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Here’s a prediction that is bold yet beautiful.

Cisco is also predicting that by 2013, 90% of web traffic will be for video content, a significant jump from today’s 30%.

Let’s assume that it’s also accurate. 90% of a galaxy load is a heck of a lot. The question is, do you classify it as viral marketing or social media?

I think you can say it’s a little bit of both, but viral marketing has a very distinct definition. If a video goes viral it’s because it has found its audience and the audience took it viral. Video marketing is social if, and only if, the element of networking is involved. The sharing aspect of video marketing is certainly a social element, but if video marketing consists only of uploading and viewing then I wouldn’t call that social media marketing.

So why the distinctions? I think it’s important to understand how you employ the technology. I can a lot of the videos to come being uploaded to websites for the purpose of showcasing products and services and the only viewers of those videos will be customers of the website owner or potential customers. There’s nothing wrong with that, but that’s not social media. That’s using video as on-page content.

Can such content go viral? Sure, if it hits the right audience and the audience shares it in the right places.

When it comes to video marketing, whether now or in the future when it has taken over the Web, it’s best to know who your audience is before you begin production and when you start distributing to know where your audience hangs out and to put that video in front of them there. If it’s on your website, fine. If it’s on YouTube or somewhere else, that’s fine too. Just have a solid plan.

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