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This is a sequel to a post I wrote in July 2011 called “The Hallmark of a Solid Branding Strategy.” In that post, I talked about the debate over production value within the real estate space. That debate continues, and I am wondering if the conversation hasn’t moved a few degrees from when I last blogged about this.

“…Great Risks Associated with that Kind of Future”

As an example, I recently interviewed Matthew Shadbolt of The Corcoran Group. He said some things that brought this issue back to the forefront for me, when he talked about “future proofing” your digital content. Here is the key quote from the post I wrote about that interview (emphasis added):

“So, for example, in terms of real estate video, if you’re continuing to film your property tours with a flip cam hand-held camera in poor lighting and with terrible audio, the idea that that content is going to exist inside of a highly socialized YouTube on an Apple plasma TV, and YouTube moves from being something on the computer to something that’s more centered around the home, your content has great risks associated with that kind of future.”

For the record, I agree with Matthew. I can feel my personal taste becoming more sophisticated and less tolerant of what I’ll call the “DIY Flip Syndrome.”

And, in the interest of full disclosure, I’ve published plenty of video that — in retrospect — I wish I had created originally with this “future proofing” idea in mind.

But I am admittedly no expert on this, so my opinion, truly, is of limited value.

That being the case, I thought it might be valuable to solicit the opinions of some people who I believe ARE experts on the topic of production value, to see if what they think lines up with what Matthew is suggesting.

And so, I reached out and obtained the perspectives of two people whose judgments on production value are critical to their respective livelihoods: world famous rock and roll photographer Jay Blakesberg and WellcomeMat co-founder Christian Sterner.

“Low-Quality Content is Pretty Much Noise”

Blakesberg is an amazing talent who has photographed every major star in rock, from Bruce to Bob to Keith to Kurt to ZZ and everyone in between. Here is what he had to say (emphasis added):

“At this point, user-generated content or low-quality content is pretty much just “NOISE.” As marketers, the goal is to have your signal, or the signal of the brand, break through the “noise.” Low-quality content does NOT break through … it dies very quickly and quietly. The combination of YouTube and Facebook have greatly contributed to the amount of noise out there, but they have also created the platform to extend the reach of your brand with engaging and relevant content. Facebook “share” is a very powerful tool! But the content needs to be good. High-quality content has the ability to spread across the network in ways unimaginable a few years ago. I don’t think it matters whether it’s a major brand or the local real estate agent, but bad content is a waste of time … of course there are always exceptions when some low-fi wacky video catches a wave, but, in general, there is too much information out there for people to choose, and people just keep losing interest as the clutter keeps growing. It’s simple … engaging and relevant content that people will WANT to share because it is good!”

“… Like Making Your Own Clothes to Wear to a Job Interview”

And here is what Sterner contributed (emphasis added):

“Most people choose to exclusively hire production teams or to create their own videos, but the reality is that both levels of production have value … What we know is that video tours of properties make up 62 percent of all video views for real estate-related content. As an agent, using examples of property videos you’ve created yourself to win new listings is like making your own clothes to wear to a most important job interview. However, sometimes the informational value of videos is higher than the need for quality production: video tours for buy-side clients, interviews with local characters, sharing what’s happening at an event and showing the progress of a construction project are good examples of this. These are right-here, right-now opportunities for agents, brokers and brands to demonstrate themselves as an information source, and production teams cannot always be on hand. As a rule, the safest route is work with video production teams whenever possible, especially when trying to demonstrate your marketing prowess to win listings.”

Clearly, this issue is highly subjective, and we all have our own opinions on production value.

Future Risk Assessment?

Hopefully, this post will make you think about what you’re doing with your digital content, and how changes in technology and the always-evolving tastes of the consuming masses might be putting your digital content at risk.