Have you heard the news? Fan-favorite video app Vine is shutting down after three years showcasing many of the best short videos on the web. RIP Vine! We’ll miss you!
But, onward and upward, as they say. The good news is that there are other great video apps out there ready to bring mourning Vine users into the fold. Namely, YouTube and Instagram. These stalwart video platforms are two of the best places on the web to promote events. Here’s why, and a little bit of how.
YouTube holds the distinction of being the second-largest search engine in the world, owned by the largest (Google). It’s also the second-largest social network, behind only Facebook, with a billion users and three billion searches a month. This mammoth reach gives YouTube a lot of social clout — and plenty of great sharing features.
You need two things to upload a video to YouTube:
- A Google account, which you already have if you use Gmail, Google Drive, or Google+. (If you don’t have a Google account, you can easily sign up for one here.)
- A YouTube channel, which is easy to create once you have #1.
Important note: If you try to upload a video before you create a channel, YouTube will automatically prompt you to create one. But it will default to naming the channel after you as a person. If you want to create a channel for your event or brand instead, go to ‘All My Channels’ and choose ‘Create a New Channel.’ The naming choice is yours, but like an event hashtag, consider something that’s short, memorable, and clearly related to your event or brand.
Once you have a channel established for your event, there are lots of ways to draw attention to it. Here are just a few:
- Customize your channel homepage design so it highlights the best content and points people to easy registration.
- Upload a square version of your event’s logo as an icon. (Hint: 800×800 pixels works best, but keep in mind that it must shrink down to 98×98, so make sure it works at both sizes.)
- Take advantage of the page real estate known as the “channel art” spot (sort of like a header image on Facebook or Twitter). The ideal image size is 2560×1440 pixels, but put any crucial information in the “safe zone” of 1545×423.
- Highlight a “trailer video” that will stay anchored just below your YouTube channel’s navigation bar. This video is only available to subscribers to your channel—a great instigation for people to subscribe.
You can access the code to embed a YouTube video into any website page or blog post. As an event organizer, this means that your YouTube videos have the potential of being shared far and wide. It also means you can easily repurpose video content made by your guest speakers, performers, and other creative thought leaders involved with your event.
Instagram has over 400 million users internationally, and 75 million users upload a photo or video every single day. And thanks to Instagram’s increased max length of video, the format is gaining popularity. In the past, videos couldn’t be longer than 10 seconds. Now, a video posted on Instagram can be up to 60 seconds long (or as short as three). This is the perfect max length to grab attention — without boring potential ticket-buyers.
There are a few things that make Instagram a great place to promote your event (even better than Vine, in our opinion):
- Of all the social networks, Instagram boasts the highest engagement — up to 50x more engagement than Twitter and other networks. On Instagram, people love to like and comment.
- Instagram has some great video enhancers, like filters and the ability to clip a video’s length from either end.
- There are also plenty of third-party video apps that work well with Instagram, like Boomerang (for looping videos just like Vine’s) and Cinefy, which lets you add sound, music, and special effects to your video before posting on Instagram.
- Instagram makes it super easy to share videos on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, so you can use the app as your “video homebase,” without sacrificing your presence on other platforms.
- The default viewing option for videos is “sound off,” which may sound counterintuitive, but actually allows users to view your video anywhere — like in a work meeting. Keep this in mind when you make and post videos. If the soundtrack is important, say so in the caption.
There’s a lot more to learn about YouTube and Instagram for event promotion, but for now, we’re heading out the door to Vine’s funeral. For more video strategy tips, including how to use real-time video tools like Facebook Live and Periscope, check out this on-demand webinar: Is Your Video Strategy Where It Needs to Be?