Recently, a spate of studies about social video populated my inbox, mainly from companies that offer tools for the art of catching attention with moving pixels. Not surprisingly for many reasons, the theme was social video marketing is vital for businesses today.
“Businesses need to learn to ‘speak video’ fluently if they want to connect with their customers on social media,” says Brad Jefferson, CEO of Animoto, in a press release behind the online video creation company’s survey.
But where and when to speak that fluently is another question, according to Lux Narayan, CEO of Unmetric, a social analytics platform, which did a study of Facebook vs. YouTube in regards to major brand video success.
“The most important consideration for brands when creating and publishing videos,” says Narayan, “is to look to data to make the most informed decisions on the right content and channel.”
Okay, you might have noticed a trend already: Both companies claim their findings support the overall mission of their services. That’s a given with these studies, but if you look over the findings, important insights await. After all, companies like Animoto and Unmetric, as well as video creation platform Wyzowl, know their field and how to collect information about it. And when they all come out with studies around the same time, important trends emerge.
Here’s what they found:
It’s getting crowded
According to data from a Wyzowl survey, video marketing creation is not only growing among business marketing professionals, it also a preferred way to consume.
When asked, “Where both text and video are available on the same web page, how would you prefer to learn about a product or service?”
- 80 percent said video.
Great! But here’s the other key answer Wyzowl found:
When companies were asked … “Does your business use video as a marketing tool?”
- 63 percent said yes.
That means the other third of companies are at a critical point. Either they will never have a video strategy or they’re late. Because for those who are using video, almost 99 percent said they plan to continue to do so.
There is no one place to post
The boundaries of where social video can go pushes outward every day. But while Snapchat and Instagram are clearly getting marketers’ attention, Facebook and YouTube still dominate the conversation. According to Narayan, YouTube’s advantage of being the first to the masses still matters, at least for now.
“As long as YouTube can boast being the second biggest search engine, it can’t be dismissed” Unmetric’s Narayan says. “Facebook is however positioning itself aggressively as an alternative for video content. Facebook allows brands to project a more ‘human’ feel with more capabilities to connect with the audience – especially with its Live Video feature. Facebook also provides the ability to target specific demographic and interest groups, which is very attractive to marketers.”
Unmetric’s analysis of 10 major brands shows that YouTube still has a large edge in views:
But Facebook has gained a slight edge in engagement:
Animoto’s survey findings, which I discuss in greater detail below, contradicts this data a little.
“Marketers say that Facebook videos drive more views, engagement and purchases than videos on any other social network,” according to Animoto’s report. “YouTube is a close second.”
So, what does that mean?
“Brands should ideally put their efforts into both platforms based on the specific objectives of each video and larger campaign,” Narayan says. “Brands don’t always need to use the exact same content either and can make slightly different versions of a video for both channels.”
Videos for Facebook tended to be shorter than videos for YouTube, according to several of the studies. Also, Facebook videos especially should be made with sound-off in mind.
Know what to fish for, and what not to
Animoto’s survey of 1,000 customers and 500 marketers about the state of social video marketing, offered two insights that you can see every day: Video is huge, especially on mobile:
- 84 percent of consumers say they watch social video content on mobile devices.
- 81 percent of marketers say they optimize their social videos for mobile, which includes things like planning for sound-off viewing.
- 39 percent of marketers create marketing videos in square and/or vertical formats.
To be even more specific, Animoto found where consumers are watching and engaging with branded videos daily:
So that’s where, but the key question is what to do to get attention.
According to the customers, this is what they are more likely to share:
- What’s funny
- What’s emotional/inspirational
- What’s educational
And what they are more likely to like:
- What’s funny
- What’s emotional
- “Behind-the-scenes” looks at the company
The larger point is that the hard-sells don’t work, at least for engagement.
But there’s another clear goal for marketers and that is sales. According to the survey, 64 percent of consumers say they watched a marketing video on Facebook that influenced a purchase decision in the last month.
That kind of activity leads to another Animoto finding. “Marketers rated themselves confident or very confident in creating video content that’ll drive views, purchases, and engagement on the following platforms:”
But those companies better have more than confidence. They better also have a stopwatch app. Animoto asked consumers how long they were willing to watch.
Creating social video is not easy, which is exactly why these three companies exist. Whether to do social video marketing is, for many smaller companies, not much easier to decide. It can be labor intensive, take immense patience and difficult to make a top priority. Then again, that was true of social media adoption for businesses not even a decade ago.
On – 10 Jul, 2017 By Michael Humphrey