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Social video apps are nothing new. However, these video tools have been slow to gain widespread enthusiasm from brands as a serious content distribution channel — until now.

Meerkat and Periscope put instant video into the hands of the masses, but now we’re finally seeing the rest of the major social networks catch on and make it not only easier to create video content, but also painless to share.

Even traditional social networks are now encouraging brands to mix their storytelling efforts with more social video features. These social apps are making it dead simple to master the art of video storytelling quickly and win the attention of consumers with minimal effort.

So creating video content is easy. But how can you get audiences to actually pay attention? The following apps are stepping up their game and enabling brands to share more creative, authentic, instant video than ever. Here’s a look at why your brand should invest time in social video and how to use it to dominate your storytelling efforts.


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Stream Periscope videos directly in your Twitter feed

Have you attempted a live stream on Periscope yet? If not, now is the perfect time because Twitter has decided to incorporate Periscope streaming directly into its feed. While this feature is only available on the iOS app, Periscope streaming directly on Twitter means your mobile audience will no longer have to click a link and open the Periscope app to watch your video content. Any live video stream shared to Twitter will automatically play within the feed. So how can your brand use this new feature?



You can now stream authentic “personal” messages to a much larger audience and build trust with your customers. Because it can be difficult to build up an audience on a separate social network or app, livestreaming within the Twitter feed also makes it simple for your audience to see your video. Your Twitter audience is now your Periscope audience. Your followers no longer need to use the app, or even have a Periscope account.

The time for Snapchat is now

Snapchat’s video traffic is surging. According to a January 2016 report, more than 7 billion videos are viewed through the app per day, which rivals the 8 billion video views Facebook is receiving (keep in mind, Facebook has around 15 times as many users). Most of Snapchat’s video views can be attributed to its “Stories” feature, which allows users to post photos and video clips to their friends for a 24-hour period.

Creative companies that find ways to push their content onto Snapchat are reaping the benefits and building some serious followings. By offering behind-the-scenes and exclusive content, brands are keeping their followers engaged. One way your brand can get started on Snapchat is by sharing your own unique Snapcode (like a QR code) on all of your other social channels and invite your audiences to follow your Snapchat Stories.

Bonus: You can also personalize your Snapcode by adding an animated selfie that will be shown to other Snapchatters to make it easier for them to recognize you.


Another way to gain a quick following is to tease your Snapchat Stories videos on your other social channels alongside your username and a strong call-to-action. Growing an organic following on Snapchat will take some work, but using these strategies can help speed up the process.

Go ‘Live’ on Facebook

Like Twitter, Facebook recently gave brands the ability to stream live video to their verified Pages from the Facebook iOS app. Any verified page can launch a live event from within the iOS app by tapping “Publish” and then “Live Video.” The number of viewers and names of other Pages tuning in will be displayed alongside a live stream of comments.


Above: An example of Facebook Live Video. Click the image to view the recording.

Image Credit: Facebook

The best part is the videos will appear in your followers’ news feeds, and your fans can also subscribe, which will enable notifications for them anytime you launch a live video stream. Another bonus: Unlike Periscope or Snapchat, which remove your video streams instantly or after 24 hours, Facebook live videos can remain on your Facebook Page indefinitely.

For Instagram, focus on curation

Instagram recently released a new Periscope-style video feature that allows users to view a curated collection of video clips from major events. This could be holidays, award shows, sporting events, and even concerts. While this may sound similar to other video apps, Instagram’s video feed does come with a twist. Rather than a live stream, the best clips are curated and put together into one feed that is accessible through the “Explore” section. This provides a new way for users to experience the best of events and big moments as they happen.

For now, the videos are curated by Instagram employees, but your brand can still try to get in on the action by using the appropriate hashtags. You can even use this feature to put your own creative spin on the most popular video clips.


Rock band Sigur Rós took advantage of this by launching an “ever-evolving” video, which collated their fans’ Instagram photos and videos for a continually updated music video. Fans simply tag their content with a designated hashtag to join in and their content gets added to the video. This interactive concept could be duplicated by any brand with a large following, continuously updated, and then shared on Instagram with a branded hashtag.

Easy access to video tools is generating groundbreaking new opportunities for brands and quickly becoming a must-have for any digital marketing strategy. All you need is a smartphone and an audience. Is your brand leveraging video to tell your story? Share your advice in the comments below.

AnishAnish Patel is founder and head producer of Revolution Productions, a boutique video agency that specializes in animated marketing videos and explainer videos.

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