Social media platforms are turning to video as the latest form of user generated content, easily sharing glimpses into people's lives with the use of applications including Snapchat and Instagram. Facebook is one of the more recent platforms to focus on video, introducing the ability to live stream directly to your friends (or followers of a branded page).
Speaking at the Fortune Most Powerful Women International Summit, Facebook's head of operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Nicola Mendelsohn reported that, Facebook will "probably" be "all video" in five years, "we're seeing a year-on-year decline of text... If I was having a bet I'd say: video, video, video. Video is happening even faster than mobile and we're seeing the exponential growth of video on mobile. We've gone from a billion video views a day to 8 billion daily views in a year,"
Following in Facebook's footsteps, Jonathan (Jasper) Sherman-Presser, the senior product manager at LinkedIn announced in a blog post on August 2, 2016 Your LinkedIn Feed is Coming to Life with Videos from Linked In Influencers. Sherman-Presser explains "LinkedIn has become the destination to hear from many of the most influential global voices on news and topics affecting the professional world today. The opinions shared here have generated millions of conversations across LinkedIn -- with many of those taking place in the LinkedIn Feed. Today your LinkedIn Feed will come to life in a whole new way with the introduction of 30-second videos from LinkedIn Influencers."
Both platforms are switching their focus to video, but they couldn't be doing it in more different ways if they tried. Facebook is a more personal site, but businesses and their pages are a big part of the network. On Facebook anyone can upload a video; recorded or live. Though there is a limit of 90 minutes for live streaming, an individual can upload hours of footage of a dog jumping through a field, if they really wanted to.
LinkedIn is taking a steadier approach, as its audience is comprised of business professionals. They are rolling out video to over 500 influencers during the first stage, being able to gauge the reaction and interaction they gain, allowing for 30 seconds of footage as a snapshot into the influencers' opinions. If this proves to be a success, LinkedIn will commence stage two of the roll out, and allow all users to upload their own videos.
Marketers using Facebook have several options. There's the costly option, which entails working with Facebook to build up a list of users who have viewed your videos. Advertisements can then be created and aimed at those people. There is also the option to include call-to-actions in the video that depends on the viewer being engaged and acting upon the video, visiting a website to sign up for services or to shop for the product etc.
Facebook published best practices for marketers on how to create engaging video content:
- Focus on quality from the first frame -Since videos auto-play silently within the newsfeed, you should lead with imagery that will catch a person's eye from the very beginning.
- Premiere exclusive video content -Post exclusive video content to your Page to reward viewers with something that they can't get anywhere else.
- Provide context -Set context by pulling out a key quote or moment from the video as the text component of your post. This will help set expectations for the experience ahead.
Facebook also offers video metrics that collate data to see what content has resonated well with people and to determine how to create and promote videos more effectively. The video metrics include video views, unique video views, the average duration of the video view and audience retention.
Marketers using LinkedIn will have to wait until the second roll out to benefit from sharing their own videos, where there will be the opportunity to create and share unique career and productivity focused content. Only people with established brands will be able to create a deliver video via LinkedIn, so for most people it will simply be a place to watch informative content. For the lucky few who do get to create content, it will be a lesson in personal brand building.
They can also focus on the networking aspects of their marketing strategies, by sharing the videos and engaging with other like-minded business individuals, the videos can encourage in-depth conversation on topic areas of interest, and build up marketers connections.
Facebook works well for B2C marketers, according to Business Insider "people are spending nearly an hour every day scrolling through Facebook status updates." This means marketers have a great opportunity to get their brand in front of users, with recorded videos playing automatically as they scroll--and the majority use subtitles making them viewable in any environment.
When it comes to Facebook Live, notifications are pushed to users when a brand is streaming; this ensures that consumers don't miss out when their favourite brands are broadcasting. Users are able to react in real time to the video, and the brand representative can respond during the live stream. This makes it especially well-suited for interacting with your audience.
LinkedIn is more suitable for B2B marketers, where they are able to build their brand and will be able to continuing doing so when the second rollout of video is available to every marketer.
If you have any opinions on how Facebook and LinkedIn videos will affect the future of marketing share your thoughts in the comments.