It is hard to ignore the fact that video content has become increasingly prevalent in content marketing. Digital marketing has witnessed a rise in video usage with social media platforms integrating video as much as possible and certain apps such as Vine and Snapchat emerging as popular brands due to their video content, even using video as the most effective way to monetize their businesses. With social media sites such as Facebook increasing the visibility of video content and working on partner programmes to help users earn money in a similar way to YouTube the rise of video is not going to slow down any time soon.

The way that video has integrated into user experience has shifted in a number of ways as consumers are increasingly having to search for video content less and less as it appears on social streams in a more fluid way, however people still have very clear preferences when it comes to how they watch video. In order to discover the ways that users predominantly engage with online video content on social media platforms a survey of over 1500 people across the UK was conducted by Hyperfine Media. The survey asked people which social platform they use most to watch videos.

The most popular platform used by those surveyed was revealed to be YouTube. 1052 of those asked said that YouTube was the main social platform they used to watch videos. That means that over 60% of people use YouTube as their main source of video content. The broad selection of channels that users can subscribe to as well as YouTube’s user interface that enables people to build their own channel through which they can upload and share their videos in one clear place is most likely a significant contributing factor in its popularity. Equally, YouTube offers live streaming features which other platforms are attempting to emulate. The fact that so many significant media organisations use YouTube as their central video platform as well as the broad user base means that YouTube has a very strong position.

Facebook is making attempts to capitalise on video and this is reflected by the fact that 28% of those surveyed said that they use Facebook to watch videos. Recent moves by the company to integrate live streams and place video content higher up news feeds has resulted in more people being exposed to the video content on offer from brands and users. Equally, Facebook has made significant efforts to offer HD video that rivals sites which people used to upload content to before sharing that link through Facebook. Direct uploads and views have seen Facebook emerge as the second favourite video content platform.

Other social platforms that people said they used to watch videos were Google+, Twitter, Vimeo, Pinterest, and Vine. Each of these platforms offers unique features such as their sharing tools, video length limits, quality restrictions, and content requirements. Google+ and Twitter both attracted 3% of the vote each, while Vimeo, Pinterest, and Vine had 2% of the vote or less. The unique features of these sites currently mean that they are maintaining an audience, even if it is small, however the features they offer are not dissimilar in many ways, or they can be easily replicated by the bigger platforms.

If you are in control of content marketing for your business then the results of this survey should indicate where your video efforts should be focussed. However, integrating the unique features of other platforms into your strategy will still be beneficial. Making use of YouTube and Facebook as two key locations for video uploads is still the most effective however, and direct uploads to all platforms seems favourable as although views may not be as high on each platform, the cumulative effect will be significantly better as each platform favours its own content to some degree. The most important thing to understand is that uploading content to YouTube and Facebook has become a vital aspect of successful marketing. Video will continue to become increasingly important and users will not only watch it, they will expect it.

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