Category Archives: Content That Matters

What Makes Us Start a DIY Project?

We’ve seen the Property Brothers make that bummer of a kitchen into something that would make Martha Stewart jealous. We’ve seen Tom Silva make This Old House into a stunning showplace. But there’s a big difference between wanting to do a DIY project, and getting to the store, buying the materials, and putting hammer to nail or seed to earth. So, what makes us get off the sofa, get to the store, and get the project underway?

In a new Moment Studio Microstudy conducted with our partners at ORC International, we sought to find out what gets people to engage in a DIY project. 1000 people reflecting the general U.S. population were asked whether they agree with the statement “I am inspired to do DIY projects when I consume fun and informative content that makes the task less overwhelming (how-to YouTube videos, Pinterest boards, infographics, etc.)” – and their responses told us a ton.

What We Learned

The outcome is clear – video that helps people get over their fears in a friendly way is a great motivator. It is also clear that while there are some generational differences, it is a powerful force of motivation across generations.


Right off the bat, we can see there’s a significant inter-generational difference in how people respond. But let’s break it down and see what this difference really means.

If you build it (engaging how-to DIY content), they’ll build it.

It turns out inspiring content can be just the motivator needed to get us off the couch and into action. Showing something simply and with some brand character and fun to it can get people to stop dreaming and start making.

We see this all the time in the food and cooking spaces. Buzzfeed’s Tasty, a publisher of recipe videos, for example, recognizes the power of bite-sized digital video to tell an engaging story that prompts people into action. A well-performing Tasty video generates a 1-3% share rate (the number of people who share the video socially, divided by the total views).* This engagement is then passed on to brand sponsors in the form of brand affinity and sales. According to Adweek, a sponsored Tasty campaign for Newell brands that featured an Oster grill in a minute-long jalapeno and cheese-stuffed hamburger recipe video caused sellouts on and The brand attributed the sales lift directly to Tasty since it was the only running paid media.”

Millennials are a huge opportunity.

It turns out that for 65% of consumers age 18-36, seeing a YouTube Video or Pinterest pin will inspire them to do DIY projects. This might seem astute, but it is significant when you see that for baby boomers, that number is just 40%. We also know that millennials are predisposed to creative pursuits; they consider themselves creative by nature, and they take pride in “making.” For this generation, passion to create is significant, and content that makes the complex more digestible is all they need to feel inspired.

For all the heat we give millennials, the fact is that they’re our next generation of buying power; AdAge puts the generation’s annual spending power at $200 billion in 2017. This audience is prime for the home-improvement-DIY-taking, so let’s give them some engaging content and help them get going.

Content works for Gen Xers and Boomers, too.

It’s notable that for Gen Xers, 51% agreed with our statement about video, but that’s only 1% more than the general population (i.e., all people). Nonetheless, motivating half of Gen Xers and 40% of Boomers to action isn’t bad either.

How to do it

Regardless of generation, here are some tips for creating inspirational video that can inspire content:

Tell a story. Even though a video’s purpose might be instructional or a how-to, present it as a story – with a beginning middle and end — that has the project as the solution to a real life problem. This will create an emotional angle that helps people relate and connect.

Get the idea across, not necessarily the blueprint. We’re looking to create a spark of creativity and remove fear. And most modern digital channels require brevity. Giving viewers the broad strokes of the how-to can get them far enough – perhaps even far enough to click through to detailed instructions on a website.

Distribute the video. In online content, the world doesn’t beat a path to the better-built mousetrap. You have to get it in places where people are looking for it, which means paying to “distribute” it. Paid video products on platforms with task-minded people are likely the best places to start. So let’s inspire some millennials to do it themselves!

And our crew of industrious makers at Moment Studio are happy to help out. Check out some of our personal favorites in our DIY Portfolio.


Ken Kraemer is CEO and Founder of Moment Studio. He started Moment Studio to provide a high-quality, efficient way for brands to create great social content that gets equally great business results.

What Does It Mean to be Mobile First?

Everyone agrees they need to be mobile first. But most brands still struggle with what that means. Here’s how to think about it.

I recently took the plunge and upgraded my shoddy home-internet service to Verizon FiOS. Just one week after cancelling my contract with the old company I had a flyer in my mailbox asking me to sign up. Not to reconsider and rejoin. Not to learn about exciting upgrades to their network performance since I left (which I might have been willing to hear out). The advertisement was completely generic and lacked any basic understanding of me: the fact that I was a previous customer and that I unsubscribed because I wasn’t happy. This is what I would call “lazy advertising.” As a result, their message fell on deaf ears and the mailer went straight to the recycling bin.

Look, I’m certainly not surprised the telco giant’s direct response strategy was far from perfect, but what did surprise me was the frustration I felt. How could something so unintelligent make it’s way into my mailbox, a space that I consider personal? It’s where I get handwritten birthday cards from my mom every year; where holiday greetings make my apartment feel like a home; and where newborns are welcomed into the world on beautiful DIY postcards. Evidently, it’s also the place where big brands continue to deliver generic, unpersonalized messages en masse. I think I speak for all of us when I say the “one size fits all” approach feels like an intrusion. A violation of our personal space. Sadly, this is often the norm in marketing today and nowhere is it felt more than in mobile marketing.

Think about it: unlike any other channel in history, mobile phones are extensions of our physical selves. They fit into our palm and our pocket and they greet us when we turn them on. They learn (and remember) our interests, preferences, locations and habits. They are constant collectors and providers of personal and aggregate data, and whether we know it (or like it) or not, they are constantly updating the world – from advertisers to friends – about us. And they’re usually not more than a few feet away, day or night.

Our utter reliance on our phones is undeniable. According to Apple, iPhone users unlock their device an incredible 80 times each day. And last year Business Insider reported that we touch our phone a whopping 2,617 times every day. This dependency, and consequently, the emotional attachment we have with our phones, has created a new kind of relationship between the consumer and the marketing-vehicle itself. As a result, we are experiencing a fundamental shift in what it means to be “personal” and “contextual” in digital media, particularly mobile.

So, what does this mean for brands?

Based on the nascency and lack of sophistication of most mobile-marketing approaches, the implications aren’t as straightforward as the behavior might appear.

Make no mistake, getting onto that personal, user-directed and exceptionally useful tool in your consumers’ hands is an enormously valuable and important proposition to the survival of brands, especially as commerce moves rapidly to digital, on-demand platforms like Amazon Prime and Instacart.

But this challenge is daunting. Attention on a phone is divided between utilities, tasks, alerts, gifs, text messages, YouTube videos, Spotify streams and Snap stories, not to mention email and calendars. Meanwhile, the adtech and publishing industries have provided a dearth of advertising options that actually work. From obnoxious pop-overs to miniature banner ads, a deluge of low quality impressions dominate the strategies available to a marketer in exploiting mobile behavior.

There is hope. There are many turnkey strategies that work on mobile phones, and exploiting them can be straightforward. As you consider them, keep in mind these three essentials.

1. Interruptive advertising does not work in mobile.

Because of the intimate nature of the mobile environment, brands that force their way onto the consumer’s screen (through antiquated technology/units, mediocre targeting or generic messaging) will begin to find themselves blocked, hidden, or sent straight to the spam folder. Instead, we should be thinking about mobile strategy through the lens of classical “permission marketing.” The only difference is consent from the consumer now comes in the form of not opting out.

2. The best way in is through native content.

The most efficient way to ensure your brand gets into the hands of consumers is through native content on the platforms that were designed for the phone. These can be “mobile-first” platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube as well as “mobile-only” platforms such as Snapchat, Uber, and Waze. Content that is made for these platforms, with well targeted media and tailored messaging, is the best way to create an effective mobile strategy.

3. Because of limited mobile real estate, format matters more than ever.

Bad ads are always annoying, but when we accidentally click on one and lose our spot, our well of patience quickly dries up. This is what I call “fat finger” syndrome and it’s unique to advertising on smartphones. This means branded messages need to be legible, and they should be big enough so that clicks happen by intent, not by mishap. It also means brands must pay attention to the varying design specs across devices, platforms, and operating systems to ensure viewability and proper display formatting.

Strategy In Action

Here are two great examples of these principals in action.

TRESemmé NYFW Get The Look

This was TRESemmé’s strategy for New York Fashion Week. Rather than running ads around (and disrupting) coverage people wanted, TRESemmé worked with us to create a series of useful and inspiring “Get the Look” how-tos so people could get the trending hairstyles they were seeing on the runway.

TRESemmé NYFW Get The Look

This was TRESemmé’s strategy for New York Fashion Week. Rather than running ads around (and disrupting) coverage people wanted, TRESemmé worked with us to create a series of useful and inspiring “Get the Look” how-tos so people could get the trending hairstyles they were seeing on the runway.


Misha Nonoo Live Lookbook

Fashion designer Misha Nonoo wanted to get her name into the conversation of fashion influencers and fashion followers alike. So in a first-ever for the fashion category, Moment Studio brought her look book to life not on the NYFW runway, but LIVE via Snapchat. Working with Misha’s team, we innovated the runway experience and built upon native Snapchat platform functionality to deliver a fresh fashion story.

With the right content and media strategies, brands can find great success adding value to these mobile personal ecosystems through their marketing. But it requires the right approach to content creation and distribution, using mobile platforms and consumption patterns native to mobile environments.

Glenn Landauer is Head of Client Strategy at Moment Studio. His team leads clients through content and channel strategy to drive impact cross platform.

Do the Newfronts Matter to You?

The Upfronts and Newfronts sound amazing to regular readers of the trades.

Lavish parties. Incredible shows. High stakes dealing. Free Wine.

To most of the digital marketing world that’s how it actually is – something you read about from afar. That’s because while digital properties and publishers have lots of incredible products and wares to show, the Upfronts model doesn’t really apply to how digital media is planned and bought (it may not really apply to TV anymore, either, though that is a topic for another day).

The Upfronts were intended to allow broadcast buyers to commit to and reserve finite and limited spots that would be available during the impending TV season’s hottest new programming. Big spenders would buy during big shows, and the Upfronts swirl of wining and dining yielded the deals needed to float the season. The Newfronts added the digital sideshow to this feeding frenzy, allowing digital content-makers and publishers to show off their wares in similar spirit.

Except digital media is not as finite and isn’t really bought this way. Newfronts are a valuable (and fun!) way for everyone to see what’s going on in the digital content space, but it usually doesn’t largely play in to media planning the way it does for TV.

So in this context, here are three things to keep in mind:

1. Is it SAFE?

A lot of open web advertising is now bought programmatically, and amid Google’s recent issues around “brand-safe inventory,” quality impressions that are indeed brand safe (and third-party verified as such), will be a central theme of the Upfronts. Coverage of these topics will likely be more important than the parties and the swag.

2. Mobile First? Mobile Only?

Getting into mobile behaviors should still be a top priority for brands, and a lot of Newfronts will be talking about mobile views of video. That’s important, but brands should keep in mind that there are lots of ways to effectively get their message on mobile phones that don’t rely on preroll and the dreaded midroll – let-alone popups, popovers, banners, takeovers, etc., etc.

3. Content Explosion

Digital content is exploding, and from significant names like YouTube, Amazon, Netflix and more. There is a ton of original content being developed in tons of exclusive and non-exclusive channels, and a lot of this isn’t represented at the Newfronts. If you’re truly looking for the hottest video to buy inventory in, you need to widen your scope.

While these are interesting trends to watch for, the fundamentals haven’t changed: brands should be thinking about how to make and distribute their content most effectively, with an eye to both their marketing KPIs and business goals. Great storytelling that doesn’t move the dial is a fail – and not the good kind.


To that end, there are great strategies for creating what we call “precision content,” well-targeted branded content that lives on and is native to the channels consumers use most, made at the right production value, that can get brands excellent results in relatively quick turnarounds – with no need to make commitments early in the year.

Most important is to match what you’re hearing about and learning about to your business and marketing strategies. If those don’t match your content strategy, that’s the right place to start. Of course we at Moment Studio can help with this bit too.

So while entertaining and interesting, the Newfronts are just the tip of the iceberg about what’s possible in digital and content distribution.


Ken Kraemer is CEO and Founder of Moment Studio. He started Moment Studio to provide a high-quality, efficient way for brands to create great social content that gets equally great business results.

How We Help Clients Hack Native Advertising

Native Advertising has its advantages and its applications. Some of the internet’s best video and content is a result of publisher-brand collaborations; Dear Kitten still makes us smile. But does it offer more than reach and deliver true brand-building connections that drive results?

Many marketers love the idea of native advertising, citing some good reasons. First, publishers have a strong voice that their audience loves and even trusts. Second, publishers offer reach – they know their audience and, as specialists in distribution, they know how to rack up views. Third, it feels efficient – oftentimes the total buy-in isn’t much more than the cost of a big media buy. Lastly, it feels turnkey – I can get everything under one roof, with no agency intermediary to pay.

But at the end of the day, publishers are in the business of selling their audience. They aggregate it via content and then quantify it in impressions to monthly average users. Many native deals are really driven by this media model, and the creative is (still) a value add. Media sales insiders recount that their teams rarely integrate with the brand’s creative agency – before the sale, during execution, or for approval.

This means marketers could be putting the brand equity, voice and even integrity at risk; publishers typically don’t have the creative culture needed to translate brand voice and tone and key brand equities to effective and emotive work, or actively use the publication’s voice for the work. And we hear from clients that the process can be painful in absence of the account and production services they have grown accustomed to.

So how can marketers get the benefits of native advertising and the benefits of a custom creative solution that drives brand equity? Moment Studio set out to solve just this problem, and we invented Distributed Content Bundles – custom creative and media distribution in one packaged price – to do it.

There are three key things that make Distributed Content Bundles, or DCBs, the native content hack brands have been waiting for:

They are Turnkey.

Content and Media Distribution sold together in one package, provided with one team, without the weight and expense of retainers. The media plan is targeted and executed in social or open web, depending on the objective, and so delivers the same audience a publisher might promise. Just more efficiently.

They have Guaranteed Results.

The impressions, interactions and engagements are guaranteed, so you know what you’re getting.

There is One Price.

One all-in price includes the content series and the media. It is predictable and all-inclusive. The content is developed for the brand by creatives and makers with years in the advertising industry.

Moment Studio’s DCBs can reach specific audience profiles, focus on a vertical or online behavior, or can help a brand test a new social product. Or all of the above. Most importantly, DCBs deliver the benefits of both native advertising and custom content creation, allowing brands to hack the native advertising approach.

Get in touch with us to learn more about Distributed Content Bundles or other content strategies that could work for you.


Ken Kraemer is CEO and Founder of Moment Studio. He started Moment Studio to provide a high-quality, efficient way for brands to create great social content that gets equally great business results.

5 Ways To Hack Content Quality

5 Ways to Hack Content Quality

Marketers continue to have a seemingly inexorable appetite for content, and content quality always seems to be left by the wayside. There are many reasons for this; from the ever-expanding media placement opportunities, to continued organic or “community-building” social strategies, to the need to test-and-learn about new platforms that consumers spend their time on, marketers tend to need more brand, product or offer-related messages than ever before in an equally large number of formats.

How much of this is strategically needed is a whole other critical topic, for which I offer Moment Studio’s Content Marketing Framework here.

On the supply side, marketers luckily have more options than ever for sourcing content. Content agencies, internal agencies & studios, publisher studios, influencers, influencer platforms, stock houses and even creative agencies all offer a piece of the content universe for a price.

Navigating this landscape can be complicated. But we offer 5 simple things to look for when choosing a content partner.

1. Creative AND Production

Choose a partner with both creative and production chops. This means “real creatives” need to work on the team. Technology and expediency has driven a need (and ability) for outstanding Creative thinking to be married up with production capability. Agencies that do this seamlessly will provide higher quality more efficiently. At Moment Studio, we mix brand-building creative and storytelling talent with modern production talent on every project and team. This is a central principle on which I built Moment Studio, which is a Creative/Production hybrid at its core. You can learn more about the new creative/production paradigm here.

2. Cultural Sensitivity

The right partner sees enough brands, publishes enough content and is close enough to consumer platforms to have the right cultural sensitivity to make content that matters to target audiences while coming across as authentic. This requires an understanding of not only consumer insights, but cultural patterns on the whole. It also requires deep understanding of the unique cultures that exist within the platforms where a brand’s content will appear. Content for YouTube, Reddit, Imgur, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest will all look, feel and play out its story differently on each platform. The right partner understands both popular culture and platform culture, and can help a brand avoid PR disasters that come with culturally-insensitive content that reflects an internal echo chamber, rather than what a target audience will relate to.

3. Creative impact, not just efficient reach

Make sure you’re buying actual creative content, and not just reach. Publishers and influencers are really selling their reach – the audience they’ve collected. Audience is a commodity and can be purchased cheaply. When a partner is providing creative as part of a media buy, remember where the provider’s focus is, and what their main business is. Chances are they’re not investing in the creative talent needed to come up with great creative. Reach, engagement, and action are all important, and Moment Studio provides a product called “Distributed Content Bundles” that bundles media solutions with high-quality content to guarantee media results. But story and brand must come first.

4. Strategic Guidance

Think editorial strategy and channel strategy. Many content providers are vertical platform experts – publishers understand destination media. Instagram influencers understand fashion on Instagram. Etc., etc. Working with one of these partners means you’re getting a solution that fits what they are selling. It’s a little like shopping for a five-course gourmet meal at a hot dog stand – there’s only hot dogs for sale there. A partner like a content agency will provide editorial and channel strategy: thinking that considers the many messages, cadences, paid and organic strategies, reach and frequency considerations and platform decisions that can make a content marketing platform perform. Typically they can do a one-off execution (need that 30-second spot transcreated to work on Snapchat?) very well too. Moment Studio provides strategic advisory from workshops, to playbooks to business objective analysis through to editorial strategy and planning to ensure that your content is actually “precision content” – content that performs a purposeful function at all times.

5. Quality Creative Capabilities

Related, many content providers are specialists in their one area – one minute Instagram videos. 10 second snaps for Snapchat. Two minute Facebook videos with branding in the first three seconds. Nothing wrong with any of this. But content isn’t “cute creative.” And most marketers’ content challenges are more complex than a single format or platform can handle. Further, simply managing a whole range of platforms and formats is another full-time job most marketers don’t have the time for. A content agency can help prioritize, strategize and then create specifically for the brand’s goals. Not the inventory a provider specializes in. And a content agency will have a full range of creative talents on staff to tell whatever story best captures a brand’s needs.

Content marketing has grown up, and the right content agency partner can help brands get impressive results from their social and content campaigns.


Ken Kraemer is CEO and Founder of Moment Studio. He started Moment Studio to provide a high-quality, efficient way for brands to create great social content that gets equally great business results.