Kia: ‘Video usage growing faster on Facebook than YouTube’

Kia is placing more branded videos on Facebook in response to how short-form content’s ubiquity on mobile devices is spurring viewer engagement on the channel at a faster rate than its YouTube efforts.

More and more videos are watched by people as they skim their News Feeds with Kia preferring the social network as the place for its shorter clips using both paid and earned media. Facebook revealed last month that the amount of video produced by brands in its News Feed rose 3.6 per cent year-on-year in 2014, an upswing that pushed many advertising experts to muse on the likelihood of an all-video News Feed.

For Kia, the explosion of video on Facebook is traceable to mobile's rise to prominence in the car purchase journey. Mark Hopkins marketing director at Kia Motors UK, told The Drum: “A lot of what we do now is around the shorter engagement customers want when they’re using mobile. People tend to use their desktops for research purposes and on mobile they’re often dual-screening when engaging with our content.

“Originally, videos would have been uploaded onto YouTube or on to our website. Now that video is becoming more commonplace online we’re seeing growth areas such as Facebook, Instagram and also Twitter. Traditionally, those channels were more non-video based but increasingly we’re seeing that consumer demand is to have video within them. We obviously follow that trend.”

Kia’s efforts blend a mix of Facebook’s autoplay videos alongside clips designed to be shared from Kia’s page taking a more prominent part in its push for awareness in a market where it lacks the awareness of its more established rivals. A larger video catalogue will also enhance its search prospects, drawing people to the brand at different points in the purchase cycle.

Much of Kia’s videos are, like its rivals, consumed during the latter stages of the car buying process when people have warmed to specific brands and models. Enjoyment factors rather than practical concerns are becoming more important to prospective buyers, a shift well suited to the high impact nature of shorter posts.

These videos benefit from tighter targeting on Facebook, which requires people to log-in to watch content. While YouTube does not yet offer this granularly, audiences can be targeted by verticals and because of the nature of the platform are more likely to be engaged in content or which they have actively searched.

The speed at which Kia is adapting its content for Facebook’s more bite-sized occasions reflects the social network’s speedy transformation into a global video hub. From a standing start in 2012, the business is emerging as a serious contender to Google’s YouTube with the number of videos uploaded on the former surpassing the latter for the first time last November, according to a Socialbakers study of 20,000 Facebook pages.

Despite Facebook’s growth, YouTube still takes a larger slice of the video pie. In October, Comscore reported that Google held a video audience of 162.3 million unique viewers while Facebook had 93.8 million. It is this dynamic of reach and growth on both channels that Kia’s Hopkins is tasked with balancing bigger chunks of its media budget on in the UK.

Rather than pick one over the other, Hopkins is confident both channels can co-exist. For big spending advertisers like Kia, video on both Facebook and YouTube is a luxury it can afford but moving forward smaller brands may have to pin their colours to the mast of either.

“For us its about making sure that we’ve got video content in all the right relevant places.,” he added. “I wouldn’t say that either long or form content is stronger than the other. But if I was a gambling man then I’d say short form is really the growth area because people are increasingly using mobile devices when researching cars and more generally consuming online content.”

The digital push comes as the business extends its sponsorships of the Oval cricket ground for two more years until 2017.

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