Marketers risk falling behind the social video trend

New Datafication series report on social video adoption among Australian consumers finds brand engagement rises with video over static images

Marketers are failing to take advantage of the rising engagement opportunities available to them via social video channels such as Vine, Instagram Video and Snapchat, a new report claims.

The Secret Life of Social Video report produced by Sydney-based advertising agency, The Works, and the University of Technology Sydney, has looked into how Australians are using social media video by analysing more than 3.2 million geotagged images and videos from Instagram and Vine, as well as a survey of 4000 Snapchat users.

The study is part of the Datafication series into how Australians are using social media channels.

The report found there are 1.4 video posts made on Instagram per week, compared with 2.8 images per week, and predicted 800,000 Instagram Videos will be posted this year. The peak usage time for Instagram Video was 9pm on Sunday, while for Vine it’s 11am on Saturday.

According to the report, women are the more active users across all platforms when it comes to video. They represented 70 per cent on Vine, 61 per cent on Snapchat, and 58 per cent on Instagram Video. The authors also reported 47 per cent of Snapchat users were between 16 and 25 years of age.

Popular content on these social sites varies depending on platform, with video music and dance content proving most common on Instagram. Funny videos were the top choice on Vine and Snapchat, followed selfies and family/friends related content.

The report also looked into how consumers were engaging with branded video content and claimed Australian brands that have invested in the channel are showing signs of increased engagement over pure image-based interactions.

The top 50 social pages listed by Social Bakers were analysed with a brand engagement score for each created. This score was a combination of the number of Likes a post received to that of any comments, divided by the number of followers.

Read more: Brands must look for emotional connection and shareability, says Buzzfeed

Woolworths topped the brand engagement index, followed by Pizza Hut, Xbox Australia, KFC, Flight Centre and Vegemite. When engagement levels for images and videos were separated for Woolworths and Pizza Hut, their videos showed greater brand engagement.

Creative partner and leader of the Datafication project, Douglas Nicol, said the findings should be a wake-up call to marketers looking to better engage with consumers.

“It is ironic given the high penetration of mobile devices in Australia that marketers are underexploiting social video as a means to interact with consumers, particularly the highly sought after younger demographic,” he commented.

“Social video is marketing Viagra. It allows social sharing, content and messaging meaning brands can have a one-to-one relationship with consumers. It’s still early days, but evidence from both Australia and overseas shows those investing in social video are reaping the rewards with greater engagement levels.

“The message… is clear: Marketers and brands need to back social video or risk falling behind those already dipping their toe in the water.”

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