COVID-19 will redefine the way we produce and consume content forever.

So we are devoting our Knowledge section to everything you need to know about the ways our industry is changing. If you have any questions at all, or want us to feature something here, please drop us a line and we'll be happy to help you.

#ThoughtforThursday: The Kaleidescope of Humanity

Posted by Nick Francis
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As many of you will know, Casual Films started out in a 1987 Mini on the road from London to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia. That trip taught us a lot – that a 2005 MacBook isn’t a match for HD footage, that much of the world are amazing at mending old cars and that people everywhere are generally surprisingly generous, decent and kind.

It also showed us how we are all just a part of the continuum of humanity. We picked our way through 18 countries, passing within miles of the Chinese border, ending up due north of Jakarta in Indonesia. As we drove, the UK became France became Belgium, became Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia. We experienced a whole kaleidoscope of ways of life. Each country and culture similar to the one before but becoming significantly more different as we travelled.

One of the shortcomings of the way that air travel works is that it skips out so much of the world as it changes beneath you. We are picked up and plonked somewhere else so that differences seem so much more pronounced. It's easy to focus on those differences. Now that a third of the human population, 2.6 billion people, are locked down (more than were on the planet during World War II), sharing a common if individually different experience, it’s a reminder of just how similar we all are.

Topics: About Casual, Culture & Values, Coronavirus Content, Thought for Friday

Post-Corona Content Framework – 2. Understand who your audience is

Posted by Nick Francis
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Last time, we looked at the importance of knowing what you need to achieve with the content that you are sharing. Step two of the content framework is reviewing exactly who the audience for your content is.

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. Take the time to understand exactly who they are, demographically and psychographically.

What do we mean by that?

Demographics

Demographics cover a range of facts that illustrate who the audience member is. There are huge amounts of data available online, which is one of the main reasons that the major social networks and e-commerce sites have been able to make such vast amounts of money.

Data is hugely valuable, and yet most web users are happy to give theirs away in return for the ‘free’ usage of the service – an online map for example. This huge amount of data means that these companies can charge large amounts for marketing, because the information they have means that marketing messages can be extremely targeted.

Examples of demographic information:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Income
  • Occupation
  • Education
  • Marital status
  • Religion
  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Sexual orientation
  • Generation

Geographics

Geographics are similar to demographics in that they are also facts. You can just spread your net to include a smaller or wider grouping of them. Do be aware that you may find that these are impacted by visits by bots Geographics include the following:

  • House
  • Street
  • Village
  • Town
  • City
  • Region
  • Nation
  • Continent
  • Hemisphere
  • Global

Have a project that you would like to discuss with one of our producers? That's great, click here and give us a couple of details and an experienced member of the team will be back in touch to make it a success.


The problem with Demographics, an example...

The major issue is that information is just data. It doesn’t tell you enough about the underlying motivations of the target persona. This can lead to challenges. For example, we may be looking to target this person:

  • Male
  • Over 60 years old
  • High net worth
  • Divorced
  • Has children
  • Drives expensive cars
  • Lives in a large house
  • Has pets

Prince of Wales-1The Prince of Wales

Ozzy Prince of DarknessThe Prince of Darkness

This unlikely pairing both fall into the aforementioned data pool.* Because of this, it is useful to consider other factors that are more instructive of the type of content they may engage with.

* Thanks to Richard Purvis from Crunch Simply Digital for this example.

Psychographics

psychographics

sʌɪkə(ʊ)ˈɡrafɪks

plural noun

“The study and classification of people according to their attitudes, aspirations and other psychological criteria, especially in market research.”

Where demographics are a collection of objective data, psychographics are subjective information. This makes them extremely useful for marketers, because they allows us to understand the audience’s motivations. Once we understand these, we can start to communicate with them in a way that will engage and drive them to action.

Psychographics are also known as IAO variables: interests, activities and opinions. I find it more helpful to think of them in this way, as it makes it easier to think about, and the word ‘psychographics’ sounds pretty much like jargon. IAO information is, by its nature, fuzzier than the solid, black- and-white facts of demographics. In reality, it is far more useful.

On top of interests, activities and opinions, psychographic information includes personality, values and lifestyle. These give us a far clearer way of thinking about what will engage the audience member. As we can see here:

Guy-400x267

Demographic view:

  • Male
  • Mid-thirties
  • Lives in Brooklyn, NY
  • Married
  • Born in the UK

Psychographic view:

  • Plays guitar in a band
  • Likes travel, festivals & gigs
  • Loves fish and chips
  • Subscribes to Rolling Stone
  • Follows Radiohead on Instagram

By looking at the demographic information, we can see just how valuable the additional psychographic information is to someone looking to create content for this man. The demographic information could point us towards anyone from a banker working on Wall Street to a youth-group worker or a dustman – this makes targeting them challenging. You could take out a billboard in Manhattan, for example, but that’s not exactly cost-effective/efficient.

The psychographic information, on the other hand, allows us to understand exactly how to communicate on a level that will engage him. For example, we could share trailers for a video series on a road trip to a festival in South Africa. You could enhance the offer with a competition to win tickets and travel to the same festival next year. We are only able to offer this because we understand what makes our target audience tick.

Once you know what the audience likes/wants/needs to watch, then you can look at what you do as a company and see what you can create and share for them. There is naturally a fine balance to creating the content that people want to watch and plugging your company/products.

The content that you produce should lie at the intersection between what will be of value to your identified audience and your purpose as a business.

Creating target-audience personas

A target-audience persona is a fictional person who exhibits the characteristics of your target audience.
This helps you to think more clearly about them.

This is where the whole audience-targeting process gets creative. Rather than thinking about target-audience groupings as an amorphous mass of people – which is where it’s easy to go wrong (targeting millennials is an archetypal example of this*) – it helps to create a stereotype individual.

* Although it is often put forwards as a target grouping, a millennial is anyone born between 1982 and 2000. This is far too broad a category to engage effectively, certainly with a single output. You need to be far more specific by adding in more criteria with which to differentiate them.

AudiencesOr, better still – to reflect the wider group – five stereotyped individuals. Each character should be (as much as possible) a living, breathing character with a backstory. This will help you think about the different ways that you can engage them.

Start by giving them a memorable name, for example:

  • Tracy the Techie
  • Simon the Scientist
  • Grace the Graduate
  • Tim the Trainee

This helps to kickstart your creative thinking for the next stage.

Paint a picture of their character by asking questions about them and the things they do. This is best done with a few members of the team, so you can bounce suggestions off each other.

Questions might include the following:

  • Where do they live?
  • Where do they get their news?
  • What do they do at the weekend?
  • What music do they listen to?
  • What blogs do they read?
  • What are their hopes/dreams/goals?
  • What’s the first thing they think about in the morning?

 

Pain point

Pain points

One of the most important things to know about any audience is what their ‘pain points’ are. These are their concerns or fears: the things that keep them up at night. The main reason for their high value to us, as communicators, is that the fear of loss is a far greater motivator for action than the promise of gain. People obviously have a very wide range of these, from the minor (e.g. finding a parking space) to the existential fear of illness and death. As you can tell from this last – maybe crass – example, you want to be very careful how you use these. You want your content to assist, not fear monger among your audience. You should know their fears, so that you can know how to remedy or soften them.

Pain-point questions might include these:

  • What keeps them up at night?
  • What are they worried about at work?
  • What is the hardest thing they have to deal with day to day?
  • What is their greatest fear/insecurity?
  • What annoys them about something that they do regularly?

For example, a new parent will be very interested in content that helps them live the life they led before they had their baby.

 

Gathering data

Once you have a clear idea of the questions that you want to answer, you should fill in as many of them as possible that you know. You may already have much of the information you need. Try to build up as much of a picture of the different personas as possible. There are a few different ways that you can gather the data you need to do this:

  • Share a survey with existing customers
  • Interview clients
  • Use social media tracking/monitoring tools; e.g. Facebook Dashboard
  • Research websites/forums/blogs
  • Evaluate your website / use Google Analytics
  • Look at Quora/Reddit

Bear in mind that some of the online data may be generated by bots. Because of this, you need to make a sharp assessment as to how much you can trust. Be thorough, and discount information that is false. If you are unsure, look at ways that you know are secure – interviews, blogs from known sources, and focus groups.

Sharing content for your target group

Once you have clear personas agreed, you can start to think about the type of content that they will respond to. This should feed into your briefing document.

You should also think about where that content should be distributed to get the best engagement from your target group. One of the great things about sharing content online is that it allows you to target your audience with remarkable accuracy. It also allows you to see how the audience grouping responds to different types of content, which, in turn, allows you to tailor the message/content to get the best response. This could be as simple as changing the title or thumbnail image, right through to full reshoots/re-edits.


If you're interested in using video on your social channels it's important to get the length right for the platform. You can download our guide to doing that right here.

Topics: Being a better commissioner, Content Strategy, Coronavirus Content

#FoodieFriday: Producer Sanica's Fish Curry

Posted by Sanica Apte
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If you’re looking for something warm, spicy, and comforting look no further! This is a great, simple curry that’s way easier to make than you think. The gravy is delicious by itself and the fish absorbs all the flavour as it cooks through in there. 

And, this dish is made with things that you probably have in your cupboard already! As long as you’ve got some good spices on hand, you’re all set. Pair this with some naan or rice, and you’ve got yourself a tasty meal. (Frozen naan from the grocery store are super tasty, just bake them for 5-10 minutes and they’ll come out fluffy and delicious). 

The best thing about this is that it’s infinitely customisable! Don’t like fish? Sub in some chicken or tofu (or paneer)! Prefer lower spice? Dial the number of chillies back! You can iterate on this in so many ways, the possibilities are endless. And, it takes less than 30 minutes to cook.

Ingredients (makes 2 portions): 

4 x fillets of fish of your choosing. (Or chicken! Or Tofu! Use whatever you want y’all)

1 x large onion 

½ can of tomatoes

½ cup cilantro (use as much as you like) 

1-2 green chilies (or skip if you don’t like it spicy) 

1-2 tablespoons of Garam Masala OR Fish Curry Masala (Garam Masala is more versatile, and you can use it on anything. Fish Curry Masala is obviously a bit more specific.) 

1-2 tablespoons of salt

1 tablespoon of chopped garlic

1 tablespoon of grated ginger 

2 tablespoons olive oil 

Steps: 

  1. Chop your onions, chilies, ginger, and garlic and cilantro. Cut fish into 1-2 inch cubes.
  2. Add oil to a hot pan.

  3. Put in your onions, chilies, ginger, and garlic and sauté until caramelised.
     
  4. Add in your masala and salt. Mix in.  
  5. Add in your tomatoes. Add half of your cilantro. Mix again. 
  6. Cook until it’s a nice orange color (only takes 2-3 minutes).
  7. Optional step: Remove your mixture from the pan and put it into a blender and blend into a smooth consistency. Restaurants do this to make it all smooth but it doesn’t really change the taste. Feel free to skip if you don’t care about having it blended. 
  8. Once your base is ready, add in the fish and simmer until cooked through. 
  9. Garnish with remaining cilantro.
  10. Enjoy with rice or naan or roti! 

Topics: About Casual, Coronavirus Content, #FoodieFriday

#ThoughtforThursday: Make it easy on yourself

Posted by Nick Francis
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“Everyone's got a plan till they get punched in the face”

- ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson

Life has been getting faster and faster over the last few years. There's been a continual pressure to optimise almost everything we do. Cooking became '30-minute meals', became '15-minute meals', workouts at your desk, books condensed to read on a tube journey. We were always on, always striving, always trying to improve. Living your best life - the best life possible - was the name of the game.

Punches to the face don’t come much more dislocating – or protracted – than being forced home for months on end. Driven into the Groundhog Day cycle of ‘what day is it? - what week is it?!' repetitiveness. 'Optimisation' has become almost impossible, squeezed by the monotony of space and time.

Yes, this could be a time to learn a new language, or bake, or do any of the million things that you have been planning to do forever. But then, we’ve all been punched in the face, fairly hard. That's not something to optimise, it's something to survive. Give yourself a break, read a book, look after the kids, go for a walk - give yourself a break - because living your best life right now could just be avoiding hitting the mat.

The Walker Brothers - Make it Easy on Yourself

Topics: About Casual, Culture & Values, Coronavirus Content, Thought for Friday

Post-Corona Content Framework – 1. Know what you're aiming at

Posted by Nick Francis
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“Begin with the end in mind”

- Steven Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

As we covered in our recent post, the corona crisis makes it essential for businesses to reassess their approach to content. In that post we covered our framework for how you can do that effectively. In this post, and over the next few weeks, we are going to be covering how you work through that process in a little more depth. Here we cover the first step in that process – being clear about what exactly you want to achieve with your content.

Has your broader business strategy changed? Has this changed what you need your content to do?

Corona may have changed the goals that you are working toward – have the numbers that you are looking to hire changed? Have your sales goals been changed? These are some of the things that you need to consider before you begin as they may change the approach that you need to take.

Whether you are running a start-up or commissioning campaigns for a Fortune 500 company, all of the content you produce should align with your broader business objectives. Before you start your project/campaign, think about how its successful completion will help you achieve your business strategy. This could be through improving recruitment, explaining and selling more products, or launching a new office.

Whatever it is, make sure it aligns with your goals. If it doesn’t, is it the right thing to do? Do you need to rethink? It is a tragedy to get to the end of a time-consuming and expensive process only to realise that you didn’t need to do it in the first place.

Define success; what exactly are you trying to achieve?

The first step to a successful strategy is defining exactly what you are trying to achieve; i.e. what does success look like? Are you looking to reduce staff turnover, have a successful launch of a new product or just improve awareness of your brand? The goals for any project should be tied to your broader brand strategy.

You should have a clear goal for all your marketing, specific goals for video in general, and, beyond this, each piece of video content should have specific goals it was created to achieve.

All of these objectives should be defined as SMART goals (that is, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound). So, “We want more applications” becomes “We want to increase online portal job applications by 25% over the period from 1st June to 30th September.”

This then gives you a clear yardstick against which to assess your success. Did applications increase, but only by 12%? Did written applications increase instead? Did the material you shared get a lot of interest, but then fail to drive actual applications?

Beware: Make sure KPIs directly reflect the desired outcomes

Be aware that the goals that you set for your content will shape the way that your creative evolves. If you set the wrong KPIs and then aim to optimise them, it will start to skew your project away from where you want it to be. You need to be very careful that the KPIs represent exactly what you are looking to achieve. For example, if you want to improve the quality of applications for a new job role, for example, it won’t necessarily be enough to simply track the overall number of applicants. If you were to set that as a goal, it might be easiest to increase the number of applicants by getting poorer-quality candidates to apply.


What can we measure?

One of the most significant challenges to face online video is that much of the immediate benefit is intangible. Improved brand affinity, while leading to longer-term success, is not the easiest thing to measure with data. Because of this, it is essential to define a KPI that is measurable. This tends to boil down to three different types of metrics:

Awareness

This is the simplest form of measurement and the easiest to record. How many people have seen the video, how far through did they watch and where were they watching from – all this information is easy to get from YouTube, Vimeo, Wistia or whichever hosting site carries the video. This is the least valuable metric because it is so superficial. You don’t know who is watching, whether they hated it or whether they were even looking at the screen. Facebook counts a ‘view’ as any portion of the video being visible for 2 seconds or more. That’s not really long enough for anything meaningful.

It’s more useful for 200 of your target audience to see your content than it is for 200,000 people from the wrong group. There is also the dubious nature of the viewing figures. It’s possible to boost video by buying views, usually though automated bots. While this might trick a potential viewer into thinking the video is more popular than it is, this really is no substitute for genuinely great content that people actually want to watch.

Engagement

This leads us on to engagement. This might include the audience liking, sharing or commenting on your videos. This is a major step up from simple views. As a very rough rule of thumb, most pieces of decent content get around one engagement for every ten views. If you are focusing on this metric, set your bar high; it’s worth pushing for comments and shares, rather than likes. For many people, a ‘like’ is someone who wasn’t moved enough by your content to want to share it.

Action

Action is ultimately what we’re after. Making video in the business sphere is about driving actions, so it makes sense to use them as a desired metric. Actions can be almost anything, from applications for a job role to donations on a crowdfunding page. The useful thing about focusing on these as goals is that they are tangible and indisputable.

One thing that is disputable, though, is the extent to which an individual piece of content drove a specific action. If the viewer stays on the site and directly makes a purchase, for example, that’s straightforward enough. Where it gets more complex is when the action is not directly attributable to the content. The target might watch a video, go away, think about it, discuss it with a friend, and then go and make a purchase from an unconnected source. You can measure that on a very general level, but video is rarely used in isolation. It forms part of a wider communications matrix, all driving towards one or many different goals.

It is important to know how much impact the content of the video is having versus how or where it is served to the viewer. The ‘right’ video at the wrong time may not generate the response it will at the right time. That doesn’t necessarily mean that there was anything wrong with the output.


Define/review the target audience

The first step in developing your content plan is understanding exactly who your audience are. Luckily, if you have been through the briefing process thoroughly, you should have gained a good understanding then. Once you have a really clear idea of the people you need to reach, you can start to think about where you might be able to reach them. It’s important to understand where in the buying cycle they are, so that you can supply the right type of content at the right time. Programmatic marketing can help you with this. We'll cover this in more depth in our next post.

Audit all of your existing content

Before you begin, it’s important to know exactly what you have produced in the past, so that you can learn any lessons from what worked or could have been better. It also allows you to avoid duplication, and gives you the opportunity to reuse/optimise some of the content, if appropriate. The chances are that your business will already have lots of video content that you have produced over the years. Some of it will be good, and some bad, but it’s surprising what can be done in the production process to standardise the look of material from different sources. Being thrifty here allows you to put more of the budget where you will be able to see it.

Define the delivery method

The chances are you will be sharing your videos across the various different social media channels, from YouTube and Facebook to Instagram and TikTok. Each of these require a slightly different approach to the delivery to maximise on their idiosyncrasies. If you would like to discuss what these are one of our exec producers would be happy to take your call.


We had one client that was looking to run some internal communications videos to keep its staff up to date with what was happening in the wider company. These were power-station workers. Their average age was in the late 50s, and smartphone/computer usage was a single-digit percentage. We looked, for a time, at the possibility of cutting the films into short outputs and then having them playing on screens that we would put up in the men’s room and other communal areas where the audience would spend time. In the end, they didn’t go ahead with it, but the example illustrates the creative thinking that can be employed to get the right people to see your films.


Types of Online Distribution

There are three different avenues for distributing your content online. The content that you produce for each channel may be slightly different, in terms of the length, style and call to action.

160808.highres.media

Owned media

These are all the channels for which you own the control. They include your website, social pages, intranet and internal staff communications. The information here is what your brand says and what people say to you. Around 90% of online conversations about brands do not take place on their own pages. This means you have to get out there to influence these conversations.

Earned media

Your earned media are shares of your content, and articles and blogs written about your channels. This is what people say about you. You earn views here by creating content that people want to engage with and share.

Paid media

Your paid channels are, unsurprisingly, the ones you have to pay for. They include paid posts, traditional advertising and programmatic marketing.


If you're interested in using video on your social channels it's important to get the length right for the platform. You can download our guide to doing that right here.

Topics: Being a better commissioner, Content Strategy, Coronavirus Content

#ThoughtforThursday: The power of Mother Nature

Posted by Nick Francis
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One of the silver linings of the whole world grinding to a halt is just how fast Mother Nature bounces back when humanity takes its foot off her throat. From Venice to London to LA residents are amazed by the clarity of the water, the blueness of the sky. Early in the lockdown, satellite images showed us that as the hum of human activity drops off, harmful pollution does too. Even before the crisis, the large no-go area around the Chernobyl nuclear reactor led to a thriving ecosystem of wolves, bears, lynx and hundreds of birds. Marine sanctuaries regrow corals rapidly and teem with wildlife where before there was just wasteland.

This is not to say that the economic devastation brought by the corona virus is in anyway a positive thing - far from it. The world is witnessing countless hardships, miseries and personal tragedies which no-one would welcome. What it does show though is just how powerful the global ecosystem's tendency toward balance is. Climate change - the next supreme challenge for humanity - is going to require a global effort to overcome. What this small glimmer has shown us, is that the planet is ready and able to help us when we make that effort.

Topics: About Casual, Culture & Values, Thought for Friday

Reassessing your approach to content post-corona

Posted by Nick Francis
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The corona virus 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?

Whatever comes next producers and commissioners need to take a moment to reassess our approach to the content that we share. 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.


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. Align your audience’s needs with your brands proposition and values

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 core purpose as this can provide a range of clues to

Better Video Podcast StillListen 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.”


TRUE: A simple way to think about creating content of value for your audience.

In terms of thinking about your content, a simple guide to this is that the audience are looking for something that is TRUE; that is, timely, relevant, useful or entertaining. The better you understand your audience, the more effective the content that you create for them will be.

Let’s look at what is meant by each of those terms:

Timely

Timing is key to effective content. Think about how successful Oreo was with its ‘You Can Dunk in the Dark’ tweet, when the lights went out during the 2013 Super Bowl. It was picked up by the 23 million Twitter users who were watching the game and ended up being regarded as the ad of the evening – a title that many companies had spent millions of dollars for a shot at, and failed. It goes without saying that what is timely for one viewer is annoyingly late for another – the correct advice 30 seconds after you have made a decision is annoying.

Relevant

As we touched on previously, the content has to be relevant to the audience. This almost goes without saying – we all constantly filter the information that assails us every waking moment. Because of this, your audience are keenly aware of what does and doesn’t apply to them. Think about what is going to be relevant for your viewers – this might now be directly obvious. For example, if you’re trying to market an apprentice scheme to school leavers, they may be interested in advice on renting a home for the first time. This information is obviously not so interesting to those looking to move job as an experienced hire. This underlines the importance of understanding your audience and what is relevant to them.

A word of warning here, according to research by LinkedIn, 44% of their respondents said they would consider ending a relationship with a brand because of irrelevant promotions. An additional 22% said that they would ‘definitely defect’ from that brand.  Knowing your audience and making content that is relevant to them is essential.

Useful

One step on from being relevant is content that is actually useful. Providing how-tos, instructions, discounts and tie-ins with other products that they may be using are all ways of being useful to your audience. Once again, what is useful to your viewers might not be immediately obvious – look at the previous example. Home-renting advice is also useful to the target audience. These different types of value do not exist in isolation – each piece of content can be a combination of one or more things.

Entertaining

We all need a little entertainment from time to time. If you can get it right, this is a great way of drawing in your audience and winning them over. Tread carefully with this though – you have to make sure that whatever you share ties in with your brand. You need to earn the trust of the audience before making drastic departures in tone of voice.

The content you produce doesn’t need to be all of those things at the same time – any one or two will work, as long as it/they provide enough value in that given area. The more entertaining and relevant your work content is, for example, the more the chance there is that it will be watched, shared and loved.

Different ways of skinning a cat

Google defines the different ways of engaging your audience with your content slightly differently:

  • »  Inspire the audience with emotional and relatable stories
  • »  Educate the audience with useful information
  • »  Entertain the audience by surprising them, making them laugh or sharing spectacular content

There is no right or wrong way of looking at these; they are just a different way of looking at the same underlying principles. I hope that seeing them from a slightly different angle will help you to understand them and use them.


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

The quality of the creative messaging in your content is essential. 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

 

7. Amplify

 

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.

 

In summary:

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.

Topics: Being a better commissioner, How-to, Content Strategy, Brands as broadcasters, Coronavirus Content

#ThoughtforThursday: Time to take a moment

Posted by Nick Francis
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Now that it's normal to not leave your house for days on end, that the kitchen table is also the office and that kids/dogs/cats chime in on conference calls, normality in itself seems to be being tested. Can you remember what you did last Tuesday? Specifically on that day? No? Neither can we. That's neither surprising nor unique. Given the lack of genuinely contrasting events to guide the memory back, it's exceedingly hard to remember particular times. 

So what will we remember about living through this event? The sameness? The Zoom staff beers? The call with friends that you haven't seen in ages? Like any period in our memory, there will be moments that stand out but one thing we will probably all remember is the feeling. The uncertainty, the anxiety, the isolation.

The fact is that we have the opportunity to define how we will remember this period. Most of us have plenty more time on the isolation clock. We can sink into a book, reach out to old friends or even, if you're feeling ambitious, learn a new skill - coding? bread-making? editing?!

Or maybe just take a moment and remember that crazy time when life passed fast but the world stood as still as it ever will and you could lie on the grass and look up at the sky.

Topics: About Casual, Culture & Values, Thought for Friday

Our BMW Journey : Part Three

Posted by Arthur Briggs
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The Results

This is the final section in a three-part blog about our journey with BMW. In this post, we will discuss how the films performed once released and conclude with some takeaways that we learnt from the process.

So, over 60 films delivered and ready to go live. You have likely all been in this position before, you have worked so hard to get your film(s) ready for launch and you are waiting for the perfect moment to post it. You wait nervously proof watching it for the fifth time until finally you click… it’s live!

Image 6

Now you sit back relax and wait for those likes, shares and reposts to roll in right. WRONG! One of the biggest mistakes you can make is thinking that you are done. Your film is still just a little seedling at this stage and it will need some nurturing to get it growing.

That’s exactly what BMW did the employer branding campaign. They pushed spend into paid for advertising, boosting video views to give the films more visibility online. They optimised the videos for reach meaning that the success of the campaign would be measured in organic video views.

Image 7We provided BMW with vertical and square versions of all films which gave them better visibility across all their channels. Subtitles were added in both German and English so they could be both understood by a larger audience (their main target audience) whilst also being functional without audio. 

FACT - Most videos viewed on mobile devices and via email

are viewed on silent.

Across LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube the main employer brand film received a combined total of:

  • 4,271,805 views
  • Nearly 34 million impressions
  • Over 8,000 reactions/likes

Not only that but the film also generated 200 applications from BMW candidates despite not being targeted for that purpose.

Image 9

The films have been a huge success, partly due to the amazing work from the Casual Team #stayhumble, but also because BMW didn’t just release the films without a structure and plan in place to ensure they achieved their goals.

So here are my three takeaways from our journey with BMW, these are the things I have learnt from the amazing partnership with the BMW Group over the last few years that I hope will inspire you on your next video project.

  1. Be Brave – you may have a tried and tested method, production company or story to tell but the content you are producing is likely the same, ‘tried and tested’. Experiment, be bold and have faith in us; we will make sure your next film blows you away.
  2. Get involved – yes you must be brave but you also have to steer the ship. No one knows your brand or product better than you so work with us to tell your story. Collaboration always creates a great story
  3. Stay focussed – know what you want your film to achieve from the outset, set targets and goals if you exceed them set new ones. We will help you to get your film to the start line it’s up to you to click… and go live!

 


If you want to see all the great content we have been working on not only with BMW but all our amazing clients go to the ‘Work’ section of the website and have a browse. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Topics: Attract and retain the best candidates, News, About Casual, Case Study

Our BMW Journey : Part Two

Posted by Arthur Briggs
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This is a follow on from our previous post about our BMW journey. In this blog I will cover how the success of a low budget, high impact, creative solution kick started a two year partnership with The BMW Group.

You might think that creating a Facebook banner video for an automotive recruitment page doesn’t seem like the most ground breaking news, but you would be wrong. Back in 2018 nobody else had done it, BMW were the first and we had played our part in ensuring it was executed well. BMW were thrilled with the final output and as a result started discussing upcoming projects for the year ahead.

Image 3

Being based in Munich, Germany didn't present a problem. We looked at all the content the recruitment team wanted to make over the year and put a plan together for how to deliver on everything they were looking for. This was an intricate process; some films were much larger in scale than others ranging from an overarching employer brand film intended for a global audience to individual social edits for the specific employment opportunities within the group.

Not only did we work with BMW on the creative development, we also helped to educate them on how to make the most of the budget available to them. This meant suggested multiple deliverables instead of a single film, scaling back on the ambitions of some films so we could dedicate the budget to others. The team at BMW were fantastic to work with from the direct day to day contacts in the recruitment side right through to the procurement team.

Our proposal for a year’s worth of content included over 60 films!

Image 4

This allowed us to create content for every point of the viewing audience’s journey. Firstly, targeting social media to create excitement and intrigue with short variations of the main employer brand film. Stylistically working together to give a cohesive suite of films. The social content then led the viewer to the recruitment Facebook page where more detailed information could be found. Before landing finally on the website were the viewer would see everything come together. Ending the viewers journey with the employer brand film bringing everything together.

 

 

BMW - Employer Branding

Reaching this point in our journey with BMW showed the respect and trust that BMW had in our ability to delivery. A campaign of this size requires input at all stages from a client but also trust. They must trust that we can deliver on what they need whilst also exceeding their expectations.

All that was left now was to see how the films performed online!

Topics: Attract and retain the best candidates, News, About Casual, Case Study

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