Will Lack of Data Slow the Success of Micro Video Marketing?

11.06.2014 by Eric Wachs

In my last post, I mentioned the Data Little Secret behind social media and asked if the lack of consistent metrics and the inability to track views will be deterrents that keep brands from investing in Micro Video Marketing on Vine or Instagram.

The short answer is no but there are currently good, bad and ugly sides to Micro Video metrics. As you will read in this piece, while there is just enough data available for advertisers to spend on these marketing campaigns, there is room for significant improvement.

Il Buono, Il Malo, Il Cattivo

Micro Video Metrics are a lot like an old Spaghetti Western.

Let’s start with the ugly and the bad.

1. Measuring reach: TV has Nielsen. Radio has Arbitron. Standard Desktop has a myriad of choices. While the methodologies of these systems have changed over the years (from diaries to people meters to time-shifted viewing), there are “relatively” agreed upon systems for measuring audience size.

In the world of social media and even more so mobile advertising, one consistent methodology to measure audience size has yet to be established.  Speak with five different companies and you will hear 10 different approaches.

That’s an ugly reality that is frustrating for marketers!!

If that’s ugly, what’s bad?

2. Tracking Views: Quite simply, current API’s and publicly available data do not report the actual number of times a post was viewed on Vine or Instagram.

Interestingly, when you post a piece of content to your Facebook timeline, you have no idea how many times it was viewed by your friends. But did you know that if you are in a private group and post content there, Facebook shows the number of views? I realized this when a picture was posted to the North American QPR Fan page just after our club were promoted to the Premier League and a few of us at the local pub did a bit of celebrating. Right there in the corner of the post was a metric tracking views.

Facebook Tracking Views in a Private Group Post

Facebook tracks the number of times a post is viewed, but only in private groups.

I would love to see this on Vine or Instagram.  As would advertisers.  But do the social networks themselves want this information readily available is the real question.

Now for the “good”.

3. Engagement or Validation Metrics (Shares, Likes and Comments): In the world of micro video marketing, where tracking views and actual reach isn’t possible, advertisers can and must rely on validation metrics.  I prefer validation over engagement for two reasons. First – does a “like” equal engagement? A share? A comment?  Debatable at best. Secondly – what is the motivation for individuals posting content on social media? Is it engagement?  Or is it validation by their audience?

Regardless, a decent collection of validation metrics is published in AdWeek’s Video Watch section. They list 10 brands that are using Instagram Video and analyze how often the audience validates each post. While far from a perfect metric, engagement or validation rate (interactions/followers) is a baseline to help understand the success of micro video content posted to Instagram.

Red Bull’s post (3.1% rate) was an excellent example of using 15 seconds of video as an appetizer for their main course of fun-filled footage from their Who is JOB 4.0 series (looks like a blast!). And I can already hear my wife asking me about Michael Kors (2.7%) after their 15 second story about packing for a vacation.

Micro Video Marketing from Red Bull and Michael Kors

Adweek’s Video Watch section

So while there is a data little secret behind social media metrics, Micro Video marketing can effectively introduce audiences to all different types of content. Metrics will improve as technology improves and more companies dedicate engineering resources to solve this challenge.

In next week’s post we will remain focused on validation metrics by analyzing content posted by social media “stars” as well as advertisers and see what types of trends we can identify.

Until then, enjoy that Red Bull content and let us know what you think about Micro Video marketing. You can tweet us @FullBottleGroup.

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