Why video is something to look out for on social media

video_close_up_mobileRecently, there has been a huge surge in the popularity of online video: YouTube claims that 4,950,000,000 videos are viewed on its site every day.  Marketers cannot ignore those kinds of statistics if they want to stay relevant to their audience.

There are many platforms and formats marketers can use, so we’re here to help you understand the concept of video marketing and help your way on to the (not so big) screen.

Why are videos so popular?

For the user, clips are quicker and easier to interpret than a full-length blog post. In fact, Forbes found that 59% of execs would rather watch a video than read an article. In a busy world where time is a valuable asset, video marketing is definitely the way to go.

They are a direct way to engage with your audience – Facebook reported a 65% hike in engagement by brands who began incorporating clips into their Facebook timelines.

Variations within video

There are many different types of video platform; they all have different features, requirements and metrics so there isn’t really a ‘one size fits all’ solution. Here are a couple of things that vary across platforms:

  • Auto-play – Your film plays automatically, even if your viewer hasn’t clicked on it.
  • Audio-play – The video plays with audio without your viewer actively deciding to watch it.
  • Auto-loop – Your clip loops back to the beginning, automatically, so that it plays over and over again.
  • Time limits – Each platform has a different timespan; Vines are limited to six seconds whilst YouTube is unlimited.
  • Embeddable – It’s ‘embeddable’ if you can share it in a web page outside of the platform.

To find out what each platform can do, take a look at this handy infographic:

Video

How to distribute video content

Making a video requires a considerable amount of time, effort and often money, so you need a solid distribution to make sure it’s seen by as many people as possible.

It must appeal to the audience of your chosen platform, and it should be easy to share across other social media platforms too.

Here’s a quick break down of platforms you can use, their target audience and some tips for content creation.

YouTube

This is the world’s largest video-sharing network; over 6 billion hours of video are watched on YouTube each month. Technically the site is for everyone, but it does usually sway towards younger users (18-34).

It’s free to upload and view videos, but the quality on YouTube tends to be higher than Vine or Instagram, so businesses may need to invest more in video production for this platform.

Despite having the capacity for unlimited video lengths, the most popular YouTube videos are the shortest – usually just under 3 minutes long.

Facebook

This is not a video platform per se, but does share video. In fact, Facebook claims that it has an average of 1 billion video views every day.

If you are planning to distribute your videos on Facebook, you must optimise them for mobile viewing as this platform is mostly used on mobile devices. Facebook videos are set to auto-play, so make sure you include a hook in your first few seconds so users stop scrolling and start watching.

Instagram

This platform belongs to Facebook and has, on average, 200 million monthly active users, though it is primarily used by teens.

The maximum video length is 15 seconds, and can be edited from a series of uploaded videos. Of all the video platforms, Instagram is reported to have the best click through rates.

Instagram is great for businesses with low budgets, trying to reach a younger audience.

Vine

Vine videos are six-second-long looping video clips. Some are sceptical of its power, but many users love this short form of humorous video, and the auto-loop feature means they can watch it repeatedly.

There are a few additional platforms you could include in your video marketing strategy:

  • Periscope – for mobile live-streaming
  • Snapchat – not technically a video platform, but you can tell stories via snaps
  • Vimeo – for artistic and creative films
  • Twitter – uses video cards to distribute clips
  • Tumblr – not a traditional channel, but helpful for accessing niche communities

So there you have it, a very brief introduction to video marketing. So get those cameras out, get on the move and start filming your next blockbuster!

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