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June 4, 2012

Social Video Advertising – Why You Should Care — A SPN Exclusive

In continuation of our emphasis on videos from our earlier blog, 14 video tips for businesses on Pinterest, we continue to illustrate the importance of videos in the social media sphere today.

When consumers shop online, they expect to receive the same personalized attention they get in-store, with engaging experiences throughout their decision-making process. To create those engaging online experiences, innovative marketers are turning to online video.

YouTube, king of the video marketing roost, recently celebrated its 7th birthday. The good news is that now there are others who are arriving in the space to give You Tube a run for its money. The increasing number of platforms for videos bodes well for marketers who are getting more venues for their online marketing, which will in turn contribute to the growth of social video viewing.

Following are some astounding facts about YouTube (source: YouTube):

– 60 hours of video is uploaded every minute on YouTube.
– Over 4 billion videos are viewed every day.
– YouTube is monetizing over 3 billion video views per week globally.

After investing $100 million to create content channels, YouTube has shifted focus to attract viewers into longer, more engaging videos – the kind that are, not incidentally, more appealing to advertisers. The number of minutes users spend watching YouTube videos has grown over the past year by 57% to more than 61 billion minutes in March 2012, according to ComScore. Like Google, YouTube is a building based on a foundation of clicks. It has used this foundation to gather data about videos that were getting clicks, or views, to serve up recommendations and get users to click on another video. You Tube is also tracking video viewing lengths to measure the amount of time a user spends watching a video with the purpose of determining the scope for showing longer ad videos. This shift of YouTube’s focus from number of views to total time of viewing favors advertisers seeking an engaged audience.

Some of the other video sharing sites that have surfaced and stayed afloat with success are Socialcam and Viddy. According to AppData, Socialcam ranks first among the emerging video sharing sites. The month of April saw both Socialcam and Viddy’s user growth surge ahead.

Socialcam is a smartphone application that allows users to capture and share videos with friends. Socialcam is an unencumbered app that has features like OS compatibility, filters, seamless integration with Facebook (compete pulse) etc. The average video length on the site is about 60-80 seconds. Armed with 51,500,000 users (mediabistro), the company is rolling out new changes frequently in a bid to add/retain users. Socialcam has also rolled out a new website designed for more engagement of users who don’t have the app on their phone (techcrunch). Socialcam made the news recently; adding over 40 million users in two weeks (compete pulse). The site is slowly building on features and tools to remain in top shape. Socialcam is undoubtedly one of the video sites to watch out for. What’s more, it is now home to many brands such as Brisk, Oprah Winfrey network (OWN) and Lipton Iced tea among many others (The NextWeb).

Viddy, another player in the league, has 34,300,000 users according to AppData. It is also signing up 1 million new users everyday according to The Wall Street Journal. The maximum video length on Viddy is 15 seconds. Viddy also has features like filters, integration with Facebook (compete pulse) etc. Viddy boasts of backing by many celebrities along with the millions of other users. The site drew some attention as a possible acquisition target of Facebook when CEO Mark Zuckerberg joined and uploaded a video of his dog. However, Zuckerberg only using Viddy does not signify Facebook’s interest in acquiring it. A few brands have joined and made it big on Viddy, DVF, Red Bull UK, General Electric, Warner Bros Records, Southwest Airlines and The Muppet (Mashable).

With all these brands on the social video bandwagon, how can Facebook be left behind? Not for long! After a trial of trending articles, Facebook is now reportedly going to apply the same to videos (Mashable). According to TheNextWeb, this new feature will be rolled out to some users. Once the feature appears on your profile, it will auto-populate with videos your friends are watching on Facebook’s Open Graph apps.

Recent research shows that consumers are watching more ad videos online and are also socially sharing them more than ever. According to the video measurement company, Visible Measures, views of social video ads (brand-driven and audience-driven) for English-speaking audiences increased to almost 1.33 billion in Q1 2012, a 78% rise over Q4 2011. Q1 2012 ad video views surpassed that of Q1 2011 by 72%. Visible Measures noted that the first quarter is typically a busy time of the year for social sharing of Super Bowl ad videos. However, the higher than average spike signifies a shift in behavior of consumers towards ad video viewership on social networking sites. All views in this report are user-initiated Visible Measures.

The automotive industry, a huge spender on offline commercials including Super Bowl ads, was the industry that saw the most ad video views this year. It is quite distantly followed by community and activism and other industries.

The best online ad format today is video. The growth of video advertising can be aided by viewers’ sharing and thereby contributing immensely towards making videos a top online marketing tool. The most effective way for a video to go viral is a consumer sharing it with their network and thereby building a chain of subsequent sharing. According to eMarketer’s estimation, US advertisers will spend $3.1 billion this year on video ads, a $1 billion increase from the $2 billion spent in 2011. By 2016, $9.3 billion in online ad spending will go toward videos (eMarketer).

Need more incentives to make video marketing a part of your online marketing plan? Here are a few:

Videos Can Be Effective Customer Service Tools – The size of your customer base depends on good post-sales customer service as much as on quality. So its very important for your customer service to be quick and efficient. Videos can be a great tool as your customer service communication platform. You can show the way to solve basic, simple product/service problems through videos. Videos can also be the best marketing tool for companies that are into the DIY (Do It Yourself) business.

Search Engines Love Videos! – Use as many product/service videos as possible on your company website without cluttering it. On-site videos help your site in getting pulled up in search engines. They also aid in better showcasing of your product line and contribute to increasing conversion rates. Search engines favor sites with videos and arrange their results so that sites with videos are benefitted. Make your on-site videos scalable. This helps ensure reach for long-tail keywords that drive the highest quality traffic and the best conversion rates.

Retargeting Videos – Every company/site will have potential users who have deserted the site during the conversion process. Separate videos targeting such deserters will help in getting them back on your site. Imbibe such videos with personalized offers and deals based on that customer’s earlier shopping history. This kind of value addition to retargeting videos has higher conversion rates and above average order value compared to traditional banner retargeting ads.

Video marketing will be the place to be in 2012. So what are you waiting for? Be the video virtuoso and let your presence be “seen”!

Position2 is a leading Search & Social Media Marketing firm that delivers continuous growth for its customers through its proprietary “Surround & Intent Marketing” methodology. The company’s adaptive technology solutions are customizable to customers’ evolving marketing needs.