The juggernaut that is social media has created a myriad of communication opportunities for businesses globally.
Leading sites Facebook and Twitter have both become vehicles used to share and deliver information. But multimedia opportunities such as YouTube, weblogs and websites coupled with online video are now emerging as the major player in this new world of internet marketing and communication.
Over 800 million unique users visit YouTube, with over four billion hours of video viewed each month. In addition, 72 hours of video are posted online every minute – and you can bet that businesses are taking over as the predominant contributors.
Why? These days, it’s simply not enough to create a relationship through text. Shareholders, investors and consumers want to see and hear who and what is behind the organization they may be considering investing in or the product or service they are buying into.
Research shows that after viewing an online video advertisement, about 46% of viewers take some sort of action – whether it’s visiting the company’s website, requesting additional information or purchasing a product or service. As a result, it is expected that approximately $4.3 billion annually will be spent thanks to businesses taking advantage of online video.
The power that social media and online video communication has to influence people can be an exciting yet scary concept, particularly for smaller players.
Social media and online video are both powerful ways to promote your organization, its prospects and its achievements. These platforms can also be used to discuss more in-depth facets of the company such as the background or potential of a new project through to employment opportunities and community service initiatives.
The benefits of promoting your organisation via social media are two-fold. Not only do you reap the obvious rewards of heightened awareness, but you can also test your investment by monitoring exactly who and how many people you are reaching through social media monitoring systems designed to automatically analyse every hit or mention your page/account receives. This provides you with audience insight not only for your business, but also your competitors’ businesses.
In order to make the most of social media, post impressive and insightful photos, and create online videos that showcase your organisation and staff. We live in an age where images are in high demand, and fantastic imagery has come out of the industry.
Another visual opportunity lies in shareholder presentations and annual reports, which can be particularly dry reading for stakeholders. A video annual report lends itself to footage of the action as it’s being discussed.
There are production companies that deal specifically in online video and DVD creation, but if the concept of burning a hole in your company’s finances has you heading for the door, don’t worry. Online video need not be a huge investment.
Online video can actually be simple, cost-effective and push the message you want to get across to the people you want to reach, and communication consultancies are now offering in-house production for a fraction of the cost that might once have been incurred by using specialist film production houses or even advertising agencies.
Social media and online video will increasingly grow in importance for businesses – big and small – but whatever you do ensure its part of a well-considered strategy – because once something’s online, it’s there for everyone to see.
Hughes Public Relations is an Adelaide-based communication management consultancy that offers social media services and online video production. Visit www.hughespr.com.au
View some of our recent videos on the Hughes PR YouTube Channel.