• Georgia Hatton

Stay relevant during a crisis using video content

By Emily Wilford, Marketing Manager at Grabyo

Daily life in 2020 has significantly changed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Countries are in lockdown with people spending more time at home than ever before. This presents a new set of challenges to almost every industry, but one of the most prominent changes has been a dramatic shift in media consumption.

News, entertainment, sports, and socialising have been transformed. As people adapt to this different way of life, the way content is consumed, and therefore how brands can reach people, is also changing. 

Media consumption is fundamentally different across all industries, with demand increasing daily as people spend more time at home. The challenge for brands is to align themselves with innovation and creativity, either through sponsorship or creating original authentic content experiences.

When it comes to sponsorship, go with the flow of content

In a recent report, Global Web Index found that over 80% of people have said their daily video consumption has increased. In order to keep up with the demand, all industries are having to adjust or pivot to keep pace.

Digital teams across many industries are re-surfacing archive content, including ‘as-live’ streaming of musicals and concerts, or re-runs of classic sports matches to keep people entertained and their channels engaging.

Marketers must react quickly to where the eyeballs are going. One industry embracing this change well is sports. The sports industry is uniquely positioned, as it has the ability to aggregate millions of people during a live event. 

With such a huge fan base, marketers cannot ignore the opportunities that lie in the sporting world. Many football clubs, such as Manchester City, are recreating the live match-day experience of historic games across social media with great success. There are valuable opportunities for brand visibility sponsoring this type of content. If you can target this demographic by aligning your product with the values of football fans stuck at home, you can leave a lasting impression on a vast audience.

Music and theatre content is also a worthwhile sponsorship investment. Live concerts and musicals are being played to fans as live, as well as reruns of past performances. This provides a unique opportunity to increase brand engagement without the limitation of seats at a concert. Historically, live social video outside of live sport has struggled to attract a large audience. This isn’t currently the case. Consumers are increasing their screen time which is beneficial to both content creators and brand sponsors across all genres and industries.

Create authentic original content

There are countless opportunities for brands to engage consumers using original content on social media. The best examples of these include participation. 

There are two main ways to engage directly with consumers. The first is to create an interactive live experience. Content engagement peaks when events are live. 

This could be a ‘quarantine quiz’ or a live virtual chat show with celebrities and influencers in their homes. This week, Tom Holland hosted a Marvel-themed quiz on Instagram Live from his house, and peaked at over 140,000 live viewers. Consumers are currently receptive to new and inventive ways to connect and interact with media.

Creating unique experiences like this hold value outside of marketing purposes, and will drive viewership and create positive touch points with consumers. The challenge is picking the right format for the right platform and audience. Consumers are more familiar with longer-form and live content on YouTube and Facebook, and users of these two platforms tend to be slightly older millennials and above. Young millennials and Gen Z users tend to use the likes of Snapchat and Tik Tok more frequently.

To connect with users on Snapchat and Tik Tok marketers need to focus on short-form, bitesize content. To get consumers involved, the second way to directly engage with them is to encourage UGC (user-generated content) across a theme. 

A great example of this is Chipotle, with its #guacdance and #boorito challenges on Tik Tok. The brand’s #guacdance challenge asked to see the best dance moves that consumers could submit. This resonated incredibly well, resulting in 250,000 video submissions during the six-day challenge and Chipotle’s biggest guacamole day ever, with more than 800,000 sides of free guac served. The success of the campaign lied in its whimsical tone, which thrust it into the minds of consumers across the US who wanted to take part. 

This principle is already being well transferred into ‘stay at home’ challenges. Aside from high brand penetration, the challenges are highly sharable and give consumers another way to connect with each other in a light-hearted way. 

The challenge for brands is to provide a theme that inspired action, possibly competitive, with an incentive that makes consumers want to get involved.

How can it be done?

Without access to the office and production equipment, brand and digital teams face the challenge of creating content remotely and collaboratively. Moving everything to the cloud is not something many would have considered a few months ago, but is quickly becoming a necessity.

Cloud-based production allows digital teams to work safely from their own homes and collaborate with each other in real-time. The nature of cloud working is highly efficient and cost-effective too, with flexibility built into its core.

Today you can manage a full digital broadcast using only a laptop/PC with an internet connection, and create short clips and longer social videos collaboratively. Usually these tools take minimal training to master, which means brands and agencies can utilise resources more efficiently.

There is no doubt that moving content and its production online has been challenging for many but it has highlighted opportunities for brands to be more agile. There is potential for the pandemic to permanently change video for the future, as many discover that cloud-based workflows are robust and offer more functionality than ever before.

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Marketing Island is an award-winning online marketing magazine set to inspire those in the digital industry.