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Category: Social Media UPD8


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.


Winning ways – C8 picks up two Silver W3 Awards for Magic Sakura campaign

Drum roll, please…Circul8 are the proud recipients of not one, but TWO Silver Awards in this year’s W³ Awards for our work on the Magic Sakura tree for Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) – hurrah!

It’s always an honour to be recognised for the work we do – after all, we’re super passionate about tourism marketing and helping clients to solve problems – but it’s even more exciting that we’re rubbing shoulders in such esteemed company.

The annual W³ Awards honor outstanding websites, web marketing, web video, mobile sites/apps and social content created by some of the best interactive agencies, designers and creators worldwide. Other awardees for 2016 include SapientNitro and CBS Interactive.

When JNTO wanted to increase the number of fans across their social media channels and raise awareness of Japan as a travel destination, Circul8 created the Magic Sakura – an interactive ‘tamagotchi’ style mini-game in which users were tasked with growing and nurturing their own Sakura tree. Players would need to balance water and food intake to maintain tree happiness and ensure it grows healthy and strong. As the tree matures and is kept healthy, mythical Japanese creatures fly through the scene and lanterns appear on its branches for the player to collect and earn points. Different game levels would highlight various travel destinations in Japan where people can view Sakura trees for real.  

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To promote the game, we built a content strategy geared around sending traffic to JNTO’s website and leveraged their social media channels to drive awareness and clicks.  We also partnered with ANA Airlines and H.I.S. Australia to provide some awesome prizes – including a trip to Japan – throughout the campaign.

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The total reach of the campaign was a whopping 4,174,797 people, and JNTO saw a 31% increase in Facebook fans and a 173% increase in engagement on social media posts. Perhaps the most impressive – and surprising – statistic was the average dwell time of 17 minutes; in a world where users are constantly bombarded with digital real estate and spend just seconds glancing at social media posts, this was really indicative of just how effective the campaign was.

JNTO’s email database grew by 11,562 and there were over 10.7 MILLION game interactions during the campaign period – phew!

We’re absolutely thrilled that Magic Sakura was recognised not once, but twice in the W³ awards – in the Social Content & Marketing Promotions and Contests category, and Game or Application Tourism. Excuse us whilst we blow our own trumpet for a minute…

If your organisation has a problem that needs solving or you want to inject some creativity into your content, get in touch! Your next campaign might be an award-winning one…


Facebook Messenger bots

Facebook Messenger is used by over 1 billion people every month and its smartphone app is now finally transforming into a one stop shop for anything you could dream of needing.

Facebook has always given developers the ability to create automated chatbots for Messenger. Using the Send/ Receive API, chatbots are able to respond to people using more than just text.

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The bots respond with structured messages, sharing anything from photographs to links, call to action buttons to credit card payment forms. So far we have seen bots ranging far and wide including Skyscanner’s introduction of a bot that, through a multi-user experience, allows family and friends to search, plan and book together, and even a White House bot that allows you to send messages straight to President Obama through the Office of Presidential Correspondence.

Further, brands will be able to sponsor messages that will be sent to people who have already started a conversation with them. What opportunities does this provide for our clients? Limitless, everything from basic customer service chatbots to bots that allow booking with local travel agents are possible, and each provide a more personal and simple experience for the user.


Pokemon GO takes over the world

Launched on 6 July, Pokemon GO is a free app that uses augmented reality to give Nintendo’s beloved video game 21st century legs.

Built by Niantic (a company owned by John Hanke, who helped create Google Maps and Google Earth), Pokemon GO became the most downloaded app in App Store history in its first week (and it was only available in Australia, New Zealand and the United States back then!).

Downloaded more times than Tinder, Pokemon GO quickly overtook Twitter’s total number of daily users and even surpassed Instagram and Snapchat in terms of how long users spend on an app. It has now been downloaded more than 100 million times, makes $10m a day in revenue and is being played everywhere, from Melbourne to Myanmar.

Whilst Nintendo has pounced on the opportunity to monetise Pokemon GO, allowing brands and businesses to apply to sponsor a PokeStop or a Gym (a place on the map that attracts players with rewards or Pokemon battles), brands wasted no time capitalising on the opportunity to piggy-back on a worldwide phenomenon (and increase sales in the process) simply by getting creative on social.

Here are our favourites:

  1. Virgin Mobile Australia

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  1. Yelp

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  1. Whattaburger

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  1. Amazon

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  1. Woolworths

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Fiji breaks the internet!

The Rugby Sevens gold medal prompts Fiji to become the #1 trending search in the world on Google!

The happiest people in the world recently became the proudest too, as Fiji’s Rugby Seven’s team took home the country’s first ever Olympic Gold Medal from Rio.

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The amount of love that the world has for this tiny group of islands in the Pacific Ocean is incredible, and was reflected on Google as Fiji became the #1 trending search in the world!

Screen Shot 2016-09-23 at 4.12.13 PMAfter quickly celebrating here at the Circul8 office, our social team got to work to help Tourism Fiji show their appreciation for their local heroes online. Our team created some custom social assets that anyone following Tourism Fiji’s channels could like, share and comment on to show their happiness and pride for the team’s success.

The results were astounding, but not surprising for our gun social gurus.

View a selection of some of our finest posts below! 


Well done to Fiji and to the C8 social team!


Changi Airport’s Explorers of the Hidden Gems

Uncover corners of the world you may have missed – but undoubtedly shouldn’t – with Changi Airport’s Explorers of the Hidden Gems.

This campaign with Changi Airport, launched last August, invited intrepid explorers to join in on an adventure to largely undiscovered, but infinitely captivating, corners of Southeast Asia: the Hidden Gems of Yangon, Yogyakarta, Kalibo, Vientiane and Da Nang.

The centrepiece of the campaign were our two Changi Explorers, Pauly Vella (@paulyvella) and Sera J. Wright (@photography_byron_bay). Both adventurers in their own right, Pauly and Sera took the world on a journey to Hidden Gems, Yogyakarta and Yangon – showcasing the infinite rewards of venturing off-the-beaten-track.

Not only did their adventures earn them a wealth of once-in-a-lifetime experiences (and more than a few enviable snaps), but it earned the rest of us a glorious sneak peek into the captivating faces, places and experiences on offer at Asia’s Hidden Gem destinations.

Do you think you have what it takes to be the next Changi Explorer? Be sure you join in our search for the first People’s Explorer!

On offer to the lucky explorer-to-be is the chance to uncover the Hidden Gems on behalf of Changi Airport and its partners, Intrepid Travel and Singapore Airlines. Living the life of a true adventurer, you’ll discover and document corners of the world that are often overlooked but by no means should be. Bask in natural and cultural wonders that will take your breath away, learn about unique customs and traditions from the locals that live it, and inherit a once-in-a-lifetime experience truly worth writing about! Find out more: 


Facebook’s Algorithm is changing… again

Facebook’s notorious algorithm undergoes another transformation to return to what it first promised: to connect you with friends.

When you hear the word ‘algorithm’, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with imagery of numbers, algebra and the cast of The Big Bang Theory. Sure the first two are correct, but these days you don’t see too many nerd stereotypes from the 1980s walking around Palo Alto, do you?

Facebook’s algorithm is one of the most famous mathematical processes in popular culture. Many of us imagine it as a faceless figure, laughing maniacally as it plucks the dog selfies out of your timeline and casts them into oblivion. While we can confirm it is faceless (it’s just code guys, not a demigod) it actually is trying to show you puppers rather than your ex-boyfriend’s new baby.


First launched in 2006 to create a central News Feed (which is now a pinnacle of the platform), the algorithm has been updated numerous times since Facebook exploded to over one billion users.

Back in 2006, Facebook users shared EVERYTHING. From what they were eating for lunch to how they felt after their latest break-up (life hack: DON’T be that person), oversharing was commonplace on the platform.

Fast forward to 2014 and people were well and truly over seeing everyone’s dirty laundry. So much so that the majority of users were no longer using Facebook as a place to share personal updates.


In order to keep information circulating, Facebook updated the algorithm to prioritise Pages. This made the News Feed show more content from companies, news sources and brands that people liked, rather than the latest photo album from your co-worker’s boring family holiday in Geelong.

From here, the algorithm was updated again with new calculations to reduce clickbait, monitor how long you were spending hovering over an update and to prioritise video content over other mediums, such as photos or text status updates.

Time hop to 2016 and we’re back to square one (but with a better smartphone). The News Feed is, once again, going to do what Facebook always claimed to do: connect you with your pals. This is great news for users, but what about advertisers?


The bad news is if you manage, or are trying to grow, a page with limited engagement and reach then this new update is going to affect your performance. Even Facebook’s VP of Product Management for News Feed, Adam Mosseri, admitted that “I’d expect reach for publishers to go down a small amount but a noticeable amount”.

To combat this problem, brands will have to turn to less sales-focused and click-driven content and think outside the box. Increasing discussion on your page, through methods such as engaging directly with your audience or word-of-mouth influencer marketing campaigns, are two ways to continue to improve reach and engagement without relying on the algorithm.

If you happen to manage a page that’s in the minority and enjoys high organic reach and engagement, then you should expect to see minimal disruptions.

What do you think the new algorithm has in store for your brand? Are you concerned? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


#ArsenalinSydney powered by Aggreg8

Circul8’s new product, Aggreg8, is bringing tens of thousands of football fans together.

Aggreg8, the latest product in Circul8’s stable, is helping ANZ Stadium take its blockbuster 2017 matches between Arsenal FC, Sydney FC and the Western Sydney Wanderers to the fans.

The social content aggregator is currently powering the #ArsenalinSydney Social Hub, curating the latest Arsenal-related content from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube into one ‘Gunners’ obsessed nerve centre.

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More than 28,000 people are expected to travel to New South Wales for the ANZ Stadium-exclusive events. These visitors are estimated to spend at least $18.6 million in Sydney as a result of the games.

One Circul8 team member, a sour Tottenham supporter, isn’t too thrilled about the new project but we have promised to let him out of the cupboard when the games are over in July 2017. Tickets are on sale here.

Find out more about how Aggreg8 can supercharge your campaigns by clicking here.