Pourquoi le web documentaire est l’atout ultime de brand content pour votre marque.
The attention war is raging. In the middle of this battlefield to capture ever more volatile consumers, snack content seems to reign supreme.
However, in this terrain hostile to the exhaustive, where the short format and the “pub” axis often prevail over the developed content and the abundance of information, an extraordinary format continues to appeal to brands and prove its effectiveness: the documentary web.
Defying the standards of social networks and advertising in general, this media has nothing to envy to its colleagues in content strategy, quite the contrary.
At the Strategies awards ceremony in September 2018, the money in the “editorial strategy” category was given to CNIEL for its web doc “At the time of milk”. This digital experience, imagined and carried out by the Sweet Punk agency, responds to the transparency issues encountered by the dairy industry.
During this ceremony, we were able to observe the storytelling elements that make the biggest brands vibrate today. And it is clear that this long format still has a bright future ahead of it.
So what are the advantages of this complete format which regularly comes to the fore?
Transcribe the values of a brand through engaging experiential content.
The documentary web is an interactive object halfway between the report, the documentary and the mini-site. These three formats come together around a common theme that will serve the brand that is behind it.
The interactive report, when properly produced, offers educational entertainment wrapped in an experiential setting that will play on the emotion of the Internet user. It will make it possible to provide the user with a wide choice of content related to the brand in a sufficiently playful and organized manner so as not to lose or annoy the user.
This format, naturally more exhaustive and deep than what brands can be used to, is fertile ground for storytelling: more content staged, it is also more levers to activate to tell a story to the and immerse them in a strong brand experience.
To do this, the documentary web takes advantage of three stimuli – texts, image and sound – which will each enrich the content of the brand and contribute to the immersion of the Internet user.
The long format differs from simple reporting. It is also part of real events, but is differentiated by a particular work carried out on the scripting and the prioritization of the content to make it more digestible and entertaining.
In the case of “À l’heure du lait”, storytelling and poetry are part of a real context with real challenges for the brand. The milk industry is strongly criticized and there is a need for honesty and transparency. The web documentary then appears as the appropriate response since it will make relevant content available to the consumer while wrapping it in pleasant narration.
While brands are struggling to control their image in an era of virality and fake news, interactive reporting acts as an arbiter, as objective evidence of a brand’s actions towards a subject that affects consumers.
Freedom of navigation that generates engagement
The web documentary offers a non-linear reading of the content. The reader may be suggested a certain route, but it is he who remains in control of his experience. He will discover the brand and the theme of the documentary web at his own pace, depending on what appeals to him or not. In this, the documentary web is particularly engaging since it makes the Internet user both spectator and actor of the experience that the brand offers.
This freedom of navigation offered by the director and the screenwriter translates into different entry points into the work. Immediate reading upon arrival on the site can very well be complemented by a chapter system, by theme navigation or even by independent content sheets.
No content will be imposed on the user, he can even voluntarily choose to hide some to lighten his experience. The objective of the long format is therefore to facilitate maximum access to content for the user by suggesting a fun path that he is likely to follow, adapt or ignore.
All of these measures allow a great implication in the narrative while preserving the autonomy of the Internet user.
What advantages for brands?
The documentary web has its own characteristics that are not found in more traditional content formats.
First, the documentary web is in essence a narrative experience. The richness of its content makes it a vector for storytelling in which the subject addressed and the media that carries it are one. This allows you to distill dense content on a platform that will perfectly embody it. There is no better way to be talkative without being boring. CHANEL with its web documentary “Inside n ° 5” http://inside.chanel.com/en/no5 provides the spectator with a wide choice of hierarchical and chaptered content, which allows you to dive into the rich cultural heritage of marks without drowning.
Second, the documentary web is not intrusive since the user creates his own journey through the proposed interface. He apprehends the theme personally and according to his own reflection, which allows him to build meaning from the content made available.
Finally, the documentary web is a pledge of immersion for the user and contributes to improving the image of the brand. This component is felt through the digital experience, but also through the non-surface processing of information. The fact of approaching a subject in a comprehensive manner changes from what we are used to seeing, the brand then positions itself as an expert on its subject and distinguishes itself from a competition which would confine itself to snack content.
The Vogue web documentary entitled “FAFSWAG” is directly in line with this desire for immersion since, through a menu filmed in the 1st person and a 360 ° navigation between the different scenes, the user is immersed in the heart of a dance battle of which he becomes the arbiter.
The potential of the documentary web: the technological turning point.
The web documentary brings freedom in the way a brand treats its content.Habilement couplé au savoir-faire d’une agence digitale, il est l’occasion de rajeunir l’image du traditionnel documentaire en l’habillant de technologie pour le rendre plus sexy, plus accessible.
In the web documentary “At the time of milk” produced for the CNIEL by Sweet Punk, certain content was staged by 360 ° video inserts which energize the navigation of the user. It literally plunges into the theme of the web documentary since it finds itself in the middle of the cows. The result is an immersion pushed to its climax, a token of emotion for the user.
In this same project, drone views have enriched the visual content of the documentary web by providing aerial views that echo the freedom felt by the user when browsing.
The potential of the documentary web is vast and can only be fully exploited with a perfect mastery of technology and a certain amount of audacity on the part of the brands and the agencies that represent them.
Best practices and examples to follow.
The success and effectiveness of the web documentary lies more in the agency’s creative biases than in the subject matter. It is certainly easier to arouse emotion through an accessible theme that speaks to the public, but the best of the subjects is nothing without the perfect execution which goes with it.