Trends are born of necessity, or in response to a human desire or frustration.
One trend that has been accelerated by COVID-19, is the need for marketers and brands to deliver content at greater speed, with smaller budgets and lower production values.
Commonly referred to as ‘lo-fi’ content (short for ‘low-fidelity’), it’s typically produced on a phone, is lower quality, often shot behind the scenes or on-the-go, and requires minimal production. By rejecting the premium and polished aesthetic of traditional high-spec content, this ‘do-it-yourself’ alternative can deliver authentic moments that deepen consumer relationships.
Ryan Reynolds is the master of ‘lo-fi’ marketing. Earlier this year, he famously launched a powerpoint presentation in place of a traditional ad for his low-cost wireless company Mint Mobile.
Speaking to the The Drum, Reynolds said that imperfection and smaller budgets does not necessarily harm the creative process. “I think you have to have an ability or willingness to not be overly precious about everything,” reckons Reynolds. “You have to be comfortable with showing your mistakes and your triumphs.”
Whilst it’s true that ‘lo-fi’ content is most at home on social media platforms such as TikTok, YouTube and Twitch, integrating it into a broader campaign can turn passive observers into active participants and strengthen the relationship between a brand and it’s audience.
Creating content that isn’t extensively planned, shot, and edited can be challenging to those used to the ‘old normal’, so we’ve listed a few pointers to get you started:
Keep it real
With less focus on production and editing, your story and creativity needs to do the heavy lifting. Don’t over think it, it should feel like your viewers are getting an unvarnished view of your brand, think behind-the-scenes, mistakes and miss-takes are welcome and if you insist on scripting… keep it loose.
Co-create with your customers
User-generated content (UGC) can have a significant impact on the success of a brand. A study by Ipsos found that millennials trust user-generated content 50% more than any other media.
The internet has forever changed how people consume content, from simple consumption to participation and reconfiguration. Lawrence Lessig, media and political academic, describes this state as a “Read/Write” (RW) culture; one in which,
“people add to the culture they read by creating and re-creating the culture around them…”
Think about providing your audience with a way to contribute (either by creating their own content or sharing/liking other peoples) in order to become part of something bigger.
GoPro is a great example of a brand whose own channels, especially social media, are filled with photos and videos that their customers have captured using GoPro cameras. They leverage gamification to encourage engagement and curate diverse UGC for their campaigns.
Be fit for platform
When it comes to choosing the right content to produce for any given platform, ask yourself this question, “who is our customer and what experience are they expecting from our brand on this platform?”
Overall, your goal is to create content that feels native to it’s environment. This means the days of produce once and share to many are over. Instead, take the time to really understand how your customer engages with each platform and what role (if any) your brand should play there.
Find the balance
There’s no denying that ‘lo-fi’ content is making an impact on social platforms but, that doesn’t mean that all your content should be shot on an iphone, and you can ditch that launch campaign altogether. When it comes to finding the right content strategy for your brand, it depends on a number of factors, including your industry, your audience, and the brand story you want to tell.
At Kaimera we create engaging content that connects brands with audiences. Reach out, if you’re interested in building your own community of active participants.