Earned distribution, like owned, is free. You have relatively little to lose using it other than time and effort, but unlike owned and paid, the payoff can be drastically more unpredictable. From SEO efforts that boost your search presence, to building relationships with influencers you’ve never met, you never quite know what your ROI will be — it can be enormous or it can fizzle to an end. But don’t skip earned distribution altogether! Take a little more time to think strategically about which earned channels will help you accomplish your video goals.
This is just the tip of the iceberg as the surgance of video continues to climb. As Influencer and Best-Selling Author Joel Comm points out, “Instead of designing a graphic ad that’s likely to be ignored, you can create a simple video ad that people will actually watch and might even share.” And at the end of the day, that’s the point, creating something that viewers want to watch and spread across the web.

No matter your industry, target audience, or whether you're B2B or B2C, there is no doubt that today a large portion of your potential buyers are on social media. And well-planned, consistently-created video allows you to connect with that audience time and time again to drive awareness and enagagement more effectively than any other form of content.
Another good news is that your videos don’t have to be perfect. It’s the content that matters! Latest research shows that users are mostly put off by videos that don’t explain the product or service clearly enough. Low quality and poor design didn’t matter nearly as much. So it’s fair to say that video is like pizza – when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good!
You may remember George Takei from Star Trek but now he is managing exceptionally written social media channels and has grown a massive following. How did he do it? He has mastered the art of a strong caption. His captions have a clear point of view, are littered with emojis (not a must but a great addition for many brands) and make elicit an emotional reaction, and better yet the motivation to comment and/or share with friends. This can be from a simple statement or an interesting question, as long as it’s authentic.
Social sharing is one of the simplest forms of earned distribution. It often happens organically, but you can encourage social shares by getting the ball rolling. Set up a schedule to post your video content from your corporate and personal accounts on every social channel you’re active on. Send a private message to friends and family to do the same. If you know anyone in a related field or industry, make sure they share your content, too! Though it’s not the best method, you can even incentivize shares by creating a contest or giveaway through an app like Rafflecopter.
Ideally, you’ll use all three distribution methods. You know your audience and hopefully you know how they’ll respond to your video. Focus on the distribution method that’ll give you the biggest return. If you’re in the film industry, focusing more on paid distribution might be your best bet. If you’re in the field of cancer research, earned media might be the way to go. Are you an entrepreneur that just launched your own startup? Spread word via your owned channels. It all really depends, so do a little research and see what fits your situation best.

“With the emergence of micro video apps like Twitter’s Vine and now Instagram’s video sharing feature, we’re seeing even more movement toward real-time video sharing,” says my friend Jayson DeMers, founder and CEO of AudienceBloom. “And not just any videos; with Instagram allowing 3-15 seconds per video, and Vine allowing precisely 6 seconds, users are even more likely to create and share videos from their smartphones.”
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