In 1979, The Buggles released their debut song “Video Killed the Radio Star”, which celebrates the golden age of radio whilst highlighting how television changed a popular aspect of media.

Fast forward forty-three years to today and video is once again changing existing forms of media – this time, social media and in particular social media marketing. However, unlike the message behind The Buggles hit, video can be considered as a benefit to social media marketing.

By no stretch of the imagination is video marketing a new phenomenon. Since the age of television, moving images have been used to sell, promote and reach audiences – however, it is only over the last couple of years that video has picked up within social media circles, and over the next twelve to eighteen months, it is only going to get bigger.

Below, JE Consulting provide a brief snapshot of three of the current video marketing contenders, businesses should be playing around with and enjoying.

Instagram is predominately known as being a “fast, beautiful and fun way to share your life” via pictures; however it is also the newest kid on the block when it comes to video.

In June of this year – a few months after being acquired by Facebook – Instagram launched their video function.

The latest addition to the Instagram arsenal has been described as a direct rival to Vine, allowing users to share fifteen second videos; which, whilst sticking with the traditional elements of Instagram pictures, can be edited using a baker’s dozen filters – helping users turn a basic video into a work of art.

Benefits of Instagram Video:
Despite being a mobile app, the video function on Instagram packs a punch, making it possible for even the most novice user to make a fifteen second clip which engages the audience and looks good.

In addition to the baker’s dozen filters available to give your video that edgy look, the video function on Instagram enables users to take multiple clips, which can then be edited via the app to produce the final video.

Following the quick success of Instagram’s video function, the creators have recently introduced an “embed” option – which is also available for pictures shared on the site – enabling users to share their creations on their own websites, making them accessible for all of their online audience.

Via the “embed” option, not only will your Instagram username appear with each video / image that you add, but so will the Instagram logo, which if clicked on will take the audience to your Instagram profile, where they can see all your images and videos.

Disadvantages of Instagram Video:
Whilst Instagram video allows users to edit and filter videos via the mobile app; the platform does not allow users to share videos which have been recorded outside of the app; meaning businesses and individuals are unable to take snippets from longer videos created before Instagram video was introduced and share them via Instagram.

Having been acquired by Twitter in 2012, Vine was launched on January 24th this year, and experienced a quick rise to success, largely helped by its simple yet effective video function.

As a mobile service, Vine enables users to capture and share short looping videos – which can be no longer than six seconds in length; which can then be shared via Twitter (by default) and Facebook.

Benefits of Vine:
As a mobile only service, a major advantage – and USP – of Vine is that is enables users wherever they are to record a video, without the need for any specialist equipment or a great knowledge of video production.

The six-second limit on the length of the videos shared on Vine should not be seen as a drawback either; instead it should be considered as a benefit.

By only having a short length of time to get a message across, users – particularly businesses – are encouraged to be short and snappy with their marketing, enticing their audience, whilst leaving them wanting more; which hopefully has the added benefit of drawing them into other elements of your online marketing.

In addition, Vine also enables users to embed their videos to their website or blogs; helping to tie together various aspects of a marketing campaign to reach as wide an audience as possible.

Disadvantages of Vine:
As with Instagram, users of Vine are unable to share videos which have been created via another platform, making it harder for those looking to take advantage of the various video options available online and via apps to utilise all of them.

Unlike Instagram, Vine does not offer users the ability to edit their videos via fancy filters or other editing techniques, instead once you have shot your video – as long as you’re happy with it – that is what you share with Vine.

Founded in 2005, YouTube is the “Grandad” of the video marketing world – yet that doesn’t mean it should be ignored; if anything it should be considered the first port-of-call when it comes to video marketing.

Over the last eight years, YouTube has grown into a powerful marketing tool; as the following figures highlight:

• It has amassed over 1 billion UK users alone – with the billionth joining during March of this year
• Over 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.
• Nearly one out of every two people on the internet visit YouTube

These figures alone provide a brief snapshot of why the website is such an important marketing tool for those wanting to take advantage of video marketing.

Benefits of YouTube:
When considering the two video functions above – Instagram and Vine – the main benefit of YouTube is that there is no limit to the length of video you can share; nor are there restrictions on where videos can be shared from.

This means, that businesses can not only have a professionally produced video filmed and edited, before adding the video to their YouTube channel; but if they’d prefer they can record a thirty-second clip on their mobile and upload it to YouTube whilst on the move.

An additional benefit which YouTube has over Instagram and Vine, is that it offers users the ability to add a description of the video, title and keywords to help it appear within search results both within YouTube but also within its parent company, Google – and this has the knock-on benefit of helping to enhance a business’ SEO.

Disadvantages of YouTube:
The biggest drawback of YouTube, despite its wide audience and few restrictions on video length; is that at the end of any video uploaded onto the platform; there will be recommendations of similar videos – and these won’t necessarily be uploaded from the same people, which has the ability to inadvertently see businesses promoting the video of one of their competitors.

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