By Chris Lee
More than 5.6 billion views of social video have been delivered already this year, according to online measurement firm Visible Measures. Around 80 per cent of these (4.1 billion) of these views have come from paid media and the rest have been driven directly by audiences. Around 540 million of the direct views are from new content created by audiences, such as mixes, spoofs, mash-ups and parodies.
This demonstrates that social video offers huge potential for marketers. According to a recent white paper by social video platform Ebuzzing, there are five main reasons why social video advertising is exploding:
1. It can be retrieved any time, even after the campaign is over
2. It can be seen on every devices, phone, tablet or connected TV
3. It can be sequenced and is not limited in time and space
4. It is a very engaging format, generating comments, shares likes, and therefore additional visibility for the brand
5. It increases branding metrics and drives visit to the brand website
NMK spoke with Rebecca Powell, Global Vice President of Marketing at Ebuzzing, to get some top tips on how brands can make the most of social video. Content-led strategies bring competitive advantages
According to Powell, brands face huge challenges in today’s user-centric world to produce ads that are worth sharing. With video and social media driving a nearly 15 per cent surge in annual digital advertising growth (according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau), brands and agencies are showing greater confidence in leveraging the social web. However, many are unsure where to start, how to ensure that their creative ideas translate to the social web and how to leverage premium engaged video advertising to complement other platforms.
“With Kony 2012 becoming an overnight internet sensation, the rapid growth of Pinterest and the acquisition of Instagram by Facebook, it’s clear to see that visual content is fast becoming one of the most valuable mediums for users on the social web,” Powell said. “Unlike other online video formats, social video allows brands to speak to their audience through visually engaging, interactive content that can be shared and commented on to amplify a brand’s marketing message with its target audience.” Five steps to successful social video
Powell outlined five steps which she said would lead to successful social video campaigns.
1. Promote high levels of engagement
Engaging with an audience in a social setting where users have high intention and a propensity to engage with a brand is not only less intrusive than other forms of video advertising but also leads to deeper engagement and brand advocacy in the long term. Guaranteeing that adverts and creative campaigns translate to the social web is a growing consideration for brands who ultimately want to foster brand engagement. Video is engaging but social video brings a brand engagement and that’s where the real opportunity lies. Half of online video viewers say they discuss content with friends and family, whilst a quarter of this group shares content via email/social media, interacts with it and has conversations about it with fellow viewers.
2. Utilise video’s scope for creativity
Videos are a dynamic format that allow for creative input and more elaborate messaging than banner or pre-roll advertising, so there are almost limitless options for originality and experimentation. Creating an online video that appeals to the interests of your target audience, tells a story and encourages brand interaction is a hugely compelling option for brands.
3.Make sharing easy
Marketers can buy impressions but cannot buy likes, shares and talkability and therein lies the true potential of social video. With prominent social sharing buttons included on social videos, they are a compelling option for brands and advertisers to generate earned and owned media. A video link received via a social share is likely to be watched three times as much and for three times as long as a paid-for ad, thereby radically increasing user engagement, so make sure that this option is available on your video ad.
4. Make your video highly targeted
The old saying that ‘content is king’ still rings true for social video: quality, captivating content is compelling. Yet the winning formula for brands is to distribute that content to a highly engaged, tightly defined audience in a social environment where users are attentive, so the important thing for marketers is to be aware of the specific demographics they want to speak to. Using Ebuzzing Labs, and an extensive network of social publishers, bloggers and influencers, you can find people who have a high level of influence over the audience you are targeting and distribute content through these top influencers, to ensure your ad placement reaches only your desired audience.
5. If you can’t measure it, why do it?
With return on investment (ROI) continuing to rise up the agenda, the good news for brands and marketers is that social video can be tracked, reported on and measured to provide an accurate picture of how social video is benefitting your business – engaging consumers rather than just getting eyeballs on a page. Over and above the basic metrics of number of views; number of interactions/actions on social media channels; the conversation curve progression; and impacted communities; it’s also beneficial to measure tonality around your campaign, and the share of voice your brand receives as a result.
Golden rules for maximising social video engagement
Powell also said there several golden rules to maximise social video engagement through premium video advertising.
Keep branding discrete, she advises. “People have an unconscious aversion to being persuaded, so they resist big logos,” Powell said. Also, the story matters more than the product, she added, so brands should think more about the enjoyment a video offers to a viewer instead of how well it serves the brand, as engagement is key.
People need to be hooked in the first five seconds. “Make an emotional connection – time is of the essence when advertising through social so grabbing attention is paramount. Do this with either the emotion of joy or surprise,” Powell advised. “People get bored easily and long drawn-out stories can cause people to stop watching.”
Powell believes brands should build an emotional roller coaster, as people will lose interest if the emotion is constant, regardless of length. “The ad must briefly remove viewers’ feelings of joy and surprise and then quickly restore them again,” she added. “Having multiple scenes/mini stories is more effective than only having one or two. Each scene should have its own dose of emotion – great examples in practice are VW’s The Force and Evian’s Roller Babies.”
Powell said brands should surprise but not shock, as people won’t share something that is too shocking or crude to promote to their friends and have their name associated with it. Brands should also target people that are prone to sharing and have a voice.
“Social influencers are the best people to target when it comes to distribution,” she concluded. “These people have extroverted and egocentric personalities on the social w
eb, are most likely to share content, and exert influence.”