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Capturing the Moment: How to be Agile with Real-Time Content Creation

by Coris Leachman

May 3, 2020

Like any brand, you want to take your audience on a journey – starting at awareness, with quick stops at consideration and conversion, before (hopefully) ending up at loyalty & advocacy. But, as the content landscape continues to grow and production rates speed up, it gets easier for an audience to miss things and for you to lose their attention. There’s a reason why the whole ‘Pics or it didn’t happen’ mentality has been solidly embraced by people, and this extends to brands too.

With the pressure to get more out there, brands might be doing more – but between launches, events, influencer collabs and wider activations, audiences may never see more than a few press clips or influencer mentions, leaving whatever message you’re trying to communicate feeling fragmented.

The question is, how do you connect your brand activations – in whatever form they take – to your wider audience in a way that feels timely and relevant? To answer this question, we’ve added another offering to our content strategy in the form of ‘real-time content creation’, which brings the experience to life for our consumers on social. ‘Real-time content’ is specifically designed to go live within hours of the activation itself – a quick, impactful suite of content that’ll live online where your wider audience will actually see it. By doing this, not only do we tap into the ‘real-time’ trend that audiences now seek out, we offer our audiences something more – with content that allows us to be a little more raw, BTS and real – something they don’t see enough of from brands.

Suddenly, a launch, event or activation reaches more than just the people there, and it’s bringing your wider audience into the fold of what you’re doing as a brand, by using your brand activity as a platform to engage your audience in a way that just feels more genuine.

While it might sound easier said than done, being agile with real-time content creation is about working the process into what your brand is already doing below the line. Let’s use one of Impero’s clients – a global footwear brand – as an example...

During Paris Fashion Week Men’s AW20, the brand celebrated the launch of a new collection with an exclusive after-hours event, as well as a runway show in collaboration with a Japanese streetwear brand. Both were exclusively invite-only, and the brand wanted to use real-time content creation to share it with its wider audience. We captured the content during the event and runway show, with content going live during and within 16 hours of each on the brand’s social media channels to ensure it was as front of mind as possible.

Over a period of four days, we created –

2x real-time mobile content series for Instagram Stories (approx. 20 frames each)

2x hype films (60, 30 and 15-seconds) for social and digital use

2x photography series (25 assets each) for social and digital use

The deliverables were significant, but with an agile crew and a creative approach that can be achieved in a really tight turnaround, this kind of content was easily brought to life.

There are three elements to making real-time content creation work:

Be more than just a press picture
Get creative when considering how to bring the experience to life for your audience on social media. If you want the content to feel as ‘live’ as possible, this could include Live streaming or IG/FB Stories, supported by hype videos or longer-form videos that might live on-feed or on IGTV, as well as a suite of photography assets that can be used across social and digital.

Be clear about what you want to share / Create a solid narrative
For the launch event and runway show of our footwear client, we had three key things to consider – product, people and vibe. If there’s a lot going on and no time for retakes, you want to be really clear with your team about the priorities for the content. Because both the launch event and runways show featured new products seen for the first time by our audience, our focus was to bring them to life by showing how they were actually worn by the well-known faces at the event and show, with close-ups of details from every angle.

Don’t be afraid to go small (with your team)
It’s important to note that while this doesn’t need a huge budget or super long timeline, it also doesn’t need a big team. We’ve found that this works best with a skeleton crew – in the case of PFW, we went with a team of six that included a Creative, a Creative Producer, two Videographers, a Photographer and a Lighting Assistant.


Content Creation
Live Events