I’ll be the first to admit a blog is often the first thing that comes to mind when considering recommendations for clients interested in social media. My logic is that if you don’t have a place to syndicate your content and give customers an opportunity to interface with your brand directly, all the other activity you want to pursue can be fruitless.

Certainly, that doesn’t prohibit me from thinking interaction off-site (away from the client’s website) isn’t valuable. In many cases, it’s a good starting point before making a full-fledged commitment to engaging consumers on your own turf, almost like making sure a slip-and-fall lawsuit isn’t on your dime until you can afford it.

Blogging is and will continue to be a primary mechanism to connect consumers with brands, even if it’s just a social media newsroom function that expands your public relations efforts into a web-friendly format. But what can brands do to differentiate their content further, or even from the outset?

One answer: Web video.

According to the latest comScore release, nearly two in five U.S. Internet users watched YouTube videos in September. Overall, Americans watched more than 9 billion videos online. Some quick division (copied from Website Magazine’s post on the topic since I suck at math) says that three in four U.S. Internet users watched a video in the month. The unique views? Only 136 million!

Since the average viewer is now watching more than two videos per day and the average website struggles to engage its visitors, web video might just be what sets your blog or website apart from the others.

Before we proceed, and in an effort of full disclosure, I provide on- and off-camera work for a web video show called “The Daily Idea” (www.dailyidea.tv). My colleagues there produce web videos for clients. Yes, I’d like to see their business grow and succeed. Yes, I highly recommend them. And yes, I’m using one of their recent clients as an example of why you should consider this for your company, brand or clients. If I had other salient examples without have to do a lot of research, I’d provide them as well. If you know of similar video companies, please provide website URL’s in the comments so I can delete them later (kidding).

My Daily Idea co-horts, Todd Earwood and Rob May, were approached recently by PopCrunch, a celebrity tabloid website looking to differentiate itself from the others. They produced a short, entertainment news and notes show with a comedic flare, ala “Saturday Night Live,” only much more edgy and naughty. The result? PopCrunch has a video component other e-zine blogs don’t have. And one that stirs the pot a bit with its raw and sometimes offensive nature. The bottom line: it starts conversations.

Here’s their latest episode, which isn’t nearly as in need of a warning as at least one previous effort:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6TkxpvH9Ko[/youtube]

Web videos can also help you find a larger audience. The Daily Idea episodes are available on our website, but syndicated as a podcast and uploaded to all the major video site services as original content for their audiences. DailyMotion is one such that has featured The Daily Idea on their front page simply because it’s interesting, original and consistent. You can find it on YouTube, Revver, Blip and even iTunes.

The point is that your website shouldn’t be the only place your show calls home. Wider distribution at least offers the chance of a bigger audience.

So your luggage company has an interesting but stale website? How about a weekly travelogue video? Bank website turning into nothing more than a portal for your online checking customers? Interview some investment experts within about the stock market and post it as a weekly video feature.

Those ideas are easy. I’ve got a ton more that aren’t free, if you’re interested.

The bottom line is that more and more people are watching web video and not just on YouTube. More and more websites are finding ways to differentiate themselves from the crowd. So if you aren’t thinking about web video for your brand, business or blog, maybe you should.

Some other posts you’ll find interesting:

  1. How To Be A Professional Video Blogger, Interview With Steve Garfield
  2. Online Video: Strike While The Iron Is Hot
  3. 20 Ways To Get Traffic & Sales From Web Video & YouTube
  4. CBS Signs Truveo To Add Video To Radio Websites
  5. “Wired” Staffs Up For Video Push

[tags]web video, video, web TV, online video, vlogs, video blogs, video blogger[/tags]

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is the founder and chief instigator for Social Media Explorer's blog. He is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for CafePress, one of the world's largest online retailers. His opinions are his, not necessarily theirs. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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