Rethinking Video from Broadcast Networks to Social Networks

As an industry, we have blathered about “Content” for so long that today, when it makes broad, immediately-obvious sense for mainstream advertisers to leverage it, many clients discount it’s mass relevance.  Shame on us.  With the massive changes brought by Facebook and other social networks, our audience now expects content to find them.  And not just content–good, relevant, engaging content.  After all, it’s been pre-vetted by their own trusted peers.

Element 79, Chicago Advertising, Dennis RyanAll of us view friend-forwarded videos everyday and yet the the perception of online video as somehow exotic persists.  We’ve allowed it to become the purview of highly-specialized marketing firms and that’s incredibly stupid.  Despite being oft-dismissed as no longer relevant, no other marketing organization has more experience creating emotionally-compelling, strategically-relevant video for clients than a ‘traditional agency’ that has perfected video-storytelling over decades.  Studies prove that viewers invest three times more time watching brand videos when they are shared by consumers.  With that kind of deep engagement, it’s no longer about using the web because it’s a cheap video medium–it’s leveraging the web because it’s a more powerful video medium.

Creating video content for social networks is not hard.  It’s not exotic.  It simply requires we adjust the messages we’ve long created to suit the medium.  We need to make ‘sharing’ the video strategy.

And whether we want to call that ‘content’ or ‘online video’ or ‘shareable stories’–the final measure of success here boils down to whether our video storytelling engages or not.  The traditional elements of story, production value, and visual editing most determine success or failure with online video.

Like it or not, those are traditional skills.

And if we want to reassert our value to our clients, it’s time ‘traditional agencies’ get back to another traditional skill–salesmanship.  Of ourselves.

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By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79

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