What is native video? (And how it can get you more views!)

So you’ve created your beautiful new Biteable video, you’ve uploaded it to YouTube and now you’re going to share the link to it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc… BUT WAIT! You might be sabotaging your video’s full potential to be seen.

What is native video?

Native video is video content that is uploaded directly to (or created on) a social network and played in-feed on that platform. For example, on Facebook, a native video would be a video that is uploaded directly to Facebook, rather than a link shared from Youtube or Vimeo.

The beauty of native video is that it doesn’t interrupt the user experience with unnecessary extra clicks or new windows, meaning the content is something viewers are more likely to engage with rather than an annoying distraction in their news feed.

How do you create a great native video?

Creating an enticing native video is all about tailoring the content so it feels effortless for your intended audience to watch.

These kinds of videos are mainly educational or entertaining, so infographics, editorial content, and reviews work well. If you’re looking for inspiration, something like our editorial scenes template would work perfectly for a native video.

An example of this type of content would be a short video clip about a 90 year old who keeps themselves fit by doing yoga; it may promote the yoga center but is presented in a way that feels nothing like advertising and probably more like a news story.

Therefore, telling an engaging story is a great way to create a native video for social media.

When you create your native video content, make sure it’s not disruptive — it’s got to feel fun and enjoyable. As most people watch native video with the sound off, also make sure your content can be easily understood without the sound on.

Why use native video?

With over 8 billion video views per day, Facebook knows that video is the most engaging type of content, so they certainly don’t want viewers leaving to watch video somewhere else.

Instagram’s integrated video took off in a big way. Their native Instagram Stories feature commands a whopping 500 million video views every day.

What does this mean? Well, it’s clear that the consumer is becoming increasingly in control of their online experience. They don’t want to be disrupted and they enjoy content that feels increasingly authentic.

So before you post your YouTube link everywhere, consider these stats on native video.

They get better reach

Social media sites like Facebook want to keep users on their platform rather than have them enticed down a YouTube rabbit-hole, so they’ve set up their news feed algorithm to give precedence to natives. So the bottom line is: upload your video directly to Facebook and Facebook will promote it more than they would a link to YouTube or Vimeo. It’s that simple.

They command more attention

As social media audiences become more savvy and less open to advertising, more and more brands are replacing their display ads with native ads.

Attention-gathering is the forte of the big social media channels and it’s primarily down to how the platform prioritises the content via their user experience design.

When you upload a Facebook native video it appears larger on the platform than just sharing an external link, ultimately making it more enticing to the viewer.

A study by Instapage showed that native ads yield an incredible 308x more attention than banner ads. Wowza.

This shows that capturing attention is starting to work in a different way when it comes to video advertising. It’s not about the hard push anymore.

They engage viewers much more

A 2017 Quintly study found that on Facebook, Youtube, and Vimeo, links were declining. Why? Because you can’t watch the video and comment directly beneath it, meaning users have to go off the platform.

What’s more, both Facebook and Twitter have the autoplay function, making the content more easily accessible to viewers.

Native videos engage viewers much more — in fact, Quintly found they generate up to 530% more comments.

What’s more, in comparison to YouTube, native videos were shared ten times more on Facebook than the video giant counterpart.

Facebook is still clearly the reigning king when it comes to social media dominance.

Watch times increase

A 2018 study by The Drum shows that when users watch native in-app video content, they also watch videos for far longer.

They said:

According to our findings, smartphone users are more likely to spend time engaging with long-form video ads compared to 6-second ads when executed correctly. In fact, 72% of mobile users who have watched 6 seconds will continue to watch and engage with video up to 22 seconds.

What does this mean? Well, you still need to pack a punch for your first six seconds and grab the viewer’s attention, but you could also include a second compelling ‘hook’ around the 22 second mark, to entice the viewer to watch more.

Posting them creates a video gallery

If you have a Facebook fan page, it makes sense to use native video. One reason is because when you post a video on the platform, it automatically saves in a gallery on your page.

This means it won’t get lost like a normal post and your fans can rewatch easily at any time, meaning you’re more likely to get higher views and engagement.

What’s more, you can also choose a ‘featured video’ for your videos tab, in order to keep that great native content at the top of your page for as long as you want.

On Twitter you can, of course, pin your video to the top of your profile, but it will automatically save in your media library at the side of your page, meaning a lot more views than a standard post.

Easy editing features

Social media platforms naturally favour their own platforms, and this means they’re quickly upping their video game. Both Facebook and Twitter offer editing features and while they’re still at a fairly basic level, they’ve got the standard features covered.

Twitter allows you to trim your native video, making it suitable for the platform.

Facebook allows you to edit your native video by adding a CTA, subtitles, and your choice of thumbnail. For a 25-second video, Facebook will provide 10 different custom thumbnails to choose from, plus an option to upload your own.

Don’t forget, of course, you can always use a trusty Biteable template instead to whip up your Facebook video in a couple of minutes. Just saying.

Better analytics

In the video game, numbers are everything and Facebook’s intricate analytics dashboard makes it a very tempting option.

Not only does it show your video views in real time, but these figures are also shown to the rest of your audience — something you don’t get by sharing an external YouTube link.

Twitter is also a great option, as it also has decent analytics for video posts on their platform. They measure video views, completion rate, and average watch time.

Conclusion

Native videos are designed to perform better, which makes using them a no-brainer. After all, if you want to keep users invested in you, you don’t want them to be tempted to wander off to somewhere else.

Social media companies have invested heavily in encouraging native video content, and the stats speak for themselves. So if you’re planning your video strategy for this year, it will definitely pay to make your video platform-specific.

Although it takes a bit more time to upload your video to each platform rather than just quickly sharing a link, it’s a golden path that will elevate your content far higher than the old, traditional ways of sharing video.