The world is transitioning at hyperspeed into a mobile-dominated era by digitally native millennials who hold the largest share of consumer voice and the largest buying power of any generation.
The pace of technological innovation presents a mind-boggling set of qualitative and quantitative challenges for marketers.
Technology has driven obvious physical changes in the ways we live and work. Ironically, the most dramatic tech-driven change is the most nuanced and the least understood: the profound impact on the human psyche and culture at large.
As the first digitally native generation, millennials have a revolutionary different worldview on everything from core personal values to media consumption. In the face of a world that is reframed by the internet and in the context of unimaginable audience fragmentation, three central obstacles arise for today’s marketers:
- How to find an authentic voice for marketing creative that “plays” in a culture defined by personal expression.
- How to reach a mass audience with the scale that TV has provided in the past.
- How to achieve the first two objectives while maintaining brand consistency and leveraging performance marketing data.
Video marketing defined
Due to the complexity of these problems, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, but most marketers agree on one central theme: a new breed of video marketing.
Videos have become their own marketing strategy that speaks to consumers with a voice and frequency that resembles personal expression; video communication that drives emotional engagement across disciplines–from cross-platform paid advertising to product marketing and customer-relationship management.
Broadly, video marketing as a solution is widely accepted. That said, there are psychological and logistical hurdles that are holding marketers back.
Most marketers feel the urgency to deploy a comprehensive video strategy, but many also feel paralyzed by the perception of logistical, financial and brand risk.
While there are certainly a set of best practices coming into focus, it’s probably not reasonable for most companies to sit down and write a comprehensive 2017 video strategy. As with most things digital, the learning and the long-term vision comes from doing—specifically: Test, analyze, scale.
There are countless reasons why video should be central to your marketing strategy. The biggest one is that the millennial generation does not grant trust easily, nor to many. Video fits with the way millennials experience the world: highly visual, easy to consume, personal and experiential.
So the question is: With the potential for omnipresence of video, where do we go from here?
Agile video creative and AI
One of the greatest potential impediments to defining a recurring, cross-functional video marketing strategy is drumming up the necessary creative. The simple truth is the scale and pace of video creation requires exponentially more agile production capabilities.
There are a myriad of solutions popping up, from animated GIF and slideshow creators at one end to crowdsourced video marketplaces on the other.
One particularly powerful way we as marketing professionals are driving the “industrial revolution” of video marketing is the use of artificial intelligence in generating and iterating video creative.
To some, it seems almost unimaginable that a machine can be used to drive creative output. In fact, some find the notion of creativity being handled by a machine borderline offensive, but it’s a matter of framing the concept.
Brands will always need a narrative. Marketers will always need human creativity as a driver of that narrative, particularly in a world dominated by personal expression. It’s not a case of creative cannibalization, but rather extended capability.
The key is that AI can take human creativity and exponentially amplify it by accelerating the production process 100 times while reducing cost by a similar order of magnitude. This, in turn, allows for testing new ideas, creating iteration and extending the frequency and efficiency of video as a marketing medium, ultimately determining the pace by which you find a blend of video communication that makes for a sustainable strategy.
I would encourage you to explore a spectrum of solutions. One easy way to jump-start your process is to take existing raw video assets you have in-house and think of ways to repurpose that content with fresh production and new messaging or optimized for a new use case.
In the end, the process of finding your video strategy is much like buying a house. Through the search process, you learn about the market and refine an understanding of your own needs and the trade-offs you are willing to make.
However you decide to explore and define your video strategy, I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that there isn’t time for a “wait-and-see” approach. The risk in today’s video marketing technology is low, the upside is massive and the time is now.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.