Video is fast becoming the single most important strategy in content marketing, and as it is a naturally more engaging medium, it is no wonder. Online video is quickly becoming one of the key means for people to satisfy their information and entertainment needs, and it is increasing rapidly. Video is now being hailed as the future of content marketing; with more executives using video than ever before. In fact, 64% of marketers expect a video to dominate their strategies in the future.
Video can provide a huge potential reach, allowing your content to be seen by a massive audience. On top of this, in an age of information overload, video can provide a platform for content that is easy to digest and it allows you to be creative and think outside the box a little bit.
Various Platforms for Video
When you think of a video, you may automatically turn to YouTube to either upload or find what you were looking for. Since its invention in 2005, it has exploded and continued to expand and now has over 300 hours’ worth of video uploaded per minute. It is still an incredibly valuable platform for business and enables you to grow your brand and reach new audiences.
However, there is now a whole host of other platforms that are great for video distribution, and you probably already know them as they come in the form of social media platforms. When it comes to building your brand or just putting content out there, social media is now one of the most effective methods. On Facebook alone, there are 20,000 people online every second, with the average American spending around 40 minutes a day on the site.
Social media networks are great for any size of a business and are free, with options for paid advertising should you wish to boost your posts. However, knowing which platforms will work for your business and which won’t is the key to success and you need to have a solid social strategy in place in order to thrive against your competition. Nurturing a few networks instead of spreading yourself too thin over all the available social platforms may be the best way to go.
YouTube is undeniably huge but it can still be valuable for business and can grow your brand. There is a lot of competition amongst videos when it comes to YouTube, which can make it difficult to be noticed. It has stretched its reach to 70 countries, with 80% of YouTube’s views coming from outside of the US. You can now navigate YouTube in a total of 76 different languages, which covers 95% of the Internet population.
With over a billion users, YouTube is the king of online video and dominates mobile too; on mobile, the average viewing session is now more than 40 minutes. In the US, it reaches more 18-34 year olds than any cable network. With so many impressive feats behind it, it is no wonder YouTube is full of new content on a daily basis.
Facebook is a growing video platform that is ideal for creating shareable and personal video content. Facebook’s Newsfeed algorithm is placing an enormous weight on videos which can translate into organic reach; in order to take advantage of this, you should be posting videos directly to Facebook, not sharing links from YouTube.
On top of this, you can now put money behind your videos and create sponsored posts. This means you can target a specific audience and reach the right people directly through Facebook advertisement tools.
Twitter is great for engagement. The new functionality of tweets allows users to embed videos into the 140-character message. Videos are easy to share, highly visual and effective and can directly reach your followers in the timeline. Messages come across a lot clearer in a video than in a 140-character tweet and is 15 seconds of someone’s time to pitch your brand.
Businesses have always been a part of Instagram, using it as a way to showcase their products or services as part of their social media strategy. Creating and furthering their brand via the platform, Instagram is a way to express your business visually. You can guarantee that your customers are on Instagram, so why aren’t you? As of September 2015, Instagram had 400 million users and since its launch in 2010, it has continued to grow as a credible social platform.
The rise of Snapchat since its release in 2011 has been monumental. It now has over 100 million daily active users and is one of the only platforms that allows you to draw over the picture and be creative. Snapchat creates a sense of urgency to see something before it disappears, as most pictures or videos vanish after 24 hours.
Snapchat also added its ‘Discover’ feature which feeds in content in video form from news outlets such as Sky News, Sky Sports and Daily Mail.
A relatively new platform to view live videos, Periscope is a way to share videos in real time, which creates various branding opportunities for companies. You can use Periscope for a number of different purposes whether you want to stream a product demo or share breaking news that is happening in your industry. It has around 2 million daily active users, but only 15% of the top brands on Twitter use the video streaming service regularly. Are business leaders missing a trick here?
Becoming familiar and educating yourself with the various ways in which you can use video on social media could massively help your marketing strategy and attract a new demographic of tech-savvy consumers. You can expand your audience, track your engagement and even increase traffic to your website as well as improve your search rankings. Video is quickly becoming the main way in which people view content, as the demand for current and relevant content increases constantly. It’s time for you to consider if this is something your business should be tapping into.
Alex Chau is Head of Marketing at Creative Spark, he has been working in the UK marketing industry for over a decade, his strengths lie in driving brand engagement.