Darsana Vijay
May 10, 2017

Opinion: Why are QSRs not feasting on video content?

While video content is the favourite across categories, quick service restaurants (QSRs) are not investing heavily behind the medium. Here's why.

Opinion: Why are QSRs not feasting on video content?
Social media marketing is experiencing a shift that favors video content. More marketers are choosing this format over others because of the better engagement it fetches. A majority of marketers consider video as the type of content that gets them the best ROI. 
However, in a recent study of the trends in the QSR industry in India in the year 2016, we saw that only 7.6 per cent of the posts published were videos. These were successful in bringing in just 4.3% of the total user interactions. With the popularity of video content in other sectors and geographies, we decided to investigate if QSR brands are missing out by not doing enough videos.
Using the Unmetric Analyze social intelligence platform, we looked closely at the content strategy and performance of the following brands during the first quarter: Burger King, Cafe Coffee Day, Chili’s North and East India, Chili’s South and West India, Costa Coffee, Dunkin Donuts, Domino’s Pizza, KFC, Mc Donald’s, Papa John’s Pizza, Pizza Hut, Starbucks, Subway, Taco Bell and The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.
Here’s what we found:
Contrary to the popular trend, video content has not worked well for brands in the QSR industry in India. 
Photos fetch the best returns in terms of engagement. Videos contributed barely over 6% of the total interactions these brands received. While the brands studied here published 155 videos during the first quarter of 2017, they also posted 878 photos.
This dip in the share of video content is not without reason. Marketers seem to be focusing on snackable content that can be produced without much cost to attract their audience. In the Indian QSR context, other forms of marketing, mainly offline, is still crucial. Very few or almost no brands have opted to do purely social media marketing. In such a scenario, spending money on creating expensive video content solely for social media might seem too risky. The uncertain ROI does not make things any easier.
However, the post with the most shares from this group of brands was a video by McDonald's:
Two videos by KFC followed as close second and third. On a hunch, I took a look at the number of shares that different content types bring in on average:
With organic reach hitting an all-time low, the value of shares cannot be overstated. As more marketers value Facebook’s offerings as an advertising platform more than as a place to build a community or engage their audience, the role of the social video becomes crucial. This sharp difference definitely owes to heavy promotion too. More than half the videos were promoted. 
KFC published the most number of videos as a fraction of their Facebook posts during this period. I took a look at the estimated reach that their posts received to see if the format has an impact on reach:
During this period, KFC promoted almost 70 per cent of all their video content. Over 50 per cent of their photos were promoted too. While promotion has a direct impact on the reach that a piece of content gets, the gap is stark. Even if you were to look at the estimated reach that different types of promoted content receives, video content comes out on top. 
With the benefits video content offers in terms of reach, should QSR brands give more consideration to video content?
What are QSR brands in India missing out by not paying enough attention to social video?
It is impossible to give a clear-cut answer without taking into account which brand we are talking about. While questions like how many videos to do, what approach to take and what returns are up for grabs are best left to data, there are a few reasons why QSR brands should not dismiss videos.
Studies have shown that customers are 4 times more keen on watching a video about your product than reading about it.
Video content catches your audience’s attention more than other types of content. 
Moreover, social media audiences who watch at least parts of your video are more likely to recall your message in the ad, have better brand awareness. It also has a considerable effect on purchase decision.
As we saw in the discussion earlier, Facebook native videos get better reach than other types of content. The algorithm gives even higher priority to live videos.
With such a strong case being made for the video format, social media marketers need to explore whether they are making the most of this opportunity. To iron out your content strategy, always consult past data on your brand, industry trends and make sure that you measure every aspect of your video’s performance.
(The author is a social media journalist at Unmetric)


Campaign India

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