5 Social Video Marketing Mistakes

Posted on by Ben Legg

Online video is being viewed with increasing frequency throughout the world. By 2020 more than 80% of all consumer Internet traffic will come from online videos, according to Cisco. With linear TV declining at 10% per year, the entire TV advertising market—$200 billion per year—will soon be programmatic. Therefore, marketers should be perfecting how they run programmatic video ads now…. before it is too late.

Take a look at the statistics from social media companies. YouTube has 1.3 billion users, with an average of one billion mobile views a day. Facebook reports that its total potential video viewing audience is 1.7 billion people each month. And according to Twitter, 82% of its users watch video content on the platform, with 90% of those views happening on mobile devices.

So what’s a marketer to do? With eyeballs moving from linear TV to social video, the advertising budgets are moving there, too – but many marketers are, frankly, doing it all wrong. Here are the five biggest mistakes marketers are making with social video today.

Mistake #1: Broad Targeting

The beauty of social video for marketers is that it enables them to target more precise audiences with specific messages based on consumers’ differences – relationship with brand, past purchases, predicted future purchases, media consumption, shopping preferences, location and more. Without precision targeting, slow witted marketers will be left targeting lower value consumers—the ones their competitors didn’t want to target—with more generic messages that will have a much lower effect.

Mistake #2: Not Bidding Intelligently

All social ad platforms are auctions that allow you to bid differently for every interaction with every consumer. Therefore, if you are going to ensure a positive ROI, you have to understand the value of each interaction with each consumer. Every time we see an advertiser increase the specific audiences they are targeting by three, with tailored messaging and bids for those smaller audiences, the ROI on media spend increases by 20-50%. That enables them to keep increasing the ROI on social media spend, despite CPM (Cost Per Mille/ Thousand Ads) price increases of around 20% per year on Facebook and elsewhere. Marketers who keep on mass marketing won’t be able to justify paying 20% more each year for ads that become less and less effective, and won’t be able to afford to engage with their target customers. This is corporate suicide.

Mistake #3: Overinvesting in “Mass Market” Production

The Mad Men days of taking six months and charging over $1M to make one TV ad for a mass audience are dead. At least, they are for intelligent marketers. We now live in a user-generated content world, especially within social media. Consumers don’t expect studio quality perfection aimed at the whole country. They expect messages tailored to themselves, and are totally chilled about video quality. Therefore, what works best is making multiple videos, with lower production costs, but with messages targeted to smaller audiences.

Mistake #4: Not Tailoring Formats

Frustratingly, each social platform offers its own unique video formats. These are often counterintuitive to those found on traditional TV, for example videos with the sound turned off. I have seen dozens of TV ads reformatted for use on social media, and all of them have failed. Social media videos must be purpose-built for the specific platform. For example, only 1% of Facebook users click play on a video ad, meaning that 99% of users will just see a silent video for three seconds. So, to be truly effective, you need to make your point in those first few seconds.

Mistake #5: “Set and Forget: Campaigns

The reality is that not all videos will work, and not all audiences will react the same way. Therefore, you need to have a content farm continually churning out new videos, and some hard core analytics geeks continually segmenting and resegmenting audiences.

Ultimately, you can’t be satisfied until—one day—you are engaging with each customer and potential customer in a perfectly tailored way, based on a vast array of data about them. That is the journey you should set your marketing department heading on

Ben Legg is CEO of Adparlor.

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