Everything You Need to Know About Social Video Marketing in 2016 & Beyond

Everything You Need to Know About Social Video Marketing in 2016 & Beyond

Cloud-based video creation service Animoto shares its best social video tips for SMBs and marketers.

Marketers and SMBs plan to spend more on video over the next 12 months, and it’s no wonder–we’re rapidly headed towards a world in which the written word will be obsolete.

In marketing, video is an opportunity you can’t afford to pass over. Mobile consumers share video like crazy–92% of them, in fact. According to HubSpot, including video on a landing page can increase conversion by 80%. Over 76% of marketers who have used video marketing agree it’s had a direct impact on their business.

And yet marketers struggle to master the medium, SMBs in particular. Eighty-seven percent of online marketers use video content, but one in every four marketers and small to mid-sized business owners feel like they’re falling behind on video.

When it comes to where SMBs invest in video, they tend to stick to the platform owners are most comfortable with: Facebook. The social media giant is rated the most impactful channel by small business marketers, to an astonishing degree–it’s rated as 8.4 times more effective than the next closest runner up.

Over 62% of marketers also rated Facebook the easiest platform for determining the overall success of video marketing efforts. Just 13% said the same about YouTube.

That doesn’t mean they aren’t thinking about it, though. YouTube is recognized as THE place for video advertising, and it’s the social platform projected to see the most growth in video ads by SMBs this year.

This great infographic from cloud-based video creation company Animoto offers a high-level view of the social video landscape today, as well as a glimpse into what we should expect in the near future. After all, you can’t set your own strategy if you have no idea what’s going on around you.

So which video publishing platforms are worth your time?

What are your competitors looking to next?

Most importantly, how can you come out ahead in social video?

Check it out:


Everything You Need to Know About Social Video Marketing in 2016 & Beyond

The Continuing Evolution of Cloud Computing

The Continuing Evolution of Cloud Computing

The cloud in less than a decade has gone from being primarily viewed as a tool to improve IT economics and flexibility to a force that’s systematically transforming the economy and, I should add, redefining the role of the CIO. How did the cloud get to this point? And what’s coming next? Perhaps some history and a recent report provide clues.

I’ve been closely following cloud computing for a number of years, having posted my first cloud blog in March of 2008. A few months later I gave a presentation at a cloud-based conference. The overall sense at that conference was that something big and profound was emerging in the IT industry. Cloud computing could well be The Next Big Thing, like the advent of personal computers in the 1980s and the Internet in the 1990s.

Cloud has fulfilled those early expectations, having made much progress in a relatively short time. As I look back at its evolution over the past few years, I think of cloud as having gone through three main, overlapping phases.

Early adopters viewed cloud as computing-on-demand. Next, cloud introduced a much more disciplined approach to the architecture and management of large IT infrastructures. And by now, cloud has become accepted as a major transformational force in IT, in business, and in the economy in general.

Let me discuss each of these phases.

Cloud as utility computing. In its early years, cloud was primarily viewed as improving the economics, flexibility and agility of IT. Instead of having to buy and operate their own hardware and software products, users could now obtain the computing resources they needed over the Internet on demand.

The prevailing metaphor used to describe this new form of utility computing was the evolution of power plants in the 19th century. In the early days of electricity, companies usually generated their own power with steam engines and dynamos. But with the rise of highly sophisticated, professionally run electric utilities, companies stopped generating their own power and plugged into the newly built electric grids.

Cloud service providers offered computing-as-a-service, with near unlimited scalability at very attractive prices. Instead of having to buy computing resources up front, users now had the flexibility of only paying for whatever cloud resources they actually used.

In addition, cloud offered business users the agility they increasingly demanded to keep up with the pace of technological and market changes. Turning to an external cloud service provider was often a faster and less costly way to implement a new application than relying on the internal IT organization. We saw a proliferation of so-called shadow IT, where departmental and business users acquired what they needed directly from a cloud service provider, bypassing the central IT organization.

Cloud as the industrialization of IT. Many data centers had evolved over the years with little architectural discipline or company-wide governance. A number had grown through mergers and acquisitions, with the different companies involved bringing their own separate equipment, architectures and processes. Different departments insisted on getting their own servers for their own business applications, rather than using the global, shared facilities. Such legacy data centers often spent the bulk of their energies on the maintenance and integration of their varied applications.

Not surprisingly, these older companies were challenged to keep up with born digital Internet companies, especially when it came to customer-facing applications. These applications generally required a more agile development approach to respond to fast changing market conditions, as well as the ability to efficiently support the fast growing volumes of mobile users and devices.

The massive scalability, flexibility and agility required to support these new workloads was now driving a much needed industrialization of IT. IT had to become much more disciplined in every aspect of its operations, as had been the case with manufacturing about 30-40 years ago.

Before that time, most manufacturing plants were fairly inefficient by almost any measure, and were turning out products of varying quality. Then, following the success of Toyota and other companies around the world, business started to apply engineering discipline as well as a holistic, systems-wide approach to manufacturing processes. Company after company embraced the Toyota Way, Six Sigma, Lean Production and similar methods in their manufacturing and logistics operations – leading to major improvements in their productivity and quality.

Data centers have now become the production plants of cloud-based services, a transformation that’s been pioneered by born-to-the-cloud companies like Amazon.com Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google, and Salesforce.com Inc. Cloud computing requires very well-engineered IT infrastructures, applications and mass customized services. The architectural standards and management disciplines of public cloud providers are being embraced by older companies, as they develop private clouds so they too can efficiently deliver high quality services to their own customers, business partners and employees.

Cloud as the transformation to digital business. Beyond utility computing and the industrialization of IT, cloud is now a major force that’s shaping the economy and helping every company on its digital business journey. The job of the CIO is now more exciting… and much more challenging. In a few short years they have moved from architecting the enterprise to leading the digital enterprise forward.

This phase of cloud was nicely summarized in a recently released Verizon Communications Inc. report, State of the Market: Enterprise Cloud 2016. The report points out that in the past few years, “we’ve seen cloud go from a newcomer to part of the established order.”

Indeed, the report continues, companies are not sitting still.

“As cloud increasingly becomes the norm, the edge it gives a company is falling. It still has a major role to play in delivering competitive advantage, but using cloud is now just table stakes. It’s not enough to think cloud first. To derive significant competitive advantage from cloud you need to think how you can leverage it to enable digital transformation, change how you do business, and disrupt your market.”

For the majority of companies, hybrid is the preferred cloud model. These organizations are using public clouds for non-sensitive workloads, private clouds for more sensitive ones, and on-premise traditional applications for difficult-to-move and highly sensitive workloads. Most such companies have multiple public and private cloud providers. Their key challenge is tying it all together into a well-functioning, integrated IT architecture.

The Verizon study highlights the rise of private clouds. With the falling costs of technology, companies feel less compelled to turn to the shared infrastructures of public clouds to realize the economic benefits, other than for not-so-sensitive, highly scalable workloads with widely varying peaks and valleys. They welcome the added reassurance provided by the dedicated infrastructures of private clouds.

In reality, public versus private does not adequately describe the wide variety of cloud options now available. Choosing among them, workload by workload, comes down to a few basic points: the risks profile of the workload; the proportion of the workload and associated data residing on the company’s premise versus the provider’s; and whether the company has the skills to manage its cloud environment.

The report concludes with a few recommendations.

Keep projects short: Six months is a good upper limit to help maintain momentum and keep up with technology changes.

Don’t try to do it alone: Cloud is complicated, broad, relatively new and rapidly moving. It’s hard to keep abreast of all the changes in cloud technologies and capabilities and many companies don’t have the required skills and experience to manage cloud projects on their own.

Improve IT-business cooperation: Cloud is redefining the role of the CIO organization. As IT now permeates every nook and cranny of the business, close cooperation between the lines of business and the IT function is more important than ever. Managing a hybrid enterprise infrastructure–comprised of on-premise applications and a portfolio of public and private cloud providers–is a highly specialized discipline.

Continually reassess security: While managing risk continues to be a major topic when discussing cloud, “fewer than 5% of companies had experienced a significant data breach that was directly attributable to a cloud-based service… As cloud became more pervasive within organizations, IT had to step in and make sure that it was properly managed from a policy, control and compliance standpoint. The result has been a decline in shadow IT projects, clearer definitions of expectations and greater service-provider transparency. So now when we ask about cloud, most companies say that their cloud environment is as secure, if not more secure, than their traditional infrastructure.”

Don’t forget the network: Connectivity is critical to the success of cloud projects, especially for mission-critical workloads. Dedicated cloud connections should be used as needed to improve performance and reliability.

“Cloud’s now firmly established as a reliable enterprise workhorse, and what’s most interesting is how it’s driving transformation. Organizations are using cloud to create new customer experiences, re-engineer their business processes and find new opportunities to grow.”

Being an early believer in cloud computing, it’s gratifying to see how much progress has been made in just a few years. I’m convinced, much more is to come.


The Continuing Evolution of Cloud Computing

The Cloud Could Be Your Best Security Bet

Conventional IT wisdom says that you’re safer and more secure when you control your own on-premises datacenter. Yet if you think about every major data breach over the last two years, whether Anthem, Sony, JPMorgan or Target, all involved on-premises datacenters, not the cloud.

In fact, if a cloud service has proper controls, it could be safer than running your own datacenter.

Having your data onsite is no guarantee it’s going to be safe, quite the opposite. The cloud may offer the best hope we have at this point, which is fairly ironic given that security has often been the chief criticism of cloud computing from the start. Yet in the end, the cloud may be your most secure bet.

The Cloud Could Be Your Best Security Bet

5 unique uses for the cloud

Most people have a general idea of what the cloud is and how it allows you to access information anywhere you have an Internet connection. However, the cloud offers unique benefits specifically for organizations to foster their business initiatives.

  • Email in the Cloud
  • Applications in the Cloud
  • Desktops in the Cloud
  • Hosting in the Cloud
  • Data Backup in the Cloud

5 unique uses for the cloud

The Next Phase of Cloud Computing for Businesses

Lofty Goals for Cloud Computing 2.0

The potential for storing information in virtual data centers is great, especially when it comes to complementing that other much-hyped innovation: Big Data. But the cloud can also serve as an IT solution on a day-to-day level — that is, if businesses can figure out the best strategy to implement it. Until recently, that has been a struggle.

These are the three main types of cloud computing:

1.    Public: Resources and applications hosted by a provider that are available to anyone on the Internet.  Examples include Google Drive and Dropbox.

2.    Private: A datacenter that is protected by a company firewall.

3.    Hybrid: When a business combines internal cloud resources with an external provider.

The Next Phase of Cloud Computing for Businesses.

How Businesses Should Prepare For Internet Of Things

The IT industry creates new buzzwords every few years and this year everyone is talking about Internet of Things and Internet of Everything.

But what really is the true definition of IoT and what are its constituents? How should businesses prepare?

There are several definitions. But IoT or IoE is really about networks, devices, people and processes – and how these are all getting interconnected. The enabling technologies are mobility, cloud computing, big data analytics and social – a collective term for this is SMAC.

For IoT to be widely accepted and implemented, there are 2 or 3 things that need to happen:

  1. Businesses need to become IoT ready by upgrading its infrastructure, re-engineering processes and business models, and infusing an IoT culture in the organization.
  2. We need to have widely accepted industry standards, compliance, frameworks and protocols, through strong consortiums.
  3. Businesses need to be crystal clear about what they want to achieve with IoT – beginning with the end in mind.

How Businesses Should Prepare For Internet Of Things.

How Cloud Computing Will Transform Small Business by 2020

Companies that dont take advantage of cloud computing will be in the minority in less than six years. Heres why.

How Cloud Computing Will Transform Small Business by 2020.

Three Ways The Cloud Can Help Your Business Thrive

Cloud computing is no longer a new trend, but business as usual for many. 50 percent of large enterprises have deployed clouds in their organizations.

But what about the other 50 percent — what’s keeping them on the fence? For those businesses that are still considering when and how to jump into cloud, here’s three cloud attributes that every business and institution can benefit from:

  1. Flexibility
  2. Control
  3. Efficiency

Three Ways The Cloud Can Help Your Business Thrive.


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