As we kick off 2016 the tech world is filled with predictions about what we should expect to see this year. Is this the year “Wearbles” come front and center. Will the launch of Oculus Rift kickstart the Virtual Reality interest? One thing is certain, when it comes to Advertising, specifically Online Advertising, I am proclaiming it the year of Content Marketing! Yes, Content Marketing has been a hot topic for the last few years. Simply go on Twitter and search #contentmarketing. You will be surprised to see how many individuals are talking about this topic. As millenials use social applications in record numbers, companies can no longer ignore how essential content marketing will be, as part of their advertising strategy this year and in the future. Listening to the PNR Podcast by Pulizzi and Rose last week, I started thinking about the importance of Content Marketing and how it has evolved the last few years. When did it actually become a thing? Who came up with such a concept. Taking subtle content and strategically placing in front of people for them to consume and potentially react. Believe it or not, it brought me back to a Grade 9 Biology Class. Who says what you learn in High School won’t be used in the real world? This is when I had my “Flux Capacitor” Moment. (for those who don’t know…… that’s a Back to the Future reference) For those who don’t know what I am talking the bottom of this blog contains a video which will explain it 🙂
Allow me to explain my “Flux Capacitor” moment. I remembered a story my grade 9 teacher once told me. For those historians out there, some may recall the famous James Vicary. James was a market researcher best known for pioneering the concept of subliminal advertising with an experiment in 1957. He is most famous for having perpetrated a fraudulent subliminal advertising study in 1957. In it, he claimed that an experiment in which moviegoers were repeatedly shown 1/3000-second advertisements for Coca-Cola and popcorn significantly increased product sales. Although his most famous experiment was never proven and even claimed to be fraudulent, the techniques used in that study carried on for years and in my opinion are very similar to how social media and advertising relate today.
Rather than list every social network out there, just pick 1 or 2 you are familiar with and use it as an example as I back up my claims. For my example, I will use Instagram. Instagram is rather simplistic in its concept. Individuals or corporations post pictures and short videos reflecting their products / services in the hopes that their followers see the ad and act on it. Now this is where the correlation is extremely similar. Action from Instagram is rather limited like many social networks. Followers can fumble their way around and potentially click on a link which would bring them to the company website. Let’s be honest. As you browse through your feed, how often are you compelled to stop and click on link. Too many pictures, too many videos. Imagine stopping for each one. Nonetheless, I have seen many brands on Instagram leveraging account feeds from individuals and their own corporate account to continuously propagate their product or service. Now this is Content Marketing at its best. Whether the product is front and center or strategically placed in the Ad, the importance of content marketing is Market Now and Market Often. Now you might argue that 1 picture or short video is not enough to persuade someone to go out and buy the product. However if you see the product enough times in a subtle manner, the brain will soon more likely remember the brand name and action on it at a later time. This is a prime example of how Content Marketing has had an effect on me. In the picture below, you see how Shredz has mastered the Instagram Marketing. You will find thousands of similar pictures where Shredz products are strategically placed in the frame. Not only does Shredz market their own product, however many individuals across Instagram are helping the cause like Jessica.
Many people may say that social feeds, whether they be Instagram, Facebook or any other are just like any other Billboard we see on a busy highway. This is where I believe they are very different. Social Feeds are still available even after you pass them by. Billboards are not. Pictures and videos can be shared with friends. I would be difficult trying to carry a billboard to your friend’s house. Get my point? The Social Stream has become the single most effective way of advertising your product or service in 2016. As millenials continue to rapidly adopt more social platforms, companies have NO CHOICE but to consider social content marketing in their advertising options.
Although James Vicary’s experiment was never proven, he realized almost 60 years ago that if you put an image in front of someone enough times, your message might just get across. 2016 is the year of Content Marketing!
Find out below how the Flux Capacitor was created……..