Video Killed the Content Marketing Star

By Keir - 24th November 2016

The world doesn’t need another slightly tenuous ‘what this random thing can teach us about content marketing’ article. But it’s okay! This is just a sly excuse to spend a few minutes of the day watching clips of clever videos.

So that’s okay, right?

Popular beat combo and internet sensations Ok Go are back this week, with their latest song and wildly inventive video.

Wikipedia tells me that the Chicagoan foursome were bouncing around on those treadmills way back in 2006, while the latest video has already racked up the best part of 10m views in 24 hours. So clearly, what they’re serving is working.

What can marketers and comms people learn from the band? Let us count the ways..

1. Consistency. Know your thing. Ok Go understand what they are known for, and they do it well. They are famous for their ambitious and experimental pop videos and, by god, that’s what they are going to make. People have come to expect it, so it would be foolhardy and disappointing to start off in another direction. Brands take heed; know your patch and stick to it.

2. Creativity. Just because you need to be consistent, it doesn’t mean you must be boring. Ok Go have used some far-out concepts for their videos, from complex Heath Robinson-esque contraptions to weightless aeroplane flights (not to mention the odd marching band). The take-away for brands is to stand out by creating things that surprise and delight.

3. Keeping it visual. Let’s take a moment to think about what a pop video actually is – content that helps sell music (or gig tickets). It’s a way to engage people and the icing on a band’s brand experience. (That sentence got away from me.) Here’s the thing; I like Ok Go, but (for me) the music isn’t the most exciting part of the experience. Whether you’re a consumer-facing or B2B brand, visuals and video have big roles to play in grabbing the attention of your audience. It’s as much how you say something as what you’re saying. The message is always the medium, and vice versa.

4. Play with formats. Great content stands out no matter what the medium, and moreso when people experiment with formats – like this month’s interactive video from Hilltop Hoods, that’s helping raise funds for a cancer charity. (There goes my attempt to keep my affection for Australian hip hop under wraps.) Brands can attract attention by blurring the lines between different forms of content (think about KFC’s edible nail polish). Dare we say Ok Go’s videos are not a million miles away from performance art?

What’s next? Maybe there are lessons to be learned the other way around. Personalisation has been one of this year’s content buzzwords, with brands starting to create individualised and tailored versions of their adverts (take a bow, Toyota). Ok Go could be performing their next song in a version made just for you.

But for now, the writing’s on the wall for the same ol’ dull and dreary content. Being interesting never goes out of fashion, so here’s to being adventurous in 2017.

PS: Props where they are due (spoiler alert for anyone not up to date with Game of Thrones).

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