Mobile Video Platforms: The Big Three

You don’t need to be told that digital and mobile video are hot these days. You can read this article, or you can read this one, and don’t forget to stare at the pretty charts some intern put together in between handfuls of Cheetos. The gist of each is that television still dominates, but digital and mobile video are throwing themselves a bar mitzvah and very quickly becoming grown-ups. The ad landscape we’ve known as radio-print-TV has three cousins and we love seeing them (even if it isn’t the holidays): YouTube-Facebook-Instagram.

The reality of the online video triumvirate of YouTube-Facebook-Instagram is that they’re not simply sites where video is consumed. (Author’s note: I’m not including Vine. I’m to believe the app is inferior to Instagram. Maybe I’m wrong. Convince me in 6 seconds I am and I’ll re-write this blog post.) Each platform has their own distinct voice, and each uniquely present their videos to users in a manner that radio-print-TV once had.

Youtube mobile videoYouTube

YouTube, the Babe Ruth of online video, is the go-to for users searching for looking to evaluate products and services. With YouTube, businesses are savvy with how consumers seek this information. According to Forbes:

“A great way to build trust and credibility through videos is to upload videos showing customer engagement and recommendation of your product. For prospective customers, nothing is more convincing than evaluating the honest opinion of a satisfied customer. Showing how you treat and respect your customers will help you win over new clients. Videos that show people having success with your product or even demonstrating why your product is so good are a great way to engage other viewers. Video testimonials can build trust by displaying and demonstrating value in a much more meaningful, engaging way than other more historically traditional ads ever could. … An easy way to do this is to upload a video with information steps or instructions, which help your target viewers successfully, accomplish a set of tasks or actions.”

Through how-to videos, demonstrations, and testimonials, it allows them to engage the consumer in a way that marketers must take into consideration when strategizing. Consumers are searching for these videos on YouTube. Make it count. Give them something worth searching.

Facebook Mobile VideoFacebook

As far as Facebook is is becoming more than a factory of Likes. The fuel this social media tank runs on is reaching, and then engaging consumers. This gives businesses the opportunity to get creative and clever. In a matter of seconds, a Facebook video ad looks to grab your attention, causing you to stop scrolling past another picture of your friends baby wearing a Ramones onesie. In a way much similar to traditional media, Facebook ads tend to reach a consumer at various times of the day. And unlike traditional media, all it takes is a matter of seconds for brands to increase awareness with a Facebook video ad. Think of all the times you switched the radio station or clicked to another TV channel during a commercial break, simply because it was a commercial. This is virtually eliminated on Facebook. As Adweek points out (via Nielsen study commissioned by Facebook):

“Results show that from the moment a video ad was viewed (even before one second), lift happened across ad recall, brand awareness and purchase consideration.”

Facebook’s statistical growth in video “views” has a lot to do with the way they measure a “view”.  On Facebook, a view is counted after a video is is on screen for 3 seconds.  This is much more lenient than Youtube’s standard, which doesn’t count a video as “viewed” until the video has been onscreen for 30 seconds.  To read more about the differences in video viewing standards between these platforms, check out Measuring Facebook’s Massive Growth in Video Views.

Instagram Mobile VideoInstagram

Finally, Instagram, the platform most reliant on visual presentation with little to no text. In 2015 Instagram zoomed into the Top 10 of apps most downloaded, and being owned by Facebook doesn’t hurt its chances to remain there for a while. Advertisers have taken notice of Instagram’s large audience. Instagram is noted for its photo and video sharing capabilities like other platforms. However, because it’s primarily used as a mobile app, it’s more likely to be accessed that way. Instagram provides a somewhat more personal and intimate experience between users and it’s content.

The opportunity to tell a story comes quicker, with more punctuated visuals, while also providing users with content unique to what they may see elsewhere. The Sprout Social blog provides examples including how-to and behind-the-scenes videos that work in the 60-second running time Instagram allows.

A few days ago, Instagram announced that they are upping the allowed running time per video from 15 seconds to 60 seconds.  This will soon enable brands to run standard 60 second spots without having to trim down or produce an alternate video ad just for the platform.

Time marches on and strategies change. It’s beneficial to your business to consider where to put your social video, but also, how it will play given the platform. In the past, consumers listened and read and watched and advertisers tuned in to those habits. Today, consumers click and scroll and glance. Advertisers are taking notice.