Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

YouTube Ads Bag the Sale

If a picture’s worth 1,000 words, then a video’s apparently worth 15 million clicks to buy.

Compared to other prominent social media, YouTube is the most effective at getting consumers interested in products as well as persuading them to make the purchase, according to a VentureBeat report.

The study, performed by AOL Platforms, analyzed the interaction of some 500 million clicks on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, Tumblr, and YouTube. All that clicking resulted in 15 million purchases. The study looked at three stages of shopper interaction (introduction to products, re-exposure to products on other social media platforms, and searching out a product with intent to buy) as well as instances where consumers bought something right away via social media without encountering further marketing.

As it turns out, YouTube was tops at both calling consumers’ attention to products and at closing the sale at the third stage. YouTube also got more shoppers to purchase immediately. At the other end of the spectrum, Twitter didn’t have much impact at all in those areas but did have the most influence in the middle stage of shopping, by reinforcing advertising messages that consumers had already seen on other social media.

Overall, paid messaging on all social media platforms got more people to buy than “organic” messages shared by users, except for posts relating to food, beverages, apparel, and accessories. For those products, what users had to say influenced purchasers more than marketing.

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