Look, up in the sky! Is it a bird! Is it a plane! No it’s a….tiny, flying robot? With the end of 2018 looming, it’s hard to imagine that anyone hasn’t heard of drone technology – even just in passing. From Super Bowl half-time shows to delivering your online orders, drone technology has only become more sophisticated in the last few years; and companies all over the globe are looking at how they can harness their power to bring something unique to their customers.
You may even have seen these flying machines down at the beach, or at your friend’s wedding this summer, as amateurs and professionals alike are increasingly using them for business and pleasure. However, their developing quality and ease of use are steadily becoming a tool in the marketing world, and more than just a hobbyist’s delight. Keep scrolling to see how you can take advantage of drone technology to increase your marketing reach.
The Ultimate Aerial Camera
We’ll start with the most obvious one first: the camera. In the past, in order to create stunning aerial footage for your client or yourself, you had to have access to a whole slew of professionals. From helicopters and cranes to professional photographers, achieving those stunning panoramas was a much more complicated task.
All of that equipment and people have basically been reduced into one piece of technology – the drone. With a little bit of experience and training, any marketer can use a drone to capture amazing content. We all know pictures speak a thousand words, imagine how much more eye-catching it would be to have aerial footage of your neighborhood when selling your home through an online real estate company, for example (see pic below). Tools like drones are definitely making it easier to capture content.
During the 2013 Super Bowl, the power went out for nearly thirty minutes. Just a technical difficulty? Oreo managed to seize on this glitch and used it as an opportunity to do some clever online marketing by tweeting, “Power out? No problem. You can still dunk in the dark.” Obviously, Oreo didn’t know the power outage would happen, but, this is a perfect example of “moment marketing”. So, how do drones fit into this?
With drone manufacturers making it easier and easier to use their product (some can even be controlled from your smartphone), this is the perfect opportunity to insert yourself into the conversation. Is there a major event or festival taking place in your town? Does someone need directions to your business? With a drone, you can quickly seize the moment and capture events as they happen in real time.
Another Member of Your Team
Drones can be more than a part of the production crew – they can also be the star of the show! You may think of drones as just flying cameras, but they can be a whole lot more with a little creative storytelling. While drones are becoming increasingly more present in society, they are still unique and rare enough to be compelling content all by themselves.
People love to see them fly around. Why not take a page out of Amazon’s playbook and have your drone as another “face” of your company? Think Pixar’s Wall-E. By using your drone as a character in your marketing narrative, the possibility of these machines opens up even more.
A Whole New Selling Platform
Traditionally, marketing mediums included television ads, billboards, print ads, radio ads, and internet ads. A drone’s uniqueness makes it a great new platform to deliver your company’s message on, believe it or not.
Where billboards or even TV ads are stationary and passive to their audience, a drone allows a company to deliver a marketing message directly and aggressively. For example, if you’re listing your property online through a flat-fee mls service but want more people in your community to know, you could have your drone hand out flyers on the street.
Or perhaps you could even get a banner or poster created and have your drone hold it at a local event. Of course, be sure to contact your city to check what the local law is regarding drone advertisements. You can always check out the FAA’s website to see the safety guidelines for drone usage established by Congress. Mostly, you’ll need to stay away from airports, military bases, and the White House; but, be sure to read through them all to avoid any hiccups.
With drones being their own advertising platform, this opens your business up to a whole new potential client base. People having their lunch break in the park, or people attending a local farmer’s market are now directly reachable. This gives you a better chance of capturing clients that may not have otherwise engaged with your traditional marketing messages.
One of the best things about drones is their unlimited marketing potential. As they are such new and unique tools, we’ve only just scratched the surface of their capabilities.
Here’s another Super Bowl example for you. Intel used 500 drones to power a part of Lady Gaga’s halftime show at Super Bowl LI (see picture above). Syncing up their drones with her show, they programmed them to perform sophisticated patterns in conjunction with her music. Of course, at the end they also used their drones to display their trademark across the sky once they had captured everyone’s attention.
This is an example of what can be done with drones and a lot of expertise. However, we think it’s also the perfect example of how you can take your marketing efforts “out of the box”. When done right, drones can be used as a form of performance art that’s sure to grab the attention of your target market.
The future is now. Drone technology will likely only get better and more sophisticated as time marches on. People are constantly innovating and creating new ways to use them for leisure and business purposes. If a marketer can stay up-to-date and ahead of the curve with this technology, the sky is definitely the limit when it comes to developing new, exciting, and dynamic ways of marketing.