Jake Ward
Jake Ward 27 January 2014

Social Video Trends for 2014

Social media is already a huge source of referrals to online video content, but Twitter, Facebook and others are now becoming platforms for the delivery of content as well.

By Jake Ward, Business Development Director, Groovy Gecko


Throughout 2013 we saw the continued rise in the popularity of online video, with mobile devices accounting for more and more content consumption. The BBC iPlayer now delivers over one third (37%) of its content to mobile, and this general trend of more and longer consumption on mobile will continue next year. Research shows that consumers are now viewing a wide range of content on a multitude of devices. For example the iPlayer is now available on over 1,000 devices. However beyond the diversity of devices there is an interesting trend in the way Social Media is helping content be discovered and consumed.


With this in mind, I believe there will be three main trends in Social Video this year.


1. More Social Video


Social media is already a huge source of referrals to online video content, but  Twitter, Facebook and others are now becoming platforms for the delivery of content as well. Throughout 2014 we will see social media becoming a central part of many online video campaigns, and this won’t just be limited to b2c campaigns, we will also see the platforms featuring heavily in b2b campaigns. Social media provides a ready-made platform for engagement with audiences and video being viewed through social media platforms shows much longer viewing times when compared to general online video. This is partially due to a shorter more contained user journey where the audience doesn’t need to navigate away from what they are already doing to view the content. As well as the fact that those already interacting with content can also easily recommend it to others.


The audience is more active when watching through a social media site, more likely to ask questions, take part in polls, competitions, and generally interact. Of course, all of this interaction helps the content creator better segment their audience so they can deliver more relevant content and segment them more clearly.


2. Growth of Google Hangout


One of the tools that will be significant in driving the use of video on social is Google Hangouts. A key component of Google + it allows for up to 15 users to appear in a live video chat which other can watch over YouTube Live or on Google +. It is a solid platform but there is still a great deal of untapped potential.


This will change in 2014. Many businesses have started using Hangouts externally and internally for meeting and to offer live Q&A to their audiences. However, there is so much more you can achieve with it, in terms of truly engaging viewers and getting fully interactive.


We recently worked on a Google Hangout cook-along with Gok Wan, where the audience was creating the dishes he was demonstrating during the event. This changed the Hangout from a simple interactive Q&A tool to a truly engaging interactive experience, showing people ‘hanging out’ engaged in a common activity.


The ability to use the platform to delivery truly interactive experience to the audiences and easily syndicate them to third party websites will drive it’s adoption and growth in 2014.


3. Google Helpouts


Google Helpouts launch in mid-November and offers users the capability to find experts who can offer them live advice in a one to one. Hangout style environment. Amazon has recently launched a similar help function on some of its Kindle devices. The Helpout service however offers expertise for free or at a ‘per consultation’ rate covering a wide range of topics from electronics to health.


Initially I predict this being used in two ways. First, if there is sufficient user footfall I can see businesses switching support staff to the service. If a business already has a helpline and live text chat will being able to see the user’s problem help solve the issue quicker? In addition organisations which offer advice such as charities will also begin to use the platform to see if it helps engage their stakeholders.


Secondly there will of course be a number of stunt uses of the platform for PR purposes. For example imagine a user looking for advice on sports coaching for their under 11s boy football team. They have a choice of talking to Steve a coach in Glasgow, John a coach in Birmingham, or David in LA. If they click on the third option they get through to David Beckham on a pitch talking about free kick practice. One of the advantages of the platform is that you can capture both sides of the conversation and use it in advertising and PR material.


It is an interesting concept, the key will be how quickly Google are able to drive an audience to the service and attract those offering Helpouts.


The year ahead


2014 certainly looks set to be an interesting year as video use continues to grow. With online video and social media getting even closer with services like Twitter hoping to become a key component of TV viewing recommendation it will be a year when businesses will have to look at not only how they delivery more live video content but also how they make it more relevant, easier to find and through interactivity, more engaging. 

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