Regular readers of Tubular Insights know that we’re focused on delivering strategic insights, critical data, tactical advice, and trends in the digital video marketing business. What you may not know is that we also track which articles get the most views and shares to ensure that we continue to focus on the most important topics that keep you, our readers, coming back for more analysis, tips, and developments. Hey, we’re data geeks as well as video marketers. So, we keep our ear to the ground before we open our mouths to offer our expert advice, guidance, and commentary about the world of social video.
So, let me share with you the feedback that you’ve given us. Hopefully, it will keep us all on the same page … at least until we draw the “paradigm shift” card and have to unlearn everything that we’ve learned about the best practices and strategies that worked in what we once called “the online video and internet marketing industries” and then need figure out what now works in the social video ecosystem. So, here are the 10 most viewed and shared articles by Tubular Insights from 2017, with some additional thoughts about what we’re likely to see in 2018:
Group Nine Media is a family of digital media brands (NowThis, The Dodo, Seeker, and Thrillist) built for the mobile, social, and video-first world. It generated 3.3B video views and 96M social actions against its content in April 2017, and is scaling up at a breakneck pace. Now, Group Nine hasn’t created a small handful of “general interest” destinations around each of its brands. Instead, it has created them around genres. It isn’t fragmenting its brands; it’s segmenting them.
This is a trend in the digital video marketing business that I expect to see other digital media brands adopt in 2018. In fact, UNILAD, BuzzFeed, The LADBible Group, Jungle Creations, and other leading Facebook video publishers are already segmenting their properties into several verticals instead of just stuffing a broader range of content into a giant, horizontal Facebook page. And I believe that this is the smart strategy for media companies and creators who want to survive what Jim Louderback calls “THE Facebook Feedpocalypse.”
L’Oréal is doing things right when it comes to influencer marketing – from smart segmentation to working with up-and-coming micro-influencers. Most brands already understand the value of working with influencers to advertise their products online, but L’Oréal goes one step further. But, if you haven’t read this article yet, take a look at the different aspects of L’Oréal’s strategy to find out what was working for them in 2017.
Will this continue to be a hot trend in 2018? Well, according to Google Trends, web search interest in the topic of “influencer marketing” passed web search interest in the topic of “content marketing” in mid-2016, passed web search interest in the topic of “social media marketing” in mid-2017, and remains significantly ahead of both of these topics in early 2018. So, yes, I expect “influencer marketing” to continue to be a hot trend this year.
Publishers and brands who want to step up their live content game don’t need to look any farther than Facebook Live. In 2017, we brought you 8 killer content ideas to make the most out of your Facebook Live strategy. And we provided a Facebook Live playbook that was packed full of the best advice to help brands, creators, agencies, and video marketing teams, get the most out of their content, distribution, and promotion strategy.
What about 2018? Well, Louderback interviewed two of the smartest researchers of the Facebook algorithm recently, and their advice was: “Don’t Panic.” Facebook has always targeted shares, comments and reactions when it comes to videos. Mark Robertson, the Founder of ReelSEO (now Tubular Insights), pointed out that “videos that aren’t engaging or inspiring won’t get much exposure, but that’s always been the case.# So, I expect that you’ll want to keep your Facebook Live playbook handy in 2018.
Animoto’s annual report on the state of social video marketing found that not only are 84% of viewers watching social video via mobile devices, but also that 64% of consumers make an informed purchase after watching branded social videos. What kind of video content were consumers most likely to like and share? Behind-the-scenes videos, funny videos, educational videos, and emotional videos.
Now, Animoto won’t update its annual report until this summer. So, we’ll have to wait until then to see if these trends go up, down, or sideways. However, I’d bet dollars to donuts that where consumers engage with branded videos daily may shift around from one social video platform to another, but the percentage of consumers making a purchase after watching branded social videos will increase.
Some brands pay up to $500,000 to get access to Kim Kardashian’s 103M Instagram followers, but is partnering with big-name influencers the best return on marketing investment for sponsored ad campaigns? Well, Kim’s Instagram post would need to generate $2 million in orders for a brand to see $1 in profit for every $1 it spent on her sponsored content.
In 2018, I’d recommend identifying 10 micro-influencers who don’t have Kim’s reach, but have an even greater impact on the purchase decisions of their followers. And see if pay these micro-influencers an average of less than $50,000 apiece, see if you can get $2 or $3 in profit for every $1 you spend on sponsored content.
Facebook branded video content is growing at nearly 500% year-on-year in the UK, and Jungle Creations is one of the biggest players in the market. In 2017, we took a look at its winning partnership strategy and spoke to Mitch Strong (Commercial Partnerships Director), and Melissa Chapman (CCO) about how the Jungle Creations works with partners to create sponsored video campaigns while remaining faithful to the JC brand.
In 2018, we’ll take another look. What will we see? I’d bet my last Oreo that Jungle Creations will continue to be one of the world’s most-viewed media properties and its Howlers will continue to rank well in the Animals & Pets genre on Facebook, VT will continue to rank well in the Entertainment genre, and Food Envy as well as Twisted will continue to rank well in the Food & Drink genre. Why? Because Animals & Pets, Entertainment, as well as Food & Drink are “good for people’s well-being.”
In 2017, we wrote about how yogurt brand Chobani was partnering with publishers and creators on a series of highly successfully sponsored video campaigns. In 2018, I expect to look at other brands. On my shortlist are Pepsi, Adidas, and Vauxhall. But, let us know if there are other ones that you’d like us to examine.
Following VidCon 2017, we noted that each of the significant seven social video platforms has a different personality, so each one should play a different role in your upcoming marketing plans.
In 2018, I’d bet the farm that the social video market remains segmented, not fragmented. So, it will be worth taking another look at the significant seven video platforms of 2018 and see what’s changed.
In 2017, we wrote, “Both Facebook and YouTube have announced some pretty important changes to their video advertising formats well in advance. So what do marketers need to know to keep ahead of the game?” One of those changes was Facebook’s announcement that it would bring sound to videos in the News Feed and the other was YouTube’s announcement that it would stop supporting 30-second unskippable ads.
In 2018, we could easily run a story under virtually the same headline. Although the first paragraph would focus on Facebook’s latest changes to the News Feed and YouTube’s latest changes to the Partner Program, the second paragraph could repeat something that was said almost a year ago: “Facebook’s mantra for developers has long been “move fast and break things,” and “YouTube changes at a rate of 33% a year.”
In April 2017, Tubular tracked 8 million influencers who collectively drove 759 billion video views. This compared to 180 billion total monthly views for media and entertainment organizations, and 24 billion views for brands. That’s why every brand needed an influencer strategy for their marketing campaigns.
In 2018, we can update these numbers. But, we should probably focus more attention on micro-influencers. As Allison Stern, the Co-Founder and CMO of Tubular Labs, noted during a recent webinar, “Last year, we told video marketers to use Bethany Mota not Tina Fey. This year, we’d advise them to find the next Bethany Mota.”
Well, there you have it – the 10 most viewed and shared articles by Tubular Insights from 2017. But, let us know what stories you’d like to see in 2018. As always, we want to continue providing strategic insights, critical data, tactical advice, and trends in the digital video marketing business. Your feedback will enable us to focus on the most important topics in a rapidly changing industry.