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Brands Are Having Trouble Reaching and Engaging With Teenagers. Here’s Why.

Brands Are Having Trouble Reaching and Engaging With Teenagers. Here’s Why. 1144 720 cfxsquad

In the last ten years, teenagers have been getting less and less sensitive to brands and companies trying to engage with them. Why is this happening and how should a brand revitalize the relationship with this target audience? This is CFX Squad’s view on the case.

” Teenagers are one of the most important if not the most important target audience out there. They are the potential customers that may stay loyal to your brand for years to come. ”

With teenagers fleeing Facebook when every father, mother, and aunt in the world made an account, Facebook had to do something to have access to this target audience fleeing their website once again. The purchase of WhatsApp ensured they had them once more. But why did Facebook chase the teenagers so aggressively? And if Facebook did it, should you do too? The answer is: yes.

Generation Z has more power than parents do nowadays.

Until the late nineties parents were the biggest decision-makers in the household. Teenagers followed most of the advice parents gave on what to buy when it came too expensive things like MP3 players, game consoles, and other expensive products. Teenagers, in general, were far too busy to review what the better choice was. Hey, teenagers of today, pay attention: We were actually outside a lot!

We spent our time reading comics, conversing with friends on our old school chatboxes, building treehouses, and playing sports. It’s crazy, I know.

In this day and age teenagers have changed. They literally have the world under the tip of their fingers. With smartphones being the supercomputers they are and teenagers growing up with this technology they are in general much smarter with using social media and looking up the latest trends. And parents? They get their son’s old beaten up phone when he feels like getting a new one.

Why do teenagers matter to your company?

Teenagers matter to every company out there! Teenagers tend to be the early adopters of the newest trends. Why? Because they are literally the first target audience that learns about the latest trends in fashion, music, gadgets, and lifestyle. With older Millenials following after them and our fathers and mothers somewhere way in the back of the line. Teenagers are the gatekeepers of memes, viral videos, up and coming pop stars, and new trendy products.

Teenagers have an amazing thing full of information on literally everything: it’s called the internet.

” But, if teenagers are on devices connected to the internet almost all day, how come we can’t get to engage with them on a large scale? ” – Every company ever at some point in time

Well, every company ever at some point in time, that’s actually simple:

You all want the same thing, and pretty much do it the same way.

The group of people we are talking about here is a group that all companies want to reach. But these Generation Z kids are also one of the most clever groups that will look straight through your marketing departments carefully crafted words.

Of course, there are brands that tend to get it right almost every campaign for some years now. And they benefited big time. (e.g. Supreme, WeHeartIt, Snapchat) But the percentage of companies not using the tools the internet gives us correctly is much larger.

Teenagers are very hard to convince because of the fact that they can and will do some serious thorough research before they believe what you have to tell them through advertising or branded content. They will look at the channels of their favorite YouTube reviewers, ask their friends on Snapchat and look up other reviews on your product or company before they even think about buying anything from you.

If you ain’t a trend yet, you better work for it!

” Oh yeah? So you guys at CFX seem to know everything about this how do you guys solve this issue? ”

Well, imaginary friend: by actually adding value to the target audience’s day. This does not only apply to Generation Z but to every target audience, a company wants us to target with the content we produce for them.

Want to make sure someone listens to you in real life? Go talk on their home turf. It’s the exact same with branded or advertised content online. Meet the teenagers on the platforms they are most active on. Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, WeHeartIt, Pinterest. You name it. Make sure you have quality entertaining content (tailor-made for the platform) as a top priority and sales directly after it. If your content is not appealing and engaging enough on itself, teens won’t even stop scrolling before the first six seconds of your video is played.

Even more important to up the chances of developing a ” thumb stopper ”: we like to get influencers that fit the case get in the mix. After all, they are the most influential people that reach huge percentages of Generation Z daily. After this section, I’ll get to the value of influencers, because a lot of companies still need to get schooled on how important they are for their brand.

With every case that comes to our desks being unique, we have a different approach for every client we work with. So it’s hard to give a blueprint for success. But we do know that mixing quality content with the reach of popular influencers is the way to go nowadays. We are a little ahead of a lot of competitors in the digital agency landscape because of the fact that we have a lot of friendships with actual influencers, not their managers or MCNs. And every company working in our field should invest a lot of time in this part of work.

The value of influencers and their reach.

Influencers are the new television channels. They have created their own audience/fanbase that visits them pretty much on a daily and consumes their content like a hungry pack of hyenas. No other form of media can say the same. That’s where their value lies. And still loads of brands grossly underpay them for their effectiveness.

A lot of brands still pay huge sums of money to get their advertisement seen on television. To target teens. This should never be a priority. Invest that money in getting a digital agency (like CFX Squad of course! #ad) that can help you shape a campaign around some relevant influencers where entertaining content is the most important factor. Influencers are upping their price on advertised content because they start to realize what they are actually worth. When teens see your brand around their favorite internet stars without it feeling like one big advertisement, they tend to appreciate you and your products and/or services more when they see you at other places online. Brand awareness will reach new heights after a bulls-eye social media campaign, and the sales will definitely follow. After all, teens talk to teens mostly, and they all visit their favorite influencer accounts almost daily and talk about the adventures these guys and girls go on, branded or not. The age-old marketing sticker ” As Seen On TV! ” does not work anymore. We can’t pressure teens to buy stuff anymore as we could in the old days. We need to really invest in a (brand)relationship with them before even daring to tell them to buy anything.

There is still a long way to go for a lot of companies on how to engage more effectively with this elusive generation of teenagers. I’ve been working with and as an influencer even before I co-founded CFX Squad as a digital agency. We are working with this target audience on a daily basis for clients and influencer friends and that’s how we can closely monitor the latest trends on all platforms Generation Z is active on.

Keep your friends close, but your -future- customers even closer!

How To Make Your Corporate Videos Worth Your Money Again.

How To Make Your Corporate Videos Worth Your Money Again. 718 720 cfxsquad

New media is developing rapidly. Companies look for new and sustainable ways to engage with their target audiences on social platforms that require a constant adaptation of the latest trends with their viewers. But how do you as a company make sure that your video content is seen and valued by your – potential- customers? Let me explain.

” We want to show what we do at our business! Let’s put one of our managers in front of a camera and let him tell our audience more about our company.”

For the last ten years, this was a much-used way to let new potential customers get a feel for your business and what you stand for. Nowadays it’s getting harder and harder to get right. We at our company CFX Squad don’t like to use this approach anymore. This has to do with the following issues on new media platforms:

  • Saturation in your field of work and it’s content

With more and more startups popping up everywhere around us it’s getting harder to stand out with your company or brand. Every business and it’s friend is getting a bunch of corporate videos done to advertise and reach potential leads on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn. This issue and the fact that people are getting smarter in recognizing advertised video content makes that a video with someone standing in front of a camera and often awkwardly telling a person next to the camera who and what they are is not appealing at all to keep watching. For the sole reason of people seeing this kind of content more and more on the platforms, they use daily.

  • You probably don’t have inhouse actors or hosts at your company that have the knowledge and experience on camera to engage with an audience in the few seconds you have

This is a tricky one. In some cases, it’s best for the founder to tell something about the business you run in the promotional content. Sometimes the founder and/or CEO has built an amazing relationship through the years with its direct circle of clients and has a reputation that is too good to not use to it’s fullest. Because let’s be real here: emotion sells.

But in most cases, putting someone that is not a hundred percent at ease in front of a camera is the worst thing you could possibly do. Here’s why:

Viewers decide if they want to watch your content within the first five to ten seconds of your video.

As you can imagine, seeing a very nervous manager tell you something about a company you don’t know is not very appealing to the eye and ear.

A far better approach would be to let your hired production company write a script based on the traits and selling points of your business and hire at least one actor to get the message across in a natural and snappy way. After all: shorter entertaining content works better on new media than lengthy speeches.

” How can we ensure that the most important messages get across to our viewers?”

The answer to this age old question is a pretty straightforward one: Entertain while educating.

People get tons of videos on their feeds that educate and entertain. But most of the time they don’t do both very well at the same time. A lot of content is there for the sole purpose to entertain you for a few seconds, and every once in awhile an educational video pops up. This is where opportunities arise.

  • See your newest corporate video as a chance to entertain your targeted audience

Who doesn’t like being entertained while browsing or searching for a business to bring your money to? Exactly.

The amazing part of using video as an advertising tool is the fact that video has the incredible power to influence emotions, behaviors, and opinions. And this is where your opportunity lies.

Make a short movie that has been written by professionals in the business. A script for a short film with your company traits and values will be far less boring to watch than watching a three-minute compilation of the machines you work with.

The fact that you have full power over setting, emotion, and opinion makes it much a more viable option than just putting your company out there. It gives you the power over how people will perceive your company or brand for the next months if not years.


3 Reasons Why Millions Of People Watched Our Work And How You Can Do The Same

3 Reasons Why Millions Of People Watched Our Work And How You Can Do The Same 586 417 cfxsquad

3 Reasons Why Millions Of People Watched Our Work And How You Can Do The Same.

For around six years now our company CFX Digital has been creating content on the world wide web. We have been featured on the front pages of the internet and our work has been seen on news outlets all around the world. In our company, we have the honor to work with brands and companies that are searching for their place in the market with their latest products and services and want us to develop a content-driven campaign that suits their needs. After a few weeks of no articles written I felt the urge to share our three main reasons why we as a fairly small Dutch company found the numbers many companies and brands all around the world are looking for. Buckle up!

1. We Keep An Eye Out For Viral Opportunities

I remember one video we made purely for the fun of it. There was this video going around the web where a Russian fighter jet did an extremely low flyover. One terrified Russian driver and his dashcam recorded it all and the video went viral like never before. News outlets all around the world covered it and we caught the video pretty early in its viral cycle. This was what we needed. We made a VFX edit that was a parody of the original video. It got to the front page of 9GAG (5 million visitors per day), Dutch video website Dumpert (+1 million views) and several Facebook pages gathering likes in the multimillions.

So, what’s the point of my story? Simple! Keep an eye out for viral opportunities. It doesn’t matter if you are trying to sell a product, service, or just enable more organic brand visibility. If something is getting more than usual coverage, it’s worth looking into. E.g: Try to mix the latest viral trend with your message by using its punchline. The punchline in a video is the part where the people recognize it even without remembering it on top of the mind. Think of the classic dramatic squirrel. People that have been using YouTube frequently for the last 10+ years will recognize the sound bite immediately and instantly remember this funny classic internet meme. This is where your advertised video can stand out on a user’s feed. And the best part of it all? You won’t need hundreds of thousands of dollars in addition to your marketing budgets to incorporate it into your campaigns.

2. We Value Entertainment Above All

We have done several short film style videos together with big game publishers, and we pretty much always disagreed on a few words they tend to say to us before the shoot:

” We want .. ”

This is where the difference between 200.000 paid for viewers and several millions of organic reach is made. People that browse YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, or places like Reddit don’t give a flying duck about what you want. They want to be entertained, share knowledge, and catch up with friends. Loads of these game publishers always tried to tell us what features of the game they wanted to highlight in the short film we were about to make, and we always tried to put it in the script if possible. Where we drew the line was when it did not add to the entertainment value of the content.

You always want to put the value of entertainment above the need of telling it all. A lot of research and articles have covered this subject, but still many agencies and marketing-driven companies aren’t incorporating this important rule in their campaigns effectively yet. Entertainment helps to sell your service, product, or brand more than any advertising budget ever can!

3. We Research Our Targeted Audiences

Sometimes it’s cringe-worthy. An ad campaign targeted towards Generation Z (See this article I wrote for more on that specific generation) that’s painfully missing it’s main objectives: making teenagers talk about them or purchase their product.

Some time ago we decided it was time to develop an own case again where we tried to reach one of the hardest to reach and please audiences: young males between the age of 12-25. We researched what the most hyped-up internet topic was at that time for this target audience: PUBG. A game that was played by massive amounts of young males worldwide. We wrote a script, shot a funny short video about the game, and uploaded it to YouTube. At this time it’s been watched around 450.000 times on our own channel and has been reposted to several websites around the world that have 1 million-plus visitors daily. Our budget for shooting this short video was 50 euros. My point? If you know what your targeted audience likes and finds entertaining, you don’t need the most expensive crew you can find to reach the audience you want. You need the most creative one.

How Providing Entertainment Makes Your Product Or Brand Sell Better

How Providing Entertainment Makes Your Product Or Brand Sell Better 1080 720 cfxsquad

How Providing Entertainment Makes Your Product Or Brand Sell Better

Doom is upon us: advertising is dead. Influencer marketing effectiveness is plummeting. Click through rates are lower than the popularity of bingo night with grandma for Gen Z. Or is it? Are loads of agencies, companies, startups, and brands not applying the right methods to actively create brand awareness and conversions anymore? The short answer is: yes.

Welcome to the jungle.

Companies varying from startups to market leaders worldwide are splurging ships full of money on agencies that help them reach their target consumers in a B2C jungle. A jungle full of traps, shady reports, and empty promises. Where so-called snakes wait for their moment to pounce and snatch the deal. This is what digital marketing has become faster and faster in the last few years. And it is time to reevaluate how companies, in general, should try to master the online world. Let’s grab a machete and cut our way through this wildlife.

Why fix a working system? – The agency approach.

Let’s draw out a situation. Agency X has a nice collection of clients ranging from SMEs to a few multinationals. They provide content for online advertising in combination with digital marketing advice and execution. Content that is solely made for informational purposes and make consumers aware of the product. The reports Agency X provides to its clients are showing mediocre results. Our beloved clients seem to be OK with it and keep the contract alive and kicking with adding another six months to their agreement. This sounds wrong, doesn’t it? Well newsflash: it happens more than we’d like to believe.

Why do so many companies settle for mediocrity across the board when it comes to digital marketing and advertising? Because a lot of agencies and freelance marketing experts help them believe that’s the average result achievable for their case. And we can’t blame them for it, as a lot of these good-willed people also think it’s the best way to be seen.

The flaw of traditional advertising on social platforms

Traditional sounds negative. But is it really? It depends on who you are and what your goal is for your specific campaign. Let’s dive into how a lot of companies advertise online and figure out why it’s pulling the numbers it does. After that, let’s find a way to boost engagement and brand awareness by tweaking the approach.

” We just want the consumers to know what our product is all about in short video and picture creatives on social platforms. ” – Most marketing teams

The most widely used form of advertised content. Company Z has had some creatives made for their product and their partner Agency is making sure they advertise wisely on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram with said content for the budgets allocated by the company. Let’s say the product is a fashion item focused on Gen Z. The company is thinking about pulling some influencers in the mix with its partner Agency to promote its product even more with their target consumer. Their averages in clickthrough rates and conversion are average at best.

The solution

Stop. Focusing. On. Informational. Content. You can imagine the claps I do in between words yourself I suppose. Gen Z is becoming completely numb for this kind of advertising. And if the Gen Z guys and gals aren’t your customers yet, they will be very soon. I’m not making myself popular here around marketing experts I know, but it needs to be said.

Gen Z spends an average of ten hours a day on screens, so the amount of product ads thrown at them is unthinkably high. How do you stand out from the crowd? By putting short content entertainment before promotional value. The art of giving, not asking is our mantra here.

Millennials and Generation Z, in particular, love online entertainment in the form of their favorite influencers, Netflix, Disney+ and YouTube, and naturally, hate intrusive advertising. Like we said our fake company wants to sell their fashion item to Generation Z. Cut down your marketing money in ads for the first months with 50% and start creating an interesting short series where fashion influencers get to experience your product journey and share it with their audience through a unified series name with your product hashtag. You now are putting entertainment first, and promotion and sales second. And a lot of studies in the last few years have shown that this is where we are partly headed if we want effective campaigns with consumers keeping your brand in the back of their head for longer periods of time and have positive engagements with you.

So, what is our conclusion here?

Entertainment sells. Whether you are a tool manufacturer, a tech startup or a fashion designer. Make branded content a big and important part of your digital marketing strategy to make sure you still have profitable customer actions years down the road. Many companies and big brands did it before you Look for an agency that can assist you with this that has relevant experience and thinks outside the box. These companies will help you stand out from the masses.

We just made it through the jungle together. Check your legs and arms before you enter the car, please!