How to keep the content coming during quarantine

It's still possible to go beyond selfie mode.

COVID-19 has changed marketing. (You noticed? [So did we.])

By now, it’s safe to say that everyone involved in marketing—the brands who need it, the agencies who do it, and the customers who see it—has had to adjust their expectations. If you’re like us, you’re looking for ways to tailor your messaging to the present moment…and your present budget.

In our last blog, we discussed how content upcycling can help you continue publishing when you can’t produce new assets in person, are on a tight budget, or just want to get the most out of your existing content investment.

But content upcycling isn’t the only solution we’re suggesting to our clients lately. It’s time to talk about low-lift social content.

Low lift, high reward

Low-lift social campaigns require minimal time, minimal advance planning, and minimal design work. These days, they often incorporate user-generated content or self-filmed video—par for the course on social media in any circumstance. With DIY production, they can amplify your message without cutting too deeply into your content creation, paid media, or talent budgets. And they meet perhaps the most important requirement: they’re producible during quarantine.

Here are a few recent efforts we’ve pulled off during the coronavirus pandemic.

Turner + Shaq Life

DOA TV spots → a quick pivot to social 

Until recently, Turner relied on its live basketball coverage to promote the TNT reality series Shaq Life. With the NBA season suspended and March Madness canceled, they turned to the NBPA Content Studio, our partnership with the National Basketball Players Association, for a quick campaign that would bring viewers to the Shaq Life premiere while preserving its association with the NBA.

We got Kyle Kuzma, Quinn Cook, and Victor Oladipo to record front-facing video messages congratulating Shaq. Then, we inserted those messages into custom Shaq Life graphics packages to elevate them beyond a simple selfie video.

The players tweeted the videos at scheduled intervals in advance of the premiere and commented on each other’s posts to increase organic reach (while delivering guaranteed TNT brand impressions).


DIYer videos get it done

Community building was already a big part of our 2020 plans for Kobalt Tools, including the growth of the popular Kobalt Facebook Group. So when the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted our upcoming production schedule, giving our community members some shine made perfect sense. We cut together a handful of videos from our community to illustrate quarantine-friendly ways to put Kobalt tools to use, whether it’s connecting with family, making repairs around the home, or even improvising an exercise routine.

(Additionally, we’ve upcycled previously captured footage with new voiceover for new content that reflects the current environment and supports Lowe’s brand positioning.)

Amping up remote production

The spice must flow…

While our ability to shoot in certain locations and use filming techniques that require a larger professional crew is limited, we’re still producing high-quality video content. We’ve established several viable ways to carry out new video production via remote directing and producing, depending on our clients’ content needs and turnaround time.

Simple and quick conversations or interviews can be done recording Zoom and Skype sessions within the applications. Now that many of us spend half our day on video conferences, the “Zoom look” isn’t as jarring as it used to be, and in some cases, this kind of footage can suit the creative concept very well.

For higher-resolution footage and a better production value, subjects can record with their smartphones, funneling the feed through Zoom, then upload the footage after recording.

The real challenge is achieving pre-COVID production quality. For that, we’ve been shipping professional camera, audio, and lighting rigs to shooting locations, then guiding the setup over video conference. It takes quite a bit of extra time, and willingness from talent to learn a new skill, but it’s worth the effort.

In any of these scenarios, our director and producer interacts with our subjects remotely to make the at-home capture as professional as possible. And of course, post-production doesn’t suffer from being done remotely.

We predict self-captured footage will be a major contributor to productions and campaigns of all kinds for at least the remainder of 2020. If you’re looking for a partner with the experience and flexibility to carry out these kinds of productions, please get in touch.