Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, and consumers are turning to YouTube for inspiration and ideas on where to go and what to do. Zefr knows what digital viewers are watching – and how brands can align their content with the hottest topics and trends.
Moms are a core audience on YouTube. The platform solves almost all of their digital needs – from entertainment to crafts for the kids to problem-solving and advice. In fact, a recent Google study found that 83% of mothers search for answers to their questions online – and 60% of them turn to online videos in particular.
YouTube plays an important role in Mom’s life, and to better understand her interests ahead of Mother’s Day, we looked into what she’s watching on YouTube.
356 Million Total Views of Mother’s Day Content on YouTube
Much of the Mother’s Day content on YouTube is about love, heartfelt messages, and praise for Moms. People share Mother’s Day moments, gift ideas, and surprises that can help others think of ways to make their moms feel special. We found 365 million views on Mother’s Day content on YouTube, presenting an opportunity for brands to reach moms around the day that’s all about them.
Mother’s Day Topics and Trends
Inspirational / Happy Moments
Moms do so much for their families, but Mother’s Day is the day to give back to them. Kids young and old turn to YouTube to share their love for Mom, whether they’re reading a poem, giving mom praise, or simply saying, “I love you.” For example, “Moms Are Magic” is a heartwarming video featuring young children sharing their favorite things about their moms.
Not all Mother’s Day content is sentimental. Entertaining videos, like music and kids content, makes up a large portion of what’s being viewed around Mother’s Day. Many musicians have created songs especially for their moms and children’s programs, like this clip from Angry Birds, educate kids about the meaning of Mother’s Day.
Of moms who watch videos on YouTube, 81% watch how-to content. In fact, moms are significantly more likely to watch how-to content than the average viewer. How-to and DIY videos that feature Mother’s Day are also popular on YouTube – from DIY Mother’s Day gift ideas to how to put together the best surprise party for mom.
Although practical, informational videos are popular amongst moms, that’s not all they’re watching. Moms also go to YouTube to watch funny content and have a good laugh!
Influencer Moms on YouTube
When families are searching for the perfect gift for mom on Mother’s Day, they turn to mom influencers on YouTube for ideas. 68% of consumers say recommendations influence their Mother’s Day gift purchases. Working with the right influencers can help a brand amplify its message to an audience that is seeking advice.
We used our technology to identify influencers creating content that resonates with moms on YouTube:
There’s a shift happening in video consumption – the distinctions between “TV,” “digital video” and “mobile video” are blending, as consumers demand the content they want, when and where they want it.
To better understand the shifting nature of how consumers are watching and engaging with content, Zefr is publishing research on TV 3.0 – the next generation of TV – on YouTube, the largest and most popular video platform. Beyond the network owned and operated streaming distribution apps of a few years ago, TV 3.0 offers premium content, incredible reach, and measurable audience targeting.
We examined the views, uploads, and engagements on TV content from the four major networks – ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC to find out what, and how, viewers are watching. Our research found 36 billion views and 284 million engagements on network TV content, indicating that viewers are still consuming TV content but in new and different ways.
Other key insights from our report include:
Your fans are watching your show on YouTube, whether it’s programmed by you or not: Viewers are watching both official content and content that is created and uploaded by fans. Certain networks, like NBC, program shows that optimize for YouTube with clip-based, snackable content like The Voice. But others, like NCIS, have incredible fan communities that extend the viewership of the show beyond linear TV.
YouTube makes TV social: The vast amount of premium TV content on YouTube isn’t just driving views, it’s driving engagements, including likes, comments, and shares, delivering a lean-in opportunity that broadcast TV doesn’t provide.
TV isn’t just time shifted, it’s experience shifted: Viewers are now able to watch content on their own terms, on the screens of their choice, regardless of where that content originated.
There’s a clear opportunity for both content owners and marketers to take advantage of benefits that TV 3.0 provides. With the power to watch anything, anywhere, anytime, consumers are in control, but there’s never been a better time to engage them.
Coachella weekend two kicks off this Friday, which means we’re in the midst of music festival season. Over the course of two weeks, 200,000 festival-goers will flock to Indio, CA to partake in all the Coachella festivities.
In recent years, the music festival landscape has exploded in popularity. In fact, 32 million people go to at least one music festival every year. With festivals for practically every music genre and walk of life, festivals like Coachella, Bonnaroo, and Lollapalooza are drawing larger and more diverse crowds than ever before.
32 million people attend in person, but millions more experience the magic without setting foot inside, on YouTube. There have been 5.1 billion views on music festival content on YouTube in the last three years – there are more daily views on music festival content on the platform than there are daily attendees at some of the country’s biggest events.
It’s not surprising, as YouTube is the top music service in the world.
YouTube and Music
For the past seven years, YouTube has been giving Coachella fans the opportunity to watch live performances. According to Variety, viewers will be able to choose from three different live streams, as well as a 360-degree virtual reality mode, on Coachella’s YouTube Channel.
By creating engaging video content or partnering with social media influencers, brands can share their messages with millions of fans experiencing the excitement on YouTube and other social media channels.
There’s an Opportunity for Alignment
As festival-fans tune in for performances from the shows, pre-festival prep videos, onsite experiences and post-fest reviews, there’s an opportunity for brand activation.
Pre-Festival Prep: Pre-Festival YouTube content includes tips and tricks intended to prepare music fans and enable them to have the best festival experience possible. They include survival guides, camping tips, Look Books, Style Guides and “Get Ready With Me – Festival Editions.”
Onsite Experiences: Festival goers document their personal experiences through YouTube vlogs, incorporating real-time elements of the festival, such as what fans are eating, performances they’re watching, and the people they interact with.
Post-Festival Reviews: Creators review key moments of past festivals including notable performances, events, and even fashions. Post-Festival videos ensure the legacy of Music Festivals on YouTube. Fans can easily reference and relive their favorite parts of any festival.
At Zefr, we understand video content and have found the most important Music Festival topics, trends and influencers on YouTube and turned them into targeting and influencer opportunities. Our technology can align your brand with the most relevant music festival content at the video level to successfully reach fans on YouTube.
Find out how we help your brand contextually align with the best videos on YouTube. Click here to request a demo with a member of our team and see Zefr in action!
For decades, “award season” has been the pinnacle of the entertainment industry and has become woven into the fabric of pop culture as the year’s best movies, music and TV shows are honored and audiences of millions look on.
The season culminates with the Academy Awards this Sunday, and ratings on TV tune-in to the ceremonies is down. Way down – last year’s Oscars hit an eight year low. But viewership is actually up, 54% year over year, on YouTube, as the way viewers engage with award show content shifts.
Social video has drastically changed the viewing experience. Instead of leaning back and watching 4+ hours of a ceremony, many people now turn to platforms like YouTube to catch the clips they care about most, and upload their favorite moments.
YouTube offers brands an unprecedented opportunity to engage with award season content before, during, and after the live event, extending their strategies from live-TV advertising into premium award season content on the platform. ZEFR looked at all of the award season content on YouTube, and put together an e-book uncovering what (and when) people are actually watching on the platform. Statistics within include:
There have been 1.01 billion views on award season content over the last three years.
The Oscars are the most popular ceremony, followed by the Grammy’s and the Golden Globes.
Half the views (51%) are on content directly related to the award shows – clips, highlights, recaps and reviews.
There are more than 262 million views on beauty and fashion-related contentincluding red carpet recaps and celebrity “get the look” videos.”
Video uploads spike the day after a show as people share their favorite moments – and viewers tune in to see what moments mattered most.
Download the full e-book, including all of ZEFR’s statistics on the Oscars and other awards ceremonies, here.
Brands are increasing their investment in YouTube advertising, as the largest video platform in the world continues its rapid growth. Marketers know they need to advertise on YouTube to reach their audience, an insight that is well supported by audience viewership data. But today, most brands lack the control or visibility into the specific inventory they are buying, which raises critical issues regarding the brand safety of the content they are running against.
Recent news has thrown into focus the issue of brand safety as marketers are running ads against content that can be created by anyone. PewDiePie, arguably the world’s most successful influencer, lost his standing with Disney’s Maker Studios and with YouTube due to anti-Semetic stunts. Super Bowl ads have been seen running in front of terrorist recruitment videos. These stories are trending, but the issue isn’t new – and it’s only going to grow as more content is created and brands continue to increase their investment on the platform.
How does it happen?
Most advertisers target their intended consumers on YouTube based on keywords, audience (demographic) and channel (typically via Google Preferred, the most popular influencer and creator channels). But each of these approaches assume that all of the content isolated by one of these targeting options is similar and therefore safe. ZEFR has found that this isn’t the case.
Let’s take Michelle Phan’s channel for example. She’s known as a beauty influencer, but only 52% of her content is related to beauty. The other 48% is better categorized as lifestyle content, including career advice and current events. A beauty brand may only want to align with that 52% of videos, but if they’re buying her channel in Google Preferred, they don’t know which videos within the channel they’re aligning with.
The same theory applies to brand safety. Not all content within a creator’s channel will be considered safe or on target for every brand.
There is another way
ZEFR’s technology delivers TV-like contextual relevance and brand safety on YouTube, allowing brands to leverage the incredible potential of the platform at the individual video-level. There’s a tremendous amount of great content on YouTube for brands, and video-level targeting allows for marketers to exclude specific videos from their YouTube buys, ensuring that they’re never running ads against content that is not relevant. It requires an understanding of each discrete video that only ZEFR is able to provide.
Here’s how it works. A video is uploaded to YouTube. ZEFR analyzes the video for:
Relevance – Is the video content aligned with the brand’s media strategy? What is this video actually about? If a video is of a father and son tossing a football and it’s called, “My Son is the next Tom Brady,” the video isn’t about Tom Brady. It’s about a father and son moment.
Brand safety – Is this video appropriate for a brand to align with? Does it have profanity, negative imagery, violence, or controversial opinions? Is it promoting negative activity, or hate speech?
Forecasting – Is this a video that’s generating views, or trending upwards? Will it deliver enough impressions so that an ad is seen by a real human audience at scale?
Performance – Is this a video that can carry an ad? Is it meaningful enough content to justify placing an ad before it? Will it help you reach your key performance KPIs?
If each of these indicators are met, the video is organized into a content segment with thousands of other videos that are all contextually related. Every day, ZEFR evaluates over 8 million videos, while only qualifying 250,000 of those videos for inclusion in premium, brand safe campaigns that deliver performance.
Video-level targeting is the future
So, should brands be afraid to align with influencer content on YouTube? The answer is no. Brand safety is an easily mitigated risk when video-level targeting is employed. “It’s so important to target ads at individual videos on YouTube, so brands can ensure that they’re aligned with the most relevant content at any given time,” said Rich Raddon, co-CEO, ZEFR. “The content within channels varies, and not every video is right for every brand. ZEFR’s technology and review process ensures that an ad will never run against a video that is not considered safe.”
For more on ZEFR’s video-targeting solutions, contact us at email@example.com.
Super Bowl LI will see the Patriots take on the Falcons this Sunday, and more than 100 million people are expected to tune in live – for both the football, and for the advertisements.
Commercials have become a cultural force during the Super Bowl, often overshadowing the game itself. From Apple’s iconic 1984 ad to Chrysler’s stirring “It’s Halftime in America” spot, brands leverage the Super Bowl as an opportunity to make a statement that can change the trajectory of their business.
With the rise of social video platforms like YouTube and Facebook, brands have the chance to extend their Super Bowl story even further, going far beyond a 30 second spot during the game. Brands can now tell more nuanced stories around their Super Bowl ads before, during, and after the game, offering new opportunities for creativity and reaching their audiences in unique ways.
This enhanced “blast radius” has changed the way key brand verticals are communicating, and we’ve looked at the biggest categories to make some predictions about what we’ll see from advertisements running on Sunday. Check them out in the infographic below – some have already proven to be true!
It’s not going out on a limb to say that social media played a major role in winning the presidential election for Donald Trump by enabling him to fight hostile coverage and bypass the mainstream media and speak directly to his supporters. It’s been pointed out time and time again, including by Trump himself during an interview that aired on CBS’ “60 Minutes” on Sunday night.
“When you give me a bad story or when you give me an inaccurate story… I have a method of fighting back,” said Trump, who will take the oath of office on Jan. 20.
But the social space has been more than just a venue for President-elect Trump to rally supporters, call for corrections or seek vengeance, it’s a place where he can turn negative energy into positive.
A review of ZEFR data on YouTube trends during the 2016 election cycle shows that Trump-related views didn’t just rise when he said or did something newsworthy. They spiked when the Republican candidate was attacked, and they spiked when the mainstream media was focused on his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.
In late February, after Trump won several primaries, comedian John Oliver delivered a scathing monolog on his HBO show “Last Week with John Oliver.” That week, Trump’s YouTube views soared to over 80 million, double what they were just two weeks previous. A large portion of those were for the official clip of Oliver’s rant, which has racked up more than 30 million views to date.
Trump-related YouTube views soared into the 80 million range again during the week of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in late April, where President Obama mocked Trump for not being in attendance, and later in his speech added, “Next year at this time, someone else will be standing here in this very spot. And it’s anyone’s guess who she will be.” (Trump was the target of repeated barbs from the president when he attended the correspondents’ dinner in 2011, which many have speculated spurred him to run for president.)
The most dramatic jump in Trump-related views came in the wake of a rally in Wilmington, North Carolina, on Aug 9, where the candidate told the crowd, “If she gets to pick her judges ― nothing you can do, folks. Although, the Second Amendment people, maybe there is,” which suggested to some that he was calling for assassination.
While his true intent may be debatable, the affect on viewer interest was clear – views of Trump-related videos on YouTube rose by some 70 million over the previous week, hitting the 150 million range, an all-time high up to that point in the election cycle. At the same time, the popularity of Clinton-related YouTube videos also spiked, hitting about 80 million weekly views.
Two weeks earlier, Clinton scored a then-high number of weekly views, in the 95 million range, during the Democratic National Convention (DNC). That bested the 80 million-plus views Trump got during the Republican National Convention (RNC), but he outperformed her during the DNC, racking up some 100 million YouTube views, suggesting the attention paid his opponent only drove more interest in him.
In October, the final full month of the campaign, Clinton briefly pulled ahead of Trump in YouTube views the week of their third presidential debate. But in the last week of the month – when FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to congress stating it could be reopening its probe of Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State – Trump and Clinton were neck and neck, with about 220 million weekly views apiece.
But from election day, Nov. 8, through the following Friday, Trump was back to his winning ways on YouTube, with 176.2 million views, up 34.3% over the previous week, to Clinton’s 106.9 million, which were down 40.7%.
The pollsters and pundits who were picking Clinton to win as election day loomed would’ve benefited from examining ZEFR’s sentiment analysis of the candidates’ YouTube views for October. Clinton’s negative views were 35%, while Trump’s were at 33%. Perhaps more tellingly, only 8% of Clinton’s views were deemed to be positive, while Trump’s positives were at 17%. But it was in overall view count where Trump truly demonstrated his supremacy, averaging 75.2 million views a week since Jan. 4, compared to Clinton’s 54.36 million a week during the same period.
Ironically, YouTube viewers were less interested in Trump’s win than they were in Clinton’s loss. Trump’s victory speech (12 million-plus views for 229 videos) was edged out by Clinton’s concession speech (13.7 million-plus views for 371 videos).
This suggests two interesting possibilities: It’s not very satisfying to hate watch a victory, and even Trump supporters might be a little less passionate about their choice now that the race is run and the Washington outsider they rooted for is poised to become a Washington insider.
The link between content alignment and success on YouTube
The kind of content an ad runs against has a huge impact on the way a person reacts to it. It’s true on television, in magazines, and now – more than ever – online.
With more than 400 hours of video added to YouTube every minute, there’s an incredible breadth of content for brands to advertise against. But how are they to know what to advertise against? With so many videos to choose from, how does anyone know who’s watching what? Historically, there’s been no way to determine what types of video content brands should align with – until now.
At ZEFR, we have unique video technology that allows us to understand the content of every video uploaded to YouTube. We organize YouTube by content segments – over 13,000. This allows brands to align their ads with the specific type of content a person is seeking out. Pairing ads with relevant content delivers a better experience for users and brands, and for the first time, we’ve mined the data to discover what content works best for various brand verticals to advertise against. The idea is to align ads with the right content, hence the name of the project – The Alignment Effect.
What we discovered was an interesting blend of results of what works. Some content area/brand matches you might expect, and some that were surprising. For example, segments like food challenges and 4th of July Parties worked well for CPG brands. That was expected. But premium entertainment content – like Aziz Ansari and Swedish House Mafia – also delivered strong results. Within the entertainment vertical, we saw both traditional entertainment content and content unique to YouTube perform equally well. Traditional stars like George Clooney and Adam Sandler appear alongside personalities that were born on YouTube – Miranda Sings and Sam Tsui. The traditional definition of “entertainment” has broadened, and brands can (and should) take advantage of the content emerging in the category.
Great content is everywhere on YouTube, and audiences go where the content is. By showcasing what types of content work best for brands, we can create better outcomes for advertisers and a better experience for consumers – helping to drive optimum success on the platform.
Click here to download The Alignment Effect for a deeper look at what kind of content works for brands.
This month, Instagram celebrates its fifth anniversary. To mark the occasion, Instagram announced (for the first time) the platform’s top five accounts. The names on the short list will not be surprising to anyone familiar with the current state of pop culture. Taylor Swift claimed the top spot (49.6 million followers), with the remaining four rounded out by Kim Kardashian (48.1 million), Beyoncé (47.2 million), Selena Gomez (45.9 million), and Ariana Grande (44.6 million).
What might surprise you is they are not the top five stars based on fan interest right now. Some are still in the top 10, but in a different order. In fact, Beyoncé doesn’t even crack the top 25. (See chart below.) We know this because ZEFR’s technology is able to go a level deeper than follower counts—which are a measure of historical activity—and analyze which influencers command the most fan attention today. When we talk about who is most relevant and influential in social media today, we want to rank people based on the here-and-now, not a wave of interest that may have crested eight months ago.
Think of how weird it would be to rank performers based on historical totals in other contexts. We wouldn’t name a US Open tennis champion based on total points won during the entire year. And we wouldn’t assess the trendiest restaurant based on the total stars accrued on their Yelp profile. Imagine if we measured TV by the total ratings points accumulated over the life of the show; we’d still be talking about M*A*S*H* and Cheers as must-buy hits at the top of the dial.
At first glance, these examples may sound comical, but that’s exactly the trap we’re falling into if we use subscriber and follower counts as our guideposts for who matters in social media. A follow is a one-time action that persists for a very long time. The engagements that ZEFR’s technology measures—and that we use to recommend the best talent to our brand clients—are real-time signals, indicating what talent fans still care about now. Using follower counts to identify what influencers are most significant is gravely misleading, and if you’re a brand investing in influencer marketing, it will result in wasted money and disappointing results.
With this in mind, ZEFR offers an alternative, more accurate ranking that we refer to as trending engagement. This is a proprietary projection of how much fan interaction an influencer will drive on future posts, which we derive from a recency-weighted average engagement on each channel, corrected for outlier posts and adjusted for the upward or downward trend of engagement on the channel.
Sorry Taylor, we have to award you the bronze medal for now. But if there’s one thing we know about social stardom, it’s that status can change in the blink of an eye. Maybe next month…