Longer forms of social video storytelling were incredibly effective in driving engagement during 2016, according to a new resource published by media analytics enterprise Unmetric, which reveals the 29 most engaging clips of the year across platforms such as YouTube and Instagram.
While branded videos came to the fore in 2015, the last 12 months has seen big brands ratchet up their content creativity and storytelling methods. For example, Red Bull received a staggering 71 million views and 739,000 reactions for its exhilarating “Race to the top of a bridge” long-form clip posted on Facebook back in July.
In order to determine the most effective branded content, Unmetric studied data on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. For the first three of those platforms, it calculated an engagement score from zero to 1,000 based on weighing more important metrics such as shares and retweets against others such as favourites and likes.
It used a slightly different method without an engagement score for YouTube, instead focusing on the number of likes and how quickly the clip in question accumulated them. In addition, Unmetric used human insights and its own set of algorithms to determine overall engagement.
The study noted that user-generated content, authentic customer stories and cross-channel strategies were a common theme in the most successful viral content, as was the use of hashtags and asking people to share clips across Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
“Videos have moved from being just reposts of 30-second TV spots to long-form storytelling, with the popular Nike Football post being nearly six minutes long,” Unmetric co-founder and CEO Lux Narayan said. “This year really showed that there’s an appetite and attention span for longer branded content if it’s authentic and tells a story that resonates well with people, not merely as consumers but universally as humans.”
In the run-up to Christmas, John Lewis UK saw its #BusterTheBoxer ad become the most shared by a brand on Facebook, while Amazon Prime’s “A priest and imam meet for a cup of tea” was also very popular. Narayan concluded: “And in what felt to many like a very divisive year, unity shined through around the Olympics with Samsung’s post and Amazon’s priest and imam video.”