Email Hack: Strategy Team Talks Rapid Content Creation
Jun 19, 2015
As audiences expect everything faster, how can content marketers keep up with the demand without completely ignoring quality? How does quality fit in with the other key factors, including speed and message?
Cait Smith, Executive Strategy Director, came across this on Fortune – a video explaining Snapchat from the CEO of Snapchat. She shared the article, along with a few questions and thoughts, to the strategy team.
The goal of their discussion? To determine what this video tells us about the future of storytelling.
Cait’s e-mail kicks off the conversation, and others’ responses follow:
First, a question: Brittany, can you give a hypothesis of how they got this placed in Fortune? Do you think it was “pitched” or just picked up organically? The video on YouTube had 230 views when I first watched it, which was 14 minutes after the publication’s timestamp.
Things I find interesting about this video:
- Horrible production quality
- Sound is manageable, but barely
- Rough, sketched visuals in a notebook to explain a concept
- Speaker is wearing a stretched out undershirt that he likely slept in or wore all of last week
This is definitely a living manifestation of their vision for, “Instant expression as who you are right now.”
I would guess they spent 9 minutes total on the production, planning and creation of this video. What does this continue to tell us about the future of storytelling? How can we become more focused on message, speed, imperfection and quality of information vs. quality of production? Is sharing content rapidly, imperfectly, quickly mostly reserved for companies and CEOs who have already “made it?” It seems easier for this guy to do this because brand credibility has already been earned. There are times when production quality matters tremendously….but how often?
Laura Chang, Social Media/Community Specialist:
I feel like the video is a representation of Snapchat and the culture around it.
The video quality looks similar, if not worse, than what I would post in my own Snapchat story (if you want to follow me: @eungeejang). It seems to align with something that a regular user would create. Not sure if that was what they were going for.
In terms of rapid content, I think we expect everything faster and as close to real time as possible, which is everything Snapchat represents. There’s no editing or capability of saving a video or photo for later. You either post it now or you don’t post it at all. Followers and friends also only have 24 hours to view your story before it disappears forever.
In my opinion, only an established company like Snapchat could get away with this kind of quality. If this was just uploaded to YouTube under a company name I wasn’t aware of, I doubt I would have taken the time to watch or learn about the company.
It’s one thing to use a product and know the quality of that product then see a video like this rather than using a video of this quality to get awareness of a product you don’t know anything about yet. I would automatically perceive the quality of the product to be level with the quality of the video.
Kate Williamson, Executive Strategy Director
I don’t think there was much thought or strategy from the CEO’s point-of-view about what the video would yield, say about the credibility of himself or Snapchat, or what kind of “image” it would create.
And that’s the beauty of it. He’s living his philosophy/eating his own lunch/swallowing his own medicine.
The concept of “instant expression” from the video—that our identity is who we are in THIS moment—could not be realized without instant execution.
He’d be fist punching his own philosophy if he edited the video, fixed the audio, or, you know, put on a shirt.
Brittany Kotary, Influencer Relations Specialist
Totally agree on all points!
The reporter, Kia Kokalitcheva (say that ten times fast) @imkialikethecar, covers Silicon Valley Tech news and has previously written about Snapchat, Evernote and related tech/startups. She is likely assigned to this beat, making her a perfect target for this kind of news. I’m assuming she was pitched/tipped off by Snapchat or Snapchat’s PR agency though, it’s unlikely she just stumbled upon the video since it was just posted today too (unless she, or an intern, just refreshes their page? which I guess could be possible but seems terrible). Their PR team probably sent it to her under embargo – an agreement with a company/brand and a journalist that the journalist will hold a piece of information or a story until a set time. This is yet another reason why making and maintaining strong and trustworthy relationships with influencers is so so important!
From the post dates on Google News, it looks like Fortune was one of the first to post about it. A lot more pubs/people talking about the video and the casual style:
Rapid content can be successful – but so many factors need to be considered. The message, your audience, your brand image and more.
What are your thoughts on rapid content creation? Is it something every brand can pull off? Where’s that line between quality and speed? Reach out to us on social media!