March 10, 2013

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The Future of Video Content TV and online video are converging. And while TV viewing remains stable, online video consumption is soaring. New players are creating new content in online channels that will compete with established TV programming. And new combinations of exposure to video are being hailed for added reach and efficiency.The implications for ad guys and marketers are enormous. Netflix, Amazon, Google and Microsoft are developing TV shows, featuring name talent, to be streamed online. According to the New York Times, AOL, Sony, Direct TV and Twitter are not far behind. The number of comparable entertainment sources and the amount of ad inventory could increase substantially prompting a price war. At the same time new research from IAB and Nielsen sponsored by Microsoft and Yahoo documents the synergy between TV and online video and makes a compelling case for marketers to use both channels in-tandem. Evidently video is the medium of choice even if viewers are not clued to the tube. The lightest TV viewers watch more than twice as much video online as the heaviest TV viewers. The device they are using and the content might be different, but they are tuned-in and turned on. More women do more streaming in general, but men spend more time viewing says the new IAB Online Video Study. From an advertising standpoint, there is a reason to run ads in both media. If 15% of a TV buy is reallocated to digital media, reach spikes at lower costs. When the same spots are aired on TV and online as a campaign in the same time frame, key consumer brand metrics like awareness, recall and preference, outpace the performance of either medium on it’s own. Prior exposure of ads online (think Super Bowl ad previews) doubles the impact of TV exposure when spots are broadcast regardless of the program genre. The combination of channel synergies, new program sources and continuous growth of online and mobile viewing, force marketers to rethink of how, when and where we tell our stories and how we develop cadences for commercial messaging. Four options come to mind. Focus on Frequency. Use multiple devices to push a single impactful message. By previewing it online and then buying roadblocks and concentrated high frequency rotations you can drive greater awareness sooner. The same message, more times on more devices equals higher reach and more persuasion and faster conversion. Creating a surround-sound of messaging could penetrate and persuade a target faster than ever. Sequence the Message. Using a combination of online and TV or cable channels imagine A sequencing a brand’s key message by parsing it out over time and through different channels. The additive value of sequential messages over a limited time period can expose more facets of a brand to create a more robust impression of a brand. Fractal Messaging. By assigning different parts of the message to different channels at the same time, marketers could acknowledge different facets of a brand’s appeal and expose different facets or offers at different times to different people in different content environments. The cumulative impact could rival frequency or sequencing tactics. Orchestrate the Story. Another approach is to assign specific marketing tasks to specific channels in the same way that Bach, Beethoven and Brahms assigned specific roles to specific instruments. One plays the base theme. Another adds the variations. The third, fourth and fifth infuse the experience with complex harmonies or contrapuntal sounds. In this media scenario, TV lays down the basic message, while spots in online content channels amplify or expand the message. And this is just the beginning. Synergies between online and broadcast/cablecast video and new video content sources are expanding our choices and our thinking about messaging and media. It’s time to start experimenting with new, creative media options.
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9 Ways to Assess Blogs Reach, credibility and influence are the ultimate objectives of social media marketing. Reaching the right audience in ways that resonate, prompt viral distribution and drive action are the reason we get out of bed in the morning. In the scramble for attention, credibility and ad dollars the social channels jockey to make their cases. One has volume and global scale. Another has real-time immediacy; a third touts its influence and opinion leadership. A fourth is the playground of the too-cool-for-school crowd. Enter Technorati, who replaced the annual state of the blogosphere study, with a new report titled “The 2013 Digital Influence Report” based on data drawn from its blog network with a reach of 130 million unique users per month and a survey that included 6000 influencers, 1200 random consumers and 150 marketers. Evidently 75 percent of digital ad dollars are flowing to display, search and video but attention and influence are being accumulated by influential bloggers who get a measly 11 percent of the pie. “Where brands are spending is not fully aligned with how and where consumers are seeing value being influenced,” the report concludes. Recognizing the practical difficulties of creating, measuring and buying blog networks, the report claims that “when making overall purchase decisions for consumers blogs trail only behind retail and brand sites.” Furthermore “blogs were found to be the fifth-most trustworthy source overall for information on the Internet” trailing news sites, Facebook, retail sites and YouTube. Self interest aside, nobody disputes the role of blogs or their potential influence on consumers. The question is how to separate signals from noise and how to assess genuine influence from hyperbole. Consider ten criteria to assess the potential value of influential bloggers. What is a blogger’s base audience day-in and day-out? Do they routinely generate significant buzz and virality? Is the buzz about what they think and say or about the blogger as a personality/guru/speaker? Can you immediately identify their insight or expertise? Do they generate original content or endlessly re-tweet others’? Have they written a book, done a TED talk or produced significant data? Are they independent or part of a group? Are they overtly or clandestinely supported or sponsored by someone? Are they looking for freebies and handouts?

Danny Flamberg

I am a veteran marketing consultant working with leading and emerging brands

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