The introduction of short form video – first with Vine and now on Instagram – is exciting for the ‘creative’ in all of us, enabling greater self expression, playfulness and experimentation. Additionally, it provides brands with a dynamic canvas to share their distinctive point of view – but within that opportunity lies a subtle challenge: if you want to play in this space, you need to know who you are first. As the web grows closer to mirroring (and potentially merging with) the offline world, platforms will continue iterating and innovating because that’s what humans do. MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest – each new platform brings a new way to create, express and share. How brands choose to tell their story – across what platforms and in what way – will become increasingly human – complex and exciting.
Those who are responsible for articulating the utility of a brand to its consumer base will be forced to revisit how ‘utility’ is defined and expressed. Social media platforms are becoming more and more dynamic, forcing marketers to ‘show’ how their brand is used – not just ‘tell’. Today, a brand is useful, not just memorable. There are plenty of brands that are memorable – but are they part of your lifestyle today? I would wager not. As these short form video creation platforms grow in popularity, their integration into a brand’s online and offline engagement strategy must increase comparably. That said, the approach must be thoughtful, considered and natural. Understand what element of your brand or product story could be best expressed through this type of medium before integrating it into a campaign. Experimentation is key – but have a strategy first.
Short form video won't change the way B2C or B2B companies connect with consumers – it just gives them a different way to express their value. Trust and utility should always remain at the center of B2C and B2B consumer acquisition and retention strategies; these new platforms just allow greater creativity around expressing their values, generating new opportunities to surprise and delight. That said, I do believe these types of platforms will continue to change the way brands select and work with third party partners. As the world continues to speed up and experiences become more fluid between digital and physical, creativity, capability and capacity will become increasingly important qualities for both brands and their agency partners.
Chad Kaszer, Strategy Director at Sub Rosa