By Caitlin Brennan

May 19th, 2017

Russian writer, Anton Chekhov said, “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” Chances are you have been compelled to channel Chekhov in an effort to tell your brand’s story. Novelists and writers have hundreds of pages to weave a rich narrative full of vivid descriptions to arouse reader’s emotions opposed to social marketers who are limited by word counts. Fortunately, marketers can break free from these restrictive word counts and tell their story through video. Taking into account its 140 character limit, Twitter is a perfect and popular choice for video. We’re going to walk you through how you can use videos on Twitter to add value to your social campaigns and recent Twitter updates to leverage.   

Why you should use Twitter videos
It’s no secret that the most engagement in social media is through mobile. It’s predicted that there will be over six billion smartphone users by 2020. According to Twitter, 93% of all videos are watched on mobile and “Tweets with videos are 6x more likely to be Retweeted than Tweets with photos and 3x more than Tweets with GIFs.”

When developing a content distribution strategy, it’s a good move to create content that lends itself to organic growth. Considering that tweets with videos are 6x more likely to be retweeted, a strategy that employs tweets with videos will likely be fruitful.

Live video content is exploding
Last December Twitter announced the platform would now support live video in an effort to compete with Facebook Live and YouTube Live. Twitter began upping their video offerings since they acquired and integrated video live streaming platform Periscope in 2015. In the first year, there were over 200 million broadcasts and 110 years of live video was watched daily on Periscope.

Despite those impressive statistics, Periscope has 1.9 million daily active users compared to Twitter’s 100 million daily active users. Twitter’s push for live video provides a tremendous opportunity for marketers to reach a huge audience. (Fear not, we’ll cover how you can use live video later in the post.)

Twitter’s video push is proving fruitful. COO Anthony Noto speaking to Twitter’s 2017 Q1 results stated, “We’re proud of our performance in Live after just six months – last quarter alone we streamed more than 800 hours of live premium video and reached 45 million unique viewers, an increase of 31% from the previous quarter.”

The growth of video means your brand can continue to benefit from the range of opportunities video offers. This format doesn’t require an investment in expensive technology and a video editor, all you need is a smartphone. Live video can expand your reach beyond your audience in a personal and real-time manner. As statistics above indicate, people are drawn to live videos. Users can watch breaking news as it happens without filtering or spin.

Broadcast partnerships
At the recent Digital Content NewFronts 2017, Twitter announced partnerships with top digital content creators including Bloomberg, Buzzfeed, MLB Advanced Media and Live Nation. Further highlights were the announcement of Bloomberg’s 24/7 live-streaming channel and Live Nation to stream concerts.

In-stream video ads
In April Twitter introduced In-Stream Video Ads to ‘help marketers tell their story.’ Now, in addition to promoted and sponsored video, marketers can create pre- and mid-roll videos to sync with the content their audience is already viewing. Writing on the new feature, Senior Product Manager Mo Al Adham stated, “Not only does this drive more views for the publisher, it also allows advertisers to get their message in front of a larger target audience.”

Twitter video

Tips and things to try:

Keep your videos short
Twitter identified that audiences found videos 15 seconds and under more memorable than 30-second videos. This finding is in contrast to TV where audiences are more receptive to 30-second spots.

Reply to a tweet with a video
It can be a struggle to add the ‘human element’ to your brand without seeming insincere. Replying to a tweet with a video is a simple way to make your brand seem like less of an unfeeling corporate entity and more personable. How better to add the ‘human element’ than with an actual human.

GIF it
If you write blog posts that contain infographics or images with statistics, expand the life of that content by creating a GIF. If you have a longer video you can turn a compelling snippet GIF or create a highlight reel. Additionally, you can select one of the many GIFs provided by Twitter to enhance your message.

Twitter video

Autoplay
Twitter conducted extensive testing into how users respond to autoplay content. According to their research, “People were 2.5X more likely to prefer autoplay videos over other viewing methods (including click-to-play and video preview thumbnails).” Make it easier for your fans to view your content, they’ll thank you for it.

Watch and learn
As with any social media campaign always experiment and track the results. If your brand follows the statistical trends videos should prove to be a great addition to your social media content strategy.

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