In my last post in this series I have gave you a broad stroke view of the video marketing landscape. But I wouldn't suggest basing your strategy on broad trends alone.
Where you focus your strategy should depend predominantly on your audience and your goals. Just because Instagram is showing massive growth, it is not the best channel for a B2B Tech company to share how-to videos for their sophisticated software with their customers who are primarily male, age 35-54.
This blog post is part of “Your Definitive Guide to Lead Generation” blog series.
What really matters: Your Audience and Goals
Determining Your Audience
The most successful strategy will start with a clear understanding of your target customer by developing your buyer personas - fictional, generalized characters that encompass the various needs, goals, and observed behavior patterns among your real and potential customers (Hubspot). If you need help developing your buyer personas this workbook has all you need.
Part of knowing your buyer persona is knowing where to reach them, including the social media channels they frequent. Based on your persona’s demographics, goals, and expectations for interacting with your brand you can get a pretty good idea of where you will find them online.
Determining Your Goals
The next factor to consider when evaluating these video channels is your goals - what are trying to accomplish with your video? Is it customer relationship-building, advertising, brand building, demand generation, data gathering, or customer education? Each channel has its strengths and it’s weaknesses – so it's important to match your goal with a channel that is strong in that respect.
Channel Breakdown: Who & What
Once you know who you are trying to reach, and what you are trying to accomplish, you can make an informed decision as to where you should focus your time, energy and resources. Below is a breakdown to help you find the channel with the who and what that matches your who and what.
Although YouTube is the oldest and most established video channel on the list, lately the conversation has been dominated by debates over “who will upset” the video giant. While growth of the channel has slowed, in terms of viewing hours YouTube dominates with Americans spending an aggregate of 8,061 years on the channel each day. Plus, YouTube is preferred 5:1 over Facebook for viewing digital video. So my advice, don't write it off just yet.
- No clear generational split in preference (sproutsocial)
- GenX (age 45-54): 2nd favorite social platform
- Baby Boomers (age 55+): 2nd favorite social platform
- Milennials (age 25-34): 4th favorite network
- Gain authority: Similar to your blog, use the channel to establish your brand (and it’s people) as a trusted voice in your field. Present research, discuss trends, and share expertise.
- Brand Building: People are on YouTube to watch videos, not to buy. The platform is primarily for entertainment and education, rather than breaking news or exclusive deals, making it ideal for brand building through storytelling.
- Cultivate PR opportunities: A good video press release can have a broad reach and the best chance of being picked up by journalists since everyone embeds YouTube videos (something that cannot be done with a video on the other channels).
- Drive website traffic: YouTube allows you to embed CTA’s which you can use goal to drive viewers back to your website where they can consume more content free from distraction.
- Build Awareness: YouTube is not only the #2 search engine, it’s owned by the #1 search engine, Google. Having a presence on YouTube gives you another opportunity to get found organically online and build awareness for your brand.
- Webinars/Live Broadcast: YouTube Live will stream video from your webcam or desktop, letting you host webinars, broadcast vlogs, and more in real time – and it’s free! Plus your live event is automatically archived to you channel.
- Sharing long-form content: When it comes to longer video or storytelling - YouTube has a monopoly. While videos on Facebook can be up to 45 minutes (Insta and SnapChat only a minute or less) - short videos reign supreme. People are twice as likely to engage with a video that is over 15 minutes on YouTube than on Facebook (tubularinsights).
In Facebook’s Q1 earnings report they stated “we are going to put video at the center of all of our services.” Facebook was already favoring video content on its users’ news feeds and this has led to an increase of native video content among brands in the platform. And for good reason, people spend more than 100 million hours watching video on Facebook every day plus Facebook videos have 4 times the interaction rate and are shared 1000% more than YouTube videos. Facebook is also raging an all out battle to stomp out SnapChat’s (bitter maybe?) previous dominance over ephemerality and creativity.
- Older Milennials (age 25-34): favorite network for 33%
- GenX (age 45-54): account signup up 46%, favorite network of 64.7%
- Baby Boomers (age 55+): favorite network of 65.2%
- Skews toward women with 83% of adult women using the network, compared to 75% of men.
- Income: Skewed slightly toward lower income, those making less than 50k/year
- Advertising and Targeting: Facebook’s advertising tools are unmatched in their ability to target the right audience. Plus, you have options for your Ad objective: generate conversions, drive traffic, get post engagement, increase reach, and of course, get video views. Then you can create custom audiences for subsequent Ads based on the levels of engagement with your videos. Also, the addition of Canvas now allows for more creative Ad formats than other channels.
- Relationship-based engagement: FB Live allows you to interact, in real-time with your audience. It gives you the rare chance to forge a direct relationship with your customers and potential customers.
- Promote personality and authenticity: Whatever your brand’s voice, you have the opportunity to present it directly to viewers with Live Video. This lets your brand feel more human.
- Branded content: Facebook Pages formed the idea of branded content in social media that has been imitated by many others. The platform offers both an organized and flexible way to distribute content.
- Data gathering and analytics: If you want feedback (especially hard numbers) regarding your video marketing efforts or insight regarding your customer’s preferences, Facebook’s reporting and analytics capabilities are unmatched.
- Bite-sized to a few minutes long: Videos under 2 minutes are ideal for this platform. Ideal for teasers of full-length videos posted elsewhere. However, video length is less important than telling a cohesive and concise story, and we may witness this shift with FB now favoring longer videos.
Instagram has been steadily ramping up its video efforts with last years introduction of 60-second videos, a new video ad format, and video channels, along with a bigger emphasis on video in the explore section. These initiatives appeared to be pay off by increasing video viewing 150%. Plus, a survey by Wishbone of users between the ages of 12 and 25 found that:
- 25% of respondents (approximately 32,000) said they would delete Snapchat now that Instagram has a stories feature.
- 43% of respondents (approximately 33,000) said they would delete Snapchat if Instagram started providing Lens and Geofilter like options.
- Younger Millennials (18-24): favorite social media network
- Millennials (18-34): 2nd favorite network
- GenX (35-54): 2nd favorite network
- More women than men (38% of online women, 28% of online men)
- Urban dwellers (likely due to the concentration of youth in these areas)
- Education: at least some college experience
- Income: Under 30k and 70k or over
Check out this article for more about marketing to millennials in the modern age.
- Promote personality and authenticity: The addition of Instagram Live allows you to capture the essence of the moment and lets your brand feel more human. Show customers a different side to your brand like a behind-the-scenes look at your company.
- Targeting and Audience Building: Hashtags allow you to connect with relevant users interested in what you’re discussing and generate conversation with and about your brand.
- Engagement and Interaction: Engagement rates are insanely high on Instagram. It’s a great way to build rapport with your audience. Plus, people can comment on or like your videos publicly allows you to gain momentum as well as generate further conversation.
- Branded Content: The platform offers permanence—unless you decide to delete an image or video, it’s there to stay. This means that users can scroll through your images weeks or even years after it’s been posted.
- Advertising: Instagram Ads are available for businesses through Facebook’s Ads Manager, and come as additional feature of the highly effective Facebook Ads. Objectives can include increasing views, engagement, as well as traffic and conversions on your site.
- Higher quality videos: Due to the availability of filters from the get-go on this platform there is a bit of an expectation for higher quality.
- A minute or less: Not only should the video be short, it needs to have a faster pace to keep viewers watching – instead of just easily scrolling down their feed.
Despite threats from Instagram and Facebook, Snapchat’s 18-34-year-old user base is extremely loyal. According to last year’s Q4 stats, on an average day, 35% of Snapchat’s daily users in the U.S. aren’t reachable on Facebook that same day, 46% can’t be found on Instagram, and about 61% aren’t watching YouTube. Access to these “unreached” users may be reason enough to explore Snapchat as a serious marketing and communication platform.
Another beneficial feature of Snapchat video - when a user opens your snap, it fills their smartphone’s whole screen. When they see your brand, even if briefly, their attention is undivided.
- Teens: 35% claim as their favorite platform
- Younger Millenials (18-29yrs)
- Older Millennials (25-34 year olds): fastest growing demographic
- Education: slightly less likely to have graduated college
- Income: Less than 50k
- Relationship-based engagement: SnapChat’s one-to-one feel is ideal for businesses interested in building an audience that is more relationship-based and engaging.
- Advertising: SnapChat is at an early stage of its advertising growth, but its ROI is still impressive. It has noted that its SnapAds have a 5x higher CTR compared to other platforms. Plus, senior ad buyers are starting to advertise on Snapchatmore than any other social media site – they must see something in the platform.
- Being playful, fun and creative: Businesses that are able to have a more playful online voice will find Snapchat’s editing features to be up their alley. However, their monopoly over this feature is waning with Facebook enhancing its camera app with dozens of filters and effects. Nonetheless, unique, exciting, original and creative snaps are going to get the most attention. The images don’t have to be insanely high-quality, but they do need to be interesting.
- Promote personality and authenticity: Snapchat is inherently casual and poised for displaying the human side of your brand. Find interesting voices within your brand and feature them; show behind-the-scenes sneak peaks; let your hair down with humor; present slice-of-life vignettes.
- Promotions and Urgency: The ephemerality of SnapChat means that your video is gone after 24 hours. This creates a sense of urgency ideal for sending coupons, codes, updates and deals.
- (Very) short videos: Snapchat videos only last 10 seconds, and are designed to be watched in portrait. With stories, you’re not necessarily limited to 10 seconds – just 10 second “scenes.”
Some concluding ADVICE
While one channel may favor better with your audience based on the information in this article, don't be afraid to venture out and experiment. My best advice is to try to repurpose video content you already have to fit other platforms. Have some outtakes from filming a how-to video for YouTube? Post the footage on Instagram. Have a long testimonial video on your website? Pick a particularly poignant segment to publish on Facebook.
But most importantly, if you're not already participating in video marketing, do not wait any longer to get in the game.
If video marketing seems intimidating to you, or maybe you feel like you don't have the budget or resources to devote to it, watch our on-demand webinar, Low Budget In House Video Production.
Originally published May 20, 2017, updated June 27, 2019
Tags: lead generation Inbound Marketing Social Media Marketing Advertising