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How to Use Videocasting and Video Podcasts for Social Media Engagement

A mere handful of years ago, you couldn't be sure that using online video for digital marketing and social media engagement was a way to reach most customers. Bandwidth was still an issue for many people, and even with the fast-growing popularity of YouTube, consumers were unable to easily watch video on their Internet connections. Oh, how things have changed in the past few years!

Millions of people now watch videos online daily. By the end of 2011, 182 million U.S. Internet users watched online video content and viewed 43.5 billion videos. Google sites — YouTube in particular — was the number-one video site at that time, followed by Vevo and Yahoo! Sites (comScore). That's a lot of video being watched and a lot of video being uploaded.

This list describes a few ways in which digital video that's hosted online can benefit your engagement. You can use a well-produced video to

  • Grab the attention of your audience: Video attracts attention. The Play button graphic on an image immediately compels action. (Click!)

  • Enhance content: Video adds a dynamic dimension and an enhanced visual appeal to the content you publish.

  • Embed content in other formats: Video can be easily embedded into websites, blogs, and social networks, providing richer content to consume.

  • Inspire audience reaction: Most online video players incorporate social features, including the ability to Like or Favorite and comment.

  • Share: Digital video is easy to share, especially when someone shares a link to the video online or within social networks. Gone are the days of e-mailing large video files to share with connections.

Also gone are the days of having to spend tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce highly polished, professional videos. These days, a minimally produced video can be as popular as (or even more popular than) videos with expensive video production.

Don't set out to produce a viral video (a video that is shared organically by thousands or millions of people). Too many factors are at work when a video goes viral to be able to plan an entire marketing strategy around producing one. Using video for social media engagement is one tactic in a more complex online communications plan.

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