Television and Online Content Are Continuing to Collide: How to Leverage the Trend
Do you ever feel like television is beginning to fade into obscurity? Maybe not completely, but it’s inarguable that TV doesn’t have the clout it used to. The internet is slowing killing the television star.
TV and online content are continuing to collide as more and more eyeballs vector to online entertainment. This trend will likely continue until the two eventually merge into a single product.
We see examples of this via television shows expanding their lore with webisodes, silver screen stars start making their way to YouTube, and even YouTube celebrities creating their own running content on YouTube Red.
As it currently stands, however, much of the content published online is one-off topic videos, how-to guides, review videos, and similar standalone content.
But there is an emerging theme where more and more creators are beginning to experiment with web TV shows, episodic content, and similar connected content series. Even famed comedian Louis C.K. has gotten in on the action with his website-exclusive show Horace and Pete.
If your brand is ready to deviate from the standard course and dive into largely uncharted creative territory by creating an epic web TV show, check out these proven steps.
Influencers are a hot commodity right now. These folks are capable of engaging audiences in trusted ways that other advertising modalities fail to accomplish.
By way of example, Ericsson created a web documentary series entitled Capturing the Networked Society which makes a case for the beneficial effects of internet connectivity. The most viewed episode in the series, Case #27: @TunaMeltsMyHeart, starred an Instagram-famous dog with a prominent overbite named Tuna who boasts more than 1.8 million followers.
But the dog’s popularity is not the sole reason that the episode was so widely popular.
Built in Distribution Strategies
In order for a web series to perform as well as its creators hope, distribution is a must. This is another reason why influencers are key figures in episodic content; they have built-in distribution.
In Tuna’s case, when the dog’s owner, Courtney Dasher, shared a link to the episode on Tuna’s Instagram, it was quickly followed by more than 64,000 likes, over 2,200 comments, and scads of views for the video.
All in all, Tuna’s episode garnered three times more views than any other video in the series.
This is not a one-off case either. In Dunkin’ Donuts’ 2015 #Dunksgivingseries, the pastry chain recruited New England Patriots tight end, Rob Gronkowski, to cook a turkey inside one of their locations. In similar fashion, that particular episode attracted five times the number of views than the average video for the series.
Cross Promote Relentlessly
Social media cross promotion is an essential strategy for giving any worthy piece of connect its moment in the sun.
In the case of Marriott International’s subsidiary brand, Moxy Hotel, the company created its Do Not Disturb series (which also leveraged a bevy of influencers) to target millennial audiences.
Knowing full well that a staggering percent of the younger generations occupy social media websites, the hotel chain launched a series of Instagram and other paid social ads.
Their PPC advertising paid off as their mentions on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram increased by a stunning 167%.
Moreover, the ads increased their total views by 244,000 and brought their average time on their YouTube channel from 43 seconds to 2 minutes and 54 seconds, totaling a 270% boost.
Episodic content and web TV shows can serve a greater purpose for a brand when leveraged correctly and when the right steps are implemented. As television and digital properties continue to meld, it is likely that this type of related content will continue to become more widespread and commonplace. Start mastering this craft now so that when the time comes, your company is already proficient at producing killer web TV shows.
China's Push Toward Excellence Delivers a Global Robotics Investment Opportunity
Written by: Jeremie Capron
China is on a mission to change its reputation from a manufacturer of cheap, mass-produced goods to a world leader in high quality manufacturing. If that surprises you, you’re not the only one.
For decades, China has been synonymous with the word cheap. But times are changing, and much of that change is reliant on the adoption of robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence, or RAAI (pronounced “ray”). For investors, this shift is driving a major opportunity to capture growth and returns rooted in China’s rapidly increasing demand for RAAI technologies.
You may have heard of ‘Made in China 2025,’ the strategy announced in 2015 by the central government aimed at remaking its industrial sector into a global leader in high-technology products and advanced manufacturing techniques. Unlike some public relations announcements, this one is much more than just a marketing tagline. Heavily subsidized by the Chinese government, the program is focused on generating major investments in automated manufacturing processes, also referred to as Industry 4.0 technologies, in an effort to drive a massive transformation across every sector of manufacturing. The program aims to overhaul the infrastructure of China’s manufacturing industry by not only driving down costs, but also—and perhaps most importantly—by improving the quality of everything it manufactures, from textiles to automobiles to electronic components.
Already, China has become what is arguably the most exciting robotics market in the world. The numbers speak for themselves. In 2016 alone, more than 87,000 robots were sold in the country, representing a year-over-year increase of 27%, according to the International Federation of Robotics. Last month’s World Robot Conference 2017 in Beijing brought together nearly 300 artificial intelligence (AI) specialists and representatives of over 150 robotics enterprises, making it one of the world’s largest robotics-focused conference in the world to date. That’s quite a transition for a country that wasn’t even on the map in the area of robotics only a decade ago.
As impressive as that may be, what’s even more exciting for anyone with an eye on the robotics industry is the fact that this growth represents only a tiny fraction of the potential for robotics penetration across China’s manufacturing facilities—and for investors in the companies that are delivering or are poised to deliver on the promise of RAAI-driven manufacturing advancements.
Despite its commitment to leverage the power of robotics, automation and AI to meet its aggressive ‘Made in China 2025’ goals, at the moment China has only 1 robot in place for every 250 manufacturing workers. Compare that to countries like Germany and Japan, where manufacturers utilize an average of one robot for every 30 human workers. Even if China were simply trying to catch up to other countries’ use of robotics, those numbers would signal immense near-term growth. But China is on a mission to do much more than achieve the status quo. The result? According to a recent report by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), in 2019 as much as 40% of the worldwide market volume of industrial robots could be sold in China alone.
To understand how the country can support such grand growth, just take a look at where and why robotics is being applied today. While the automotive sector has historically been the largest buyer of robots, China’s strategy reaches far and wide to include a wide variety of future-oriented manufacturing processes and industries.
Electronics is a key example. In fact, the electrical and electronics industry surpassed the automotive industry as the top buyer of robotics in 2016, with sales up 75% to almost 30,000 units. Assemblers such as Foxconn rely on thousands of workers to assemble today’s new iPhones. Until recently, the assembly of these highly delicate components required a level of human dexterity that robots simply could not match, as well as human vision to help ensure accuracy and quality. But recent advancements in robotics are changing all that. Industrial robots already have the ability to handle many of the miniature components in today’s smart phones. Very soon, these robots are expected to have the skills to bolster the human workforce, significantly increasing manufacturing capacity. Newer, more dexterous industrial robots are expected to significantly reduce human error during the assembly process of even the most fragile components, including the recently announced OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screens that Samsung and Apple introduced on their latest mobile devices including the iPhone X. Advancements in computer vision are transforming how critical quality checks are performed on these and many other electronic devices. All of these innovations are coming together at just the right time for a country that is striving to create the world’s most advanced manufacturing climate.
Clearly, China’s trajectory in the area of RAAI is in hyper drive. For investors who are seeking a tool to leverage this opportunity in an intelligent and perhaps unexpected way, the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index may help. The ROBO Index already offers a vast exposure to China’s potential growth due to the depth and breadth of the robotics and automation supply chain. As China continues to improve its manufacturing processes to meet its 2025 initiative, every supplier across China’s far-reaching supply chains will benefit. Wherever they are located, suppliers of RAAI-related components—reduction gears, sensors, linear motion systems, controllers, and so much more—are bracing for spikes in demand as China pushes to turn its dream into a reality.
Today, around 13% of the revenues generated by the ROBO Global Index members are driven by China’s investments in robotics and automation. Tomorrow? It’s hard to say. But one thing is for certain: China’s commitment to improving the quality and cost-efficiency of its manufacturing facilities is showing no signs of slowing down—and its reliance on robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence is vital to its success.
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