I’ll admit it. My quarantine diet has been a bit of a train wreck (if said train ran off a bridge into oncoming traffic at rush hour during a snowstorm).
I know I’m eating poorly, because I can feel it physically and mentally. I’m going for the quick sugar fixes and the extra cup of coffee to fight fatigue in lieu of healthy fats, greens and (let’s be real) exercise.
My food picks are fast, cheap, usually thoughtless, not satisfying and definitely not helping me fit into my pants. For those of you who have forgotten, pants are what you used to wear to go to work… in an office.
In my defense I have two kids under the age of five and work from home, so quarantine life has not been very kind to me. Can I get an “Amen!” from my fellow quarantined parents of young children?
I see you parents, stay strong.
As I reflected on my horror show of a diet and need to turn back to better habits, I started to think about how hard it can be for businesses to maintain a healthy diet of video creative, and much like my expanding waistband, there are unfortunate side effects to letting your creative slip down the priority list.
What does a healthy approach to creative look like?
Meal Planning Over Fad Diets
A healthy creative diet focuses on longterm success. It is sustainable and fits your brand goals much like a healthy food diet fits your lifestyle and longterm heath goals.
Fad diets often fail for two reasons. One, you do it as a last resort or on a whim, and two it’s not sustainable for your lifestyle. You’re not doing what works for you, for your goals and for your budget. You’re mixing in with the crowd and for any brand that’s dangerous.
Sustainable creative should compliment a longterm strategy that sets you apart from your competitors. It fits your brand style, it has forethought, it’s budgeted appropriately for your sales/retention goals, and emphasizes what makes you or your product unique.
Nutritious Over Quick, Tasty, Cheap
Producing video creative on the quick and cheap that’s not unique to your brand is like eating nothing but empty calorie meals.
That piece of chocolate cake or frozen pizza may look good and taste great at the time, but it’s serving no nutritional purpose. Fast food is often a panicked and rushed decision. You didn’t plan ahead for dinner or you didn’t eat throughout the day, and now it’s 6:00 p.m. the kids are screaming at you and you’re desperate.
Treat video creative (really any creative for that matter) like fast food and you’ll get pretty much what you’d expect; a cheap option that’s hastily assembled by an amateur with lots of fat and no real benefits.
Now, I get that every meal you prepare cannot be grilled alaskan salmon with a kale side salad and a glass of cabernet (we had store-bought frozen Lasagna last night with a bagged salad and La Croix), and that’s ok!
There are going to be times across the year when you’ll need to pull something together on the fast and cheap. It happens to everyone. The key is to not make it a “lifestyle” pattern that becomes a sort of standard for your marketing strategy.
What should you do when you need to turn creative quickly? Try and keep the quality as high as you can, true to your brand goals, and then refocus your efforts back toward creative that’s more filling, satisfying, sustaining and nutritious.
Food as Fuel Over Sugar Highs
A typical healthy diet (for most people) encourages five small meals a day with lots of veggies, protein and good fats to keep you mentally sharp.
You’re using food as fuel to keep you on task and on your toes.
If we’re honest though, for many people, it’s a lot easier to go for the coffee, cookie at 3:00 p.m. then it is to make healthy decisions.
But, it's so critical you think about creative as your brand fuel.
You want your creative to give your brand energy and visibility all day long and all year round. The occasional energy booster isn’t enough to keep eyeballs on your brand and build loyal customer relationships.
If your creative strategy extends to sporadic pop-up pieces of marketing, you’re relying on quick hits of energy to sustain you. You might gain a few more followers or likes on your pages, but you’re not brand building in a meaningful, intentional way.
So what’s the solution then?
You should always be thinking about your creative the same way you think about the food you eat. Be consistent and make healthy choices. Be thinking about when is the best time to add creative and plan that schedule out to match short and longterm goals. Budget accordingly! Consider how to execute your creative, so that it serves its larger purpose of keeping the brand healthy, strong, energetic, consistent, visible and engaged.
Healthy brands, much like healthy bodies, look strong on the outside and are running well on the inside.
And if you’re not already doing this, start now! As with any healthy consistent lifestyle, you’ll always have excuses and reasons to put it off. Now isn’t a great time, we can’t be thinking about creative projects until after the new year, so on and so on.
If that sounds like you, here’s my advice. Just start! Pull up your calendar and begin mapping out the creative and marketing habits you want to achieve for this year and then go from there. Start brainstorming with your marketing team, begin looking at creative work that you like and seek out quotes and proposals.
Your brand will feel better, look better and have more energy.