In April, 186.1 million Americans watched online video content—that’s almost 60% of the entire country’s population. It’s no wonder, then, that companies like Twitter and Pandora are introducing video marketing capabilities to lure in brands and advertisers. Each site boasts a user base of more than 250 million people worldwide and what better way to reach these users than with branded online video.
According to YouTube’s Playbook for Brands, 700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter every minute—that’s more than one million videos per day. Twitter understands that brands need better ways to reach target markets with online video content, so the social network has been testing new video features that may soon become available to a larger pool of advertisers.
Twitter hasn’t formally introduced this first feature, though it seems to be up and running for Seth MacFarlane’s A Million Ways to Die in the West. Re/code recently reported that typing in a particular hashtag will trigger a pop-up that allows you to embed a video for your tweet. This marriage between video and hashtags should excite brands looking for increased engagement on Twitter as the social network’s own data shows that tweets with videos are more likely to get retweeted than text based tweets and that hashtag-led tweets are only 16% likely to be retweeted, compared to videos’ 38%.
This feature gives fans the option of attaching the film trailer to their tweet whenever they include the hashtags #AMillionWays or #AMillionWaystoDieintheWest. The feature is also working for another film Blended.
Giving users a one-click option to embed related videos in their tweets will no doubt have a positive effect on organic video sharing via social media. People love watching online video and as a result, many Twitter users may include these videos in hopes of earning more retweets and favorites. It’s a win-win, or advertising symbiosis as we call it—both the sharer and the brand benefit. Hopefully, Twitter will expand on this offering and make it widely available in the coming months.
The next feature is an addition to Twitter’s one-click video format which was introduced in early May. Now, brands and advertisers can include a “view more videos” call-to-action at the end of an embedded clip. A click-through leads consumers to a landing page that pulls in a list of all of the videos that a brand has used.
Budweiser recently announced its upcoming “Made in America” music festival lineup via Twitter and used a series of video-related tweets to build up a narrative around the event. When viewers clicked-through to the landing page, the videos appeared chronologically at the top of the page to reveal each artist.
To keep up with its rivals in the video advertising space, Twitter has expanded its video offerings and is demonstrating its ability to cater to the ever-changing needs of digital advertisers.
Pandora is even throwing its hat into the ring with its own original online video content. A few weeks ago, the company brought on Mike Spinella as the new senior director of original content. He will lead three Pandora Original Content teams in Oakland, Los Angeles and New York that will create and curate audio and video content.
Pandora has already seen success with its Toyota Sessions, a custom Pandora station featuring profiles of emerging artists’ lives and careers through audio and video content and connected concert events. Historically, Pandora’s original content integrates the brand on the site, but the music streaming service may eventually venture off-site.
“As we work with more brands, there may be extensions of original content beyond Pandora’s site/app…The goal of having original content live off the site in addition to on Pandora is to increase the reach and distribution,” said Pandora in an email exchange with MediaPost’s P.J. Bednarski, Spinella and Browning, senior vice president, strategic solutions.
Another factor that will draw in marketers is Pandora’s sizeable mobile audience—80% of Pandora’s listening happens on smartphones. As mobile video marketing continues to grow, Pandora’s value proposition may become too great to ignore. Plain and simple, Pandora knows what music fans want; pair that with video capabilities and you have yourself a recipe for brand success.
Twitter and Pandora know that brands and advertisers are looking for new, effective ways to reach consumers with online video content, and they’ve buffed up their video offerings as a result. Hopefully, we’ll see an increased focus on branded video marketing as companies continue to innovate within this space.