Last year was an interesting year for social video advertising, with various players in the market starting to take a more scientific approach to understanding sharing and demonstrating ROI. The companies in the space are also extremely well-positioned to ride the content marketing wave, as even the best content struggles to gain traction without a strong seeding strategy. VAN asked some of social video advertising’s leading luminaries about what they expected to see happen in the coming year:

Sarah Wood, COO, Unruly

Sarah Wood, COO, UnrulyEmotional Engagement will be front of mind

The brands that succeed in the future will be the brands creating content that elicits a powerful emotional response from their audience. Content that makes us weep a river, laugh out loud or shiver with delight. That’s the way to get cut through when there’s so much content available and it’s also one way of shortcutting rational purchase decision-making processes.

In the year that is being dubbed Empty13, brands will need to come up with their own conversational starters

After a huge year of international events including the Olympic Games, EURO 2012, US Presidential Elections and the Diamond Jubilee, there’s nothing on the agenda for 2013. Advertisers will need to step up to the creative plate in 2013 if they want to engage with today’s always-on digital consumer and earn the attention of their consumers rather than force an ad view using interruptive, preroll format.

 Narrowcast sharing will become more commonplace

Users will be more selective about who they share with and use apps such as Google Circles, Path and Facebook lists to share with more intimate groups of people, adjusting their sharing behaviour between platforms.

Daniel Fisher, COO, Viral Spiral

Daniel Fisher, COO, Viral Spiral2012 represented yet another year of incredible growth in online video consumption with over 4 billion hours of video being watched each month on YouTube. I do not see this appetite for short-form (sub-10 minutes) online content changing any time soon, which means that the challenge of how to find the most effective advertising format remains.

In 2013, the idea of consumers choosing their digital video advertising will be tested further. We will see a shift towards advertising content which utilizes YouTube’s new interactive video tools to make the experience of consuming branded content more engaging. We will also see brands shifting their focus from achieving a viral success to emulating the ‘Red Bull effect’ – the seamless integration of brand and content.

Selective pre-roll, where the viewer chooses which ad to watch, is also likely to become more prevalent and the savvy will use and adapt existing and recognizable content to create engaging pre-rolls. EE did this in an inspired way at the end of 2012 by using a remake of the Fenton viral video as a pre-roll over newer virals.

Mobile consumption will continue to grow and the advent of pre-roll in the new YouTube App will test the engagement of skippable TrueView ads on mobile compared to desktops.

Chris Quigley, Owner, Viral Ad Network

Chris Quigley, Viral Ad NetworkMy predictions, or rather hopes, are for 2013 to be the year of awesome content. I say this because the world of social video has been struggling with quality content, and most brands opting for content that’s good enough – which is increasingly becoming problematic as ‘good enough’ isn’t good enough in the world of tweets and likes.

Most ad tech businesses in the social video space have spent a lot of their time focussing on the distribution and tracking aspects of social video, but had neglected the most important bit – i.e. the creative bit. Hopefully 2013 will provide some focus on creativity, and lead to more awesome content.

The brands that succeed in the future will be the brands creating content that elicits a powerful emotional response from their audience. Content that makes us weep a river, laugh out loud or shiver with delight. That’s the way to get cut through when there’s so much content available and it’s also one way of shortcutting rational purchase decision-making processes.

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