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No Production, No Problem: 6 Tips for Creating Fresh Content During COVID-19

This year we’ve all had to come up with creative solutions to problems very specific to living with COVID-19: How do I get my 4-year-old to sit still for online learning? How can I celebrate my college graduation with friends and family? How can I support my team while we’re working from home?

As brand leaders, you’ve also surely asked yourself the following questions: How do I still show up on my social channels with fresh content? How do I fulfill the radio buy we planned months ago? How do I update my brand’s video assets without endangering talent, a crew and my employees?

There may be several barriers keeping you from embarking on producing new content right now, among them valid concerns for safety or even a reduction in your production budget. Even so, there are numerous creative ways to refresh the assets you already have or even produce brand-new work without having to go on location or set foot on a production set.

1. Animation

Not just for kids’ cereal commercials anymore, animation obviously does not require in-person production or even an in-person illustrator/animator. Whether animation is new for your brand or not, it can be an efficient and creative way to communicate complicated ideas or break down information-heavy messages.

2. Motion Design

Similar to animation, motion design can utilize talent from inside or outside (maybe even far outside) your organization to bring words, pictures and stories to life for your brand.

3. Stock Footage

No, stock footage is not ideal. However, when used strategically to update existing videos or freshen up spots that are already running, stock imagery and video can offer an effective short-term solution.

4. Reuse Existing Footage

The footage you already have in your archives may be packed with potential to tell your brand story in a newly reimagined way. As you review the content for relevance to what’s happening today (e.g., does the footage show a raucous indoor party that might seem tone-deaf?), revisiting and revamping what you have may still feel fresh to consumers who have not reached wear-out on your current campaign.

5. Images From Social

Few things are more current than a social media feed. Consider using customer images and video (with their permission, of course) to help fill production gaps and show the consumer experience as it is happening right now.

6. Refresh the Voiceover and Music

Voiceover recording is easier than ever now thanks to remote recording sessions and sound mixing. Updating the music can inject a new energy and tone to your video, and adding new voiceover can communicate the latest promotions or information based on what you need to share with your target in this moment.

If in-person production is off the table, the above options offer great solutions.

That said, they may not be able to completely replace the need for an in-person shoot. If you must get together in real life, there are helpful guidelines out there (like the ones found here and here), so be sure to work with your production partner to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved.

If you want to know more about how Hiebing can help produce fresh content for your brand, email Ted at tjun@hiebing.com to set up a call.