Producing a new explainer video for your brand is exciting: you’ve got a juicy new piece of content to share to boost your online presence, promote your brand image, and hook in more clients. But the cost of developing ongoing content can feel intimidating if you’re hiring a professional production house to create your videos, and if you’re producing it in-house your team’s time can quickly get sucked up.
So when it comes to updating your brand’s video content, how often is too often? And how often is not often enough? And how many times can I say the word ‘often’ before it starts looking like a weird made-up alien language? Unfortunately, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ answer, so today we’ve gathered up some questions you can ask to find the answer that best suits your brand’s needs.
1) Who is your audience and will they care about the latest info?
Some audience segments are more inclined toward having the latest cutting edge info at their fingertips, while others will sceptically follow the crowd only after a trend has gone mainstream. The technology adoption life cycle (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technology_adoption_life_cycle) splits audience segments into five groups:
a) Innovators – The first to adopt new innovations; high-risk tolerance, strong financial position, and very social with close ties to scientific and innovative communities. Innovators require brand new and valuable information from your video content
b) Early Adopters – The second group to adopt; generally young and well educated with high social status and the strong positions in opinion leadership. Think industry experts and well-regarded influencers. Early adopters require frequent, fresh content to have reason to adopt to new brands
c) Early Majority – This large group adopts innovations quite a while after early adopters have scoped out the scene. They have contacts with early adopters and above-average social status but generally aren’t opinion leaders. The early majority requires some degree of regular content and a strong sense of brand community involvement
d) Late Majority – A sceptical group who adopt after the average person. They are known to have less social status and hang out with others in the late and early majority. The late majority need to be convinced by steady brand content, alongside the opinions of their friends, to break through the layer of innovation scepticism
e) Laggards – The last to adapt to innovations. This group is focused on tradition, change-averse, and tend to be older. Reliability and predictability are key with Laggards: less frequent content will go over fine, though regular new content will also work well provided it follows the same format and messaging as all previous content.
2) What speed does your industry move at?
Are you a fast-paced tech industry, a traditional brick and mortar store, or somewhere in between? Different industry speeds demand a different level of content output. In industries where time is of the essence (e.g. a tech startup founded on a unique concept that needs fast exposure before the idea is exploited elsewhere, or a media company focussing on new releases) it’s going to be essential to pump out new content alongside the swift changing landscape of your field.
3) Have your products/services changed?
Rolling out a new flagship product line, changing the function of an existing product, or shifting the direction of your services in some way are all top reasons to prioritise new marketing and video content. Whether you’re looking to target a new audience or hone in on your existing one, an explanation of your new service changes will help in building understanding and trust, along with providing a central discussion point amongst your brand community.
4) Is something in your video now outdated?
This can be a minor consideration or a very major one. Does your video make a passing reference to a meme that was fresh at the time but is now well and truly past its peak dankness? Kinda’ embarrassing, maybe time to look into a new explainer video so we can all move on. Does your video make a joke that time has since put in poor, poor taste (think: edgy references to celebrities that have since passed away; changes in social and cultural etiquette; coincidentally referencing locations or circumstances of future mass tragedies)? Definitely, time to move on.
5) Has a big event affected your industry or your customers?
Industry-specific changes can also prompt a need for updated video content. Sometimes this can come in the form of a public service announcement: for example, recent changes in a government policy could be concisely presented in a short animated explainer video.
Other times your new content should reflect how your brand is reacting to these changes, or what you’re doing to help out affected customers, or the industry at large. The early months of the COVID-19 pandemic revealed varying abilities of different brands to pivot to the new socially distanced circumstances and to demonstrate their true ability to help out their customers in creative ways. New explainer video content in a situation like this is a huge asset for brands in providing a clear voice of direction when people need it most.
6) Does your company value marketing and have a budget for it?
While it’d be nice if we could all have the budget we want and need for marketing, some of us are more restricted than others. Smaller and newer businesses naturally have tighter marketing pools to draw from and often need to rely more on frugal resourcefulness to get the word out. Meanwhile, the tight regulations on government sectors and NGO spending means every dollar needs to be accounted for.
But contrary to what we might assume, having a small budget doesn’t necessarily mean living with the same outdated brand video for five years – what it points to is an increased need for long-term planning and ingenuity. At what point will the cost of creating new content outweigh the engagement it builds? When will the information in today’s video inevitably become out of date, incorrect, or just plain irrelevant?
If you’re heading a company with a generous marketing budget, you have the opportunity to produce new content around current trends, adjusting your strategy to hone in on your best possible audience return. If you’re working with a smaller budget, set yourself up for the best chance of success by estimating that tipping point of audience engagement (all the more reason to know your customer base like the back of your hand) and building quality content for your customers from the outset – content that will speak to them now while also lasting the test of time.
Written by Maree Railton.