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One hundred social videos were created to support the most recent social campaign my agency created for a pizza account… it should last us a couple months.

That much content would have been considered excessive, costly, and unnecessary five years ago.

Today, we as advertisers must approach content in the same way developers approach landing pages. What I mean by this is we have to test and iterate upon the design in order to increase the likelihood a visitor takes the action we want them to take.

Also, consumers don’t really visit websites anymore.

Mobile has upended how we use the Internet

Today, 2 out of 3 digital media minutes are spent are on mobile. As a result, apps drive the majority of our Internet usage. For brands, this means that there are fewer opportunities to fully own the experiences they serve to consumers.

As a result, advertising content needs to work much harder than it ever did before.

Your content must live independent of supporting information and be bite sized.

You must bring brands to life without relying upon a website – ads are now a microcosm of the macro brand – telling the same story and playing the same role your brand’s site once did.

Much in the same way developers have taken to adjusting all aspects of a landing page – fiddling with font sizes, layout configurations, and colors advertisers must now take the same approach to video.

We can’t take for granted that a great ‘big idea’ in a social video alone will carry a campaign.

The idea of landing pages originated back in 2003 when Microsoft was looking to increase online sales of Office. Back then the process of optimizing landing pages was a labor-intensive process. Since then, countless products and apps have come on the scene allowing developers to automate testing of countless landing page iterations.

For social ads we as marketers are facing the same issues that developers faced with landing page optimization in 2003. We don’t have the tools to simply have an algorithm automatically churn out test pages and automate

We need to do dozens of edits A/B testing intros and outros, as well as the content of our ads in order to generate the best result for our clients.

Currently, its common practice to test countless audience segments, and countless ads (so long as they’re still images), but rarely are we applying the same methodology to video.

Data driven storytelling is a pithy phrase that’s been touted in the ad community and lead countless agencies to turn their nose up at the role technology can play in influencing creative. But, I think there’s a broad misunderstanding as to how technology can elevate creative, and ultimately, improve efficacy.

Instead of thinking of data driving an idea, its important to think of it as informing the executions.

A computer is not going to spit out a big campaign idea (not yet anyway). We’re years away from algorithms taking over the Creative Director’s job.

What tech can do is tell us who’s getting the message, comprehending that big idea, and what executions are resonating and/or where they need to be tweaked in order to generate the best returns.

Ultimately, if you aren’t optimizing social video, and having data inform the story you’re telling, you’re only playing with half a deck.

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