Published on May 12th, 2017
by Nathalie Nuta
Last week, we held our first Industry Summit discussing the Future of Social Media Monetization lead by our founder and CEO, Tania Yuki. During the first quarter of 2017, Branded Content posts made up .5% of all U.S. posts, while driving 81M Total Actions for the quarter. There is a lot of upside and many unknowns. However, there is opportunity for this content to grow and knowing how to value the content and measure the success is key.
In the second half of the Summit, Tania was joined by, Shareablee’s Product Manager Ann Sciandra, who led breakout sessions focusing on the best ways to incorporate, measure and implement branded content.
To date we’ve collected more than 2 billion users on social. With this information, create a behavioral map of what the world is watching, engaging with and finding valuable across your existing customer database and beyond. This is incredibly actionable when we think about monetizing social strategies.
Across industries, fan count is still being used as a key metric for measuring the success of a page, even though there isn’t any real, inherent value. We encourage you to look at Unique Engaged Audience as a true audience metric. If you look at the number of unique people actually engaging with brands, the picture is very different. Publishers truly do own the majority of social interactions on the internet. It’s an industry still in growth mode and grew about 8% year over year.
From a sharing perspective across Facebook and Twitter, Professional Sports Leagues held 82% of the shares across industries. If we look beyond Sports, the Publishers and TV Networks lead in content shares. Sharing is still on the up. Consumer engagement has stayed flat but content is becoming more shareable. It’s a much more popular and dominant way of content discovery.
Many partners have asked, “What is the value of a TV Network's brand over individual networks shows?” Shows typically outperform networks, but in early 2017 we saw a switch driven by ESPN and Disney. This speaks to brand value and is something to continue watching.
Video engagement has grown more than 10X between 2015 and 2016 and Live Video Actions have grown more than 1210% in the same period. Traditional publishers were the early adopters.
Breakout Session Questions:
The second portion of our Summit, led by Ann, asked attendees to attempt to answer the following questions; this is a collection of those questions and responses.
What are the best practices for evaluating a Branded Content partner?
Noah Mallen, Head of Social of MEC suggest partners with psychographic data are always “very interesting.” “What kind of creative P.O.V. do [potential partners] bring to the table and how will a client be able to leverage this partnership.”
What elements do you take into consideration when suggestion or selecting partners?
Phillip Saporito at Deep Focus proposed that while there is a lot of “guestimating, reaching is a great indicator.” He noted that making sure content aligns with a brand or an audience is a must and historical performance is a strong indicator of future success.
Matt Desnstedt, of Bleacher Report added that elaborating on what a partner is looking for in terms of content and the emotions and feelings that they want to be associated with is how Bleacher Report choose branded partners. For example, partners have asked to be associated “clutch game winning moments.” Or, once a brand came to Bleacher Report asking to be associated with positive nostalgic moments.
What could a rate card for branded content look like? What are the variables?
Saporito contributed the right mix of the following criteria: production costs, demographics and target audience are how to determine the appropriate rate card. Katherine Ricci at OMD added that full transparency is a must.
To wrap up the summit, our GM of Media, Gloria Stitt, moderated a panel discussion between Noah Mallin, Katherine Ricci and David Iudica. Each panelists came from a brand, agency or publisher and brought a nuanced perspective to the discussions. Here are a few key takeaways.
Katherine suggested that when working with a brand or influencer, there are three key main topics to consider when meeting a new client: 1) Awareness of the idea, 2) consideration of the idea and 3) Conversion of the idea. Noah Mallin added, that “even when you know it’s the right decision suggest testing [the idea], so you and your client can come to the same decision.”
When you don’t have the luxury of testing ideas and strategy with potential partners, David suggests an alternative. He noted that at CNN from an advertisers perspective when breaking news comes out it’s safe to go black than test new content. It helps [CNN] control or plan for downfalls with brands.”
On the topic of measuring success, panelists called out some of the triggers that are important to be mindful of. Noah noted that it depends on the outcome you are looking for since “awareness needs exposure and positive responsiveness.” He adds, “Look at duration and completion. What action was taken off of the content, a click or purchase? “
Katherine added that having done “a lot of media, three metrics is too much. Choose one.” She goes on to add, “there is no magic metric to measure everything against. It’s all custom and depends on what a client is attempting to move. Campaigns must be set up for success.”