Marketing is in a golden age of content creation. Apps are smarter, devices are more powerful and people have unlocked their dormant storytelling capabilities through a world littered with creative platforms.
We’re moving into the era of polished consumer-generated content as apps turn once highly technical processes for content-editing into simple interfaces so anyone can improve what they produce.
The increased power of the mobile device allows people to have their own post-production studio in the palm of their hands. This has busted open the door for brands, creating a treasure trove of opportunities to co-create with online influencers.
Platforms such as YouTube and Flickr have been around for years; what they have lacked is suitable editing suites. Instagram opened the world’s eyes to better photography, but the emergence of apps such as VSCO brings the power of an SLR to your phone. The output is stunning.
There are other areas we’re being helped with: Instagram’s Hyperlapse fuels the surreal with slow- and fast-motion options, bringing the outrageously boring to life. Vine opened the floodgates to the creative community with mobile stop-motion animation. Photoshop is currently showcasing a new easy-to-use mobile app, allowing us to touch up those less-than-perfect selfies before we share them with the world.
The power of the mobile allows people to have their own post-production studio in their hands
So what does this mean for marketers? Well, agencies are already utilising the powers of the amateur creative in their influencer outreach campaigns. Start-ups such as ThisMoment, a UGC harvesting company that works with major brands, has just raised £17 million in funding, backing the notion that this isn’t a fly-by-night trend.
Brands now have a richer and more diverse pool of cultural creators to choose from. The barriers to professional content have just been lowered. The average Joe doesn’t need thousands of pounds to create beautiful online experiences. You need a story, an imagination and the right toolkit that won’t cost you any more than a monthly phone bill.
Blogging surfaced talented writers and, in the process, blew the traditional publishing model apart. This new world of mobile post-production excellence means that, for certain projects, agencies don’t need to go through expensive production houses to work with the best talent. People are creating their own online brands and building huge followings in the process. The skill of the agency is identifying this talent before it becomes too expensive to book.
This new world raises the bar for everyone, not least for the consumer. Now, brands have no excuse not to tap into the huge and growing talent pool of world-class content creators and build genuinely brilliant brand experiences.
Peter Wood is the social media director at 360i London