It’s difficult to remember a time when social content wasn’t the be all and end all for brands. Now it’s one of the most important ways you can engage with your audience. It’s direct, it screams out for humour and it allows lighting fast reactions – all things on the ‘must list’ for modern day folk.
Audiences have increasing choice over the brands they engage with, too, which means products have to work smarter to earn it. So while there’s still a chance to reach people via typical TV advertising, the birth of Netflix and VOD platforms means there’re a lot fewer people watching ‘live’ TV. In reality, viewers are looking for ways to minimise the ads and get more of their telly fix minus the interruptions, hence why social has become king for brands.
Being video and animation specialists, you’d think this might scare the Bejesus out of us. But social media offers so much scope and creativity that there’s actually more room to flex our creative muscles. It’s music to our ears, in fact. So, what’s changed on social media to allow us this freedom?
Facebook has seen a switch in its content over the past few years. It’s now less cool to ‘check-in’ to places, post endless selfies and share a status about what you ate for lunch. It’s become a minefield of shareable content – memes, fails and top bants – that you tag your pals in. I’m sure the majority of us have been tagged in a cat video at least once this week, right?
Being completely visual makes Instagram another great breeding ground for this type of content, as well as ‘stories’ becoming more popular. Apparently 200 million people worldwide use stories every day, up from 150 million in January.
This is a golden opportunity for brands to connect quickly with their audience and grow their online following. It’s also a chance for brands to develop a more friendly, fun and quirky tone of voice; a way to have a conversation with their audience without directly marketing product at them, which has been proven to be more successful. We buy from people we like at the end of the day.
Don’t be duped into thinking it’s only for young-facing brands, either. Today’s consumers are looking to interact with and buy from companies that are a mixture of current, relevant, honest, no-nonsense and fun. A good example to highlight is how with ITV2’s smash hit Love Island back on air, we’re seeing a plethora of brands jump on its coattails by sharing their own social mash-ups to align them with the show’s hashtags.
And it’s not just your Missguideds, Superdrugs and Boohoos either. The latest Love Island dumping saw 2.3 million viewers tune in – imagine the reach any brand would get on social when posting content related to the show?
We’ve experienced this first hand via our work with BBC Three. A mix of political, sport and Love Island-related content saw its online following skyrocket, with the most popular social video Flow created reaching 25 million views.
This type of content doesn’t need to be super glossy either. It can actually benefit from being quick, raw and energetic. Here, turnaround time and budget can be used much more effectively. You don’t need to spend weeks developing concepts and shooting footage like you would for TV ads. Social videos can be turned around within a day or a week tops, creating more opportunities to engage with your audience while the topic is still hot.
Why not inject even more imagination to your social accounts by bringing Flow on board to develop some video content and watch those followers rack up? #socialcontent #topbants #talktoyouraudience #bemoresocial
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