and ad-hoc meetings for technology updates.”

It’s too soon to tell which brands will emerge as leaders in the world of Hangouts, but the reviews have overall been positive and hopeful about the new technology.

Along with live video and chat services, pre-recorded content has been getting more popular. According to a survey by ContentWise and the Custom Content Council, 54 percent of marketers claimed that next year they’ll be increasing their investments in video. It was also reported by Medialets that in the first quarter of 2012, viewers were 35 percent more engaged in video content over others that don’t utilize video.

Videos help brands boost their online presence. According to Digital Accomplice‘s Dane Frederiksen and Forrester Research, videos are 53 times more likely to be seen on the first page of Google searches. He also writes that video “tends to be sticky, keeping users on your site and engaged with your brand and likely somewhat  more receptive to your message.”

Although video is more engaging because it’s visual, it takes much more effort and, many times, money, to produce. Making a video too long, forgetting to include a call to action, not promoting it on the right websites, and failing to track customers are all easily avoidable mistakes.

Most signs seems to suggest that video is increasingly proving to be worth marketers’ time. As people become more mobile, they are more inclined to watch videos over reading text. If video chat services are available on social media sites, indications are they’re likely to catch on.

Image courtesy of Dusit/shutterstock

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