One recurring theme of Social Fresh West this year was the concept of home run content.  We all want to create that one tweet, video or blog post that really knocks it out of the park, and we can become discouraged when we aren’t able to.  Three speakers touched directly on this idea, bringing different perspectives and insights:

  • Jason Keath said it first in a discussion of “content envy” and the reality that great content takes time.  To illustrate his point, he showed a clip of Jerry Seinfeld telling his Pop-Tart joke – which it took the comedian two years to write. The message was, spend more time creating high quality content, and remember that not everything has to be a home run.
  • Chris Moody of Oracle echoed the same sentiment later in the day, citing the fact that since 1901, only 45 baseball players have had seasons when they hit more homeruns than strikeouts. So, to get one home run, you’re most likely going to have to strikeout a bunch of times first, and that’s ok!
  • Conversely, James Percelay of Thinkmodo said that his team ONLY goes after big successes, and they turn away business if they don’t think they can deliver. Thinkmodo creates high-impact, viral videos for brands.  Here are some examples: Bubba’s Hover and the Carrie promo video. In a tweet after the conference, James specified that his team has to create hits because they only produce a small number of videos per year, whereas that kind of success rate isn’t sustainable for high volume content.

There are a few key takeaways for me from these three viewpoints. The first is the importance of process. Thinkmodo has a tried and true process to create their videos.  It’s not dumb luck, and they aren’t just filming a bunch of cats. It’s their adherence to their ideation, production and launch processes that enables them to be wildly successful, over and over again.

This leads me to my second takeaway, which is the importance of investing time in your content. Jason shared his advice on creating successful content according to the 80/20 rule: spend 80% of your time focusing on creating one big, intentional hit, and then 20% of your time repurposing and distributing it. In one of the great quotes of the conference, he also encouraged people to think outside the box, because “Great ideas exist between the obvious and the absurd.”

So maybe a better way to think about creating great content is in terms of base hits.  In this year’s World Series, there were relatively few home runs despite some very high scores, which were achieved by a series of base hits.  It takes the entire team playing together and following a process to successfully get runs batted in.  It may not be as sexy as a home run, but the end result can be far more valuable.

View all the speaker presentations from Social Fresh on SlideShare.