Social video is in flux—and growing. New apps, new channels, new vlogs... With over 72 hours of video content being uploaded every minute, the days of creating a video, posting it on YouTube, and assuming viewers will find it... are a thing of the past—especially when you are up against the Harlem Shake craze du jour.

How do you break through the clutter and succeed in sharing your message?

Follow the Golden Rule of Online Content: It's not what we want, it's what our audience wants.

That concept is the opposite of traditional marketing techniques, which assumed a broad, captive audience that was pretty much forced to sit through whatever it was brands wanted to put in front of them. Think TV commercials pre-Tivo/DVR.

Online media has forced traditional marketing's hand. There's no shortage of content competing for your audience's attention: It is way too easy for viewers to simply click and move on. Some recent statistics make that shift crystal clear:

According to YouTube* data...

  • Over 4 billion videos are viewed every day: a 50% increase since 2010.
  • The 72 hours per minute of uploaded video that we just talked about is a 37% increase over the previous six months alone.
  • YouTube is the most shared content on Facebook with 30 million views per month.

According to SundaySky** data...

  • Online video consumption continues to surge, and it has most recently outpaced TV consumption.
  • The average text email open rate is 11-22%, but when you add "video" to the subject line of marketing-related emails, open rates rise up to 30%.
  • Viewers spend 2.5 times more time watching personally relevant short-form videos.

To cut through the clutter and connect with viewers, brands must step back and put what they want to say through the filter of what their audience will want to hear.

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image of Denise Roberts McKee

Denise Roberts McKee is the COO of About Face Media, a video agency that brings brand communications goals to life by telling stories via documentary videos.

Twitter: @drmckee

LinkedIn: Denise Roberts McKee