The Impact Of Drones On Web Marketing
Take Your Brand’s Story Telling to the Next Level With Stunning Visual Effects, Unique Perspectives, and New Points-Of-View (without breaking the bank)
We’re living in a visual world. In fact, video content will soon make up about 90 percent of all internet traffic, and adding visual content to your website boost your odds of earning first-page placement on Google by as much as 50 percent. See the marketing potential? From phone cameras to high-tech equipment, there are many ways to produce effective video images. The fairly recent introduction of affordable drones with high definition video cameras now offer the ability to capture stunning visuals from unique angles. Not surprisingly, marketers have discovered how to turn drone-produced video into impactful content. If you haven’t yet explored the possibility of using drones as part of your internet marketing strategy, consider the impact this technology has already had on marketing.
The Rapid Rise of Drones for Marketing
It has only been a short time since drone technology has been easily accessible, although it shouldn’t be too surprising that many marketers are now incorporating video and still images captured by these devices into web marketing efforts. The ability to operate a camera drone remotely eliminates the need to rely on more expensive options to capture the same type of footage.
Prior to drones, similar footage was typically captured by renting a helicopter for aerial shots. Hiring a helicopter even for a few hours can be expensive, and that cost only increases if the weather doesn’t cooperate for the desired aerial view. With drones, it’s easy to come back again when the weather clears or simply find another location.
Even outside of video applications, marketers and retailers quickly began finding uses for drones. Starting around 2014, some businesses began using them as flying billboards. Amazon is using them to speed up deliveries. A marketing company in Moscow used drones to fly fliers advertising lunch specials for one of their clients past office building windows, resulting in a 40 percent spike in lunch orders. Drones are successfully being used for several marketing purposes, including:
- Producing wedding and event videos for companies offering related services
- Dropping promotional items at sponsored events like concerts
- Flying banners within specific local areas (e.g., crowded beaches, streets with high pedestrian traffic)
- Generating movie-quality footage for brand-related video content
Advancing Brand Stories
Still, drones are most popular today for their ability to create stunning visual effects. Drone footage can be collected over several days or weeks to put together as a unique brand story that can be told across multiple online videos. For example, GE used drones to capture footage from several of its facilities to offer a behind-the-screens look at the company’s innovations.
On a smaller scale, the same concept can be used to capture real people or business-related events from a unique perspective to tell a compelling brand narrative. You could string together user-submitted drone-captured video or give people the general theme and make a contest out of it. Since more than 80 percent of consumers tend to gravitate towards brands that tell stories anyway, using drones for this purpose makes perfect sense.
Connecting Socially with Audiences
Nearly a million minutes of video are shared every second online — and a lot of that sharing is taking place via social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Visual channels like YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram are equally ideal social platforms for drone-produced content. Since visual content on social pages is meant to have maximum impact to encourage sharing, the images have to be of a higher quality than what may pass for acceptable on a webpage.
Drones allow businesses and marketers to up their quality without stretching their budgets in the process. Spending on digital video ads jumped about 30 percent from 2015 to 2016, and more than half of all marketers plan to further increase their social video ad budgets. Facebook has even created an aerial tech department they call the Connectivity Lab to explore the potential of drone technology for use with social media. Just consider how drone-produced imagery is already being used on various social pages:
- Action-packed selfies submitted by customers using specific products
- Short video clips of various vacation destinations on social platforms for travel or tourism companies
- Expansive property and location shots on real estate and travel social pages
Using Drone Imagery for SEO
When optimized correctly, drone-produced videos or images can boost your brand’s online visibility. Forty-eight percent of millennials are viewing video content exclusively on mobile devices, and mobile devices now drive more than half of all traffic to top sites. Take advantage of this appetite for video content by turning your drone-produced videos/images into an SEO asset. Consider some of the ways to accomplish this goal:
- Include descriptions or captions for drone images/videos with well-researched keywords and phrases
- Incorporate drone images into your existing website, blog, or social content that’s already been optimized for search engines
- Use backlinks from drone videos/images to direct searchers or viewers to your brand’s website
- Add high-quality drone images to a website that’s already been optimized for mobile devices to boost visibility in search engines (Google now has a mobile-first policy for ranking purposes, so drone video only enhances mobile appeal.)
Exploring Affordable, Out-of-the-Box Marketing Options
Now that the FDA has set some ground rules for drones, some of which have made it easier to use the technology, marketers can now explore affordable, out-of-the-box ways to use these remote flying devices. For instance, products that would otherwise be difficult to demonstrate can be shown in use. Aerial product views also offer a unique perspective that’s likely to catch a searcher’s eye because it’s different than what they normally see.
Many car companies have already used drones to highlight the road capabilities of their vehicles. With real estate marketing, drones can provide a better view than those offered by Google Maps with short video clips panning the property from above to give potential buyers an idea of what they’d be getting, including a look at the surroundings of the home. Events previously promoted online can now also be live-streamed from a camera drone.
Building a Stronger Brand Identity
Creative use of drones is also a cost-effective way to gain an edge over competitors. The effective use of drone aerial photography and cinematography in marketing can also help with brand identity in a way that wasn’t possible before, at least for smaller businesses without the budget to consistently capture or create stunning images with unique points-of-view. The aerial storytelling potential alone has the power to solidify a brand’s identity. Consider these unique applications of drone technology:
- Travel companies dropping free gifts from drones above cruise ships
- Photographers adding drone video options as part of their services
- Using “dronies” (a shot that starts at head level and then pulls out and up) to capture live events and using that footage later as part of web marketing efforts
If you don’t have access to a camera drone of your own, consider partnering with a web marketing company that has access to this technology. Anything that can make it easier to produce clear, impactful visual content is appealing for marketing and promotion purposes. And more than half of marketing professionals worldwide consider video the form of content with the best ROI, and that payback on your investment can be even better when you consider the quality images that can be produced with drones like the DJI Mavic Pro we use at Idea180. Contact us today to learn how drone marketing may benefit your business.
If you would like to know more about what drones can do and read reviews on some of the top models available, visit this 2017 Best Camera Drones Buying Guide.