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Social Video Marketing Platforms: a full review of the top video sites

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]So you’re creating quality video content for your social marketing program, and you’re not sure which video platform to focus on  – or maybe you think they’re all basically the same, so just post and share your videos on as many of them as possible, right? Not so fast.

Each platform has it’s own flare but some platforms will impact your marketing strategy more than others.

Think of each platform as a separate tool in a tool box. You wouldn’t use a screwdriver to drive nails but at the same time, you only need a few screwdrivers at the most. Some of the unique features of these platforms might not be all that useful to you, whereas some might. Let’s break it down platform by platform, reviewing the pros and cons for some of the most popular video platforms.

YouTube

This is the mother of all video sites. With over a billion unique monthly visitors, it isn’t even in the same galaxy as the runners up, which typically have only about 100,000 each. But viewership isn’t everything. There are also the features to consider. So let’s weigh the pluses with the minuses to give you an accurate picture of why everyone needs to start with YouTube and branch out from there.

Pluses:

  • Hosts videos directly
  • Has amazingly affordable ad spaces, meaning revenue happens here
  • Annotated links and playlists allow users to discover more of your content naturally
  • Is the second largest search engine in the world
  • Is highly social with share options, commenting, etc.
  • As a Google company, YouTube’s content is highly integrated within Google’s search parameters, meaning great SEO

Minuses:

  • Still perfecting the newsfeed, meaning discovery is less spontaneous
  • User interests can be identified only by the channels they subscribe to

Take-Away:
Use this platform as your hub. Upload your videos here, and then promote them through other video platforms in addition to also promoting through YouTube’s amazing promotional features. This is where you build a following and grow revenue.[/vc_column_text][mk_divider style=”thick_solid” divider_width=”full_width” border_color=”#81d742″ margin_top=”20″ margin_bottom=”20″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]

Facebook Video

Facebook has really come out swinging in the video field, lately. They are definitely second only to YouTube. And it seems that YouTube’s weaknesses are Facebook’s strengths.

Pluses:

  • Hosts videos directly
  • Is highly social with share options, commenting, etc. with a newsfeed that surpasses that of YouTube
  • Nearly 800 million people log in to check their Facebook profile each and every day
  • Has the most in-depth targeting potential of all social media or video platforms, with tons of data to super target your content and ads
  • Videos automatically play in the newsfeed resulting in much higher view rates

Minuses:

  • Ad spaces are still affordable, but going up
  • Search is still developing, and nowhere near as refined as YouTube’s
  • Discriminates against YouTube shares in their newsfeed, so consider hosting videos on Facebook in addition to YouTube or just create previews for your YouTube videos to host on Facebook and drive traffic back to YouTube

Take-Away:
Facebook, like YouTube, is a one-stop shop. Consider using them as a secondary hub if possible, but at the very least, take advantage of their wealth of targeting data and promotional tools to push your YouTube videos.[/vc_column_text][mk_divider style=”thick_solid” divider_width=”full_width” border_color=”#81d742″ margin_top=”20″ margin_bottom=”20″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]

Breakdown of the top social video platforms on the web- from YouTube to Snapchat

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Twitter Video

Yes, Twitter now facilitates video content. A few years ago, they rolled out a new format that allowed for embedding video on Brand Pages and even automatically expanding tweets that reveal a video player when someone shares a video.

Pluses:

  • Great for instant feedback and getting updates out to people instantly
  • Hashtags allow for content searchability; hashtags often trend, meaning you can hitch your content wagon to a trending topic and get serious exposure

Minuses:

  • Twitter does not host video content directly
  • Posts are limited to 140 characters of course

Take-Away:
Twitter is the place for conversation, which equals retention. Your video marketing strategy should pull people in, but once they’re in, then what? That’s where Twitter comes in. Keep in touch, promote your video content, make big announcements, just say hi to your contacts, etc.[/vc_column_text][mk_divider style=”thick_solid” divider_width=”full_width” border_color=”#81d742″ margin_top=”20″ margin_bottom=”20″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]

Vine

Vine is kind of the wacky step-child of Twitter, and many are wondering where it fits in with video marketing. After all, it only allows six seconds of video per upload! Some Vine mega stars like David Lopez (with 4.5 million followers on Vine) are even transitioning over to YouTube, in spite of their massive following on Vine. Why? Well, it comes down to what you want out of the platform. Let’s break it down.

Pluses:

  • Great for super short and sweet video updates, product reviews, or announcements tailored for your Vine audience promoting your YouTube videos
  • Great for wacky, humorous clips to shape your image and show off your company’s fun side.
  • Users no longer need a profile to view content, so content is more shareable and findable

Minuses:

  • Only six seconds per video means Vine will never be the place to shape your brand’s message
  • The atmosphere at Vine tends to be more on the humorous or wacky side, not informative or authoritative
  • Vine doesn’t offer the targeting data you can find on other platforms like Facebook or YouTube

Take-Away:
This is the platform to use if you can afford to diversify your video marketing social strategy and want to be spontaneous or even goofy. You might be able to build good PR and even build hype for your products and services, but don’t expect a huge ROI.[/vc_column_text][mk_divider style=”thick_solid” divider_width=”full_width” border_color=”#81d742″ margin_top=”20″ margin_bottom=”20″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]Navigating towards the goal

There are so many social platforms out there for video, and it can be confusing. But if you first take the time to know what you want to accomplish, aim your videos in that direction, and then use these platforms for what they are, then you can reach your video marketing goals. YouTube is a great place to set up shop, but don’t stop there. You can use these others tools, not as replacements for YouTube, but as part of your arsenal to drive traffic, promote your content, and engage your audience wherever they may be.

Sources/Links:

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