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The Value Of Video For Social Advertising

MediaPost

The value of video in digital marketing is growing as video consumption continues to rise across channels and connected devices. In the first half of 2014, the Interactive Advertising Bureau reported digital video ad spending increased by 24% compared to the first half of 2013.

While TV is not dead — consumers still watch on average 4.5 hours of TV per day — users are spending significant amounts of more time viewing video content on other devices like desktop, smartphone and tablet. Mobile now accounts for 22% of overall digital video consumption, expected to rise in 2015 with ad spending in social expected to exceed $26 billion dollars globally.

Enter Social Media: A Channel Capable of Widespread Impact

As marketers, we need to stop thinking in silos and start media planning with complete storytelling in mind. Using video content and social channels together to tell a cohesive, engaging narrative that leverages the mind-set of the user, based on the screen and platform they are viewing, should be the norm.

Once content creators begin to develop video based on channel and device, engagement and video completion rates skyrocket. Adding videos to landing pages can increase conversions by nearly 90 percent—especially across the ever-increasing landscape of social platforms, where video has become a strategic way to break through the daily clutter of 58 million tweets, 4.75 billion pieces of Facebook content, and 60 million Instagram posts.

Few advertising channels outside of social allow a brand to maximize distribution of short- and long-form content and get users to watch nearly an entire video clip. Video is a tool to help change perception and sentiment among a brand’s target audience, while leveraging established advocates to relay influential opinions to their peers across multiple channels.

Given the usage of social platforms, high engagement with content and the ability to target audiences on a one-to-one level, it’s surprising that video and social are so commonly planned separately. As marketers, isn’t it our job to find the right user and deliver the right message to them at the right time? If so, why are we not planning video strategies on Facebook and Twitter in conjunction with our broader video buys? It is time to tear down the channel walls and start building smarter media plans inclusive of social user behavior and each platform’s unique capabilities.

Video-based social media offerings are becoming more advanced and marketers should continue to adjust their strategy accordingly. Recent research from SocialBakers found that more marketers are opting for Facebook video over YouTube, and Twitter’s native Video Card outperforms YouTube links — emphasizing the huge opportunity for brands to develop engaging content that resonates with each social network’s unique audience and format.

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What happens when you combine WhatsApp with YouTube

Digiday

The next frontier for media might just be messaging.

WhatsApp reached 600 million monthly active users in August, six months after Facebook paid $19 billion for the massively popular messaging app. Competitors Line, WeChat and Viber have also experienced impressive growth in recent months.

Montreal-based 5by plans to introduce its own messaging product next week, with one key difference from those aforementioned apps: Its new platform lies at the nexus between messaging and Web video.

“People do not want to broadcast everything on Facebook; they just want to easily send things to people they care about,” 5by CEO Greg Isenberg told Digiday. “We leverage this behavior to make it easier for people to find, share and discuss videos.”

Read on…

Video publishers look beyond ad revenue with YouTube strategies

Digiday

For CollegeHumor, YouTube is no laughing matter, even if it doesn’t produce much direct revenue from ads.

With over 7.6 million subscribers, CollegeHumor has crafted a YouTube strategy that isn’t relying on making money directly on ads. Instead, it uses what is the world’s second-largest search engine to test content’s virality and distribute brand content for advertisers.

CollegeHumor can post a video to YouTube and know immediately whether it will go viral, according to CEO and co-founder Ricky Van Veen. YouTube acts, in effect, like a giant, global focus group.

“With such a big subscriber base, we get a very early sense of what the reaction to the video will be,” said Van Veen. “If it’s a hit (say, the Adam Ruins Everything videos), we can make a decision right away to put more similar videos into production and blast the link out to all our partners.”

In that sense, the immediate reception or popularity of any given video on YouTube helps inform subsequent production and marketing decisions at CollegeHumor.

But the biggest perk surfaces during CollegeHumor’s sales meetings. When the site pitches brand-sponsored content to clients like American Eagle, it promises those videos will reach its huge YouTube audience as well as its own site visitors.

“YouTube used to be just a nice add-on to our website, now it’s a big strategic piece of the whole brand’s digital presence,” Van Veen told Digiday.

Many digital publishers, from the older companies like the New York Times to startups like Vox Media, have embraced a hybrid video strategy. They host videos on custom players, or use software from vendors like Ooyala and Brightcove, to serve their own, more profitable video ads.

That’s CollegeHumor’s approach. It hosts videos on its proprietary player first, keeping all the ad revenue generated by each video view. After a few weeks of exclusivity, CollegeHumor will post that content on YouTube, maximizing its reach.

Even though YouTube owns a fifth of the U.S. digital video market, the constant deluge of content (100 new hours of video every minute) depresses ad rates and leaves all but the titans of YouTube with a tiny slice of the total ad spend. Publishers aren’t keen on YouTube’s revenue split, either — the company keeps 45 percent of ad revenue for itself — but YouTube chief Susan Wojcicki firmly refuses to reconsider the rates.

“I don’t see [the revenue split] changing, so it then just becomes a ‘what you make of it’ situation,” said Van Veen. “That means having YouTube be a part of an overall package for an advertiser.”

YouTube ads do generate a bit of cash for CollegeHumor. While Van Veen declined to disclose exact figures, he said ads sold on the channel have eclipsed CollegeHumor’s video production budget for the past six months. But CollegeHumor isn’t making the next Avatar movie; most of its videos are low-budget sketches shot in the office. And Van Veen makes clear that YouTube ad revenue is not the main draw.

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How to Increase YouTube Engagement [Infographic]

SocialMouth

Many business that produce content as a marketing initiative are looking for alternatives to jump into different types of media and new channels of distribution to reach their potential customer.

Vine, Instagram, even Tumblr. But even though some have implemented a YouTube strategy in the last couple of years, it’s still a little intimating for many businesses, there’s the production aspect of it, and it can also be a little more complex in terms of understanding how to generate engagement.

Usually when I put it on the table with my clients, they look like video content is a bit more that they can handle.

But, is YouTube Marketing it worth the effort?

  • YouTube is the number one video website in the world
  • About 800 million people visit it every month
  • Many searches are conducted directly on YouTube instead of Google

In other words, the potential to help your prospect find your business in a whole different marketplace is huge.

If you’re ready to start considering YouTube as a content marketing vehicle, or you’ve already started getting your feet wet, this infographic by QuickSproutprovides some key stats and best practices to generate more engagement.

how to increase youtube engagement How to Increase YouTube Engagement [Infographic]

How Comments Shape Perceptions of Sites’ Quality—and Affect Traffic

The Atlantic

There’s a game I like to play sometimes. It’s called “How many Internet comments do I have to read until I lose faith in humanity?” All too often, the answer is: one comment.

From The Atlantic to Yahoo to YouTube, online comments are often ignorant, racist, sexist, threatening, or otherwise worthless. But you knew that already. There’s plenty of anti-comment sentiment on the web—some humorous, some more scholarly—and despite the hopes of media democratizers, there’s now widespread agreement that Internet comments are terrible. “Even in places with smart, thoughtful readers, the comment sections tend to be more like lists of unconnected ideas than genuine conversations,” The Atlantic‘s Rebecca Rosen wrote in 2011. Some publications, like Popular Science, have given up on comment sections all together.

A couple of weeks ago, National Journal changed its comments policy, opting to eliminate comments on most stories as a way to stem the flood of abuse that appeared on the site. Naturally the comment-section reaction to that announcement helped reinforce the reason editors said comments had to go in the first place.

For all the boycott threats and comparisons to Hitler, though… the site seems to be doing better now. If anything, user engagement has increased since the comment policy changed. Pages views per visit increased by more than 10 percent. Page views per unique visitor increased 14 percent. Return visits climbed by more than 20 percent. Visits of only a single page decreased, while visits of two pages or more increased by almost 20 percent.

What happened here?

One theory: By cutting out comments, the site is better able to draw attention to its most deserving content—the articles themselves.

This intrigued me because I found it somewhat counterintuitive. I supported removing comments not because I thought traffic would spike but because it seemed a way to better preserve civil discourse; I assumed we’d lose some rubberneckers who gathered around the train-wreck comment section, but it seemed like a worthwhile trade. Yet the fact that traffic actually improvedsuggests that sites are better off without comments—or at least better off without unmoderated ones. That’s a lesson that other news organizations are learning. As Nieman Lab wrote last month, if news organizations aren’t moderating their comment sections, they can’t really expect them to foster quality discussion.

But what about the many sites that opt for a less hands-on approach? Plenty of journalists will tell you that they not only don’t reply to commenters, but that they don’t even read the comments to begin with. An ignored comment section can’t be all that harmful, right?

To find out, I ran a quick study using respondents from Amazon’s crowdsourcing platform Mechanical Turk. I asked 100 Americans to read a snippet of a National Journal article from late April. Half of them saw the article alone. The other half saw the article along with a representative sample of actual comments (user accounts redacted) on that article. In both groups, respondents were asked to read the article—the existence of comments was never acknowledged.

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Facebook, Twitter and YouTube Have Different Mobile Ad Strengths

Adweek

A quartet of panelists speaking about audience targeting at the Mobile Media Upfront this week essentially agreed that Facebook, Twitter and Google/YouTube are going to continue attracting more brand dollars due to their advances in targeting the smartphone-toting consumer.

Earlier this month, YouTube made waves by revealing its Google Preferred platform, which lets marketers buy ads against the most popular 1 percent and 5 percent of the videos on the platform. With millennials watching video on their phones instead of desktops (or even TV) and older folks starting to follow suit, YouTube’s initiative appears to sneakily take aim at future mobile budgets.

But Adam Shlachter, head of media activation at DigitasLBi, suggested that YouTube needs to handle mobile video ads with care. “I think when YouTube looks at their inventory and they see either a younger audience consuming it predominantly on mobile devices—or certainly with content being consumed on the go in different mind-sets in different moments—they have to figure out a way to package that, to work with [agencies] and our clients to take advantage of it appropriately,” he said.

Shlachter added that the Google-owned video site should not “bomb people with 30-second spots that they’ve already been bombed with on other screens.”

At the same time, the data-based targeting being offered by Twitter and Facebook seemed to have brand and agency players particularly amped.

“Twitter Promoted Tweets can be aligned with whatever the objective or goal is,” remarked Cheng, vp of mobile strategy and solutions at M&C Saatchi Mobile. “But what’s really interesting, different than Facebook, is that Twitter doesn’t really have much audience-interest targeting—[it’s] more about the behavioral targeting based on what people are tweeting. That’s pretty powerful to start profiling out what type of user they are, for example, with TV ads. A lot of commercials now are having hashtags and TV personalities that align with the brand. Things like that allow you to really extend the [television] experience to do better targeting on Twitter, and that kind of cross-platform stepping stone [represents] Twitter leading the way.”

Mat Harris is head of ad products at Tapjoy, which pitches an incentives-based system that helps advertisers engage on-the-go consumers. He singled out Twitter’s acquisition of MoPub as a potential mobile advertising game-changer.

“It’s more [about] what Twitter can do for MoPub than what MoPub can do for Twitter because it kind of brings us back to a mobile exchange,” Harris said. “Every ad request that comes across, every ad response, which bids are winning, which bids are not winning, we can actually now take that data and have deeper insights about those users because of what Twitter is and how [often] Twitter is on most of our devices. So that amount of data, that amount of clarity in data is just going to be huge.”

During a rapid-fire discussion on Monday in New York’s midtown, Sasha Norkin, vp of marketing at Barnes & Noble Nook, offered that she’s seen success in geofencing tests on mobile networks to drive consumers into her company’s bookstores. She also spoke to positive results from B&N’s direct-response mobile efforts via Facebook, whether to drive the brand’s app installs or encourage e-commerce purchases.

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Teens drift away from ‘traditional’ social networks

The Telegraph

Teenagers are moving away from ‘traditional’ social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter in favour of mobile messaging apps like WhatsApp and WeChat.

According to the latest GlobalWebIndex report, the percentage of teens active on Facebook dropped by 9 per cent during 2013. Falls were also recorded for YouTube (7 per cent), Twitter (3 per cent) and Google+ (4 per cent).

This does not mean that mainstream social networks are dead and buried – Facebook is still the leading app for teenagers, and by the end of 2013, 66 per cent of teens were members of the site.

However, Jason Mander, head of trends at GlobalWebIndex, said that teenagers are using these networks less actively, and for fewer things.

At the same time, the report, based on interviews with 170,000 users in 32 counties, detected a rise in newer social networks like Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr, along with mobile messaging services.

“If we look at usage of apps over the last six months, it’s very clear that the biggest growers are things like Snapchat, WhatsApp, WeChat, Kik Messenger,” said Mander.

“There seems to be a shift from what we would call classic social networking behaviours to more instant communication in the form of messaging apps.”

Snapchat is the fastest growing social media app among teens, with this demographic more than twice as likely as others to be using it. Snapchat usage increased 60 per cent between Q3 and Q4 2013, according to the report.

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Yahoo reportedly launching YouTube rival

Computerworld

Reports are circulating that Yahoo is looking to launch a video site that would go up against Google’s behemoth YouTube.

The rumors largely stem from a Re/Code report late last week that cited anonymous sources saying Yahoo is looking to not only launch a YouTube competitor in the next few months but also is trying to pluck some of the video-sharing site’s stars and favorite networks.

A Yahoo spokeswoman declined to comment on the report.

However, Yahoo, and its CEO Marissa Mayer, have been trying to gain some traction in the online world, pulling the company back to the top where it started years ago. Yahoo was once an Internet pioneer but the years, and competitors like Google and Facebook, pushed the company back into the shadows.

Mayer, who was a top executive at Google before coming to Yahoo, wants to turn that slide around. Grabbing some of the audience from YouTube would be a huge step in making that happen.

“If Yahoo wants to be at the center of people’s entertainment, they need a video service,” said Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy. “YouTube is a free-for-all video service from cat videos to trailers to real content. Yahoo has a chance to provide less, but better content.”

Earlier this month, Mayer, speaking at the annual 4As conference, said she is focusing the company’s time and money on search, mail, mobile, social media and video.

There have been earlier signs that Yahoo wants to step up its presence in video. Last May, reports circulated that Yahoo was in talks to acquire Hulu, a video site known for streaming TV shows and movies, for as much as $800 million. The purchase never came through as Hulu’s owners canceled plans to sell the company.

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YouTube sees money in gaming-video eyeballs

Reuters

To imagine how YouTube might one day become a money-spinner for content producers, consider the power of the irreverent video gamer and online star PewDiePie over his young, free-spending audience.

Each time the wildly popular YouTube impresario has donned Razer headphones in one of the many zany videos that feature him playing games, the product has sold out.

PewDiePie, who is not paid to endorse the brand, “really helped us in terms of getting traction on a much larger audience,” said Min-Liang Tan, chief executive of San Diego-based Razer, which makes gaming hardware. “It’s incredible that YouTube personalities are coming up … and I think it can only grow.”

PewDiePie’s uncanny trendsetting talent highlights the potential that content related to video games holds for Google Inc as it looks for ways to build its YouTube video platform into a powerful new revenue stream.

Advertisers and media companies are indeed already placing big bets on the likes of PewDiePie and others creating gaming-related content in a bid for the prime but underserved audience of 18- to 34-year-olds that devour video games.

Just last week Walt Disney Co agreed to fork over as much as $950 million to buy Maker Studios, one of YouTube’s largest production and distribution networks. PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, is Maker’s biggest star.

The success of the 24-year-old, with his profanity laced improvisational videos, matches the explosive growth of video-game-based channels on YouTube. His channel has more than 25 million subscribers who can view his content for free, more than Beyonce’s and PresidentBarack Obama’s channels combined.

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Google+: just 35% of users are active

Econsultancy

Google+ has achieved 1.15bn users, but only 35% of those use are active monthly.

These figures come from We Are Social, after analysing the growth trends for Google+ year on year, globally and locally.

Is this data a damning insight into the general malaise around Google+ or is this merely reflective of general social media sign up trends?

Registered user numbers for Google+ have shown extraordinary growth between Q4 2012 and Q4 2013, rising from 359m users to 1.15bn.

However, the percentage of actual active users has been left far behind. Currently only 35% of registered users are active on a monthly basis.

By Q4 2012 Google+ had the much higher registered user to monthly active percentage of 51%, but then it only had 435m users. This figure has now doubled.

It’s a similar ratio for the UK.  30% of registered users in the UK are active monthly users.  Let’s compare this to the active versus registered figures of other social media networks.

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