PHOENIX, AZ: MGM Resorts International, the entertainment and hospitality group, has successfully leveraged digital video as a means of driving engagement on Facebook.

Beverly Jackson, VP/Social Media and Content Strategy at MGM Resort International, discussed this subject at the 2017 Digital Summit Phoenix.

And, she reported, the organisation's brand stewards are aware that "the Facebook algorithm is weighted toward video" – an insight neatly dovetailing with the fact this output performs strongly for MGM on various other digital properties.

"That's what this whole video strategy is all about," Jackson said. (For more details, read Warc's exclusive report: MGM Resorts cracks Facebook code with online video.)

While video's strength across multiple digital services made it an efficient destination for marketing spend, it simultaneously helped MGM Resorts tackle a pressing problem for marketers on Facebook.

The social network, Jackson reminded the Digital Summit, has cut back the audience size for typical brand posts, meaning organic reach fell by an average of over 50% in 2016 – and making paid-media support increasingly important.

"One of the challenges is that Facebook is an 800-pound gorilla. It is a destination like no other," Jackson said. "And the way to get better engagement on Facebook is more money – a lot more money."

MGM Resorts knew more audiovisual content could help tackle this issue, but wasn't enough in isolation. "The first thing we realised about our video content is that we had to start telling better stories," Jackson said.

This content allows MGM to increase its organic reach – and the company even found that cinemagraphs, or still photos in which the focus moves back-and-forth across the image to effectively form a video, made a positive impact.

"We immediately realised cinemagraphs drove about 52% more engagement of our Facebook pages than regular images," Jackson said.

"Being able to use these cinemagraphs was an easy lift for us to drive additional engagement without having to put paid [media] behind it."

Data sourced from Warc