By MIKE GINGERICH
The use of images and video in digital technology continues to grow. Images and video capture attention and help communicate messages faster, better, and with more emotional connection.
With the speed of data networks and Internet service continuing to increase, the barriers to sending, sharing, and posting images and videos online lessens all the time. Combine that with the simplicity and powerful capabilities for creating and editing video with many online services and mobile apps, and video becomes a great and accessible tool for businesses to use in sales, marketing, and support.
There are at least four software tools for video creation and sharing that can be used by businesses of any size. These four tools are free and offer a way for businesses to create videos that can be added to company websites, shared on the site networks and which offer easy social media sharing features.
YouTube is the granddaddy of the four video tools to be discussed. Launched in 2005, there are more than 4 billion daily YouTube video views. YouTube offers free uploading, extended video length options, and powerful editing tools. As a product owned by Google, YouTube offers users a great way to be found online. By adding a keyword rich title and description, along with tags associated with the video content, videos can rank high in search results. This means videos produced and then uploaded to YouTube can be another way for companies to be found online. YouTube also offers HD quality and mobile friendly options. YouTube videos can be used to give a company overview, introduce a new product, offer a replay of a webinar and to demonstrate setup and use of a tool. Videos can then be embedded into websites or shared easily on social networks.
As the largest and most popular social media network in the world, Facebook has the greatest and most active audience of any social service. Studies of video use on Facebook confirm that videos can drive significant “likes,” comments, and shares, all of which are important in extending the reach of the video from person-to-person so that “viral sharing” occurs. This allows others to discover the video and ultimately increases the exposure of the company. Facebook allows videos to play in the news feed, offers free video hosting space, and easy social sharing tools. All of these items make it a great place for companies to add and share their videos. By uploading videos to a company Facebook page, companies can tap into the power of Facebook as a social sharing powerhouse for their videos. Videos uploaded to Facebook also offer an embed option so that these videos can be added to websites and blogs.
Instagram recently unveiled a totally new video feature. With more than 130 million users and more being rapidly added daily, this mobile app owned by Facebook offers some great features for quick and easy video creation and sharing. Instagram video offers up to 15 seconds of video recording on mobile devices, easy social media sharing, and more. Instagram videos can be embedded on websites and the key value is that it’s a powerful video tool always with you since it’s in your mobile phone. Perfect for capturing events, product setups, and producing quick “ads,” Instagram offers many businesses uses.
Another mobile app video tool is Vine. Owned by Twitter, Vine offers businesses a great way to showcase product introductions and demonstrations. Vine offers six seconds of video recording and the unique feature is that videos automatically loop. Great for short snippets of activity from events and tradeshows or showcasing snippets of company culture and product manufacturing, Vine is all about making it short, simple and sweet. Vine videos also can be embedded on website and easily shared on Twitter and Facebook.
Why use video in your business?
Video has the capacity to quickly and more thoroughly educate, inform, inspire, and move viewers to take action. As well, videos are readily shared via social media and this “viral” sharing effect can greatly extend the reach of a video so that instead of being viewed by hundreds, it can now be viewed by thousands or millions of people.
Take time to consider ways your company should be creating videos with these powerful, yet simple video software tools.
Mike Gingerich leads the Social Application division of web design company, Digital Hill Multimedia (http://www.DigitalHill.com). He is a co-founder of TabSite.com, a leader in Facebook fan page tools for businesses. TabSite offers brands the power to boost Facebook marketing with contests and promotions. For more information on TabSite, visit www.tabsite.com.