Increasingly, as brands seek to forge more meaningful relationships with consumers, they are behaving more like media companies and creating their own content. So how do brands create video content that their customers want to consume and that is actually shareable?
At the recent ad:tech event in San Francisco, Jonathan Perelman, vice president of motion pictures at BuzzFeed, said he has a theory that brands will be the next great producers in Hollywood, pointing to “The Lego Movie” as one example of this concept, as well as Hasbro’s potential deal to buy DreamWorks.
For his part, Marc Ecko, founder and CBO of Complex, a content site that focuses on music, style, entertainment, sports and sneakers, said moving beyond traditional media, “which is, ‘Buy my shit,’ to connecting the dots between content by either delighting, making my day shorter or giving me insight” is what is generating a much more impactful relationships with consumers.
This means a lot more videos. To wit: Perelman said the growth of video has been phenomenal – by a factor of 56 since just 2013 – and that’s due in part to Facebook’s native video player.
Jessica Ulin, vice president and partner of portfolio management at media agency UM Worldwide, shared three guiding principles for marketers to create branded videos that better connect with consumers.
1. Authentic Value Exchange
This means brands must uncover true value and need, Ulin said.
“Whether that’s utility, information, or humor, it’s important for brands and publishers to dive deep and figure out what that nugget is,” she said.
Ulin gives the example of Charles Schwab, which partnered with Yahoo to create a video series with tips for everyday trades. It is a twice weekly live show with prominent branding throughout.
“We look at consumers as the center,” Ulin said. “The consumer is at the heart of it.”
2. Strategic Syndication
In other words, marketers need a media plan to support the video.
“You can have the coolest piece of content out there, but if there’s no media plan, it will get lost,” Ulin said.
She points to Denny’s, which created a humorous branded content series, the Grand Slams, and paired it with integrations with like-minded brands such as the Onion and supported the series with native media.
“Content is king, but distribution is queen and she wears the pants,” Perelman said.
3. Realistic Results
Brands must figure out their metrics and align their objectives with key stakeholders.
“Measurement is important. It’s important to understand the ROI,” Ulin said. “There is no magic formula for shareability, but you can be prescriptive when it comes to increasing chances of engagement.”
Four additional tips for marketers beyond these basic guiding principles:
4. Finding And Using A Unique Voice
Ecko said not fitting into a box with his brand voice is in part what has driven shareability. H said Complex is now up to 250 million monthly views. The brand has worked with partners like McDonald’s on its music series, Magnum Opus, and Mountain Dew on online magazine Green Label.
5. Forge Intelligent Partnerships
Ulin notes marketers are starting to get smarter about partnering with like-minded brands in authentic ways to bring value.
She also noted that when brands work on their own and are not partnering with publishers, it’s particularly important to put spend and strategic thought behind their plays.
“It’s about getting it out there and paying money, but in a smart way and to make sure you’re using data,” Ulin said.
6. Seek Out The Right Talent
According to Ecko, talent plays a crucial role in creating engaging video content.
“Not just known celebrities, but intellectually curious expressive talent is the center of gravity for the media business,” Ecko said. “You sheer away technology and data and at the end of it, there’s core emotive talent. Ultimately the media business is won and lost on talent.”
7. Create Videos That Hit On Emotion, Identity, Information
Perelman said brands should strive to connect with viewers in at least one of these ways, by making them feel something or see something they can relate to and/or learn about.
He points to Friskies’ Dear Kitten video,which has more than 22 million views to date as a good example of this concept.
Do you have any video marketing tips to add?