A History of Social Media (May 2017)

Did you step away from the computer for a coffee? Swing around to the supermarket to grab the week’s groceries? Get your daily dose of 8 hours’ sleep?

You then probably missed that Instagram hit 700 million followers, Facebook announced work on an augmented reality camera and/or that FaceApp is the app you need right now.

It’s ok though, our eyes stayed glued to the screen and we are here to bring you up to speed on the all the big announcements that you need to know in social media.

The mighty get mightier

 Having launched just seven years ago, Instagram reached 700 million followers as of 26 April. For those of you who are not mathematically inclined, that’s 100 million followers each year and they show no signs of slowing down.

 It was only nine months ago that the network hit the 500 million milestone. Six months is how long it took them to get 600 million. Four is how long it took them to 700 million.

The implementation of a raft of new features like Instagram Stories and Direct are seen as drivers of this rapid growth. In fact, Instagram Stories reached 200 million daily active users earlier this month eclipsing the 161 million reported total daily users of Snap Inc.

Facebook F8 Conference 2017

The highly anticipated F8 conference from the undisputed social network champion, Facebook, took place in late April. Some of the key take outs from the conference:

·         The road ahead isn’t paved with gold. The road ahead isn’t even real. As predicted, augmented reality took front and centre at the conference, with Mark Zuckerberg acknowledging its ability to cause a tectonic shift in marketing i.e. imagine PokemonGo monetised. The first step here has come in the form of a beta camera effect which can turn 2D to the 3D within your camera view.

·         Never happy with just a slice of the pie, Facebook Spaces brings virtual reality closer to the mass market, showcasing clear advertorial and consumer capabilities with interactive, 360 camera functional, environments.

·         Helping the little guy. The network is introducing a ‘Smart Reply’ function which allows brands to use AI to interact with their social community for frequently asked questions.

Other exciting updates include the teasing of enhanced Facebook Analytics which will make it easier to show the consumer path to purchase for clients, and a big investment towards Messenger business bots. 

The Dark Ages

 How often do you check your phone? Once? Twice? Five times a minute? The commute to work these days seems to be a wave of faceless people, as our noses stay buried in the smart phone. Is this the future to be? Maybe not.

An American study revealed that those aged 12-17 are taking more and more time away from their screens, with nearly 60 per cent taking a break at some point. Over half said their breaks last about a week or even longer.

On the flip side, 35 per cent said that they NEVER take a break…*sad face*

Change is the name of the game

 Facebook has begun testing a revamped news feed that is made up of content from brands that you would likely to be interested in. This would be an add-on for users, and complement the existing news feed. They say anyway.

How much do you like stories?

After the successful launch of Instagram stories, Facebook launched their own version. Initial reception has not been positive, as many critics point out the platform’s copycat behaviour. Until recently, Snapchat was the undisputed king of disappearing stories. Further, the user base isn’t as focused to the younger demographic as Instagram and Snapchat which means it may struggle to garner traction.

Viral App of the moment

Want to see what you look like as an older woman? What about as a man? FaceApp is the free iPhone app that is making the rounds, with 700,000 people reportedly downloading it daily across the world. It is the number one app in Australia and 20 other countries at the moment (at the time of writing). Go check it out – freaky!

 

Posted on May 9, 2017 .

When Data and Content Collide

Data and content are seemingly opposite concepts – one is subjective and emotive while the other is objective and based on hard facts. However, they need to work hand-in-hand to create meaningful communication, so says Deloitte Digital’s National Content Director, Debra Taylor and Content and Digital Marketing Strategist, Chris Collacott. Earlier this month, these industry heavyweights reinforced our integrated approach to communications strategy and management when they spoke at Digitalks.

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Chris Callacott and Debra Taylor join forces to explain how data and content should be used together.

Data to Identify Audiences to Create Engaging Content  

According to Taylor, who has almost 3 decades of experience in media and communications, consumers are savvier than ever and crave authenticity, so content needs to create genuine experiences. She stated that 60 per cent of content created by brands has little to no impact on business results or people’s lives. That’s a lot of clutter.

Insights are essential to pinpointing the right audience bases so meaningful customer experiences can be created. A clear understanding of who the targets are, as well as their behaviours and needs, should be leveraged to inform content production. Through this approach, communicators can better convey key information and move consumers to action.

Data to Formulate Strategies

Most (84 per cent) of customers expect to be served content from brands, however ensuring that this is delivered to the most relevant target is key. Explicit data should direct how and where they are shared. By understanding where content is consumed, businesses can ensure that their communications work most effectively, meeting the audience where they naturally reside and are most receptive to collateral. 

Data should also be used as proof of success or failure, in real time. Strategies must be continually assessed so learnings can be instantly implemented and integrated into future approaches through measurement and testing. Poor implementation, not asking the right questions and lack of understanding, are challenges every business needs to overcome.

Data to Drive Change

However, ensuring that teams utilise data at every stage of content creation and dissemination is easier said than done. Having ‘purple people’ who merge both ‘red’ data skills with ‘blue’ marketing smarts, will ensure the development of stats-driven content cycles and strategies that hit the mark.

Data should inform the leadership of these teams. KPIs should reflect more than just direct sales, as changing brand perception and awareness is just as important, and tracking and measurement should be seen as essential cogs in the content production process. By making data real and communicating insights, mind sets and behaviours can evolve to influence everyone.

With the right foundation and perspective, data is a simple yet effective resource to correctly identify audiences and their needs, create high-impact strategies to target them with, and change business culture and behaviours to drive success.

Data and content are seemingly opposite concepts – one is subjective and emotive while the other is objective and based on hard facts. However, they need to work hand-in-hand to create meaningful communication, so says Deloitte Digital’s National Content Director, Debra Taylor and Content and Digital Marketing Strategist, Chris Callacott. Earlier this month, these industry heavyweights reinforced our integrated approach to communications strategy and management when they spoke at Digitalks.

Chris Callacott and Debra Taylor join forces to explain how data and content should be used together.

Data to Identify Audiences to Create Engaging Content  

According to Taylor, who has almost 3 decades of experience in media and communications, consumers are savvier than ever and crave authenticity, so content needs to create genuine experiences. She stated that 60 per cent of content created by brands has little to no impact on business results or people’s lives. That’s a lot of clutter.

Insights are essential to pinpointing the right audience bases so meaningful customer experiences can be created. A clear understanding of who the targets are, as well as their behaviours and needs, should be leveraged to inform content production. Through this approach, communicators can better convey key information and move consumers to action.

Data to Formulate Strategies

Most (84 per cent) of customers expect to be served content from brands, however ensuring that this is delivered to the most relevant target is key. Explicit data should direct how and where they are shared. By understanding where content is consumed, businesses can ensure that their communications work most effectively, meeting the audience where they naturally reside and are most receptive to collateral. 

Data should also be used as proof of success or failure, in real time. Strategies must be continually assessed so learnings can be instantly implemented and integrated into future approaches through measurement and testing. Poor implementation, not asking the right questions and lack of understanding, are challenges every business needs to overcome.

Data to Drive Change

However, ensuring that teams utilise data at every stage of content creation and dissemination is easier said than done. Having ‘purple people’ who merge both ‘red’ data skills with ‘blue’ marketing smarts, will ensure the development of stats-driven content cycles and strategies that hit the mark.

Data should inform the leadership of these teams. KPIs should reflect more than just direct sales, as changing brand perception and awareness is just as important, and tracking and measurement should be seen as essential cogs in the content production process. By making data real and communicating insights, mind sets and behaviours can evolve to influence everyone.

With the right foundation and perspective, data is a simple yet effective resource to correctly identify audiences and their needs, create high-impact strategies to target them with, and change business culture and behaviours to drive success.

 

Posted on April 11, 2017 .

Balancing intuition and data, wearables and AI - SXSW 2017 Soundbites

This post originally published by AdNews http://www.adnews.com.au/opinion/balancing-intuition-and-data-wearables-and-ai-sxsw-soundbites

South by South West (SXSW) shows no sign of slowing down with tens of thousands of eager entrepreneurs, maverick marketers and digital diehards descending on Austin, Texas, to explore the future of tech and innovation.This is what has been talked about so far.

AI will become the king of content

According to Eric Horvitz, leading American computer scientist and Technical Fellow at Microsoft, "we are now at an inflection point for AI, thanks to increases in computation and memory, increases in data via digital economy, devices, web, and algorithmic progress.”

So today it is possible to imagine a not too distant future in which content is generated as a result of deep machine learning and in a way that is virtually impossible for a consumer to resist.

Horvitz showed how user data including demographics, social media usage habits and their paths of digital discovery have been used to create tweets optimised for almost guaranteed click through. 

Brian Witlin, CEO of Yummly, also hinted at AI’s potential to disrupt traditional content creation, with Yummly already on the journey to create new recipes based on the best ones within a category thanks to AI.

A challenge and an opportunity for marketers, the years ahead will show if our instinct matches up to the power of AI.

Data vs. intuition

Beyond AI, the power of data to inform design has been a hot topic at SXSW 2017, with debate continuing to rage.

On one side of the fence, Merci Grace, director of product for Slack, argued that “you need to balance intuition and data, because data won't settle interesting questions - such as, what product should we create?”. Grace said that at Slack, they see the value of human intuition honed over time and immersion in their customers’ world as a key part of the mix when it comes to designing solutions or products.

Conversely, Navin Iyengar, lead product designer at Netflix, said intuition can only take you so far with experimentation, and A/B testing remains the key to better design. Whether you’re a product designer, web or content producer, social manager or PR pro, there were lessons from his approach which focused on four key pillars:

1. Test before you invest, using a single core hypothesis and A/B approach
2. Use a core metric as your compass
3. Consider extremes - ensure you test wide variations, not just small tweaks
4. Observe what people do, not what they say (because we're all liars) to get to the heart of consumer behaviour, needs and challenges

The next wave of consumer research is wearable

Not yet on the market, a new brand created out of Israel is set to take fashion retail analytics to the next level. Fashion marketing guru, Aliza Licht of Alice & Olivia and #dknyprgirl fame, said we are set to see smart tagging technology in goods used to analyse post-purchase behaviour. The return for sceptical consumers who may not want brands monitoring their every move? They will receive rewards every time they wear an item – it's Frequent Flyer points for fashion.

It's all about women

Across the globe women oversee 70% of consumer spending, yet 91% of women think advertisers for corporations don't understand them. According to Ingrid Vanderveldt, founder of Empowering a Billion Women by 2020 and First Entrepreneur in Residence for Dell, brands need to be more focused in thinking about how they can truly help and support women.

When women believe an organisation is authentically trying to help them succeed, 80% will try their product and 92% will pass the information on, fuelling that all important word of mouth.

Evolution of the innovation lab

Innovation labs and their roles inside organisations and as standalone operations are evolving. Preston So, development manager of Acquia Labs at Acquia, believes innovation labs need to push the boundaries of design, while also remaining grounded in reality to bring a future product into the present.

For agencies, innovation is key and we have a lot to bring to the table when it comes to overcoming brand’s business challenges. So how can we jump on the innovation lab model and support clients who may be looking to do the same? The opportunity is to work with your partners to create a co-funded lab for a win-win.

Quote of the day

"We are benevolent arms dealers. We just make content and put it everywhere." – Thomas Hughes, executive vice president of Worldwide Digital Distribution at Lionsgate, on traditional entertainment companies rising to the digital challenge.


 

Posted on March 15, 2017 .

Three Years of History

When History Will Be Kind (HWBK) was founded in 2014, we set out to establish ourselves as a new breed of communications agency, operating at the crossroads of public relations, social media and digital. I’m immensely proud of how we’ve gone from strength to strength with each passing year. Here are three ways we have grown well beyond my expectations.

Inspiring Clients

We’ve cemented our place in the industry, winning over 30 clients in three years. From developing full integrated communications strategies to building social media communities, and everything in between.  We’re delighted to have played a part in fostering growth in start-ups, to positioning blue chip companies as thought leaders.

We’ve been involved in ground-breaking work, from the launch of the iconic International Convention Centre Sydney, to collaborating with our sister agencies on pharmaceutical brand Flordis across a range of their products, and creating high-impact content and activations for Fox Home Entertainment’s X-Men: Apocalypse.   

Talented Team

We’ve expanded to become a powerhouse interdisciplinary and agile team. From industry heavyweights to keen young guns, we’re able to draw on the skills and enthusiasm from every member of HWBK and beyond.

As part of Deepend Group, we’re fortunate enough to join forces and expand our offering by tapping into the wealth of knowledge from leading strategists, creative technologists and innovation consultants, just to name a few. We also champion innovative thinking through the Bear Pit initiative, which fosters cross-team collaboration through the chance to win an incubator investment pack, and diversity within the industry by supporting Deepend’s Code Like a Girl, which inspires women in coding and leaderships roles within the tech industry.

Great, Award Winning Work

The creative and disruptive campaigns we’ve crafted, across industries, have not gone unnoticed.  In three short years’ we are delighted to have been awarded ten key accolades, against stiff competition.  We were first nominated as a finalist in AdNews’ Small Agency Awards in 2015. We won CommsCon’s Midsize PR Agency of the Year in 2016. We’ll be looking to defend our title later this month – fingers crossed!  Just last week, we won AdNews’ PR Agency of the Year Award – a massive achievement for a young agency.  I’m proud to be collaborating with fantastic clients and a legendary team.  It’s been one hell of a ride.

While we have celebrated incredible achievements, we’re ramping up for yet another colossal year ahead with lots of exciting new projects in the works. I can only imagine how much further we’ll go in another three years – let’s make history. 

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Posted on March 15, 2017 .

A History of Social Media (February 2017)

The last time we wrote an article like this was 2 months ago.

Since that time, this happened:

·         Facebook videos won’t automatically go to mute

·         Twitter users grew, but net loss almost doubled

·         Pinterest introduced a visual Shazam

·         Views on Facebook streams plummeted 94%

·         Carousel and Photo Albums were announced on Instagram

·         Influencers must now reveal sponsors

It’s hard to keep up with the fast flowing rapids of social media sometimes, so we are here to help.

Pump up the volume

With some rates reporting that 80% of videos played on Facebook are viewed with no sound, the social network has turned off the mute button.

No more will you be scrolling the News Feed to the sweet sound of silence, but instead volume will fade in and out as you go through the news of the day.

This will bring great joy to brands and advertisers on the platform (we’re pretty stoked about it) who will now have more ways to engage users within the crucial 3 second mark.

That being said, the mute button did make for some creative content, like this one from Hotels.com.

Has Twitter been Trumped?

It seems like not a day goes by where we don’t read a headline about the POTUS’ Twitter account, yet the channel still fails to capitalise their offering.

Despite adding 2.6 million active monthly users, the network’s net loss grew from $90 million to $167 million Year-on-Year.

This is not good news for the platform that has been struggling in recent times amid rumours of a stagnating user base and a business model that primarily runs on ads.

In the hope to reach profitability by 2017, Twitter has embarked on a mission to turn the business around and curb the level of abuse that takes place on the platform (a key deterrent of new users) through a host of new features – including ‘Safe Search’, a ‘Mute’ button and a 12-hour lock out feature.

It will be interesting to see how it all plays out for the old bird.

Now You See Me

Using new technologies, Pinterest has introduced a tool that “lets you use the camera in your Pinterest app to discover ideas inspired by objects you see out in the real world.”

Described as a Shazam for objects in the real world, ‘Lens’ brings a new dynamic to the platform in the hope to drive greater fan growth and brand interest.

The app is still in beta form, but with the right execution it will be a powerful advantage for the network.

Not only will it be able to record a host of juicy data (like what sorts of objects are being snapped the most), but it integrates the platform into the everyday and allows the user to instantly snap an outfit they love and hope to buy, creating a new channel to purchase for businesses.

Facebook may not actually be the video platform of choice

Here’s an update that most certainly would have caused some collar-pulling over at the Facebook offices, a recent Nielsen report has claimed that video streaming numbers have dropped by up to 94% after being forced to re calibrate the way video views are measured.

In short, Nielsen were forced to recalculate how they count Facebook streams after the platform admitted to only counting a video view if it went over 3 seconds in length leading to a skew in the results.

Over July, August and September of 2016, Nielsen measured an average of 10.3 billion streams. This recorded streams only watched for 3 seconds or greater. After the Facebook update, and measure streams of all lengths, numbers have dropped to 560 million in October and November and 580 million in December 2016.

It will be interesting to see the Q1 results from Nielsen this year – stay tuned.

Instagram, Facebook, what’s the difference?

In more news from the Instagram-becoming-Facebook camp, Instagram has now launched a new feature that allows users to share up to 10 photos and videos in one post. The album posts appear just like normal single photos or video in the feed, but you’ll see blue dots at the bottom of these posts to let you know you can swipe to see more.

This update will greatly benefit brands using Instagram, by allowing several images of the same story to be shared in one concise post, such as steps of a recipe, different items for sale or being spared from picking only a single lead image. 

We may all now be saved from clogged feeds – particularly from those friends who love to share 100 snaps of their recent holiday.

This feature is already widely available in Australia and will continue to roll out globally over the coming weeks on iOS and Android.

Spruiking a product on your Insta? It’s time to fess up

Hoping to become a rich and famous Instagram influencer from posting gym/food/fashion shots and raking in the product endorsements? Think again. New guidance from the Australian Association of National Advertisers now mandates any paid product placements or advertorial across social media must be disclosed on post.

The guidance also covers native advertising and traditional media, including product placement and advertorial, with enforcement by the Advertising Standards Bureau to kick in 1 March.

Brands that fail to disclose when money has changed hands may be in breach of a new provision in the AANA Code of Ethics.

Sounds like it might be a wet blanket for all the teeth whitening and weight-loss tea brands out there. #Ad

Posted on February 1, 2017 .

A Bit About History

2016 was a stellar year for HWBK. We celebrated our second birthday, made history with a raft of inspirational brands and organisations, doubled the team and expanded to Melbourne, launched new products, worked damn hard and had a lot of fun along the way!

So, with 2017 now ahead of us, here’s a quick glimpse back at the year that was and a sneak peek of what’s to come.

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Go Team!

Over the past 12 months, HWBK has grown exponentially and with this has come a host of new clients and teamsters.

We’ve partnered with 15 new clients across sectors – from travel to health, not for profit to FMCG – and welcomed Amanda Bosch (Social Media & Content Director), Niall Hughes (Senior Account Manager), Alistair Shields (Social Media Manager), Tiffany Wang (Account Executive) and Cabrini Broderick (Account Coordinator) to the team.

We’ve also lifted our strategic game with UX and Strategy hires, and stayed true to our commitment to foster diversity with a dynamic mix of pro’s across disciplines.

We’ve seen promotions – well done Laura Carroll – and new processes – hello Trello! We’ve gone to conferences – hey there SXSW – and done a stack of training – thank you Positive Change Academy – and our ‘Got the Runs’ running club brought us closer together, sweat and all.

In 2017, we are on track to keep growing rapidly with a raft of new roles in the mix and new services to boot – it’s going to be a big year!

Making History

In 2016, we were honoured to support a range of exciting projects, businesses and campaigns.

We launched the world first Penguin Expedition at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, and led Fox Home Entertainment’s first integrated campaign in Australia to drive sales of X-Men: Apocalypse, which culminated in Mutant Day – a Twitter trending topic, thank you very much!

We showcased International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney), a dazzling $1.5 billion convention, exhibition and entertainment precinct, to the world and catapulted leading global flights search platform, Cheapflights, into the ANZ market.

As a team, HWBK stepped up with Cerebral Palsy Alliance to drive the annual Steptember fundraising initiative and raise almost $5million, and there were cheers’ all round when we partnered with Brown-Forman’s Woodford Reserve to develop the brand’s first ever local content strategy and asset bank.

There were countless other projects that challenged us and made us extremely proud, but for now let’s just say that we have a pretty amazing client roster and know that their support underpins our success. Thank you!

#Winning

Being named CommsCon’s Midsize PR Agency of the Year and winning Campaign of the Year with ICC Sydney as part of the Leisure Industry Communication and Marketing Awards were proud moments for us. We were also finalists in small agency, mid-sized agency and emerging agency categories across three key awards programmes (go figure) and achieved a Highly Commended in the PRIA National Awards, all great achievements for such a young team.

Now, it’s all about upping the ante and continuing to push ourselves to improve and adapt as the communications landscape continues to shift around us. If 2016 was about being an agency to watch, 2017 is about making a real mark – it’s game changer time!

By Edwina Brook (Senior Account Director)

Posted on January 9, 2017 .

A History of Social Media (December 2016)

Social media has become the Wild West of the 21st century, and keeping on top of it all can sometimes feel like herding cattle with a wooden horse.

In the past couple of months, Instagram has launched live video, Tinder has introduced trans-inclusive profiles and Facebook implemented Page Engagement custom audience profiling – and that’s just scratching the surface.

To help, we’ve pulled together some of the most important recent updates across the social landscape into a nice little summary for you – you’re welcome.

Instagram Vs Snapchat

Instagram has hopped on the live video bandwagon and looks to roll over Snapchat with disappearing photos/videos now also available.

It marks another power play by the Facebook-owned network following the launch of Instagram Stories, Boomerang, Mentions and ‘See More’ – all of which have improved the platform’s appeal and functionality.

Here, Boomerang stitches together a burst of photos into a mini video that plays forward and backward, while Mentions allow you to tag other users in your story via their handle. ‘See More' links lets verified accounts add links to their stories, so users can click through to more information within the app e.g. related articles, tour dates and bio information.

On the flipside, Snapchat released their Australian user statistics, which showed roughly 25 per cent of the country is using the platform daily.

Facebook takes LinkedIn’s jobs

Never one to shy from a challenge, Facebook also has its eyes set on LinkedIn with the introduction of job listings.

The new feature allows brands to formally share a job opening on their wall (advertising details like salary, job titles and fulltime/part-time), while also creating a ‘Jobs’ tab on their profile to send job seekers to a dedicated landing page.

Page Engagement Targeting

In a move that is sure to have social media marketers jumping for joy (we are!), Facebook now gives brands the ability to generate custom audiences based on their engagement with the page.

This means that brands can now target those who have engaged with published content before – that is, if they have liked, commented or shared a post.

It is a significant development in the platform’s targeting capability and gives access to a market of users who were previously unaccounted for but highly desired.

Neither male nor female? Tinder is ok with that.

In a display of acceptance and inclusion, Tinder now gives users the ability to identify themselves as other than just male or female.

Working with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Transgender Media Program team and trans consultant, Andrea James, the platform is looking to widen their user base and create a benchmark of acceptance with this new feature.

It will be interesting to see if this move is replicated by other dating apps like Bumble and Happn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Screening

Have we moved passed TV as the first screen? Recent stats shared by Facebook show the power of mobile and its growing, with 1 billion of its 1.79 billion monthly active users ‘mobile only’. *mind blown*

Capitalising on this growing trend, the platform has invested in its capabilities with the addition of mobile-only features like Canvas and animated content types.

We hope this has helped you navigate the churning seas of social media and set a course for success, but be sure to stay on your toes – tomorrow is an all new day.

By Alistair Shields (Social Media Manager)

Posted on December 14, 2016 .

The 10 Commandments of Content Creation

Recently our Account Manager, April, attended the Glug Sydney – Creative Notworking Event at the Orient Hotel in Sydney. Here, she describes the experience and the rules every content creator needs to read.

In a room filled with the top talent from the design and creative community, a series of informal key note presentations explored the latest industry insights on content, innovation and advertising in a relaxed environment over a drink or several.

Among the speakers of this particular event was industry veteran, Craig Page of The Conscience Organisation, who brought the room alive with his passion and compelling work methodologies.

The current media landscape is going through a significant shift, and almost 50 per cent of the population is actively paying to avoid what advertisers create. This is posing a serious problem for the Don Drapers of the world, but it also provides a golden opportunity for change.

Page discussed his top commandments for creating successful campaigns in this new environment. Although his list was intended for the advertising world, it really applies to all forms of content creation:   

1. Only make things people want – it can be the most beautiful campaign (advert) ever crafted, but it’s useless if no one wants to see it

2. Break the triangle – there is no reason why with modern-day technology and a little ingenuity you can’t deliver all three to a client

3. Empower your clients to make the right decisions – they are the most important stakeholder in the process

4. Never get high on your own supply of bulls**t – this will eventually lead to laziness and stop you thinking objectively, which is the antithesis of creative exploration

5. Demystify creativity and involve everyone in the process – it’s something everyone is capable of, just some people are more practiced at it than others

6. F**k ownership – great ideas are discovered not ‘invented’

7. Hit KPIs honestly and use them wisely – long term impact isn’t something you can measure

8. Find great people and get out of their way – micromanagement is the killer of creativity

9. Clear eyes, full heart, can’t lose – optimism and positivity will build your team’s creative ability  

10. Give back – not only to your employees, or even your direct industry, but it’s important to deliver some good to the wider world  

Alongside these insights, it was a fun and inspirational evening with industry peers. We look forward to the next event! 

Posted on October 27, 2016 .

HOW TO WEAR SCARF, EVERYDAY

In our industry, an understanding of the drivers of human social behaviour can make all the difference to winning a pitch, inspiring employees or neutralise that Facebook troll. 

Generally, social behaviour is guided by our brain’s instinctual ability to presume an action will minimise threat and maximise reward – we ‘approach’ a stimulus that is tagged as good or rewarding, and will ‘avoid’ something seen as bad or unengaging.

Research has also shown that when a person is in an ‘approach’ state, higher levels of dopamine flow through their brain. This is important for happiness, interest and learning, all of which can lead to better collaboration and performance with your team and clients.

But how do we reach this ‘approach’ way of being in our day-to-day? The answer lies in Dr David Rock’s SCARF model which suggests we need to consider five key domains – Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness and Fairness.

 

Status

Status relates to a person’s defined relative importance, meaning it can go up or down when someone feels ‘better than’ or ‘lesser than’ the person they are engaging with. And studies have shown that feeling a reduction in status engages the same areas of the brain as physical pain – that’s why it hurts to be knocked down a peg or two!

 To maximise status without minimising value:

-          Pay attention to your colleagues or clients, actively listen and remember the details  

-          Offer feedback and help up skill others

-          Publicly acknowledge team members and give positive feedback

 

Certainty

Ever felt the rise of panic not knowing where your phone is, even though you had it earlier this morning? It’s the uncertainty of not knowing exactly where it is that causes this reaction. Our brains are good at predicting what might happen in the near future, however when this is disrupted by an unforeseen change, the brain uses the energy-draining pre-frontal cortex and focuses on the error.

 Banish uncertainty by:

-          Establishing clear expectations and desirable outcomes

-          Breaking complex projects into smaller steps with clear deadlines  

-          Stating clear objectives at the start of any discussion and wrap up the end of a conversation with defined next steps

 

Autonomy

Autonomy is choice. If you have a client who wants the champagne event on a lemonade budget, give them a choice to determine what’s really important. Even if you’re acting in their best interests, removing them from the decision making process could affect their sense of self-worth and status.

 To encourage autonomy and boost happiness:

-          Provide options, even if there is an obvious choice

-          Don’t micro manage or hold the reins too tightly

-          Agree on parameters and generate an understanding of how you got to where you are

 

Relatedness

Relatedness is closely linked to trust and relationships – when someone is seen as untrustworthy, the immediate response is to withdraw or ‘avoid’, whereas when someone is a friend or a part of your group, ‘approach’ emotions are more likely to be present.

 Knock relatedness into gear and increase productivity by:

-          Creating an environment that promotes sharing, openness and inclusion

-          Socialising regularly – bring the fun!  

-          Setting up clearly defined mentoring and coaching systems

 

Fairness

The need for fairness is primal, and the idea of “not getting what is owed me” has major negative effects on relatedness, status and certainty.

To improve morale:

-          Increase transparency, communication and team involvement, and ensure ‘the rules’ apply to everyone equally

-          Establish clear expectations and manage results

-          Allow people to voice their opinions

Posted on August 23, 2016 .

Telum Media Interviews EJ Granleese

Our fearless leader chats to Telum Media about who we are and how we make award-winning moments in History for our clients

EJ Granleese

EJ Granleese

What is History Will Be Kind and why was the agency founded?

History Will Be Kind (HWBK) is a new breed of communications agency, operating at the crossroads of public relations, social media and digital communications. With traditional lines blurring, businesses are consistently seeking a more hybrid offer.  I wanted to develop an agile and multidisciplinary team that really catered to the evolving media landscape.

 

What is The Deepend Group and how does your agency work with the wider Group?

The Deepend Group is a leading independent, digital communications and innovation consultancy group. Its portfolio includes History Will Be Kind (Integrated Communications), Deepend (Digital), How To Impact (Innovation), and Nomad (Emerging Tech).

History Will Be Kind works with clients both independently and in collaboration with the wider group. As we are all under one roof, we can also tap the minds of some of the industry’s best and brightest across disciplines for our projects.

Another great benefit of being part of Deepend Group is our involvement in the Positive Change Academy. This is an initiative we created collectively with our partner agencies – an ongoing mentoring and professional development program to foster innovation and upskill all staff, supported by a significant cash investment.  

 

You were MD of Weber Shandwick and are now Managing Partner of History Will Be Kind. What are the challenges and benefits of working with a smaller team?

I suppose I’m spoilt in keeping the best of both worlds. Being part of the Deepend Group has enabled us to enjoy the many positive aspects of a large business model with the agility of a boutique approach and freedom to create new ways of doing things.  It can be challenging for a startup to stand out, but our approach to talent acquisition and retention means that in 12 months we’ve doubled headcount and are on track to do this again in the coming year.

 

Having held these senior roles in the PR industry, what do you think the industry needs to do to make sure it differentiates itself from the other marketing/communications disciplines?

As an industry, we talk a lot about integration across disciplines to deliver this holistic message for brands, and yet day to day we compete. Communications today is about creating cultural currency, building a consistent narrative through multiple platforms and devices. We each have an important place in the ecosystem and PR has a unique ability to drive authentic credibility and loyalty with consumers. To drive this, we need to harness the power of storytelling and articulate it in a compelling and consistent way across channels.

 

Most memorable campaign?

International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney). Working as an extension of the ICC Sydney in-house team, our unique challenge has been to underpin the marketing and communications activity of a $1.5bn venue that doesn’t yet exist to a raft of international and government stakeholders. Our scope of work encompasses PR, social media, and content creation, including co-creating the venue’s custom magazine Sydney Views. I’m incredibly proud of all we have achieved with the team at ICC Sydney so far, and excited for the next phase of our campaign as we begin the countdown to launch this December.

Artist Render of ICC Sydney

Artist Render of ICC Sydney

Where do you get your news from?

The usual suspects such as The Sydney Morning Herald, BBC and AdNews for general and industry updates. I also like to keep an eye on developments in digital and tech through SoDA and AIMIA.

 

Favourite blog or online influencer?

I’m a big advocate of podcasts and always try to listen to a couple in the morning while running. Season two of Startup is my current favourite. 

The History Will Be Kind Team

The History Will Be Kind Team

Posted on August 4, 2016 .

Two Days at the Make Nice Unconference for Creative Women

Recently our Junior Content Designer, Hannah, attended the Make Nice: Unconference for Creative Women at the aMBush Gallery in Sydney as a part of VIVID Ideas. Here, she describes the experience, the powerful words shared and a few of the lessons learned.

Over two days in June, l had the pleasure of attending Make Nice – a rare opportunity for creative women to come together and learn from both international and home-grown industry vanguards in an intimate format. The unconference created a safe and open setting where attendees could contribute to the ecology of female creatives in Australia and discuss topics otherwise underrepresented in conference programming.

I attended this conference for a variety of reasons – a lovely training allowance we receive from History Will Be Kind (thanks guys!), the promise of free snacks, and most importantly, because l am a young woman working in a creative position, which is amazing, scary and stressful all at the same time!

It’s a position that has had me asking, where will my career as a designer take me? Was my Bachelor of Fine Arts a waste of time? How can l develop my own artistic identity in a sea of content?

While the line-up at this unconference unfortunately didn’t include fortune tellers who could tell me where my future lies *fills out recommendations survey for next year*, it did include a host of inspiring goddesses dishing out advice, life stories and ideas.

 DAY ONE

First up, a keynote speech by Adi Goodrich, who is a creative director, set designer and photographer from LA. Her advice for making it in this competitive industry:

1.       Work begets work so make your own and help your friends make theirs – contact everyone you know and ask them for a job or for help.  

2.       Work within your means. Often it will allow you to be more creative and find ways to stretch ideas.

3.       Be fearless. When you hit a ceiling in your current job or role, or working on a personal project – don’t climb back down the ladder, go through it.

The second keynote was delivered by French designer, art director and illustrator Leslie David, who has worked with the likes of Chanel, Opening Ceremony, Nike, Girlboss and The New York Times among others. She spoke to her experiences to provide guidance and inspiration: 

1.       Tips for making it:

·         Create your own distinct brand.

·         Contact everyone you know – they will be your first clients.

·         Stay passionate and create your own work.

2.       Four key considerations when taking on a job, freelance or in-house. If the job doesn’t have at least two of these, it isn’t worth doing! 

·         Money – is it enough?

·         Visibility – is there enough?

·         Deadline – is it reasonable?

·         Pleasure – do you want to do it and will it be enjoyable?

3.       Be transparent and create a collaborative environment by providing little tastings of the work for clients along the way. This way feedback is an ongoing process to ensure your journey aligns with all other parties.

      At this point in the conference, Make Nice Co-Director Ngaio Parr sat down with Adi Goodrich, Leslie David, writer Brodie Lancaster and photographer/journalist Elize Strydom to moderate a discussion on Co-Current Careers – To Specialise or Generalise?

      The conversation got fiery when talking about the current gender divide, as the entire panel encouraged women to get angrier about our lack of representation in creative roles.

 Other key take-outs included:

1.       There are four pillars of success – fire, taste, class and grit.

2.       Make your specialisation your brand, who you are and what you can offer.

3.       Position what you or your company does in a way that even strangers will understand.

Credit: @talktobec

Credit: @talktobec

 DAY TWO

Again, we kicked off the day with two great keynote talks. The first was by Elizabeth Weinberg, a prolific American photographer and creative director who has worked for Vice, BuzzFeed, The New York Times and The Hollywood Reporter among others.

Weinberg spoke about balancing work and motherhood, and her start as a young photographer in an already flooded industry, explaining:

“Try not to feel guilty about your work and family. When you are working you are working, and when you are with your loved ones, they are your main priority.”

Suzy Tuxen of A Friend Of Mine design studio in Melbourne was the next speaker. She offered some handy tips about getting back up from a failure and believing in yourself:

1.       “You’ve got to push your boat out so far that you can’t come back”.

2.       It’s better to be noticed and hated then not noticed at all!

3.       Be proud of your work, your boundaries, your ideas and yourself.

 We then jumped right into the second panel discussion. This time, Co-Director Alex Winters moderated a panel on Invisible Economies and Workplace Culture with Elizabeth Weinberg, Suzy Tuxen, Vivid Ideas Curator Jess Scully and Head of Art at M&C Saatchi Australia, Niccola Phillips.

 Gender equality continued to be a core focus with the panel concluding it is crucial that men are a part of the conversation and understand what it means to work alongside women as their creative equals. In order for women to thrive in this industry, an ongoing dialogue must be fostered to create safe, anti-discriminatory workplaces.

 Overall, they asked us to be bold and to get tough:

1.       “Be less polite, don’t wait for recognition. Trust us, no-one is waiting to see your amazing work.”

2.       The only thing that will suffer by not producing your work is you.

3.       Success requires unrelenting focus. You need a fundamental problem to solve, purpose and belief in your cause.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

The biggest takeaway was not to be afraid. Each of the keynotes speakers (and the organisers of the event) were taking huge risks when they decided to set out and forge their careers, often with little money, no contacts, no body of work behind them, and most prevailingly, as young women. They were able to do this by collaborating and demanding what they wanted.

Elizabeth Weinberg during her Keynote

Elizabeth Weinberg during her Keynote

Posted on July 4, 2016 .

A Brief History Of... Stackla with Rachel Baartz

In this edition of A Brief History Of... we speak to Rachel Baartz, the Digital Consultant at Stackla AU. She provided us with some great insights into the power of UGC and what's coming up for Stackla.   

 

1. What’s the best thing about working at Stackla Australia?                                                                                                                   We have an amazing team, which is cliché, but it really makes work a lot more fun. In the almost two years I've been here we've grown substantially and some of the big brands and innovative integrations we work on are super exciting! And the industry and product is always developing and progressing which keeps us on our toes!

 

 2. What’s one of the most successful campaigns you’ve worked on and why did it perform well?
I loved Helloworld's campaign, which was such a success they've turned it into an always-on website. It combined lots of UGC at different touch points including; beautiful website visualisations with an interactive map of UGC, Digital Out Of Home, online advertising/retargeting with AdRoll, TVC with UGC. It all came together so well! And it generated 10,000 enquiries within the 7 days after the promotional period which was a phenomenal result for the client too. 

 

 3. Why is UGC so powerful and is there a secret to brands using it well?
We describe User Generated Content as being powerful because of the 3 R's: 

·         Real – It's authentic, people can relate to UGC and we know that it influences purchasing decisions.

·         Relevant – It's able to be tagged and sorted so that UGC can be served in a relevant, personalised way. 

·         Ridiculous Volumes – There are literally millions of pieces of content created on social every day, that brands can tap into and use as their own – what a goldmine!

 

 4. Whose social channels would you love to take over for 24 hours and why? (brand or celeb)
That's a tough call… but probably @Wil_Anderson this weekend. His political comedy is hilarious and with the looming election his Tweets are usually informative and hilarious – winning combo that I'd love to be a part of. Also, I've got a soft spot for him as he's a famous comedian who retweeted me once and made me feel famous for a moment there too :)

 

 5. What updates are just around the corner from Stackla? 
We're always updating the product offering, and the comings months have some awesome new features and updates that will be released. 

Reporting and Analytics is really important for our clients - the better they measure and optimise what they do, the better their marketing performs – so we're continuing to develop tools customers can use to measure how their audiences are interacting with their UGC displays.

One of Stackla's real strengths is the sophistication of its moderation tools and we're doing some cool stuff with things like image detection that we can't wait to share. We'll have more details about those are they are released later this year, but they're all very exciting additions!

Posted on July 1, 2016 .

Our Top Five Learnings From The Cannes Lions 2016

It’s a festival of collaboration, creativity and yes, celebrities. However, each year at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity it is the celebration of the ‘Charlie Bit My Finger’ moments of the marketing world that takes centre stage.

Here are our five key take outs from this year’s Festival and the outstanding entrants to its flagship Cannes Lions awards programme:

1.       VR and AI, you need to know what these mean. Virtual Reality (VR) has been making waves across the globe as its functionality and accessibility consistently improve. The New York Times won a Grand Prix this year for their VR work which involved providing complimentary Google Cardboards with the Sunday paper. This allowed everyday readers to experience firsthand the devastation of South Sudan, Ukraine and Syria through the eyes of children from the area.

It is the buzzword for clients hoping to go ‘viral’ and this year’s hot topic, while the development of artificial intelligence (AI) continues at a pace. For example, Google’s AlphaGo project (2016 Grand Prix for Innovation) this year beat the world’s best professional player of the iconic strategy board game, Go.

These technologies are facilitating a whole new way of thinking and communicating, and it could shift the tectonic plates of the industry as much as the arrival of radio and television.

2.       Being high-tech isn’t enough. In a world where technology seems to be at the heart of everything, there’s just no getting past the fact that creativity still needs to be in the driver’s seat. Think you can just wow consumers with your 360 degree video? They already want more. Consumers are becoming increasingly savvy, and their belief of what is and what is not possible has very few limitations. If brands expect to make an impact they must start thinking not just outside the box, but outside the triangle and octagon too.

“We’ve got to remember that technology enables opportunity, but it’s creativity that enables value.” – Sir John Hegarty, founder of BBH

 3.       If I’m not getting emotional, you’re not doing your job. Technology is great, creativity is even better, but emotion is key. Charities continue to take the lion’s share of the awards this year for the ease in which they draw emotion from the viewers and judges alike. Emotion increases retention, improves recall and drives brand loyalty. Does your campaign make your audience cry, laugh or get angry? If not, go back to the drawing board.

 4.       Data, data everywhere. A world that is becoming increasingly connected has given brands a virtual Everest of insightful data. This is the key to understanding audiences on a granular level and generating meaningful campaigns. Gone are the days where you had only your instincts to trust for campaign success. The level of data (free or otherwise) has given brands the ability to change uncertainty to calculated risk (or success, depending on how trusting you are of your data).

“Where there is creativity in working with data, you can achieve almost anything.” - Creative Data jury president, Tash Whitmey

 5.       One campaign, per consumer. You have almost limitless technologic capabilities, mountains of data and infinite new ways of creative thinking. All are tools which have given brands the ability to step inside the consumer’s shoes and create campaigns which speak directly to them – and this is what they expect. Newsfeeds are saturated with content, webpages are awash with moving images and bright lights and pirating is as common as toast for breakfast. To reach the target market nowadays, brands must know exactly what each consumer will stop to look at. They must develop bespoke campaigns, tailored to each consumer through insightful data.

Posted on June 29, 2016 .

A Brief History Of... Twitter with Paddy Laws

Our series chatting with the brightest brains in the biz!

Today we had Paddy Laws (@paddylaws) in the hot seat, who does Brand Development at a little company called Twitter Australia. Have you heard of them? 

 

1.       What’s the best thing about working at Twitter Australia?

Twitter is a big part of every aspect of my life. I find myself pitching Twitter to friends, family and sometimes even strangers!

Whether it's finding out why the city is covered in smoke, following live coverage of Eurovision or reading the latest GoT theories, I find that Twitter enhances the world around me, and what could be better than working on that everyday?

 

 2.       What’s the most surprising piece of successful content you’ve worked on?

The brilliant thing about Twitter is that if you follow basic rules then you don't have to be surprised by your successes.

Twitter gives users a live connection to their passions and interests. Every Tweet represents a signal of intent or identifier for these passion points. Based on this, brands have the opportunity to communicate en masse to their advocates.

The formula for success is using data to put the right content in front of the right people at the right time.

 

 3.       Is there a secret to creating a viral tweet? Can you share what is it?

There isn't a secret but there are few rules you can follow to make your Tweets more engaging.

If you can engage the first person who sees your Tweet, that's the most important place to start as they will share that Tweet with like minded individuals and so your universe of engaged users grows.

·  Make it timely

·  Make it stand out

·  Put your audience first i.e. what is the value to them?

 

4.       Whose social channels would you love to take over for 24 hours? (brand or celeb)

As a massive gamer I'd love to take over @E3 for the annual conference in June. It's such an exciting time for gaming and eSports and E3 always throws up some surprises. I'd love to be there on the ground Tweeting the news as it happens but failing that I'll be on Twitter regardless, following along live.

 

 5.       What updates are just around the corner from Twitter Australia? (Connect tab, your involvement with the 2016 Olympics or anything else up your sleeves) 

Twitter is constantly evolving in an effort to give users the best experience, so we're enhancing our product all the time.

A small selection of the updates in the past 6 months:

·  Twitter Moments launched in AU

·  Polls

·  gif search

·  'While you were away'

·  Periscope broadcasts direct in your Twitter feed

Twitter has always been the best place to stay up to date and take part in live events. The next few months are packed with the sort of events which are naturally amplified on Twitter.

Users will turn to Twitter for the huge global events coming up like the Rio Olympics, the Euros in France and State of Origin.

----

Thanks Paddy!

 

Posted on May 23, 2016 .

It’s coming: Instagram Analytics

Prayers to the analytics lords have finally been answered – Instagram is testing in-app analytics as an extension to soon to be released Business Profiles. This comes almost six months after the launch of Instagram advertising via Facebook’s Ads Manager, and will be critical in driving increased advertising investment in the channel.

So what can we expect from Instagram Insights?

Advertisers are currently flying pretty blind when targeting audiences on Instagram. They can select ‘interests’ and Facebook page ‘connections’ when placing an ad, as well as basic demographics on who to target, but these are largely simple connections via their Facebook account.

For brands with healthy followings on Instagram, there’s no official statistics on who their followers are. This new introduction seems to be designed to make it super simple to understand demographics and learn how posts perform – all within the app.

Follower Demographics

Finally, advertisers will have an official breakdown of how old their audience is, where they live, gender, and time of day they’re most active. These tools have been available on Facebook for targeting for a very long time, and will help advertisers understand their audience, and better serve them with relevant content at appropriate times.

 

Post Analytics

Rather than relying on Facebook Insights for the results of paid Instagram placements, Instagram will be introducing all the data already on offer from Facebook, including reach, impressions, clicks and follower activity, for organic and promoted posts.

Top Posts

Here we see an easy overview of all posts published on an Instagram account in the past 7 or 30 days, ranked by number of impressions (number of times the ad entered the screen for the first time). This is a clear and simple way of gaining a holistic overview of post engagement using Instagram’s existing grid format.

Free vs Paid

Of course, there have been variations of ‘unofficial’ Instagram analytics available for a while now, ranging from Iconosquare to SocialBakers, which range in price, reliability and ease of use. Just this week, Iconoosquare announced they would be beefing up their offering from 1 June with a complete redesign, complying with Instagram’s API to prohibit browsing your own feed on a desktop site that isn’t via Instagram.com, and forcing paid signups for their new version – no more free browsing.

While there’s no official launch date for these new functions, we’re expecting them to begin popping up in feeds over the coming months.  Keep your eyes peeled.

Screenshots via Later Blog.

Posted on May 17, 2016 .

A Brief History Of...Outbrain with Joe James

A Q&A series featuring some of the most inspiring minds in the industry.

Today, we speak to Joe James of Outbrain - the world's largest content discovery platform. Here he gives us some tips on creating successful content and driving traffic.

1. What’s the best thing about working at Outbrain?  

The best thing about working at Outbrain is getting to see all of the amazing brand stories that clients are producing from inspiring content hubs to hilarious video content to educational and informative native content from 3rd party publishers, especially when that content leads to business results. 

 2. What are your top tips for creating successful content?

Listicles seem to work really well on Outbrain so with that in mind my top 4 tips are: 

1. As basic as it sounds: know your audience, learn what interests them, and find out how to add value to their digital experience. 

2. Create stories that speak to your audience and use available data to help inform what topics, themes and format to cover.

3. Produce stories on a regular basis, to engage your audience consistently across multiple touch points. 

4. Think about your business objectives and measure how your content impacts your online digital strategy.

 3. Digital has allowed consumers to dictate how and when they interact with media. Do you see this as an opportunity or a challenge?

Digital is becoming increasingly challenging and it's becoming increasingly hard to capture the scarce online attention, especially with some 300 million consumers globally installing ad blockers and most other consumers largely ignoring the traditional disruptive online ad formats (banners, pop ups etc). However, therein lies the opportunity. The opportunity for brands to create stories and digital experiences that provide both value to the consumer and also drive the right business outcome at the same time without being disruptive. Brands can win the consumer attention battle only if they can provide the right value in exchange. 

 4. If traffic is no longer a driving measurement – what metrics do you see as genuinely valuable for evaluating and refining a content marketing strategy?

Traffic is obviously an extremely important aspect of any content strategy, but what is more important is what those audiences do after the click. For some brands engagement metrics such as time on site or page views per session might be an effective measurement of the success of their content. For other clients it might be more about lead generation or conversion if they play more in the performance space. Think about your campaign objectives, ensure your content is set up for success (ie page design, calls to action) and then invest in different channels and optimize, refine and repeat. 

5. What updates are just around the corner from Outbrain? 

Outbrain will join forces with Oracle Data Management Platform (formerly BlueKai) and Acxiom’s LiveRamp, enabling marketers to integrate their own first party data with content marketing for the first time. As an extension of Outbrain’s Custom Audience solution – a capability which lets marketers re target their website visitors across the Outbrain network – these two new integration's now offer marketers the chance to engage both website visitors and their DMP's (data management platform) audience segments.

The integration falls in line with the forecast for 2016, in which 82% of marketers plan on increasing their usage of first party data this year. 

Posted on April 28, 2016 .

The Top 8 Announcements from Facebooks' F8 Conference

Facebook has once again proven to be the social network that just won’t quit, with a new slate of reactive, personalised and somewhat urgent technologies showcased at its annual F8 conference in San Francisco. Facebook introduced us to new developer tech, in-app integration's and open sourced technologies, all of which go hand-in-hand with huge announcements regarding the future of Messenger, VR and live streaming and content sharing. Facebook is very much focusing on the adaption of current emerging technologies into the app, with the goal of making the world more open and connected.

Have a look at the Top 8 from F8 below.

Chatbots on Messenger

Facebook announced the introduction of smart, human-like chatbots across the Messenger app. These bots are powered by Facebooks Send/Receive API and Wai.ai’s Bot Engine and will be able to deliver content from automated subscriptions like weather and traffic updates, as well as customised communications including receipts and notifications, e-commerce guidance, content and interactive experiences, learnt from and tailored for the individual.

People will be able to discover bots through the implantation of a new search bar at the top of Messenger, which will allow brands and businesses to talk with their audiences directly from the app. With this, Facebook has introduced a new set of policies that will give the user a choice as to which communications they want to receive, with the ability to block and mute conversations with brands.

 

360-Degree Video

Facebook has invented, developed and built their own VR camera. In an attempt to get more 360-degree video in the news feed and VR content on Oculus, the ‘Surround 360’ is a 17-lens 3D camera, which interestingly, requires little to no post-production work unlike most VR rigs. Its image quality, durability and portability have been praised by early reviewers. Perhaps turning its back on commercial values, Facebook won’t be selling the camera - and instead will be uploading the hardware designs and video-stitching algorithms on Github. This allows devs, camera manufacturers and anyone else who wants to spend $30,000 on the required parts the ability to build the camera (below).

So what does Facebook get out of this? While a spokesperson stated they have “no ambitions of getting into the camera business”, the goal is “simply to catalyse 360 and VR content production to fill its ad-fuelled social network and the headsets it sells” with content worthy of users’ time.

Facebook Live

Facebook’s live-streaming goals are to allow “hundreds of people to experience the exact same moment at the exact same time”. While this idea has already been successfully demonstrated by apps like Periscope and Meerkat, Facebook’s decision to release the Live Video API to developers will mean that media organisations are able to embed Facebook streaming into their broadcasts and enables third party hardware’s, such as Go-Pro, to stream directly to the platform. This will allow publishers to interact instantly with their audiences, while provide audiences with a new social experience without ever leaving Facebook.

 Instant Articles + Branded Content

Starting today, all publishers will be able to take advantage of the fast-loading and distraction free view that is Instant Articles. Previously only available to a select few, Facebook again has released the format to developers. Content on the Instant Articles platform will be interactive and immersive, with loading times 10x faster than standard mobile web articles – given they are essentially HTML5 documents using specific tags.

In addition to text publishers can also add slideshows, audios captions, maps and video, images and - of course - support for Facebook likes and comments. This means a higher readership and audiences that are 70% less likely to abandon the article and “an enhanced reading experience for people plus a significant boost for publishers looking to reach their audiences on Facebook.”

Branded content can also be created and uploaded to Facebook, with a tag tool indicating the sponsor of the story. This tool aims to introduce more transparency to brands and businesses and allows them to “better understand how their marketing initiatives are performing across Facebook”, as when notified marketers will have the ability to access post level insights, share and boost the post.

 

New Save Button

The new save button feature will allow users to save articles, pages and content they view off the app directly to their Facebook feed for future viewing. When relevant, Facebook will also remind users of their saved items – for instance “when a product goes on sale, or if they haven’t read an article yet”.

 Healthtap

While not necessarily a Facebook technology, Healthtap is transforming the way health information is created and accessed, and revolutionising the way healthcare is delivered. From the Facebook messenger app, users will anonymously be able to message their health queries and concerns directly to Healthtap, which provides answers from the online database instantly, or from one of 100,000 physicians in the network within 24 hours. The service, which Facebook stresses is intended to be an educational service rather than a replacement for visiting a doctor, is free, however a premium subscription will allow users to video chat with doctors is $99/month.

 Oculus and the VR selfie stick

Zuckerburg announced the future of VR is not just in gaming and cinema, but in social too. Facebook, together with Oculus, is experimenting in building native social experiences on the virtual plane. In a demonstration to show the techs social potential, Facebooks CTO Mike Schroepfer and engineer Michael Booth both strapped into Oculus, 30 miles apart. They were able to share the same virtual space and locations by stepping into 360 degree photos, use virtual pens to draw, create and take photos together using a VR selfie stick. While still in an early testing phase, Facebook has used its internal drawing tool and occipital structure sensors to detect depth and texture to recreate the users face so eventually, Facebook users will be able to insert themselves directly into virtual reality.

Automatic Tagging in Videos

Facebooks artificial intelligence systems are being used now for video recognition – the idea being that you will be able to search for people in any of the videos they have shared with you. As a Live Video feature, this will allow indexing of moments automatically so that the exact point in the video can be found again and again by doing a simple name search. 

Posted on April 14, 2016 .

A Brief History Of... BuzzFeed with Daria Willis

 

A Q&A series featuring some of the most inspiring minds in the industry.

Here, we chat to Daria Willis, Client Services Manager at BuzzFeed Australia, about what it’s like to work for one of the largest media outlets on the planet and what’s next for the Most Innovative Company of 2016.

 

1. What’s the best thing about working at BuzzFeed Australia?                                                                                                     Honestly, it's the mix of unique, fun people who are experts in their own weirdness. Being exposed to Editorial is really refreshing because you see how BuzzFeed AU is a company that celebrates individuality, and it's what makes us unique and our content unique – and our audiences share these values. Plus, we're on the cusp of something great and innovating every second – the amount of iterations and learning/optimisation that's going on is incredible. Internally, we'd describe BuzzFeed as an octopus climbing a tree. We've got a tight grip on what's taking off (i.e. Tasty videos), but we've also got seven other arms on other branches as we know the market is evolving and we need to be leading the charge/demand for the next big thing. BuzzFeed does not rest on its laurels. 

 

2. What’s the most surprising piece of successful content you’ve worked on?
Probably the ATO campaign: It's easy to assume that something about taxes would be quite dry, straight and clinical – but they let us have fun with it, and we merged their objectives with the interests of our readers, which is my summary of a perfect partnership!

 

3. Is there a secret to creating viral content? Can you share what it is?
To put it simply, testing and learning – and getting better over time! Plus a kick-ass distribution strategy.

 

4. Whose social channels would you love to take over for 24 hours?

Kanye West's.

 

5. What updates are just around the corner from BuzzFeed Australia (Swarm, co-branded video or anything else up your sleeves)?

You've named it! Swarm is coming – and we already have co-branded video and editorial sponsorship, and Tasty sponsorship. Nifty is currently taking off on Facebook so who knows what opportunities will lie there in terms of sponsorship's for brands. Right now the biggest opportunities are in co-branded videos and Editorial sponsorship's.

 

 

Thanks Daria!

 

 

Posted on April 8, 2016 .

Hello Chat 2.0 - We Love You Already

 

Snapchat, known for its blink-and-you-miss-it content has just recently released an update that is definitely a game changer. The new update steps up the competition with Facebook Inc. who currently owns Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.

SnapChat’s original goal was to “emulate the best parts of face-to-face conversation”. Remaining true to its word, this new update allows all human connections in one interface. Here, we catch you up on the latest changes. 

 

Stickers

After the $100 million acquisition of Bitstrips, Snapchat has put the technology to good use. With over 200 stickers available on private chat, conversations just got a whole lot brighter!

The Good: Type “love” or “hungry”, click the Sticker button and view related stickers.

The Bad: Realising you connect with the ‘Basic Avocado’ a little too much…. 

Voice Chat

Voice Chat – or as we like to call it, the original use of the phone. Building out the app as a full communications device, you’re now able to make a call via data and Wi-Fi. 

The Good: Snapchat will tell you that your mate is “unavailable” when they miss your call.

The Bad:  The message “Can’t talk right now” will show when they silence your call. Ouch.

 

Video Chat

Flexing its video capabilities, Snapchat now allows you to Video Chat while simultaneously accessing your camera roll to send images. This is unique to the game and may be a key deciding feature for users choosing Snapchat over FaceTime, Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, or Skype.

The Good: Never needing to ask “what’s your number?” again. 

The Bad: Your data bill. 

Video Notes

Finally, Snapchat is letting you GIF yourself! Within Chat, you can now record a short 10-second thumbnail GIF of your face, audio included.

The Good: This answers the question of how many S’s are too many when replying ‘yas’ – 9 seconds worth. 

The Bad: Like all good things on Snapchat, you can’t save your best Wooo! GIF… yet. 

Privacy Updates

Usually grey water for Snapchat, there are also new terms of service and privacy policy.

The Good: Now to ‘end’ an agreement with Snapchat, you simply have to delete the account and app (this was never specified previously). 

The Bad: Snapchat could soon have “third-party links and search results” and standard Snapchat – we’re not certain what this will entail. 

 

Audio Notes

Snapchat understands that sometimes you’re unable to type: in Chat you can effortlessly go from typing to sending a short voice snippet.

The Good: Great for tricky situations when your brain is moving quicker than your fingers.

The Bad: These could get ugly, Harry Potter Howler style.  

Auto-Advance Stories

Sit back and relax: after watching a Story, your next Story will auto-play without having to click.

The Good: Boosting video count and allowing users to seamlessly watch Stories for a longer period of time.

The Bad: Accidently watching the Story of a person that you were avoiding – and Twitter agrees.   

Need a visual run-through of the updates? Scan the QR Snapcode below to watch a specific Discover channel on Instagram that explains Snap 2.0.

 

 

 

Posted on April 5, 2016 .

How brands tried to prank you on April Fool's Day

April Fool's Day has rolled around again and no longer is the gag of turning the milk blue or swapping sugar with salt in the office going to cut it.  

In this sharing economy, audiences have come to expect a joke smorgasbord on the 1st of April across social channels, and brands are investing big bucks into creating content that will create a water cooler moment and generate air time. Sharing via social media is a relatively cost-effective way to join the tom-foolery and we have selected a few of our favourite pranks of the day below. The focus this year has been in up and coming technologies such as VR and augmented reality, cute-overloads as well as brands getting a little political with their audiences. Have a look below and let us know in the comments if you think there were any other noteworthy campaigns.

 

FUTURISTIC THINGS WE WISH WERE REAL

 

DOWNLOADABLE WINE by DAN MURPHY’S

“FINALLY! A reason for the internet!” What a time to be alive – Dan Murphy’s Liquor is now offering a downloadable wine service where users can simply swipe right to find an adult beverage for every occasion! It’s a move that everyone, everywhere wishes was possible, but alas, we will still be forced to use our legs and walk to the nearest liquor store when the thirst becomes too real. Before 10pm of course ;)

VR HOLIDAY TRAVEL by CONTIKI

Contiki has listened to all the hoo-haa surrounding VR and made the future a reality with ‘Virtually Limited’ – a holiday, without the investment, experienced through the magic of virtual reality. A video released by Contiki states that for a mere $149, ‘travelers’ can experience Machu Picchu in Peru, drink beers at Oktoberfest & para glide in Sweden without ever having to leave the country. Welcome to the future of travel? This one could actually be closer than you think.

KIDS ONLY PLANES by VIRGIN AUSTRALIA

A cruel, cruel, although very *cute* trick by Virgin Australia, who announced today the introduction of ‘Kids Class’. This new cabin dedicated to the kids of Australia promises bubbles, sleepy tents, special chairs for seat kickers and story time. Wait, why is this not a standard service for all of Virgins customers, young and old? It sounds amazing.

Instead, we’ll be dreaming this was a reality as we try to doze off on our 18 hour flight while the child behind us kicks the back of our seats.

DELICIOUS SCREENS by OPEN TABLE

More news in technology we wish was real. An extremely scientific video released today by Open Table has announced that thanks to their ground breaking ‘taste technology’, app users will now be able to taste images of food right from their phones! If #Lickablephotos become a thing people, think of the possibilities.

 

INFLATABLE FLAMINGOS by RED BALLOON

The experience/adventure company has come up with a few LOL–worthy “unique experiences”, (showcased with an immense amount of detail on their smashing new website*) including Cloud Naming, White Water Rafting on an Inflatable Flamingo and, our personal favourite to the detriment of Bondi Hipsters everywhere – an Active Wear Styling Session.

 

POLITICAL JABS

 

A TRUMP ESCAPE by GROUPON

OUCH Groupon, this is one wicked burn. The company is offering the chance to win a “Four-year Island Holiday and escape from a Trump Presidency” if he should become president. Highlights include the escape from a dystopian future on an all-expenses paid trip to the “Isle-of-Eden” and the chance to live life as it was pre-Trump. Mum always said that if something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Luckily, Groupon are offering 15% off your next purchase to ease the fact that the former host of The Apprentice could also be the next President of the United States.

A TAX LEVY by THE TODAY SHOW

Okay, so not technically a brand, but an extremely amazing April Fool’s joke at the butt of poor, old   New Zealand born Richard Wilkins in the Channel 9 studios this morning. Newsreaders reported that due to a budget black hole, all NZ born Australian residents would now have to pay a one-off 10% levy to the New Zealand government. A cruel trick, and poor Wilkins looked as though his heart was going to burst out his eyeballs as he quickly tried to do the math. Thank you, Today team.

 

A QUESTIONABLE FACEBOOK POST by GELATO MESSINA

While not a confirmed April Fool’s trick, Gelato Messina has their customers in a dizzy over the announcement that Sydney stores (The Star Casino store exempt) will cease trading at 7pm. Messina notes that due to the current lock out laws in Sydney, an increase in foot traffic and “frequent antisocial behaviour” has forced them to close up shop early. An obvious tongue in cheek poke at the #CasinoMike situation, this prank is a little too real for many Sydneysiders.

 

CARDING UP WITH THE CARDASHIANS by ME BANK

 Industry Super Fund owned ME has released a line of 'Cardashians' credit cards. The five extremely fashionable looking credit cards, Cim, Chloe, Courtney, Cris and Canye, introduced to customers via Facebook, offer no limit or overdraw facility for when “you need to keep up”. We are still waiting to hear back as to whether ‘Kim Kardashian: Hollywood’ mobile game accepts the card and will update accordingly.

 

UPPING THE CUTE FACTOR

 

DOGS DOING THINGS by AIRTASKER

Think for a minute, if you will, a world where pooches in t-shirts help you to clean your house, do the gardening, assemble furniture or design your new website. How simple life would be, how much extra time you would have to do other menial human tasks. Luckily, Airtasker has launched ‘Dogtasker’, which is just as adorable as you imagined. The brand has utilized a huge labour market in our furry friends, and from today, dogs for hire will become a thing. Oh, sorry – this is an April Fool’s joke.

 

HIPSTER AIR by CHEAPFLIGHTS

Flying economy these days is tres mainstream. How anyone is expected to eat that cabin food swill l'll never know (l'm a paleo FYI) and the thought of having to take my coffee without Bonsoy has me SCREAMING. When will the madness end? What about MEEEE? Well cry no more, kindred spirit, for today we celebrate the launch of Hipster Air! An exclusive, very boutique airline that offers all the comforts of a modern hipster life. There's curated in-flight entertainment, seasonal artisanal dishes, a whiskey dispensary and a Style-High Club Lounge for the most ironically dressed among us! But hurry, before everyone else catches on!

 

FIND YOUR BURRITO LIFE PARTNER by ZOOSK

Imagine being set up on a beautiful date with an intelligent, funny, good-looking potential new partner only to have your dreams of wedding day bliss come to a crashing halt when you discover they prefer Mild-Chipotle as opposed to your beloved Mucho-Caliente hot sauce on their burrito! It’s the makings of a modern day tragedy people! But alas, we live in a modern world and thankfully so -  tech-driven dating company ZOOSK has come up with an ingenious app, Burrit-OH! that matches singles based on burrito compatibility. Not soon enough if you ask me.

That's all for now folks! Till next year :)

 

*Created by our umbrella agency, The Deepend Group.

Posted on April 1, 2016 .