microvideoThe digital media experts at Millward Brown once again tried to forecast the most meaningful trends to help brands make sense of the constantly changing digital media landscape.

Now in its 7th year, the 2015 report identified the need for marketers to empower programmatic media buying systems and predicts that native advertising becomes an established medium, advising advertisers to partner with best-in-class publishers who strike the right balance between advertising and editorial.

Interestingly, Millard Brown predicts further – which brings us to the topic of the month - that new and exciting paid marketing opportunities will emerge on micro-video platforms and that second screen syncing will bring greater multiscreen control.

Jackie Bartolotta, then still Director Strategic Intelligence and Knowledge Services at Millward Brown at the release of the report, wrote the chapter “Paid advertising propels micro-video into the mainstream”, which caught our attention.

Jackie asserts that “micro-video platforms provide smart paid marketing opportunities, but only brands who know, learn, and love those platforms will succeed.”

It is a simple fact that to succeed in micro-video as a paid channel, it will be more important than ever for marketers and their creative agencies to ensure a brand’s communication is engaging and make every second count for consumers.

“Brands efforts to find a place on social micro-video platforms, like Vine and Instagram, have so far been handled as earned media, as consumers rewarded their creativity with likes and shares, but there is now some movement into paid placements”, Jackie explained.

“Micro-video platforms will become more important as an ad channel in 2015, but brands will need to tread carefully to avoid consumer backlash for invading their personal space”, she concluded. Of course, ads on these platforms must be immediately captivating and entertaining, as consumers on these sites have high expectations of creativity.

Millward Brown’s report is even pointing out some differences of the platforms, such as:

  • Vine videos need to be simple, authentic, and aim for high viral potential. They should fit with other content on the platform while being eye-catching and reinforcing implicit associations with the brand.
  • For Instagram, the slightly longer form allows potential for additional branding cues, but the videos should be entertaining and emotional throughout. While the ad could use a cut-down TV ad, a more effective use is likely to be a new creative that reinforces a clear campaign concept.

According to Jackie Bartolotta, micro-videos currently appeal to fans devoted enough to “follow” a brand. However, paid options will allow brands and their media planners to target those consumers with whom the brand may resonate, enabling a much larger reach among the current user base of 200M on Instagram and over 40M on Vine.

While current reach of these channels is lower than TV, well-executed creative developed specifically for micro-video has extremely high viral potential, she believes.

“Brands embracing paid micro-video should be aware that these shorter ads might actually require more effort to be effective. Poor creative could have a negative impact, as consumers may become annoyed by clutter invading their personal territory”, she warns.

Hence, to optimize engagement, “creative agencies will need to develop stories that work well across multiple micro-videos, and media agencies will need to learn how to optimize the new paid targeting options and the role of micro-video within a broader media campaign”, Jackie recommends.

In any case, Millward Brown expects to see more brands airing simple 5-10 second TV creatives that mimic a Vine or Instagram style, to reach their customers. We will see in retrospect if Jackie is right.

By MediaBUZZ