With 80% of all consumer internet traffic expected to be taken over by video by 2019, every business should be making video a huge part of their digital marketing strategy in 2018.
If you want your video content to reach its full potential in terms of views, engagement, and lead generation, you need to make sure you’re following social media video trends.
76% of social media users would share a branded video with friends if they found it entertaining. However, creating engaging content is only the first hurdle, you need to ensure that you optimize your video for each social platform you use.
Optimizing for each social platform ensures that it has the best possible chances of being seen and shared by your target audience.
To understand how to best use video editors and optimize your video for social, you must first understand how each social media platform has optimized its functionality for video content. Let’s take a look at how each social platform is adapting to video this year.
Native video has been huge on Facebook for years, but it’s live video which is really grabbing attention on this platform. Users watch live video on Facebook for up to 3 times longer than regular videos, and live videos tend to get 10 times more comments, too.
Live video is perfect for introducing new products or giving consumers behind the scenes insights, particularly if you have an exciting event going on. Just be sure to notify your audience in advance to build excitement around your broadcast and get good levels of engagement.
- Make sure your video is square, since this fills the mobile screen most effectively and appears to encourage higher levels of engagement.
- Keep videos under 1 minute at first, since this length tends to provide highest engagement levels. However, it’s worth experimenting with longer videos to find the optimum length for your particular audience.
- Don’t waste the precious opening seconds of a video by throwing on a branded card, as this is when you need to hook users. Instead, add your logo at the end or feature it in the corner of your video.
Bonus tip: Using video for your Facebook cover is also starting to gain traction. For those interested in learning more, here’s a quick guide on how to create Facebook cover videos.
Although Twitter appears to be losing users, it still offers reasonably impressive rates of engagement when it comes to video content. Users who view Twitter videos are 50% more likely to become aware of the brand, and they favor brands up to 14% more once they view a brand’s video. Purchase intent increases by an average of 34%, too.
It’s worth noting that 93% of Twitter video views take place on mobile, so it’s important that your video is optimized for mobile viewing. Incorporate captions so that users can watch video on mute, and ensure any in-video text is large enough for small screens.
- Include captions and use visual cues where possible because Twitter videos are automatically muted when played.
- Keep videos under 45 seconds, Twitter users are used to short and sweet updates, and this applies to video as well as text posts.
- Think trending with each video you put out. Tap into popular hashtags, get involved in breaking news, and focus on adding valuable, informative content and insights to get the best rates of engagement.
It’s been a couple of years since Instagram increased their video length from 15 seconds to 60 seconds, which offered brands the opportunity to become even more creative with their Insta videos and engage with their audience.
However, right now, it is Instagram Live and Instagram stories which are grabbing the attention of consumers.
Over 250 million users watch Insta stories every single day. Stories are only available for 24 hours and create a sense of urgency, which is brilliant for showcasing special offers and deals. Plus, they’re only available to followers, which allows brands to encourage users to follow them so they can get access to exclusive video content.
- Open the video with an eye-catching, beautiful image, because your video will be competing with an entire newsfeed jam-packed with exactly that.
- Keep videos around 30 seconds, since this seems to be optimum for increasing engagement in the form of comments. Remember that Instagram is a visual platform that encourages more rapid scrolling than text-heavy social platforms, so you need to be prepared for users to move away from your content quickly.
- Make the most out of hashtags, using as many relevant ones as possible to maximize visibility of the post. Just be sure to include them after your main sales message to ensure your calls to action are seen.
LinkedIn introduced the native video in August 2017. While adoption is relatively low at 38%, 76% of those who do use it report it to be a successful tactic. You can either record video directly in the LinkedIn mobile app, or upload pre-recorded content. This type of video is perfect for sharing product demos, how-tos or snippets of exciting events.
For B2B organizations whose target audience is perhaps less receptive to the likes of Facebook and Instagram, it can be tricky to make the most of video marketing. However, the rise of video on LinkedIn could mark an exciting change in B2B social media marketing strategies.
- Ensure video is highly professional by sending professionally edited videos to your phone ready for upload, unless, of course, you’re sharing content from a live event, in which case informal video shot on your phone can work.
- Keep videos between 1 and 3 minutes long, and only experiment with longer videos if your audience seems to be interested in more in-depth content.
- Make the most of the video description (up to 700 characters) by including a call-to-action and links where relevant.
360 video seems like it could be on the up for YouTube in 2018. Although it was first introduced in 2015, 360 video technology is gradually becoming more accessible and an increasing number of brands are experimenting with it. Google conducted a study to assess the success of 360 video ads compared to regular video ads.
Although 360 ads underperformed the standard ads in terms of views, it did encourage higher engagement rates and drove higher rates of sharing, subscribing, and viewing of other videos.
If you have the video marketing budget available to play with 360 video in 2018, you might be able to make your brand stand out from the crowd far before 360 becomes mainstream.
- Research video keywords and focus each video on one or two keywords, making sure to feature them in the video title, description, metadata, and tags. That way you ensure that your videos can be found both on YouTube itself and in Google searches.
- Keep videos around 2 minutes long. While YouTube users are used to longer content with more in-depth advice, their attention spans are still relatively short, especially when confronted with standard promotional videos.
- Include links back to your website within your video description, as well as links to other relevant videos on your channel to increase your chances of retaining viewers.
There was a time when Snapchat was all about static images, but it’s leaning further and further towards video. It’s a brilliant platform for brands which can adopt an informal, fun tone for their content marketing, even though recent changes to its layout are making it more difficult for brands to have their content seen.
If you want your Snapchat videos to be seen by as many users as possible, you might have to start coughing up some $$ for promoted stories, which will allow your posts to show up between organic posts. Alternatively, you can put time into following users back to ensure that they see your content – a process which may be lengthy for brands which have a hefty following.
- Keep video vertical, since this is how most users look at their phones and how the vast majority of Snapchat content is filmed.
- Each video Snap is limited to just 10 seconds, but last year Snapchat introduced Multi-Snap which allows you to record multiple clips and share them within a single story. Still, try to keep an entire story less than 1 or 2 minutes long.
- Be personal! Snapchat is perhaps the most informal social platform available. Talk directly to the camera, respond to Snaps from your followers when possible, and focus on harnessing a fun, friendly tone.
An important part of social media video marketing success is ensuring that your videos are optimized for each individual platform. A solid tactic on YouTube could fall flat on Facebook and leave you with pitiful engagement rates and wasted opportunities.
If you’re going to go through all the effort and expense of creating video content, it’s totally worth going the extra mile to adapt it to each platform’s native video requirements and best practices.
Josh is Creative Producer at PureMotion, an innovative video production company based in the UK. Always keen to drill down into the detail of what he’s faced with, Josh is happiest when turning clients’ visions into eye-catching, great-looking videos.