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3 Dimensions of a Strong Cross-Platform Native Video Strategy

March 31, 2016

Posted in Blog

One of the biggest challenges in marketing today is the fact that human attention spans are getting shorter as time passes and channels for reaching consumers are becoming more fragmented. The amount of content online today is almost immeasurable, and people have access to infinite distractions. In addition to investing in owned channels, brands need to give careful consideration to their paid media strategies.

If you’re launching a native video campaign, for instance, you’ll want to do more than just run it on your blog and promote it through social media—there is an entire advertising world of behavioral-based targeting that you’ll want to explore. Not to mention, your content doesn’t need to just “live” on one platform. With consumers relying on multiple devices from their computers to phones and tablets.

Just take a look at Dollar Shave Club. A $4,000 video in 2011 essentially kickstarted the company’s launch to attract tens of thousands of customers overnight. The company has since repurposed this video for delivery across different advertising channels—including television. That one launch video had a lifespan of almost five years (talk about having a lot of mileage). But it wasn’t luck or even awesome content that made Dollar Shave Club’s video gain so much momentum. It was the underlying distribution strategy, which was built upon a well-planned strategy for reaching audiences on different devices.

Learn from Dollar Shave Club’s success: here are the critical details that marketers can’t afford to ignore when launching a cross-platform strategy.

1 – Plan for uncertain contexts

In many ways, cross-platform is a game of roulette. Especially when you’re reaching audiences on tablets and mobile devices, you need to be prepared for the fact that your audiences could be doing a million things, and you’d really have no idea. Adding to the challenge is the fact that your content needs to work everywhere that you’re connecting with eyeballs.

The easiest way to tackle this challenge is to make your video a standalone story: don’t require your audiences to go to your website or take action. Instead, like Dollar Shave Club, make your message so powerful that they commit your brand to memory.

Dollar Shave Club’s video works well across devices because it tells a self-contained story. Admittedly, the entire video is an ad–but it tells a compelling story along the way. It doesn’t complicate anything, and it’s fun to watch.

Marketers can similarly plan for uncertainty by perfecting a central story, which they can in turn tell on any device.

2 – Ensure that your brand is distinctive

When you run a marketing campaign, you have a moment that spans the blink of an eye to pique your audience’s interest. The reason boils down to basic human psychology: nobody wants to spend their brain breaks feeling bombarded by ads. People want to feel entertained and enlightened.

No matter where your ad runs, you need to make sure that your company and product are recognizable. Pay close attention to color schemes, where your logo shows up, and even the products featured in your campaign. Focus on the subtleties to ensure that consumers will notice your brand.

Usually, you’ll be focused on the finer details. In Dollar Shave Club, these included the tone and style of communication, representations of actual people from the company, usage of taglines, and comedic themes. For subsequent campaigns, you’d know within a few seconds, “this is Dollar Shave Club.”

3 – Keep CTAs device-centric and clear

Make sure that you’re attentive to your audiences in the moment: if they’re engaging with your video on a smartphone for instance, you probably don’t want to send them to a complicated, 17-field form.

Remember that on mobile, audiences are limited to taps and swipes when interacting with your content. On desktop, they are well-positioned for productivity. When on their phones, they are likely to be ‘in motion’: killing time, hanging out in a waiting room, or reading about products while shopping. When on a computer, they’re likely committed to learning about a topic.

When planning your campaigns and marketing funnels across platforms, make sure to pay attention to the context in which they’re engaging with your company. Cut no corners: you should have a clearly defined CTA for every device.

Final Thoughts

With the resources and time that you’ll invest in developing great content and working with the right distribution partners, you’ll need to make the most out of every investment. The best way to achieve this goal is to build your owned channels: in addition to pushing one-time redemptions and contests, encourage audiences to sign up for loyalty programs too. Make the most out every interaction, touchpoint, and dollar invested in your campaign.

When it comes to cross-platform optimization, your focus should be to make the most out of subtle touch points, have a clear CTA,  build a great UX, and of course, craft strong foundations with every piece of content. There are no shortcuts in the world of cross-platform experiences. Pay attention to every intricate detail.