Last year I officially realized that video has taken over the Internet. How did I discover this? I walked into my parents’ living room and saw my 70 year old dad watching a music video of Lorde’s “Royals” via YouTube on his iPad. If my dad is watching music videos on YouTube (particularly ironic because MTV was banned in our house when I was growing up) or other video apps, then truly everyone has fallen in love with watching videos on the Internet.
With the exploding popularity of Internet video, businesses are skipping TV ads and focusing on Internet video ads. You probably know this. You may have even crafted a YouTube ad for your business already. But do you know about all the different platforms that focus on video?
In today’s rapidly changing social media landscape, it seems like there’s a new social media app every month that is all the rage. YouTube gets loads of attention and lately so has Facebook Live. Let’s focus on a few of the apps that are less widespread: Snapchat, Vine, and Periscope.
Video Apps: Snapchat
Have you ever used Snapchat? If you’re over 35, probably not. If you’re a teenager or young adult, most definitely. Snapchat has become massively popular in a fairly short timespan, particularly with teenagers.
What is Snapchat? It’s a social media app that allows users to upload photos and brief videos (in 10 second increments). Especially popular are the photo and video filters that do everything from show the time of day to overlaying your face with a bee-like image and making your voice squeaky. Moreover, anything you upload onto Snapchat disappears in 24 hours, which gives the service a sense of immediacy and exclusivity.
Snapchat has 150 million users per day, which is higher than Twitter’s average daily usage. The typical Snapchat user is young. Sixty percent of the users are between the ages of 13 and 24.
For businesses, Snapchat does show the occasional brief ad amongst users’ video feeds. Equally or more useful for businesses is creating a Snapchat account. You can show funny photos, behind the scenes videos, and exclusive insights to upcoming products. You can use your most charming employees to build up a rapport with your customer base.
The popularity of Snapchat makes it an important tool for any business targeting a young adult audience. Next up, let’s take a look at Vine.
Vine is a video based social media app owned by Twitter. Like Snapchat, it allows users to post short videos. Vine’s videos can only be 6 seconds at a time. You can create longer videos using a continuous stream of 6 second videos (10 videos of 6 seconds each for a minute long segment). In a new twist, Vine is allowing some users to create videos up to 140 seconds long. The first 6 seconds serve as a preview and users can choose to click a Watch More link. It’s being rolled out for a limited number of users as of June 2016 and presumably will be offered to everyone eventually.
Like Snapchat, the majority of Vine users are young, but not quite as young as Snapchat. Nearly 30% are age 24 or younger and another 22% are between 25 and 34. It has 200 million users, even more than Snapchat. However, many are speculating that Vine is on the decline. Between May 2015 and March 2016, the viewership of the top 10 Vine accounts was down 29 percent.
While the ultimate fate of Vine may be unclear, it is still very popular even if some of its viewership is wary. The link with Twitter makes it a useful tool for marketers. You can use video on Vine in the same way as Snapchat. A big benefit of Vine is that it’s easy to upload your videos onto your Twitter feed. That way your Vine videos can reach a target audience that may not be using Vine.
Finally, let’s take a look at another video app owned by Twitter: Periscope.
Unlike Snapchat and Vine, Periscope focuses on live videos. The other two apps allow users to upload already made videos. Periscope users are on live video while on the app. This enables them to interact with users in real time and respond to comments while on video. Once the videos are finished, they are viewable on the user’s channel for 24 hours.
Periscope is a new service. It’s only been available for 18 months. The statistics on usage are not entirely clear, but according to Twitter it is growing rapidly. As of March 2016, over 200 million videos had been posted to the app. Unfortunately, the number of users has not been published since August 2015. At that time, there were about 10 million registered users and just under 2 million daily users. The typical age of users is even younger than Vine and Snapchat. Fully 75% of users are under 35.
Companies can use Periscope to interact directly with customers in real time. They can showcase new products, talk about ongoing issues, and conduct question and answer sessions. Best of all, it is easy to upload a Periscope video onto other sites, like Facebook or a blog. Videos disappear from Periscope after 24 hours, but since the video is saved on your phone, you can bring it back to life.
If the current popularity of Internet video is any indication, it’s going to play an important role in marketing for years to come. The faster you make an established presence on popular apps, the quicker your audience will grow. Moreover, when these youngsters aren’t so young anymore, they’ll likely still turn to companies they’re familiar with. With Internet video marketing, you and your audience can grow together.