Humour wins on social media, study finds

By Chris Lee

The role of video in digital marketing continues to rise. According to Social Media Examiner, video was the number one content investment tool of 2012, with a 12 per cent rise over the year in business-to-business marketing. Added to this, nearly half (46 per cent) of consumers say they would be more likely to seek out information about a product or service after seeing it in an online video. So just what motivates video viewers to share that content to their wider sphere of influence?

Added to this, a new study suggests that consumers are more likely to share, comment and “like” an online video than a text article, with humour the number one reason they interact with video. These are two key findings from online survey company Usurv, which quizzed 1,000 adults as to how they watch and respond to online video content.

More than half (56 per cent) of people polled by Usurv said they had “liked” online video content, 39 per cent said they had shared a video and more than a third (36 per cent) had commented on video content. Usurv said that in all cases more people had engaged with online video in these ways than with online articles.

“The important finding for digital and content marketers is that people tend to engage with video more deeply than simple text articles,” said Guy Potter, research director at Usurv. “And interestingly 59 per cent of people said they are more likely to watch a video if it has already been shared, commented on or liked by someone they know – so there is evidence to support the much-talked-about viral potential of online video.”

Kings of comedy

Just more than half (51 per cent) of people Usurv interviewed said they had shared, commented on or liked a video because it was “humorous” and a third (30 per cent) because they “knew others would want to see it”. Conversely, just four per cent said they had shared commented on or liked a video because “it outraged me” and another four per cent shared video content because “it was extremely bad”.

Tune in, turn off

Around a half (49 per cent) of those questioned said that the presence of an advertisement at the start of the video was the biggest turn-off, followed by a lack of quality (17 per cent) and those they felt were “too salesy” (15 per cent). Just eight per cent said they were put off by videos not being informative enough.

YouTube was, perhaps unsurprisingly, found to be the most likely place that those interviewed would consumer video content, followed by Facebook (10 per cent), online publications (eight per cent) and companies’ own websites, trailing at just seven per cent.

Potter said that Usurv’s research demonstrated that marketers need to be careful to get the technical quality right and ensure the content has real value rather than being overtly sales-focused or preceded by ads, as these put people off video and – consequently – the brands producing them.

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