Brand identity is crucial to most businesses. In recent times, social media has been the outlet that has given a ‘voice’ to the business and a sense of community with its customers or clients. This is often done with relevant tweets, one off videos, personalized responses or hashtagging. This is great and all but when everybody is doing it and doing it alike, you’re just one of the crowd. Just like the explainer video has become normal and not creative anymore, so is social media blabbering. It’s tuned out most of the time… unless something goes terribly wrong and a poorly worded post brings ruin to a company. But that’s why responsible teenagers are often put into this position, right?
Well, something needs to shake things up and the next evolution of social media will be to drive consumers and clients to products, services and experiences by creating a continuous story that they want to follow and seek out. For this, brands will find it beneficial to create episodic social media. This would almost be like a narrative television program, featuring characters and situations that end up drawing people to them. These videos can’t be commercials in the traditional sense, but rather comical or dramatic storytelling that has just a hint to do with the product or service being offered. The show brings them back to the site, which allows them to interact with the business. Nobody is doing this all that well at the moment, for lack of idea, budget or perhaps its too scary to be the first few adapters. Either way, if episodic social media is done well, I believe the benefits are likely to outweigh the costs. This is just another way video could transform how brands interact with their customers and clients. Perhaps in a decade, the next big hit shows will be created by specific brands to be shown only on their site. If so, those seeds will be sown today by the bold few. Think about it, millions of dollars are spent on television ads that are losing effectiveness with each year as there are more shows and more channels competing for the same audience. Rather than chase the mass audience, more ad dollars should be shifted and spent on luring a targeted demographic to original brand programming. The technology is there and many young talented graduates are looking for an outlet for their creativity. You won’t see this shift tomorrow, but perhaps sometime soon.