Video – the unsung social media hero

When people talk about social media they invariably talk about Facebook or Twitter and business people occasionally LinkedIn but they seldom talk about video specifically as a social media tool.

When people talk about social media they invariably talk about Facebook or Twitter and business people occasionally LinkedIn but they seldom talk about video specifically as a social media tool. To be fair YouTube has a buzz all of its own but a lot of people don’t see that buzz as being so positive when it comes to using video for business as YouTube has a gritty amateurism at the heart of its brand values.

BUT – It is precisely that gritty amateurism that has made video accessible to all marketers not just the super brands. Previously corporate videos were boring and super expensive and had to be on message. They were so expensive that most companies could only afford one video and nowhere to put it, except on a screen at the annual stakeholder meetings. Now thanks to YouTube and the falling cost of good quality digital video cameras (iPhone 4 for example) almost everyone can point, shoot and upload for almost no cost. People don’t want corporate quality adverts they want authentic video insights into your company and your company’s knowledge.

There are alternatives to YouTube like Vimeo and – more about them later.

Authentic video demonstrates that your company is approachable, likeable, modern and engaged – what is more social than that? This highlights the problem with the word “social” in marketing terms, when I use social media as a marketing tool I don’t want people to “friend me” or to give me a “Like” I want people to believe in and share my message. I don’t know who gets to name new trends (it’s not me I have tried) but would “shareable media” make sense? You share, they share, we all share and what is the most shareable of all media formats, authentic video.

“Ah but Gordon (collective moan) no one leaves any comments on my video platform so it’s not social”. Yes it is; it is the act of sharing that makes it social, commenting and conversation is one level up in my opinion and that is engagement. When I ran my first successful viral (even worse name) marketing campaign in 1996 I had two social tools email and E-Groups.

Let’s look at some examples of sharable videos some with big agency input and some that are homemade and you can tell me in a Gok Wan high street versus fashionista way which you think is best corporate agency versus authentic homemade. Count the views and subscribers we are talking very shareable.


1. KLM – How to surprise your customers – Do they really care, maybe they do but their competition certainly don’t so well done KLM.

2. PGA Tour the Clay Pigeon Golf Shot and the 200 Yard Gong Shot – Lucky shots maybe but luck tends to hang around with those that practice till they are amazingly good!


1. Pizazz Printing (Canada) – Printings Alive – Love these guys and yes it’s all their idea and all homemade, the star of the video owns the company

2. Dogs Trust on YouTube – Ok so it’s gone a bit corporate recently but their early success was based on sending the managers of the re-homing centres a Flip camera and just saying point it at the dogs; cue broken hearts and a lot of saved dogs. It’s all about responsible dog ownership not just re-homing, so have a mission.

3. Graeme Anthony video CV – Saved the best and most authentic to last the much copied click on some of the links and think how could you make a video that engaged in this way for my business. Genius use of the annotations (in video links).

Hit the comment button now and let us know which you think are best.

I have left out big budget social advertising campaigns like the Tippex bear and P&G’s Old Spice shower guy as although they are very shareable and engaging, I don’t think they are that authentic.

And finally where do you host these authentic, social engaging, shareable (oh I give up) videos. Well YouTube is a given but have your own channel and customise it. Vimeo is very popular with cultural and artistic community and looks more professional (IMHO) when embedded into your site. It is good practice to have video on your website homepage and there are also a lot of new video hosting platforms for various niches and my favourite is Moviecom which specialises in giving B2B businesses their own professional looking video channel with integrated blog and social features and the key advantage of this channel is that where 100% of the FTSE 200 companies I have worked with (and almost everyone else) has an internet policy that blocks YouTube at work – no one blocks Moviecom! Here is my (in need of an update) Moviecom channel for Go-Social I also like their point film upload iPhone app which I have but to be honest I have yet to use properly!

Which brings me to a startling admission – I don’t use video nearly enough in my own engagement marketing activities but hey neither do you!

Join the conversation tell me what you think of the videos above and what you think of my ideas, every comment gets a response.

More from Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp, as well as from other industry bloggers, can be found at The Drum Blogs.

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