Native Video: What Is It? (& Why You Should Use It)

So you’ve created a new video. You’ve followed your video creative brief, and you’re happy with the final product. But, now what? Do you upload the video to YouTube and/or similar hosting sites such as Vimeo, or is there another option?

Yes. As well as uploading your shiny new video production to hosting sites, you can also upload it straight to the source. That’s right, straight to Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., also known as native video.

But what does native video mean?

What is Native Video?

Native video, as the name suggests is video content that is natively uploaded to (or created on) any given social media platform, and played in-feed on that platform. This can be any social media platform that allows it, your primary options being Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.

This option is used either instead of or alongside, uploading to third-party hosting sites like YouTube. Meaning, instead of sharing the link from one of these sites, you can simply just share the actual footage.

There are numerous reasons why you should be incorporating native video into your marketing mix. Here are a few good reasons:

Why Use Native Video?

If you’re considering investing in social media video production, it would be worth your time to consider the benefits of native video. And with the popularity of video content currently on the rise, there’s never been a better time to utilise native video.

With 78% of people watching online videos every week, and 55% viewing online videos every day, social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn are aware of the influence and engagement around video content. And they especially don’t want users leaving their platform to view the video externally.

This is where native video comes in.

Native Videos Don’t Require Much More Effort

The first reason as to why you should use native video is a simple one because it requires very little effort. If you can upload your video content to hosting sites such as YouTube and Vimeo, you can also upload it natively to your given social media platforms.

It’s worth mentioning that for each platform, it’s worth investing the proper time to resize your videos to fit their specific ratios. That is really the only alteration you would need to make to enable your native videos to be executed to their full potential.

For such little effort, utilising native video effectively could see a generous reward.

Native Videos Have Better Organic Reach

It’s no secret that social media platforms prefer native video, and why wouldn’t they? With platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn updating their algorithms to prioritise native video content, it would be silly not to take advantage of this.

The reason behind this is that native videos allow their users to watch your video but still stay on the platform. The alternative is that users will click a link to an external site and get distracted, leaving Facebook.

Native Videos Are More Engaging

We don’t know if you’ve noticed but there is a distinct difference in the user experience between native video and externally hosted video. Whether you realise it or not, you most likely are opting for native video more than anything, and here’s why.

Native videos have proven to perform better and be more engaging all due to the experience being in-feed. Platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook have optimised this experience to promote users staying on their platform.

One benefit of native video is that your video will autoplay while scrolling, making the content more easily accessible and enticing for potential viewers. Alongside this, native video has an in-feed comments section to post your thoughts, tag your friends and more.

Research shows that native videos receive 530% more comments on Facebook than external links – initiating a domino effect, meaning more people will see your video!

You can now also add subtitles to your videos, ensuring whether your users haven’t clicked the video kick-starting the audio, or have hearing difficulties they can understand your video.

Native Videos Grab Attention

It goes without saying that promoting your business on social media can be competitive. So it would be wise to utilise features that are prioritised both visually and as part of the algorithm to stand out, yes?

Native videos grab users’ attention and stand out amongst a sea of thumbnails. Other than the autoplay function, native videos have the advantage of appearing larger than an external link. Increasing the chances that users will stop to watch your video, and better yet, engage.

Native Videos Provide More Insight

While YouTube and similar hosting sites do indeed have their own analytics platforms, they aren’t as accurate as uploading and monitoring native video content.

Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter provide real-time data including people reached, video views, completion rate and average watch time.

Native Videos Create a Portfolio of Your Content on Social Media

If you’re looking to grow your business’s social media presence, it makes much more sense to utilise native video over anything else. When uploading and sharing natively, your video is automatically saved in a gallery on your wall.

Meaning, unlike normal posts which are easily lost, video content is easily accessible. You can also choose a ‘featured video’ for your video tab, to ensure your favourite content is at the top. Similarly, on Twitter, you can pin a post (including your native video) to the top of your profile.

Native Videos Can Be Natively Edited

Social media platforms such as Facebook want you to do everything within their platform, and it shows. These platforms are constantly investing more time and resources to ensure that you can do just that, meaning that you can now edit your videos as you upload them on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

While these video editing features are fairly basic, they include all the standard bells and whistles you would need.

There are tonnes of edits you can make, including:

  • Crop (or trim) your native video to ensure it is the appropriate size ratio for the given platform
  • Add a CTA and subtitles
  • Add a thumbnail (and even provide up to 10 different custom thumbnails to choose from)

Meaning that not only sharing native videos but creating native videos has never been easier.

Should I Use Native or Embedded Videos?

The answer to whether you should be using native video or external video is specific to your business and your specific campaign. For example, if your business is looking to run a campaign to build their YouTube following and engagement, by all means, use embedded video.

Otherwise, it would always be more beneficial to lean into a native video for each specific platform you choose to promote on.

How Do I Use Native Video?

Creating a native video isn’t necessarily different from your usual video content. But most likely you’ll want to develop specific native videos for specific purposes, such as short training videos, or a snappy product video.

With that being said, there is a knack for creating engaging native videos. Native videos are often educational or entertaining, but most importantly they shouldn’t be disruptive. Your video should fit within the mould of the given platform, for example, entertaining light-hearted content would work better for Facebook, while LinkedIn could be more analytical.

Because of the brief nature of native videos, and video content in general, it’s best to create a story and get to the point.

Need Help Creating Native Video Content?

From reading this article, it should be clear as to why utilising native video is a no-brainer – it performs better, reaches more people, and is a little hassle to create. It may take a little bit more time to make your native videos platform-specific and to post them, but the results speak for themselves.

If you’re interested in creating native videos as part of your social media strategy, contact us today to discuss your ideas.

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