It’s been said before, but we’ll say it again: This time is challenging, unpredictable, and altogether tough to navigate. For brands, the landscape is especially unique in that many marketing efforts are virtually impossible to execute or have been rendered ineffective.
Practically every form of marketing has been affected in one way or another. Event marketing has gone digital. OOH advertising is being used to push people back inside. And video marketing, while as effective as ever, is posing challenges for production.
Before we dive into the solutions that can make video production easier during this time, we absolutely understand that video marketing is no longer a priority for many brands. As resources shift and demand fluctuates, many companies are having to make tough decisions about what to prioritize moving forward. If video marketing is not one of those priorities for your brand, stick with any other tactics you’ve decided to pursue. You know your brand best.
For those who are still considering video marketing, however, the path forward is more unclear than it might usually be. We’ve received questions from our audience about what types of video marketing tasks can be accomplished in this landscape, so this article is your guide to moving forward with production.
We’ve been closely monitoring the video landscape to understand what’s possible and have come up with the several video solutions that can be produced while abiding by CDC guidelines and strict social distancing measures. Check them out below, and feel free to reach out if you have any thoughts or questions about implementing any of the strategies.
Edit Existing Footage
If you have existing footage for your brand, you’d be surprised at the magic that can happen in the editing room. What you may view as leftover footage from past productions or miscellaneous clips from years past can become a full-fledged video with the help of a skilled editor. Check out this video we made for Topgolf, for example. None of this footage was captured for this project specifically, but a trained eye can find the narrative that weaves the footage together. You’d never know from the final video that these clips were repurposed!
Another variation of this option is to take existing footage and cut it down for a different use case. If you originally had a 3-minute long video on your website, for example, an editor can take that same footage and make a 30-second cut for a social media ad. This is a great way to freshen up an old clip that may not be serving its purpose anymore.
Source User-Generated Testimonials
One easy way to get around having an in-person production is to source content from your customers, instead. Part of the beauty of these videos is the authenticity of using real customers as makeshift spokespeople, and that authenticity is actually reinforced by a lack of production value.
Your customers don’t need a fancy production studio to capture content. They can film selfie-style on their smartphones (see the video we made for alcohol delivery brand Drizly below) and the resulting content is effective because it’s genuine and relatable. The outcome? Content that will resonate with your audience because they trust that it’s real.
Send Your Product for a Remote Shoot
If you’re looking to make a product video under today’s limitations, you might feel like your options are pretty limited. At Lemonlight, our solution is for our customers to send us their products for remote shoots in our studio. We stage your products and film the clips that will be used to show off your product in all its glory—all in a controlled environment that conforms to all health and safety guidelines. Other production companies may have different solutions for capturing this footage, but the key is that everyone’s goal is to prioritize health and safety above all else.
Take a look at this example from our client Leapfrog to see what a remote product shoot can lead to.
Produce an Animation Video
If you want a final deliverable that’s especially easy to make in today’s environment, look no further than animation videos. Animation videos tell your brand’s story using photos or graphics that are manipulated to show motion. Because no live footage is captured, this style of video is almost entirely unaffected by health and safety measures. The video below is a perfect example of the power of animation.
Note that if you go this route, you’ll want to work with a skilled animator. Many people (especially editors and designers) have basic animation skills, but to create the type of high-quality content that will serve your marketing goals, you’ll want someone who specializes in animated content for brands. When in doubt, ask to see samples of past work before you bring someone on board for your project.
Curate Stock Footage
If the above options don’t work for you (or if you need a little extra footage to fill in the gaps for one of the other options), stock footage may be the answer you’re looking for. Stock content sometimes gets a bad rap for being cheesy or generic, but not all stock clips and photos fall into that category. And when you move outside the realm of free stock footage into the paid stuff, the content gets that much better.
The example below for Accenture was made entirely with stock footage, and it’s a great example of the way stock footage can be integrated into a cohesive (and powerful) storyline for your brand.
Finally, if none of the previous options match what you had in mind, you can always start the pre-production process for a video you’ll finish in the future—when it’s safe to collaborate face-to-face. In the meantime, you can brainstorm video ideas, write a script, develop a storyboard, source talent and locations, and generally do all the prep work that goes into video production.
Whenever officials confirm that it’s safe to proceed without social distancing guidelines, you can pick up where you left off and start shooting. Pre-production often takes 2-3 weeks (or longer, depending on the complexity of the shoot), so taking care of the background now means you can hit the ground running as soon as it’s safe to film with no limitations.
So, what’s the takeaway from all of these options? Despite the complicated nature of today’s business landscape, video marketing is possible! If you’re prioritizing video marketing but don’t know where to start, start with one of these options and you’ll be on the right track. We can’t wait to see what you create!