The Most Popular Types of Video on Social Media

Social media video consumption has been on the rise over recent years. Because it is becoming a more popular medium than text and images, more social networks have made interacting with videos easier for users. Likewise, businesses have started to incorporate social media video marketing strategies that have lead them to digital prosperity.

With all of this hype over social video, knowing how to effectively use it is an essential skill for every business to acquire. The importance of social video in raising brand awareness and influencing consumers is unprecedented.

However, certain types of videos on social media tend to perform better than others. Only the most forward-thinking companies strategize their social video marketing down to the type of video. From live streams to explainer videos, the social video industry continues to expand, and more businesses are starting to realize that their social video marketing campaigns rely on their insight to the latest trends. The future of social video looks bright, and if your business wants a piece of the action, recognizing the most popular types of social video on the web is the first step.


What Is Social Video?

Social video is online video that focuses on creating discussion and community—this may include sharing, liking and commenting. It is a combination of social media and video. Although, as video is becoming more prevalent across all sections of the Internet, almost all video can be considered social video. Generally, though, social videos are intended to encourage interactionon popular social networks. The benefits of social video include sharing experiences with close friends and family or with large audiences from all over the world. Video is the most immersive digital medium and it only makes sense to want to share it with others. The only thing that competes with it is face-to-face interaction.

Popular Types of Social Video

Choosing to produce popular types of social video is a smart marketing move. Doing so will give videos more traction; followers will simply be more interested in watching them. Other videos are still valuable, but they have less natural potency. Although trends are bound to change, the types of videos below have only recently started to boom. Creating these kinds of social videos will give any digital marketing campaign an added kick.

Live Streams

Live streaming is one of the most prevalent video trends of 2016. In fact, new live streaming apps are popping up constantly. But the majority of the market is already occupied by a few choice apps. Many social media networks, like Snapchat and Facebook, have added live stream features after discovering the potential of this trend. What makes live streaming so special is that it amplifies video’s immersive capacity. Viewing a video in real time is such an exciting novelty that everyone is falling for it. With live streams, brands can connect with their followers on a new level. These types of videos also enable followers to prioritize your business.

Branded Videos

With branded videos, followers will be able to better recognize your business and understand what its goals are. Videos can be branded in several different aspects. Most blatantly, you may consider displaying your business’s logo or slogan in every video. Additionally, some brands use color schemes, word fonts, or other styles to brand themselves. However, branding is about more than just visuals. Branded videos display a tone and a way of doing things, so to speak, that distinguishes one business from another. Think of a few adjectives to describe your company—Professional? Funky? Innovative? Everything in your video should scream what your brand is all about.

Product Videos

A lot of businesses are starting to create product videos because of the influence they have on consumers. Product videos demonstrate a new product—what it is, how to use it, and why consumers should buy it. Even for businesses that provide services, not physical products, creating a video is still an effective way to get the word out there. Lots of consumers nowadays do research on YouTube before purchasing something. Businesses that produce compelling product videos are getting themselves out there as a reputable brand that is willing to discuss what it brings to the table.


Following the theme of connecting with the audience, vlogs (or video blogs) focus on creating raw interaction with the viewer. Vlogs are typically unscripted and consist of a person discussing a particular topic or carrying around the camera to commentate on daily activities. Although vlogs may not sound business-oriented, they can certainly be an effective marketing tool. Consider making relevant weekly vlogs to entertain viewers and show the human side of your company. Although vlogs are sort of like daily video journals, they should still contain valuable content. Perhaps film vlogs that provoke discussion or share little-known tips relevant to your niche.

Interactive Videos

Interactive video is probably the most recent trend out of the whole list, so pay close attention to it. Again, because engagement is so important with videos, interactive videos centralize user interplay. Throughout the video, viewers can click on different options that lead to different outcomes. Not only will this type of video lend your business a creative edge, but it reveals more about how your target audience thinks. Take advantage of interactive video now before it becomes as popular as vlogging. This way, you will already be one step ahead of the competition.

Popular Social Video Platforms

Knowing what kind of videos to make is the first step. Figuring out where to post them comes next. Ideally, businesses should post their videos on as many social networks as possible. However, concentrating on the most popular social video platforms at first provides a solid footing before moving onto other networks. The four social video outlets below have the best reputation for spreading videos and gaining social feedback.


Not only is YouTube the most popular social video platform, but it is the second most visited website in the world. When a video is posted on YouTube, it has the potential to reach the widest audience possible via the Internet. Because of this, YouTube videos will typically rank higher than videos posted anywhere else, which is a bonus. Additionally, the most popular types of videos on YouTube range from beauty tutorials to educational videos to Q&A sessions, so any business can fit right in.


All the millennials, and even many Gen Xers, send snaps to their friends and post selfies on their story. Snapchat has become a huge trend since its creation in 2011. Big names like Gatorade, HubSpot, and Yahoo! use the app on a regular basis. Any social video marketing campaign without Snapchat is missing out on a lot of recognition. Since most businesses market to the next generation, they have to stay modern and distribute quick and engaging videos on millennials’ favorite mobile social video app. Snapchat can also be used creatively to reveal behind the scenes action or reveal coupon codes.


Unlike the other three apps on this list, Facebook is not based solely on video content. However, Facebook video is a huge competitor to YouTube. The two mega-companies are often tied neck and neck for highest number of video views on a social network. Just think about how many times videos have filled up your Facebook news feed. This social network is looking to become a sort of virtual reality, which is what video is all about—connecting with others online in as real a way as possible. Ultimately, Facebook is a strong marketing tool for any social video campaign.


Periscope is a social live streaming app that marketers and millennials alike are falling in love with. What is impressive about Periscope is its ascent to fame in such a short period of time, as it’s only been around for about a year and a half. Although other more popular social networks like YouTube and Facebook offer live streaming, Periscope is exciting and independent. Because Periscope is focused solely on live streaming, it holds a big chunk in that market. Asking why someone should use Periscope instead of live streaming on YouTube is like asking why someone should use Snapchat instead of posting pictures and short videos throughout the day on Facebook.

Other Networks

Although the networks listed above lead to the most success, other outlets that offer video viewing and sharing should not be neglected. Twitter, Vine, Instagram and Tumblr all have incredible social video capabilities. Directly upload videos on these platforms to spread your message. Followers on these secondary social networks should also be encouraged to follow your brand on YouTube, Snapchat, Facebook and Periscope. Even for other social channels that do not support direct uploads, sharing a YouTube or Vimeo link can be just as effective.

How to Use Video on Social Media

Because video is a whole new medium, it comes with its own rules and dynamics. Although the promotion process for a video is similar to a blog post or an infographic, videos intrinsically have an intriguing quality to them that can be magnified. In other words, videos have the potential to go viral, and although your next video will probably not reach ten million views overnight, it still has the potential to bring marketing success to any business that puts in the effort.

  • Optimize video. You want Internet users from every walk of life to be able to discover your video, right? Without the search engine optimization process, though, people will simply not know where to find it. For instance, if the video is a review of the latest Apple iWatch, the title had better include ‘Apple iWatch’ in it. Choose a focus keyword, then use it in the video’s title, description, transcript and tags. It might even help to comment on your own video with the said keyword.
  • Spark discussion. Discussion does not happen just by posting a video. You must reply to fellow commenters. Like their comments. Observe their feedback. Ask questions. Although the process may sound time-consuming, it is an endeavor worth investing in. When you are actively trying to start a discussion with audience members, nothing will stop you from becoming a trusted and leading brand among consumers.
  • Analyze metrics. Most social video networks provide basic video analytics that show a video’s reach and how viewers react to it. YouTube especially offers in-depth statistics that any creator should keep an eye on. Bytaking into consideration when users are dropping out of the video, how many social shares it earns, or how many people are clicking on the call-to-action, you can learn from your mistakes and become an even better social video creator next time.
  • Encourage conversions. Even though you genuinely want to interact with your social followers and add value to their lives, you also have a desire to grow your business organically. The production and promotion work that social video requires can be paid off by adding a call-to-action within a video and encouraging viewers to complete it. The most important thing to remember is not to turn a social video into a sales pitch. Call-to-actions should be brief and secondary, not the central focus of a video.
  • Keep it short. It is no secret that people love short videos. Not too many 15-minute videos go viral (although it does happen from time to time). Social media is flooded with 6-second Vines and 10-second Snaps. Generally, try to keep each video under three minutes; although, depending on the content, the shorter the better. The purpose of video is to pack a lot of punch in a quick amount of time. A video can become very watered-down if it goes on and on instead of fixating on a concise message.


Social video is the marketing tool of the future. It is a quick and effective way to attract new followers, improve search engine rankings, and communicate with your audience. Social video can transform the way a brand presents itself. Although not every business is seasoned in producing videos, anyone can learn. Social media networks have made it easy to set up a business account and start posting videos, so you have nothing to worry about. Knowing what to post and where to promote it is the first step. Now it is time to take action on what you have learned and create your next social video.