One of the coolest things about online content is that the tools and strategies are always changing. What worked yesterday doesn’t necessarily work today. And what works today may not necessarily work tomorrow.
Because of this, at Dubb, we try to stay on top of upcoming trends in the digital media and online video spaces. Not only are these trends important for our clients, but they are important for our team, as they can help us better understand the short and long-term direction of online content.
One way to identify these trends is to read online publications and monitor chatter on social media. This is a quick and easy way to get some sense of where video marketing and digital content are headed. It isn’t an all-encompassing solution, however. Sometimes, you simply need to get out of the building and speak with creators and influencers who are pushing the boundaries in digital content and digital advertising.
Several weeks ago, Shannon and I pursued a golden chance to learn from some of the best in my own backyard. Specifically, we attended the NewFronts conference in Los Angeles. NewFronts is a well-known advertising conference hosted by the Internet Advertising Bureau (“IAB”). Over 500 brands, agencies, and content creators attended the conference. The conference attendees and I not only listed to A-list speakers (like the crew from Soul Pancake) discuss their stories and content creation, but we learned about the convergence of the advertising industry with gaming and original content.
The NewFronts Conference: What I Learned
One of the larger themes at the NewFronts conference was the big push toward video content. As you likely know, this is music to our ears at Dubb. We aren’t alone in recognizing the power of video content in building a strong, direct, and authentic relationship with your audience. It grabs people’s attention, engages viewers, and ultimately drives more traffic to your website.
At the conference, I had the privilege of meeting so many impressive individuals in the content creation and digital advertising spaces. One of my favorite conversations, however, was with Kalen Allen. Kalen, who was the host of the conference, is most well-known for his YouTube channel. He was discovered by Ellen DeGeneres and now reaches millions of people across the world through his social media platforms.
Speaking with Kalen at the event, one comment stood out. He said that one of the most important things in terms of digital content is convenience. With the emergence of platforms like Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime, consumers are getting increasingly impatient. We now live in an era where people want their content right here and right now. Our audiences do not want to jump through hoops, click extra links, or wait an extended period of time for the content they desire.
Kalen argues, therefore, that one of the best ways to start creating digital content is to ask one simple question. That question is: “Is it convenient for your user?” According to Kalen, convenience is the name of the game. If there is any friction or barriers to your user consuming your content, you are going to find it much harder to not only find a passionate audience, but to scale that audience.
Along with Kalen’s advice about convenience, one of the most striking things I saw at the NewFronts conference is this convergence of advertising, original content, gaming, video, and all things digital. All of these things can be siloed off in their own right, but combined, they present unique opportunities for all types of brands.
In Los Angeles, my team and I are surrounded by old-world Hollywood names and brands like Viacom. These giants are obviously still relevant today, but the fact is that our whole industry is converging with technology, advertising, original content, and platforms. One of the key players in all of this is social media. A social media platform like Facebook or Instagram allows brands to create valuable, compelling content that accompanies organic posts in a user’s feed. This unlocks a wealth of opportunities for brands and companies of all sizes, as they can build close, authentic connections with current and prospective customers. And with groundbreaking advertising targeting via lookalike audiences, brands can better identify prospective audience members that are most receptive to their message.
We are still in the early innings of this convergence. The consequences are still unknown. But having said that, it is a tremendously exciting time to be at the forefront of this convergence. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
At the NewFronts conference, another theme that was repeatedly discussed was the need for immediate gratification. I referenced some of this in my conversation with Kalen. The fact is that in 2019, we are experiencing a much faster content cycle. We used to live in a world where content cycles lasted one month or even one week. That paradigm is now over. Instead, content cycles are in a daily, hourly, or even real-time content cycle system.
What does this mean in practice? Individuals, content producers, and brands are creating and releasing content much faster. Instead of being patient and investing an extended period of time into production, creators are putting content out into the world—no matter how “unprofessional” it may look.
Overall, I believe that these content creators are on to something. We are living in a world where the definition of a “professional” video is changing. Rather than investing thousands or tens of thousands of dollars into equipment and editing software, creators can make professional videos with some simple tools and by being authentic. Authenticity is absolutely critical here. Audiences crave it.
By being authentic, investing in some simple tools, and continuing to quickly release content to your audience, you can start to build real, tangible relationships. The secret sauce, however, comes with capturing data from your video content and then iterating on that content. In other words, you use the insights you’ve learned from your audience’s behavior and make more relevant content. This leads to increased eyeballs and the cycle continues. Ultimately, you can see why you want to solve your audience’s desire for immediate gratification. It gives you more data that you can then leverage to deliver increasingly better and more relevant content.
Our Role at Dubb
Shannon and I enjoyed attending the NewFronts conference because of our unique position at Dubb. Essentially, at Dubb, we sit on two sides of the fence. On one side, we are a video communication platform that lets users quickly share videos on platforms like Gmail, LinkedIn, and others. If you’d like to learn more about how Dubb can help you accomplish your video marketing and business goals, don’t hesitate to reach out.
But on the other side of the fence, we create content. We have our YouTube show called The Daily Dubb, where we educate, entertain, and bring our audience into our world. As part of this goal, we show the value of video content and how it can be effectively used for critical tasks like marketing, advertising, and sales. But along with that, I host Dubb’s podcast which is called Connection Loop. In the podcast, I speak with awesome creators and entrepreneurs who are using video content in new and interesting ways.
Because of this, we are sitting in a unique position. Not only do we want to help our clients use video in new and interesting ways, but my colleagues at Dubb and I use video to talk about the power of video. While you can continue reading our blog to learn some of the tips and strategies that we have learned about creating effective video content, the bottom line is that video is an outstanding storytelling device. Your audience wants to hear stories, whether they are about how you created your product, where your company is headed, or common problems that can be solved with your product. The visual aspect of video leads to extremely exciting storytelling opportunities.
The best part? It doesn’t take much to get started. In fact, you can get started right after you read this post. All you need is a camera, a microphone, and a message that you want to deliver to your audience. Critically, however, you need to understand your audience’s wants and needs, address those wants and needs in your video, and create consistent content. By paying attention to these three things, you will already be off to a great start.
Going to the NewFronts conference was an awesome experience. I was able to meet so many interesting people while learning about the future of digital advertising and digital content. If I had to sum up two takeaways they would be the following. First, video is critical to any type of digital marketing strategy. And second, attending conferences is an excellent way to learn about future trends within your particular industry.
And who knows? You may meet someone fascinating that can help you take your business to the next level. As with creating video content, you’ll never know unless you try.