In the lead up to the new quarter, we put our heads together to share our vision for the months ahead. Here are a few trends we think will be shaping our marketing throughout the remainder of 2020.
It’s no secret that customers respond well to visual content. Now, more than ever, this type of content is essential, due to in person meetings and events being cancelled. But, just because you can’t be there in person, doesn’t mean you can’t be there at all. Video marketing is relatable, emotional and aids in building relationships. Much like we predicted in 2019, video content will continue to be an essential part of any marketing strategy for the duration of 2020.
Whether you’re just getting started with video marketing or you want to up your video marketing’s “wow factor”, give our Video Mailers a try. Not only are they attention-getting, they also provide a visual experience of your brand for your prospects.
Online Goes Offline
Believe it or not, what’s tried and true are staples for a reason. That’s why direct mail still has value.
However, now brands are using technology and data gleaned from customers’ online presence to inform how to approach them offline. Billboards, retailers and others have begun experimenting with this ultra-targeted communication and consumers are falling for it.
Don’t have the budget (or the data) to do this yourself? Use what you do know about your customers to approach them in a thoughtful way that is both relevant and valuable to them.
Increased Direct Communication
Similar to our above point about personalizing direct mail, we expect the channels of communication between customers and brands to improve. Instead of the impersonal connections that many social platforms and websites offer, we’re seeing text messaging platforms, real-time Twitter Q&As, and on-call customer service representatives resurfacing and resurrecting the strong direct connections many of us have missed having with our favorite brands.
It’s not just about pumping out consistent content anymore. Customers are oversaturated with it. Instead, capturing the attention of potential buyers will require brands to get more creative. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) will continue to deliver on this front, but we’ll also see more interactive marketing experiences like this one that engage each of the five senses.
Regardless of how you use it, video has become the most popular type of digital content used by people the world over. As such, it’s also a supremely effective communication tool for business, allowing advertisers, marketers, and sales teams to share everything from testimonials, product demonstrations, educational messages, reviews, and more with a target audience.
The research is clear.
According to a report from HubSpot Research, 54% of consumers want to see videos from brands they support in comparison to email newsletters (46%) or social image content (41%). Additionally, the report states that video is the most memorable content (43%) in comparison to images (36%) and text (18%).
But between customers’ varied preferences and the ever-evolving digital landscape, it can be difficult to know where to start. To help you out, we’ve outlined five video trends worth paying attention to, and how they can be used in your own marketing efforts.
Trend 1: Video First. “Video First” is a term coined by Facebook in reference to a growing phenomenon: consumers not only want to consume video, but also produce it. As today’s consumers look to express themselves, video makes it easier to provide a holistic view of ourselves, our lives, and the items we love.
Pro Tip: When developing your marketing campaigns, consider it from the lens of this “video first” mentality and get closer to your audience than ever before.
Trend 2: Live Video. Maybe you’ve heard of them: Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Instagram Stories, Periscope. Nowadays there are so many opportunities for live video, whether it’s based upon turnaround time, platform, or something else entirely. Live video, unlike pre-recorded content, draws people in nearly three times longer, according to the same HubSpot study. And brands have noticed.
Pro Tip: Look for the platforms that your target audience is using the most and experiment with live streaming. Perhaps it’s a Q&A session where you can interact in real-time with your customers or maybe it’s a simple look at a day in the life at your company. Whatever topic you choose, make it engaging – this is an opportunity to make your customers feel like they’re truly a part of your brand.
Trend 3: Cost Reduction. With so many high-quality tools at your fingertips, producing video is easier and more cost friendly than ever. At Structural Graphics, we offer custom Video in Print Brochures that marry the tactile feeling of print with the sights and sounds of video.
Pro Tip: With a smartphone, microphone and solid game plan, you’re sure to win the hearts and minds of your audience.
Trend 4: Virtual Reality. You know that cliche about walking in a man’s shoes? Well, with virtual reality, you actually can. Global revenue for this market is expected to reach $3.7 billion by 2020, according to SuperData Games and Interactive Media Intelligence.
Pro Tip: Get ahead of your competitors with our SleekPeeks®, customized virtual reality viewers that assemble in seconds and don’t break the bank.
Trend 5: 360-Degree Video. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a video that offers multidimensional perspectives of places like a room, landscape, or event. Implementing 360-degree video into your marketing efforts offers a customized experience for viewers, literally allowing them to fully emerge themselves in an experience.
Pro Tip: Start small. Think Google 360 View or Facebook’s relatively new functionality that allows users to pan or tilt a panoramic image that’s posted to its platform. Not to mention, 360-degree video content works great with our SleekPeeks® Virtual Reality Viewers!
In the lead up to the New Year, we put our heads together to share our vision for the year ahead. Here are a few trends we think will be shaping our marketing in 2019.
Let’s face it: humans are visual creatures. Colors, graphics, movement and story lines capture our attention, especially when it comes to marketing. Take Facebook, for example. With the unveiling of their new Facebook Portal, we’re seeing commercials and ads that showcase the product as a small, but essential, character in people’s lives. And it isn’t the only one. Brands like HP, Google, Airbnb, Nike and Everlane, to name a few, have all jumped on the bandwagon that is authentic video storytelling.
But video creation is no longer only for brands with big budgets. Any good marketing campaign should be designed to trigger an emotional response, and video has consistently proven itself as an effective way to do this. According to this report by Cisco, video will make up more than 85% of all consumer internet traffic in the USA by 2020. What’s more, video marketing has zero signs of slowing down.
So what’s a brand to do? Whether you’re just getting started with video marketing or you want to up your video marketing’s “wow factor”, give our Video-in-Print Brochure a try.
The Netflix Effect
OK, so this may not be a real thing (yet), but what we’ve dubbed “The Netflix Effect” will continue to inform content and brand marketing into 2019. Four parts. Ten episodes. What’s working for streaming services like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu will work just as effectively for branded content if done right.
Strategically planning out and delivering your brand’s story in a way that plays to consumers’ interests and attention spans isn’t just great for them, it’s great for your company’s bottom line. To do this, leverage micro-targeting and new content delivery platforms and technologies.
Content will be more and more automated. Text aside, brands like Sephora, Starbucks and Apple are already automating their marketing using mapping, facial recognition and chatbots to aide in handling customer service interactions. As consumers crave increasingly more personalized and contextual messaging from the brands, publications and companies they support, this trend will continue to extend beyond marketing into automated news reporting, customer service, business intelligence, etc.
We’ve really loved to see the evolution of how brands are engaging with their audiences. From Audi to the US Postal Service, virtual reality and augmented reality have proven themselves as important tools that bridge traditional print with evolving forms of media and technology. They’re so effective, in part, because of their immersive qualities – AR and VR have a unique ability to involve consumers in brand’s storytelling, creating a faster (and often stronger) sense of connection between the two.
Merging Old School + New School
Believe it or not, what’s tried and true are staples for a reason. That’s why direct mail still has value.
Here’s the thing: everyone likes getting mail. That is, when it’s personalized, unique, relevant and valuable to the recipient (not a bill…). With all of the technological advancements in automation and digital marketing, direct mail has actually proven to be more valuable if done right. In fact, response rates for direct mailers have risen to as high as 5%, more than four times that of digital.
So, don’t shy away from old school marketing like postcards, brochures and catalogs. Rather, use these formats (if they work for your brand) in an intentional way that is both relevant and valuable to the recipient. Use data to inform your content and think outside the box when it comes to choosing a design.
From Facebook and online ads, to YouTube and digital video, businesses have long had to compete with with the waning attention spans of their audience in the marketing arena. However, a newer technology offered by Structural Graphics and its online division, Red Paper Plane, might’ve just found that sweet spot.
Video in Print combines the detail of print with the emotional reach of video creating a one-of-a-kind multi-sensory experience for prospects looking to forge a connection with your brand, service or product.
But, just because your print piece has a video, it doesn’t mean that will guarantee its success. Design, message, packaging and production values contribute to the overall experience your customer or prospect has about your business. Here at Structural Graphics, we craft our Video in Print brochures by way of a high-tech, high-touch production process, allowing you to press proof your piece before shipping from one of our North American facilities.
Considering adding a Video in Print brochure to your marketing campaign? Below we’ve compiled a few suggestions to get you started.
Not all Video in Print players are created equal. Speakers, video screen, battery packs and wiring can vary greatly in quality. Ensure your supplier uses top quality components and has a thorough quality control in place. We proudly have a 10-year relationship with our Video in Print player supplier.
The power is in the playback. Make sure you choose the right file formats and the right settings for your video playback. We typically recommend a MP4, MOV, AVI or WMV video file format and a sound level of 75 to 80 dB. Also, double check that your supplier includes a USB cable for recharging the video brochure.
Short and sweet can’t be beat. Again, keep your audience’s attention span in mind. Video is a great way to deliver a 30 to 60 second message, but anything longer than that and you might want to consider breaking it into individual video “chapters”. Don’t forget the call to action so you can track responses.
Source global, but inspect and ship local. Because Video in Print players are sourced almost exclusively from the far East, they’re often powered down to 30 percent of rated capacity to meet International Air Traffic Association regulations. This can negatively impact playback quality. At Structural Graphics, we fully re-charge our batteries, then ship them to our customers. Our battery configuration is approved by the US Post Office and is CE ROHS certified, which means that our product has met the standards for consumer safety, health and environmental requirements in the U.S. and Europe.
Experience, there’s no substitute for it. For more than 40 years, Structural Graphics has designed, produced and engineered unique, interactive print communications for some of the top companies in the world. Simply put, we know print.
The holiday season is in full swing, and hand-in-hand with that comes gift-giving fever. That fever has spread from our holiday hearts all the way to YouTube, with the increasingly popular unboxing videos. According to ThinkWithGoogle.com,
Unboxing video views have grown 57% over the past year, and uploads have grown more than 50%. But it’s not just the growth in the unboxing genre that’s impressive—it’s the sheer volume, too. It would take more than seven years to watch all the videos on YouTube with “unboxing” in the title that have been uploaded so far just this year. And those videos have more than a billion views in this year alone.
Thank you, ThinkWithGoogle. That’s just what we did – we “thunk with Google”, to design and produce their Unboxing box. This was sent to hand-selected YouTube celebrities to promote the Google Store, and designed to have an element of surprise when unveiling each featured technology product. And the response was simply outstanding:
4 million views, with 11 million projected by Christmas.
And also, some sweet comments straight from the Unboxing YouTube celebrities themselves:
“That’s the best part, the packaging. ‘Gavin came in, and he’s like “This packaging is legit.’ And you know when Gavin thinks your packaging is legit, you’ve got a great product.”
Thanks, Gavin & Shay fam! And from Captain Sparklez…
“What?! This is the coolest packaging I’ve ever seen in my entire life. I don’t even want to disassemble this.”
We’re blushing! That’s the highlight, but let’s backtrack (spoiler alert: here’s where we start to talk about ourselves, boxes, and Google, a lot)…
Fast forward to September, when it came time to develop the box for their Google Store Unboxing Launch, they asked us whether or not we do boxes. (Answer: look here, or even here for a bit more luxury.) I mean this is Google, and we’re Structural Graphics, so naturally, we said yes. We practically invented boxes.*
(That may or may not be true.)*
On September 16th was the initial kickoff call to discuss concepts. At first, the sole and simple goal we had to accomplish was, “we need a box to hold products”.
Originally, we started with a white box with clouds. All of these 7 technology products, which can be seen in the Google Store, could have easily been thrown into any old, standard, 8-sided-vanilla-box. But that’s not really our style.
We then started with what any sensible person does in this day and age: we Googled it. We googled the Google products to get grasp on what it would need to hold, specifically the size, and how we could package that up.
As time went on, the inspiration developed. We were given a few more things to chew on:
1. Google presented us with a ‘Mood Board’, basically a brain dump of what it needed to include, and 2. What not to do: not a traditional printing press or corrugate. I mean, let’s be honest here, creative freedom + super cool client = any designer’s dream. Our brainstorm session produced a list that looked like this: Rubik’s cubes, puzzle, with the idea to create more of an ‘experience’ than anything.
Mission: possible. Erik, one of our paper engineers, came up with the puzzle box concept, and that’s when things with the entire team really took off.
As you can see clearly, it was all hands on deck! From a design and materials standpoint, this box was pretty far out of the comfort zone for our group. The materials and scale of this project was foreign. Typically, we deal with folding cartons, but every single person had hands on this project in order to turn around 2 sets of comps and “push the limits of design & engineering”.
On November 6th, upon assembly of the puzzle box, this was their reaction:
“Sweeeeeet, it’s really coming along nicely!”
Of course, we echoed that.
So, the design was complete, but the job wasn’t over. Once these people receive it, what was the user experience going to be like?
There were a few small, yet critical details. First, was a card insert from the Google brand team, personalized & hand done with black Sharpie. Second, there was a little issue with the puzzle pieces, they didn’t quite stay together during shipment. Okay, thought our design team: how can we fix this? Why don’t we put it in gift-wrapping paper? Develop custom Google wrapping paper, which was actually functional. Genius.
Timing was a huge component for this project, considering it needed to drop by Black Friday. The second comp turn-around time was 3 days, and because of timing, we sent a template without sending a second comp. They never received a final produced prototype (only the press proof) before shipping to the influencers.
The night before delivery was crunch time. Gustavo, Vice President, Operations, and Teresa, Director of Business Development, left Mexico at 1:45am for delivery. They had 2 hours and 15 minutes to make it. From there, it was Fed Ex same day shipped, with critical care, and a contract with independent TSA couriers. Anddddddd, *sigh* just in time.
You might notice, if you’ve been paying attention to the timeline, that one of the most impressive parts of this story was the timing it took from concept to influencer delivery: 7 weeks.
“Amazing work under a brutal timeline.”
And just like that, that was it. 7 weeks. 7 products. 24 pounds without products, 35 pounds with products. Lots of hard work, and of course, a little bit of play…
Lately, we’ve been examining how we can reach our audience in new and impactful ways. So this week, we thought it would be useful for you if we shared some of the resources we found helpful, particularly on B2B video marketing. Continue reading →
At Structural Graphics, we’re always thinking about new ways to introduce people to our incredible marketing products. So we sought out the services of Matt Willman, digital artist and co-owner at Sharpmetal, LLC. Sharpmetal works as the designing arm for advertising and marketing agencies, who, like us, want to use video and other creative ways, to showcase their work. Continue reading →