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Video Animation For Business | Video Animation News,Views,Comment From Around The Web. Animated Video Production To Marketing and Sales Information To Help Your Business Succeed On The Web.

Twitter Adds New Video Website Card to Provide More Immersive Ad Experience

Video has been growing on all platforms and Twitter is no exception. Internal research published by Twitter earlier this year shows that tweets with video generate nine times more engagement than basic text updates (as opposed to tweets with images which generate three times more engagement than text alone). Building on that, Twitter says that in testing the new cards achieved click through rate twice as high as the industry benchmark for mobile video ads...


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Spotify Is Still Figuring out How to Approach Video

Everyone is pivoting to video but the simple reality is video is an incredibly difficult business in which to do well. With an increasing number of streaming and social platforms seeking original video series, it’s harder for a new streaming platform to stick out from the pack. There’s the additional question of whether Spotify listeners want to watch video in the first place...


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A Small Business Guide to Facebook Video Marketing [Infographic]

Ideas for marketing videos are valuable, so instead of cramming them all into your first video, try concentrating on one aspect and saving the others for later. Time your voiceover before you even  pick up a camera—it may need some pruning to keep it at a palatable duration. And while we’re on the subject of voiceover, don’t forget that Facebook video viewers only turn the sound on 15% of the time...


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How to Increase Engagement on Sponsored Video Campaigns

How to Increase Engagement on Sponsored Video Campaigns

Sponsored content is a form of advertising media intended to educate, entertain, and engage consumers by delivering an intentional message about a brand’s product or services. But what’s the secret sauce for increasing engagement on your sponsored video content?

Brands That Get the Views and the Engagement on Sponsored Video Content

Is it even possible to get high views and high engagement on a video ad campaign or promoted video content? Let’s look at the numbers to find out.

According to Tubular Intelligence, there are 181 videos from 91 brands that have more than 1 million engagements as well as 5 million views. Okay, that thins the herd. And one of the top ones is “Shell | Best Day Of My Life,” which has 164 million views and 2.9 million engagements. It features superstars Jennifer Hudson, Luan Santana, Pixie Lott, Yemi Alade, Steve Aoki & #TanWeiWei, so this an example of “trackvertising,” so maybe that’s not the example that you were looking for.

So, check out “This Unicorn Changed the Way I Poop,” which was created by the Harmon Brothers. The Facebook version has 139 million views and 2.5 million engagements. Oh, and the YouTube version has another 32.4 million views and 821,000 engagements.

“This Unicorn Changed the Way I Poop” also generated more that lots of likes, comments, and shares. The campaign also increased online sales of Squatty Potty by more than 600% and retail sales of the toilet stool by over 400% helping the company to sell more than 4 million products in the U.S. to date. So, maybe your objective should be high engagement/high sales.

So that’s a quick look at video ads, but what about sponsored content?” Well, it’s true. Sponsored content is a form of advertising media intended to educate, entertain, and engage consumers by delivering an intentional message about a brand’s product or services.

So, let’s look at sponsored videos more than 5 million views and 1 million engagements. There are 26 of them from 16 accounts. Now, let’s sort them using ER30, which measures a video or publisher’s engagement rate benchmarked across all content.

“FIFA 18 | FUELED BY RONALDO,” which has 10.5 million views, 1 million engagements, and is sponsored by EA SPORTS FIFA on Cristiano Ronaldo’s Facebook page, has and ER30 of 4.0x, which means it is 4 times more engaging than average. The YouTube version, which isn’t sponsored but is on the EA SPORTS FIFA channel, has an additional 7.8 million views, 185,000 engagements, and an ER30 of 2.2x.

So, according to data that is independent, impartial, and unbiased, video ads, branded videos, and sponsored videos can get high views, high engagement, and even a high engagement rate. But, they are as rare as hens’ teeth.

However, as I pointed out in my column on Red Bull quietly changing its video marketing strategy, trying to create monster tent-pole event like “Felix Baumgartner’s supersonic freefall from 128k” is so five years ago. The new-new strategy is to create scores of small tent-peg events that are held throughout the year.

Find the Right Partner to Work With

Or, the latest trend in the digital video business is to identify a large portfolio of micro influencers who can give you more bang for you buck. If you need an example, check out “9 Things You NEED To Know Before College!” from Mikey Murphy. It’s one of four sponsored videos created by three partners for Bed Bath & Beyond. Now, it’s only got 149,00 views, but it also has 17,700 engagements. That gives it an ER30 of 9.6x. And another sponsored video, “BACK TO SCHOOL ADVICE” from Andrew Lowe, only has 89,900 views, but it also has 9,341 engagements. That gives it an ER30 of 10.0x. Get it? Got it? Good.

Strategic Insights for Raising Engagement

Based on the critical data above, here are 3 strategic insights:

#1 Most video marketers are focused on telling a story visually, but the sound track can also have a huge impact on engagement. In fact, viewers discover, watch, and share a ton of music videos and lots of savvy marketers have created some very successful “trackvertising” to tap into this phenomenon. So, use your ears as well as your eyes with creating and editing video advertising.

#2 It’s also worth noting that “This Unicorn Changed the Way I Poop” is 2:53, “FUELED BY RONALDO” is 0:49,  and “BACK TO SCHOOL ADVICE” is 8:58. So, maybe we’ve identified a hidden barrier to your success. If your pre-conceived notion of “video ad campaigns” is repurposed “30-second commercials,” then maybe you shouldn’t be surprised if the vast majority of your paid video campaigns have high views/low engagement. “You must unlearn what you have learned.”

#3 If your goal is to get lots of views, then you can run a massive campaign for an extended period of time and bludgeon viewers into watching your video ad for more than 3 second on Facebook or 30 seconds on YouTube (or the duration if it’s shorter than 30 seconds). But if your goal is also to get high engagement, then your content needs to draw “a high-arousal positive emotional response,” as Karen Nelson-Field observed in Viral Marketing: The Science of Sharing.

3 Key Steps to Boosting Engagement on Paid Video Campaigns

So, what can you do to boost engagement on paid video campaigns?

#1 First, make great video content. That’s right, stop thinking that you’re producing are ads. Focus instead on making videos worth watching. And then use data and insights when creating content worth sharing. Why? Because you are competing directly or indirectly with 17.1 million other videos that were uploaded during the past week, according to Tubular Insights. So, paid video campaigns – even ones backed by big budgets – aren’t going to get lots of engagement or high engagement rates if you’ve got run-of-the-mill video content.

Suzie Reider, an old friend and former colleague who is now the Managing Director Brand Solutions at Google, shared this concept back in 2008 when she gave a presentation to The Ad Club in Boston that was entitled, “Marketing with Video.” Back then, she advised advertisers to “create ads that work as content.” And as an example, she showed “Amazing Ball girl catch,” a Gatorade commercial directed by Baker Smith of Harvest Films.  Today, this “video content” has 6.4 million views and 19,600 engagements.

If you’re looking for more tactical advice for making compelling and effective video content, then read the “guidelines for great creative” section in the YouTube Playbook for Creative Advertising. Or, watch “Facebook Video: Data-Driven Insights & Best Practices” webinar replay, which features Carla Marshall, my editor-in-chief, and Mark Robertson, the founder of ReelSEO (now Tubular Insights).

So, where can you find data and insights on the kind of video that’s worth watching as well as the type of content that is engaging enough to generate likes, comments, and shares? Well, start with YouTube Analytics. (It’s free.) The first thing to look at is your top 10 videos as measured by watch time. I know, we normally talk about watch time when discussing video SEO. But, the watch time reports in YouTube Analytics – including relative audience retention – are the right metrics to gage if your videos are worth watching.

Next, look at your interaction reports in YouTube Analytics. These will let you know if your content is generating subscriptions, likes and dislikes, videos in playlists, comments, or sharing. If you are trying to drive traffic to your website, your interaction reports will also tell you if your content is generating clicks on annotations, cards, or end screens. These are the right metrics to use to measure engagement.

All of these YouTube Analytics metrics (watch time, likes, comments, and shares) provide a basic barometer showing how your audience is responding to your videos. However, the effectiveness of an ad campaign can also evaluated by using Google’s Brand Lift solution. Brand Lift measures the direct impact your YouTube ads on perceptions and behaviors throughout the consumer journey. Within a matter of days, Brand Lift can give you insights into how your ads are impacting metrics like lifts in brand awareness, ad recall, consideration, favorability, and purchase intent (as measured in surveys), as well as brand interest (as measured by organic search activity). This enables you to optimize your campaigns mid-flight, if necessary.

In addition to YouTube Analytics and Google’s Brand Lift solution, you can also use Tubular Intelligence to track over 3 billion videos and analyze the viewing habits of more than 400 million consumers across multiple social platforms.

Download Our New Sponsored Video Insights Report Today! Get All the Latest Data on Sponsored Video Trends

#2 Find the right partners to build more engaging campaigns.

If you really want to boost the engagement of your paid video campaigns, then maybe it’s time to replace your traditional ad agency (which doesn’t have a clue why its repurposed 30-second commercial isn’t highly engaging) with a new generation of video content creators who know how to help brands develop content strategies that will resonate with 21st-century consumers.

Okay, maybe you don’t really need to fire your traditional ad agency. Maybe you just need tell them to refocus on TV advertising, where they still know what they’re doing. At the same time, you can let them know that you’re giving video advertising to someone who knows what they’re doing and will also allocate a portion of the digital video ad budget to sponsored video. And your old ad agency can find out later that the budget for TV advertising is falling through the floor, while the budget for video advertising is going through the roof.

Come on, the “Mad Men” era is over. As I mentioned back in April in the column entitled, “It’s Not YouTube’s Fault: Blame the ‘Magazine Format’ for the State of Video Advertising,” Sylvester Laflin “Pat” Weaver, Jr. came up with the idea of selling 60-second commercials in NBC-produced shows instead of 30-minute blocks of time that the advertiser controlled in the 1950s.

Before then, during radio’s Golden Age in the 1930s, the world of content creation was ruled by a system of advertiser-sponsored and agency-produced programming, which typified by that ever-popular program format, the soap opera. This system continued through most of the 1950s, typified by shows such as “The Hallmark Hall of Fame,” “The Colgate Comedy Hour”, and “Kraft Television Theater.”

Well, maybe we need to go “back to the future.” If brands want to create video content that has high engagement, then they need to find the right content partner to reach the right audience, build successful sponsored video campaigns with them, and get more engagement for less spend.

And, Tubular’s DealMaker can help them do that. Consider this: DealMaker’s data is independent, impartial, and unbiased. I’ve used it since June, and have learned that what Tubular’s website says about it actually understates what you can find.

Seriously. The website says DealMaker is tracking “140k sponsored videos, 30k campaigns 15k brand sponsors, and 15k content partners.” Well, I double-checked over the weekend and DealMaker has tracked 202k sponsored videos, 101k campaigns 41.4k brand sponsors, and 36.4k content partners across 24 industries, 21 genres, and 173 countries. And sponsored video content has tallied 38.9 billion views and 888 million engagements to date.

#3 Rethink your advertising formats and targeting.

YouTube introduced the TrueView family of ad formats back in 2010. Believe it or not, there were originally four ad formats, but over the years that was whittled down to two:

  • TrueView in-stream ads, aka skippable video ads, which play before the start of a YouTube video. Viewers see 5 seconds of your ad and then can choose to keep watching or skip it. You only pay a “cost-per-view” if viewers choose to watch at least 30 seconds of your ad.
  • TrueView in-display ads, aka video discovery ads, where your video appears in a special promoted section of the video search results pages on YouTube for a high-frequency query. You pay only when a viewer chooses to watch your video.

Since advertisers paid nothing if viewers skipped their in-steam ads, there wasn’t much incentive for most of them to spend a whole lot of time (because time is money) selecting relevant target audiences. Hey, who cares of if the wrong people see the first 5 to 29 seconds of your ad and decide to skip the rest? No harm, no foul, right?

Sure, but if lots and lots of viewers skipped your in-stream ads, was that because most of them weren’t the right target audience, or was it an indication that your video content wasn’t particularly engaging? We’ll never know because no video marketer in his or her right mind would survey people who abandoned their “free” ads – even if their CMO was obsessed with retargeting people who had abandoned their website’s shopping cart.

So, if you really, really want to boost your engagement as well as your views, then you might want to test different formats and spend more time on targeting – or change your approach to targeting altogether. For example, instead of using demographics, trying using topic or affinity targeting. Why? Because demographics don’t help you understand what you really need to know – consumer intent – what consumers are looking for in an exact moment they are looking to find it.

Is your audience interested in certain subjects? Topic targeting allows you to show your ad on topic-specific channels. For example, if you target the “automotive” topic, then your ad will show on YouTube to people watching videos about cars. Similarly, affinity targeting allows you to show your ad only to users with particular interests. For example, if you sell kitchen supplies, then you can target YouTube users who watch food videos.

Intent beats identity. Immediacy trumps loyalty. When someone has a want or need, they turn to their smartphone for help – whether it’s a karate newbie watching an expert do a move on YouTube or my wife, who did a search on Google three years ago for “Maytag washer leaking from bottom.” When a need arises, people turn to YouTube search to look for answers, discover new things, and make decisions. Google calls these intent-filled moments, micro-moments. And they’re the best opportunity video marketers have to connect with people at the exact moment they are looking for something.

If you plan to continue using TrueView in-stream ads, then understanding consumer intent and meeting their needs in the moment are the keys to boosting engagement as well as winning more hearts, minds, and dollars.  Otherwise, you could end up targeting the wrong audience – people who are kinda, sorta relevant, so they watch more than 30 seconds of your video ad, but not especially interested at the moment, so they don’t engage with it.

For example, Groupon used a different approach to targeting in its recent YouTube ads campaign. Instead of “spray and pray” marketing – where brands blast their ads at as many people as possible and hope the right audience notices, Groupon adapted its marketing approaches to the behavior and interests of the customers they were going after.

The company did this by aligning its audience targeting segments to Groupon’s deal categories based on what people are looking up on Search and Maps. They also used YouTube’s new Consumer Patterns to target “people who frequently visit salons,” “live event enthusiasts,” and “department store shoppers.”

Groupon then built contextually relevant creative tailored to each audience segment and the content they consume. For example, watch this travel-related creative for jetsetters.

Then, watch this family activity-related creative for parents.

Finally, watch this recipe-related creative for foodies.

But, targeting isn’t the only thing you need to rethink. You also need to rethink advertising formats.

As skippable video ads became more popular (because you could save time on targeting), the budgets for the other option, video discovery ads, got smaller and smaller (because it took more and more time to do keyword research). Ironically, showing your video ads based on the keywords or phrases that someone has just typed into the YouTube search box is one of the most effective ways to respond to consumer intent.

And after someone watches a video discovery ad, they get the time to think about liking it, adding a comment, and/or sharing it with their friends, family, and colleagues on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and/or LinkedIn. After they watch a skippable video ad, it zooms along to the content video that the user originally wanted to watch. That undercuts the opportunity for high engagement.

To keep in-stream ads from sucking more than 90% of your overall video advertising budget away from in-display ads, put them into separate campaigns. And expand your list of relevant keywords that you target. To do this, try using the YouTube Keyword Tool offered by Key Tools Limited. It uses YouTube autocomplete feature to generate highly relevant long-tail keywords about a particular topic.

And keep your eye on some of the newer ad formats that YouTube has been rolling out over the past couple of years. This ranges from bumper video campaigns to TrueView for shopping campaigns. These enable you to match the right ad format to a wider range of marketing objectives. So, you can stop losing sleep over low engagement and start measuring brand lift/high engagement/high sales.

There you have it: The critical data, strategic insights, and tactical advice that you’ve come to expect from Tubular Insights. But, this is just my take on the topic. If you’ve got a better way or even just another way to boost engagement on paid video campaigns, then please share your tools, tips, and techniques with your colleagues in the online video and internet marketing industries. Seriously, we’re all in the same boat.


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How Jukin Media is Leveraging Original Video Content After Viral Success

How Jukin Media is Leveraging Original Video Content After Viral Success

Here at Tubular Insights, we’ve covered a lot of digital video executives and professionals in our “Day in the Life” series. Experts from the Weather Channel to the BBC have weighed in on what their days are like working in the video industry, and how they managed to grow successful YouTube channels and develop killer video strategies. But now, one of the brands we featured in a previous “Day in the Life” post has perked our interest, as it’s standing at a very interesting crossroads in its day-to-day operations.

Jukin Media, a publisher known for its viral video licensing and distribution business model, has launched its own production studio and announced its intentions to delve into original content. What will that look like when the brand is so closely tied to user-generated content and popular YouTube channels like FailArmy and The Pet Collective? We asked Jukin Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer Josh Entman to shed some light on this new initiative.

Jukin Media and Original Video Content

Tubular Insights: What are your primary responsibilities/goals each day, or your new responsibilities as they pertain to the original content production push?

Josh Entman: As Chief Creative Officer, I oversee all creative development for the company, which includes franchises on our owned-and-operated properties, branded entertainment and commercial productions, and original episodic series for TV and digital.

TI: Can you give a breakdown of the original content push and how this ties into your newly-announced production studio? We’re mostly curious about how these initiatives evolve/change or compliment your current business model of viral video licensing.

JE: If you look at the core function of our business from day one – to source and acquire user-generated video content – nothing has ever changed. We have been, and always will be, at the epicenter of social video content. But, what we’ve done really well, and perhaps what’s gotten lost in the external buzz around our popular viral videos, has been our ability to utilize UGC videos in the creation of longer-form programming.

We’ve always emphasized the importance of owning the entire lifecycle of a video, from discovery to distribution. Certainly I believe we’re the gold standard when it comes to those functions. But I’m just as bullish about our ability to craft original stories captured by everyday individuals. That’s what this is about.

TI: How did Jukin decide to move forward with its own production branch?

JE: Many people don’t know it, but we’ve been producing content for a long time. We’ve always looked at our original content/production business as being defined by the following: IP ownership, global distribution, audience segmentation, and conveying narrative through the lens of users.

We’re extracting user stories and packaging them in ways that resonate with audiences. Because of our core business, we have access to the most amazing library of source material and a direct relationship with every content owner we represent. I think that sets us apart and puts us in a unique position to challenge the status quo and offer a new perspective on how this content should be developed and programmed.

TI: What statistics can you provide on how popular Jukin’s content is, and how that may have tied into the decision to make original content?

JE: As we’ve grown the business, we’ve done an amazing job at cultivating a global community around user-generated video. With over 70 million fans and 2 billion views per month, it’s a natural progression of the entertainment we provide across social media every day. Just as our audience has evolved, so has our desire to offer them premium content experiences.

We’re not going to suddenly change and start investing massive amounts of money into costly productions without a return. It’s not who we are. We invest in people to make this happen. Without them, I’m just drawing up blank ideas on a whiteboard.

User-based storytelling is what drives global communication. It’s no longer an option, but a necessity to operate and connect amongst your peers. It’s what has rapidly made Snapchat and Instagram and Facebook such a large part of the video ecosystem. And it’s probably why they all decided to call their version of the product, Stories.

I‘m confident in our position and where we sit in the larger conversation. We are UGC. We live and breathe it every single day, and have done so for the last 7 years. That cannot be overstated. We know it. We study it. We absorb it. There are still no other companies packaging short-form into longer form in a meaningful way. That’s a gap in the market and we’re going after it.

TI: What does the development process look like for Jukin’s new originals?

JE: Like so many other development teams, we are swimming in a sea of ideas that populate our board. But a key differentiator for us is the content acquisition machine that powers Jukin’s backend. The videos that come through our door every day provide some of the greatest source material imaginable. And we’re constantly sifting through them for new talent discovery, creative direction, and ingenuity that allows the overarching concepts to be uniquely Jukin.

There’s a notion that so much content is being built strictly for millennials. I don’t necessarily think that’s the case. I like to think we are unequivocally dedicated to mobile-first audiences and platform efficiencies in our development. So no matter where we pitch in the buyer ecosystem — TV or digital — each project is focused and optimized for consumption patterns and user behavior.

TI: What’s your biggest challenge as you expand Jukin’s original content initiatives?

JE: Converting a mindset. Most people still view us as a clips business or the “viral video guys.” It’s a badge of honor certainly, but a misrepresentation of where we are today, and where we believe this is going.

While there’s an undeniable clip element to our business, we don’t view these as merely clips. And neither should anyone else. These videos are truly the building blocks of broader storytelling; a raw, unfiltered representation of the amazing moments captured by people just like you and I. It’s our determination to dig deeper and re-imagine what longer-form, user-based entertainment looks like across all of these platforms.

TI: Why do you think Jukin will be successful with original content?

JE: I think we’ve already seen a great deal of success, and now we’re simply investing more resources behind it. We’ve already developed and sold seven series, and produced well over 200 episodes of linear and digital programming.

Having said that, no one can guarantee success in this market. It’s a crowded room with tons of companies vying for buyers’ attention. What I like about us, and what I think is a crucial differentiator when looking at our contemporaries, is that we own and control all of the content we acquire. We’re not an MCN. We’re not a group of talent managers. We’re not a traditional publisher or production company. We’re in the IP business. And that makes our studio model more legitimized than most of the folks out there who are launching these divisions left and right.

Without question, I’ll always bet on our ability. It comes with the job and title. But I’m proud of how we’ve approached and attacked the different sectors of our business. We’re calculated, we’re thoughtful, and we’re rigorous in our intent. Original content is no different. I’m more excited at our ability to test these methods and offer up new experiences, to always address the ‘Why Jukin?’ It’s a challenge that we accept and will continue to attack day in and day out.


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Get the Latest Insights and Trends for Online Video [Exclusive Report]

Get the Latest Insights and Trends for Online Video [Exclusive Report]

As social video continues to thrive, more publishers, media companies and influencers are taking advantage of the medium as a means to reach and engage with consumers and fans. Choosing the right strategy for your video distribution is now more important than ever, but how do stakeholders keep up with the key trends in the new video ecosystem?

In a brand new report from Tubular, we take an in-depth look at the benchmarking
and growth numbers that matter to you and your social video strategy. The report includes industry metrics as well as our standardized performance metrics, Tubular Video Ratings.

Download the New Q3 2017 State of Online Video Report Today! Get All the Latest Video Insights and Trends

Up-to-date Online Video Trends – Now!

Data-driven video content is becoming the cornerstone of digital marketing campaigns. Media companies, brands, and publishers can keep up with the latest insights, trends, and new data by downloading Tubular’s new ‘State of Online Video Report Q3 2017’, and watching the playback of our webinar to get the latest stats for online video. You’ll learn the following:

  • The latest global trends in video content
  • Who are the media companies winning with social video?
  • Who are the mega-creators on YouTube and Facebook Video?
  • How to take advantage of awards season on social

Food-related Video Views Continue to Grow

While a variety of content is generating views and engagement across the main social video platforms, videos related to food and drink continue to attract huge audiences. Compared to Q3 2016, food and drink video views grew by 30% on Facebook, and 140% on YouTube during the last quarter. On Facebook, the majority of food related views are generated by creators that primarily only make content about food. But on YouTube, food views are coming from a variety of creators that also publish videos around other topics.

The new report from Tubular also takes a deeper dive into food video content. For instance, did you know that on YouTube, family channels & Asian food channels drive triple digit growth for food related content? Download the research now for more insights into what’s engaging your target audience.

Food related video views on YouTube and Facebook Q3 2017 (All data via Tubular’s ‘ State of Online Video Report Q3 2017’

Exclusive Webinar on Video Insights for 2017

This quarter our report not only focuses in on the latest critical trends, but also the video trends happening right now around tent pole events like the U.S. Awards Season 2018, and World Cup 2018. We also bring you insights into sponsored video, and provide invaluable commentary on influencer demographics.

To accompany the new report, we held an exclusive webinar which offered insights on the trends you need to know to set your programming strategy up for success. We also highlight why you should choose certain tactics over others. Watch the recording online now to keep up with the changes in online video, and learn what’s in store for the future. The presenters are:

Allison Stern:  Allison is Tubular’s Co-Founder and CMO. Before Tubular, Allison worked at YouTube, with the sales operations, product marketing, and business development teams. Throughout her career, Allison has helped media companies, including 20th Century Fox and AOL, develop compelling online experiences and increase user engagement.

Lindsay Lamont: Lindsay is the Enterprise Solutions Engagement Manager at Tubular Labs. Based in our New York city office, Stanford graduate Lindsay is passionate about discovering trends and insights in the online video ecosystem.

The State of Online Video Q3 2017 Report

The exclusive ‘State of Online Video Report Q1 2017’ gives unprecedented insights into what’s happening on the major video platforms. Just click on the button below to access the webinar playback and the full report.

Download the New Q3 2017 State of Online Video Report Today! Get All the Latest Video Insights and Trends

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Gaming and Entertainment Rule the Sponsored Video World

Gaming and Entertainment Rule the Sponsored Video World

Thanks to Tubular’s latest Sponsored Video Marketing Report, we know views on sponsored video content on YouTube and Facebook in Q1 2017 grew year-over-year by a whopping 242% and 7390%, respectively. Obviously, something about sponsored video works. Whether that’s because audiences are already familiar with their favorite companies and want to see more content from them, or maybe the pairing of influencers and complementary brands just works fantastically well in some cases, the fact is online video viewers are hungry for sponsored content.

Download Our New Sponsored Video Insights Report Today! Get All the Latest Data on Sponsored Video Trends

But what genres of content get the most attention from these viewers? What topics are sponsors most interested in investing in? As it turns out, two genres per platform (YouTube and Facebook) dominated the rest, with others competing for views before slowly trickling off into the less-viewed content by viewers in Q1 2017. Here’s what we found when we analyzed posts on YouTube and Facebook from January 1 to March 31, 2017, in terms of top genres for sponsored content, which sponsors were on top of their game within these genres, and which media partners helped these sponsors’ campaigns find success.

Gaming and Music/Dance Rule YouTube, but Sponsored Animal Content Performed Best

YouTube has always been a top destination for video fans who want to watch gaming content. Back in 2014, Minecraft became the second most-searched term on Google’s online video site with a total of (at the time) 44.3 million searches. YouTube also launched its complementary YouTube Gaming site and app in August of 2015, reportedly to compete with Amazon-owned game streaming site Twitch.

It should be no surprise, then, that the top genre of sponsored content in Q1 2017 on YouTube was gaming. Content which focused on game guides, playthroughs, how-tos, and possibly even some rage quitting and button mashing generated 198 million total views over the course of the first three months of this year alone. Several YouTube creators were choice partners for sponsors, too, including well-known channels such as VanossGaming (which pulled in 18 million views in Q1 on sponsored content), H2ODelirious (9 million), and Achievement Hunter (8 million). The top three sponsors whose content generated the most views this quarter were Ubisoft (36 million total views), COUGAR (8 million), and EA’s United States branch (7 million).

The second most-popular genre of sponsored content in Q1 2017 turned out to be music and dance, with 161 million total views. Singha Light, Young & Hungry, and SEEK Thailand were top sponsors of music and dance content, pulling in an impressive total of 46 million total views. The next-highest genre — entertainment — came in third with 95 million views and partners such as To Catch a Cheater, Rooster Teeth, and Domics earning a total of 44 million views on their sponsored content in Q1.

Despite gaming, music and dance, and entertainment all generating the most views on sponsored content in the first three months of this year, a different genre entirely came out squarely on top in terms of engagement, and that was animals and pets. Sponsored content featuring furry critters and fascinating creatures had a 30-day average view count (V30) of 1.2 million. The next-highest V30-boasting genre? Film and movies, with a significantly less count of 273k.

According to Tubular’s DealMaker product, the #1 sponsor behind sponsored content on YouTube in terms of views hailed from pet nutrition brand Mazuri with 86.8 million total views. And this company helped sponsor portions of a live stream for April the Giraffe, the long-necked, spotted creature living at the Animal Adventure Park in New York. April became internet famous — she even has her own Twitter account! — after the park started live streaming the late stages of her pregnancy in February and the birth of her male offspring Tajiri in April. The live stream (which was also sponsored at one point or another by Toys R Us and Babies R Us) generated a total of 232 million views since its launch in February, with Tajiri’s birth pulling in 1.2 million live viewers alone.

April undoubtedly helped spur audience’s interest in animals in Q1 of 2017. The extended views on her live streams and word-of-mouth marketing regarding her soon-to-be-born calf easily contributed to the overall 1.2 million V30 sponsored animal content received in Q1 on YouTube.

Facebook Users Love Being Entertained and Looking at Food

YouTube audiences seem ready to consume gaming and music/dance content on that platform, with the occasional animal-centric live stream or content push thrown into the mix. But what about on Facebook? Across the billions of users on this social media site, two genres in particular resonated the most with them in terms of video views. And, as you might expect, these two genres universally seem to connect with people around the world: entertainment and sports.

Sponsored entertainment segments generated a massive 2 billion total view count in Q1 of 2017. Ellen DeGeneres was the top media partner, having pulled in 90 million views herself across various sponsored videos. Unsurprisingly, DeGeneres’ digital video studio ellentube also landed in the top five partner list for Q1, with 73 million total views at third place. Second place went to Architecture & Design with 75 million views. As for the top sponsors who partnered with creators in Q1 2017, the top three spots go to Disney’s Moana (73 million total views), New York Life Insurance Company (45 million views), and Walmart (37 million views).

As for the sports genre on Facebook, that sponsored topic saw 1.1 billion total views from January to March of this year, beating out the third-place genre of food and drink by 244 million views. Bleacher Report was the best-performing partner at 90 million total views, with Red Bull — a brand already well-known in the digital video world — coming in second with 59 million views on its sponsored content. The National Football League (NFL) was pacing to beat Red Bull with 58 million total views. These creative partners and more helped action camera brand GoPro become the top sponsor in Q1 with 60 million views across all its paid content; Pepsi wasn’t too far behind at 54 million total views, and PokerStars rounded out the top three sponsors at 22 million views. Clearly, Facebook users are interested in a variety of sports and the brands and creators who generate content about them.

Sponsored content on Facebook followed in YouTube’s footsteps in that the top genres for views weren’t necessarily the top genres in terms of view performance. That honor instead goes to food and drink with a 621k V30, with home and DIY sponsored content coming in second with a V30 of 454k. The top three creative partners who helped contribute views to food and drink’s performance in Q1 2017 were BuzzFeed’s Tasty property (with 331 million total views), Tastemade (28 million), and Cooking Panda (27 million). And the sponsors who benefited most from their branded content the first three months of this year? That would be hot sauce brand Frank’s RedHot (39 million total views on paid content), Campbell’s (37 million views), and Google (30 million views).

As for the top-performing sponsor on Facebook in Q1? That would be A Plus, a media company which focuses on positive journalism and garnered 169 million total views from January to March. A Plus only partnered with two creators, music and dance brands Lil Wayne and Young Money, who both uploaded a total of 31 videos ranging in content from inspiring quotes from celebrities to funny moments with animals. The most-watched clip out of all of these was a video which pulled in roughly 103 million total views and featured an Australian Shepherd who does everything her owner does, including yoga.

Conclusion

The rise in popularity of sponsored content over the last year isn’t something brands can afford to ignore if they want to stay ahead in the digital video game. Audiences around the world have proven they will give their attention to quality creative content paid for by their favorite brands and produced and distributed in collaboration with top media partners and creators around the world. This is an opportunity a lot of different companies can take advantage of, not just the ones in industries mentioned above (though it can’t hurt if you are).

Interested in learning more about Tubular’s sponsored video content findings? Click below to download the report!

Download Our New Sponsored Video Insights Report Today! Get All the Latest Data on Sponsored Video Trends

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Pet Industry Scores Big with 2M Average Video Views for Sponsored Content

Pet Industry Scores Big with 2M Average Video Views for Sponsored Content

Sponsored video content has seen an upsurge in production and success over the last year, as Tubular’s new DealMaker Sponsored Video Marketing Report discovered. Some industries in particular are striking gold when it comes to sponsoring videos; in fact, in quarter one of this year alone, the top three most successful sponsors in terms of video views pulled in almost 2.3 billion total views on their content from January to March. Here’s which industries we’re talking about:

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Gaming, Media, and Food Industries Claim the Majority of Sponsored Content Views

Sponsors from a whole range of industries including technology, insurance, automotive, and education generated content in Q1 of 2017. But only three particular industries saw the most returns on their investments. In terms of overall total views, sponsors from the gaming, media, and food industries made out well earlier this year.

YouTube audiences are steady consumers of video game content, so much so the Google video giant launched its own dedicated game streaming site and app YouTube Gaming a few years ago. And it’s this love of gaming which helped the titular industry generate roughly 109 million total views on sponsored video content. Some of the biggest brands in the entire gaming industry became the top sponsors on YouTube within this genre in Q1, with Ubisoft solidly leading the pack with an impressive 36 million total views. As for the top partners within the gaming industry, companies’ partnerships with VanossGaming, H2ODelirious, and Wengie proved most fruitful with 18 million, 9 million, and 6 million views, respectively.

Media sponsors also performed exceptionally well on both YouTube and Facebook from January to March. On YouTube, the second-highest total views by sponsor behind gaming was from media companies with a total of 94 million views. On Facebook, media brands came in first place in terms of overall views with a not-too-shabby 1.4 billion. So which media companies invested in sponsored content from January to March, and which partners helped contribute the most views?

The top media sponsor on YouTube turned out to be audiobook seller Audible with 13 million total views across 70 different partners (home and DIY channel Troom Troom being the top partner with 7.8 million views), while anime streaming service Crunchyroll placed second with 9 million views across 10 partners — animation channel Domics turned out to be Crunchyroll’s best partner with 7.8 million views across two videos alone! On Facebook’s end of things, that site’s top media sponsor Moana generated 73 million views alongside top partner ellentube in Q1; next up on that video platform was My Kitchen Rules, pulling in 24 million total views on videos about puff pastries and pancake bacon dippers (yum…) from partners Tasty and Cooking Panda.

Speaking of food, that industry also did well for itself in Q1 2017. Coming in second behind media brands in terms of sponsored views on Facebook, videos from food sponsors generated 691 million total views across the site. Top sponsors included Campbell’s (with 74 million views), Frank’s RedHot hot sauce brand (39 million), and rice company Uncle Ben’s U.S.A. (24 million). Tasty and NowThis produced the best results for the food industry’s sponsored content with approximately 165 million and 55 million total views, respectively (these two creative partners also were the top two view generators for Campbell’s sponsored content). Mexican food and media brand kiwilimon was the third-best partner for sponsors to team up with in Q1 thanks to 43 million views.

However, Average Views on Sponsored Pet Content Eclipses All Other Industries

Many online video professionals would argue that view counts aren’t the be-all-end-all metric of success. In many ways, they’re right, especially in terms of the data Tubular uncovered in its recent DealMaker report. This is because despite the media, gaming, and food industries claiming the most video views for themselves in Q1 2017, the industry which received the best average 30-day viewership (V30) across both YouTube and Facebook was actually the pet industry.

On both platforms, 22 different sponsors from the pet industry worked with 41 different creators/partners on 167 different videos. On YouTube in particular, pet-related sponsored videos saw a huge V30 number of 2 million. The next-highest industry on Google’s online video site, logistics and heavy transportation, only pulled in half that average view count at 1 million. Interestingly enough, the pet industry came in fifth on Facebook with a V30 of 249K, but even the site’s top sponsor in terms of V30 (which was, perhaps unsurprisingly, the gaming industry) only saw 344K views.

As it turns out, the pet industry sponsor with the most views across YouTube and Facebook in Q1 2017 was Mazuri, a pet food brand for unique and exotic animals. The company sponsored a few of the wildly popular live streams for April the Giraffe, a resident of the New York-based Animal Adventure Park who was expecting a calf earlier this year. Mazuri’s most popular video broadcast saw 34 million total views, with a V30 of about 34.1 million. Unfortunately, no recording is available for this “Giraffe Cam” live stream, so enjoy this updated video instead of April, her new calf Tajiri, and her mate Oliver:

These findings seem to show sponsored pet content can perform exceptionally well on YouTube. The fact of the matter is pets and animals will almost always eclipse other industries simply because of viewers’ penchants for consuming and sharing cute kitten or puppy videos, a practice essentially synonymous with being an internet user. After all, the first video ever uploaded to YouTube by one if its co-founders was filmed at an elephant enclosure at a zoo!

Find Out More About Sponsored Video Content Trends

Interested in learning more about Tubular’s sponsored video content findings? Click below to download the report!

Download Our New Sponsored Video Insights Report Today! Get All the Latest Data on Sponsored Video Trends

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How to Stay on the Right Side of the FTC When Publishing a Sponsored Video

How to Stay on the Right Side of the FTC When Publishing a Sponsored Video

The #Sponsored session at Advertising Week 2017 promised to shed light on the do’s, don’ts, and grey areas of #sponsored content “from multiple points of view.” And the panel discussion started off strongly.

Mary Orton, the style blogger behind Memorandum and the co-founder of Trove, a mobile style app, talked about how the updated FTC requirements have changed she discloses paid partnerships. Orton said she thought #ad and #sponsored are terms from another era and a different medium. The high profile influencer added that she only works with brands that she actually uses and often creates more content than an agreement calls for because she so passionate about the brand. Now, that promised to be a point of view that coulda been a contender.

Melissa Davis, the EVP of ShopStyle, the world’s most fashionable search engine, added her two cents on how to be successful, creative, and remain authentic while working within the guidelines of the FTC.

Kim Waite, the VP Global Communications at Laura Mercier Cosmetics, disclosed how her brand has shifted traditional marketing and advertising budgets to influencer partnerships and discussed their stance on transparency and best practices.

But, then Ellie Altshuler, an attorney at Nixon Peabody, spoke. Altshuler, who specializes in influencer contracts, is the lead council for Digital Brand Architects. She discussed game-changing rulings and said the lines between influencers and celebrities are now more blurred than ever. Once she weighed in, the other three panelists deferred to her comments as if they were the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion (HiPPO).

So, what had promised to be a lively discussion “from multiple points of view,” turned into asymmetrical conversation with more than one panelist asking at one point or another, “What do you think, Ellie?” Nevertheless, video marketers still need to know if “Sponsored is a dirty word or new normal. So, let me summarize what Altshuler had to say about how to be successful, creative, and remain authentic while working within the guidelines of the FTC.

If you have any influence over influencers, alert them to three developments, including the FTC’s first law enforcement action against individual online influencers for their role in misleading practices. According to the FTC, Trevor Martin and Thomas Cassell – known on their YouTube channels as TmarTn and Syndicate – deceptively endorsed the online gambling site CSGO Lotto without disclosing that they owned the company.

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FTC & Law Enforcement

Here’s the backstory: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (also known as CS: GO) is an online, multiplayer, first-person shooter game. “Skins” are game collectibles that can be bought, sold, or traded for real money. Skins have another use: They can be used as virtual currency on certain gambling sites, including CSGOLotto.com. On that site, players could challenge others to a one-on-one coin flip, wagering their pooled skins. In 2015, respondent Martin posted a video touting CSGO Lotto:

We found this new site called CSGO Lotto, so I’ll link it down in the description if you guys want to check it out. But we were betting on it today and I won a pot of like $69 or something like that so it was a pretty small pot but it was like the coolest feeling ever. And I ended up like following them on Twitter and stuff and they hit me up. And they’re like talking to me about potentially doing like a skins sponsorship like they’ll give me skins to be able to bet on the site and stuff. And I’ve been like considering doing it.

Martin followed up with more videos on his YouTube channel showing him gambling on the CSGO Lotto site. In addition, he tweeted things like “Made $13k in about 5 minutes on CSGO betting. Absolutely insane” and posted on Instagram “Unreal!! Won two back to back CSGOLotto games today on stream – $13,000 in total winnings.”

Cassell promoted CSGO Lotto in a similar way, posting videos that were viewed more than five million times. In addition, he tweeted a screen shot of himself winning a betting pool worth over $2,100 with the caption “Not a bad way to start the day!” According to another tweet, “I lied . . . I didn’t turn $200 into $4,000 on @CSGOLotto. . . I turned it into $6,000!!!!” Then there’s this one: “Bruh.. i’ve won like $8,000 worth of CS:GO Skins today on @CSGOLotto. I cannot even believe it!”

Well, Bruhs, while we’re on the subject of things we cannot even believe, did either of you like consider clearly disclosing that you like owned the company – a material connection requiring disclosure under FTC law?

The complaint also challenges how the respondents ran their own influencer program for CSGO Lotto. They paid other gamers between $2,500 and $55,000 in cash or skins “to post in their social media circles about their experiences in using” the gambling site. However, the contract made clear that those influencers couldn’t make “statements, claims, or representations . . . that would impair the name, reputation and goodwill” of CSGO Lotto. And post they did on YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, and Facebook – in many instances, touting winnings worth thousands of dollars.

According to the FTC, Cassell, Martin, and CSGOLotto, Inc. falsely claimed that their videos and social media posts – and the videos and posts of the influencers they hired – reflected the independent opinions of impartial users. The complaint also charges that the respondents failed to disclose the material connection they had to the company – and the connection their paid influencers had. The proposed settlement requires Cassell, Martin, and the company to make those disclosures clearly and conspicuously in the future. The FTC is accepting public comments about the settlement until October 10, 2017.

An interesting aside: This isn’t the first time Cassell’s name has appeared in an FTC complaint. In a 2015 settlement with Machinima, the FTC alleged that Cassell pocketed $30,000 for two video reviews of Xbox One that he uploaded to his YouTube channel. Although the FTC didn’t sue him, the complaint in that case alleged, “Nowhere in the videos or in the videos’ descriptions did Cassell disclose that Respondent paid him to create and upload them.”

FTC: Warning Letters

The next development of interest to influencers relates to more than 90 educational letters the FTC sent to influencers and brands in April 2017, reminding them that, if influencers are endorsing a brand and have a “material connection” to the marketer, that relationship must be clearly disclosed, unless the connection is already clear from the context of the endorsement.

21 of the influencers who got the April letter just received a follow-up warning letter, citing specific social media posts the FTC staff is concerned might not be in compliance with the FTC’s Endorsement Guides. But the letters are different this time. The latest round asks the recipients to let the FTC know if they have material connections to the brands in the identified social media posts. If they do, the FTC has asked them to spell out the steps they will be taking to make sure they clearly disclose their material connections to brands and businesses.

Updated Guidance for Influencers and Marketers

The FTC has also just released an updated version of The FTC’s Endorsement Guides: What People are Asking, a staff publication that answers questions about the use of endorsements, including in social media. The principles remain the same, but we’ve answered more than 20 new questions relevant to influencers and marketers on topics like tags in pictures, disclosures in Snapchat and Instagram, the use of hashtags, and disclosure tools built into some platforms. You’ll want to read the updated brochure for details, but here are four “heads up” points for influencers:

  • Clearly disclose when you have a financial or family relationship with a brand. “But everybody knows!” No, they don’t. It’s unwise for influencers to assume that people know all about their business relationships.
  • Don’t assume that using a platform’s disclosure tool is sufficient. Some platforms are starting to offer disclosure tools, but that’s no guarantee they’re an effective way for an influencer to disclose a material connection to a brand. Like so many things on social media, it’s all about context. One key consideration is placement – whether the disclosure attracts viewers’ attention, taking into account where people are likely to look on a particular platform. For example, when paging through a stream of eye-catching photos, a viewer may not spot a disclosure placed above the picture or off to the side. The ultimate responsibility for making clear disclosures is yours. That’s why you want to make sure your disclosures are hard to miss.
  • Avoid ambiguous disclosures like #thanks, #collab, #sp, #spon, or #ambassador. Clarity counts. When disclosing a material connection to a brand, use language that’s clear and unmistakable. It’s unlikely that abbreviations, shorthand, or arcane lingo will communicate the disclosure effectively to consumers. Think of it like football. Unless the quarterback throws the ball and the receiver catches it, it’s an incomplete pass.
  • Don’t rely on a disclosure placed after a CLICK MORE link or in another easy-to-miss location. Consider your own viewing habits on social media. Do you click every CLICK MORE link? We don’t either. When disclosing a brand relationship, the better approach is to hit ‘em right between the eyes. Furthermore, on image-only platforms, superimpose your disclosure over the picture in a clear font that contrasts sharply with the background.

Now, I’m not a lawyer. But, I know enough to recommend that you talk with one about how to be successful, creative, and remain authentic while working within the guidelines of the FTC. That’s right, I would have differed to the HiPPO, too. Hey, there are plenty of other things worth debating.


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Video Trends: Why Sponsored Content is the Future of Digital Advertising

Video Trends: Why Sponsored Content is the Future of Digital Advertising

Video content has never been more ubiquitous, or more popular with viewers, than it is in 2017. In Q1 2017 alone, we surpassed 2.3 trillion online video views across the main social video platforms! Millions of videos are being consumed via social platforms, owned and operated websites, and across multiple advertising channels, and the medium is one of the most effective ways of reaching a target audience.

However, the proliferation of ad-blocking software installed by users poses a real threat to brands, publishers, and video advertisers. The software threatens traditional interruption advertising, such as pre-roll video, especially as mobile ad blocking reaches mainstream penetration. TV advertising is not exempt from these trends either. Younger viewers watching less TV than ever, and when they are tuning in, it’s either post-broadcast via a catch-up service, or via second screen viewing—both of which make it harder to deliver effective campaign results.

Sponsored Video is the Future

So what can video marketers and advertisers do to ensure their message reach as much of their intended audience as possible? Well, sponsored video is the fastest growing vertical in digital advertising today. According to an eMarketer survey, 48% of marketers anticipated increasing their influencer marketing spends this year to shore up their sponsored footprint, contributing to a sector that is rapidly growing and is currently estimated at $1.3 billion annually. Sponsored video content can also help bypass ad-blocking software, and help brands and publishers reach new demographics by sponsoring content from trusted influencers, and other partners.

Sponsored Video Insights: 2017

Sponsored video content has the ability to have a greater persuasive impact on viewers than a straight sales pitch. Advertisers need to cut through the noise, find the content opportunities, grow their audience, and successfully partner with brands to monetize video content. In our exclusive new insights report on sponsored video , we took a look at videos uploaded to Facebook and YouTube up to and including the March 31st 2017. Videos were selected where we believe there was an exchange of payment included in the creative and/or publishing process, i.e. there was a transaction where a partner was paid by a sponsor, to benefit the sponsor. (We consider gifts, like free products, or free hotel stays, as payment).

Download Our New Sponsored Video Insights Report Today! Get All the Latest Data on Sponsored Video Trends

There was significant growth of sponsored video content on YouTube and Facebook between April 2016 and March 2017. On YouTube, views of sponsored video content grew by 242% compared to Q1 2016, with a 57% increasing in publishers and creators uploading that type of content. On Facebook the numbers are even higher – views grew by 7390% YOY, with uploads also increasing by 4864%.

Growth of Sponsored Video Content on YouTube and Facebook – April 2016 to March 2017 (All data via Tubular)

Those numbers are incredibly impressive, but which industry verticals are pulling in the viewing and engagement numbers on the video content that’s being sponsored?

Top Sponsored Content Industries on YouTube and Facebook April 2016 to March 2017 (All data via Tubular)

On Facebook we are seeing the highest ROI in terms of views from sponsored videos via food and drink, home and DIY, and TV and movie content. In the last year, food and drink videos created in partnership with brands and publishers have averaged around 621K views. Think of publishers like Tasty,  Tastemade, or The Food Network who often collaborate with other brands, and influencers to reach a wider audience.

BuzzFeed’s Tasty US property has worked with Hersheys, Halo Top Creamery, Chobanis, Del Monte, and M&Ms over the past year to create and publish content that leverages Tasty’s 89M followers on Facebook. This collaboration with Hershey’s on this walkthrough for Marshmallow Kiss cookies generated over 17M views, and 155K shares for Tasty via Facebook. That’s nearly 17M views for a Hershey product beyond its own media properties!

Create Winning Brand Content Partnerships with Tubular DealMaker

Tubular provides independent analytics for the entire video ecosystem, allowing publishers, agencies, and brands to succeed together – growing organic audience and branded content partnerships. With our new product, Dealmaker, monetizing the social video marketplace has never been easier. DealMaker is the most comprehensive database of sponsored content on the market today, tracking over 140K sponsored videos, 30K campaigns, 15K brand sponsors, and 15K content partners. Built by Tubular for all media companies & publishers, DealMaker arms you with the intelligence you need to sell more deals and grow revenue.

Download Our Sponsored Video Content Insights Report: You May Qualify a Free Trial of Dealmaker!

We’ll be taking a deep dive into the new Sponsored Video Insights Report over the next few weeks. If you want to get your hands on a copy right now – and find how you can use Tubular to determine which sponsors or partners to work with – just click the button below.

Download Our New Sponsored Video Insights Report Today! Get All the Latest Data on Sponsored Video Trends

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