Sometimes ideas build like a thunderstorm in the distance. Those you can plan for. But often they come like a bolt of lightning, igniting a nearby tree and you just have to run with it. I came up with the idea to do a string of micro-content based on content marketing, and release one a day leading up until Christmas, basically an advent calendar. Hashtag #24daysofContentMarketing. Micro-content is a great way to keep your social channels firing on all cylinders while keeping the content production costs down. It also gives you more at-bats for something to go viral. With this campaign, we would have 24 social touch points in December alone. The problem was this needed to start December 1st, and the lightning had struck on November 28th.
I managed to crank out a few pieces of content to give us a head start, and roped a colleague into helping me, but neither of us had time to dedicate to this last-minute campaign. At this point, the idea had turned from enthusiasm to burden. Fortunately I knew of a platform full of eager creative talent who could pitch at a moment’s notice. I wrote a creative brief, then filled out our standard form and submitted it to the Visually Marketplace of creative talent, and was actually surprised when a designer accepted within the hour. Tania Schoeman is one of our top-rated creatives, so I had full confidence she could work on these graphics with little oversight. I had the first graphic from her within a day and the rest came shortly afterwards. Stress levels were now back to pre-forest fire levels and I could focus on other aspects like rollout, distribution, and promotion.
We used a few different platforms for distribution. Twitter and Facebook obviously, but the images also worked well as a Pinterest board. We also tested an advent calendar platform called 25daysof.io with mixed results. When the fire is burning, it’s good to just throw different things in there to see what catches. In today’s marketing landscape we cannot always plan a quarter in advance and often the most popular content is topical. For those of us without a crystal ball, the next best tool is agile and rapid content creation. Speed-to-market is not something the bigger companies are known for, but it’s an advantage that smaller organizations or business units can capitalize on with the right tools. As creatives, it’s our instinct to want to keep content creation in-house, but when the deadline is a foggy Christmas Eve, it’s important to know when to give up the reins and let Rudolf take over. You might just go down in history. Jess Bachman is a Creative Director at Visually. Follow him on Twitter.