10 places to distribute your video to make it a success

5236263550_12bf640a5b_oYou’ve made a cracking video but you’re really not sure what to do next.

So what do you do?

For the past 12-months I’ve looked, made, researched and co-delivered workshops on essential video skills for comms.

As a comms person I’m convinced that video has a powerful role in creating engaging content. As I’ve said before, a large chunk of the internet is now video and that’s just going to grow.

The two things you need for engaging video

Think of Pearl & Dean. Think of sound and vision. It’s two things that go together. There’s a balancing act for creating successful video as part of a comms campaign. On the one hand you need good content. But on the other hand, good content that’s sat on your mobile phone isn’t going to reach anyone. So think about when and where you can post what you’ve made.

Live streaming is a bit different

Live streaming using Periscope, Meercat or Facebook Live is video. But this is video of the moment which is disposable. If the advantage is to be five yards away from the firefighter explaining the incident is now under control then it makes sense to use that. Speed and realtime point you to these platforms.

Don’t be blinded by numbers

Have a think about your audience. If you are keen to reach 16-year-old students about to decide which college to go to then your idea of success is not to chase Taylor Swift numbers. But if you’ve only reached a dozen then you may need to have a think about your distribution. In other words where people have the chance to see the video.

10 places where people can see your video

YouTube direct. This is the grand daddy of internet video. It’s used by more than a billion people a month. In the UK, more than 40 million people use the platform every month. Post your video to YouTube but keep it at around three minutes. Add tags and a good description so people will find it. Metadata is your friend. Optimum time: around three minutes.

Facebook direct. A new kid on the block compared to YouTube. At the moment, Facebook is rewarding you for adding video content to a page. It likes video because video keeps people interested, engaged and sharing. A hundred million hours of video is watched on Facebook every day. There is a battle going on between YouTube and Facebook but it’s worth posting video here too. Facebook can soar in the short run and is outperformed by YouTube in the long run. So think about posting to both. Optimum time: 21 seconds.

Twitter direct. Like Facebook, Twitter is liking that you post video direct to itself from the Twitter mobile app. But annoyingly, it’ll only let you upload a video from elsewhere if you are using an iphone.Optimum time: less than 30 seconds.

Instagram direct. There is a tendency for organisations to sit back and think that YouTube, Facebook or Twitter means the internet is covered. What hogswallop. If you know your audience you’ll have an idea which platforms they’ll be using. If instagram or snapchat is on their wavelength then think about how you’ll be using those channels first. By doing that you’ll have an understanding of what video may work.Optimum time: Instagram was up to 15 seconds maximum but now can be 60 seconds. Doesn’t mean you should use 60 seconds, mind.

Snapchat direct. Younger people are opting for snapchat. Again, disposability rules in the content. The platform now has 10 billion views a day. Organisations who are using it well have got to know snapchat first and make specialised content. It’s not a place to throw your three minute YouTube video.Optimum time: less than 10 seconds.

Email the link internally. Once you’ve posted the video cut and paste the URL and send it to people. Embed it in the weekly email. Or send it to the 10 people in the team you’ve featured. Invite them to share it and you can start to tap into your staff as advocates. YouTube links are good for this.

Embed in a webpage. It never fails to surprise me that video carefully shot and posted onto social channels then never makes the webpage. If you look after a museum, embed the video onto the right webpage so when visitors come they’ll have more than just the opening times to look at.

A staff meeting or event. You have an audience of people corralled into a room. Of course you should show them the film you’ve made.

A link attached to a press release. If you’re sending out a press release it is becoming increasingly important to add a video or an image to it to register an interest with a reporter. Even if it’s a short video it’s worth doing.

Target influencers. If the blogger, the reporter or the big cheese are people you’d like to see the video don’t hope that somehow they’ll pick up on it. Email them direct. Tweet them direct. Tap them on the shoulder. “I’ve got this video that I think you’ll like.”

On a welcome screen on a loop. If you have a reception or a place where people gather show the video on a loop. You may want to screen it with the sound off if you’ve only got 30 seconds of good footage. Think about silent film techniques and sub-titles.

To learn more about planning, editing, shooting and posting video using a smartphone come to a comms2point0 essential video skills workshop.

Dan Slee is co-creator of comms2point0.

CASE STUDY: How Yammer can help local government innovate

“Yammer?” a colleague once asked, “isn’t that a Black Country word?”

Actually, no. It’s a web-based platform to allow people from the same organisation to talk to each other.

Used by 80,000 comanies as of Septrember 2010, it’s a way of sharing ideas, links to useful websites and for asking for help to crack a problem.

You need your organisation’s email address to access it so it’s a walled garden to allow discussion that cuts across directorates and teams.

The best thing of all?

It’s free.

It’s been used at Walsall Council since October last year when members of the communications team Kev Dwyer and Mel Lee came across it at the Hyperlocal Govcamp held in Walsall. Our head of communications Darren Caveney saw the value in it straight away.

In the first five months more than 600 people have signed up from around 8,000 employees.

Isn’t this just a glorified water cooler where people talk about last night’s telly?

Actually, no.

There’s a string of useful discussions.

  • Webteam members asking for feedback on how our website header should look like.
  • Transport asking what people thought of bus lanes.
  • A link to a Guardian Society piece on what hyperlocal blogs are.
  • A link to a blog written by a Cambridgeshire County Council officer on localism.
  • A thread on heavy imminent snow and best routes out Walsall.
  • A discussion on what planning pages should look like.


We took a snapshot of 27 days of Yammer activity at Walsall Council from December 2010 and January 2011.

What we found were people busily innovating. Of the sample of 188 posts and comments:

82 per cent were work related

17 per cent were non-work.

Of the non-work posts, a third were about snow, information they’d seen in the staff e-mail Weekly Bulletin, on the intranet or were New Year greetings.

Not one was about Saturday night TV. Not one.

That compares favourably to the amount of time spent off-topic in some meetings.

Of all activity:

37 per cent were posts

63 per cent were comments.

What were the work-related topics about?

61 per cent were about proposed policy ideas.

For example, how a new operating model should look or what should happen to a new initiative should look.

Some were happy to ask for input while others were an update on what their team were working on.

22 per cent were on actual policy.

Such as an update on new sickness arrangements.

10 per cent were posting links.

A useful website, page on the council website or blog, such as a news story on how smart phones are having an impact.

0 per cent were abusive.

Not a single post on any subject was intemperate or even remotely threatening the code of conduct. That’s important to know and shoots down an early worry.

The regular cry ‘we need to be better at communicating with each other’ has never been louder.

Yammer is proving one way to do it. It won’t do it on it’s own but it is a powerful tool.


Yammer on Wikipedia.

Why Yammer failed at my organisation.

A Yammer experiment in local government.

LGC Comms Yammer thread with an account of the Kent County Council Yammer network.

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