This week, The New England Society for Healthcare Communication(NESHCo) has been holding its annual meeting in Providence, Rhode Island. I just attended several of the sessions. Before you say, “our startup isn’t in the healthcare space,” let me tell you about valuable insights for all marketers taken from one of the presentations. If your business is using digital marketing (not really much of an “if”), then this discussion of what’s hot among emerging technologies, will be interesting.
In this case, the experts were from the company EVR Advertising in Manchester, New Hampshire, and they discussed what they believe to be the hot items this year.
So what’s “hot”?
Lightweight Video. Their statistics say that video generates 1,200% more social shares than do text and image combined. Light video does not require tremendous production, or the time and costs associated with that. Since search algorithms give greater weight to video, the potential marketing benefits are huge. But almost by definition, creation of video implies intellectual property rights. The nature of “lightweight” suggests almost disposable video, which can lead to a sense that there’s no point in protecting it, which can lead to carelessness, such as including third party products or images suggesting they are related to, or approved, or endorsed by the advertiser, even when they are not.
Next on their hotlist are Instagram Stories. Their numbers show that 60% of Instagram’s 500 million daily users stories are featured at the top of the feed. The same concerns that apply to lightweight video apply to “producing” Instagram stories to sell your product or service.
Chatbots. Those automated customer service tools are also a growing force. Though they have limitations in terms of the information they can serve, chatbots work 24 hours a day. The benefit of this instant responsiveness may overshadow the negatives of content limitations and absence of an actual human being at the other end. Chatbot raises fewer potential IP issues for the typical business, because they are less about creating unique content, and more about providing factual information. Having said that, don’t name your chatbot in a way that is going to suggest it is associated with another business or service, or with a name that plays on a famous person or animated character. If you’re going to name the chatbot, be sure that that name is not already in use by any competitors, and do not make any association which could lead to confusion about the source of ownership of your site.
Another development, use of live streaming video, has become popular because it injects authenticity into a video strategy. According to EVR Advertising, live video, among other things, capitalizes on people’s fear of missing out, and as a result motivates people to stay connected longer. Because the nature of “live” suggests less control, there is also a greater possibility that something will sneak into live video that could raise objection by others. Don’t let the informality of the live video presentation cause you to overlook possible references to other products, to competitors, or to photos or images of competitors. View the live video production as if it is made for recording, and permanence. This suggestion in fact applies to all use of video in social media advertising.
Programmatic is an advanced way of buying digital advertising which they say will total almost $70 billion in U.S. digital spending by next year. Some interesting examples include geo-targeted billboards which will display a particular message when you drive-by, based on data of your location given by your phone. This type of technology invites the broader discussion of opting-in for use of customer and client data and of information, including location services, when serving targeted advertising.
Influencers are hot and, it is predicted will get even hotter, becoming a $20 billion industry before the end of next year. All of this comes in an environment of increased demand for transparency, which though not a technology per se, is something that underlies all of these technologies. The biggest IP issue with advertisers has been one that’s related to advertising regulation and avoiding any false suggestion that an influencer’s review is unsolicited or unpaid when it is not. Make sure that if you’re working with influencers, your work is transparent. Among influencers, a possible failure to draw clear lines between paid influencers and unpaid mentions can lead to legal troubles for false advertising or unfair competition.
Next generation marketing tools have potential intellectual property implications for startups, and obviously for all businesses. In a world where marketing and promotion is more than ever tied to creating video content, every business becomes a producer. Every company is an owner of important IP rights in their video production, music and other creations. Whenever there are great opportunities for protection, there is also great potential for pitfalls. Content has to be properly vetted, and used with permission.
This article originally ran in Forbes online. Click here for the original article.