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The New Commercial – Why PR Should DIY

Posted on: July 25th, 2013 by Rachael Tucker | No Comments

Instagram’s new video feature, launched last month, has already started flooding social media channels and online publications. Most of the pre-launch hype focused on Instagram’s comparison to Vine and how it would impact the popular video platform, but the key takeaway from the rapid success of both video applications is how quickly and aggressively the do-it-yourself video is transforming the media environment.

More than half of the top 100 brands are using Instagram videos to define and promote their brand personality, gain a larger social following and transform an advertisement into likable media. Instead of hitting the skip button, followers are tapping twice on artistic or humorous brand videos to express their approval. The trend toward DIY videos is not surprising as 90% of the information transmitted to our brains is visual, which Beth Monaghan noted in a recent post, and we process that content 60,000 times faster than text. Videos provide the visual medium to attract widespread attention and the message is reinforced with audio and text components. It is becoming such a popular communication tool that Cisco predicts video will account for two-thirds of the world’s mobile data traffic by 2017.

With the impending dominance of video, PR professionals should explore successful case studies and best practices to implement in future campaigns and strategies. The end goal in PR is “earned media” and videos are really effective tools to achieve it. Moreover, what distinguishes PR professionals from advertisers is that we place “free” content across media channels rather than paid creative campaigns. With DIY videos, we can now combine the creative campaign with PR tactics to generate more media opportunities. Whether it’s using a video for a pitch or pushing creative company videos through social media channels, videos will garner attention in ways that traditional methods cannot.

Here are five reasons for businesses to use Instagram video:

1.)    Establish your brand’s personality: Lululemon posted an Instagram video with more than 23,000 likes with the caption “Every mat has a story to tell. #justmymat.” The video characterizes the playful, fun and sporty character of the brand while also appealing to customers’ unique fitness choices. In PR, it’s important to help client’s establish their voice and define their brand. Video provides a great outlet to show others how your announcements, product and employees represent your brand’s image.

2.)    Create an engaging pitch: A captivating video that showcases a new product or story may go further than the traditional pitch. Martini is a group dating application created by a Harvard graduate student that brings together different groups of friends. Using the Vine video would substantiate a pitch by showing how it does this and why it’s unique.

3.)    Promote an event or a company launch: MTV recently announced nominees for the Video Music Awards on its Vine and Instagram accounts. Using video for a company launch or a big event is great way to tease or preview an announcement to get your target audience excited in a way that a standard press release may not.

4.)    Product announcement: Similar to a launch, showcasing a new product through a video can illustrate the product’s capabilities or just make a statement that intrigues followers or reporters enough to check it out. Taco Bell created an Instagram video that promotes the company’s new “Doritos Locos Tacos” by spelling it out with fire. Caution is recommended when using fire for a video, but the video is attention-grabbing and appropriate for the spicy product.

5.)    Develop videos as an effective social media tool: GE regularly shares videos that range from basic office tips to showcasing the company’s engineering capabilities. Videos that have engaging content and are promoted across social channels, on the company website and on online forums and news aggregators will drive website traffic and increase social followers.

Videos are on the rise so get creative and DIY. We did!

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