tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/video Latest Video content from Econsultancy 2017-05-17T10:36:26+01:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69094 2017-05-17T10:36:26+01:00 2017-05-17T10:36:26+01:00 Five examples of brands using interactive video Nikki Gilliland <p>This is where interactive video comes in. Instead of a passive user experience, interactive video requires the person watching to take action – e.g. answer a question or make a decision – usually to inform how the rest of the video unfolds.</p> <p>There are many benefits, including longer viewing times, greater engagement, and even data capture.</p> <p>While the technology is certainly nothing new, there appears to have been a surge in brands experimenting with it lately. Here are a few examples and the reasons why it works.</p> <h3>Mended Little Hearts</h3> <p>Mended Little Hearts is a charity for children with congenital heart disease. Its recent campaign, ‘Give a Fuller Life’, uses interactive video to show how donating money can transform the lives of those affected.</p> <p>The animated video depicts a day in the life of 11-year-old Max, who we first see wandering along the street looking lost and lonely. Viewers are prompted to pledge a donation, which results in Max’s life becoming a little brighter each time. Gradually, the street becomes sunnier, and family, animals, and toys also start to appear. </p> <p>The video is simple but surprisingly emotive, effectively highlighting how a small act (which often involves just a few clicks online) can dramatically transform a child’s life.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/T88vbtCsuEw?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Warner Bros.</h3> <p>Focus is a 2015 movie starring Will Smith as a veteran conman. Alongside the standard trailer Warner Bros. released an interactive video to promote the movie before it hit cinemas.</p> <p>It allows viewers to test their own skills as a con artist by making a series of decisions as they go. The potential 'marks' include an internet mogul, an investment banker, and an art dealer, with each one presenting a different challenge for participating viewers.</p> <p>While Focus turned out to be fairly predictable as a film, its interactive video is far more innovative. Combining gamification and movie marketing – it’s a great example of how to pique interest and engage consumers in the run up to a release.</p> <p><a href="http://www.raptmedia.com/customers/warner-bros-focus/" target="_blank"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6108/Focus.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="444"></a></p> <h3>Deloitte</h3> <p>Most recruitment videos tend to be quite dry, however Deloitte chose a more light-hearted tack for its New Zealand graduate recruitment program.</p> <p>Filmed as a ‘day in the life’ of a Deloitte employee, the gamified video allows users to choose how they’d react to a number of different work-based scenarios. From telling a co-worker about spilt coffee on their jacket, to what to do if a printer breaks – each one highlights the various skills and attributes valued by the company.</p> <p>The result is a highly engaging and immersive video experience, which effectively educates viewers about Deloitte while simultaneously prompting them to think about whether they’d be a good fit. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/EUw0vzyN9ZM?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Honda</h3> <p>To promote its Civic Type R, Honda wanted to create a video that showcased another side of the typically reliable automotive brand.</p> <p>The result was an interactive, dual-narrative video that allowed viewers to switch between two storylines. The first involved a father picking up his daughter from school and taking her to a party. However, when viewers pressed the ‘R’ key on their keyboard or tablet, the other side of the story was revealed, with the father becoming an undercover cop by night. </p> <p>By controlling exactly how the video can be watched, the user experience immedately changes from a passive to an active one, becoming far more engaging as a result.</p> <p>What’s more, the video is also an example of how to engage a wider audience, with all kinds of people likely to enjoy it, regardless of whether they have an interest in the brand or product itself.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/FU5CLg2LAmg?wmode=transparent" width="780" height="439"></iframe></p> <h3>Maybelline New York</h3> <p>While a lot of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67884-seven-ways-social-media-is-shaping-the-beauty-industry/" target="_blank">beauty-related videos</a> are more interactive than other industries (in that they offer tutorials or advice), Maybelline takes this one step further with its interactive tutorial video for Big Eyes Mascara.</p> <p>For the video, Maybelline teamed up with Kelly Framel, a popular fashion blogger, to create a tutorial of four different looks based around a single core product.  </p> <p>The video allows viewers to navigate different beauty tutorials, choosing the style and context of each one, such as ‘day’ or ‘night’ and ‘club tropicana’ and ‘rebel chic’. While the video isn’t exactly ground-breaking, it shows how interactive video can potentially be used to increase conversion. </p> <p>Unlike buying a car, for example, the nature of shopping for beauty products is much more instinctive and spontaneous, meaning that interactive video can prompt an immediate response from viewers. </p> <p><a href="https://www.raptmedia.com/customers/maybelline-new-york-engagement-conversions/" target="_blank"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6109/Maybelline_video.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="434"></a></p> <p><em><strong>Further reading: </strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67932-the-future-of-video-is-vertical-texted-emotional/" target="_blank">The future of video is vertical, texted &amp; emotional</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68640-why-live-video-was-the-biggest-social-trend-of-2016/" target="_blank">Why live video was the biggest social trend of 2016</a></em></li> </ul> <p><em><strong>For more, you can also check out Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/video-marketing-strategies" target="_blank">Video Marketing Strategy Training</a> course.</strong></em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69052 2017-05-09T10:00:00+01:00 2017-05-09T10:00:00+01:00 How VisitScotland is transforming the traditional tourist body Nikki Gilliland <p>Here’s a summary of what he said along with some further insight into the topic in general.</p> <h3>Promoting the bigger picture</h3> <p>VisitScotland’s aim is to become more than just a traditional tourism website. While it is still very much focused on attracting new people into the country, as well as providing sufficient information during their visit, its strategy is also to sell Scotland as part of the global marketplace.</p> <p>Its core aim is to build equity within the nation based on factors like heritage and history. Its second is to demonstrate other attributes – such as innovation or an inclusive society – that people outside of Scotland might not know about. </p> <p>Luckily, one facilitates the other, with Scotland’s biggest assets – i.e. its people and place – providing a natural halo effect for other sectors and products, such as academia or trade and investment.</p> <h3>Forging strategic partnerships</h3> <p>Alongside marketing via its own channels, a big part of VisitScotland's strategy is to increase visibility through strategic partnerships.</p> <p>It has recently signed a deal with TripAdvisor to work on a joint marketing campaign, designed to target potential travellers who aren’t necessarily considering Scotland as a destination. For example, if a user is researching other places associated with golf or hiking, they'll be served ads promoting similar activities in Scotland.</p> <p>By capitalising on TripAdvisor’s large and loyal customer-base – those who typically visit the site to seek advice – it will be able to reach a new and untapped audience. </p> <blockquote> <p>At this point, we're less concerned how people come across Scotland (in terms of channel) - only that at the point of research or booking they’re getting the very best experience possible. </p> </blockquote> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5849/TripAdvisor.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="492"></p> <h3>Getting social users to take action</h3> <p>While partnerships provide a platform, VisitScotland also heavily relies on word of mouth as the ultimate marketing tool. After all, 92% of consumers are said to trust a recommendation from a friend rather than an ad. When it comes to the inspiring nature of travel, nothing beats hearing about someone else’s first-hand experience.</p> <p>With the aim of nurturing the existing goodwill that exists for the country, VisitScotland increasingly invests in channels that enable people to spread the word. However, it also recognises that being active on social media is not enough. The key is in mastering the technical aspects of social that prompt people to take action.</p> <p>So what exactly turns a passive social user into an actual consumer?</p> <p>Charlie suggests that it is never one great campaign or a single viral video, but an accumulative experience people have over time. This also falls into the mind-set of the millennial audience – a traveller who is much more interested in experiencing a culture from a local's perspective than that of a holiday-maker or tourist. Channels like Instagram, where users can upload and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68604-why-ugc-is-the-future-of-social-media-in-travel-and-tourism-marketing/" target="_blank">share their own authentic experiences</a>, are highly effective for driving advocacy.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5850/Instagram_VS.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="517"></p> <h3>Using the political climate to its advantage</h3> <p>So, what about marketing a country in the midst of political upheaval?</p> <p>Charlie says that, instead of being a negative, politics can actually make people more engaged in a country or the conversation that surrounds it. This is because modern travellers are also increasingly interested in finding out about socio-economic or political factors – e.g. a sense of fairness or opportunity – as an integral part of travel. To ignore this would result in a less authentic experience. </p> <blockquote> <p>Any negative sentiment that exists could provide the ideal opportunity for us to talk about Scotland and what is has to offer in a positive way. </p> </blockquote> <h3>Creating an emotional pull</h3> <p>When it comes to attracting consumers, the problem for most national tourism bodies is direct competition from travel providers such as Skyscanner or <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68330-an-in-depth-analysis-of-how-expedia-converts-visitors-into-customers-part-one/" target="_blank">Expedia</a> and indeed sites like TripAdvisor. </p> <p>One reason people might naturally turn to these instead is likely to be a perceived lack of digital innovation. In the past year or so, VisitScotland has been working hard to dispel this notion, combining new technology with emotive or story-focused content to engage potential consumers. Its VR app, which allows users to explore iconic locations in 360-degrees, is just one example of this.</p> <p>Lastly, instead of fighting against the competition, the brand also recognises that greater opportunity arises from working together. By creating and providing quality content to consumers, regardless of where they come across it, VisitScotland ensures it is able to spread its message to as many people as possible.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Caught on camera, one of the sweetest moments <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/spring?src=hash">#spring</a> brings! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WildAboutArgyll?src=hash">#WildAboutArgyll</a> IG/jonathanwillb <a href="https://t.co/V8yYLqwncD">pic.twitter.com/V8yYLqwncD</a></p> — VisitScotland (@VisitScotland) <a href="https://twitter.com/VisitScotland/status/858243210384211969">April 29, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p><em><strong>Related articles:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68849-three-reasons-to-appreciate-visitscotland-s-tourism-website/" target="_blank">Three reasons to appreciate VisitScotland’s tourism website</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67952-five-tourism-websites-guaranteed-to-give-you-wanderlust/" target="_blank">Five tourism websites guaranteed to give you wanderlust</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69060 2017-05-08T10:00:00+01:00 2017-05-08T10:00:00+01:00 Why brands can’t resist partnering with Buzzfeed Tasty on Facebook Nikki Gilliland <p>So, why can’t users get enough of Buzzfeed’s take on food? More importantly, why are other brands (even in industries other than FMCG) falling over themselves to get involved?</p> <p>I recently heard Ashley McCollum, general manager at Buzzfeed Tasty, speak about this topic at Millennial 20/20. Here are a few key takeaways.</p> <h3>Adapting to the changing nature of food and social</h3> <p>When Buzzfeed Tasty first began, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67856-four-delicious-examples-of-food-drink-brands-on-instagram/" target="_blank">food content</a> on the internet was vastly different, being more about food porn and Pinterest-style imagery than everyday recipe videos. Since then, consumer interest has shifted towards fast and simple how-to's, prioritising the contrasting verticals of comfort and health.</p> <p>Content relating to these trends tend to be the most relatable and easy to replicate at home. In fact, according to Ashley, 50% of the audience has at some point made a Tasty recipe themselves. The most common type of comment is also a user tagging family or friends and saying ‘we should make this at the weekend’.</p> <p>This accessibility has undoubtedly been a huge factor in Buzzfeed’s success. And be it pizza cones or grow-your-own herbs – it is the publisher’s ability to tap into current trends and user interests that has helped audience figures to sky-rocket.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fbuzzfeedpropertasty%2Fvideos%2F1852979081581430%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=400" width="400" height="400"></iframe></p> <h3>Accidentally global</h3> <p>The relatable nature of food also links back to why Tasty started, first being launched as an experiment to crack Facebook video.</p> <p>The fact that it has generated international interest is a happy accident. But that's the beauty of it, of course, with videos resonating regardless of language or location. The content disrupts the inaccessiblity of restaurants and high-end chefs, with videos that are short, relatable and easy-to-follow being watched in home kitchens around the world.</p> <p>So while they might have started out as part of an experiment, Buzzfeed’s spin-off channels have gone on contribute to the brand’s global audience growth. Proper Tasty might be a local channel, but content created for the platform has been replicated in other European markets. Meanwhile, Proper Tasty itself has also seen an increase in views for videos that celebrate global cuisine.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fbuzzfeedpropertasty%2Fvideos%2F1889978077881530%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=400" width="400" height="400"></iframe></p> <h3>Loyalty in a crowded marketplace</h3> <p>More brands are now working on sponsored content with Buzzfeed on the basis of its growth – even choosing Tasty over other established industry publishers like the Food Network. Reach and scale is just one reason, of course. Engagement is perhaps the biggest driver. </p> <p>With content that's tailor-made for Facebook - where features like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67442-how-to-create-facebook-video-ads-that-cater-for-silent-autoplay/" target="_blank">auto-play and subtitles</a> enable users to watch directly from their feed – comments and views are typically high.</p> <p>Take the below video of a cheese fondue bowl, for example, which has had 12m views and over 43,000 shares since it was published.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fbuzzfeedpropertasty%2Fvideos%2F1905931132952891%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=400" width="400" height="400"></iframe></p> <p>As Ashley pointed out, it is also Buzzfeed’s existing brand reputation that has generated such a large and loyal audience. Users can spot a Buzzfeed copycat a mile off, with similar formats coming across as unoriginal as a result. </p> <h3>Connection between food and lifestyle</h3> <p>While access to Tasty’s audience undoubtedly holds appeal, it's easy to assume that only FMCG brands would naturally align with the theme and style of its content. This is not the case. In fact, auto, finance and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67786-10-great-sports-digital-marketing-campaigns/" target="_blank">sports</a> are growing categories for Tasty and Proper Tasty, with brands across all industries showing interest in producing partnered content related to the core topic.</p> <p>Again, this boils down to the fact that food is an intrinsic part of all aspects of life, extending out of the kitchen and into other areas such as travel, home, and even fashion (demonstrated by the below image from ASOS).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5894/ASOS_burger.JPG" alt="" width="460" height="598"></p> <h3>Proof is in the pudding</h3> <p>So, what kind of success are brands seeing with Buzzfeed Tasty? Ashley highlighted the example of Oster Grill, whose minute-long video featuring a jalapeño and cheese-stuffed hamburger generated 20m views over the course of a single weekend.</p> <p>As a result of this, the brand requested that Buzzfeed pull the plug on its planned follow-up videos. The reason being that they had completely sold out of stock and were unable to meet customer demand.</p> <p>Success stories aside, it is also clear that Buzzfeed does not rest on its laurels. As a data-driven company it continuously uses data science to drive and inform decision-making. </p> <p>It recently partnered with Quaker Oats on a campaign that had already launched in the US. However, from looking at metrics from across the pond, it recognised that users were switching off during beauty shots – i.e. moments with zero context or information about how to actually make the oats.</p> <p>By making the video more utility-driven, the UK version ended up performing 20 times better than the US campaign, proving that even the biggest brands can benefit from a test and learn approach.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fbuzzfeedpropertasty%2Fvideos%2F1823070134572325%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=400" width="400" height="400"></iframe></p> <p><em><strong>More on Buzzfeed:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67150-buzzfeed-the-art-and-science-of-social-video/" target="_blank">Buzzfeed: The art and science of social video</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68426-a-brand-that-loves-you-how-buzzfeed-uses-empathy-to-connect-with-its-audience/" target="_blank">A brand that loves you: How Buzzfeed uses empathy to connect with its audience</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69013 2017-04-20T10:00:08+01:00 2017-04-20T10:00:08+01:00 What do Facebook's new VR and AR platforms mean for marketers? Ben Davis <h3>AR: The Camera Effects Platform</h3> <h4>Snapchat on steroids gives creative power to the consumer</h4> <p>The best way to think of the Camera Effects Platform is as Snapchat on steroids. Take a look at the BuzzFeed video below and you'll see the platform takes the idea of Snapchat lenses and extends this functionality to other objects and parts of the scenery.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FBuzzFeedTech%2Fvideos%2F1298622390258734%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=400" width="400" height="400"></iframe></p> <p>The video is compelling because it shows how photo and video sharing might be taken to the next level. One can imagine the creative lexicon of Facebook and Instagram users expanding quickly.</p> <p>My first thought was: 'What does this mean for Photoshop?' Creative content production is becoming ever easier. With the Camera Effects Platform open to developers, these effects will multiply. Much like the app model, effects have to be submitted and reviewed by Facebook before being made available.</p> <p>As the platform becomes richer, will we see consumers creating an even greater share of the most popular content online, just by using their social apps? Where brands were slightly slow to get to grips with Snapchat and perhaps justified this by thinking of it as a small(ish) walled garden, the same rationale cannot be applied to any camera app developed by Facebook.</p> <p>The possibilities for brands to produce their own magical AR content are exciting, but so too are the possibilities of harnessing newly AR-literate <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-voice-of-the-influencer/">influencers</a> to create some of this stuff on their behalf.</p> <h4>Big advertising opportunities</h4> <p>We've already seen the potential for sponsored Snapchat lenses and filters. With Facebook's Camera Effects Platform, this potential is multiplied many times.</p> <p>With any object recognisable, not just a face, the relevance for brands increases greatly. From cars to clothes, furniture to buildings, food to scenery, the creative applications should allow Facebook to create some snazzy branded experiences. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5575/feeding_time.gif" alt="feeding time gif" width="203" height="360"></p> <h4>Adding sticky notes to real world objects</h4> <p>One of the immediate uses of the AR Studio (one part of the Camera Effects Platform open to developers) is to add information cards to real world objects. In his keynote, Mark Zuckerberg described the scenario of visiting the Coliseum and learning about the building by holding up your phone.</p> <p>The implications of this are broad but are particularly interesting in education. The smartphone has long been touted as a way of making real-world learning more fun, but apps <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63197-pedigree-teams-with-zappar-for-augmented-reality-children-s-annuals/">such as Zappar</a> have had limited success in this area. Facebook's use of precise location data and not just visual triggers looks like it might expand the possibilities for annotating the real world.</p> <p>These virtual sticky notes are of obvious interest if they can be updated regularly and provided in multiple languages. They may have uses in providing product information, too. The still below from Facebook's example shows a card applied to a bottle of wine when the user clicks the highlighted blue dot as they look through their phone.</p> <p>Again, companies such as Blippar have so far failed to combine the physical and the virtual in this way – Facebook's tech will prove if those pioneers were hampered by lack of users or something more fundamental.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5574/pinot.jpg" alt="pinot AR" width="320" height="569"></p> <h4>Are creative uses as exciting as functional ones?</h4> <p>Though the labelling of real world objects is a functional use, many have pointed out that the real sweet spot in AR is actually identification and search – pointing your camera at something (let's say a plant) and being told what that thing is and either where to get it or what to do with it.</p> <p>This is functionality that has been around in admittedly limited form for some time (Amazon Firefly, Google Goggles, Bing visual search) but hasn't taken off (perhaps because of device and functionality limitations). As Pinterest and other tech companies enter this space again in pursuit of visual search, it's interesting that Facebook is concentrating on fun. Indeed, the fun side of AR is probably the only proven use case on a large scale, so Facebook is arguably putting its money on the right horse.</p> <p>Of course, search has never been a big thing for Facebook, but sharing content has.</p> <h3>VR - Facebook Spaces</h3> <p>In the great tradition of tech product launches, Facebook's explainer video for Spaces is cringey beyond belief, but it's probably the quickest way to understand the platform. It's a heady mix of communication through avatars, 360-degree scenery, content sharing and 3D drawing.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FFacebookTips%2Fvideos%2F10155260579068466%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h4>A premium on 360-degree content</h4> <p>Facebook's new release says: "You and your friends can relive personal memories from your own Timelines, or even make new ones as you explore things that interest you from people and Pages you follow."</p> <p>There's an obvious opportunity for publishers and brands here. Spaces needs 360-degree photos and videos for people to explore, and brands can provide this. Yes, there are brands that have already experimented here (e.g. <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67766-10-examples-of-great-travel-marketing-campaigns/">Thomas Cook</a>, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68900-ted-baker-uses-360-video-and-instagram-stories-for-new-ss17-campaign/">Ted Baker</a>, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67877-how-automotive-brands-are-blurring-the-lines-between-digital-reality/">Renault</a>) but the addition of social interaction makes for an interesting prospect.</p> <p>Even from an experiential/events marketing point of view, rather than simply whacking a headset on a person, a salesperson can interact with the consumer within the content, leading to much more personable and enjoyable experiences.</p> <h4>Patience, everyone need a headset</h4> <p>VR headsets are few and far between at the moment (among the general populace), which means that as Facebook Spaces is rolled out, many interactions must necessarily be between one caller in real life and one in VR. Will these interactions work?</p> <p>I know you've just watched one cringey video, but I'm going to make you watch another that illustrates one of these interactions.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FFacebookTips%2Fvideos%2F10155247823158466%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>I don't think it's such a terrible experience for the non-headset person as they can enjoy the cartoon avatar and relative novelty of the experience. However, I'm unsure of the benefit for the person calling in VR – all they see is a projected video call, just as they would do if they were looking at their smartphone.</p> <p>Truly social experiences in VR will depend on headset penetration increasing dramatically. Brands don't need to worry about this in the wild for a while yet.</p> <h4>Is there an appetite for animation?</h4> <p>The unknowable is whether people will enjoy these types of experiences. Whilst I can relate to millennials and youngsters who want to hide behind an avatar, I also know that bitmoji isn't for everyone. That Groove Armada lyric comes to mind – "<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOI-zEwjdEQ">if everybody looked the same...</a>"</p> <p>Personally, I would use social VR over Skype (or webinar tech) in a heartbeat, if the animations and the mouth movement are indeed convincing. However, much further down the line, it's not hard to imagine a world of AR and VR making <em>real</em> experiences all the more valuable.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69011 2017-04-19T15:00:00+01:00 2017-04-19T15:00:00+01:00 Jumping on the bandwagon: How brands capitalised on Coachella Nikki Gilliland <p>Last weekend, the Californian desert was home to music, merriment, and a whole heap of marketing - with brands taking the opportunity to capitalise on the ‘coolest’ event in the calendar.</p> <p>Here’s a few examples of how brands of all kinds capitalised on it.</p> <h3><strong>Pop-ups and parties </strong></h3> <p>This year, brand involvement began even before Coachella started, with ecommerce retailer Revolve taking advantage of inevitable excitement and pre-festival buzz.</p> <p>Revolve’s Social Club typically holds exclusive and members-only events, however, it launched a special pop-up shop – which was also open to the general public – a week before the festival started.</p> <p>Selling limited edition items inspired by the festival, its aim was to generate excitement for people going as well as those who might be missing out.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5525/Revolve_social.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="491"></p> <p>Pre-festival events like these are just the beginning of the story, of course, with most pop-ups and parties occurring during the festival weekend itself.</p> <p>While sponsorship is also commonplace at concerts and sporting events, festivals are the perfect environment to go one step further with an <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66908-10-inspiring-experiential-marketing-examples/" target="_blank">experiential marketing</a> approach. Heineken is one example of a brand that delivers an ‘experience’ for festival-goers, using its ‘Heineken House’ concept to entertain visitors and bring a sense of fun along with its brand message.</p> <p>This year, the pop-up included a sustainable dancefloor – powered by the movement of dancers during musical sets – and a free water initiative designed to encourage responsible drinking.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Our <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HeinekenHouse?src=hash">#HeinekenHouse</a> lineup is finally here, and it's looking like our most impressive line-up yet! You're not going to want to miss this. <a href="https://t.co/SvbMMmEPcI">pic.twitter.com/SvbMMmEPcI</a></p> — Heineken US (@Heineken_US) <a href="https://twitter.com/Heineken_US/status/851438114526695424">April 10, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3><strong>Freebies </strong></h3> <p>It’s ironic that the more famous people become, the more freebies they're able to get their hands on. Coachella is no exception, providing the perfect spotlight for brands for showcase their products, with the knowledge that the images will be circulated in the media and fashion magazines.</p> <p>Meanwhile, luxury brands are willing to give away products simply because the Coachella demographic is exactly the type of consumer they would normally target. For instance, tequila company Casa Dragones partnered with a startup helicopter service to offer consumers a journey like no other. (Yes, I did say 'startup helicopter service'. Moving swiftly on.)</p> <p>Offering free shots to all passengers, it ensured brand visibility at a time when consumers would be most receptive to it. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5526/Casa_Dragones.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="412"></p> <p>With transportation company Tesloop also reportedly offering free rides home from after-parties, it appears companies of all kinds are vying just for the opportunity to have a presence at the festival.</p> <h3><strong>Fashion inspiration</strong></h3> <p>While high-end fashion designers are typically seen at Coachella, high street brands still try to emulate the festival look with items inspired by the event itself – even if they aren’t directly affiliated with it.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66292-how-urban-outfitters-can-improve-in-joining-offline-with-online/" target="_blank">Urban Outfitters</a> landed in hot water last month over its recent Coachella-themed range, so much so that the festival filed a lawsuit against the retailer for exploiting the trademark without authorisation. Free People were also hit with the lawsuit, suggesting that the items falsely implied the brand was an official sponsor.</p> <p>Regardless of the outcome, this demonstrates just how synonymous Coachella has become with fashion, with brands using its name to drive sales as well as directly influence designs.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5527/Urban_Outfitters.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="528"></p> <h3><strong>Social media influencers </strong></h3> <p>These days, brands don’t only want to see their products promoted by celebrities, with some choosing to pay for <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68409-four-key-trends-within-the-world-of-influencer-marketing/" target="_blank">social media influencers</a> to attend festivals like Coachella instead.</p> <p>This is because, instead of counting on third-party publications to cover the event, brands are able to rely on influencers dedicating posts or even entire blogs or vlogs to them. Keihl’s took several beauty influencers to Coachella this year, featuring them on its own social media channels as well as capitalising on their combined audiences.</p> <p>Fleur de Force, just one influencer involved, has over 1.4m subscribers on her second YouTube channel. By working with influencers like Fleur, whose dedicated audience is likely to trust her advocacy, the brand is able to ensure extra visibility and greater authenticity – as well as a strengthened relationship with the influencers themselves.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/os_DqBG6Xm4?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p><strong>To find out more about influencer marketing, check out Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/" target="_blank">Rise of Influencer</a> report.</strong></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68996 2017-04-13T15:22:31+01:00 2017-04-13T15:22:31+01:00 10 cracking digital marketing stats from this week Nikki Gilliland <h3>28% of marketers still feeling unprepared for the GDPR</h3> <p>With just over a year until the GDPR comes into force, a <a href="https://dma.org.uk/infographic/infographic-b2b-marketing-and-the-gdpr" target="_blank">new infographic</a> from the DMA shows that many marketers are failing to prepare.</p> <p>While general awareness of the GDPR is up, 28% of B2B marketers still feeling unprepared – down just 2% from previous figures. Only two-thirds of survey respondents said their business would be GDPR compliant in time for 2018.</p> <p>In terms of the causes of concern, 37% of marketers said profiling, while 50% said it was legacy data. The biggest was by far consent, with 70% agreeing that it would change under the GDPR.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5442/DMA_infographic.JPG" alt="" width="618" height="324"></p> <h3>Three fifths of marketing graduates have no knowledge of affiliate strategies</h3> <p>Affilinet has been researching how well marketing students are prepared for a career in the industry, with results showing that many are graduating with little or no knowledge of affiliate or performance-based marketing.</p> <p>In a survey, 41% of graduates said that they have studied modules related to affiliate marketing. Out of these, however, 67% stated that the information taught was ‘outdated and unhelpful’.</p> <p>52% admitted that they’d needed to teach themselves to progress in their career, with 22% learning through courses later on. The remaining 26% of marketing graduates said that they still had no knowledge of affiliate practices whatsoever.</p> <h3>Mobile drives digital ad spend past £10bn</h3> <p>According to a new report from <a href="https://iabuk.net/about/press/archive/mobile-drives-digital-ad-spend-past-10-billion-threshold" target="_blank">IAB and PwC,</a> digital advertising grew at its fastest rate for nine years in 2016, increasing 17.3% to £10.3bn.</p> <p>Mobile video is now the fastest-growing ad format, with spend on mobile video ads doubling to £693m. Consequently, it now accounts for 29% of the total growth in ad spend.</p> <p>Insight suggests that the rise reflects the increasing amount of users watching video clips on their smartphones, with two in five people reportedly saying they now watch mobile video more than they did a year ago.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5440/PwC_IAB.png" alt="" width="780" height="480"></p> <h3>Just 13% of employees able to name their company CMO</h3> <p>New research by eShare suggests that chief marketing officers are one of the least recognised board members, with just 13% of employees able to identify the CMO of their organisation.</p> <p>In a survey of over 1,000 UK employees, just 8% were able to identify the chairperson and 14% were able to identify the chief information officer and chief financial officer. In contrast, 36% were able to name the CEO, making this the most visible board member to UK employees.</p> <h3>66% of beauty shoppers use Instagram for inspiration</h3> <p>Facebook and Instagram has revealed how beauty shoppers are increasingly turning to social media to help inform their purchases.</p> <p>The Mobile Makeover Report states that 66% of beauty shoppers look to social media for inspiration on how to achieve their perfect look, 70% for learning make-up techniques and 62% for advice on products. </p> <p>Tutorials are among the most popular types of video, with 74% of beauty viewers watching ‘how-to’ content. You can read more about how mobile is impacting the beauty industry <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68992-three-ways-mobile-is-impacting-the-beauty-industry/" target="_blank">in this article</a>. </p> <h3>41% of UK shoppers will spend more to make Easter special</h3> <p>Savvy has been exploring how consumers will spend their money over Easter, with 62% of UK shoppers planning to celebrate over the bank holiday weekend.</p> <p>In a survey, 41% of respondents said they don’t mind spending more in order to make their Easter celebrations special. That being said, shoppers will still be on the hunt for a discount, with 60% saying they already know where they’ll can find the best value Easter eggs.</p> <p>Unsurprisingly, eggs will be the most popular item to buy, followed by chocolate in general, and the ingredients for a roast dinner. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5441/Savvy.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="452"></p> <h3>62% of ecommerce brands don’t personalise digital experiences</h3> <p>Episerver’s <a href="http://www.episerver.com/learn/resources/research--reports/seven-digital-commerce-trends-for-retail-2017/" target="_blank">State of Digital Commerce</a> report suggests that just 38% of ecommerce brands are incorporating personalisation into their current marketing strategies. Despite 70% of companies using email marketing, only 28% are using triggered emails to re-engage non-converting customers.</p> <p>What’s more, despite the abundance of data available, 46% of marketers admit they wouldn’t be able to create an omnichannel campaign due to a lack of insight into the customer journey.</p> <h3>Paddy Power generates the most social engagements during Grand National</h3> <p>4C has analysed the level of social engagement generated from TV ads during the Grand National. Results show that Paddy Paddy stole the show, with its two ads generating 59,527 engagements from public mentions, retweets, comments and likes on social channels – double the engagement of competitors.</p> <p>SkyBet saw 16,840 engagements and Coral saw 18,733. Meanwhile, despite its close association with horse racing, William Hill saw just 2,812 over the course of the event.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Looking for some guidance on how to pick the winner of the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GrandNational?src=hash">#GrandNational</a>? Watch this video to find out how the experts do it. <a href="https://t.co/27q9DPQJP0">pic.twitter.com/27q9DPQJP0</a></p> — Paddy Power (@paddypower) <a href="https://twitter.com/paddypower/status/850644686096281600">April 8, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Consumers see Snapchat as a passing trend for brand communication</h3> <p>A new study by <a href="https://uk.mailjet.com/blog/guide/email-innovations-research-report/" target="_blank">Mailjet</a> has revealed that consumers are displaying a lack of faith in new platforms like Pinterest and Snapchat and their role in brand communication.</p> <p>41% of consumers believe that email is the platform most people will be using in 10 years’ time, followed by 26% of consumers saying the same for Facebook and WhatsApp. In contrast, just 11% of people are certain that Pinterest and LinkedIn will be used in a decade and only 14% are confident that Snapchat will still exist. </p> <p>Despite many brands getting involved, major updates to platforms are also going unnoticed by consumers, with just 6% of people noting Instagram’s ‘buy button’.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5443/Instagram_shop_now.JPG" alt="" width="680" height="452"></p> <h3>Supermarket promotions fall to lowest level in 11 years</h3> <p>According to <a href="http://www.nielsen.com/uk/en/press-room/2017/supermarket-promotions-at-lowest-level-for-11-years.html" target="_blank">Nielsen</a>, supermarket promotions have fallen to their lowest level in 11 years in the UK, with just 26% of consumer spend going towards temporary discounts or multi-buy offers in the four weeks up until 25th March 2017.</p> <p>Nielsen suggests that this is due to supermarkets becoming increasingly price competitive, turning temporary price reductions into permanent cuts as a result.</p> <p>Year-on-year supermarket sales have also fallen, with the late Easter period said to have contributed to a 2.6% decrease in the four-week period to March 25th.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68987 2017-04-12T14:42:34+01:00 2017-04-12T14:42:34+01:00 Why Instagram is the ideal platform for fitness brands Nikki Gilliland <p>So, which fitness brands are winning on the platform, and why exactly does it work so well? Here are a few reasons and examples.</p> <h3>Offers instant gratification</h3> <p>Visual content is an incredibly memorable medium, with people typically <a href="http://www.brainrules.net/vision" target="_blank">recalling 65% more</a> of a piece of information if it is paired with a relevant image. </p> <p>Another reason it is so effective is that it also provides instant gratification without the need for any wider context. For fitness brands, this means it is a low effort but a highly effective medium, allowing them to reach followers in moments of real-time need. This is most often a motivational quote or image that taps into the user’s specific goals.</p> <p>With fitness hashtags also incredibly popular on Instagram, brands know that users will search specifically using keywords like ‘fitness’ or ‘fitspo’. Under Armour Women often uses this approach, using motivational and empowering quotes to engage users but also demonstrate its own brand values and beliefs.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5380/Under_Armour_women.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="499"></p> <h3>Builds communities</h3> <p><a href="https://selfstartr.com/instagram-marketing-tips-ecommerce/" target="_blank">68% of Instagram users</a> are said to engage with brands on a regular basis compared to just 32% of users on Facebook. This demonstrates how the platform is highly effective for building and maintaining a strong audience, with many brands fostering a sense of real community.</p> <p>SoulCycle has garnered a reputation for being more of a cult than a brand – a fact emphasised by how it engages with fans on Instagram. It regularly posts videos and images that are localised, showcasing activity in various gyms or pop-up events across the US. This gives users the sense that they are part of the brand, simultaneously providing motivation and an incentive to get involved.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5381/SoulCycle.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="495"></p> <h3>Capitalises on influence</h3> <p>SoulCycle also capitalises on the fact that its instructors are seen as mini-celebrities in their own right, often with huge audiences on their personal accounts. This approach is popular across the board, with fitness brands commonly <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/">using influencers</a> as a key part of their Instagram marketing strategy.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5382/soulcycle_influencers.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="555"></p> <p>With research suggesting that <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/deborahweinswig/2016/10/05/influencers-are-the-new-brands/#103c92a77919">92% of consumers</a> now trust an influencer recommendation over an ad or celebrity endorsement, it’s a great way for brands to build authority. Meanwhile, many are also realising the power of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67807-is-micro-influencer-marketing-viable/" target="_blank">micro-influencers</a> – those with a smaller but highly engaged audience – to establish a highel level of credibility.</p> <p>While it’s not a fitness company per se, sparkling water brand LaCroix has recently been tapping into the health market by getting involved in Whole30 – a month long clean eating program popularised on Instagram. As well as using hashtags like #whole30approved, it has also been partnering with fitness and health micro-influencers to help expand its own customer base.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5378/lacroixwater.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="571"></p> <h3>Promotes a lifestyle rather than a product</h3> <p>Finally, the most successful fitness brands on Instagram take a subtle approach to selling, focusing on posts that tap into the user’s desire for a certain lifestyle – not a product.</p> <p>It’s pretty likely that if a consumer is interested in sport, they’re also going to be interested in nutrition, health and general well-being, too. Consequently, it’s important that brands view users in this light, ensuring that their posts aren’t too repetitive or dull.</p> <p>ClassPass regularly mixes up its feed with a combination of actual exercise, food and pop culture references. From smoothies to movies, it demonstrates a real understanding of its audience as well as what type of posts they’re engaging with elsewhere on the platform.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5379/ClassPass.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="515"></p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68245-seven-examples-of-motivational-copywriting-from-fitness-brands/" target="_blank">Seven examples of motivational copywriting from fitness brands</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67786-10-great-sports-digital-marketing-campaigns/" target="_blank">10 great sports digital marketing campaigns</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68965 2017-04-11T11:00:00+01:00 2017-04-11T11:00:00+01:00 SME case study: How an auction house added Facebook Live to its digital strategy Nikki Gilliland <p>Its use of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67808-10-pioneering-examples-of-brands-using-facebook-live/" target="_blank">Facebook Live</a> is particularly interesting, contributing to a 43.2% increase in new registered users to the Simon Charles website from February 2016 to February 2017.</p> <p>So, how exactly has it done it? Here’s a bit more on the story.</p> <h4>A change in mindset</h4> <p>Up until last year, Simon Charles mainly invested in offline marketing. It typically took out regular double-page spreads in industry and general publications including the Manchester Evening News – a local newspaper for the Stockport-based company.</p> <p>However, with offline activity limiting reach to the surrounding area, it unsurprisingly produced limited results.</p> <p>With guidance from digital marketing agency, Cube3, Simon Charles began a journey towards digital transformation, with a change in mindset from offline to online. In fact, the company took the decision to completely forgo offline activity for an online-only approach to marketing.</p> <h4>Multi-channel brand refresh</h4> <p>As well as implementing a foundation of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68594-seo-trends-in-2017-what-do-the-experts-predict/" target="_blank">SEO</a> and PPC, Simon Charles undertook a brand refresh in order to create a consistent user experience across all digital channels. This meant a greater focus on its online auctions, complemented by a streamlined new site and overall brand image.</p> <p>To give this a bit of context, below is a screenshot of the website from 2014. While there is a clear promotion of the brand’s social channels, the site itself looks rather clunky and dated in terms of design.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5217/Simon_Charles.JPG" alt="" width="740" height="852"></p> <p><em>Simon Charles' previous website</em></p> <p>In contrast, the <a href="https://www.simoncharles-auctioneers.co.uk/" target="_blank">Simon Charles website</a> is now a much slicker affair, with the site-wide banner hinting at the company’s newly found focus on video.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5218/Simon_Charles_2.JPG" alt="" width="740" height="570"></p> <h4>Adopting new technologies</h4> <p>Speaking of video, Simon Charles’ recent success has been in part due to the introduction of new marketing technology and techniques – namely Facebook Live.</p> <p>While we’ve seen many big ecommerce brands experiment with the technology, streaming everything from product reviews to interviews, it is less commonplace to see smaller or regional brands do the same. </p> <p>Possible reluctance might stem from a lack of resource, reliance on less-risky planned social activity, as well as the question of whether or not it is indeed worth the time and effort. </p> <p>Simon Charles’ has demonstrated that it can be worth both, mainly due to the fact that it uses live video to offer something of real value. If consumers are unable to attend auctions in person, Facebook Live enables them to experience it in real time, making viewers feel like they are a part of the action. What’s more, it gives potential consumers – i.e. people who might never be able to or even have the inclination to attend an auction – the opportunity to do just that.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FSimonCharlesAuctioneers%2Fvideos%2F1477136862359905%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>This just goes to show that video, especially on social, does not necessarily have to be flashy or even particularly impressive in terms of content if it is truly functional.</p> <h4>Targeting a specific demographic</h4> <p>The adoption of Facebook Live has proven successful for Simon Charles, demonstrated by a growth in footfall and a general increase in social engagement. While previous videos would garner around 15,000 views over the course of multiple days, the live element has seen views reach 25,000 over the course of a single broadcast. While Live video streaming offers users a sense of real immediacy, it is not the only use of the medium, instead serving as part as a wider video strategy. Other pre-recorded examples includes in-depth explanations about items for auction as well as looks behind the scenes. With some short videos generating around 9,000 views, there's clearly an appetite for non-live elements too.</p> <p>Alongside this, the company has been able to finally leave behind its ‘catch all’ approach to marketing, moving into a much more targeted strategy. </p> <p>By using technology such as video, it has been able to serve the right kind of content to the right people at the right time. As well as honing in on those who would be most likely to engage, it has effectively used other social channels like Twitter to reach out to them.</p> <p>With a 72.40% increase in new registered users over the past year, it’s clear that digital investment is paying off.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Another week, another chance to snap up some great deals. Explore what's on offer at Simon Charles this week: <a href="https://t.co/G49zd6v2qS">https://t.co/G49zd6v2qS</a> <a href="https://t.co/XjTpWJKHMH">pic.twitter.com/XjTpWJKHMH</a></p> — Simon Charles (@SimonCharlesUK) <a href="https://twitter.com/SimonCharlesUK/status/848584571000160257">April 2, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68864-myvouchercodes-experiments-with-six-hour-facebook-live-event-did-it-work/" target="_blank">MyVoucherCodes experiments with six-hour Facebook Live event: Did it work?</a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68972 2017-04-10T13:00:00+01:00 2017-04-10T13:00:00+01:00 Want to do content marketing in FMCG? Here's four things you need to know Nicholas Villani <p>Keeping consumers engaged with your brand ensures that it remains front of mind when those consumers are in a store, about to make an 'impulse' purchase. But how can we do this? It’s no longer good enough to tell people your product is better than the others, instead, you need to demonstrate how it adds value to their lives. One of the best ways to do that is by creating relatable and engaging content.</p> <p>To say <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/content-marketing-digital-marketing-template-files/">content marketing</a> is important for <strong>all</strong> brands right now is a massive understatement. To put this into perspective, in a single day there are 3.5 billion searches on Google and 5 billion videos streamed on YouTube. It is estimated that more than 380 million people using adblockers worldwide, so reaching consumers with engaging content is more important than ever before.</p> <p>The obvious leader in this space is Red Bull, but to compare yourself to a brand who has spent more than a decade positioning themselves as a media provider more than a producer of energy drinks is to ignore the opportunity. What I’m suggesting here is careful consideration about how to use social listening, meticulous planning and clever curation opportunities to engage with your consumers in new, trustworthy and relevant ways.</p> <p>Here are four fundamental principles for an FMCG brands wanting to move to a content-led strategy</p> <p><strong>1. Give them what they want</strong></p> <p>Let’s not create content for the sake of creating content. Consider the 300+ hours of video being uploaded to YouTube every minute. How do you ensure your content is well thought-out and based on what your consumers care about? The answer to his question is Data!</p> <p>A brilliant FMCG example is Unilever with All Things Hair. By tracking, in real-time, what consumers are searching for in regards to haircare, Unilever have immediate insights to the types of content they know will resonate with their audience. With the average video receiving upwards of a quarter of a million views, it’s a great example of developing content that is tailored to the audience, and it’s far less complicated than you might imagine.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5346/all_things_hair.jpg" alt="all things hair" width="615"></p> <p><em>All Things Hair YouTube channel </em></p> <p>Free tools such as Google Trends, Facebook Audience Insights and Social Mention are super useful and let you explore what consumers are saying about your brand or your category. </p> <p>If it’s your first time using tools like this for insights, then a good place to start is by asking the following questions:</p> <ul> <li>What are my consumers searching for?</li> <li>What platform are they searching on?</li> <li>What are they talking about?</li> <li>Is the sentiment positive or negative?</li> <li>Which platform is the conversation happening on?</li> <li>Are there clear spikes in search volume around specific times of the year?</li> </ul> <p>Another brilliant example is Nestle Toll House, who specialise in baking products. Realising that bakers were slowly being aged out of the category, they needed to find a new way to engage them whilst retaining their core values. By partnering with Ashley Adams, an established food blogger, they created the ‘<a href="https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLag5-QrcetjoHvTfLo9oi29B_FZ5q6bm2">Bake My Day</a>’ series, sharing tips and tricks for the modern cook.</p> <p>By carefully using paid media to promote the channel, they amassed over 17 million views in less than a year. Pretty sweet results!</p> <p><strong>2. Get the role of the platform right</strong></p> <p>It goes without saying but understanding how each platform works is fundamental to success. Remember that advertising on social is considered much more of an intrusion than other digital channels. The first step here is to understand whether your primary reason for using social is for content distribution, CRM, PR or something else altogether.</p> <p>Furthermore, if you are using more than one platform, adapt your creative appropriately. Don’t repurpose content needlessly from Pinterest to Facebook without any consideration of whether it matches the environment. Remember why people are visiting the platform in the first place, then ensure your content is complementary to the experience. </p> <p>Every day in this digital age seems to bring about a new suite of innovative, yet arguably risky channels for marketers to experiment with. For example, Cadbury has recently been a trailblazer by commissioning Snapchat filters. This has allowed them to achieve an otherwise unimaginable 30+ second engagement with their consumers, and in an age where we have a shorter attention span than a goldfish, that must be worth something, right?</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="und" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/CadburyUK">@CadburyUK</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/snapchat?src=hash">#snapchat</a> <a href="https://t.co/0jasPMxlIm">pic.twitter.com/0jasPMxlIm</a></p> — Daniel Clayton (@8omb3r) <a href="https://twitter.com/8omb3r/status/774489637133877248">September 10, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>These new platforms are brilliant fun for creatives, but demonstrable ROI is difficult to ascertain. At the end of the day, it’s like having a high-risk product portfolio. If you have the budget and creative capability, then experiment away. Otherwise, I’d strongly advise keeping to the path well-travelled.</p> <p>(Related read: <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68955-marriott-uses-snapchat-influencer-campaign-to-target-millennials/">Marriott uses Snapchat influencer campaign to target millennials</a>)</p> <p><strong>3. Order, not chaos</strong></p> <p>Once you have gathered these insights, and you know the type of content that you should produce, it’s important to employ a framework to underpin your publishing plan. Content should only be created with a clear roadmap and measurable KPI’s. Whilst there are several highly valid approaches to this, the 'Hero, Help and Hub' framework developed by YouTube is my preference, even for content that is not specifically video. </p> <ul> <li>Hero – This is the content that should inspire and catch people’s attention. </li> <li>Help – This is content that helps provide answers. It could be cooking tips, life hacks or advice on how to get the most out of the product</li> <li>Hub – This is often the most overlooked, but this is the content you want your customers to subscribe to. This encourages repeat engagement with your brand</li> </ul> <p>Let’s look at an FMCG brand, Ben &amp; Jerry’s. Recently launching their new ‘Cherry Chocolate Garcia’ flavour, this approach is evident. </p> <p>Firstly, they did what any self-respecting FMCG brand would do, they created a 20-second advert, with drool-worthy creative. Designed for digital, it does little more than to introduce the product and make you want it now. This is their Hero content.</p> <p>Secondly, they set out to create several food-porn video recipes that involve the new product. One of which even suggests you need three tubs of the ice cream to achieve! They call it Ice Cream Hacks. I call it Help content.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/4RRhRaTdYIo?ecver=2&amp;wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <p>Lastly, and what is effectively a content play for the 'long tail', their Climate Justice series is an episodic, well produced, socially responsible series of videos that correlates climate change with melting ice cream. It’s a stretch creatively, but effective none the less. This is their Hub content that keeps their audience coming back.</p> <p>There are plenty of other examples of FMCG brands using the Hero, Help, Hub framework, as it is a simple yet highly effective way to segment and organise your content strategy.  </p> <p><strong>4. Always-on isn’t always on</strong></p> <p>Let’s get some hard facts straight, always-on marketing is not necessarily going to be the miracle solution for every brand. As much as I champion digital, content marketing, with the odd viral exception, is rarely useful in the awareness phase. By its very nature, content is about creating meaningful moments with your customers when they are the most receptive to your message.</p> <p>Let’s look at the confectionary sector, or more specifically, luxury chocolates. The product cycle is largely seasonal and there are clear seasonal peaks e.g. Christmas, Easter and Valentine’s day. It makes sense for marketers to capitalise on these events, and invest heavily in big, glorious, top of the funnel campaigns that saturate every consumer touchpoint, from TV to shopfront. The desire is to capitalise on the trend and saturate the market with your message.</p> <p>But, this is not about re-allocating your entire TV budget to start a YouTube channel. It’s more important to consider where your consumers are, what they are doing, and fundamentally, your metrics for success.</p> <p>It’s true to say that traditional mediums can be more effective than digital if your KPIs are purely reach-oriented. Arguably, digital is about moving your consumers down the funnel and engaging them in the moments that matter. Let the two work hand-in-hand. Allocate your budget appropriately and understand the role of each channel. It’s also highly unlikely your content is going to go viral, so make sure you are investing properly to promote it through paid media.</p> <p>Most importantly, in the world of social, likes, shares and comments may attribute to positive brand sentiment, but they are not necessarily a proxy for sales.</p> <p>To quote Tamara Schenk <em>"content may be king, but context is queen".</em> </p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68970 2017-04-07T14:15:00+01:00 2017-04-07T14:15:00+01:00 Comedy Central creates branded content to replace ads: Could other networks follow suit? Nikki Gilliland <p>For networks and advertisers, this is a frustrating problem, potentially resulting in a loss of ad revenue if brands decide to place their efforts elsewhere. Comedy Central is one channel that has decided to do something about it, recently creating a series of branded content to replace bog-standard ads. </p> <p>So, will it be enough to engage viewers? And could branded content become more popular in future? Here’s a bit more on the story.</p> <h3>Avoiding viewer disruption</h3> <p>One of the worst things about TV ads is that they can completely disrupt the entire viewing experience. One minute you could be watching an episode of Friends, the next a commercial for toilet cleaner. </p> <p>With its branded content, Comedy Central is aiming to diminish this type of disruption by creating ads that feel more in tune with the network’s signature humour and style.</p> <p>The content is still advertising, of course, with each episode beiing sponsored by a different company. However, having been created by Comedy Central in-house, each one serves as a standalone story that feels very much like one of the network’s regular shows.</p> <h3>Engaging and entertaining viewers</h3> <p>Comedy Central’s first series is called Handy, which depicts the ups and downs of life as a hand model. The opening episode is sponsored by US restaurant chain, Joe’s Crab Shack, hence its humorous name – ‘Erik Gets Crabs’. Another is sponsored by jewellery retailer, Zales.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/TVYLW0ya6oY?wmode=transparent" width="652" height="367"></iframe></p> <p>Once the episodes have been aired on TV, Comedy Central is also pushing them on social channels, hoping to capitalise on the large number of people who interact with the network online.</p> <p>For viewers, the brand ads are likely to make a refreshing change. While there is still some level of disruption to the viewing experience, the fact that they serve as mini stories in their own right will increase the chances of the viewer's attention being held for longer. Similar to how online <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67083-is-native-advertising-sustainable/" target="_blank">native advertising</a> blends in with the context of the user experience, the ads also feel less over-bearing than standard commercials.</p> <p>What’s more, the content feels more genuine than regular advertising, mainly because it is of a much higher quality than the commercials usually seen on television. It also offers a story for viewers to invest in rather than a short and shallow ad.</p> <h3>Will branded content become the norm?</h3> <p>Comedy Central is not the only network to experiment with a new type of advertising. Last year, NBC announced that Saturday Night Live would have 30% fewer ads, replacing commercials with sponsored skits inserted directly into the show.</p> <p>This approach reduces viewer disruption even further, with advertising seamlessly blending into the main content. With its decision to include sponsored skits, SNL is clearly hoping that more viewers will want to watch the show live – using the pay-off of more entertainment and less ads. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rDyTsGtk5BY?wmode=transparent" width="779" height="438"></iframe></p> <p>Of course, just because it <em>feels</em> seamless doesn’t mean that viewers are going to respond positively. There is always the danger, again like with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63722-what-is-native-advertising-and-do-you-need-it/">native advertising</a>, that people will wrongly believe that the content is genuine when it is in fact advertising. This can result in consumers feeling like they have been duped, and in turn reacting negatively against the brand or publisher.</p> <p>Whether or not viewers respond positively to this type of branded content is still unclear, however, with Comedy Central showing that advertising doesn’t always have to follow the standard rules – we’re likely to see more of it in future. </p> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68450-six-things-to-know-about-addressable-tv-advertising/" target="_blank">Six things to know about addressable TV advertising</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68120-as-tv-ads-lose-their-sway-pharma-marketers-need-to-adapt/" target="_blank">As TV ads lose their sway, pharma marketers need to adapt</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65787-how-are-brands-driving-tv-ad-viewers-online/" target="_blank">How are brands driving TV ad viewers online?</a></em></li> </ul>