Faaez Samadi
May 26, 2017

3 takeaways from Blink Live Singapore

From dark social to meaningful VR, here's what marketer's were discussing at Mediacom's inaugural technology event.

3 takeaways from Blink Live Singapore

The Blink Live conference brought together marketers, agencies and tech brands to discuss new opportunities using today and tomorrow’s technology. Here are 3 key takeways:

Marketers still missing opportunities in dark social

Brands are still getting to grips with dark social and consequently missing out on a wealth of high value leads, according to Charlie Baillie, regional director for Southeast Asia at RadiumOne.

According to a study from the marketing technology company, although 84 percent of sharing is happening outside social networks, more than 90 percent of social marketing dollars go to social networks.

“Marketers don’t get what all of sharing is today,” he said. “Dark social sharing is more real and authentic. It’s digital word-of-mouth, and we don’t need to be told how powerful word-of-mouth is with consumers.”

Baillie said instant messaging platforms now have more active users than social networks, with significant growth occurring in Southeast Asia.

“Brands need to look at sharing data and insights to target high-value audiences that can be targeted in real-time,” he said.

Dark social sharers are also more likely to convert, Baillie added, because they’re usually sharing with a stronger intent and sharing content that the recipient has a genuine interest in.

Longer content works when live 

Contrary to popular opinion about the average consumer’s attention span, longer content is the best way to get the most out of Facebook Live, said Rafael Guida, global brands creative at Facebook in Singapore.

For “decent content” when live-streaming on the social network, Guida said users should aim for an average of 40 minutes in length.

“We obviously need ‘content on the go’ on Facebook – short videos, that work without sound, maybe sometimes just a gif,” he said. “But you also need content for longer attention spans, and that works best with Facebook Live.”

Facebook launched 10 new video products last year alone, and Guida said the company has no intention of slowing down. New offerings, such as Live 360 video and live video conversations with those viewing the stream – currently only available to public figures – are already on the platform.

“Live isn’t new,” Guida said “But it has been based on broadcast and very passive. We made it mobile, democratic and interactive.”

With this power, though, comes responsibility, and Guida said brands must remember that “live is a risky product”. To get the most from it, he said companies need to incorporate it as part of a broader campaign strategy.

Go beyond the gimmick for VR/AR success

The potential for brands with virtual, augmented or mixed reality is palpable, but marketers need to make sure they’re seeing beyond just the technology.

Caroline Troman, commercial director for Asia at AOL – soon to be rebranded Oath – said while consumers are generally excited about VR/AR, brands need to ensure they don’t turn into the next Pokémon Go – a one-hit wonder that has faded dramatically in a year.

Marketers must consider three key factors when designing a VR/AR campaign. First, tap into user emotions, “particularly happiness and escapism”, Troman said. “Consumers will have fully immersive engagement with your content, so they have to feel good about it.”

Second, be educational, not gimmicky. “Don’t just follow trends, create value in your content, it’s extremely important,” she said. “Do something different, but offer something valuable.”

Tied into this is, of course, putting the consumer first, rather than planning a VR strategy for the sake of it. Troman pointed to the example of Fiat, which has used VR and 360 video in its marketing strategy so consumers can virtually interact with cars and their features.

“It works because it’s being used to simplify a complex path to purchase, which is car buying,” she said. “It’s VR but with the consumer at the core.” 

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