How new technology & content formats are driving creative inspiration
From Snapchat, to Instagram Stories, to our Facebook newsfeeds filled with endless amounts of video posts, it’s clear where the market is headed in 2017. And it’s no wonder why, when as of April 2016 Snapchat saw 10 billion views per day on their videos! Brands are, of course, eager to capitalise on this trend.
According to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index, video will made up 82 percent of consumer internet traffic by 2020. Given this, marketers and creatives alike are beginning to recognise the level of importance that motion graphics, animations, and video for consumer engagement have outside of their typical applications. The type of ephemeral content created in Snapchat or Instagram Stories, where masses of viewers gobble up condensed clips in near real-time, after which the content is all but discarded, has usage and value beyond its obvious home in channels like paid media, paid social, YouTube pre-rolls, organic social posts, and more.
With these new content formats and the consumption of this content increasingly on mobile devices, marketers are recognising the need for a nuanced strategy to reach their customers. Brands that are willing to adjust to the implications that come with these changes; namely, more disposable, short-form animated content, will be likely to find success in their omnichannel marketing strategies. That said, how will creatives keep up with producing the short, dynamic content that consumers, and in turn, brands, now crave? Additionally, what does this drive for shorter, metrics-driven content do to the creative process? Is there still room for true creativity? We’ve gathered some converging trends that we think should help alleviate the challenges of this changing landscape, while allowing brands and their creative teams to create and utilise high-quality content at scale.
PROLIFERATION OF CONSUMER-GENERATED CONTENT
Over the past several years, mobile devices have become equipped with more powerful cameras, allowing everyday consumers to take high-quality photos. Combining this imagery with platforms like Instagram has led to an incredible amount of relevant and valuable imagery taken on behalf of brands by their consumers. With the number of channels, and more emerging, in today’s ecosystem, marketers and creatives have faced an issue we now know as the content crunch — the inability to keep up with the production of engaging content to deploy across the increasing number of dynamic channels. The content crunch can especially be a problem for creatives because of high costs and the amount of time it takes to produce on-brand assets. Through using a balance of brand-owned content combined with user-generated content, creative teams can keep up with the content needed to fill the growing number of marketing channels, while also providing consumer imagery that is proven to have better engagement and conversion metrics.
Although we have come a long way with user-generated imagery, one area that has been lagging behind in this category is users’ video content. That said, in the coming years we believe consumer-generated video content, not just on mobile devices but with more accessible cameras, like those made by GoPro, will continue to get better. As a result, brands can tap into this content and utilise it in their marketing experiences, both online and offline.
EMERGING CONTENT FORMATS
Another trend we predict will help brands solve the challenge of scaling the type of content consumers crave is the emergence of new formats. Traditionally, visual content has been thought about in a binary context: static images or videos. However, exploring the grey area between these content types opens up another layer of engaging and creative media that is easier and more affordable to scale. Still, creative teams certainly don’t need the added cost, time, and effort associated with additional asset types. Olapic, a visual marketing technology, recently developed a technology called, Content in Motion (CiM), which allows brands to turn static images into dynamic animations. This allows consumer brands to use their wealth of photos, whether those shared by fans on social platforms or brand assets created in-house, and scale that content in a more dynamic and affordable capacity.
NotOnTheHighStreet.com , a curated marketplace of the UK’s best creative independent businesses, used the CiM technology on its social channels and realised a 33% post engagement lift and a 93% lift of completed video views on Instagram. While this is just one example of many, it exemplifies the importance of exploring the grey area between images and video as a source of creativity and inspiration for marketers, as well as an avenue for consumer engagement.
MARRYING TECHNOLOGY & CREATIVITY
Technology has been both a friend and an enemy to creative professionals, as it has enabled better creative processes but also put a greater emphasis on performance over true creativity. However, now, with increased capabilities and the proliferation of automated technology over the near term, there is greater ability for brands to scale both creative marketing and advertising efforts. The pendulum has swung back to the middle, and brands can achieve both creativity and performance.
For example, programmatic buying is already automating the process of distributing video across the web, and as it becomes more sophisticated, this will free up resources for brands to think more strategically about their content creation efforts. According to AOL’s “2015 US State of the Video Industry Report,” by the end of 2016, 38% of all digital video ad spend will be bought programmatically, totaling $5.37 billion, nearly an 86% growth in dollars year-over-year. This is a trend that goes hand-in-hand with scaled content, as programmatic enables content testing and optimisation at a volume that allows for maximised results.
Specifically, as buyer personalisation becomes an increasing priority for marketers, the ability to create quick, customised, and dynamic content to distribute programmatically will be a mandate. It will be interesting to see how brands tackle the challenge of short-form motion-based content over the next several years. One thing is clear, for creatives and marketers that are able to create more dynamic and customised experiences at scale, consumers will reward them with more engagement, conversion, and loyalty.
More information on Content in Motion at www.olapic.com/cim-internet-retailing/