2016 was a major year – two events, the Olympics and the presidential election, gave us some great case studies into marketing and storytelling. We pulled a few key insights from these global events and found some common themes that will shape 2017 and the years to come.
1. “Keep It Simple, Stupid” is still a thing
Regardless of your feelings on the election, many industry thought leaders have discussed how important clear and concise messaging was in this presidential race.
Simple but powerful messages won the day. Experts are looking in hindsight and claiming the Clinton campaign’s messages were watered-down and weak compared to Trump’s.
Especially with social media, messaging needs to be conveyed in something that can be tweeted, snapchatted, and really turned into something viral.
Read more from the Guardian.
2. Data can mislead
Over the last 2 years, the importance of big data has been hammered over and over. With the election this year, we also got to see data mislead an entire campaign. Even though we are taught to believe it doesn’t, subjectivity plays a role in algorithms and forecasting models. Like Fortune.com says, “There is a subjectivity embedded in every curatorial choice that goes into the creation of a poll, or a set of signals to monitor debate online, or a prediction model.”
Fortune.com says , “The data was as good as it could be, but the analysis of it lacked depth.”
Takeaway? Make sure you’re not blindly relying on data.
3. Storytelling is key
Scott Cook, co-founder of Intuit said, “A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is—it is what consumers tell each other it is.”
Data shows that content centered around the stories of Olympians resonated with global audiences. There’s a reason there was so much background coverage of the athletes – building these men and women as real people with backgrounds, families, struggles, etc. created a strong storyline.
A great example of this storytelling is the Under Armour campaign, “Rule Yourself.” In a series of videos, Under Armour followed high-profile Olympians, focusing on the behind the scenes of Olympic glory – the late night workouts, early morning training, insane diets, etc.
4. Live video
Between Snapchat and Facebook Live, viewers could tune into the events at any time. Within seconds after the event, we were on our phones watching Simone Biles stick landing after landing on Snapchat. Why bother waiting 4-6 hours to tune into primetime TV?
Facebook Live was another brand new tool for connecting with these athletes. And just this month, Instagram got into the live video game with Live Stories.
Social Media Today says, “People spend 3x longer watching video which is Live compared to video which is no longer Live.”
“Videos posts have 135% greater organic reach than photo photos.”
Our takeaway? Especially during events, explore live video in some form. Designate someone to run your Snapchat for the day, and plan on gathering your team for Facebook Live.