Last week, I spoke at an offsite meeting of the global marketing team of a Fortune 50 company to recommend updates to their video marketing strategy for 2016. Now, I understand that YouTube changes at a rate of 33% a year, so I recognise that all marketers in the online video and internet marketing industries need to update their strategies each and every year. I have a not-so-secret formula for getting the complete story on a subject on a tight deadline.

Video marketing teams (Fortune 50 or otherwise) need to know how to update the video marketing strategy for their company or clients on the fly, and have the answers to the following types of questions:

  • Who are the people who discover, watch and share your mobile videos?
  • What types of mobile video content do they discover, watch and share?
  • What video platforms are being used to discover, watch and share your mobile videos?
  • When should you promote your mobile video content with paid media?
  • Why is Snapchat the horse of a different color you’ve heard tell about?
  • How should you measure your mobile video marketing or ad campaign?

You’ll notice that the common thread running through all of these questions is mobile video. Part of this aimed at leveraging YouTube’s top three priorities: mobile, mobile and mobile. But, this is also ends up leveraging the top priorities of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Vine, and Snapchat, too. And as video marketers know all too well, mobile video has dramatically changed the best practices and strategies that worked well just five years ago.

Who is Watching, and Engaging with Your Mobile Video Content?

Although Fortune 50 companies can afford to advertise on television, their target viewers are watching as much video online as they’re watching on TV. And, according Nielsen's analysis, which was commissioned by Google, 18-49 year-olds’ time on YouTube jumped 44% last year due primarily to mobile viewership even as time in front of the TV declined.

However, as I mentioned just last week, consumer intent can help you reach more of your target audience than demographics alone – especially if consumers are mobile shoppers. For example, an analysis of mobile search and video behavior by Millward Brown Digital found that only 31% of mobile searchers for video games are men ages 18 to 34.

To make this point perfectly clear, the YouTube Advertisers channel has even created a video entitled, “What Do You Really Know About Gamers?”

But the video game market isn’t the exception to the rule. A 2015 study by Google/Ipsos MediaCT found that 40% of baby product consumers actually live in homes without children! This is also true for 52% of baby product influencers. Who are these people? Well, they could be grandparents, cousins, friends, or co-workers. And their #1 way of finding out about these baby and children products is via a search engine – whether that's Google, or YouTube. In other words, search is social.

Back in 2013, YouTube introduced us to “Gen C,” people who cared deeply about creation, curation, connection, and community. It was not an age group; it was an attitude and mindset defined by key characteristics. Although 65% were under 35, they spanned the generations. Gen C was a powerful and incredibly motivated group of consumers. They were empowered by technology and driven by community. They created videos, posted reviews, shared links, engaged on social media and were active on YouTube – all in an effort to feed their hunger for information and satisfy their need to feel connected.

Gen C was always connected. Their smartphone consumption of YouTube content was on the rise, with YouTube views on smartphones growing twice as fast as views on PCs. When brands found the right way to engage them, they could become the biggest spenders, the most vocal supporters, and the most influential opinion leaders. In short, they could become your best customers.

Unfortunately, YouTube hasn’t conducted new research on Gen C since 2014. Maybe YouTube should. Maybe these are the people who discover, watch and share your mobile videos. Maybe these are the ones you’re looking for.

What Types of Mobile Video Content is Watched and Shared?

So, what types of mobile videos should video marketers make for this target audience? The answer is in the following Venn diagram courtesy of Google's BrandLab. The first circle represents what the brand’s target audience really cares about, while the second represents what the brand stands for. The video marketer needs to determine what sets their brand apart, and where their brand sits against the competition.

what-brands-stand-for-what-audiences-care-about-venn-diagram-3

For example, Johnson & Johnson Consumer incorporated a micro-moments strategy into consideration as it built its video content strateg. The brand has had success building content around teenage friendship, and found that teenage girls in particular, used YouTube for advice and tips about life. So, CLEAN & CLEAR built a channel focused on that demographic.

What Video Platforms are Being Used to Discover, Watch, and Share Mobile Videos?

Even though YouTube should be the center of your target, it should not the circumference of your video marketing strategy. Yes, YouTube has over a billion users — almost one-third of all people on the Internet — and that audience will get larger now that Pakistan has lifted its ban.

But, more than 500 million people watch videos on Facebook daily. Yes, I know that the social networking site has 1.55 billion monthly active users. But, some of these use Facebook Lite, which doesn't offer data-intensive features like videos. And, other people who watch fewer videos on Facebook don’t see them higher up in their News Feed. Nevertheless, the social networking site is now getting 8 billion daily video views. Yes, I know Facebook says you pay for a “view” when a video is displayed in a user’s news feed for 3 seconds or more, even if the person doesn’t actually click on the video to watch with the sound turned on. And, I know YouTube says you pay for a “view” when a viewer watches 30 seconds of your video – or the duration if it’s shorter than 30 seconds – or engages with your video, whichever comes first. But even if 500 million people are scrolling past 8 billion videos a day, this is too big an opportunity to ignore.

Besides, a recent study by Nielsen Research found marketers using Facebook ads with TV ads saw higher reach, ad recall, brand linkage and likability.

And video marketers can’t afford to ignore Instagram, which has grown into a community that’s more than 400 million strong. We know that Instagrammers share 80 million photos per day, but we don’t know how many videos are shared on Instagram. Still, this is another key segment that discovers, watches, and shares mobile videos.

Video marketers should also tap into Twitter’s global audience of 320 million monthly active users, as well as the more than 200 million people who watch Vines every month. And Periscope was recently named App Store Best of 2015 by Apple. So, attention must be paid to these segments, too.

Now, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Vine are among the 3,000 websites blocked in mainland China. So, if video marketers need to reach that market, then they will need to use Youku Tudou, which became one of China’s biggest video sites following the merger of Youku and Tudou in 2012. It has more than 500 million monthly active users, with 800 million daily video views.

The Importance of a Multi-platform Mobile Video Marketing Strategy

This is why brands and their agencies need to build a successful multi-platform video strategy in 2016. And that explains why Tubular Labs and Ogilvy partnered to create a report entitled, The Rise of Multi-Platform Video: Why Brands Need a Multi-Platform Video Strategy, to guide video marketing teams through YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Vine to illustrate how branded content works very differently on each of these video platforms. Video marketers should also think about the micro-moments that mobile video viewers might be experiencing.