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Award-Winning Video Storytelling Lessons | Content Marketing Institute

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Award-Winning Video Storytelling Lessons | Content Marketing Institute

Few shared experiences possess the emotional resonance and universal relatability as the one embodied by this question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

It served as a tentpole for Purdue University’s student recruitment marketing through a video that illustrates one ambitious person’s vision of their journey – with Purdue playing a pivotal role at every step.

The video achieved notable success against the institution’s marketing goals. It also won the 2023 Content Marketing Award for Best Motivational Video/Video series and was named a Project of the Year finalist.

What do you want to be when you grow up? The ubiquitous question inspired @LifeAtPurdue to create an award-winning video via @Joderama @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Let’s explore the vision behind this visual content hit and how it contributed to impressive marketing results for the brand.  

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What Can You Imagine at Purdue?

The video – What Can You Imagine at Purdue? – captures the essence of the university’s message: “The only barriers to what you can achieve should be the limits of your imagination.”

In the video, a young Black girl wonders aloud about what she’s going to do when she grows up. As her father braids her hair, he replies, “Whatever you can imagine.” Then, he covers her eyes and asks what she sees for her life.

Viewers glimpse her desired future and all the milestones she’ll reach along the way. The visuals and voiceover relate to the story of her dreams of building robots at Purdue Polytechnic High School, going to Purdue University, and exploring her passions through extracurricular activities and on-campus communities.

She relates her vision to that of her father, who’s earning his degree at Purdue Global (the institution’s online university for working adults). At the end of the video, this proud father asks his daughter what she’ll do from there. Her answer: “Whatever I want.”

4 lessons on video content marketing success

Purdue’s video storytelling teaches important lessons – ones your brand can follow on its path to marketing success.

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Align content with core brand values

In an interview with the Content Marketing Institute, R. Ethan Braden, Purdue’s executive vice president and chief marketing and communications officer, says his team crafted the story around core tenets of Purdue’s brand essence – ‘persistent innovation together’.

  • Persistent: The central character works on a challenging project in a Purdue classroom. Her father asks what she’ll do if she doesn’t succeed at first. Her answer: “I’ll try again, and again, and again …” That message is reinforced as viewers see her troubleshoot her experiment and, ultimately, make a breakthrough.
  • Innovation: The girl mentions career possibilities in rocket science and computer science. That emphasizes Purdue’s curricula in those fields of study while modeling available opportunities for women who want to pursue career education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
  • Together: Purdue sees success as achieved through collaborative – not competitive – efforts. This concept is reinforced through the girl’s vision of meeting other students on campus, making memories with friends, and enjoying time with her peers in the Purdue student community.

@LifeAtPurdue crafted its No. 1 video message around the brand’s core tenets – persistent innovation together, says @REthanBraden via @Joderama @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

A clip showing the girl’s father logging into an online portal to receive his assignments as a student at Purdue Global connects the story to the brand’s commitment to making higher education accessible to all, including adults furthering their education while remaining in the workforce.

Purdue’s video smartly communicates how offerings like Purdue Global make higher education more universally attainable, regardless of their stage of life, economic circumstances, or scheduling needs.

It’s also worth noting that the video features a Black family, given the systemic disadvantages experienced by people of color that may affect their vision of college. “We wanted to tell that story with asset framing, through that lens of a little African American girl and her father, and we wanted to really get it right,” Ethan says.

Enchant your audience with emotive storytelling

Ethan says enchanting Purdue’s target audiences is his team’s sole goal for content creation. “It’s to rouse them and attract their ecstatic admiration and demand for Purdue, whatever that means in that moment.”

The video achieves this with its relatable theme of dreaming of the future. Emotive experiences reinforce that message – a father helping his daughter prepare for school and a student exploring her passions and building friendships.  

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Ethan notes those details inspired viewers to comment: “You know when he’s braiding her hair? I teared up because that was authentic,” and “I’ve never heard of Purdue before, and now I wanna go there.”

This evidence indicates his team hit on the right emotions and insights to expand audience awareness, interest, and consideration of Purdue.

Through a terrific product and content efforts like this, Ethan says Purdue has seen a 30% increase in its student body over 10 years, and applications have doubled in the last five years.

Applications to @LifeAtPurdue doubled in the last five years thanks in part to its inspiring and motivational #ContentMarketing, says @REthanBraden via @Joderama @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Show how your experiences connect

Brands need a clear content marketing strategy to guide their customers through all the stages of their buyer’s journey. Purdue’s video takes viewers through an aspiring student’s personal journey – one that highlights the Purdue portfolio of offerings and the institution’s various pre-college, online, and extracurricular offerings.

The Purdue team deliberately emphasized how its experiences connect under a broad portfolio of educational products. Ethan says this distinguishes Purdue’s content from standard university marketing focusing on a single institution.

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“We wanted you to see her go to high school. We wanted you to see her aim for Purdue,” Ethan says. “We wanted you to see her father going to Purdue Global and achieving his degree as a working adult, and how those [experiences] stitched together [as part of the] Purdue portfolio.”

Expand reach with multiplatform distribution

According to Purdue, the video earned more than 28 million views on YouTube, with an astounding 82% view rate. In just 28 days, it became the most-viewed video on the Purdue YouTube channel, besting a video that had earned views for over 15 years.

Those are impressive results for any video asset, let alone a two-minute ad. But Purdue didn’t rely on organic reach alone. The ad gained a big promotional boost in critical visibility moments like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Big 10 championship football game, and the Citrus Bowl.

Ethan says the campaign also involved posts on social media (where it earned 170,000 views and more than 670,000 impressions) and was promoted through award entries, including the Content Marketing Awards.  

The team also invests in socializing its content internally to ensure their organizational stakeholders understand and appreciate the value of content. “We prioritize marketing the marketing so others can see the excellence and expertise of this team and their contributions,” says Ethan, which gives them the buy-in they need to do their jobs to the best of their abilities.

See increased video success in your brand’s future

Purdue’s video ad captured and kept its target audience’s attention. It also ensured more viewers would see the breadth of what Purdue has to offer. So, what can your videos be when they grow up? Let Purdue’s four lessons help you manifest that vision.

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MORE EXAMPLES FROM 2023 PROJECT OF THE YEAR FINALISTS

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute



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Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy

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Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy

Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy

As we march closer to the 2024 U.S. presidential election, CMOs and marketing leaders need to prepare for a significant shift in the digital advertising landscape. Election years have always posed unique challenges for advertisers, but the growing dominance of digital media has made the impact more profound than ever before.

In this article, we’ll explore the key factors that will shape the advertising environment in the coming months and provide actionable insights to help you navigate these turbulent waters.

The Digital Battleground

The rise of cord-cutting and the shift towards digital media consumption have fundamentally altered the advertising landscape in recent years. As traditional TV viewership declines, political campaigns have had to adapt their strategies to reach voters where they are spending their time: on digital platforms.

1713626763 903 Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy1713626763 903 Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy

According to a recent report by eMarketer, the number of cord-cutters in the U.S. is expected to reach 65.1 million by the end of 2023, representing a 6.9% increase from 2022. This trend is projected to continue, with the number of cord-cutters reaching 72.2 million by 2025.

Moreover, a survey conducted by Pew Research Center in 2023 found that 62% of U.S. adults do not have a cable or satellite TV subscription, up from 61% in 2022 and 50% in 2019. This data further underscores the accelerating shift away from traditional TV and towards streaming and digital media platforms.

As these trends continue, political advertisers will have no choice but to follow their audiences to digital channels. In the 2022 midterm elections, digital ad spending by political campaigns reached $1.2 billion, a 50% increase from the 2018 midterms. With the 2024 presidential election on the horizon, this figure is expected to grow exponentially, as campaigns compete for the attention of an increasingly digital-first electorate.

For brands and advertisers, this means that the competition for digital ad space will be fiercer than ever before. As political ad spending continues to migrate to platforms like Meta, YouTube, and connected TV, the cost of advertising will likely surge, making it more challenging for non-political advertisers to reach their target audiences.

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To navigate this complex and constantly evolving landscape, CMOs and their teams will need to be proactive, data-driven, and willing to experiment with new strategies and channels. By staying ahead of the curve and adapting to the changing media consumption habits of their audiences, brands can position themselves for success in the face of the electoral advertising onslaught.

Rising Costs and Limited Inventory

As political advertisers flood the digital market, the cost of advertising is expected to skyrocket. CPMs (cost per thousand impressions) will likely experience a steady climb throughout the year, with significant spikes anticipated in May, as college students come home from school and become more engaged in political conversations, and around major campaign events like presidential debates.

1713626764 529 Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy1713626764 529 Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy

For media buyers and their teams, this means that the tried-and-true strategies of years past may no longer be sufficient. Brands will need to be nimble, adaptable, and willing to explore new tactics to stay ahead of the game.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday: A Perfect Storm

The challenges of election year advertising will be particularly acute during the critical holiday shopping season. Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which have historically been goldmines for advertisers, will be more expensive and competitive than ever in 2024, as they coincide with the final weeks of the presidential campaign.

To avoid being drowned out by the political noise, brands will need to start planning their holiday campaigns earlier than usual. Building up audiences and crafting compelling creative assets well in advance will be essential to success, as will a willingness to explore alternative channels and tactics. Relying on cold audiences come Q4 will lead to exceptionally high costs that may be detrimental to many businesses.

Navigating the Chaos

While the challenges of election year advertising can seem daunting, there are steps that media buyers and their teams can take to mitigate the impact and even thrive in this environment. Here are a few key strategies to keep in mind:

Start early and plan for contingencies: Begin planning your Q3 and Q4 campaigns as early as possible, with a focus on building up your target audiences and developing a robust library of creative assets.

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Be sure to build in contingency budgets to account for potential cost increases, and be prepared to pivot your strategy as the landscape evolves.

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Embrace alternative channels: Consider diversifying your media mix to include channels that may be less impacted by political ad spending, such as influencer marketing, podcast advertising, or sponsored content. Investing in owned media channels, like email marketing and mobile apps, can also provide a direct line to your customers without the need to compete for ad space.

Owned channels will be more important than ever. Use cheaper months leading up to the election to build your email lists and existing customer base so that your BF/CM can leverage your owned channels and warm audiences.

Craft compelling, shareable content: In a crowded and noisy advertising environment, creating content that resonates with your target audience will be more important than ever. Focus on developing authentic, engaging content that aligns with your brand values and speaks directly to your customers’ needs and desires.

By tapping into the power of emotional triggers and social proof, you can create content that not only cuts through the clutter but also inspires organic sharing and amplification.

Reflections

The 2024 election year will undoubtedly bring new challenges and complexities to the world of digital advertising. But by staying informed, adaptable, and strategic in your approach, you can navigate this landscape successfully and even find new opportunities for growth and engagement.

As a media buyer or agnecy, your role in steering your brand through these uncharted waters will be critical. By starting your planning early, embracing alternative channels and tactics, and focusing on creating authentic, resonant content, you can not only survive but thrive in the face of election year disruptions.

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So while the road ahead may be uncertain, one thing is clear: the brands that approach this challenge with creativity, agility, and a steadfast commitment to their customers will be the ones that emerge stronger on the other side.


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Tinuiti Marketing Analytics Recognized by Forrester

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Tinuiti Marketing Analytics Recognized by Forrester

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By Tinuiti Team

Rapid Media Mix Modeling and Proprietary Tech Transform Brand Performance

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Tinuiti, the largest independent full-funnel performance marketing agency, has been included in a recent Forrester Research report titled, “The Marketing Analytics Landscape, Q2 2024.” This report comprehensively overviews marketing analytics markets, use cases, and capabilities. B2C marketing leaders can use this research by Principal Analyst Tina Moffett to understand the intersection of marketing analytics capabilities and use cases to determine the vendor or service provider best positioned for their analytics and insights needs. Moffett describes the top marketing analytics markets as advertising agencies, marketing dashboards and business intelligence tools, marketing measurement and optimization platforms and service providers, and media analytics tools.

As an advertising agency, we believe Tinuiti is uniquely positioned to manage advertising campaigns for brands including buying, targeting, and measurement. Our proprietary measurement technology, Bliss Point by Tinuiti, allows us to measure the optimal level of investment to maximize impact and efficiency. According to the Forrester report, “only 30% of B2C marketing decision-makers say their organization uses marketing or media mix modeling (MMM),” so having a partner that knows, embraces, and utilizes MMM is important. As Tina astutely explains, data-driven agencies have amplified their marketing analytics competencies with data science expertise; and proprietary tools; and tailored their marketing analytics techniques based on industry, business, and data challenges. 

Our Rapid Media Mix Modeling sets a new standard in the market with its exceptional speed, precision, and transparency. Our patented tech includes Rapid Media Mix Modeling, Always-on Incrementality, Brand Equity, Creative Insights, and Forecasting – it will get you to your Marketing Bliss Point in each channel, across your entire media mix, and your overall brand performance. 

As a marketing leader you may ask yourself: 

  • How much of our marketing budget should we allocate to driving store traffic versus e-commerce traffic?
  • How should we allocate our budget by channel to generate the most traffic and revenue possible?
  • How many customers did we acquire in a specific region with our media spend?
  • What is the impact of seasonality on our media mix?
  • How should we adjust our budget accordingly?
  • What is the optimal marketing channel mix to maximize brand awareness? 

These are just a few of the questions that Bliss Point by Tinuiti can help you answer.

Learn more about our customer-obsessed, product-enabled, and fully integrated approach and how we’ve helped fuel full-funnel outcomes for the world’s most digital-forward brands like Poppi & Toms.

The Landscape report is available online to Forrester customers or for purchase here

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Ecommerce evolution: Blurring the lines between B2B and B2C

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Ecommerce evolution: Blurring the lines between B2B and B2C

Understanding convergence 

B2B and B2C ecommerce are two distinct models of online selling. B2B ecommerce is between businesses, such as wholesalers, distributors, and manufacturers. B2C ecommerce refers to transactions between businesses like retailers and consumer brands, directly to individual shoppers. 

However, in recent years, the boundaries between these two models have started to fade. This is known as the convergence between B2B and B2C ecommerce and how they are becoming more similar and integrated. 

Source: White Paper: The evolution of the B2B Consumer Buyer (ClientPoint, Jan 2024)

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What’s driving this change? 

Ever increasing customer expectations  

Customers today expect the same level of convenience, speed, and personalization in their B2B transactions as they do in their B2C interactions. B2B buyers are increasingly influenced by their B2C experiences. They want research, compare, and purchase products online, seamlessly transitioning between devices and channels.  They also prefer to research and purchase online, using multiple devices and channels.

Forrester, 68% of buyers prefer to research on their own, online . Customers today expect the same level of convenience, speed, and personalization in their B2B transactions as they do in their B2C interactions. B2B buyers are increasingly influenced by their B2C experiences. They want research, compare, and purchase products online, seamlessly transitioning between devices and channels.  They also prefer to research and purchase online, using multiple devices and channels

Technology and omnichannel strategies

Technology enables B2B and B2C ecommerce platforms to offer more features and functionalities, such as mobile optimization, chatbots, AI, and augmented reality. Omnichannel strategies allow B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses to provide a seamless and consistent customer experience across different touchpoints, such as websites, social media, email, and physical stores. 

However, with every great leap forward comes its own set of challenges. The convergence of B2B and B2C markets means increased competition.  Businesses now not only have to compete with their traditional rivals, but also with new entrants and disruptors from different sectors. For example, Amazon Business, a B2B ecommerce platform, has become a major threat to many B2B ecommerce businesses, as it offers a wide range of products, low prices, and fast delivery

“Amazon Business has proven that B2B ecommerce can leverage popular B2C-like functionality” argues Joe Albrecht, CEO / Managing Partner, Xngage. . With features like Subscribe-and-Save (auto-replenishment), one-click buying, and curated assortments by job role or work location, they make it easy for B2B buyers to go to their website and never leave. Plus, with exceptional customer service and promotional incentives like Amazon Business Prime Days, they have created a reinforcing loyalty loop.

And yet, according to Barron’s, Amazon Business is only expected to capture 1.5% of the $5.7 Trillion addressable business market by 2025. If other B2B companies can truly become digital-first organizations, they can compete and win in this fragmented space, too.” 

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If other B2B companies can truly become digital-first organizations, they can also compete and win in this fragmented space

Joe Albrecht
CEO/Managing Partner, XNGAGE

Increasing complexity 

Another challenge is the increased complexity and cost of managing a converging ecommerce business. Businesses have to deal with different customer segments, requirements, and expectations, which may require different strategies, processes, and systems. For instance, B2B ecommerce businesses may have to handle more complex transactions, such as bulk orders, contract negotiations, and invoicing, while B2C ecommerce businesses may have to handle more customer service, returns, and loyalty programs. Moreover, B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses must invest in technology and infrastructure to support their convergence efforts, which may increase their operational and maintenance costs. 

How to win

Here are a few ways companies can get ahead of the game:

Adopt B2C-like features in B2B platforms

User-friendly design, easy navigation, product reviews, personalization, recommendations, and ratings can help B2B ecommerce businesses to attract and retain more customers, as well as to increase their conversion and retention rates.  

According to McKinsey, ecommerce businesses that offer B2C-like features like personalization can increase their revenues by 15% and reduce their costs by 20%. You can do this through personalization of your website with tools like Product Recommendations that help suggest related products to increase sales. 

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Focus on personalization and customer experience

B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses need to understand their customers’ needs, preferences, and behaviors, and tailor their offerings and interactions accordingly. Personalization and customer experience can help B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses to increase customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy, as well as to improve their brand reputation and competitive advantage. According to a Salesforce report, 88% of customers say that the experience a company provides is as important as its products or services.

Related: Redefining personalization for B2B commerce

Market based on customer insights

Data and analytics can help B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses to gain insights into their customers, markets, competitors, and performance, and to optimize their strategies and operations accordingly. Data and analytics can also help B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses to identify new opportunities, trends, and innovations, and to anticipate and respond to customer needs and expectations. According to McKinsey, data-driven organizations are 23 times more likely to acquire customers, six times more likely to retain customers, and 19 times more likely to be profitable. 

What’s next? 

The convergence of B2B and B2C ecommerce is not a temporary phenomenon, but a long-term trend that will continue to shape the future of ecommerce. According to Statista, the global B2B ecommerce market is expected to reach $20.9 trillion by 2027, surpassing the B2C ecommerce market, which is expected to reach $10.5 trillion by 2027. Moreover, the report predicts that the convergence of B2B and B2C ecommerce will create new business models, such as B2B2C, B2A (business to anyone), and C2B (consumer to business). 

Therefore, B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses need to prepare for the converging ecommerce landscape and take advantage of the opportunities and challenges it presents. Here are some recommendations for B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses to navigate the converging landscape: 

  • Conduct a thorough analysis of your customers, competitors, and market, and identify the gaps and opportunities for convergence. 
  • Develop a clear vision and strategy for convergence, and align your goals, objectives, and metrics with it. 
  • Invest in technology and infrastructure that can support your convergence efforts, such as cloud, mobile, AI, and omnichannel platforms. 
  • Implement B2C-like features in your B2B platforms, and vice versa, to enhance your customer experience and satisfaction.
  • Personalize your offerings and interactions with your customers, and provide them with relevant and valuable content and solutions.
  • Leverage data and analytics to optimize your performance and decision making, and to innovate and differentiate your business.
  • Collaborate and partner with other B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses, as well as with other stakeholders, such as suppliers, distributors, and customers, to create value and synergy.
  • Monitor and evaluate your convergence efforts, and adapt and improve them as needed. 

By following these recommendations, B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses can bridge the gap between their models and create a more integrated and seamless ecommerce experience for their customers and themselves. 

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