On average, U.S. adults spend nearly six hours per day watching video, but by 2024, digital video will account for more than 50% of total video viewing for the first time. Time spent with social video is up +10% year over year (eMarketer, April 2022). But what’s going to make audiences want to press play — and keep coming back for more?
Social video does a lot more than just entertain. Video content like Vox Media’s — from Vox’s informative and inspiring Explained series to heartwarming pet stories from The Dodo, and so much more in between — provide quality, scale, and engagement. We offer the same authentic connections as beloved influencers but in a more trusted, brand-safe environment. It’s for these reasons that social video checks all the boxes for both audiences and brands — right now, and as we move into the future.
As the media world continues to fragment, it is critical for marketers to understand what qualities make an effective video partner to maximize ROI. Leveraging social video data from Tubular Labs, we’ve created a guide for marketers to identify the optimal social video partner — one that can successfully move viewers down the purchase funnel.
START WITH SCALE:
In the social video world, there are an endless number of properties and creators, but only a select few connect with a sizable audience. Meaningful reach ensures a robust audience is learning about your brand and can effectively grow brand awareness.
TARGET YOUNG, INFLUENTIAL AUDIENCES:
The right digital video partner can draw out hard-to-reach Gen Z audiences who hold and influence large spending power. Gen Z watches significantly less traditional TV compared to older generations, spending the least amount of their day with TV. (eMarketer, April 2022) By the end of 2024, the number of Gen Z TV viewers will have declined -21% from 2019. (eMarketer, April 2021-2022) Meanwhile, social video is deeply integrated into their daily routines. Half of all Gen Zers say social media is an important information source for shopping decisions. (GfK, “FutureBuy 2021; US Market Findings Highlights”, July 2021 via eMarketer)
That being said, young viewers are particular about the brands they invite into their inner “social circles”. Only social video brands that find a delicate balance between entertainment + utility and authenticity + relatability make the cut.
FOCUS ATTENTION ON IN-MARKET VIEWERS:
Unlike other forms of video viewing, social video behavior can be correlated to shopping data, allowing marketers to tie video viewership into the entire consumer purchase journey and make more informed partnership decisions. Data specifically from Tubular Labs can bridge the gap between social video viewing and shopping behaviors, enabling marketers to approach social video in a targeted fashion and convert viewers into buyers. Selecting brands that reach viewers who are in-market for your product or service is crucial for building partnerships that drive brand favorability.
LOOK FOR INFLUENCER-LEVEL ENGAGEMENT:
Just as influencers have established trust and built loyal followings through shared interests, the most successful social video publishers have developed similar, authentic relationships with fans centered on passion points. But it’s important to note that social video publishers offer something influencers can’t always promise - a more brand-safe environment and lower risk of alienation.
This unmatched feeling of trust and relatability means that the most beloved social video publishers generate levels of engagement that surpass influencers, which promotes purchase consideration and encourages consumers to take action on behalf of brands.
VOX MEDIA IS WELL-POSITIONED TO MOVE THE NEEDLE FOR BRANDS
REACHING A SIZABLE AUDIENCE MONTH AFTER MONTH
Strong brands with established video franchises plus quality storytelling have sparked a massive social following for Vox Media and secured its position as a leader in social video scale. Vox Media reaches more monthly unique video viewers across YouTube and Facebook in comparison to some of the other highest-quality media companies in the world.
WIELDING INFLUENCE ON THE YOUNGEST GENERATION
Vox Media delivers stronger engagement with adults ages 18-24 than all competitive portfolios and an overwhelming number of Vox Media brands over-index for connecting with a Gen Z audience. This is a testament to Vox Media’s deep understanding of Gen Z’s daily consumption habits, content preferences, and unique perspective, resulting in a powerful bond with the next generation of consumers.
REACHING A MULTI-DIMENSIONAL AUDIENCE THAT’S MORE LIKELY TO SHOP
Leveraging Tubular Labs’ Consumer Insights data, we know Vox Media viewers have a higher propensity to be in-market compared to similar audiences. Viewers are reliant on Vox Media content to pursue their passions, and they ultimately shop for products that bring those passions to life. For example, The Verge viewers are 4.2x more likely to shop for video games while SB Nation viewers are 2.3x more likely to shop for sports & outdoor gear than the average social video viewer.
But the Vox Media audience is multi-faceted, shopping for unexpected products and services. Polygon viewers are 2.1x more likely to shop for grocery & gourmet food products and 1.4x more likely to shop for beauty & personal care products. Meanwhile, The Dodo’s audience is 5.8x more likely to visit auto brands’ websites than the average social video viewer. This presents an opportunity for non-endemic brands to drive in-market viewers down the purchase funnel.
Source: Tubular Labs | Consumer Insights | Last 6 months as of 7/31/2022 | Amazon shopping behavior & website visitation | Auto brand affinity is an average of affinity to toyota.com, honda.com, ford.com, chevrolet.com, kia.com, nissanusa.com, gm.com, bmwusa.com, mbusa.com, jeep.com
A TRUSTED, BRAND SAFE ENVIRONMENT THAT RIVALS INFLUENCERS
Influencers are successful because they’ve built loyal fan bases who unite over their own interests. While influencers connect with fans over a single interest, Vox Media delivers engagement across an entire portfolio. Each brand has cultivated a unique, meaningful relationship with its viewers around niche passion points. And even more importantly, the Vox Media portfolio is perceived as more trustworthy and relatable than influencers, which translates to stronger engagement per video. Engagements include behaviors such as likes, comments, and shares - actions that demonstrate that viewers have watched, processed, and gone out of their way to react to the content
Looking at the travel category in particular, Vox Media generates +69% more engagements per video on Instagram than the average US influencer. But how does Vox Media compare to a single, well-established influencer? Julia Gal has made a name for herself in travel, uploading nearly 500 travel videos over the last 6 months. She might be a full-time world traveler, but Vox Media delivers 5K more engagements per video on Instagram across travel content.
This higher level of engagement signifies three things:
- Vox Media has more significantly captured the attention of viewers such that they’re more likely to stop, think about each video, and share a reaction.
- Viewers are more supportive of Vox Media videos, eager to like the content or express their thoughts for all other social media users to see.
- Vox Media storytelling is more trustworthy as viewers are willing to have their name or social handle publicly associated with the content.
AVERAGE ENGAGEMENT PER VIDEO - FACEBOOK:
AVERAGE ENGAGEMENT PER VIDEO - INSTAGRAM:
AVERAGE ENGAGEMENT PER VIDEO - YOUTUBE:
As marketers look to make consumers out of viewers, it’s imperative to consider the key characteristics of an effective social video partner as outlined above. Start with scale to drive brand awareness, consider audience demographics and psychographics to promote brand favorability, and seek high engagement to encourage viewers to take action. The most effective social video partner will deliver on this winning formula.
About Tubular Labs
Tubular Labs, the leader in global social video intelligence and measurement, provides a unified view of the content, interests, and behaviors of audiences across YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitch, Twitter and more. With the largest social video database covering over 11 billion videos and 30 million creators, Tubular Labs helps hundreds of household name brands, leading agencies and the largest media properties grow their business and lead on social by anticipating trending content, new creators, and what’s next in culture. For more information, visit www.tubularlabs.com.