Last week, the HubSpot State of Marketing Report 2021 showed that video is the top content marketing strategy for brands, while social media is ranked as the top marketing channel.
With data like the one above – and all of the growing social media video hosting sites out there – it’s obvious that social media marketing and video content go hand in hand.
While creating great social media videos can be an incredibly effective marketing tactic for your business, every social media content strategy shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all approach. To make sure your videos are seen and spread high quality brand awareness, you need to make sure that you are creating the right videos for the right audiences on the right platforms.
With new video publishing options appearing regularly on social platforms, part of the content marketing battle is determining where your content will live.
To help you figure out where to post your video content – and what types of videos to post – we surveyed more than 300 consumers to find out where they most often watch videos on social media.
Below, we reveal the results and some expert tips for building the best social media video sharing strategy for 2021 – including one from an expert at Wistia.
Where do consumers watch social media videos?
In the past few years, Gen-Z targeting platforms like TikTok and Instagram have been on the rise. However, if you think everyone on these platforms mostly watches videos, you might be surprised at what our survey found.
When I asked consumers, “Which social media platform do you most often watch videos on?”, 35% of respondents responded on YouTube.
While it is not surprising that YouTube or Facebook, some of the world’s largest online platforms, are the preferred sites for watching videos, only 8% of respondents said they mostly watch videos on Instagram – one of the pioneers of stories and Live videos.
Another surprising finding was that 20% of respondents – or 1 in 5 people – mainly use TikTok (the youngest social network on the list) to watch videos. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to move your entire strategy to TikTok, it does show that the platform for content marketers could continue to have a bright future.
If this data makes you worry that you are posting videos to the wrong platforms, take a deep breath. Remember, this is just an informal consumer survey. If we had surveyed a certain age group, people from a certain industry or consumers from different regions, the results might have spilled over to other platforms – such as LinkedIn or Twitter.
While this is just a small poll, it reminds us that a mix of older and newer platforms like YouTube and TikTok are the video platforms for a wide audience.
Now that we’ve got an idea of where consumers mainly watch social media videos, let’s walk you through a few tips on how to share the best videos for different social media audiences.
Tips for sharing social media videos
1. On most platforms, your focus should be on snacks.
The world is getting faster every day. While many people watch social media videos in their spare time, some watch them in between meetings, in line at the store, or on public transit. Even if people have time to spend hours watching videos, there is so much out there that they want to scroll to more content almost immediately after starting their video.
Because of this, one social media video strategy in 2021 is to master the art of “snackable” or super-short content.
“Using snackable videos on social networks can actually lead to more engagement than static images,” says Meisha Bochicchio, Content Marketing Manager at Wistia. “A recent study found that 60% of advertisers got more clicks from video posts than from static images.”
When it comes to creating effective snacks, Bochicchio says, “First, remember that most social media platforms automatically start playing video content when viewers scroll. So make sure your videos are suitable for autoplay. Keep them short and include your most important messages in the first few seconds. For example, check out this video from Wistia announcing the status of the video report. “
“Remember, most people won’t hear your audio, so make sure your videos are silent too,” advises Bochicchio. “View text overlays or upload subtitles directly to platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
In the video example below, Wistia marks the start of their “Show Business” series with a video with subtitles that allows viewers to get important information without sound.
To learn more about this strategy, check out this post on snackable content or this post highlighting the latest short video trends.
2. Also test different video formats.
While snacks are a great tactic in 2021, you can still post longer videos as long as they are interesting and valuable to your audience.
For example, while people might not want to watch a two-hour commercial, they could watch a longer live Q&A video, an interview with a thought leader, or a video that tells a longer but entertaining story.
Here’s a great example of a Clio-winning video from Pepsi the length of a TV episode:
While you can test videos in longer form, you can also test other formats such as live streams, interactive videos, and shopping videos on platforms like Instagram and Facebook.
As new video formats emerge, it can be helpful to determine if they are suitable for your brand and design a test around them.
Make sure you identify and track the right success metrics. For example, if you’re testing a longer video, look at the views and abandonment rate to see how long viewers stick with it. In the meantime, if you try a more interactive approach like a live stream or Q&A, you can also jot down comments, engagements, and approvals about the content while you’re live.
3. Meet your video audience where they are.
As with any social media strategy, some content will perform better on some social media platforms than others. While snacks are consumable, consumer-facing content could do well on YouTube, Facebook, and TikTok’s large audience, but a B2B marketing video or question-and-answer session with a corporate thought leader could do better on a professional network like LinkedIn.
Fortunately, you don’t have to (and shouldn’t) get your videos on every single social media platform to develop a great marketing strategy. However, you should research the demographics of each major network, find out which audiences are most engaging with your content, and post videos where it makes the most sense for your brand and goals.
Then continue to keep an eye on platforms that you’ve ruled out in case they evolve and give your brand more opportunities for audiences in the future.
4. Don’t rely on reused content over and over again.
When I was a startup marketer, I loved repurposing content whenever possible. And back then, when social media platforms were even less developed, that strategy would work.
Even today, brands can still benefit from reusing some video content across platforms if they have similar audiences and features. This can also be a great way to test that your content strategy for a platform is working with a target audience.
However, since knowing your social media audience is more important than ever, consider a slightly different video strategy for your major video hosting sites. While there will be times when you can easily reuse content to save time or bandwidth, some platforms like TikTok and Instagram are developing algorithms that could take priority off your content if it was watermarked from another network.
5. Embrace influencers – and customers.
Even if you’ve done all of your research and brought out videos on a daily basis, it can still be incredibly difficult to post viral content that will grow your audience.
Fortunately, there are experts on every social media platform who know how to create videos. And some of them even create videos for you – and then share them with their audience.
Because of this, a great growth strategy can be to reach out to influencers or thought leaders with expertise in your industry and either feature them in your videos or get them to endorse your brand in their content.
If you can’t afford to have an influencer support your video strategy, you can also watch out for happy consumers. With this strategy, you can encourage customers to share a video about their experience with your brand on social media, or you can create a video that is filled with multiple user-generated content from happy customers.
With today’s consumers craving for brand authenticity, not only can user-generated content provide you with free video content, but it can also increase brand awareness to potential customers or people who research about you on social media.
Navigate social media content
Social media and content marketing are developing more than ever. As a marketer, it is important to stay up to date on the latest trends and data to better inform your strategies – whether you are investing in video or other tactics.
To learn more about the latest marketing trends, download our free State of Marketing Report 2021 below.