GTMA’s downtown Los Angeles offices have the clean, Ikea-vibe of a tech startup, but they still can’t shake their classic LA swagger. The agency’s inclination for telling captivating stories in this age of sensory overload is part of the timeless wisdom that GTMA—and its award-winning visual production team—owes to its humble, Hollywood beginnings. This is the Inc. 5000 company that made multifamily marketing fun in the first place!
Google recently coined the term “micro-moments” to describe an intent-rich moment when a person turns to a device to act on a need to know, go, do or buy. Shortening attention spans and ever-available access to the Internet via mobile devices “has uncovered a fundamental change in the way people consume media,” Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google’s senior vice president of ads and commerce, told the Wall Street Journal. Through the data they’ve gathered on user searches, Google has identified micro-moments as the trackable events when users form their first, most lasting impressions of a brand.
These micro-moments of time, brief as they are, represent a new frontier for storytellers to explore. They also present a unique set of challenges. How do you “win” a user’s attention in less than a minute? Can quality content really come in such bite-sized nuggets?
I decided to bring my questions to Jason Nauman, GTMA’s Jedi Master of micro-moment video.
Kody: So, you’re saying you can tell a compelling story in 60 seconds or less?
Naumann: Sometimes we can do it in 6.
He could see I still needed some convincing.
Naumann: A story is a story. People oftentimes limit their approach to storytelling with preconceptions of how they think a story should be told.
Kody: But don’t you feel limited in what you can do? How is 60 seconds or less enough time?
Naumann: Personally, I love the challenge of finding ways to communicate the personality of a community without going the traditional route. The amateur will usually think “more” is better, but the more skilled approach is to do more with less.
Kody: “Do more with less.” You sound like Yoda when you say that.
Naumann: In a film, that might mean a page-and-a-half worth of dialogue that gets cut down to one line, or even just a reaction. In a photo or painting, there might be the choice to show a close up of something unique, rather than the wide shot that shows everything. Our approach to multifamily is no different. We want to show, not tell.
Kody: How have you applied these storytelling principles to multifamily?
Naumann: One of our best examples is a 15 second video. It’s all in one shot. It starts off close on a woman relaxing by a pool with music playing in the background. The camera pulls back (and up) to reveal the whole community and its beautiful marina location. The music fades and all we hear are the soft sounds of the breeze and the waves.
Kody: Yeah, that’s a really beautiful video. What else can you do with micro-moments?
Naumann: We did one video that was as simple as putting a GoPro on one of the maintenance staff. We saw all that he did throughout the day. It showed the community and its amenities in a way that wasn’t “in your face.” And it highlighted the importance of service to the community.
Kody: You really are saying a lot with a little!
Naumann: We did another “one shot” approach where the camera starts at the community, then speeds up as it goes to the high-end coffee shop across the street, slows down as the smiling staff hands off a drink, then we speed back up until we are back at the community and sitting by the pool relaxing with our frozen coffee beverage.
Kody: All this is very impressive, but still, with only 60 seconds or less to work with, aren’t you worried that you’ll run out of ideas?
Flashing a devilish, Yoda-like grin, the micro-moments master concluded.
Naumann: The ideas are endless. There is always a new way to tell a story, and each community is different. Our mandate has always been to create compelling content that garners attention and tells a community’s story; now we’re just doing it in a much shorter time.
Kody: So far, so good, Jason.
Naumann: All in a day’s work.
The new data from Google may have changed the game but it hasn’t changed the goal: to tell great stories that share something essential about a brand in an easily relatable, consumable format. How are you prepared to capture the fleeting attention of mobile device users as they wait for a train, stand in line at the bank or anticipate their number being called at the hot new donut shop de jour? Fortune favors those with both an excitement for new knowledge and a respect for hard-won wisdom. In an ever-evolving media landscape, GTMA is certainly poised to seize the micro-moment.