Have we lost the art of storytelling?

Seven Media

The way things are going, we’re in danger of completely saturating the digital world with video content. 

Some 500 million hours of video is watched on YouTube each week and – according to a recent report by Hootsuite – more video content is uploaded online every 30 days than the major US TV networks have created in the last 30 years.

With so much noise being created – and so much time spent consuming thousands of hours of instantly forgettable moving images – it is time to remind ourselves that we appear to have forgotten the art of storytelling.

This is easily done when we consider that even the worst of advertisements, if executed properly through social media channels, can reach millions of customers around the globe.

Virtually anyone can make a video and upload it, but we seem to have forgotten to ask ourselves the basics: Does it convey a message? Does it have a purpose? And the number one question … is it any good?

If you do get it right, you’re in luck, as there are now more social media platforms than ever before – from the 1 billion people who watch YouTube to the 165million active monthly Facebook users based here in the MENA region. That’s a lot of people literally waiting to be served decent content. 

Video is definitely the right way to target your audience as it has a 95 per cent retention rate. When you compare this to the 21 per cent retention rate of print, it’s already evident that video can guarantee more emotion, influence and action than any other form of advertising media. 

In this fast-paced world where an entire conversations can be summarised into 145 character Tweets, customers are becoming adverse to the verbose and wordy. They want their comms to be attention grabbing and entertaining. 

It has been proven that customers are 27 per cent more likely to click on a video than a standard ad on a web page. It is video that appeals to our senses and makes us curious to find out more and once we do, we’re share 12 times more on social than text and images combined. 

So, it’s been proven that video is the most effective media, but the best tends to mean the most expensive, right? Wrong. If targeted effectively, the cost per view can result in being as low as AED 0.01 per view – and that’s views of exactly the sort of person you want to see it.

The beauty of social media is that there are demographic tools, so you can set the advertisements to arrive straight on the screen of your dream customer. You can eliminate the unsuitable age groups, gender and geographic region so you have the best chance of reaching exactly who you want and need for your product. You can even target people who are active fans of your competitors! 

The initial creation of video can also be tailored to your budget as well. Gone are the Mad Men-style agencies filled with suits creating million-dollar blockbuster adverts. Now, audiences want their advertising to be authentic and tell a story. Recently, Seven Studios was hired to do a behind-the-scenes style video, in conjunction with a big budget advertisement. The result? Our behind-the-scenes video received higher engagement, because it was more relatable and interesting for the consumer. 

In this region, there is a place that consumes more videos daily than anywhere else around the entire globe. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 98 per cent of KSA can be reached through video. Previously, this KSA audience seemed a distant dream to many brands, especially those outside of the Middle East, but thanks to video, this important market can now be fully engaged. 

So before you decide to make a video for your brand, organisation or movement, it’s important to speak to a company that is able to understand your story and create something relevant and meaningful. They will be able to advise how and where to target the video, what social media channels are most relevant and the most effective way to boost through spend. As an award-winning social media agency in Dubai, we can help.

Until then, please, just don’t create video for video’s sake. 

TikTok for social media marketing: yay or nay?

Tok Tok for social media marketing - yay or nay?

With over 500 million monthly active users globally, TikTok has witnessed a rapid growth over the past two years, resultantly stirring up a storm in the digital world.

For starters, let us give you a brief about the renowned app, *drumroll* TikTok.

TikTok is a short-form video-sharing app used extensively by teenagers and young adults for the sole purpose of entertainment. It has been labelled as the “next big thing” and don’t be surprised, because it just might be as it is the third most downloaded app in the world.

So, what makes TikTok so distinct and popular?

It is more than just lip-syncing to cliché songs or pre-recorded videos, TikTok is an outlet allowing users to unleash their creativity, use the numerous AR lenses and express themselves by means of short, catchy videos.

However, the question arises; can brands incorporate TikTok in their social media marketing strategy?

The answer is, why not? TikTok can be a potential new platform for brands to explore and open up to various opportunities and connect with new audiences. Thus, increasing brand awareness amongst an untapped segment particularly for brands that are interested to cater to a youthful target. TikTok also runs its very own TikTok ads platform which allows advertising to only a limited target based on simple factors such as age, gender and state level geolocation. Nevertheless, by the end of 2019 TikTok promises to narrow down their demographics and emerge with an improved ads platform.

To achieve the desired outcomes on TikTok, brands would need to get their creative juices flowing and pouring! A full-fledged brainstorming session, a solid ‘think out of the box’ idea and the will to delve into new possibilities; these will help kickstart your brand’s journey on the app. TikTok gives your brand the opportunity to effectively promote your products or services, a jingle or slogan or any element of your brand as innovatively as possible.

Global fashion chain Guess was the first ever fashion brand to take on TikTok with the #InMyDenim challenge. Users were encouraged to create a mini music video while wearing their Guess denim piece from the newly launched denim line and post on TikTok with the hashtag. The challenge was a tremendous success with over 38.6 million views and tons of entries. What Guess also extracted from this challenge was a mammoth amount of user generated content; an essential for every brand.

Another brand using TikTok to their optimum is Red Bull. Short videos boasting the adventure and thrill in skydiving, skateboarding, mountain bike riding and more by involving followers are featured on Red Bull’s TikTok feed as it translates to the brand’s persona. With the rapid rise of TikTok came along the influencers on the platform, and we kid you not, these TikTok influencers are fast-growing with an unbelievable number of views. The large following of these influencers can be targeted by brands in order to boost their products or services. Similar to collaborating with Instagram bloggers, brands can tie-up with TikTok influencers with a large following for campaigns to reach out to a wider audience. Howbeit, with this social platform running primarily on the youth having fun, brands will also have to do the same rather than perceiving it as no more than just an advertising opportunity. We wouldn’t recommend brands to simply create a profile on TikTok and share their own videos. Instead, here’s what we suggest; if your brand possesses the right resources and an exceptional idea, capture the interest of the users by developing a campaign.

If you’re overlooking these advantages for your brand, know that you will be missing out on a great deal because TikTok is here to stay. But if this piques your curiosity, head over to the best social media agency in Dubai – Seven Media to step into the new age marketing medium.

Closed Groups – The Future of Social

The Facebook Group is nothing new. Spaces for like-minded people to come together and discuss specific topics have been around since social media’s earliest days. These groups have seen particular growth over the past year, however, becoming a vital part of social media users’ daily lives.

Snapchat was the first platform to capitalise entirely on closed-group sharing. Their goal was to be the space where people shared private messages, images and videos with close friends. The result? Massive success. The increasing publicity of an individual’s online presence revealed the need for such sharing.

Remember the early days of Facebook when the platform represented somewhat of a safe space – most interactions were with real people, many of them friends and family. It was a place to showcase yourself, your preferences, your personality. This sort of intimacy on social networks has been undone by their own success. Newsfeeds are overflowing with clickbait, fake news and advertising galore. Cue closed-group sharing popularity growth.

Since this shift, Facebook has become the space for sharing your public persona – a less authentic, more curated persona. Meanwhile, Snapchat became the space for the ‘real’ persona, where individuals feel more comfortable sharing intimate details about their daily lives because they are sharing with people they know and trust.

Closed-group social platforms enable a new behavior of sharing. By reducing the cognitive overhead of publicly posting, these companies are betting on users sharing more often. In other words – with less mental math deducting who will see your post, story, photo – the more (and more often) users will share.

Recent reports have indicated that Instagram is hopping on this closed-group social train by developing an app called Threads.

Threads is designed as a sister app to Instagram, and invites users to automatically share their location, speed and battery life, along with more typical text, photo and video messages with friends. (Does sharing your location or battery sound strange to you? Don’t forget, Snapchat introduced these features years ago).

The ultimate goal of Threads? Promote constant, automatic sharing between users and the people on their ‘close friends’ list on Instagram. Reportedly, you will even be able to opt into automatic sharing, and Threads will regularly update your status without you having to type or click anything at all.

So, for companies and brands who rely on social networks to reach customers, whether through advertising or organic, personalised interactions, closed-group sharing has been an important player in the massive decline of organic engagement and reach.

Does closed-group sharing point toward the future of social media in general? A means to recover and authenticity the trust that Facebook began with? And if so, what does this mean for branded pages striving to reach the vast online audience?

That’s where Seven Media, one of the top social media agencies in Dubai comes in, addressing challenges is our specialty. Get in touch, we’d love to hear your thoughts!