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.
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?
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:
Top Tech YouTuber, Austin Evans, for a sponsored behind-the-scenes look at Castrol’s Virtual Drift campaign – check his channel for a look at likes (vs. dislikes), comments, and overall social media engagement. See post here for our exclusive interview spotlight with Austin Evans.
In addition to total views, impressions, subscribers, or followers, evaluate the number of comments left, how many shares, likes, and the percentage of viewers clicking through (CTR – click through rate) to additional content. All of these actions indicate effective social media engagement including both deeper engagement and discovery beyond views served or inbound traffic. In order to accomplish effective social media engagement, marketers need to create content that’s worth sharing accompanied with the right CTAs.
For marketers seeking to elicit meaningful social media engagement beyond views and impressions, influencer marketing presents a targeted approach that succinctly leverages social media “stars” or digital influencers (see our posts on social media influencers for top YouTubers, bloggers, Snapchatters, Viners and Instagrammers) to create sponsored content that is especially effective at eliciting social media engagement. When compared to traditional forms of paid advertising or marketing, marketing with influencers has proven to yield one of the highest returns on investment (ROI). In a recent Adweek article, influencer marketing produced on average a yield of $6.50 in earned media value for every paid dollar. For some advertiser categories (retail and CPG), influencer marketing yielded more than $10+ for every dollar spent.
With influencer marketing, companies strategically partner with social media influencers in order to achieve both reach (views and impressions) and effective social media engagement. User-generated content (UGC) is proven to outperform traditional company-derived marketing content four times to one. When brands team up with top Instagrammers or YouTubers, the social media influencer-generated sponsored content presents one of the best ways to reach untapped audiences for effective brand engagement.