How Social is Shifting Brands’ Video Strategies

The role of video in the digital marketing space is evolving from stuffy promotional ads to branded entertainment, or content that helps brands build relationships with consumers.

Brands like Virgin Mobile, Intuit, Nissan and others are focusing on video as a means of engaging consumers, not selling product. The belief is that good branded content makes the consumer trust you more and think of you when it comes time to buy. Digiday reached out to brand executives to ask what their focus in video will be for 2013.

Ron Faris, head of brand marketing, Virgin Mobile USA
We’ll be looking at branded content on social channels with the ability to retarget later with display ads. We’ll do some video ads for the mass audience. But building compelling engagement first is key for us to earn our way into the conversation. Then later in the Web surfing, we’ll hit them up with traditional advertising.

Cezanne Huq, head of online acquisition, Intuit
Our video strategy is part of a wider relationship marketing initiative we’re working on. We plan to align content and format to the buying and retention behavior of our prospects and customers, respectively. So earned and paid video and various branded content will be used to facilitate the relationship and will be given more of an emphasis this year.

Steve Faigen, marketing director, Mercer
We are looking at video from a number of angles. Our first goal is increasing the number of live virtual video chats that we hope, over time, will replace the standard power point and audio webcast. The second category involves using produced and edited video to capture discussions with, and conversations among, our subject matter experts. The third category of video we would like to grow is one that involves using the aesthetic tools of narrative documentary to explain an issue of interest to our clients as well as a broader group of stakeholders. The combination of these three approaches allows us to match the format with the story we want to tell in the most efficient, memorable way. All three types of videos can be promoted in any number of ways leveraging our existing owned and earned media channels.

Erich Marx, director of integrated and social media marketing, Nissan
With more people spending more time with smartphones and tablets, we want to focus a bit more on content that is quick and easy to consume, and that is mobile-friendly. Video isn’t the only answer, but certainly a growing piece of the puzzle. Like any marketing effort, our video content has to have a purpose. How does it drive our business? How does it drive our brand? What’s the call-to-action? We know that video categorized as micro-content is good, while long-form videos, not so much. This is a sound-byte space now. We’ll be focusing on [tagging] the content to encourage and optimize search activity. Seeding the video is a must. It’s like giving a child a push on a two-wheeler bike. Even great content benefits from a few strategically placed, paid placements.

Aubrey Flynn, brand content director, Ciroc Ultra Premium Vodka
We’re placing more emphasis on innovation. With content-bingeing on the rise, consumers have content at their fingertips 24 hours a day. New methods of video engagement are critical with both ad experiences and social media content. We’re looking into more advanced products to help drive content consumption and interaction on the Web, with mobile and through digital display to create true 360 branded entertainment experiences.

Michael Beaulieu, group manager for digital media, Wayfair
Video is an important element of our content strategy in 2013. We are developing our own content on site to drive consumer engagement and working with partners and bloggers to develop content such as product reviews and DIY videos. We have a full-service video team in-house that is actively producing content for everything from television commercials to product reviews. Ultimately, video is a powerful tool for showcasing our vast product offering and differentiating our shopping experience as we strive to help people find the perfect product at the right price.