Healthcare Marketing: Video and Social Media Not Good Together

Research indicates that video enhances online ads and emails but is not effective when used on social media sites.

Online video has proven to be a very effective tool increasing the engagement levels of online ads and emails.  But according to a study conducted by Eyeblaster, online video is not very effective when used on social sites.  Mike Shields, writing for the Nov 18, 2009 issue of Mediaweek, cited the research reporting that online video increases both Dwell Rate and Dwell Time when compared to other forms of online advertising but it performs better when adjacent to content or email.

Eyeblaster examined data from thousands of campaigns encompassing millions of impressions over the past year measuring user engagement (Dwell Rate) and the length of the engagement (Dwell Time).  They found that consumers browse social sites differently than they do websites and emails. “What we found is that people browse social networks really quickly”, stated Ariel Geifman, research analyst at Eyeblaster. “People spend a lot of time in social networks, but it’s not on the same web page”.

Even though the use of video on social sites has significantly increased, consumers browse social sites very quickly and do not take the time to view video.  This is in contrast to content rich websites where consumers stop and linger and become more engaged. “It’s the browsing habits”, added Geifman who concluded people have more time to look at an ad and become engaged when searching content oriented websites as compared to social sites.

As healthcare marketers experiment with social media, it’s important to learn as much as possible about consumer online habits.  Although maybe not obvious at first, the research from Eyeblaster makes sense.  People browse social media quickly and therefore are less inclined to take the time to view video as compared to content oriented sites where consumers are searching for information and therefore are willing to spend more time and become more engaged.  

Video has proven to improve the effectiveness of websites.  They increase Dwell Rate and Dwell Time.  But videos have a smaller chance to be effective on social media sites where consumers quickly browse to get caught up with friends and gather quick bits of information.     

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