When it comes to social media, change is often the only constant. New trends keep cropping up, and user preferences keep changing, which means you constantly need to ensure that your content marketing keeps up with the latest trends and stays relevant.
Today, users – especially Gen Z and Gen X – prefer authentic content over branded content that has been reviewed by at least 5 different people.. which brings us to lo-fi social media content. Let’s learn what it is and why your brand should be focusing on it in 2023!
What if Lo-Fi Social Media Content?
Lo-fi is short for “low fidelity” and refers to content that looks like it has been shot by an average person with a smartphone. i.e. it doesn’t look glossy and polished vis-a-vis branded shoots and requires very minimal production. In short, it is content that is raw and amateur.
Lo-fi content is often unscripted, personality-driven, shot on a smartphone, and has very little to no editing. This makes it very authentic, which resonates with people better. Bonus points if it’s funny, wacky, or follows some recent trends!
Lo-fi content can include:
- Behind the scenes content
- “A day in the life of” content
- Photo dumps
Here’s an example of lo-fi content by a brand:
Why is Lo-Fi Content Gaining Popularity?
In the past few years, lo-fi content steadily gained in popularity due to the following reasons:
Resource constraints during the pandemic
When COVID-19 hit, brands were hit with several obstacles such as budget cuts, location constraints, safety, and so on. This put a damper on producing content as usual. However, brands didn’t want to stop putting out content as that would have resulted in a dip in engagement. So they started making lower-quality content that was more authentic.
People come on social media to be entertained; they don’t come here to watch ads. The best part about lo-fi content is that they are advertisements that don’t feel like advertisements. They are raw, they entertain people, and they fit in among all the other types of content posted by average people.
A study by YPulse found out that millennials and Gen Z have “perfection fatigue” and prefer seeing unpolished and imperfect content. So, when brands began making the shift towards lo-fi content, people ate it up!
Instagram and TikTok value organic discoverability. A post that’s shared a lot by users gets boosted by the algorithms. Lo-fi content has a higher shareability value, which means a higher chance to land on Instagram’s Explore and TikTok’s For You page. So, naturally, algorithms tend to love them more.
Benefits of Lo-Fi Content For Your Brand
Here’s why you should be focusing on creating lo-fi content for your brand:
- Lo-fi content is more authentic and raw and resonates with people better. This helps users connect with your brand more.
- It’s simple and to the point, which helps users understand exactly what message you’re trying to convey.
- It’s entertaining, which increases its chances of being shared. This means your engagement gets better and might drive more sales. In a nutshell, it gives you a higher ROI.
- It’s budget-friendly, isn’t time consuming, and doesn’t need any fancy equipment. Moreover, you also don’t need to hire expensive top models.
- Lo-fi content shows the human side of your brand, which is what more people these days want. It helps them see you as a household brand that’s right for them.
- With imperfect content, you get to connect with your audience more, building relationships that foster loyalty and trust.
7 Steps To Create The Best Lo-Fi Content
Want to hop in on the trend of creating lo-fi content? The single best way to do this is to put yourself in the shoes of an average person with social media. How would their videos be? Or, better yet, how would you create content if you didn’t have access to top models and hi-fi equipment?
Below are some tips that will help you get into this mindset:
1. Swap your professional camera for your smartphone
Don’t be afraid to go back to your roots and shoot your videos on nothing but your smartphone. This means no microphones or fancy gimbals. People want to buy from real people, not from brands. So don’t be afraid of bad lighting and whip up your smartphone once in a while.
2. Don’t over-edit your content
This may go against every instinct you have developed over time, but stick to very minimal editing and let the imperfections shine through. Your video might be wonky, there might be some background noise, and the clarity might be low, but these are the things that characterize lo-fi content and set it apart from the rest. Your imperfectly perfect content will appeal more to the common masses.
3. Show up with your most authentic self
Instead of spending hours coming up with a perfect script and production plan, just go with the flow. Have a vague idea of what you want to do and just run with it.
For example, do you want to do a product unboxing video? Start filming and speak what comes to your mind. After all, nobody plans unboxing videos beforehand, right?
Also, don’t take multiple takes of the same video. Stick to a maximum of 2 takes. It’s completely okay if you fumble or stutter. The most important thing is being real.
4. Make content that resonates with your audience
This could be anything from hopping on the latest trends and challenges to partnering up with some content creators that your audience loves. Try to pick trends that work well for your brands. Bonus points if they are funny or emotional.
For example, if you’re a fashion brand, you can shoot “get ready with me” videos. If you’re a company that sells cleaning products, you can make a series of “how I clean my room with X cleaning product” videos.
The content you put out should have a high shareability value and should humanize your brand.
5. Use user-generated content (UGC)
User-generated content (UGC) is a subset of lo-fi content created by your customers instead of you. UGC is imperfect and real, but, most importantly, it shows people that you have loyal customers who love your brand. People usually trust recommendations made by other people, so leverage that UGC content and repost it on your social media accounts (with permission, of course).
6. Become the star of the show
Get behind your smartphone camera and show your audience the face behind your brand. Show them that you are a person, just like them. This helps your audience connect with you more and will potentially drive up conversions.
You can also ask your employees to get behind the camera if you don’t fancy doing it yourself.
7. Don’t be afraid of experimenting
It’s likely that your audience isn’t going to enjoy every single type of lo-fi content you put out, and that’s completely okay! Experiment a little, find out what type of lo-fi content seems to work best for your target audience, and develop upon that.
Like any other type of content, lo-fi content comes with its own set of risks. But, if done right, the reward will be huge, so don’t be afraid of testing out new things and showing up with your authentic and imperfect self!