How Video Saved Twitter (and How It Can Save Your Brand, Too)

Twitter has made a real turnaround.

The microblogging platform has been under siege by its larger competitors for years, with Facebook eating the bulk of the market share, LinkedIn taking up much of the business social market, and Instagram and Snapchat sharing the rest.

Stock prices reflected the public’s opinion, with investors not showing too much confidence in a company that constantly looked like it was on the verge of getting squeezed out by its glossier competitors.

Today, though, Twitter’s doing much better. They’re not struggling to generate revenue or figure out how to monetize their platform the same way they used to, and the story from investors is one of confidence. They’ve trimmed the fat, figured out ways to satisfy their core base, and finally are starting to gain ground … and video has driven much of that growth.

The Hidden Advertising Engine

In Twitter’s latest earnings report, they stated that over 50 percent of their revenue came from video ads. That’s a staggering number. Given the overall earnings report, that means at least $287 million in video ads alone, without taking into account any other revenue.

Twitter’s base has been growing, too, giving them more of an audience to reach.

The use of innovative tools like the video website card has given Twitter a foothold in a space where they’ve been able to make an impact, to the point where even old media companies are intrigued. Twitter managed to secure 16 different live video opportunities in 2017 ranging from live sports to LiveNation shows, which all required advertising backing, and they got the backing needed for everyone.

Twitter found the secret sauce for engagement: useful, topical video.

Video is Growing Rapidly

It’s not shocking that Twitter’s video usage helped its engagement, traffic numbers, and bottom line. There are a few numbers I’m going to throw at you about video advertising from a recent report.

Video usage in 2017 saw a 17-percent increase year over year. Of those businesses using video advertising, 76 percent reported increased traffic from their video usage. The real kicker, though, is that Cisco thinks that 80 percent of the world’s Internet traffic is going to be video by 2019.

Let’s put that in perspective another way: if you sat down and tried to watch a single month’s worth of the video that will cross the Internet in 2019, it would take you five million years.

Companies that offer video services are already taking note. Mark Zuckerberg is usually ahead of the curve on a lot of social trends, and Facebook has been actively trying to dominate the video market.

Picture a Better Business

Whatever business you’re in, it’s clear that video will have to be an important part of your marketing and advertising moving forward, if it isn’t already. You’re probably already using paid social, but if you aren’t, video is one of the keys to unlocking greater ROI there.

People like video content.

Why wouldn’t people like video content? The old saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words” is still true, and video is nothing more than a series of pictures.

It’s uniquely well-suited to any application that involves telling a story, and if you’re doing marketing and advertising, you’re very concerned with telling the story of your brand.

Video allows you to reach people in a way text, pictures, or audio alone can’t—you can combine effective copy, great videography, and vocal work that draws people in. The three combined allow you to make an impact that each alone isn’t able to make.

What Video Can Do for Your Brand

So, how can video save your brand?

By reaching an audience that might just scan past other forms of advertisement.

Video is among the most effective ways to reach people, as we’ve already covered. Social platforms are taking note. Twitter’s embrace of the format isn’t alone. Nicole Mendelsohn, vice president of European, Middle Eastern and African operations for Facebook, said in an interview some months back that Facebook “will be definitely mobile, it will probably be all video.”

Mendelsohn went even further to indicate that the written word is all but obsolete—and whether you agree or disagree, her position at Facebook is an indication of where industry minds are at.

“The best way to tell stories in this world, where so much information is coming at us, actually is video. It conveys so much information in a much quicker period,” she continued. “So actually the trend helps us to digest much more information.”

When you’re trying to make an impact on your audience, you need something that will grab them, hold their attention, and make them interested in what you have to say. Good, well-produced video can do that in a way that other forms of communication don’t.

Twitter has capitalized on video to turn their fortunes around, and they’re not the only ones. If you’re having trouble reaching people, try putting more effort into the video. You might be surprised.

About the Author:

Ibrahim Al-Haidos is the experienced Creative Director of Fursan luxury brand with a demonstrated history of working in the non-profit organization in construction projects management industry. He is skilled in Luxury Brand Marketing, Art Direction, Project Management, Electrical Engineering, and Contract Management. A strong entrepreneurship professional, Ibrahim has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) focused on Strategic Business Unit Management from HEC Paris.

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