by Gil Sommer
In a candid Q3 earnings call, Mark Zuckerberg laid his cards on the table with a vision of change for Facebook that signaled an increased focus on user-generated content (UGC). With this move, the days of Facebook acting as a source of referral traffic are gone, which means the opportunity is ripe for anyone invested in social to use video to finally grow consumer engagement outside its ever-closing walls.
These days, adults spend, on average, more than 90 minutes each day watching digital video — a number that’s increased almost 50% since 2015. Video provides that immersive experience viewers have grown accustomed to on social, and the appetite for video is only growing on the content side, as readers now want to experience narratives visually as well.
For those who haven’t yet made the investment, finding the right opportunities to extend written narratives into fast and digestible, interactive content will be paramount to engaging readers for longer periods of time. Solutions like dynamic video sections allow for additional exploration opportunities with video recommendations, and give readers a deeper content experience, while also generating revenue via video advertising.
With this shift, marketers will naturally have more opportunities to spread the media mix. However, advertisers aren’t likely to re-allocate mobile video dollars without a plentiful supply of vertical inventory available, which has been a bit sparse outside of social media. The onus will fall to publishers to build a tech stack that can keep pace with the seamless experience both readers and advertisers have grown accustomed to.
Anyone wanting to successfully scale video on their own terms should focus on relevance (what works best for their audiences) and quality. Branded video content and syndication is a great way to deliver a seamless viewing experience at scale, since both the advertisement and the video content were created with the other in mind.
At the end of the day, brands want to be where viewers are, and as emerging video formats continue to grow and keep readers engaged for longer periods of time, advertisers will want to be part of this momentum.
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