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Meet Max

Image from iOS (1) Cropped

If you could pick your own name, what would it be and why?

To be honest, I wouldn’t change a thing about my name–Maximillian Nicoli Adagio. As refined of a name as it might sound like, it’s origins come from a drunken night my father had in college, where he vowed to name one of his children Maximillian. Years later, here I am.

Tell us a little about yourself without using verbs.

American; practical; very relaxed; curious about everything; a bit of yoga; a sprinkle of adventure; outdoor life.

What was your first impression of Circul8?

It was from a conversation with Alex, Head of Strategy at Circul8, a few years ago at a Christmas party. It was very merry, slightly red-faced, and smelled a bit of sherry.

What’s the one charity you would work for and why?

There are quite a few charities that I have worked for in a client/vendor capacity for marketing, and there are many more that I’d love to devote my talents to! Gun to my head, I’d love to work for The Ocean Cleanup Project.

What’s the one thing you would change about our industry?

If I had a magic wand, I’d wave it and get rid of all the dodgy marketers. There are a lot of sharks out there, and I have never had a client that hasn’t been bitten at least once.

As a suit, what do you look for most in a creative?

Business acumen. Understanding a business is a prerequisite to creative marketing: what is their brand? How do they make money? Who are they talking to? Moving without effectively understanding how a business and how its greater industry works is scheduling a crash.

What Guinness World Record would you attempt to make or break?

Every day I’m trying to hold my breath longer, so don’t worry if you see me turning blue on the bus. But the static, non-o2 assisted breath hold record is 11 minutes 35 seconds, and I’ll be honest–I’m not very close.


Perfecting ‘the Post‘

If you’ve been keeping up with Part 1 and Part 2, you now know how to create the perfect social post.

But don’t start posting just yet. There’s one last element you need to master before you can start building that influencer empire of yours.

Part 3: Your feed

Not paying attention to your feed is like buying the best artisanal ingredients for a sandwich and then skimping on the bread. Your feed is what holds it all together and if done right, is where your brand becomes greater than the sum of your posts.

These are our 7 must-follow tips for producing a perfect social feed.

1. One for all and all for one

Your posts work best when they work together.

This doesn’t mean that you’re posts can’t be flashy—far from it. It just means that whichever style/vibe/theme you pick, they all need to complement (not compete) with each other. Do this, and your ‘visual’ voice will ring out loud and true. This can be achieved by committing to:

☐ A grid layout

☐ A theme/vibe/visual personality

☐ What you want to talk about and share

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2. Get the most bang for your bucket

When it comes to your content buckets, pick a few. Stick to a few.

Content buckets are the defined topics that determine the types of posts your audience would love to see. A common trap many people fall into is adopting too many buckets. They think that the more you talk about, the more people you’ll connect with.

This might work on Tinder, but when it comes to posting, when you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one.

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3. Give your feed some flow

A little rearranging goes a long way.

If you’ve just taken a killer photo but it doesn’t fit your grid style, mix things up so it does.

It might take extra time but it’s worth it to keep your feed looking curated.

What you’re looking for is balance. That means spacing your posts out based on their colour, their negative space and their subject matter.

To give you a hand, there are great apps such as Preview that allow you to rearrange and order your posts and see what your feed looks like before you post.

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4. Apply the ‘apply all’ approach

Conformity is seldom good for creativity, except when it comes to your social post images.

We’ve already mentioned it above, but once you pick something, stick with it. This means using the same:



Editing style

Sense of humour

Sense of style

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5. Stay active

Keep your feed well fed.

A feed that is consistently being contributed to and updated is what followers want to see and follow. You might have the most beautiful social feed, but if it hasn’t been updated regularly, it won’t be visited regularly—people will unfollow.

If you are serious about growing your brand through your feed, commit to a number of posts a day/week and when you’ll post them, and work towards being consistent as clockwork.

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6. Be selective, even ruthless

Sometimes you gotta kill your darlings.

There’ll be many times when you have an amazing moment you to want to share (online), but no matter how you edit it or try to justify its reason for being included, it just doesn’t fit with in your feed.

There are obviously exceptions to the rule, however, for the greater good, sometimes you’ll just have to close your app, put your phone down and walk away.

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7. Make a plan

Creating a content schedule isn’t just something big brands and influencers do.

Consider how a content calendar can make the process much easier by:

Giving you time to prepare and fine-tune posts on multiple platforms

Automating your posts for maximum engagement

Allowing you to see the big picture and ensure your feed has just the right mix

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Meet Kirsten

Tell us bit about yourself using only emoticons.

What is your very first impression of Circul8 (good or bad)?
Co-ed washrooms.

If you could ‘Freaky Friday’ with one influencer, who would it be?
@chelseakauai or @chrisburkard – both are constant travellers with a wider message.

What were you doing before we found each other?
Living and working in Melbourne! Made the move to sunny Sydney and haven’t looked back since.

Most embarrassing agency experience?
Ask me again at Friday drinks.

What is your spirit animal?
Small black house cat – who sometimes thinks it’s a panther.

Most embarrassing work experience?
Ask me again at Friday drinks.

What is the one thing you would change about our industry?
The median salary… 😅

What was the first job you ever had?
Delivering poinsettias for my dad’s friend to his clients (he had a lot) for Christmas. In the snow. In Canada.

Dinner with one person, dead or alive?
Christoph Waltz – I find him fascinating and think he’d be a great dinner guest! Runner-up: the entire GOT’s cast.

Who’s your hero?
Doctors/nurses who go into war zones… or anyone really who contributes to making the world a better (instead of worse) place.

What is the one book or movie you would bring if you were stuck on a deserted island?
This is hard! Single book: Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss. Book series: Harry Potter. Show: Game of Thrones. Movie: LoTR.

Describe your current job in 5 words.
Creative, social, fun, challenging, unique.

Describe your dream job in 5 words.
Paid (a lot) to travel 😛.

Favourite example of social creativity?
Pokemon Go. It was so immersive – on a global scale – and to see so many people outside catching Pokemon was 1) a nostalgic treat 2) such a cool way of using digital to get people outside and communicating with one another. I thought it was the perfect blend of digital/real world applications.

Sock-sock-shoe-shoe or sock-shoe-sock-shoe?
Sock-sock-shoe-shoe – can’t even imagine doing it the other way 🤔.


Meet Corey

Describe yourself in 10 words?
I’m a manga reading, table tennis playing, emotionally obvious nerd.

Now in three words.
White male guilt.

What emoji best describes you?

Hobbies outside of building web banners?
Building web banners.

Most embarrassing agency experience?
I was ’White Shoe Man’, a man-sized white boat shoe mascot for an A-League derby match between Brisbane Roar and Gold Coast United.

What were you doing before Circul8 and why didn’t we find you sooner?
I spent most of my life in Queensland with a good chunk at Brisbane agency, Junior; creating successful campaigns across a number of government and commercial clients. I arrived in Sydney a few years ago for a change of scenery and have spent most of my time freelancing for agencies like Grey, Host, We Are Social and Isobar to name a few.

What’s your favourite thing about your job?
That creative problem-solving is valuable to any industry.

What would you change about your job if you could?
The gender pay gap.

Why Circul8?
It’s not often you find an agency that shares many of the same interests and motivations (and has a spot for you).

What gets you up in the morning?
An orange mocha frappuccino.

Favourite example of digital advertising?
Geico’s ‘Unskippable’ campaign from 2015 is dead simple.

Example of digital that makes you cringe?
‘Cracked Chiropractic Commercial’ from 2013 by Rhett & Link (though technically it’s supposed to make you cringe).

Dinner with one person, dead or alive?
President Trump.

Any tips for aspiring creatives?
Pick your battles, feedback is your friend, rationalise everything.

Lastly, will robots take over the world?
Almost definitely.


What is influencer marketing?

You’ve worked with agencies from over time and heard the term “influencer marketing” dropped in a meeting or presentation (and thought – “huh?”). Perhaps you’ve come across stories about them in the media. Either way, it’s perfectly understandable to be asking, what is an influencer anyway and why are agencies like Circul8 so often talking about them?

So what is an influencer?

An influencer is an established social media user who in most cases will have a large following of other users who will fall within your target demographic. Engaging an influencer is to leverage their popularity in their sharing your brand or product, and to leverage on the trust of a peer review.

Are they effective?

“Peer-reviewed” is no longer an idea that’s exclusive to academia – it’s now a part of the consumer every day. Today, as consumers, we give ratings to those who quite literally drive the “gig” economy (ride-sharing, room sharing, and food delivery dominate) and receive ratings in-kind. As apps have changed over time, we have changed with them. We now place a higher value than ever on how others rate their experience with a brand.

Consumers trust ratings and reviews shared online more than traditional forms of advertising. This is especially true with younger audiences for whom digital advertising comes as second nature. We have come to trust what we say to each other beyond what a brand says about itself – this is where influencers come in.

What are the outcomes?

Like an endorsement, an influencer can be paid (or offered product) to share their positive thoughts or information about a brand. Unlike the traditional celebrity endorsement, however, the key offering of an influencer is their authenticity. The influencer is not a celebrity as such – while Beyonce may have millions of followers, influencers may only have thousands. Influencers are seen as down-to-earth members of a community whose enthusiasm for a product or service is sincere and aligned with their values. Authenticity is the unique selling point of the influencer.

For younger demographics (ages 36 and under), the incentives for engaging influencers can be profound. To make the most of a paid engagement you’ll want your target demographic to be invested in social media: they use Instagram and Facebook throughout the day and are likely to engage friends and family while active. This style of brand advocacy makes influencer marketing a close relative to “seed” marketing, or word-of-mouth marketing as it is commonly known.

How do they work?

There are many ways influencers can help businesses endorse their brand and they do not have to be as simple as putting a face to a product. Over the last decade, Circul8 has specialised in combining great ideas with tactical execution and people power. Our projects for Tourism Fiji and Japan National Tourism (JNTO) which both took influencer marketing to a new level, are great examples.

Tourism Fiji – #fijinow

In 2016 Fiji was tragically hit by the biggest storm in the country’s history, Cyclone Winston. In the weeks that followed, an influx of negative media coverage showed the worst of the damage and the impacts on Fiji’s tourism were immediately devastating. Given tourism is the country’s biggest foreign exchange earner this came as a second wave of devastation. To tackle this problem our client Tourism Fiji approached us to help restore visitor arrivals to their original numbers as quickly as possible.

To make an immediate impact,  Circul8 recruited a small group of influencers – Instagrammers with a collective global following of over 1.3 million – with the brief to launch the #Fijinow hashtag. To demonstrate that the Fiji was still open for business, this was the most authentic way to show that not all of Fiji had been affected by the storm.

Along with the spread of the influencers’ Instagram followings, Circul8 implemented our bespoke product Aggreg8 to the Tourism Fiji website which aggregates all posts tagged with the #FijiNow hashtag. The two activities combined had outstanding results: the hashtag has continued to gain traction long past the duration of this campaign, clocking up over 39,000 posts becoming a valuable stand alone marketing asset for Fiji.

Taveuni Island - Fiji by jewelszee

Campaign outcomes

  • The #FijiNow campaign restored consumer confidence in Fiji as a holiday destination
  • Fiji visitor arrivals achieved record levels in 2016 with a 5% increase.
  • Peak visitor arrivals were achieved as early as July, just 4 months after Winston
  • Video content received over 627,000 views
  • 1.16 million engagements on social media
  • 25 million campaign impressions
  • Tourism Fiji social channels grew by 19,330
  • 39,000+ uses of the #FijiNow hashtag
  • Circul8 also won a Communicator Award of Distinction for Marketing Effectiveness – Content Marketing for this campaign.

Japan National Tourism (JNTO)

In January 2017, Circul8 launched a Content Marketing Campaign for JNTO aimed at increasing destination awareness and inbound visitors from Australia to regional Japan. The campaign featured strong emotive content and a strategic approach to drive traffic to the website and increase engagement on social media.

To give these areas coverage, we sent influencers to Hokkaido, Kyushu, Setouchi and Tohoku, and built a bespoke website named Unseen Japan, where an interactive map of Japan displayed influencer content. By clicking on each content piece, it led back to the Instagram post / channel it came from.

Users were invited to create their Unseen Japan bucket list by adding ‘Add to #myunseenjapan’ on our influencers campaign posts. This engagement also entered them into a competition to win 2  return flights to Japan with our campaign partner Japan Airlines (JAL).

Jigokudani Snow Monkey Hotspring taken by tysontravel

Jigokudani Snow Monkey Hotspring taken by tysontravel

Campaign outcomes

  • Campaign impressions: 17,696,551
  • Unique visitors to the site: 70,740
  • Increase Instagram fans: 116% (+20,850)
  • Increase in Facebook fans: 17.5% (+16,500)
  • 9,100 entries generating 28,632 comments
  • Average session duration on the website increased by 26.6%.. People spent on average 6 minutes looking through the content

Is influencer marketing right for my brand?

Over and above the short-term results, influencer marketing is most effective in its building of relationships between brand and consumer. In considering influencer marketing as an option, it’s important to get your agency to propose an effective strategy for your brand’s objectives and do the necessary due diligence on the chosen influencers.

Looking to discuss influencer marketing as an option? Get in touch with us.


Expand My World launches with Travel Photography course by Richard I’Anson

Be one of the first to gain exclusive access to Richard I’Anson’s first online course. 

Expand My World is an online learning portal that connects users directly to the minds of those at the absolute pinnacle of their craft. Students learn from world class professionals, visionaries and masters of their field.

The site officially launches this week, kicking off with a 21 session course on Travel Photography taught by Canon Master, Richard I’Anson. Richard is the author of Lonely Planet’s Guide to Travel Photography, was one of five photographers to be featured in the award winning series Tales by Light, originally broadcast on National Geographic TV and now screening globally on Netflix and will also be broadcast on Channel 10 on Sunday. Richard has also published 13 books in association with Lonely Planet.

The Travel Photography course is for enthusiast photographers, people who want to get better images from their camera and also people interested in a career in travel photography. Richard will open the vault on all he has learnt during his highly successful career which spans more than 35 years. This is an opportunity for students to experience his journey from one photograph to the next, learn his philosophies and gain valuable insights into exactly how he works his craft. Richard’s course is available now for USD$259 at

Each class will include 4-5 hours of video lessons broken down into 20 easy to follow sessions, interactive assignments and access to a community where you can get valuable feedback from experts and also key insights from the masters themselves. The learning materials are available ‘on-demand’ meaning students can log on from anywhere and learn at their own pace.

Expand My World is the brainchild of Alana Stocks, founder of award-winning digital agency, Circul8. Alana says of the new business venture, “Education is evolving and people crave inspiring and quality resources that they can access from anywhere. Expand My World gives all students no matter where they are in the world the opportunity to learn from world-class visionaries who are living the life they want to lead in careers they’re passionate about.

“To launch Expand My World with Richard I’Anson as our first mentor is extremely exciting and it paves the way for what’s to come from the platform.”

Richard says of his involvement “To be able to share my knowledge, experience and favourite images with people all over the world who are keen to improve their own photography through my online course is extremely rewarding, I really do enjoy helping people become better photographers.”

Travel Photography is just the first cab off the rank for Expand My World, with many other insightful and exceptional mentors and courses to come. Watch this space as the platform continues to grow, inviting people to ignite their passions and learn from world class professionals from the comfort of their own homes, on their own schedules.

Enrolments are now open for Richard’s course for USD$259 at 

Expand My World is offering a 40% discount off Richard’s Travel Photography course until 21 August 2018. Enrolments must be made via the Expand My World website and using the promo code LAUNCH40 at checkout.




5 handy tips and tricks to optimise your YouTube channel

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1 – Update your homepage

Your homepage is your shop front, this is where you draw people in and begin to establish your brand. All content curated for this page should be compelling, unique and aim to introduce your channel personality. Here are a few simple ways to capture attention quickly…

– Create a customised Channel banner.

Include any established branding elements you have, font, logos, brand colours or taglines. This channel banner can also be swapped out depending on your marketing cycle, you may want to create a specialised campaign banner for different projects, videos or content, or even seasons! You just want to make sure that if you’re changing your banner like this, the branding still always remains consistent.

– Upload an engaging Trailer video that succinctly reflects the general tone of your channel.

It’s best practice to select a video that introduces you as a content creator and also outlines what viewers can expect from your content, don’t just pick the video with the most views! Give potential viewers a taste of what you’re all about, create intrigue around your content and encourage subscriptions.

– Revise and update your ‘About’ section.

Think of this as your trailer video in written form. You want to introduce yourself, give a bit of back story, tell your potential audience what you’re channel is aiming to provide in terms of content. What questions will you answer? What problems will you solve? Are you providing entertainment or a service? Below is a great example sourced from top YouTube creator ‘Wengie’ of what your ‘About’ section should include:

‘On my channel: Simple Life Hacks, DIYS, Craft Ideas, Fun Experiments, tricks and pranks! I also do Morning and Night Time Routines, Hair Tutorials, Diet & fitness Tips, Look books & Fashion Videos, Skincare Tutorials and Tips, and everything to help you improve, motivate and simplify your life because I love to try new things and help you all make the right decisions. I want this channel to inspire you to be whoever you want to be. I’m a Chinese Australian that has a wonderful family online :)
NEW VIDEOS every WEEK!! Subscribe and turn on notifications :)!!

Instagram @misswen
Twitter @wengie
Follow me on Snapchat: wengie
Weibo: Wengie黄文洁

2 – Categorise your videos and create some playlists

The key tactic with playlists is to ride on the coattails of a popular theme whilst keeping viewers in your content ecosystem. Take a look at what’s trending on Google and focus on a topic that relates to the content on your YouTube channel. This may be a big upcoming event, a political cause or movement or even just a popular TV show or trending activity. Once you’ve found your inspiration, create some playlists around your chosen theme and label them to align with key search terms for the trending topic you’ve chosen. Usually, when a video ends YouTube randomly selects the next video for the viewer (this may not be one of your videos), the key to playlists is that they KEEP people on your channel with the next autoplay source being the playlist itself.

Remember, once you’ve created some playlists try to update them frequently to keep inline with current trending content themes.

3 – Put thought and strategy behind your video titles, descriptions, keywords and tags

Researching is key to audience growth. Well researched keywords that are used deliberately can be an invaluable tool for your channel – they can boost rankings for your videos, playlists and recommendations. But HOW do you research this? It’s actually very simple; just Google it! Seriously… Google search anything related to your video topics and take note of what Google preempts your search to be. For instance, say you have a channel that focuses on DIY’s or ‘life hacks’ and you’re trying to think of some content ideas for the upcoming weeks, you could Google search ‘How to make…’ and Google will literally TELL you what people are searching. Apparently slime is quite a popular thing to make at home. So there’s your next piece of content: ‘How to make slime’, or pancakes, or money, or a paper plane, and so on!

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Pick whatever works with your channel content, or create new content based on this search and then use the keywords in EVERYTHING: Video Titles, Descriptions and Tags. Keywords in our example would be, ‘how to’ and ‘slime’.

4 – Add cards and end screens to your videos

What is the purpose of your channel? Are you trying to ultimately send people to another platform, or a website? Are you hoping to convert viewers into customers or are you trying to create a community of followers within the YouTube platform? These are all questions you need to address before looking at using the functions of cards and end screens, they can be used to to bolster any of these aims. You can use cards and end screens to keep people on your channel, OR to send them to your website, a purchase link or… anywhere really. Don’t know what cards are? Cards are essentially CTA icons that pop up mid video prompting you to click, these can send you to another video on your YouTube channel, or to a website or purchase page. End screens are utilised more to keep users on your channel, by displaying a final screen that prompts the user to watch another one of your videos. Both cards and end screens are totally customisable and help to optimise your channel for whatever your end goals may be.

5 – Customise your video thumbnails!

Unfortunately, in this fast paced world of social media and advertising, people do tend to judge a book by it’s cover. So when potential viewers are scrolling through the millions of amazing pieces of content on offer to them, you want yours to stand out. You want them to pick your video. Some of the top YouTube creators spend HOURS designing and customising their video thumbnails, and it’s worth it. Try designing your video thumbnail to include large font and bold but brief text (1-3 words Max), house the rest of the text and information in your video Title and Description.

We hope this has been helpful, and you now feel confident looking at YouTube as a valuable marketing platform for your business… Or, even just as an outlet to create ridiculous videos that encourage people to spiral into what has now become known as ‘a YouTube hole’. Either way, YouTube is worth spending some time understanding and optimising.