With the rise of on demand streaming TV platforms, it is fundamental to be aware of what experiences the audience are looking for. Watching TV is no longer a passive activity, social media gives viewers the voice and power to be active, to influence, and to engage with one another in real time. On demand platforms ought to be always in control and stay ahead of competition to adjust their strategy and create killer content. Competition is rising in the MENA region, video streaming services are fighting for their place among competitors.
It is crucial to always stay ahead of the game and be aware of what is going on. There is more competition now than ever before. Netflix might have given the industry a boost when it arrived in the region in 2016, but is no longer a one player game. Users are given more options with a variety of content on each platform; hence, there is a shift in consumer habits and expectations.
In this article, we will analyze how on demand streaming platforms are using social media to connect with their audience. Using the Crowd Analyzer tool, we looked at 6.2 million social media activity of the four leading on-demand streaming platforms in the MENA region: Netflix, VIU, Watchit, and Shahid. We monitored and analyzed social media activities from the 16th of September to the 26th of October to provide 4 key insights on how their performance is resonating with the audience. It is very important for marketers to be aware of the latest trends that will help TV and media brands optimize their social media strategy.
1. Arabic based streaming apps are the most popular in the region
People in the Middle East are never going to give up watching TV. Recently, there has been a switch in consumer behavior especially with an increased demand for online activity because of the COVID 19 pandemic and the lockdown it led to. One could say that on demand streaming platforms replaced the means of watching TV, but that’s not the case, since audiences spend almost the same time watching TV. The two most popular on demand platforms, Watch It and Shahid, are actually online versions of TV channels. This indicates that users still value the same quality of TV content, but enjoy watching it on their own terms in their own time.
2. Facebook and Instagram are the top channels for audience interaction
Social media is considered a powerful resource for TV brands to interact with their audience. As shown, Facebook, by far, has the highest rate of consumer activities in comparison with other platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. During the monitored period, 51% of total received interactions were derived from the Watch iT Facebook account.
It's worth mentioning that Shahid.VOD Instagram account received 44% engagement rate during the monitored period, showing that almost half of their audience were engaged with the content that was posted on Instagram. Also Shahid was the best performing brand in terms of sentiment on social media with 69% positive activities for the brand.
Although 18% of Instagram followers interacted with the brands; there is an interest to follow what content will those brands will put out. Followers of on demand platforms are most likely to discuss the following:
3. Empowering your audience to speak for your brand is an effective marketing tactic
In the age of social media, consumers have the power to voice out their opinions. In fact social media gives them the space they need to act upon their opinion. If a brand focuses on turning those devoted social media followers into advocates for the brand, it is a guaranteed win for their content strategy.
On demand streaming platforms and TV are now being associated with social gatherings. Social media users are now finding their community online; fans and critics for certain content are being created all the time. It is key for every brand to pay attention to what they are saying. However, for a consumer to turn to an advocate there is a certain consumer life cycle. 29% of consumers actually reach the final stage, which is advocacy. This means this is an opportunity to create user generated content that would most definitely attract more consumers.
The NetflixMENA twitter account showed that 57% of users in the advocacy stage were recommending Netflix content on Twitter.
The consumer cycle was analyzed based on pre-identified filters that captures users' comments mentioning keywords relevant to each stage with an average accuracy rate of 85%.
4. Authentic content is still the most valuable
When people are searching for opinions, they are looking for people they could relate to. In marketing terms, those are now referred to as the Nano influencers i.e. everyday consumers. People would trust the opinion of a friend; consumers are starting to question traditional advertising and its methods. So marketers need to be keen on adding an authentic voice to their content strategy. The chart below further clarifies the share of voice by influencer type for the monitored brands.
There are so many opportunities in this booming industry that is revolutionizing TV viewing. It is key to always be aware of the marketing trends and how your audience are reacting to it. We are here to support you with our social media listening tool that will help you create the most effective content strategy.