Does V-I-D-E-O spell apocalypse for the written word? Do wordies like us fear and loathe it? Totally not. We heart video—especially when it’s accompanied by gorgeous copy. In this post, Stacy interviews Sarah Bott, VP Sales of Zooppa (pictured below), the world’s largest source of user-generated advertising.
Stacy: Sarah, why is user-generated video so hot right now, even for B2B audiences?
Sarah: Whether they’re marketing to consumers or businesses, brands use video to tell stories in a visual and engaging way. People want to share video; in fact, 700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter every minute! Brands need a constant stream of fresh, relevant, authentic content to fuel their social channels. Crowdsourcing for user-generated video with a platform like Zooppa produces a ton of high-quality, original videos very cost-effectively.
Stacy: So, who’s the crowd? Who is creating all the gorgeous videos shown on Zooppa?
Sarah: We have a global creative community of 170,000 filmmakers, video enthusiasts, and graphic designers who create content for our clients. The members of our community prove time and time again that a good idea, or a new way to showcase a brand or message, can come from anywhere.
Stacy: One of Zooppa’s clients, Chevron, just offered $100,000 in prize money in hopes of generating hundreds of user-generated videos. They clearly expect incredible content!
Sarah: And they’re likely to get it—from all around the globe. As you may know, Chevron operates in many regions of the world that have been affected by AIDS, and for 25 years has been very active in supporting the fight against AIDS. The videos generated by this contest will convey a message that Chevron knows is important to many of its employees and members of the communities it serves: that “AIDS will lose.” Chevron has asked Zooppa’s members for one- to five-minute documentary-style videos, with no Chevron branding. By offering $100,000 in prize money, Chevron is hoping to receive many videos.
Stacy: Genius! Your clients are essentially creating a stockpile of fab video content they can use on their sites right now—or in the future. That’s also what we recommend they do for written content, such as blog posts. I once blogged about that.
Sarah: Exactly. Both video and written content are critical to a company’s marketing communications, and it requires vision and commitment to create a pipeline of smart, balanced content consistent with the company’s brand.
Stacy: I’m so glad we agree on that. I’m sure we also agree that social media plays a critical role in attracting eyeballs to that great content.
Sarah: Yes. An average crowdsourcing campaign on Zooppa reaches our creative community, but we can extend the reach of a campaign through social media. We reach out to a brand’s target audience, Facebook community, and social networks by inviting them to get involved and join the conversation. We also can incentivize people to share their contest or favorite videos. Both social media outreach and incentivized sharing increases the levels of engagement with a campaign. More engagement brings in more high-quality submissions.
Stacy: Each of your projects starts with a detailed creative brief. What makes for a successful brief—and contest?
Sarah: Creatives love working with Zooppa since we allow them to work on real briefs, with real brands, and earn good money and recognition for their work. A successful campaign usually has an open brief that welcomes ideas and creativity, a good prize pool ($15,000+), and eight weeks of contest time. For example, Intel asked, “What does the Intel brand mean to you?” They ran the campaign over eight weeks, with a $20,000 prize pool. We generated more than 115 videos and 340 digital prints.
Stacy: I love this one. But I imagine that sometimes you receive inappropriate video submissions—or some that are just off-brand. How do you filter?
Sarah: We manage every submission for brand protection and copyright. Anything inappropriate or off-brief is removed from our site, and we inform the filmmaker. Ultimately, our members want to win, so they will try hard to stick to the brief and create content the client wants and will use.
Stacy: The Content Bureau’s clients are mostly global B2B tech and financial services companies. How might our clients use Zooppa to add a new dimension to their existing web content?
Sarah: B2B companies often market to extremely narrow customer niches. When soliciting user-generated video, it’s best to keep the message broad. This allows our network to create content that appeals to a broad audience.
Stacy: Cute kitties?
Sarah (laughs): People always love a cute kitten! Seriously though, it’s classic alignment marketing. Generate content that adds value to viewers through entertainment, knowledge, or, in the case of Chevron, contributing to a cause that’s relevant to its community. For B2B, it’s often a broad, corporate-level message. For example, Siemens ran their second Zooppa campaign around, “How would you make the world a greener place?” They’re currently running many user-generated videos on their home page.
Stacy: These are gorgeous! Kudos to Zooppa’s creative community! And thank you, Sarah, for sharing your insight on how user-generated video is transforming the way leading companies approach their marketing communications.