Social Video – Get with the program!

What the heck do I mean by this? Well…for many of us digital geeks out there, this might be a no-brainer. But…the world is changing in the Social Video space faster than someone can upload the next YouTube video.

If you want to compete in the viral, social marketing space…then just go ahead and give in to YouTube and Vimeo. Seriously…if you are self-hosting content or have vendors hosting video for you, then you are in a DARK DARK ROOM.

Over two years ago, I was pitching to clients to be skeptical of YouTube, Vimeo, and other free video hosting outlets. I was telling them that “they” own your content that is uploaded and you would have to worry about protecting your brand. Well…I was saying that because I was trying to sell video storage, compression, and distribution like I was the next big venture. GUESS WHAT…that game, that technology is just a commodity.

If you are a marketing department, you really need to know the following about your video content:

1) The ability to play your content over a wide range of devices from Windows, Macs, and Linux based desktops and laptops is necessary. You also need to be able to reach the real growing crowd…MOBILE DEVICES. With 4G here…we will be watching video content like we are drinking our favorite frosty beverage…GUZZLE, GUZZLE, GUZZLE. ┬áSo…if someone cannot watch you latest marketing video because it is hosted using a Flash or WMV player…the you are marginalizing a large portion of your audience. HTML5 players are the next innovation for playback of your video content. Why do you think YouTube, Vimeo, Brightcove, Sorenson, and many others have implemented this technology.

2) The local production shop who is hosting your video DOES NOT have the SEO like YouTube and Vimeo can provide. Seriously, when you embed a video hosted on these two platforms…you are connecting some of the largest search engines to your page via the video content. When you upload the video to YouTube and Vimeo, you can provide a detailed description, tags, location where it was shot…and all of this follows the video when you embed it into your website. The local shop is not owned by a search engine, so they do not specialize in SEO. So if you are paying to host content on their private servers, then pay to have the final video released to you and upload it to your YouTube channel.

3) YouTube and Vimeo also come with a community. Yes, people are searching these sites for video content based on their interests and comment right below the video. So…the community is built around the content, engaging audiences beyond the website you have it embedded. The search engines like this!

4) The quality of the playback is great. You can look at HD quality video right over your home network. That is backed by huge teams of technology experts that make it their mission to make your picture quality look great. Why do you think Hollywood uses these outlets to release Trailers…hmm?

5) It is so CHEAP. YouTube is free and Vimeo is $60 per year. So why are you paying monthly fees for hosting when your marketing message cannot be viewed on some the latest mobile devices? I do not know, but you might want to reconsider.

This post is truely meant for viral marketing efforts for video. There is TREMENDOUS value in using private hosting and Flash video for private video messages. You not only can control the distribution, but you also force individuals to watch the content in specific types of technology. There is value in this model.

Thoughts…think I am crazy? There are some business that would like to scream at me…but oh well. Why am I writing about this…because large organizations are still operating in yesterday’s thinking.