Video is dominating social media, or should I say, social media is dominating video.
If YouTube was the first player to rule the land, now we experience a Tinder-world of video networks, all fighting for our attention.
Twitter with ‘Periscope’, then Facebook with ‘Watch’, and now LinkedIn with its recent update. Whichever direction we swipe, another feature pops up on our screen, claiming to be the “next big thing”.
Looking at all of these video platforms through the lens of online dating, it appears that: Facebook wants something serious, Twitter is trying too hard to impress, and LinkedIn is a casual hookup.
So unless you’re a serial-dater, which network will you choose to effectively promote your videos – and how exactly would you go about it?
To help you make the right decision, let’s break down the latest video features rolled out by Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn:
“This deal brings together the world’s leading professional cloud with the world’s leading professional network,” Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft
Unlike Facebook, which people obsessively check for daily updates, LinkedIn has been slow to hook its members.
Slow yet promising, LinkedIn is trying to make a comeback by launching a new feature that allows every person to upload video via iOS or Android mobile app. In addition, users will be able to access analytics on locations of viewers, a number of comments, likes, and views.
If this sounds like an attempt to lure the millennial crowd, you’re probably correct. But as research from The Financial Times and Alpha Grid shows, video content is a vital strategy for engaging C-suite decision-makers and senior influencers – not JUST your junior-level, millennial employee.
Interestingly enough, the study also shows that LinkedIn (when compared to Facebook and Twitter) is considered the most trustworthy social network for producing and hosting “good online video”.
With this in mind, LinkedIn’s stride in adding video support is certainly going to help B2B marketers immerse into the video realm and boost their content’s engagement.
[Tweet ” LinkedIn – now every person can upload video via iOS or Android mobile app”]
Tips for B2B Marketers
The number one tip for B2B marketers who want to crack the code for LinkedIn video is to get creative. While that’s easier said than done, a B2B video should not be boring with a talking head.
Start with an announcement such as contest, content offering (a webinar, research, or white paper), or even a new product launch.
Showcase many different faces and personalities from your company, your top partners, and biggest customers. And don’t forget to deliver the video with a lot of charisma and energy. Marketo has done just that – highlights special guests and delivering the video itself with great enthusiasm.
One of the most interesting findings to emerge from the Financial Times study is that C-level audiences value humor and creativity when it comes to video.
In such case, you want to do two things: firstly, keep your video alive with sights and sounds of an event or conference you’re hosting; secondly, introduce a topic or subject by telling a joke or poking some fun at something. This way your chances of driving value for your LinkedIn audience will be seemingly greater.
Fun fact: If Facebook was a religion, it would be the second biggest in the world (after Christianity)!
To fuel its own growth, Facebook has launched a remarkable platform called ‘Facebook Watch’ – or in the words of Mark Zuckerberg, a ‘YouTube style content video channel’.
I like to think of it as a Netflix for social media only with the added value of live comments and reactions.
According to Facebook’s press release, Watch is the new home for shows on Facebook. Each show will be divided into a list of episodes — either live or recorded — which follow a theme or storyline. These episodes will be personalized according to what your friends and communities are watching. For example, you’ll find categories like:
- “Most Talked About” – shows that are trending on Facebook
- “What’s Making People Laugh” – shows that many people reacted to with ‘Haha’
- “What Friends Are Watching” – shows that your friends are watching
There’s even a ‘Watchlist’ to help you keep track of the shows you like. Alternatively, you can come across new episodes while scrolling through your News Feed or via the notification bar. Either way, Facebook is going to try everything it can to capture as many eyes for its new content feature.
Following a similar path to YouTube, Facebook is enabling content creators to earn money by inserting Ad Breaks. In fact, TechCrunch reports that publishers can also earn money through product placement or branded content, in which case they tag the sponsor who’s paying them.
For B2B marketers and content creators, Watch offers an amazing opportunity to reach and reconnect with younger audiences. Its mobile-friendliness, instantaneous nature, and element of personalization makes it a true millennial bait.
What’s also exciting is that users will naturally land on content tailored to their interests and expectations without marketers having to artificially push this content in their direction. This is particularly important considering that ‘relevance’ plays a key role in swaying people to watch a video.
[Tweet “Facebook ‘Watch’ – the new @netflix of social media “]
Tips for B2B Marketers
The Watch platform is designed for you to be authentic and informal while following a specific direction.
The last thing you want to do is “go live” without having any structured narrative or script planned out in advance.
In other words, approach it as if it was a real TV show, only with less production and overhead costs.
Map out the topic or “theme” that you would like to cover in the show, and then break down episode by episode; each one addressing a specific sub-topic.
For example, if your theme is “Content Marketing”, episode 1 could focus on ‘What is Content Marketing”, episode 2 could discuss “Why Content Marketing”, and so on. For reaching a wider audience, consider inviting subject matter experts and professionals who can offer an interesting insight.
Take a look at this video cast called “Digital Minute” by digital marketing agency, StickyEyes. Each segment deals with one of their core themes: SEO, PPC, content marketing, social media, and PR.
Unlike your standard video-recorded podcast, which has zero interactivity, creating a Facebook Watch show allows you to engage directly with a live audience. You can answer their questions and understand their emotional reactions such as ‘Haha’ and ‘Wow’. This is really next-gen video marketing!
After being purchased by Twitter for $86 million, Periscope, a live-video streaming platform, sparked a lot of hype, especially among B2C marketers.
Before Periscope, the idea of broadcasting live to whoever wants to tune is, was completely unheard of. For the first time, people could say “this is cool, I want to share this moment in real-time”.
One of the newest additions to Periscope has been the introduction of Super Hearts – a set of virtual coins shaped as a heart that users can send to their favorite broadcasters to show support. According to The Verge, “The hearts closely resemble ‘cheering,’ a paid form of commenting on Amazon’s rival broadcast platform, Twitch.
If successful, Periscope’s Super hearts could attract more broadcasters to the platform — while giving Twitter a highly profitable new revenue stream in the process.”
Broadcasters who receive hearts will have it appear as ‘stars’ on their profile. Each heart or star can be purchased by Periscope’s virtual currency, ranging $1 to $100. The Verge explains that, “If a user sends you 10 Super Hearts that they bought for 330 coins, you get 330 stars. Once you get 185,000 stars — valued at around $175— you can cash them out, a maximum of once a month.”
Tips for B2B Marketers
Despite its popularity among B2C brands, Periscope can very effectively be incorporated by B2B marketers live-stream events, conferences, or tradeshows. This is a great opportunity to give your audience a behind-the-scenes look at your employees, booth, attendees.
Since B2B companies have a reputation for being dull or boring, you need to add some flavor to your live video. Instead of saying, ‘Come to booth 18!’, make it interesting by showcasing cool activities, interviewing an expert, or asking for a customer testimonial.
If you’re hosting a special panel or keynote speaker, Periscope is a dynamic way to record the event itself and allow users to actively comment. This is far more engaging that posting a few Tweets with an image. Encourage attendees, partners, or anyone who’s interested to broadcast their own Periscope at your booth and post it with your custom hashtag.
Periscope certainly fits into the B2B toolkit, but what you have to keep in mind is that not all of your audience members will be on there. Make sure you announce on all of your social channels that you’re active on Periscope and give a link to your account. At the end of each live-broadcast, download the Periscope and repurpose it into a blog post.
[Tweet “Make @Periscope fit into your B2B marketing toolkit “]
Where Will You Share Your Next Video?
Social media has embraced the nature of Tinder – a marketplace for endless swiping and possibilities.
From Facebook Watch to Twitter’s Periscope, and LinkedIn, the individual marketer is exposed to a plethora of video tools, networks, and platforms – all of which have their own unique characteristics.
Whatever you do — whichever platform you choose to host your videos on — remember to make the first few seconds meaningful! Nothing can be more frustrating for a viewer to hit play and find out that the video offers no value. Even if you’re planning to produce a long video, grow the momentum from the get-go, and choose a sexy topic that intrigues your audience.
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