Make brand partnerships with relevant vloggers a priority for viable product categories. Encourage influencers to be more transparent with their audience by clearly saying they have been given free merchandise to try but the opinion is their own. Also look for product placements within pay-walled content
Seek opportunities across social channels including Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram, to get your audience making the content they love making – for you. Look for ways to encourage real, positive reviews as part of your digital marketing plan. For example, an option to leave a review at the shopping cart stage could appear for repeat buyers using retargeting technology. This would capture reviews from people who you know like your product.
Brands should look to partner with Oculus Rift and target relevant ads towards gamers. Tourism bodies and travel brands should collaborate with airlines to give passengers immersive destination experiences, via wearables in-flight. For example, Qantas showed 360 videos of Hamilton Island to first class passengers in April 2015.
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As a sure-fire way to monetise content in a more aggressive ad-blocker landscape, pay walls are increasingly adopted by content providers. Kim, Khloe, Kendall and Kyle launched their apps this year, with Kylie Jenner’s offering quickly reaching #1 in the app store. Fans pay $2.29 for monthly access to video content including beauty and fashion tips, exclusive clips of Kylie spending time with friends, as well as access to the soundtrack of her life via Kylie radio.
No traditional advertising is required and lucrative product placement abounds. If this is successful we can expect to see more celebrities, influencers and publishers doing getting involved – it also has the added benefit of giving them total control.
Needless to say, it will supplement rather than replace other content channels. YouTube Red is $10 a month subscription for users and includes no ads. Subscribing to content will be a natural progression in a post ad-blocker space.
This year there will be a closer relationship between what consumers think of a brand and what brands encourage consumers to say about them. For example, some brands are leveraging geotags on Snapchat to encourage users to create imagery featuring themselves + the brand. This is then shared with their social circles. As more people are persuaded by their friends than by advertisements or strangers, this is a strong way to influence awareness and sentiment.
On top this, since over half of social media users read reviews before making a purchase, we will see more sites having dynamic review feeds built-in with options to leave a review and encouragement to make it a positive one.
More brands will use 360 videos to demonstrate their product offering and/or to provide an immersive experience for their audiences. These will be promoted via YouTube TrueView and will take off with travel providers, tourism bodies and car manufacturers.
This means the utilisation of wearable technology will also increase – whether this means inviting shoppers to experience a new place via Google cardboard as part of a low-cost experiential campaign, or inviting participants to experience a pro-skateboarding or Game of Thrones experience via Oculus Rift – as was seen at the Oculus Connect conference in Sept 2015. It is likely that we’ll see targeted virtual reality ads shown to Oculus Rift gamers in 2016.
Influencers are increasingly using video content across their blogs and social channels to build a closer relationship with audiences. For example, Kylie Jenner often shares 10-15 second clips, saying “hi” via Instagram and Snapchat.
Simplified videos in the form of gifs are being rolled out by Facebook as gif profile pics for certain iOS mobile users, and Apple has added them as Live Photos on the iPhone 6s. Younger Gen Xers are likely to create and share amusing or glamourous selfie gifs. We predict that Instagram will at least trial gifs in 2016 and further brand opportunities are sure to unfold.
Late 2015 also saw YouTube stars such as beauty vlogger Lauren Curtis featured in OOH campaigns as they seek to expand their audience (and product placement revenue) further.
The consumer benefits of this are around authenticity and utility, which is what will propel their popularity in 2106. A product feature in a beauty tutorial is arguably more effective than traditional media, since demonstrates what can really be achieved.
With that said, as this medium continues to grow, the commercialised nature of vlogging is likely to become more apparent. This is particularly true for digital natives who may start to question authenticity.