The BBC recently announced that they are giving free access to their vast library of training videos from the BBC College of Journalism. Previously available to BBC employees only, this is exciting news for anyone wanting to learn about social media or multimedia communication techniques, brush up on journalism skills and learn from the BBC’s world-famous broadcasters. Which got me thinking about their bold decision. Why have they forfeited the subscription revenue? Was it insignificant? Or more likely, perhaps the BBC have more to gain from people sharing their free content. Their official statement refers to the BBC public service ethos, but what it certainly proves is that video is more valuable than ever. We all knew that though. A recent survey from consulting firm Accenture found that 90% of global consumers watch video online. YouTube has 1 billion unique users every month who watch over 6 billion hours of content and according to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more US adults ages 18-34 than any cable network. Today’s video landscape is wildly different than even 3 years ago. As facebook users become more savvy about privacy, our feeds are filling up with causes and news from new publishers like Buzzfeed, TED talks and Upworthy rather than private moments…and most of these are videos. So here’s a quick recap on what makes a shareable video:
1. Offer a psychological reason for sharing:
1) Emotional: if people feel something (anger, fear, sadness, joy) they’ll share it,
2) Self Expressive: Like the bands we like or the books we read, these videos say something about the user.
3) Informative: free learning videos are always good because they’re valuable, People will share them.
2. Make it easy to share: Your video needs to be the right length and make sure you use the right social channel that your audience uses (Youtube, Instagram, Vine), and if you host it on a website, just make sure it has the built-in social features to share your content.
3. Use analytics to guide you: Do your research, when are your audience online? What sites are driving the most shares for your type of video? Even the use of the word ‘shareable’ rather than ‘viral’ marks a change in how we expect viewers to consume video today. Viral implies exponentially uncontrollable growth whereas shareable implies value.
That’s where the BBC training videos come in. While I don’t expect they’ll go viral, they’re definitely valuable and informative. And psychologically-speaking, if I share them; it’s because they contain valuable information and I can’t deny that I’m hoping they’ll make me look good.
Now…I just need to decide what time to share them to make sure I maximise my reach.