Twitter and Facebook host a good portion of their own digital videos, but YouTube is still king on that front and will be for the near future. However, with advertisers looking to spend over $4 billion in digital video this year alone, it’s no wonder Twitter and Facebook are taking steps to battle YouTube for a bigger piece of that revenue pie.
Digital video is becoming an increasingly important avenue for brands. Previously, we touched upon why video is important for a company’s online strategy. It’s a good way to educate the consumer, it strengthens your offline assets and builds consumer trust.
The possibilities with digital video are rather limitless depending on a company’s creativity. It’s not just about 15-second or 30-second pre-roll videos that are interchangeable with television commercials. The online aspect can add a deeper interactive wrinkle, with click-through links to a vast array of other options. For example, a video game company promoting a game can provide a link to a demo, giving customers a taste of the product. The company can even prompt users to sign up with their email addresses to play the demo, opening another avenue of data for future marketing endeavors.
To its credit, Twitter has established partnerships with big-time television networks after making videos available within Tweets last year. Those videos, which featured clips from the respective networks, also had the capability for pre-roll ads from major brands. In essence, brands can eventually start developing Twitter-only digital video ad content and television content thanks to a bundle package from Twitter and its network partner. The goal will be for one medium to enhance or build up the other.
Facebook is set to roll out new video ad units in the summer. The timing will conveniently coincide with the launch of the platform’s updated news feed, which will focus on bigger, richer and higher-quality pictures and video.
It wouldn’t be inconceivable to see Facebook or even YouTube follow a similar model to what Twitter is trying to do – partner with a television network to sell bundled ad packages to brands. The key will not only be which brand can provide the most unique and engaging cross-platform content, but which social platform will be the most adaptable and user-friendly to a cross-platform campaign.
Just as Facebook and Twitter are gearing up to take some of YouTube’s digital video dollars, YouTube is expanding its scope with a more serious dive into creating original online video series with the hopes of cashing in on high view counts and bringing additional ad revenue. If the venture is successful, it’s only natural to expect the other social giants to follow suit.