In a study recently completed by Cisco, in 2022, 82% of all online content will be video content, that means that we’ll keep seeing more and more video-based platforms trying to re-invent themselves by creating new tools and options.
The constant changes and adaptations which are seen across almost all digital platforms cause a real headache for creators and marketing departments to stay up to date. As the world of content marketing is becoming a lot more diverse and broad, staying focused and strategic is more important than ever in order to convert your hard work into profitable results.
For this reason, we’re here to help you better understand and use video content on two of the most popular and highly regarded platforms: TikTok and YouTube.
TikTok’s business platform is expected to be one of the main marketing platforms for 2022, with video content sitting at the heart of it. It is no longer only a platform where Gen Z show off their dance moves, but with features such as business profiles and ads, you might want to start considering your marketing strategy to include TikTok.
Your target audience:
TikTok’s main demographic are users between the ages of 16 and 24, but if you think that in 2022 TikTok is just a fleeting fad for Gen Z-ers, you are mistaken. TikTok has evolved over the years from being just a video creation platform for self-expression, to a platform that is an advertising and marketing haven for businesses. In fact, its user demographics are only expected to widen, with the number of the users in their thirties increasing. What’s more, the app seems to have the best engagement rates out there, outdoing even the most used platforms such as Instagram. If your target audience are baby boomers, then you might be better off investing in other platforms, but if that is not the case, then TikTok is the way to go.
Length and format options:
TitTok videos have a maximum length of 60 seconds, although videos with a duration of 3 to 15 seconds perform best. It is suspected that 3 minute videos are on the cards for TikTok, meaning for creators that they will need to find ways to be interesting and entertaining to keep their audience engaged, or risk losing them and being penalized by TikTok’s algorithm.
In-Feed Videos - These are TikTok’s standard ad format that will appear within a person's feed “For You Page”. These are TikTok’s standard ad format and allow you to embed your video ads in your target audience's feed. These ads are affordable, allow brief descriptions and default to sound-on. They look similar to regular TikTok user content and blend right into users’ feeds.
Brand Takeovers - These are full screen ads that appear immediately as the user opens the app. Brand Takeovers deliver strong visual impact, however they have no sound or description copy. These ads are meant to be short, snappy and to the point, being either a 3-5 second long video or a 3 second image, so make sure your content has the potential to hook viewers instantly.
Top-View Ads - This is considered to be prime real estate for businesses using TikTok. These ads appear at the top of a person’s feed when they first open the app. Like In-Feed Ads, Top-View ads support sound and auto-play, so take advantage of this with bold sounds and visuals that instantly grab your audience.
The Aspect ratio recommendation should be like that of Instagram, which is the size of an average smartphone screen, 9:16, with dimensions of 1080 x 1920.
TikTok is a “sound-first app”, meaning that sound sits at the center of all videos and your choice in music and sounds has a lot of weight! With that being said, Brand Takeovers play automatically with no sound, so captions and text still have an important role in making your videos more accessible.
TikTok lets you target just the right audience according to age, gender, location, interests, and more. You can also create custom audiences and lookalike audiences to reach people like your existing customers.
Hashtags like other platforms are key components to getting more exposure, but make sure they are specific and relevant, you don't want to get lost in a pool of irrelevant hashtags. Hashtag challenges are one of the most effective ways to spread the word about your brand.
Use a Call to Action. TikTok-ers need direction and to be told what to do next. Your CTA can take them to a hashtag challenge, a landing page, or an e-com store. Create a sense of urgency and try to stick to a two word phrase.
Gen Z loves trends, so as a TikTok-er, you should be following them!
Comment regularly and make content worth commenting on. Likes on comments increase your ranking, so try to be thoughtful and original in what you write.
TikTok-ers often ignore ads. Blend in before promoting your product. First build an audience, earn your credibility, then provide branded content.
Get your customers to share your content. Turn happy customers into brand ambassadors, use referral programs, try incentives, or just ask them kindly to share your content if they like it!
Be active. The Head of Strategic Sales at TikTok recommends that businesses post a little more than 4 times per week. He also stresses the importance of watching, liking, and participating in the TikTok community as you build your brand - getting through “about 10 TikToks a day”.
If your target audience starts with teens and spreads out to users in their 30’s than this platform is for you
If you hold a consistent presence on the app then take advantage of your activity by incorporating an active business strategy.
If you are already investing in video content, then take it up a notch by using hashtags and call to actions.
YouTube isn’t the easiest platform to crack but once you make it to the screens of your target audience, the impact that you can have on them justifies the hard work. Making sure your content falls into the right hands relies on several factors, namely understanding its algorithm, but fortunately it’s not hard to master.
Businesses advertise on YouTube because it is the world's second most visited website, following Google, with over 2 billion logged-in visitors a month (keep in mind that it’s possible to watch YouTube content without ever creating an account). With over a billion users, nearly one-third of all people online are using the platform, reaching more 18- to 49-year-olds than any other online platform.
Length and format options:
Skippable In-Stream Ads- These ads play before or during a video. What defines this form of advertisement is the ability of the viewer to skip the ad after 5 seconds if he chooses. Your ad needs to be a minimum of 12 seconds long, with a recommendation of keeping it shorter than 3 minutes. One of the upsides to this type of ad is that you only get charged when someone watches at least 30 seconds, the entire ad (for any ad under 30 seconds), or if they click on it.
Non-Skippable In-Stream Ads - Like skippable ads, these ads also play before or during an actual video. As over 76% of people report that they automatically skip ads, non-skippable ads are ideal when your brand really needs to raise awareness and you don't want your video to be skipped over and over again. These ads are charged per impression, more specifically, per 1000 views.
Bumper Ads - These ads are also non-skippable ads, they are six-second long and play before an actual video. These ads are great for a simple, short and straight to the point message. A great video ad solution if you want to increase brand awareness and reach. These ads are charged in the same way non-skippable in-stream ads are.
Discovery Ads - Whilst in-stream ads function somewhat like a traditional TV commercials, these ads are very different from the above three and are more like ads that you see on Google’s search engine results page, appearing amongst search results in a semi-organic way. Just like Google text ads, these ads appear with a boxed “Ad” to let users know that they are paid results. These results can be found on the search results page and on the video watch page on the YouTube homepage, giving them decent exposure.
Non-video ads - These are ads in the form of overlays and banners and are great for brands that aren’t looking to fork out a big spend. This ad features an image, some text to the right of the image, and a button to redirect the viewer to your website.
YouTube Shorts - Still in the Beta stage of development, YouTube Shorts is a smartphone only app feature which offers a vertical short-form video experience for creators who want to shoot short and engaging videos using nothing but their mobile phones in 60 seconds or less.
The standard aspect ratio for YouTube is 16:9 and the recommended dimensions for your video should be 1920 x 1080 (Except YoutTube Shorts which is 9:16, 1080x1920). However, any video that you upload to YouTube will automatically adjust to match your viewers device.
YouTube allows the advertiser to control who sees their ads. As with other online platforms, advertisers on YouTube have the option to target specific regions and demographics.
Reaching your target audience used to be a matter of the right keywords and your tagging strategy. Nowadays, tagging holds little value to your search. What counts for your video’s search results is choosing the right keywords, your title and your description.
Short form vs. Long form content - When determining the length of your video, you must first determine what its purpose is. Short form videos are ideal for capturing your viewers attention, whilst long form videos are necessary to hold their engagement and maintain the audience that already follows you. Whilst other platforms thrive on short form videos, YouTube is a platform that thrives on long form video content, with brands publishing content in the form of podcasts, tutorials, reviews and the list goes on.
Invest in good quality content. On a platform like YouTube, it is not an easy task to stand out. These days, the platform thrives on content that on the surface may not seem like an advertisement, but has the desired effect of one. Whether it is a compelling story that makes your heart melt or tears swell, aim to provide your viewer with an experience that is natural and native.
Understand your competition. Watch their videos, find out how they present themselves, understand what their most popular videos are, figure out their brand voice, learn from them but do it better than them.
Creating long form media and looking for a platform to host it? Post it on YouTube and embed it on other sources.
Whether you’re posting your own videos or advertising on the platform, make sure that your content is what your target customers want. Ask yourself - “Who am I making my videos for? And what are they already watching?”
There you have it! The end of a two part social media special edition. We hope this inspires you and your brand to turn your video marketing up a notch and implement these platforms into your marketing strategy. Our recommendation is to experiment with a few different marketing tactics, in time you will find the one that works best for your brand.