26th March, 2019
Hard Brexit. Soft Brexit. No Deal. Some Deal. Happy Meal. Who even knows what we’re in for any more?
Brexit has been shaping the lives of UK businesses for a while now. No particular shape, obviously, and it’s shifting all the time, but it has led to conversations about the possible outcomes of a no-deal Brexit… not least in the travel sector, where EU law and benefits play a huge role in the success of a company.
The uncertain outcome of Brexit has UK holidaymakers and inbound tourists worried. Nothing is more telling than the search terms listed on Google Trends, and no time is more crucial than now for travel brands to reassure customers that they’re ready to weather this turbulent time.
Brexit video marketing: Why do it?
If you’re a travel sector marketer and wondering why you should dedicate time to something that’s probably taken up far too much space in your life, here’s how we see things:
- Whichever way you voted on Brexit – and whether you personally prefer we leave with a deal or without one – bears no impact as to the best next steps for your business. You need to pay attention to your customer’s needs. So focusing on this for a moment should be top of your priority list whatever your political beliefs.
- This is an opportunity for you to build customer trust. Your customers have questions – don’t leave them unanswered. It affects purchasing decisions.
- Video marketing done well creates a specific and special kind of connection with the viewer. Consumers are viewing Brexit as a risk when it comes to putting their money down for a holiday or tourism experience, not to mention a confusing one. Distil everything they need to know into a short, watchable video to forge a faster bond with them. Gain their trust, and help them make the right decision with the facts. You can’t fail to win them over with that kind of timely, topical video marketing in tow.
Brexit video marketing guided by search queries
To inform your Brexit video marketing content, we’ve gone right to the source of your customer’s worries and clinched a list of Brexit/travel search terms trending on Google right now.
Depending on what type of travel brand you’re working on and how much time you feel like you want to dedicate to this, we have pointers as to who is most likely to be Googling that term and what you may want to include in your video to address their specific fears.
We’ll provide a list of related search terms for each too, so you can build further search queries into your storyboard.
Search term: “Brexit and holidays”
Audience: British people who like holidaying in Europe.
Brexit marketing videos around this search term will want to speak to British families who are worried that their European holiday will cost more, or be cancelled if they book one now.
To guide your video, the line ABTA are using is:
“There is nothing to suggest that you will not be able to continue with your holiday plans after 29 March. Even in a no-deal scenario, the European Commission has said flights to and from the UK will still be able to operate.”
Reassurance is key here, and citing this professional opinion early in your video to achieve that will go a long way.
When it comes to talking about your own brand, it’d be a good idea to touch on the procedure for any of the following items that apply to you:
- Customer protection if anything goes wrong (insurance, guarantees, refund periods, etc).
- Flight operation.
- From 2021, British people travelling to Europe will need to apply for and purchase an ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System). These are valid for three years once obtained, and cost £6.30. Read up on them here.
- The possibility of requiring a new passport in the event of a no-deal.
- The likelihood that Ehics (European Health Insurance Cards) are likely to cease to exist post-Brexit. If a deal is reached, these will be valid during the transition period, which lasts into 2020.
- Your customers should check if a change in legislation changes anything in the T&Cs of their travel insurance.
- Mobile phone rates may be subject to change when travelling abroad after we leave the EU.
- Airline delay compensation procedures, ferry and Eurostar operation will not be affected by Brexit.
- Driving licenses may not be valid as a standalone document after Brexit. British travellers in Europe may need to apply for an International Driving Permit, but this is not yet confirmed.
Search term: “travelling to uk after brexit”
Audience: European and overseas travellers wishing to visit the UK.
Our investigations into non-British queries about travelling to the UK reveals that, in contrast to the above, concern lies less in the price of visiting the UK and more about the continuation of free movement.
This is a big and tricky subject for travel brands. But the baseline you can work from is that EU citizens are unlikely to need visas to enter the UK. Long-term stays and rights to work, however, may change quite dramatically as it appears that new migration systems will be put in place.
The direction you take your Brexit marketing video on this subject very much depends on which side of things your business is affected by. If you’re a tourist site welcoming day visitors, then you’ll have an easier time explaining that there don’t appear to be many major changes happening for EU citizens taking short holidays in Britain.
If, however, your business focuses on long-term travellers or concerns helping international travellers to find jobs, you’ll need to guide your viewers carefully around possible outcomes. Checking out this Channel 4 News article would be a good starting point for further research.
Search term: “travel to europe after brexit”
Audience: European and overseas travellers wishing to visit the UK.
The audience searching this term are coming at it from a slightly different angle to those looking specifically about information regarding the UK.
The trick here is to address that the rest of Europe will remain unchanged as they are not leaving the EU. But when it comes to talking about how travel procedures around Britain may be affected, the key thing to do is be accurate without asserting any feelings of unease. Explain to your customers that you are doing everything possible to safeguard against / future proof possible scenarios, and simplify the changes taking place in the tourism sector. Use video to set their minds at rest with clear message.
Search term: “brexit flights”
Audience: UK citizens planning to fly to European countries.
This search term is going to be very much focused on two key areas:
- Reassuring customers that British flights will not be grounded indefinitely after leaving the EU.
- How flight prices and boarding procedures may change if we leave the EU with no deal.
According to gov.uk, if the UK Brexits without an EU deal in place, airlines will automatically lose rights to fly in EU airspace without seeking advance permissions. It’s up to individual airlines to seek and secure that permission.
Any operating airline worth their salt will be ready for this, and as Brexit gets closer, airlines will be accelerating their pursuit for permission.
When it comes to your customers, the most useful thing your video can specify is the importance of good, comprehensive insurance in case of disruption. The UK Government have published this web page detailing every potential risk and solution in the case of a no deal Brexit, but the key takeaway is that they must have decent insurance to make sure they are covered in any eventuality.
Search term: “pound prediction after brexit”
Of course, tourists want to know how far their GBP is going to go in the face and wake of Brexit.
The real answer, of course, is that it’s near impossible to predict. At the time of writing, the only certain thing about the value of the pound is that it has yo-yo’d constantly over the last year, and though many predict that the pound will weaken in the face of a no deal, there is no solid evidence that says this will definitely be the case.
With this in mind, all you can do for your customer is be honest. The thing not to do is muddy their trust in you (and indeed the message of your Brexit marketing video) by being unclear and confusing matters further.
Instead, advise them on details you already know, such as the best currency exchange rates, whether you accept their trading currency, and be crystal clear about your own prices so they can prepare budgets instead.
Not sure where to start with your Brexit video marketing? Don’t panic – we can help. Drop us an email today for a consultation.
11th March, 2019
Finance is only sexy when you’re counting your millions, amirite?
But even the most hard-going, intricate and – dare we say it – dull subjects have the potential to be jazzed up using marketing videos. The key is in the “how?”. And the “how?” can often be answered with a big injection of drama.
Failing to see how you can turn your finance product or service into a dramatic cliff-hanger? Allow us to guide you…
Create and film a worst case scenario
When you think gripping, sexy drama, you don’t tend to think ‘business insurance’. Not as a face value product anyway. But what about the truly horrific consequences of needing business insurance? Now THAT is something that grabs attention.
Hiscox have done a truly incredible job of creating and filming something that their ideal customer never wants to have happen to them. Bringing that disaster to life before the customer’s very eyes is a surefire way to get their attention, allowing them to feel the full gravitas of a cyber attack without it having happen to them.
A few things we love about this video that makes it so very impactful include:
- The levelled-up messaging. It’s not about “buy our insurance because something bad could happen”. It’s about “this is what can happen when you don’t buy insurance, and this is how it feels”. They’ve turned their sales pitch into a no-brainer ultimatum by bringing a cyber attack to life.
- Letting the viewer connect with the video characters. Of course, there’s no time for a full background story and inner monologue cut to a montage. But we get little glimpses of the Brompton employees personalities that makes us like them – including being very caring and passionate about their job – and panic all the more when the hack begins.
- They used a British business we all know and love, rather than making up a brand. Quite the shortcut to our emotions.
- That MUSIC!
When you think of the flash mob videos you’ve watched online, they tend to have two key ingredients that make them work:
- The spectacle – great dancing, exciting costumes, etc.
- The reactions of the unsuspecting bystanders.
Belgian TV channel TNT have taken the flash mob mentality and combined it with the Hiscox approach above, allowing the viewer to witness both the action and other people’s reaction to the action.
Whilst TNT might be playing in the fields of the entertainment industry, financial service businesses can take many tips from their approach:
- The joy of surprise – no one in that quiet, quaint little square was ready for what was about to happen.
- Immaculate execution – the actors and stunts involved were unbelievable, and keep the viewer (and indeed the real life audience) gripped for the whole length of the video.
- Humour – the stunts are awesome, but they’ve ticked the comedy checkbox by letting us laugh at the stunned crowd at frequent intervals.
- Timing – Hiscox had done very well by keeping their real world hack video to under three minutes. But this one delivers in 1 minute 46 seconds. Their video editor is worth their weight in gold…
We worked with DS Virgin Racing a while back on a dramatic marketing video for the FIA Formula E London Races with two key objectives:
- Boost the #FanBoost potential of racing driver Sam Bird. If enough fans voted for Sam, he’d earn an extra speed boost on his car that he could use at any point in an upcoming race.
- Showcase the new UK themed bodywork on his Virgin car.
Because timeframe and turnaround was very short on this project, a large amount of the magic had to happen in post-production. Here, we not only took Sam’s car to electrifying new levels (literally) by “building” the car out of lightning bolts.
But the real trick we had up our sleeve was in the suspense of the video.
You can hear radio broadcasts throughout the video (a trick used by many action and horror films to set a scene without filming a significant part of the story) depicting, in worrying tones, a world population fit to bust, serious effects of global warming and strains on the environment. As the magical electric volts start to build, the broadcasts give way to news on electric cars… the saviour of the world.
At the height of the video, these give way again to news of Sam’s race victory, associating his electric car not just with winning the race and the positive feelings that provokes in his fans, but with a positive effect on a world we all worry about.
It’s triumphant. It’s emotive. It creates topical, positive associations with real-world news. And it was all done entirely in post-production.
Can this method be applied to a financial services video? You bet it can.
If your little black book is more prevalent than your creative prowess, this can absolutely work in your favour.
Celebrities and influencers can bring a super simple format to life in a marketing video, and there are few simpler or more popular formats than the “XYZ reads tweets” or “XYZ answers…”.
Wired, for example, had Jude Law and Natalie Portman answering the internet’s most commonly searched questions.
I mean, that’s practically an advert for SEO search, right? Dull. Except not, because of the personalities behind the answers and the comedy setup.
Aside from knowing that the searches are particularly interesting/bizarre, what truly makes this simple video work is the personality or personalities presenting it, which you have to select carefully. Establishing that chemistry is where the work really is on this one, but if you can make it work the results can be sensational.
Set a challenge
We’re back to hackers again!
A simple but very nice format for the less sexy subjects is to challenge someone to do what your service tries to prevent.
The video above is actually more of a documentary than a marketing video, but the concept is still great, and comes back to re-focusing on the worst-case scenario if your potential customers don’t purchase your product. The added layer to this particular format, of course, is highlighting exactly how easily a hack can take place. It’s truly fascinating and really puts the fear of God into a person who’s already worried about this kind of thing taking place.
Love one of these formats, but need some help bringing them to life for your own business? You know where to find us.
25th February, 2019
Hands up who spent their childhood playing Mario Kart?
Of course you did. We all did. Mario Kart is one of the few things in the world that can be both nostalgic and timeless all at once, which is why it was the perfect subject for this viral video…
In a collaboration between stunt group Base37 and Go Pro, the group don go-karts dressed as Bowser, Peach, Luigi, Donkey Kong, Yoshi and Mario to re-enact the game’s famous ‘Coconut Mall’ race in real life.
But what specifically was it about this video that paved the way for that ever-elusive viral success? Let’s take a look…
There are plenty of viral videos out there that are deadly serious (and rightly so) to raise awareness of a serious issue. But you’d only go down that route in the right situation and on morally sound grounds. Of course, promoting a camera isn’t going to fit that bill, so here we are. A bunch of millenials in full-size Mario Kart costumes doing something we’d ALL totally do, given the chance. It looks like so much fun, and the attention to detail with the game’s stunts are genius, like the banana throw at 1:15.
Complicated narratives do not a viral video make. Simplicity is a key factor in the quest for virality because you’re looking for mass appeal – that carries a requirement to hold people’s short attention spans. Ultimately, you need to make your audience think as little as possible.
To be honest, this should be a leading point in any campaign you’re planning, video-based or otherwise. Overcomplicating a story or calls-to-action usually spell a death sentence for marketing success.
Surprise and delight
One of the things that strikes us as we watch the Mario Kart video back is how brave you’ve got to be to film this in the first place. Because this video definitely came with risks. On a basic level there’s simply being seen dressed as a Mario Kart character in public, which would wrack the nerves of many. Add to that the Go-Kart race in public and without the permission of the shopping mall, and you’ve got a never-ending risk assessment on your hands.
That said, those factors are what keeps the conversation going in the video comment. Just the idea that the group had the guts to go through with this becomes really topical – even creating speculation that the video was a fake (it wasn’t, by the way). This viral video ticked every box on the surprise and delight checklist, and became part of its overall success.
There’s a time and a place for long-form video content, but when you’re competing for viral video fame it simply won’t fit the bill.
Short and snappy vids make shareable content. And in the infamous words of Bobby Womack: “Always leave them wanting more”.
There’s an obvious win in the music stakes where a Mario Kart video is concerned – those Nintendo jingles are burnt into our memories forever (see also: the theme tune to The Flintstones and logging into MSN Messenger).
But as we’ve said before, music changes the pace and style of a video. Or sometimes, it can be a pronounced lack of music that really sets the tone. Either way, use sound cleverly and you’ve got another ingredient that works hard for you to help you on the way to viral success.
And finally, the unforgettable ending
Ok, it’s time to talk about that ending!
In this case it was the police catching up that makes this video unforgettable, and leaves one last hilarious joke with the viewer in the form of the Game Over screen and accompanying sound effect.
We’re not saying you should plan to take up valuable police time with the production of your next video. But we are saying that your next ending needs to stick in the mind of your audience for good reasons – with a clever joke, a big reveal, or an easy instruction that they just can’t ignore. Plan it carefully and viral video success is yours for the taking.
Want to chat about how we can help your next video be the one you’re remembered for? Drop us an email.
25th February, 2019
Question: How much video marketing work have you been putting into your brand’s Instagram?
Lots, probably. Especially if your company is a very visually-led brand, or trying to reach a young audience demographic.
Next question: How much work have you been putting into IGTV?
If the answer to this is “minimal” or “what’s IGTV?”, these video marketing ideas for IGTV are going to be VERY useful to you.
Let’s start at the top.
What is IGTV?
The official line from Instagram’s press site is:
“A new app for watching long-form, vertical video from your favourite Instagram creator. While there’s a stand-alone IGTV app, you’ll also be able to watch from within the Instagram app so the entire community of one billion can use it from the very start.”
Short and sweet answer: IGTV is an extension of Instagram that hosts videos up to 10 minutes in length.
What do I need to know before I use IGTV for video marketing?
When it comes to the ins and outs of using IGTV, we’ve read the manual for you (anytime, sweetcheeks) and pulled out the important tips for cracking on with Instagram’s latest toy:
- Unlike Instagram’s traditional interface, IGTV works very well on desktop as well as on mobile. You can even upload via instagram.com!
- You can’t just repost your Instagram Stories to this – they won’t show up when you go to upload from your camera roll and uploads must be at least 15 seconds long anyway. You also won’t be able to upload your previous live videos either – they’re really pushing for variety.
- Keep video titles short – they cut off around the 20 character mark.
- Influential accounts with very large followings can upload videos up to an hour (!) long.
- No subtitles required – unlike other social media platforms (particularly Facebook…), you don’t have to worry about viewers watching your material with the sound off. If they’re on IGTV, they’re prepared to listen, so think about what that initial audio is going to be.
- All URLs in any video description are clickable. Do you hear that sound? It’s the sound of being able to track direct Instagram referrals from an individual video. HALLELUJAH!
- Hashtags and comments work the same way they do on each IGTV video as they do on your main Instagram channel.
Video marketing strategy suggestions (that ANY brand can try!)
Conversations and interviews
If you’ve tried to conduct a video interview via Instagram stories or Instagram Live, you’ll be all too familiar with the pitfalls. The former limits you to 15 seconds a time (impossible for any real depth), the latter of course poses a constant risk of things going awry that are completely out of your control (that said, Instagram Live is still a really engaging way to connect with your followers. It’s just that now IGTV is in the mix, you can try riskier creative ideas without any real… well… risk).
Snappy but uninterrupted interviews are now possible thanks to IGTV. So whether you’re keen to show off your team’s expertise by interviewing them or are working with an influencer who’s happy to spend some time on camera connecting with your audience, longer videos mean better, meaningful conversation. And goodness knows we could all do with a dose of that.
Tutorials and scripted videos
IGTV leaves you in the unique position that you don’t have to build your audience from the ground up – whoever follows your main Instagram is automatically following your IGTV too, they’re not separate. So, safe in the knowledge that your audience already know a certain amount about you and your product/service, start teaching them how it works!
Take them through filmed screens, tell your story and show them the result of buying what you sell. The benefit of clickable URLs holds the potential to make direct sales from this kind of video – just remember it needs to work in the portrait orientation.
IGTV is a perfect length to get a little touchy-feely. If you’re tracking a piece of work or some personal progress, approach it like a diary entry and really open up to your audience for a few minutes. Connection, after all, is key.
Games and quizzes
Inject some fun into your brand AND educate your audience with gameshow style videos or a weekly quiz. Let your audience play along with you and watch the returning views come rolling in!
Create a spin-off
You know how Bake-Off has the Extra Slice show and The Apprentice has You’re Fired? Well, why not create your very own brand spin-off show on IGTV? With some ready wit, creative planning and a wicked presenter, you have here a very easy way to bring your audience into the juicy extras that no one else has been able to see yet.
Perhaps this one is best if you’re in the entertainment or events industry. But come on… we know you’re just a little bit excited about the creative potential of this one.
Start your own independent TV channel
Yes, you read that right. Ok, so it’s not a premiere slot on Sky One or anything, but running your IGTV (and your YouTube, for that matter) like your own TV channel is a trend that’s starting to blow up in the video marketing world, as data shows that by 2020 we’ll be consuming more online video hours than we do traditional TV. That’s big news, and getting ahead of that trend right now could be quite a game-changer for the future of your brand.
Looking to kick your video marketing up a notch and start using IGTV? Get in touch with us – we’d love to put some of these ideas into action.
15th January, 2019
2019 promises to be the most exciting yet for video marketing.
The following whitepaper – crammed with stats, predictions, debate and recommendations – is our great big effort to set your marketing plans and your business on the path to success.
Buckle up pal – this is gonna BLOW. YOUR. MIND.
2019 video marketing trends
Let’s start by crunching the numbers. Here are the key trending stats from the video marketing sphere you need to know to prepare for the year ahead.
A strategy is essentially how you implement your creative ideas, when you do it and where.
Take the time now to enhance your 2019 plans to make sure your campaigns and investments in great content are going as far as they can for you, otherwise you could find yourself burning through time and money with little to show for it.
Take a stand
One of the most groundbreaking events we attended this year was the infamous Tobacco Dock Festival Of Marketing. We learnt tonnes whilst there, but there was one golden thread running through each and every workshop:
“It is time for brands to take a stand.”
It’s true. In these politically dicey and divisive times, where our environment feels threatened and the future unsure, the people of the world have begun to place greater value on speaking up and taking a side – no matter who or what you are. Brands are very much included in this expectation, led in no small part by Nike’s controversial backing of NFL player, Colin Kaepernick.
By supporting Colin’s decision to kneel during the National Anthem in protest of racial prejudice in America, and subsequently siding with him and against the National Football League when he was released from his NFL contract, Nike turned the marketing and branding world on its head. The brave gamble they took here divided their worldwide audience, but the mere act of supporting this person by sacrificing a proportion of their market share for what they believe is the greater good has seen them come out on top. Now, the rest of us need to fall in line behind them.
So what does this mean?
It means gone are the days of burying your head in the sand and expecting difficult conversations to blow over. As are the days of timid marketing and people pleasing with no moral parameters. Those who make the grandest gesture and the most topical statement are the ones who win the race to brand recognition.
Serious food for thought there.
Having the right online conversations
This relates quite closely to the whole Nike/Colin Kaepernick scenario, but there’s an interesting angle here when it comes to strategising your marketing efforts.
Obviously, you can’t predict the topical conversations of the future. At least not without the help of a dodgy clairevoyant or Paul the World Cup Predicting Octopus (RIP). So how do you work the “right” conversations that haven’t happened yet into a strategy?
Well, your content strategy should be based around conversations that are already happening. You can find this in your search query report and your social media comments.The more divided opinions over it, the better, as it’s bound to bubble to the surface at some point and when it does, you’ll be ready.
If the conversation happens seasonally, or there’s something on the horizon likely to get people talking about that topic, then plan your content for release at the appropriate time of year. Otherwise; prepare it, bank it and keep an eye on the news…
Making space to go live
While we’re talking about plotting things into your schedule, make sure you are making time to go live on your social media channels this year.
Social media algorithms are programmed to favour live video. This is the result of content saturation endangering the sincerity and authentic connection social media can facilitate, and going live is not only quite personal, but to viewers it’s transparent and trustworthy. According to experts, almost half of live video is discovered via the news feed; a far greater natural exposure than your average photo post.
Just to really hammer home the need to include live video in your strategy, research even indicates that live video yields higher engagement and retains viewers for longer than pre-recorded video.
Content for content’s sake will not cut it in the digital world, and the way yours stands about is by bold, tasteful and endlessly creative video production. As we see it, the digital marketing hierarchy goes like this:
Video production has the upper hand no matter where or what you are marketing. But setting yourself up to conceive and create the ideas that make your video marketing (and consequential additional content marketing) succeed is a difficult thing to make practical in itself.
Through years of experience and a vast client roster, we’ve determined some key elements that’ll keep your video content prowess razor-sharp in 2019.
Lead your team in the art of storytelling
At DHP Studios, we’ve been called in on more than one occasion to help a struggling marketing team.
Not struggling in terms of competency, you understand, nor because of skill gaps or even lack of motivation. Goodness no. Often, the issue organisations are coming up against is the struggle to achieve succinct storytelling in pursuit of a sales or subscription goal. Silo working always plays a part in this struggle too.
In 2019, it’s more important than ever to be adept at storytelling.
The better your team are prepped to be creative in how you tell your story, and are helped to transition from a purely sales mindset to that of surprise, delight and clear, people-led narrative, the more successful your marketing will become. We are all interested in the story.
IRL is making a comeback
Sounds batty doesn’t it? But it’s true – In Real Life is very much making a comeback.
It seems we’ve finally come full circle. We’ve reaped the benefits of a digital world, realised the pitfalls, and attempted to re-establish balance my making and having stuff again. Pop-up shops are on the rise. Facebook launched a print magazine. The Army is recruiting selfie addicts. Tangibility and turning digital age behaviours into something more meaningful is very much in.
And what medium is perfect for showing people around the stuff?
You guessed it. Video.
If you’re working with a tangible product already, you’re very lucky. You can metaphorically and physically pull your product apart, tell its story and put it back together on video. Longer form video content gives you the opportunity to demonstrate how your product becomes the sum of its parts, whilst your other content can feed into that overarching concept by breaking down the many ways your product positively impacts your customer’s life. Not to mention let them explore how you physically built it.
If you can prepare a bank of content like this for a product launch this year, you’ll already have given yourself tonnes to talk about.
We did exactly this with Nike Sneakerboots.
Our ideas revolved around presenting the Nike SneakerBoot in the environment for which it is to be worn – the elements of Autumn and Winter. We demonstrated the burning out of old, simpler trainers and take the viewer on the journey of the SneakerBoot’s specialised layers, exploring each material and the shapes and textures they offer to the final product.
Embrace 360 video and Virtual Reality
You could, of course, banish the idea of IRL entirely and embrace a counter-strategy with another growing trend: 360 video and Virtual Reality. The key behind the growth of this trend, however, is often in the pursuit of viewing something to affirm honesty and transparency – particularly when it comes the the tourism sector and the idea of ‘try before you buy’.
Take people to where they might go, or – if you’re in the gaming industry – where they dream of going. Bring real world experiences to them, and you’ll earn their trust quicker… not to mention their custom.
…Oh, and shoppable content videos
eCommerce is experiencing some serious technological developments with the bubbling pot that is shoppable content.
By all accounts, this is the clickable feature that’s about to explode. Shopping in 2019 is going to be quick, easy and swipeable. The role of video here is clear, as 96% of consumers find videos helpful when shopping online, and placing a video on an eCommerce page increases the order value by at least 50%.
The democratisation of video
There is a strategic decision to be made here: should you invest in polished, directed videos? Or should you utilise newer, more developed phone cameras, save some cash and make do with homemade video?
The answer is very much going to depend on your budget and brand. But consider this…
Some reports insinuate that due to wider access and higher quality of phone cameras, video production standards have lessened. Whilst that may certainly be true in some respects (professionally shooting every single organic Story video, for example, is definitely overkill and only really needs to happen on your phone), maintaining a higher standard of video will continue to set your channels apart from the rest. Whilst attitudes may well favour cheaper DIY marketing videos, that also comes with a greater level of social media noise.
Accessibility doesn’t mean you have to lower your standards. Keep your look on-brand and professional and – by far and away the most important factor – focus on using video to tell your brand’s incredible stories.
Without careful thought about the distribution of your mind-blowing content, you’re going to sell it short.
A thorough lesson in marketing funnels comes in very useful here, so if that concept has remained unfamiliar to you thus far it might be something to pop on your 2019 Self-Development Wishlist.
Meanwhile though, be sure that you have a good idea on the following points and you won’t go far wrong with your content distribution:
- Who can help you share your content?
- Which social media channels are your audience hanging out on?
- What other media are your audiences consuming? Get them listed and use these sources for targeting, as well as to identify extra distribution channels that may be of benefit to you.
Those three points build a great base for you to start thinking about distribution from. Add the following points and success is yours.
Utilise influencer marketing to the full
Spare some creative juice for your influencer strategy too.
Marketing through your own channels will only get you so far. Due to a fundamental mistrust in brands – particularly among the younger generations – influencer marketing has grown at an exponential rate over the last ten years. People trust people. Hence the importance of storytelling as discussed above, but also hence the limited impact that comes with concentrating every resource on your own marketing channels.
Engage influencers in the most meaningful, emotional and creative ways you can think of when you execute your campaign. Depending on who you want to collaborate with, this approach can be a slow-burn operation, and it’s time consuming (don’t worry, there are some great influencer marketing freelancers around to manage this process for you), but the brand endorsement you achieve when you do this right can really pay off.
Towards the end of 2018, we had the pleasure of working on a creative video campaign with British Study Centres. With the goal of recruiting young people from across the world onto their English Language course, we used the influential command of their key collaborator: Manchester City FC.
We stuck to the forward-thinking mainstay of putting the people (in this case, potential students) at the heart of the story. Rather than using Man City FC players in the video – who are wonderful but would distract from the campaign objective – we boasted the influence of the location and the iconic blue kit. And then we turned our attention to a smart distribution strategy, with incredible results.
Within a month of going live, the total reach for our BSC Facebook ads totalled 327,000 people (so far). To break it down…
Overall Reach (people who saw the ad at least once) = 327k
- Overall 10s views – 65k
- Overall full views – 12.5k Full Views
- 548 Likes, 113 Comments and 163 Shares
In this instance, it was only helpful to have huge numbers watching if they’re going to follow through to the website. Objective achieved. BSC’s web traffic has indeed increased significantly:
- The City Football Language School web page has seen over a 104% increase in web traffic since the beginning of the Facebook ad campaign. This traffic is almost entirely coming from Facebook.
- We’re seeing a big rise in traffic from the following countries:
- Spain (+665%)
- Mexico (+2.5k%)
- Brazil (+300%)
- Referral traffic from the British Study website is also increased significantly with a rise of 7600%.
In one month, the perfect blend of influence, clever distribution and innovative video production obtained results beyond the clients wildest expectations.
Attention-grabbing Facebook ads
With the decline of Facebook reach (yes, we’re bored of hearing about that too) and ever-increasing content saturation, it’s more important than ever to be able to target the right audiences and captivate them through video, which experts predict will be the medium that sees the greatest growth rate on the Facebook advertising platform.
Because there’s advertising spend at stake and a growing number of confusing advertising options being offered up by the social media giant, your strategy is integral to your Facebook marketing success. And it’s worth doing well, because despite the number of times the death of Facebook has been predicted and even despite all of last year’s data scandals, no one’s really planning on ditching their Facebook profile any time soon. All stats are up year-on-year, including new signups, advertising revenue and daily active users. Those stats are true as of January 2019.
The takeaway here is simple: Facebook is too big to ignore, and there are some gaps in the market that could prove effective for you if you move quickly (see Sector Recommendations below). For now at least, you need to keep facebook advertising in your strategy, put your money behind video adverts, and keep them sharp.
It’s been reported by Business Insider that to reach the under 35s, space for video adverts are being taken up on Instagram over any other channel… including traditional television. For this age group, as much as 61% of marketers will opt for the image-led platform compared to just 3% who target young people through TV adverts. YouTube was next most popular for youth ad space at 30%.
Meanwhile, the over 35s are keeping it traditional. The highest proportion of advertisers will still pay for prime time ad slots to reach this demographic, with Facebook coming up as the second most popular platform. Instagram trailed in at 3% of space for this age group.
General – Storytelling
Read to lead your team into a 2019 full of incredible story-based marketing? Some actionable steps towards leading a storytelling team include:
- Revising any marketing request forms that get submitted to your team so they lead with storytelling touchpoints.
- Put forward a report or proposal to make your ways of working more conducive to creative brainstorms.
- Lead cross-organisation Integrated Marketing Sessions.
- Work with video marketing and production agencies who’ve cut their teeth in the industry by working in this way (hiya!).
General – Have the right conversations
If you’re feeling ready to kick your brand’s conversation skills up a notch, try using the following tips to prepare for your stronger, bolder engagement strategy:
- Identify the questions you’re asked most on social media or the search queries that regularly need people to you. What do your audience need you to talk about that will make them converse with you?
- Carefully plan how you’d talk about a relevant but controversial topic on your brand’s social media channels. Where would be best to have that conversation? What’s the most meaningful, but reasoned and non-damaging way to debate this subject?
- Is your community management up-to-scratch? If you’re really going for this, do NOT underestimate how many man hours it takes to have level-headed conversations with the public without damaging your business reputation. It’s all about a careful balance with a good intention.
Education – Influencer marketing
Influencer marketing, the holy grail of endorsement! To start this ball rolling, you could:
- Take one of your 2019 campaigns and create an additional creative proposal on what you could ask influencers to do to really engage with your brand. The more interesting content opportunities you give them, the better the exposure.
- Source some extra budget to pay them (because they should be paid for doing your marketing for you). It’s possible to approach people who may want to engage for exposure, but that will be a harder process to maintain in the long-term. Plus, they have rent to pay. Let’s not be that guy.
- Drop us an email to make sure you capture their campaign activity for your own video. Use the production internally to prove the worth of influencer marketing to your stakeholders, and externally to target the influencer’s audience with an acquisition strategy. Don’t panic if that all sounds like gobbledegook to you – we can help you out there.
eCommerce – IRL
So let’s talk tangibility emphasis for second. With a little preparation, you can easily leverage this returning trend:
- If you work in a product-based company, you can thank your lucky stars because your job is half done. Your challenge is to work out how to kick it up a notch when is comes to displaying your product. Pull it apart and brainstorm what you can show your customer. What genius invention could they hold in their hands if they come to you, and how will it enrich their life? Step up every touch point and use video marketing to show them exactly what they’re missing.
- Service-based business have a trickier feat, especially those in the charity sector. There are ways around this difficulty though, particularly by taking into the account the possibilities that animation brings to the table. We published five reasons animation may be the way to go for your next video campaign, and this approach has paid off for many of our service clients, including Teenage Cancer America, Wellcome Trust and The National Maritime Museum.
Travel – VR and 360 content
This content type requires more thought than others, but you can do this. Make a start by:
- Considering a phone upgrade or an investment in a dual camera. You can’t take 360 videos without one.
- Try Facebook 3D pictures. Undertake a couple of tests with your dual camera. Pick a smaller space to show your audience in this new format, and ask what they like/dislike about it. Use the feedback to take better 3D photos until you’re showing the audience exactly what they want to see. At this point, you have a baseline for consistency that you can build on for bigger, richer engagement with every post.
Across all the social media platforms that have them, the Stories feature is currently the most under-utilised advertising opportunity, making them ripe for better exposure than advertising in the newsfeed, and higher ROI.
Considering the brief and creative nature of stories compared to the longer-form and often more serious nature of posts in the main newsfeed, it’s a logical assumption that paid placements in Stories are best utilised by the entertainment sector, as the viewer is often there to consume lighter content.
If they move quickly, entertainment brands can implement a strategy that harnesses this opportunity. We’d recommend taking the following next steps pretty soon…
- If you haven’t already, create yourself a schedule for organic Instagram Stories and stick to it. Getting your existing audience used to you using Stories and being able to leverage an existing following through them will provide better data (enabling strategic pivots to your advertising plan) when you start your first advertising campaign.
- Dive into your target audience. The more you can learn about the profile of your target demographic and develop a marketing persona, the better your advertising targeting will be, ensuring your spend is put to good use on the right people.
- Video continues to be the best performing content type within Stories, but it’s a double edged sword. The pressure is on for that one video to capture your viewer’s attention, tell a story and deliver a memorable call-to-action in just a few seconds, which is no easy feat. Plan this thoroughly and don’t leave it to chance. Or give us a call, obviously.
So it’s official, we’ve almost overtaken the amount of time spent watching traditional TV with hours spent consuming Over The Top (i.e. internet delivered) video. Given the huge amount of reach and influence YouTube has, it makes sense to draw some inspiration from traditional TV methods by the simple act of planning for consistency and familiarity. Sport is the perfect sector for this – if executed well, the range of topics is diverse enough to cover in the form of mini ‘TV’ shows whilst still being intrinsically linked to the umbrella topic of ‘sport’. Try this:
- Schedule, schedule, schedule! Though traditional TV hours are decreasing, the concept of the schedule will undoubtedly help your channel succeed if you stick to it. Throughout this whitepaper, trust has been mentioned a lot. The act of simply choosing consistent publish days and times for your YouTube videos will offer potential fans an olive branch, allowing to get comfortable with you. Let them know what to expect, and deliver.
- Continuing the theme of getting comfortable, establish content buckets. Jessica Zweig has a brilliant blog post on exactly how to do this. If you can bucket your channel’s content, you ensure you stay within a range of topics your audience want to hear about, rather than going off-piste and boring them, which should secure those all-important returning visits.
And there it is – our 2019 video marketing whitepaper. If you want to chat through anything further, ask a question or just tell us you like our shoes, feel free to drop us a line. Here’s to 2019!
29th November, 2018
As far as our latest project is concerned, football and Facebook ads have proven to make quite the impact.
The beautiful game became a finely crafted art in a perfectly executed Facebook ad campaign after working with our client,
British Study Centres on their courses run in conjunction with City Football Schools at the home of Manchester City FC.
Here’s how we used one sports commercial to drive unprecedented traffic to our client’s website through the medium of Facebook video ads…
Our mission, should we choose to accept it (we did, clearly) was to create a video for British Study Centres (BSC) showcasing their football and language courses.
But not just any football courses.
These are courses run in partnership with City Football Schools at the home of Manchester City FC.
Be still our beating hearts.
The ultimate goal (pun intended) was to use a sports commercial style video to recruit potential students for BSC’s football and language course from all over the world. To do that, we needed to get our video in front of young people with applicable interests, and their parents.
Shooting and editing a sports commercial
In our case, the sports commercial in question was football. Your video storyboard should befit the spirit of the sport you’re working with specifically, but for footie fans the world over we knew this needed to be a high-octane, empowering, celebratory commercial that paid huge homage to the almighty Manchester City FC, and so the flaunting of that iconic light blue sports kit was going to need to share the limelight. Fast action edits mingled with lingering slo-mo allows the viewer to feel the rush of the game without overlooking the key message of the video.
Notice also the fleeting use of match footage featuring crowds and high-flying Manchester City players.
It would be easy to pull off an awe-inspiring video made up largely of more famous footage to produce a beautiful sports commercial. Heck, why even bother arranging a shoot at all? But because of the nature of the campaign and the target audience we needed to appeal to, we were incredibly mindful that the content of the video had to look achievable before it became aspirational.
Bearing in mind we were looking for students to take our client’s course, it was critical that the viewer could see themselves working towards their football dreams before the intimidation of famous faces and screaming crowds entered their awareness. By that point, we had already hooked them in by making this path real for them through the lower level training footage before trading in emotional content and serving up a hot plate of their wildest sporting dreams becoming a reality.
Back of the net? We think so.
Facebook Ad KPIs
Having worked our magic on the video, it was time to turn our attention to the numbers. What were we going to measure, and why?
Ultimately, we needed to know that the video was doing its job by keeping the audience watching. Whereas many ecommerce ads can be successful by offering a big discount and attractive image, that wouldn’t cut it here. To tempt people from all over the world to pay money and commit to a study programme in England, there were no shortcuts. Our content had to be impeccable, else it would fail to produce any leads.
Naturally, we nailed it.
In under a month, the total reach for our football Facebook ads have totalled 327,000 people (so far). To break it down…
Overall Reach (people who saw the ad at least once) – 327k
- Overall 10s views – 65k
- Overall full views – 12.5k Full Views
- 548 Likes, 113 Comments and 163 Shares
And that’s just the start.
In this instance, it’s only helpful to have huge numbers watching if they’re going to follow through to the website. BSC’s web traffic has indeed increased significantly.
- The City Football Language School web page has seen over a 104% increase in web traffic since the beginning of the Facebook ad campaign. This traffic is almost entirely coming from Facebook.
- We’re seeing a big rise in traffic from the following countries:
- Spain (+665%)
- Mexico (+2.5k%)
- Brazil (+300%)
- Referral traffic from the British Study website is also increased significantly with a rise of 7600%.
Take time to build on your Facebook ad targeting
No matter how much business bloggers and social media gurus simplify Facebook ad targeting for you, it can easily get confusing. Don’t go into it without a plan.
Map out each element you want to test, go back, look at the stats and make tiny tweaks until your ad delivers like a dream. Especially if this is your first dip in the Facebook ad pool, it’s unlikely that it’ll go perfectly first time around, so muster all of your patience and give yourself time to test, tweak and pivot your targeting. It WILL pay off in the end.
Do you have a need for an exquisitely shot, perfectly managed Facebook Video campaign? Whether you’re in need of a sports commercial or something a little different, drop us a line. We’d love to help.
12th October, 2018
From experience and through our heaving little black book of contacts, we know charity video campaigns are not easy to pull off.
With budget often being a highly contentious issue and subject matter being particularly sensitive to cover in a matter of mere seconds, there are many hoops to jump through at the planning stages of any charity video.
One of the key choices you’ll need to make at the beginning of this process is whether you opt for a live action video – that is, a full scale video shoot complete with camera crew, director and actors/beneficiaries – or whether the medium of animation can better help you communicate your message.
There are pros and cons to both, but we know considering animation can feel particularly overwhelming if you’ve never managed that kind of project before. Check out our five reasons why animation could be right for you. What will you decide?
Don’t get us wrong: good animation does not come cheap, and animators should charge a healthy amount for the very hard work required for those videos. But it can often turn out to be a cheaper option. There are a few reasons why:
- Start to run through the sheer amount of people required on a real life video shoot in your head. Between staff, cameramen (because you’re going to need more than one for a video that has any kind of depth), a director, actors, extras, venue chaperones… and those are for a relatively simple video. Can you imagine the amount of time that tots up if your shoot goes on for more than a few hours? That’s a lot of day rates and a lot of staff time. Now compare that to the day rates of a couple of animators. We can hear your bank account sighing with relief as we type…
- It’s rare that a venue will let you film in their space for free, whether you’re a charity or not. At the very least you’ll probably be expected to cough up a donation. Animators need no venue, other than the one they are drawing.
- If you’ve got a very specific vision, even the very best cameraman may not have the exact kit to cater to every client’s creative ideas. Some may purchase what’s required for the desired effect as it’ll benefit them in the future, but if your idea is so unique that there’s not much call for it, you’ll probably need to foot the bill for that particular bit of tech. This is generally avoided by using animators, as the medium is more simplistic (but effective).
- Everyone is going to need sustenance, or at the very least a hefty amount of snacks and bottled water to keep their energy up throughout the day, which you should really be providing (and works out easier if these are onsite, as even the best planned shoots get squeezed for timings). Hello expenses!
- Realising you need to re-shoot a scene is not the nicest realisation you’ll ever come to, but human error can arise and sometimes it’s required. This can add quite a few extra notes onto your bill that you hadn’t really been prepared for. Meanwhile, an animator can make an urgent edit at a fraction of the cost of a re-shoot.
2. Animation helps put the charity’s cause at the forefront
While live action videos can be truly wonderful (we should know, we’re responsible for so many that are out in the world!), unexpected elements can be distracting from the point of the film. This is something charities in particular will want to avoid, as of course the focus in any charity video must be the cause.
The last thing you want is to open the audience up for judgement (isn’t she in that TV show? He’s devilishly handsome! Was that the dog I saw on the train this morning? Why does she remind me of mum so much? Why choose THAT sweatshirt?) when what you want them to do is learn how they can help you changed the world.
Taking away much of that unfortunate but natural human judgement is a terrific way to keep the audience concentrating on your message, rather than details that give your message little headway.
3. Animation can enhance your branding
In much the same way that it can accentuate your message, animation can enhance your unique branding, offering more options to make it ‘pop’ or to create entire worlds where your logo and colour palette is king. When done well, this is a really effective way to increase brand recognition.
This also feeds through to other deliverables like social media posts, toolkits and more. By using the look and feel of your main animation, the options for your deliverables are not only linkable to your brand but are made controllable and flexible for maximum impact throughout your marketing distribution.
4. Animations avoid authenticity issues
We’ve all seen those cringey Netflix documentary reenactments played by well-meaning but often completely offbeat actors. These often miss the mark because the video is low budget, and the actors voluntary or low paid.
We do completely understand that needs must. And not all of them are terrible. But if you’re a charity dealing with a particularly sensitive cause – especially ones that negatively affect people’s lives – the finished result is in danger of being wildly unsuitable for broadcast. And that would be a shame on many levels.
Animation avoids issues that you could face with live action coming across as inauthentic.
We should note here that yes, animation can also make telling a human story hard. But this important element can be reinstated by focusing on how the tone of voice, voiceover artist and music enhances the video. Not to mention…
5. Animation can express more abstract ideas
From timeline jumps to show a result or demonstrating what life could be like after interacting with your charity, animation suspends reality. So whilst you might want your narrative and storyboard to be as convincing as possible, and relate back to human experiences you know people have had, animation allows for condensed timelines and exaggerated emotions to make greater impact. This can be achieved with a live action charity video, but it requires very good actors and high quality effects.
So, what’s the verdict? If you get the feeling animation might be the way for your next charity video campaign (or, indeed, if you’ve concluded that you need live action and are looking for a devilishly handsome agency to deliver it for you), drop us a line today. We’d love to talk about how we can help!
1st October, 2018
Silo working, mixed messaging and off-brand assets. Sound like a familiar situation in your office?
We’ve seen it a million times over, and know EXACTLY how frustrating it is to know nothing of a huge project another team is doing, and expect you to market the assets. Know what you need? An Integrated Marketing Session.
What’s an integrated marketing session?
An integrated marketing session is where you get at least one representative from every department in your company (perhaps excluding HR, Legal and Finance, though that depends entirely on the kind of company you are) in one place for a day.
You make everyone spill any activity they’re undertaking in the next 12 months that’s going to require some kind of marketing, and plot it on one big calendar. Then you plan exactly what content will be required for each project. And then everybody works from that calendar to complete work required for specific projects throughout the year, checking back in to do an update session every six months or so.
Why would an integrated marketing session be useful to me?
The list of ways in which integrated marketing sessions are useful is literally endless, but a few headline points are:
- There’s no excuse for silo working if you’ve put this measure in place, and therefore less off-brand content produced that you have no choice but to market. Integrated marketing really supports brand cohesiveness.
- They help ease tension between teams. If everyone’s working from the same plan and has to have less difficult conversations about why Julie’s designed graphics in orange when your colour palette is blue and grey, everyone’s happier. Less tense conversations mean more space for people to get to know and like each other. Hopefully.
- You can better plan ahead to hit deadlines. The big 12-month plan you end up with is your guiding beacon to mastering your to-do list, allowing you to complete your multitude of various campaign materials in advance of the launch date. That’s right – in advance of the launch date.
- You can step up the quality of your content, because you’ll have time and space to assess when you need to start planning gorgeous video campaigns, for example. And you can agree on the creative and the medium with your team during the integrated marketing session. Get in.
How to prepare for your integrated marketing session
Send out advance diary appointments
This is a big, important meeting that’s going to require a lot of your colleague’s time and energy. But it’s totally worth it.
Send out diary appointments in good time (it’s just good manners) and provide an explanation of what happens during the session, why it’s important and why they’ve been chosen to represent their team.
It’s also a good shout to mention that if they can’t make the meeting, they should send a colleague in their place.
Invite someone from EVERY team
Try not to forget anyone. There’s nothing worse than making a big, bold move to make a workforce more integrated, then leave people out.
Remind them to prep
Let your attendees know they need to bring all of their team’s key dates for the next year, whether or not an activity is 100% confirmed.
Book a day away from the office
Creative juices need to be flowing for this as much as logistical prowess. You’ll be much more effective at the creative point if you’re in a new space primed for brainstorming.
Keep the snacks and drinks flowing
Low blood-sugar rarely enables a fabulous idea. A word of warning though; carb heavy lunches should also be avoided to keep everyone sharp!
Take regular fresh air breaks
See our note above about keeping sharp…
What you’ll need for planning on the day:
- One biiiiiig flip chart
- Sharpies and assorted pens
- A stack of post-its
- A comprehensive list of public holidays and national days you want or may want to take advantage of.
How to run your integrated marketing session
Ok, this is the big one – a playbook to absolutely beasting this mammoth but ever-useful task, if you will. Here’s what you need to do.
- Assign one month to each sheet of flip chart paper. So one sheet for January, one for February, and so on.
- Write the weeks of that month along the top of a grid, so each week has a column to itself. E.g. January 2019 will be split into 31st Dec – 6th Jan, then 7th – 13th, etc.
- Write your marketing mediums down the side of the page. Include online and offline marketing channels, such as social media, email, blog, website, billboards, media space, bus stop posters, press release… whatever you regularly use. Your flip chart set up should look like this for each month:
- Spend the first half of the day on plotting key dates and assigning the mediums each upcoming activity will need marketing on. Don’t get too bogged down on creative ideas yet (but encourage attendees to jot ideas down as they come to share later). Focus on one month at a time, and for each piece of content that needs to be created, jot it on a post-it and stick in the relevant week against the marketing medium required. Most activities will require multiple post-its as they’ll go out across various mediums, such as blog, social media and email marketing. Work through every month until you reach the end and every activity is noted.
- This is likely to take up the first half of your integrated marketing session – it will get laborious, so take regular breaks. If your company is very large and an integrated planning session is likely to take more than a day, try focusing on the next three or six months at first.
- After a hearty lunch and a dose of caffeine (we’ll take a double espresso, thanks), it’s time to revisit each month and get creative. Add to the activity post-it notes, detailing creative ideas, titles, email subjects… whatever is required on the creative side of things to enhance each piece of content. Not every bit is going to need to need a full-on creative brief, but take this time to brainstorm exciting approaches to anything in the calendar that carries real potential. Make sure everyone knows that you want to hear their opinion and that no idea is a stupid idea when brainstorming.
- Take a backup photo of each month, just in case the paper version comes to harm. We can’t emphasise enough how important this is, because post-its – whilst great – do not have the most reliable glue.
- Carefully stack all 12 sheets on top of one another, roll them up together like a poster and pop a rubber band around them. Trust us, this is the EASIEST way to transport these huge bits of paper and all the good stuff they now possess, thanks to you.
- Take everyone to the nearest pub for the evening.
- Spend the next day writing up your plan so there is a digital copy – preferably it’ll be beautifully designed and live in a live document, such as Google Sheets.
- Send an email around thanking everyone for attending, and ask them to sense check your digital plan.
- Make any amends you need to post-feedback.
- Encourage everyone to use this planner to plan their work from here-on-out.
- Repeat in six months.
Was reading that process a little dry? Possibly. Are integrated marketing sessions a little bit stressful for the host? Yes. Is it all worth it when everyone is working in harmony on the same uber creative projects? OH GOODNESS GRACIOUS YES.
Holding regular integrated marketing sessions will change your working life for the better, and that of others around you. The really exciting part is when creative campaigns can be conceived by more than one person, making way for truly exciting collaborations with your peers.
And if one of those collaborations takes the shape of a video marketing campaign? Well, you know where to find us to make it a reality.
23rd August, 2018
Cars. Design. Celebrity. The holy integrated video campaign trinity.
How often can you say you’ve seen a flawlessly executed integrated video campaign? It’s a thing of rarity and of beauty. Few have impressed us as much as the 2016 campaign for the then-new DS3 car by Citroen, featuring the sensational Iris Apfel and rocking the slogan; “Driven by style”.
It was so darn good we’ve gone ahead and made it a case study – a barometer for a beautifully done integrated video campaign. This is what we learned from it.
Follow the integrated video campaign pyramid
Before we delve into the beauty of the DS3 campaign itself, we want to show you something.
We have to give full credit for the following diagram to our business pal Lea Rice, of Lea Rice Communications, for coming up with the campaign pyramid concept, which was based on the DS3 campaign.
She has determined that you can yield brilliant campaign results by following this framework from the planning stages of you integrated video campaign, which works in three layers: Mass appeal, exhibition and micro influencing. It looks like this:
Let’s break this down.
Tier 1: This is where the biggest percent of your budget is allocated. It also features a brand partner or influencer you may have on board who should ideally have a mass appeal (at least within the niche of your target audience) who fits with the concept of the campaign, with a widespread distribution platform.
For the DS3 Driven By Style campaign, this took the form of their beautifully shot TV advert, starring artist and design muse Iris Apfel.
Tier 2: This takes the high budget TV ad (or whatever your top tier looks like for you personally) into more accessible places, and provokes a spread of coverage to get people talking about their video, and therefore their new car. This tier is also where social media cut downs of your video come into play – the release of these should line up with your press sell-in.
A sell-in for online and offline press seeded the story of the car further into the public’s awareness, while showcase events took place throughout the Summer at Westfield shopping centre, London. The latter, of course, allowed Citroen to bring to life the artistic direction of the TV ad as well as open the floor to the ol’ car salesmen.
The Westfield pitch played another vital role in the coverage of this campaign, however, which brings us on to…
Tier 3: Citroen invested in influencer marketing with a great mechanic. They reached out to fashion, beauty and lifestyle bloggers in London and the Home Counties to attend the Westfield showcase on any of the dates it was there for.
Each blogger was given a £100 Westfield voucher and set a challenge to put together an Iris Apfel inspired look within one hour (Iris Apfel glasses provided, naturally), then return to the expo space to get changed and do a quick photoshoot against the same Paris backdrop from the advert. The bloggers – who had been chosen because they had the same readership as the DS3’s target audience – would then return home to write up and publish their experience with DS3, amazing photos in hand, and having already promo’d the company on social media as they crowdsourced ideas from their followers during the outfit challenge.
To really hammer that sales point home, each partaking influencer was also allowed the opportunity to test drive a DS3 for a week.
This coverage created conversations among the exact audiences Citroen wanted to reach, who would already be initiated to the brand from the TV ad and press coverage, and were now hearing from their favourite influencers about the great brand experience they’d had with that very same car.
And that, ladies and gents, is how you pull off a seriously strategic integrated video campaign.
- Plan that trickle down effect detailed in the campaign pyramid above right at the start of your campaign planning. This is not about shoe-horning bits in as you go, it’s about clever, calculated strategy.
- It takes an average of seven interactions with a brand before the target audience considers a purchase. Think hard about how those touch points will get to your audience.
- Offline brand experiences are not dead, and can return better ROI for you if you give them multi-purpose roles.
- Invest in influencers that compliment your brand and product.
- Sure, your budget may not be that of Citroen’s. But don’t throw this framework out of the window just because the figures aren’t the same. Adjust it to your own budget and your own offering, and keep implementing what works for your brand in the future, increasing the budget you invest each time (because, all being well, you’ll find yourself making a bigger profit with every campaign).
Not sure where to start? We have some great ideas for you. Why not drop us an email?
30th July, 2018
We’ve spoken in depth about getting the best from your video production in terms of idea conception, the film set, film content and much more. Many video projects will require dialogue to get the point across, particularly in demonstration and ‘how to’ videos, and almost every video ever made will be enhanced by music. Music can be the key element which adds professionalism and polish to your commercial video. So with that in mind, we are going to look at three ways to enhance your commercial video using music.
A note of caution before we continue! Although there is copyright-free music available out there, you need to be absolutely certain that you have permission to use any music you choose in your video production. In brief, if you want to use a commercial song in your video, you must obtain two licenses – a synchronisation license to use the song and the master license to use the recording of that song. It’s a big and tricky subject that we don’t have space to cover here, but a master license will need to be obtained from the record label (or from the artist themselves in the case of independent artists) and a synchronisation license will need to be obtained by the music publisher. Whether you’re looking to enhance your commercial video using music or using it in a non-commercial project, for your own company or on behalf of clients, you need to make sure that the use is legal. A further element to keep in mind is that licensing music early in the project could curtail the chances of a budget issue later.
The Bookend Approach
We’re pretty sure that everyone everywhere has watched a video where the music throughout was distracting, if not irritating, for being too loud, the wrong pace, out of context with the video content or purpose or worse.
Depending on the type of your video project, you may find that music simply isn’t needed through the whole video. A corporate video or film, for instance, may actually benefit from having only short bursts of music or a bookended approach.
Often music can actually be more powerful when it is used intermittently – it can better accentuate a point or a climax in the video. When music is forced throughout, the viewer may get tired or bored. The bookend approach gives the viewer some breathing room and this can allow the environmental and background sound to help shape the audio of your project.
If you are going to use a bookended approach, it’s a good idea to pick one music track or theme to open and close the video, especially on shorter video projects.
Giving music or sound design a featured role in the opening and or closing sections of your video will help to set your tone, hold your message together, and leave your viewers with a feeling of completion. A way to do this is to pair music or sound design with an image for three to five seconds.
Using bookend music, or simply turning up the volume of the music at certain points, can also be used to divide your video into chapters or segments.
While video images are great, the music in your video can really help to stimulate your audience and set the mood/tone.
Essentially, music is entertaining enough in itself that, when in the background, it can keep us focused even on otherwise un-entertaining things.
In choosing music for your video, and to truly enhance your commercial video using music rather than turn the audience off, you need to consider your target viewer. What’s their age, background and interests? Whereas an executive of a blue-chip corporation may not identify with hard rock or hip-hop, this may be a perfect style choice for a younger audience. If you’re trying to reach a broad market or many age ranges, look for music that has a broad appeal; you won’t want to alienate or dis-engage your audience with anything too genre-specific.
You will need to decide what role music will play in your video; whether the music supports or drives the message you’re hoping to convey. If your audience notices the music too much, it could be pulling away from rather than adding to the overall impact. Be clear about whether you are conveying broad information or if you are trying to impart technical details that your viewer will need to focus on without distraction as this will dictate what kind of music you should use. Detailed technical info should have a supportive underscore that doesn’t pull the attention of the viewer, but if you’re trying to convey broad concepts, then you’ll need foreground music that evokes greater emotion.
When choosing your music you’ll also need to decide whether or not to use vocals.
Vocals under dialogue or an interview can be distracting and off-putting, but if chosen carefully they can also carry your message through, and can sometimes add some humour, if appropriate to the theme. If you choose a vocal track for your project you must work out whether or not the words support what’s happening in the scene/video. Good non-vocal tracks can often convey the same emotions without words and in many cases could be considered a safer bet.
Music Without Dialogue
Video marketing relies on ensuring your music is the perfect fit for your campaign, brand and product. But what about the idea that your video features nothing but music?
One of the added bonuses of a music-only marketing video is that they make great content for social networks that auto-play videos which don’t have sound to begin with.
When we’re scanning through our social media we may not always be in a position to have audio with the video’s that come up (i.e. in a hospital or at a conference – little bit rude that one, you should be listening to the speaker, but you know what we’re saying) so you can assume that your prospects may be hearing nothing at all when they catch your video on Facebook, for instance.
Videos that feature only music and have no narrative or sound effects need to be compelling enough visually to draw people in without the promise of dialogue, and this effect must be achieved with or without the sound. Of course, you need to add music which will capture the imagination of the viewer if the sound is on, but keeping in mind that often it may not be. The old silent movies are an excellent example of how this can work.