I. The Intro
One of the biggest struggles brands face when using social media is knowing where they should focus their resources. Do you try to be a trailblazer on a new platform, or do you focus on the platforms that have survived the sands of time? While it can be tempting to jump ship from Facebook to join the ranks on TikTok, pivoting your strategy towards this platform might not be the right move for your organization right now. Join us in this blog to take a voyage through the history of video platforms, look at where social media video stands now and figure out what’s the best fit for you.
II. The History of the Platforms
YouTube started the online video era when it opened in 2005, quickly cementing itself as an industry leader. It wasn’t until 2013 that short-form video really took off with the birth of Vine, where creators could post videos with a maximum length of six seconds. Despite its meteoric rise, Vine was shut down in 2017 after a year of being integrated with Twitter. Seeing a hole in the market, established social media platforms wanted to join in on the fun. Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat all found a way to put their own spin on video, but an outside competitor was about to reinvent video-based social media.
In 2014, an app called Musical.ly launched as a competitor to Vine. While the new app didn’t see great success, it did manage to grab the attention of a curious Chinese company: Bytedance. They launched another Vine competitor in 2016, which was released globally under the name TikTok. In 2017, Bytedance purchased Musical.ly and merged its users with TikTok, skyrocketing it to the insanely popular app we all know today.
III. The Current State
Even though Vine’s time has passed, video is now a main component in social media. Whether it’s a short animation, videos taken around the office or long, professional, informative videos, just about everything is being posted online. However, that doesn’t mean every kind of content works on every platform. Animations are one of the best ways to start incorporating videos into your social media plan, since they pair well with posts of any kind on any platform. Not only that, but animations are fun and engaging and can be as simple or complex as you’d like.
As for non-animated content, things get a bit more intense. Short-form content brings in the most views, mainly across TikTok and Instagram’s Reels. Reels has the highest reach since it’s paired with Instagram, but TikTok allows for longer videos and has a deeper catalog of available effects. YouTube is where your longer-form content should live, as YouTube videos are easier to incorporate into websites, emails and other digital platforms. YouTube has also recently introduced its Shorts feed, which is quickly becoming a competitor to TikTok and Reels. The problem with the massive reach of these platforms is that accounts rarely gain staying power. You can go incredibly viral, but there’s no guarantee of lasting success or interest without leaning into every trend and meme as soon as it pops up.
IV. The Strategy
Video is a daunting medium. It takes a lot of time and resources to create content that people want to interact with. You have to think about the way it looks, the way it sounds, editing it and more. Most social media platforms are aware of this problem and try to make it easier by offering tools that help you create and edit short-form videos. Also, social media videos don’t have to be extremely polished, Cannes-quality short films. The goal is to give content that is authentic to your brand. If you recently attended an event, just stitching together clips from it can result in amazing content. The trade off? To create videos like these, you’ll need someone who has a LOT of time and resources to create the content and keep up with trends.
The easiest place to start is with animations. They’re incredibly versatile and can be used on any social platform. Instead of moving into a new platform altogether, start by elevating your current accounts with animations! A picture simply gliding across the screen is already more eye-catching and engaging than a static image. If you don’t know how to create animations, don’t worry! image.works is here for you with expert animators who can help with content creation. Turning to us for animations is an easy way to dip your toes into video and experience the positive impact of this digital marketing strategy.
V. The Conclusion
Working video into your social media plan, whether it’s through animation or something you record, is a good idea. Knowing what kind of videos to use and finding the time and resources to create them can be trickier. Start by thinking about what your audience wants to see. And if you don’t know what that might be, we do! image.works provides effective marketing materials for 700+ clients across the country, and we know what works. Reach out to one of our sales reps, and they’ll help you get started. You can also go online to find out more about our social and digital services. We’d love to help you handle your social media accounts!