Thursday, 23 July 2009

Social Media Success: China video sites critical factor

It is well understood that consumers are viewing a significant amount of video online. It is quickly becoming the CMO's media of choice for online marketing. However, creating a video is not in and of itself sufficient to make it successful. There are many variables that can effect the success of online videos. This post focuses on social media video views based on hosting location and the top sites from data collected between December 2008 and May 2009. The two main locations where consumer uploaded video is hosted are China and US/Europe.

The videos tracked were part of social media campaigns launched by Prosperity Research for a range of clients which include fashion, sports, legal, charities, hospitality and many others. During the period from December 2008 to May 2009 101 videos were released. The majority of the videos were English language videos with Cantonese and Mandarin subtitles. The break down of number of Chinese and US/Europe video hosting sites were about equal at 24 US/Europe and 22 Chinese. After review, sites with negligible views or were closed during the study period were excluded. The remaining sites totaled Chinese (18) and US/Europe (19).

The videos were posted to the sites using the same title and description across all sites. The only differentiating factor was that on Chinese language sites the title and description was translated into Chinese. The views tracked were those recorded by the site. This study makes no claims to the accuracy of view counters on these sites with one exception. The China site recorded view rates that appeared too exaggerated to be accurate and the site was eliminated from the analysis.

The two comparisons of video views are a comparison of total views during the period on the sites included in the study. The second comparison of views on the top 3 sites from China and US/Europe.

Total views of videos by location:

Top viewed sites for China and US/Europe


The results of the analysis provided some surprising information. The expectation was that the US/Europe sites hosting predominately English language videos would receive the majority views. However, the China sites significantly outperformed based on number of views. There was also the expectation that popular China video sites and would have been top performers but they did not make the top 3 spot for China. This first analysis does not provide clear reasons on why China video views outpace those of US/Europe at this point, but the results clearly point to the importance of China video hosting sites as a critical component of a social media campaign.