As video is the both the present and the future of content marketing, it's a good idea to review what works best on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat so you can plan accordingly.

Staff Writer

As social media continues to dominate the focus of most company’s marketing focus and media budget, now would be the perfect time to review what works best on each platform. Clearly, video will dominate for the foreseeable future, despite the increasing focus on artificial intelligenceblockchain, and cryptocurrencies.

Yes, these technologies will revolutionize marketing, but for the time being, brands need to focus where the bulk of audiences are today and will likely be in the next 12 months. Between YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, there’s a lot to keep straight when it comes to video content marketing, but this guide will help you ensure you’re optimizing your video in the ways that will have the highest impact for each platform.

Confirming Video’s Dominance in Social Media

If you use social media, you already know how important video is. However, just to re-affirm that you’re spending time in the right place, here are the latest trends that reveal the best way to display your content on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter:

Clearly, video is the dominant form of content grabbing your audience’s attention. (Note to self: next year make a video sharing all these insights 😉

All that being said, the next step is to ensure you don’t miss the specifics like ideal length, aspect ratio and the preferences of social media influencers on different platforms. Here’s what you need to know about the specifics of video marketing on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter:

YouTube Videos

YouTube is the best video marketing platform to engage audience through DIY videos, explainer videos, video tutorials, testimonials, and behind the scene videos. It is important to note that 60% of videos on YouTube are watched on mobile devices and the sharing rate is also higher on mobile devices. So if you have been ignoring the tools and techniques that create better engagement for mobile viewers, you’re limiting both your reach and sharing opportunities.

Recently, YouTube released its new features for mobile app viewers. This major redesign brought a cleaner look, adjustable play-screen and ability to view videos in portrait mode. Make your videos appropriate per the current standards and apply the following insights and guidelines courtesy of Fortunelords:

  • Ideal length of a video on YouTube is less than 5 min. If you are planning to increase the length, the content in the video should be highly engaging
  • Ideal aspect ratio should be 16:9
  • Best place for a call to action (CTA) on a YouTube video is the 30 second mark
  • Most viral videos on YouTube are nearly 10x longer than most viral videos on Facebook
  • Keep the ads before the playback short and crisp

Facebook Videos

Facebook has been putting a lot of emphasis on video content in their news feed lately, which is why the frequency of video content in your news feed has increased too. This has motivated marketers to produce more videos that appear in these feeds (either organically or paid). To increase your presence on Facebook, here’s what you need to know:

  • To attract a high number of views, shares, likes, and comments on Facebook, use funny videos, DIY tips, unboxing videos, product promotions and heart warming cause videos
  • Facebook puts a significant emphases on it’s Live feature, so include live broadcasts whenever appropriate / possible
  • When you plan to create a live video, it’s good to plan in advance to ensure that you go live at a time when the bulk of your audience is online
  • Ideal length of the video should be 1 minute. Viewers lose interest after that.
  • Standard widescreen aspect ratio (16:9) is ideal for Facebook video
  • Make sure you put extra efforts for the first 3 seconds of the video on Facebook
  • Use compelling captions to attract more viewers
  • 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound because of the default setting
  • Make sure your Facebook page has self-explanatory visuals associated to the video
  • Facebook has recently released a Facebook “Creator” app that offers exclusive tools for creating, promoting and streaming videos

Instagram Video

Instagram boasts 800 million monthly and 500 daily active users. Marketers have recognized the power and potential of the platform (especially post acquisition by Facebook) which is why many brands are already actively and regularly posting on Instagram.

The best way to understand marketing on Instagram is by posting the right type of video at the right time. If you get this part right, consumers will usually engage without so long as you’re not regularly delivering a hard pitch.

On Instagram, you have to showcase your product/service in a creative way by sharing video or creating video advertising. Video ads appear in between the Instagram organic feed and have a high view rate. Instagram is an effective social media marketing channels for SMEs.

Use Instagram Stories– These stories are temporary 10-second picture/video clips placed at the top of Instagram feed. A proven marketing tool for brands, this ephemeral clip can drive huge engagement if handled strategically. There are various things you can do with Instagram stories like, offer exclusive content, show behind the scenes, showcase the product in action, show a countdown to launch event or ask influencers to contribute. Hubspot recommends:

  • Ideal length of a video on Instagram is around 30 seconds to 1 minute
  • 10 seconds is the ideal length for stories
  • Ideal aspect ratio is widescreen or 1:1 and portrait mode for stories
  • Optimize captions and comments with hashtags
  • Adding one hashtag in the caption results in 12% more engagement
  • Use Third-party tools like Boomerang and Layout for easy Instagram captures

Snapchat Videos

Since the inception of Snapchat, it has brought many innovative features, which gave rise to social media trends that are changing the digital marketing dynamics. Snapchat provides its user’s direct access to live event as it is a real-time social media marketing platform.

There are a lot of ways to use Snapchat for marketing. Its inventive features such as filters, text, bitemojis, and geofilters, tend to create huge engagement.

Brands can use Snapchat to record videos of launch, events, trade shows, musical events, social event, etc. You can also showcase some private or behind the scene content to provide something unique to Snapchat followers. Buffer Recommends:

  • Ideal length of videos on Snapchat is 10 seconds though it has lately released a new update where you can record and post back to back videos up to 60 seconds
  • 18:9 aspect ratio as they prefer to watch the snap keeping their phone vertically
  • Make the first snap video engaging because 22% of viewers drop off after losing interest from the first snap

Twitter Videos

Twitter is a news-based social media network platform and it is naturally a great platform to share video content. Native videos on Twitter drive more engagement than third-party videos shared on Twitter; allegorically, 2.5X replies, 2.8X retweets, and 1.9X favorite.

Given the extent of Twitter being used for sharing news related videos, the Twitter mobile app includes an in-app access to your mobile phone’s camera to increase user experience and engage more of your followers through video content.

Twitter feeds have the fastest scroll, which is why brands should focus on creating eye-catching content. Brands can use Twitter to upload teaser, announcement, advertisement, promotional, education, and user-based content.

  • Ideal length of the video should be 30 seconds to 1 minute to engage maximum viewers
  • Ideal Aspect ratio should be 2.39:1 so that it provides the best user experience
  • Around 90% of videos are watched on mobile phones, so the brands should make sure they use a mobile-first approach
  • Since viewers prefer Twitter to gather information, brands should focus on branding while sharing a video content on Twitter rather than promotion.

Bottom Line:

Video marketing is the best way to create engagement on social media platforms. As a key component of your content marketing, understand that social video will continue evolving and marketers will play a critical role in shaping the future of video marketing. You have permission to play, experiment and see what your audience appreciates the most. Integrated your own unique brand strategies, try various tools, and keep experimenting as these platforms evolve.