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Brian Rolling presents “Creative Video Content in the World of COVID”

March 10, 2021

In the midst of a wild year for marketers, we sat down with SRW’s Chief Video Officer, Brian Rolling, to learn more about Creative Video Content in the World of COVID. 

His first tip? Practice. Sounds simple and maybe even basic, perhaps, but applying the advice to a business strategy can sometimes be tricky. He advises brands to figure out what’s best for their individual brand name – do they want to go with the flow or against the grain in terms of current practices in video production? He encourages brands to use trial and error, and find out what works best for them in terms of platforms, strategies and content. 

To strengthen the point that creating video content is of key importance to brand success, Brian presents some interesting facts: 

  • By 2022, video will make up 82% of consumer internet traffic
  • 54% of consumers want to see more video from brands they support
  • 64% of consumers make a purchase after viewing branded videos on social platforms

Categories of Video

He explains that there are four categories of videos when applying them to a marketing plan. Social videos, meant to entertain, inspire or educate; brand videos, meant to inspire or declare brand anthems; product videos, meant to show consumers how to use products, typically educational and often employ the use of case studies; internal videos, meant for internal teams, not for consumer views and can include CEO messaging or corporate rallying cries.

Where does video live?

  1. Social Channels – The “Kings and Queens” of social channels are Facebook and Instagram. Although other platforms are rising in popularity, Facebook and Instagram are still the top dogs. Brian refers to YouTube as the “OG” of social channels, and is a place where brands can still build a consistent following without ads. He dubs TikTok the “Lancelot” because it’s “coming for the King”. This is where the current energy is. As for Snapchat, Pinterest, Twitter, and Twitch – yeah, they’re still around. They have consistent users but aren’t gaining traction in terms of new developments.
  1. OTT Platforms – Examples of these platforms are Hulu, Peacock, CBS All Access, streaming platforms supported by ads. They are more expensive to integrate on than social channels. The content needs to be more polished and presentable on these than on social channels, with much less room for error.  These platforms, Brian adds, are great for targeting niche audiences, but smaller/emerging brands likely won’t get much traction.
  1. Sales Platforms – Brian notes that two major examples of these platforms are Amazon and Instacart. Brand videos are a great option for product pages – they can highlight what is unique about the product and what consumers need to know.

Overall, a company’s budget should dictate what priorities lie, according to Brian. As a general rule, production costs should be 10-25% of a media budget. Brands should not create content they don’t have the means to promote. They need to test and learn what works for them, their brand and their target audience. 

Additional Tips and Tricks

Brian notes that authenticity is essential in content creation. Brands need to make sure their content feels like it belongs on the channel they’re promoting it on – good content adds value to a consumer’s life, rather than disrupting it. The wrong content can be detrimental to a brand, and Gen Z can see right through a bad ad, in Brian’s experience. 

With so many ways to create and promote content, what should brands stop doing? To begin, brands should stop caring about their Instagram grid. Yes, there should be cohesiveness within the brand, but the profile look is not as important as one might think. Similarly, high sales driven/over-branded content on social media feels unnatural and can be off-putting to the consumer. Posting the exact same content on all social channels should be a practice of the past. Tweaking and formatting content for each platform is crucial. 

To Conclude…

COVID has actually accelerated the path towards more efficient means of production, and has forced companies to think outside of days as a business model. Brands and agencies need to focus on what is important about content and leave the rest to their talented teams.

There were so many informative messages in this presentation, but to Brian, if the audience takes one key point away, it should be this: start where you can. You don’t have to lay out the perfect strategy or campaign the first time around and don’t be discouraged by companies who have larger budgets to play around with. Simply do what you can right now for your brand – if you wait to start until everything falls into place, it’s never going to happen. Do what you can now and results will be yielded.