Never before have we had so many places to distribute our video content. The number of online video channels is testament enough that online video is here for the long haul and will continue to grow in popularity.
Only a few years ago, many of the largest companies were taking a throw-it-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks approach when it came to their online video channels.
It seemed like new online video channels and apps were being released daily. With all of the newness, a lot of brands had no choice but to experiment and figure out along the way how these video destinations could help achieve their marketing goals.
Today’s online video landscape has matured and some ideas have taken root. Lately, we have had a lot of 2018 strategy conversations with the online video brands we work with and wanted to share some of the tips we’re discussing on the regular.
One main takeaway that repeatedly came up is that most brands need to take a “less is more” approach. Publishers don’t have to upload to and use every channel out there. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
Oftentimes, we’ve discovered that there is a ton of wasted effort, budget, and resources in online video strategies. Simply put, certain channels just may not make sense for your brand. With that mind, we’ve highlighted some of the larger online video destinations below and offer guidance on how to know if they’re right for your brand.
YouTube: The largest online video library is the place where many publishers still struggle. The best thing to remember: YouTube is a social media channel and you have to treat it like one. That involves staying active, being consistent, and speaking the language of the platform. The language of YouTube is video, specifically entertainment, education, and how-to themed videos.
This is the type of content that works best on YouTube. Posting long-form corporate videos, which are aimed at a wide audience, is not going to cut it here. Instead, publishers should dial in on a specific audience and try to create video content tailored for them.
Consistency is also key. When you get to that sweet spot of finding your audience on YouTube, you’ll need a proper video posting schedule that keeps viewers engaged and coming back. Rather than uploading several videos at one time, think about how you can distribute the content over a weekly or monthly basis. Yes, you need to be posting videos to YouTube more than once every few months.
Finally, brands need to take advantage of all that YouTube has to offer. For starters, its analytics are amazing and can tell you quite a bit of valuable information. For example, where people are dropping off in your videos. Engagement is key to how your videos rank in YouTube search.
Many brands assume that uploading a video to YouTube solely for the purposes of search engine optimization (SEO) is enough. YouTube’s algorithm has consistently been refined as it’s grown, so simply posting a video with no strategy behind your efforts isn’t going to get you SEO results.
If your video is not performing well, then your video is not going to be ranked high on YouTube. That’s why it’s crucial to constantly review those metrics and make adjustments as needed.
There are also a lot of handy player tools such as cards and annotations that can keep a viewer engaged with your channel.
The longer viewers spend watching your content on YouTube, the better it is for your search rankings.
If all of this sounds daunting and unrealistic for your workload or budget, then you’ll need to consider whether or not YouTube is one of the right online video channels for your brand.
Facebook: It’s one of the fastest emerging online video channels and the largest social media network. Facebook’s put a lot into its video offering over the years and its library is growing quickly.
Again, this doesn’t mean Facebook is the right place for your videos. Here’s what to consider.
Are you already using Facebook for your business? If so, then how have those efforts resulted? If you’ve found an engaged audience interacting with your photos, posts, and other content on Facebook, then this might be a good time to start experimenting with Facebook video.
One common mistake that many brands make is using Facebook as a place to embed their YouTube content or videos from other platforms. To reiterate, each of the social media channels has its own language, so what works on YouTube is not necessarily going to work on Facebook.
Additionally, there are a ton of technical differences when it comes to how your video is shown and played on Facebook.
For example, Facebook’s newsfeed layout is more accommodating to a vertical style video instead of a wide-screen video. When a user scrolls through their feed, a vertical video is going to take up more real estate and can lead to someone watching more of your video.
Finally, Facebook has an amazingly powerful ad network. If you can’t afford to boost your video through Facebook ads, then you may not get your video content in front of the right audience. It’s definitely something to consider when using Facebook as a video channel.
Instagram: There are a few simple rules to follow when using Instagram video. Number one, does your brand offer something that’s highly visual? Instagram is all about pretty photos, so if your brand doesn’t have something that can wow people visually, then it’s time to move on and find a different channel.
When it comes to Instagram video, the same rules apply. A talking head video is not going to work unless you have a celebrity or something of complete shock value to share.
Additionally, the user controls the sound, so publishers should assume that there won’t be audio when people view the video. If you get bored of watching your video without the audio, then Instagram is not the best place to host that video.
One approach we take is using Instagram for teaser content. Think about a movie trailer. It’s short, but captivates with quick visuals and storylines. Check out our recent article for more tips on creating Instagram video content.
LinkedIn: Think about the 467 million users on LinkedIn. Now, think about what most of those users are there for. LinkedIn is the business choice when it comes social media.
It’s more professional and buttoned-up than YouTube or Facebook. Oftentimes, users go to LinkedIn to get expert information about their industry. With that in mind, video brands need to consider posting their corporate-style content to this channel.
A great place for an “about us” video is on the company profile page. Companies using LinkedIn often ignore this.
Additionally, LinkedIn is a powerful recruitment tool for many companies, so story and testimonial videos about your culture, employees, and mission are great video themes for LinkedIn.
If you don’t create this type of professional video, then skip LinkedIn to avoid diluting your brand.
Think about these factors as you plan for 2018. In the ever-growing world of online video, it’s important to determine what online video channels work best for your overall marketing goals. Maybe it’s time to drop a channel and put more focus into one that’s working.