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What “The Beauty Inside” Says About the Next Wave of Content Marketing

Posted @ 9:00 am by The SolutionSetter | Category: Community & Social Media, Copy & Content, Digital Marketing, Rich Media & Video | 0 Comments

Did you hear about last year’s The Beauty Inside movie? It starred Topher Grace and Mary Elizabeth Winstead and was talked about for being one of the first ‘social’ movies, integrating its Facebook followers into the storyline as the episodes progressed and were released online. But that’s not what was really memorable about the movie. What makes it stick out is not just its success, the views, the fan interaction, the accolades – but the origination. The movie was funded by Intel and Toshiba as a content marketing initiative, and was so successful it saw the Toshiba laptop used in the film spike in sales by 300 percent. Along with the slew of Cannes Lions and Clios it picked up, it won a Daytime Emmy, too.

Let that sink in for a moment. Brand-funded content — an hour-long advertisement — won an Emmy.

Not every brand needs to invest in a feature-length endeavor, but every marketer should be thinking about the ways video could be used to boost their content marketing. People love watching videos. YouTube gets over 1 billion unique visitors each month and processes billions of searches. It’s not just the platform (video hosted on other sites and in other formats is still compelling), it’s the nature of video that makes it worthwhile. Watchable, shareable, relatable. Another factor is Google’s tendency to prioritize video in search rankings, although a thorough SEO strategy should still be employed.

Value exchange

As with any content marketing, video content must offer the viewer some value in exchange for their attention. The value could be entertainment – as in The Beauty Inside – or useful hints and how-tos, behind-the-scenes glimpses, or insider knowledge. Often the best are a combination of all three.

The important part is that your marketing message doesn’t have to be made explicit, and in fact it’s probably better if it isn’t. Make people laugh, or think, or feel–all things that are much easier to do with video than copy–and your audience is more likely to be left with a positive impression of your brand.  

And unlike with more traditional marketing content, the product doesn’t need to be front and center. Remember Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches? Not a face cream in sight, but still drove home its message.


Bite-sized video

Not every business has the resources, in terms of either time or money, to invest in professional productions for YouTube (although online video does tend to come at a lower cost than TVCs, or can be carved out of an existing TVC production). But that doesn’t mean they have to let the power of video bypass them.

At just six and 15 seconds respectively, Vine and Instagram videos have been seeing a huge uptake by brands, and have sustained receptivity among audiences. Both formats can be incredibly simple and cheap, or even produced on the fly. eConsultancy has a good roundup of its favorite branded Vine videos from 2013, and while some of them are quite elaborate others are certainly achievable with a limited budget and technical resources.


Seeding strategy

Not all videos you create are meant to go viral, and some will be of interest only to target audiences. But if you do want a video to go viral, there’s no point in uploading it to the internet and just hoping people will find it. Over 100 hours of video are uploaded every minute to YouTube alone, so hoping for the best is not a viable strategy. Instead, you need to think about video seeding.

Seeding is a relatively new marketing concept that aims to bring video to the attention of key influencers – bloggers, vloggers, twitter personalities, etc – who can then re-share and promote the content. Assuming they like it. It’s kind of like PR for your video. Get others with an audience to share it, and then the audience will reshare. And reshare. And next thing you know, everywhere you look it’s Jean Claude Van Damme doing the splits on two Volvo trucks.

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