As part of the daily curation I do with #the5, I get a chance from time to time to aggregate all the news I collect to look for trends. In the third of our 5 part series, we’re going to examine some current trends in digital marketing and what they mean for you. Today, we’re looking at…

Video Games

Here are a few of the choice headlines in the last 7 months worth reflecting on:

Facebook Video Soars Past 4 Billion Daily Views
Twitter Enables Embedding Twitter Video On Websites
Vimeo Phasing Out the Tip Jar in Favor of a New Artist Payment Program
Twitter jumps into the autoplay video game
What’s A Video View? On Facebook, Only 3 Seconds Vs. 30 At YouTube
Pinterest Puts Its Own Spin on Video Ads With These Cinematic Pins
Google unlinking Google+ from YouTube
Twitter’s Periscope Knocks Out Meerkat
YouTube’s ‘PewDiePie’ Made $7.4M Last Year, Raised $1M for Charity

To say that video is hot is akin to claiming that the sun is hot: both very true, and supremely obvious. What is less obvious above is that video platforms are beginning to differentiate by specialization. When you examine each of the major video platforms, what are they good at?

Periscoping the blog

YouTube, the 800-pound heavyweight, provides innovative experiences. YouTube is one of the top music tools in the world, primarily because you can find exactly the song you want to listen to without paying for it, save for ads. YouTube also offers 360 degree video and interactive video through tools like TrueView cards, Google Cardboard, and more. YouTube is also the champion of monetization, letting advertisers gain enormous reach and paying content creators for their labors.

Twitter specializes in the quick and the now. From Vine to Periscope, Twitter is all about now, and provides you with plenty of different ways to share now in ways that other video networks don’t.

Facebook provides community. It’s where all the people are, over a billion of them, despite having rudimentary tools and terrible analytics. Your existing social network there becomes the seed network for your video ventures.

Vimeo provides some of the best access controls for video platforms, from password protecting individual videos to offering payment gateways for creators.

While each platform struggles to lock in users and reach feature parity with the others, they’ve each clearly planted a stake in the ground about what they want to be good at.

How To Make Use of This Trend

We tend to think of video very generically. “Oh, I’ll just post a video” or “Oh, I’ll just record that on my smartphone”. This isn’t much of a strategy, and a lackluster strategy leads to lackluster results most of the time.

Rather than make generic videos to be plastered everywhere in the hopes that someone will watch them, ask what the function of your video is. Are you trying to deliver an innovative experience? As long as you’re capable of creating content that leverages the many features of YouTube, that’s the place to put it. Are you aiming to provide live, unfiltered experiences? Periscope is the place to be.

Where you should focus your video efforts also depends greatly on what you want people to do with it after you’re done. YouTube’s community, particularly the commenters, are not known for great civility, but if you hit it big on YouTube, you hit it really big. Facebook’s video platform is still in its infancy, but if your network is strong and you’ve got budget to pay for reach, it can generate amazing results. Twitter’s video efforts have been notoriously difficult to share and spread, so if you’re looking for longevity and evergreen results, it’s not the place to go.

As each platform races towards feature parity on the basics and deepens its specialization, the differences will become more pronounced. Thus, the sooner you develop capabilities to create video appropriate to each specialization, the better positioned you will be to out-video your competitors.

Digital Marketing Trends, Mid-2015 Edition
  1. Discontent Marketing
  2. Broadcast Social
  3. Video Games
  4. Make It Stick
  5. Winners and Losers

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