Video strategy: each social network has its own rules
When a marketer decides to create a complex digital video strategy or even a simple web video campaign, he often focuses more on creating a distinctive content than an effective distribution strategy. Most people think, quite erroneously, that posting the same video (with the same duration, the same cut, the same graphics) on their website and on all their social networks would be enough to reach consumers efficiently and create engagement. Nothing could be more false, because the user behavior and the way he expects to interact with the video is very different on every social media. Not to mention that each channel has its own limitations and precise technological characteristics.
Before approaching the actual production of content, it is important to think where and how this content will be distributed on the web and, once established the strategy, evaluate the characteristics of each social environment.
Facebook has focused heavily on videos over the past two years.
The king of social network platforms is perfect for short, informative and entertaining videos. Given that the newsfeed of many users makes videos start in silent mode, it is essential to put eye-catching graphics and texts in the first few seconds, in order to stimulate the engagement. Facebook does not have video duration limits although it is better to make it short and to not exceed three minutes. For best results, it is recommended to upload videos natively to Facebook rather than using a link to an external site (like Youtube).
Since a few some months, you can use to your advantage the live streaming tool.
This feature is great for covering any conference, event or backstage with no need for professional equipment. In this case, the content is much more important than the form.
Instagram is the king of visual social networks. As in the case of Facebook (from whom it was purchased a few years ago), all the videos start by default in autoplay and with no sound. That is why it is important to have a strong visual impact, in order to stand out among other images and videos posted by other users.
The duration limit has been gradually increased, specifically because of the great success of videos in terms of engagement: from 15 seconds, it has now progressed to 60 seconds.
You can also use secondary applications like Hyperlapse and Boomerang to create great short videos.
Instagram is more suitable to be used to post teasers rather than longer videos (posted either on other social networks or on its own website).
On Instagram, hashtags have a very important role, so it is good to choose them carefully. Finally, with the recent introduction of "Stories", Instagram allows to create small videos, made of videos and photos, that are kept for 24 hours. The latter function has been introduced to respond to the hegemony of Snapchat (which was already using this tool) on the younger target.
YouTube was the top platform for videos for a long time, until Facebook has not seriously begun to threaten its leadership and, probably, to overcome it.
While watching a video on Facebook or Instagram is in many cases accidental, YouTube is the place where people go to watch a video on purpose. Therefore, the viewer's attention is, on average, higher.
YouTube is a great place to create a "repository" of different kinds of contents, such as tutorials or videos to answer frequently asked questions about a product or on popular topics in a given market. You can also consider the creation of regularly scheduled content, such as a weekly video blog that will encourage viewers to subscribe to the channel and receive regular updates.
The YouTube structure is constructed to facilitate storage of a lot of videos in the longer format, and split them into easily understandable subsections (called playlist) within a channel.
YouTube is no longer the place where the videos are uploaded and almost magically become viral: if your goal is to reach a high number of views in a few hours, now it is better to focus on other social networks.
With over 100 million active users per month, Snapchat is what we all are watching.
Unfortunately, at the moment, it is not so easy to use for marketers, although it remains the preferred platform of American millennials and even in Italy is marking a significant growth.
The main features of Snapchat is that the video contents must be turned vertically (as do Stories on Instagram), must be posted at the very moment they are happening (and therefore can not be post-produced, except for some filters and basic graphic effects) and that they disappear after 10 seconds - unless they are part of a story; in that case they will disappear in 24 hours.
Given its characteristics, it is not necessary to be concerned about producing well-filmed videos but fresh videos. Snapchat is the social network of the immediate reactions and '' here and now."
Recently, Twitter is changing its algorithm to allow texts, photos and videos without limits or much more elastic boundaries than before. This will change the way marketers will use Twitter to distribute video on the web. We look forward to seeing the first results.