COVID-19 has changed how we live, work and relate. In the small business world, it’s no different. With social distancing measures still in place, brands have downsized or completely scaled back marketing budgets. In the wake of COVID-19, nearly $50 billion globally has been pulled out of the advertising market.
But instead of killing advertising, the pandemic has forced a creative renaissance. Instead of relying on huge budgets and professional shoots, we’re seeing the rise of self-edited, lo-fi, and home-shot content. Whether you’re a small business owner or new entrepreneur, you can take advantage of these new low-cost marketing trends. Below, you’ll learn how large brands have adapted to this shift, and how you can implement what’s currently working for them into your marketing strategy.
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Lo-fi/low-cost marketing trends are the new normal
Big budget commercial shoots are nearly impossible to do right now, and as a result, brands are opting for more scrappy production out of necessity.
Traditionally, this would scare most big brands. But, according to one YouTube exec, these scrappy ads are actually outperforming many others on the platform.
And, this extends across the entire business landscape and is greatly influenced by the type of content published across TikTok, YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram.
Less-polished advertising has a certain appeal and makes even large brands feel more accessible to their audiences.
How small business and brands can embrace the new normal
DIY content just feels more natural to watch.
Here are a few ways your business can use this trend to create low-cost and lo-fi videos, social media posts, and other marketing content in this changing world.
1. Create videos like you were sending them to a friend
Today, we have a lot of different platforms that cater to live stream videos like Snapchat, TikTok, Instagram and Facebook Live.
For example, we have the Mint Mobile ad featuring Ryan Reynolds that’s him running through a parody PowerPoint. Even though it’s low-budget, it’s entertaining and holds your attention better than most ads.
You can apply this same style of thinking to your video content, whether it’s for a paid advertisement, a social media story or a post.
Imagine you were creating a quick video to your friend about your business: what would you say and how would you say it?
2. Crowdsource content from followers
You might have seen Facebook’s “We’re Never Lost If We Can Find Each Other” ad throughout the lockdown. Essentially, this ad celebrates all the ways we were staying connected throughout lockdown, the footage that plays through this ad was all obtained from real people.
You’ll notice the production quality is much higher, but the idea remains the same.
Try to source content from real customers, aka user-generated content.
This can show up in many forms, but here are some ideas:
- Re-share stories or pictures that customers have posted about your products or business.
- Add any user-shared stories or images to your Instagram Story.
- Create a short video with your customers enjoying your products, shopping at your business, etc.
- Go live on Instagram or Facebook and answer any questions your followers, clients and customers have.
- Conduct Zoom interviews with satisfied customers about their experience working with you and share these across social media.
3. Utilize quick, off-the-cuff content
Great video and social media content don’t have to be extensively planned, shot, and edited. Instead, we can take a page out of Gary Vee’s book to think differently about content.
Overall, your goal is to create as much content as possible spread across as many different platforms as you can manage.
Best of all, this content is meant to be short and off-the-cuff, while still being packed with value.
Here are some ideas:
- Screenshot your tweets and share them on Instagram Stories in Create Mode to create funny and consumable memes.
- Take a screenshot of your thoughts on a notepad app and share these.
- Run polls to your Instagram and Facebook followers and share the results.
- Take pictures or short videos with customers and clients and share these across social media.
- Cross-post short video content across TikTok, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
- Create daily Instagram Stories sharing your “thoughts of the day.”
Hopefully, this has helped you understand how low-cost marketing trends are forming in the new normal, and how you can adapt your small business to the changing marketing trends.