Mar 27
Yahoo-Spotify

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For a slow holiday week, there are a couple of big news stories that could potentially change the landscape of the online video space. It could all be speculation, but anyone that pays attention to what’s happening in online video or is in charge of digital marketing for their organisations should probably take note nonetheless.

The Stories:

On March 25th the Business Insider and Fast Company both released stories about major players looking to do some interesting things with video. First up is Spotify, the digital music service that allows users to play music wherever and whenever they are online, via computer, tablet, or mobile, for a monthly fee. The service also has a social element to it which allows users to create playlists, see what their friends are listening to, and share great new song discoveries. While Spotify is popular with many consumers, their margins are relatively low due to the fact that they have to pay the music labels each time a user listens to a song. Therefore, they are looking for ways to create exclusive content to increase their margins and turning to video. Whether that means they become another on-demand video service such as Netflix or HBO creating successful series such as House of Cards or Sex and the City remains to be seen (Source: Business Insider).

Another interesting development in the online video space this week revolves around Yahoo. They are in talks to buy Dailymotion, a relatively small YouTube competitor which, according to Fast Company proves “that the future of the Internet lies squarely in video” (Source: Fast Company). The article makes some pretty impressive points in terms of how the web is shifting from text to online video which makes the potential Dailymotion purchase by Yahoo all the more interesting. While YouTube is for the moment the “single point of upload and playback for web video” other major players such as Facebook, AOL, and Amazon have made an impact in the video space. Most notably for those of us in the video syndication space, is AOL’s revenue jump in part due to their 5Min acquisition.  This has allowed them to build a video network with a mix of created, curated, and live video with the ”understanding that they need to be both a destination and a distributor of video to third party sites” (Source: Fast Company).

The Trends:

The three trends the Dailymotion acquisition and/or the Spotify video business model move could validate for the growing popularity of the use of online video revolve around: audience, devices, and money. The holy trinity for lack of a better term. Video drives website traffic and the increasing use of mobile devices increases the use of video, which ultimately brings in advertising revenues. Here are a few fun facts to chew on keeping those trends in mind:

Audience: The sum of all forms of video (TV, video on demand [VoD], Internet, and P2P) will be approximately 86 percent of global consumer traffic by 2016. (Cisco)

Devices: 93% of smartphone users use their devices in the home, and almost 50% of users watch videos on their smartphones. 90% of smartphone searches result in an action such as a purchase or a visit to a business. (Google Blog, April 2011)

Money: Online video is the fastest growing ad format in 2012 with nearly 55% growth. (eMarketer, January 2012). The online video industry will reach $28.72 billion in 2017, soaring from the $3.79 billion recorded in 2010 and the $11.14 billion expected in 2012. (Digital TV Research). Source: Fast Company

About Preview Networks

Preview Networks is a content marketing platform for brands and content aggregation and syndication platform for publishers. We provide the tools for brands to centrally distribute and manage marketing and PR content across media destinations, devices, and commerce platforms; allowing media partners to automate content acquisition delivering audience and advertising revenue growth. Acquired by Rightster in February 2013, our combined offering strengthens video distribution, marketing, and monetisation services globally.

Mar 13

If you’re a social network user, whether using social media to advertise or simply to keep in touch with your friends, then you have probably noticed quite a few trends. For advertisers in particular, following these trends can make or break your advertising efforts. It takes time and resources to use a site like Facebook to draw in a big crowd, for example. Not only do you have to compete with an untold amount of competitors, you have to consistently provide valuable material and incentives to bring people to your brand page. By looking at some of the emerging trends and understanding why they’re emerging in such a big way, you should be able to more effectively target your audience. Below are some Facebook-specific trends on the rise to help focus your marketing efforts.

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Brand Marketing

One of the big trends on the rise is brand marketing. Why is marketing your entire brand becoming the preferred method over simply pushing a product? It’s because brand-based marketing is more appealing to social users. You can be a professional business, all about the sale, but still be about customer service, trust and loyalty, and offering people something of value. But advertising products cannot get this message across; only your brand image can.

Mobile Social Use

Another huge trend out there is social mobile usage. Because so many social sites are playing directly to the mobile crowd, the average mobile user has a great experience logging on via their iPhone or Galaxy or tablet. The graphics are great, the content and interface is typically streamlined, and they can access this material anywhere they have a signal. That’s exactly why catering to a mobile market is a trend you should think about following.

Real-Time Data and Third-Party Apps

Receiving your data in real-time to make corrections is something that’s trending in a big way, and that’s coupled with Facebook advancements and third-party apps that enable campaign splitting and instant monitoring to improve your overall social network advertising methods. Using more tools to reach more people and the ability to track your results more accurately and in live time is a self-explanatory trend.

Action-Oriented Campaigns

The type of campaign that’s becoming more popular on sites like Facebook is an action-oriented campaign, wherein you seek to induce actions from people. This all ties in with brand-building and relationship-building. By inducing actions, it enables you to separate your fans and other visitors and to more directly drive traffic into a conversion funnel. Having each separate piece of material drive a user toward making an action isn’t as fragmented as it seems. It all ties in with the greater point of building up an interested user base.

Why You Need to Follow these Trends

As you can see from the trends themselves, they’re helping people come together more efficiently. They’re helping advertisers to target markets more effectively. They focus on everything from basic connectivity and a wider reach to specifically targeting users in an area or by their profile page. Following these trends is how you’ll ultimately succeed in social media marketing if you’re a small business. Just remember that these few trends listed are far from the only trends out there. Keep up on your research and pay attention to the market. When it comes to social media, emerging trends can soon become the norm.

About Preview Networks

Preview Networks is a content marketing platform for brands and content aggregation and syndication platform for publishers. We provide the tools for brands to centrally distribute and manage marketing and PR content across media destinations, devices, and commerce platforms; allowing media partners to automate content acquisition delivering audience and advertising revenue growth. Acquired by Rightster in February 2013, our combined offering strengthens video distribution, marketing, and monetisation services globally.

About the Author

Eric Taylor is a social media enthusiast, business developer and a freelance writer for Qwaya, a Facebook ad campaign tool. As a guest blogger, Eric’s opinions are his own and do not necessarily represent those of Preview Networks.

Jan 30

Since the launch of Facebook’s Graph Search product (which has yet to reach European audiences) there has been a lot of articles written and conceptual analysis done in terms of what this means for marketers, brands and behaviour. Some say it will change the way people use the site, others say it will change search behaviour altogether. The critics and skeptics have other opinions which I find increasingly intriguing. In this post, we’ll present both sides of the argument, discuss what brands and marketers should do to prepare themselves, and reflect on what Graph Search means for photos and video. Screen Shot 2013-01-30 at 3.03.34 PM

What is Graph Search?

It is a known marketing fact that word of mouth (WOM) can influence a brand, product or service. Whether or not that influence is positive or negative depends on consumer experiences and who you ask. Facebook knows that the power of a recommendation is very strong, particularly among friends and social circles. In fact, “92% of consumers believe a recommendation from a friend over marketing from a brand, according to Anna Banks, VP of strategy at Organic” (Source: MediaPost). Therefore, Facebook is counting on Graph Search to alter user behaviour on Facebook, which they hope will in turn become an advertising opportunity for brands. Whether users actually turn to Facebook for search instead of photos, videos and status updates remains to be seen.

What Does it Mean for Google?

The skeptics have analyzed whether another search tool will be able to break the Google habit so many people have come to adapt. According to an article by Eli Goodman, Habit = Confluence of Utility + Frequency (Source: Search Engine Watch). What that basically means is the more useful something is, the more frequent it becomes, which could ultimately turn into a habit. Will the average user turn to Facebook for their everyday search or only when they want to know something about their friends? The latter is more likely and the actual purpose of Graph Search according to Zuckerberg (Source: smallbusiness.yahoo.com).

How Should Brands Prepare?

Facebook has indicated that currently only 16% of brand content is seen by their fans, which means Graph Search could increase brand exposure given the appropriate content strategy is in place (ibid.). Brands ”should be aware of how crucial the information on their Pages is and that they are accurately tagged and organized so they show up in these new searches” (Source: adexchanger.com). So now is the time to start updating those company profiles and timelines with interesting content including photos and videos. Particularly given the fact that photos generate twice as many likes on Facebook and videos are shared twelve times more than links and text posts (Source: mediabistro.com)

Another perspective based on an article from Econsultancy suggests that marketers and brands should be afraid of Graph Search due to the fact that users may not like how much information they are able to see about their friends or themselves. For the first time, users will be able to see how much information they have shared with Facebook which could raise the well known privacy concern, and prompt them to change their behaviour not in Facebook’s favour. Regardless of the outcome, it’s never a bad idea to increase focus on brand profiles and make sure visual content is up front and centre.

About Preview Networks

Preview Networks is a content marketing platform for brands and content aggregation and syndication platform for publishers. We provide the tools for brands to centrally distribute and manage marketing and PR content across media destinations, devices, and commerce platforms; allowing media partners to automate content acquisition delivering audience and advertising revenue growth.

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Jan 17

The success of the photo application Instagram and its acquisition by Facebook is certainly no secret and has been shared and discussed among peers and friends throughout 2012. The question that came to mind for those of us in the video industry immediately was whether or not there was an equivalent for video. The answer was a resounding “no” to those I discussed it with due to the lack of video manipulation technology at the time. This is the sort of flexibility an application would need to have for video, in order to provide the same experience Instagram does for photos.

Image courtesy of techdigest.tv

People love pictures and videos which is one of the reasons Facebook has been so popular and has gone from “0 to 1 billion users in 7 years” (Source: LinkedIn.com). Add the fact that a user can customise a photo and put their personal style stamp on it with an application like Instagram is one of the top 10 rules of modern marketing in the digital age (Source: Boston.com). So how can we provide that same customised or interactive experience for video to create a little “Customer Love”?

That’s the question many of us in the industry have been tackling with, working on, and discussing with fellow digital partners alike. The good news is there is some traction in this area by some first movers which is bound to shift the industry. In a recent MediaPost article called “Making Video Truly Social” a company called Hapyak has figured out a way to personalise the video experience by adding a layer that allows users to customise the video with insights and share with whoever they like.

This is a great first step in what is soon to turn into a new way to use video for those brands and advertisers that have already figured out the value video provides, and are ready to add the interactive element to enhance the user experience. This is an area that we, at Preview Networks, believe will provide the customisation users crave, and the engagement brands can measure.

About Preview Networks

Preview Networks is a content marketing platform for brands and content aggregation and syndication platform for publishers. We provide the tools for brands to centrally distribute and manage marketing and PR content across media destinations, devices, and commerce platforms; allowing media partners to automate content acquisition delivering audience and advertising revenue growth.

UPDATE: The idea for this post has been brewing since the Facebook/Instagram acquisition in September, 2012. However without real progress in this space, the post would not have provided the value we strive to show in each blog update. Others in the industry also thought this was a valuable blog topic, found after this post was published. For more information, check out these guests posts on TechCrunch here and here.

Feb 29

While most marketers are trying to understand how to increase brand exposure outside their owned destinations, some marketers have discovered how online video deployment can generate high exposure and engagement rates within paid and earned media. Well knowing that the increase in video frequency squeezes the already limited attention span, marketers need to add the contextual element in which their video assets are deployed in the video program equation.

In the latest online video rankings report indicating unique views from comScore, Facebook ranks as number 5, in front of companies such as Microsoft, AOL, Amazon, Hulu and NBC Universal. It is thus evident that online video content is flowing onto the online social sphere at a rapid rate. As a result of this, pushing branded video content to Facebook without any contextual bundling will result in minimum engagement without any organic distribution. According to recent academic research, brands active on Facebook had on average, over a period of 4-6 weeks, an increased brand engagement with 14%, growth in fan base by 10%, and an improved organic reach by 24%, after incorporating the following measures in their online video activities:

  • Added video campaign within the context of e.g. competition or seasonal promotions
  • Only released videos as part of an already running or newly established campaign
  • Mixed a range of high-end and low-end produced videos
  • Included a minimum of two CTA’s in every video
  • Nurtured engagement with give-aways or financial incentives
  • Treated video as social currency

In relation to paid media, marketers have to start buying solutions that deploy their online video content within the right context. This is crucial as placing video in the ad-space undermines and undervalues the branded value of rich media compared to video deployment in the editorial-space. According to a study performed by Yahoo!, 57% of online video viewers say they enjoy watching a video next to an article as shown in the chart above. Moreover, the study also found that in cases where a video is played within the article, viewers are more likely to watch the video to get more information or to receive extended entertainment on the topic. Contextual placement thereby increases the likeliness of viewer engagement via rich media exposure.

The results of integrating, deploying and distributing online video assets can be improved if the context of where the assets will operate is considered. To learn how to incorporate contextual video into your online marketing strategy read more at previewnetworks.com or send me an e-mail (ed@previewnetworks.com) to find out how we can help you with context empowered video deployment.

About Preview Networks

Preview Networks is a platform for brands and content aggregation and syndication platform for publishers. We provide the tools for brands to centrally distribute and manage marketing and PR content across media destinations, devices, and commerce platforms; allowing media partners to automate content acquisition delivering audience and advertising revenue growth.

Feb 09

According to a recent study done by comScore, social networking is ranked as the most popular content category for worldwide engagement, with market penetration of 85 percent in 41 out of 43 markets. That’s a pretty powerful statement to soak in, yet comScore continues to dissect the data even further in their 69 page whitepaper labeled It’s a Social World: Top 10 Need-to-Knows About Social Networking and Where It’s Headed.

Image courtesy of vabulous.com

Data was collected from 2 million people and sourced from 171 countries with data reported specifically for 43 countries. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, MySpace, SlideShare and many more were included in the analysis.  We realise not everyone has the time to read the entire report, so the top 10 noteworthy trends and points to consider are highlighted for convenience below.

#1. Social networking is the most popular online online activity worldwide. That translates to 19 percent of all time online. To break that down even further, it means that 1 in every 5 minutes is spent on social networking sites globally.

#2. Social networking behaviour both transcends and reflects regional differences around the world. Although social networking engagement varies per country (93 percent in the U.S. compared to 53 percent in China) it is pretty safe to say that in general, over half of local online populations are actively using social media.

#3. The importance of Facebook cannot be overstated. Not surprisingly, Facebook (launched in 2004) reaches more than half of the world’s global audience (55 percent) and accounts for approximately 3 in every 4 minutes spent on social media and 1 in every 7 minutes spent online around the world.

#4. Microblogging has emerged as a disruptive new force in social networking. This is in large part due to the Twitter phenomenon that began to emerge significantly in 2009. Twitter now reaches 1 of 10 internet users worldwide and grew 59 percent in the past year.

#5. Local social networks are making inroads globally. Most of the Top 20 social networking sites may be based in the US, but in many cases the majority of the audience now reside outside of the U.S. For example, LinkedIn’s highest market penetration is from the Netherlands.

#6. It’s not just young people using social networking anymore – it’s everyone. In the last 18 to 24 months since comScore released this report the audience has been quickly changing from young to everyone. In fact, the fastest growing age segment is the over 55 crowd.

#7. ‘Digital natives’ suggest communications are going social. Social networking is the norm for digital natives between the ages of 15 and 24 that have grown up with the internet. In fact, most communication is now over social media versus email and mobile. The highest average engagement worldwide is with this age segment, which is an important indicator for the future.

#8. Social networking leads in online display advertising in the U.S., but lags in share of dollars. Social networking sites account for 1 in 4 U.S. display ad impressions. However, even though more than a quarter of ads are seen on social networking sites, they only attract 15 percent of U.S. display ad dollars.

#9. The next disrupters have yet to be decided. Social networking audiences gradually shifted from MySpace to Facebook who has remained on top for several years. Google+ is showing traction as it surged to over 25 million users in less than one month, which is the fastest any social networking site has grown, but whether it continues its popularity remains to be seen. However, the numbers are still impressive considering it took Facebook 36 months and Twitter 33 months to gain that kind of audience.

Social sites to keep an eye on are microblogging sites such as Sina Weibo, Tumblr, and Badoo. Social content-sharing site Pinterest’s engagement skyrocketed 512 percent over the course of six months in 2011, which is a sign of the overall increase in social media interest in general.

#10. Mobile devices are fueling the social addiction. Mobile devices represent the future of social networking from a technology point of view. In October 2011, one third of the U.S. population accessed social networking sites on their mobile phones at least once a month. Across the five leading European markets of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and United Kingdom, that number was nearly 25 percent.  Of special note is the increase in smartphone usage and popularity of tablets as an influential factor on  mobile social media engagement.

To Conclude

If social media is here to stay, then it’s imperative for brands to determine which social networking sites are relevant for its customer segments. ComScore’s report talks a lot about the numbers which indicates which social networking sites are the most popular, and therefore the minimum to be engaged.

However, there are social networking sites that are segment specific, indicating the ever growing fragmentation of social media. In fact, additional research suggests the number of  mentions or likes doesn’t necessarily determine the popularity of a brand, but dispersion amongst the various social networking sites does. In other words, the wider and broader the discussion of a brand or campaign within online social media, the more likely it will become popular (Source: avc.com). Something to consider for the ever evolving social networking strategy.

About Preview Networks

Preview Networks is a platform for brands and content aggregation and syndication platform for publishers. We provide the tools for brands to centrally distribute and manage marketing and PR content across media destinations, devices, and commerce platforms; allowing media partners to automate content acquisition delivering audience and advertising revenue growth.

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Jan 12

There have been no shortage of Google+ articles in the past few days talking about Google’s latest moves to take over social or rather, become more social.  Which prompted a relevant question. Where are videos most seen online? Social networks like Facebook and Twitter or via search engines like Google and Yahoo? Additionally, how many video views are active versus passive? Meaning, direct searches for a video (active),  compared to views through eWOM (electronic word of mouth), or independent video discovery (passive).

Image courtesy of thebizcoachblog.com

We have blogged up to our eyeballs in the past about how online video enhances the online viewing experience. Drawing the consumer into a more engaging experience and eventually deeper into the sales cycle. In case you have missed those blogs, here are a couple to bring you up to speed: Gain Competitive Advantage with Online Video and The Power of Video. This is good context to have when discussing the active versus passive views, as mentioned above. One can assume it’s the passive viewer that gets pulled unintentionally into the sales cycle, and also the viewer we are typically referencing when we encourage the influence product and brand video has on the average online consumer.

However, when it comes to overall numbers it appears that search has long been the leader in online video views (Source: ReelSEO), as indicated by a Q1 & Q2 2011 study by Brightcove and TubeMogul. According to this report, when it comes to referral traffic, video discovery by Google search was up 3.7% quarter over quarter with Facebook down in the 2nd quarter. It is worth noting that this report only covers two quarters and one piece of the puzzle. Referral traffic, or eWOM. Direct video views and passive video views are still a mystery to be found by other studies.

What we do know though, is Google’s YouTube still draws the most viewers month after month (eMarketer Whitepaper). That means, there may be no search versus social debate after-all, as Google seems to have both covered.

About Preview Networks

Preview Networks is a platform for brands and content aggregation and syndication platform for publishers. We provide the tools for brands to centrally distribute and manage marketing and PR content across media destinations, devices, and commerce platforms; allowing media partners to automate content acquisition delivering audience and advertising revenue growth.

 

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