Ready for my close up

Much of content marketing has shifted to video streaming. Back in 2005, the oldest of millennials, like me, were in college, YouTube came onto the online scene and opened video expression to the masses.

From fashionistas to singers, stars are now born on YouTube. And this video renaissance has been latched on to through other platforms such as Snapchat and Vine. Facebook and Instagram stories now make sharing video clips of one’s life effortless and let audiences share the experience as if they are there, too. By 2019, online content will consist of 80 percent video marketing, and mobile consumption of video content continually rises by 100 percent annually.

Video presents an opportunity for brands to authentically engage their audience. After all, a brand is not a stagnant strategy on a piece of paper — it must be brought to life to stay relevant. Video also does what text doesn’t. It creates an immediate, real and authentic route of interaction and connectivity with audience members, who can often provide reactions and comments in real time.

Video is also no longer confined to ‘produced’ ads. Gone are the days of ploughing all your brand budget into grand scale production videos and pushing them out to your audience. There may still be value in having some of that in your plans but it needs to be combined with other ways of leveraging video to engage the audience to drive authenticity and scale.

One way we’ve done this at Avon is through embracing the ‘live’ video approach. For example, Facebook live videos are a regular feature to engage our Representatives with new product information or new initiatives, and I have even hosted a couple myself…

Going further, creating ground swell with external video creators can prove more powerful, and more authentic, than just pushing a message yourself. Millions of creators out there are crafting their own videos to share their thoughts and feelings on everything from politics to opinions on your brand. Partnering with these creators is something that every brand today needs to consider as part of their communication plans.

At Avon there’s an army of creators with our dedicated and passionate Representatives…

Beyond your own community partnerships with entirely external influencial YouTube stars with massive reach can prove powerful…

YouTube remains the granddaddy of the video platforms where users are publishing over 300 hours of video content hourly and branded content or brand sponsored Vlogger content rules. I chatted to my good friend Jordan Neidig, who works in this field at Google, about the wild world of Video marketing. He specializes in partnering with brands and linking them to influencers to generate content together that maximizes engagement.

Before diving in feet first into video influencer marketing what should a brand manager consider?

Be open and flexible. You should first step outside yourself and try to think like your target consumer as much as possible and be open to where a creator you are partnering with make take it. If you are prepared with information that is more broadly links to your product or brand a creator has more chance of unlocking amazing content.  Aside from the functional product differentiators and benefits, what grander story can you tell that connects to the product, consumer or brand overall that can appeal to your consumer?  Providing utility to the consumer goes a long way in video influencer marketing whether it be in the form of product benefits or simply making the consumer feel good, and skilled YouTube creators are experts on how to unlock that.

What makes great YouTube video?

 Authenticity is key.  While there is no silver bullet to guaranteeing a great video I would say making sure you allow a creator to do what they do best–create–is ultimately what will provide you with a very authentic message.  The viewers will all know they partnered with your brand so allowing the creator to express their love of the product in their own way will show the viewers the creator agreed to work with the brand because they really do approve.  Creators on YouTube (of all sizes) concept, film, star in and edit their videos; they’re extremely powerful creative forces so let us lean into those beautiful minds and empower them to showcase your product in a way you may not have imagined yet is effective.

Any myths you can debunk for us?

Influencer marketing (video in particular) is NOT just for a particular product vertical, consumer target, etc.  Video allows for expansive storytelling and communicating multiple messages in a creative way; this simply can’t be accomplished with other mediums.  Which is why products, services and brands of all kinds can broadcast to viewers via influencers. There is an extremely diverse community of creators and the same goes for viewers so don’t let perception get in the way of reality.

How video influencer marketing is evolving?

Measurement, measurement, measurement.  The future of influencer marketing sits in how the ecosystem is able to measure impact while maintaining accountability.  All of the research shows influencers matter and since the beginning of time we’ve all turned to friends, family, peers & coworkers to get opinions and advices on products and services.  This is why influencer marketing is effective because consumers look to creators as their friends and peers. But the turning point is right now in this very moment and the industry needs to start showing real results with true measurement.  We’re starting to see these capabilities come to light and this will not only help brands trace impact on influencer budgets but also clean up the ecosystem with accountability.

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