If it hasn’t already arrived, video content is the future of brand storytelling. Content marketers are all too familiar with the benefits of video in a successful multichannel marketing strategy, but as brands look to create richer experiences for audiences who crave engaging videos, it’s clear this is the next hurdle they’ll need to clear. Social platforms have picked up on this trend, and in turn they’re delivering new products that provide value to brands looking to capitalize on this medium.
But with so many options to choose from, how do big brands know which social platform is best for them? In this blog post I’ll look at Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Snapchat to help answer this question.
The platform of choice for real-time content and breaking news has made huge strides since its release, giving users new ways to communicate beyond text. Last year, users were able to load GIFs, photos, emojis, and media with the introduction of Twitter Cards. Now, those media capabilities are even more advanced, offering a native premium video product to partners. By using the Promoted Videos feature, brands can shoot, edit, and upload 30-second videos straight to their feed. This new feature expands on Twitter Amplify, which allows brands to measure the reach and effectiveness of their content.
According to Twitter’s 2014 Q3 results, the social platform hosts 284 million active users per month, showing a 23 percent year-over-year increase. They also report timeline views reached 181 billion, and that number is only expected to grow as more tweets incorporate video. However, 80 percent of its user base primarily uses Twitter’s mobile app, so responsiveness is key to capturing this crowd.
As the king of social media, Facebook has a lot working in its favor. The company’s video offering provides clear analytics since the platform tracks video views rather than standard impressions. Facebook is the leader in social content discovery, and with good reason: They have developed their algorithm to serve the most relevant, fresh content to their users. This algorithm favors Facebooks’s native video platform, prioritizing their own media over others posted to Facebook.
It’s also clear Facebook’s audience loves video. According to the Pew Research Center, 70 percent of Facebook users engage on the platform each day (45 percent engage multiple times a day). Last year Facebook reported their users viewed over 1 billion videos each day, with worldwide users posting 75 percent more videos to the platform than they did a year ago.
Facebook boasts the largest user base at 1.4 billion, as well as the most expansive audience demographic range. Although brands stand to benefit from advertising to such a wide range of users, understanding how to target your content to the right audience remains imperative.
There’s currently talk of Facebook challenging YouTube’s throne as the number one video-sharing platform. However, viewership stats remain strong for YouTube. Overall, more than 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute by its user base of over 1 billion. Platform engagement still boasts impressive stats, with the number of people watching videos on YouTube growing by 50 percent year over year. Brands that create their own native channel can use it as a home base for fans to consume their content. Brands have the ability to upload, embed, and share their videos while also enjoying free, high-quality hosting.
Before committing to hosting content on YouTube, brands should consider that while this platform drives a lot of views, it does little in terms of content discoverability and generating greater brand awareness.
In no time at all Snapchat has distinguished itself as more than just the self-destructing video app: It’s also a great destination for brands to connect with their audience. Snapchat has over 100 million active users, making it the third most popular social media site for Millennials, according to comScore. Snapchat’s refreshing approach to delivering content has challenged marketers to not just pitch their product, but to also earn attention with content that actually interests viewers.
Brands are getting clever with this approach, too. ATT recently announced SnapperHero, a Snapchat-exclusive video series featuring YouTube stars. Since Snapchat’s offering is still new, only time will tell how successful brands will be at delivering their stories in a “disappearing” format.
What’s the Best Platform?
So, what’s the best social platform for hosting your video content? Truth be told, there isn’t one best platform—there’s just the best platform for your audience. It’s easier to look at high viewership statistics and immediately want a piece of the pie. But to determine what’s best for your brand, you have to clearly identity who your audience is and what their social platform of choice is. Once you’ve done that, your decision should be easy. If you need help with audience development, you can get some great tips here.
If you have anything to add about social video content I’d love to hear it! Please leave your comment below to keep the conversation going.
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