Since at least 2016, business analysts and video production agencies have pushed the notion that brands should become broadcasters. Instead of just creating standalone ads, brands are urged to create ongoing, story-driven content with a video production company.
Branded video content can promote products while associating them with a character and/or an emotional journey that the viewers can relate to or aspire to be like. Ideally, like a Netflix or Hulu show, the content is strong enough to keep the audience engaged episode after episode (or ad after ad).
In other words, instead of just sponsoring entertainment content (as soap companies once did, hence the name of those melodramatic radio and TV serials — “soap operas”), brands need to actually produce the soap operas … so they can sell the soap.
The pandemic has made this call to action even more imperative: Since lockdown, online video viewership has exploded. According to Variety, Facebook’s brand new YouTube competitor, Facebook Watch, reached 1.25 billion monthly users this June, which is already half of Facebook’s 2.7 billion monthly users.
And then, of course, there’s Instagram Stories, the new Instagram Reels (which may suck up TikTok’s audience. Take a look at our blog on that here.) and other popular apps and sites that continue to grow. TikTok alone currently has 1 billion users and 175 million downloads in the United States. The worldwide audience for social media, overall, clocks in at nearly half the human population, at 3.5 billion users.
“Recycled” video footage goes a long way
Brands don’t necessarily have to jump back into production to create branded video content, either. Branded video footage that was created before the lockdown can be re-cut, tweaked, and re-fashioned by a top-notch editor working with a video production company.
As long as the original footage packs an emotional punch (or makes someone laugh), a professional editor can re-cut existing videos to match the technical (and audience) requirements for each streaming service and app.
Re-use, recycle, re-purpose? A good editor’s got your brand covered..
Give the audience what they’re searching for
If you’re not sure where to start, think about what your brand’s customers need right now. Most people are still stuck at home, or may be working with a truncated budget because one (or more) family members were furloughed or had a pay-cut. Do-it-yourself (DIY) is all the rage in lockdown and beyond.
In addition to the DIY videos we highlighted in a previous blog — including a number by the private creatives-only club SoHo House — many other companies are helping their customers navigate the changed world around them.
Need a haircut, but don’t want to venture to a barbershop or salon? Wahl® clippers started producing branded DIY grooming videos about five years ago. When the lockdown began in mid-March customers flocked to the Wahl’s website to watch the how-to videos. According to Adweek, that led to about a 1400% spike in traffic on the Wahl site.
Other pandemic-inspired DIY videos include ones by the charity Habitat for Humanity. Realizing that homeowners might be reluctant to call in outside workers to make basic repairs on their homes, the videos give tips and pointers for how to make those upgrades safely and effectively.
Red Bull continues to create content for it’s popular branded videos that focus on extreme sports. The videos give their viewers vicarious thrills, while reminding them about the Red Bull grand. One recent, popular video inspired viewers to become backyard parkour athletes by building a parkour course in their backyards. That video garnered 52,000 views in just three days.
Invest in your brand
As a late-May video report from The Wall Street Journal concluded, when faced with a crisis, companies who continue to invest in producing ads and video content that reach viewers fare best. Keeping your brand out front and in consumers’ consciousness pays off over the long term.
Whether your brand already has an established hook and purpose, or whether it’s still struggling to find a message, working with a professional video production company can help you re-tool for the pandemic and post-pandemic audience. However, a great message and a few clever edits may not be enough.
Since the pandemic started, people aren’t watching videos on their phones anymore: They’re turning to the larger screens on their laptops and TVs. That means branded video content has to be more professional and visually compelling than ever.
Working with a video production company in Los Angeles or New York helps you solve both problems: Our creative team can help you develop compelling videos that can be used across multiple platforms. We create high-end short-form videos with some of the most talented filmmakers in LA and NY.
To get started on creating branded content that serves the needs that your customers have right now. Email us to set up a no-cost virtual creative strategy call. We’ll help you re-tool your brand’s existing footage, or devise a safe way to shoot fresh, new, high-quality branded video.