Category Archives: Video

The power of the Tube

By: Jordan Ross

youtube-1

Source: Deli Agency

At this point in time, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t heard of YouTube. It has become one of the go-to places to find videos on the internet. Whatever it is you are looking for, from educational lectures to something that will make you laugh until you cry, YouTube has it. In terms of public relations, it can also be a great tool to help your organization get a message across to a large amount of people.

According to YouTube Press statistics, as of 2016, YouTube has over a billion users, which is almost one-third of all people on the internet. People watch hundreds of millions of hours on the site and generate billions of views every day. While YouTube does offer a paid version of the site in YouTube Red that eliminates advertisements, YouTube is free for anyone with internet access.

ecosystem

Source: Lisa Jahred

As a free site, YouTube has made it really easy for anyone to view what is on their site. The site has also made it easy for anyone to upload their own videos so that billions of others are able to view them. YouTube has allowed for people to get creative with the platform and there are a variety of different production methods for videos.

From companies that upload big-budget commercials that air on TV to their YouTube page, to people who upload shaky cam footage from their phone, there are great gems that can be found no matter how they are created. This can be a great platform for any organization to use, because no matter what your budget is, it allows you to create content that reaches a vast audience and use creativity to have the message resonate with the audience.

dog-and-cat

Source: Furkids

The Furkids Animal Rescue shelter headquartered in Atlanta, GA is a prime example of this. Furkids “is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization that operates the largest cage-free, no-kill shelter in the Southeast for rescued cats.” Their mission “is to rescue homeless animals, provide them with the best medical care and a nurturing environment, while working to find them a forever home.”

will-work-for-food

Source: Furkids

Furkids has been a member of YouTube since July 2012. The videos they typically upload to their page are of the animals that they have in their shelter. Looking over the videos that they have uploaded in the past, the organization has used YouTube as a platform to connect with people and to provide a new loving home to the animals. The average number of views that a Furkids video uploads on YouTube receives is typically around 1,000. On a site with over a billion users, that’s not the most, but Furkids has remained consistent with uploading videos to the page.

The videos Furkids usually uploads are just filmed off of a regular phone camera, and as a nonprofit, the organization doesn’t have the most money to spend on its video production. As mentioned before, YouTube allows creativity to shine through regardless of budget, and in December 2016, Furkids was able to use that creativity to create a video that gained a lot more attention on YouTube than they ever have before.

man-and-cat

Source: boredpanda

On December 23, 2016, Furkids released a 3-minute commercial on its YouTube page highlighting the shelter’s efforts, although it wasn’t your average commercial. The video was shot in about 30 minutes and edited in about an hour, and definitely was not your typical high-budget affair. In fact, it was very low budget. What the video lacked in production value was made up for in authenticity, and you could tell that this was a genuine message that was aimed at helping the organization accomplish its mission of helping those rescued animals (some of which made cameo appearances in the commercial).

wdef

Source: WDEF

As of January 12, the video has gained over 4.5 million views on YouTube. That doesn’t even count the millions of views that it has received on Facebook and Twitter. What was originally a low-budget video, turned out to be a large success for Furkids. They didn’t have to spend a lot of money. They just used creativity, and genuine love and care for what they were doing was seen in their efforts. As a result, Furkids was able to reach millions of people and increase awareness for their cause dramatically.

man-cat-high-five

Source: WKRN

For an organization, this should be a lesson that it’s not just about the amount of money that you spend. There are more important things than that. It also goes to show how effectively YouTube can be as a tool to reach an audience of potentially over a billion people for a very low price if you’re creative enough. If you’re able to create a message that resonates with people and aren’t afraid to think outside the box, then you could really have a winning combination on your hands. Furkids certainly does, and 4.5 million people and counting may also agree with that.

Jordan Ross is a senior at Eastern Michigan University majoring in public relations and minoring in communications. Jordan is in his first semester serving as the Vice President of Professional Development for EMU’s Eleanor Wright Chapter of PRSSA. Jordan is also a member of EMU’s Honors College and serves as the President of the EMU Student Center Student Employee Advisory Committee. You can find Jordan on Twitter @_JJRoss.

Vine v. Instagram: Has Twitter’s Vine lost it’s swing?

On June 18th at 9:30 a.m., @videosfortwitt posted:

“I wonder what Instagram has up their sleeve for this Thursday.”

“Facebook is seeking to differentiate itself from Vine, the popular instant video app from Twitter, ” wrote Mike Isaac of All Things D.

Source: Tech Crunch

Source: Tech Crunch

Sure enough, that Thursday morning Facebook announced that a video component was being added to their popular Social Media site Instagram.

Jason Parham blogged on Complex Tech, “According to Twitter, Vine is Already Dead.” This is not entirely true. What spurred this however, was the #dead conversations that ensued after Thursdays announcement.

Truth be told, Vines growth is out of control. We all know Facebook was aware of this, which is why they took notice.

From the time of the January 2013 launch to today Twitter Vine has exceeded expectations with no signs of stopping. According to Ryan Tate of Wired, Vine had just 77,000 unique visitors in January. Since then, Vine’s website vine.co grew to 3.6 million unique desktop visitors in May, according to Compete.com; Quantcast estimates similar web traffic growth. Currently there are over 13 million Vine users.

Twitter has become one of Facebook’s largest competitors and the company that lost out on acquiring Instagram to Facebook in a hasty billion dollar acquisition deal back in 2010.

In reaction to Facebook’s Instagram announcement Vine posted a “Thank you to our community” on its company blog, with the promise of more features to come soon.

One of the reasons Instagram is so popular is its simplicity, elegance, and ease of use. Companies currently using it are already catching on to the new video component.

The use of 15 second Instagram videos to humanize their brand will offer  companies who create them a low or no-cost way to further engage their communities. This offers fans high entertainment value with the hopes they will keep returning. Speculations abound that product videos which have long been placed on YouTube may now make Instagram their home.

Erich Joachimsthaler, CEO of branding consultancy Vivaldi Partners Group believes this will lead to more interactive marketing.

Ming Linsley, social media director at MEC, was on a similar wavelength. Brands like Urban Outfitters and the New York Yankees already use Instagram to let fans behind the scenes it feels as though video will offer a natural extension of this,” This will offer companies or athletes to further personalize the conversation.

In a reaction to all of the Vine/Instagram hype, Stephanie Buck of Mashable released “6 Reasons Instagram Video Beats Vine.” While Vine has a straightforward approach, Instagram offers some coveted advantages. Here are the six reasons fans believe Instagram killed the Vine star.

#1. Clip Editing: Instagram allows users to delete unsatisfying past frames.

#2. Cover Frame: Instagram encourages users to select a “cover frame” which serves as a preview to your video and appears in-feed. This helps to ensure users, especially brands marketing their product, put their best feet forward.

#3 Filters: Instagrams 13 filtering options have names like Moon, Gingham and Dogpatch. No thinking about lighting or exposure here!

#4 Tap to Focus: This allows you to tap within the frame to focus your depth of field. This makes for a more professional look.

#5 Image Stabilization: Instagram shared a brand new tool with the announcement on Thursday. Cinema. They now offer a custom image stabilization product which will smooth shaky footage for a more professional looking result. Vine users could just use a tripod to get the same effect.

#6 Vision Beyond the Video Frame: In shooting mode Instagram includes a slightly transparent frame around the video. This could help those perfectionists to frame their videos better. For others they may take it, or leave it.

Like all other Social Media brawls only time will tell us who comes out on top.

Until then, we can enjoy all of the artsy new 15 second ads, new capabilites from Vine and all the fun they both have to offer.

Marcie Cicciarelli
Vice President of Community Relations
EMU PRSSA