The Perfect Video Marketing Recommendation Engine?

by Steven Washer on February 1, 2011

It starts with a pair of gloves
Imagine walking through a department store looking for a
pair of winter gloves. You want them to be warm but also a
little bit stylish. You don’t want to pay a whole lot for them.
And with the many choices available, so many of which look
similar, you’re starting to get frustrated. Then in walks your
best friend. She’s just taking off her warm stylish winter
gloves. You ask her about them and she points them out among
all the other gloves.

Five minutes later, new gloves in hand, you and she are
sharing a vanilla chai down at the coffee shop.

This may be the future
Guess what? You’ve just witnessed the future of buying and
selling. I call it Referral Engine Marketing, because soon,
most of your strongest reasons to buy are going to come
from recommendations made by friends and trusted associates.

Think I’m all wet? I might agree with you, if weren’t for Facebook.

Last year for the first time, Facebook had more visits than Google.
Now, let’s be clear. I’m not saying that Facebook has replaced
Google as the primary referral engine on the web. Google still
refers more people than Facebook, Bing and Yahoo combined.
However, according to TubeMogul, Facebook delivered 9.6% of
all referrals last year. Plus, it’s the second largest referral source
for online video.

That’s a stunning increase, and with Facebook’s non-stop growth,
it’s becoming more important as an agent for change in all areas
of life, from matchmaking to political revolution.

And the future is rushing in
It shows up in viewing habits. People spend 1 out of 3 minutes
online on Facebook; this according to market researcher Morpace.
And 150 million of us take Facebook along on our smartphones.
The takeaway here is that more people are spending way more
time on Facebook than they are on Google. This trend is likely to

So if you’re in the position of having to market your company,
what form of marketing is most likely to give you the biggest
bang for your buck? Likely, it’s going to be something that allows
people to recommend you to others. And to give people all the
information they need to make recommendations, it turns out
there is one form of marketing that is ideally suited to this task.

Facebook and video – a perfect match?
Perhaps that’s why Facebook users are among the most responsive
to video marketing. And there’s a perfectly logical reason for this.
Facebook users are constantly checking out what their friends are
doing, as well their favorite brands. This gives a video marketer
one of the most powerful ways to get noticed today.

So if your marketing budget is limited to a simple video camera
and the right wardrobe, you may just be in luck. You may have
found the simplest and most elegant way of leveling the playing
field that anyone has ever dreamed of.

But here’s a better match for video
Yes, video marketing in almost any field works brilliantly, but one
area it seems especially suited for is in starting and building
relationships. Whether it’s a prospective client or JV partner, video
can cut through all the static that jams up the lines of communication.

It works hard to build the know, like and trust factor so that when
you do your work together, it can all go far more smoothly than if
you had to build that same level of trust over and over with each

And this kind of marketing seems to be what Facebook was built for.

None of this has been lost on internet marketers who use video,
especially those who use video almost exclusively. In fact, I
haven’t been able to find a single recent instance where a sales
video isn’t also linked to a Facebook “Like” option or status update.
So, yes, considering that some of the biggest video marketers
have banished text from their pages altogether (except for the
words “Let Me In” printed across their big orange buy buttons)
it’s not too early to start using some of these tools yourself.

You can optimize Facebook for video
Facebook provides a range of tools to make your video marketing
more effective. You can, of course, link to or embed a YouTube
video. But you can also upload the video directly to Facebook.
They give you 20 minutes, where Youtube limits you to 15.
Your visitors can also share your videos with each other. Plus they
can also “Like” the video. Now YouTube gives your visitors the
ability to Like your videos as well, but with Facebook there is a
powerful difference. When your Facebook visitor Likes it, that
shows up on their own Facebook home page.

And I’ve only skimmed the surface about the tools that Facebook
offers video marketers. Tagging and coding and video landing
pages are among the other options you enjoy.

It’s just a logical way to be more relevant
In any case, all these tools just bring us full circle. Facebook wants
to be the most relevant site on the web. They’ve already proven
the tremendous power inherent in the simple act of people checking
out what other people are doing. Egypt may soon have a new
government because of the protests that were accelerated by

And at the heart of this sea change in how we interact with the world,
we see the Recommendation Engine at work. This is all about people
reaching out to people in a medium made to deliver genuine heartfelt
response. That’s why it’s so powerful for the video marketer with
something to say to their tribe.

But Facebook doesn’t seem to mind the level of intensity brought
to it by our infinite levels of human activity. So get started on your
journey. Whether it’s helping to topple a political empire or
recommending a good pair of winter gloves, the right video on
Facebook could take you all the way.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Marina Brito February 7, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Hi Steve,

Yesterday I was watching the Super Bowl at my office’s mega HD screen (8.5′ x 14′)! There were a bunch of families with elementary school-aged kids. While the parents were watching the game, the kids were hanging out in several of the many entertainment pods (i.e. open living rooms with a flat-screen monitor connected to a Mac).

What amazed me the most is that they were ALL on Facebook. Out the the millions of websites out there, they ALL chose to be on Facebook. Some of them were playing games, others were watching videos.

Made me realize that perhaps the future present of online marketing is on Facebook.


Steven Washer February 7, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Very good point, Marina!!

Lots of people are putting videos on Facebook right now, but I’m hoping that in the near future, we’ll have a plug-in or something to make it a little easier to post them in a featured way.

Right now we have to use Facebook markup language to make a video-featured page. But I suspect that won’t be the case for long!


Greg Lee February 7, 2011 at 11:32 pm


I will now think of Facebook as the new YouTube thanks to you.
Great article!

– Greg


Steven Washer February 8, 2011 at 4:47 am

Thanks, Greg! Now we just need to find someone to make those video plug-ins. But I bet that’s right around the corner…


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