Building Brand Advocates:
Mobile Advertising in a Social Media Driven Environment

Julie Steiner

As social media users are increasingly mobile, there are enormous opportunities for mobile advertisers to communicate in a new way to this audience. Empowering consumers to identify with a brand by allowing them to interact with entertaining content and share it allowing marketers and advertisers to create powerful brand advocates. Research consistently demonstrates that branded messages received from a friend resonate far more than from traditional sources, so the savvy mobile advertiser will provide compelling content that cries out to be shared.

Now that smartphones are the norm, mobile video is taking center stage as a medium of choice for mobile advertising. A great feature of mobile video is video personalization, which is the ability to allow users to put their own messages and photos right into great video content and easily share it with their social networks. With new technology that enables video personalization to take place in 3D space, visually compelling special effects like those seen in the movies are now in the toolbox of mobile advertisers.

A particularly effective use of video personalization can be created by a brand that has a character, for example the Geico gecko or the Pillsbury Dough Boy. Either from mining existing video content created for previously successful campaigns or creating new content from scratch, the video can be treated to allow advertisers—and then users—to insert their own messages and photos right into the action so that it appears to be a part of the original video. For advertisers with access to users’ names, a personal message may be sent directly to the user that incorporates their name or even their photo in an entertaining way such that they’re interacting with the brand’s character. Here’s where it gets interesting for the mobile advertiser, because once the user receives this message, beyond liking and sharing it with their friends they can also be empowered to create their own message within the branded video. By providing users with content that’s entertaining enough that they’ll want to put their own stamp on it, you allow users to send their own messages while extending your branded message to their friends. As profanity filtering is employed, brands have little fear of objectionable material sullying their content.

Mobile is convenient and fits with today’s busy consumer, which is why it’s now the most popular way to browse the Internet. However, the majority of customers are on-the-go and distracted when browsing the mobile web. Because of this, mobile advertising must be able to grab a viewer’s attention and have it focused long enough to build consumer interest in a brand and product. Companies that are used to traditional advertising have to shift their perspective and adapt to a faster paced mobile world. You can create a better mobile advertising experience with the following techniques: Most importantly, make sure that your content is entertaining and looks great. Humor always works well, and short punchy content that has a beginning, middle and end—even if it’s only 10 seconds long—is your best bet. If you can personalize your original branded message directly to the recipient, that’s terrific, but even if it’s not personalized on first viewing, allowing users to make the branded content their own and share it goes a long way. Mobile advertising with shareable personalized video content will improve a company’s ROI by extending the campaign and creating new brand advocates.

Julie Steiner is the founder and president of Percy3D, a video personalization platform that encourages people to ‘put yourself in the picture’ through personal 3D visual effects. Recognizing the growing influence social networks and viral videos have on the entertainment world, Steiner works with industry giants to license content for consumer personalization thereby offering studios and brand-driven businesses a profitable means of engaging target audiences on a more intimate level.