Rebecca Mahony, VP global marketing at Ebuzzing
If Facebook is the ‘third largest country in the world’, social media is a new language brands and marketers should learn.
2011 should definitely stay in digital history as the year when social media overcame portals as the most engaging activity online and came of age as an advertising vehicle.
Brands need to respond to the ongoing shift from digital to social advertising in order to capitalize on the social nature of the web, but brands face huge challenges in today’s user centric world - to produce ads that are worth sharing. Marketers can buy impressions but they cannot buy likes, shares and talkability. That’s why social video advertising is fast becoming placed at the heart of advertisers’ strategy to generate earned and owned media.
But producing video content that users will watch and share through social media isn’t easy. Brands need to establish how to translate their creative ideas to the social web and ensure their content drives traffic and conversions on their other digital platforms.
Placing engaging video content in social environments where conversations and engagement levels are high and matchmaking content with the most influential bloggers, brands can benefit from brand engagement at a new level. Ebuzzing explains why social video advertising which is defined as 'video content distributed in a social context' should be at the heart of brands' strategies and shares its rules for how to best leverage it.
1. Promote high levels of engagement
Engaging with an audience in a social setting where users have high intention and a propensity to interact with a brand is less intrusive than other forms of video advertising and also leads to deeper immersion and brand advocacy in the long term.
Half of online video viewers discuss content with friends and family, whilst a quarter of this group share content via email/social media, interact with it and has conversations about it with fellow viewers. The benefits of creating engaging social content are obviously clear, although getting it right isn’t quite as simple.
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.
Producing creative, entertaining content will ultimately drive the high levels of engagement mentioned in the first point. Your video needs to appeal to the interests of your target audience, tell a story and encourage further brand interaction.
3. Make sharing easy
Marketers can buy impressions but cannot buy likes, shares and talkability and this is the true potential of social video.
We know that a video link received via a social share will be watched three times as much and for three times as long as a paid for ad, “thereby radically increasing user engagement.”
While YouTube is still the best option for achieving widespread exposure, marketers need to consider the third-party ads that may appear before their videos on YouTube and how they will encourage users to engage with their content.
4. Make your video highly targeted
The winning formula for brands is to distribute their content to a highly engaged, tightly defined audience in a social environment where users are attentive.
Therefore, it is vital for marketers to be aware of the specific demographics they want to speak to and distribute content to popular bloggers and social publishers that have a high level of influence over their target audience.
5. If you can’t measure it, why do it?
Measuring ROI is vitally important for marketing campaigns, but particularly so for a relatively new medium like social.
Beyond the basic measure of page views, marketers should be tracking the number of interactions/actions on social media channels; whether the content engaged the target audience; conversation sentiment; and the share of voice your brand receives as a result.
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