Video and YouTube: Heck Yeah, it’s Important

by Ken Mueller on August 11, 2011 · 11 comments

Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

This guest post is from my friend Marijean Jaggers. She is a social media specialist and public relations professional, and is president and CEO of Jaggers Communications LLC, a strategic communications firm based in Charlottesville, Va. She has also become a regular contributor to my blog here, and is collaborating with me on a book, so stay tuned! Oh, and make sure you check out her latest video effort…she’s a woman of many talents.

It was 2008 and I was attending BlogOrlando with a colleague and my sister, a journalist. Our speaker was Shel Israel, whose early book Naked Conversations, plunged me into the passion I have for social media. In response to the very typical and expected question about what the future holds for the social web, Shel said “video.” Of course, the answer was longer and more thoughtful than that, and I dutifully captured in while liveblogging the event for the firm I used to work for, but all you need to know about that time and this is that the future is now and it’s video.

People are still stunned when I tell them this so it bears repeating often.

YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the U.S. next to its owner, Google.

Now we know that a certain percentage of YouTube users are just freaks. I offer, as example, the fact that more than 800 people have watched a silly little video I made, A girl, a home office and lipstick (you weirdos; it’s totally clean and YES I KNOW WHAT YOU WERE THINKING.) I have, by contrast a small following of people interested in the videos I do on communications, public relations and social media. Another (legitimately) popular video is about turning your business cards into a social network.

Video is important, kids. It’s certainly not going away, as it gets easier to access. (Side note: over the weekend I was riding in the car and watching a roller coaster video on my phone. Do not do this.)

Beyond that, video is easy to create and upload. It’s fast, thorough and efficient. I have learned countless things by watching video from the professional (how to create Yahoo pipes) to the personal (how to knit a purl stitch). If there’s something you want to learn how to do, it’s likely someone’s created a video to teach you (quality notwithstanding; it may take you awhile to find the right video for the education you seek.)

I’ve used video on my blog that I’ve shot from my phone. I’ve used a high definition webcam, had my hair done and makeup on. It doesn’t seem to matter how glossy, packaged or rehearsed the topic – videos get traction and once they’re out there, they’re available to find via search.

I encourage clients to create and use video in their campaigns. I also nudged Ken Mueller into the On the Porch with Ken series which I love – there’s something about seeing a person while listening to them, sharing the philosophies you’ve read in their writing, giving it to you in their voice, in their words from their office or their front porch. Talk about making business human! For many, writing blog posts is intimidating; a video with its speed and one-take upload can be just the ticket for a client short on time.

Are you using video in your business blogging?


Ken, MJ, thanks for your feedback. I am also a fan of the Flip, because as we've all seen through our own professional and personal endeavors, it's the content that speaks to people, not how slick the graphics or the transitions are. "By the people, for the people" - a perfect quote that I may have to borrow soon for an impending (and hopefully not difficult) discussion.


Great post, MJ, and timely also. There's a bit of a debate among a few people in my circle regarding the use of Flip videos for big business social media purposes. Some feel that if it's an on-the-fly production, or the more expensive HD camera is in use, it's perfectly okay to Flip it. Others argue that Flip and other lower-end HD cameras should be put to rest in lieu of using the higher-end cameras, and if the opportunity to grab some great content is missed, so be it - at least the content that is pushed out looks great. Would love to hear your thoughts on this.

KenMueller moderator

@khall27 the "promise" of social media, if you will, is that it makes us more real. it breaks down the artificial walls and allows us to be ourselves. At least that is how it SHOULD work. And this type of video is one way of doing it.

Look at network and cable tv. Even the news is using more "amateur" footage, and the whole Current TV channel was built on this concept. I find it refreshing.


@khall27 I would always err on the side of getting the content over using the higher end camera. I think our tolerance as a culture for "real" footage is much greater. In fact, I'd prefer to watch something that's not produced, that's clearly done by the people, for the people. Think of news footage you've seen, contributed by viewers. Does it have less impact because it wasn't shot with a $300,000 camera? Save the packaging and production for commercials and promotional pieces.

KenMueller moderator

@khall27 I'm sure MJ has some thoughts on this, and I would be they are similar to mine since we seem to be in each other's heads a lot, but I don't believe there is anything wrong with using the Flip or other similar cameras. They have become the industry standard, particular for online video, and like you said, you can capture things "in the moment". Sure, if you're a big company and you can afford something more expensive and pay someone to edit it, great. Go for it. But you'll also find that you spend much more time creating these videos, so they better be worth it. They better be pretty darn compelling to justify the expense and time.

And there are certainly some things you do want to capture on a higher quality if perhaps you are trying to illustrate something.

For me, I'd have no problem sitting and watching a webcam video shot by the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. That's pretty much how Gary V. has built his company.


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