Believe Entertainment Group is an online video content producer probably best known for the Lebron James cartoon The Lebrons. Its co-founders have worked on Seth MacFarlane's "Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy" and MeinSpace.com, an online effort to support Sacha Baron Cohen's Bruno.
Believe Entertainment uses social media channels as venues for talent to engage conversations with fans, as well as events and promotions they say help them extend the life of original content, and they're pretty excited about Facebook's new Open Graph announced at f8 last month.
"Facebook’s Open Graph has implications that reach far beyond the music industry, which is currently driving the conversation," the company tells us. "Through Open Graph’s sharing and discovery capabilities, platforms like Facebook present new opportunities for consumers to discover content through their friends and share it in inventive ways."
We had an email Q&A with co-founders Dan Goodman and Bill Masterson. Following are their joint responses to a few questions.
How will Facebook's Open Graph impact the discovery and monetization of online video?
"Open Graph will hopefully allow content producers like us the opportunity to further engage with the enormous fan bases behind our high-profile talent partners, including LeBron James and DJ/producer Tiësto and create a two-way conversation between the talent and their audiences. The platform has the opportunity to provide an added level of exposure to our content which is already being pushed through sites like YouTube, Hulu, Twitter and talent's sites and social media tools. This extra dimension of engagement and discovery would in turn increased exposure for brand partners, therefore driving monetization."
How do Facebook's most recent announcements improve this, compared to Facebook's earlier platform offerings?
"Prior to the Open Graph announcement, we leveraged social media platforms as a venue for talent to engage in a two-way conversation with their audiences - through mediums like post-episode conversations, offline events and promotions/giveaways. Now, given the opportunity to share and socially engage in fan activities on the same site, groups like Believe will be able to extend the life of original content and fan conversations."
What advice do you have for brands looking to utilize Facebook's open graph to improve their video performance?
"The best way to utilize any platform, whether it is Facebook, Hulu or anything else is to produce quality content with great audience value. The benefit of these platforms is that they allow content producers to experiment with different ways of engaging audiences and creating communities. Hopefully, Open Graph and social networks will continue to drive media consumption and increase the audience for original content."
Is Facebook now more important than YouTube to video success?
"Every social media platform is critical to digital video success. Our success has come from utilizing multiple platforms – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and fan sites – to reach talents’ fans wherever they are and invite them to interact with talent and other fans. One platform isn’t necessarily more important than the other; taking advantage of what each offers to link fans and talent is key."
How can brands leverage the huge fan bases already established on the Facebook Platform?
"Our strategy is simple but effective: create quality content with top talent that draws a large, built-in audience. Then, we provide meaningful ways for brands to get involved. For brands that already have a fan base established on Facebook, it is absolutely pivotal that they engage with those fans, create an interactive environment and make fans feel like their opinions and feedback matters."
"Engaging with fans is also pivotal to our model. For example, after each episode of The LeBrons is released on YouTube, LeBron James himself invites fans into conversation with prompts on all his social media platforms. Believe Entertainment Group intends to leverage Tiësto and Jennifer Lopez’ Facebook fan bases in the same way when their projects launch."