Bridging the gap between static and dynamic
Video has been capturing the hearts and minds of ambitious marketers for some time now, and with good reason — the statistics surrounding its levels of growth and engagement are astounding.
A third of all online activity is spent watching video. 80% of consumers recall a video ad they saw in the last 30 days. 92% of mobile video consumers share videos with their peers and YouTube reports that mobile video consumption rises by 100% every year.
So while the marketer’s core mission remains the same — satisfy consumer appetite for content, cut through the noise, tell your story well — it now includes visuals and video, with demand outpacing supply.
So given the vertiginous increase of digital channels available, how can marketers be expected to maintain the quantity and quality of photos and videos across all of them?
Consumers are on hand to help marketers engage and convert shoppers with their user-generated content, the most abundant, authentic and compelling brand assets available today.
Even the IAB acknowledges that UGC strategies are cost-effective, and leading brands like Calvin Klein, All Saints and Karen Millen are playing an instrumental role in the shift towards celebrating earned visual content. But, until now, all this excitement has exclusively surrounded user-generated visuals — not video.
So are brands about to begin harnessing the power of user-generated video? Wouldn’t this allow them to quench the thirst for authentic content in an affordable way?
In promoting video content created by happy customers, couldn’t marketers simultaneously cater for their own needs and the consumer’s?
The short answer, unfortunately, is not yet
While the sophistication of smartphone cameras is truly impressive and the excitement surrounding visual UGC justified, consumer camera skills can’t compete with the professionals when it comes to video.
From the steadying power of a tripod to the cunning eye of a seasoned filmmaker, professional video still outclasses the amateur stuff — even though the cost, time and complexity of commissioning professional video at scale remain serious obstacles for many CMOs.
So if movement captivates audiences like nothing else, but user-generated video has not yet come of age, what’s the solution?
At Olapic, we recognise some impressive industry efforts in this field. Every day, more than 100 million people use Snapchat and 700 million Snaps are sent around the world, but the brands getting it right on Snapchat Stories are producing content that is as fun, behind-the-scenes and clumsy as consumer Snaps.
Meanwhile, Boomerang from Instagram offers brands the chance to bring stills alive by stitching together a burst of photos taken in quick succession; the final product is effortlessly far sleeker than mobile video created in the normal way.
On the Flipagram app, it’s possible to choose a selection of photos and edit them into a series accompanied by a suitably cool soundtrack, creating the effect of a slideshow but with a punch of personality.
Content In Motion
For the same reason — to bridge the gap between consumer enthusiasm and brand professionalism — we developed our Content In Motion solution which, in contrast to Snapchat Stories, Boomerang and Flipagram, animates a cross-breed of UGC and brand visuals in a creative way.
The end result has the dynamic appeal of video, the authenticity of user-generated content and the professionalism of any pre-existing brand assets that the marketer chooses to deploy. This new and compelling hybrid format has already seen a 93% lift on completed video views on Instagram.
The good news for marketers is that the same rules apply when transforming user-generated images into fresh formats. Engage them in their favourite places — which is now more than ever on mobile devices and social channels.
Speak your target audience’s language — which means deploying the right kind of visuals and video, as per our earlier example of Snapchat’s informal context. Finally, inspire trust with authentic content — which means going from showing photoshopped models to empowered consumers. After all, real life means real impact.