social video imageOkay, so you understand that video is currently THE fastest growing online marketing trend and you understand the importance of video marketing to boost your sales. Maybe you've even plucked up the courage to make a few videos of your own… (?) Then suddenly you come across this term 'social video' …

Did you miss something?? What's 'Social Video'? Is there a difference between social video and normal video? How do you know which one is going to be best for your business?

The first thing I want to say here is, if you are an online marketer, then, probably no, you didn't miss anything. You are probably making 'social videos' every day of the week, even if you didn't know that is what they were called… So you can sign out now… unless you just like my blog posts!

For everybody else, and by 'everybody else' I mean 'offline' business owners wanting to get ahead by learning how to leverage the power of the internet, then… Yes, there is a difference between a video designed as a social video marketing tool and one that is designed as a 'Sales video'.

So, first question…

What the heck is 'Social Video'?

Essentially a social video is a video that delivers content that gets people talking, interacting and, more importantly, sharing. It is NOT about appearing slick, sleek and polished, wheeled onto centre stage by an expensive entourage of camera crew. In fact, studies consistenly show that the best type of video for YouTube and social media sharing is the 'ordinary', 'homemade' version where people can relate to you.

According to (one of the biggest online resources for social video out there),  "Social video is basically the practice of creating video content that lends itself naturally to social media and sharing activity". They go onto say: "Social video is about knowing the audience's wants and needs from an entertainment standpoint, and delivering that content with minimal branding or messaging. If you hit the emotional sweet spot with viewers–whether you're a business or just one guy–they'll be much more engaged with your content, and much more inclined to spread the word about it."

The key elements here are that a social video is not primarily about the sales message, it is about the engagement.

Essentially, social video is about two things:

 a) The Purpose — The purpose of a social video should be to engage your audience and encourage them to share.

b) The Platform — Where the video is uploaded and the social media channels used to spread the video and the message.

A good social video will be well SEO-optimised. However, the real seo currency of a social video is in the 'likes' and 'shares' it builds. It's now a well-known fact that 'social proof' is becoming increasingly important in obtaining those all-important search engine rankings.

And the really great thing about social video is that it breaks all the rules. (OK, so not All of them but a large chunk of them anyway…) So let's start off by debunking some of the biggest myths around video marketing.

Social Video Marketing Myths

  1.  You have to be a professional to make great video
  2.  You need a lot of equipment to make great video
  3.  It's  Expensive to make great videos

 Not true…

…You can make great social videos straight off your flip cam, even your i-phone if you can find a suitable location, away from noise and in good light. The basic editing tools you need now come preloaded on your pc or your mac (and if they don't, you can download them for free) and you can upload and host your videos for free at a number of online video hosing sites, although your primary choice is probably going to be YouTube…

There is one really important point to remember, however, and that is:

Social Video is not a euphemism for 'Shoddy Video'.

Here are some of the key 'rules' that do still apply:

  1. You need good light (by 'good' that means, make sure your face is not in shadow)
  2. You need good sound (ie. Make sure your background is quiet and you are loud enough)
  3. You need to look and sound like you know what you are talking about … Wafflers need not apply!

(I wrote an online video marketing series recently that deals with these three 'Must Do's' in a bit more detail. If you missed it, go grab it, starting here).

So there you have it. Social video is about appearing 'normal', sales video is about appearing 'polished' (and both have their place by the way). However, what I will say is that the 'place' for your shiny, slick video is probably on the front page of your website and the place for your 'social video' is everywhere else… Which means, get rid of the production team and get out there, inexpensive video recorder in hand, for the world to see. Nothing builds 'KLT' – Know, Like, Trust – or credibility faster than online video marketing … except face-to-face marketing of course.

What do you think? Social video or sales video? What tactics or strategies have worked best for you in your social video marketing efforts?

~ Smile, let go, and don't forget to leave me a comment below!

Happy Social Video Marketing,

Mandy Swift - Your Online & Video Marketing "Personal Trainer"

ps, look out for my next post, I am going to be talking in more depth about some of the fundamental differences between a Sales Video and a Social Video… Take care 🙂