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Lo-Fi Content, High-Quality Results

Lo-fi content isn’t a new trend in social media marketing, but it’s certainly stuck around.

If you aren’t using the technique, you may be missing out on an incredibly effective advertising strategy. Lo-fi content resonates across demographics, platforms and industries — so, if you haven’t been paying attention, now is the time to start.

What is lo-fi content on social media?

Lo-fi is short for “low fidelity,” and refers to intentionally unpolished content. The term originated in the music industry to describe the opposite of pristine, “high fidelity” sound. Like a homemade mixtape, lo-fi advertising often has a little more personality than beautiful, glossy videos with immaculate production.

Think handheld videos clearly shot on someone’s phone, unfiltered candid photos and “unscripted” behind-the-scenes moments.

Why is lo-fi content popular?

Lo-fi ads appeal to viewers for lots of reasons, but the strongest explanation is that they feel less like ads.

Advertising can definitely entertain — some people tune into the Superbowl specifically to watch the commercials! But most of the time, audiences would prefer to avoid ads entirely.

So, what happens when the lines are blurred between promoted content and posts from friends? People are more likely to watch it.

The appeal of authenticity

When brands do things that humans do, their content feels more human.

Using trending sounds on TikTok, posting footage of the company’s actual social media manager and showing a sense of humor through memes or GIFs can support messaging that leans ‘real,’ even when it’s carefully and strategically planned.

And it shouldn’t be surprising that most people prefer content that reads as authentic. Think about how you feel when you interact with someone who seems fake. Do you enjoy it? More importantly: do you trust them?

Taking risks pays off

As marketers, we never want to accidentally upset and alienate our audience. Some brands try to avoid that possibility by never posting anything even slightly negative.

Then you have brands like Wendy’s.

Wendy’s has been “roasting” other brands on social media channels for years now. Their strategy makes the most of user-generated content, blurry phone photos and copy that’s more personal than professional. It’s become part of the brand’s persona: aggressive confidence that delights their target demographic and reflects their lives better than a feed filled with close-ups of products and services.

Some companies take risks in a different direction — Domino’s famously released an ad campaign admitting that their pizza was subpar and asking for a second chance. Their strategy was rooted in lo-fi authenticity, from recording reviews on a computer screen with shaky phone footage to posting behind-the-scenes handheld video shattering the illusion behind their hi-fi commercials.

Risky, but it led to a 14.3% increase in same-store sales.

How do you make quality lo-fi posts?

To successfully utilize lo-fi content, you need a deep awareness of your target audience.

Whether you’re leaning on influencer marketing, injecting humor into your brand identity through trends or showing a “real” day-to-day at the office, it pays to know what your customers want.

Spend energy and allocate part of your budget to research and social listening to ensure you’re on the right track. This part is essential — brands that attempt lo-fi content and miss the mark don’t see results.

When you’ve invested the time to understand the people you’re speaking to, the rest of the process goes more smoothly — and can be finished more quickly.

Take advantage of the speed to market

Part of the beauty of lo-fi content for social media is embedded into its essence: it’s fast.

Gone are the days of every wannabe beauty influencer spending days on flawless studio production. Brands are just as likely to sell their products (if not more so) through “get ready with me” videos filmed in a messy bedroom.

Lo-fi content is a perfect fit for a more agile, efficient social media strategy. Just don’t fall into the trap of endless rounds of approval — imperfection is the point! Viral marketing is impossible to force, but creating content that drives customer engagement is always worth the effort.

Embrace accessible, low-cost content

The other benefit of lo-fi marketing is that it’s usually cheaper to produce. Beautiful advertisements can come with hefty budgets, but short form video shot on someone’s iPhone doesn’t always need that kind of financing. Again, imperfection is part of the appeal: less editing and production is less expensive while feeling more genuine.

It’s also easier for companies of all sizes to integrate into their marketing. Without elaborate sets and expensive equipment to worry about, small businesses can integrate more social media into their marketing strategy and create compelling content that speaks directly to their target audience.

Start driving results

Incorporating lo-fi content into your social media can have incredible results, but you need a plan. Navigating the complexities of reaching and engaging consumers, balancing research and strategy, executing creative concepts and focusing on lead generation — it can be a lot.

You don’t have to do it alone. Tap into the power of authenticity by reaching out to our team of strategic marketing experts at OBI Creative. We’ll guide you through lo-fi content to hi-fi results.