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My thoughts on Brands, Content and Covid-19. A look forward

It’s no secret we’re in for a tough slog with Covid-19. The UK, as well as many other countries across the globe, are in some form of lock-down. Shops, bars, restaurants and offices are closed across the land and with many governments imposing safe distancing or ‘lockdown’ measures, creating original content has all but ground to a halt. Ironically, this comes at a time where consumption will be at its highest with people indoors seeking something to take their minds off of this global pandemic.

For brands and agencies, it has imposed a real challenge. Social distancing measures and lockdowns have halted content production. Permits cancelled, equipment houses closed, and shots cancelled. On top of that, nobody knows what the end of this pandemic looks like, so marketing budgets are on hold.

However, the wheels don’t have to stop. Content can and should still be created, brands have the opportunity to connect and there are many eyeballs waiting for new and engaging content. Let’s be honest, they didn’t want your advert anyway – they wanted something to help them kill time, something interesting. More than ever they want to see how you as a brand address this situation, with the right tone and how you’re going to help the world heal in an innovative and creative way.

It’s true that none of us wants to be in this position. But we are and we should consider the current opportunity, which is very different to the 2020 plan that was signed off at the end of last year. And whilst it’s not impossible to shoot a new TVC, as Tesco’s have recently shown, there are other ways to create content and reach your audience during these unprecedented times. Being more agile and reallocating spend, after all the planned for OOH placements or tube ads, are no longer relevant.

  1. Influencer Marketing – A moment to shine!

It’s still a relatively new medium, although it’s reaching maturity. Influencers have a global reach, authority and can adjust their tone in line with current sensitivities.  The beauty of influencers is they are set up for these challenging times. These guys have the kit on hand, they have the audience and know how to speak to them, and they can work from home. The perfect setup.

They are digital-first, naturally adapting to situations and having the ability to be agile in their approach. Working with brands to sensitively share information or to simply entertain customers whilst utilising a product isn’t new to them. And they can do it without having to directly interact. You could argue that this is their moment to shine and show what Social Influencers can really do for businesses and brands in times of trouble.

  1. Home-made – Something new

No, this isn’t what you think! If Ant & Dec can do it, what’s stopping you? They came to the nation from their homes last weekend. Most Smartphones are now equipped with fantastic cameras that are good enough for social content.

Arguably this requires the most creativity. A quick look on TikTok will provide you with all the inspiration you need for Home-grown content.  Create it, edit it and post it. Ensuring some smart paid targeting.

You potentially have thousands of bored fans/creatives at your fingertips. Consider running a UGC campaign to generate some new content that can be edited into brand material and shared.

  1. Recycle – Something old

Remember that content you created a couple of years ago? Could you use some of it again? Maybe it needs a quick adaptation to make it fresh new and relevant to the current time. Take a look through the archives and create something new from something old.

A few options to keep the wheels in motion. Now more than ever your marketing shouldn’t go silent. It should just evolve, be relevant and mindful of your audience needs and state.

Good Luck!

Andy Edmonds

I write about my industry and leadership experiences, my opinions on the world, and also cover off what I've been up to recently. Always light-hearted, generally with spelling mistakes.

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