The five social video questions I get asked the most… with answers.

Social video has never been bigger. Facebook claim that 100 million hours of video are watched every day on the platform and YouTube note that ‘hundreds of millions of hours’ are viewed each day on the Google-owned platform.

But where do brands, rights holders and publishers start when it comes to social video? The questions seem endless and as more and more content creators begin to publish video content online, the fear of missing out on an opportunity can worry some marketeers.

Working at Grabyo, myself and the team often get asked similar questions about social video over and over again. Here’s five of the most frequent ones that crop up, with the answers that I give.

1. What is the optimum length of a video?

By 2017, video will account for almost 70% of all consumer internet traffic according to Cisco. Think about it, if a picture is worth a thousand words, then one minute of video is worth 1.8 million. As consumers demanded more content quicker on social platforms, video has developed to become a primary format online.

With the world now in our pockets, audiences are becoming less patient and want to get the latest news on-demand and on-the-go. This has forced rights holders to challenge their content to be displayed on more devices and optimised for mobile.

2. What is the optimum length of a video?

Whilst there is a clear shift and importance placed upon short-form video content in recent years, the length of your video content depends on three things:

The content you are distributing

The platform you are distributing to

The audience you are reaching

In a recent Grabyo survey with a host of premium publishers, 84% of those respondents stated that the typical length of video they share to social media was 30 seconds to two minutes.

With the rise in popularity of platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram and Vine — all which have limitations on the length of video that can be uploaded — has become the expectancy of short-form content. With attention spans shorter than ever, publishing long-form content online

Putting long-form content on platforms such as Twitter, where users scroll through their timeline at pace, is probably not the most effective use of your content. Instead, host the content on a platform suited to longer videos — such as YouTube — and repurpose sections of the content for other platforms with a clear call-to-action to drive overall awareness of the main campaign/content.

Only 9% of those involved in the aforementioned Grabyo survey posted content longer than five minutes to social platform, whilst 26% uploaded content less than 30 seconds.

3. Why is native video best on social platforms, such as Facebook?

As video gets increasingly social, it is no longer enough to post a link to your video shared on YouTube. Content creators need to be posting videos natively to social platforms to drive maximum reach and engagement.

Think of the consumer. They have a lot of brands, publishers and content creators fighting for their attention online and they’re less likely to engage with the one that forces them to exit their timeline, open a new app/tab, and view content in a new site. Facebook videos are shared 157% as often as YouTube videos — no doubt because videos within Facebook, where the consumer already is, is convenient.

Facebook’s algorithm favours native video, meaning that your video content is more likely to appear in your target audience’s feed. A study by Search Engine Journal found that on average native videos on Facebook reach 2.4x more people, receive 2.38x more likes, 2.67x more shares and 7.43x more comments. The same is the case with Twitter. Native video gets 2.5x more replies, 2.8x more retweets and 1.9x more favourites.

4. Isn’t vertical video a bad thing?

No, not at all. At Grabyo we love vertical vertical — and square and horizontal video, too!

With more and more people consuming content on their mobile devices, the importance of optimising content for audiences viewing on-the-go is greater than ever. As millennials and Generation Z spend less time sat a desktop computer and more time viewing video content on their mobile devices, which generally feature vertically oriented screens, vertical video is a key tactic in a wider social strategy for any content creator.

Snapchat first pioneered the concept that vertical video content works. Following that, Twitter’s Moments has since launched favouring vertically oriented content and vertical/square content published to Facebook takes up a greater SOS % (share of screen) which frequently leads to increased engagement.

At Grabyo we’ve launched a tool that allows users to edit any horizontal video into square and/or vertical for publishing to social media platforms, all in an instant.

5. Which social media platforms should I be sharing video to?

The social media platform(s) that you choose to distribute your content to depends entirely on the audience that you want to reach. Rather than creating content and then deciding which platform(s) to distribute to, at the inception of your idea think creatively about how you can tailor your content for relevant platforms. This way, the overall output of your video will be optimised and much more flexible.

Some publishers focus all of their efforts on a single platform, whilst others distribute to multiple platforms with their content optimised for each network. For example, a piece of content will be published to YouTube with a slightly adapted version featuring overlays shared to Facebook, a square formatted version sent to Instagram and a vertically oriented style distributed to Snapchat.

The important thing to consider is ‘where is my audience?’. Not all platforms work for every person that you want to target. Key things to consider when choosing which platform are:

Who exactly are my target audience?

What is the purpose of my video content?

What action do I want my target audience to take once they have watched the video?

How can I ensure my target audience have the best viewing experience possible on each platform?

If you want to chat social video, get in touch.

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