Mashable's Big Shift to Video: What It Means for Your Business

Business.com / Marketing Solutions / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Take a few cues from a global digital media giant, Mashable and zoom in on videos for promoting your business.

"Video killed the radio star.” - The Buggles

On August 1, 1981 at 12:01 a.m. Music Television was launched by an order from John Lack, who at the time was the executive vice president of Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment.

“Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll.” Fittingly, the launch of MTV would become known as a great moment in the way in which rock ‘n’ roll was consumed and a determining factor in the subsequent death of radio.

Thirty-five years and eight months later on April 7th 2016, Mashable announced their strategic shift away from news video content to more cross-platform original content.

While not as ground breaking as MTVs debut, the global digital media giant is changing the landscape of how people interact not only with content but with brands. This shift is Mashable's response to adjust to an ever-increasing surge in online videos.

According to the company, Mashable has more than doubled its video production in the last 12 months, with cross-platform video views up by more than 400 percent. It’s also seen a 69 percent year-over-year growth in branded-content revenue.

As for the new direction of the company, CEO Pete Cashmore hinted at the importance and influence of advertisers, noting that now advertisers are no longer separate from the story and want to be "telling stories with us" and no longer "buying media" for an audience.

“Branded content is the business model for media going forward", Cashmore told staff. "It’s very, very clear that branded content is the future."

Related Article:Press Play: The Evolution of Video Marketing

No kidding. Online video is big business and it's visibility and the demand for it is statistically astounding. The Content Marketing Institute reports the following stats to help paint a picture:

  • Online video has increased eightfold in five years.
  • In 2016 the gigabyte equivalent of all the movies ever made in the history of film will move across networks every three minutes.
  • It will take six million years to watch all the video that was uploaded in one month in 2016.
  • Video will account for 55 percent of all Internet traffic by 2016.
  • Video on demand will triple by 2016.
  • Mobile video traffic will increase by eighteen times by 2016 (from 2011).

Additionally, according to a recent report from Vidyard, the world’s leading video marketing platform, 70 percent of marketers said that video produces conversions better than all other types of content.

An Animoto survey also showed that 73 percent of U.S. adults are more likely to make a purchase after watching a video that explains a product or service.

So, what does this mean to businesses? Considering the growing popularity of videos, businesses stand to profit from this "fast-food" mentality of how people prefer to consume their content. These video marketing platforms, along with the recent explosion of live streaming, have completely transformed the way that marketing in today's world works. 

Businesses don't need gigantic advertising budgets to get videos in front of the right audience. It's now easier than ever to create professional quality video on the cheap. With features such as Periscope, Snapchat, Facebook Live and YouTube at your disposal, it has never been easier to create quality videos and use them as promotional tools for your business. 

5 Tips for Using Video to Promote Your Business

1. Create the Right Content

Your video content needs to personify who your company is, always focusing on your brand identity. Start by doing a "show" that will showcase you and your way of thought. You need to make your videos fun if your audience likes fun, or serious if that's more in line with your audience's personality.

Either way, your content must be engaging and it must be informative. Your viewers need to enjoy watching your video and they need to come away feeling like they learned something. Make sure that you build up the credibility of both your personal and brand.

So what is branded content? Short answer: Your brand is the P.S. in a story or bigger message. In other words, it's not all about you. Don't get content marketing confused with advertising. Here's a great example of branded content hard at work with the brand's product not making an appearance until mark 1:18 of a 1:38 spot. Organic Valley - Balance from The Bindery on Vimeo.

Check out these great insights into branded content from the Content Marketing Institute. 

Related Article:Making The Video: Tools and Tips for Killer Execution

2. Don't Put All Your Eggs In One Video 

It may be tempting to go for broke by investing all of your budget in one single high-production video but the fickle nature of online attention makes doing so a gamble.

Instead, you should view your videos as having multiple lives; i.e., as part of a wider content marketing campaign meant to generate ongoing, sustainable outcomes as defined by your purpose. Then, as this purpose may evolve (from building brand awareness to converting sales) you can match your video content to suit.

You’re also likely to get it wrong, or at least be less than perfect,  the first time you create and launch a video (not to mention there may be a lack of momentum, unless you’re already a household name), so you’ll need time and money in reserve to make changes and improve on your first effort.

To save on time and budget, shoot three to five videos at the same time as part of a related series. Then, release them when the timing best suits you. 

3. Leverage What You Already Have

You’d be surprised how much video you already have, or could have at your fingertips. If you've spoken at an industry event, ask if they filmed it and if you can have a copy of the video.

Check to see if any of your executives have been on TV, or maybe your company has recordings of product testing and development. If you don’t already have content, then there are plenty of easy and inexpensive ways to generate great video content that lets customers see inside your company and feel more connected, like:

  • Staff interviews (from the executive team to the tea boy)
  • A “day in the life of” video of a handful of your staff
  • Guest interviews (if your customers often visit your office)
  • A tour of your office or campus building
  • Videos of your staff having fun 

Plus, let your customers do the talking. User-generated content is even less work and can be just as successful, like this fun video from a customer that Blue Apron shared on their Facebook page.

A Facebook timeline video from a customer can relive countless lives as you share it across multiple social media platforms.

4. Make Sure Your Video Works Across Devices

More and more people are accessing content on the go across multiple devices including iPads, tablets, and smartphones. Make sure your videos are optimally displayed when viewed on these devices, as well as the real estate that surrounds them, which provides a place to include calls to action and other conversion tools. 

When choosing your distribution channels, ensure at least one of them is properly formatted for responsive design, and allows for video playback across multiple devices (remember, for instance, iPads don’t support Flash). 

Related Article: What the Numbers Say: Is Video Marketing Really Effective?

5. Ride the Coattails of Social Media (especially Facebook)
 

"There are more than one billion video views on Facebook every day. In the next five years, 'most of [the social network] will be video,'" said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Odds are that you don't need stats to prove video is exploding on social media. Just scroll through your own Facebook News Feed. But here are some numbers about Facebook: Facebook Media reported that more than half of all daily Facebook visitors in the U.S. watch at least one video a day.

In fact, the number of video posts per person increased 94 percent in the U.S. over the past year. Further, 76 percent of American Facebook users say they use the social network to discover videos. The amount of video posted from people and brands to Facebook's News Feed increased 260 percent year-over-year, Facebook recently reported.

In a nutshell, consumers want video, and Facebook has become the platform of choice for watching and, more importantly, sharing. Getting some facetime on Facebook is the way to go.

Take your storytelling efforts up a notch and creating stunning visuals with these 27+ Handy Tools for Better Visual Content Marketing. Power your content program with new ideas and download 75 Examples to Spark Your Content Marketing Creativity.  

The only constant is change. So if you haven't already taken advantage of video marketing, there is no better time than the present to start. With the right voice, the right content and the right distribution, you can start using videos as an inexpensive and effective way to grow your business in 2016.

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