It’s a simple fact of technology today – videos can be viewed just about anywhere at any time.

All you need is one of two things, WiFi or 3G (preferably 4G) and the online world is your virtual oyster. However, this modern day luxury makes half-hearted viewing inevitable.

Yep, we’re all guilty of it. The semi-conscious scroll: a ritual performed first thing in the morning or late at night… Ok, we know it’s multiple times a day, there’s no point denying it.

But what makes us stop scrolling, hover momentarily, click and watch? At Arch Creative, we’ve been doing a little investigatory work.

YouTube, of course, is the most seasoned runner in the long-distance race that is online video. It’s the largest video search engine, and the second leading search engine overall after Google! Yet, YouTube is starting to lag behind the younger, more versatile Facebook.

And here’s why – Facebook is the fastest growing platform for online videos. Fundamentally, it’s a social network of people, making it a video platform with inevitable “shareability”. This also means that well circulated videos are often home-made (see our post about how to go viral) and therefore brands with “realistic” elements in their videos often reach a higher level of engagement.

Like YouTube’s AdWords, Facebook has also recently developed video adverts that occur mid-video. This all makes the Facebook video one of the front-runners in big brand social media strategies.

One brand that is very big on the Facebook video scene is Red Bull. The “Red Bull Gives You Wings” campaign is so recognisable, you can guarantee that even your gran has seen it.

In this YouTube video, Red Bull continues to use extreme sports to engage viewers (hopefully granny isn’t too inspired by this).

For YouTube, Red Bull shares a lot of high quality videos that are longer in length. However, similar videos posted to Facebook are a lot shorter, showing a few highlights instead of a full length video. Most significantly, the feel of the video is entirely different as the pilot films himself with a low quality camera in the cockpit. Here, Red Bull is playing up to the popularity of “realistic” videos on Facebook, and specifically tailoring its video content to each social media platform to engage a particular audience. You can see the Facebook video here.

We often don’t think of the short video as a form of advertisement, but younger generations use Snapchat and Instagram stories on a day-to-day basis.

Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook now all have the story feature, although the unrestricted social aspect of the Instagram story makes it the most important for brands.

Stories create a sense of exclusivity. They can be used to create a behind-the-scenes feel, sometimes offering a first glimpse of new products, and sales are aided by the innovative swipe-up-to-buy feature. The Instagram story is effective because it can appear on the popular page, reaching users who do not necessarily follow the brand.

Snapchat is vital to social media campaigns that target younger audiences, but is limited by its inability to be viewed in more than one place. Snapchat promotion therefore relies on the use of brand ambassadors to increase views and engagement.

A short video must speak for itself – and video on Twitter does exactly that. Twitter is useful for brands who want to share quickly and informatively. Starbucks Coffee shares gifs (animated images) and short videos, relying on colourful visuals to playfully introduce new drinks.

Daring to go LIVE?

Viewers love a video that appears to be spontaneous and “in the moment”, no matter how much work has gone into making it behind the scenes.

Live videos notify followers when they begin – basically an invitation to view.

Facebook Live has proved to be successful for a lot of brands, particularly those related to cooking and fitness. The Body Coach is a fitness enthusiast who portrays himself as your average Joe (well that is his name). Live video enables him to promote the ease and do-abilty of his workouts and recipes, in turn, promoting his cookbooks and workout plans.

360 Video

The 360° Video

The 360° video is an immersive experience which makes viewers feel like they can explore the geographical surroundings of the video.

Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Periscope all support the 360° live video feature.

Hospitality giant, Airbnb cleverly uses Periscope 360° to give live house tours – where the viewer can have a proper nose around some of the snazziest places to stay.

The 360° video receives higher levels of engagement because it is the most high-tech video format online and the closest thing to VR. Of course, if you actually own a VR headset 360° video takes on a life of its own. If you don;t you could always settle for Google Cardboard, or – if you’re really smart – make your own cardboard phone holder and save yourself some dough.

One size doesn’t fit all…

No one size most definitely does not fit all!

When it comes to video there is no singular approach to take. It is important to recognise that social media platforms are individually successful at different things, with varying sized frames and lengths of video, which also require different treatment.

Some brands focus on one type of video more than others – ultimately it comes down to creating a strategy that is specific to each social media platform, tailoring the type of video to your audience, and sub-audiences, to reach and engage viewers.

Like what you’ve seen? Want your own 360° video or a bespoke Gif? Get in touch with Arch Creative and take advantage of our new video team.