Video marketing is going B-A-N-A-N-A-S. Are you putting video front and center as part of your social media strategy? You should be. How, you ask? Where? Why? And what about live-streaming? We answered these questions, along with best practices and case studies at our pre-VidCon panel on June 19th. Warning: long blog post ahead, but totally worth it.

Our panelists:

Ben Ratner (@BenMakesTV): New York Emmy Award winning multimedia content creator
Tristan Snell (@TristanSnell): CEO/Founder SNAKT
Marc Gawith (@MarcGawith): VP Sales Switcher Studios
Matt Gielan (@MattGielan) Founder/CEO, Little Monster Media Co.

…And our moderator, Social Media Board member @MrJonBurk

Jon Burk

What did we learn?

As mentioned above, video marketing – and video watching – is going bananas. And this might not surprise you, but most brands are a little behind and just starting to take video seriously. The good news is that it’s never been easier to create your own content. You really just need three things for a good video: Good lighting, good sound (invest in tools! You can find inexpensive ones) and good content.

Content

What kind of content should you create? Well, what are people watching? There were two main take-aways here: play by the platform rules, and know your audience.

  • Play by the platform rules and you will be rewarded. So learn those often unwritten norms, by seeing what is working for others.
  • But! Just because it’s working for others doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you. Know your audience. Learn your audience. Love your audience. They’ll tell you what they want.

Tips & Best Practices:

  • Portrait or landscape? Depends on the platform. Remember, play by the platform rules.
  • Never leave time for potential boredom. Make it engaging within the first few seconds. Use quick cuts – the faster it seems to you, the better it will probably do.
  • 50% of video views are on mobile, and most people watch with the sound off. So add subtitles!
  • How long should your video be? Again, play by the platform rules and know your audience. YouTube’s sweet spot is about 15 mins (for now! It changes every Tuesday at 6pm. Kidding…or are we?), but Facebook videos tend to be a lot shorter – 90 seconds to 3 minutes. But know your audience – they’ll tell you what they want.

Facebook vs YouTube

What do people want to watch? It might not be the “premium content” that Facebook Watch would have you believe is… well, premium. Know your audience! If you’re just taking what’s on TV and putting it on the internet, that’s fine, but you’ll likely only reach an older audience. Younger audiences respond better to casual, 4th wall-breaking content. They want to see people more like them, and to feel like people are actually talking to them. And listening – Facebook recently announced new interactive features like polling and gamification for Live video.

Speaking of Facebook Live, should you be doing more Live video? 1 in 5 videos (and growing) on Facebook are Live, so you should certainly consider it. Facebook Live is a good example of playing by the platform rules in order to succeed. Facebook “rewards” you for using Live, by placing Live videos prominently in the algorithm.

What about YouTube? The panel’s general consensus is that your time and money is better spent elsewhere. It’s hard to start a YouTube channel, because it’s very competitive and it’s not really a social network. YouTube is focused more on branded, produced content like Jimmy Fallon clips. So if you want to play by the platform rules, then YouTube probably isn’t for you, unless you work for a major network or studio. Facebook would be a better bet.

What about Instagram’s newly announced IGTV? Too early to tell, but one lesson Facebook Watch learned is that it’s hard to convince people to build a whole new following on a whole new platform. Plus, how will creators make money from it? Still TBD.

Video A Go Go at General Assembly Santa Monica

Data!

Everyone’s favorite thing. What should you measure? Engagement, view duration, and click through rate. And if you’re looking at Facebook metrics, you should also look at Shares.

Influencers!

Everyone’s second favorite thing. (Unless you are an influencer, in which case it’s your favorite thing ever.) Influencers can still be valuable if they are on brand. But brands are becoming savvier and therefore more selective. Gone are the days of paying someone half a million dollars for a tweet.

What’s the future?

  • The future of advertising is not a 30 second mid- and pre- and post- roll. It is branded content, done the right way. Check out Dove Beauty Sketches, which doesn’t just shove the brand down your throat.
  • There’s a lot of opportunity for non-gaming content on Twitch, which currently has a demo of mostly younger males.
  • The race on social platforms is Who can be TV on the internet? The winner is whoever gets it right.

Kite Hill and Dulca Vida Tequila

Thank you to our panelists and to our sponsors @kitehillfoods, @DRYSoda, @Fruit_Bliss, and @DULCE_VIDA (tequila!). If you want more video news and tips, follow us on @smc_la, because we’re at VidCon.

Join us Saturday, June 30th for our #SocialMediaDay Summer Social Mixer!