Within the past year, we’ve witnessed a notable shift in the direction of digital marketing. Many brands have started to explore livestreaming, expanding their reach to platforms, and subsequently audiences, that were previously considered uncharted territory. However, in this new era where live content reigns supreme, not all campaigns are created equal. Where branded content becomes entertainment, interaction with online communities is the key differentiator that sets successful marketing campaigns apart.
As brands charge forward in this fast-paced, no one-size-fits-all industry, understanding how to bridge communications between themselves and digital natives is vital. So, how can marketers tap into the pulse of digital content and engage audiences with sincerity, creativity, and openness?
Having worked with brands such as Twitch, Netflix, and Buzzfeed to effectively leverage a community economy through live digital content, we’ve brought together a brief list of key trends.
Brands are forced to engage with audiences through diverse platforms in order to strengthen their relationships with these unique, and often niche, communities. Until recently, it wasn’t uncommon for a lot of brands to overlook the following questions:
Take Netflix’s first-ever global fan event, Tudum, a virtual livestream broadcast across YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, and Twitter. With Netflix’s cross-platform reach, we helped push the Netflix Geeked brand on all social channels with this highly fan-centric, global watch party for all things geeky. The stream offered real-time interactivity for viewers, providing a first look at breaking news, unreleased trailers, and exclusive behind-the-scenes clips woven between interactive panels and conversations with the creators of hit Netflix original series.
TikTok watch parties, like this Halloween live show for Stranger Things, connect talent directly with fans to create content about content! By using TikTok live, we not only honed in on a demographic of fans, but engaged them on their platform of choice in a longer format by giving them one-on-one access to a character they love while simultaneously sharing behind the scenes details about the upcoming season. This doubles down on fan enthusiasm in an engaging, relatable, and overall more personal way by creating access to these stars in a live format that fans would not usually be privy to.
Interactivity has become a means for personalities, platforms, and brands to shape their digital narrative and drive the context of the economy built around these communities.
Our collaboration with Twitch on the Star Wars/Frozen Fall Sales Event sought to develop an engaging sales event specifically for their targeted audience.
We utilized the Twitch Blacksmith extension to drive sales traffic, directly targeting fans in a fun way that remained true to the IP they know and love. Read more about the case study’s success here.
Cutting-edge technologies will continue to drive the evolution of branded content. With the proliferation of new platforms, the need to feed them with content that draws viewers has also increased. This is crucial for brands, as these platforms have exponentially increased the possibility for 1-to-1, real-time contact with consumers online.
In an unboxing video like no other, Samsung reached out to us to promote their Galaxy Z Fold3. To achieve this, we engaged several key streamers by sending new phones in personalized puzzle boxes that were unique to each influencer and their audiences, developing community interactivity around the promotion as Twitch chat could actively participate in solving riddles and ciphers with their favorite streamers. By focusing on an audience like gamers who are always after the latest and greatest technology, we were able to tap into a desirable community by playing by their rules. In this case, by taking a traditional unboxing video and spinning it into an interactive and stimulating experience for both the streamers and chat.
As branded content continues to evolve, it is more important than ever to identify what platforms your target audiences are populating. Consumers are now engaging with content in new and exciting ways, and with interactivity at the heart of these new platforms, marketing campaigns are no longer a one-way street. With change comes opportunity, and brands have a golden ticket to own these new interactive platforms, engaging directly with their community.