The two fastest growing segments in the digital space are video and social media. So, when it comes to where to place video advertising, social media is a high priority for marketing professionals.
Currently, 81% of Americans use social media and, over the next four years, 80% of all Internet traffic will be related to video. However, there’s another important statistic that marketers must consider in video advertising on social media, and that’s the increased use of mobile, as 57% of traffic on the Internet is now attributed to mobile devices.
Combining mobile, social media, and video all in one place is something that is best accomplished through apps. In a way, apps are the new social media, as they allow users to connect with a variety of friends in one central place, without being tethered to a desktop computer. They can also be used by companies to connect with consumers in the shopping aisle. To remain competitive in the social space, and to get viewers to watch your video advertising, your brand must be mobile.
The Components of Success in Social Media
Social media is a popular medium for advertising thanks in large part to its immense popularity. Of the 10 most used smartphone apps, three are social media apps, with Facebook leading the way: 81% of all people who use apps report using Facebook. A strong social media app will feature the following components:
- Encourages networking: Social media sites are primarily designed to connect users. The strongest allow users to directly connect with others, including people within their immediate social circles and those in adjacent circles with a common connection, such as a mutual friend, shared interest, or within a locality.
- Promotes content sharing: Think of content on a social site as an icebreaker: It’s something to talk about. Any video we’ve ever seen go viral gained momentum when users began responding to it individually, commenting on the content, and talking about it with one another, then using social media for massive sharing until eventually the video was seen by millions.
- Incentivizes users: People are predisposed to want to be rewarded for completing tasks, and this is also true on social media. Consider how Facebook “likes” encourage interaction with photos, videos, and posts. Social media allows users to receive acknowledgment for the things they post, which drives their engagement with the site.
These three components work together as part of a robust engagement strategy. By having a wide user base, offering content for them to discuss, and acknowledging their participation, social media provides the kind of user engagement that creates brand affinity. Brands that want to leverage social media platforms need to be prepared with content that converts, specifically in video form.
Video Advertising: Social Media for the Win
The popularity of online video advertisements is dependent on sharing. As social media is a primary place for sharing, video advertising is a natural addition to such sites. It’s not enough to just get users to view the video, you also want them to like, comment on, or share the video so it will gain increased attention and ideally help build brand affinity. That means incorporating some best practices into your social media video content.
- Strategically target users: Video works best when it’s targeted to the right users. Social media provides a wide range of information on users, such as marital status, age, gender, employment history, interests and more. By targeting video to your ideal demographic, you get the most out of your advertising dollar while also improving the likelihood that users will view and engage with your video.
- Build a story: Sales-focused video does not present as great an opportunity for engagement as story-focused messaging. To encourage viewership, offer tutorials, demonstrations, and entertainment within any social media-based video.
- Go native: Ideally, you want the video posted on social media to be native video, in that the video is uploaded and viewed directly on the site. Native video is far more effective, as evidenced by Facebook, where it’s reported that native videos receive 0.22% engagement, as compared to YouTube links, which only receive about 0.10% engagement.
- Encourage interaction: Encouraging user interaction with a video is best accomplished by simply asking users to share their thoughts, in a comment section, about a specific part of your content. Aim for as much specificity as is possible, rather than simply asking “what do you think?” Specificity creates a focus for the conversation and makes users more likely to engage.
These are some of the standard best practices that will help gain views for your video. The most important one, however, is one that requires its own section. Optimizing every video for mobile is a key part of creating engagement with your ads displayed on retail consumer apps.
Mobile Apps That Create Social Experiences
There was a time when social media kept users indoors as it was primarily tied to desktop computers. Now, mobile apps have brought social media into real-world environments, from malls to movie theaters to grocery stores.
Shopping apps can be used as a marketing platform for a company hoping to create a social or interactive experience with its target audience as they encompass all of the components needed for positive video experiences. They also drive engagement in the real world by encouraging users to visit retail locations, either with friends or on their own, to earn rewards.
Shopping apps can be used as a marketing platform for a company hoping to create a social or interactive experience with its target audience as they encompass all of the components needed for positive video experiences.
Shopkick is an example of an app that works to improve video engagement by offering rewarded video on a native platform which consumers can view from anywhere, whether they’re at home or in the shopping aisle. The app also rewards social behavior, such as sharing the app with family and friends, and offers the ability for users to interact with other Shopkickers on the app’s various social media platforms.
Shopping apps work to create brand affinity and potential conversion by turning shopping from a chore into a fun experience. By offering a native, mobile platform for viewing video and information about products, users connect with brands that participate in these communities—and often then continue to share their experience within their own social networks.
Image courtesy GaudiLab