I recently had an opportunity to speak at Digital Hollywood and discussed viral and social media experiences in entertainment, media and advertising creativity.
It was a great discussion and the panel touched on topics from social media, smart data usage, social creativity and monetization.
Below is a recap of my key discussion points and additional commentary:
1) You’ve been in the industry a while, what excites you most about the opportunities in viral and social now?
Epsilon is a part of Alliance Data so for me as a marketer having proprietary data assets to support our creative process is incredibly valuable.
The amount of behavioral, attitudinal and transactional data that is available is incredibly exciting and having the ability to combine our structured data assets with the unstructured consumer data and signals via social is key to creating highly contextual connections.
2) What concerns you about the state of social marketing?
One of the core elements that sometimes gets lost in today’s social world that is driven by reach and frequency is the role of community.
Some of the most successful brands today not only have great visual storytelling and entertaining content, they are also empowering their community to carry the brand.
3) How are social experiences different than traditional media/content?
For me it’s the flexibility. There is an opportunity to create deeply immersive linear and non-linear experiences or extremely lightweight micro-moments. Social experiences should put the consumer in the center and have an opportunity to be highly contextual.
4) One thing that has been said is that viral and social content can enhance the core creative… what are some examples? Any examples where they missed?
You also look at brands like Dove. They are focused on the overarching theme of real beauty and they are proud to have started the femvertising movement.
Last year for the Oscars the inter agency team created a social campaign around #speakbeautiful with the goal of impacting sentiment about the event, specifically the red carpet from negative to positive and it drove a significant impact on positive conversation.
What about examples where it missed?
We have all seen examples where a brand over reaches trying to capitalize on a real time moment and the context is lost. It should be less about witty brand personification and more about empowering fans.
5) How do you approach creative different in a viral/social environment?
It all starts with understanding the behaviors and attitudes of the individuals to ensure that what we are creating will resonate.
The goal is to then create thumbstopping creative. This means in a mobile first world we want you to stop scrolling.
Example from Mini Cooper of Thumbstopping Creative
It has to be authentic, entertaining and ultimately meaningful to the consumer. Content needs to be atomized but consistent with the overarching theme and highly consumer centric.
It’s also important to develop a strategy that aligns the essence of the brand with the core behaviors of the consumer and finally understanding the role of content, be it brand created, co-created with 3rd parties, integrated with existing programs or curated from fans.
6) What, if any, concerns does the talent have with this new environment? How do you manage these concerns?
Balancing reputation management and authenticity is key. Understanding the role and goal of each platform is key to maximizing reach while mitigating risk.
7) What concerns do advertisers have with creativity in a viral/social environment?
Form factors are highly dependent by platform. Ability to amplify messaging varies greatly. Targeting capabilities can be a core area of focus such as Facebook and Twitter.
Others such as Buzzfeed, Snapchat and Reddit are fully reliant on contextual opt-in. Ensuring that the right creative is being deployed in a way that will resonate is always a concern via social.
Buzzfeed does not target it’s sponsored content (see Subway below) it is all based on contextual opt-in.
Another point of consideration is maintaining authenticity is key.
8) How does the platform impact the ability to integrate content or immerse the audience?
The platforms play a major role. Some are optimized for reach others are focusing on sequential storytelling like Twitter Moments, others are embracing visual language tools to further connect with millienials.
The key is to understand the form factor and approach that is right for the user and the brand.
9) What are the different considerations between direct and indirect monetization?
It is highly dependent on the goals of the organization. Certain categories such as retail and CPG are highly focused on the Impact of social on trip missions, the role of location and direct conversion.
You see platforms like Facebook renewing their focus on commerce, adding shopping into the native mobile user experience and the focus on messenger as a commerce vehicle.
The key is to map the goals to a strategic framework that define the role monetization will play in the campaign.
10) Are the “traditional” ad impressions dying? Pre-roll, interstitial, etc.
From an industry perspective they are not dying because too many organizations have measurement models built around impressions.
I do see shifts in what is creating connections. We focus a lot on dynamically optimized creative that is built with different behavioral models to ensure the timing and context of the message across devices creates impact.
11) What are the key metrics that your clients care about?
Impressions, incremental reach to television, engagement, share of voice, sentiment, conversions are just a few. Also, brands are focused on efficiency of media, viewability of video advertising and for some the impact of location on in-store messaging.
There is always the balance to consider between attribution and causality.
12) What will it take to be successful in the next 18 months? (experimentation, risk, etc.)
1) SMART DATA – Enhanced focus on smart data and having the ability to create predictive models that can pick up on key signals via social.
2) BRAND ECOSYSTEMS – Moving beyond brand partnerships to create brand ecosystems as co-creation and integration are incredibly important.
3) SOCIAL MESSAGING – It will also be important to focus on strategies for social messaging platforms. Face books messenger already supports 3rd party apps, integrating payment and will become their primary commerce enabler.
Monitoring the Asian paradigm around the role of messaging is a key predictor of the potential here in the U.S.
Follow Tom Edwards @BlackFin360