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Digital video marketing channels

There are so many social media platforms nowadays that it can be difficult to work out where to put your video content. Each platform has benefits, but videos need to be shared in just the right way to achieve maximum impact. This is our quick guide to how social video can be used on today’s major social media platforms.

Short Format

The short video format social media platforms are great for promos and commercials, teasers driving traffic to websites, or the longer versions of those same videos that tell your story in full.

Twitter

Twitter is a staple social media platform for pretty much everyone these days. Twitter say that video views on Twitter have increased by 150% in the past year. They have also recently announced that video adverts will be promoted to the top of the timeline feed. Instead of simply sharing links to your full-length video on Twitter you can now embed 30-second videos clips which your followers will see in their feed. The video will play with the sound muted by default, so on-screen text or visually engaging content that works without sound is essential here. These video clips can work well as teasers for longer video content too.

Instagram

Instagram allows users to upload 15-second videos (soon to be extended to 30 seconds), which play automatically with sound muted by default. Instagram can be used to share the same kind of teasers as Twitter and Vine with the added bonus that Instagram has extremely high user engagement. Instagram sponsored posts can be targeted to display to relevant users and Digiday claims that these receive almost double the click-through rate of ads on Facebook. Because the content plays without sound, it needs to be visually strong enough to transmit an initial message silently and consequently, on-screen text can also be useful to encourage engagement.

Snapchat

Snapchat users watch over 8 billion videos a day and it gets this number from a relatively low number of users. Snapchat has 100 million daily users, compared to Facebook’s user base of more than a billion. Videos are between 1 and 10 seconds and have a maximum life of 24 hours, or less, if the users chooses to make it so. This adds an urgency to its content that has proved to increase engagement. Its largest user base is within the 13-34- year-olds demographic. Snapchat runs curated channels through its “Discover” feature.

Interesting fact about Snapchat video content is that it displays videos fullscreen without the need to rotate the phone. Precisely because of this, Snapchat claims its users are nine times more likely to watch an entire ad! Obviously, this has an impact on the production of any video content that’s distributed on this channel.

Vine

Twitter owns the video sharing platform Vine, and although user numbers have declined since Twitter and Instagram introduced video, it is still worth considering uploading your videos to as part of your social media strategy. Vine plays 6-second clips which loop automatically and they can be easily integrated with Twitter. Vine videos can be searched by hashtag which can increase engagement.

Long Format

The long format social media platforms either bring new users to your content or help you to engage with current users. There is no limit to the length of a video, although short wins over long and the first 30 seconds are key to convincing viewers that it’s worth their time.

YouTube

A firm favourite. YouTube has over 1 billion users. The number of hours people spend watching videos on YouTube is up 60% year on year and the number of people watching YouTube per day is up 40% year on year. Google owns YouTube and therefore their videos are indexed. It’s actually the world’s second largest search engine (Alexa). Having a YouTube channel and YouTube videos embedded on your site can boost your Google ranking. Paying attention to your video's metadata, titling them sensibly and adding a transcript of the content will help GoogleBots crawl them for content and improve your ranking. The ability for adding links and call-to-actions to the videos is a great tool to improve engagement.

YouTube offers ways of monetising videos through its Partner Programme. If you produce original content and own the full copyright, this could be a great way of generating extra revenue.

Channels can also be used to build a fanbase. People subscribe to these channels to keep tabs on any new content that the publisher produces. This works well for artists, but for brands and individuals too.

Facebook

Facebook has more than 31 million users in the UK alone according to Statista, more than any other social media platform. Engagement rates are higher on Facebook than they are on YouTube since videos autoplay as soon as a user scrolls to that point in their feed. The video will play without sound until sound is activated, so the video needs to make a visual impact within the first few seconds. The added advantage of view counts (Facebook counts a view if 3 seconds of the video have been watched) encourages users to engage further. Facebook also gives the option of adding call-to-action buttons, which you can use to link back to your website. Facebook also allows you to use your native Facebook videos as specifically targeted ads, which is something they do very well as they have a great deal of targeted consumer data.

Pinterest

Pinterest has a much smaller following than Facebook at around 2 million users in the UK. However, it is such a strongly visual site, that with good thumbnail images, sensible descriptions and tagging, you could find your videos are shared widely across Pinterest boards reaching a broad audience. All videos can be linked to your website so that viewers can easily find you again.

Vimeo

Vimeo, like YouTube, is a video sharing platform. It was started by a group of filmmakers to share their work and as such the videos that appear on Vimeo generally place more importance on quality filmmaking than other channels. Vimeo has a wide reach within certain creative groups and brand films certainly have their place here, especially in partnerships with outstanding filmmakers. Depending on your marketing strategy it can be a great platform from which to share your stories. It has definitely worked well for us and it’s our favourite of the social media platforms.

Then there are the live video platforms such as Pericope and Meerkat, and Facebook’s new service, which offer real-time engagement, turning video into a conversation between publisher and viewer, a very exciting form of social video with lots of opportunities.

So, whilst we all know that video is the preferred form of content on the internet, it is worth taking some time to consider exactly how and where you want people to engage with your content and plan the distribution to suit your needs.

Where would you like your story to be told?

Remco MerbisComment