Commentary

How To Create Real-Time Video: Five Things Brands Should Do

Recently, our industry acknowledged the value of content marketing, and how social channels facilitate discovery of that content, whether paid or earned. We understand the near-equal footing that digital video has alongside offline video, due to the increase in video consumption across devices by consumers (for instance: in the U.S., 41 billion online content videos were watched in May alone). The result is that brands now need to produce video content that has high consumer value and is easily discoverable in paid, owned, and earned environments.

This means the challenge is no longer in getting brands to produce video content. Instead, the challenge lies in a brand’s shifting focus from outbound messaging to valuable creation for its current (retention) and future (acquisition) audiences. Maybe an analyst can support this theory with data but, regardless, across social channels, the anecdotal evidence has been that the value of content increases as its relevance increases.  And true relevance requires some amount of real-time capability.

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As apps like Vine and Snapchat take their place alongside Instagram, real-time video is emerging as a necessary tactic.  I’ve written before about the different ways marketers can use it to their advantage. But most brands and agencies aren’t really built to operate at the speed of relevance. Below I’ve outlined five key things that marketers can do to help increase their ability to create real-time relevance in video content.  They’re broken up into process and philosophy, because both are required.

Process and Mechanics

Legal

Learn in advance what concerns the legal teams will have, and partner with them early in the process to get their buy-in.  Talk with them about how to achieve objectives and not just about getting approvals on copy. They can even become a source of ideas for rights management and begin to help you solve problems.  Bring them examples of what other brands are doing -- both in-category and out -- to help them reflect on and evaluate the risk and rewards of social.

Budget

It’s helpful to try and get some small, dedicated funding that is nimble across both production and distribution to create some freedom for both creative and media teams. This part of the budget can even be tasked with performance indicators that are important, and it can even be fitted within windows against a calendar (such as holidays, summer, back to school, etc.).

Partners

Develop relationships with video producers capable of creating real-time content -- either in-house, with individuals, or with some scalable production partners.  Build your service agreements early on, have upstream conversations about your process for approvals, and let partners know what times of year are most critical to your business.  Companies such as Stringwire, Zazoom, and Poptent, along with many others, all have different models for creating relevant content in new ways, at scale and at reasonable cost. 

Philosophy

Culture Change

Brands need to reconfigure the culture that has layers of review for long-lasting content such as television commercials or print ads.  Social content is more disposable, based simply on consumer behaviors on these channels -- just look at the half-life for links shared in social.  This understanding will help you develop an internal approval process that can deliver answers in hours instead of days or weeks.  Help your colleagues think about how they can support the overall messaging without getting too caught up in the minutiae of wardrobe, location, etc., so that they can focus instead on the larger issues of message and relevance.

Education

While most brands understand the shift in consumer behaviors on these channels, many still struggle with the question of how it is relevant to them.  And yet, on television, there are fewer questions about the type of content being consumed (zombies, vampires, and werewolves, gory and heathenistic historical fiction, apocalyptic and Armageddon series, etc).  Brands need to work with their agency partners to hash out the appropriateness of social channels, and then develop the right ways to use those channels with the right kinds of content.  Digital content channels are filled only with hand-raisers that have opted to engage with content  -- this filter creates opportunity that is different for each brand.

Ultimately, success in real-time video is always going to come down to how responsive you are in the moment and how you can connect content with the consumer need and your brand purpose.  You’ll need to listen to what’s going on in the world, and you’ll need courage and conviction to take advantage of, and create, different opportunities. With advance preparation and some internal buy-in, your team will be able to successfully create content in real time.

6 comments about "How To Create Real-Time Video: Five Things Brands Should Do".
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  1. Pete Austin from Fresh Relevance, June 20, 2013 at 8:25 a.m.

    When your first advice in an article titled, "
    How To Create Real-Time Video" is to "Learn in advance what concerns the legal teams will have, and partner with them early in the process to get their buy-in", then I can confidently say that your industry is screwed.

  2. Eric Korsh from DigitasLBi, June 20, 2013 at 7:53 p.m.

    Pete! My favorite thing is when people disagree or dialogue around my thoughts. Too few people take issue with the POVs in this column in general. But - it would be helpful if you could do better than "your industry is screwed" - how do you think that consulting with colleagues at work portends the end of the global marketing industry?

  3. Lane Murphy from Relevant24, June 21, 2013 at 6:41 a.m.

    Eric, I could not agree with you more (and for that...disagree with Peter). Relevant content marketing is a completely new marketing discipline and a few innovative companies are hacking out the approval process as they go. A brand's biggest challenge to be relevant is to have meaningful content ready to publish the moment they want to enter a conversation. Of course this means setting up the content "guard rails" with a client's legal department to ensure timely approvals occur. The culture of legal departments is currently not set up for rapid approvals...however as the market for relevant content grows the culture of legal teams will need to adjust, or the brand will always miss the relevancy window.

  4. Pete Austin from Fresh Relevance, June 21, 2013 at 12:26 p.m.

    @Eric. Creative work requires a small core team who can focus on the task at hand and progress rapidly. I've seen on several occasions how broadening consultation can turn a 2 day task into a 2 month task. With the risk that it gets dropped as the client gets frustrated with the lack of results. Or, if you're not going to enlarge the team, but will replace artists with lawyers, then how does that possibly make sense? @Lane. I don't see how the culture of legal teams can adjust, because their job is to give very accurate advice and it would require superhuman powers to do that quickly enough during the rapid, quick-fire generation of ideas that happens at the start of a project.

  5. Pete Austin from Fresh Relevance, June 24, 2013 at 4:36 a.m.

    @Eric. Genuine idea for your next blog. Suppose were both producing videos - I would employ 3 creatives, you think you'd end up with a better video by spending some of the budget on lawyers instead and would employ 2 creatives and a lawyer. Also you would *start* by engaging with the lawyer not the creatives. I think this is a bizarro world approach, but if it's genuinely right for the environment where you work, explaining why would make a fascinating blog post.

  6. Eric Korsh from DigitasLBi, June 24, 2013 at 11:26 a.m.

    Pete - Totally agree you would not start with legal - it just happens to be a bullet that came first. Also not saying my video would be better - agree usurping resources for non-creative can potentially have negative impact. But - working w legal in parallel (or advance) can actually speed up the process. Creative teams aren't known for their fast work any more than legal teams are, but both can change if given the opportunity. FYI: I'm on the creative side in case you're wondering.

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