October 15, 2015 Last Updated 3:45 pm

Guest column: How to earn more social media love

Joe Cecin, President and COO of Nervve, says businesses will need to stay on top of determining effective ways to get their brand to stand-out

The evolution of media has changed the way we view, consume and demand content. With the rise of new and varying social media channels, content creators now have more opportunities to connect with target audiences, both large and small. However, with so much content available to the average social user, we have seen a significant shift from more formal, informative pieces of content to short, sound-bites meant to hold our 5 second attention span and entertain us.

This is the same case for advertisers who are looking to align their style with today’s changing expectations. Looking to stand out in the cacophony of videos, photos and other social posts, brands are seeking to develop materials that are as informative as they are entertaining, sometimes risking their ability to include proper attribution or messaging. However, as companies look to create ads that translate from traditional to social platforms, they need to look beyond reaching a viral status and determine how they can effectively create shareable content that also consistently broadcasts the brand.

Not All Brands Are Created Equal
Jake-State-Farm-300Unfortunately for newer companies, brands that are considered established will have an easier time translating their ads from traditional to digital markets without becoming anonymized. This is because they have had the opportunity to solidify a connection between their brand and specific tag lines or scenarios. For example, State Farm’s “Jake” commercials can commonly be named by brand, regardless of whether a viewer watches a segment or the whole ad!

When it comes to these newer or less established brands, more thought needs to go into how each of their ads is consumed and conveyed across all platforms. Without established taglines, these companies need to analyze their target audience and determine what specific strategies will enable them to create fun content that aligns with brand messaging. This is where the proper leveraging and placement of a logo becomes a necessary factor in ensuring that social content and the brand both go viral.

Creating Strategies That Align With a New Market
The first step to building marketing strategies in today’s climate is to ensure that your initiatives for social engagement align with the way social content is consumed and shared. While this seems like an obvious strategy to many, you would be surprised to hear how many businesses build their social branding strategies based on what they have done previously for their traditional channels!

When it comes to determining the most effective placement for your logo, companies need to focus on three foundational pieces:

  • Developing Content that Carries
    Brands should always plan for their advertisements to have a second life on social. This requires examining not only how a logo will be consumed within a TV ad, but how that video will translate to viewers watching it on YouTube on their lunch break or as they scroll down their Instagram feed. While marketers should always make sure there is some sort of hook to draw viewers in, they should also be sure to ask themselves, if someone was to watch the first five seconds of this clip would they be aware of the brand? In many cases, companies will put out an entertaining video that earns thousands of views across social media, but the comparative brand exposure they receive is relatively small. This is because viewers are watching content in short clips before switching to something else and, in many cases, miss the branding all together!

    In the same realm, companies also need to find a balance when it comes to making their logo relevant within an ad. This involves toeing the line between a logo being too in the background or being so forward that the ad becomes more of a hard-sell than fun social content. In these cases, companies need to find ways to insert a logo that are relevant based on the scenario that is being portrayed. A great example of this has been seen with Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign. While Old Spice is a well-established brand, greener companies can take notes from how they were able to strategically create fun and engaging content that was continually attached to the brand. Regardless of how long a viewer spent watching a specific video of the old spice man, they caught a glimpse of the logo and immediately related the content back to the brand. This was also done without a heavy direct sell in the ads, even though they did include the actual product!

  • Creating a unique method of tracking and measuring for each channel
    In the same way content must be in line with the way social users consume and share videos and photos, the way companies track and measure the presence of their logo should also align. Unfortunately, relying on more traditional tactics of general views to translate the overall value of content and a logo’s placement within it can actually cause brands to misinterpret their overall exposure. While 10,000 views on a video across Twitter, Instagram and YouTube can look great on paper, brands need to dig deeper to determine the true brand value. How long did each viewer watch for? In that period how many times did the brand logo appear?

    In addition to more specific tracking of a logo, businesses also need to develop a unique metric for how to assess the value of each appearance. In many cases this metric can differ based on the target audience demographic. In the case of millennials, companies can many times be up against ‘banner blindness,’ as this is a generation that is so accustomed to being inundated with ads they simply block them out. In these cases, general use of a logo, say at the beginning or end of a video may not prove to be as effective as a placement that helps to move the story line forward or adds an interesting caveat.

  • Tracing engagement effectiveness back to sales conversions
    While earning a specific amount of views or going viral are great aspirations for brands, at the end of the day, it truly comes down to how these sort of initiatives drive the bottom line. Using tools such as Google Analytics, enable brands to measure how many conversions they are making purely from social media sites. How many visitors to your website come from Instagram? Are these visitors that explore your site once and leave or do they return and complete a purchase? What are viewers coming to your site typically searching for once they arrive? These sort of insights can show the direct impact of social marketing and provide additional proof points to determine how the placement of your logo in different pieces of content encourage site visits and, ultimately, sales.

Joe-Cecin-Nervve-smWhen it comes to determining the best ways to build and distribute content across social platforms, brands need to consider both how to engage their audience and how to establish a brand identity. As social platforms continue to become saturated with more diversified types of videos, photos and, soon enough, virtual experiences, businesses will need to stay on top of determining effective ways to get their brand to stand-out. Leveraging their logo in smart and strategic ways can ensure that as branded content lives a second life across social media, it continues to drive brand presence, regardless of where it ends up.

Joe Cecin serves as the President & COO of Nervve, a video and image recognition technology company. Nervve provides access and interpretation of visual data found in videos and still images, serving advertising, sports marketing and public sectors.

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