Why you should invest in "shared" media campaigns

tyler tullis
Tyler Tullis
Senior Account Executive

Sep 1, 2016 | Point of View

shared media
EVERY ONCE IN AWHILE  we run into a marketing statistic that blows our collective minds, at least at face value. I call it Mic-Drop-Math–a stat that reflects a potential game-change across the industry.
Here’s one.
One of the key influencers I follow is Vivoom CEO Katherine Hayes, who claims “shared media” is outperforming digital advertising x10.
Shared media? Don’t worry, someone didn’t invent a new marketing paradigm overnight, it just designates content that is, as you might guess,shared by users via social media, smartphones or other platforms. It goes hand in hand with user-generated content.
Go ahead, scoff. It’s hardly a revelation to say shared content garners higher engagement than ads.
But then why aren’t more brands investing in shared campaigns amid their traditional digital media buying? Why are brands satisfied with posting and crossing their fingers that content gets shared, rather than giving consumers tools and opportunities to engage with their owned media?
Let’s look at a few organizations creating shared media campaigns.
Cheerios’ brand is built on responsible parents feeding their kids healthy breakfast, so they created their #BestMomEver campaign providing a video template where family could record their kids explaining why they love their moms. This content is shared with a Cheerio’s brand overlay, creating user-generated content aimed squarely at their target audience of moms and families. 10% of Cheerio’s social audience engaged with this campaign, and the average video shared enjoyed a 65% completion rate. Compare that with the average YouTube ad completion rate of 5%.
Not too shabby, especially since many social pages have a 2% share rate on Twitter and Facebook.
Speaking of Facebook, I’m sure you’ve seen your friends post a pre-generated video on the platform that pulls from your photos and posts to create a video collage of the past year or a history of friendship with others. These videos templates resemble user-generated content but do all the work for consumers, making them easily sharable.
Of course, not every brand has the development budget to work up a video or picture template. But all brands can consider campaigns and augment brand posts to encourage sharing. Hashtags are the easiest and least expensive (read free) content aggregator. Encourage your consumer base to post images of them interacting with your product or enjoying an experience that aligns with your brand attributes, i.e. Cheerios = responsible parenting, healthy living, love for mom, etc. All you need is a brand hashtag for consumers to post with to create a content stream of user content associated with your brand.
Look at Red Bull’s #PutACanOnIt campaign. Users were encouraged to use Red Bull cans to make creative images. Contests incentivized participation, including random submissions being awarded with weekly prices from the brand.
To wrap, don’t stop investing in digital ads or pure owned content marketing. They’re still a great resource to hyper-target your audience with compelling messages, but consider campaigns that leverage user-generated content and encourage sharing.
I’ll leave with a few more stats on user-generated content. Collectively, it’s Mic-Drop-Math for sure.

Seen any cool user-generated campaigns lately? Tell us about them.

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