Social video is hot, and with good reason.
Today, we’re watching four times more Facebook Live content and 80 percent more video content on Instagram than we did a year ago. YouTube reaches more people between the ages of 18 and 49 than any cable or broadcast TV network, and that’s on mobile alone. More than 60 percent of marketers say they’re increasing their video marketing budget this year, and by 2021, video is projected to account for 82 percent of all internet traffic, according to Cisco.
Since it’s clearly here to stay, it’s time to debunk some common myths associated with social media marketing with video.
Myth #1: Beautiful video requires proprietary footage and professional editing
Many businesses hold back from investing in video because of the idea that social media-friendly content requires proprietary footage and a professional editor. After all, it’s expensive to get high-quality equipment and shoot and edit the video to create the final product.
However, when you use advanced DIY platforms like WeVideo or Promo by Slidely, these barriers to entry are effectively removed. Using Promo’s library of over 2 million beautiful, professionally shot video clips with a lifetime license and music options included, you can enjoy the benefits of video marketing without breaking the bank.
Quickly emerging as a go-to solution for small business marketers, solopreneurs and early-stage startups with their sights on the social media newsfeed, Promo makes it easy to add your logo and text titles to videos as well. Say goodbye to expensive software, service providers and equipment — and to production cycles that are so long that you can’t keep up with the speed of changes on social media.
Myth #2: All mobile-friendly video needs to be vertical
For a long time, marketers have believed that on mobile social apps, people only have patience for vertically oriented video frames. This myth echoes the erroneous conventional wisdom of years past, when we all asserted that desktop website visitors don’t scroll, so we should all make sure to place calls to action “above the fold.”
As long ago as last April, Facebook published a recommendation that brands switch to square video content uploads, citing experiments they’d run which demonstrated superior ad recall performance. Clips designed with the 1:1 ratio have been shown to increase completion rates by 67 percent, according to social media agency Laundry Service, meaning that more people will watch your videos from start to finish. And Buffer recently published the results of an experiment where they found that square video drives more social media engagement, regardless of the audience’s device.
This makes a lot of sense. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social platforms with newsfeeds will crop a vertical video so it doesn’t take up too much real estate as people scroll through, but they don’t crop the square ones, which means that this aspect ratio is your best bet for maximizing newsfeed footprint.
Myth #3: YouTube is dead
With an increased number of video-sharing platforms — Facebook, Twitch, Periscope, Instagram, Vimeo and Snapchat, to name just a few leading ones — it’s easy to see why some would believe YouTube is dead. Sure, it still makes headlines, but as the first big community-driven video platform on the block, some people think it just doesn’t have the same sex appeal as the newer players.
But the data shows that this sentiment is misguided. YouTube remains the most popular online self-serve video distribution property by a long shot. From desktop devices, the Google-owned property attracts over 150 million unique viewers per month, according to comScore, compared with Facebook’s 94.6 million.
Luckily, you don’t need to choose one over the other, as it’s possible now to distribute video content to multiple platforms at once. Tools like TubeBuddy help make this process easier.
Myth #4: Videos should never be over 3 minutes long
Humans now have a shorter attention span than goldfish, according to conventional wisdom. You’d think that makes the case for short videos, right? And while short videos have their place in the mobile social world, there’s room for longer content, too. This one reminds me of the never-ending debate over the optimal number of lead capture form fields. Sure, more people will complete it if you minimize the demands on visitors, but if you do have more, then the ones who make it to the end will be self-selected to be really into you.
Facebook data shows that impact on ad recall, brand awareness and purchase intent increases alongside video view duration. On the other hand, the same study found that people didn’t have to watch an entire video for these performance metrics to rise — even views that lasted under 10 seconds yielded rises in awareness and purchase intent. A study from Wistia, meanwhile, found that viewer engagement with video content does start to taper off once the three-minute mark passes, but then it plateaus again, with the next engagement drop arriving after 12 minutes of viewing.
Ultimately, your video should only be as long as it needs to be. Focus on making the video valuable, and the engagement will follow.
If you can hold your audience for beyond three minutes, you’re likely to keep them for up to eight more. If you’re doing this on Facebook, mind you, it’s possible to even create a custom advertising audience based on the high-intent viewers who made it past the three-minute mark – or whatever view duration benchmark you want.
Future-proof your content marketing with video
People love video because it gives them the freedom to consume the content they want to see, on the channel they want to see it, and on the schedule that’s most convenient for them. It’s fast, compelling and easy to digest.
Getting involved with video content on social media can be daunting for many brands, but knowing the truth about what works can help a great deal with your friction points along the way to success.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.