Video on Social: changing viewing habits and how to leverage them

Posted on Mar 15, 2018 in Video marketing

Video content. Everyone wants video. But, in an age where “video is king”, how are consumer viewing habits changing? And what can brand managers do to engage video-savvy audiences in an increasingly crowded market?

500 million people are watching video on Facebook every day. But, not everyone views those videos all the way through. In fact, a registered “video view” (on Facebook, Instagram and twitter) is a mere 3 seconds. So if you’re judging the success of your video marketing campaign by the number of views alone, you’re unlikely to get much of a ROI. A video is not doing its job unless it drives engagement.

Australian social users consume an average
of 51 minutes of video each day

According to the major social platforms a ‘good average viewing’ duration is considered to be around 15 seconds.

We think this average has less to do with shrinking attention spans than it does audiences knowing what they’re interested in. With so much video online consumers are becoming increasingly more picky about what they’ll watch.


How to leverage changing video viewing habits

Considering how video viewing habits are changing, there are two possible ways forward:

  • Place your brand within the first three seconds of your video (so you at least get some exposure). 
    Yes. This certainly does give your brand some exposure but is it the kind you want? Do you really want to be associated with content that users consider irrelevant? If so, what does that say about your brand?


  • Capture the interest / imagination of your audience and deliver a story that is relevant.
    We believe that this is the way forward for brands that want to build their audience. It’s also the focus of the rest of this blog…

(1) Offer your audience something relevant

Whether you’re making a brand film, a commercial or other video content, understanding your audience is key to designing a story that will interest or inspire them. Your target market should also influence the look and style of video you choose to create.

Danny MacAskill – “Way back Home”- one of Red Bull’s most successful branded content videos

Red Bull is a company that have mastered this approach. The energy drink brand started uploading videos to Facebook in November 2007, and YouTube in April 2008, and Instagram in September 2014. Initially targeting 18-24 YO males looking for videos with a “stoke factor”, Red Bull’s content featured some of the best action sports clips and original series on the web.

Major social platforms consider ‘good’ engagement to be a viewing duration of around 15 seconds

Today, Red Bull can be considered a media company as well as an energy drink brand. 174 video uploads a month generated 183 million monthly views in 2017. And those videos are working. In 2015 Red Bull sold almost 6 billion cans of the energy drink for $6.6 billion.

(2) Deliver an authentic message

Make sure your videos are authentic and accessible.

Some of our favourite videos are those that are authentic, funny and entertaining. Consider Holden and their “Nothing to prove” campaign for the new Equinox. Holden were looking for an idea that would cut through.

Holden Equinox – Celeste Barber from Bauer Media Advertising

Instagram influencer, Celeste Barber has an Instagram following of over 3.2 million, and prides herself on having nothing to prove. This makes her a perfect fit for this role. The authenticity of this commercial breeds trust which breeds audience identification. Who doesn’t want audiences identifying and connecting with their brand?

Women are recalibrating what’s appropriate in advertising… They’re responding to brands that are abandoning stereotypical and predictable communications and want to be spoken to in a more authentic language…”.
 Jane Waterhouse, GM Story54, Bauer Media


(3) If you want to stand out, be bold

Brand stories don’t necessarily need to be about your company, services or clients. An exciting avenue for brand / consumer engagement is “by association” stories.

Emotive Case Study: Optus launches Netflix with Ricky Gervais

The Optus launches Netflix featuring with Ricki Gervais series is one such example. The success of this ad is attributed to the fact that, although Gervais is not directly promoting Optus, he’s associating with it. And he delivers what audiences expect – a funny, authentic and entertaining performance – something that Netflix offers via its content. Audiences who enjoy Gervais’s performance project those feelings onto the brand and engagement skyrockets.

A video is not doing its job unless it drives engagement

This commercial series was so successful for Optus they brought Gervais back for a second season. If you want to stand out, your videos need to speak to audiences in a language they understand.

Publish, but please don’t add to the noise

We don’t believe in creating content for content’s sake. Brands need to focus on creating quality video content that is relevant to your audience (topically and stylistically). If you do, it will get noticed – and watched. Create relevant and authentic stories. If you are bold and willing to do something different you have a much greater chance of getting the click-through results your marketing campaign is after.

This article references work from Greg Jarboe and the Cisco VNI, 2017 white paper.

Olivia Olley & Gavin Banks are producers at Good Eye Deer, an award-winning Sydney video production company.