3 Tips for Managing Your Video Content During a Pandemic.
Updated: Apr 9
1) Strike the right tone.
While the tragedy of COVID-19 grips the world, it’s important to make sure your videos are telling stories that will be well received by your rapidly changing audience. Their needs are shifting daily, and your messaging needs to adjust just as quickly. Customers will remember how brands responded during this crisis, and it will serve as a litmus test for all the values you’ve been advertising over the years. Now is the time to ante up and deliver.
If your company is capable of helping the current situation in some way, via food delivery,
PPE production, other essential products and services, etc.— let the world know how you’re contributing to the community. Even a simple video with a photo montage, some text on screen, and a soundtrack will suffice for quality. Just make sure you double down on the story, and spend the time to make sure it’s the right tone for your audience.
In the example above, Sam's Club simultaneously demonstrates their compassion for their employees, while signaling to the community that they're ready to step up during this crisis.
Since you can’t present your customers with a story about how you’re directly helping during this crisis, make sure to at least avoid in-your-face gimmicks and insensitive messaging. Let’s say, for example, you own a boombox company, and your current promoted video on Instagram shows a large party with lots of intimate dancing that’s all being facilitated by music blasting out of this fantastic boombox. That’s cool, and normally, the perfect message! But in the current climate, it insinuates support for large gatherings, and the message being heard by your potential customers (who are likely abiding by those mandates) is that your product is the antithesis of safety. And worse yet, that your product is useless to their current circumstances. So how do you adjust the tone, and what do you do with that fantastic video you spent months creating? Shelf it for now, and put together a video with the right tone. Maybe it’s just cell phone footage of a bunch of neighbors, all out on their porches dancing and singing, listening to one of the neighbors blast music out of your fantastic boombox, with a tag, “Bringing us together with music, so we don’t have to feel so distant.” Bada bing bada boom, your video is relevant again, and you can bust out that party video when normalcy returns!
In the examples above, Jeep does a great job of curtailing their love of the outdoors in favor or promoting their moral position on the pandemic through these brilliant print ads.
2) Make videos that educate.
People are spending an awful lot of time at home right now, so naturally, there has been an uptake in wanting to learn DIY skills. Cooking, crafting, building, writing— you name it, people are interested, and most importantly, actually have the time to learn them. So if your brand is in a position to teach, this is an easy pivot for you to make. You can stream from a webcam, schedule sessions, engage customers with Q&A sessions in real time, and keep your social channels interesting enough that customers continue coming back. Most people, understandably so, are looking for escapism during this crisis, so if you’re able to provide them with something that doesn’t necessarily plug your brand, but keeps them distracted and engaged in something fun, you’ve got a win on your hands! Or, better yet, if you have something to teach that’s relevant to the current situation (ex. your product can be fashioned into a mask), then you’re in the perfect position to capitalize on this DIY trend and teach your audience something meaningful.
In the example above, the Great Lakes Science Center wonderfully pivots their science education content to aid parents that are now forced to homeschool. While it's production quality isn't anything fancy, it does a great job of keeping them relevant even when their doors are closed.
3) Keep your foot on the gas!
“Of course,” you’re probably thinking right about now, “a guy who runs a video production company is about to encourage me to spend money on videos.”And you’d be right to think that! But let’s take a closer look before dismissing this one. While this situation is unlike anything before, we still have important metrics from the 2008 financial crisis that we can learn from. For example, did you know Amazon increased their sales almost 30% during the Great Recession? It was a growth spurt that placed them in pole position to outcompete Walmart and other big box retailers over the following decade. That’s because, when financially capable, companies that maintain or increase their advertising spend during a recession see increased benefits. Their competitors are often spending less, which reduces the amount of noise bombarding the customer. They make a financial show of strength and showcase their reliability, which customers are often looking for in a downturn. And they can sustain their “share of mind” with the customers that they’ve already spent a fortune building over the years. With advantages like these, it’s important to think critically before cutting ad spending, or suspending it entirely. This is a great time to continue pre-production on future projects, experiment with formats like motion graphics and animation, or even to repurpose existing content by digging deep into those b-roll reserves, and developing some new, engaging content that’s relevant today, so that you can keep making cool sh!t tomorrow!
Here's a great article outlining more about this topic from AdAge. If you don't have a subscription to their service, reach out and we'll fill you in on the article! https://adage.com/article/cmo-strategy/history-shows-marketers-who-keep-spending-during-downturns-fare-much-better/2247946
Those are a couple of quick tips we’ve been thinking about over the past few weeks. We hope that everyone who reads this is doing well, and we’re happy to talk strategy with anyone who’s interested!