Devising an effective online video strategy is no mean feat. Although the barriers to entry are lower for brands compared to other media channels such as TV or cinema, marketers must think carefully about the type of video content they produce, the audience it is aimed at and the platforms on which it is shared.

Video viewership continues to surge, with Facebook alone claiming to record over 8 billion daily video views. Meanwhile YouTube reports that the number of channels earning six figures on its platform has increased by 50% year on year.

Here Marketing Week looks at some of the core issues that brands should consider when incorporating video into their marketing strategies – and when to use it.

Use data to ensure video resonates

Although marketers can create and publish videos with relative ease, they should aim to take a scientific approach to their video strategy. Publisher Time Inc, which owns titles like NME, Now and Marie Claire, employs a central team of 20 video producers in the UK that works on both editorial and commercial projects across its brands.

“For us it’s about data rather than doing it on a hunch,” says Mick Greenwood, head of video at Time Inc. “We want to create conversations around our videos, and that involves thinking about the platform and the purpose behind the video.

“If it’s for marketing purposes, we tell the teams they need to do one of four things: amaze, amuse, inform or move – because you need it to become part of a conversation.”

Time Inc has experimented with a range of different video formats across its brands. Look magazine, for example, creates tutorials and has used shoppable Facebook Live videos to help monetise partnerships with brands like Asos and Benefit Cosmetics.

The company has also created interactive 360-degree videos for some of its titles, including a video of a band performance for NME that allowed viewers to zoom in on particular instruments, rather than watching the content from the director’s viewpoint.

Creating a recurring series of content is another way to build audiences, Greenwood argues. For example, one video in the #MumWins series created by Time Inc’s Good to Know site attracted 49 million views on Facebook. “It’s difficult to have a one-size-fits-all approach,” he says.

“InStyle, for example, has experimented with doing one episode of something every Friday and then building an audience every week when they are anticipating something coming. We think that’s a really good model where we’re building returnable series just as you would with a TV schedule, rather than it being all things to all people all the time.”

Meanwhile, Look editor Gilly Ferguson states that live shoppable video is part of a wider content offer for an “increasingly time-poor audience” that is searching for a “fast fashion fix”. During one video with Asos, one fashion item sold out while the video was still live.

On average, someone viewing Facebook on desktop spends 2.5 seconds with a piece of content and 1.7 seconds on mobile.

Ian Edwards, Facebook

“Interactive, shoppable social is just one element of Look’s wider 360-degree brand approach – be it an Insta-series or the introduction of our cross-platform Look Influencer Network last September,” says Ferguson.

“Our shoppable video demonstrates how effectively Look can bridge the gap between brands and our consumers.”

Ted Baker has also experimented with shoppable video. Last September the brand teamed up with film director Guy Ritchie to launch a…