What’s New in Social? Video Takes Center Stage

Marketers, take note.

While it isn’t new, video is now an essential part of any successful social media marketing strategy as core social platforms are launching new features to support it. According to TechCruch, Facebook now sees 8 billion average daily video views from 500 million users and Snapchat users watch 6 billion videos every day.

Developing video content is a great way to communicate your brand’s story, reinforce your value proposition, engage with audiences, and interact with customers and prospects. In fact, visual content is more than 40X more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content, according to Buffer. We’re on the forefront of video becoming the norm, so it’s imperative to start incorporating video into your social media marketing strategy moving forward.

Let’s take a look at how three social platforms are transforming the way we consume video and why video marketing should be one of your top objectives:

1. YouTube Jumps on the Mobile Live Streaming Bandwagon

YouTube recently rolled out a mobile live streaming feature on their app which allows you to broadcast live footage and chat with your audience, similar to other social platforms like Periscope and Facebook Live.

YouTube Mobile Streaming

What better way to showcase this new feature than to use it to capture the 2016 Summer Olympics? YouTube reported that in the past 12 months alone, 23,000 years of content has been watched for athletics, diving and swimming, gymnastics, and volleyball—popular Olympic sports. Nearly two thirds of that content was consumed from a mobile device—and even more in countries like the U.S., U.K., and Japan. Not surprisingly, YouTube sent 15 of its most popular content creators to Rio, who are using the new mobile live streaming feature to share their commentary and behind-the-scenes footage, and even take videos from aerial tours.

How can marketers get in on the mobile live streaming action? Use it to conduct interviews, shoot behind-the-scene footage, and host live Q&A sessions. Live streaming gives your audience an authentic view of your brand, and the mobile feature allows you to do it on-the-go. My guess is that soon we’ll even see customer service requests start coming in via video chat.

2. Instagram Rolls Out Stories

Instagram took a cue from Snapchat and released Instagram Stories, a consolidated slideshow of photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours from users’ profiles and feeds. In a sense, the Stories function like short videos, combining photos and clips together into a stream of content.

You can see stories from people you follow at the top of your feed, with a colored ring around new content. You can also view someone’s story, whether you’re following them or not, by clicking on their profile photo. If you’re not following the user, you’ll only see their Stories if their account is public.

Instagram Stories

Similar to Snapchat, Instagram users can tap on the Stories to move back and forth or jump to another person’s story altogether. They can also tap to comment and send private messages. However, unlike other posts on the platform, users can’t like or comment on it publicly. This is a step in a new direction for Instagram as its users have gotten quite used to tapping the proverbial heart when they see a photo they like.

Instagram Stories Messaging

How can you use Instagram Stories in your social media marketing? This feature may open the door to posting more frequently without overwhelming your audience. And while the expiration of content within a 24-hour timeframe might be limiting in some ways, Instagram has made it easy for marketers to publish a photo or video that’s part of a Story to a regular post. This makes it easy to highlight content for the 24-hour timeframe and then save it to your regular feed so it has a longer shelf life.

And with Stories shown at the top of users’ feeds, you might even see increased engagement since your posts aren’t getting pushed down by others. Unlike Snapchat, Instagram even provides engagement metrics for the content you add to your Stories, allowing you to see how it’s resonating with your audience and make adjustments as needed. I know I’m definitely looking forward to A/B testing Stories and regular posts over the next few months to explore audience engagement and determine best practices!

3. LinkedIn Finally Takes the Leap Into Video

LinkedIn recently announced that they will begin rolling out 30-second videos. While the feature is available only to 500 LinkedIn Influencers at this time, ultimately, it will become widely available to all of its users.

While the ability to create video content is currently only available to LinkedIn Influencers, anyone can follow an Influencer to listen to their thoughts on a specific topic. You can even weigh in with your own comments and respond to comments from other users.

LinkedIn Videos

How does this feature benefits marketers now and into the future? For now, I encourage you to share your thoughts by commenting on videos and invite others to join the conversation by sharing the videos with your network. By doing so, you have the opportunity to engage more deeply with the people and topics that matter in your industry.

As LinkedIn rolls out this functionality to all users, it’ll be a great way to take advantage of their user base to announce new products and address frequently asked questions. Thinking about rolling out some new product features? Ask users to vote on potential features you’re thinking about and a Finding a great audience with your business blog? Consider introducing vlogging into your content strategy. The LinkedIn video platform will provide a unique environment for users to connect and engage with brands in a very real way and, as with their publisher platform, brands can post new content natively, tapping into new audience bases.

Where are social platforms headed? Video content and live broadcasts are taking center stage. If these new features on YouTube, Instagram, and LinkedIn aren’t evidence enough, Twitter just announced a deal to livestream Pac-12 sports events from UCLA, USC, and the other 10 schools in the conference. In addition, they are signing deals with CBS and Bloomberg to live stream the news.

This is an unprecedented leap for social media platforms, creating brand “experiences” that allow users to really feel enveloped by what they’re seeing. What does this mean for marketers? There are captivated audiences that you can easily tap into. Creating real-time content to engage your audience is a skill that will need to be mastered. Gifs, trending hashtags, quickly referencing value-added content—the possibilities truly are endless.

We’ll continue to see marketers invest in video marketing as the landscape changes and social media platforms evolve to create a more immersive user experience. Pretty soon, we won’t even have to leave the house to feel like we’re at an event! I can’t wait to see what’s next!

Are you considering adopting a video strategy for your brand? Share your thoughts in the comments below!