Facebook’s Video Ads Risk Alienating Users

Facebook said it would begin selling video advertisements later this week, a move that may help the social-networking giant capture a share of the annual $66.4 billion TV advertising market.

Some advertisers rejoiced Tuesday when Facebook introduced long-awaited video advertisements. A bigger question is how users will react.

Marketers “have to be sensitive,” said Tony Pace, chief marketing officer for the Subway sandwich chain, which advertises on Facebook. “If someone said [this video ad] is going to run whether consumers want it or not, that would give me pause,” he said.

Facebook said its first video ad, a teaser for the coming sci-fi film “Divergent,” would begin appearing Thursday, marking an effort by the world’s largest social network to grab a slice of the $66 billion annual U.S. TV advertising pie.

The video ads, which the company says are still being tested to a limited number of users, will start playing automatically as users scroll through their news feed, the central real estate in Facebook’s desktop and mobile platforms. They will initially play without sound; users can stop the ad by scrolling past it in the news feed.

Some users are wary. “This may be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back,” said Lee Kirschbrown, a senior citizen in Tampa, Fla., who is irked by existing Facebook ads. Video ads “will only make me madder,” he said.

Facebook said its first video ad, a teaser for sci-fi film ‘Divergent,’ would begin appearing Thursday. Shown, Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.Associated Press

In a November survey of 735 Facebook users by global marketing consultancy Analytic Partners, 83% of users said they would find video ads “intrusive” and would likely “ignore” them.

Marketers are more enthusiastic. “Video is really powerful,” said Shelby Saville, managing director at Spark, a media-buying unit of Publicis “Using sight, sound and motion is a way to get consumers to have an emotional connection to the brand, if it’s well done,” she added.

Video advertising isn’t available to all advertisers, and Facebook didn’t say when it would expand the offering.

Many advertisers will be priced out of the market. Facebook is charging around $2 million per day for the ability to reach its 140 million U.S. users aged 18 to 54, according to media buyers. Some media buyers said they found the price surprisingly high.

Facebook began pitching advertisers on video ads about a year ago, giving several advertisers and media buyers a sneak peek last January during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. In September, Facebook began quietly testing auto-play videos.

Subway was among the companies that placed ads containing video that users had to start manually. Mr. Pace of Subway said roughly 88 million people saw the ad and “millions” of people clicked on it. “It worked pretty darn well,” he added.

Media buyers said advertisers would be more interested in video ads if Facebook allowed them to better target specific sets of users. Facebook currently allows advertisers to target video ads by gender and age, but not by interests, as it does for traditional ads. “Advertisers always need more data than simply impressions and reach,” said Vik Kathuria, global head of digital investment at Mediacom, a media buying firm owned by WPP.

“This news further confirms that Facebook has abandoned social marketing in favor of standard push-style ads,” said Forrester Research analyst Nate Elliott.

Ad experts say it is no surprise that a movie studio was the first video advertiser, since consumers typically are more interested in movie trailers than ads for more mundane products like soup or toilet paper.

“A movie is perfect for this,” said Jordan Bitterman, chief strategy officer at Mindshare, the media buying agency that brokered the ad deal for Lions Gate Entertainment  “Americans love films and when you show a movie trailer there is always going to be a certain part of the audience that really likes it,” he added.

Video Ad Viewing Up 31% Year-To-Year [REPORT]

More information from the FreeWheel Q3 2013 Video Monetization Report shows that video ad viewing is continuing its healthy double-digit growth. While video views dropped slightly in the third quarter of this year, video ads still managed to claw some ground from the previous quarter. Remember, this report is based around Programmers or multichannel video programming distributors (MVPD) and Digital Pure-Plays. MVPDs are mostly linear TV revenue driven but offer some IP-based options as well (broadcast networks, cable companies). Digital Pure-Plays are mostly IP-based revenue driven, aggregate content of others and are now starting to make their own (think Netflix, Amazon, etc). The data is for rights-managed, professionally made (not user-generated), aggregate monetization from FreeWheel customers which include FOX, Sky, NBCU, Viacom, Dish, DirecTV

Video views did climb 20% since Q3 2012, so it’s not like that is stagnant, it just lost a bit of ground Q3 vs Q2 this year. Video ad loads are clearly on the rise since video ad viewing has outpaced video viewing by 11%, but without the hard numbers we can’t see exactly what the change is here in terms of ads per video. Additionally, we don’t know what constitutes a view for the report.

Video Ad Viewing Up 31% Year To Year, Completion Rates Flat [REPORT]

Who has shown the ads is fairly steady with less MVPD ads this year over last. Seems that the Digital Pure-Plays are trying to recoup more of the licensing costs as they have a larger percentage now.

Video Ad Viewing Up 31% Year To Year, Completion Rates Flat [REPORT]

Ad Loads Rise, Completion Rates Steady

So even though ad views saw a 31% increase over the past year, it seems that the completion rate of those ads hasn’t gone up, but it was already incredibly high at around 90%. The ad load has increased from 9.1 to 11.6, 29% growth in that area. The high completion rate is most likely due to the ads being embedded in the content and not being able to be fast forwarded over, not through any higher reception by the online viewers I’m sure.

Of course, these types of content publishers want TV-level ad loads, because it’s mostly TV content. I don’t know that it’s going to go over so well with the Millennials who don’t use TVs all that much and are used to lower ad loads online. This could be a point where the industry pushes too far and ends up losing out again, sort of like the cable companies with their subscriber losses over the past few quarters. Too expensive, too much channel bloat, too many restrictions = less subscribers. Online it might simply be too many ads (even in line with linear TV) = less viewers eventually. It could even tip more users over to piracy meaning the content publishers would be making zero on those views. Best to err on the side of caution, but somehow, I don’t see them thinking that way.

Video Ad Viewing Up 31% Year To Year, Completion Rates Flat [REPORT]

Short Form Used to Maximize Monetization?

The report looks a lot at short form content. This would include all of those show clips and highlight reels that can be found online, usually with ads on them. So it’s sort of like watching a pre-roll ad, to then watch an ad about the show you want to watch. Granted, the video is actual content from the show but is usually under five minutes, quite often a single scene from a TV show episode bookended with ads. Personally, I refuse to sit through an ad of any length when the video I want to watch is less than a minute, but that could just be my draconian view of it all. The MVPDs seem to be dropping that sort of thing a bit while the Digital Pure-Plays seem to be picking up on it.

30-Second Ads Dominate in Views and Completion

Finally, in long-form content, 30-second ads are king nabbing 65% of views. On short-form content they’re just under half of all ad views (49%). 60-second spots had a whopping 2% on long-form and nothing on short-form (clearly they’re not looking at YouTube in this report).

Meanwhile, completion rates favored the 30-second ads as well except in the long-form content where 15-second ads edged their mid-length brethren by 5%.

Video Ad Viewing Up 31% Year To Year, Completion Rates Flat [REPORT]

But again, it’s TV Everywhere we’re talking about here and most of the ads cannot be skipped so if the viewer wants to see the rest of the content, they must watch the ads. Completion rates are almost a moot point there. The fact that they’re not all 100% should say something, people are ditching out, either on the ads at the end of content or at the beginning when a 30-second ad shows up on a short-form video of 2 minutes or less. I know they’re trying to show the rosy side of life, but let’s face it, many video viewers despise ads and would do almost anything to get away from them, including pay  a subscription. I would much rather pay a monthly fee than have to suffer through pointless advertisements that are not of interest to me and have zero bearing on my buying or viewing habits. OK, that’s not totally true. I have gone out of my way to avoid a brand because of the massive amount of times I see their ads against some VOD content. So well done, they’ve instilled a total aversion and massively negative brand image in my mind.

Video Ad Viewing Up 31% Year To Year, Completion Rates Flat [REPORT]

Video Ad Viewing Up 31% Year To Year, Completion Rates Flat [REPORT]

Smartphone Video Ads Over 100% More Effective with Millennials Than TV [Report]

As part of YuMe’s research, Insights from Multi-Screen Research Millennials: Distinct in Video Consumption, in partnership with IPG Media Lab, they looked at video advertising, its effects on Millennials and topics like distraction due to multi-tasking, time-shifted TV content and other factors. Below we focus on a few founding’s;

Video Consumption And App Usage

The other way to watch video which is covered in the research is streaming it from a webpage. With technologies like VAST and HTML5 video advertising can now be delivered to the majority of mobile devices. Depending on the operating system, some viewers may be able to multi-task while the ad plays, which offers a lower percentage chance that the viewer will see the ad. As far as I can see, the video app is the way to go whenever feasible. Also, it’s the most commonly used way to watch videos by Millennials and Generation X on smartphones and by them and Baby Boomers on tablets.

Smartphone Video Ads Over 100% More Effective with Millennials Than TV [Report]

Multi-Tasking Impacts Video Advertising Effectiveness

This becomes even more important when you take into account the fact that a large majority of all three generations multi-task when watching a video. The difference is the fact that the Millennials do it with other connected devices. Even 80% of Baby Boomers said they multi-task while watching video. I too am guilty of that, in fact I’ve been on my laptop and iPad at the same time as watching something on the DVR. Hey, I have a lot of things to get done some days!

Smartphone Video Ads Over 100% More Effective with Millennials Than TV [Report]

A full 13% more of them multi-task on various connected devices than Generation X, 23% more than Baby Boomers. Then again, I think the Boomers weren’t brought up that way while the Gen X’ers at least had home computers and game consoles which might account for some of the multi-task mentality.

Smartphone Video Ads Over 100% More Effective with Millennials Than TV [Report]

As for the Millennials, they were all practically born with a phone in their hands and many have better smartphones than I do. But the real information in all this comes when you take into account what that multi-tasking does in regards to video advertising.

As YuMe’s research found out, it lowers ad recall. Now it’s not all that severe in that it only lowered it 2-9% via smartphones, tablet apps and tablet browsers. Then again, Millennials weren’t all that great at unaided ad recall from TV or the PC anyway compared to Gen X’ers, so it is in line with expectations on the other platforms. As the chart below shows, smartphone video ads had the highest unaided ad recall. Does that translate into effectiveness? I suppose so, if you’re just going for recall and that can then translate into brand awareness overall later.

Smartphone Video Ads Over 100% More Effective with Millennials Than TV [Report]

Video Ad Impact on Millennials

Now, here’s a prime piece of information from the research. If you want Millennials to think that your brand is in fact “modern” then you should be targeting them with video advertising on smartphones. That combination showed the highest agreement in believing that the ad shown was from a “modern brand.” Of course, it was still only 6.7%, tablet browser video ads came in at 5.3% and everything else was under 4%. I suppose that’s technically almost 100% more effective than video advertising on TV or PC.

Smartphone Video Ads Over 100% More Effective with Millennials Than TV [Report]

Interestingly, video ads on smartphones also scored highly with Millennials and Gen X’ers on the belief that it was from a “brand on its way up.” But only 1.1% of Gen X thought it was a modern brand. Gen X had a negative response in regards to whether the brand was quality, premium or a brand they respected. Almost as if, your video ad incited vitriol in their brain and they suddenly didn’t like the brand at all. How positively fascinating! I wonder if that is due to many Gen X’ers remembering the days before massive online video ad loads and yearn for those nearly ad-free days again, whereas the Millennials have pretty much grown up with more and more video advertising online. There’s something here I think that could be more specifically delved into and might offer some extremely interesting research that could translate into how to better target Gen X with video advertising (I suspect the answer will be “with much, much less of it”). It could also be the fact that Gen X simply things video ads are blasé

.Smartphone Video Ads Over 100% More Effective with Millennials Than TV [Report]

Meanwhile, the Millennials still had positive reactions to those questions, however, the “brand I respect” was quite low, at just 1.7%, whether it was a quality brand did quite well, relatively speaking, with 3.7%.

Smartphone Video Ads Over 100% More Effective with Millennials Than TV [Report]

Millennials are Dropping Old School Video Platform

Television is old school to the Millennials, who have had the highest drop off rate for TV usage over the past three years according to the study.  Of any demographic, Millennial women are dropping the most TV usage, 10% less since 2010, topping even Millennial males who dropped TV usage 7% since 2010. In this graph you can see they are pointing to the 18-24-year-old group (born in 1989-2000), a slightly narrower definition of Millennials.

Millennials Watch Less TV, Use Smartphones and Tablets for Video Viewing [Report]

This means that traditional TV advertising is not reaching them like it used to and this trend will probably continue in a downward way making it less and less effective for this major demographic. They are watching some time-shifted television shows, as you can see below, via a DVR and most likely online as well.

Millennials Watch Less TV, Use Smartphones and Tablets for Video Viewing [Report]

The Millennials use their smartphone and tablets more than any other demographic on the chart and are practically the anti-thesis of the 65+ group who uses TV the most and mobile devices the least. A more interesting trend might be the total lack of DVR usage by the younger 18-24-year-old demographic. Growing up in the full on video streaming age seems to have made them TV and DVR averse. Important information if you’re looking to target them now, or in the near future.

Video Content Viewing by Type

It is also interesting to note that the Millennials also said they watch a lot of TV shows, and user-generated content. That might help explain the fact that Netflix and YouTube account for 50% of all peak period Internet traffic in North America. What they don’t watch, is news, with only 13% saying they watch it. Speaks volumes to the future of the country.

The content they do watch is, again, mostly on three screens; PC, smartphone, and tablet. 49% reported watching ‘web videos’ on smartphones, 44% said PC and 44% said tablet, when given the option of picking two options (presumably TV and DVR were in there as well).

Millennials Watch Less TV, Use Smartphones and Tablets for Video Viewing [Report]

Where Millennials Watch Video

Where they watch the content is also interesting. The three major demographics, Millenials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers, all ranked in the high 90’s percentage-wise in terms of watching at home. However, over 50% of Millenials said they are likely to watch content “at a friend’s or significant other’s home” a full 20-30% more than the others. While commuting 32% of Millenials said they watch content (5-10% more than the others) showing they they are either, hopefully, car pooling, or using public transportation.

Good news for retailers though, 13% reported they are likely to watch video, “in a store,” which could prove useful for the upcoming holiday shopping season. Compare that to 8% of Gen X’ers and 3% of Boomers. Clearly, that in store video marketing, or online product video marketing, is going to be seen by the Millenials.

Millennials Watch Less TV, Use Smartphones and Tablets for Video Viewing [Report]

Where to Watch Video on Smartphones and Tablets

YuMe also reported on smartphone and tablet usage in each of those locations as well. At home ranked in the 98-100% range with Millennials, at a friend’s pulled 58% and 49% respectively. Smartphones are on the rise everywhere though which might be indicative of bigger screens, better resolutions and faster mobile data networks. In the retail space, 19% said they’d use their phone and 6% said they’d use a tablet. However, when they leave the store and go eat or drink at a bar or restaurant those numbers skew higher with 26% saying they would use a smartphone and 14% a tablet.

Millennials Watch Less TV, Use Smartphones and Tablets for Video Viewing [Report]

So perhaps some cross-promotional streaming video targeting is in order between retailers and restaurants, especially to those trying to target the Millennials.

To App, Stream or Download?

This is the last section of the YuMe report that I’m going to look at in this article so I can devote an entire article to the video advertising aspect of it. There’s nothing groundbreaking here in terms of results in that the highest percentage of each demographic said they use an app to get their video content. That’s closely followed by streaming it straight from the web. Downloading to a device ranked last with under half of all demographics saying they do that.

The key information here is that if you’ve got video on the web and you want to target the Millennials, you need to make sure you’ve got an app for that, or that it can stream to all the mobile platforms, both tablet and smartphone. Android, iOS and Windows phones and tablets are probably going to nail the majority of them. I don’t see too many using a Blackberry device or anything too outside the major operating systems.

Millennials Watch Less TV, Use Smartphones and Tablets for Video Viewing [Report]

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Online Content Marketing Trends to Watch Out For in 2014

2013 saw some pretty interesting changes in the world of online content marketing.

Possibly the largest was the rolling out of Google’s Hummingbird algorithm in August (possibly the biggest change in search since 2001), hurting many ‘black hat’ marketers, while at the same time, serving to elevate niche websites within the SERPs; creating an even playing field between what some have compared to ‘good vs evil’.

But besides upgrades and amendments to Hummingbird, what does 2014 have in store for the world of content marketing?

1. Video Content is going to take off in a big way

Though we’ve got just about all that we can out of the likes of infographics, the mainstream emergence of apps such as Vine  and even Snapchat is somewhere things are looking to grow – which is especially great for marketers who rely on visual media to connect with their audiences.

To add to this, many agencies are beginning to realise that video marketing isn’t as expensive as it used to be, and if done right, it can be sent and well received through almost any channel.

If you aren’t convinced yet, a single video (lasting 1:31) of Felix Baumgartner’s space dive has so far given Red Bull an extra 35 million views on their primary YouTube channel alone.

 2. Whether you like it or not, Google+ is about to get bigger

Though the significance and worth of Google+ is currently up for debate, the world’s second largest technology company isn’t about to drop its bone yet.

In terms of outreach, social media is basically mandatory via Twitter etc. anyway, but technology experts are predicting a greater reliance on what is deemed to be the second largest social networking site after Facebook.

Largely due to advancements with Google Authorship (though it doesn’t help rankings yet), Google+ is set to be one of the defining elements of social and content outreach by the end of next year. Indeed, if marketers don’t want to be left behind, then forgetting about Google+ could be deadly.

3. In some sectors, content will become more exclusive to certain people

Although for the moment, people are pretty much free to consume as much content as they want (besides those who read The Times and other subscription based media), marketers are expected to incorporate select audiences for their brands – incorporating the idea that exclusive content is better content, and therefore, far more valuable for both the audience and the brand.

By providing exclusives such as articles, offers, games and videos to only a privileged few (thousand), marketers will be looking to heighten trust signals, quality and value during 2014 on this basis.

4. The area is going to grow massively next year.

If someone was to say that there would be only a marginal growth to be had in 2014, they would probably be wrong. In the United States, 60 per cent of businesses already use some form of content marketing as part of their overall strategy.

And this is set to increase to the point where the overused and increasingly stale motto of ‘content is king’ will not be just a buzz phrase on internet blogs, but a mandatory and widely accepted fact.

In addition to this, according to a survey by the Marketing Institute, 48% of marketers plan to increase their content marketing budgets into 2014.

Amidst fierce competition, getting it right will be imperative.

5. The job market for content creation is set to explode

Whether in-house or agency based, one of the top marketing jobs of 2014 is tipped to be ‘Director of Content, with many writing, video and editing jobs set to open up as the year continues.

Indeed, in HubSpot’s Fifth Annual Review of Inbound Marketing, the company states that the top marketing job of 2014 may well be Director of Content, and they aren’t the only ones making the claim.

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Peek of the Week – Christmas edition [updated]

Yes its already that time again… here is our round up of the most viewed, talked about and expensive Christmas commercials starting with The Bear and the Hare, the £7 million John Lewis Christmas TV commercial;

Its arrival heralds the start of the festivities, according to economists, although the rival M&S campaign, unveiled this week, began the annual drive to make us stop budgeting and start indulging. M&S’s poster girl, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, in lingerie naturally, will be vying against a cartoon bear, the star of the John Lewis campaign. It’s beauty versus the beast.

Taking a different approach is Tesco that goes down the nostalgic route;

Morrison is playing it safe with celebrity endorsement

ASDA doesn’t give up on the price war, even during Christmas;

A very cute and massive unwrap from Cadbury

One of my favourite LEGO;

But Sainsbury probably created the most buzz this year with Christmas in a day. Last year they asked people to send in their personal video and so Christmas in a Day features heart-warming home footage of celebrations. Directed by Oscar-winning Life In A Day director Kevin Macdonald, His award-winning 2011 Youtube film featured 80,000 crowd-sourced clips. The ’Christmas in a Day’ 50-minute film, which took 14 months to make, documents the different experiences of a range of UK families to capture the diversity of celebrations across the country.

Peek of the Week – Top 10 Global Online Video Ads for October 2013

A prank played on a group of coffee shop drinkers to promote the remake of 70s horror classic Carrie tops last month’s Unruly Global Ads Chart.

The ad was October’s most popular by a country mile, attracting almost 1.7 million more shares across Facebook, Twitter and the blogosphere than the second-placed ad, PooPourri’s hilarious “Girls Don’t Poop” It attracted more then 2.1 million shares in October.

You can throw as many special effects or clever catchphrases into your marketing mix as possible, but apparently nothing beats the sight of a little girl throwing up. Or at least that’s one way to look at the incredible success of Crest and Oral-B’s “Halloween Treats Gone Wrong ad”. But what they will be even more happy with is the performance of the ad. Launched just a few days before the end of the month, the commercial attracted more than 225,000 shares during October, making it the seventh most shared ad of the month.

The PS4. “For The Players Since 1995” is a sedate and nostalgic journey through the history of the Playstation told through the bedroom of a teenage boy. It attracted 104,431 shares last month, almost 30,000 more than Xbox’s 19th-placed “Invitation”, which was launched a few days later.

Other newcomers to the top 20 include Virgin Atlantic’s new all-singing and all-dancing safety demonstration.

Top 20 Most Shared, Branded Video Ads During October 2013

1. MGM: Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise – Shares: 2.1million

2. PooPourri: Girls Don’t Poop – Shares: 418,023

3. GoPro: HERO3+ Black Edition: Smaller, Lighter, Mightier Still – Shares: 320,611

4. GEICO: Hump Day – Shares: 258,145

5. GoPro: Firemen Saves Kitten – Shares: 241,781

6. Samsung: Note 3 – First Hands On – Shares: 237,310

7. Crest and Oral-B: Halloween Treats Gone Wrong – Shares: 225,156

8. Virgin America: #VXsafetydance – Shares: 205,327

9. Mercedes-Benz: Chicken – Shares: 187,677

10. Pepsi Max: Uncle Drew 3 – Shares: 178,099

 

The next Peek of the week will be the Christmas edition!

 

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Social Video ROI: Relationships That Convert

Many marketers assume “social video” mostly means sharing on YouTube, Facebook, and other social networks. What’s forgotten? The “social” part.

To successfully incorporate video into your search marketing, you really need to create a experience that’s first and foremost about building personal connections. That means genuinely listening, engaging, and helping others in ways that turn visitors into followers, users into contributors, critics into evangelists, and individuals into communities.

But social video can’t be helpful if it can’t be sustainable as a business model. That’s why social video needs to be treated like a financial portfolio – nurturing relationships like one nurtures stock investments, carefully qualified and continually measured against pre-set performance goals so you see a tangible return on investment over the long-term.

What is “Social Video?” What Should it Really Mean?

We need to start with how we choose to define “social. I regard social as a personal investment into genuine relationships for shared value.

The next step from there is “social business” – a term often used to describe the evolution of modern business through technology and consumer culture, and worker relationships. That is how I came to my definition of “social video” – the blending of video into genuine relationships for shared value.

Too often, video is still treated as a broadcast tool with expectations of short-term transactions, rather than a true engagement tool for building meaningful connections.

You should no longer ask, “How do I create a viral video?” Instead, you should ask, “How can I create value and build trust with my audience?”

“Video is one of the greatest ways to help personalize the brand and create a trusted experience,” according to Frank Eliason, SVP of Citibank and author of “@ Your Service – How to Attract New Customers, Increase Sales, and Increase Sales Using New Customer Techniques.” “We tend to trust humans, not some corporate logo; and video is the best way to do that on a scaled basis.”

Externally, video is used to communicate to broad audiences, often designed to bring a human touch to a brand. It’s a great way to share insight into your company, share thoughts, and add value to your customers without intruding into their conversation.

Internally, larger companies are using video to create more nimble, interconnected teams. Work groups now live in a very different environment. Today, people use video to speak with each other across the globe, for knowledge management and collaboration.

Here are some other strong business reasons for why search marketers should be doing social video:

  • Video is the most powerful communications tool on the web. It invites more engagement with audiences, and drives the social signals with Google for augmented search results.
  • Video enhances storytelling. People are moved by stories; and video is better at storytelling than text, graphics, and audio combined.
  • Video augments both the rational and the emotional. Some audiences are persuaded more by logic and instructional content; others are motivated more by strong feelings of passion that are either positive or negative.
  • Audiences now expect it. Your audiences are likely creating and sharing their own videos, and want the brands they follow to do the same with them in mind.

Social Video Tips for Every Professional Marketer

  • Make it a real commitment to personally engage with your audience. Anything advertised as “social” should come with a promise. It’s not just putting out video content regularly and consistently to where your audience is; it’s a promise to listen and personally engage with individual followers and subscribers (i.e., conversation), and to provide mutual value for what you share. Simply placing repurposed ads on your website or YouTube channel isn’t going to cut it.
  • Be transparent and believable. Zappos has always lead the way but that’s because social fits within their existing culture. Mistakes happen in social when brands like to portray themselves as something they are not. That means, think about what your existing business culture is like, and have your video content be a natural representation of that same culture.
  • Always start with being helpful. The best video you can create is never going to make up for poor customer experience. The best companies winning in social media aren’t doing so because of a marketing or PR message. They are winning because their products and experiences live up to their brand promise. If you do social video without reviewing, acknowledging, and demonstrating a serious attempt to fix those issues, your online video will just invite conversations from upset customers that you aren’t giving them attention like you should.
  • Use it to learn about, acknowledge and correct your mistakes. “My favorite example will always be the a Domino’s pizza response to crisis on YouTube a few years back. That is the power of video where the CEO is speaking from the heart,” Eliason said. One thing you should never do is ignore someone who puts up a video genuinely expressing their bad experience with your brand. “They care enough to talk about your brand, so that tells me they are passionate. If they did not care they would not say anything.”
  • Acknowledge interesting videos, not just interesting people. “Some of the famous instances over the years. I worked for a cable company [Comcast] and at one point there was a video of a technician sleeping,” Eliason said. “The person who put that video up had posted two videos, ever. Let’s face it, it was just good content. It was just something we enjoyed watching – so we watched it over and over again.

Social Video Strategy in 3 Simple Steps: Start Soft, Then Get Hard

The word “social” in media should never be an excuse to avoid showing measurable business outcomes; nor should social be measured under the exact same metrics that apply to direct marketing and traditional advertising.

The key part is demonstrating causality – connecting the dots between the “soft” metrics of engagement towards the “hard” metrics of transactions and financials. Here are three simple steps how you can achieve that:

  1. Set measurable performance goals. Before starting any video campaign, have a clear objective of what you’re looking to accomplish that will be a positive business value. Set a budget for your spend and time investments, and how you plan to get in the positive column with sales and revenue over a period of time. Think anywhere from 6-18 months, and be ready to measure intermittently so you can see your progress toward your goal.
  2. Know the social metrics that really matter. Go beyond views and shares. Focus on the metrics show sustainable engagement – audience retention and completion of video views, subscribers, clicks on calls-to-actions and soft leads (like filling out a short form or becoming an email newsletter member). Social business pros already understand that word-of-mouth marketing is a proven connection between traffic and sales,
  3. Create a scorecard and regular report system. This means assigning different values to different social metrics. Once you have data coming in, you can start to see how many of the soft metrics it takes to generate the hard metrics. From there you have a benchmark for ongoing and future campaigns, and you can use the numbers to compare performance over the past week or month, and measure growth.

Screw Viral, Tube Responsibly!

Social video is most apt to be successful for your business when you stop thinking about “going viral” and really focus on being useful.

Think of social video less like a megaphone and more like a customer specialist or concierge, building interesting and helpful video content that acknowledges their needs and wants; and personally engage with audience members individually around the video experience. You’ll see how good will with a responsible business plan behind it leads to social video success.

Work together with us to create a social video and generate success!

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