You’ve probably heard this before: video marketing is a crucial part of any social media strategy nowadays. Whether it’s short-form, long-form, B2C or B2B, most modern businesses are incorporating video into their strategies… and you probably should, too.
But it’s easier said than done. Carving out a content strategy is one thing, but determining which platforms you should be on in the first place is a challenge of its own. Avoid the temptation of spreading yourself too thin, and use this guide to determine which video marketing platform is right for you!
YouTube is not only the biggest streaming video site; it’s also the second biggest search engine on the web. Publishing content to YouTube has many benefits, including increased search visibility, accessing a huge pool of engaged viewers, and upselling your products and services via the description box and shoppable link…but if you want all that, you’ve got to put in the work.
Unlike some of the other platforms on this list, YouTube viewers expect content to be polished, well-done, and carefully curated. Quick iPhone videos just won’t cut it if you want to make a dent in the algorithm, so if you don’t have a time and resource investment to make, you might want to keep reading.
Instagram has a plethora of video opportunities, and with the recent addition of IGTV, Instagram is a great starting point for many brands looking to get their feet wet with social video. Since 1 billion users login to Instagram each month, you’ve got a great chance at finding your target audience on this platform.
If you’re camera shy, start with Instagram Stories. They’re quick, unpolished, and disappear after 24 hours. If you’ve got a product to plug, throw it on your feed! You can target your potential customers through hashtags and organic social engagement, or try throwing a few bucks behind it to reach even more people in your niche. And while IGTV is new, we can see it working for a number of brands… if they do it right. Avoid repurposing existing video content into IGTV’s unique vertical format: only invest time into IGTV if you’re able to create vertical-first content that was made specifically for that format.
Facebook has certainly made an investment in video over the past few years, and we’re curious to see where Facebook Watch takes the platform. But for those of you just getting started with video, you’ll likely be starting right on your Facebook page’s feed.
Facebook’s audience tends to skew slightly older than Instagram, but has all of the great advertising capabilities (and more!) If you’ve got a message you really want to spread, trying a boosted video to your target audience certainly wouldn’t hurt. Another thing that Facebook is great for? Bite-sized, shareable content. Buzzfeed’s Tasty became a near household name after introducing addictive, consumable, shareable videos to their Facebook strategy, and they’re not the only ones. Crafts, news, and beauty brands around the world have successfully adopted similar strategies, too.
If your brand is personal, you might want to listen up! While YouTube and Instagram are great platforms for personal branding, they can at times seem a bit casual. They also cater to a younger demographic, which depending on your offering, could not be the best fit for your brand.
LinkedIn recently introduced video for profiles, in a similar style to Facebook newsfeed videos. Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn’s focus is on professionalism and personal branding. Keep in mind: LinkedIn’s audience is much smaller than some of the other networks on your list, but LinkedIn users also tend to be more educated, a bit older, and have more disposable income to spend. So, if you’re looking to sell and are a master networker, you might just have a play here.
Snapchat has had an interesting year, but it’s not gone yet! Despite some bumps in the road, people still love it — young people that is. A 2017 report stated that 85% of its users are between the ages 18-34. If what you’re selling makes sense for those generations, consider building authentic relationships there.
And let’s face it; Snapchat is fun. Filters, swipe up linking, and creative custom filters for events make it a truly unique platform for publishers. With social video feeling, at times, more like television, Snapchat is great at providing levity and bringing your brand back down to earth.
Remember: go where your target audience is and keep your business goals top of mind. And regardless of which platforms you’re on, you have to make sure that the content is good before pressing publish.