Why Each Social Video Platform Needs its Own Story Telling Strategy

Why Each Social Video Platform Needs its Own Story Telling Strategy

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VidCon founder and Vlogbrother Hank Green really loves simple, powerful ideas. So, when he read “The Rise of Multi-Platform Video: Why Brands Need a Multi-Platform Video Strategy,” he focused on this finding: “Video rips constitute 72.5% of the top Facebook video content in the last 30 days.” And his Medium post about the Facebook freebooting issue, “Theft, Lies, and Facebook Video,” has now gone viral.

I also really love strategic insights, critical data, tactical advice, and trends in the digital video marketing business. So, when I read the same report from Tubular and Ogilvy,” I focused on this finding: “Every video platform is different and requires different storytelling techniques.”

video platforms and strategies
Top 1000 videos by view per platform – Q1 2015 (Data via Tubular & Ogilvy)

Looking at the top 1,000 videos uploaded to the main platforms in the first three months of 2015, the views per video range from 1 million on Instagram to 10 million on Vine, 17 million on YouTube, and 24 million on Facebook. Now, video marketers are well aware that Vine, Facebook, and YouTube define a “view” very differently. Nevertheless, 271 YouTube videos reach 1 million views in a month, compared to 511 Vines, and 694 Facebook videos.

In addition, the average video length stretches from 6 seconds on Vine, to a maximum of 15 seconds on Instagram, to 1 minute and 28 seconds on Facebook, to 12 minutes on YouTube. The average engagement on these platforms varies from 0.65% on YouTube, to 2.1% on Vine, 3.0% on Facebook, and an incredible 43.0% on Instagram. And the top genre/topic on each of these video platforms is radically different:

  • On YouTube, it’s music.
  • On Facebook, it’s UGC/Ripped.
  • On Vineit’s comedy.
  • On Instagram, it’s pop culture.

Each Video Platform Needs its Own Story Telling Strategy

In my recent post on ‘Facebook and Twitter: Why Video Marketers Need to Treat Them Differently‘, I used the analogy of the European market being segmented, not fragmented, to help marketers understand the current video landscape. In Europe, not only does each country have its own language, each one also has its own culture and customs as well as its own folk heroes. Unfortunately, many American marketers mistakenly think that the U.S. market is one giant melting pot, so here’s another example which I hope will make things even clearer.

In 2008, I worked with The Christian Science Monitor to launch Patchwork Nation, an election site that replaced the conventional red-state blue-state maps with one that examined the election through the lens of 11 different types of communities around the country, including Evangelical Epicenters, Campus and Careers, Immigration Nation, and Boom Towns. The communities were considered to be like 11 little terrariums.”

Well, the online video market is like 30+ terrariums of various types and sizes. Each one has a distinctive economic and cultural features. And all of them have a different set of video influencers and community dynamics. So, video marketers may be stronger in some types of communities and weaker in others, but they will need to win on several major video platforms in order to mount a viable national campaign in our Patchwork Nation.

So, Hank Green discovered one simple, powerful idea by reading “The Rise of Multi-Platform Video: Why Brands Need a Multi-Platform Video Strategy,” and I found a different strategic insight by reading the same report by Tubular and Ogilvy. Who knows, if you download the white paper, then you may uncover other critical data, tactical advice, or trends in the digital video marketing business. There’s 36 slides in the deck that was first presented at Cannes Lions in June 2015. It makes great summer reading, and now all video marketers can download the white paper below, to find out how to get the best out of a multi-platform social video strategy on sites like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Vine.


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