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7 Seconds Away: The Rise of Short Form Video

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Short form content appears to be the next “next big thing”, at least until the good folks at Google find a way to plant ads directly into our frontal lobes. With that Social Video looks like it might finally be coming of age.

Since Instagram joined the short form video content party, people have been asking if this will have an effect on traditional video advertising. The short answer is no. These are both new(ish) channels and they’ll have no more of an effect on standard video advertising content than LOL Cats had on full page ads in Vogue.

What this does mean for marketers is that brands are going to have to get better at using short form narrative. There are some great examples of brands using Vine (we particularly like Urban Outfitters) but many are still scrabbling around trying to see how it fits into their overall marketing strategy.

The simple fact is it can’t be treated as a sub-channel, with shortened versions of “long form” adverts being cascaded down. Short form video creates a new dynamic and therefore (unsurprisingly) we yet again need to think differently about how we approach it to attract and engage users.

Principally brands need a very strong reason to get involved in these channels. 15 and 7 second “buy my product” videos aren’t going to cut it, not if brands want to be relevant in the space. Instead it’s going to be a long term investment and strategy that are going to win out. Check out http://brandsonvine.com/ for some interesting ways brands are using Vine. As for Instagram, I guess we’ll see an influx of brands utilising all 15 seconds very soon.

Hang On, I Think This Might Go Viral In A Minute

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Dandelion-ImageYes, there are absolutely exceptions and yes, you should definitely aim high and shoot for the moon, but at the same time you need to be realistic and not convince yourself it’s the end of the world when you land unceremoniously on next doors lawn. Especially, if it’s a nice lawn.

People see big businesses creating virals alongside user generated content of kids biting other kids fingers, or cats pretending to be ninjas and think there must be some secret formula, but their really isn’t.

Simple fact is seeding is absolutely key when it comes to launching a brand viral. It’s all about platform, and the vast majority of businesses don’t have a big enough platform or budget to go globally viral.

Those that are neither unusual user generated content nor big brand virals occupy an exceptionally narrow corridor. There’s some luck and some serendipity to it and absolutely it helps if you have an idea that spreads, but there are plenty of potentially great virals out there that never made it. And there are a lot of disappointed people that expected them to.

We’ve convinced ourselves that ‘going viral’ is about people talking about your film or idea from Watford Gap Services all the way to South of the Mekong Delta. But that doesn’t need to be the case. Instead, ‘going viral’ can take place within a small target audience, specialist group or community. If your client base is 300 CIO’s or 10,000 one legged Hungarian Pole Dancers, then ‘going viral’ just means getting it to spread within the confines of those groups. If it moves outside of them, great, but it’s not the be all and end all. Think in terms of a cold spreading around a nursery and not a global flu pandemic. After all, if every would be viral launched spread globally, we’d get pretty sick of them.

3 Viral Video Ideas You Can Have For Free!

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dog-skateboardIf we got a pound every time a company asked us to make them a viral video we would literally have £33.50.  So we thought it might be a good idea to run through the basics…

Viral videos build brand awareness, they rarely contribute to sales.

99% of viral videos are either; funny, cute, sexy, violent or show a genuinely amazing feat.

They elicit a strong emotion, be that OMG! Or Gross!

A viral video is not an Infomercial.  That means the moment you find yourself saying, “I’m not sure the messaging is coming through strongly enough.” you need to stop.  Instead REMOVE any dialogue that extolls the features and benefits, any lingering product shots, and any stats.

Having the Big Idea is not always enough. Unless you are extremely lucky, you will still need either a huge online network of friends or be comfortable spending money on seeding.  Ideally both.

Going viral isn’t always a good thing.  Several big names have ended up offending their audience or having their idea hijacked by a rival company or group.

Still want to make a viral? Well then here are three viral video ideas you can have on us, just pop your logo at the end of one of these success magnets and let us knew how you get on!

1. The Queen chowing down on a Big Mac – One’s loving it

2. The first skydive from the moon back to earth – your brand on that spacesuit.

3. A cat attacking a printer while Chuck Norris watches– comedy gold.

Why Your Brand is all In the Customer’s Mind

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I came across this fascinating Tedx talk by Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman: The Riddle of Experience vs. Memory and started thinking about the implications it had for marketing and customer interaction.

The theory is that we all have an ‘experiencing self’, which is us as we actually live an event, and a ‘remembering self’, which is founded on the memories we construct after the fact.  The difference between the two can be staggering.  And crucially it’s the remembering self that takes precedence when it comes to decision making.

So much so that a happy customer relationship of 10 years could count for nothing if the last encounter they have with you is a bad one.   That may not actually be that surprising.  But what is interesting is that the reverse is also true – a terrible experience can actually result in a positive memory providing it doesn’t come at the end on the interaction.  (If you want the proof for this I suggest you watch the Tedx Talk to find out more about the eye-watering colonoscopy experience…)

Daniel explains that time has very little to do with the creation of these memories.  A great week’s holiday of lazing by the pool will result in a handful of treasured moments, but if you double that same holiday to a fortnight you wouldn’t end up with double the memories.  For that to happen you’d have to suddenly decide to go skiing or head off on safari for the 2nd week.

What all this means is that your customer’s relationship with you is built on a collection of memories they have about their experiences with your products and services, rather than the experiences themselves.  And it’s these memories that customer will use to makes all their decisions.

So how can we keep brands fresh in the minds of our customers?

  • Keep your marketing  vivid and update your messaging regularly to help create new memories
  • Keep looking for inventive ways to surprise and delight them
  • Try reaching out to them on new, unexpected channels
  •  Interact with them little and often – it’s what will make the most memories
  • Leave each interaction on a positive note – even if it means artificially extending it.

Why not let us know your thoughts on the topic?

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