• Performance branding

    The future work role for the digital creator

Published August 25, 2020

In just a few years, the way we communicate and design digital content for brands, products and services has changed drastically. Today, it is not enough for a digital creator to shape an idea, create the content, and then deliver it to the person who will handle the distribution of said content. With over six years of experience creating photos and videos for digital platforms and specifically social media, I explain what has changed, and what today should be the standard when it comes to the future work role for the digital creator.

To understand the change that has taken place since 2014, when Facebook first introduced video ads, I thought I would touch on a couple of the aspects that did not exist, but which today everyone in the marketing business should be aware of. Why? Well, to be able to determine and tell what kind of knowledge I today think all creative people should possess and shape their way of working around. By sharing my point of view and experience on the subject, I hope to be able to create a relevant discussion about, and how different tasks within the creative sphere should be designed. I also want to highlight the area that is close to my heart, the creation of content with the help of photos, video and graphics. This is based on our corporate vision at SocialView, to challenge the marketing industry and create a workplace for the next generation.

Compared to a couple of years ago, the competition for content is higher than ever. Today, we all compete to capture the attention of individuals and target groups, regardless of whether it is professional or personal. As early as 2016, Facebook reported that the average time we spend with the content in their channel was 1.7 seconds for mobile and 2.5 seconds for desktop. Exactly what this figure looks like today, it is more difficult to find figures around, but a personal and non-fact-based guess is that it has increased somewhat in view of the increasing number of users. That the age curve has shifted a bit, ie. that there are fewer older and increasingly younger people who use social media and that the daily time we spend on social media has increased according to a report from the Swedish Internet Foundation. In any case, the content must be able to capture attention and interest in a very short time.

Today, there are also more ad formats and placements to take advantage of, something that was more limited a couple of years ago. This means that today’s digital creator can reshape and create unique and individually tailored content depending on the format and where it is to be displayed. Something that places higher demands on more working time and love being spent during the editing phase, the post production. Below I present three concrete points for how you can think about this.

  • Adapt and customize the content for different placements and platforms, be creative with built-in app functions and parts of the digital interface for the format.
  • Existing material that should be reused but have not been filmed for social media in mind (16:9 format) require creative thinking. Show two clips at the same time with a split screen design, dare to zoom in and enlarge the clip for dramatic effect, use frames, color blocks and other visual elements to complement the content and be smart with what graphics you can add in connection to this.
  • Put more emphasis on quantity over quality, although the latter is also important, as it is more likely that the brand will remain top of mind as we today consume so much content and spend very little time with it. I always create a piece of content in at least four different formats to maximize the number of placements and locations where the content can be viewed and displayed.

In addition to the many different platforms that are available to choose from today when publishing content, it is important to understand how they are used and who it is you are targeting. As a brand, you should today have a strategy for all platforms, or rather, you should keep track of all channels to be able to determine whether a platform is relevant right now or not. It is therefore also important for all digital creators to keep track of the various platforms’ specifications and recommendations in order to be able to create content that technically performs well. It is important to keep track of advertising functionality and different placements, how dynamic content affects and can complement “regular” ads and the organic content that has been produced. You have to be up to date and constantly stay informed, as the landscape changes. Nor can it be trusted that what worked well yesterday works as well today or tomorrow. Here, iterative work and ab-testing for content come into the picture, an area that I predict will have an increasing focus as we move forward. In this case, I’m talking about adjustments and updates to content that a computer today cannot make on its own. Like for example; to move around scenes and clips, adjust the tempo and to change the feeling that the content generally conveys.

One mindset that I think everyone should implement is that; the first and perhaps most obvious idea rarely actually works and performs the best, something I have seen evidence of several times. You believe one thing, but then it turns out that the other thing is what is actually preferred by the audience. Thus, it’s a missed opportunity not to test, moving forward. Also, do not be a slave to follow the graphical profile exactly, sometimes you have to do things differently to find new and better effects! For you who have read this far, I have collected a list of what I usually test down below. I hope you can find some value in at least one of the things below that you can store in your backpack, and to use the next time you create something.

  • Test main color against complementary color
  • Test the balance and percentage between two or more colors
  • Dare to change the font!
  • Replace single words that are communicated
  • Move messages around to create a new and different timeline
  • Test perspective for the first clip shown in videos and record from different angles
  • Create a version of the video that is a few seconds shorter than the original
  • Test local against english as a language
  • Test two or more different color gradings

There are today so many incredible aspects and parameters a digital creator should have as work tasks and knowledge about. But it is also up to you as a creator to shape your way of working and your role according to what I have just talked about.


Totte AnnerbrinkArt Director, Creative Producer & Co-Founder

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