There’s a lot of ink spilled day after day about the great things social media can do for a brand. It can tell an emotional story, or make us smile, or simply tell us about a useful feature when we’re mulling a purchase decision.
Little of this ink is spilled on the demands this puts upon time-strapped marketing departments. A steady stream of Facebook posts requires a hearty mix of written and visual content. An active YouTube account requires time-eating editing time. An effective Instagram account should offer quality images. Depending on your brand’s demands and your available staffing resources, doing any or all of this could call into question your social strategy’s return on investment.
In short, the internet has an insatiable thirst for content. To help quench that thirst, we’ve begun a new initiative devoted to capturing client content at a larger scale.
We call them “content safaris.”
What is it?
A content safari is a few hours, a day or multiple days where our sole focus is to gather photos, video and information for our clients’ social accounts and other needs. We look for public events where people interact with products, or a time where sales and marketing professionals are available to be on video.
The key is to get as much content—and as many kinds of content—as possible in a condensed period of time. Short videos. Product interaction shots. Product details. Staff photos. We might conduct interviews for staff bios or gather customer reactions for a press release or blog post.
At the same time, we’d also likely work in live social content, like Facebook Live videos, Instagram Live videos, Instagram Stories and live tweeting.
Last September, we conducted a content safari for our clients at Rotochopper in St. Martin, Minn., during their annual Demo Day event. This is a perfect setting for a content safari. They debuted a new product and led a number of demos of their machines. They invited dozens of existing and prospective customers to check everything out, and we were able to capture some wonderful stories.
We first worked with Rotochopper to identify their needs and the priorities for the day. Then two content gatherers, a photographer/videographer who focused on content for use in the long term (product shots, crowd shots, etc.) and yours truly armed with a phone for live content, went to work.
The day had a number of successes, both from a content standpoint and from a brand narrative standpoint.
What do clients get out of it?
Often, content gathering has a specific need that drives it. You might need headshots for your website or a demo video for a product. While these can ultimately populate a handful of social posts, what about the rest of the calendar?
The need driving the content safari is volume. Rather than opt for a single product shot, for instance, we’ll have access to a few from each product, including shots with people and detail shots. This allows us to post social content about the same product multiple times, but keeps the social accounts fresh. For Rotochopper, that meant gathering hundreds of images and lots of video to use in the year to come.
It also translated into some pleasant surprises that highlight another need: narrative. A tour through their shop yielded an off-the-cuff explanation of a piece of machinery with a great story that made for perfect social content. Simple wandering around yielded detail images that work great for graphics or “general” posts. These are the moments that add color, narrative and interest to a brand, and those are needed to create a dynamic, trustworthy brand story.
What are your content needs? Are your social accounts feeling stale? Contact us to see how our content safaris might help you tell a better story about your brand.