Guide to Twitter Video

It’s no secret that video is going to be big in 2015.  Content marketing is developing at such a rate that stand-out is becoming challenging – video offers a great opportunity to display your content in an interesting and different way.  And Facebook are encouraging users to upload video directly onto their network instead of the traditional route of uploading it onto YouTube and posting the link. 

Twitter are not going to be left behind – this week they rolled out ‘Twitter Video’ to Android users (it was launched to iOS users at the end of January). 

Twitter is no stranger to video: it released Vine, technically a separate social network in June 2012 on which users can share 6 second videos.  But Twitter Video is different.  You can share videos which are up to 30 seconds long which is a significant – 30 seconds may not sound like much, but watch a 30 second TV advert: you can squeeze in a lot of content, certainly a lot more than you can put into 140 characters.  The video displays as a thumbnail instead of auto-playing, which is a contrast to Facebook’s approach.  If you wish to pre-roll your videos, you will have to use Twitter Amplify. 

This tool is a good opportunity for marketers, but it does come with some warnings.  The key feature of Twitter is being instantaneous – real-time is what Twitter is all about.  So, the best videos are going to be ones which are uploading events that have just happened.  Posting your company’s old 30 second TV is just not going to excite anyone.

Working in digital, there are lots of events across the world that I cannot physically attend, so I follow them on Twitter.  Seeing short videos of what is happening at these events will really bring the content to life, so event management companies take note.

Sports events also offer a great opportunity, but not a straight-forward one.  There are lots of copyright issues around the filming of sports – after the 2014 World Cup, the English Football Association stated that it was going to crack down on unauthorised videos of English football being shared on social networks.  However, it is very easy to see videos on Twitter of goals almost immediately, demonstrating how tough it is to police.  Twitter videos will likely increase the number of unauthorised sports videos on Twitter, so it will be interesting to see how sports organisations react.

Twitter video could also be used for something as simple as replying to a tweet – in the right context, a really great way of using the tool.  Or what about simple product demonstrations?  Or quick ‘how to’ guides which would be useful for your Twitter audience, especially as you can pin them to the top of your desktop Twitter profile?  As long as the video is entertaining or informative (or ideally both), you should be onto a winner.  

So, in summary, Twitter Video is an exciting addition.  It is super simple to do, especially from mobile where the majority of Twitter users spend their time and it should cut out a lot of the cost of video content: I think ‘rough and ready’ videos will look more authentic and engaging.  But the content does need to be in real-time, relevant, snappy (this is Twitter after all) and entertaining. 

Happy filming!

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About Justin Wilson

Justin Wilson is a Digital Marketing Manager with a passion for helping businesses to develop their digital proposition. He has an expertise across the spectrum of digital, including search engine marketing, social media, website optimisation, email marketing and web analytics.