5 Creative Ways to Stretch Costly Content Across Channels

Great content is expensive, and it’s a demanding task for marketers to keep up with the accelerating content requirements across traditional and digital channels. TV spots, in particular, are often expensive to produce and too often are just posted on YouTube so marketers can tick the digital checkbox. But there are some brands that have thought harder about how to integrate and extend the value of that expensive production. Here are 5 examples of creative and effective ways brands have acknowledged both the important differences between consumer experiences and touch points as well as the value of a seamless, consumer-centered messaging platform.

Start a Youtube channel

Yes, it’s lame when TV spots are simply repurposed on Youtube. It’s not harmful; it just isn’t enough. Successful branded Youtube pages serve as an online destination for viewers. Hasbro’s Nerf channel is a strong example of this approach. While Nerf includes current and past commercials, their channel also features product demos, game play inspiration, video challenges and a mini-series. Each mini webisode alone has more than 100,000 views.

Create an extended director’s cut version of commercials

In 2014, building off of an earlier campaign, Johnnie Walker produced another lengthy video. Rather than limiting their thinking solely to a television spot, they went in a direction that would best communicate the brand story. The resulting videos, each over five minutes in length, have been viewed more than 50 million times each. The 30-second TV versions have also racked up millions of views online.

Extend on-site activations to the digital space

Successful digital content is not always derived solely from television spots. There may be other aspects of your marketing mix that lend themselves to a digital extension. Experiential marketing provides the perfect avenue for consumer interactions with your brand. As you plan for events, keep in mind potential content opportunities to extend the event into the digital space. The Ad Council’s Valentine’s Day X-ray installation was a smart, on-brand execution that was made better by incorporating real people. They were able to take video content from the live event to create a video encapsulating the program that would later live online. In March of 2015, that video went on to become the number one most viewed on Youtube reaching over 50 million views.

Use characters/actors across other platforms

While it’s important to keep brand messaging consistent across platforms, it can also be helpful to showcase brand personalities and personas throughout your content. Whether you love or hate her, Progressive’s Flo has become a constant presence throughout their brand. Aside from Progressive television spots, Flo can be found on the brand’s website in a section titled “Fun and Entertainment.” A breakdown of her family tree and a DIY Halloween costume are just some of the ways Progressive has extended a character that was brought to life so well through television.

Incorporate hashtags into traditional mediums

Get people talking about your brand by incorporating hashtags into traditional channels. Custom hashtags serve as a way to track what people are saying about your brand while also providing you an opportunity to join the conversation. The Always “Like a Girl” Super Bowl spot included the hashtag #LikeAGirl. Twenty-four hours after the spot aired, the Twitter community joined the conversation with more than 337,000 mentions. With the recent release of the second commercial in the campaign, the online activity will only continue to grow.

By many accounts, the second screen will soon be the first screen for consumers, and video will increasingly become a critical point of interaction. Video is evolving quickly and is changing the ways consumers interact with brands, as well as the way brands need to execute their marketing strategies.

As you start to plan your next campaign, ensure cross platform integration is part of the discussion with all your partners early in the process. This forward planning for digital components will ensure you get the assets you need like out-takes, B roll, still photos, extended footage and licensing and releases for digital use. This is also a great time to work with your search team to incorporate campaign focused keywords. Sometimes the assets themselves will suggest a creative application or use after the fact, but it’s even smarter to deliberately, lovingly, and wholly plan for this usage across all consumer touch points.

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