Working For Instagram And The Great Dis”Content”Ment (2min Read)
SMALL SCREEN BIG VISTA
The absolute irony of trying to use Instagram to market a video production service that deals largely in widescreen cinematic shots is not lost on me, infact it quite annoys me if asked. I think it a challenge someone could enjoy the enormous vast expanse or perspective a video stream from a camera 300 meters up delivers on a mobile phone screen running an app that further crops the image down to such a small and insignificant scale that the only video that looks slightly interesting or vibrant is that of a close up of a blossoming flower or smiling pet cat.
So the dilemma goes! How to get cinematic images seen and enjoyed at scale without having access to the channels for traditional cinema or the required relationships to get on the big screen?
I've begun experimenting using short clips on Instagram to drive traffic to the full length video on YouTube, but as you may know if you use Instagram regularly- which apparently a billion of you do, there is no way to put hyper links in the description, this i am fairly sure is possible if you are willing to pay Instagram but do you know what! – i am not willing to pay them, not a damn penny; for the more money you sink in to these social media channels the more deeper and deeper you become reliant on them for your business to succeed on these platforms, and that feels like a dangerous road to travel.
Sure social media is a good way to get your creative work/business seen, especially if you are not a commercial enterprise but perhaps more of a small business or creative however, how many of these small enterprises are actually measuring their ROI when it comes to social media marketing, and is there even a valid way to do such analysis considering the ever increasing use of bots? And how many young companies and entrepreneurs are building audiences on a platform that is likely to become more and more closed off? – especially if their parent Facebooks behaviour is anything to go by.
I am not content with the term "content" it implies the work creatives do is just something to be put inside something else while the audience waits for the next "content" to be put in, and repeat. It feels fleeting, momentary like no body actually cares about the work; it some how looses its artistic credibility, its process, its purpose. If all i did was create content for Instagram, my primary compensation would be paid out in hearts and bot generated comments – which are infuriatingly obvious as they are essentially meaningless, see a recent blog post i made regarding this subject here.
JAB JAB RIGHT HOOK
I have come to the conclusion that the reason to keep posting "content" on Instagram is largely related to Gary Vs Jab Jab Jab Right Hook theory where one needs to stay front of mind, by regularly jabbing your audience with "content" this way you might, if your lucky stay front of mind amongst many many many others trying the same tack tick.
Long term i think we will see more distributed version of these platforms, as people begin to learn that they themselves are able to collectively monitor their social media behaviours for the good of all the users, ideally minus the boheameth middle man entity. (See Steemit for a glimpse in to the future) The users themselves collectively will become the boheimetih and will prosper financially together, i give it another 5 to 10 years though. Hopefully not – but people are fickle and the internet is an ever confusing place, likely to get more confusing over time. How would you suggest moving people to a new ultimately more self beneficial platform? Sounds impossible right?
RACE TO THE BOTTOM
In the end as long as you don't get to siloed in your own beliefes and try to remain open to new opportunities you will discover there is a world of new opportunities out there, especially for so called "Content creators" however be conscious of the inevitable race to the bottom, sites like Fiverr and UpWork put creatives and developers at loggerheads in a quantity vs quality environment, its an unfortunate byproduct of our age, but if you can identify your unique stance, you will have an advantage in the space, this is where I believe your "local" is important i think. look around you, what can you do for those in your immediate vercintiy? Also check out this article on The Drum to see what Proctor and gamble recently did with their digital ad expenditure, i think a clear sign of the future.
Artist: Rich Tella
Medium: Digital Video feedback-loop projection on to Pendulum Monitor