In this roundup, our experts give practical advice for knowing how, and where, to use video content to engage with your audience.
The way in which our audiences are engaging with content is changing rapidly.
It’s no secret that the consumer attention span is getting shorter. Research has shown that it is down to an average of 8 seconds, which goes some way to explain the rise in popularity of platforms such as TikTok.
With video on the rise as the preferred form of content - even in B2B audiences - there's a need across the industry to keep up.
In this roundup of our virtual workshop, “Video and Content Production Strategies to Invigorate your Brand”, our experts James Manaley, Head of Agency at KOMI and Ed Davis, Managing Director at Glued Films discuss the latest innovations in Video and Content production, the rise of new trends, and how to assess what's worth investing in for your business.
The platforms on which customers prefer to consume content is constantly shifting, with the pandemic playing a major role in this. As it unfolded, people felt more comfortable being their ‘authentic selves’ on video-driven platforms such as Instagram and TikTok.
So, how do brands adapt to this constant shift when it comes to reaching their audience?
“You go where the focus is. Businesses have been trialling new ways to talk to people, and the biggest of these has been TikTok. Through COVID, everyone became a ‘content creator,’ and people went away and took this new creativity into their offices in some degree.
The way brands reached new audiences was to simply try things.”
Traditionally, one of the major holdbacks for smaller or newer businesses wanting to create video content is the price tag.
However, as Ed Davis, Managing Director at Glued Films points out, the emergence of platforms such as TikTok, “has allowed smaller brands who don’t usually have these routes to open their video production possibilities.
For example, the jewellery brand Daniella Draper are engaging their customers by asking them to be part of their new Christmas campaign. I thought this way quite interesting because it’s a cost-effective way of advertising.
They're using the strength of social to bring those people together to create, what I would imagine, will be quite an emotive film.”
Is capacity holding you back when it comes to content creation? Here's how to streamline your strategy and maximise what you already have.
Of course, video content production doesn’t just belong on TikTok.
The first filmed advertisement, created in 1897 by Thomas Edison, was for Admiral Cigarettes. It was screened nightly on the rooftops of New York, and people would come far and wide to watch. Skip forwards 125 years, and you can’t move without being bombarded by video advertisement.
With brands vying to compete for our attention, we asked our experts for some practical advice for giving your video production strategy the best chance of success.
The first piece of advice from Ed is “don’t try and say everything in one video, it just doesn’t work.
Social platforms such as TikTok should be used for short videos that include pieces of information that people can retain.”
James agrees, saying “don’t overcomplicate an idea. Keep it simple. They can be the hardest thing to film, but they will perform so much better.”
When planning a video production strategy, Ed advises that you need to start with a ‘master asset.’
“Like any kind of content marketing strategy, you start with the ‘master assets,’ and it trickles down from there.
This will be the asset that says the most about your product or service. Your customers can read a white paper or long-from content about what you do, but they’d much rather watch a three-minute video.
You then need to be able to organise the messaging in these ‘trickle down’ assets in a way that allows you to tell the story over time.”
As James points out, before the rise of social media, brands would shoot for two days to create a TV ad and would be left with one asset, maybe two if they were lucky.
Now, however, it’s important to get as much out of your ‘master asset’ shoot as possible.
“As part of your strategy, you can have someone there creating behind-the-scenes videos or doing little side shoots. People like to see the process behind the shoot, and it get people excited for what’s coming.”
Ed continues by saying “now, you need to create as much content from one thing as you can.
This can be done in so many ways:
There are so many ways to build on what you’ve created with your master content - 6 months of content can now be created from a two-day shoot.”
While it may be possible to produce 30-40 assets from a single shoot, Ed says that it’s important not to prioritise quantity over quality.
“Whether you’re doing it yourself, or you’re paying to get it done, there needs to be a qualitative reasoning behind it. With different platforms available to them, people often struggle to stick to their core values.
Trends come and go, and by the time you’ve got around to putting something out, it’s not trending anymore. As such, you need to focus on the core values of your business and brand, and produce content around this.”
One place where brands can fall, James says, is in “continuity and consistency.”
“The people that succeed are the people that continue to be consistent in producing content.
For example, you’re a healthcare brand who has decided to do a ‘day in the life of’ feature for 30 days. You don’t talk about the business or the service, you’ve talked about that person for the 30 days.
You’ve remained consistent and you’ve shown me, as a person, the brand – also as a person. Brands need to become ‘people,’ and they need to have a face on social media.”
Consistency is also something Ed believes is a factor of success when it comes to your wider production efforts – not just posting.
“If you have limited budget, don’t spend it all on one video and go on to produce things that looks cheap. Try to do it to the best of your abilities and be consistent with it.”
One of the biggest worries brands have about adapting to new platforms is getting it ‘wrong’ and making mistakes. However, as James explains, “new platforms such as TikTok allow you to be more playful and make these mistakes, because it’s what’s expected.
You need to be able to test and learn, you can’t be too rigid. If your plan is failing, change it up. It’s all about trying different types of content.”
Similarly, another worry could be that you don’t come across as ‘polished’ as you do on other platforms.
Ed says that we shouldn’t be afraid of making films with our phones and putting it on social. “We’re in a consumer society, and people are consuming content like crazy.”
So you want to do video content, but you don’t think your audience is on the likes of TikTok. What’s the plan?
The argument from James is, “How do you know they’re not on there?
Over 60% of TikTok’s users in the UK are between 20-50 years old. They’re not ‘not there’, but you might need to think about how to approach them in a way that resonates with their use of the platform.’
It’s good to be on there. If you’re not on there, that’s fine, but if you are on there, make sure you’re engaged with your community.
If they’re speaking to you, and you’re not speaking back, that can have a bigger consequence than your absence on the platform.”
As mentioned above, it can often be a misconception from B2B brands that platforms such as TikTok won’t work for them.
As James reminds us, while you might not be selling to brands directly, “people within the business will go home and scroll through and see what you’re creating, and if they like what they see, they will remember you and share it with their friends.
You need to make sure it’s thought through, and have the right strategy, but there’s definitely a place for B2B on TikTok.”
Here, we look at three pieces of advice specifically to B2B brands wanting to invigorate their brand using video and content production.
The first piece of advice – for B2B organisations, the goal of video content on platforms like TikTok or Instagram should focus on the ability to educate your audience.
“For B2B, it’s all about educating the businesses you want to talk to,” says Ed.
You can do this on a micro scale yourself, which can be built up to bigger brand films.
There are case studies and customer stories – all these educate, emote, and connect, and that’s what it’s all about with any brand, whether business-to-business or business-to-consumer. It’s about connecting in some way.”
James gives the example of a B2B steelworks firm, and how they can connect with people on social media.
“It might just be a piece of metal, but you could get a shot of people with sparks or take pictures of where the steel is going to be put.
You could educate people about the amount of steel in famous structures – Old Trafford, for example. It’s all about finding that different stance.”
Where B2C businesses might focus directly on 'the sale', the opportunities for B2B businesses lie more in the ability to amplify your reputation - so thinking about the objectives you want to achieve can provide a stronger starting point for content that resonates.
So what kind of video content works for B2B brands?
As with any kind of content creation, Ed recommends that you need to deliver your video content in a way that reflects what excites you about your business.
“If you’re telling the story of what excites you, it’s an infectious thing.
Whoever is writing the script, or coming up with the ideas, you need to be able to transfer that excitement to potential agency partners so that we can do our best job.”
Ed Davis on the ultimate guide to video and content production
Lastly, James talks about the importance of knowing the purpose of your video content.
“Is it a brand hero video that is going to sit on your website as an awareness piece?
Is it for marketing purposes to generate leads?
You need to create content for what your strategy requires, and consider at what part of the customer journey people will see these videos.
These are the things that you need to map out as a B2B business, those different experiences.”
The amount of external support needed for producing video content very much depends on what you want to achieve from it...
For brands wanting to base their strategy around ‘master assets,’ the equipment and expertise needed often require the support of an external video production agency.
Before engaging with an external partner, James says that it’s important for a brand “to understand their customers, and what they want.
They need to know how to speak to them.
As a social agency, we can do the research, create the right videos, and put them in the right places, but we need to have information readily available to us. This includes brand guidelines, creatives and anything that’s worked for them before.”
Ed rounds off by emphasising the importance of honesty and transparency, especially when it comes to budget. “There is always something that can be done for a budget. Be honesty and upfront, as this will guide everything.”
If you’re wanting to take advantage of video production or would like to explore the option of seeking external support, GO! can help. Let us know your requirements to get started.