The Wistia Guide to Social Media Video

Your friendly neighborhood guide to all things video for social media.

September 15, 2021

Topic tags

Frank Emanuele

Marketing

Meisha Bochicchio

Marketing

Lisa Marinelli

Creative

Marketers don’t always take a video-first approach when it comes to their social media strategy — especially in the B2B space. There are common misconceptions that B2B marketing is formal or even stuffy, which would seem to preclude video altogether.

In reality, marketing across all verticals has one basic thing in common: You’re talking to people. And what better way to talk to someone than to use engaging video that they can see and hear?

Incorporating video content into your social media strategy can inject energy into your marketing and bring your brand’s story to life in a way other content simply can’t. Video can also humanize your brand and showcase the friendly faces behind your company.

We know what you’re thinking — video sounds great, but how do I get started? How do I decide what types of videos to make? And don’t I need professional video equipment or a production studio? (Spoiler alert: While those things are nice to have, you certainly don’t need a Marvel-level setup to create stunning social videos.)

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll help you rethink the way you approach your social strategy. From creating and editing video content to distributing your videos across multiple platforms, to measuring the impact and success of your social videos — we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to learn how to start and scale your social video efforts!

Why video for social media?

If you’re active on social media, you’ve likely noticed the uptick in video content over the past few years. Social media is a natural place for video — especially native content that keeps people in the app.

Let’s dive into a few specific reasons why video is such a good fit for social media.

Create an authentic, human brand

Your business is more than just your product or service. Videos for social media can help you create a relatable, human brand that people love — a brand folks will champion and recommend time and time again.

Social media is the perfect place to let your brand personality shine through with video. In fact, Wyzowl found that 85% of people want to see more video from brands in 2021. If you’ve been waiting for a sign people want video from you, this is it!

“85% of people want to see more video from brands in 2021.”

Video content gets more engagement

If there’s one thing that holds true across all social platforms, it’s the fact that algorithms love video. Why? Well, for one thing, video content captures attention and holds it for longer. Here are some numbers that support this theory:

  • On Twitter, Tweets with video attract 10 times more engagement than Tweets without video.
  • Videos on Facebook see an average engagement rate of 0.26%, which is higher than the average engagement rate for all types of posts on the platform.
  • Video content receives 49% higher engagement than static content on Instagram.

Others are already there

Although not everyone is taking a video-first approach on social in the B2B space, video for social isn’t new by any means. In fact, HubSpot found in its State of Marketing Report that social media is the number one marketing channel in 2021. Additionally, video is the top primary form of media used within content strategies.

If you’re not using social media or video — or both — in your marketing strategy, you could be falling behind. Incorporating video into your social media video strategy will help your brand stand out in your industry.

Note
Check out our State of Video Report for more insight on video marketing metrics that matter!


Forming your social media video strategy

Before you jump into video creation, you need to take a step back, look at the big picture, and form a solid social media video strategy.

Start by identifying your business and marketing goals as a whole. Then, define your strategy by thinking about how video will help your brand meet those goals. Video doesn’t live in a silo, so any video efforts should always tie back to the holistic strategic framework you’re working within.

Start with a goal — what do you want to achieve?

What are your top-line business goals for the year? Are you launching a new product or service? Maybe you want to grow your customer base within your segment or increase loyalty and retention? Or perhaps you need to hire a whole bunch of talented folks to support business growth?

Understanding your goals will help drive the creative strategy behind what types of videos you should create for social (and elsewhere).

Remember, any marketing goals should always be SMART goals. Let’s break down this acronym and what you should consider in the context of a social media video strategy.

  • Specific: Who is your audience, and what social networks are they on? How do they like to use these networks?
  • Measurable: How many videos will you create? What metrics will you track?
  • Achievable: Does your team have the resources to produce these videos?
  • Relevant: Do the videos align with your brand’s longer-term goals?
  • Time-bound: What’s your timeline?

SMART goals are the best way to be intentional about your social media video strategy and ensure you’re making the biggest impact. Setting these goals for yourself or for your marketing team will also help you articulate success to managers or stakeholders so you can invest even more in social media video ideas to support your brand.

So, what do you want to achieve? Well, a few common goals for using video in your social media strategy are to boost awareness, increase engagement, and drive return on investment (ROI) by generating leads and sales.

Tip
Need help making sense of social media? Learn how to set SMART social media video goals in the context of the marketing funnel!

Define your strategy — how will video help your brand meet these goals?

With SMART goals for social media videos now under your belt, it’s time to discuss how video will help your brand meet those goals at every stage of the marketing funnel.

The marketing funnel and its respective goals can be broken down as follows:

Top-of-funnel (ToFu): Generate awareness

Social media video can be a great way to generate initial brand awareness. Perhaps you have a new product or service — social can be an amazing awareness driver, especially when it’s part of a larger marketing effort that includes other channels like blogs, email, and advertising.

Mid-funnel (MoFu): Increase engagement

Moving on to the middle of the funnel, social media videos can help you gauge and optimize your audience’s engagement. One of the biggest strengths of social media marketing is the ability to track how engaged your audience is. The number of likes, comments, and shares your video earns can be a pretty solid indicator of how well it resonates with your target audience.

Bottom-funnel (BoFu): Drive ROI

Toward the bottom of the funnel, this is where the rubber meets the road. The videos you post to social media at this phase work best if you have established a loyal social media following with consistent engagement. Social media videos can also drive ROI by generating leads and sales when social media is just one touchpoint in the larger overall marketing strategy.

There are an infinite number of ways you can use video to help your brand meet your goals and nurture folks through the funnel, whether it’s educating your audience about your product or showing off your company culture. But, as we mentioned, video should always be a part of your larger social media strategy!

Tip
For more best practices, ideas, and case studies, check out this post on crafting a social video strategy.

Creating and editing video for social media

When you feel ready to dive into the social media video creation process, remember that it doesn’t have to be a heavy lift! Here are some ideas to help you get started with your video strategy, from video ideas and scroll-stopping tips to editing your videos for different platforms.

Creating your social media videos

Get those creative wheels turning by checking out some of these posts for inspiration and expert tips!

10 Social Media Video Ideas to Help Your Brand Stand Out

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to social media videos. You need to be deliberate about the content you’re publishing for your brand, ensuring it will appeal to followers across different social platforms. We’ve put together a list of 10 social media video ideas that will educate and entertain your audience, from content teasers and live Q&A videos to product launch and how-to videos.

6 Scroll-Stopping Tips to Make Your Social Media Videos Shine

While creating videos for social media isn’t an exact science, there are some tried-and-tested best practices you can use to elevate your videos across all social channels. Showing faces, starting with a hook, and adding text or captions are just a few scroll-stopping tips. Dig into the rest of this post for more!

13 Social Media Video Tools to Help Your Business Make Memorable Videos

With the right social media video tools, a brand can quite literally shoot, edit, and distribute all their videos right off a single smartphone. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite tools that will empower you to create high-quality videos — no professional filming experience needed. Whether you’re just dipping your toes into the video waters or you’re looking to really level up your brand’s digital presence, here are a few handy social media video tools to make your job easier.

Editing your social media videos

If there’s one thing you take away from this guide, we hope it’s this: You need to make sure your video assets are edited specifically for each video placement across different platforms. We know, it sounds like a lot of editing, but hear us out.

Some sites, like Instagram, offer multiple places to host your video content. You’ve got Stories, which are best suited for short, snappy videos, and IGTV, which is designed for longer-form video content. The exact same video likely won’t translate well if it’s simply repurposed without any thought about the placement.

Length is also an important element to consider. For instance, you’re rewarded for longer videos on Facebook, but shorter videos do better on LinkedIn.

These are just a couple quick examples of things to be mindful of. You’ll want to do a little research about what works best for each channel’s video placements to ensure your video has the greatest opportunity for success when you put it out into the world. Lucky for you, we break down different video placements in this guide!

Before we get into that, here are some posts about video editing for social media that’ll make you feel more confident about editing on your own.

How to Edit Video for Social Media

Editing a video for social media is much easier than it looks — you just need a few free tools and a handful of tips from people who’ve done it before! In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know, from understanding top-level best practices to actually editing a pre-existing video.

How to Make Square Videos for Social Media

Because square video takes up more real estate on the viewer’s feed than landscape video does, channels like Facebook and Instagram are perfect playgrounds for square video. So, how do you actually make a square video? Whether you’re on a computer or on your phone, you’ll need software to crop your video to a 1:1 square aspect ratio. In this post, we’ll walk you through exactly how to create square videos on your iPhone and on your desktop.

Choosing the Ideal Aspect Ratio for Your Video

We gathered everything we know about choosing the best aspect ratios for social media video so you can make content that stands out on any screen and feels fresh and relevant to your audience. Here’s a complete list of aspect ratios for video marketers to use right now, along with examples of what they look like. Plus, use our Aspect Ratio Calculator to simplify your process!

Tip
New to creating videos? It’s possible to make a great video for your business using the tools you already have. We can help you get started with our Beginner’s Guide to Video Production!

Social video distribution and promotion

Now let’s talk distribution. Creating your video assets is one thing. Getting them in front of the right eyes in the wild is another.

In this section, we’ll run through the different video placements for Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube. We’ll also show you how your B2B brand can connect with your audience on each platform.

Instagram

According to Instagram, 90% of people follow a business account on the platform, and 2 in 3 people say Instagram enables relationships with brands. This is fantastic news for publishers — it means people are consciously looking to connect with brands and consume their content. With over 1 billion active users across the globe, that translates to a whole lot of audience potential.

“90% of people follow a business account on Instagram, and 2 in 3 people say Instagram enables relationships with brands.”

Looking closer at the platform’s audience, over 60% of Instagram’s users are between the ages of 18 and 34. This demographic, combined with recent features like Stories and Reels, explains the platform’s preference for high-energy, trendy video content. For your business, this means keeping things super fun and authentic when it comes to creating videos.

Now, let’s discuss the different video placements for Instagram in more detail.

Instagram Feed

On Instagram, feed videos are posted to a brand’s page and show up organically in the feed as people scroll. The videos will also show up on a brand’s content grid with a play button icon to indicate the post is a video.

There is a 60-second limit on feed videos, but don’t sweat it if your content is longer. You can still post the first minute to your feed, and your viewers will get a prompt to watch the rest on IGTV.

Organic feed videos auto-play without sound, so keep this in mind when creating your content. We always recommend video captions for this very reason!

Tip
Get best practices for Instagram video, from shooting and editing to production and general aesthetics.

Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories allows users to share images and short video clips that automatically disappear after 24 hours. These snappy clips max out at 15 seconds long. If you upload a video that’s longer than 15 seconds, Instagram will automatically divide it into shorter clips for you — so don’t worry about having to edit down the snippets.

Stories is a fun place to experiment and try new things. This specific area offers tons of fun features like emojis and GIFs, interactive polls and Q&A boxes, music clips, and so much more. So embrace this opportunity to get creative and have some fun with your video content!

Another cool thing about Stories is that you can curate a collection of these clips to feature on your profile as a Highlight. Your Highlights can have custom thumbnail images and titles to describe what each collection includes, like “Instructional Videos” or “Podcasts.”

Instagram TV

Do you have long-form video content to share with the world? Instagram TV might just be your new best friend! Released as Instagram’s answer to YouTube, this placement allows creators to share videos up to 60 minutes in length. This is ideal for episodic content as well as video tutorials and interviews.

There are a few things to keep in mind when creating content for IGTV. First, users can only upload videos up to 15 minutes in length via a mobile device. Longer videos (up to 60 minutes) can be uploaded on a desktop device.

Also remember that IGTV was designed to optimize the mobile viewing experience. Horizontal videos are now compatible, but vertical videos still look best. So, embrace the vertical video format when recording and editing your content.

Instagram Reels

Instagram’s latest feature, Reels, allows users to quickly create and share short, bingeable video clips. Instagram has put Reels front and center with a new tab on the main profile page dedicated to these viral clips. Users can also discover new Reels content on the Explore page.

It’s important to note: Reels are created and edited directly within the Instagram app. You cannot upload a video clip as a Reel, unlike other forms of video content across the platform. However, the app does have some pretty nifty features (similar to Stories) to make videos pop. Use these to add flair to your content or take advantage of a viral trend.

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For a deeper dive, check out our complete Guide to Instagram Video. See examples of how B2B brands are using video on the platform and more!

Facebook

According to Hootsuite, Facebook is the world’s third most-visited global website, behind only Google and YouTube. And in terms of reach, Facebook is unmatched with 2.74 billion monthly active users.

“Facebook is the world’s third most-visited global website, behind only Google and YouTube.”

The platform’s staggering size is particularly valuable when it comes to paid advertising because Facebook has extremely granular targeting capabilities. Despite its massive audience, Facebook works best when you go niche. Understand your audience, their likes, dislikes, and preferences, and then cater your content towards these nuances.

So, what types of videos can you share on Facebook? Here’s a breakdown of the various video placements available for your branded content.

News Feed videos

Facebook News Feed videos are the most common video placement on the platform. They’re available on both mobile and desktop. News Feed videos are posted to a brand’s Page and show up organically in the main feed as people scroll. They also appear on the “Home” and “Video” tabs of a brand’s Page.

Stories

If your Instagram and Facebook pages are connected, you can share your Instagram Story to your Facebook Story either automatically or manually. It’s a mobile-first experience, but it’s also available on desktop.

Facebook Stories appear to viewers as full-screen vertical videos, so embrace the vertical video format when recording and editing your content. There are also options to add stickers, emojis, and other creative elements like text to help you communicate clear messages to your audience.

There are a few paid placement options for videos on Facebook. Paid content can be promoted in the News Feed and in Stories.

Facebook in-stream videos are also paid placements that are only available on mobile devices. These short ads break up long-form video content as a user scrolls through the “Watch” tab on the Facebook mobile app.

Additionally, Facebook Marketplace is known for being a hot spot for buying, selling, and discovering goods in your community or from around the world. Marketers can use this ad unit to reach folks who are actively researching or ready to make a purchase of a certain product or service.

Action Item
Go more in-depth about Facebook’s video placements, best practices, types of videos that work well, and tools to use with Wistia’s Guide to Facebook Video.

Twitter

With over 199 million daily active users and 500 million Tweets sent every single day, the social network known for sharing thoughts at the speed of light shows no signs of slowing down.

Twitter’s audience skews slightly older than other platforms like Instagram or TikTok. 39% of users are between the ages of 25–34, while 21% are between 35–49. Interestingly, 17% of users fall into the 50+ demographic.

For brands and businesses, it’s worth noting that 75% of B2B businesses market their products or services on Twitter. We recommend joining them if you haven’t already — and we also suggest using video in your Twitter platform strategy. As with Facebook and Instagram, video is one of the surest ways to market your product and communicate your messages on Twitter.

Twitter also has a lot of niche sub-cultures (similar to Reddit) that can foster a strong sense of community. If you want to find and connect with these groups, hashtags will come in handy. After all, modern-day hashtags originated on Twitter. Brands can use them to increase discoverability and start conversations around specific topics.

Take a look at the video placements available on the platform.

Organic timeline videos

First and foremost, when it comes to creating video content to share on Twitter, it’s super important to make the first three seconds count. Twitter suggests showing branding in the first few moments of your video to quickly grab attention.

Twitter timeline videos are the most common video placement on the platform. They’re available on both mobile and desktop. Timeline videos are posted to a brand’s profile and show up organically in the main timeline as people scroll. Depending on the engagement, they might also appear in Top Tweets when users search for your brand or keywords, hashtags, and phrases mentioned in your Tweet.

Twitter video ads

If your business is willing to put some spend behind a Twitter video strategy, video ads can help you showcase your product or service to more folks on the platform. Promoted video ads can encourage people to engage with your message and drive folks to your brand’s website.

You have three variations of video ads from which you can choose:

  • Standalone video ads — it’s important to note there’s a 280-character limit on Tweet copy. Additionally, the title length is limited to 70 characters.
  • Conversational ads include Call to Action (CTA) buttons with customizable hashtags that make it easy for consumers to engage with your brand’s message.
  • Polls can also be added to promoted videos, which is another fun way to interact with your audience and understand people’s opinions on topics related to your brand.
Action Item
Want to learn tips for great Twitter video content? Find all that and more in Wistia’s Guide to Twitter Video!

LinkedIn

Small but mighty, LinkedIn is a niche networking platform for business professionals. With around 774 million members and 310 million monthly active users, it’s got a robust user base but still falls well below social giants like Facebook and Instagram.

Video is fairly new to the platform, so we encourage brands to jump on the bandwagon and test lots of different videos to see what sticks.

Here are a few placements the platform offers!

Organic feed videos

The platform currently supports two options for uploading video content directly to your LinkedIn feed: Native video and video embeds.

Native video uploads are the preferred route. Like other social platforms, the LinkedIn algorithm prefers native video. These assets tend to get more reach and engagement than you would if you shared video links. Native LinkedIn videos also auto-play in the feed, so the first few seconds are crucial for capturing attention as people scroll.

As we briefly mentioned, when it comes to news feed video length on LinkedIn, short videos are often better. Though LinkedIn does allow pages to post videos up to 10 minutes long, 30 to 90 seconds is the sweet spot for most brands.

LinkedIn video ads

If your budget allows, LinkedIn video ads can be a surefire way to expand your reach even further and refine your video strategy to encompass the entire marketing funnel. Looking to entice new page followers? Or maybe you want to generate leads right on LinkedIn? The platform makes it easy to select your goal and optimize your video ads accordingly.

Action Item
Head over to Wistia’s Guide to LinkedIn Video to learn more about why LinkedIn is a prime place for video content. Plus, get tips for high-performing LinkedIn videos!

YouTube

With over 2 billion active users, it’s safe to say any business can find and reach a relevant audience across YouTube. However, before you start re-posting existing video content to the platform, you must understand what types of videos do well.

“YouTube is a place where people go to seek information or entertainment.”

YouTube is a place where people go to seek information or entertainment. When it comes down to it, people visit YouTube to watch a video, not to make a purchasing decision. Your business should cater YouTube videos accordingly and focus on creating a specific, engaging channel to reach a niche audience. Businesses have found success reaching new audiences through helpful and educational video content.

YouTube for search and social

On the YouTube platform, there are three main places to discover video content:

  • YouTube homepage: YouTube’s homepage aims to deliver the most relevant and personalized recommendations to each viewer when they land on the site.
  • Suggested or related videos: Suggested videos offer viewers a selection of videos they’re most likely to watch next, based on their prior activity. These are videos you’ll find in the right-hand column when you’re watching a video or in the “up next” list after a video finishes.
  • Search rankings: Search results pages display a list of recommended videos based on a search query.

Specific types of video content are also more likely to drive views from different spots across YouTube. YouTube’s Product Manager has said roughly 80% of news-related video is discovered from the homepage, while about 60% of educational videos (tutorials and how-tos) are discovered from search.

How brands can find success

Let’s explain some of YouTube’s strengths and shortcomings so you can better understand how your brand can find success with a YouTube strategy.

If your business can’t make relevant content for YouTube, you can still do advertising or retargeting there. YouTube can be great for growing brand awareness and driving discovery! Plus, YouTube advertising is self-service via Google Ads and there are no minimum budgets, making it accessible even for small companies.

However, the platform’s targeting options are limited. This means you should evaluate how precisely you can reach your audience with YouTube’s targeting options.

An often overlooked benefit of YouTube videos is that Google, YouTube’s parent company, tends to prioritize its own content in search engine results pages (SERPs). While we’re big advocates of hosting video content on your own website and driving traffic to owned properties, we simply can’t ignore how Google has shifted to favor YouTube videos over videos hosted on other providers (like Wistia).

All in all, there’s no real way to “win” on YouTube and slide to the top of the rankings. The only way to find success is by creating attractive content on a regular basis.

Videos to test on YouTube

What are some of the best types of video to add to your YouTube channel? Well, like many things in marketing, it depends.

In general, we recommend being strategic with what types of content you add to the platform and what you save for your own website. And we definitely do not recommend adding every single one of your videos to YouTube with no clear plan or strategy.

That said, here are a few types of videos that tend to perform well across YouTube:

  • Tutorials and how-tos: Tutorials and how-to videos are wonderful for driving search traffic and are an especially appealing opportunity for B2B marketers.
  • Vlogs: Video blogs (or vlogs for short) are a popular video format on YouTube. Brands can take advantage of this by creating thought leadership-driven content or by promoting a compelling video series.
  • Video podcast: Adding video to your podcast is a fabulous way to build a deeper connection with your audience and add a human element to your brand.
  • Brand story videos: Identify compelling brand stories and share those with video. Try posting behind-the-scenes content, employee interviews, customer stories, or videos around your company’s core values.
  • Events (live or virtual): Online events are a hot commodity as more companies have embraced a remote-first approach to how they do work. Going live on YouTube is a creative way to engage new people around the world and take advantage of folks searching for content related to your event. If you don’t have a live component to your event, you could always post clips or full sessions to YouTube later for folks to view on-demand.
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Whether you’re just getting started with YouTube or you’re looking to evolve from an undefined “video dumping” strategy, learn how you can leverage the world’s second-largest search engine with our guide on developing a better YouTube strategy.

TikTok

TikTok is the social media phenomenon and short-form video machine that’s known for its younger demographics.

However, despite its reputation as a Gen Z hotspot, TikTok isn’t only for teens. The 30–49-year-old age bracket accounts for 42% of all TikTok users right now, according to Statista. And data from Trust Radius indicates that in the tech world, 60% of buyers are between 25 and 39. So, there’s a significant overlap between tech buyers and TikTok users.

Image courtesy of TikTok.

Currently, TikTok is regularly used as a forum in which B2C brands can connect with a younger audience. What does this mean for B2B brands? It means there’s still space for your business to have a voice on the video-centric platform, too!

TikTok also sees sky-high engagement rates, with micro-influencers seeing an average engagement rate of 17.96%. That’s much higher than Instagram in the same category, at just 3.86%.

If you’ve been trying to think of ways to grow your audience, adding TikTok to your video strategy might be a route worth exploring. Here are some best practices for B2B brands on the platform.

Best practices for B2B brands

Though TikTok might not feel aligned with typical B2B messaging, marketers can reach audiences through the platform with a bit of thought, a willingness to experiment, and by following some of these best practices:

  • Be authentic. Personal stories and relatable content are the foundations of TikTok. To be a part of this community, you need to buy into that way of thinking. One way to be genuine? Focus on the people and the human stories behind your B2B brand.
  • Find a niche and stick with it. For both brands and individual creators, having a clear focus for your content is essential if you’re going to build a following. If you find a theme for your content — and keep with it — fans will know exactly what they’re getting when you drop into their feed.
  • Trends are your friend. The Discover section of the TikTok app pulls together popular hashtags and other content on the platform such as sounds, transitions, and dances. But unlike trends that are over in a couple of hours on Twitter and other social networks, what’s hot on TikTok often stays trending way longer. As a B2B marketer, this gives you time to spot and tap into trends that, on other platforms, might’ve disappeared before you’ve had the chance to react.
  • Keep things simple. On TikTok, you don’t have much video time — just 15 seconds, a minute, or 3 minutes — to drive home your message. With these cut-offs, it’s critical marketers are clear on the point of their clips. Focus on just one idea per video, so TikTok users can easily pick up on the content’s purpose.
  • Embrace silliness. We’re not saying your B2B brand needs to have employees dancing and lip-syncing on TikTok. But by taking a lighter tone than you would with your traditional corporate communications, you’ll have a better chance of winning over an audience.
Get Inspired
Curious to see how some B2B brands today are starting to find their niche audience on TikTok and implementing these best practices? Check out our blog post about how B2B marketers are clocking in on TikTok featuring brands like Morning Brew, Adobe, Square, and Shopify.

Streaming and live video

In this comprehensive guide to social media, it’s also crucial that we cover why live streaming is useful for B2B brands today.

During the pandemic, live streaming became an important way for brands and businesses to engage their audiences. And, according to research conducted by the cloud multistreaming service Restream, 91% of businesses plan to keep streaming after COVID and 81% say it will be a social media priority in 2021.

“91% of businesses plan to keep streaming after COVID and 81% say it will be a social media priority in 2021.”

When it comes to the benefits of investing in live streaming, there are a number of reasons why it doesn’t hurt to find a place for it in your video strategy:

  • It’s less expensive than pre-recorded video. The only expenses are the upfront costs of your gear, which will vary depending on how important achieving professional-quality streaming is for your brand.
  • Algorithms love live video. Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn, and Twitter have altered their algorithms to account for live streaming. These platforms are essentially encouraging their users to go live more often, and in turn, they’ll expand the audience reach of your videos to get more eyes on your content.
  • Engage with your audience in real-time. With chat functions that can spur a natural back-and-forth between you and audience members, you have the opportunity to build a strong community for your brand.

How to live stream on social media

Moving on to where you’ll host your live stream, choosing the best platform boils down to whether or not you have the right community on that platform. You should pick a platform because it makes sense for your audience and your intended content.

The most popular live streaming platforms for businesses and marketers today are Instagram Live, Facebook Live, LinkedIn Live, and YouTube Live. Software, like Open Broadcast Software and live event platforms, also exist that allow you to stream to a bunch of live streaming platforms simultaneously.

Here’s an overview of the four big live streaming platforms marketers and B2B brands can use to deepen relationships with their audience and reach new fans.

Instagram Live

Instagram Live allows you to stream a live feed to your followers. No pre-recorded or edited videos allowed! This keeps live streams natural and authentic. Nervous about going live on your own? No sweat. Instagram Live makes it easy to invite another user “on stage” with you.

Going live is also a great way to increase discoverability. Followers will receive an in-app notification when you go live, and your live stream will be bumped to the front of their Stories screen for enhanced visibility.

And after you finish the broadcast, your Live video will stay on your Story for 24 hours. This gives more folks a chance to check out your live content well after the cameras stop rolling. You can even share your IG Live to IGTV after you’re done recording, giving it an even longer shelf life.

Facebook Live

Now, let’s chat about Facebook Live videos. Live streaming has become an important way for brands and businesses to actively engage their audiences; however, according to one Socialinsider’s study, just 12% of brands go live.

We already talked about the Facebook algorithm favoring long videos, and this same study indicates that people do, too. They found that live videos lasting longer than one hour saw 350% more engagement on average, regardless of the size of a business’s Facebook Page! Just another reminder not to restrict yourself when it comes to time (if the content is relevant and high-quality, of course).

The longer your live stream, the larger the audience you are likely to reach. Not to mention, viewers will be more likely to discover and share your event while it’s happening.

LinkedIn Live

Live video streaming on LinkedIn is a surefire way to tap into an extensive network of active professionals and increase your brand’s visibility.

Unlike other social networks, LinkedIn requires that users submit a request to become a live broadcaster, so make sure you plan for this in advance. Criteria for approval to go live includes having enough followers (500 followers for Pages) and posting original content on the platform regularly. You’ll also need to download and install a third-party tool for your stream, as LinkedIn doesn’t currently offer a native solution.

YouTube Live

Attracting viewers by creating a high-quality YouTube Live event allows you to connect with new folks and attract more attention.

Before going live on YouTube, there are a few requirements to keep in mind. First, you need to verify your channel at least 24 hours before your event. You’ll also want to prepare a title, description for the video, and thumbnail image in advance. Finally, you don’t need your live video stream to look perfect, but you should still aim for a presentable setup. More specifically, check for decent lighting, a clean background, and a relatively quiet space to record in.

Types of live events for social media

Finally, it’s time to run through some types of live stream events your B2B business can consider for your social video strategy:

  • Webinar: A live stream webinar is a perfect vehicle to teach people about larger industry topics and how your product can be useful to them.
  • Interview: With live interviews, you can bring more eyes to your B2B brand by speaking with noteworthy industry experts and thought leaders. These conversations can uncover relevant insights and help you promote your video content through the other experts’ channels as well.
  • Product launches: Streaming is a great way to reveal new products or services that are coming out.
  • Q&A: If you’ve picked up on whispers of questions from your audience about your products or recent business decisions, a live Q&A can help clear up any inquiries. Q&As also offer a unique opportunity to engage with your audience directly and build a sense of community.
  • Conference or event: Live streaming is ideal for hosting B2B conferences and can expand your reach to folks who wouldn’t be able to attend in person.
  • Big brand moments: Businesses are smart to leverage live video for big PR moments. If you’re making history in some way, it could be worth live streaming it!
Action Item
Curious to know more about going live? Find out how B2B businesses are using live events and how you can get in on the action with our Marketer’s Guide to Live Streaming!

Measuring social video performance

Just as there are different video placements across Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube, key performance indicators (KPIs) like “views” and “engagement” also differ between each platform.

With data in different formats, measuring your video performance can seem challenging! However, there are some top metrics you can look at to start measuring your success.

Pro-Tip
Tracking performance is way easier if you have a tool to help! Buffer, Sprout Social, and other social media management tools can aggregate all of your social performance data in one place. This will help eliminate confusion while analyzing metrics that differ across platforms.

Top metrics to watch

Here are three metrics you can start looking at to understand how your video content is performing:

  • Impressions: Impressions will indicate how many times your video was seen on a feed.
  • Completion rate: Completion rate will tell you what percentage of folks watched your entire video out of everyone who viewed your video. Some platforms also break this down into completion categories like 25%, 50%, 75%, etc.
  • Engagement: Engagement includes comments, shares, or reactions.

Every platform reports data differently and uses its own video-reporting vernacular. That’s why understanding how your videos are performing across the web is crucial to the success and relevance of your video marketing efforts.

Action Item
Want to know which KPIs matter most across different channels? Learn how to evaluate your video’s performance across multiple channels in this post!

Go on, get out there

If you’ve made it to the end of our social media video guide, we hope you’ve learned a thing or two that can help your business start using video in your social strategy. Remember, video should be used to support your larger social strategy and business as a whole!

Be sure to explore our individual guides for Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube for a more complete look at each social platform’s video placements and what types of videos work best. Each guide will also help you get inspired by other B2B companies using video in their social strategies right now.

Whichever platforms you choose to share your videos, we can’t wait to see them out in the wild. So, what are you waiting for? Start experimenting with social media videos!

September 15, 2021

Topic tags

Frank Emanuele

Marketing

Meisha Bochicchio

Marketing

Lisa Marinelli

Creative

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