Talk of a potential recession is everywhere, and while it’s not a certainty, it is setting off red flags for marketers who recall the challenges faced during the last recession. The prospect of a recession is never pleasant, but for the well-prepared marketer, it can create marketing opportunities.
Statistically, companies who doubled down on marketing spend during the last recession bounced back quicker and in some cases increased their business during the recession. When multiple brands across a vertical reduce their outward communications, a vacuum is created, and brands that fill that void benefit. During the last recession, consumer goods manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser (Lysol, Finish, Spray ’n Wash) used this strategy and increased advertising spend by 25%, and grew net revenue at 9%, besting competitors P&G and Unilever.
While astute marketers recognize that a confident, panic-free approach makes good business sense, practically speaking this is not always possible. What can you to do continue to stay visible to video-hungry platforms and clients during a recession?
Here are five steps your brand can take right now to prepare for an event we all hope to avoid.
Shoot Evergreen B-Roll
Invest in video shoots that capture generic footage of your brand’s offices, facilities, retail outlets, and employees. By investing in the production of high-quality b-roll now, you are banking great content that in a recession can be cost-effectively repurposed in myriad ways.
Married with graphics, voiceover, and animations, it can yield a high volume of content that will allow you to stretch your budget. The quality of the footage will also project a strong, healthy brand during times when competitors may appear weak. This is a win-win strategy, as this library of footage has long legs and equally high value with or without a recession.
Produce Donut-Hole Content
The donut-hole is a simple strategy to get great bang-for-buck on video investments. The way it works is simple; create a template of animated text and images that always stays the same at the top and bottom. In the middle of this spot, leave a :30 – :45 “donut” hole to insert live-action, talking-head content, which is usually time-sensitive. By creating a concept or “format” for this donut hole now, you’re able to produce a high-quality, animated template with strong production value that will have a long shelf life and can be quickly filled with short, easy-to-produce content.
Produce People-Based Content
During challenging times, uplifting content has an even greater appeal than it normally does – and it always has great appeal. Short, feel-good stories about people within your organization that reflect your commitment to your clients are an excellent way to build brand in the previously mentioned vacuum created when competitors pull back.
Using video to send a positive message about your culture and purpose will take time and resources to source, vet, and produce, so it’s smart to focus on now before budgets tighten. People-based narratives that capture hearts and minds generally have excellent shelf-life and can often do double duty with HR and D&I goals.
Stock footage is the Swiss Army Knife of short-form productions. In the right hands, with a good script, strong music track, and deft editing, it can be a powerful, cost-effective tool to produce a high volume of content in times when shooting original footage is not possible.
Building a great stock footage library comes down to two things: time and foresight. On the first, there’s an enormous amount of stock footage available online. Navigating through it to find unique, quality footage is time intensive. Secondly, to stock up on appropriate images, you need to anticipate the types of content you’re likely to produce. Images in your vertical, verticals you discuss, nature footage, office footage, and abstract animations are all images that provide good value. Think about what you might say and load up now so that if and when budgets tighten, you’re ahead of the game and can stay visible with new content.
Consider Gear Purchases Now
Investing in gear as a hedge to budget-tightening is a reasonable strategy, with one obvious caveat; gear without staff to operate it is useless. If you feel confident that your team will remain intact and be able to master the production and post-production software you’ll need, then now’s the time to consider a purchase. Alternately, if studio productions are or could be a prominent part of your video strategy but staffing is an issue, you can explore remotely operated studios solutions such as our ReadyCam® MCS Studio. For brands that produce live streaming, roundtable, and leadership videos, it’s an excellent tool both in and out of a recession.
The uncertainties of a potential recession make planning for the future difficult, but with regard to video marketing, there’s a silver lining – each of these tactics work well in any economic environment, so effort put in today for a rainy day tomorrow will be time well spent.