Unless you were giving yourself a timeout from your smartphone, I’m sure you will be aware that last week was Social Media Week? With so many talks (and free drinks) on offer it was tempting to try to go to everything, but I’m not sure how realistic this would have been in practice. Instead, my approach was to pick a specific topic and attend the relevant talks.
Being an ex TV producer, I naturally chose to catch up on the Future of Video. Multiple video production options now open to everyone it seems strange to me that there are not more people (especially in consumer PR/marketing) adopting the medium. Not understanding the benefits video can bring to a website or campaign is a little like choosing to stick with your old Nokia 8210 instead of the latest Apple iPhone. If you own a smartphone you have a video camera in your pocket, and I’m sure you’ll agree that a nicely created video is far more engaging than reams of text on a website. It’s also a way of capturing a new audience by drawing them in with creative flair before hitting them with a targeted message at the end of the film.
Looking at PR in particular, it is this creativity that has been the focus of video over the past few years. How can I get my message across in a way that is new and different? We’ve seen many techniques used successfully from high-end studio-based filming to user-generated content.
However, it seems that it is ‘platforms’ and not ‘technology’ that are driving the future. For example, new apps such as Vine have driven a recent trend for ‘micro marketing’ leading to agile, quick turnaround content. Increasingly, we are also seeing this swing the other way with brands in it for the long haul; planning advertising campaigns that pull through onto social media via Twitter and YouTube, which can be used for wider marketing through story telling – just look at Dove Real Beauty Sketches.
This means that as video-makers and marketers begin to delve deeper into why their content is successful and, with the help of PR, why their audience is engaged, the gap between broadcast and social media will become increasingly smaller with almost every campaign becoming an integrated mix of content. The future is a complex blend of collaboration and sharing, with the process of ‘how’ being left behind.