Short-form video and social entertainment will be lucrative to marketers who are willing to innovate with formats, stay on top of trends, and break boundaries. We explore how marketers can carve out their presence to unlock maximum engagement with audiences.
For many marketers, video was once considered a costly endeavour reserved primarily for tentpole and marquee campaigns. Now, it has become the primary method in which consumers – particularly Gen Z – express themselves, communicate with others, and make their purchasing decisions. At the heart of this shift is short-form video and social entertainment, which presents one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, turning points for marketers since the dawn of social media.
The pandemic saw several years of digital adoption condensed into just a few months as many companies scrambled to adapt to this new world. At the same time, consumers were seeking out new forms of entertainment, giving rise to the explosive growth of video in social media.
Now, after a period of weathering a storm of socio-economic challenges, brands are turning their focus to planning for the future.
“That means stepping out of the box and meeting their audience where they are – on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube and Twitch – to unlock lucrative opportunities with user-generated content (UGC) and influencers on short-form video, which is rapidly taking the lion’s share of people’s time away from other forms of entertainment,” says Marie La France, vice-president, strategy at Dash Hudson.
The evolution of video content
According to Zenith Media, the average person spends 100 minutes each day watching online video in 2021 – the equivalent of watching 25 continuous days of video. TikTok has been at the forefront of this, with 732 million active users and an engagement rate five times higher than other social channels. It’s clear that in today’s competitive landscape, marketers must carve out a presence in this format to find audiences, boost engagement and increase discoverability.
Based on Dash Hudson’s global digital insights, there are some fundamental learnings that marketers need to know when it comes to understanding how video is consumed today:
Generation X and Baby Boomers are avid consumers of online video, notably in the form of news and highlights from the media and publishing industries via Instagram Stories.
Customers are increasingly invested in following retailers on social media for product-oriented content, with all generations now invested in making online purchases.
TikTok is diverting audience attention away from all forms of entertainment, including TV and dating apps - giving birth to a new era of social entertainment.
Instagram is a unified video ecosystem – with Stories, Reels, and Instagram Video all working together to deliver results.
An omnichannel strategy is essential to take advantage of emerging trends in channels that are relevant to all brands and industry sectors.
The future of ‘shoppertainment’
As part of this shift, the digitalization of entire consumer journeys has paved the way for a social commerce boom, closing the gap between discovery, consideration, intent and purchase. #tiktokmademebuyit has over 5.1 billion views to date and 83% of weekly Pinners have made a purchase based on Pins from brands, according to Pinterest.
But it’s important to note that social channels designed for entertainment do not simply compliment e-commerce channels, they are beginning to integrate into one, seamless shopping and entertainment experience. This new dynamic has been shaped by social platforms introducing new features that allow content creators to integrate sales directly into their live streams, turning purchases into an interactive part of the show.
“Lo-fi, built-for-social video creative should be a core component of every marketer’s plan for 2022 and beyond; if it’s useful and entertaining, it will generate engagement no matter where it runs,” says La France.
Breaking boundaries on TikTok
By analyzing the performance of the most followed brands in the food and beverage industry on TikTok, Dash Hudson was able to define success metrics and offer contextual data and benchmarks based on three tiers of audience size. With a total average TikTok engagement rate of 11.07% across all, the findings showed that those with 50-500K followers (including Subway, Milk and Pizza Hut) had an average engagement rate of 10.55%; those with 500K-1M followers (McDonald’s, Taco Bell and KFC) had an average engagement rate of 7.28%; while those brands with more than 1M+ followers (Dunkin’, Chipotle and Starbucks) had the highest average engagement rate of 15.39%.
Despite the challenges of the past 18 months+, the food and beverage industry has been forging a new path that all brands can follow by taking risks, innovating and experimenting with new types of creative content on social media – from ASMR to viral recipes, trends and behind-the-scenes exclusives. These brands have been breaking boundaries on social media with the most successful focused on keeping their content topical and up to date with daily changes in trending videos which, in turn, keeps them top-of-mind for consumers and top of social media feeds.
What all of this tells us is that the industry will be lucrative to marketers who are willing to innovate with formats, stay on top of trends, and break boundaries. So, how can marketers carve out their presence in social entertainment to unlock maximum engagement with audiences? Here are four steps to set your brand up for success in 2022 and beyond:
Invest in video content to grow your brand’s engagement and reach both older and younger generations.
Gain an understanding of what your brand has to offer in the space of social chatter, trends, and entertainment – this will be increasingly linked to sales results.
Continue optimizing your omnichannel strategy for new features, emerging channels, and new e-commerce opportunities.
Center your approach in measurable results, by leveraging data, benchmarks, and effectiveness rates, to improve your video performance.
To learn more from Dash Hudson about how social entertainment will define consumer marketing in 2022, visit here.