The next big marketing channel: video calling
25 July, 2011
Social media-based video chats present an exciting new opportunity for brands to promote themselves, says Brand Republic.
Facebook’s Video Calling via Skype allows users to talk face to face, while Google has just launched a new Hangouts tool that allows up to ten people from a user’s circle to take part in an online video chat.
It is being trialled through Google’s new Google+ service, which is currently the subject of a road-test among Google’s email users. MSN, Apple and Yahoo! are among the other web giants also offering video messaging.
Brand Republic thinks video is “the tool that promises to take social networking to the next level.” Charlie McGee, head of digital at Carat, adds: “It will quickly become the norm, taking over from text-based chat.”
But where can brands fit in? Anyone wanting to advertise via video will need to approach with caution, says Ian Armstrong, manager of European communications at Honda Motor Europe. “Brands are all about trust and it would be very easy to destroy something that has been built up over many years as a result of inappropriate messaging or out-of-context approaches.”
But for those who get the formula right, the potential is substantial, says Kevin Peake, marketing director at Npower. “We are looking at using a lot more social-media videos to help customers. So, for example, we could use video chat to get engineers to help customers mend their boilers.” He adds: “Video chat is live and it's quick, so for some brands, it will be a fantastic opportunity.”
For more about Google+ Hangouts, click here.
For the full story, see Google vs Facebook: video calling.