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DEPARTMENT OF THE FUTURE

A CONTENT AGENCY

Different Types of Video Content Explained

We all know that in 2018, video is the king of all content, accounting for more than 74% of all internet traffic. But whilst YouTube vloggers are earning millions and web platforms scramble to integrate video content hosting into their offerings, what are some of the online video options for brands?

Branded Content
One of the strongest ways for a brand to authentically connect with their demographic is to create content that engages the interests of their target audience. Whilst that sentence sounds obvious, brands continually fail when it comes to the authentic. Branded content is one of the strongest ways to create an authentic personality for your brand. The content created does not centre on the brand, does not directly push any product nor deliver any strongly branded messaging, but becomes a creative space to create an emotional bond with your audience. (See: Why Use Emotive Storytelling In Your Creative?)

 


Cornetto has been using this method for the past few years, with their Cupidity series, a series of long-form content about romance, spanning their international market, with special focuses in the UK and Turkey. Watch to see the subtle brand integration through graphics, background branding that is appropriate to the story, “presents” crediting.

Branded content doesn’t have to be fictional. Branded documentary content is a where DOTF started, with SpeakerTV. Whilst the primary focus of the show was taking viewers behind the scenes of music, fashion and culture around the country, we worked closely with brands to integrate their products and messaging into the segments.  

DOTF BRANDS 2017 from Department of the Future on Vimeo.

Brand Videos

The majority of the time, a brand video will be a sort of mini-documentary, an explanation of a brand’s ethos, a promotion for what it does, how it sees itself and why you should be interested.  These videos can take similar forms to branded content, they can be a single video, or a cinematic series – however, the difference is the focus on the video. Where as branded content focuses on the content, with the brand as the cherry on top, brand videos focus on the brand. A brand video is what you think about when you think about an ad.

The Party by Peter Rowland v3 from Department of the Future on Vimeo.


The difference between a traditional ad, and a brand video, however, is that there are few time restraints online, so that a brand can take its time, and create a mood and a world. They can use techniques similar to branded content, use ambassadors or not, use a fly-on-the-wall documentary approach, a fictional filmic world, any kind of approach.

 

RMIT Myths Beneath The Carlton from Department of the Future on Vimeo.


Whilst brand videos are frequently longer than a standard social media edit, they’re generally kept around a three-minute maximum, to ensure that messaging is delivered efficiently and effectively to the viewing audience.  

If you’re looking to enter into video content with your brand, a brand video should be your first step.

Stonnington Jazz 2016 from Department of the Future on Vimeo.


Social Vignettes

In 2018, a content agency should always offer social vignettes for any video content. Whether a brand video, a particular promo or a call-to-action, shorter promos for socials should be part of the package.

 

RMIT Gaming (social media edit) from Department of the Future on Vimeo.

Whilst social media such as Facebook or Instagram is frequently the main point of distribution for the primary video, social vignettes can go across other forms of social media to direct attention from all platforms. For example, a brand video is posted to Facebook, with social vignettes on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and LinkedIn, directing viewers on those platforms to engage with the content on Facebook.

OW002 – Video 1 – Babysitter – socials from Department of the Future on Vimeo.

All social vignettes should be created in at least two formats, the original 16:9 widescreen (for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc) and 9:16 vertical (for Instagram Stories and Snapchat). A 1:1 ratio format for Instagram (although content on Instagram is no longer locked to this size), and in-feed viewing on Facebook is another option, although not as necessary as vertical content.

 

 

Most of the time, social vignettes will be honed from the longer form edit, however, it is becoming increasingly common to create exclusive content for social vignettes.

Microcontent

Microcontent is exactly how it sounds – if you hit 15 seconds, you’re getting too long. More of an exercise in a quick promotion and establishing an aesthetic or tone for your brand, the increasing prominence shows the way that people are engaging with video on their devices.

 

OW001 – 7 sec SNAP – EPISODE 1 from Department of the Future on Vimeo.

Somewhat of a hail back to the television commercial, microcontent requires effiency of video language, and a single focus to the brand’s message, and should be a planned part of every brand’s suite of video content, to maintain an ongoing conversation with your audience.

 

Tips On Posting On Instagram For Businesses

Brand’s relationship with Instagram goes further than announcing that you had avocado on toast for your breakfast.

After all, with over 800 million users on this app, Instagram has become the unofficial launching pad for many marketing campaigns. Ranging from small startups to independent retail shops to billion dollar chain companies; the idea of reaching thousands and thousands of people within a short amount of time is a PR dream come true. So, it’s extremely important that your account shows off a sense of identity your company encompasses.

In another sense, your businesses’ Instagram account needs to be an unofficial branding tool.

 

Aesthetic

People are drawn to pretty things so it should be no surprise that Instagram is all about how good your grid looks. No one likes looking at a jumbled collection of mess with no clear direction on colour scheme or quality of photos. Depending on your business, whether it is a brand seeking to build greater recognition, or a small private college seeking to enhance student enrolment, or an upcoming local rugby event wanting to boost ticket sales: your aesthetic needs to reflect your identity.

If you’re an upscale minimalist furniture shop that specialises in avant-garde designs, your photos should reflect that: no bubble gum filters and no oversaturated photos.

If you’re managing a local primary school, don’t be hesitant to post ecstatically happy children hopping around in a playground (with their parent’s permission of course).

If you’re still a bit lost, I suggest that after every photo, you should always ask yourself one question: does it encapsulate my brand? Any doubt should lead your finger to the delete button.

 

Behind the Scenes

It might be weird, thinking that brands would need to show their working process. I bet you’re thinking: But why would people care?

If that’s your line of thinking then you haven’t really encapsulated a true marketing mindset. Your job isn’t only to cater to the interest of your customers, you need to learn to cultivate their attention.

As businesses, whether large or small, private or public, corporate, people are interested in the behind the scenes operations because business accounts are so obviously perfectly fabricated PR and marketing efforts; that by allowing your customers a glimpse into something as mundane as a behind the scene photoshoot, or a business meeting, or a team meeting within an office: it humanises your organisation. It peels away the smokescreen of manufactured targeted advertisement and instead, creates a sense of trust.

People trust what they can understand and by allowing them a glimpse into the inner workings creates a feeling of greater transparency and a more positive brand opinion. But of course, these behind the scenes shots are fabricated in a sense as well: so realism is key.

 

Hashtags

The famous #hashtag trend is also extremely useful for trying to garner attention to the right group of people. Anyone from models to photographers to an everyday uni student uses it, and so should you.

Creating your own hashtag only works if you have a huge following that is also deep in the hashtag game, so if you’re keen on having your own brand identity being explored and tagged as an individual. Utilize it on almost any post you have- from your Instagram stories to your promotions to your comments. Once it gains traction from other people, you’d be surprised how many visits you can get from the Instagram community.

If that sounds too complicated: fear not. Instagram has a trove of existing trending hashtags, just choose the ones that fit well and chuck it here and there.

Remember: the key is to place it in the comment and not as a caption: it gets extremely annoying and might even turn audiences away because of how many words they have to scroll through.

How to Make Content Work For You

Social media has become the most common Internet-based activity, created a new form of social engagement and become a legitimate form of communication and connection, not only person-to-person but brand-to-audience. The core of this connection is sharing by personal referral, with content – and in particular video content – being the key medium to facilitate this connection.  This sharing provides the opportunity for brands to circulate information to wide demographics of potential customers without traditional mass media process or expense.

But how can you create the content that your audience will share, to gain new customers and continue to establish your brand DNA?

Keep Up To Date

Know what’s going on with your target demographic. All content should be interesting, and most importantly, relevant to your audience. This applies not only to the messaging of your content, but to the style and the medium. As video is the most popular form of online content, you should always be aware of new platforms and formats for the best engagement. For example, if you’re not making vertical video content, microcontent and taking advantage of Snap Ads, IGTV and Facebook Canvas, it’s time to do some research.


Get in the habit of staying up to date with trends and news in content creation by following blogs, like this one, and industry news aggregators, like Mumbrella, to ensure your content and strategy stays relevant.

Schedule

Content creation and distribution is not a set-and-forget game anymore. Where once a quarterly campaign with a print, broadcast and outdoor spend might have been sufficient, online content moves as quickly as the Internet does, and that breakneck speed also applies to brand relevance.  A steady schedule of content for online and particularly socials is an absolute necessity for solid brand DNA.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you need a new campaign each month, or a 1500 word blog every weekday, but an agile schedule of content split between video, copy, images, audience engagement, themes and news should be the very first step in making content work for your brand.

Going back to that breakneck speed of the internet, if you’ve scheduled a post a fortnight ago, and it’s no longer relevant or the joke has passed, don’t feel obliged to post it. There’s nothing worse than a brand late to the party, awkwardly brandishing a meme.  On the contrary, if there’s breaking relevant news, or a particularly applicable meme of the week, don’t be afraid to spontaneously engage your audience with relevant content.

Curate Content

Content curation is one of social media’s primary functions – sharing a video on Facebook, retweeting, pinning an image, but as I alluded to above, your content messaging must be relevant.

Marketing expert Guy Kawasaki suggests that you must “You must position yourself as an expert and genuinely interact with your communities.” That means reflecting on what works with your audience and what doesn’t, what will add value and what won’t. A well-curated Instagram account that posts three times a week would support your brand messaging and gain a more loyal audience than an Instagram posting any information multiple times a day.


Again, this doesn’t apply just to messaging, but to aesthetic. Your demographic wants to trust your brand, and maintaining an aesthetic through the content you create and curate is reassuring and will keep your audience returning.

A Content Agency

Whilst content marketing can be done inhouse, heading to a content agency is an increasingly popular option. Here at DOTF, we offer a combination of analysis, strategy and content creation in a non-traditional marketing process to allow for a greater efficiency of content through collaboration with our clients. Approaching campaigns with a foresight mindset to challenge the norm, disrupt and innovate, we create powerful content for effective outcomes, bringing brands to life authentically. Not only do we create content, but our strategic expertise through our GENOME MAPPING service will leave you more informed about your brand and your audience, and armed to create content and solid strategy independently of a traditional marketing agency.