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Now Playing: Your Brand’s Content (How To Put Your Best Face Forward)

According to Hubspot’s report on 2018 video trends, “72% of people would rather use video to learn about a product or service.” The report further underscores video’s explosive growth by noting that 81% of businesses are using video as a marketing tool, compared to just 63% in 2017.

Producing video for businesses is neither quick nor simple. Quality of content, video editing and production, and ensuring engaging context can be full-time work. Most importantly, it’s imperative to understand the platforms and audience for which your video is intended. With social media driving a lot of visibility for new customers, building strategy around social marketing and customer engagement is key — especially strategy that cuts through the noise and speaks to your audience.

There are many platforms to publish on, each with its own audience and idiosyncrasies. Here are some of the most popular video platforms and the types of content that work well on each:

YouTube: One of the premier video platforms, YouTube is great for longform video. Videos are best received when filmed horizontally. The platform serves as its own search engine, and with strategic use of keywords, your content can be discovered through the behemoth search engine Google, YouTube’s parent company (definitely a favorable thing). YouTube is perfect for brand videos, product demonstrations, or behind-the-scenes looks at your business.

Snapchat: Snapchat allows for the quick sharing of fun, light-hearted content, as users of the app users tend to be younger — think teens to young adults. A selection of fun augmented-reality face filters help with creating witty, engaging content. One of the platform’s benefits is the ability to submit branded filters that are geographically tagged to allow users in a specified area the ability to embellish their videos with your branding. Talk about promoting with minimal effort!

Facebook: Despite competition, Facebook continues to be one of the most widely used social media platforms. And no wonder — you can promote your videos via feed posting, Facebook Stories, and live streaming.

Facebook Posts
Video can be natively uploaded as a regular feed post. As your followers scroll their feed, they can easily access your video content with this option. Consider utilizing subtitles, as users are likely to watch without sound.

Facebook Stories
These videos appear at the top of a user’s feed. This method of sharing video is not widely popular on the platform, but is experiencing steady growth. Shared video here is limited to 20-second clips. Videos can be embellished with GIFs, text, and geotags. Keep in mind that videos shared here disappear after 24 hours.

Facebook Live Streaming
This option is great for real-time Q&A sessions or sharing behind-the-scenes content. Live streams can be downloaded upon completion and appear on your feed for people to watch after the session has ended.

Instagram: Instagram is one of the most popular spots for mobile video. Like Facebook, video content is shared on the platform through feed posts, Stories, and live streaming; Instagram also offers the ability to share longer video through the IGTV feature. Where you decide to publish will dictate how you edit your video for things like length, dimensions/orientation, and production quality.

Instagram Posts
Mirroring the functionality of Facebook, video uploaded as a post is available via a quick scroll of a user’s timeline. The big difference here is that your in-stream video uploads here are limited to 60 seconds. The viewer doesn’t have to venture from their timeline to view your content.

Instagram Stories
Stories on Instagram are more robust than on Facebook, and also last for 24 hours. To increase audience engagement and gain insight into their interests, you can embellish your videos with such engaging overlays as an ask-a-question box, music, polls, and text. Vertical clips display best, and are limited to 15 seconds. The feature also allows you the ability to cross-promote stories to your Facebook page with a simple tap.

Instagram Live Streaming
Instagram also offers you the option to interact with users in real time. Live videos on the platform disappear after 24 hours. Just like with any content you post to your Stories (video or other), you can opt to keep live videos visible on your profile by including them in your Story Highlights.

Instagram TV (or IGTV)
IGTV, an extension of Instagram Stories, allows for the posting of longer videos (showing a preference for vertically shot clips). Videos can be linked into an Instagram story, which encourages additional engagement. IGTV-hosted videos can last up to an hour in length, and users are able to comment and ask questions in real time if you utilize live video. This feature makes it easy to do Q&A sessions and other engaging activities with your audience.

Twitter: Eye-catching graphics and video perform best on this platform. Video content can last up to 140 seconds. Twitter moves faster than some of the other platforms, so when creating content, strive for something that will immediately grab the user’s attention. Another rule of thumb when creating video for Twitter is to include subtitles, for accessibility and to engage people who may not be able to listen with sound. When scrolling through their feed, people are often in public places and opt to watch videos on mute.

LinkedIn: Now that LinkedIn supports native video publishing, it’s a strong option for any corporate social strategy. Studies have shown that videos on LinkedIn are 20 times more likely to be shared by users than non-video posts. In terms of content, stick with what’s tried and true for LinkedIn posts in general: business-oriented content like marketing videos, interviews, news, or informational videos.

Vimeo: Vimeo is a community of video content creators. Businesses can host on the platform through Vimeo PRO or Vimeo Business. While the platform may seem similar to YouTube, there are no ads and there’s a membership cost to access business-friendly tools like live streaming and storage options.

The best video strategy is one that engages your audience on their preferred channels. Catering video to each platform opens your content up to being viewed by a larger audience. There’s no need to create separate videos for each platform; rather, properly strategizing your content enables you to create a master video that can be specifically edited to appeal to each platform.

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