Everlasting Life

The sad fact is that all ads die.

Just like plants, animals, and radioactive elements, ads decay over time and eventually cease to function. This decay curve, also known as wear-out or ad fatigue, generally tends to look something like this, no matter what the underlying asset type, industry or format in question is. T varies, as does the slope of the decay, but the curve is the curve.

decay-curve-standard-vidmob-agile-creative-suite

In bad news for marketers, T has begun to shrink over the past year as consumers seem to be growing less tolerant of seeing the same ad too many times. When coupled with the already expanding array of platforms, formats, and personalization requirements of targeted advertising, this is placing an increased burden on marketers of all sizes.

The good news is that at least marketers have real-time visibility into their progress along that curve. Whether it’s within media buying software, in tools like Google Analytics or Facebook Power Editor, or in 3rd party analytics platforms, performance data is available in abundance. No matter what KPI you’re tracking, you can track every single campaign as it moves along the curve, and know exactly when it crosses critical return thresholds.

Data is not the problem.

But when it comes to video, acting on that data is often impossible. If it takes two to four weeks to turn around new creative, by the time you get new assets it is usually too late. Being ‘of the moment’ is more important than ever today. Remember the Olympics? Vaguely? Well, that was 10 days ago.

Similarly, if it costs tens of thousands of dollars to rapidly turn around a testable array of fresh creative options, the cost/benefit of doing so is murky at best. In both cases, with no good alternatives, marketers have been forced to simply hope T is as long as possible and ride the curve straight down to the bottom.

At VidMob, we’ve been paying close attention to this problem and have been working with our clients and partners to craft what we hope will be a game-changing solution for marketers of all sizes. In essence, the solution we’ve been building focuses on making it both easy and cost-effective to generate testable arrays of new, custom creative in near real-time, as informed by the available data. We call it the Agile Creative Suite (TM).

Here are three of the key technical components that make the Agile Creative Process work so seamlessly:

1.   Where your media is matters. 

We learned from talking to many of our clients that management of their library content was a severe point of friction. Even if they could find a legacy asset, all they usually had was the finished final draft. The raw assets and the associated edit files for the projects were almost never accessible, which meant that even the smallest change required them to basically start from scratch. We solved this by offering a service to our enterprise clients where we archive ALL of the associated media for every project. The final videos, sure. But also all of the raw files, the edit files, the communication trails, etc. In doing so, we make asset libraries infinitely more valuable for our clients, by reducing both the cost and friction associated with any media optimization.

 2.   Duplicate your project, not your workload.

Next, we learned that our clients were basically just like us. They hated replicating work. Loading up a brief that had already been communicated, and re-treading conversations that had already been discussed simply annoyed people. So we built a single-click mechanism to duplicate any existing project. Doing so creates a new project that preserves all of the old media assets, the communication trails, and everything else. Instantly, you’re ready to begin work and the project is already 95 yards down the field.

 3.   Single click publishing into all appropriate Ad Accounts. 

The last step is publishing your newly optimized media so that you can instantly start testing them to see which versions to focus your spend on. VidMob’s integrations into the Ad API’s of all of the major platforms make this the simplest part of all.

What all of this means in practice is that by using VidMob’s Agile Creative Suite, our clients are able to react to data in ways never before possible. Within hours or a few days (depending upon the urgency), with minimal effort or overhead requirement, clients can create, transfer, and re-publish an array of entirely new creative. In doing so, the age-old decay curve takes on new shape.

new-decay-curve-agile-creative-process-vidmob

What’s interesting about this new curve is that all of the shaded area is performance gain. In fact, because standard decay curves can be estimated with reasonable accuracy, it’s actually relatively easy to calculate just how much gain a marketer experiences through this process. I got kicked in the head a few too many times growing up, so my integral calculus skills aren’t what they were 20 years ago, but I know smarter folks than me can work through this quickly. That said, for decently sized campaigns, this gain can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and for large campaigns, we believe it will save millions.

Perhaps most importantly, we believe that the Agile Creative Process has the potential to, at least in certain instances, help accelerate the changing the nature of online marketing. Arrested decay holds the promise of everlasting life, and as we all move more and more away from campaign-based marketing towards always-on approaches, we’re optimistic that the platform we’re building at VidMob will have a positive role to play in the emerging new world order in which marketers find themselves.

It might not be exactly the immortality solution that Gilgamesh and Ponce de Leon were looking for centuries ago, but, hopefully, it will be a bit more practical for those of us who are okay with growing old but want to build great businesses along the way.

VidMob Selected for Launch of Snap Lens Studio!

For Snapchatters, 2017 was arguably the year of the dancing hotdog. This quirky, fun hotdog quickly won the hearts of users, appearing alongside or as the starring role in hundreds of thousands of snaps.

Between these World Lenses (like the hotdog) and Snap’s Face Lenses (like the fan-favorite puppy dog), Snapchat offers an incredibly unique opportunity for brands to both enter into and interact with their audience in real time. Notably, this ability to seamlessly immerse a brand into a user’s day-to-day communications has a serious impact on brand favorability and affinity—some brands boasting a boost of 19+ and 6+ points respectively.

Which is why, today, we’re so thrilled to announce that VidMob has been selected by Snap to be an expert lens creator as part of the Snap Lens Studio! Only a small handful of agencies and creative platforms were given the distinction, and we are honored to be among them. As an official Snapchat Creative Partner, we’re excited to be at the forefront of this amazing product. Our pool of specially trained AR and 3D specialists are eager to begin creating your brand’s version of the dancing hotdog superstar.

Editing Is the New Coding

One of the first movies that really left a mark on me was WarGames. It was the summer of 1983. I was 8 years old and was already what can probably best be described as “an optimism fundamentalist.”  So, instead of focusing on the dystopian reality that the threat of nuclear holocaust was going to be a permanent cloud over society for the rest of my life, what struck me was the exciting realization that computers were going to play a far bigger role in people’s lives than simply making it easier for them to delete misspelled words in a document.

Even though I was still a decade away from thinking about things like careers and life-callings, I realized then that if I stayed close to technology I would have opportunities to do interesting things in my life.

Across my personal circle of influence, and across the nation writ large, millions of kids were being inspired and directed like me. It would pick up steam in the 90’s as the internet became mainstream, and, for the next 3 decades, the constant theme of advice was that anyone who was interested in technology should consider being an engineer. As communications moved onto computing platforms, the people capable of helping that advancement would never want for work.

In the 80’s, there were only a handful of software engineers in the US. But by 2002, that number had grown to 677,000. By 2013 there were over 1 million. And that figure is expected to continue growing at a rapid pace, with 22% annual growth expected over the next decade. The folks who predicted during my youth that engineers would have a rosy future pretty much nailed it. But labor markets will always evolve, and while many new jobs are being created, others are being eliminated. So my question is this: can we learn from the rise of computer technology and the associated growth in software engineering jobs in order to predict future areas of the economy poised for similarly explosive growth? I believe the answer is yes.

Today, the medium of communication is shifting once again.

For tens of thousands of years, our ancestors communicated verbally. Sure, there were markings and early writings, but the primary thrust of communication was the spoken word. This changed with the advent of print thanks to Gutenberg, and, for over 550 years, text and static imagery have dominated human communication.

It was a good run. But it’s coming to an end.

Everywhere you look, you see screens. Screens at the gas station pump. Screens at the dentist office. Screens in the back of taxi cabs. And, most importantly, screens in your pocket. Increasingly, if a company has something to say, they’re going to say it in video.

How significant is this shift? Well, think of it this way—at the beginning of 2015, there were 50 million companies using Facebook pages. By September of 2016, that number had climbed to over 60 million. That’s 60 million companies choosing to use a platform to communicate with their customers—a platform that is very publicly transitioning to a video network. And as communications, in general, migrate from static means (text and imagery) to moving imagery (video, AR, and VR), those 60 million companies won’t just need a small handful of video advertisements per year. This may have been the case a decade ago for the Fortune 500, but it doesn’t hold anymore. No, they each will need hundreds, if not thousands of videos per year. Remember, it’s not just advertising that’s changing. It is all communications.

But here’s the kicker as it relates to job creation in this field. We are simultaneously shifting from a world where scarcity ruled in video content to an era of abundance. It wasn’t long ago that distribution was choked, and where it was available, it came with costs. Channels were relatively finite. As a result, quality demands were forgiving. If you had distribution, you basically just needed to fill the pipe. Today, video exists in abundance. Distribution is effectively free and infinitely scalable.

Now, more than ever, quality matters when it comes to video communications.

If you’ve ever read a script created by an algorithm or watched editorial pieces made by any of the myriad algorithmic editing tools, you’ll realize that we’re still a very long way away from having emotive communications created by anything other than a human being. So, if the communications have to be good in order to be effective, and to do so means that they have to be made by people, just how many jobs are we talking about creating?

Between advertising, hiring, internal communications, and general social marketing, I’m going to assume that the average company will need 10 videos per year. Keep in mind that many companies will need literally thousands of pieces of video content—social advertising is quickly evolving into a model where companies should never create a single ad, but rather create many ads and test them all (more on this in another post soon). But if you assume 10 as a good blended average, that means 600 million pieces of video content will need to be created per year in the near future. If the average creative can make 5 pieces of quality video content per week, that means over 2.3 million editors will be needed to service this coming demand, just from the companies that are currently on Facebook. You can quibble with me over the exact numbers, but not the scope and scale of the coming video revolution.

As with coding, there will be a wide range of job types and compensation structures that come along with this era of scaled video production. But make no mistake about it, in an environment of abundant video, the folks who can create emotionally resonant moving communications will be in high demand, and they will be well-paid by any standards.

Does this mean that engineers won’t be needed in the future? Of course not. All of the key disciplines associated with creating and maintaining the technology that forms such an important part of our personal and professional lives will remain attractive careers for many.

 

But when you hear people complain that technology is taking away all of our jobs, know that this is no truer today than it was when the same fear was voiced during the Industrial Revolution, or in the early days of the computer age for that matter.

The need for people who can create quality video communications will grow dramatically in the next few decades. Guidance counselors of today can still push certain kids into considering engineering paths. But for countless others who thrive on creativity, who understand communication at its root level, and who have a knack for visual storytelling, a huge new window of opportunity is about to open up. And when we say we’re out to create a million jobs, you better believe we mean it.

Highlights from Our Creator Meet & Greet in LA

Earlier this week we invited a group of our LA-based creators to swing by our new office in West Hollywood and get to know some of the VidMob team. We feasted on hearty barbeque and sipped on cocktails, as we learned more about the talented people that make up our community.

We were blown away by the enthusiasm and above-and-beyond dedication of our creators. Their excitement and passion for what we’re building, their insights for how to grow the platform, and their down-for-anything hustle meant so much to hear in person. We’re so lucky to have them on our team!

It was also great to see both old and new faces alike—from those that have been with us from the very start and those who’ve recently joined the ranks. Providing an opportunity for our creators to meet in person and get to know one another was a fantastic way to not only learn more about the similarities and differences, but also to foster our growing creator community.

Even VidMob West’s office pup, Burt, got in on the action.

Many thanks to all who attended! We feel so lucky and energized after meeting with our community. We learned a great deal by getting everyone together to share their stories, discuss how they use the platform, and get to know one another. We can’t wait to announce some of the exciting updates we have coming your way as a result of this event, and we look forward to hosting our next meet-and-greet!

Stay tuned for our next creator mixer, which will be held at our headquarters in NYC. Want to attend? Reach out to us at support@vidmob.com to get on the invite list and receive event updates. 

Create & Run Audience Filters on Snapchat

You’re likely familiar with the fun, captivating filters Snapchatters love to overlay on their selfies and snaps. These filters vary daily—most prolifically with the changing seasons, big holidays, or by city and location. They’re part of what makes Snapchat a standout social media platform and are iconic of the Snap experience, allowing users an additional layer of personalization and play in their day-to-day communications.

example-snap-audience-filter

Previously, brands could tap into this play by creating Geofilters, accessible by Snapchatters in a fenced location. Now, Snapchat has expanded their targeting capabilities, allowing brands to create filters tailored to a specific audience no matter their location—which is huge. Now, brands can guarantee their message is seen only by their intended audience. Win!

So how do you get your Snapchat audience to start snapping with your filter? Well, first you’ll need to create one. (If you have something designed and ready to rock, skip ahead to the “Deploy Your Filter on Snapchat with VidMob”)

Connect with One of VidMob’s Snapchat Specialists

Snapchat named us a Creative Partner because they trust in the quality of work our creators consistently produce. Our Snapchat specialists can design your custom filter in a matter of days—or even hours if you’ve got a particularly tight deadline.

create-snap-filters-vidmob

Already have a few assets you think could work? Send it to one of our creators for the finishing touches so it’s approve-ready in a flash.

Deploy Your Filter on Snapchat with VidMob

Ready for Snapchatters to start playing with your filter? Head over to our Snapchat Manager to launch your new filter into the Snapchat ether. From there, you can track your filter’s performance and compare it to others within your larger media strategy—making adjustments to budget as necessary.

snap-ad-manager

It’s that simple. Let VidMob be your one-stop shop for creating and running timely, magnetic filters your fans will love to snap.

Chat Upgrades & Real-Time Project Updates Now Live!

Another week, another set of exciting new features and updates! Ready to jump in and see what’s new?

Chat Gets a Fresh Spin

We’ve added a few features that will help you expedite the collaboration process—like the ability to include attachments within a chat and to tag fellow collaborators:

Add Attachments to Chat

Having a tangible reference when providing direction or feedback is a must-have for successful collaboration. Sometimes, that’s re-sharing a brief or attaching a reference visual. Other times, it’s providing edits to a script or a supplying a new music file.

Whatever your needs, we’ve made it easy to attach media files directly into chat—so when you’re referencing a clip you’d like to use for the opening, you can drop it right into the conversation.

User Mentions

We all miss messages here and there. And if you’re involved in a particularly busy project (we’re talking lots of chats, feedback, notifications, etc.), it can be all too easy to miss your most important notes. In order to help solve for this, you can now tag your collaborators with an @mention to ensure they get notified on chats that’ll benefit from their input.

Bonus!

You might have noticed that VidMob’s Chat has bit of a different vibe. We swapped the soft grey background for a stormy, more serious shade to really make the text pop for easy reading.

Real-Time Project Updates

When you’re logged into VidMob, you’ll now have instant visibility into your project and team’s activity. So when changes happen, you’ll be able to track and respond to them in real time.

Activity Feed

Keep track of what your team is up to on VidMob in real time.

Chat Alerts

Receive chat notifications the minute they’re delivered.

Project Status

The state of your project will automatically update in your left-hand nav as you and your team progress through project creation.

Excited about these updates? Let us know what you think or, better yet, write to us with your ideas for the next new feature!

 

A New Way to “Create a Project” and Other New Feature Updates

As VidMob grows and evolves, so too does our platform. With every new hire, every new partnership, and every new innovation in video our menu of services continues to expand.

Today, we’re excited to make a few product announcements. If you’re pressed for time, here’s one line that sums it all up: we’ve made it faster and easier to create new video projects, add media files, and publish directly to social channels.

If you have 30 spare seconds, read on to earn bragging rights for knowing more than your colleagues do about VidMob.

Your New Project Create Flow

We’ve built a better way for you to jumpstart your projects by simplifying how it’s done.

Now, when you log into VidMob, tell us what kind of project you’d like to make and you’re off to the races. We’ve made it easier to get specific with your video creator on which social ad formats you need, how many you need, and how quickly you need them.


Pro tip: Create a lot, learn what works best, then invest media dollars on the winning creative. Choose the VidMob Intelligent Testing Package to let your video creator know you want multiple ad versions to test. S/he will proactively recommend creative versions based on channel expertise.

One more thing! You can now upload customized briefs instead of entering project details manually.

Log in to VidMob and give the new project create flow a test drive. We’d love to get your thoughts!
**Note: This new flow currently applies only to the Social or Digital Ad type. We’ll be launching updates to our other video offerings in the near future! Stay tuned.

Organize and Delete Multiple Files at Once

By popular demand, we’ve made it a cinch to organize and reorganize your project media. Select multiple files at once in order to relocate to other folders or mass delete in one fell swoop. Simple as that.

The Project Share Page Gets a New Look & More Apps

When you click on the “Share” button after finalizing a draft, you’ll now see a heartier list of social accounts and storage platforms to select from. Depending on which platform(s) you choose to share to, you can either save and store your new video for later, push live to your favorite video hosting site, or even publish directly to your social ad accounts to instantly kickstart campaigns.

Thanks for taking the time to check out what’s new here at VidMob. Have a great idea to make VidMob next-level? Don’t hold back—we’re all ears!

PS: A whopping round of applause to our dev team for pushing these updates in near-record time. How lucky we are! Want to join this insanely talented group of tech superstars? We’re hiring.