The coronavirus crisis has had, and will continue to have, a huge effect on businesses. There is still plenty of uncertainty and hardship to come. Now that politicians are starting to talk about tentatively restarting things, we need to start to think about how we are going to work in this changed world. Will there be a bounce back to match the significant contraction - as there was after the 1919 flu epidemic - or are we in for something rather more protracted?
Related: COVID-19 has changed how we communicate. Read this blog post to learn about the COVID communication problems and what you can do about them.
Whatever comes next, producers and commissioners need to take a moment to reassess our approach to the content that we share and the brand videos we produce. In our latest Better Video Podcast, Nick is joined once again by content marketing strategist Chris Le'cand Harwood to discuss how communicators, marketers and recruiters can use to make this reassessment.
What does Brands as Broadcasters mean?
This is a follow on from the episode on what ‘brands being broadcasters’ means. Essentially it is a shift in the way that brands think about the content they produce. For traditional broadcasters, the content that they produce and share is their product. Now that we all have the ability to share content in the same way that they do, we should be thinking in the same way that they do – that the content that you share is another of your brand’s products and that you should be aiming to grow a long term relationship with your audience with it. We unpack many of the steps that you need to take to grow these relationships in our Guide To Brand Video Production.
The Post Corona Content Framework: Back to first principles...
1. Begin with the End in Mind
Take a moment to consider exactly what you are trying to achieve with your project. The clearer you can be on this at the outset the more chance you have of actually achieving it. Has Corona changed this? Do you need to slightly shift focus in order to succeed. Do this work now, before anyone picks up a camera and you could save money and a fair amount of work in the long run.
2. Think audience first
Making content specifically for your target audience is so important that Nick almost called his book – ‘it’s all about the audience’ – The New Fire is admittedly a little more dynamic. It is very easy to think that you are doing this but far too many communicators produce communications that tailor to themselves, to their own needs, interests and motivations.
3. Use your business' purpose to create content that aligns with your audience needs
Once you understand exactly who your audience are and what they are motivated by, you can start to look at how your brand’s proposition intersects with that. It is always useful to consider your businesses core purpose - or 'why' - for inspiration as this can help you to create content that hangs together and serves what you are trying to achieve as a business at a deep level.
Listen to Nick and Chris discuss these points on the latest Better Video Podcast.4. Create content of real value to your audience
Provide a clear answer to your audience’s ‘What’s in it for me?’ (WIIFM) question.
Content marketing is about delivering ‘value’ to the audience. What do we actually mean by that? Marketing guru Seth Godin describes it as follows:
“...something that people would seek out, and that they would miss if it wasn’t there.”
Related: Want to create value-driven content? Read this blog post to learn how you can get your marketing production team to produce video that your audience wants to see.
5. Plan and produce in advance
Whatever you are trying to achieve, it’s important to use your resources as effectively as possible. The best way to do this is to batch as much content as possible at the outset of your project. Shooting and the creation of assets for your campaign is one of the costliest stages of the whole process so the more outputs that you can get the better. Once you have assembled this kit of parts you can share them and repurpose them as you go.
6. Start small and Iterate as you scale
Social media and the online content environment is perfect for testing and continually iterating as you see what is working with your audience. As Mike Tyson said:
“Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the face”
That’s fine – be ready to shift resources to areas of your campaign that are working well – away from those that are not. Be ready to ‘roll with the punches’ to extend the metaphor.
Whatever you do - make your content as good as possible
At Creative Films, our marketing video production team has found that the quality of the creative messaging in your content is essential to making successful branded videos. This is so important that it makes up 8/10ths of the impact of your campaign. This is where you should invest in doing it properly. A film is not simply a film. If all you are after is a film, then of course you can and should shoot it with your iPhone. If you are serious about using video as a tool to overcome a business challenge, then do it properly. The better the creative, the less work you will have to do to help it get traction, which will ultimately save you money.
"75% to 80% of a campaign’s effectiveness is defined by the quality of the creative messaging" - Google / YouTube
Once you can see what is resonating for your target audience you can start to amplify with targeted promotional spending. The spectre of ‘viral video’ looms large over much of the online content production world and unfortunately for the most part is just that – a spectre. Even the most effective snowballs need a strong nudge to get them rolling down the hill. The more you are able to put into targeted promotion, the more chance your message has of being seen by the right people.
Do the work to understand who your audience is and what makes them tick. Create great content that aligns with that need and then improve it as you go. You’ll be well on your way to making your post-corona content more successful than ever.
We are going to be sharing a wide range of content over the coming weeks to help you to make the most of the world that we are moving into. Take a moment to register to receive our weekly newsletter to make sure you don’t miss any of it.