Video has become both a big opportunity and challenge in brands’ content marketing efforts. What types of video content work and should marketers publish them on YouTube or Facebook?
First up, no matter whether a brand’s target audience watches videos on their iPad or laptop, the company should aim its content for the lowest common denominator device, which is a three or four inch screen, according to Joel Holland, founder and chief executive (CEO) of stock video company VideoBlocks. Advertisers should also refrain from taking a TV spot and presuming it will just work on mobile – they need to optimize it to make sure it works well on the smaller screen.
“Mobile video is more about attention and engagement. When you design a video for mobile devices, make sure that you can hook the audience within the first three seconds. If something in the first three seconds is captivating, viewers are more likely to scroll down and watch the full clip,” Holland says.
In order to effectively distribute video content, Holland suggests that marketers should take YouTube and Facebook seriously.
“Viewership on Facebook is becoming a real thing. As a company, we have experimented with YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. We found that Twitter is almost useless as a video marketing tool, YouTube is solid and Facebook is the most engaged video platform,” he says.
According to Holland, a 15-to-30-second video is a sweet spot on Facebook, while the optimal length for YouTube is three to five minutes. If a brand wants to experiment with both platforms, it can create a 15-to-30-second Facebook video and then link it to a longer video on YouTube.
Christie Poulos, global head of video at Australia-based content marketing agency King Content, adds that since Facebook videos auto-play without sound, they need to grab users’ attention immediately, as views are only counted after three seconds. Using on-screen graphics and captions can be a great way to keep viewers engaged, especially on mobile without sound.
For YouTube advertisers, they can build their user base over time by encouraging subscriptions to their channel, delivering frequent, formatted content and asking viewers to comment.
YouTube Vs Facebook
At the same time, advertisers should be aware that Facebook and YouTube serve different purposes, Poulos says. The former helps grab attention in the short term, while the latter helps build value over the long run.
“Facebook content is served in the newsfeed, so it’s very difficult to search and find a video once it’s gone. This means that you’ll often see a spike on the first day of release and then your viewership drops off. It’s great for the ‘right now’, but it doesn’t build value over time,” she notes.
YouTube video is very different, Poulos explains. Because of its connection to Google and its claim to fame as the world’s second-largest search engine, much of the content is discovered on active searching.
“People are often looking for a solution to a problem or entertainment to help them fill some time. With this in mind, YouTube’s audience is more engaged and you may have more time for storytelling,” she comments.
In terms of video production, VideoBlocks’ Holland believes that any company, regardless of the budget, can create a great video. Of course, a production company may tell you that you need to spend a fortune. But the reality is today even our cell phones have incredible built-in cameras. You can purchase inexpensive audio tools for your mobile cameras and lighting equipment. But the most important element of your video is the message, something funny, informative or sentimental.
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