Digital content has changed the way we market online. In order to keep our finger on the pulse of all things gifs, memes, videos and graphics, we interviewed Social Driver’s Video Studio lead, Victor Santos and Vice President of Communications and Marketing at EventsDC, Chinyere Hubbard. Here’s what they had to say.
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Question 1: How are you currently using digital content to market to your audiences?
Chinyere: As an organization focused on promoting many different events and venues in the DC area, we need to tailor our strategies and digital content based on event, audience and ask. It is all about attracting the right people and making sure we can reach them through our digital content.
We promote all of our venues in different ways depending on the targeted audience and use a vast variety of resources to reach our various viewers. We are trying to stay ahead of the trends as thought leaders. For example, we are embracing Snapchat, Instagram and Virtual Reality in our marketing initiatives to keep it engaging. We recognize that images and videos have such a strong impact on people, especially the younger generations
Question 2: What type of digital content is resonating with audiences online?
Victor: People are starting to break out of the mold provided to them. People naturally stop seeing ads as their eyes get used to seeing them. Because of this, a lot of brands are figuring out how to make content that stands out and elevates their brand. The best content is something that feels personal and not to sales-y. It’s also important to try something different with visuals, so thinking about what’s trendy and trying to figure out how to make it better and adaptable to your company.
Chinyere: Since the presence of social media, internet, and electronics are so prominent, focusing on those to target audience members is very important. Personalized digital content among mixed marketing tactics and engagements are trends that are very popular and well responded to. Another way to resonate with your audiences is through hashtags. The use of hashtags is key. Hashtags and keywords are used all over the internet now, not just on Twitter and Instagram. Finding keywords will really help draw the audience’s attention to the content.
Question 3: What new forms of media have you seen used for digital content?
Victor: Virtual Reality is a new medium that people are still trying to figure out. I’ve seen a lot of cool uses for it along with 360 video. Now that Facebook allows you to interact with these pieces of content directly in your feed, it would be interesting to see how people use it for their messaging.
Chinyere: Virtual reality and augmented reality are very up and coming and both are technologies we want to work with. Virtual reality is something that we are using to promote upcoming events and venue transformations. This is the future and having people immersed in these experiences would redefine event experiences. The use of holographic images enrich attendee engagements. These new methods are really captivating the audience.
Question 4: What are some projects or examples you’ve seen that have notably strong digital content?
Victor: Aside from all the Dr. Strange promotion, I think Chipotle does a great job with creative content. I think they have done a great job telling the story of their ingredients and how hard they work to use responsibly raised meat as well. What’s cool is that they use a variety of mediums for this, so some of their content is graphic based, some is done with models (almost like stop motion), and some is full 3D animation.
Question 5: What is the most innovative thing you’ve seen?
Victor: The promotion Marvel Studios has done for the Dr. Strange film has been incredible. They’ve been really playing with people’s expectations by creating these cool videos that just look like your normal Facebook/Instagram feed but then warp into something else as you scroll by, or have action from one video interact with a separate video in their feed. It’s hard to explain, but if you check out their social media feeds you should see a few examples.
Chinyere: Coca-Cola “Name Campaign” was brilliant. The company managed to have each person who picked up a coke with his or her name feel special and unique. With the integration of allowing users to print their names on a can of Coca-Cola and encouraged these individuals to share their own photos/videos on various social media channels, it got the audience involved in the marketing for the company and the product. Additionally, people became excited to find their name or a family name on a bottle of Coca-Cola and it encouraged them to purchase the product and then share photos and social media channels which caused others to go out and find a Coca-Cola product with their own name.
Question 6: How has digital content changed since you started working with it? Or has it?
Victor: It absolutely has changed. When I started at Social Driver about 4 years ago, Instagram was a social media platform but it wasn’t used for advertising–it was mostly food pictures. I don’t think Snapchat was around, or at least it wasn’t heavily used. Facebook and Twitter were also almost completely different, and Vine was a more relevant platform. Now Snapchat is huge, and Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all push video as a priority on channels. Because of this, more brands are incorporating social media trends into their strategy and people are getting more used to getting their information on those platforms. In school, you’re taught production basics, but with digital and social changing so quickly, there’s a lot ways that you have to adapt video to be relevant. 4 years ago, creators didn’t necessarily think users would watch videos on mute on their feed, but today that’s how most video is watched on social. As a creator, you have to take things like that into account.
Chinyere: Technology is transforming businesses. When we started eight years ago, social media wasn’t as huge as it is today, and, as mentioned earlier, we just starting to use social media. As social media evolved and frequency increased, we wanted to find better ways to involve the audience. We used to write a lot more long-form content, but now we’ve embraced the strategy of short, concise bits of information at a higher rate. Staying on top of social content generation was challenging, so we hired someone who can dedicate their time to creating strategic posts. The key is making digestible content. Something else that has changed was that word-of-mouth has become more popular again. People are learning about websites, products, events, etc. from people they know and are using that information to inspire further research.
Question 7: Do you have any tips for people that want to create digital content?
Victor: Pay attention to what’s out there. We get used to ignoring ads but it’s important to see what other’s are doing, and specifically thinking about why they did it a certain way, or what can be improved. It’s also important to be actively involved with social media, staying aware of any updates or changes that happen. Sometimes Facebook may change the way they display videos or graphics, and that can throw a curveball into your execution. Most importantly, have fun and try new things! The most successful creative content is things that stand out or have not been done before.
Chinyere: The key is to remain authentic and yourself. What works best when trying to reach your audience is to write content that reflects what you would say face-to-face. Also, don’t be afraid of content outlines, they are your friends. Since there are so many points, projects, and information you want to get across, it is a good idea to have a plan beforehand.
Special thanks to Victor Santos + Chinyere Hubbard for sharing your insights!
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