Creators have more options than ever, creating opportunity for brands.

As we move into 2018, we’re all focusing on original video content. Early in 2017, Twitter finalized 16 separate deals to bring live streaming programs to their platform from big brand names like Viacom, Buzzfeed, and Major League Baseball. Even Apple is investing $1 billion in developing original shows and movies.

Yet there still remains a misconception based on traditional distribution models that if you want to gain an audience for your content, you need to use video-specific platforms like YouTube, Hulu, or Vimeo. But with a surge in new media companies appearing on the scene, that’s no longer the case.

Marketers, take note: There are alternative distribution methods to get your videos out there. Here are three ways to leverage new media companies and triumph in the next phase of video distribution.

 

1. Leverage an established user base.

When seeking to get eyes on your product, it pays to establish a reliable user base first. Just consider Facebook, Amazon, or Netflix.

Before they began offering original video content, they built up a user base through their original services. They were then able to leverage their respective audiences for distributing original video content.

Facebook in particular has displayed a unique capability for advanced targeting to their 2.07 billion monthly users. This allows niche content creators to pinpoint captive audiences and build communities around their content.

Just Doug, a series starring and created by former D-list pro poker player Doug Kim, features a semi-autobiographical look at Kim’s own experiences as an Asian-American actor in Hollywood. With Asian-Americans drastically underrepresented in U.S. entertainment, Kim has been able to use Facebook Watch to reach an audience tired of seeing the same old tropes about their race on traditional television.

Taking advantage of Facebook Watch’s established user base has already gained the show some positive traction with major media outlets. This includes being described as a mix of HBO’s Togetherness and Netflix’s Bojack Horseman.

Even more outside of the box, I work with major brands to create original content. That’s my day job. You wouldn’t think of a company like Adobe as a media outlet or a network–but with millions of actives users, strong brand recognition, and the ability to be the only one creating content, it’s a perfect fit.

Viewers can be found anywhere. Be creative.

 

2. Take advantage of the nature of the platform.

Know the “why” of people using your chosen distribution platform so that you can play to its strengths and tweak your content accordingly. Four in ten people, for example, use Twitter for live updates on breaking news, while 28 percent report using the platform as a second screen during live broadcasts.

Thanks to the multitude of streaming deals signed by Twitter in 2017, users can now get live broadcasts directly on this platform. If you’re looking for audiences to take part in the conversation as events unfold in real time, ensure that the platform has this capability.

If your video content is more along the lines of product reviews, YouTube should be your starting point. With 62 percent of consumers using YouTube to learn more about future purchases, and product reviews being the most searched-for videos on the site, this makes it a sensible choice.

Influencers like Marques Brownlee have garnered over five million subscribers reviewing tech products like headphones, cell phones, and cameras–and generated net worths in the millions from ad revenue in the process.

 

3. Note crossover in audiences.

Some platforms are aimed at an audience for niche content, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there won’t be any crossover. Your content may still have the potential to reach your core demographic, and attract interest from other groups as well.

Twitch boasts a daily active user count of 15 million people, who mainly use the platform for live streaming video game content. Yet there’s a large crossover between regular Twitch users and the average NBA fan in terms of both gender and age. 75 percent of Twitch’s user base is male and falls within the 18-49 age group, while the NBA has a 70 percent male fan base, with 62 percent of their fans pertaining to the 18-54 demographic.

In the brief time that the partnership between the NBA and Twitch has been in place, the G-League is already seeing an average of 26,095 unique viewers per stream.

These are just some examples of how brands are finding ways to leverage new media companies for their video content in the changing digital landscape. Establishing a user base first, playing to a platform’s strength and understanding crossover in audiences can all help your video to gain more traction.

So if your goal is creating original video content in 2018 and finding it a suitable home, be sure to follow their lead.