Going beyond text-only communications is rapidly growing in importance. Savvy customers are becoming accustomed to getting their information both on-demand and in the format they want. In the future, companies that only “speak” to their audiences via text will find themselves at a major disadvantage.
Video, for instance, offers a way to deliver an informative and appealing presentation on your products or services, and can include interviews with company executives and customers. According to a May 2009 report published by eMarketer, the U.S. online video audience is expected to grow to 190 million by 2012. That’s 88 percent of the entire online audience! Further, 80.9 percent of that audience is expected to be watching online ads by 2012.
Video can be integrated into press releases, e-newsletters and blog posts. In addition, posting videos on sites such as YouTube, Yahoo Video and Metacafe—or distributing the content through services such as TubeMogul—can help create a viral viewing effect. In other words, the creation of a single video offers multiple usage and distribution opportunities.
Other forms of multimedia content that can be used on social media channels include:
• Podcasts, or audio files.
• Photos, which can be distributed through sites such as Flickr.
• Slidecasts, which are PowerPoint-style presentations with slides synced to audio.
• Interactive games, which can be used as powerful viral marketing tools.
Optimizing video and other non-text content for search-engine page rankings is growing in use. Forrester Research indicates that “blended search”—the practice in which search engines display videos, images, news stories, maps and other types of results with standard search results—has become increasingly commonplace. Optimizing video content to take advantage of blended search, Forrester says, is the easiest way to get a first-page organic ranking on Google.
No matter what type of content you choose to develop, it should always be of professional quality. Your marketing and public relations firms can assist in social-media content production at affordable budgets.
How is your organization moving beyond text? What approaches work best for engaging with customers through new and emerging media?
About Kathy Cabrera
Kathy Cabrera is a guest blogger for Journalistics. Kathy serves as Director of New Media for Carabiner Communications and leads the agency’s social media and video initiative. Kathy helps clients build and integrate social media tools and content into their communications campaigns. To learn more about Carabiner’s social media offerings, please visit http://www.carabinerpr.com or email Kathy directly.