Digging deep for a brand

By Andrew Snow

When a group of us from R&R Partners went on a trip to Elko, Nevada, to create a video highlighting Barrick Gold Corp., it didn’t take long for us to realize the similarities.

On the surface, you wouldn’t think that an ad agency and one of the world’s leading mining companies would share much in common. But the deeper we got into this particular project, the more this symmetry became apparent.

After all, in this case, we were the ones doing all the digging – interviewing a range of Barrick employees, and in a sense, “mining” for information, personality, and anything else we could use to represent our client and help their brand.

Elko was the appropriate setting, too – a small rural town more than 400 miles from Las Vegas and nearly 300 away from Reno, the Silver State’s most populous cities.


Our crew, which included myself, Videographer Jordan Oliver, Brand Manager Toni Niccoli and Government and Public Affairs Deputy Director Charlie Bradley, also discovered another welcome commonality we shared with Barrick staffers: Passion. These guys care deeply about what they do, and it was our job to make sure people know that.


To enhance their stories, we conducted off-site interviews at local organizations in which Barrick is a contributor. We visited the Elko Boys & Girls Club, Elko Senior Center, and shot unique content all over town – from the Goldstrike Open Pit, to a mill, a lab, and more.


At Cortez Underground, we even got to check out a real monster truck – a Leibherr. an off-highway, rigid-frame, two-axle highwayultra class, rigid frame, two-axle powertrain haul truck. This beast could eat Hummers like M&Ms.

Extracting both a locals’ perspective and a sense of community involvement and partnerships were key takeaways for us on this strategic mining excursion. Since Barrick’s existing videos touched more on the operational side of their business, we felt it was paramount to tell the stories of these miners and what makes them so passionate about their job and brand.


The finished product will be visible on Barrick’s social channels in the coming months, and hopefully, we will have helped others to see Barrick in a whole new light.


The Return of the King

Content is King. But it hasn’t seemed that way. As we crossed into “Web 2.0,” every user with an opinion was King. Not long after, we entered into the “Age of Apps,” which created a true give-and-take between brands and consumers. Simultaneously, consumers started having conversations with the universal megaphone of social media. These empowered consumers started talking about our brands more loudly than our brands were talking about themselves. So we joined in, bringing every brand that might have something to say to the social media party, jumping into conversations, hoping not to get kicked out for rudely interrupting. But the rest of the world figured out that we were only waiting for someone to ask us “what do you think?” so we can reply with “we think you should buy Brand X!” So now what do we do? We return to the universal truth …

You have to give before you get.

Content marketing is generous King. But it’s rarely been the first thought of any brand; “How much can we give away for free?” We know the Groupon Effect causes a temporary bump in sales without a gain in long-term clientele. Giving temporary deep discounts is really only an effective short-term strategy. Giving away product in a sweepstakes is GREAT for lead generation, but who’s going to buy if there’s a chance they’re going to win? So that is how we’ve returned the marketing crown to its rightful owner, content. But remember …

The value of content is that it informs, entertains, or reflects an identity. But it does not sell.

Content marketing is not direct response. It’s not instant gratification; it’s the long game. Content does not inspire conversion it inspires conversation. Good content inspires consumers to talk to the brand, about the brand, and even for the brand. Better gets a Like, Favorite, stars and hearts. The best gets the envious Share, Tweet, Post, Repost, Retweet, Wundertweetpostbump, etc., until the amplification turns your initial $1.25 per engagement of paid media spend into an $.04 eCPE (effective Click Per Engagement). These numbers happened for our Las Vegas Kiss Cam animated gif on Tumblr.


We entertained. And for a brief moment in time, some users out there laughed enough to share us with their friends. All over the world, even in China where our client didn’t spend a dime, Las Vegas brought a smile to people’s faces.

That’s the real way to a consumer’s heart. Give without asking, entertain without selling. Because our only focus was on the giggle chamber (the left ventricle, technically) of the consumer’s heart, our content succeeded. We weren’t kicked out of the social media party; we were passed around like a [insert inappropriate party drug reference].

Campaigns succeed by converting. Content succeeds by being engaging.

Of course, sales matter. You don’t win Effies by not moving the needle. But we can’t push our sales messages into conversations anymore. There are tons of bad blogs out there, brands telling only their own story, tricking people into swallowing a soft yummy shell of content around a hard-selling nutty center. We can’t do that to our consumers anymore; they’ll choke. Then they’ll sue for negligence because they have nut allergies and we didn’t warn them first. They, at least, sure won’t take anything we give them in the future without questioning our motives.

Corporations are now people; brands are now friends. Social media made that happen long before SCOTUS.

You do not have a single person in your life with whom you do not have an emotional bank account. Every relationship is ruled by these accounts. Every brand has one with consumers too. Your next sale isn’t just about quality anymore, or value, or cost, or history, or whether your widget weighs a quarter gram less than your competitors. Your next sale is about your relationship with your consumers and your potential consumers. Do you make them laugh? Do you inspire new ideas? Do you bring them flowers “just because?” When you give good content, listen and tell their story, without asking for anything in return, that emotional bank account grows an until that consumer just loves you. Then comes the conversion.

“Business moves at the speed of ideas. And you don’t have to like it, but you can’t ignore it.” – Gottfrid, Happyish (Showtime)

Happyish is showing off agency life in a way that’s both current and OMG too real. The young bucks are brought in to usher a long-established, large agency into the digital world, and the old guard has two choices: pivot or perish. Being a user experience designer of a certain age, I find myself identifying and empathizing with both sides. OF COURSE our brands need social media accounts and strategies, but I reacted like Thom (the protagonist OG) in that I couldn’t understand why a brand like Pepto Bismol has a Twitter account or why 7,400 people would want to follow them. But then it hit me like a burrito bomb. And I have to give Pepto’s agency respect for both responding smartly to Happyish and for having the most subversive social campaign I’ve ever seen. Pepto, as you might imagine, doesn’t have a lot to say about or to the world. But it doesn’t fall into the trap of selling its product on social either. Instead, it creates observational (and occasionally funny) content. A lot of it is about pizza. A LOT. And sausage and bacon and quesadillas and all kinds of delicious food that, if you’re inspired to eat it, will make your stomach revolt. Should you indulge, you’re eventually going to need Pepto Bismol. And THAT is the long game of content marketing, the game we all had better be playing now.

Long live the King.

How have you enacted content marketing for your or your clients’ success? If you haven’t yet, what’s holding you back?

Always Stay Live and Up to Trend for Social; What’s Next?

There is no question that Meerkat was the hottest topic of conversation during SXSW this year. Meerkat is the new app introduced during SXSW 2015 that allows you to live-stream content on Twitter.

Some of the critics raised their eyebrows about this new app when it comes down to the safety and privacy issue of social media.

… privacy can be an issue for people broadcasting video of anything other than themselves or willing participants ….” − Kia Kokalitcheva via Fortune Magazine

But you can’t deny this generation that ALWAYS wants their content here and now, 24/7, 365 days a year, LIVE.

“… people love it. Meerkat has become a darling of Product Hunt that’s signing up plenty of tech’s elite and scoring praise from users.” – Josh Constine via TechCrunch

Image courtesy of NBC News

As you look back into the history of social media, you will notice that it’s been about real time. Facebooking your latest status with your friends, tweeting the live concert you are at this instance … real-time content seems like the purpose of social media all along.

“Today’s younger generation has a reputation of being glued to cellphones and tablets. It’s where they chat with their friends, find out the latest hot spots in town and, believe it or not, keep up with the world. In their own way, of course.” – Erica Quinn, CBS

Courtesy of Ninth Decimal

But where does this lead us to in the future of social media?

Will live-streaming and real-time content change consumer behavior?

Today, Twitter just announced its partnership with Rhapsody on the new feature, which allows music service subscribers to share full-length tracks on Twitter that anyone can listen to, even if they don’t have a subscription themselves. Also, Twitch announced its live-streaming service with Ultra Music Festival for those music fans who couldn’t be at the event in person. Now fans can watch online in real time. Even more, Game of Thrones’ Meerkat (now it’s a verb, just like tweet) the red carpet moments during the Season 5 premiere without any commercial interruptions.

Will people soon enough not need to spend big bucks on concerts and events like SXSW or Coachella since they can just watch everything with a click? Will any exclusive materials and experiences that become more easily accessible to everyone lose their unique charisma from a content-marketing perspective?

From my observations and experience, my answers will be no.

Social media is a way of life, but it’s also about another main focus: INTERACTION.

Brands want to know the general perception from the audiences and users, and they want their fans to engage on the social channels. Brands feed content continuously in order for people to keep the conversation alive and to keep their brand image fun and refreshing.

Keep the conversations going is a main reason why social is still king in the digital space. Good content will drop on the ground and die without any further interaction and buzz in the community.

What if we have live-streaming options and can also interact with people at the same time? Augmented reality seems so overdone. How can we refresh this concept into actual successful executions?

With the rapid technology developing day by day, I am very much looking forward to the inventions we see on sci-fi films very soon.



SXSW 2015: Meerkats, Beacons & Bacon

R&R Partners’ Corporate Director of Measurement and Insight Justin Gilbert co-authored this article.

In case you have been amidst a social media cleanse, SXSW just wrapped up in Austin. It is a weeklong tech, music and film festival that takes place every March, and attendees discuss the future of technology, eat great barbecue and listen to emerging artists. The interactive portion was attended by 32,798 people this year, and we stood in line with the best of them − we even got into a few sessions and saw some pretty cool stuff along the way.


Tech Trends

The buzz this year was all about Meerkat, a two-week-old, live-streaming app that generated 100,000 users at launch and came close to Twitter’s breakthrough presence at SXSW in 2007. While the app lost access to Twitter’s network on the first day of the interactive festival and was then snubbed by Twitter in its acquisition of competitor app Periscope, it continues to see rapid user growth and press within the last week. Teleparty and Stre.am also aim to provide live-streaming services, leading to one of the key takeaways from this year, being that video is the name of the game in 2015. Tech and media companies alike are clambering at the opportunity to capitalize on the channel to connect with users in real time.

Similar to what we saw this year at CES, wearables are extending beyond the fitness industry into medical to enhance the user’s daily activities. The fashion world is beginning to use 3-D printing technology combined with smart textiles that can read and adapt to the wearer’s heart rate, including a material that transitions from opaque to sheer as the heart beats faster. Robots were also on full display, designed for a wide array of uses, including psychological counseling, journalism and teaching programming.

More than 1,000 beacons were deployed around SXSW, primarily for the purpose of helping attendees network. GE also used beacons to measure people’s brain activity while eating various types of BBQ to determine optimal temp and smoke levels. Proximity targeting and micro-location targeting are now allowing advertisers to interject themselves into “smart networking” around events or within retail locations, augmenting the RFID targeting that we’ve seen over the last few years.

Good Social & Social Good

Tinder created a fake profile for the main character in the film Ex Machina and had a bot carry on conversations with eager SXSW attendees, eventually directing them to an Instagram account with a video promoting the film. Also similar to CES, self-driving technology and connected cars were reviewed in various panels, events and discussions. Data analytics from connected cars are being leveraged to identify traffic patterns, optimize auto safety and as behavioral targeting segments for advertisers.

Social good was an integral part of the programming at SXSW, in addition to the companies showcased. Related to the robotics trend, several panels focused on the use of bionics and drone technology to assist in disaster/war areas, viral outbreaks and social issues. The United Nations hosted a session that discussed “Project 8,” an online research platform that helps the organization better anticipate and prepare for the needs of the global population, essentially leveraging social listening and data mining from a global perspective to identify changes in sentiment, communication trends and human needs. Mophie partnered with the St. Bernard Foundation to bring smartphone battery cases to people at SXSW with drained phones, while driving adoption awareness for the foundation.

Internet of Things

More than 70 sessions at SXSW mentioned the term “Internet of Things” or “IoT.” This latest buzz phrase defines a world of users connected by intelligent devices that offer a new convenience and functionality to day-to-day life. This lofty phrase intends to enhance life, not only on the individual level, but also on a global scale, leading to improvements in farming, medicine, clean water and smart cities.

So what does this mean to an already fragmented and saturated media landscape?

The proliferation of cloud integrated and smart consumer products is producing large amounts of real-time data that can be leveraged for future consumer product development and within ad-level targeting. This new digitally interwoven IoT ecosystem can better inform the marketer’s perspective of consumer habits, preferences and media consumption.

As the media landscape is becoming more saturated, SXSW Interactive’s panel conversations reiterated that while content is still king … it does not comprise a brand strategy on its own. Distribution of the content is key. Taking advantage of the efficient scale and frequency of interactive channels, combined with niche targeting capabilities, indicates that brands and agencies should be thinking digital first. Writers should not just write for broadcast − they should think of how a viewer consumes broadcast content simultaneously with social media and how both impact their subsequent Web-browsing behavior across all connected devices.

Data Empathy

This mass influx in consumer and device profiles also inevitably leads to data privacy issues and consumer distrust, making this one of the hottest topics at SXSW Interactive. Consumers fear how their information is collected, shared and used; they are becoming more aware of the profitably behind their information, while companies are struggling to maintain control over transactional data with third parties. Restoring consumer trust, coined as “data empathy,” and identifying ways to balance the respect for privacy and commercial use of data, is going to be one of the most important topics in the interactive industry for years to come. This topic within SXSW challenges us, as leaders in the industry, to consistently ask ourselves if what we are designing uses data to be consumer centric, granting ease of use and being adaptive to personal preferences, or if it is merely interruptive for the sake of cutting through the clutter.

To view the presentation shared at SXSW Interactive, visit its SlideShare.

The Internet of Listening

I am sure you are aware of the Internet of Things, but are you aware of the Internet of Listening. The Internet of Things takes your devices inside the home and sometimes on your body and connects them to the cloud. Nest, a smart thermostat, is connected to the cloud and adjustable by your phone on the same cloud. But it’s much more interesting than that. Nest is learning from you. It knows when you are in a room. It knows how long you are in said room. It knows when you leave said room. So it can almost gleam how you feel about said room. If you liked it, you stayed longer. If you didn’t, you stayed less. It is deducing such feelings from your interaction with the device. But what if it had more to go from? What if it heard you had cold feet? Of course,assuming it knows the difference between actual cold feet and the term “cold feet” it could turn up the heat. If it heard the sounds of amore, it could change the temperature accordingly … so if you like it hot, it can actually be hot. This may sound good to some and may sound creepy to others. However it sounds … this type of listening has already begun.

Your devices are already monitoring your conversations. If you read any of the books on Edward Snowden, you know that phones can monitor conversations even when they are off. This is not science fiction – it is in government documents. Snowden and the reporters involved would put their phones inside the hotel room refrigerators when they needed to talk about sensitive stuff. Thankfully, the refrigerators weren’t listening yet. … YET. But it’s not just sophisticated government surveillance. Samsung’s new smart TV allows you to give it instructions by voice. It also monitors conversations that aren’t telling it to turn on BETTER CALL SAUL (great show by the way). Of course, Samsung has since changed its terms to sound like it isn’t doing this.

Amazon’s Echo (I ordered one but don’t have it yet) is a device that sits in your living room and talks to you; keeps your grocery list; answers questions; plays music; and promises to learn to do many more things that I am sure I won’t need. But it’s someone else to talk to, so why not? The interesting part is the sophisticated microphone system inside it. Amazon claims it can hear your commands in a normal voice from anywhere in the room. You will forget it’s there until you say the wake up word … Alexa. But is Alexa really sleeping or is she pretending to sleep like an angry lover listening to every word and making plans? Maybe that’s the wrong way to look at it, but who knows what Alexa really thinks or wants?

As I am writing this, Evernote is reading what I am typing. I wrote about Samsung’s TV and Evernote put the perfect link to the article at the bottom of this. Then it gave me a link to Amazon’s Echo when I was writing about that. Evernote is listening and adding context to what I am writing. I hope that is all Evernote is doing, but probably not. Adding context through a couple of suggested articles is one of the nice things Evernote does for me. But what if Evernote could actually hear what I was talking about in my home with my family? And what if it could take what it knows from what I’ve written and put it together with what I might be saying, doing, buying, and connect that to what other devices on the cloud are doing for me?

THE CIRCLE, by Dave Eggers, imagines a world where all is known by everyone through a connected social network with connected cameras everywhere that can hear and see everything except in the bedroom and bathroom. If you think you might be seen, you won’t commit a crime. If you are sick and alone, the world can help when they see you fall. If you want to know what the world really thinks should be done about ISIS, it’s a collective thought away. You can see the implications for privacy and it seems like future fantasy. But it is not. When they can hear what you are saying, it’s almost as telling as the cameras. And don’t forget – cameras are everywhere as well. Everything, from phones, to cams that watch your dog, to cams that watch your front door to hidden cameras all connected to the cloud. This world is becoming very transparent. Your hopes, dreams and actions are becoming more and more obvious to the cloud.

What does this mean to privacy?  There are three kinds of people in the world.  There are people who don’t want anyone knowing anything about them.  There are people who don’t care if anyone is watching them because they don’t think there is any reason why anyone would care.  In other words… the innocent people.  Then there is the group that realizes that it is all being done to sell you something…and they choose to accept that or they don’t.  It is amazing what consumers will accept in order to have the NEW.  Look at any of the app agreements and you’ll know what I am talking about.  Consumers will give up a ton to get what they think they need.

 What does this mean to marketers? Pretty simple. Your targeting is going to get laser. If someone mentions a desire for your product or service in casual conversation, it is going to show up somewhere very quickly. Your Echo, your TV, your speaker system that listens for ambient sounds, your talking refrigerator, or basically anything connected to the cloud with a microphone (remember Mr. Microphone – now think of Mr. Microphone Cloud Edition) will deliver the “context”/”way” to buy, book, get, order, find, embrace – whatever you are talking about in your home. Your Echo will send it immediately if you ask. And once every appliance is connected to every other appliance and connected to social and connected to your Apple Watch and whatever else the Cloud knows about your customer, then it isn’t selling anymore.

It’s the Internet of Listening.

Why Brands Should Start Swinging with Vine

Currently, 87% of U.S. marketers are using video as means of content marketing. And in the next five years, mobile video is expected to present 66% of global mobile data traffic, so it’s only natural to expand our platforms to include mobile.

So, what is Vine?

Vine is a mobile app from Twitter that allows you to create GIF-like looping videos with audio – similar to Instagram – but with video. By setting limitations of six seconds of footage and character limit of 140, Vine inspires creativity in clearly communicating a message in an ephemeral video. Since its launch in January, Vine has been topping this list of free iPhone apps in the app store.

Here’s a great post from Mashable on how to use Vine to create and share videos.

How is Vine being used now?

Both brands and celebrities have been using Vine as a platform for engagement. Recording artist Jason Derulo used Vine to promote his new single, “The Other Side,” encouraging fans to create Vines using clips of the song (provided on his site) and upload them using the hashtag #TheOtherSide. The best clips will then be loaded into a special fan video for the song.

Last month, Vine launched trending hashtags, making exploration of content even easier. Trending hashtags display to users the Vines that are rising the fastest in popularity, not just the most popular overall.

How should you use Vine?

Before you begin Vining for your brand, a clear objective for your video is key. Here are 3 important things to remember:

1)     Have only ONE message to get across. Attempting to employ multiple messages will make the video choppy, messy, and confusing to the viewer.

2)     Make sure your description is clearly stated in one concise sentence, covering what you hope viewers will get from your vine.

3)     Keep it simple and most importantly, have fun!

From a brand perspective, Vine is a great app for visual storytelling that adds value to the brand. If executed correctly, a brand’s Vine will contain the simple core message in a visual manner that will result in high consumption. Here is a great example from Gap:

What shoes do you plan to wear with The 1969 Skimmer? #gap #denimevolved

There are many ways for brands to use Vine, such as:

–          Engage followers in conversation

–          Feature brand supporters/ambassadors

–          Promote work for a client

–          Excite followers about a new product

–          Educate

–          Amuse

–          Tell the brand’s story

–          Advertise or host a contest

How can you measure Vine activity?

Concerned about analytics? Rest assured, there are already companies out there tracking stats for Vines. Simply Measured offers free Vine analytics (for Twitter accounts with up to 10,000 followers) that tracks the popularity of your Vine account.

So how do you plan on using Vine for your clients?

The Season

Powerful ads during the Big Game were remembered by some, but just a little more than a week after the game, most of us have forgotten most of the ads. Even with the power of social media and the YouTube Ad Blitz after the game, some brands scored bigger than others. Which poses the question: Is the game a platform for brands to kick off a campaign or a platform for one-offs.

The most forgotten spot is Audi’s Prom. It’s also one of the most conceptually sound spots in the Big Game. Who hasn’t thought back to that prom or dance where they did or didn’t grab that moment? The brand that lost its way was Coke. Coke is supposed to bring happiness to everyone. Making happiness a dog-eat-showgirl competition is not their brand. The best ads were Mercedes Benz Soul and Miracle Stain. They both had everything I need for a great commercial … a great epic story line, fantastic performances, and a communication at the end that seals an emotional tie to the message and the brand. Still, with all that money and talent, a tweet got the most play.

One note … even the worst advertisers during the Super Bowl reap the benefits. For many brands, awareness is a win-win, even if the ad is being touted as a disaster. Century 21 gets talked about for two weeks before the game and gets Web and customer traffic to make just being in the broadcast worth it even though the ads end up at the bottom of most lists. There are many other brands that feel the same way. Look at Audi. They had a pretty good ad and believe that a TV buy in the Super Bowl is the best way to go year after year … because it works.

It seems that, unlike the game itself, for most brands, the Super Bowl ad competition doesn’t end at the final whistle. Brands are clearly hopeful that their campaign kickoffs lead to long returns with their consumers.

The Big Game gets social

Advertisers spend a lot of money each year during, before and after the big game, especially for the expensive in-game TV spots. Now that we have had almost 24 hours to digest the plethora of creative ideas, the ones that we are talking about took place on social media channels.

Twitter is the unofficial king of the big game, where 24.1 million Tweets were sent out about the game and/or halftime show (this is without counting the ads as well).

The power outage alone generated around 231,500 TPM (tweets per minute), which is more than any other topic, including a 108-yard kickoff return by Jacoby Jones at 185,000 TPM.

Brands saw an opportunity to take advantage of a situation that was unexpected. Oreo, Duracell and Tide all capitalized on one of the important pieces of social, which is timeliness.

Oreo managed to engage users with the following tweet:

Very impressive numbers, with 15,260 retweets and 5,428 favorites on tweet that probably took no more than 15 minutes to push live on its social channels.

And Duracell managed to score an “extra point” when the lights were out as well.

Just 45 minutes after Dodge ran its “Farmer” spot, there were a total of 402k social media comments about the spot. Dodge led the crowd in sheer numbers, but Tide, Taco Bell and Doritos led the pack with the most positive sentiments out of the ads that ran during the game.

With the exponential growth in social and how it relates to campaigns, it makes you wonder what next year will have in store.

Nearly all of the spots were available on YouTube days before the game even aired, and engagement campaigns started well before that.

One thing is for certain – social will continue to grow. Brands need to figure out how to embrace it or they could very well be left behind. Also important to note – 45 percent of the TV audience was female. Advertisers and packaged goods, such as Oreo, took advantage; Calvin Klein did, too.

Online advertising predictions for 2013

As we ring in the new year, advertising trends will continue to change and progress. In 2013, online advertising is expected to be even more innovative and dominating than in past years.

  1. Mobile traffic will continue to rise. It is expected that by the end of 2013, one in three paid clicks could come from a tablet or smartphone. With this drastic increase in mobile usage, in-app advertising spend is expected to skyrocket as well.
  2. Cross-channel and cross-device advertising and measurement will explode! Where customers used to simply click on an online ad and purchase, the lines between online and offline worlds are becoming blurred as customers utilize mobile devices to conduct more product research than ever.
  3. Owned and earned media will become the rule, not the exception. Advertisers will leverage their owned media as marketing tools even more so than in years past, taking advantage of the cost efficient control that they have to reach niche audiences. In a year where word-of-mouth marketing will continue to grow, earned media will be that much more vital as the customer becomes the channel.
  4. Online advertisers are going to finally realize the true value in social media. The fact is, we no longer live in a world powered solely by direct response marketers. It is now all about building relationships with customers and gaining access to larger audiences. A new year is just going to continue to enforce the importance of utilizing social media, and even provide deeper data to support it.
  5. Online marketing will become even more targeted. Facebook has already taken the plunge moving far beyond basic demographic targeting. With custom audiences where sponsored stories or ads can be used to target a specific set of users, what’s to come next?
  6. Real-time optimization will be the norm.  Advertisers have now moved beyond the click and require insight into the brand impact of their online activity alongside their click data. We are moving towards a time in which advertisers will be able to track all of their campaigns against key metrics, and utilize online dashboards to adjust creative, frequency and more to optimize campaigns in real-time.
  7. Online display formats and units will continue to evolve. With digital infographics becoming vital in telling an advertisers’ story in 2012, the new year will only further enhance the need for online marketers to utilize different online formats to more effectively deliver their messages. Newer, larger and more customizable online units will continue to be developed in 2013, offering advertisers more innovative ways to build their brands.

Read more about 2013 trends and predictions:




A beast that needs attention

Being the third most visited site in the world is not an easy task.  YouTube ranks just behind the giants of Google and Facebook as the most visited websites on the internet.  This comes as no surprise. The power for people to capture themselves through video is easy enough for a 3-year-old to manage, but how do brands and organizations leverage YouTube to their advantage?

Old Spice on YouTube

Old Spice’s YouTube brand channel.

According to YouTube, 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, which equates to 3 billion hours watched each month.  These types of numbers are mind-boggling and the ripple effect reaches far outside of YouTube itself.  More than 500 years of YouTube videos are watched on Facebook and 700 videos per minute find themselves on Twitter.

No doubt a powerful tool, but most brands upload their TV spots, or try to think of something so funny and outrageous hoping that it will be the next “viral video.”  Unfortunately, this is very difficult to achieve on YouTube.  While this can happen, you have better chances of taking the money you spent doing this and doubling down at the nearest casino.

Companies such as Old Spice, Red Bull, and Go-Pro have found that YouTube can help drive exposure, but they are the few that have found success.  Almost all companies find themselves spending a lot of money with little to no results, thus deeming it as a marketing failure.  To avoid complete and udder failure here are five starter tips for marketers and brands to follow:

1st – YouTube is its own platform; content should be unique and should be well thought out.

2nd –Make sure that you promote your video(s) through YouTube using Google platforms. Spend money to help get some eyeballs and help leverage your plan.

3rd– Make sure that you plan your strategy ahead of time. Are you looking for views or do you want people to take action?

4th– Consider using YouTube celebrities (people already on YouTube that have thousands to millions of views and subscribers) for brand integrations and product placements.

5th– Ensure that your YouTube plan fits well with branding and other marketing strategies; YouTube can help you leverage your current and future goals within social media.

Success on YouTube can be very challenging, but using these basic tips can help you get on the right track. YouTube is a platform that allows you to target the audience you want, which keeps advertisers coming back.  If you’re nice to YouTube it will be nice to you.