Feeding the insatiable hunger of the content monster

No brand can possibly create all the content that is needed to feed consumers’ voracious appetite, but there are ways to tame it and turn it into an asset, writes Chimney's Timo Josten

Meet the content monster. Perhaps you already know each other? The content monster is never satisfied. It not only craves more content, but also craves effective targeting and different languages as well as different formats for different platforms (social media, blogs, websites), markets and audiences. The monster will need more today than it did yesterday.

It will multiply its needs and increasingly demand more content. The content monster will consume you unless you have a strategy to tame it and make is an asset instead.

Creating video and branded content at scale

Creating new content is a necessary, ongoing investment for all companies today.

The challenge lies in scaling. The ever-increasing demand for video content is fuelled by the rising demand for personalisation.

This is especially true in Asia Pacific (APAC). Comprising 56 countries, the Asia Pacific region is vastly diverse, with a multitude of languages. While the English language is largely used across the region, the use of local languages is necessary for brands to effectively engage with a wider audience.

Different consumers also have different preferences for how they consume video content across different formats and platforms – social media, website banners and display advertising on mobile, desktop, tablet.

For instance while Indians prefer to watch videos on their mobile, Malaysians still prefer watching television. This significantly drives the need for multiple types of content. Delivering a global proposition in a manner that resonates with local audiences is the most important yet challenging aspect of any video content.

The harsh reality is that no brand can possibly create all the content that is needed to feed consumers’ increasingly voracious appetite for fresh and relevant content.

With increasing smartphone penetration throughout the region, APAC boasts 1.1 billion viewers, accounting for more than half of worldwide digital video consumption. This is expected to climb 10.3 per cent this year. There is simply not enough time, money or resources to continuously meet this exponentially increasing demand in-house.

So how do you get around the problem and tame the content monster? The trick is to rethink the content production process and build a library of content for each of your target markets. Here’s how:

Co-creation and collaboration

The first step is to develop a content strategy, outlining which pieces of content can be used for various needs: different languages, formats and platforms. A clear content strategy is important in ensuring your brand communicates effectively and personally with your target audience, while cutting through the content clutter.

Content production is the next step.

The real magic happens after the basic video is produced. The content is customised to fit each target market’s preferred language, format and platform. A single piece of video can be repurposed for as many markets as necessary through transcreation, versioning and adaption.

Transcreation refers to adapting a message from one language to another while maintaining its intent, style, tone and context. A successfully transcreated message evokes the same emotions and carries the same implications in the target language as it does in the source language.

Through versioning, you can create different variants of the same video during the post-production stage. This is done by editing the overlaying text, logos or voiceovers such that the same video asset can be used for multiple markets and multiple platforms.

Adaptation, on the other hand, is a slightly more complex process of adapting the video for different markets or platforms. Adaptation involves reshooting certain parts of the video with different talents or at different locations while ensuring consistency of the core concept.

Channels and distribution

Reaching audiences through a single platform is no longer enough. Consumers are increasingly consuming content through various channels and platforms, both offline and online. While 64 per cent of consumers across APAC watch online video content daily, consumers also spend two hours a day watching broadcast television.

If you are creating video content for different target audiences, the content for each group is then likely to be adapted for multiple platforms such as Facebook, television and mobile web. One example would be the Balmain for H&M video campaign which was adopted for use across multiple platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and television.

The content monster is easily tamed through a deeper understanding of the nuances that exist between different markets, audiences, platforms. All it takes is effective planning and well-thought-out collaboration.

Timo Josten is the APAC managing director of production company Chimney


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