Last week I moderated a panel at MediaPost’s OMMA Chicago on the topic of paid social video. If you’re so inclined, you can watch the entire session here or the first 10 minutes I periscoped (how long before Webster and Word recognize that as a verb?) from the stage here.

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Image from @Global_SMG

My panelists included (from left to right in pic above starting at dude with microphone): Kevin Lange, SVP, Social Media at Starcom Mediavest Group, Thomas Stelter, VP, Emerging Solutions, Americas at POSSIBLE, and Aalap Shah, Co-Founder at SoMe Connect.

We covered a range of topics from creative to media to metrics. Here are some of the key takeaways….

  1. Nobody cares about your 30 second spot. Aalap got it right when he stressed the importance of creating custom video for social. Don’t merely repurpose your TV commercials. And don’t create a one-size-fits all asset for social either. Produce something unique for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, etc. And take into account the specific audience and format of each channel when doing so. For that matter, take into account whether the device is likely to be viewed on desktop, mobile or both. Kevin referenced an Acura example that included multiple versions of the same concept that was seen by 42 million people in 3 days.
  2. Balance paid and organic placement. Just posting a video and hoping it goes viral is not a sound strategy. Neither is just buying paid video slots. The best campaigns leverage videos that are good enough to be view-worthy and share-worthy on their own but also leverage ad slots to further amplify their exposure. As evidence, Thomas pointed to the hilarious execution by Kmart for “Ship my Pants.”
  3. Reach is not the end-all-be-all. Kevin hit the nail on the head when urging marketers to set KPIs that focus on consumer engagement and action. Just reaching an audience is not a metric that should matter. As an example, Aalap talked about a restaurant chain that drove significant in-store traffic and revenue by using paid video to promote its National Martini Day in 26 markets. Leveraging advanced targeting and psychographic research to guide the video strategy, they drove a 33% increase in year-over-year sales for that day.
  4. It’s never too early to test a new platform. As Thomas put it, when it comes to trying new things, it’s just a matter of how much you invest. Any media plan for video – or any other tactic for that matter – must create a framework for testing and learning to account for new innovations. To that end, our discussion went beyond the major platforms with all the scale today and touched on emerging plays like Periscope and Meerkat. And Thomas shared a great success story with Bacardi for St. Germain using Periscope to do 6 different “peep show” vignettes.
  5. The future is uncertain. To start and close session, I polled the audience to see which social network was the most important for paid social video. At the beginning, I asked which publisher folks would go with if they could only pick one. The most popular was Facebook with a little more than half the room. After that came YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter. At the end I asked everyone to pretend its 2020 and I’m asking the same question. This time I added an option for a platform that’s not on our radar today and, sure enough, “Other” was the top choice. It just goes to show how rapidly things change in our space and how imperative it is for marketers to stay up to speed on the latest consumer and technology trends.