Luckily, the world is slowly starting to open back up.  I think we all hope that we can do so responsibly and help keep each other safe.

While we go through the phases of re-opening, there’s still restrictions, and the possibility of a second wave in the Fall/Winter.

So, how do we utilize video marketing during a pandemic, when productions are limited or all but shutdown?

Well, you’re probably tired of seeing COVID-19 commercials, but….it’s a great way to find techniques to create content for your business.

Here’s some ideas, many of which Dragonfly 44 Productions has utilized.  Throughout this article, I”ll weave in some examples of how some of these strategies were used in recent projects.

Use Existing Footage:

Many companies have existing video footage laying around on hard drives.  Browse through what you have, and see if there’s content in there that could be used to create marketing materials.  Most likely, you’ll find that there is.

A client just recently came to me with a Dropbox folder full of video clips from previous years.  Perfect, that footage helped make up 90% of the promotional video that they needed.

With social media, that great thing is that content can be short.  So, sometimes that existing video footage can make for great short-form social clips to keep your accounts actively sharing.

If you don’t have much existing footage, don’t worry…there’s other solutions.  However, this may be a good reminder to start producing content pretty regularly.

Self Shot Footage:

If that existing footage doesn’t quite have the right shot, or the messaging isn’t there, then fill in the gaps by self-shooting.

If you’re unsure of how to film yourself, feel free to reach out to folks like me.  This is what I do.  Lately, part of my job with clients has been consulting to help them navigate video marketing in these unique times.  

As an example, in a recent client project, I created an outline (or creative brief).  Then, I sent over a quick shot list of what was needed.  I provided information as to the angle, composition, duration, and movement for the broll (coverage) shots that I needed.

For the footage with dialogue, I told them what I needed them to say, how to frame it, the tempo, and the energy level.  It was a quick production for them, shot on iPhone and a DSLR camera that they already owned.

I provided the proper settings, and it was easy for them to do.  The self-shot footage fit nicely into the video.

Because of what’s going on right now, lower quality footage has become more acceptable, and even expected.  Do the best you can, but if you’re creating self-shot footage it’s okay if it doesn’t look like a Martin Scorcese film.

There’s a million ways you can utilize self-shot video.  The main thing is to figure out how you can still engage and provide value with your audience and customers, even though you can’t actually be with them.

If you’re live-streaming, then be sure to record the live-stream to create another source of content.  This way, you can repost for continued access, or edit smaller pieces of content from a longer live-stream to keep pushing out content.

Here’s a PSA from the NFL using self-shot footage:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-Bbj10hTbY

Ship Your Product for Production:

Have a physical product that you’re selling?  Great!  

You may not be able to be on set, but that doesn’t mean your product can’t.  Ship your product to have it shot and filmed remotely.  You can Facetime with the producer and cinematographer to see the setup during production and give feedback, or approve the look via screenshots.

Utilize Footage from Customers:

Ask some of your customers to film themselves talking about or using your product.

Give them some guidelines to help get the content that works best for you.  

This type of footage can be effective, even when we’re not in a global pandemic.  Seeing and hearing other’s positive experiences with a product provides social proof to help alleviate and overcome doubts in potential customers.

You can always blend this type of content with high quality product footage that was shot remotely, as listed above.  Then, you can make a pretty powerful and quality ad

Here’s an example of how Microsoft used this technique (and if you watch television at all then you’re probably sick of seeing the shorter version of this ad):

Animation and Motion Graphics:

Animation and Motion graphics require zero people to be in front of the camera.  There’s a variety of different software options out there to create animation and motion graphics.

Or, if you don’t have the time you can hire a professional to have it done.

With Animation and Motion Graphics, you can create messaging via text and dialogue, and create great visuals to help keep your audience engaged.

You can find great voiceover talent to simply record the dialogue that’s needed, and send it over the internet.  Many production companies, like Dragonfly 44, will have a rolodex and variety of resources for things like Voiceover talent.

Still Images:

A slideshow, done right, can be effective.  Combine the photos with a good music track, Voiceover, and you can have a quality ad for your marketing.

Here’s an example of how Budweiser used this technique:

Stock Footage:

Nowadays, there’s a lot of stock footage sites with high quality content.  It has some flaws, like not being able to get the exact shot you want, so you might have to settle for something “close” to what you had in mind.  However, in times like these, it’s better than nothing.  What I’d recommend is blending stock footage with some of the options above.  That way, you have more control over the overall concept, and you’re not relying on finding that one perfect shot in a stock footage library (you might end up searching forever).

Start Planning for the Bounce Back:

Now that restrictions are being lifted, it’s time to plan for the bounce back.  Ready to kick off a new marketing campaign around the re-opening of your business?  Get started!  

Hopefully the worst is over, but it’s better to be prepared than not.

I hope these ideas help.  If you have any questions or want to discuss a project, then reach out and let’s talk.  

Dragonfly 44 Productions is a Sacramento Video Production Company that creates impactful content for clients all over.