If there’s one thing that YouTube’s insane success and Facebook’s recent, huge embrace of video has told modern marketers, it’s this: video marketing is a passing trend.
I can almost feel the eyerolls. We all know video marketing is here to stay; it’s no longer something marketers are playing with to see if it really generates interest and leads. Video has proven time and again to be the most effective marketing medium, and that’s why video marketing spending is on the rise.
The question isn’t whether to use video in your marketing strategy, it’s how. Marketers are faced with so many distribution channels, and it seems the game is always changing. How can marketers keep up? First, YouTube surpassed the popularity of live television, and now the big, flashy report is that Facebook has 4 billion video views each day and may be stealing YouTube’s throne right out from under the video site.
YouTube vs Facebook…the epic battle of our time?
Marketers have only so much time and so much budget, and a serious need to illustrate ROI. So how do we know which channels are worth our attention?
Is Facebook really going to trample YouTube into the past? Or is YouTube still of value for marketers?
Yes, yes it is. And by “yes”, I mean YES. Check out this nifty infographic created at Syracuse University on some YouTube stats that might surprise you (you can also check out the full version here):
The fact is, YouTube is the second biggest search engine, next to Google. Yet in a recent study, 87% of marketers said they planned on placing video ads on Facebook, compared with 81.5% on YouTube. Don’t make the mistake of valuing one over the other, even with fancy numbers like Facebook’s 4 billion video views: after all, Facebook videos autoplay, so any view that lasts at least 3 seconds is counted as a full view. 4 billion is an impressive number no matter how you look at it, but keep the whole story in mind.
So what goes where, then?
Video marketing needs to work across a number of channels to be extremely effective. Facebook is a truly social platform; videos aren’t easily searchable. Users see videos that appear in their newsfeeds because their network of peers have shared those videos. Users also aren’t necessarily looking to watch a video, because that isn’t the sole purpose of the site. Even if your content may be of interest to people, they may not see it because they scrolled right by. The autoplay feature of Facebook also means that videos play without audio unless a user clicks on it, which is tricky if your message requires sound.
While Facebook’s main purpose isn’t for watching and sharing videos, the site is making a smart move by investing more in the medium. Facebook is a great place to share top-of-funnel video content that is worthy of being shared. Think about keeping video content here fairly short, attention-grabbing enough to prevent scrolling, and if possible, create your content so the message can be relayed and enjoyed even without sound. If you do this well, the site’s network of users essentially act like brand ambassadors, helping to disseminate your content for you.
As you know, other social media sites also offer a video experience, including Vine, Instagram, and Twitter. These sites are perfect for even shorter content, since Vine videos can only be 6 seconds long, while Instagram Twitter videos can be around 15 to 20 seconds. This may sound scary, but short video lengths force marketers to practice the art of brevity; if the content isn’t fundamental to your message, what’s it doing in there? The human attention span is considered to be only 8 seconds long, so you can look at it this way: your short videos are bound to hold most people’s attention til the end!
YouTube deserves its share of lovin’
YouTube, on the other hand, is meant for an audience who wants to watch video. That means the site can offer what other social media sites can’t: long-form content. Longer content is typically meant to engage audiences further along the buyer’s journey, so your YouTube channel can include video assets like webinars and product demos (videos like these would likely not do well on Facebook!). This type of content is perfect for enticing viewers to travel to your website to learn more, and move even further through the sales funnel.
Of course, you can also include shorter content on YouTube as well, especially if your content is in YouTube’s ad format – viewers don’t have much patience to wait through ads on YouTube, and will often skip ads as soon as they are able. This is your opportunity to use the short-form content you’ve created that jumps immediately into your message and entices viewers to keep watching right from the first second.
Keep in mind that YouTube videos also rank on the first page of Google search results, so if you aren’t taking advantage of what YouTube can do for your marketing strategy, you’re going to miss out.
This is all too much work.
No, it isn’t. Take a deep breath and pay attention. It may sound overwhelming to manage so much different content on so many different channels – and what about all the edits you’ll need to make and embed links you’ll need to manage on other sites, all while somehow also getting the analytics you need to prove that it’s all worth it?!
Don’t cry. That’s what a video marketing platform is for; specifically, one like Vidyard that integrates with YouTube. Your YouTube presence can drive viewers to your site, where they’ll engage with you further. Through the platform, you can gain analytics on who’s watching what, for how long, and what that means for your content, and for your bottom line. It’s easy, too. Uploading, editing, distributing, and managing videos is a snap all from one central location.
Now, when the game changes again, you’ll be ready.