The conversation of brands producing content amid COVID-19 and who should be creating these images.
What happens when an entire industry is turned upside down? The ones that use it as an opportunity to pivot and figure out how they can adapt are (usually) the ones that find a way to make it out in the end. Within a matter of a day (we’re saying that day was around March 15th) brands had to fully halt marketing spend as they looked at customer behavior and what people were purchasing to make sure that they were efficiently spending their marketing dollars.
This pause caused a massive trickle down effect, as brands halted marketing spend. Everything from PR initiatives, to product launches, to influencer spend were paused as brands (rightly so) looked to figure out how they could spend money to quite honestly make money.
Pan ahead to mid April, and we’ve seen many things change about not only customer behavior, but what brands are leveraging in terms of their product assortment. People are buying loungewear, comfy slippers and home decor in ways they never have before*. As a direct result, brands have had to pivot to produce content based on the items that people are purchasing.
But, who is left to create the content? With the current shelter in place rules in effect across the country, production teams can no longer come together and lead a two day shoot with a model and the rest of a normal production team. So if they can’t produce a full campaign shoot, who does it? This is where content creators come in.
By definition, to be a content creator, you need to be an Art Director, Makeup Artist, Stylist all in one. And on top of that? They need to be incredible sales people. So when rules are set into effect that limit who can actually shoot your content, where can companies go? Content creators. Content creators have built their businesses on creating content stories from their homes. Many of them have their own cameras and can produce an entire shoot from their homes.
With this idea in mind, what does this mean for the greater industry?
First off, for businesses, we recommend looking at content creators who align with your greater vision as a brand. Check out their content, and reach out to them and ask them if they would be interested in shooting your upcoming products for your Spring // Summer collection.
From there, we recommend creating a mood board to ensure that the visuals are in line with the visual esthetic you are hoping to achieve. The last thing you want is to get a Dropbox full of images that don’t align with your campaign theme.
Last, make sure that you disclose how the images will be used (from email,to paid social, to Billboards) to ensure that you are able to gain usage rights to use the content creators images as you please. **
Across the board, entrepreneurs are thinking, what are the things that are happening now that could completely change the course of the future? If a brand could go directly to a content creator to shoot assets, and it works, perhaps this could change how companies shoot marketing campaign assets forever.
So what’s our call to action here? Brands, think about using influencers who are exceptional content creators to shoot your upcoming campaigns. As an added bonus, they will most likely share the content on their channels (so it’s essentially like a two for one deal).
For influencers, what can you do with this idea? First off, reach out to the brands that you know, and let them know that you can produce content for them to use for their upcoming marketing campaigns. They will either say yes, or you’ve just given them a terrific new idea that can help them overcome a serious pain point in their business.
Who knows, if the relationship between a content creator and a brand becomes one where content creators also shoot marketing campaign imagery, we will most likely see a MASSIVE shift in how brands shoot marketing imagery in the future.
Having the ability to wear a ton of hats as well as giving brands that added reach of gaining access to their audience, is one of the ways that the influencer industry can actually flourish.
* This comes from surveying 25 influencers and asking them what their top converting product categories have been in the past 30 days.
** Usage is always calculated by rules of three. 30% for the rate of the asset for each month it’s run as an ad, or 3x the cost of the asset if you want to use it in perpetuity.