The rise of digital video has sparked a major shift in advertising, prompting brands to produce an increasing number of videos for YouTube, Facebook and other social platforms. Digital video spend rose 52% in 2014 and is estimated to nearly double by 2019. However, L2’s just-released Intelligence Report: Video finds that the major video platforms have vastly different advantages for brands, meaning that picking the right platform is crucial.

YouTube’s superior search features make the platform ideal for content that consumers actively seek out. The platform can also be used to target core demographics via In-Stream Advertising. In contrast, Facebook’s strength lies in interruptive viewing. Similar to traditional TV ads in that they appear automatically in users’ newsfeeds, Facebook ads are best for pushing content to broad audiences. The social platform also boasts lower CPMs, letting brands promote content more cheaply than on YouTube.

Content strengths of YouTube/Facebook/Instagram

Instagram, a relative newcomer to video advertising, has unique limitations that many brands are unprepared to fulfill. The platform requires videos to be 15 seconds or less, and most Instagram videos auto-play without sound, meaning that the platform is ideal for brief, highly visual content that blends with its creative aesthetic. This represents a significant barrier to entry for many brands, as evidenced in the fact that video posts receive considerably lower engagement than photos. In Q1 2015, photos saw 1.4 times more engagement than video posts, suggesting that brands with creative shortcomings might be better served moving to other platforms.

For more, download a copy of L2’s Intelligence Report: Video. [reportdownloadlinks report_post_id=”121798″]

L2's Daily Insights in Your Inbox.