The Social Graph's Effect on Video Marketing

When looking for the best way to make videos go viral, too many marketers just upload their videos to YouTube and cross their fingers, hoping viewers like the content enough to forward on to their friends. Some try “guerrilla” tactics by repurposing social tools like Digg or Stumbleupon, marshaling a small army of friends and co-workers to drive up traffic, and hoping the effort makes a big enough splash to build momentum for their “video campaign”. Unfortunately these rudimentary practices are outdated and far from effective, so their video campaign is much more likely to flounder along with everyone else’s unwatched videos.

Rather than forcing social behavior into a publishing platform and putting all their eggs in the YouTube basket, forward thinking marketers are weaving video into truly social platforms like Facebook because they can take immediate advantage of existing behaviors and tools that are built into these networks. For example, Facebook users are already accustom to sharing links with their friends: they comment, send invites, post items to public places and talk about what they see — it’s a much more engaging experience for the audience than watching a video on YouTube. This behavior has a monumental impact on video campaigns, and from my experience, savvy marketers are excited about the early results they’re seeing.

Beyond traffic and word-of-mouth perks, using Facebook has other benefits for running a successful video campaign. It lets you better control, target and measure your campaign with an incredible level of detail, and has the openness as a platform to build custom functionality that cannot be built into a YouTube campaign. Things like custom players can have interactive options, deeper analytics or data collection features, and rich immersive user experiences. With the Facebook news feed, you also gain visibility and exposure to the entire network when users interact with your content. It’s also easier; you only have to learn one system, instead of learning how to stitch together multiple solutions to fit your needs.

No matter how you slice it, the experience on Facebook is inherently more social purely because of the users’ intentions when they are there, and that’s why savvy marketers are migrating their campaigns to these sites. If you have wondered how to improve your campaigns and generate virality for an engaged, participative, targeted audience, it might be time to think about using social networks.

Tyler Willis is Head of Marketing at Involver, a video marketing platform designed specifically for Facebook. Involver gives companies the opportunity to build, promote, manage and track video campaigns to targeted audiences.