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30
Jul

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.

26
Jul

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.

25
Jul

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 www.expandmy.world.

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 https://www.expandmy.world/. 

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.

 

 

29
Jun

5 handy tips and tricks to optimise your YouTube channel

Screen Shot 2018-06-29 at 4.35.52 pm

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
Blog: http://www.wengie.com
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!

Screen Shot 2018-06-20 at 11.06.54 am

 

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.

26
Mar

Aggreg8 Takes On The Big Bash League

Aggreg8 Live! caught another screamer in the outfield at the 2018 T20 Big Bash League.

With average home crowds in Sydney surpassing more than 30,000, the opportunity to get the Big Bash League up on the big screen was a no-brainer. The challenge? Harnessing the power of user generated content in an environment the teams could control during a cricket tournament. The solution? Put Aggreg8, a proprietary tool created by Circul8 into play. The content marketing platform was used during the matches to identify and amplify the best user generated content to get the crowd hyped and showing support for their team. Photos, videos and tweets from social media were blasted up on to the screen in real time for live audiences.

IMG_2566-1

Aggreg8 was used across 15 cricket games at stadiums across Australia including the Sydney Cricket Ground, Spotless Stadium Sydney, Manuka Oval in Canberra, Blundstone Arena Hobart and Launceston Oval.

There’s no denying that Aggreg8 got across the line with The Big Bash League. With over 25,000 pieces of content aggregated during the series, it was obvious that cricket fans equally loved getting involved on social media as much as they loved the fame of appearing on the big screen.

Look out for Aggreg8 at the next big sporting event as you could become part of the big screen fan action at a stadium near you!

15
Mar

A Very Senbazuru Experience – A Japan Airlines, JNTO & Circul8 Partnership

_DSC6222

 Senbazaru or ‘A Thousand Origami Cranes’ is a group of one thousand origami paper cranes held together by strings. An ancient Japanese legend says that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by the gods. This makes them popular gifts for special friends and family.

This is just one of the beautiful elements of Japanese culture that help us tell the story to Australian travellers and why we love working with our clients to promote Japan.

The Japan Airlines launch of a direct Melbourne to Japan flight route provided the perfect opportunity to use this legend to create an innovative live activation and digital campaign that would raise awareness of the route, whilst engaging the general public in an interactive space.

The result was a two-stage activation, promoting the new flight path and current sale fares. The most exciting part? Japan Airlines and Japan National Tourism Organisation offered an amazing opportunity to win return economy flights for two to Tokyo. Who could resist?

The first stage of the activation took place in the bustling commercial space of the Melbourne Central shopping mall. Across the two-day event, Melburnians congregated beneath the statement Senbazuru tree installation, which hung lucky origami cranes branded with individual activation codes. Busy commuters, millennial shoppers and family groups alike, stopped to participate by submitting their unique crane codes online to unlock the chance to win a trip to Japan.

_DSC6352

Around 6,000 curious passersby stopped to participate over the weekend. The atmosphere was electric, with Japan Airline flight attendants and ambassadors educating participants on the in-flight experience, the airline flight paths and why Japan is the next ideal holiday destination.

Along with the tree installation, the site also boasted two of Japan Airlines prestigious business-class seats. The flight attendants demonstrated the famous Japanese hospitality to give participants a taste of the luxurious business-class experience. Various Japan brochures and other quick-win prizes were also up for grabs, including pens, fans and jackets, further enticing the public to visit and engage with the space.

_DSC6132

Stage two of the campaign continued online,  ensuring a larger audience had the opportunity to take part in the competition. By clicking a digital origami crane, users were given unique codes to enter the competition, alongside the approximate 3,400 entries from the Melbourne activation.

The activation was ultimately a great success; providing a unique opportunity for potential customers to stop engage and experience a little piece of the magic and beauty that Japan has to offer.  


26
May

Using content marketing to supercharge events

A recent report from the Content Marketing Institute and Ion Interactive finds that large companies are making interactive content a stronger part of their marketing mix. It’s a trend that’s not really surprising given how powerful interactive content can be in building customer engagement, brand awareness and lead generation and how quickly the line between the digital and offline world has disappeared.  

At it’s core, content marketing is about brands starting a conversation with their customers. It works because humans are inherently social – we can’t resist the call to contribute, to compete, to share and to be part of an online conversation. We love to take part in something larger than ourselves. Add ubiquitous internet and smartphones and you now see social media sitting firmly alongside our physical experience with the world. ‘Being in the moment’ no longer means switching off our devices. It means living it and simultaneously recording it to be shared in real time.

The challenge for marketers is how to effectively manage that conversation and interact with audiences and consumers in ways that enhance their experience of their brand in real time, 24/7. The once carefully constructed brand content no longer has the efficacy and resonance it once did. Brand stories are now being driven by consumers interacting with the brand and it’s easy to see why. We simply trust our social peers more than we do the advertising message.

 

The live experience

adele live 2017

Many of these brand stories and conversations are taking place at live events – an element of marketing strategy that’s become increasingly important. Live events provide a number of touch points between the brand and its audience. By integrating social media, these touch points can be taken to a whole new level. Branded live social activations are now a common feature at music festivals around the world. But for other events,  in fields like sports, recreation and conferences, there is huge potential for brands to enhance the overall on-site experience for attendees.

Aggreg8Live at concert

Benefits of social branded engagement at events

With digital now firmly embedded in the real world, people now demand cross-consumption between the actual event, and the digitised version of it. Brands that can offer a hybrid experience will ultimately thrive in this environment.

There are many benefits of incorporating live social branded engagement into your event including:

  • Instant gratification – people get a big thrill from seeing and sharing their experiences at live events. This is why event photo booths and kiss cams have had such a long-lasting appeal. Such social pastimes can now continue via social media walls which continue to drive benefits and amplification long after the event.  
  • Steering the conversation – consumers drive the conversation but you have the ability to steer it by what you determine and curate; from the campaign and its hashtags to what you allow to be shown on your social feed.
  • Richer engagement – competitions (especially photo-based) with the ability to highlight and reward participants can liven your event and incentivise people to generate content.
  • Maximising your media spend – a social platform that has rights and permissions management in place will allow you to turn earned media (user-generated content) into owned media (redistributed through your brand’s marketing channels).
  • Greater reach – while live experiences may reach fewer people compared to broadcast media, the ability to enhance the experience for those attending the event can actually help spread your message much further than just inside the venue. As attendees are encouraged to share on social media, their followers become exposed to your message.
  • Driving future attendance – spreading social media content about the event to people who aren’t in attendance can induce FOMO (fear of missing out) that may encourage them to buy a ticket. Eventbrite’s research indicates that nearly 7 in 10 millennials cite FOMO as what drives them to attend events and share their experiences on social media.
  • Gaining insights and analytics – the success of an event is not just determined by attendance figures but also by the level of engagement. Live social engagements that can incorporate analytics will provide valuable intel about your target audience, from what interests them to how engaged they are. This can help you fine-tune your event in real-time or for future events.

fan selfies

What content marketing are you planning for your next live event?

With audiences already sharing their experiences at live events on social media, how can brands leverage this to create a great experience online and get better reach and engagement? What brands need is a tool to facilitate this process. Something that can pull together all hashtag-specific social media content quickly and easily, essentially cultivating a complete conversation in real time.

Introducing Aggreg8Live! – a content marketing platform that will do just that.

Aggreg8Live! Logo

Imagine being able to generate and gather all the social buzz surrounding your brand into one central branded display.

Aggreg8Live! collects rich content from social media and then displays it in a visually aesthetic grid for your audience in real time.

It’s easy to use and works on all devices. Best of all, you have full control over what is displayed and how it’s displayed. Sit back, curate, and watch your audience form better connections with your brand.

 

Find out more at http://www.aggreg8live.com/

26
May

Meet Annie

Say hello to Annie Chesterman, our new General Manager. Getting Annie on board is like a trophy in itself and to be honest, we now couldn’t imagine life without her. She brings a breath of fresh air and a wealth of experience and knows just how to bring us closer together.

Annie Chesterman

See what we unearthed when we played 15 questions…

  1. What’s your favourite emoji?

👍

  1. What were you doing before Circul8 and why didn’t we find you sooner?

I was hiding at ABC and Triple J for the last 15+ years. I spent the last 3 years there working as Chief of Staff to MD Mark Scott but before that I managed the development and launch of many digital projects and products including mobile apps, the content platform ABC Open and the hugely successful triplejunearthed.com.

  1. What’s been your favourite triplej Unearthed performance?

Has to be Flume but there are so many!

  1. Why Circul8? What attracted you to this role?

I’m a really hands-on person that’s passionate about digital, product development and nurturing creative teams. Circul8 ticked all the boxes and then some. After chatting with Circul8’s Managing Director, Alana Stocks, I was impressed by how gutsy and tenacious she was. She exuded an entrepreneurial spirit that I really liked and wanted to be a part of.

  1. What’s most rewarding about your job?

Being in a position that allows me to build a great team, to help people develop and succeed. People don’t always know what they’re capable of and sometimes all they need is a champion.

  1. Got a free time management tip for us time poor creatives?

Tackle the most difficult tasks first thing in the morning when your brain is fresh.

  1. If you could have dinner with 3 people, dead or alive, who would they be?

Tina Fey, David Bowie, Salvador Dali – am fascinated by their creative brains.

  1. Favourite book?

Ooh tough one… I read a lot. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. It’s a book for our times and focusses on a character who demonstrates how to deal with changing social and political situations with unbelievable grace.

  1. The app that you can’t live without?

Spotify. I can’t go without music!

  1. What do you enjoy most about digital marketing?

I’ve always loved the interactivity of the digital world. There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing the offline and online world work together in a way that makes our lives better.

  1. Will robots take over the world?

Hopefully not! It’s becoming something that keeps me up at night.

  1. We’re starting to see more women in leadership positions. How do you think an agency can benefit from being female-led? Any advice for women thinking about pursuing a leadership role?

I’ve had great mentors in my career, both female and male. In my experience, both can be equally great in leadership positions.  At the end of the day, it’s more about your personality and approach. I think female leadership can bring different things to the equation – strength with a dose of empathy which is particularly important in the creative industry where you’re dealing with ideas and creative personalities.

Advice for women… be courageous and back yourself. It’s what men have done for centuries.  

  1. Any guilty pleasures?

……Spanish Soap Operas on Netflix

  1. How would your kids describe you?

“Persevering, intelligent and very loving” – Sophia (Well played Sophia 👍)

  1. When did you learn there was no Santa Claus?

Too soon… I had three older siblings.