September 16, 2014

Why Online Video is Beating Social Media

video is beating social

In 7 Reasons Why Video is the Fastest Growing Online Ad Format, I share Forrester, Cisco and Forbes research on why video is beating social media as a small business marketing platform. The biggest reason, however, may not be found in a research study.

First, I must mention that I do use and value social media. While some communication channels are better than others (depending on goals), all have value. The problem is with the “silver bullet” perception.

During these past few years social media has gotten more hype than just about anything. It’s been a great bandwagon to jump on and just about every online marketing guru under 60 has. It’s been a party for slick marketers and sales people who’ve financially capitalized on the hype. Whether it’s because of that hype, or despite it, business owners are now experiencing a social media hangover.

As the Manta Small Business Wellness Index showed, over 60% say they “don’t see any ROI” on their social-media activities. That’s a lot.

Regardless of why business owners say they see no ROI (return on investment), it’s forced them to seek an alternative – and that alternative is video.

Video is Beating Social for Emotional Reasons

The shift from social media to video is not surprising for another big, fundamental reason. Every business owner, manager and marketing director in the universe wants to know what they’re getting for their marketing dollar. Even if they fully realize there’s no guarantee on ROI, they want to know what “the deliverable” is. With social media, that’s hard to grasp. With video, it’s not. With video you see what you’re getting and, if it’s done right, you get excited by it.

Unlike social media, there’s an immediate emotional connection. It touches our senses. And, when it does that to us, we have no reason not to believe it’ll do the same to the people we’re trying reach.

So, the big differentiating factor between social media and video as a marketing platform is one you may never see in a Forrester report. It’s the bedroom conversation between a business owner and his, or her, spouse:

Her: “So, is the business going better?”

Him: “Well, it’s better. We just hired a social media firm.”

Her: “Really? How much are you paying them?”

Him: “$800 a month for 6 months.”

Her: “And what are you getting for that?”

Him: “A cohesive message across multiple social media platforms to integrate our selling proposition for better engagement across new media channels.”

Her: “What the hell does that mean?”

Him: “I have no idea.”

Bedroom Talk Photo via Shutterstock

28 Comments ▼

John Follis


John Follis heads up Big Idea Video, creator of short format, high concept video that captivates and persuades prospects. According to Forbes, 76% of marketers expect to invest in video this year and make it their #1 marketing strategy. John Follis honed his talents as Creative Director and Co-founder of Follis/DeVito/Verdi, one of Madison Avenue’s most successful, award winning ad agencies.

28 Reactions

  1. I would like to add that sometimes watching something is better than reading it. For example, would you be willing to read a 5000 word essay or would you be willing to watch the main points through video?
    YouTube has close to 1 billion users and this number should increase in the future.
    Creating viral videos would be a great way to get your message across

  2. It’s inevitable. While social media can be used as an engagement tool. There is nothing more engaging than video. For one, it has good visuals. Next, it can evoke a certain emotion. These are things that social media cannot do. Also, social media has downgraded due to spam.

  3. John,

    Quite an eye opener, but come to think again, it’s pretty obvious. Just like what Aira said, there’s nothing more engaging than a well-made video.

  4. Yes, nothing is more engaging than video which out beats social media for more buzz and creativity. Advertisers are prepared to pay a premium for well done videos.

    • I’d just qualify that last statement with: SAVVY advertisers are prepared to pay a premium for well done videos.

      So, Diana, are you a savvy advertiser prepared to pay a premium for well done videos? :)

  5. Hey John, I have always felt that video has given me more of an impact than social media and with a lot less effort. The advantage that viewing a video has over social media, is that it plays to all of the senses.

    If I am on YouTube, I can see, hear and read. Whereas, on the social meads, I can only read, it doesn’t have the same impact and it is not nearly as interactive, even in real-time.

    Keep in mind that there are some who will argue that video is just another form of social media. It may very well be, but it’s still far more effective.

    BTW, I love the husband and wife exchange at the end of your article. That’s how my wife would respond… LOL
    Have a good one!

  6. When you can engage more senses and emotions, you’ll have more success. Video provides a more rich opportunity so I’m not surprised at all.

  7. John Follis: Couldn’t online be a part of your social media activities?

  8. When we create video for your business it is an authentic place without the filter and mis-reporting that are through another media, funnel creates. It is your message, said in your unique way.

  9. I second your thought John. Videos are a very easy way to impart a lot of information in a very small time…and yes of course, they leave a massive impact also. The same applies for social media as well. At the end of the day, we are an emotional lot. :-)

  10. Yep, I understand exactly what you mean.

    We have been trying a super different approach so I’m just taking some time out to get some opinions.

    We do a LOT of events like this one https://www.vimily.com/share/V22aukcOrAc which is absolutely switching the focus from the high quality of the video to the high quality/honesty of the responses like you said.

    I guess the trick is spontaneity!

    Vimily is totally free if you want to give it a go yourself, its great to hear from someone who really knows what they’re talking about.

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