Rise of Visual Content Machines- YouTube

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In today’s competitive digital space brands are required to create creative content that generates conversations. This explains why we see a meteoric rise in info-graphics and brands designing social specific content.
The increase in number of images, videos, photographs, live streaming, user generated content and info-graphic is the proof to the fact that social media marketing is moving to a different direction all together.
Whether you are an accountancy firm or a manufacturing firm it is very important these days that you figure out a way to integrate visual content in your marketing mix as some of the stats prove that online imagery is powerful in capturing customer’s imagination.
5 reasons to believe that visual content is the future:
1) Facebook’s Timeline also means brand pages ought to be more visually appealing than before. (Source: Simplify360 Report)
2) 85% of the US internet audience watches videos online. The 25-34 age group watches the most online videos, and adult males spend 40% more time watching videos on the internet than females. (Sources: Nielsen)
3) Traffic grows by 12% faster by using infographics (Source:AnsonAlex)
4) Over 72 hours of videos are uploaded each minute on YouTube.com and 700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter every minute. (Source: YouTube).
5) 85% of viewers are more likely to purchase a product after watching a product video. (Source: Internet Retailer)
Powerful visuals are known to hold audiences’ attention for longer period of time. It is also known that visual content encourages engagement between brands with customers. Implying that in future brands will prefer visual content as more visual content equals more engagement which means more conversations and sales.
Founded in 2005 by three PayPal employees, Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim YouTube has changed the media landscape. Globally Youtube.com is the largest video destination and the most visited website overall.
Over the years, YouTube has seen some phenomenal success. Today it has become a repository of videos on all topics imaginable. Whether it’s breaking news, a case study or a how-to video, the first spot to stop by is Youtube. The website is a one-stop-resource of videos and footages which are shared by on-the-ground citizen journalists; hence they are generally the non-edited version.
The diversity of video’s available is one of the main reasons for YouTube’s success; there is always something available for everyone. It is increasingly becoming a platform where people search for news and how-to’s on any topic. According to a Pew Research Centre Report the most searched for terms on YouTube were related to news.
On this platform both citizen’s and professionals contribute alike. It has been a collaborative effort from citizen’s, organizations and professionals for content generation and distribution.
However, promising this may look but content distribution still has its own issues. Though they follow a stringent sharing and privacy guideline, not everyone adhere to them. We see content posted without clear attribution, without copyright permissions and without declaration of the source altogether creating opportunities for information falsification and distribution of pirated content.
In 2006, YouTube presented a set of  agreements to media companies in a humble attempt to escape the threat of copyright infringement lawsuits. On Oct 9th, YouTube was acquired by Google for US$1.65 billion in stock. It was announced that YouTube will continue to operate independently with its co-founders and 67 employees within the company.
Since then YouTube has grown leaps and bounds. They have successfully been able to attract many online marketers and social media enthusiasts to think out the box and run their video campaigns. They have been able to provide innovative means and ideas of utilizing the platform and connecting with audiences by mass.
Today user experience is been splashed by video content as it offers to provide information and entertain at the same time. This trend is only growing as many brands invest heavily in video content. Consumer product brands such as Nike, Red Bull, Old Spice, and Puma etc. have been some of the most creative and innovative brands to have published one campaign after another and attracted millions of followers and take video marketing to the next level.
Post its acquisition, Google has tried and kept YouTube an independent function. However, we did see some integration in Google News and YouTube. In 2009 Google added a local news video channel to its stories aggregation allowing readers to watch related YouTube channels and clips alongside its news.
During this time competition has been high. There are many high-quality video platforms today available with competitive features or specialized markets. Some of them such as Vimeo, Flickr have been there since the start but have failed to gain popularity as Youtube. Some of the platforms such as Blip.tv, Veoh, Viddler, Dailymotion and Yrog are specialized platform that offer features such as unlimited upload capacity, a smart UI make it easy and relatively quick to load huge files; some of the features that YouTube fails to provide.
In March 2013, YouTube hits one billion users per month stat, making it the best video sharing platform. They announce their success by a few comparative measures:
Our monthly viewership is equivalent to roughly ten super bowl audiences and if YouTube was a country, they would be the largest in the world after China and India.

YouTube’s official blog
This is what makes YouTube one of those “not to be missed marketing tool” today. With the increase in number of visual content haring networks what would really be exciting to see is Youtube’s way forward.

With its efforts such as revenue sharing scheme with the newswire Reuters, giving it a rich source of raw video footage and now introducing a pilot project of paid channels, it stands tall as the only platform that provides multiple ways on growing your audience, brand awareness and ad revenue through content collaboration.
In its latest attempt, it tries and lures viewers, advertisers and content producers by diverting their marketing investments from traditional TV promotional to YouTube channels. They believe that viewers will be willing to pay to access certain content and so they approached a small group of channel producers and asked them to submit applications to create a channel that users would have to pay to access. They are considering charging anywhere between US $1-$5 per month even for content libraries, live events, self-help and financial shows.
What will be exciting to see is whether YouTube and its partners are able to create such content that a user would be willing to pay for?
Reference:
http://www.journalism.org/analysis_report/youtube_news
http://youtube-global.blogspot.ca/2013/03/onebillionstrong.html
The article is taken from the latest eBook Virality from Simplify360.

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