When Super Bowl LIII aired last February, one memorable Super Bowl ad stood out with a whisper. Michelob Ultra’s spot where actress Zoe Kravitz talked softly into a microphone while tapping her nails against a beer bottle was a moment nearly 10 years in the making, where ASMR finally hit the mainstream.
ASMR or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response is a term that was first coined in 2010 to describe a pleasurable tingling-like sensation on the scalp or neck that some people get from sounds like whispering, the sound of crumpling paper, or brushing hair. What began as a few ASMRtists making videos where they whispered while playing video games or cosplaying has become a cottage industry with over 13 million videos on YouTube alone, and brands like Pepsi, Dove Chocolate, and KFC were early adopters of ASMR on social media.
ASMR is clearly a fresh and unique way to connect with a growing and engaged audience and to help acclimate consumer brands looking to explore using this form of heightened audio. Here are five things you need to know about using ASMR Video in social media content.
1. It’s A Niche Where Long Form Content Is Embraced
Since ASMR creates a pleasurable sensation for many people and the primary feature of ASMR video is actually the audio, the audience can listen to ASMR indefinitely. Therefore, your social videos don’t need a short time limit. An IKEA YouTube ASMR video called “Oddly IKEA” which is 25 minutes long generated 2,687,927 public views, and was IKEA’s top performing video content on social media in 2017. Meanwhile, Reese Canada in July 2019 released Reese The Movie: A Movie About Reese (An ASMR Experience), feature length ASMR video which generated nearly 600K views on YouTube.
Around ASMR, length is often looked at as a feature as opposed to a burden, and brands should experiment with using longer-form ASMR content to stand out.
2. ASMR Is Not Just For YouTube (Also Instagram)
While ASMR is primarily associated with YouTube, interest around the video type has extended to other platforms. For example, just looking at Gucci between January 1 – October 13, 2019, they’ve released 37 ASMR posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram related to the Gucci Ace sneaker which generated an average of 70,362 Responses per post.
However, Instagram is definitely the most important non-YouTube social media platform for ASMR and is delivering results. In their 2018 year in review, Instagram named ASMR the top niche community trend of the year and during a recent Advertising Week panel with ListenFirst, Sophia Lief, the Senior Manager of Global Social Media at Michael Kors talked about how their recent ASMR videos on Instagram drove a lot more engagement compared to their non-ASMR Instagram posts. Even with video length much shorter on Instagram, any brand experimenting with ASMR should definitely be sharing that content on Instagram.
3. ASMR Has Their Own Social Media Influencers
Just like any other category of videos, ASMR has their own influencers and brands are already leveraging their audiences. For instance, Glossybox partnered with the YouTube channel SophieMichelle ASMR for a monthly series of unboxing videos which have generated as many as 90,000 video views per post. Meanwhile, an affiliate video by the Vlogger fastASMR showing off wooden headphones by MEZE generated over 116,000 YouTube Video Views.
For some brands looking to connect with ASMR video fans, branded content partnerships will potentially provide both a wider and more targeted audience for your ASMR-related messaging than posting on owned social media channels would. By working with a social media analytics solution like ListenFirst, which can authenticate the social media reach and demographics of their followers, brands can make more educated decisions in choosing the right ASMR influencers to work with.
4. The ASMR Audience Is Young And In-Market For Consumer Tech
Internal Google data found that as of 2016, about half the audience expressing interest in ASMR content was between the ages of 18-24. They also found that the audience interested in ASMR was more than twice as likely to be in-market for consumer tech products like laptops, cell phones, and video game consoles.
While Google research found that 77% of the ASMR audience was also interested in beauty and fitness content, which is more expected, it’s important to highlight that beauty isn’t the only vertical where the ASMR audience over-indexes.
5. With ASMR You Don’t Need To Overthink It
In the case of Applebee’s Grill & Bar, a sizzle reel literally means a sizzle reel. The brand uploaded 5 ASMR videos to YouTube in 2018 that were literally just the sound and visual of meat sizzling on the grill. The whole campaign generating 93,779 YouTube video views. Meanwhile, the top performing YouTube video for Behr Paint in 2018 was an ASMR video showing the sights and sounds of a room being painted.
Because the focus of ASMR is supposed to be sensory, brand content doesn’t need to have a clever plot or even narrative. Simple, close up visuals that draws the audience’s attention back to the sounds being heard will often have the greatest impact in engaging ASMR fans.
With ASMR, as with any social media trend or innovation, data is required to properly understand the best practices around engagement. By partnering with ListenFirst, brands will get the context necessary to find and connect with the right ASMR audience for your content to stand out.
Want more information on how ListenFirst can help your brand track trends like ASMR? Request a demo today!