Surviving Content Creation in an “Always On” World


Do you get texts like this?

[1:32pm] can u pick me up in front at 235 [1:33pm] mom? hello? [1:34] hello?

We have come to expect constant digital communication, from our family, friends, colleagues, and from brands. We are grappling – individually and collectively – with the pressure to be ALWAYS ON. And we seek tools and workarounds to help us keep up.

This morning, when I sent a text to my friend Salim, I got this auto response:

[Auto-Reply] I’m driving right now – I’ll get back to you later.

Shopping online, it has become the norm that within minutes of our arrival on a website, the company deploys a customer service chatbot, to ask us if we need any help.

As brands look to maintain relevance and share of voice in a 24/7 online marketplace, one area in particular that remains a challenge is video. Because while video storytelling is super effective in driving engagement, it can also be expensive to make enough video to keep up with the ephemeral nature of today’s digital/social platforms.

According to a report from Magisto, 56% of U.S. marketers are creating videos every week; 26% are making new videos daily. And though compared to TV commercials, budgets are still much smaller for individual video projects, because of the sheer volume of overall content, marketers are spending almost double on digital/social video as compared to TV ads. In 2017: $135 billion was spent making online video; $71 billion making TVCs.

Google calls the “everyday” content hygiene video; They call the two other buckets hero video (tv commercials) and hub video (brand videos on your website). Many companies have started their own in-house video studios to try to manage hub and hygiene video. But that can be costly, time-consuming, and impractical. And since in-house teams often don’t have all their own video gear and post-production facilities, they end up outsourcing a lot of the work anyway. It’s one of the most common questions I am asked these days: What’s the best way to manage a pipeline of always on video without breaking the bank? A few months ago, at the ad:tech conference, I discovered a potential answer. As I roamed the exhibitor hall at the Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC, I came across a company with a crazy-cool-why-didn’t-i-think-of-that-idea, and I stopped in my tracks to listen to their pitch. Shootsta is an Australian company disrupting the video production industry with a super-efficient subscription model. They provide customers with a compact video production kit; a cloud-based portal to upload the video; and they do all the post-production for you in 24 hours. They just opened offices in the U.S., London, and Singapore, building on the great success they’ve had in Australia.

Two case studies: