Digital vs. social media, what is the difference?
Year after Year, technology evolves at what seems like an ever-faster pace. I realize that’s not shocking news – a bit like when your Great-Aunt Evelyn points out how tall you’re getting for the umpteenth time. Time flies and technology evolves quickly. However, whether it is a new gadget or a new operating system, it is fascinating to see how it impacts the way we go about our lives.
In the era of the Internet and social media, viral videos and memes, media is an integral part of our daily routines. It’s fair to say that if you’re reading this, you’re someone that would be more crushed to lose your smart phone than your wallet. You’ve also probably launched your very own personal social campaign. And you are no doubt guilty of tweeting, facebooking, instagraming, and pinning something that you thought was worth sharing in order to enhance your social presence. That’s what we do with media these days.
I was struck by an article by Rebecca Leib positing that ‘digital’ and ‘social’ media are the same. She states that ‘all media is digital.’ Upon examination, that’s hard to refute. Perhaps we have focused on separating the two based upon who distributes the content. If a consumer posts something, it falls in the category of social media, whereas if a brand posts something it is known as a digital media campaign. The assumption could be that the individual is simply sharing while the brand is using more sophistication and analysis in order to sell stuff.
Media is everywhere, whether it is print, broadcast, digital, or social. What we see from both consumers and brands is that they are sharing media of the digital variety. Over time the lines have blurred to the point that the lines don’t really exist anymore. What we are left with is an ever-evolving set of tools. A decade ago, we shared silly jokes or photos via e-mail. Now we share them via Pinterest. In between there was MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Digg and a slew of others, some of which fell by the wayside. The point is, they were all digital and they all offered us the ability to share something about ourselves, or something we liked, or something that reflected our personality. In other words, they allowed us to launch our very own social campaign.
As proof, look no further than the painful demise of Barnes & Noble’s Nook. The e-reader created by the only remaining national bookseller just couldn’t keep up with the advancements made by other tablets. It wasn’t full-featured enough, including its e-mail functionality and social media components. Its ability to be a digital and social portal was inadequate, and people didn’t adopt it despite the bookseller pushing it at every turn. Folks don’t want a device or a broadsheet that only allows them to take in content. They want that device to do more. They want to be able to share.
From the brand side, look at how campaigns are launched. The majority of the commercials shown during the Super Bowl were shared prior to the big game and utilized hashtags, Facebook pages and other sharing options. Viewers expected to be able to join the conversation, bridging the gap between broadcast and digital. This is a trend that companies have adopted across all their digital campaigns.
So what does this all mean? It means that we might no longer be able to draw a distinction. Digital media has gone social, and social media has gone digital.
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Posts Tagged ‘Online Video’
Digital vs. social media, what is the difference?
Another Super Bowl has come and gone, and if you’re a Niner fan, all you have to do now is dissect what could have been. That is, unless you’re also a marketer, in which case you can dissect the good, the bad and the ugly ads that were served up to us. Here are some thoughts from our team.
User Generated, Hits and Misses – User-generated ads continued to be a trend this year, accounting for three of the top ten Tivo’d ads. Doritos offered up two “humorous” crowd-sourced commercials. Unfortunately, humor is subjective, and these spots fell flat in our opinion. Audi of America’s “Prom” and Coca Cola’s “Coke Chase” gave fans the opportunity to choose the ending via online voting prior to the game. Audi’s “Prom” was cute, until the protagonist puts the Prom Queen in a lip-lock and gets hit by her date. Brave? Perhaps. Stupid. Undoubtedly. What’s it say about Audi? Not entirely sure. Coca Cola’s “Coke Chase” generated a lot of excitement prior to the game. Unfortunately the short “diversion” clips and the clip announcing the winner didn’t quite live up to the hype. Not exactly Old Spice stuff, I have to say.
Previewing Ads didn’t hurt, But Racial Stereotyping Will – As we discussed prior to the big game, many major brands once again previewed their spots. According to Tivo, nine of the top ten spots were released ahead of time, and the #10-ranked Volkswagen’s “Get In. Get Happy” received more than 8,373,067 views on YouTube before the live airings. So, folks had a chance to see them before the game and still rewound to watch them again? I guess the luster of it all hadn’t worn off. That said, VW has gotten skewered for blatant racial stereotyping. Sure it was a humorous spot, but brands should reconsider using stereotypes to get a few laughs. It’s not likely to lead to sales but it sure can damage the brand name.
Chrysler Breaks Even… Maybe – Speaking of another brand to step in it. The Dodge “Farmer” spot was one of my favorites this year. It came from the heart and spoke to the essence of the Dodge Ram brand. Like last year’s “Imported From Detroit” it really struck a tone. Not so the “Whole Again” spot. Jeep’s crass product placement in an otherwise touching narrative smacked of exploitation. Did “Farmer” exploit the hardships of the American farmer? Perhaps, but that’s altogether different than exploiting veterans who sacrificed everything for their country. I’m not sure how the court of public opinion sees it, but if Chrysler is lucky, they break even on this one.
Bud Light and Go Daddy Buck the Trend – I never hold out much hope for Bud Light or Go Daddy, but I have to say that they upped their intelligence quotient just a bit. I actually really liked “Superstition” spots. It was a great extension of an existing campaign and took good advantage of the New Orleans locale and voodoo. Mix in a bit of Stevie Wonder and I have to say, the two spots “Journey” and “Lucky Chair” hit the mark. As for Go Daddy, the only way for them was up, but year after year they seemed to stay right there in the gutter. “Your Big Idea” was an ode to procrastinators that actually spoke to the Go Daddy brand, with just a small Danica Patrick cameo. Of course, they also served up “Perfect Match” but then, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Amy Poehler Said “Dongle” – We’re no fans of Best Buy, but we love the word “dongle”.
Finally, Taco Bell’s “Viva Young” captured the message ‘You Only Live Once’. Is this what retirement looks like at Taco Bell? Not too bad, though if you haven’t gotten tattooed by 80, isn’t it a wee bit late?
What did you think of this year’s ads? Did the industry serve up the best they had? Or did it fall flat? What were your favorites? Let us know and join the conversation.
As the Super Bowl approaches, companies are preparing their ads, showing snippets and getting consumers involved.
Sure, the 49ers and the Ravens will be playing a big game, but like many marketers (and non-marketers) I am more excited about the ads. I think I pay more attention to the ads than the actual game. Some ads hit and some are miss; some are funny, some are confusing and some simply lack creativity. In order for an ad to stand out, especially during half time, it has to be engaging and interesting, elevating the brand above the considerable clutter.
This year, there’s been a lot of buzz around Super Bowl Campaigns, especially brands “leaking” their Super Bowl spots. A recent MediaPost article indicates “Pre-game campaigns on average generated 2.1 million social views, twice the average of total views for post-game releases.” Therefore, showing a snippet of the ad before the game will have more views and involvement after the game. On the other hand, an article in the New York Times interviewed executives who “…see disadvantages to previewing Super Bowl spots in full because doing so could diminish…the shock and awe.” Some fans are anxiously waiting until game day to see the ads, because the ads are part of super bowl experience. So while the verdict may still be out, both sides are correct to some degree: the most important thing is that the ad has to be memorable.
Many companies such as Coca cola, Bud Light, and Toyota are going big, pushing their campaigns far beyond just the 30-second commercial. They are creating longer format ads and an engaging online and social experience for their consumers. At the end of their ad there is a hash tag so fans can tweet and be part of the conversation, before and during the game. For example, Coca Cola encourages viewers to vote on how the spot ends.
Another example is Target, who has created a mobile game called Snack Bowl. Consumers who play the game will see products such as Coke Zero, Stride Gum and Digornio frozen pizzas. This helps consumers create a list of snacks they can purchase at Target to create the best Super Bowl party. These experiences are helping consumers interact with the brand on a personal level, even before the game, and making it easier for the brand to communicate directly to consumers.
I have seen a few super bowls in my lifetime and I still remember some ads from previous years. It wasn’t that I saw it early, or that it was a surprise, but that it was an interesting and engaging ad. For example last year’s M&Ms ad was one of my favorites. It was funny, entertaining and memorable.
Consumers want to see funny and entertaining ads, so it doesn’t matter the time it was shown, but how well it executed. Whether the ad is leaked or truly premiers on game day, marketers need to maximize their investment. Super Bowl ads need to extend beyond the four quarters of football and they need to rise above the clutter. It’s a risk, but those who get it right will be the big winners on Super Sunday.
“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.” – Erich Fromm
Uh oh, that could be trouble. Because in business, when we set expectations with clients, and enter into agreements, both sides expect a degree of certainty. But when creativity is part of the equation, certainty becomes altogether uncertain.
Put another way, you have your opinion and I have mine. Creativity being a subjective matter, we will both be entitled to our opinions. As a B2B creative services provider, we are challenged to manage the uncertainties of creative, balance expectations and deliver to the client what they expected when we established a business relationship.
With everyone entitled to their own opinion, the juggling act is not always an easy one to manage.
I recently read a blog post by Brian Solis. The premise of the post is that social media won’t save you, but good client relationships and experiences will. He has this to say: “From experience, there are two other ingredients that serve as harbingers to the future of any business, under-scoping or underestimating sales and marketing and underemphasizing product quality and customer experiences.” What resonates with me is that a good service provider will first be on target with the sale and then secondly provide quality and good customer experience. There are two parts of the equation, but both require an agreement between client and provider, and there’s the rub.
Creativity is not a commodity, something that can be easily packaged and sold for a fee. What happens when that lack of certainty plays havoc with agreement? What happens when creative is met with “I don’t think that is very good”? It requires careful management of expectations, and that can only be truly achieved by maintaining close relationships with the client. Solis goes on to write about how social media can help forge those relationships. He talks about “Listening with Intent” and “Designing the Experience.”
Listening should never be underestimated. As the saying goes: “We have two ears and one mouth. Use them in that ratio.” Every service provider says that they “listen to the client to provide a truly collaborative experience.” It’s a bit of a cliché, but like many clichés, there is a strong whiff of truth.
However, there is another important benefit to listening – you discover when things are amiss. In our creative world, that usually refers to a creative disconnect.
By listening with intent we can catch creative disconnect at an early stage. It won’t do away with creative disconnect, but the earlier it is addressed the more likely a solution will be found.
Designing the experience is also crucial. Like most professions, the client comes to us and assumes we will be the expert. Consciously or unconsciously, clients expect continuity in relationships. Some of the ways of ensuring they remain “in the loop”:
• Research is crucial. Conduct or reference existing research that indicates your creative approach is designed to resonate with the client’s targeted market segments.
• Creative briefs act as a roadmap. Establish clear creative briefs that explain the strategy behind the tactic and the potential creative direction.
• Communicate. Maintain clear communication through regular check-ins with clients. Any recommendations or updated concepts should be clearly communicated, understood and agreed upon.
• Reviews and feedback are important. First, know who needs to give feedback. Second, get feedback from all key stakeholders ASAP. This makes sure everyone is on the same page and avoids backtracking.
• Make sure you have client alignment and approval of storyboards before production.
• Reach a mutual understanding that connotations and tone of any media tools are consistent with client brand positioning – whether it’s a video, an online ad or an app – before it approaches the stage for final sign-off.
The client experience and the creative process are inextricably linked. If the experience is poor, or the creative process unconvincing, it is most likely due to a weak foundation — the absence of a relationship built on continuity in communication.
Another blog entry got me thinking more about client relationships. Hank Blank wonders if agencies are teaching their people how to establish client relationships. After all, social media alone will not get you there, and neither will e-mails and text messages.
Are we doing enough to engage our clients and build that relationship? Because uncertainty in creative is going to lead to tough discussions and even tougher decisions. Is your client relationship strong enough to survive? What are agencies doing to build and maintain relationships? I’m very curious about this, because in the end, that seems to be the best way to ensure that the business agreement survives uncertainty.
In our previous post NFC: Disrupting QR Codes, we talked about how Near Field Communication (NFC) is the next game-changing technology for mobile advertising in the United States. For Asian markets, however, NFC is at a later stage, being a fully adopted technology with a wide variety of uses beyond marketing. For example, Pasmo, Tokyo subway’s rechargeable card has an embedded NFC chip, which allows passengers to enter the trains without having to take the cards out of their bags. Marketers in Asian markets are tapping into NFC’s huge potential as well. In Tokyo, advertising agency Shunkosha installed NFC chips in subway straps. When the user taps the straps the NFC chip sends a signal to the smartphone with URLs containing advertisements, discounts, or other information. “Strappy”, as the campaign was called, sent users advertisements from the travel agency H.I.S.
Asian markets, especially Japan and South Korea, have been ahead of the curve in numerous mobile innovations. The ill-fated QR code, 3G and 4G networks, and mobile email were ubiquitous in Japan when they were merely a buzz word in Western markets. David Steel, Executive VP of Strategy and Corporate Communications for Samsung Electronic explains that there are societal factors explaining why Western markets lag behind Asian markets in terms of the adoption of mobile innovations. He comments that 16% of Americans consider themselves “early adopters”, compared to 40% of their South Korean counterparts. In the interview video posted below, Trevor Healy, CEO of [a•mo•bee], explains that an important factor fueling innovation and early adoption in mobile technology across South East Asia is the lack of personal computers and the pervasiveness of smartphones. He mentions that the increase in mobile advertising in this region is nothing short of 300- 400% in growth. Despite Asia’s head start in mobile advertising, the U.S. is trailing behind with noteworthy applications of NFC technology.
The emphasis for the U.S. seems to be on payment services like Google Wallet, Square, Intuit, and Paypal. Google Wallet uses an embedded NFC chip that stores credit card information on your smartphone. Instead of swiping a credit card, the NFC chip communicates with the payment receiver and completes the transaction wirelessly. According to Visa, this market is going to skyrocket with estimated transactions expected to increase from $27 million in 2012 to $40 billion in 2014.
In the U.S., companies are experimenting with a combination of print ads and mobile to create innovative campaigns, wooing costumers with their novel approach. In a pioneering effort, Lexus and Wired Magazine paired up to create the first print ad with an embedded NFC tag for their April 2012 issue. For readers with NFC-enabled phones, the ad brings up a video that showcases the new Enform® App Suite, which integrates popular mobile applications, such as Pandora, Yelp, and Open Table to the luxury vehicle.
NFC technology will disrupt the QR code trend with it’s more intuitive usage. For other areas of marketing like social media and location-based marketing, this technology will open the horizons to a more interactive arena. For print, NFC incorporates the web to a previously hard-to-track medium. With print ads directing people to the web, there is a bonanza of data for marketers to capitalize on. At the end, cutting through today’s clutter is a marketer’s Holy Grail and biggest challenge. NFC offers infinite possibilities for marketers to jump that hurdle.
By: Angela Romero
Hispanic Americans are becoming affluent faster than any other group but are still holding onto their cultures and traditions. Family is very important and brand loyalty is strong with this group. Brands have many new opportunities to reach out to this growing segment but must change the way they market to the Hispanic community. Value for their dollar is still important as with most people in general but the marketing tactics used to reach this growing market segment must change. Two kinds of Hispanic Americans are currently being targeted in marketing: spanish-speaking only and assimilated Hispanic Americans who are assumed to have the same buying patterns as any other Americans. Marketers need to take note of a third group, the affluent acculturated Hispanics that have still held onto their traditions, value, and language(s). This group is growing faster and consuming more than ever before.
Not only is there more buying power, but more buying power per household. According to this Ad Age article by Joe Castro, 1/2 of all Hispanics in the $100,000 a year income range are foreign born. Their total buying power is expected to increase to $1.3 trillion by 2015, up from $978 billion in 2009. During the past decade, the Hispanic $110,000-plus households grew 221% compared to 87% for total U.S. $100,000-plus households.It is possible to assume that a household could be made up of 3 or more working adults in some cases but the fact that there is more disposable income remains. Affluent Hispanics are more likely to own their own homes, work as managers or professionals, and shop online with credit cards rather than locally with cash.
- What does this mean for marketers and brands? If marketers are hoping to market products to this fast growing segment of the population, now is the time to invest in online video, social media, mobile and other digital media marketing tactics targeting this group.
Hispanics are outpacing the rest of the population in smart-phone usage growth. Smart-phone usage growth was 26% for Hispanics and 18% for the rest of the population in 2010. Mobile marketing dollars will have to increase to capitalize on this opportunity. Targeting this demographic with campaigns across many different features of a smart-phone is going to be the most successful strategy as they are downloading music, playing games, and using social media applications. Another area where Hispanics are outpacing the rest of the population is the use of social media. They are tweeting, liking, sharing, and watching video more than anyone else. Marketers need to reach out to this growing population through new media. If marketers are hoping to market products to this fast growing segment of the population, now is the time to invest in online video, social media, and other digital media marketing tactics. As more Hispanics buy products online with credit cards, there will be a need for targeted banner ads, social media campaigns, and online video.
Feliz dia de las Madres!
By Austin Allen, Social Media Ninja
- Length: Keep your video under 2 minutes. 2 minutes seems to be the sweet spot for video lengths before viewers get bored and look for a new video. Obviously, there are some cases where a longer or shorter video is necessary depending on the purpose. The average length of a YouTube video is said to be about 4 minutes and 12 seconds according to this article, but unless you are uploading a music video or have a specific purpose for the video to be that long, it is good to keep it short and concise before your viewer clicks on the next recommended video in the right-hand column of your video.
- Title: Make sure your Title is a “Title”, not a sentence. I always stand behind the rule, “less is more”. Use your title to give a clear picture of what the video has in store in as few words as possible. Don’t forget that the title should have a few important keywords just like the Tags and Descriptions. Read this article for more tips on creating viral video titles.
- Tags: Add tags (meta-tags) to your video to make it more searchable. Remember, SEO applies to videos, but a computer can’t read content from a video…just text. Give the search engines the ability to rank and categorize your video just as it would do for your website. Don’t “keyword stuff” your videos though. You wouldn’t keyword stuff your website or blog right? Be creative with your tagging, tag categories and specific words as well. Read here for a more in depth analysis of tagging.
- Description: This one falls along the same lines as tags. Provide the context of your video and links to your website and social media accounts. Use words that people would be searching for, but don’t overdo it. Make your description natural, catchy, and easy to read. This should be a teaser of what the viewer is going to watch.
- Lastly, make a video that is engaging and makes viewers want to share, comment, and like your video. The more these things happen on your video, the higher they will rank on search engines. We like to think we’re experts at this part here at BARS+TONE. Your audience will move on if they aren’t engaged in about 10 to 20 seconds. Most of us don’t have time to watch something un-interesting, so it’s only natural to jump from video to video. There isn’t really a formula for creating engaging content, but if your video is visually appealing and well produced, you’re well on your way.
Email us at email@example.com, if you’d like to talk to us about creating your next engaging and compelling video!
By: Austin Allen
When we hear the words ” online video”, most of us think “YouTube”. A select few of us might think “Vimeo” as well. The landscape is changing. There are new startups/side projects of bigger companies hoping to change the game of online video. For online marketers, YouTube has long been the main point of entry for online video. For more savvy users, “Vimeo” or “TubeMogul” provided more targeted audiences or farther reach. However…these new up and coming platforms should give marketers and content creators new options for distributing online video. Some are going after a B2B model, while others are attempting to compete with YouTube over user-generated content hosting. Marketers should be ecstatic about the new options for content that are being developed! Here are a few new ones to be on the lookout for:
- My Pod Studios: This platform brings videos with one criteria in mind, the videos must have high watchability. The content is hand-picked by the site curators, and is judged by how entertaining, educational, or informative the content is. It’s like a slimed down YouTube so only the best content makes it. MyPodStudios builds pods (similar to channels) for a video producer and does all the marketing for you. All you have to do is have good content. ”Good” is really in the eyes of the beholder on this one. They are essentially marketing themselves as the “Gated” online video community.
- AirTime is the next startup in the works by Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning, creators of Napster. The site is up but non-operational and who knows what could be in store. A recent article in Tech Crunch suggested a social element, allowing users to vote on quality of content. Because this site is so knew, we aren’t really sure what they have planned and how the rating system will be different than that of YouTube. Maybe users can use their votes to ultimately have content removed? This start-up is being backed by Ashton Kutcher, Will I. Am., and the found of techcrunch: Michael Arrington.
- One Load: This is a B2B platform that hopes to change the way online video is mass distributed to different online video hosts. This platform is basically the new TubeMogul. The main reason for the change seems to be branding. The makers of TubeMogul want people to know that their service allows you to upload one time and distribute to all different video platforms. This service is for the serious video producers that want to maximize their viewership with one easy to use site that includes everything from analytics to easy report preparation. One Load is the video platform to distribute to all video platforms.
- Adobe Primetime is the next big thing from Adobe. They are calling it a “fully integrated video technology platform”. This should be a pretty cool new platform for video producers and distributors. To me, it seems they are trying to replicate the entire process that goes into the more traditional medium of broadcast TV. The best feature of this platform, is that the video distributor can edit live clips, select advertising, and stream the video in real time. The future of web video may look more like broadcast than we thought!
As a digital video agency, we’re very excited for the future of web video. New options for hosting content should make the content better for viewers and allow marketers to more effectively engage the audiences they are targeting. Who knows what online video will look like in the next 5 years!
Which platforms are you most excited about? Share it in the comments below!
BARS+TONE receives a gift from an unknown sender that changes their Holiday spirit like never before. Experience An Ugly Sweater Story and then share it with friends by downloading our interactive sweater! We recommend you switch on over to 720P HD for this one!
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When I think of hot videos, I think of extremely hot videos. Here are my 4 hottest videos that will light up any room. Use caution: May be hot.
A flashlight that can light things on fire! This is awesome.
Everybody loves Kramer! Here he is spilling some HOT coffee on himself.
Here is a pretty spectacular light show in the form of an atom bomb. Boom!
If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen…or just don’t eat spicy food.
Got a hot video? Share it below!