Digital Marketing Trends, Part 3 of 5: Video Games

As part of the daily curation I do with #the5, I get a chance from time to time to aggregate all the news I collect to look for trends. In the third of our 5 part series, we’re going to examine some current trends in digital marketing and what they mean for you. Today, we’re looking at…

Video Games

Here are a few of the choice headlines in the last 7 months worth reflecting on:

Facebook Video Soars Past 4 Billion Daily Views
Twitter Enables Embedding Twitter Video On Websites
Vimeo Phasing Out the Tip Jar in Favor of a New Artist Payment Program
Twitter jumps into the autoplay video game
What’s A Video View? On Facebook, Only 3 Seconds Vs. 30 At YouTube
Pinterest Puts Its Own Spin on Video Ads With These Cinematic Pins
Google unlinking Google+ from YouTube
Twitter’s Periscope Knocks Out Meerkat
YouTube’s ‘PewDiePie’ Made $7.4M Last Year, Raised $1M for Charity

To say that video is hot is akin to claiming that the sun is hot: both very true, and supremely obvious. What is less obvious above is that video platforms are beginning to differentiate by specialization. When you examine each of the major video platforms, what are they good at?

Periscoping the blog

YouTube, the 800-pound heavyweight, provides innovative experiences. YouTube is one of the top music tools in the world, primarily because you can find exactly the song you want to listen to without paying for it, save for ads. YouTube also offers 360 degree video and interactive video through tools like TrueView cards, Google Cardboard, and more. YouTube is also the champion of monetization, letting advertisers gain enormous reach and paying content creators for their labors.

Twitter specializes in the quick and the now. From Vine to Periscope, Twitter is all about now, and provides you with plenty of different ways to share now in ways that other video networks don’t.

Facebook provides community. It’s where all the people are, over a billion of them, despite having rudimentary tools and terrible analytics. Your existing social network there becomes the seed network for your video ventures.

Vimeo provides some of the best access controls for video platforms, from password protecting individual videos to offering payment gateways for creators.

While each platform struggles to lock in users and reach feature parity with the others, they’ve each clearly planted a stake in the ground about what they want to be good at.

How To Make Use of This Trend

We tend to think of video very generically. “Oh, I’ll just post a video” or “Oh, I’ll just record that on my smartphone”. This isn’t much of a strategy, and a lackluster strategy leads to lackluster results most of the time.

Rather than make generic videos to be plastered everywhere in the hopes that someone will watch them, ask what the function of your video is. Are you trying to deliver an innovative experience? As long as you’re capable of creating content that leverages the many features of YouTube, that’s the place to put it. Are you aiming to provide live, unfiltered experiences? Periscope is the place to be.

Where you should focus your video efforts also depends greatly on what you want people to do with it after you’re done. YouTube’s community, particularly the commenters, are not known for great civility, but if you hit it big on YouTube, you hit it really big. Facebook’s video platform is still in its infancy, but if your network is strong and you’ve got budget to pay for reach, it can generate amazing results. Twitter’s video efforts have been notoriously difficult to share and spread, so if you’re looking for longevity and evergreen results, it’s not the place to go.

As each platform races towards feature parity on the basics and deepens its specialization, the differences will become more pronounced. Thus, the sooner you develop capabilities to create video appropriate to each specialization, the better positioned you will be to out-video your competitors.

Digital Marketing Trends, Mid-2015 Edition
  1. Discontent Marketing
  2. Broadcast Social
  3. Video Games
  4. Sticking Around
  5. Winners and Losers

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Digital Marketing Trends, Part 2 of 5: Broadcast Social

As part of the daily curation I do with #the5, I get a chance from time to time to aggregate all the news I collect to look for trends. In the second of our 5 part series, we’re going to examine some current trends in digital marketing and what they mean for you. Today, we’re looking at…

Broadcast Social

Here are a few of the choice headlines in the last 7 months worth reflecting on:

The BBC launches Your Story, tying your Facebook timeline to news events
63% of Facebook/Twitter users get their news from social media
Facebook now lets you flag fake news
Google indexes tweets from higher social authority accounts more
Facebook’s Talks To Host Publishers’ Content Are Heating Up
FTC Puts Social Media Marketers On Notice With Updated Disclosure Guidelines

What we see here is nothing less than major social media channels attempting to become broadcast media. Users of these services now get their news from them. Social channels are the places that artists debut albums, TV shows premiere pilots and teasers, and advertisers spend like drunken sailors on shore leave.

thenewtvguide.png
Admit it, this reflects your viewing habits already.

What does this trend mean? Broadcast Social Media largely abandons the pretense of community in social media as part of main news feeds and timelines. Twitter looks more like a news ticker than it does a conversation. Pinterest and Instagram carousel ads look like catalog displays instead of conversations. Facebook’s eponymous News Feed is, well, a news feed.

There are certainly still plenty of places where community gathers; Facebook private groups, Linkedin Groups, etc. We haven’t lost those communities yet. But the main thrust of Broadcast Social is to behave like broadcast media.

How To Make Use of This Trend

Broadcast Social means rethinking where social media fits in your marketing funnel/customer journey. Instead of being lumped into one broad “social media” category, Broadcast Social means splitting your social media efforts into two different focus areas. The first area, community management, remains focused on engagement and building loyalty through conversation. The second area, your Broadcast Social team, focuses on broadcast media-like placements, advertising, and brand building/brand awareness.

Community management remains more in the middle of the funnel, behaving like email marketing to nurture and retain prospects and customers. Broadcast Social moves more towards the top of the funnel, behaving like other broadcast channels.

Finally, the change of social media to Broadcast Social changes how you measure social media. You can’t measure with one set of metrics any longer. By becoming a broadcast channel, Broadcast Social now has to be measured like other forms of broadcast media such as TV, radio, and print. It’s not inconceivable that we begin to measure Broadcast Social with something like digital GRPs (gross ratings points, how TV and radio are measured).

Stay tuned for the next trend in this series!

Digital Marketing Trends, Mid-2015 Edition
  1. Discontent Marketing
  2. Broadcast Social
  3. Video Games
  4. Sticking Around
  5. Winners and Losers

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Digital Marketing Trends, Part 1 of 5: Discontent Marketing

As part of the daily curation I do with #the5, I get a chance from time to time to aggregate all the news I collect to look for trends. In this 5 part series, we’re going to examine some current trends in digital marketing and what they mean for you.

Discontent Marketing

Here are a few of the choice headlines in the last 7 months worth reflecting on:

“Is podcasting the next big thing in sponsored content?”
“Why content marketing is like a food truck”
“Right and wrong ways to ignite your content”
“Media must differentiate your content”
“Don’t let secret sauce thinking ruin your content marketing”

The reality is that much of our thinking about content marketing is still highly executional. How do we know this? Consider the evolution of any marketing methodology:

evolution.jpg

In the beginning, we talk shop. How do you write a blog post? What microphone do you use for podcasting? We focus on the how – and when you examine much of the content being created about content marketing, it’s very much about the how.

Once you’ve figured out the how, you evolve to thinking about what to do, what choices to make. Content marketing isn’t there yet.

The last stage of evolution for any marketing method is strategy, why you’re doing what you do (and how you do it). We’re still in the nascent days of understanding content strategy in a concrete way.

This isn’t to say that businesses and marketers have no strategy at all; content strategy itself hasn’t developed because we still don’t have a great grasp of what works and what doesn’t. Strategy only evolves out of the complex collection of data, analysis, and insights that precede it in execution and tactics.

How To Make Use of This Trend

If you don’t have a clear understanding of what works and what doesn’t, you cannot evolve content marketing beyond the execution phase. You simply throw things at the wall repeatedly and hope. Thus, the foundation of evolving your content marketing to higher levels is based on the accurate collection of data, thorough analysis of the data, and development of insights from your analysis.

Chances are, your competitors haven’t figured out content marketing in any meaningful way. You likely have an opportunity to seize the space and own it, but the window of opportunity is narrow. Try things out with a rigorous discipline of measurement behind your efforts. Quickly identify what works, then scale those efforts while testing new ideas. By doing so, you’ll develop your tactical cookbook faster than your peers. Ultimately, you’ll be able to craft content marketing strategy that’s efficient and effective.

Stay tuned for the next parts in this series!

Digital Marketing Trends, Mid-2015 Edition
  1. Discontent Marketing
  2. Broadcast Social
  3. Video Games
  4. Sticking Around
  5. Winners and Losers

If you enjoyed this, please share it with your network!


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