What evokes a tremendous emotional response from consumers? I think anything which has Sight, Sound & Motion. And we call it “Video”. This simple combination of Sight, Sound & Motion is creating a lot of confusion for marketers today as they are figuring out how to travel from “Video on TV” to “Video on Native” platforms, which are also increasingly getting social & mobile at the same time. With increasing consumer expectation of receiving video content in their palms at any time of the day, the advertising ecosystem of content creators, advertisers & TV networks are trying to give them the experience they want. A number of industry reports suggest that this new requirement of Video is being funded by traditional TV budgets.
The consumers are always evolving with time and they tend to differentiate ads from content quite fast. And the phenomenon has resulted in Native Ad formats which are ads ‘not looking like’ ads. Social networking platforms like Facebook & Twitter have taken no time to quickly jump to Native Video formats. Native here means videos that are uploaded to or created on social networks and played in-feed, as opposed to links to videos hosted on other sites.
Let’s quickly look at some numbers before we drill down further on what it means to us:
- Facebook has reported 4 billion video views per day on the platform.
- Globally, over 65% of Facebook video views occur on mobile, and 90% occur on mobile for Twitter
- According to AOL’s State of Video Advertising report, 9 in 10 media buyers are shifting dollars from linear TV to digital channels, reallocating an average of 10% of their television budgets. More specifically, over 3.5x more buyers since 2012 have shifted 11-20% of their company or clients’ broadcast or cable TV budget to better support their digital efforts.
- According to industry estimates, desktop video spend grew from $3.7 billion to nearly $4.7 billion in 2014–201 (a 27% growth), while mobile video grew from $1.5 billion to $2.7 billion (75% growth)—trends that align with buyer optimism.2 This year, marketers in our survey reported that their overall mobile video buying budgets increased 18% since 2014, and nearly half of mobile video buyers increased spend in the format at an average of 8% over the past year.
- eMarketer is predicting that spending on native ads will reach $5.7 billion in the US alone this year.
- 82% of Twitter users watch video content on Twitter
- There are about 1.5 Billion Vine loops every day with about 200 Million people watching Vines every month
All this conveys a very strong message in favour of Native Video in 2016 and years after that. This year will see a huge rise in in-feed native video specially on platforms like Facebook & Twitter which clearly indicates that Video is not only a YouTube play. Twitter, with its Periscope & Vine acquisition, is signalling a huge foot forward in making social video the next big thing, largely driven by Auto-Play feature.
What will it mean for the digital marketing ecosystem?
First and foremost, brand marketers will need to look beyond YouTube for Video content distribution. Secondly, third party hosting of videos and then distributing links on Social Channels will be extinct very soon as brands will need to move to Native formats very soon. More budgets, more resources will be required to produce quality, engaging video content. Brands will also need more content buckets to play with. Usual branded content approach will not go a long way.
If we look at this Socialbakers chart, leading brands are already posting more and more videos on Twitter and an interesting data point to notice in this chart is the narrowing gap between YouTube & Twitter.
Another chart from Socialbakers clearly indicates that why brands are focusing more on Native Video on Twitter. There is huge interaction on Twitter Native Videos as compared to YouTube.
For Social Networks:
All social networks are looking for more time spent on their platform by their users. They are gunning for higher engagement and it is increasingly becoming difficult to engage people for a longer time. Video solves that problem to a great extent.
Native video allows people to stay on the network they are on instead of clicking on Video links and going to Third Party video hosting sites like YouTube. They will have to continuously find ways to make people view video content that currently is driven by Auto-Play feature. No one knows when people will start disliking that feature per se.
For Agency Partners:
While it is an encouraging shift for agency partners, as brands tend to rely more on specialists, the agency partners need to be in the continuous pursuit of delivering on tight deadlines without compromising on quality. There will be huge inter-mixing of talent happening at media & creative agency level and agencies need to be ready for that cultural shift.
As more players venture into the video marketing space it’s recommended to gather as much understanding as possible about these platforms and content formats available. It will help you to be prepared to adapt to inevitable changes in the landscape.
-by RP Singh, Head of Media - SEA & India, VML, Singapore.