video for comms is now way beyond youtube

More than 70 per cent of the internet is predicted to be video by 2017. If you are a comms person it's a challenge you need toio have an answer to.

by Albert Freeman

Online video is becoming more important all the time. There are an exciting and growing number of ways that we as organisations can use it, and ways that people can use it to engage with organisations.

Video is now big news on Facebook

In no time at all video has become huge on Facebook. Organisations need to adapt and take advantage of this. It is no longer enough to simply publish your video on YouTube, and share the YouTube link on Facebook. Videos on the Bradford Council Facebook page are consistently reaching and engaging more people than other types of Facebook content. The videos are also reaching significantly more people than the same videos on YouTube. It goes without saying that whenever possible you should add captions to your videos to make them more accessible. On Facebook there is an extra incentive to do this. Your video's captions will automatically show when the video is seen in the news feed on Facebook's mobile app. This gets round the problem that a number of people will be watching in silence, for instance on a bus. Facebook is revealing new developments with video almost every week at the moment as they seek to gain more ground on YouTube. The latest push is for music videos to be published on Facebook.

Short videos - instagram and vine

You might want to think about using short form video platforms, such as Instagram and Vine. As well as having their own unique audiences, Facebook owns Instagram and Twitter owns Vine. So videos posted on Instagram and Vine can be automatically shared to Facebook and Twitter respectively. You could use short video to quickly report from an incident, or as part of a campaign.

Democratising video making

Technical advances in phones means more people can now make and publish video. Comms2point0 are running a series of video skills workshops to help comms people learn the basic skills needed to create and publish video straight from your phone. A number of citizens are also starting to use video to help report issues to local authorities, which helps identify location and severity.

Broadcasting video live from phones

The rise of Periscope and Meerkat this year have made live streaming more common. There is great scope for live streaming, whether it be for election results, a Q&A or reporting from emergencies. However, It is important we don't get too carried away and overdo it. For instance, think carefully before live streaming from the scene of an accident.

Albert Freeman is corporate communications and marketing (digital communications) at Bradford City Council.

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