In an effort to get marketers to look beyond sheer views and impressions as an indicative measure of marketing success, Minneapolis agency Solve created a completely blank, untitled YouTube video. With a total pre-roll ad buy of $1,400, the four minutes of white space and silence garnered an impressive 100,000+ views for the entire marketing campaign.
Beyond Total Views: Determining Effective Social Media Engagement For Sponsored Content
While the blank video experiment proves its point regarding the sometimes arbitrary total views and impressions, it does raise an important question: if views and follows can be easily feigned or bought, what then are the best ways to gauge campaign effectiveness for sponsored content? Furthermore, amidst mounting data suggesting the ineffectiveness of traditional paid media options (i.e. banner ads, Trueview ads) coupled with the rise of ad-block software, what is the best way for brands and companies to effectively market online and create meaningful social media engagement for sponsored or branded content?
What Is Effective Social Media Engagement?
Effective social media engagement for sponsored content goes beyond initial video or total page views into consumer or audience behavior. Though it is important to start with these traditional reach metrics when evaluating for total possible exposure, executing effective online marketing moves quickly from views, followers, subscribers to evaluating the actions taken upon being exposed to the sponsored content.
Effective social media engagement includes or results in:
- Likes - perhaps the most basic form of audience endorsement or approval, the amount of +1s, thumbs up, hearts or likes is still a fair measure of social media engagement
- Sharing content - the best content is worth sharing; how many retweets, shares, or "re-grams" (sharing on Instagram) does your content generate?
- Tagging others - along with sharing, tagging others gets the original paid content directly (and now, organically) into the attention of related audiences/demographics
- Commenting - beyond views or impressions, does the content move and prompt the viewer to take action by leaving their personal input?
- Positive sentiment - regarding the nature of comments left, what is the overarching view or attitude?
- Direct response - are audiences clicking over to your website, signing up, or responding to your CTA (call-to-action)?