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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:

Head of digital at Harper Collins Australia, Gemene Heffernan-Smith, says Shootsta has made a big impact on their business in a short time – helping them double video views and increase engagement on their site. Heffernan says, “It’s all about including video in our regular workflow.” Shootsta has trained 15 Harper Collins employees on the video kit. Heffernan-Smith says most of them use the equipment once a month, but four people on her digital team use it every week. They’re producing a number of ongoing video series and have gotten authors, staff, and consumers involved.

Australian airline Qantas has been a Shootsta customer since 2015 (early days for Shootsta). Clare Robinson, the manager of digital content at Qantas says before Shootsta, her team struggled to meet the needs of their business units, because of the volume of video work that was being requested of them. Now more than two years in, Shootsta has trained 132 Qantas employees, and they’ve made a whopping 654 videos, and counting. Robinson says Shootsta has become a vital part of the communications work they do both proactively and reactively on digital and social, “We’ve been really surprised by how much this service has resonated with the organization… It’s the best communication tool we have.”

In today’s always on world, tools like Shootsta – or chatbots or Salim’s auto-response text – help take some of the pressure off. We can stay relevant and responsive, without breaking the bank or crashing the car in the process!


About Danielle Dardashti:

Danielle Dardashti – founder of branded content advisory firm dash. – is an Emmy award-winner, author, media executive, and former TV reporter. Danielle has been collaborating with marketers on branded content strategy for over a decade, and has held senior leadership roles at Meredith Corporation, Tribune Publishing, IKA Collective, and Magnet Media. She is on the board of directors of New York Women in Communications ( and was honored in March 2018 by the Native Advertising Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark, as one of “100 Significant Women in Native Advertising.”


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