Is social currency worth Gold?

If there is one thing that shocked me in the 2013 Cannes Cyber Lions winners, it is that all of them seem to claim to be a social media success! Although the shortlisted campaigns don’t present themselves specifically as social media activities, it is as if generating reactions on social networks, has became the proof that a campaign has been adopted by the target audience. Just as much as the business performance… So, does it mean that turning an advertising message into social currency is worth gold?

Here is a summary of my favourite campaigns:

Adidas Window shopping (2013 Silver Cyber Lion)
Shop like it’s the future! I love the idea of keeping a store open even when it’s closed. The key is that they made the mobile integration simple and seamless. Reminds me of the Tesco Korea campaign (2011 Gold Cyber Lion)

Dove Real Beauty Sketches (2013 Gold Cyber Lion)
Not only it is an interesting concept artistically, the campaign really brings to life how women see themselves. The problem is obvious, it is up to all of us to help fix it!
Funny to see that Axe is now giving power to women with the fear no Susan Glenn initiative!

Oreo Daily Twist (2013 Grand Prix Cyber Lion)
Cool idea, social by design and success coming down to the dedicated resource on deck to come up with creativity worth spreading every day!
Everybody loves Oreos, now everybody loves sharing their Oreo twists!

Metropole Tweetphony (2013 Silver Cyber Lion)
I like the way new technologies are now associated with stuff as old as classical music…  The Tweepthony could have very well turned into a real cacophony but it didn’t. Like Pay with a Tweet, (2011 Cyber Lion winner) great use of twitter for creating value!

I also thought that a few other campaigns are also worth highlighting:

– Metro Train Dumb ways to Die (2013 5 Gold Lions/ 1 Silver). Brilliant branded content, the amount of recognition speaks for itself!
Perfume open platform for creativity (2013 Silver Cyber Lion + entertainment category at he Japan media arts festival)
Hello Again by Lincoln (2013 Gold Cyber Lion) Although the challenge of re inventing an old car brand and associate it with Music has been over used, the innovation power used to create the digital content is incredible (great credits to Go Pro). Execution is outstanding!
Nike Chance (2013 Silver Cyber Lion) Giving rejected young players another chance. Hope they will turn this into a yearly mechanic not just a one off campaign.
Clouds over Cuba (2013 Gold Cyber Lion): making history and culture accessible to all! Like the Google Art project, we want more of that!
– Perrier Secret Place (2013 Bronze and Silver Lion), Golden chains (2013 Silver Cyber Lion), Tokyo Symphony (2013 Silver Cyber Lion) and Jam with Chrome (2013 Bronze Silver Lion) are great examples of pure digital and collaborative entertainment!

Do you what these brilliant campaigns have in common, apart form being 2013 Cannes Cyber Lions winners, of course? Come to Ignite Sydney on August 7th and I will share with you the three words that guarantee social media success (I might use some of these campaigns as examples to illustrate what I mean!)

Marie Sornin

Is it content or is it advertising?

That is not the right question to ask about online video advertising. The question should be: is it content or is it advertising, do we care? and here is why:

or

So, is it content or is it advertising? Do we care?

With Youtube getting to saturation point (9 to 9.5 mill users un Australia) and the explosion of screen shifting, far gone are the days of the 30s TV Commercial…

PWC predicts that online video is, along with mobile, is to be the fastest growing media category with a +39% from 2013 to 2016 (will represent $280 mill).

A lot of media specialists say that the growth rate would be even greater if there was more premium supply available, more robust standards and measurement…

Looking at it from a social media perspective, I think there is a great way to grow online video presence for advertisers: It’s called Branded entertainment and some advertisers clearly get it:

       Build an extremely strong reach on your own social media touch points (eg: Tourism Australia 3.8 million Facebook fans. It is a lot more than the main catch up TV sites in Australia)

       Create videos that tell a story around your product (preferably with the product not at the centre of the story), grab attention and surprise the audience (eg: Volkswagen The Force

       Broadcast it via your social media community, allowing the main influencers to distribute it first…

I can’t say it is easy to do, but these advertisers have the keys to ignore all the rules enforced by broadcasters and industry bodies around duration and standards, the price tag of premium video ad supply!

I blogged about Red Bull’s secrete ingredients a few months ago. With Felix Baumgartner’s supersonic free fall, Red Bull has once again proven that it doesn’t need to buy media to be on the front page of every major website. So, if you are wondering what advertising will look like in 5 years time… look at Red Bull’s media strategy: Brilliant branded content & cross platform distribution…

 

Marie Sornin

 

 

Sneaking Duck splashing in social media

OK, this is my first serious attempt at video journalism… while the format is very amateur, I hope you will enjoy the content and the social marketing tips shared by Mark Capps, co founder and CEO of Sneaking Duck.

But first, who is Mark? What is Sneaking Duck?

Mark is an ex-Googler who has always had wide opened eyes to the scale of possibility offered by the Internet and a passion for online retail. When Mark recently discovered his need for glasses, he quickly realized that glasses don’t have to be “only” functional. They are accessories and should be purchased the way we purchase accessories: according to our mood and our style!
So, along with his friends at Shoes of Prey, Mark just launched Sneaking Duck, an innovative online optical fashion retailer.

Here is a quick interview with Mark about the use social media within his marketing strategy
 

Sneaking Duck launched early November 2011. I’ll touch base with Mark again in a few months to check on how his little duck is going at making a splash in the big pond of Australian retailers… in the meantime, you now know where to go to match your glasses to your shoes…

Marie Sornin

Ps: check out: 22michaels.com 

 

What are Red Bull’s secret ingredients?

Taurine, glucuronolactone, caffeine, B vitamins, sucrose and glucose are definitely no secret…. So what makes Red Bull the number one energy drink, selling almost 4 billion cans of this high octane every year? Red Bull has managed to open up a totally new soft drinks segment and dominate it ever since; would it have to do with their unique communication strategy?

The Red Bull communication strategy is all about associating the product with the coolest thing to a young male target audience. Their numerous initiatives range from extreme sports to art shows, music, and video games.  The difference is that Red Bull really maximises their media activities further than other brands. They not only sponsor events or celebs and stick their logo everywhere… they also create their own events and generate branded entertainment from them! It’s then pretty simple: Make branded content SO COOL that once you watch it you will want to share it.

Proof by example, watch this:

So? didn’t you find it so awesome you would have posted it on your Facebook wall? I did when I watched it for the first time.

 I have often said that Content is at the heart of a good social strategy. Red Bull pushes this further by demonstrating that content and social can be at the heart of a brand strategy. Check out the Red Bull corporate website: www.redbull.com definitely not about product information…

– 1st secret ingredient: understand what would appeal to your audience. Not the mainstream stuff, but the inspirational stuff, hence the cliff diving, Parkour, skating…
– 2nd secret ingredient: carefully select your talents, directors, producers and create break throughs… hence their formula 1 pilot Sebastian Vettel (youngest-ever championship runner-up and current world champion). When putting the team together Red Bull was looking for a potential rather than a winner at the time.
-3rd secret ingredient: use opinion leaders within your target audience to spread the content, from there build your own community, hence the integration of every single of their athletes within their brand social strategy. That makes over 300 personalities who genuinely amplify Red Bull’s communication!
-4th secret ingredient: curate your community… with over 22 millions global fans on their Facebook page, plus thousands more on their sub categories (record production, teams, flights…) Red Bull is increasing the focus given to their own distribution channels (mobile & web TV with social integration).

With the recent F8 summit, we have heard a lot about “social by design” I think that Red Bull had nailed this concept very early on in the very essence their marketing activity. Their strategy embraces cross platform story telling, participation and audience engagement. This is also reflected in the way Red Bull works on the deployment of its media activities:

 “The Red Bull approach ensures that storytelling is at the heart of every idea, event, relationship and initiative. That’s such a huge advantage when it comes to creating amazing content, and driving a social response. It made the job a bit of a dream come true for any communications person. The good news is, it’s not out of reach for other brands, but it does require a shift in thinking.”

Christie Poulos spent six years at Red Bull UK, and now owns Jumpshot, specialising in Brand Entertainment Strategy & Creation

 In summary I thought this was an interesting case study to share as a lot of brands are looking at ways to best use social media. Red Bull is doing it well and there is a lot we can learn from the product I feel like calling “the Facebook of energy drinks”.

 If you are interested in reading more about the Red Bullionare, here is a good article on The SMH
 

 Marie Sornin

 

The best techniques to drive traffic from Twitter – Proven by Conversant Media

This post focuses on some of the social media techniques used by our friends at Conversant Media to best engage Twitter audiences. In just a few years, Zac and his team have become a serious player in the Australian digital media landscape. They have managed to build significant traffic – over half a million UBs/ month – and highly engaged audiences on their web properties: The Roar and Lost At E Minor.


What are they doing differently from other media owners?  

On top of their well thought-out positioning, high quality content and smart advertising solutions, they are forward thinkers, who are flexible and continually pulsing the market.

Those points might seem obvious but I haven’t seen a lot of publishers working remotely and efficiently (we are talking, Newcastle, New York City and Sydney) like Conversant Media. They utilised a variety of tools to make distribution work, such as Yammer for their internal communications and Google apps for team video chats.

When it comes to Twitter, here is some practical advice from Zac (MD), Zolton (Publisher) and Tristan (Head of Content & Community).

1. Time is traffic

Clock

Tweet your best content regularly and around the clock loading Tweets via social dashboards like Hootsuite.  Not every marketer would agree with the following but it does work: rehash popular past Tweets (copying them from su.pr, which archives all sent Tweets in their proper format) to run again several days/weeks/months after they first ran. As Twitter moves extremely quickly, and people don’t ‘sit on it’, like they do Facebook, they invariably miss a significant portion of what you Tweet. So consider pushing more popular Tweets out there reasonably often to put them in front as many users as possible. Ensure these Tweets are not timely though!

Try to break news when possible to give our followers facts and opinion on breaking stories. Timing is critical, especially for sites like
The Roar where a lot of sports information loses its relevancy within hours.

2.  Be short and sweet
Use
Twitter for what it’s meant for, passing information along. Keep your Tweets short to enable your followers to Retweet and add a lead-in message if they want to.

3. Mix and match

 

Mixmatch

Conversant swap Tweets with like-minded Tweeters as part of free a traffic/Twitter growth initiative called Tweet Swap. It provides good content for Conversant’s followers, and also brings new audiences to the participants of the scheme.

Mix up your
Twitter  feed with Tweets that link off to other sites in order to keep your feed diverse and your readers interested /connected with the content that you push out there. An easy way to do that is to use your partners, colleagues, and employees… Conversant Media have a number of columnists (with their own base of followers) and our trio constantly encourages them Retweet content, amplifying the Twitter accounts of each site.

Seek to join debate when possible, comment on blog, and participate in forums with your Tweeter identity.

Try to follow accounts of Tweeps who are enthusiasts and authority around your discipline or passion point.

6. BUT
There is one headache: measurement.


Zac says measuring traffic from Twitter is very confusing and difficult. This is not specific to Conversant Media of course. Evaluating the exact traffic generated by
Twitter is tricky because users consume Twitter streams mostly via third party tools such as Hootsuite and mobile clients, rather than Twitter itself… that’s not all, almost all links are shortened by third-party URL shorteners, such as bit.ly, goo.gl, ow.ly, su.pr … and to add to the confusion it seems that some content publishing platforms might recognise if a bit.ly link comes via Twitter. This is an area which is in desperate need of consolidation.

I’d love to hear other point of views on what works, or doesn’t and how you are measuring the impact of Twitter on your campaigns, sites, blogs traffic, SEO rankings… C’mon and share


Marie Sornin

Big thanks to Zac- Zolton-Tristan