By Olga Egorsheva, for Edwardsturm.com.
With digital seemingly evolving faster than ever, are you clinging on or keeping up? Well, either way, 2016 is a turning out to be a good year for marketers that spend small, but experiment widely.
Welcome to the era of affordable video and mobile everything.
Digital Killed the Tv Ad
How many people do you know that sit through an entire ad break? Probably very few compared to the number which happily watch videos created by friends or colleagues. It’s for this very reason that large ad agencies are moving away from TV advertising and pouring millions into digital. In fact, even Magna Global, one of the largest agencies in the World, recently shifted $200 million from TV into YouTube ads.
It doesn’t seem too long ago that the Internet was reserved for weird flashing boxes that mimicked Windows’ messages and poorly designed ad banners. But, over time, we’ve all borne witness to the transformation and innovation populating the virtual world. Innovation perhaps hasn’t been something always associated with conventional marketing wisdom though. The old way was to simply to rollout the ‘already tested’ recipes time and time again.
But before too long, traditional marketers couldn’t help but notice online networks growing bigger and bigger. In addition to this, startup entrepreneurs, with nothing to lose, began to see results by exploring the unknown. The uncertainty of the internet was removed and marketers understood that the time to jump in had arrived.
This was the moment when traditional marketing had to decide if it was time to retire or to let loose and begin an adventure into new territories. Sooner or later, brands collided on the Internet and fought for space. They hunted for opportunities to explore and sites to carry their messages all over the globe.
Everything’s Changed, Even the Size
So here we are, in 2016, with YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat all crazy about video. But the current advertising dilemma is how much emphasis to place on mobile versus desktop. It’s true that both of them are still driving results, however, clearly more people are now turning their attention to the smaller screens of their smartphones. For example, last year, Google revealed that mobile searches had overtaken desktop for the first time.
So where to start with mobile video marketing? Well, firstly, putting some time aside for experiments will give you less reason to panic; and it’s not about big budgets and studios either – it’s about a crafty mind and how you recycle previous content in a clever way. In fact, Google offers the same advice – tweak the creative you already have and adapt it for digital video.
Experiment and Adapt
If you’re still waiting for someone else to forge a path for you, then you’re wasting time. The trick is to experiment and continually adapt the techniques that work. Some of the biggest brands are actually struggling, simply because of a lack of experimentation. They went big too soon.
Create a Platform for Authentic User Generated Content (UGC)
If you’re a big brand, especially in the B2C arena, it’s very likely you have a community of fans behind your product. Try to learn how these fans are currently interacting with your brand, as you may discover plenty of content for your next video. For example, genuine customer testimonials are an excellent way of creating copy, video, and images. You could distribute these via social media, or they could simply become a good source of inspiration.
Don’t be intimidated by the quality of the visuals that are made with a phone. Apple runs large billboard campaigns that feature ‘shot on iPhone’ photos, as it understands that UGC is authentic, non-intrusiveness and trustworthy. Providing a platform for authentic UGC has become one of the best campaign cards you can play.
Careful with Copyright
In a recent study, Ascend2 revealed that user-generated testimonials are the most effective form of video. These are closely followed by explainers, tutorials and demo videos. However, if you do choose to get the most out of UGC, be careful to let the author know your intention before including it in commercial and public material. Otherwise, you risk financial and non-financial damages. The Intellectual Property is naturally attributed to the author of any creative work.
The stage or the nature of your business might affect the quantity of dedicated UGC, but think about all the other possibilities. If you’re willing to experiment, why not try and find the best content made by real people under no pressure. There are billions of photos and videos out there on social media and some of them could really work for your brand. You might also be surprised by how affordable they are – maybe the cost of a brunch… or less.
And if you want to save time, there are several platforms and marketplaces which take the hassle out of finding the right kind of UGC. Each of these intelligently trawl through hundreds of sources – from Facebook to Flickr, YouTube to Vimeo and even personal clouds (when permission is given).
If you’re looking for a UGC marketplaces, make sure you find one that handles all of the legal aspects, so there’s no need to contact the author yourself, or risk using the content illegally. The UGC marketplace I’m a part of puts an emphasis on this; alternatively you can go to some of the other marketplaces or use other methods.
The Only Constant Is Change…
So yet again, the landscape is changing. In fact, it’s changing to portrait… Marketers should be prepared to experiment like never before and fully embrace user-generated mobile video. With so many tools and channels to explore, it’s simply a matter of deciding where to spend your time.
Adapt the tactics that work and trash the ones that don’t.
Someday we’ll all get shots like this for our videos…