Digital marketers are also finding much utility in drone technology and its applications. Interested in augmenting your own marketing efforts? Here are some of the ways drones can be used in this context:
Perhaps one of the most common uses of drones in digital marketing is in their application to create video content. Drones are capable of shooting video footage in 4K from an aerial point of view. Drones also come in handy for live streaming event campaigns, where one’s audience can get a bird’s eye view of a particular event in real-time.
This approach to filming is cost-efficient and produces beautiful results. Marketers can leverage this ability to capture amazing eye-catching footage for video campaigns at a fraction of the cost of hiring a photographer for similar footage. If the do-it-yourself approach is too complicated, marketers always have the option of hiring professional drone photographers and videographers.
Drones have proven their usefulness in gathering data for supply chain management, but they also have applications in data collection for digital marketing. Because drones can cover vast amounts of area in relatively little time, they are perfect for collecting market data. Data collection is integral to the success of any digital marketing campaign, with insights gleaned from data being the backbone of marketing strategy.
Today, drones can be fitted with special software that allows them to cruise over the crowd and gather relevant data. Using this technology, data analysts can draw actionable conclusions on how to structure their marketing strategy.
An overlooked application of drones in digital marketing comes in the form of advertisement opportunities. With major improvements in battery life (and thus the flight time of drones), drones can essentially be used as flying advertisements. A drone in flight always catches one’s attention, ensuring that people will notice any advertisements rigged to it. In this way, drones can be used to showcase promotional content.
This application of drones has, in fact, been seen in restaurants. They can act as a platform for advertising by flying around with menus, subsequently delivering a customer’s food order to their table.
Drones can significantly boost customer engagement with a specific brand. For instance, drones with promotional items could hypothetically be sent directly to consumers. Secondly, drones with high-resolution cameras could allow for real-time chats with customers and act as an avenue to render customer care. These are two possible scenarios for customer engagement that we may see in the future.
Finally, marketers can use drones as a means to get the masses involved in their brand by sponsoring drone competitions. For example, markets could host an incentivized competition for drone pilots, with a reward for the best drone footage in a particular place/topic area. Not only do these sorts of competitions spread brand awareness and increase engagement, they also result in tons of creative drone video footage that can be used in later campaigns.
Controversies With Drone Technology
For all its benefits, drone technology does come with its fair share of controversy. As with any disruptive developments, drones have raised a number of questions, especially when it comes to outdoor usage. What sort of airspace should they occupy? How complaints about drone noise be addressed? What new laws and regulations governing drone use need to be created? Regardless of how these questions are answered, using drones in marketing efforts shouldn’t be a problem as long as digital marketers follow regulations.
Marketers must ensure that their drones are registered and marked with a registration number. When in use, recreational pilots must carry this proof of registration with them. An additional restriction is that pilots must fly a drone at or below 400 feet in uncontrolled airspace. Obviously, drones shouldn’t be flown in controlled airspaces, such as around airports and military bases.
Further, when using a drone for marketing purposes, it is courteous to minimize any inconveniences as a result of drone flying. For example, common sense dictates that noisy drones should not be flown over residential areas during the night, which might disturb residents.
As drone technology continues to develop, there are sure to be more controversies as well as regulations in regards to their usage. For now, though, being sensible about drones and following the letter of the law is usually enough to ensure that one doesn’t run into any problems. Keeping this in mind, digital marketers can effectively improve their campaigns by leveraging drone technology.
Frankie Wallace is a recent graduate from the University of Montana. Wallace currently resides in Boise, Idaho.