It used to be cost and time prohibitive to incorporate larger campaign concepts into individual creative pieces – there was a disconnect between campaign strategy and creative development. Now we are able to take campaign ideas into consideration during development, allowing us to create visuals that feel like a part of the integrated whole.

The idea that interactive multimedia marketing pieces can support content of any length has risen to prominence. Longform content is developed with this in mind, allowing interactive visual components to complement the narrative being written, as in the NY Times Snow Fall article. At the same time, adding visual elements to shorter content, especially in social channels, has a huge impact on engagement. In particular, we are getting a lot of traction with cinemagraphs, static images with singular moving components. Cinemagraph images are smooth, elegant ways to make a point without hitting people over the head.

The manner in which visuals are now utilized as part of the narrative is partially the result of increased appreciation for the value they bring to the medium in general. Questions about where to use multimedia marketing are now answered; analytics from clickthrough rates on social media and email clearly demonstrate increased conversions with the addition of eye-catching images and video. There’s now an anticipated marriage of visuals within the written narrative that all great content now both possesses and requires. Great messaging brings out the best of both the imagery and the written word.
With the available resources growing constantly, the future brings creative integration into every aspect of a campaign.

THE NEW REALITY OF MULTIMEDIA MARKETING

2016 is the last year that visuals won’t have to fully consider how to take virtual reality (VR) into account – VR will emerge in a big way over the next few years, thanks to technology such as the Occulus Rift and Microsoft HoloLens. However, people’s forward thinking in that area is going to have a major impact on what we see this year.

GENERIC STOCK IMAGES ARE OUT

Along with the increased use of multimedia in marketing campaigns comes the fall of generic images. People can tell when a picture is overly staged – a generic smiling face or scientist in a lab coat isn’t going to work.
With the multiple outlets for unique images now available, it’s easier than ever to capture stories, moments, and feelings. Using an obviously generic stock image is creatively lazy and a missed opportunity to incorporate campaign ideas.
Obviously staged photos are a no-no, but high quality stock photography has never been more accessible. It’s easy to identify a “too-perfect” photo, but candid stock options that feel real can still be a useful source of high-quality visuals.
In contrast, the use of stock video footage is likely to increase. Video in marketing is becoming more and more popular, but the demands of producing high quality video are greater than those of making high-quality images. Strategic use of stock footage can contribute to the feel of a video without making it seem generic.

OLD TOOLS, NEW USES

Mood boards are not a new tool, but they are increasingly useful in coordinating creative pieces with a larger campaign. Whenever you do a video, mood boards can provide a reference for lighting, feel, and look. Ensuring that all team members have similar expectations of the character of a video prior to production prevents wasted time and results in stronger multimedia marketing that is fully integrated with a campaign.

This excerpt was adapted from Chapter 7 of our Life Science Marketing Field Guide. Ready for more? Get access to the full Field Guide below.

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