Social media can often feel like an impenetrable world for marketers to break into. Peer to peer endorsement is what drives social media popularity and with audiences increasingly cynical about online advertising it can be hard for brands to get noticed. Video is one medium that has the potential to really break through these barriers and help brands build genuinely engaging content and genuine follower bases as a result.
The variety of social platforms now hosting or based on video content is pretty overwhelming. Understanding what each platform offers, how best to utilise its features and the kind of content likely to gain traction with its userbase will help enormously when it comes to planning and implementing your online video strategy.
In this article I want to look at five online video platforms. Because I’ve already covered YouTube in depth in a previous blog article I’ve left it out.
What is it?
Periscope is all about live video streaming and is built around the notion of being able to see the world through somebody else’s eyes in real time. The platform was purchased by Twitter in 2015 and allows users to experience things they have never encountered before, or see something familiar but from someone else’s perspective.
Live broadcasts can be filmed through smartphones or tablets and watched either through the app itself or via Twitter. Periscope will then save each broadcast for a 24-hour period before it is erased. Viewers of the live stream (known as ‘scopers’) can send out ‘hearts’ which are like Facebook likes, although there is no limit to how many hearts users can send. Viewers can also send out Tweets during the live stream, tying Persicope intrinsically to Twitter.
Periscope offers opportunities to engage with viewers on a personal level. You can share the link to your broadcasts widely across platforms, or maintain an atmosphere of exclusivity by choosing to broadcast only to your newsletter subscribers for example, which may encourage more individuals to sign up.
Communicating with and nurturing a loyal community is essential. Viewers of your live streams may have questions you could answer, or they may want to find out more about your core values. Doing this during a live stream can project a very authentic and approachable image. As well as giving your customers a chance to learn more about you, it also affords you the opportunity to understand more about them as well. You may identify patterns with the type of information they are seeking answers to, which can lead to the discovery of important keywords you can implement in future marketing strategies.
What is it?
Although not technically a video app in itself, Facebook is too huge a video platform to leave out of this list. Video content on Facebook acts in much the same way as any other content users post and is displayed in follower’s feeds based on Facebook’s algorithm. The appeal of Facebook videos was also greatly improved when the autoplay feature was introduced, meaning that viewers will see videos play in mute as they scroll through their feed.
Facebook videos currently receive over 4 billion views each day and, with Facebook’s 1.59 billion active users, there is the potential for any single video to reach a huge audience.
As a social media platform, Facebook tends to work best with bite-sized videos, with users scrolling their feeds quickly, multiple times per day. As such, it’s best to avoid uploading long form content. Anything from 20 seconds to 2 minutes is ideal.
There has been the option to embed outside video content on Facebook for a while, however videos uploaded to the platform directly appear to organically reach an increased number of individuals. As with other content, Facebook allows you to boost video content via its paid-for advertising service and you will be able to identify specific demographics you would like to reach to increase engagement and views.
Facebook’s default settings mean that videos are set to autoplay, so making a visual impact from the offset is important if you want to catch people’s eye as they scroll their feeds. Remember the autoplay function is muted so you need to entice clicks on your video to get your message across in glorious stereo sound.
There is also the opportunity to embed your Facebook videos elsewhere, which will include any comments that have been left below your content. Seeing this outside of the platform may encourage new customers to like your page, therefore widening your relationship with your audience.
What is it?
Instagram is owned by Facebook and has grown rapidly over the last 6 years to become the largest video and image based social media platform on the planet with over 500 million active users each month uploading 55 million images each day.
Unlike its parent company, Facebook, Instagram is a platform geared entirely towards imagery and video footage. There is the opportunity to include words and hashtags below each image, however. This makes it perfect for exploring creativity and telling stories in a visual way.
With an average engagement rate of 4.21% for each user, which is much higher than both Twitter and Facebook, Instagram is a powerful way of getting your video out there.
There are multiple ways in which to increase customer engagement, from displaying behind the scenes images, to efficiently communicating news and promotions. Sharing images your customers have taken can also do a lot for increasing loyalty and engagement as it demonstrates that you aren’t just a faceless business and are eager to communicate.
There are a number of paid marketing options available, with businesses able to promote photographs, video or carousel content in order to generate clicks to a website or increase engagement, reach, brand awareness or views.
There is the option to easily cross-promote content by sharing directly to other social networks. As with all multi channel marketing strategies, it’s important to ensure that each platform you use has unique content tailored for that platform, which encourages customers to engage with your content in different ways. This can lead to an enhanced understanding of your audience and what they want to see from you.
What is it?
One of the newest social media platforms, Tuurnt is offering a unique way to socialise and interact. Rather than only allowing users to like, share or comment on a piece of content, Tuurnt gives users 24 hours in which to respond to a post or add their own video or photo. This has the effect of turning a single video or photo into a back and forth conversation of videos and images. After the 24 hour period is up the Tuurnt sequence ends and only the final product can be viewed.
Tuurnt attracted over 10,000 users in its first month alone. Because each video you post on Tuurnt is the prelude to a 24 hour conversation from other users, featuring their own videos and images, Tuurnt has huge potential for establishing really powerful and vivid interactions between brand and potential customers.
Because each image or video isn’t isolated, the emphasis is on video as conversation starter and so as a marketing research tool, Tuurnt is brilliant. Observing the kind of comments, images and videos people post in response to your video content will allow you to understand more about what your audience likes, their sense of humour and how they react to certain content. In this sense it’s a kind of semantic experience, with your video encouraging similar or related content. When it comes to directing your wider video marketing policy, Tuurnt has the potential to reveal some interesting trends and behaviours.
The explore feature displays a variety of the most popular Tuurnts and will allow users to discover new people they would like to interact with, so it’s perfectly geared towards brands looking to build up a presence on the platform.
What is it?
Vine takes short-form video content to the extreme. Users share video clips that are just 6 seconds long and, with over 200 million active users, its popularity is clear.
Video is recorded through the app, which records only when the screen is touched. This allows every Vine user to create uniquely edited content and employ crude video trickery to make for some highly original content. Some skilled Vine content creators (who have a lot of time on their hands) have used this functionality to create animated stop motion Vines.
Because of its pithy nature, Vine is used to communicate news and information in a way that is to the point and visually uncompromising. Because the short form content like this doesn’t allow for exposition or explanation, Vines tend to work well when complimenting or commentating on a wider video marketing strategy. So a big advertising campaign may produce several spin off Vines, featuring certain recognisable characters or themes.
A 6 second long video clip may sound restrictive but the potential for experimentation is huge, especially when you factor in the stop / start nature of Vine’s recording functionality. In this sense Vine can be seen as a visual version of Twitter, with short bite sized bursts of information or commentary.
The trick is to make an impact quickly and encourage users to discover and engage with your video content across other social platforms in order to collectively communicate a single narrative or message. As such Vine can be a powerful tool in non-linear content marketing campaigns.