We’ve shared our thoughts on the best ways to get started on a project, but what on God’s green earth is the point in making something if you don’t know where to put it? Would you hang your poster of Nikki Minaj in a dark cloakroom where no one could see it or would you put it on the mantle piece with pride?! We feel the same way about content that we do about female novelty rappers; you shouldn’t hide that stuff away. Don’t let your video content molder in the attic like some kind of digital Dorian Gray; shoot it out into the universe on a ray-gun of love. (We had an uncle who actually got arrested for this.)
Nothing, but nothing makes a creative’s heart wizen like when a client asks for a “viral” video. Yeah we could get it thousands of views and everyone could see it and ohmygod wouldn’t that be awesome? But really, when things like ‘pigeon outsmarts cat’ are what everyone really wants to watch, it just smacks of so much cynicism when companies try and harness those viewing numbers. The latest ‘viral trend’ is for companies to ‘gift’ under-privileged people and film it, like this travel agent did with some kids in the Dominican Republic:
Either that or make something so bad that it’s good again like this Scottish company did:
But really, all these ads do is get watched by thousands of people who want nothing to do with the product the “virals” are pushing, whilst at the same time making the company putting them out look like opportunistic shysters. A starving child? That’s how we boost sales! It all seems gut wrenchingly exploitative to us. Sales may go up temporarily but what about your companies’ long-standing integrity and longevity?
So, presuming your stuff is the good stuff, there’s an audience for it, a customer in mind and you didn’t have to condescend to any under-privileged people like some kind of Dickensian squire with a god-complex, how do you get it seen by as many people who are actually interested as possible? As Andy Mole at Social Seed tells us it is way better “to get fewer of the right people” than splurge your stuff everywhere like an over-zealous dolt.
Seeding once got a bad rep, seen as a slightly insidious means of worming content into people’s lives. This probably harks back to the bad-old days of the Internet when pop-ups were rife and somewhat unstoppable. But seriously, who did that ever work for but mail order brides? (Zmekya is fine by the way, thank you for asking.) And put simply, that kind of seeding just doesn’t happen anymore.
These days it is all about smart-seeding using editorial placement, like the way there’s adverts for comfortable gardening slacks in the Guardian but escort services in the back of Viz, you have to know where your audience goes online and what else they’re into…. Our pal Social Seed Andy says that context is the absolute key to all of this. “With hundreds of hours uploaded to YouTube every minute you have to ask, what makes someone watch yours? Placing your content on the right platform makes sure it reaches the right people. To do that we build good relationships with bloggers, social commentators and online publications.”
‘What about cost?’ we hear you bellow as one. Traditional media buying has always been expensive on the outdated, traditional video platform known as ‘television,’ with prime-time ads costing hundreds of thousands in airtime. The rough budget formula for TV commercials has always been 10% production, agency and crew and 90% distribution, which means that at first online ads seemed like an incredibly cheap option with NO budget put aside for media buying space. However it has to be said that for a fraction of the cost of TV (we realise we’re starting to sound like used car salesmen), you can get your stuff to the people you want. 20k budget? Put 10 on screen and 10 on distribution, and as budgets get bigger the proportion you spend on seeding should be less. Nike are quoted as using 80% of their budgets on production and 20% on distribution, meaning their content is of an incredibly high quality.
Sometimes this will happen organically, for example our video for surf-brand Finisterre ended up all over twitter and on oodles of surf blogs, however aside from it being DEAD ACE, there is also some luck-of-the-draw in this kind of social-spreading. It needs to be seen by the right people first in order to gain momentum in this way (e.g we put it in for out-door sport film festivals.) and also not ‘feel’ like advertising. In order for the cultural-curators to want to spread it, first and foremost content has to feel worthy of cultural curation.
So there you have it, gospel on how to get ahead in advertising and win salesman of the month 1994 all year round. For real though, it can be hard explaining to a client why they need to put in media-buy budget for a platform that is essentially free…so just read this article to them and then show them pictures of our kind, honest faces.