September 16, 2016
By Pau Suris
Consider the postmodern consumer. Suspicious of brand narratives, they are passionate about their unique identity, yet comforted by a sense of belonging. And, of course, they are devoted to social media.
With the eruption of social media platforms, the interaction between brands and consumers has become increasingly complicated.
As consumer identity grows less unified, brands must harness the qualities of social media that are diversifying the consumer collective and enabling everyday consumers to create strong personal brands.
Video has recently risen as a powerful and engaging feature of social networking, as made evident through the popularity of Snapchat and various video options across Facebook, Twitter and beyond.
As consumers increasingly express themselves through video, brands should focus on how social video can heighten brand interaction with the contemporary consumer.
From carefully designed ad spots to live stream footage on YouNow or Periscope, videos across social and mobile media have changed the way we stay connected to rest of the world.
Consumers also favor interactive, responsive video as a medium to sustain close relationships with friends, family and coworkers, with Snapchat recently celebrating 150 million daily users.
Regardless of the platform, social media boasts immediate gratification, connectivity across borders and seamlessly sustained relationships.
The luxuries of these connections come in a variety of forms: 140 characters, likes and a visual cacophony of emojis from which to choose.
Social and interactive video, however, goes beyond the impersonal text or stock image. Video, as a response or as original content, allows us to convey a sense of intentionality.
Video offers immediate gratification mixed with the personalization of a medium that traditionally harnesses originality, deliberativeness and autonomy.
The intentionality of film has played a role in our connected lives before: the urgency of live television, the creativity of home videos and the intimacy of FaceTiming.
Creating videos makes us feel unique and expressive.
Viewing videos, on the other hand, makes us feel valued, considering the time it takes to generate a video rather than a simple like or abbreviated comment.
Social media has recognized the popularity of video features and has begun to prioritize them.
Facebook’s success with live streaming video in its newsfeed has led the platform to test mid-video advertising.
Twitter turned to live video to generate usage and revenue, with reported success.
As social media giants continue to prioritize video, brands and marketers should follow in their footsteps, devising ways to better connect with consumers through personalized, interactive and collaborative video assets.
Video allows for a personalized, authentic consumer experience.
Video marketing, whether a television ad, an automatic video playing on your newsfeed, or a branded Snapchat feed, does what video does best: it conveys tone and emotion far better than text and image.
Combined with the rise in customized programmatic advertising – expected to grow in 2017 – brand video presence is more seamlessly integrated and more relevant to the consumer’s social media experience than ever before.
For brands, this results in a shift from focusing on video quality and accuracy to prioritizing the ever-changing perception of the consumer.
The consumer is now the impromptu director to the brand’s use of video. This leads directly to the erosion of the barrier between consumer and brand through interactive, collaborative video.
Postmodern consumers are insistent on their individuality and suspicious of marketing that feels generic or homogeneous.
Social video offers brands a means to connect with the intrinsic desires of the consumer, allowing for their individual self to govern the consumer experience.
Traditionally, brand marketing has prioritized core messages that convey the authenticity of a brand.
Until now, this has been a successful means to connect with consumer audiences, especially when video is used. Who does not love watching uplifting, humorous or inspiring commercials?
However, we appreciate brands that do more than just self-promote, such as Coke bringing music to deaf communities in Pakistan.
Video branding has allowed from more interaction between brands and individuals, with the stories revolving around the people rather than the brand itself.
Suddenly, it is no longer about presenting a single core narrative. It is about a brand’s ability to produce collaborative content and to partake in something beyond itself.
Social and interactive video is the key to creating a collaborative experience for the postmodern consumer by fitting your brand into their unique narrative.
Gone are the days of lengthy, highly produced video commercials.
Today’s unedited, 15-second clips are here to say. This is good news for brands, as these quickly made, quickly watched videos allow for that balance of immediacy and personalization that consumers want.
MARKETERS NEED to make in-the-moment video content that taps into multiple consumer narratives, rather than try to force one repeated narrative.
This collaboration really comes into play when brands reach out to individuals for their personal content – videos that might include the brand’s product posted on the social media site of the consumer.
This is the give-and-take evolution of marketing, the joining of a consumer’s personal brand and a brand made personal.
Pau Suris is an independent advertising filmmaker