Mantas Velykis: Content marketing is growing, TV falling

Interview with Mantas Velykis, Creative Director of McCann Vilnius.

What do you think is the main trend in your business this year compared to previous years?

First of all - now content is really the king. In previous years we talked a lot about content marketing. Now we are doing a lot of content marketing ourselves. For some clients we produce a a mix of digital activation and content creation.

Another trend is that we are not doing TV ads anymore. TV spots are very expensive to buy and the money goes to the media, and not to what you are showing there. What we show on TV now are very quick 15 seconds animations, not big and grand stories. It’s more like banners with sound than TV commercials, like we used to have. When we saw that with low budgets in other media (Facebook, Google) you can achieve the same results as with big budgets on TV, we kind of turned away from TV.

There is a lot of competition in content marketing field: PR agencies, freelancers, publishers. How can you compete with the others?

We definitely have had to adapt, since we are not as quick as PR agencies or freelancers. Historically, we are more used to working with big budgets and things that take time to produce, opposed to quick production of short movies or articles. But we are adapting.

Another issue with content making is that it’s relatively cheap to produce compared to TV ad production. How can you maintain the revenue levels you are used to?

I think it’s lot about packaging the content; yes you can produce something and post it on YouTube or Facebook. But if you are doing bigger projects, you need more advanced platforms, which you maybe have to create yourself. Our future is not about quick and short projects, but more about big platforms with great content, so instead of scattering our content around in social media we publish it on a dedicated platform. We cannot compete with freelancer’s cheap prices, therefore we focus more on packaging the content than fast content creation.

Brands have hard times competing with teenage YouTubers. If you look at the most popular Youtube channels, then brands are real losers there. Why do brands have hard times gaining popularity on Youtube with their content?

The issue here is about risk. Producing good content is always about the risk and that’s something big brands are slow to adapt to and don’t feel comfortable doing it. This unpolished and more personal approach I think is coming, but it takes time.

What are biggest challenges for you regarding digital marketing?

The million dollar question for us is what people like, what goes viral. Even the research we have done never answers that question. With TV it’s easier, if it’s funny or dramatic, it might work. But with digital it’s a bit different. You will never know if it’s going to work or not. I think we have a very good understanding of TV, radio and other traditional media, but we are still far, far away of understanding digital.

Interviewed by Hando Sinisalu, Best Marketing International