Remember the early days of YouTube and the first viral videos you saw on the platform? Do you remember how amazing you thought that was? That anyone could create a video, upload it to YouTube, and have it be viewed millions of times?
Do you remember thinking things like that?
I’m sure you do.
You know what I did after being amazed at the power of YouTube and viral videos? I recommended to a Client that we upload a video, so it too could achieve stratospheric levels of success online.
But that didn’t happen.
Sure, we uploaded what we thought was going to be a great video on YouTube, but man did it tank. I don’t remember how many views it received, but it sure didn’t classify as ‘viral’. I don’t even think you could classify it as being a blip, or hiccup.
It tanked because creating a viral video (I dislike many use cases of that term by the way… people don’t create viral videos, they create videos that go viral – I digress) isn’t that simple. For most of us, and the businesses and brands that we work for or with, creating content that goes viral requires an amazing idea, top-tier execution, serious investment, an awesome content promotion and distribution plan, remarkable luck, or some combination of the aforementioned factors.
I’m recounting the early days of being amazed by viral videos because I feel that in a sense history is repeating itself, this time with real-time marketing.
Last year, Oreo crafted an amazing tweet in real-time in response to a high-profile happening at a high-profile sporting event. You know the one I’m talking about.
It caught us all off guard. Real-time marketing wasn’t new, but we didn’t have such an amazing singular example of what real-time marketing was capable of, and the attention it could garner.
That tweet went on to earn major attention for the brand, win huge awards for the agency responsible, and inspired numerous agencies to try to replicate some of that success for their Clients this year.
But this year there was no ‘Oreo – You can still dunk in the dark’ tweet.
Oreo nailed it last year, and while it wasn’t hard to decipher the formula for why it was such an amazing success, many businesses, brands and agencies ignored that it represented a magical moment when all of the right pieces fell into place.
This isn’t to take anything away from the tweet, or the smarts, strategy and planning that made it possible, but you just can’t replicate that kind of magic, which is probably why Oreo and their agency 360i kept quiet this year. They were smart enough to understand the amazing circumstances surrounding their own success.
But all of this isn’t to say that the pinnacle of real-time marketing was reached last year, or that it’s a waste of time to pursue marketing efforts in real-time; quite the contrary.
Real-time marketing is here, and it has been here, to stay. There is huge opportunity for businesses and brands to interact with their audiences in real-time.
Businesses and brands, however, shouldn’t one day per year get a ‘real-time war room’ together and hope for some serendipitous opportunity to present itself, or worse, shoehorn their message into a less than memorable moment.
What we need to be doing is build strategies that are inclusive of real-time tactics. Long-term approaches and processes are needed to allow businesses and brands to seize opportunities when they arise, find ways to provide value in real-time, and generally be more organized on an ongoing basis for real-time marketing activity.
Similar to how I’m sure many of us published our first video to YouTube thinking it was going to be the next viral sensation, and later realized that there is much more to it than that, we need to take a step back and think smarter about real-time marketing on social media, and stop stepping up to the plate once per year for one big swing.
Do you have real-time marketing built into your social media strategy?
How do you provide value to your audience in real-time?
What do you think the future of real-time marketing has in store?
It would be great to chat with you more about this in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
Over the last several years, I’ve had a sense that Super Bowl advertisers have been increasingly adopting a strategy of debuting their big Super Bowl TV spots in advance of the big game. And I’m sure I’m not alone here.
This intuition was recently validated in a TechCrunch article revealing that video measurement and analysis company, Visible Measures, reviewed every Super Bowl campaign since 2010 and found that an increasing number of brands are following the strategy of debuting their TV spots ahead of the game in their entirety, or as a teaser online.
Not only has this been an increasingly prevalent trend, but also its adoption rate has been swift;
2010 – 13 brands debuted their Super Bowl spots early.
2011 – 27 brands debuted their Super Bowl spots early.
2012 – 34 brands debuted their Super Bowl spots early.
2013 – 42 brands debuted their Super Bowl spots early.
2014 – 30 brands were tracked to have debuted their spots early, though this was reported well in advance of kickoff, so it is likely that this number will increase when final numbers are reported.
With brands investing an average of $4 million for 30 seconds of media space, and who knows how much on production and talent for their spots, you might think that they’d want to build anticipation and suspense and release their spots during the actual Super Bowl game.
This approach, however, means missing a tremendous opportunity to provide value to brands’ digital and social media audiences.
To capitalize on this opportunity, Super Bowl spots are being treated less like TV commercials, and more like multi-channel video content, which has proven to be effective.
Visible Measures reported that Super Bowl ads saw a total of 370 million online views last year, and ads released ahead of time received between 200-600 percent more impressions than those that didn’t
So, this is all well and good, but what can be learned from this phenomenon and applied to your business?
There is more value for consumers in predicting the future than reflecting on history
By and large, people are information hungry. They want to know things the moment they occur, take pride in knowing things sooner than others, and revel in sharing breaking news and updates with their social media audiences.
Because of these behaviours, consumers are naturally going to see greater value in content before they perceive it to have been widely released and known.
Being aware of shifts in conversation can help build momentum
Leading up to the Super Bowl, anticipation, excitement and speculation builds. Who is going to win? How is the halftime show going to be? Which ad will be the best?
As soon as the game ends, the conversation shifts from a feverish buzz, to a relatively docile recount. It’s over, and therefore there’s less to talk about, and this applies to the ads as much as anything else.
There is clearly huge opportunity to inject your brand into conversations during the upswing of momentum versus at the peek. When you wait until the conversation is at its height, there is no momentum to build, and nowhere to go but down.
ROI can be greatly enhanced with a content promotion plan
Gone are the days of television spots running through the duration of their respective media buys, coming off air, and quickly being forgotten. Television spots now appear as pre-roll advertising, are posted on websites, and are published on any social media network that will host video. This includes YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, DailyMotion and MetaCafe to name a few.
Formerly thought of as being strictly for television, TV spots are now viewed more as video content, and therefore require a more comprehensive content promotion plan to maximize ROI. YouTube alone boasts that more 18-34 year olds watch video on their platform than any cable network, so if you want to get your message in front of a targeted audience of scale, for many marketers, publishing video online and on social is a simple decision.
While debuting hotly anticipated Super Bowl spots in advance of the big game can be a bit of a letdown to those like me that look forward to the ads more than the game itself, it’s clear that the strategy of pre-releasing spots is paying dividends.
There are also a number of key lessons that can be learned here, and applied to your business. Before pushing content out, think about how the timing of publication can affect the value your audience receives from it, consider how broader conversations may or may not play a role in maximizing the contextual relevance of your message, and finally, think long and hard about how to best promote your content by creating a comprehensive content promotion plan.
What do you think about the trend of Super Bowl spots debuting in advance of the game?
Do you think it is a smart decision to do this?
If you think about this strictly from the standpoint of a viewer, does that affect your opinion?
How do you maximize the ROI of your content?
It would be great to hear your thoughts about this in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
I’ll admit that I’m not a big football fan. I’m into many sports, but football has always seemed a little slow, and the action a little fragmented for my liking.
Despite this, every year I eagerly anticipate the Super Bowl.
Undeniably it’s filled with drama, and is nothing short of a sporting spectacle.
But the real reason I’ve historically been so interested in the Super Bowl really has nothing to do with the competition on the field, but more to do with the competition for consumers’ attention and wallets, the advertising. And I know I’m not alone on this front.
Every year, marketers have been shelling out increasingly ridiculous (or maybe not, depending on returns) sums of money to have the privilege of advertising to the TV audience of the big game. In fact this year, it has been reported that television media space sold for a whopping $4 million for a 30 second spot.
In recent years, however, the landscape of Super Bowl advertising has been changing.
It used to be that Super Bowl ads were kept secret to be revealed on the day of the game. This kept people guessing about who was going to do what to up the ante, and it was fun and exciting to see who was going to win the day.
This year, it seems as though every advertiser has pre-released their big Super Bowl spots. AdAge has already published comprehensive coverage of what many Super Bowl advertisers plans are on television.
Now the game to watch is on social media
While social media marketing isn’t exactly new, last year, Oreo changed the game of Super Bowl advertising with their famous power outage tweet, crafted by agency 360i.
Almost instantly that tweet opened the eyes of marketers about the power of contextually relevant, real-time marketing on social media. And unsurprisingly, this year, many more players will be participating in this game.
The real question for this year’s game then isn’t about whose going to have the most amazing television spot, but who is going to capitalize on what real-time opportunity to capture the attention of their social media audience.
But this is a little underwhelming, don’t you think?
While it’s really exciting to bear witness to this change, and be involved in the world of social media and content marketing during this time, I can’t help but feel a little underwhelmed by this.
I should be excited to see who is going to be doing what on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or other social media channels, but I’m kind of lacking in the excitement department.
The problem is that we know what’s coming. Numerous marketers and advertisers looking for their unique opportunity, but a large part of the magic for Oreo and 360i was that they caught everyone off guard. The big question at the time was, ‘how the hell did they do that so quickly’, and even though the answer was relatively simple, it was something that virtually nobody was prepared for.
We should be finding ways to capitalize on opportunities in near real-time every day
Opportunities to delight an audience in real-time don’t necessarily need to be limited to big events like the Super Bowl.
What the Oreo tweet should have done is awoken us to this opportunity, and we all should have scrambled to find ways to manage this kind of magic on a daily basis be it by empowering small and nimble social media teams, through the creation of processes that account for the need to be fast and responsive, or some other method.
Despite my being underwhelmed at the thought of a huge number of marketers trying to recreate magic they bore witness to last year, I’m still looking forward to the creative output of those playing this game.
What I am going to be hoping for, however, is for at least one social media team to throw up a proverbial ‘hail Mary’ by doing something completely new, innovative and attention grabbing. The opportunity is there, it’s just a matter of who it’s going to be, whether it will occur this year or in the future, and what they’ll do.
How are you going to be following along with the Super Bowl on social media?
Do you think anyone is going to be able to create similar magic as Oreo did last year?
Also, following the Super Bowl, it would be awesome to know who you thought won the marketing and social media games by hearing about your favourite TV ads and moments on social media.
It would be great to chat with you more about this in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
Over the last several days, as many of you likely have, I’ve been keenly following updates from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
For those who don’t know, it’s during CES that many new tech gadgets and innovations are revealed, essentially playing the role of a one-stop-shop for where we can get a glimpse of what the future of tech has in store.
Of the many cool new electronic devices being shown off at this year’s show (that I’ve read about thus far anyway) – predictably – it looks as though wearable tech is one of the major trends being observed.
Virtually every major electronics player is diving into the wearable tech ring, each with their own take on what they believe to be the future of this emerging segment.
Pebble, one of the earlier players in wearable tech, and Kickstarter success story raising over $10 million, announced a new model that is very much a Pebble smart watch, but in a new premium form factor.
The Core, Sony’s entry into the wearable market, gathers and logs data from users’ lives and displays it in their Android app, LifeLog. The key differentiator from many wrist-worn devices is that The Core isn’t just about logging physical movement, but about lifestyle information as well. Also, this solely another wristband; it can be affixed to shoelaces, or clipped onto any item of clothing.
Even Intel – typically thought of as being a chip maker – is getting into the wearable game with smart bracelets, pulse-sensing ear buds, a smart watch, a reimagining of a Bluetooth earpiece, and has even partnered with Barneys to create devices that look more akin to pieces made by fashion designers than computer engineers.
This is just a tiny sampling of the huge number of players in the game, and I think it’s safe to say that wearable tech is no trend or fad; it’s here to stay.
Reflecting what we’re already seeing from wearable tech, in the future we’re likely to see a proverbial menagerie of devices released ranging from simple and clever, to complex and sophisticated.
Also, assuming wearables follow trends in innovation that other technology has seen in recent years, we can anticipate that such devices are going to be increasingly connected, able to sense our location and surroundings, and depending on the use-case, able to discretely function, or allow for more involved use and input.
Now comes the fun part; some far-fetched predictions about what impact all of this will have on social interactions brands have with, and digital utility that brands provide to, their audiences.
Only time will tell the accuracy or ludicrousy of any of these predictions, but here we go anyway:
1 /// New social media platforms will emerge that cater to users of wearable devices
Current social media integration on wearable devices tends to be limited to the receipt of notifications. This is largely due to the challenge that wearable tech presents, as the social media giants we know today were all designed for interaction to take place on screen-based devices. With limited screen real estate on wearables, and in some cases none at all, new platforms will emerge, or legacy platforms will adapt, to facilitate meaningful interactions on wearable tech.
2 /// Micro interactions will win the day on wearable devices
When social media platforms gain functionality beyond simply displaying notifications, focus and attention will be given to facilitating user interaction on wearable devices. Initially, due to limited methods of input, micro interactions – likes, +1’s, favourites, stars, hearts and thumbs up – will be a primary focus.
3 /// Data will be logged for social sharing on supporting devices
We’ll continue to see data logged on paired apps and devices for review, sharing and interaction at later times. This will add to the library of content users and brands will have to share with each other, and interact with.
4 /// Circumstantial content will be created and auto-published, and will be highly contentious
Wearable devices will detect specific circumstances under which to publish updates to new and existing social media networks automatically, or with a simple prompt to approve or disapprove a pre-populated post (think Foursquare check-ins that happen without any prompts, just when you enter a new location). Of course, these updates will prove to be highly contentious due to privacy concerns.
5 /// Voice recognition will move beyond being a superfluous feature and will have great utility
Again, due to limited inputs on wearable devices, voice recognition and dictation will have heightened utility versus more traditional screen-based devices. Because of this, an entirely new wave of social media platforms and applications will be developed for voice (think Twitter-HeyTell hybrids, voice search, or Siri).
6 /// Brand adoption will be rampant
Brands are constantly looking for new ways to gain the attention of new consumers, and provide greater value to existing customers to build their value proposition and strengthen loyalty. The relatively inexpensive and scalable application of wearable technology will be highly appealing, and we’ll see few interesting applications, and an absolute glut of useless wearable tech by brands across the globe.
7 /// Facebook will acquire someone who does it well in the early days
Ha! A new social platform will emerge as providing a great deal of value for users of wearable devices and Facebook will snatch them up.
There are already some brands that have embraced and masterfully applied wearable tech to expand their value proposition and product offerings.
Arguably the most successful of these is Nike and their Fuel Band, which we can look to as being a precursor of what to expect from a variety of brands in the future. The Fuel Band is proof of concept, and it will be immensely interesting to see what Nike, and many other brands have in store.
What’s your take on wearable tech?
Is wearable tech a category that will affect your business category?
How do you see social media being integrated (or not) with these new devices?
It would be fantastic to continue chatting with you about this in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial