Why We Launched the Moment Studio

Today, we publicly announced the launch of The Deep Focus Moment Studio, a new division of our agency created specifically to conceive and produce branded content for publishing on newsfeed-oriented social platforms that is optimized for sharing and engagement. (See the press release)

This unique group combines the talents and skills of creative specialists – art directors, writers, editors and photographers – with the insights and smarts of social communications experts. These talents come together daily in a rundown meeting, where the day’s content is imagined and created so that it can deliver up-to-the-minute relevance for each brand we work on.

It is, in effect, a creative newsroom for hire.

Why embark on this endeavor? Why create another whole discipline and operation uncommon in the marketplace?

The answer is simple. Consumers live in a newsfeed world. Brands now need to compete not only with each other, but with photos of peoples’ kids, nights out on the town, and weddings.  In this competition, a high-polish 30-second spot posted on Facebook is a useless weapon to brands. The Moment Studio creates content that can not only compete on these platforms, but can actually be shared and identified with.

There’s more. Social marketing – and in particular newsfeed marketing – is maturing. We know what works. We know what people like. We know how to generate scale – both on the desktop and on mobile. There are lots of lessons learned about which levers marketers can pull to be successful on these platforms across paid, owned and earned strategies. But all of the lessons share a common truth and a common theme: great content is critical.

But the very definition of what makes content “great” shifts in a newsfeed-driven world. Here, culturally-relevant, quick-get, real-time(ish), visual content rules. And frequently what works one day won’t the next. For brands to engage, the usual six-week content development process won’t work. In fact, a six-day cycle is too long – the new benchmark is more like six hours.

So brands need a fast solution – one that utilizes the brand stewardship our clients value to create a portfolio of highly engaging and highly sharable content that is relevant to the here and now. But speed in a newsfeed world can’t come with the typical increased cost associated with quick-turnaround creative; actually it needs to be much lower since the risk of content not being seen (or even “working”) is so much higher.

The Moment Studio does all of this. It is the model that breaks the “Fast, Cheap, Good: Choose 2” rule and generates branded content in a whole new way that not only maximizes the brands’ engagement on a portfolio basis, but lowers the cost of each asset dramatically. For those of you with your spreadsheets open, that both decreases the cost per engagement our clients see in social and increases the ROI.

But most importantly, it tells the brand story in a channel that is largely deaf to brand claims, and in a way people love. We’re seeing exponential engagement on some posts – engagement brands with 10 times the follower bases see. So the results so far are good. Exciting good.

We’re proud that midway through a pilot, with a number of outstanding client partners, we’re getting feedback from them like “I’m loving the Moment Studio!”

So we confess: at the end of the day that’s really why we did it.