Is short-form too long? Pitch’d makes social sharing competitions easier

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By Craig McGill | Digital Strategist

August 27, 2013 | 7 min read

Brands are increasingly implementing social sharing competitions as part of their digital strategies (this has been reflected in this year’s Social Buzz Awards). Adam Stamper, has set up Pitch'd to tap into this. He took some time to talk about why people should be stok’d for Pitch’d.

If companies and brands can already use hashtags and monitoring tools at relatively low costs if not free what makes Pitch’d different? And why should brands choose to outsource this role to Pitch’d?

There are three reasons for brands and their agency partners to use Pitch'd:

1) "All Platforms, All Screens": Pitch'd lets brands solicit short video from Vine, Instagram or MixBit - in other words, whichever short video platform their audience is already using. And then we make it incredibly simple for them to integrate the result across all screens - within their existing web presence, their Facebook page or mobile.

2) In-built Moderation: With any user-generated content, the brand needs to feel comfortable with what's shown. Our moderation options mean that each piece of content can be pre-moderated before appearing on the brand's leader board of submitted entries, ready to be voted on by the brand's audience.

3) Analytics: When a brand runs a contest through Pitch'd, we provide easy access to an analytics dashboard which shows entries, votes and reach by medium, by time period, by moderation outcome. At the end of the contest we provide downloads of the data so that brands and their agency partners can be confident they are achieving their campaign objectives.

Is Pitch’d designed solely for video or can picture competitions also be run across Instagram and Facebook platforms? If not why have you chosen only video? Does this reflect a trend in the industry?

We are focusing on video as the potential for creating highly engaging and involving content is so large. But contests run through Pitch'd also have the opportunity to include picture entries from Instagram, or native photos posted from Twitter.

What do you think it is about short-form video sharing that has made it so popular?

For me, the breakthrough was the launch of Vine. Their simple tap-to-take interface and limited duration meant that taking short videos felt lightweight.

It didn't need a lot of consideration, framing the shot, pressing record, being anxious about the outcome like a home video; instead you could fire up the app and in second’s capture what was in front of you.

If it didn't work, you did another. It was only six seconds of your time; why not? Vine's communication reflected that - it was interesting to see they don't talk about movies or filming, all of which have relatively heavy time-consuming preconceptions in users' minds; instead they talk about simply capturing your world.

What do you think the future holds for short-form video sharing?

Of course predicting the future is hard in any field and none more so than a field that's evolving as fast as short-form video. For me, one of the most interesting things will be to see how the parent companies of some of the big players cross-fertilize their platforms.

We're already seeing that with Facebook allowing their standalone Messenger app to access shots taken from Instagram. I'm sure there will be more.

The social media world is constantly changing and evolving how is Pitch’d set to develop with the industry?

We're working in a few different areas; one particularly interesting one is to look at providing some top-line understanding of the profiles of people who have entered or voted on a contest. This is a great indicator for brands to see who their most engaged users are, to help inform their future social activities.

Pitch’d has already worked with the RSPCA, which other companies have you worked with? Are there any other competitions that we might have heard about?

We're not able to talk in detail about other partnerships but suffice to say there have been several, and we're in negotiations with a range of major brands and agencies with some very exciting projects in the pipeline.

Can you tell us a bit more about MixBit?

I was intrigued by the recent launch of MixBit, founded by Steve Chen and Chad Hurley of YouTube fame. It goes beyond just capturing short clips and moves towards remixing them into short films.

Whilst this takes a lot more time and engagement than the point-and-shoot simplicity of Vine, it could open some really interesting new creative avenues for brands - imagine a competition to remix a brand's advertising, mixing in clips shot by their audience, or a musical artist challenging fans to remix their music video. It can create a whole new experience. That's why we were keen to add support for videos shared from MixBit in to Pitch'd.

Last but not least and on a personal note what is the best Vine/Instagram video you have seen and why?>

In terms of pure entertainment, I'm a huge fan of many of the stop-motion Vine videos made by Pinot Dita Pinot Dita - he takes a notepad and a pencil and turns it into something almost magical.

In terms of marketing, I'm a huge fan of Red Bull and I'm glad to see them getting stuck in; their first Instagram video of a base jump by Valery Rozov was posted last week and has been liked more than 30,000 times in its first day. It will be great to see them open that out from broadcasting towards a conversation with their fans, as they've done in the past with photo challenges.

Interview by Sarah Ward.

The Social Buzz Awards is open to entries until Friday 30th August 2013 submit entries here .

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