American Marketer


Branded Instagram video engagement beats out YouTube, Facebook: L2

July 7, 2017

Video marketing performs surprisingly well on Instagram for brands.


While video marketing continues to thrive on YouTube and Facebook, Instagram has emerged as a surprisingly strong platform for film-based consumer engagement.

Facebook and YouTube both routinely see more brand engagement in general, but according to recent findings from L2, Instagram actually outperforms both when it comes to video views between customers and brands. Luxury brands in particular can use this information to their advantage and plan their video budgets around the highly engaged Instagram audience.

"Social platforms have emerged as a vital component of a strong digital video strategy," said Mike Froggatt, director of intelligence research at L2, New York.

"Despite the fact that a slim majority of brands deploy on all four major video platforms, best-in-class brands are aware that each platform has a distinct value proposition and a different path to success," he said. "Content must be created and deployed on a campaign and platform-specific basis."

Video marketing
Video marketing is huge in the retail industry, and particularly for luxury brands, which offer highly aspirational content.

This makes video a perfect medium for luxury brands as they can showcase their products in motion and in the context of a luxury lifestyle.

YouTube is understandably a major player in this area, offering high organic view rates across retail sectors.

Luxury brands are one of the top organic view performers on YouTube at 17 percent. In comparison, activewear has the highest organic view rate at 24 percent.

Brands such as Chanel get a lot of mileage out of Instagram videos. Image credit: Chanel

However, video engagement on YouTube for brands is at just 0.3 percent. Facebook performs only slightly better in this regard at 1.5 percent.

Surprisingly, both platforms are far surpassed by Instagram in terms of garnering brand engagement on video content. Instagram boasts an impressive 16 percent video engagement rate for brands.

Brands can also make use of television advertising as a way of driving up digital video interaction as well. L2 points out Nike’s February 2017 Equality campaign as a good example, after it ran on TV and received 57 percent organic view rate on social media and 4 million organic views on Facebook.

Similarly, Ford Motor Company’s Lincoln has exhibited how television spots during major events are still extremely powerful with a 28 percent increase in interest on a vehicle during Grammy positioning.

Lincoln Continental’s share of interest among midsize luxury sedans grew 24 percent on the day of the Grammys, during which its spot aired. The new campaign features a performance from blues musician Gary Clark Jr, fitting with the theme of the musical awards show (see story).

Instagram engagement
Video marketing is a vast and powerful tool for brands of all kinds. As consumers become increasingly tuned into conversations across channels, short and viral social videos serve as an excellent way to get brand messaging across multiple devices.

Despite being one of the most popular advertising mediums in the world, retailers and brands routinely miss the mark on YouTube advertising, leaving large swaths of potential audience neglected.

The average retail view rate for YouTube ads is 76 percent lower than the average for all industries, signifying that retailers have a lot of work to do to catch up to other sectors when it comes to targeting customers through the video platform. This data comes from Strike Social, which examined a year’s worth of YouTube campaigns from across 25 industries (see story).

Young people are the most valuable video consumers. Image credit: Strike Social

In terms of channels, brands should be aware that streaming devices are gaining traction against traditional mobile and desktop video viewing. Consumers, for the first time, are moving more toward connected devices such as Chromecasts or Roku, and moving slightly away from mobile in turn.

Mobile dropped below 50 percent for the first time in two years and is now resting at 46 percent share of all video viewing. Meanwhile, connected devices rose to 32 percent from 20 percent two years ago.

Furthermore, mobile is still overwhelmingly the dominant video viewing device due to how it has overshadowed other forms of digital consumption (see story).

"Leader brands are working to ensure that their video assets are optimized across channels and ultimately promote sales," said Evan Bakker, senior research associate at L2, New York.

"While social media operates primarily as a top-of-funnel awareness driver, linking video content on these platforms to ecommerce enabled brand sites or retail partners can help brands guide browsers closer to purchase," he said.