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It would be a massive understatement to say that 2020 hasn’t been the easiest year for production companies. Film projects tend to be expensive, and people invest in such things when they feel secure and confident about the future of their industries — not when they’re suffering through a pandemic and worrying about their health and prosperity.
Countless productions shut down when the biggest lockdown period commenced, postponed until 2021 or suspended indefinitely. This left the owners and operators of production companies wondering how they were supposed to proceed. How could they maintain respectable turnover during such challenging circumstances?
Thankfully, plenty of companies have been able to endure this period, pivoting their operations as needed to keep going — and now that we’re approaching the tail end of this miserable year, they’re starting to think about what the future might hold. When they head into the unknown territory of 2021, how should they approach their marketing content? How can they stand out as industries of all kinds attempt to get back to something resembling normalcy?
In this post, we’re going to consider what good business marketing content should look like in the coming year, concentrating largely on production businesses (but covering ground that’s relevant to many other business types). Let’s get started.
It should target budding entrepreneurs
As noted, many productions shut down due to the lockdown period and restrictions, and it may be years until comparable activity resumes. Big-budget companies will continue with no issues (the Hollywood mill must keep grinding, of course), but it’s the lower-budget companies that still can’t justify spending heavily on marketing production.
So what should your target audience be? Well, you should gear your services towards budding entrepreneurs: people who were left disillusioned regarding conventional employment by the events of earlier this year, and who are now deciding to go into business for themselves. For many, 2021 will be the time to make progress with that.
Tap into the entrepreneurial community as best you can to assist with your ideation. Follow online channels that attract them: you might want to pay attention to a productivity podcast like
Get Yourself Optimized, for instance, or a niche startup-related subreddit like r/growmybusiness. Parse the queries and concerns that often come up, and shape your content accordingly.
It should suit the state of the world
Any business investing in promotional activity that doesn’t fit in a pandemic-ridden world will be punished for it. Brands were seeing their reputations destroyed over minor social media missteps before this all began, and things are markedly harder now. Not only does all your content need to mention the pandemic where relevant (because it will seem odd if you avoid it), but it also needs to be tonally and thematically appropriate.
If you create promotional videos, don’t make them overly glossy and luxurious. It will come across as needlessly extravagant in a time of such disparity and global struggle. If you write blog posts, you can focus on the positives, but never give the impression that you’re perfectly happy and optimistic. Most people won’t be able to relate to that.
It should focus on affordability
Factoring in the points we’ve already looked at, affordability is sure to be a key element. Entrepreneurs aren’t going to have huge budgets to spend on establishing their brands, and if you target self-starters with exorbitant prices, you’re likely to catch some social media flak. The smart thing to do, then, is concentrate on how cheaply you can produce decent results.
This isn’t to say that you should slash your prices to the extent that you’re no longer making any profit. Instead, it’s about framing your promotional message properly. Talk about how much value your customers receive — how much extra business prospects can get, and how investing in your services is very likely to end up making them money.
It should emphasize personality
Lastly, the era of generic brands has gone, and there needs to be something unique about your company. You need some form of personality to shine through in your content. What do you believe in? Why do you love your job? What do you hope to achieve (aside from making money, of course)? Are there particular types of content you like the most?
Fight the urge to hold back any personality due to fear that someone will dislike it. That isn’t a major problem: you’ll never please everyone, and if you leave your brand image hollow then it won’t please anyone. Consider the possibility of making yourself a part of the brand, serving as a public figurehead and appearing in marketing materials.
Yes, you want to work on the brand itself and its ability to get great results with or without you, but having a memorable figurehead can make a brand so much more interesting and vibrant. If you think you might come across well in marketing videos and podcast appearances, give it a try. It might be the key to winning some lucrative support.
As you move into 2021, don’t have lofty expectations: there’s no way of knowing how things might change in the business world (and the world in general, naturally). You can’t guarantee success, but you can do your best and make sensible decisions.