When it comes to online video, LEGO was the most-watched brand in February 2016 with 184 million views, comfortably ahead of Red Bull, which ranked #2 with 161 million views that month, PlayStation, which ranked #3 with 140 million views, Barbie, which ranked #4 with 79 million views, and Samsung Mobile, which ranked #5 with 79 million views, according to Tubular Labs.

Now, most columnists aren’t supposed to argue with success, but I can’t help but observing that 99% of LEGO’s views that month came from YouTube in February (see chart below). There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but the brand also has Facebook, Instagram, and Vine accounts, which combined to produce only 1% of LEGO’s total views. LEGO was much more active in March 2016, uploading over 400 videos to the main social video platforms, generating over 30M views. 27M of those views still occurred on YouTube, with 2.6M via Facebook, and 1.1M from Instagram Video.

LEGO video statistics YouTube Facebook

Online Video Views for LEGO – February 2016. Data via Tubular Labs

Why LEGO Needs a Multi-Platform Video Strategy

This begs the question: Do brands like LEGO really need a better multi-platform video strategy? Well, being the #1 brand does sound impressive. So, a YouTube-first strategy seems totally justified. But, if you look at the Tubular Labs rankings for most-watched overall creators in February 2016, LEGO only ranked #112. So, I’m fairly certain that LEGO could learn some lessons from BuzzFeed’s Tasty, which ranked #1 overall with 1.9 billion views that month. And it’s worth noting that Tasty got 94% of those views from Facebook.  

Now, as regular readers of ReelSEO already know, Facebook’s autoplay feature triggers a “view” when the video plays for at least 3 seconds – even if the user never actually clicks the play button. And 3 seconds is roughly the amount of time it takes to scroll past a video in the News Feed. But, based on the latest data from Facebook, more than 500 million people are watching 100 million hours of video on the social networking site daily – for an average of about 12 minutes a day per viewer. So, even if we don’t like how Facebook counts “views,” let’s not bicker and argue about how they count people or hours.

LEGOIn other words, there’s no question that LEGO should continue to do what works effectively on YouTube, which has over a billion users who watch hundreds of millions of hours of video every day. But, perhaps the brand would benefit by also improving what it’s doing with Facebook video.

And possibly LEGO would also benefit from adopting a different strategy for Instagram, which more than 400 million people sharing photos and Instavids a month, or Vine, which has 200 million people watching the world’s most bizarre, funny and entertaining Vines a month. Hey, it can’t hurt to use a little imagination, right?

LEGO Social Video Content: YouTube Wins

One of the factors that’s powering LEGO’s success on YouTube is the amazing fact that the brand has uploaded 1,053 videos in the past 90 days. That’s an average of 11.7 videos a day! By comparison, the brand uploaded 47 videos to Facebook over the past 90 days. That’s an average of 0.5 videos a day. During the same period, LEGO uploaded 193 photos to Facebook, an average of 2.1 a day. The brand has uploaded 41 videos to Instagram over the past 90 days. That is also an average of 0.5 videos a day. During the same period, LEGO uploaded 53 photos to Instagram Finally, the brand hasn’t uploaded a new video to Vine over the past 90 days. The most recent Vine was uploaded back on Dec. 30, 2015.

So, maybe LEGO finds photos on Facebook and Instagram are as effective as videos at generating measurable results on those social media platforms. Nevertheless, the brand created 1,053 videos for YouTube, 240 pieces of photo and video content for Facebook, and 94 pieces of photo and video content for Instagram since the beginning of the year. This means LEGO created 75.9% of is visual content for YouTube, 17.3% for Facebook, and 6.8% for Instagram. I don’t know about you, but that looks like a reasonable multi-platform strategy to me – even if video is only part of the visual content mix on Facebook and Instagram. That’s the challenge of comparing multi-platform video strategies. Some platforms feature “photo” as well as “video” content.

How Social Video is Working for LEGO

So, how is this multi-platform strategy working for LEGO? Well, that is a complicated question to answer. But, consider these recent announcements by the company:

  • On Mar. 1, 2016, the LEGO Group announced its sales grew 19% in 2015. This was enabled by strong performance of new product innovations, such as LEGO DIMENSIONS, LEGO Star Wars, LEGO NINJAGO, and LEGO Elves, as well as by continued high interest in core LEGO themes such as LEGO City. This was also on top of a particularly strong 2014 that was aided by the successful LEGO Movie.
  • On Mar. 22, 2016, the Reputation Institute reported that the LEGO Group was one of the Top 10 most highly regarded companies in the world for the 6th consecutive year.
  • On Mar. 30, 2016, the LEGO Group announced its 18th collection of LEGO Minifigures starring some of The Walt Disney Company’s most beloved characters – from Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland to Disney•Pixar favorites like The Incredibles and Toy Story.

Those are some pretty sure signs of success. So, if LEGO’s multi-platform video strategy ain’t broke, why fix it? Well, there are three key reasons.

First, 82% of LEGO’s social reach is on Facebook, 10% is on YouTube, and 8% is on Instagram, according to Tubular Labs. In other words, 11.1 million of LEGO’s 13.5 million followers are on Facebook, only 1.4 million are on YouTube, and 1.1 million are on Instagram. So, finding ways to leverage the close to a dozen pieces of video content already being created for YouTube each day and tailoring more of it for Facebook seems like a good idea.

Now, what do I mean by “tailoring” video content for Facebook? For starters, I mean you should upload your videos to Facebook natively instead of sharing your YouTube video to the social networking site. But, I also mean you should create shorter videos for Facebook. As we reported in December 2015, an analysis of 24,000 videos with more than 10,000 engagements, which had been posted on Facebook or YouTube in the previous 30 days, found that the ones on YouTube were nearly 15 minutes long – roughly 10 times longer than ones of Facebook, which were less than a minute-and-a-half long.

But there are other best practices for tailoring video content for Facebook. For example, users often quickly scroll through their News Feed looking for content to watch or share, so bring your story to life quickly. Promote your product or brand in the first few seconds. And since videos on Facebook autoplay with sound off, it’s essential to use enticing imagery to attract clicks even with the sound off. 

Unlike YouTube, Facebook lets you tag the Pages of people who appear in your video or that you want to make aware of your video to drive up organic distribution. So, you should take advantage of this feature. Like YouTube, Facebook also lets you use a call-to-action to invite people to visit a destination of your choice after viewing your video on Facebook, such as a website, where they can learn more, watch more, show now, or sign up. This makes it easy for people to connect more deeply with the stories and content they love and drives referrals back to you.

Online Promotion for 2017 LEGO Batman Movie

Second, the brand has a lot riding on the success of the upcoming LEGO Batman Movie, which will be released on Feb. 10, 2017. That’s why the brand released two trailers instead of the standard one. The first is entitled “The LEGO Batman Movie Teaser – Batcave.”

And the second is entitled “The LEGO Batman Movie Teaser – Wayne Manor.”

It’s worth noting that the first video has 218,000 views and 5,853 engagements (likes plus comments plus shares) for an engagement rate (engagements per 100 views) of 2.6%. The second video has 2.2 million views and 50,400 engagements, for an engagement rate of 2.2%. Another version of the first video, “The LEGO Batman Movie – Batcave Teaser Trailer [HD],” which was uploaded to the Warner Bros. Pictures channel on YouTube, has 4.2 million views and 127,000 engagements, for an engagement rate of 3.0%. And another version of the second video, “The LEGO Batman Movie Teaser – Wayne Manor,” which was uploaded to The LEGO Batman Movie page on Facebook, has 3.8 million views and 88,200 engagements, for an engagement rate of 2.3%.

Now, these are significantly higher engagement rates that LEGO’s 0.9% in February 2016. And they are more in line with Red Bull’s 2.3% engagement rate, PlayStation’s 3.3% engagement rate, and even Tasty’s 2.7% engagement rate that month. So, has LEGO discovered the secret to improving its engagement rate, does Warner Bros. Pictures deserve the credit for the improvement, or were these two videos anomalies that both brands will find hard to duplicate? As I indicated in my column on BuzzFeed’s video distribution strategy, the answer can be found if LEGO or Warner Bros. Pictures start measuring the Conversation Rate, Amplification Rate, and Applause Rate of their videos across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Vine, and other platforms. 

Third, LEGO seems to have given up on Vine. It appears that the brand only created 15 vines between June 2014 and December 2015. So, perchance this is the perfect time to dramatically change the brand’s strategy for this video platform. A report entitled “Why Brands Need a Multi-Platform Video Strategy” presented by Tubular Labs and Ogilvy at Cannes Lions in June 2015 said – among other things:

  • “Vine views are driven almost exclusively by Vine influencers, such as Logan Paul.”
  • “Fans on Vine follow influencers almost exclusively.”
  • “Working with influencers for branded content is the most effective way to reach a mass and engaged audience on Vine.
  • “Majority of the views on the platform are driven by influencers; fewer random ‘viral’ hits on Vine from smaller creators.”
  • “Work with influencers, rather than investing in original content.”

Influencer Marketing: A Quick Win for Brands

A whitepaper entitled “Top Tips for a Winning Video Marketing Strategy in 2015” was published more recently by ReelSEO. Among other things, it said, “Collaborate with influencers.” It added, “An endorsement or mention of a product from an influencer can be extremely powerful for brands looking to tap into a specific audience.” The whitepaper advised, “What works fantastically well on the social video platforms is when a creator really believes in the product they are endorsing, and that genuine passion gets to shine through. Brands need to reach out to creators who are able to take on the brief and expand on it with their own persona and voice, in a way that their audience will recognize and respect.”

Will this strategy work for LEGO? The keys to success will be:

  • Finding the right influencers on Vine who can impact your business and your buyer’s decision making process.
  • Planning initiatives that will let you work together to create content that reflects the LEGO Brand values: Innovation, creativity, fun, learning, caring, and quality.
  • Using the right KPIs to prioritize outreach, measure the impact of your engagement, and report on the efficacy of your efforts.

Okay, so that doesn’t sound easy. Well, the brand’s own Vines haven’t worked fantastically well, so what does the brand have to lose by reaching out to creators who have a genuine passion for the toy building brick? Let me know what you think in the comments area below.