The Constant Need For Content
Has Created A Monster
The world of content creation is constantly in a state of change. With new social platforms seemingly popping up everywhere, clients are focusing more and more of their dollars on engaging audiences across platforms with content built to connect. But with so many touch points dollars can quickly spread thin, and therein lies the problem: a perpetual need for engagement, coupled with the requirement to adapt to ever-changing platforms, behaviours and audience expectations. All of which is exacerbated by the costs of competing with everyone else trying to buy their way up the newsfeed. The fact is everyone has to deal with these issues.
So what can we do to best operate within this system? What’s the solution to constantly creating efficient and engaging content?
To start, two factors heavily influence any production even in the concept stage: time and budget. As advertising content creators, we’re absolutely focused on making engaging content no matter the platform. However, these two key influential factors can either help or hinder the output and quality of your content. Simply put, low budget + low time = low value output, while high budget + high… you get the idea. Needless to say, it’s very important to have the equation defined ahead of the production process so we can best execute within defined expectations and plan our content strategy accordingly. Another contributing factor is catering the production process to match the complexity of the content creation. For example, a shoot for a single ad hoc video will drastically differ from a series of social posts. Each requires a dedicated production process in order to bring the right value.
Just as important, having a specific briefing process for content creation ensures decisions like equipment choice, type of professional help (if required), and post production timing are determined before getting to work.
A quick Reel for Instagram with low budget + low time request can be beautifully executed on the latest iPhone or small DSLR rather than a complex 6K cinema camera. It wouldn’t be practical to affect the efficiency or cost of a shoot to achieve a high resolution if there’s no plan to utilize the footage in large media outputs like broadcast, digital OOH, or video platforms like YouTube.
Take this Tiktok we made for Timberland as an example. The choice to shoot on an iPhone was deliberate due to its low fidelity visuals. We felt strongly we could leverage current TikTok trends to create custom in-house content that would resonate with our target. A/B testing demonstrated that our creative not only exceeded all KPIs compared to global adapts being leveraged in the US, it showed that we didn’t have to outspend to outperform. The Brand Strategy Team was so impressed with the results that our work was used as part of a Best-in-Class showcase at the IAB Newfronts in May of last year.
In order to have an edge in this ever-evolving and fast-paced content creation world, creative agencies need to truly adapt and explore new ways to work. One of the ways we did this was through an affordable and efficient DIY solution to improve speed and increase value. We set a $2k budget limit and challenged ourselves to manufacture our own custom rig.
Our in-house designers teamed up with our production crew to design and build a custom table out of wood, metal and curtains. The metal cage allows us to mount self-made LED panels for filming, while the curtains allow us to easily diffuse light at a moment’s notice. It’s also equipped with a turntable for rotating products 360˚ and a plexiglass base for bottom up shots. We could go on, but we can’t give away all our secrets.
Our flexible setup is perfect for small bite-sized content shoots as well as bigger budget production projects. Our capability runs deep with everything from 6K cinema cameras, to a macro probe camera, to a robotic cinema arm that can be programmed for more complex camera movements. In house, we also have 3D software and a visual effects designer. With computer generated imagery being more prominent than ever before, having a VFX artist is a huge asset for stretching our creative imagination. No idea seems impossible with CGI, and even requests like removing or adding logos or background visuals of a scene can be done by our team.
Content creation is ever-changing and marketers are looking more and more for creative agencies who have an eye on the industry and are able to pivot with it.
At KU we look to efficiently maximize marketing dollars and deliver high-value content by approaching each project with a purpose and outcome in mind. Access to our fully-equipped studio space (vs. the typical agency workstation) and an array of film and photo equipment is imperative to achieving our creative differentiation. In addition to our executional expertise, our media and analytics team provides crucial insights for helping create purpose-built content.
Together, these ingredients form a perfect recipe for successful adaptation to social culture while meeting the needs of our clients’ businesses. Keeping tabs on the latest trends and techniques is only part of creating authentic content. Execution is the not-so-secret sauce your creative needs to create work that audiences can’t help but engage with. So whether we’re riffing on what’s hot or creating something no one’s ever done before, you can be sure we will create the best content for your marketing buck.