In reality it’s a promotional film that fits within a marketing strategy, designed to elicit a response across social networks, it’s what used to be called a “viral video”

It always seemed strange to me that I’d get clients who wanted to make a “viral”, more correct term would be “video that we hope will go viral” and to be honest more often than not they didn’t. There was an expectation that simply by putting a film on YouTube or Facebook, it would magically spread around the world and become another internet sensation.

Don’t get me wrong, this does happen, but most times it’s not by design it’s by chance and it’s almost never a video for a brand. Usually it’s a random something like camera phone footage of someone trying to park their car badly, funny baby or the ubiquitous cat video!

So the emerging term of “Social Video” is slowly taking over, Marketeers are realising that a well thought out video, whether it’s a short “Vine” or a longer film on YouTube/Facebook can add considerable value to a marketing campaign. The ability to post 15 second videos on Instagram, one of the fastest growing social networks, is also attracting a lot of major brands.

Now video can be expensive, especially when you frame it in social media terms, where tweeting, posting and blogging doesn’t cost very much at all, but these are all short engagement experiences for your potential customers. We’re all used to scrolling quickly through our Twitter and Facebook timelines and in the case of Millennials then it’s increased by a large factor, they positively devour information so you have just a second or two to get your message across.

Social Video has the possibility of engaging the viewer for a longer time, giving you more time to get the message across and yes it also has the possibility to “go viral”

But it can’t do it on it’s own, at least to start with, it needs to be fully integrated into a social media and marketing campaign, it has to be uploaded to the right video sites and it has to be optimised with description tags and keywords.

If you haven’t used video before, or you haven’t tried it for a while it may be worth looking at it again, production costs have dropped considerably over the last few years with the advent of new technology, making it affordable to many more businesses.