When it comes to branded video on the Web, agencies are willing to experiment everywhere.
To be sure, YouTube is still the king for branded video content. According to recent data from video analytics firm Tubular Labs, 15 percent of the top 100 videos on YouTube in June came from brands. This far outstripped rivals like Facebook and Vine, both of which only had one branded video in their respective top 100.
And yet, that doesn’t necessarily make YouTube the “best” video platform for brands. As impossible as it may sometimes seem, advertisers do see value in using different social platforms — be it Facebook, Vine, Instagram or Snapchat — to distribute video according to their needs.
So then which platform is the best for brands? For next year’s Digiday Video Awards, which will take place in New York on January 14, we are asking you, dear reader, that very question. But before you vote below, see what a wide range of agency executives think about YouTube, Facebook, Vine and other video platforms.
Tom Edwards, chief digital officer, Agency at Epsilon:
“For YouTube, it’s all about organic discovery as it’s the second-largest search engine. The recent addition of ‘cards’ is a key addition to the platform. These cards provide marketers with the ability to deliver sequential storytelling through interactivity – which makes videos more dynamic.”
Jeanne Bright, vp and director of paid social and strategy, DigitasLBi:
“Brand safety remains a massive issue for YouTube. That’s why you have all of these third parties offering to [help you] buy inventory through TrueView, because targeting on YouTube is so bad from a brand-safety standpoint.”
Greg Manago, executive producer, Mindshare Content+ and Entertainment:
“YouTube is a crucial hub for branded video. Right now it’s the main platform for influencers, which for many brands is a critical piece of their content strategy. For years, it’s been giving — and continues to give — content creators the ability to monetize their work: to promote it, distribute it, build a following and reach interested brands.”
David Eastman, managing partner, MCD Partners:
“With the recent addition of Suggested Videos, Facebook has added a new layer of curated exploration, for those who want to watch more … With all this, Facebook gives brands what they’re ultimately looking to build: Awareness, engagement and, as a result, growth. So I think they’ll increasingly see Facebook as their best bet. And with more and more quality video living on the platform (and, in turn, a growing reputation as the hub for native video content), we just might see average ‘watch time’ increase to compete with YouTube’s.”
Kevin Purcer, svp, director of digital and social media, Erwin Penland:
“Each have their strengths and weaknesses for brands. For instance, a brand can produce effective video on Snapchat for way less dollars than on Instagram, where the aesthetic of the post and thumbnail needs to stand out among a feed of competing imagery.”
Amanda Moore, director, social strategy and influencer, Horizon Media:
On Snapchat: “When’s the last time you’ve seen a channel, traditional or digital, that has clear opt-in and opt-out viewership that’s also measurable? If brands can avoid the tap, you’ve unleashed an extremely captive and engaged audience.”
Topher Burns, group director, distribution strategy, Deep Focus:
“Snapchat has had tremendous impact lately with its insistence on vertical video by forcing advertisers to respect consumer context and think mobile first.”
Rye Clifton, experience director, GSD&M:
“I’m most intrigued by Snapchat, but I haven’t seen many examples of people getting it right. Mullen released the first glimpse of a new Acura a couple years ago before brands could buy advertising on the platform, but I don’t recall anything that has truly blown me away on the video front. That being said, I’m sure it is coming soon … The idea that you can create something that can only be seen once sets a high bar.”
Molly Sugarman, managing director of Treehouse, Horizon Media:
“Vine is a super exciting place for brands right now, as long as they’re prepared. It’s forcing brands to distill their key message to its absolute essence … When done right it can be truly sticky and remarkable.”
Jill Griffin, svp, managing director, content solutions, Starcom MediaVest Group’s LiquidThread:
“As a content-meets-commerce gal, my vote is Instagram. Brands can create and curate high-quality content combined with action buttons to drive sales and off-app traffic.”
Monik Sanghvi, chief strategy officer, Organic:
“While Facebook and YouTube are the obvious choices in terms of scale and capability, some of our brand clients are increasingly finding Instagram to be an important platform. With Instagram, active user sharing is complementing the platform’s growing audience and targeting, creative and measurement capabilities.”
Britt Fero, head of strategy, Publicis Seattle:
“Instagram video allows us to play to the strength of how people really use the platform: to share their life story. For us, that means using it to capture and share real people’s experiences and stories, real-world events or content that taps into people’s personal reflections or views of their life — think meme-worthy content that reflects how people may really feel about things going on in their world.”
Image: “Niall ready to video” by David Gardiner