Platform 5: This week’s most important social media changes (edition 140)

Platform 5: This week’s most important social media changes (edition 140)

This week’s 5 most important social media changes

What’s changed in the last seven days? What does it mean?

It’s been a busy week for all the major players with YouTube, Facebook and Pinterest introducing new features while Twitter and Instagram are both tackling spam and scam issues.

Let’s take a look at these changes in more detail.

YouTube launches a new tool for finding and removing unauthorised re-uploads

This week, a new tool has been launched to help creators protect their work. There are already a number of ways in which creators can protect their videos from copywriting fraud on the platform but this new tool will make the process more efficient by automatically scanning newly uploaded content to check if it’s a re-upload of an existing video.

More details here.

Facebook’s new AR ads allow you to try on products

Facebook has been experimenting with AR for a while now, their newest development will enable users to virtually try on different products featured in ads. This new ad format is in its early stages but Facebook is confident that it will provide brands with greater exposure to more users.

Find out more about the new feature here.

Twitter will shut down metrics for accounts previously locked as spam

Have you noticed your Twitter follower count drop in recent days? You’re not alone. Twitter is purging accounts that have been previously locked for spammy behaviour and removing them from follower metrics. Accounts with bigger followings are likely to see the most significant drops.

Read more here.

Pinterest adds new group collaboration tools

Group boards are now a thing on Pinterest. This group collaboration tool will make it easier to plan for events and functions through the app which aligns with rising user behaviour patterns on the platform. Group collaboration may not add to Pinterest’s marketing potential but it could generate greater engagement.

Find out more here.

Instagram is testing a new verification process

The sacred blue tick on Instagram has been limited to “notable” and “authentic” accounts which usually meant celebs, media outlets and big brands. But this has led to scams offering to verify your account in exchange for hundreds or thousands of dollars. To help protect users from scammers, Instagram is testing a new in-app form that allows users to request a verified profile.

More details here.

Follow us on Twitter for news of these social media and content marketing changes as they happen.

Platform 5: This week’s most important social media changes (edition 138)

Platform 5: This week’s most important social media changes (edition 138)

This week’s 5 most important social media changes

What’s changed in the last seven days? What does it mean?

Facebook has introduced a new profile layout option, 4-way group video chats are now available on Instagram and new monetisation features are being introduced to YouTube.

Let’s take a look at these changes in more detail.

Facebook is changing the way profiles look

Your Facebook profile can now have a striking resemblance to your Instagram profile. Spotted by users earlier this year, the new layout gives users the option to transform their Facebook profile from the current ‘list view’ to a ‘grid view’.

More details for you here.

Instagram launches 4-way group video chats

If you’ve used Instagram this week you’ve probably seen the new update which allows you to video chat up to four friends at once. While it doesn’t allow you to call as many people at once as other platforms (Snapchat lets you have up to 15 users and FaceTime up to 32) it is the first platform that allows fully app functionality while using the video call feature.

Find out more here.

Messenger can automatically translate conversations

Messenger bot ‘M’ has had an upgrade. Aside from being able to help generate replies and polls, M can now translate your conversations. For now, M only translates between English and Spanish but Facebook has confirmed that other languages will be added in the near future.

Read more about the new feature here.

Youtube introduces new channel monetisation features

A range of new tools is being given to YouTube content creators to help them “earn more money and build stronger communities.” Channel memberships, merchandise options and premieres are all being rolled out to YouTube Partners.

Read more about these new features here.

Facebook is launching a print magazine for business leaders

It’s no secret that print magazine sales have been on the decline for quite some time, this hasn’t deterred Facebook from creating their own. ‘GROW’ is a thought leadership print magazine available in the UK that “shines a light on people, companies, and trends that are challenging the status quo.”

Find out more here.

Follow us on Twitter for news of these social media and content marketing changes as they happen.

Platform 5: This week’s most important social media changes (edition 111)

Platform 5: This week’s most important social media changes (edition 111)

This week’s 5 most important social media changes

What’s changed in the last seven days? What does it mean?

Snapchat separates brand content, YouTube’s version of ‘Stories’ arrives, new Instagram business tools, Facebook to release Messenger for kids.

Let’s take a look at these changes in more detail.

Snapchat separates branded content

For businesses publishing branded content on Snapchat, the platform will now separate friends’ content from the branded Discover content. A welcome change for users but a challenge for brands as they compete with and differentiate themselves from other branded content in the Discover feed.

More here.

YouTube targeting a piece of the ‘stories’ pie

It’s taken them longer than rivals Facebook and Instagram, but YouTube is testing ‘Reels’ – its own version of Snapchat Stories for YouTube creators. It’s another example of platforms doubling down on video features after Facebook recently launched its Creators app to help improve the live broadcast experience on the platform.

Read the YouTube announcement.

Messenger Kids on its way

Facebook has rolled out Messenger Kids in the US and will release it more widely in the app store in the coming months. The app is for children aged under 13 and will allow parents to download it to their child’s phone / tablet, create a profile for them and filter friends / family they can communicate with through the app. It will not feature any advertising and will contain safety filters to prevent certain content types (e.g. violence).

More here.

New Instagram tools for businesses

To celebrate the milestone of 25 million businesses now registered on the platform, Instagram will start to roll out new tools for businesses in the coming weeks, including insights related to how users found them. Stay tuned as these hit the platform.

More here.

Video ads coming to Facebook?

Reports that Facebook will test pre-roll ads on Facebook Watch (its platform for original content). Is this the start of ads being rolled out across Facebook videos?

Read more here.

Follow us on Twitter for news of these social media and content marketing changes as they happen.

YouTube’s 10th anniversary: The best views and opinions from around the web

YouTube’s 10th anniversary: The best views and opinions from around the web

The world’s most famous online video platform continues to change the way we watch.

YouTube turned 10 years old last week.

It was a milestone that triggered opinion pieces about its impact in literally thousands of places.

We’ve collated the most interesting YouTube articles we’ve read in the last few days which include some handy online video stats are scattered throughout.

The evolution of online video, The Guardian

This article by Fred McConnell profiles 10 videos which have arguably shaped the platform the most.

One of the most interesting videos referenced was the classic “wardrobe malfunction” clip from the 2004-05 Superbowl which is cited as the inspiration for the eventual YouTube platform.

Why? When that event took place there was no central and obvious place for that video to live.

As we now know, if something happens anywhere in the world, and footage exists, YouTube is the place you go to watch it.

Read the full article here.

The top 10 most viewed YouTube video of all time, Gossip Cop

Nine of the top ten all time YouTube videos are music videos. This may surprise some, but it shouldn’t.

Music videos are the most powerful example of evergreen content – something that has infinite relevance.

While businesses may never achieve the online video visibility of music acts (who are supported by legions of loyal fans) this is another reminder that evergreen content should be part of any online video strategy.

It is also worth noting that YouTube continues to make music a key part of its product as evidenced by the YouTube Music Key app which is currently in beta testing.

Check out the full Gossip Cop piece here.

Happy 10th,YouTube: This is your life – and ours, ReadWrite

Another wrap of some of the most important YouTube videos of all time.

The ubiquitous “viral video” is the main focus of this piece, capturing the moments that sparked mass-sharing frenzies.

Read the full article here.

How YouTube changed journalism, TheAtlantic.com

A recent study by the Pew Research Center found that 39 percent of all videos used by news organizations depicted raw footage shot by civilians.

This piece examines the barriers that have been shattered by the explosion of YouTube, and the resulting pros and cons of citizen journalism.

To get a feel for the impact of citizen journalism, take a look at the video below from Truthloader which summarised the role it played in an helicopter crash that took place in London in 2014.

View the full Atlantic.com article here.

What does the future look like?

Ironically, the future of YouTube appears headed toward a model adopted by traditional TV networks: Live events (especially major sports) and exclusive content.

But this doesn’t mean the environment it has created in the last decade will disappear.

To get the best idea of what online video will look like in general over the next five years, check out the Cisco Visual Networking Index which features some of the most in-depth online video stats and insights you’ll find online.

In that report, Cisco predicts that 84% of internet traffic will be video content by 2018.

Will YouTube be the dominant force it now is in 2025 when it turns 20?

No-one can say for sure, but mobile and online video will DEFINITELY be the common element drives online participation come 2025.

For more online stats with a local feel, take a look at the post we developed featuring the 12 most compelling Australian online video stats from 2013.

Featured image via youtubecreator.blogspot.com.
Social Media Trends 2014 (Part Ten): Viral Video Marketing Obsession Won’t Vanish

Social Media Trends 2014 (Part Ten): Viral Video Marketing Obsession Won’t Vanish

Social Media Trends 2014: Viral Video Marketing Obsession Won’t Vanish

Still with us? Good.

Here is part eight of our 14-part Social Media Trends 2014 series and in this instalment we’re tackling an obsession which looks set to get worse in the next 12 months.

We’ll specifically look at the origins of this obsession, the problems associated with it, and why it won’t be disappearing anytime soon.

Lights, camera, action!

Trend Ten: The viral video marketing obsession will (annoyingly) continue in 2014

Viral video marketing has been a blessing and curse for the digital marketing industry.

On one hand, the viral video phenomenon has shown what can be done with good content that is published online.

On the other, it has become the end, instead of the means to an end.

Even as a ‘means’ it is fundamentally flawed and here’s why.

The origins of the viral video marketing obsession

Before tackling the viral video marketing obsession, we need to look at the origins of viral video marketing as a whole and provide a modern-day definition.

An interesting post from the Tishia Saves Time blog traces the birth of viral video marketing back to the introduction of hotmail, one of the world’s first major free email platforms.

In it, she referred to the sign off at the bottom of each email which read: “Want a free email account? Sign-up for Hotmail today!

This very simple line spread from new user to new user around the world, and gave each recipient the feeling that they had discovered something worth shouting about.

This premise behind viral video marketing is the same.

Someone watches a video. If they like it, they share it with their immediate network. A portion of that network then shares it with their extended network. And so on and so on.

Ultimately, a tipping point is reached, and a  ‘sharer’ with a big and established audience passes it on and a simultaneous explosion takes place.

Here’s a visual representation of the viral video process (also called the ‘network effect’).

Viral video marketing network effect

Now, this is a very basic and ‘pure’ description of the process.

The majority of videos that ‘go viral’ nowadays are given a boost at the start of the campaign through the use of video seeding techniques.

These techniques normally involve taking out ads and sponsored links in places where people have the highest propensity to consume and share video content.

A great example is reddit, the popular social news and entertainment website where registered users submit content in the forms of links or text posts.

Many popular videos start with the support of promoted links on reddit in hope that a chord will be struck with enough reddit users to kick-start that network effect.

Ultimately, viral videos exploded in popularity because people’s ‘votes’ could deliver a global impact that could never be achieved or afforded through traditional advertising.

Attractive, right?

But, for the one campaign that achieves this cut through, 100,000 don’t.

And, even more disturbing is that ‘impact’ and ‘cut through’ are often determined by how many views or shares are recorded.

The problems associated with the ‘viral’ video obsession

Instead of view and shares, the real focus should be on the other actions that can be triggered from video content.

Did it drive people to a website where they found out more about the company that published the video?

Did it drive people to make a donation for the charity featured in the video?

At the very least, did it encourage the viewer to subscribe to the channel the video is hosted on to reduce promotion costs in the future?

It has been shown that if the focus is on frequency instead of ad hoc campaigns, subscriber numbers will increase, thus reducing the reliance of seeding costs over time.

Social media trends 2014 viral video marketing obsession

This has been the perennial problem with online video content and the concept of the ‘viral’ video: An immediate return is paramount and the call to action element isn’t considered until after the video has been produced or it hasn’t been considered at all.

So while the awareness box has been ticked, and maybe even the interest and desire boxes, the action one hasn’t.

Next time you watch a video on YouTube, see if there is a call to action at the end. In many cases, there won’t be.

Why won’t the viral obsession disappear in 2014?

Let’s get straight to the point:

– People want to win awards

– People want to show impressive view count numbers to their bosses

– People want to say they were behind a viral video hit

– People view ‘going viral’ as a result

– People think ‘viral’ videos are the only way to maximise a channel like YouTube

While this is a very broad and possibly unfair generalisation, there is an element of truth in each of these statements.

The biggest reason why this trend is set continue in 2014

There is one more reason.

Real content marketing success, on any channel, takes time.

This is the reason why most blogs die within the first month of being launched.

You’ve got your template set up, you start posting, you post some more and then you realise only seven people have visited your blog.

That can be very disheartening.

Still, you push on for a few more weeks as you feel like you’ve created some solid content.

However, outside your friends and colleagues, you’re not achieving much traction.

You ask a colleague or consult a ‘how to’ post to see if there is a quicker way of building an audience. There isn’t.

It takes time to be trusted by the people you are trying to reach.

YouTube channels are the same.

They require patience, an appropriate content strategy, engagement with viewers via the comments function and so many other factors.

The easiest way to think about it is via the chart below.

social media trends 2014 social media areas of focus content community conversations

If all of these things are considered in equal parts, your channel has the best chance of succeeding.

While some brands and businesses have recognised and embraced this approach, the majority haven’t and it will take a considerable amount of time until we bid  farewell to the viral video marketing obsession.

Thanks for reading part 10 of the Kamber Social Media Trends 2014 series.

We’ll be back with the next edition later this week before packaging up a SlideShare and audio commentary summary in early December.

If you liked this post, and the other posts in this series, share it with your networks to see what they think.

In Focus: An Inside Look at the Harvard Univeristy YouTube Channel

In Focus: An Inside Look at the Harvard Univeristy YouTube Channel

How Harvard uses online video content to give you a backstage pass to University life

Welcome to the very first edition of In Focus, a regular series of posts looking at branded YouTube channels from Australia and around the world.

These features won’t focus too heavily on the technical set up of each channel, but rather the content strategy that is driving the output of the channel.

You won’t see many ‘viral’ videos here either, instead you’ll see how YouTube can be used to build an audience by consistently delivering quality online video content.

This doesn’t mean YouTube channels can’t be used as campaign hubs too, but what we’ll attempt to show you is that online video content can be used in a variety of ways to add value to the people who matter to you.

In Focus: An Inside Look at the Harvard University YouTube Channel

Harvard University has a number of audiences, but the main ones are former students, current students and prospective students.

It’s global alumni audience alone is in excess of 370,000 people.

The organisation is rich in tradition and prestige, and the students who study there are the best advocates they have, so it makes sense to highlight life at Harvard via YouTube.

Some of the best professors in the world call Harvard home too.

The forms of content being shared include:

  • Short lecture clips
  • Student stories
  • Long-form public addresses be specific faculties
  • Science experiments
  • Guest lectures

It really does give you an insight into life at Harvard and why it has the reputation it does.

Interestingly, Harvard also has a SoundCloud account which shares audio content about life and learning on campus and around the world.

harvard university soundcloud

From a technical perspective, the YouTube ‘library’ features are being used well to highlight key areas (science, politics, athletics) and a number of playlists have also been curated for easier navigation.

If you look closely at the video content, you’ll notice most of it isn’t overly produced or staged, it is primarily talking heads or tours around the campus using a handheld camera.

The best way to describe the channel, is a video diary of the University.

What can be learnt from the Harvard University YouTube channel

Every organisation around the world has unique set of assets.

In the case of Harvard, the most powerful assets are professors, students and special guests, and all feature heavily.

This is a classic example of taking what is happening within an organisation, capturing it, and making it public to tell the story in a more vivid manner.

The things we can learn from the Harvard YouTube channel include:

  • Content is everywhere, and finding economical ways to capture it can be used to market your orgainisation
  • YouTube provides Harvard with direct access to relevant audiences and reduces the reliance on traditional paid media, especially television
  • Interesting people make for the most interesting content, and if you have these people within your organisation, showcase them
  • Harvard have decided to disable comments on each video which can discourage engagement but this may be due to the historically toxic nature of  some portions of the YouTube community (this has improved in recent times with the introduction of profanity filters and other features)
  • It doesn’t appear that the video descriptions have been optimised to their full extent which may impact upon organic discovery (this can often impact on the performance of video campaigns and limits the potential reach)

The numbers that matter

While some of the videos featured on the Harvard YouTube channel have been viewed in excess of one million times, most of them have registered less than 1,000 views.

The primary reason is that the content that is published is designed for niche audiences (on the most part).

Videos relating to athletics, science and politics are only going to appeal to people with an interest in those areas.

The number that should be noted is the subscriber base.

More than 115,000 people have subscribed to the Harvard University YouTube channel, ranking it among the top 200 most subscribed channels in the world.

This is what it’s really about, investing in building a big subscriber base now to reduce associated costs later.

Good, bad, ugly?

Assessing the quality of a YouTube channel is a very subjective thing, and unless you specifically know the purpose of the channel and the online video content produced for it, you probably shouldn’t ‘give it a score’.

Benchmarking performance is a difficult thing too as resources, budgets and other internal factors often determine output.

But, using YouTube as the University’s online video diary is a great way of showcasing Harvard life, and has to be commended.

Online video content examples from Harvard

NBA star Jeremy Lin reflects on his time at Harvard

Former Australia Prime Minister Kevin Rudd takes part in a panel at the Harvard Institute of Politics

We’ll be back with another edition of In Focus soon.

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