How to Create Engaging Content For the Virtual Space

How to Create Engaging Content For the Virtual Space

How to Create Engaging Content For the Virtual Space

What did the brand say during the pandemic?

No, it’s not a joke. In fact, knowing what to say, when to say it and how to say it is what separates an attention-grabbing brand from a shrug-inducing one. Especially in the post-Covid age. 

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Content is the key ingredient to touching consumers’ hearts and creating unforgettable memories, but in our new socially-distanced world, virtual content is the only game in town. 

According to Tushar Gidwani of ecommerce giant Zilingo, “the pivot has been pretty amazing in the way that the world is consuming content right now. Content streaming applications have seen an almost 20% update across the world and Instagram usage has gone from an average of 53 minutes to 120 minutes”. As consumers spend more time on their screens, brand content is getting more creative and competitive. 


Messaging obviously depends on a brand’s size, scope and service, but in times of uncertainty, it pays to be kind, helpful and empathetic. According to PwC, “brands with the best price, coolest product, or most memorable marketing campaign might not have an advantage compared with those that exhibit emotional intelligence and communicate with care, honesty, and empathy, and build trust as a result. In times of crisis, people want to be seen and understood, and they are extremely sensitive to tone and motive.” 

Evelina Lye, Facebook APAC’s Head of Regional Marketing Media Partnerships agrees, saying “brands that are actually doing something to help the everyday person or everyday business are the brands that are winning right now.” 

Think newspapers giving away free access to paid-content. Diageo pledging £1 million to support out-of-work bartenders’ wages. Coca-Cola socially distancing their famous letters above Times Square. On a smaller scale, hairdressers are providing online tutorials and yoga instructors are hosting free online courses. Brands that connect on a human level now will be remembered later. 


Sean Hall, CEO and Founder of energy intelligence company Energx, told Rebel & Soul’s 5&5 series: “the last thing anyone needs right now is another boring webinar”. We stand with Sean. Brands should be creating virtual content that makes people want to stay at home. Here’s a few tips how:

  • Always consider what you can do for consumers, not what they can do for you. Are you entertaining consumers, like Visit Victoria’s penguin parade video, or forcing your product to linger in their online ad space like a bad smell? Hard sells will often make customers run for the hills whereas awesome content will pull the consumer toward you.
  • Ask the question: how does my brand come across on screen? Are you blah or brilliant? Given the incredible virtual tech possibilities, don’t settle for anything less than beyond brilliant.
  • Make content relevant and punctual. With a combination of bored consumers and endless online marketing messages, brands have to come out fighting with punchy content that captures the zeitgeist, like Thai Air offering air miles for staying at home during lockdown.
  • Remember it only takes one click. When it comes to digital, virality is the name of the game. Brand content – be it funny, heartfelt, interactive or serious – needs to earn the click of that prestigious ‘share’ button.
  • Don’t forget the senses. Content that arouses the senses, seduces the mind. Brands should generate emotional connections that consumers’ subconscious craves, such as Carlsberg’s adopt a keg campaign wetting the lips of consumers.
  • Gamify experiences. Games trigger humans’ natural competitiveness and shareable virtual games are a one-way ticket to memory town. Donut Papi, for example, launched a mobile game to win boxes of donuts and increased their internal database by 581%. 

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Kristy Castleton

Tech Expert

Kristy Castleton is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Calyx Technology, a global technology company who streamline consumer experiences. She is also the Founder and CEO of Rebel & Soul, a socially conscious business that produces highly memorable events for global brands across Asia Pacific. She is an extrovert and a geek, passionate about neuroscience and technology. He company Rebel & Soul works with brands like Heineken, HSBC, Chanel and MINI and agencies such as Dentsu and Saatchi & Saatchi to create events that pack a punch. Think wearables, gamification, holograms and virtual reality mixed with awesome music and a free flow bar. Rebel & Soul’s vision is to drive event technology to be the new frontier of marketing in Asia. Kristy spent years working on weird and wonderful events and campaigns in Europe at festivals like F1’s and the Olympics and wanted to bring a snippet of the event marketing fun out east. Kristy was nominated by Campaign Asia to be on their Women to Watch list. Team Rebel also provides pro bono event consultancy for local charities and non-profits. These initiatives include Billion Bricks, Thomson Reuters Trust Forum, Buy1Give1, and the 100 Resilient Cities initiative by the Rockefeller Foundation. Rebel & Soul won Excellence in Technology& Innovation award, Start-Up Excellence and Customer Engagement by the BritCham for its 18th Annual Business Awards. Kristy holds a Bachelor in Business Studies from Edinburgh University.


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