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Idea: Why Social Video Matters

There’s nothing new about a company using video to help tell its corporate story. Henry Ford mastered it a century ago. During the 1910s, weekly newsreels created by Ford’s 24-person film crew were viewed in 7,000 movie theaters across the country. 

The technology to create and share video online isn’t new, either. However, if you’re a stickler for dates, April 23, 2005, is a good marker: That’s the day the very first video was uploaded to YouTube, a masterpiece of cinematography called Me at the Zoo.

Video is becoming a pillar of the social web

During the past week, YouTube released an iPhone app that not only helps a small-business owner record a commercial, it walks the owner through embedded how-to steps for shooting, narrating, editing and posting the video. It then helps the small-business owner figure out how much of his budget should go toward running the commercial as paid advertising on YouTube.

Videoconferencing in a business context is a part of this evolution. Systems that used to cost thousands of dollars have been replaced by FaceTime and Skype running on iPhones. Closed-circuit video networks installed by large corporations seem quaint in an era when a $100 Apple TV, Google Chromecast or Amazon Fire TV Stick plugged into any HDTV can create a worldwide closed-circuit network.

Recent announcements point toward a future of ubiquitous video

Video produced at all levels of quality—from broadcast quality mini-documentaries to Periscope live streaming via your iPhone (like members of Congress demonstrated yesterday)—all have their places in a company’s toolbox for reaching its audiences.

But will video replace all other forms of media? History teaches us that new media rarely “kills” old media. For the past 25 years, Hammock has advocated that marketers take a platform-agnostic approach to media. The goal is not about how many types of media platforms you can use; the goal is to reach customers and build long, mutually beneficial relationships with them.

Bottom Line for Marketers: Whether it’s produced in a studio like the one under development at Hammock HQ or on social video via companies like Tumblr, Twitter, Vine and Instagram, video matters. However, it won’t kill everything that came before it. The more video (and print, text, audio, smoke signals and cave-drawing options we have), the better we can help our clients find the best means to establish relationships with shoppers and purchasers of their products and services.

(Photo: YouTube)