Celebrating Social Media Day with Mashable

In 2010, Mashable declared June 30th Social Media Day. In true social fashion (because social media never sleeps), Mashable launched this year’s celebration with a fully-curated, jam-packed 27 hours of live talks with industry leaders and influencers from every corner of the social media world.

VidMob was thrilled to have our very own Stephanie Bohn kick off 2018’s #SMDay with a discussion on the dramatic shifts we’re seeing as more and more platforms prioritize video, and why brands need to focus their attention on developing highly personalized, quality creative now more than ever.

To see Bohn’s full presentation, head on over to Mashable’s #SMDay Facebook page or take a peek at the highlights below:

We all know social video is quickly becoming
the way the world communicates…

but with over 50 different social ad types available,
it can be confusing to know where to start.

Especially if you still approach advertising like Don Draper…

In today’s world, you need more than just amazing creative–you need
amazing creative that’s tailored to your target individual.

So, with over 50 ad types and a need for fully custom creative,
how are brands supposed to keep up?

Start here,

always keep this top of mind,

and make sure to gather insights
that you can actually use. Because…

Find out if your data is telling you what you need to know.
Or let our Agile Creative Studio do it for you.

No stress. We got you.

Sir Martin Eyes a Comeback

Ever the overachiever, Adweek reported yesterday that Sir Martin Sorrell is eyeing a comeback. In roughly the same amount of time it takes to set up a service call with your cable operator, Sir Martin has seemingly been able to extricate himself from the old agency model with sufficient distance to be able to proclaim that he “can see much more clearly” where the traditional advertising model’s strengths and weaknesses lie. His new agency, presumably, will focus on the former and eliminate the latter. I couldn’t help but chuckle as I read this, and all I could think of was the famous horror scene from When a Stranger Calls where the protagonist is alerted that the results of the trace are in, and “the call is coming from inside your house.” Queue the terrifying music. All due respect to Sir Martin, but his £70 million salary and everything that it represents IS the weakness.

At VidMob, we’ve had a front-row seat to the struggle between the old agency model and the new agency model that is rapidly emerging in its place. And make no mistake about it, struggle is the operative word. The old model was great for certain audiences (Sir Martin) and not so great for other audiences (everyone else—clients and employees alike). But when the people in charge are vested in the current system, innovation is hard to come by.

So we knuckled down and started building a path to a new model, one that we believed would be better for all involved. We believed, and still believe to this day, that VidMob can be a powerful platform for agencies to more efficiently produce certain pieces of marketing content for their clients. We are not a good fit to make Super Bowl ads, but as companies shift from needing a few pieces of video per year to now needing many thousands of pieces, VidMob is a good fit for a surprisingly large percentage of that new content need. And since we tend to do it for a fraction of the cost, and in a fraction of the time, we figured that if we could just explain how it works to potential agency partners, they would adopt VidMob as one of the tools in their arsenal to help deliver better services to their clients. When we heard that many digital campaigns were severely limited by the paucity of assets created specifically for digital channels, and how much agencies struggled in creating the wide array of custom formats needed to get the most out of these powerful (and increasingly important) channels, that only served to further our optimism about the fit. After all, more efficient production means more content, more agency ideas coming to life, better campaign performance and an overall better return on client’s marketing investment. It’s a win-win-win. What could stand in the way?

It turns out the answer is ‘a lot.’ The most common response we heard from the old agency set was that their production groups really liked using their traditional methods because they got really nice lunches on post-production days and it meant being out of the office all day—sort of like a vacation.

The first time I heard this I couldn’t believe the person who said it still had a job. The 30th time I heard it, I couldn’t believe the industry still existed.

Needless to say, this type of client-last thinking has strained the relationships between a lot of top brands and their old agencies. It seems like the wave of brands cutting, or severely limiting the scope of their relationship with their old agencies is growing by the day. Just in the last few weeks, we’ve seen announcements like this one from Chobani, from a host of other companies including, P&G, Unilever, Pepsi, ABI, Diageo, L’Oreal, Wayfair, Allstate, StubHub, Sprint, Booking.com, Starbucks, and BMW.

They say that necessity is the mother of all invention, and as the wave of brand in-housing of creative grows, we’ve seen an acceleration in the development of new agency models. I’ll have more to say about this in the coming weeks, specifically as it relates to how VidMob can function as a sort of operating system for this new client-first agency model, but suffice it to say that the new system reverses the priorities.

The companies that will be relevant and thrive in the new agency world will be those that are quickest to come to terms with and address these 4 realities.

1. Production — Agencies are not and cannot be scaled for production in today’s multi-platform, always-on, always-innovating mobile social ecosystem. The “produce only the great TV commercial model” doesn’t scale in a mobile social-ecosystem that requires multiple adaptations on a theme, and when the cultural moments that brands must respond to pass in days or hours, not weeks or months. Adapting to the new production reality means finding creative ways to expand the supply chain.

2. Platforms — For most emerging consumer groups, not only is TV watching down, but their gateway to mobile or digital is through apps, like Facebook, Snapchat, or Instagram not a browser on the web. New agencies will re-think their over-reliance on cheap, easy programmatic advertising and convenient display ads and move to and understand the platforms and formats their audiences engage with.

3. Performance — Loose proxies for performance, like a gut reaction or reach and frequency, no longer suffice. Today’s CMOs are data-focused both pre- and post- production. Relevant and successful agencies will be those that integrate rigorous multivariate (not just A/B) testing and an unwavering focus on actionable insights, driven by deep learning.

4. People — Consumers are (geographically) everywhere, as are brands. The old agency model placed a premium on geographic location—to participate in the old agency creative process, being geographically located in New York, Chicago, or LA was a prerequisite. New agencies will leverage networks of creative which lets the best idea and execution/ not just the best location/ win.

The mythic marble offices in the Madison Avenue skyscraper may be depowered in the new agency model, as well as a thousand other extravagances—including those special sushi lunches at the production offices. It won’t be great for those things and it won’t be great for a handful of people—their £70 million salaries probably won’t be part of the new agency model.

But it will be great for all of the other employees, and most of all, it will be great for marketers.

View story at Medium.com

More Free Stock Content Available on VidMob. We <3 Unsplash!

Thanks to resources like Unsplash, finding beautiful and authentic stock content is as easy as a quick keyword search. For brands in a pinch, good stock can help bring to life stunning creative ideas without the hassle, time, and cost of traditional production. It’s why brands as big as Apple and artists as small indie filmmakers consistently rely on it—utilizing stock is super efficient and the possibilities are endless (see below for ideas!).

Which is why we’re thrilled to expand our VidMob Stock Library offering with our new content partner, Unsplash. We are big fans of Unsplash, their talented community of professional photographers, and their artfully curated collections of emotive and powerful imagery. The best part? All Unsplash content is free to use in any of your VidMob projects.

IDEAS FOR USING UNSPLASH IN YOUR VIDMOB PROJECTS:

There are so many ways to bring motion to still imagery—with a little graphic massaging from a talented VidMob Creator, any asset can become compelling video content. Here are a few of our favorite ways to transform beautiful photos into even better video:

1. Cinemagraphs
Isolating movement to a specific element in the visual, i.e. a steaming coffee cup, a running waterfall, or passing traffic. In a cinemagraph, the rest of the visual is still while the isolated element repeats movement on a loop, similar to a GIF.

2. Animations
Adding an animated effect, like writing in script or a butterfly that floats into and off the frame, allows for the still to feel like a backdrop to whatever animation you add on top.

3. Parallax Effect
Separating the foreground and the background of an image gives it a three-dimensional feel, adding depth. Combined with a zoom or pan effect, it makes the still come alive.

HOW TO ACCESS UNSPLASH IN VIDMOB’S STOCK LIBRARY:

  • Click the “More” button at Media Selection to reveal the drop-down menu.
  • Select “Stock Content” to see our library’s home page.
  • Enter a keyword that represents what you’re looking for.
  • Filter results by “Client Cost” to preview our complimentary media selections, like those from Unsplash.

FOR A MORE IN-DEPTH REFRESHER ON OUR STOCK LIBRARY AND HOW TO ACCESS ALL THE EXCITING CONTENT FROM OUR PARTNERS, CLICK HERE.

Have questions? Reach out to us at support@vidmob.com. We’re always here for you!

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.