You want to take advantage of the social media revolution and you have a great a idea focused around online video. You want to experience some of the growth and success you’ve witnessed YouTube, Tout, Instagram and others achieve. What were the catalysts that made these companies and others like them take off?
While there are countless reasons as to their success, I believe each benefited from similar strategies that can also improve your odds of winning.
Content is King
It’s a basic business principle – if you don’t have what people want they will seek it elsewhere. So where could this content come from? Well, there are (2) basic types from my perspective:
If your content is specialized or concentrated around a particular subject, it has to be truly compelling to gain mindshare of potential viewers as the outlets available are astounding and growing daily.
If your content isn’t married to a particular subject then you need an abundance to create the foundation for “sticky” sessions that will have your viewers losing track of time as they peruse your library of content which you have carefully woven together using tags, keywords, etc.
Specialized content may be the easiest to acquire initially but requires a greater effort to maintain over time. Your content would have to generate enough buzz that people are constantly engaging in a dialogue either on your site or around the Internet.
Even if that were to happen, the window of opportunity is finite. Also, the time and financial costs can become exorbitant rather quickly which has the effect of constantly diminishing your rate of return making this path an unattractive one.
Generalized content is typically the complete opposite, being harder to acquire initially but requiring less effort to maintain over time. How you reduce the maintenance effort is by taking advantage of the social network which is more than willing to help you in your cause. And, due to the constant advances in modern technology, this social workforce is becoming increasingly capable of sustaining your efforts.
Recruit Social Videographers
If you build it, they will come. Everyday more and more people are discovering the massiveness of the social network. And, because of the social nature of this network, people are looking for ways to make their presence known, to participate, to have a voice, to socialize.
What you must provide them is a solid platform on which to do so. If you can make it easy for potential users to either generate content or upload existing content into your system, you are well on your way. But, you also need the capability to syndicate that content across the social network.
The more outlets you can tap the more appealing you become to your users who are appreciative for you making their lives easier. This good-will generally equates to positive word-of-mouth which can help propel your endeavor into the stratosphere.
With a limitless army of social videographers now working together with you, quantity of content should never be an issue again. All you would need to do is implement any kind of quality control mechanisms, if so desired, to keep submissions inline with your overall strategy, brand, etc. At the end of the day, you’ll have a mountainous library of content while rewarding your users with a media platform for social expression.
Once you have content that people want to see, you need to enable them to view it in as many configurations as possible. The more accessible your content is, the greater its reach. The potential for your content to go “viral” is dramatically increased if it’s available across all the desktop browsers, as well as, available on iOS and Android phones and tablets.
Guarantee the most bang for your buck by investing the time and money necessary to extend your content library to these screens and devices. You get an additional bonus if you can also extend user content generation to these devices as well. You will be glad that you did and your users will love you for it.
Adapt to Tech Changes
Adaptability is extremely crucial to reaping the rewards of a social media strategy. You can improve your adaptability but having a firm understanding of not only how users have communicated in the past, are communicating now but how they might communicate in the future.
Future communications is not only subject to end user desires and needs but also to shifts in the underlying technology that enables these communications. Some things worthwhile to remain aware of:
1) New mediums, screens or devices available to deliver your content (eg, TVs, kiosks, etc)
2) Costs associated with the storage and delivery of your content (eg, disk space, bandwidth, etc)
3) Emergence of new video codecs or license changes in existing ones
The list goes on and on but the key is to start thinking about those things today so they don’t bite you tomorrow.
Use Twitter and Facebook to Promote
So, you’ve amassed an impressive library of content that’s steadily fueled by a sea of social videographers. You’ve made your content and content generation accessible across multiple screens and devices plus you’re ready for whatever the future holds.
Now all that’s left to do is to help your promoters promote. Not only must you integrate Twitter and Facebook for your users so they can spread the word, but you must also engage the social network through – you guessed it, Twitter and Facebook.
It’s simple. The more personable you are or are perceived, the greater your reach. Remember, this is a social network so when you “mingle” with people act like it. Don’t engage contacts like a cold, callous enterprise machine. If you do, you won’t be well received.
On the same note, you can’t be reckless either. Instead, let your corporate ethos serve you well by ensuring all communications are refined, responsive and informative yet relaxed. You want each contact to walk away with a positive experience because it’s that experience they will share with others thereby defining your social brand.
These are my thoughts and I’m sticking to them. What do you think? Post a comment or question.
At some point I’d like to discuss revenue generation as a follow-up to this article.