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Four totally insane marketing campaigns that actually worked
By Ekatrina Walker for Fast Company

Three of Ekaterina’s “so completely crazy that it works” campaign examples feature video. The common thread? Videos that get consumers to participate.

Samsung created a video promoting their new 7-inch Tab2 and calling all other electronics “useless.” They created a “useless auction” where people could bid on all the items that are no longer needed because of the Tab2 — TVs, cameras, phones, etc. The catch? Not the highest, but the lowest unique bid won each device, emphasizing their “worthlessness” in a world with the Tab2.

Volvo asked Facebook fans what they would do with £5,000 cash to spend on having fun — and showed up at the front doors of the people who gave the best responses. Using fans to create the videos themselves made the project scalable, and showed Volvo the sort of fun things their fans value — great fodder for future campaigns.

And of course, we all saw Red Bull’s now-famous campaign featuring a skydiver’s supersonic freefall from the edge of space. The genius in this campaign was making the event live — creating a conversational event that had everyone talking and watching together.

The content myths surrounding video advertising
By Phil Townend for Marketing Magazine

Branded online video ads account for 22.6% of all online videos that people watch. With four billion items shared on Facebook in a day, and 700 videos shared on Twitter each minute, that’s a big chunk of viewers. Figuring out how to scalably produce this content is essential for marketers, says Townend:

“A wildly successful video ad is usually seen as a black swan, an outlier that’s unpredictable and unrepeatable. Discovering how to create and distribute highly shareable content, repeatedly and at scale, should be at the top of every brand marketer’s wish list.”

One way to scale video production is to encourage consumers to create their own videos relevant to your brand — in the form of reviews and “haul videos” in which consumers share their recently purchased items after a shopping trip.

According to the research, many marketers are under the false impression that overbranding in a video will discourage people from sharing it, but the facts show it’s simply a myth. Studies show that videos that play to viewers emotions are much more likely to be shared (at least 30% more often). So, make people feel something connected to your brand and your video has a chance to make an impact.

Lowe’s gives home improvement tips in 6-second vines
By Todd Wasserman for Mashable

The home improvement giant Lowe’s has launched a new campaign on Twitter’s video service, Vine, called “Lowe’s Fix in Six.” The brand’s Vines feature six-second videos showing how to perform various DIY household improvement tasks. The subjects of the videos include: storing cleaning products, peeling stickers off items using a hairdryer, using a pillowcase to organize sheets, getting rust stains off utensils using lemon juice, using a rubber band to work with a stripped screw, and keeping squirrels away from your plants with a dash of cayenne pepper.

It’s a great example of using social to spread helpful, educational content that has real value for the viewer. They’re not six-second commercials — they’re six-second lessons that associate Lowe’s with helpfulness and achievement. The brief, useful content is highly sharable and fits the context of Vine well.

Gartner predicts that refusing to communicate by social media will be as harmful to companies as ignoring phone calls or emails is today
Via Gartner

While creating great content like videos is an excellent way to engage consumers in social, even a brilliant content strategy won’t make up for an unresponsive presence. Responding to customer inquiries and comments, and engaging with your fans is just as important as delivering helpful or entertaining experiences. According to Gartner:

“By 2014, organizations that refuse to communicate with customers by social media will face the same level of wrath from customers as those that ignore today’s basic expectation that they will respond to emails and phone calls. For organizations that use social media to promote their products, responding to inquiries via social media channels will be the new minimum level of response expected.”

The big takeaway is this: Consumers don’t see channels as unique. You see a call center, a support email address, your Facebook page, your Twitter account, etc. You (hopefully) see a place to create and distribute great content, like videos, that gets people to watch and share.

But what do they see? Your brand. And they expect the same level of service from you everywhere you are. Marketing leaders tasked with running social media campaigns need to plan for what types of inquiries to respond to, who from the organization should be the one to respond, and how to follow up after an initial response.