Skip to content

About that pivot to “video, video, video”

October 18, 2018

April, 2016. As a yield strategy, I launched a video a day for the entire month on Colgate’s Facebook page. It was all evergreen content, many of it from the Colgate in 13 seconds series I created, and it was all native. During the week the content was academic, during the weekend it was athletics/spirit/fun video content.

Everything was tagged and scheduled for 3:13pm. Same time each week. I sat back, expecting awesomeness.

April is a big time for a school. It is yield time, but also a time to get in front of high school juniors making their short list. They will apply to a school in less than 10 months, so they are in it. I wanted to get our content out to them. (You can steal this idea, it is easy.)

Then the numbers began popping it. The first video got 90,000 impressions before 5:00pm that day. It was April Fools, a Friday, and it was a 13 second video of the mascot shoveling a well=loved retired professor. I was surprised, but I thought the content was strong, and Facebook was rewarding native video. 90K was a lot, so I looked again all weekend.

By the end of the weekend, that video had 900K impressions. Saturday and Sunday’s video were on track for 100K views, too.

On Monday, I created a report and sent it around to some of our HiPPos. This plan was killing it. The few thousand adnits would surely have seen these, as would high school juniors, every alum on Facebook, and most of their friends.

What is an impression?

As you might have read, Facebook wasn’t being honest about impressions. After that month, I spent some time digging into the numbers. This included autoplays on mobile. So you’re scrolling through the feed and there’s a video that plays — at a time this was newish — so you watch for three seconds — view.

Each time that happens is a view. Times 90K.

I remember looking at another video that summer. It was of Ryan Seacrest talking to the camera from a back lot in Hollywood. He told the camera that people should attend Colgate’s reunion. The video was seen 27K times in 48 hours. When I looked into the numbers, I found two things:

1. 87% of the people had watched with the sound off.

We. Didn’t. Have. Captions.

So around 23K people watched a video of a man talking into a camera with no sound.

2. This was true of many of the other views from that April. People watched a few seconds of an academic video — with no sound — and Facebook gave us a hit.

A Facebook view is still at least 3 seconds.

YouTube is better. A view is 30 seconds, and you can’t watch a video to 30 seconds, hit refresh, and watch again.

You can on Facebook.

Look, we marketers put our marketing content on these platforms to generate awareness and then generate behavior. This is often refereed to as having a goal. The goal should never be an impression, but the impressions are needed to generate the behavior. If I want you to do something, I need you to see my ask.

Video is okay. It isn’t magic. It will get impressions, though they won’t be inflated by 900%, they are still made up. It shouldn’t be a view if the sound is off, or it is less than 30 seconds, or maybe even to the end.

Video for the sake of video is like a post on Twitter about your lunch: sure its content, but it serves no purpose.

Matt thinks digital and loves Curling. In that order. 

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: