Today's changing digital landscape is forcing many organisations to re-evaluate their marketing strategies. In a world of always-connected consumers, fragmented devices, and social destinations, it's never been more important to cut through the noise and get your brand story heard. Rich media is proving to be a highly effective way to grow and engage audiences, and that's why video is quickly becoming a key part of any organisation’s content marketing mix.
I recently spoke at Figaro Digital's 'Digital Marketing Conference' where I was keen to highlight how both B2C and B2B marketers alike can successfully use video as part of their content marketing strategy to drive real results throughout the customer lifecycle. One compelling example I highlighted – an example that we at Brightcove often give of a brand that really 'gets' the power of video for engagement – is sport and lifestyle fashion company, and Brightcove customer, PUMA.
When it comes to the company's marketing approach, its sweet-spot is undoubtedly the compelling stories it has created around both the brand and its products. PUMA put this strategy to brilliant use at the London Olympics in 2012, building a branded physical environment for its audiences to interact in-person or remotely via live video events. Using video as a driver for engagement, it directed customers to a cadence-specific, multi-screen experience in a demonstration of the power of brands acting as media organisations.
But key to the success of this marketing strategy was the context and the timely delivery of PUMA’s video content. As Essence's Alastair Cole stressed at the conference: "context is the new king" and the likes of Big Data have become key in ensuring video is delivered in the ways and places which will yield the maximum impact.
A great example of a brand that's successfully using such data to take its video marketing to a new level is Channel 4. At the conference, the broadcaster's director of audience technologies illustrated how, through successfully and transparently encouraging viewers to register and share their data, Channel 4 has a rich picture of what viewers are interested in watching – which has enabled it to better market relevant content and services which its database of registered viewers are rushing to take advantage of.
The quality of brand content itself is also vital; successful video hinges on whether it's engaging, watchable, likeable and shareable – something that another lifestyle leader Red Bull has also done expertly through its live event programming (Felix Baumgarnter's jump from the edge of space being the example that most people are familiar with). This content wasn't actually about Red Bull products at all, but the message it told was one about its brand values and brand identity.
As Absolute Radio's Adrian Hieatt put it in his presentation, the worst thing a brand can do is "put a clip online and assume your job is done." Attracting and sustaining customers' attention is no easy task in a world of distracted eyeballs, but video will increasingly play a key role in the future of content marketing, thanks to its suitability for social sharing, and its being an unmatched medium for telling stories, conveying information and triggering emotional responses from the viewer.
Content marketing is fundamentally changing how we approach marketing as the lines between paid, owned and earned media become less defined. With the right approach to online video, marketers can tell their brand story, and grow and engage audiences, like never before.