In early September, the Melbourne Convention Centre was packed with thousands of people with one thing on their minds – online video.

VidCon started in 2010, in Anaheim, California, and has grown into the world’s largest event about online video, drawing over 30,000 people to each conference. The event is a global phenomenon, with conferences in the United States and Europe, and exists at the centre of the online video revolution, bringing together industry leaders, creatives and the wider community to discuss and define the fastest growing medium in the world.

Our Managing and Creative Director, Ivan Gomez, had the pleasure of moderating a panel at VidCon Australia, focusing on answering the question: “Should Brands Make Their Own Content?”

The answer from the panel was an overwhelming “Yes!”, but with some caveats on doing this effectively. Below are some of the insights from the day, with some tips on going into content creation as a brand.

Do both.

Steve Crombie, the CEO of Totem, suggested that brands should absolutely make their own content  – but they should know when to outsource as well.

“Brands should definitely create content in-house – but that depends on how much money you’ve got, and how much content you can create. There are different ways to create, professionally created content can be expensive, but worth it. They should do both.

Have a solid strategy.

Similarly, Emotive’s Social Media Director, Jack Crick suggested that brands making content should have a “publisher-like mentality”.

“Bigger brand moments should be outsourced, but for lower level content, it could definitely be done in house – if you have the right strategies, and people who really understand the audience that you’re trying to reach. “

Ensure quality control.

Understanding your audience’s expectations was the top tip given by Broad’s Head of Strategy, Lauren Joyce.

“It comes down to what your consumers are expecting from you. Understanding your audience, and understanding what quality of content they expect from you, and then delivering on that, and doing it consistently, so that when they come back to your content publishing platform, they’re actually seeing something that they’re expecting to get, and you’re surprising them through the stories that you’re telling. “

Creativity is king.

It’s not about the gear, it’s what you do with it. This was the sentiment expressed by Joke Theory’s all-rounder Cisco Corea.

“[A current smartphone’s level of video technology] was probably worth about $100 000 about five years ago. The kind of content you can produce on your phone in the right hands with the right skills, can definitely be done by in-house staff. But it’s not the technology that matters, it’s actually the creativity. Because if that creativity is not there, it just becomes irrelevant. It doesn’t hit the mark. “

Understand your audience and understand content.

Here at Department of the Future, we believe that brands can – and should – definitely make content inhouse, but to always remember that the audience is number one.

As Ivan said at VidCon: “Understanding how you can build teams to make content is the most important thing – video needs to be front and centre from the beginning when brands are looking into content creation. Another important aspect is distribution – because distribution dictates the tone. Ultimately, it’s about having someone in a team that understands the process – how content behaves.