Content Velocity

I am of the mindset: Advertising that “works” is rooted in proven science and math.

A few weeks ago, 10 people liked this Instagram photo within 3 seconds of posting, and it made me wonder: Is there a way to measure content “efficiency” – how quickly content moves through a medium (audience) towards a desired direction?

We constantly measure the effectiveness of content a la number of likes, views, RTs, etc. But, in the real-time digital world, speed is also an important factor. Speed combined with traction creates efficiency. And efficiency typically wins in our increasingly digital world.

If we want to truly understand the impact of content we’re producing, what if we applied physics concepts to digital advertising?

  • Physics: A science that deals with matter and space and their interactions.
  • Content Physics: A science that deals with content (matter) and its audience (space) and their interactions.
  • Velocity: The speed at which something moves in a given direction (positive or negative). If the object returns to its starting position, then the velocity is zero. To calculate Velocity, V = Displacement / Time Taken
  • Content Velocity: The speed at which content (something) moves in a given direction (positive or negative). If the content (object) returns to its starting position, then the velocity is zero. To calculate Content Velocity, CV = Displacement / Time Taken

The higher the absolute value of content velocity, the more efficient the content’s influence over that specific time period. And, at times when brands are in a low season, their content velocity may slow down, maybe even hitting zero on a day or two.

This could also dig into how conducive specific platforms are to high levels of content velocity. Just as how a ball may move at different speeds through different liquids, content may move at different speeds through specific platforms, depending on its properties – how tightly packed the atoms are, the viscosity, the density.

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