Colin Burcher, Head of Partnerships at video production and distribution specialists SeeThat, explains why you don’t need to own a Formula 1 team to make great video content (but it may help!)
In today’s fast paced, evolving digital world, the ‘always on’ nature of consumers represents a significant shift in how brands are able to reach and engage an audience. This signifies both an opportunity and a challenge for most brands.
Numerous opportunities to connect to people throughout their day come with a trade off. It’s no longer about simply targeting a potential customer with a message enticing them to buy your product or service. Instead, consumers are becoming audiences and there is an expectation upon brands to be present when required – creating content that is both entertaining and useful.
Video will dominate content marketing
This trend of brands becoming publishers has seen content marketing and the role of online video, growing in importance. According to The Guardian and a recent Nielsen study, 64% of marketers expect video to dominate their content marketing strategies in the near future.
It’s almost impossible to discuss content marketing without mentioning Red Bull and their incredible transition from an energy drinks brand to a “media company that happens to sell energy drinks” (Dietrich Mateschitz, Red Bull’s Founder).
Red Bull is well known for investing heavily into content – whether it’s extreme sports, skydives from space or their activities in Formula 1. The launch of Red Bull Media House in 2007, combined with their investment of hundreds of millions of dollars each year, demonstrates Red Bull’s commitment to creating outstanding content. Interestingly, Red Bull sees an incredible return on this investment through sponsorship, advertising and their AVE (Advertising Value Equivalent – the price it would have to pay to buy a similar amount of screen exposure).
As brands start to understand the new online opportunities to engage, entertain and influence their potential customers, or rather their audiences, we ask the question does this mean all brands now need to invest millions into film production, daring stunts and motor sports?
Engage, entertain and influence
If we focus on Red Bull’s activities in Formula 1 we can draw some comparisons with what’s happening in content marketing, specifically in online video. Think of your brand as the race team, the race tactics your content strategy, pit crew your agencies, the car your content and the crowd your audience.
Lets look at Formula 1 as an example of what content can be created for your audience. A traditional, broadcast first approach would position the content for a TV audience – classic one-way communication to a passive viewer. For a particular brand this would usually take the form of a 30 second TV ad.
However, as brands start to adopt a publisher mindset, audiences are expecting so much more than this traditional approach. The demands of modern marketing mean brands need to go much further. Here’s how a Formula 1 team, in particular Red Bull, might approach this.
Understand your audience
In addition to the big broadcast style content, it is crucial to understand what content your audience actually wants to consume. Using free digital tools it’s easy to understand what topics are top of mind for consumers.
A search for ‘Formula 1 rules’ on Google Trends, shows that interest in this area is the highest it’s ever been, due to new rules and regulations bought in for this season. Red Bull has created an incredibly powerful video explaining the new Formula 1 2014 rules. This video has extremely high production values and the benefit to Red Bull is clear with over 2.4 million views to date.
Other types of content a Formula 1 team may decide to create could include: behind the scenes footage, interviews with the drivers, making of the car, how to’s, and so on.
Right to play
What Red Bull does well is fully investing in an area (in excess of $1.2 billion invested into Formula 1 to date), they have a genuine ‘right to play’ in that space and are fully committed to deliver success in that area. They understand what audiences want to watch and they execute it incredibly well, often with very high production values (and costs!).
This same approach could be applied to most brands. Marketers need to shift their mindset from a traditional broadcast to a modern, content led strategy. Video has a huge potential for all brands – large or small – they just need to stop and think what could their Formula 1 content be. All brands have an opportunity to create interesting and rewarding content that audiences will actually want to consume.
Brands don’t have to investment millions into buying and maintaining a Formula 1 team; they need a clearly defined, insight based, content strategy with online video at its heart.
Turbo charge your marketing with online video to ensure your brand secures pole position.