COVID-19 has disrupted TV and video production in a number of ways. Beyond the obvious restrictions to filming on location and postponed projects, there’s a greater urgency to deliver timely content and a shift in marketing and comms priorities.
The demand for video content hasn’t disappeared — there’s still a need for training, eLearning, promotion, etc. Objectives have changed, though, so we’re producing different types of video content to engage audiences including User Generated Content (UGC), repurposing existing content, and motion graphics and animation.
It also means the way you work with your suppliers and partners will have changed. To help you with this, here are six ways to help you work with your video agency to produce high-quality video content that delivers great results in the smoothest, most efficient and most enjoyable way possible — without them sending a film crew.
1. Set expectations from the start
In my experience, when projects haven’t gone as well as anticpated it’s because the various people involved had wildly different expectations of what was being delivered. These need to be clearly agreed from the very beginning — in particular scope, time and budget.
Your agency should also set their expectations. This may include response times. If you’re working towards a fixed deadline, feedback will need to be timely to give enough time to make any necessary changes. This is more likely with plenty of notice. Setting expectations at the start creates the best chance of a successful video campaign.
2. Define what success looks like
Priorities have changed, and so the way we measure the success of content will have changed too. The Head of Strategic Analytics at Google recently wrote about how they’ve paused half of their measurement strategies in response to current events.
With this in mind, KPIs may look different — if relevant at all — so it’s worth conveying this to your video agency, especially if you’ve been working with them for a long time and you’ve established a good pattern of working.
One of our long-term tech clients has partnered with a car delivery firm to repurpose their app from transporting cars to connecting community groups with people who are vulnerable during the lockdown. We’re producing a video to promote the app to community groups, which is very different to the usual customer stories we produce for that client. Previously, we’d assess lead generation. Now the goal is for our tech client to provide practical support to those using technology to help the most vulnerable in our communities. Success looks very different and briefs should reflect this.
3. Ask for support
Don’t be afraid to ask your agency for practical support. We’re working with several clients to help them produce better UGC by running on-demand webinars with contributors, one-to-one training, and creating online resources.
If you’re not sure about something or you have nervous stakeholders, ask your video agency to support them and you.
Your relationship with your video agency should be based on reciprocation, so trust your agency and empower them. It might be passing on contact details of a key stakeholder and making an introduction. Or if you’re working on an animation and you were going to script the video, ask your agency to write a first draft. At least you’ll have something to review and develop instead of making that painful time-consuming first step.
If you don’t feel comfortable delegating tasks to your agency, ask yourself: Do they get it? Do they want it? Are they capable? If not, you should consider if you’re working with the right agency.
5. Learn and improve
Monitoring and reviewing video content after it’s published is vital, so that you can apply what you’ve learned to future campaigns to get better results.
This shouldn’t stop during the pandemic, particularly if you’re trying new ways of working or new types of content. We don’t know what the ‘new normal’ is going to look like after the lockdown, and as you’ve probably seen on TV or heard on the radio/podcasts, more interviews are taking place remotely over Zoom or similar platforms. This won’t stop once restrictions are lifted. The techniques we use now will be useful in the coming months, and we’ll learn a lot from these times.
6. Plan for future content
The lockdown is a fantastic opportunity for all of us to reflect and plan for the future. While we’re living in uncertain times and are constantly being told about how different things will be, our fundamental needs, instincts and behaviours developed over the years will stay the same. Issues that were present before the pandemic won’t disappear, such as diversity and inclusion, mental well-being and workplace equality, but our goals and objectives will be modified to apply what we’ve learned to the changing circumstances.
For example, we’re working with a client in healthcare insurance to help launch an online health and well-being content hub. The importance of mental well-being has become increasingly prominent, and it’s going to become more important for everyone in the next few years. Consequently, we’ve tweaked the focus of this content to support mental well-being and finding support for stress, anxiety and loneliness. A simple tweak, but we know that the content is now going to be more relevant for the months to come.
So, your video agency should help you think about and navigate all of these issues, and be pro-active in helping you plan for future content. If you’re not working with your agency in this way, then now is a great time to start and develop good habits.