Video content accounts for a staggering 74% of all online traffic. A little over a decade ago, that number was only around 33%. If your business isn’t already creating digital video content, you’re missing a huge traffic and branding opportunity. According to Buffer, the reason 43% of marketers aren’t producing more video content is due to time, resources and budget. With constraints like those, it makes sense to first focus efforts on platforms with users that most closely align with your target audience.

YouTube

Many people consider YouTube to be the 2nd largest search network in the world after Google. Whether or not you agree with that statement depends on your definition of a search engine, but semantics aside, it’s the go-to website to find video content. In fact, more than one billion users, nearly one-third of all people on the internet, have a YouTube account. The video sharing platform reaches more 18-49 year olds than any cable network in the US and generates billions of video views every day. On average, 8 out of 10 people in this age group watch videos on YouTube each month.

Mobile usage is growing rapidly, up more than 50% year-over-year, and accounting for more than half of the views on YouTube. With the average mobile YouTube session lasting 40 minutes, it’s important to keep a couple of things in mind when developing video content. First, 20% of the people who start a video will leave after the first 10 seconds. Make sure your intro is compelling. Second, since many will watch your content on their phones in public places, you should add closed captions so your videos can be enjoyed even while muted. This also helps ensure your content is accessible to viewers that are deaf or hard-of-hearing as well as those that have other auditory challenges.

Considering the massive reach of YouTube, its broad audience, as well as the SEO benefits it provides, it’s a no-brainer for businesses to upload their content on the site. Despite the numbers though, only 9% of small businesses currently use YouTube as a content strategy today. However, more marketers are realizing the importance of the platform and 48% plan to add YouTube to their content strategy in the next year.

Facebook

With about 500 million people viewing videos on Facebook every day, the audience opportunity is enormous. So what type of content resonates best with these users? One study by Dr. Karen Nelson-Field (discussed in the video below), found that positive emotions such as exhilaration and hilarity elicit 40% more shares than video content with negative themes such as shock, fear or anger.

Video length should also be considered. The average video length on Facebook is over three minutes, but the watch time is only around 10 seconds. Your video needs to be engaging from the intro to keep viewers interested. Part of keeping people engaged on Facebook includes making your videos enjoyable, even with the sound off, since over 85% are watched on mute. Facebook found that adding captions to your videos increases watch time by 12%.

Instagram

Instagram, while primarily known as a photo-sharing app, is great for video content as well. In fact, when the platform introduced video in 2013, 5 million videos were uploaded in the first 24 hours. Brands are seeing success sharing video content on Instagram, accounting for 40% of the top 1,000 most shared Instagram videos. That number will likely climb as more brands join the platform. Nearly 50% of brands were using Instagram in 2016, but that number is expected to jump to more than 70% in 2017. If that holds true, Instagram will surpass Twitter in terms of percentage of brands using the platform.

With over half of Instagram users following brands, it’s a great platform for businesses to be on. This is especially true if your audience skews a bit younger and female. Nearly 90% of Instagram’s users are under the age of 35 and 68% are women. It’s also highly global with more than 80% of users residing outside of the US.

When uploading video to Instagram, the content should be about experiences rather than just your products. GoPro is a great example of this, showing the action their cameras capture rather than focusing on the cameras themselves. Just like with Facebook, emotional content works well. One small tip when you upload the video,, be sure to use hashtags. An Instagram study by Simply Measured showed that, on average, posts with at least one hashtag experience 12.6% more engagement.

Snapchat

Snapchat has over 100 million daily active users that watch more than 10 billion videos per day. Over half of Snapchat users will open a video story and once opened, more than 80% will watch to completion. With Snapchat’s use soaring, some brands are utilizing it as a marketing channel to reach a young demographic, people under 30, that’s expected to spend $1.4 trillion every year by 2020. Snapchat is the most-used social media platform among 12 to 24 year olds, with a 72% adoption rate. Compare that to 68% for Facebook and 66% for Instagram.

Of the content that brands sharing on Snapchat, 61% is video. Since most users on the app are young adults, content from brands should appear genuine. Uploading formal video content on Snapchat will not have as much value on this platform as on Facebook, for example. When sharing videos, it’s best to put them in vertical format rather than horizontal as Snapchat says vertical videos are watched 9 times more frequently.

Business Insider shared an interesting infographic a few years back that had some great data about college students using Snapchat. 45% of students said they’d open a snap from a brand they didn’t know, while 73% said they’d open a snap from a brand they do know. Of those that would be willing to open snaps from a brand, 67% said the things they’d want most is some sort of discount or promotion, while 58% said they’d be most likely to purchase a product or service if they received a coupon. With these numbers in mind, having some sort of offer or discount in your video could provide better results.

Understanding the reach and demographics of each social media platform, as well as how video is consumed on them, is key to building or updating your video content strategy. Most businesses won’t find value in being on every platform, so it’s important to understand your audience and where to find them so you can best focus your efforts.

Share this Post
Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on FacebookPin on PinterestEmail this to someone