Digital video marketing can be conducted on a wide variety of platforms. These include social networks, show and movie streaming websites, video streaming websites, and more. Typically, it is important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of different platforms in order to properly tailor a marketing strategy to effective reach the desired audience. According to a July 2014 polling by Demand Metric and Ascend2, most marketers agree that video content must be shared across multiple platforms both internal and external in order to generate the highest possible return on investment.

YouTube

YouTube is the most widely used streaming website for user uploaded content. It is used both as a way to stream content on YouTube’s website itself, as well as embedding video content in other websites. YouTube is an effective platform both for sharing video content and for placing video advertisements in other producers’ content. All told, YouTube accounts for about 20% of video views on the internet, more than any other platform.

The amount of content on YouTube is immense – both a positive and negative for advertisers. Incredibly around 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube per minute. It is also the second most used search engine in the world, after Google. However, it also has an enormous amount of low quality video experiences and a user perception as such. Despite its immense reach, YouTube is an often misused platform. Many marketers tend to upload videos without sufficiently ensuring that they will reach intended viewers. According to a recent study, the result is that of nearly 200,000 business related videos examined, more than half had less than 1,000 views. This makes effective targeting even more important on YouTube.

This platform is also typically on the cutting edge of controls for advertisers and producers. For example, it has recently introduced TrueView, a payment model that only charges advertisers when users choose to view their advertisements, rather than based on impressions. This is a win-win situation for marketers and viewers because consumers are only presented with advertisements that they want to see. Some advertisers see click-through rates of around 4% using this format. While this may sound low, it is about 3-4 times higher than other ad formats. This also increases the already high recall and engagement rates of video marketing.

Beyond this, YouTube also offers significant control over targeting of non-TrueView advertisements as well. Marketers can choose to display their ads onto to select viewers based on a number of different targeting parameters. Furthermore, the platform offers a broad range of advertising options including in-stream, in-banner, and companion ads. Its compliance with standards set by the Interactive Advertising Bureau means that YouTube can allow marketers to create interactive in-stream content. For example, overlaid advertisements can link viewers to the company website, they can even include simple interactive functionality such as mini-games. Companion ads allow marketers to achieve longer lasting visibility in conjunction with in-stream and in-banner ads.

Similar to other networks, YouTube also offers the opportunity to promote videos. As such, a marketer can create videos are part of a content strategy and then promote those videos on YouTube. The result is that user will see those videos more often in their recommended viewing list.

Facebook

Facebook is one of the most popular social networking sites in the world, particularly in English speaking countries. As such, for digital marketing, it offers almost unparalleled reach. Furthermore, as a network for sharing content with friends and family, audiences are often more receptive, and more likely to watch, digital video marketing.

For some time now, Facebook has been investing into its native video streaming. One of the features currently in development – with limited availability already – is the network’s auto-play functionality. This causes videos to play without audio as the user scrolls through his or her news feed. The power of this is in that marketers can create engaging video content that is more eye catching than a static graphic. Additionally, Facebook’s native video streaming allows for easier sharing of video content. With the ability to boost and push content effective, marketers can greatly increase the impact of their digital video marketing.

There are a number of placement options for video ads on Facebook: Right Hand Side (RHS), News Feed, and Log Out screen. RHS ads are placed in the sidebar to the right of the user’s news feed. These are typically reserved for textual and graphical ads. News Feed ads are typically the best placement for digital video ads. They appear as sponsored posts within the user’s news feed. This tends to be the most engaging placement option. Finally, it is possible to place a video on the log out page. Surprisingly 50-60% of users log out each day.

One of the most important aspects of Facebook’s video marketing functionality for advertisers is the ability to target. With the enormous amount of personal data available to the social network on its users, advertisers can choose to promote posts and display video to extremely specific groups of users. Furthermore, as each user is associated with an account, it is more likely for a video to be viewed by the intended audience compared to other media such as television where a young person may see an advertisement for life alert.

Microsoft Office 365 Streaming for Enterprises

Microsoft’s YouTube live streaming service offers a way to host videos for internal usage within organizations. It is not clear yet whether this policy will change to make the service a public facing one. While the service is new and only limited to enterprise customers, it is worth watching to see how it develops for digital video marketing. One current potential usage would be for hosting and streaming video for screens at live events.