Social Video Seeding Vs. Video Ad Networks. Do your homework.
So you’re looking for a video seeding or syndication partner… Unlike people (though this is also debatable) not all video seeding companies are created equal, and a number of brands have been asking the difference. Why is there such a jump in cost per view between video seeding or syndication vendors?
Seeding typically falls under two camps: social video seeding and video ad networks. Considering social media is moving in the direction of video for 2011 this is a really important question to answer. In the coming months it will be extremely imperative for brands dipping their feet into branded entertainment video to have an acute understanding of the difference between the two when deciding the best fit for a campaign.
Social Video Seeding:
A social video seeding company is social marketing for brand videos. Strategies focus on earned placements for blogs and social media (Facebook, Twitter, Forums) leveraging influencers, communities, and individuals. Earned placement refers to publicity gained through promotional efforts other than advertising, as opposed to paid media, which refers to publicity gained through advertising (pre-roll, post-roll, auto-play) source. Social video becomes important when your clients end goal is brand sentiment, user-sharing, and viewer engagement. In a perfect world videos best suited for this type of seeding have light and clever branding, entertaining hooks, and leverage a meme or online influencer/web personality. A great example of this would be 2010’s Levis Walk Across America campaign.
Video Ad Networks:
This is the online banner ad of video, the equivalent to a billboard on the internet (for you display media people). Often the video shows up in form of an auto-play, pre-roll, or post-roll for existing online content. This is a good fit for videos with overt branding, not supported by compelling content- a very commercial/television feel. Often times these networks post the campaign videos on proprietary players and views counted are not limited to the front-facing counters on video sites (Youtube, Vimeo)-Front-facing meaning you can physically *see* the number of views in the counter. This is very much a rich, promoted effort opposed to a highly engaged, user initiated view. Something to be weary of when working with a video ad network: they often try to portray themselves as “social,” however they’re not. A good rule of thumb to avoid this is, “you get what you pay for”- If it sounds to good to be true chances are, it is.
Tip! Ask smart questions:
+ Are views guaranteed?
+ Where are views counted? (Front-facing Youtube or behind the scenes/proprietary player)
+ Are views auto-play or user-initiated? (forced vs. voluntary views)
+ What metrics are included in reporting?
+ How is seeding campaign tracked? Third-party listening platforms or human eyes and ears?