It may come as no surprise that my 18-year-old daughter is the main culprit for repeatedly dominating or exhausting our family-shared online data plan each month, largely as a result of her obsession with watching Vine, a video-sharing app on her smartphone. She finds these six-second snippets of footage quite entertaining. What she deems hilarious, however, doesn’t always translate for me as she tries relentlessly to engage me to watch right alongside her.
My other daughter, nearing 30, is much more captivated with heart-wrenching YouTube videos, often texting me links to watch or sharing them with me on my Facebook page. She knows I’m a sucker for feel-good videos that tug at the heartstrings.
As for me, my virtual world is dominated with digital media distributed by companies like Lowe’s, Target or Better Homes & Gardens, providing me with how-to’s on a variety of topics. Of late, I’ve watched a video on how to create “1-minute mug cakes in the microwave” and another on “tablescaping for the holidays.” You can bet, if I encounter a how-to video on my Facebook timeline, I’m busy clicking on it and investing up to five or six minutes of my time digesting this online material.
My girls and I are simply a reflection of an increasing trend among adults, young and old alike, who are embracing original digital video, preferring it over TV news, sports and daytime programming, according to a “2014 Original Digital Video Study” by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). The study also revealed that more than one in five (22%) American adults watch original digital video each month, bringing the audience to 52 million per month. With such an incredible audience exploring cyberspace, major brands and agencies have quickly discovered the enormous need to boost digital marketing budgets, or in some cases shift entire ad-spending budgets to digital. Denver-based sandwich shop, Quiznos, did just that. The company abandoned its traditional TV marketing in 2014 and upped their digital ad spending to create original video content for YouTube and its own website, toasty.tv. While TV ads continue to hold the biggest chunk of the advertising budget for most brands, eMarketer predicts digital ad spending will continue to grow as more and more brands try to meet consumer demands and trends.
Social media platforms are proving to be the rock on which to build a solid marketing campaign, as online users gravitate there to share texts, pictures and videos. Major brands and marketing companies would be remiss and derelict if they didn’t find a way to capitalize on that revelation. Companies like Allstate Corp, Target, Lowe’s and Mondelez International (representing brands like Oreo, Cadbury and Nabisco) are emerging as standouts in the digital marketing arena. Social media giant, Facebook, is in a key position to reap the benefits of those brands seeking to enjoy a slice of the digital pie. Facebook is planning to charge advertisers up to 2.5 million dollars for a video ad spanning 15 seconds, according to an article by BusinessInsider.com.
It will certainly require brands to solicit creative social media strategists in order to edge out the competition in this virtual world. Social media manager positions for big companies are on the upswing, indicative of this shift toward digital marketing. Innovative and captivating social media campaigns will be essential.
Lowe’s recent Black Friday campaign, which appeared on Vine, is a perfect example on how to perform effectively for the online consumer, banking on just six seconds with a continuous loop to ensnare, entertain and inspire to buy. Or if I’m spectating, give me six minutes in a how-to video and you will have done your job effectively as well.
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Elaine Veltri — Editor/Writer