Exquisite Content Marketing: The 6sec video vs 3 minute video Challenge


Back in the day I used to ride my bike every weekend with my best friend and his father, my severe overweight prevented me from keeping up to their pace, but Federico Sr, was always pushing me to keep on going, “don’t get off the bike, you can do it”.

Twenty something years later, and many pounds less I entered a bike shop, People For Bikes, with an Ice-Cream in my hand the best salesman I’ve known, he was smart enough to put me back in the saddle and something just clicked, the dream of riding like those legends you see on ESPN Front Row through cities, valleys, rain, a man a bike and the freedom of choice.

This rediscovered passion got me on an immersive journey through different brands, media, content, etc. Getting to a famous niche apparel brand called Rapha.

Rapha makes this brilliantly crafted documentaries called #RaphaRides, a beautiful journey that discovers the capitals of the world through the eyes of bike riders.

Image from #RaphaRides Seattle

They take time to tell a story, to have long shots of a mountain, a big close up of the rider, braking all the rules of modern content creation for brands:

Always put a big intro in the beginning, if it can be told in 6 secs do it, think of it to be silent, make it fast and impactful, use analytics to discover what the audience is talking and create content, if you don’t hit the 500k view mark it´s useless, aim for millions, etc.

We know those rules, we’ve created content for our clients that make 2 million views with less than $600 usd in media buy, we know the importance of short and sweet.

But those un-native contents, un-practical, well produced, keep wanting me for more, after a few months I was looking forward for the next #RaphaRides, how epic will it be? which city? Is it Europe or Asia? etc.

Until I ended up buying products on their website and I realized that this seduction took some time for me a seasoned advertiser to be hooked to a brand, small doses of content that stick into your mind.

This is not me, just a cool product image.

What I´ve learned from Rapha vs. 6 sec video:

  • Clear communication objective: Don’t make content just because it’s a trend or the competition is doing it. Ask yourself how this content will enrich the company, the brand, and which is the final message I want to the audience understand.
  • Time is relative: If your content strategy is correct you can take the time you need to tell a story. Work on the story first, edit, and don’t be afraid to chop or add a shot if it makes the story better. Always remember your objective when thinking about time.
  • Don´t be afraid of the number: If your strategy and audience segmentation is clear don’t be afraid to get 10k views or 200k views, aim for those truly passionate people to look at your content, but never let it to chance, always plan for making the biggest impact even in a small community.
  • Be brand honest: Understand your brand, if you´re Rapha and you make beautiful and expensive cycling apparel and you want to build the brand as a crafted, passionate, small brand, it´s mandatory to make content aligned with this positioning. But if you´re a FMCG brand don´t expect for people to spend minutes watching how to make a smoothie or glue a picture frame, be fast, use all the best practices and be creative to separate from the competition.
  • How long is how long: It takes time to build up a brand in social media, it takes a lot of great-relevant content to get people hooked up with you, Aim for a Year at least before you can have a solid content strategy.
  • Repetition: Rapha has been making videos since 2008, we create more than a hundred videos a month for our clients, it takes a lot of repetition. Learn from your mistakes, review the analytics, understand why people stopped watching your video and improve for the next one.

“Don´t get off the bike, you can do it”.