Viral video stars

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General Mills’ Betty Crocker brand was surprised by the success of its online video campaign
General Mills’ Betty Crocker brand was surprised by the success of its online video campaign
Visible Measures captures all publicly available metadata across more than 160 video sharing sites, including static data, such as clip title, description and author; as well as dynamic data, such as view count and comment count. Also, for publisher partners where the company can integrate directly with the video player, every click by every viewer inside every video is captured. Pricing is based on the type of campaign, the technology involved and whether it is a one-off or ongoing effort.

But experts say today's video measurement still lacks in some ways. Matt Langie, senior direc­tor of product marketing at Omniture, which recently introduced a new version of its own online video measurement solution, believes the understanding of virality and its impact will require better measurement in the future. For example, he asks, what is the impact of videos that companies produce for their site which are being consumed off of the original site?

“That is something we're seeing drive demand for this level of understanding,” he says.

Still, Langie believes online video is measur­able and revealing. Metrics help companies understand how long viewers watch, when they drop off and what sections are rewound for playback. “These performance-based measures enable marketers to design and redesign sites to accommodate the most popular or engaging video on a home page or landing page,” Langie says. “We're now able to provide content that meets the demands of the viewership and consumers.”

In today's tighter economy, Cutler insists online video is a good marketing investment. Companies achieve massive distribution of their ad message on the backs of their customers — their brand advocates — who pass along and share videos through social networking sites or blogs. “You get a ton of reach without the ton of investment that you'd normally require,” he says.

The combination of a large audience already consuming video and highly social dynamics equal big opportunity for marketers, he adds, describing online video as a “lean-forward” expe­rience where users are actively involved and commenting, rating or sharing videos versus the passive, “lean-back activity” of television.

Measurement, however, remains an evolving effort in the world of viral video. “Ideally, there would be a common set of metrics that everyone understood, measured in a common/certifiable fashion, and reported openly,” says Cutler. “So it will likely be some time before such standard metrics emerge and are widely adopted.”

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