Video Essentials

Reaching Customers through Social Video


Online video isn’t a one-way medium. It’s a tool you can use to have a conversation with your customers, which they can then share with their friends. Done right, it’s a powerful marketing tool.

To best understand how companies can succeed with social video, we sat down with Roland Hamilton, managing director of Dailymotion USA, during the recent Streaming Media East conference in New York City. Dailymotion is a top video sharing site, and Hamilton has seen plenty of examples of businesses succeeding with video.

“What we’ve seen specifically with brands is that they’ve done really well in being able to use the medium of video, and it’s one of the mediums that’s inherently social,” said Hamilton. “I remember when I was at the F8 conference, Zuckerburg was talking about the different mediums that are very easily sharable. First, obviously, is photos, and that’s why they bought Instagram. But then you look at music, which is inherently something that’s social, and then video, where you sort of look to your friends to see what’s trending, what’s interesting, what’s out there, and what you’re going to share.”

Businesses stand to gain a lot through video, especially as a promotional tool:

“I think it’s a great way for corporations to be able to — at the top of the funnel — grab awareness,” said Hamilton.

For companies starting out with social video, Hamilton offered some advice: content is still king.

“The first thing is to really concentrate on the content itself,” noted Hamilton. “Second is your distribution strategy. But if you don’t’ have the right content — something that’s really funny and interesting — you’re not going to be able to make a video go viral even if you have the best distribution plan possible.”

For more advice on using social online video, watch the full interview below.


Troy Dreier: Hi, this is Troy Dreier, the senior associate editor for OnlineVideo.net and I’m coming to you today from the recent Streaming Media East conference where we’re doing some red carpet interviews. And I’ve got Roland Hamilton, the managing director of Dailymotion USA who is going to talk to us about social video. Hi, Roland.

Roland Hamilton: Hi, how’s it going?

Troy Dreier: Very good. I got a little tongue tied there. Thank you for dropping by. As we’re taping this, it’s internet week and I know you guys are hosting a big event tonight on navigating the social landscape with video. It’s something we talk about a lot on OnlineVideo.net. How companies can use video, how they can use social tools to promote and market. How important is social video to brands?

Roland Hamilton: Well I think it’s really important. You know, what we’ve seen specifically with brands is that they’ve done really well in being able to use the medium of video. And it’s one of the mediums that’s inherently social. I remember when I was at the F8 conference, Zuckerberg was talking about the different mediums that are very easily shareable. First, obviously, is photos. That’s why they bought Instagram. But then, you know, you look at music, which is inherently something that’s social. And then video is something that where you sort of look to your friends to see what’s trending, what’s interesting and what’s out there, and what you’re going to share.

Troy Dreier: And it’s important to corporations, brands as well?

Roland Hamilton: Well, I think it’s a great way for corporations to be able to sort of at the top of the funnel gain brand awareness.

Troy Dreier: What do you brands need to know about social video as they begin trying to create content for their customers to put on their websites, put on other websites?

Roland Hamilton: So I think the first thing is that to really concentrate on the content itself. You know, second is your distribution strategy, but if you don’t have the right content, something that’s really funny and interesting, you’re not going to be able to make a video go viral even if you have the best distribution plan possible.

Troy Dreier: For video, for social video put out by brands, is there a right way and a wrong way to use social tools like Facebook and Twitter in conjunction with the video?

Roland Hamilton: One of the best Facebook pages that I’ve seen is through Burberry and it really sort of populated with interesting things like contests, promotions. They make it sort of live and breathe. The other thing is having the personnel to, you know, if you’re having a two-way conversation, you want to have somebody on the other end who’s listening and seeing what the comments are and making sure that you’re commenting back on it. And then finally, when you’re talking about videos specifically, it’s really seeding it in the right platform is number one. Dailymotion and YouTube are great platforms to be able to get where people are going to watch and share videos. But then also engaging those sub communities are really getting to those influential people that are going to be sharing the videos with huge audiences.

Troy Dreier: What types of video content does best for brands. I’m seeing companies do all kinds of online video. What works?

Roland Hamilton: Well, I think there’s two genres that work really well. First that I mentioned, comedy. As you know Old Spice has done a really good campaign around [Isaiah] Mustafa and their whole viral campaign that really used comedy in the best way. And then I also think how to is a really good genre for video and being able to allow people to learn more about your product. And it’s just a good venue to be able to actually do product demonstrations.

Troy Dreier: Throw in some more companies and brands that you see that are doing it well.

Roland Hamilton: Well, I would say one of them that we’ve seen really do well has been Microsoft. And that is more on the how-to side of things. And you see a lot of these videos that go viral is the unboxing of a product. And so when a new product comes out that’s a really good way for people to generate excitement about a product, but then also be able to demonstrate the attributes of the product in a real way and a way that people can sort of really relate to and sort of get involved in the product.

Troy Dreier: And what’s the payoff for doing it well? Is there more than just getting a lot of hits on Dailymotion and YouTube or a lot of friends on Twitter?

Roland Hamilton: I think there is. I think that the big payoff is really sort of at the top of the funnel and brand awareness. It’s hard to see how it moves down the funnel. I mean it’s definitely not a direct response medium as it is right now. But what you really see is that you see a real increase in brand awareness, in product favorability, and all of those type of brand attributes that people are looking to move the needle on.

Troy Dreier: Terrific. Well, thank you for joining me Roland. And for more brand marketing online video content, please stay right here on OnlineVideo.net.




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