Video is now the go-to content format for many brands, but William Grant & Sons Global Senior Content and Connections Manager Cathal Gillen believes marketers sometimes “over-invest” in the production of creative clips without considering whether it is beneficial for the business in terms of ROI and engagement.
In a new interview with marketing news website The Drum, Gillen claims he has seen first-hand how brands and ad agencies often divert a huge percentage of their media spend to video. While he agrees video can play a role in successful content campaigns, he believes other, more viable formats are often overlooked in the process.
He said: “Videos only go viral occasionally and there has to be budget to amplify it to get the right reach for your video content.” Going viral also seems an outdated concept in an age where consumers are looking for brands to serve up more personalised, informative and educational content, which actually adds value to their own lives.
Gillen continued by urging brands to recognise just how invested they are in media and social giants, such as Google, as a lack of alternative outlets for content could potentially have its downsides in the long run. He added: “We have to be really cautious towards the big channels. So much of the revenue and budgets are going into Facebook and Google. It is important to be really mindful about the power they bear on us. Martin Sorrell calls them ‘frenemies’.”
Finally, Gillen touched on the ongoing issue of transparency and metrics. He believes brands must do everything they can to measure effectiveness to ensure they are not wasting time or money on ineffective platforms and content formats, though he admits it can be challenging due to the statistics served up on social platforms.
He said: “When we look at impression numbers and reach numbers, we try to see how people have been impacted. You might have reached 10 million people but, how many people have viewed it? With Facebook, if you’ve been counted in as three seconds, is that good for you? Probably not. But if the view is something like 20 seconds out of 30 seconds in video then that’s potentially good.”
Video has been central to content campaigns for some time now, but last year saw the arrival of another major marketing trend: influencers. Contiki Social Media and Influencer Manager Natalie Siagian revealed in late January how the use of celebrities and other high-profile figures who have access to large audiences should not be seen as a silver bullet for engagement success.
There are around 500 million tweets posted every single day, so the scope for a targeted influencer campaign is considerable, but Siagian said it should never be a substitute for high-quality, relevant content. She added: “If you are looking at influencers to solve all your problems, that’s not going to happen. But if you are looking at influencers to communicate a message to reach a new audience, you must make sure you’re being smart about it.”