We hope you've caught our Advent Calendar this year! It's a great way to get involved with the Total Merchandise community and even win some prizes! For us at Total Merchandise it's a fun set of videos to make, a way to thank and get to know our fans, and also to show our fans the expanse of our social media presence, from Youtube to Facebook, to Twitter.
Over the years of running advent calendar competitions and other video-based events, we feel like we know a bit about the world of video marketing. We've wondered about where to post them and when to post them, as well as what to put in them and how long the videos should be.
Where should you post a video?
The most popular and well-known video hosting platform is YouTube. YouTube started hosting and sharing videos back in 2005 and has continued to grow since, especially after being purchased by Google who has kept the service going and enabled advertising which provides revenue to creators and funds the service. However, the use of advertising is one of YouTube's downsides, companies may be hesitant to upload their videos to Facebook due to the fear that inappropriate adverts may be displayed, potentially damaging their brand.
This is where Vimeo excels, Vimeo is mainly funded by its paying users. This means it is not as reliant on advertising revenue and so doesn't bombard the user with video ads. Of course, Vimeo is still available to users who do not pay for the premium service.
Many also feel that Vimeo's user interface is more attractive, with simple rounded buttons and a flat colour scheme. However, YouTube's player isn't exactly ugly and can be more reliable than Vimeo's. This makes the two websites fairly even, so it doesn't make a huge amount of difference which one you choose.
But let's not forget Facebook! This year we've been uploading our Advent Calendar videos straight to Facebook and they're receiving more views than ever. This is likely down to the much bigger user base on Facebook and the service's autoplay feature, which automatically plays videos to fans as they see them on their news feed. This is much better at grabbing someone's attention than a simple thumbnail image.
Another option is Twitter video, this has its merits, however, is limited to only 30 seconds which means most videos don't quite fit. This may be good for a trailer or a very short video.
How long should a video be?
That brings us on to another issue: How long should a video be? This really depends on the content of your video. Generally, a video should be about 2 minutes long, or under. Anything longer than this is likely to bore viewers, making them leave the video before the end. If you're posting videos daily and want a large audience then a video should be even shorter. With our advent calendar, we aim for durations of 30-60 seconds. This makes these bite-sized videos easy to view daily.
We recommend you experiment with length. Services such as YouTube and Facebook offer deep insight into how long people are watching for and where they're watching from, meaning you can fine-tune your video for better performance.
When to post a video
The best time to post your video is normally when most of your fans are online. You can easily find this in our Facebook insights. We find most of our fans are online from noon up until 9 PM, therefore we post at the beginning of this period to allow more people to see our videos. The time most fans are online varies from page to page, so do some research before choosing a time.