Never worked with a creative studio like ours? Being involved in the creative process can be intimidating if you’ve never done it before, or even sometimes if you have! You might already be wondering where to start or what milestones are included in making a new piece of creative content. That’s why we’ve laid out our step by step process to animation, so you can understand your involvement before the process begins.
Not sure of some of the terms that get used in the production process? Check out our animation jargon post which clarifies terms that we use within the studio that may be unfamiliar to some of our clients.
Still feeling overwhelmed? Don’t worry, we’ve got dedicated account managers who will always be at hand to walk you through the process.
“Companies with the strongest omni-channel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers, as compared to 33% for companies with weak omni-channel strategies.” – Aberdeen.
So, in reality, omni-channel is important for obtaining and retaining customers.
Simple as that.
Nucco Brain || TrueTime Rendering
With that said, having the knowledge of how to maximise production (i.e how to create content that works across all these fabulous channels) is still something of a rarity. This leads to duplication, lack of consistency and poor use of budget and time.
This means marketers are left with less time, less budget, less freedom to try anything new or bold.
Traditionally, advertising, marketing and communications agencies might have helped out here. They develop strategies to bring consistency and ‘one voice’ to the communications. They plan production pipelines to deliver in line with the strategy and available budget.
With the need to produce a range of different content, in an agile, multi-channel manner, the traditional agency model is being tested by shifts in the market (specifically the less time/budget/freedom to try anything new or bold conundrum).
Internal marketing teams are either taking production in-house or are asking a number of specialist studios to provide a different piece of their content marketing puzzle. This can come with its own set of problems – from the ‘Chinese whispers’ effect of communication between studios to the different ways of approaching production – and can actually lead to more issues than were encountered with a more traditional agency approach.
A Production Workflow designed with Cross-Channel in mind
At Nucco Brain, we have developed a bespoke production workflow for cross-channel, agile and scalable production. With this workflow, we can produce visual content that works in more traditional ways (visual branding, animation, etc) but then expands them across the range of digital channels (interactive videos, gamified learning/training content, digital OOH, AR, VR, etc).
We call this workflow TrueTime Rendering – leveraging game engine technology to produce content in ways that can be upscaled in an agile manner. We can produce flat video content with it. We can then turn it into a 360º video, using the very same assets. We can then add interactivity to this content with a few extra clicks (I’m oversimplifying but, again, it’s the same assets and the same engine). We can then develop this further, to an AR or VR experience (again, using the same assets and the same engine).
There’s no need to export to another format and ‘adapt’ it to another engine to scale up the experience. The TrueTime Rendering workflow means we can reuse all the assets and add on the bits we need, as and when needed. No more ‘I wish we’d built that with VR in mind’ moments – our workflow allows for these considerations to come up as and when fits the business needs.
Cut out the rendering time
One of the main benefits of utilising a game engine for the development of content is the rendering times.
Traditional 3D content production, using the likes 3DS Max, Maya or After Effects, comes with its own set of problems. While the power of these applications is undeniable, for some things it’s just not needed.
You may be familiar with the idea of having to change a production asset, or animated sequence, or lighting setup, or whatever other change you wanted to see happen in the content you were making. You then have to hit render and go for a walk/go to lunch/leave it running over night. The main issue with this is, after waiting all that time, you may want to make another change… that’s a lot of dead time for some potentially minor changes, even with access to a render farm.
The TrueTime Rendering workflow is based on using a game engine – one built for real-time rendering on a multitude of devices. Given the engine itself is built to render in real-time, the render time for any piece of content should be about as long as the content itself.
Producing a 1 minute animation? Don’t like that last animated sequence? TrueTime Rendering will have your changes ready to view in approximately 1 minute. Want to add in some additional interactivity? Once you’ve set the parameters, give it about 1 minute and you’ll be able to test them out.
From a client/studio point of view, this means you can iterate away without the dead time that’s plagued production processes for so long – rendering! This means you can try things out without the fear of a wasted iteration, taking hours to put back to where it was (instead of the minutes it would take with TrueTime).
Style = Substance
There are some cases where TrueTime isn’t the answer. Photo-real CGI, live action or photography, Hollywood-level VFX – that’s not really what TrueTime is about.
We developed the workflow specifically for high-output, multi-channel communications. Video series, interactive learning, AR walls, virtual reality experiences – that’s TrueTime’s bag.
For TrueTime to work at its best, we need to turn to the power of stylisation. Bear with me while I go a little off-pitste here and talk about comic book theory. I promise you, it’s relevant to B2B and corporate communications too.
Scott McCloud, a leading comic’s theorist, shows us why stylisation works wonders when trying to engage with a broad audience (he talks about comic book readers – I’m drawing the parallel to communications). We live in an increasingly symbol/icon/emoji-based world and already engage with the idea of stylisation – these symbols can be understood as an image utilised to represent a place, person, object or idea.
McCloud says humans are a“self-centered race”, unconsciously looking for ourselves in what we see. In this way, a simple cartoon such as a circle with two dots for eyes and a line for lips silently communicates to its readers that this is a face. Importantly, it is impossible for the reader not to see a face, because our minds are programmed to recognise and relate this icon back to ourselves.
So, back to the point of why stylisation works for what we’re talking about here: B2B and corporate comms.
When we talk about illustration, animation, infographics, CGI, VR, AR, etc – stylisation enhances storytelling because it lets the audience focus on the message, as opposed to whether or not the characters in the story are an accurate representation of who they are.
The message comes through stronger and connects with the audience effectively.
The well-oiled production machine
For large businesses with many stakeholders (their customers, their suppliers, their employees, their shareholders, etc) getting a consistent, effective, engaging content calendar together can cause headaches. Constant engagement of these various audiences – coordinated across a number of marketing teams spread over a number of international markets – well, that can keep people up at night.
As technology and creativity become more intertwined, there’s no need for B2B or corporate comms to suffer from a lack of innovation when it comes to content production. If the marketing team’s job is to define the vision and mission of the business, this shouldn’t be obstructed by convoluted production approaches.
TrueTime Rendering offers a real solution for creative visual content production, giving time and flexibility back to marketing teams. The ability to scale an idea all the way up from print to a VR headset leads to increased campaign longevity, more cost-effective budgets and an agile timeline that responds to the needs of the business.
Over the past years, more and more brands have been using content marketing to produce highly successful marketing campaigns. Yet, despite the concept’s popularity, the term still holds many mysteries for those trying to jump on the bandwagon.
The idea behind content marketing is to promote a brand through engaging content that will appeal to potential customers, rather than selling a product or service directly. A classic example is Red Bull. Through its digital channels and worldwide sports events, Red Bull has established itself as the go-to for anyone in search of an adrenaline rush – a much more exciting experience for potential customers rather than the simple taste of an energy drink. Content marketing often taps into enhancing customers’ lifestyle with content that will attend to their wants, rather than needs. But above all, to achieve success, content marketing campaigns rely on storytelling.
A few months ago, an interesting challenge arrived at Nucco Brain’s door:
Innovate UK, the national agency that supports science and technology innovations, asked our studio to help them in reaching out to a wider audience. The main task revolved around the development of a content marketing strategy for Innovate UK’s digital and social media channels, followed by the production and distribution of the content itself. Through this project, we experienced the benefits of empowering a brand in becoming a content publisher firsthand.
Here is why we believe brands should adopt content marketing as an advertising strategy:
Brands no longer compete against each other, but the entire media landscape.
With the massive amount of content uploaded daily on the Internet, people are used to having a wide choice of different media to consume. As this article is being written, the Internet Live Stats indicate that there are 3,658,133,031 Internet users in the world, 3,588,547 blog articles have been written, and 4,393,865,056 videos have been viewed on YouTube in just one day. To survive in this fierce environment, brands should no longer ask themselves “how can I make customers buy my product through media?” but instead “what unique experiences can media provide for my customers?” – and in the process, take control of their own brand storytelling through content marketing.
It is crucial for brands embarking on the content marketing journey to develop a strategy: the content should be both consistent in its style and of high quality. What do we want our audiences to do and what type of content do they crave are important questions to consider.
Nucco Brain’s approach with Innovate UK was to use our visual storytelling expertise to create the right tools for the organisation to use as content publishers. To do so, we developed different extensions of the Innovate UK brand, each with a distinct visual style. These included animated guidelines, format structure documents and visual designs that have been used by all Innovate UK’s content service providers to generate consistent productions.
People are selective about the content they watch
Therefore brands should be selective about who they create content for. Yes, the Internet has become marketeers’ favourite playground, but time is precious, and people are extremely selective about where they spend it online. This is where content marketing benefits brands, a targeted audience is more likely to be interested and follow engaging content rather than direct advertising.
At Nucco Brain we believe the content should ideally be both informative and entertaining.
As part of our collaboration with Innovate UK, we were responsible for rebranding their YouTube Channel. Our studio created four different video formats and pilots episodes, effectively sub-brands of Innovate UK, focused on engaging with different segments of the organisation’s target audience:
Predictions: Aimed for the general public and informed millennials, a series of short episodes predicting what the future will look like in twenty to thirty years time.
Game Changers: A series showcasing stories of extraordinary entrepreneurs who are part of a minority or are discriminated; highlighting the challenges and successes of their journey.
Essential Selection: This format presents animated infographics of top tips and useful insights from aspiring and young entrepreneurs.
Success Stories: revolves around companies that Innovate UK has invested in and details how the organisation has supported their growth.
Fifteen months after the campaign’s implementation, Innovate UK has seen an 8% increase in awareness amongst its target audience due to the new strategy. Meanwhile, the YouTube Channel has registered an 650% increase in subscriptions and an 875% increase in content views. Also, Innovate UK has gained 125% boost in organic placements with external, relevant publishers and sector influencers.
As Pete Wilson, digital communications manager at Innovate UK, said: “ The insights fed into our content strategy contributed significantly to us reinventing our approach to content; this coupled with distribution expertise has massively increased our visibility”.
The time has come where we can no longer hide away from GDPR. As of this week, on May 25th 2018, the new legislation came into force, replacing the old and outdated Data Protection Act, to protect people’s personal data.
Getting your team GDPR-ready
Being GDPR ready does not only mean complying with the new legislation, you also need to provide your staff with the knowledge and the tools to work within the new regulations. Effective training and communication campaigns are the key for ensuring your teams are onboard and in-the-know.
When it comes to communicating new legislation, our team has collaborated with Deloitte M.E on a variety of projects. One of these included explaining the concept and implementation of VAT and Excise taxes to a business audience unfamiliar with the concept in the Middle East.
Deloitte || VAT
Through infographics and videos, we helped local businesses explain complicated tax systems to their audience in an easy-to-understand narrative. In the same way, visual storytelling is a smart, memorable approach to communicating essential information on the GDPR. Here’s why:
An interesting hook gets more attention
What’s drier than communicating the specifics of a new, complicated legislation? The answer is, not many things. For most, reading through the intricacies of a new regulation is less engaging than watching paint dry. Visual storytelling can bring important to life. By creating a hook that will capture the viewer’s attention, you can take them on a journey from awareness, to basic info, to the more detailed information and small print in a few logical, memorable steps.
Simplifying complex info makes it accessible
Rather than swamping people with technical jargon and overly complicated content, visuals allow you to communicate intricate ideas in bitesize form. This will effectively break down the reams of information your business audience might find online into relevant, salient points.
Storylines make it personal
Telling a story with a personal angle is the fastest way to connect with an audience. Visual storytelling gives you the platform to do just that. By creating characters and storylines that resonate, you’ll be speaking to your audience on a level. Being able to identify with the narrative is one powerful way of ensuring messages are absorbed and understood.
Ultimately, GDPR is here, and it’s set to revolutionise the way we hold and use data. Being on top of the changes at all levels of your business is essential to avoid those fines. Through creative communication and visual storytelling, you can drive an effective GDPR comms campaign that resonates and stays with your audience.
Corporate communication has had a certain reputation for being dry and un-engaging in the past. But new technologies like VR are now increasingly becoming part of the modern business world, and companies are catching onto the benefits of integrating them into their corporate comms strategy.
VR, AR and 360 videos are just some of the ways businesses are connecting with their audiences. And not just for external communication, but for business training purposes and internal campaigns too. The innovative use of tech like this gives companies a new way of creating immersive training experiences and unforgettable comms pieces. All powerful stuff when you want to drive engagement.
How can VR fit into your comms strategy?
Strategic content creators are now opening the doors to fresh possibilities in VR and 360 videos. Providing brands with a platform to visualise the future of their industry, or engaging with a holographic executive delivering a comms message are just some of the opportunities it offers. VR is also incredibly freeing as it enables companies to put people in impossible situations in a controlled way.
For example, with one of our projects,EDF Nuclear Symphony, we helped public audiences and stakeholders to understand how a nuclear reactor works through a VR experience.
Adapting this to your particular business and needs is key to making it work. Essentially, the user can walk through a digitally rendered environment, allowing them to react to a situation as it unfolds. For training in areas like first aid, operating machinery and policing, VR can be an invaluable tool. By creating the right kind of experience for the user, companies are in stronger position than ever to engage with immersive, educational interactive experiences.
Is VR a cost-effective training tool?
When it comes to investing in new tech, it’s important to know how it will benefit the business as a whole. Another core use of VR for corporate comms is to let people travel without moving, which presents exciting cost effective training and learning opportunities. As opposed to hiring a trainer or arranging a specific location for the training to take place, users can hop online and start learning.
For example, Unit 9’s project Lifesaver VR aimed to teach CPR skills to the general public through a VR app easily downloadable from any phone. The results? In tests with a selection of schoolchildren, teenagers’ confidence in performing CPR increased from 38% to 85%. And all those tested said they were more likely or MUCH more likely to perform CPR in a real emergency.
This makes it an accessible tool to be sure, but the ways of engaging with tech like this doesn’t end there. Now, you can find VR and 360 capabilities everywhere, including platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Vimeo, making reaching your intended audience easier than ever.
Are VR’s possibilities limitless?
The short answer is, not yet. Understanding the power, uses and limitations of VR will stand you in good stead if you’re keen to integrate the tech into your corporate comms. Don’t forget, VR is a great hook, but it’s an individual experience and users will need to plug in with a headset. So, you can see how reaching a big audience could be problematic.
Using VR in tandem with other digital content such as video and infographics are the best way to encourage interaction. You can also broadcast 360 videos of real life action to larger groups to give them a similar experience. This will give you the thrust to engage with a mass audience, while creating an invaluable additional touchpoint for VR users.
We used this approach when working on Innovate UK’s Predictions: Day in a Life 360 video for the organisation’s trade show by creating an immersive experience inside a dome. This experience allows Innovate UK to engage with its industry partners and the general public on the subject of technological innovation.
Using VR and 360 videos as a smart element of your communications toolkit, is certainly the way forward.
For a company, general communication in the digital age can be tricky, and internal communication can be a real challenge, given the diversity of people working for it. Over formalised emails and meetings are just not enough anymore and can easily lead to a lack of engagement or misunderstanding of the key messages.
At Nucco Brain we help big and small companies telling their stories in the most effective way. Above brand storytelling, we specialise in ultra-effective corporate comms, both external and internal. When searching for the most powerful strategy to deliver a message, we always keep in mind the golden rule of storytelling: your audience wants to be both informed and engaged.
More and more brands are turning to the visual storytelling industry to tell their stories and rightly so since visual content keeps proving to be the simplest and most engaging way to send a message.
The lackof direct human interactions -voice, look, gestures- makes room for ambiguity; using visuals is one of the best ways to express the tone as well as the content.
Let’s take a look at a case study that we worked on recently to see how we applied visual storytelling to an internal change campaign.
Rolls Royce Engineering || Social Media Etiquette
Internal corporate comms case study: Rolls-Royce Engineering
Getting your employees up to speed with the latest technology, trends, and corporate guidelines is far from easy. Finding the right way to communicate important changes, such as a new training program, is essential for the company’s overall well-being.
We worked with Rolls-Royce Engineering to produce a video that aimed to inform employees about the company’s social media policy and to promote social media awareness in the work’s place. Quite a delicate topic to address, as it may sound like Rolls-Royce telling its staff what they should and should not post on their social channels. A message that could easily come across as invasive or even censoring.
We took this difficulty into account and realised a 3-minute video that explained why it’s so important to be mindful of any kind of activity on social media. We created Rollo, a stylised character that would generate empathy with all the employees of RR, no matter their geographic location. As a result, the explanatory video delivered Rolls Royce’s view on the subject to 15 countries and was complemented with supporting images on the company intranet and social media channels.
An explanatory video – among other equally powerful steps of a visual campaign – can provide employees with the safety and satisfaction in understanding where the company is headed and the importance of their involvement.
The Internet has changed the way people consume content. According to expert Nicolas Carr, writer of the book The Shallows, the Web is rewiring our brain – changing the way we think and remember in the process. One of the results is that our attention span is shorter, which is a challenge for brands reaching out to their audience. Therefore, many turn to online content marketing as a way to approach this challenge.
We collaborated with Innovate UK, the national agency that supports science and technology innovations, to produce different video formats for their YouTube Channel as part of their new digital content marketing strategy. One of these series, “Predictions”, has been particularly successful. “Predictions” is a series of short 3 minutes videos explaining what daily life will be like in a few years.
Innovate UK || Predictions
The challenge brought to us by Innovate UK was to maximise the visibility and engagement of their YouTube channel.
Our solution? We believe that video views, engagement, and awareness grow exponentially, due to our focus on the following 3 steps recipe:
1) Research & Strategy
Know your audience: Who do you want to reach? What kind of content do they like? Where do they spend time online? With Innovate UK, we first focused on engaging with different sub-brands of the organisation by creating a specific video format for each targeted audience segment – taking into account the different needs of each.
Have a theme: What is your brand’s area of expertise? What themes related to it could be transformed into a concept for a video series? We decided to highlight Innovate UK’s expertise in sciences, innovation, and technology throughout “Predictions”. Remember, storytelling is key in engaging your target audience, and most people engage with either informative or entertaining content. Thorough research into a relevant theme will ensure that the content is both rich with information and tells an entertaining story.
2) Relevant Content Creation
Format is key: Apart from ensuring that the format fits the needs of the target audience, consistency in style is crucial. Ask yourself: how can I best illustrate my chosen theme in a way that is original and unique? With “Predictions” we chose to mix live footage interviews of Innovate UK’s futurologists with animated graphics of their future predictions. This combination resulted in a series of videos that provides both information by experts and an engaging visual universe.
Video length matters: Your audience is accustomed to viewing very short videos on YouTube; no longer than 1-5 minutes max. Keep in mind that not every format can fit every length – it is important to find the right pace that condenses information without overloading your audience..
3) Smart Distribution
Think Multichannel: Even though your video will be published on YouTube, all content created should be shareable on any other social media platforms. This means that all your brand’s’ social media platforms must be consistent in style so that the video’s style blends in.
Create an editorial calendar: Essentially, how often will the content be published? Unlike one off advertising campaigns aiming to attract as many potential customers through one action, content marketing is a continuous initiative over a long period of time. The aim is to get your target audience to follow your brand on a daily basis. Establishing an editorial calendar will leave time for your target audience to share previous content and recommend your channel.
Since our beginnings, developments in digital marketing have been happening faster than ever and we have learnt a lot on the journey. The most important lesson of all? Visual storytelling is the most relevant and effective marketing solution to communicating complex ideas.
Applying this lesson to a B2B context, a few months ago, Nucco Brain collaborated with the agency Mindshare, to design a campaign for HSBC’s new China’s Belt & Road Initiative. This ambitious multi-faceted strategy aims to boost the flow of trade, capital, and services between China and the rest of the world. Involving over 65 countries, HSBC’s campaign targeted an international audience of stakeholders and business partners. Our studio was asked to create a video to explain the strategy in all its complex features:
HSBC || From Silk Road to China’s Belt & Road
Using this campaign as a case study, here are Nucco Brain’s 4 best practices to turn any B2B communication campaign into exciting content everyone will want to watch:
1) Always tell a story your audience can relate to
The main challenge with this project was to deliver a coherent outline of China’s Belt & Road Initiative to a multicultural audience with different business customs. To ensure everyone could understand, we chose to open the video by making a parallel between the new initiative and the ancient silk road, which, as the video says, “everyone knows about”. Just like the new China’s Belt & Road: “Its routes forged paths between east and west creating international connections that helped shape the development of the world”.
2) Visualise data
Our team’s approach with facts and data is to transform it from complex and dull into simple and engaging content using visual storytelling. The video we created for HSBC required an explanation of the opportunities and risks associated with the Belt & Road Initiative as well as features of China’s currency, the Renminbi, to businesses unfamiliar with the country’s economy. Our team worked with HSBC in order to translate stats reports into engaging animated graphics. Woven into the silk road narrative, this approach enables the core information to transcend any language and cultural barriers.
3) Generate lead & provoke a response
The ultimate aim of any campaign is to entice an audience to take a specific action; and this aim should be incorporated within the visual narrative approach. Brands no longer compete against each other but the entire media landscape, creating a unique visual style that will grab your audience’s attention and provoke a response is therefore important. Provoking a reaction also means engaging the audience enough that they will want to share the content online with their own networks.
With China’s Belt & Road, the objective was to explain the new initiative well enough to convince HSBC’s stakeholders to take part in it. This is clearly communicated with the call to action at the end of the video: “Take a step into the future of global economy”.
4) Measure successes to improve future campaigns
Essentially, did the campaign reach its aim? What proportion of the targeted audience took the action desired? Did the campaign generate lead? Overall, HSBC’s China’s Belt & Road campaign was well received by its stakeholders. The success of this campaign has led HSBC to commission a second video for some of their other B2B activities.
If there is one term that has become a buzzword in the past few years, it is ‘millennial’. Today, more and more media agencies are realising the importance of making their message appealing to the twenty-to-thirty-something audience of today. But what about recruitment?
The world is changing, and so is employment. With the new wave of millennials now ready for employment, agencies must adapt to their interest and vision of the world to recruit and retain their interest in a highly competitive industry.
Here are a takeaways on the ways in which employment scene is changing in the modern day.
EXPERIENCE AND ASPIRATION
The millennial employee of today is more interested in building experience and doing a job that they love rather than climbing the social work ladder. Recent research has shown that in order to progress through the creative career ranks, individuals should stay on average 2 years in a position before changing jobs. As such, employers must adapt their HR strategy to stay one step ahead of the curve in recruitment. They should also aim to provide regular incentives and promotions for employees who remain in their organisation.
MULTI-TALENTED EMPLOYEES ARE KEY
It used to be that being an expert in a field rather was the ultimate goal in a professional’s career trajectory. However, today this is no longer the case; now knowing a bit of everything is often preferred, especially for companies who are looking to make savings by employing individuals who can cover various job roles. In the world of millennials, where slashers flourish, multi skilled individuals hold more value than they used to. This is especially true in the media and ad agency sector, where it is important to have an integrated view of the creative process in order to execute a project.
SOCIAL MEDIA-CENTRIC RECRUITMENT
Millennials are not only social media natives but digital natives as well. No longer is online social networking something used purely for entertainment, today it is one of the first places people look for jobs. Millennial see their social media profiles as an extension of their personality, and so it is a good way for employers to spot the types of characters they want to be part of their team. Today Instagram has become a common place for new designers and artists to display their portfolios, so media agencies should maintain a strong presence on these platforms and keep an eye out for fresh new talent.
While employers pay close attention to the social media channels of their future employees, the opposite is equally true. Millennials use the online social profiles of corporations and their employees to get a sense of the company’s culture. Brands should therefore value showcasing their culture through their online marketing strategies. Also, in order to convey a positive image at all levels of the company, social media etiquette training should be an important focus point for HR teams. Our creative team has previously been involved with creating content to inform the employees of Rolls Royce Engineering about the company’s social media policy and to promote social media awareness in the workplace:
Rolls Royce Engineering || Social Media Etiquette
In a world driven by Millennials, it is vital to be responsive to the changing recruitment sphere. Employees need to be valued as multi-talented individuals, to be given opportunities for recognised progression, and be traced and attracted through creative means. So, bring your recruitment message up to the same level as the output of your media agency’s work and you will see the results.
As an agency with over five years of experience, we reflected on some of the pitfalls to avoid and pointers to strive for in creating and growing a content production agency. So, here are some of the takeaway points that we believe will allow every content agency to flourish, and get its story heard.
1. If you are for everyone, you are for no-one
It goes without saying that you are founding a content agency for a reason – you have a story to tell, or the tools to tell one – something special that sets you apart. The first thing you need to do when growing a content agency is to focus on these key business values that you bring to the table and consider how you plan to use them to make a name for yourself. What is your unique selling point? Can you meet the needs of a niche customer base with a particular point of view?
It’s important to know how your agency makes its mark, because if you haven’t nailed down your own unique value, how are you going to sell it to clients? For example, here at Nucco Brain, we combine intuitive storytelling with innovative technologies in animation, VR and AR to visualise brands’ messages in a memorable way. One such example can be seen below in our VR project for EDF Energy.
EDF Energy || Nuclear Symphony
2. HR & processes matter
As a content agency, your team is going to be made up of creative souls – we get it, we’re the same. However, you have to make sure that, amidst all of the brainstorming, crafting and creating, the operational side of your businesses doesn’t get lost. HR and processes matter, and it will take time and effort to get them right. This will develop as you grow as an agency – at first, everyone in your team will have to multitask and play more than one role, but as you expand, it’s important to ensure that everyone is clear about their individual role and responsibilities.
This will ensure that externally, the client knows who they are talking to, and internally, there is no breakdown in communication through the production process which could harm the quality of your projects. The magic is in the process, not just the end product. With each project you take on, pay attention to your process and adapt it based on what works and what doesn’t – and then ensure these changes are implemented throughout your team.
3. Stay Up to Date
Whilst it is vital to know what sets your agency apart, it is also important to root yourself and to know your place in the market you are entering. With no sense of your wider creative environment, you will become lost, and struggle to signpost your presence to clients navigating the market.
So, stay up to date with market and global trends in all areas – not just your niche, and practice the art of adapting what you know to capitalise on current trends.
4. Don’t Mistake a Spike for a Trend
As we’ve said, it’s important to be plugged into market trends, but at the same time, don’t mistake a spike for a trend. Agencies that constantly try to remodel their entire process to match every fleeting viral obsession lose their sense of identity and struggle to survive in the long term.
Agencies can grow and die off of one account – don’t build your business model over one project alone, without thinking of the journey that takes you there. Similarly, be wary of serving that one client that eats up all your resources and finding yourself with no project afterwards. Treat your agency holistically, and always keep an eye on the long view.
5. When Business is Good Don’t Forget About Business
This leads us to our final point: when business is good, don’t forget about business. Creatives can often be tempted to lose themselves in their art – but you must resist this urge in order to keep growing as an agency! Don’t become absorbed within a single project, remember to keep the practicals in mind.
This means marketing your services, networking with other companies and industry figures, and taking every opportunity to grow your resources and nurture your talents. And, of course, don’t forget about new talent – new blood brings new perspectives and opportunities to innovate.