As I spend my weekends on the beach watching the different habits of the people around me, I’ve been thinking a lot about how the definition of the term “entertainment” has changed over the years to mean something different, particularly to millennials and Generation Z.
I see them “playing a game” as they catch those silly creatures in Pokemon Go that are superimposed in our real world, “reading a book” as they sit with a Kindle in their hands, or “watching TV” when they’re glued to Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix on an iPad. Look no further than examples like Candidly Nicole or The Dude Perfect Show for proof that the lines between TV and video have completely blurred.
At the same time, the definition of “celebrity” has come to have a completely new meaning to these generations. They can probably name more social media powerhouses than they can stars on the Walk of Fame. Personalities who’ve gained fame from YouTube, Vine, Instagram, Snapchat and more enthrall, educate and influence millions every day through the power of sight, sound and motion across all screens.
Because video enables the most compelling storytelling of any means of communication, it is a key element of social influence. Combine that storytelling tool with consumers’ insatiable craving for authenticity in our crowded world, and you’ve got an enormous opportunity for entertainment marketers.
Extending this storytelling platform to these ambassadors of your brand gives credibility and, frankly, the cool factor. These factors are driving the market for connecting brands and digital personalities. FameBit, a self-service influencer marketplace where brands, influencers and creators collaborate for branded content endorsements on video heavy social platforms, recently teamed up with the e-commerce platform Shopify to enable FameBit’s influencers to open online stores. From IZEA to Shark Reach, these social influencer marketplaces are popping up left and right.
These marketplaces will grow quickly because brands know that these generations crave authenticity, and would rather see real, everyday users endorsing a product or service than an over-paid celebrity who has probably never used the brand before filming the commercial.
The beauty of video is that we can combine the brand advertising you know and love with the power of data and technology, allowing us to measure the impact of your messages – whether those messages come from you directly or a social influencer you’ve chosen to deliver those messages.
For the last decade, I’ve been helping marketers break the boundaries of devices and realize the true potential of sight, sound and motion across all screens – even TV. Today, tapping into the social influencers using these tools is the next step in the evolution. Consumers are giving us the biggest opportunity in video by watching more and more. It’s our jobs to take this opportunity and run with it.
Video is the first ecosystem where a mutual partnership exists. TV can’t do what it used to do so brilliantly as a solo act so TV and Video are increasingly codependent. Video isn’t a replacement strategy for TV; it’s a complement to it. The promise of this partnership is that video, sight, sound, and motion, in all its forms, will be consumed more than ever. And we’ll be able to measure it in meaningful ways that can prove more brand impact than ever.
Simply doing what we’ve done for the last decade won’t work, especially as millennials and Generation Z continue to take over the world. We need to meet their demands for seamless advertising and content experiences on their schedules, across multiple devices, today.