In 2017, online video accounted for 74% of all online traffic and in any 30 day-period, more video content is uploaded to social networks than most TV networks have created over the past 30 years. A recent forecast from Zenith reported that by 2019, consumers will spend more time online than watching linear TV for the first time in history.
Facebook is making substantial shifts to “own” the digital video landscape by going after YouTube’s short-form consuming audience in the short-term while looking to host long-form episodic content to compete with companies like Netflix and Hulu in the long run.
For the brands taking the early plunge on Facebook’s Watch, results have been promising. After having launched an aggressive Watch strategy in Q1 of this year, Supreme Digital’s first show on the platform, “Living with Latinos,” has organically grown to 7.7 million followers and the show has generated more than 2 billion views since Jan. 1st.
2 billions views!!!
So how can other marketers benefit from this opportunity?
Endless integration opportunities
Facebook Watch’s specifications include that content has to be episodic in nature using the same talent, premise and content tone. For marketers, this limits ambiguity around identifying if a Watch partner is the right fit for your brand and allows marketers to test and identify strong integration opportunities within the content itself. Before FB Watch, this had been limited to more traditional types of media and now brings integration options full-throttle to the social media arena.
Seamless opportunities for continuity
While brands understand the vast benefits of establishing long-term relationships with influencers, it’s hard to lock them down for exclusivity. Facebook Watch Publishers are able to monetize their content directly through Facebook Watch while being less concerned about making ends meet. These publishers are also more open to establishing longer-term opportunities with brands that are an authentic fit.
The Watch opportunity allows for a stronger commitment and connection between brand and influencer/publisher like never before. Some shows on the Watch platform focus on topics, instead of actors or stars, and put the subject matter as the star. For example, BLyum is the Being Latino food vertical featuring recipes on Facebook Watch. It’s all about the food, not about the talent.
Viral potential for branded content
I’m a huge Netflix addict and the majority of the movies and shows I watch on the platform are the result of a friend’s recommendation and vice versa. On Facebook Watch, you see which of your friends is engaging with the content, sharing the content and more. This drastically increases the behavior of word-of-mouth recommendations from friends on a platform that users are already active on. This social integration within the Facebook Watch platform immensely amplifies that awareness and willingness to not only share with one friend, but your entire network on Facebook.
Ability to execute via multiple content verticals through limited partners
Top Facebook Watch publishers have multiple show verticals on the platform. Supreme Digital has a sketch comedy show, food show, DIY show and beauty/lifestyle show vertical. Before FB Watch, targeting multiple audiences would require a brand to work with 4 different partners and now brands can work with just one. Similar to Supreme Digital, many of the top Watch publishers will expand their content strategy to YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat and OTT; providing marketers with an à la carte opportunity to partner with publishers with massive scale potential.
Being the First Mover in a new space offers brands massive benefits. Very few brands have tapped into Facebook Watch in a meaningful way giving the early-adopters an opportunity to have a strong presence in a non-saturated brand environment while benefiting from long-term discounted pricing relationships with publishers.
We’re in the midst of a massive media consumption convergence and staying one step ahead will be very beneficial in the long run.
Digital content equals convenience and when paired with social integration it creates a truly social experience that is way beyond viewers staring blankly at a screen for hours.
This article first appeared in www.smartbrief.com
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