There’s been a lot of controversy around the practice of buying views for viral video campaigns. Molly Sugarman of Horizon Media said in a Beet.TV interview last year, “Something that marketers don’t talk about too much…is that many of the top viral videos that are on the Ad Age video chart…are paid for. You can pay for social action online.” Opponents of paying for views have brought up the question of whether paying for views is really worth it—after all, when you reward viewers to watch your ads are they truly engaging with your brand or are they just in it for the reward?
A new study from Jun Group finally puts a value on earned media and reveals that, indeed, brands that run viral campaigns in which they pay for views actually do see post-view action worth up to 30.1 percent more than what they spend on their campaigns.
Before we talk about the results of the Jun Group study, I think it’s important for us to understand what “earned media” is. Jun group defines earned media, according to a press release, “as a series of actions that users initiate after watching a social video. These post-view actions include Facebook page visits, brand page visits, store locator usage, coupon and recipe downloads, Tweets, e-mail shares, replays, and click to watch more videos – all of which are measured by Jun Group’s Voyeur analytics dashboard.”
To determine the value of earned media, Jun group has placed a monetary value on these actions. For instance, a visit to a brand’s Facebook page is worth $1.00.
After analyzing 7.9 million social video views for brands across a variety of categories (CGP, health and beauty, technology, spots, etc.) with videos that users opted in to see in exchange for virtual goods or currency, Jun Group found that on average the social video campaigns delivered 30.1 percent of additional media above the media spend on the actual campaign. For instance, if a company spent $100,000 with Jun Group they saw a value of about $130,000 on average, after Facebook and website visits, Tweets and more were taken into account.
What were the most popular actions taken? According to the press release, “Facebook page visits were by far the most popular earned media action, representing 62 percent of all post-view activity in the Jun Group study. Brand-specific action such as store locator usage, brand page visits, etc., were the next-most popular actions, accounting for 15 percent of the post-view activity. Surprisingly, Tweets were the least popular action, representing approximately one percent of the post-view activity.”
Jun Group CEO and founder Mitchell Reichgut says, “Earned media is no longer a viral video fantasy. It is now a viable paid-media strategy that consistently delivers measurable results for everyday brands. We’ve taken the mystery out of earned media and replaced it with complete transparency and clear, tangible metrics.”
Image credit: Bruce Rolff via Shutterstock
Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times. Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.