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7 tips to create lo-fi video for your social media channels

By November 27, 2023 Stories

7 tips to create lo-fi video for your social media channels

You heard it here first – lo-fi videos were the biggest content marketing trend of 2023; and if our predictions are right, they’re only going to prove more popular in 2024.

While professional videography maintains its well-earned time and place within your marketing toolkit, lo-fi video production offers audiences the authenticity they crave on social media.

Think: videos shot on iphone, leveraging trends, audio soundtracks that capture attention and content that is nothing short of mesmerising.

So, how do you tap into this trend?

Don’t stress, you don’t need to throw out your studio hire just yet – but you might need to rethink your idea of what a polished video looks like.

Whether you have an established brand looking to target fresh audiences, or you are starting from scratch and wanting to leave some viral digital footprints around the internet, this is your guide to crafting visually captivating, and emotionally resonant lo-fi videos to stop thumb-scrollers in their swipe-on-past tracks.

Tip 1: Jump onto trends

In the ever-evolving landscape of social media, where trends come and go like a quick coffee break, TikToks and Reels reign supreme. You can stay ahead of the curve by keeping an eagle eye on thought leaders and influencers’ most recent activity, trending sounds, social media challenges, and utilising built-in features like Instagram’s Explore page to keep on top of emerging discussions.

As pro reel-scrollers, we are aware how easy it is to fall in love with a trend and want to press film immediately. However, ensure to think through the relevancy of trends to your business so they make sense to your audience. Remember, you’re trying to build engagement and gain followers, not lose the loyal ones you already have because you made an unsuspecting content switch-up.

Lo-fi videos are your trusty steed to catching and riding the trends to success with quicker production and turn-around capabilities than professional videography. Once content is captured, make sure to edit and publish your next viral video before the trend moves on.

Watch out: Trends move fast, so if you’re still recording with Jain’s Makeba, you’ll look more dated than ankle socks at the gym at the moment (IYKYK). You want to be a part of the trend, not following it as an afterthought.

Tip 2: Plan out projects


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Creating the perfect lo fi video is all about prep. First thing’s first, you’ll need to define your content’s messaging, and target audience. Draft a script (if required), outline talking points, and always remember to upweight your video’s opening moments by highlighting the most surprising, uplifting, or intriguing information up front.

We know most of the audience’s attention is lost in the first three seconds, so you need to make those three seconds enough of a statement to grab your viewers and drag them along for the rest of the video.

Take it from the people who make lo-fi videos for a living, there’s nothing worse than getting home from set and realising you missed a crucial piece of content.

Plan your shots, props, and locations with a detailed run sheet. Embrace trending filters or transitions and make sure that everyone involved is aligned with what the finished product will look like. We find a great way to do this is by saving examples of other videos within the same trends to our phones for us to refer to at any moment throughout shooting.

Ensure you have music and editing plans in mind before filming. If you’re unsure if your music is still trending among other users, look for a little arrow next to the song on Instagram. If an arrow is there, the sound is trending! If it isn’t, consider saving down some backup sounds that can be used instead as the sound may be on the way out of the trend-scape.

Once you have everything planned out for your amazing (and efficient) lo-fi video shoot, seek feedback from trusted others because, let’s face it, two creative minds are better than one.

Watch out: Allow time to create content. Lo-fi filming and editing always takes longer than you think.

Tip 3: Show off your face-to-camera talent


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Speaking directly to the camera fosters a personal connection – a viewing delight in the vast internet void. This builds trust, boosts credibility, and transforms your brand from a faceless logo to a relatable personality.

Before you whip out the smile and press record, script your points and practice. When recording, film somewhere quiet, use a microphone for flawless sound, and take your time – multiple takes will always help you showcase your best self or product.

Learning from our own experience filming content for our agency and for clients; we suggest embracing the initial fear of chatting on camera in public by ‘eating your frog’ and rewarding yourself after you’ve done it. Film your face to camera video first, then have your coffee second.

We promise the embarrassment fades, leaving you feeling confident as can be in front of the lens and ready to conquer the trends.

Watch out: Always rewatch content before going on to film the next scene or location, you never know when a sneaky background person or unsuspected sound may have made an entrance.

Tip 4: Capture authenticity


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The lo-fi content revolution is all about embracing a more casual, less produced vibe. This doesn’t mean less professional. Forget the polished news-like presentations because audiences are now craving entertainment and personality. Show off your opinion, express your brand, and dive into authenticity.

Behind-the-scenes content is many brands’ holy grail for capturing a blend of authenticity alongside education and entertainment. Day-in-the-life snippets, real-time challenges, honest reviews, and reflective recap videos are also gold mines for showcasing your genuine self while keeping audiences hooked with trends.

Just make sure to remember, even in the casual realm, content should be thoughtful, intentional, and valuable to your client.

Watch out: Always double check that your authentic and personality-focused content still aligns with the brand. It can be easy to get carried away in a fun moment but shoot time is precious!

Tip 5: Make the most of your tools


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Unleash the power of your phone for lo-fi content that looks hi-fi. Lo-fi doesn’t mean low quality, if using a phone, learn about your camera and video settings to ensure you are still delivering high quality content. If you are choosing to take advantage of other tools, amp up your game with accessories like microphones and ring lights.

We had a recent shoot with a client, Ariat, where we discovered the importance of continually using a ring light, microphone, and tripod to ensure consistent video quality across diverse locations with varying lighting and background sounds.

If you’re shooting in a way where the camera will have to move around and can’t rely on a tripod for stability, make sure to stabilise your camera. Whether this is done with a gimbal or an investment in a newer phone with in-built stabilisers, this will make the world of difference for your finished product.

When shooting we suggest capturing all Reel and TikTok content in the same dimensions that they will be posted in (this isn’t the same as most phones’ default settings, but you can toggle to change this in your camera app), so you don’t get back to the editing table and realise your product is out of frame.

Make sure to edit content mindfully and ensure videos are still captivating without sound by using transitions, images, and captioning that will appear well across various screen displays. If you love the idea of adding a little magic to your videos with some eye-catching tricks, use tools like Canva, TikTok, Capcut, Instagram, or InShot for easy user-friendly video editing.

Watch out: Bring a portable charger for your tools and gadgets. There’s nothing worse than the dreaded dead-battery when you’re only halfway through the content.

Tip 6: Experiment, experiment, experiment


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Keep the experimentation alive! Lo-fi content can reach beyond your standard social media followers as it will often be shared on Reels and TikTok, both of which focus on reaching new audiences as opposed to only sharing the content with those who already follow you.

Testing is key to finding the content sweet spot that resonates with both existing and potential followers. The current era of social media thrives on a test and learn culture, so don’t shy away from trying new ideas. You never know if you already have the next gold-nugget trend sitting in your drafts until you publish it!

Watch out: Some videos build in views over time, do don’t dismiss any content as a non-performer until it has been live for a few weeks.

Tip 7: Collaborate with other users


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If you find a content creator that aligns with your brand’s purpose and targets similar audiences, you’ll open a door to a whole other audience community that’s automatically interested in your content due to association. Score!

In 2023, there are more social media accounts investing in influencer marketing than traditional social media ads. This is only going to continue, so if you’re not already on the creator collaboration bandwagon, now is the time to jump on board. Influencers are pros at lo-fi, so make sure to take note of any of their hot tips while working with them to try for yourself.

A great example of lo-fi influencer content smashing the content-KPIs is a recent campaign we executed with Lise and Sarah for Brisbane Airport Corporation. Upon running the report, we found the best performing piece of content was a lo-fi video of the pair dancing in a carpark – outperforming both polished content we’d made and even videos with paid spend behind them!

If influencer marketing isn’t in your budget this time around, reposting user-generated content (UGC) is a cost-effective – and often cost-free – way to build online communities. While UGC might not match up to influencer impact, audiences tend to trust UGC content more due to it being unpaid. As best practice, make sure to credit the original creator and seek permission before posting when relevant.

Watch out: Make sure you follow your creators content cues when it comes to ideating angles because they know their audience best.