Ben Maddix, Author at E1Media

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What’s New in Digital Marketing?

We bring you October’s latest developments in the world of social media and digital marketing so you can stay at the cutting-edge of the industry.

1. Cultural Recovery Fund

Cultural institutions across the UK have been celebrating their awards on social media. Over £1.57 billion is being provided to venues, festivals, museums and more through the Cultural Recovery Fund. Whilst not every business was fortunate enough to receive a grant, it’s certainly a step forward for the live events industry. This funding provides a lifeline to venues like Electric Brixton, who cannot open under current guidelines.

Our advice to anyone who’s received the grant is to not neglect your communications strategy. Maintaining a clear voice in these ever-changing times is more important than ever. If you would like to learn more, click here.

With the emergence of a 2nd wave, it’s unlikely we’ll see nightclubs and venues opening any time soon. With winter fast approaching, outdoor shows are becoming less and less feasible. What these cultural institutions sorely need now is a roadmap that guides the path towards re-opening.If you’re a DJ, Performer or another form of ‘creative practitioner’, you can apply for grants of up to £10,000 through Arts Council England. The fight to make the voice of the live events industry heard continues. To find out how to get involved, check out the #WeMakeEvents movement.

2. Instagram Turns 10

Earlier this month saw the 10th anniversary of Instagram. Starting off with just 25k users on its first day, the photo-sharing app now has over 1 billion registered accounts. This makes it the 2nd-largest social media platform in the world, after parent company Facebook (2.6 billion).

Instagram has seen many developments over the years, but none more pivotal than Instagram Stories – over 500 million people use the feature every day. If you’d like to learn more about what makes the stories format so popular, read our blog piece. The platform continues to evolve even after 10 years, the biggest recent addition being Instagram Reels.

To celebrate their 10th anniversary, Instagram sneakily added the ability to change your app icon:

Alongside this comes some significant changes in social commerce. For example, you can now tag products directly in ads:

In theory, this means a customer could buy advertised products without ever having to leave Instagram. Similarly in IGTV and Reels you can now provide mid-video shopping links:

Instagram is keen to push social commerce as it provides new revenue streams whilst also providing users with a fun way to shop. E-commerce businesses can potentially streamline their sales funnel by cutting out their website from the customer journey. 

3. WhatsApp Announces New Business Features

Much like with Instagram, Facebook is keen to monetise WhatsApp, which has a staggering 2 billion users. As a messaging app rather than a social media, they’ve so far struggled to find a revenue stream that doesn’t infringe on users’ privacy. WhatsApp Status, its long-forgotten stories feature, never replicated the success of IG Stories.

Instead, WhatsApp is focusing on expanding its in-app shopping options, giving brands new tools for managing their interactions to maximise its business potential. This is a sensible move, seeing as 175 million people message businesses on WhatsApp a day.

WhatsApp did hint in this blog post that they’ll be charging businesses to use the ‘advanced’ features, without specifying what these are. They’ll most like take commission from any sale that happens within the app.

Regardless, this move adds another string to the bow of e-commerce businesses. It’s clear that Facebook believes the future of shopping online lies within social media and messaging apps, rather than on websites. We’ll be exploring this idea in a future blog piece, so stay tuned!

4. Zoom Launches Paid Events Platform

It’s hard to think of an online service that defines 2020 more than Zoom. The video-calling software has become the go-to for businesses across the globe, with over 300 million daily users. Even the E1MA team got in on the act, taking full advantage of its custom background feature:

Now it seems Zoom is officially moving into the live-streaming space by introducing new event discovery and monetisation features. 

“OnZoom is a comprehensive solution for paid Zoom users to create, host, and monetise events like fitness classes, concerts, stand-up or improv shows, and music lessons on the Zoom Meetings platform.”

OnZoom will support events with up to 1,000 virtual attendees. It includes its own ticketing system, so tickets can be sold without the need for a third-party. Alongside this update comes enhanced security features such as end-to-end encryption, so users have the safest online experience possible.

This can only be good news for businesses and creators. The popularity of live-streaming exploded following the initial lockdown in March and April. They saw a decline in viewership over the summer months, but as winter draws near and restrictions tighten, we’ll probably see a resurgence. 

This could also be useful to musicians and DJs. Other streaming services such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitch are not only difficult to monetise, but have often stringent rules around copyright usage. Aside from this, it raises an important question: are consumers willing to pay for live-streams they previously received for free?

5. Microsoft Release ‘Clarity’, a Free Website Checker Tool

It’s been in beta since 2018, but Microsoft finally announced the general release of Microsoft Clarity yesterday. In case you’re not familiar, Clarity is a free tool that lets you analyse user behaviour on your website. It provides a wealth of data including heatmaps, where people click and more. 

Presentation-wise, it has a simple, Google Analytics-style dashboard. This tool has major potential for e-commerce businesses who are looking to improve the user experience of their website. Clarity lets you observe where customers are entering from and dropping off – invaluable information that can be used to optimise your website and increase conversions.

We share tons of excellent social media updates on our Twitter (@E1MediaAgency) so make sure to follow!

Cultural Recovery Fund: What Are You Doing Next?

The other day, cultural organisations across the UK received generous grants as part of the £1.57 billion Cultural Recovery Fund. If you were one of the fortunate venues, festivals and more that secured funding, you’ll have a detailed roadmap of what to do next.

Whilst the core operational aspects of your business should be prioritised, you shouldn’t neglect your marketing activities. Maintaining a clear voice in these ever-changing times is more important than ever.

Whether your organisation is able to operate under the current guidelines or not, you should be laying the foundation for a communications strategy. One that restores consumer confidence, drives footfall and sells tickets when the time is right.

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of our best resources on everything from social media strategy to real-life case studies of running live events during the pandemic.

1. Back to Business

The challenges of many industries have been well documented throughout the pandemic, but none more than the Live Events sector. Social distancing restrictions and a ban on large indoor gatherings has decimated an industry that, as you’ll know, contributes millions to the UK economy.

Greenwich Comedy Festival was a shining success story amidst these dark times, and E1MA were proud to play a part in it. In this article you can learn how we devised and executed a digital strategy that presented the festival as a safe, secure way to enjoy comedy. Through our efforts, the festival fully sold out in advance and put much-needed smiles on people’s faces.

You can also read about how we drove online bookings with pop-up restaurant Karma Cans, and our part in the re-opening of the UK’s No.1 social gaming experience – Platform

2. E1MA’s Top 5 Tips for Marketing Venues

massive crowd watches musician at electric brixton

This may have been written just before the pandemic tightened its grip on the UK, but the tips inside are still relevant today. Your organisation can’t do much about the government’s social distancing guidelines. Instead, this guide focuses on what you can do to make your venue more appealing to potential customers.

Using our work with Phase, Platform and Noisily Festival as examples, we outline how to use photography to produce thumb-stopping social media feeds. We also emphasise the importance of consistent branding across your channels, and why micro-influencers are the best promotional vehicles you’ve never heard of.

Now more than ever, customers will be checking out your socials and websites before visiting. Make sure they’re in tip-top condition with this guide.

3. How to Sell Tickets to Your Event (Part 1 & Part 2)

This is technically two articles, but we have so much to say on the topic that we split it into two. Many cultural organisations are struggling financially. Whilst grants like the Cultural Recovery Fund temporarily alleviate these woes, ultimately your business will live or die based on how many patrons you can get through the door. 

As we predicted in our ‘What’s Next For Music Venues’ piece, advance tickets are becoming increasingly important. These guides demonstrate how to harness the power of social media to drive ticket sales.

Part 1 focuses on organic, non-paid social. Using our clients We Are FSTVL and ByDay ByNight as examples, our goal is to gently nudge customers down the purchasing funnel towards conversion. We stress the importance of consistent posting and using an array of different content types to grab fans’ attention. Chatbots can be used to provide information and event updates directly. Website link best practices ensure the fans click-through to the ticket site.

Part 2 is all about paid social. Social media advertising can deliver incredible results if you know what you’re doing. We run through segmenting your target audience and establishing objectives to ensure your communications are seen by the right people at the right time.

The importance of creativity in advertising cannot be understated. Through our work with Platform we illustrate the power of eye-catching visuals and how to write copy that converts.

Finally, we explain techniques such as A/B testing and why you should be continually monitoring the performance of your campaign.

For more digital marketing insights, check out the rest of our blog. If you would like to find out how E1MA can transform your business, contact us for more information.

Why Are ‘Stories’ So Popular?

The short, snappy format continues to dominate the social media landscape. But how did this happen, and why are stories more popular than ever?

Stories in 2020

‘Stories’ have become synonymous with social media – it’s hard to separate the two. The short-form, vertical format entered the mainstream in 2011 with the launch of Snapchat. Nearly 10 years later, despite Snapchat dropping in popularity, the rise of Stories continues elsewhere.

As we reported last week, both LinkedIn and Pinterest have launched their own versions – joining Instagram and Facebook in adopting the format. Rumours that Twitter are planning their own version of Stories, called ‘Fleets’, have also been circulating the media. All the major social media platforms are attempting to emulate the runaway success of Instagram Stories, which is used by 500 million people every day. 

Source: Buffer

A relatively new social media company named Bytedance harnessed the popularity of stories to create TikTok – which has over 1 billion downloads and 800 million active users to date. This was then replicated by Instagram with IG Reels. Social media companies are quick to take the ‘tried & tested’ features of a rival platform and implement them into their own service. 

As a result, The social media landscape is starting to look rather homogeneous – every platform looks the same (compare Facebook & LinkedIn‘s recent re-designs). But we should remember that social media companies simply adapt to ever-changing consumer preferences.

So the real question is: why do we love Stories so much? Here’s two key reasons.

They’re mobile-first

The attention span of the modern consumer is getting shorter. We’re being bombarded with so much information on our devices that our attention has become fragmented. Using social media can be mentally exhausting, which is why we spread those 177 minutes of smartphone activity across the entire day. Most people check their phones around 150 times a day. Stories slot perfectly into these ‘micro-moments’. Instagram, for example, has a maximum 15-second duration per story, compared to 60 seconds on the feed.

Of course, stories aren’t usually posted in isolation. The reason the format is called ‘stories’ is because they’re typically divided into parts, like the chapters of a book. It’s all about presenting content in small, manageable chunks. The average feed caption has doubled in length since 2016 – big blocks of text can be off-putting to social media users.

Compare this to Stories, where you can drop in and out whenever you like, and pick up a story wherever you left off. If one story doesn’t interest you, you can simply tap to the next one with minimal effort.

In the case of Instagram, it even orders stories based on how likely you are to watch:

All these actions make engaging with stories incredibly simple, which is one of the reasons why they’re so popular. Humans are cognitively lazy and are hard-wired to prefer the simple over the complex. This is valuable advice that can be applied to many areas of marketing, including content creation.

They’re less ‘polished’

Social media users have long felt pressured into presenting their ‘best selves’ online. Instagram in particular is known for it’s carefully-curated feed posts. However, there is mounting evidence that users are abandoning the ‘Instagram aesthetic’ in favour of more genuine, unpolished content. Stories are the perfect way to realise this.

The reason this shift is taking place through stories is because they’re temporary. They’re only viewable for 24 hours, meaning creators are under far less pressure to post the ‘perfect’ shot. As you can’t directly like or comment on a story, users are more likely to post what they want, not what will generate the most likes.

Let’s not forget the fact that stories are simply great fun. Pen tools, filters and gifs allow people to truly express themselves. Newer features such as interactive stickers gave us new ways to interact with our audiences. No expensive cameras or photo-editing software needed.

Concluding Words

We’ve seen so many creatively executed stories over the years, and expect to see countless more moving forward. Almost every major social media platform has incorporated a version of the stories format. As we’ve outlined, the reason Stories continue to be incredibly popular is because they seamlessly slot into modern life. They’re simple, fun and mobile-first. And they aren’t going anywhere.

What’s New in Social Media?

We bring you some of the most important new developments in the world of social media and digital marketing so you can stay the cutting-edge of the industry.

1. Facebook Removes 20% Text Rule in Ad Images

Anyone that’s ever used paid social will know how much of a big deal this is. Facebook is contacting advertisers informing them that “we will no longer penalize ads with higher amounts of image text in auctions and delivery”. Social media expert Matt Navarra revealed this last week:

This is great news for digital advertisers. The <20% text rule was initially introduced by Facebook to encourage businesses to take a ‘show, don’t tell’ approach after finding ads with less text perform better. However in our experience, we’ve found the rule to be overbearing and frustrating, often having to completely restructure ads to meet Facebook’s demands.

We can only speculate as to why Facebook have decided to remove this rule. In the age of COVID-19, governments, health bodies and businesses need to communicate safety guidelines en masse. Less ad restrictions mean more flexibility to communicate key messages.

2. Facebook Encourage the Use of Hashtags

Continuing on with Facebook, there has been evidence that Facebook are steadily incorporating hashtags back into the platform. Hashtags have always been available to use on the platform, but are far more prominent on Twitter and Instagram. 

However, this prompt started appearing for some Facebook Business users a month ago:

Now, as part of the new Facebook desktop interface, hashtag suggestions and usage stats appear for all users:

Bearing a strong similarity to sister platform Instagram, this appears to be Facebook’s way of bringing the two closer together. Mark Zuckerberg has previously stressed the importance of building an online global community, and hashtags allow exactly that. As we discussed in a previous blog post, hashtags are being used as a hub for important social movements such as #BlackLivesMatter or #WeMakeEvents. This adoption by Facebook shouldn’t be a surprise.

This is great news for businesses, as hashtags can now be used across all the major platforms. Our own research has found they can improve post reach by over 10%. On a larger scale, hashtags can be used to tie together marketing campaigns and lead to a more cohesive social media presence across your channels.

3. LinkedIn Introduces Stories

The platform have followed the way of Instagram, Facebook and YouTube by introducing a version of the ever-popular stories format. Like Facebook, professional networking site LinkedIn is getting a visual overhaul (though the two now look remarkably similar):

Following months of testing in selected countries, Stories have began rolling out worldwide on LinkedIn’s mobile version:

It’s yet to be introduced in the UK, but early feedback from the US & Canada is positive. LinkedIn Stories functions much in the same way as IG Stories – only those following you can view them. It will be interesting to see what kind of content creators and businesses come up with on the platform.

The monumental rise of Stories is hard to ignore. The vertical format has grown exponentially with the rise of smartphones, and the popularity of TikTok and IG Reels speaks for itself. It goes without saying that businesses must have a mobile-first approach in 2020.

4. Pinterest Expands ‘Pin Stories’ Launch

Visual discovery engine (and pseudo-social media) Pinterest has also expanded its roll out of ‘Pin Stories’.

“Story Pins is an all new type of Pin and publishing option that gives creators a way to tell dynamic and visual stories with videos, voiceover and image and text overlay. We’re making it easier for creators who are eager to share their talent, passions and creativity to flow back directly into Pinterest without the need for a website. For Pinners, this means the ideas within a Pin will be more engaging and actionable.”

So once again, it works much like Instagram Stories, who themselves adopted the format from Snapchat several years ago. The key difference is that Story Pins don’t disappear after 24 hours. This is Pinterest’s response to the rise of ‘social commerce’ – the purchasing of products directly through social media without the need for a website. Facebook has FB Shops, Instagram has Shoppable Tags. If your e-commerce business hasn’t incorporated social commerce into your sales strategy yet, now is the time to do it.

5. Sir David Attenborough Joins Instagram

The national treasure broke a world record by acquiring 1 million followers in just over 4 hours, beating previous holder Jennifer Aniston by 33 minutes. His first post, an IGTV video, has viewed 17 million times already:

The account was created to promote his new documentary, ‘A Life On Our Planet’. Despite not being managed by Attenborough directly, it has already attracted just under 5 million followers. Himself and his team understand the importance of reaching younger audiences where they spend their time. The team have taken full advantage of Instagram’s formats, with a mixture of longer IGTV videos, 60-second snippets and photos.

6. IGTV Now Provides Automatic Subtitles

Instagram recently introduced automatic closed-captions for IGTV videos, as we can see below:

IGTV has had a mixed reception since its introduction in 2018, doubling-down on the potential of long-form, vertical video. We feel the addition of automatic subtitles will be a major boost to the format, as users often watch videos muted. Could David Attenborough usher in a new era for IGTV? More importantly, when will we see our first David Attenborough IG Reel? We wait in anticipation.

Also:

  • IG Reels gets a new update, allowing for longer videos (The Verge)
  • TikTok reveals insights into how it’s algorithm works (Social Media Today)
  • Instagram could introduce paid links in posts, suggests new patent (The Verge)
  • Snapchat publishes insightful Generation Z report (Snapchat)

Why Green Marketing Is More Important Than Ever

In 2020, consumers expect the businesses they deal with to make a positive impact on both society and the environment. The ongoing pandemic has primarily shifted public attention towards our own health & wellbeing, including the environment we live in. What should brands do about this? The answer is green marketing.

What is Green Marketing?

Green Marketing, Eco-Marketing, Environmental Marketing – it has many names but essentially it’s the act of selling products or services based on their environmental appeal. This ranges from how products are manufactured to initiatives such as tree planting. Deforestation, air pollution, plastic waste – these are the issues that increasingly influence a consumer’s purchasing decision.

The pandemic has only exacerbated these attitudes. Months of lockdown and have made consumers more appreciative of their local green spaces and parks. The rise in remote-working is driving flocks of office employees away from the cities and into the countryside, in search of bigger gardens.

The idea of a post-pandemic ‘green recovery’ is rising in popularity.  In fact, one report found that many people are willing to continue recent lifestyle changes to help tackle the climate emergency. Social distancing measures have led to more commuters cycling to work. People are spending more time at home, preparing home-cooked meals rather than grabbing a pre-packaged sandwich in town. Staycations in the Cotswolds have replaced city breaks in Barcelona. All these changes are making us more more appreciative of our natural spaces and incrementally shifting consumer attitudes towards environmentalism.

As we outlined in our piece on pandemic shopping behaviour, these lifestyle changes will inevitably influence where consumers purchase products and services moving forward. The age of the social-media led 24hr news cycle only encourages this further. Powerful images of wildfires raging in the US and flooding in South-East Asia draw attention to important environmental issues. Consumers don’t want to purchase from companies that support the deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest, or fill the oceans with 18 billion pounds of plastic each year.

This doesn’t just apply to large, multinational conglomerates. Whether a small retailer or a local music venue, independent businesses are increasingly expected to ‘do their part’ in protecting our planet.

How can your business get involved?

Contrary to belief, you don’t have to make massive changes to your business to buy into the ‘green marketing’ movement. Before 2019, 4.7 billion straws were being used in England every year alone. They’ve since been formally banned, but the phasing-out of plastic straws initially driven by the businesses themselves, on the back of customer feedback. Whilst legislation does work (the 5p charge saw plastic bag usage drop by 90%), it’s better to be a leader when it comes to environmentally-beneficial changes. It’s one way to stand out in a highly competitive market.

Customers and businesses are often shocked at the sheer amount of plastic used in daily life. The world has become extremely reliant on synthetic materials in recent decades, and you’ll find it almost impossible to become a completely ‘plastic-free’ business.

A much more achievable goal would be to abstain from using single-use plastics, particularly on the consumer-facing side of your business. Set an example to customers by steadily omitting plastic bottles, takeaway containers and bags from your premises.

For E1MA’s new clothing project, Living Thing, environmentalism forms a key aspect of the brand. From the outset we understood the expectations of our target audience. All our products are made-to-order to reduce waste and made with 100% organic cotton. Even the packaging is plastic-free and fully biodegradable. The key takeaway here is to back-up your words with actions.

Communicating your green credentials

Modern consumers are very perceptive when it comes to ‘green-washing’. A relatively new term, green-washing is designed to “make people believe that your company is doing more to protect the environment than it really is”. This can have the opposite effect and cause customers to distrust your brand – honesty is the best policy.

Genuine changes are beneficial for the planet. They also can be folded into your communications strategy and help attract these environmentally-conscious audiences. 

Show your commitment to the cause by setting environmental targets for your business and how you intend to meet them. Noisily Festival has their ‘Looking After the Woods Initiative’ with the goal of becoming a carbon-neutral festival and sending zero waste to the landfill. Every year they publish a Sustainability Review for all to see, and are transparent regarding progress.

The seriousness of a sustainability report gives authority to your words and builds trust. Other long-form content types such as blog posts can provide information to customers in a more colloquial manner. This is the approach our friends at Kapara take.

Many social and environmental movements gain traction on social media. Communicating your green credentials on your channels involves your brand in the wider conversation. Using the right hashtags and associating your brand with an awareness day (e.g. World Earth Day) to reach new audiences or remind current fans of your environmental practices.

Concluding Words

The world through a period of immense change and uncertainty. Depending on your business’ circumstances, this could be the best or worst time to change how it operates. It’s easy to become intimidated by terms such as ‘environmentalism’ or ‘green recovery’ but as we’ve discussed, you don’t need a complete transformation. Taking small steps towards being more sustainable will not only protect the environment, but will help retain and attract conscious customers.

Should You Be Using Hashtags in 2020?

Hashtags took the world by storm in the early days of social media. They offered a simple yet effective way of joining on global conversations about a specific topic. But do they actually need to be a part of your social media marketing strategy in 2020?

Background

The #hashtag was initially popularised by Twitter in the early days of the platform, but was later adopted by Instagram and to a lesser degree, Facebook.

First ever use of a hashtag on social media, by Twitter developer Chris Messina.

Now over 125 million #hashtags are used on Twitter. They are ubiquitous across social media, from Instagram and Facebook to Snapchat and TikTok. They allow users to add context to ambiguous tweets or become part of a wider conversation. During the coronavirus pandemic they’ve been used to rally support for important causes, from #BlackLivesMatter to #WeMakeEvents.

From a business standpoint, hashtags can also be used to drive marketing campaigns (e.g. #ShareACoke), align your business with an awareness day (e.g. #ThrowbackThursday) or observe how consumers feel about your brand.

Using Hashtags in 2020

It’s clear that hashtags have a wide variety of applications. In the ever-changing world of social media, they have remained a stalwart feature since the very beginning. But as social media companies continue to restrict organic reach in favour of paid advertising, are hashtags still worth using? 

The short answer is yes. We selected and analysed a few of Noisily Festival’s recent Instagram posts. Each post used between 8 – 12 relevant hashtags, such as #festivalseason, #goodvibes and #festivalinspo:

On average, hashtags improved post reach by 10%. Over 12% of the total impressions came from accounts that don’t follow Noisily. This means these hashtags are helping the festival reach and attract new audiences. By increasing your discoverability, you could increase the amount of followers you have and in turn, the amount of sales you generate. Through Sprout Social we can see our top-performing hashtags are #FestivalInspo, #Festival and #musicfestival. This illustrates the importance of tailoring them to your industry.

Hashtags: Best Practices

How many?

The amount of hashtags you should use varies between social media platforms. Twitter is widely known for its restrictive 280 character limit. The platform recommended no more than 1 or 2 hashtags in a recent blog piece:


These tips may be from Twitter, but can be applied to all social media channels.

On Instagram you can use up to 30 hashtags, but we don’t recommend doing this every time. The main argument for not using them is that it can clutter your message, look spammy or simply present your brand as desperate. For Noisily Festival, we find that 10 – 15 is the ideal amount, but this will vary from business to business.

Which ones?

As we’ve mentioned before, make sure the hashtags you are relevant to the content you’re posting. Using them incorrectly could actually reduce your reach. If no one is engaging with your content via the hashtags, Instagram’s algorithm may deem this as ‘undesirable’ content and hide your posts from the Explore feed.

Aligning with trending hashtags are an excellent way to generate reach for your posts. Anything from weekly classics such as #ThrowbackThursday to annual events like #NationalPancakeDay are opportunities to put your profiles in the spotlight. Add to the conversation with your own unique spin and convey your brand’s personality.

Where should I use them?

A question that pops up frequently is whether to place the hashtags in the caption or the comments. We’ve found it doesn’t make much of a difference, but we prefer the comments section as it makes the caption look cleaner. No one wants to press ‘see more’ and be greeted with a 30-strong block of #hashtags.

A lot of hashtag work is based on experimentation. Research the top hashtags in your field, and use different ones to see what works. You can see how much reach they’re generating in within Instagram:

Concluding Words

Whilst hashtags aren’t as important as they once were, they are still worth incorporating into your social media strategy. Twitter and Instagram should be your focus, but a recent leak suggests hashtags will start to play a more important role on Facebook:

And let’s not forget about LinkedIn, IG Stories or TikTok. It’s clear that hashtags still have their place in 2020. They have the potential to improve the reach of your organic posts by over 10%, can weave your brand into trending conversations and turn wider communities into followers.

Is Instagram Reels Here to Stay?

Following its launch on 5th August, Instagram Reels looks to emulate the success of IG Stories. But what is this new content format, and does it have the potential to be more than a passing trend?

What is Instagram Reels?

Instagram Reels is a new way to create 15-second multi-clip videos with audio, effects and other creative tools. 

Unlike stories, which are only viewable by your followers, reels can be shared with the wider Instagram community via the Explore feed. In their own words, reels “offer anyone the chance to become a creator on Instagram and reach new audiences on the global stage”.

Sound familiar? That’s because it’s almost an exact copy of TikTok.

It’s hard to ignore TikTok’s meteoric rise in the last couple of years.Having built upon the successful formula of the now-defunct Vine, which had 200 million users at its peak, TikTok has achieved 4 billion downloads and 800 million active users to date.

Why is TikTok so popular? It’s incredibly simple to use. Videos start playing the moment you open the app, and it’s innovative algorithm learns your preferences and drip-feeds you content accordingly. It’s no wonder users spend an average of 52 minutes a day within the app, increasing to 80 minutes for those aged 4 -15. But don’t be fooled into thinking TikTok is only for children. 42% of its audience are aged 18-24, making it an excellent platform to target Generation Z, from a marketing perspective.

So it’s clear why Instagram are attempting to replicate the TikTok experience with Reels. Their iteration comes at a time when Chinese-owned TikTok is being banned in India and potentially the US – the app’s two largest markets. Instagram intends to capture these markets from TikTok in the same way IG Stories captured Snapchat’s audience. The success of IG Stories is there for all to see – 500 million people use the feature every day, compared to 238 million Snapchat users. Will the same happen for Reels?

How is Instagram Reels performing?

It’s been a mixed reaction to Reels so far. Many users feel like it’s been ‘tacked-on’, hidden within the Stories interface:

In defence of Instagram, they’ve just added a new tab to user’s profiles:

And there are rumours of Reels replacing the Search button in the UI (with Search being moved to the top right) to make it more prominent:

In terms of performance metrics, it’s hard to judge at this early stage. In our opinion, it’s performing moderately well. Instagram are keenly pushing Reels in the Explore tab, like so:

We’ve also been seeing many influencers using Reels, as it provides a new way to provide content to an existing audience. Such videos have been generating vast amounts of organic reach, but there are some caveats. Firstly, most of these ‘Reels’ are simply re-uploads of TikTok videos. Secondly, this strong performance could easily be Instagram’s algorithm favouring Reels over other formats to improve its usage during this make-or-break period. Facebook have been notoriously decreasing the organic reach of posts on their apps to encourage the use of paid advertising. Expect this to happen to Reels once adoption has become widespread.

Does Reels have marketing potential?

Any type of content that could keep users engaged with your brand is worth adopting. Its emphasis on audio means musicians and labels are in the best position to use Reels. Food & Drink and Fashion brands can also get creative with the format, as these topics are already popular on TikTok.

If your business already incorporates TikTok into its communications strategy, then Reels should be the natural next step. There aren’t any ads running within Reels yet, but we expect they’ll be similar to stories, presentation-wise. Short, snappy videos will be the key to capturing your audience’s attention.

In the short-term, experiment with Reels in your organic posts.Your reach will improve tremendously if even one video becomes ‘featured’. Uploading your TikToks, or adapting your older 15-second videos to the format could involve your brand in the early ‘hype’ of Instagram Reels.

It’s too soon to say whether Reels will be a runaway success like Instagram Stories. Facebook’s previous attempt at emulating this format, Lasso, shut down on 10th July after only 18 months and 80,000 active users. While it’s safe to say that Reels won’t drop to this level, after the initial excitement has died down, will audiences abandon it for TikTok? Only time will tell.

What’s Next for Music Venues?

We have reached a point in the pandemic where most non-essential businesses have resumed operations. Shops, bars and restaurants are all welcoming customers once again – but what about nightclubs and live music venues?

It’s a question on many people’s minds, including our own. Here, we look at the latest government information and make some predictions on how live events could operate moving forward.

Latest Government Information

Boris Johnson has just announced that live indoor performances will resume from Saturday, having been delayed from 1st August. To the frustration of many, little information regarding nightclubs has been provided.

The announcement is certainly a step forward. But for most grassroots venues its still not financially viable to open with social distancing measures in place. Even with VAT being slashed from 20% to 5% for all hospitality businesses, including clubs and venues, it’s not enough to recoup the losses induced by months of closed doors. We’ve seen initiatives such as ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ launched by the chancellor to boost struggling bars & restaurants, but little for music venues. 

Back in early July, the Government announced a £1.57 billion rescue package for arts & cultural institutions. While it’s a step in the right direction, much of this comes in the form of loans, not grants. Britain’s museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas and heritage sites, all need to share this in addition to music venues. It’s simply not enough. 

The live events industry, which contributes billions to the UK economy and employs up to 1 million people, needs more support. Social campaigns including #SaveOurScene, #LetTheMusicPlay and most recently #WeMakeEvents have sought to highlight the issue. For more information on what you can do to help, click here.

Based on existing government guidelines, here are some predictions on what future live events could include:

1. Outdoor events will be actively encouraged

Scientists strongly believe that there is a lower chance of transmitting the virus in outdoor environments. The government has already made it easier for businesses to trade outside, as we discussed in our ‘4th July’ blog piece. This is fine for bars & restaurants who can spread out onto pavements and car parks, but it’s simply not practical for large crowds.

Some venues do have ample outdoor space to hold a concert, but for others it may need to hire or collaborate with another venue. The UK’s first socially-distanced music venue has just opened in Gosforth Park, Newcastle. The Virgin Money Unity Arena spreads 2,500 fans across 500 spaced-out platforms:

This isn’t the only event that’s had to adapt. We are currently working with Greenwich Comedy Festival, who have moved their 2020 edition to the lawns of Greenwich Maritime Museum. A carefully spaced outdoor seating arrangement has replaced the Big Tops of previous years.

The entire live events industry will need to be more flexible and creative about how they stage shows. Realistically, we know going outdoors isn’t practical for a number of venues, or for fans. The unpredictability of English weather is a factor, as is the complexity of acquiring a license to hold an outdoor event.

2. Seating-only events

Many life-long music fans will argue that sitting down at a concert detracts from the experience and atmosphere. Unfortunately, seated concerts will become the standard, at least from a short-term perspective.

With seating it’s a lot easier to maintain social distancing, as opposed to a crowd of people who are free to move around. Cinemas are operating with an empty seat in-between each visitor, or by clustering households together. If your venue has seating installed already, this is mostly likely the model you’ll have to follow.

The concept of ‘social bubbles’ has been used a lot in government’s rhetoric during the pandemic. This has practical applications in seating arrangements. Greenwich Comedy Festival are only selling tickets in pairs. Their proposed seating area is divided into ‘blocks’, along with staggered arrival times:


The audience area at Greenwich Comedy Festival has been split into four completely separate blocks – each with their own colour code, entrance & exit points, toilet & hygiene facilities & dedicated PPE-adorned staff.

Of course, the main challenge all types of business are facing is that social distancing measures reduce overall capacity. 100 standing fans take up far less space than 100 seated, socially-distanced fans. Nevertheless, customer safety must take priority over profits until the virus has been defeated. Large crowds of dancing fans can only return once social distancing measures have been removed.

3. Advance tickets will play a huge role

The idea of spontaneously attending a gig could be over in the age of Covid-19. Advance tickets provide a chance to collect customer information. This is mandatory to aid with local contact tracing efforts.

Pre-booking should be actively encouraged regardless of the pandemic, as it allows you to gauge attendance numbers and adapt your marketing efforts accordingly. But now it’s more important than ever.

For nightclubs in particular, staggered arrival times could go hand-in-hand with advance tickets. Many club events already offer tiered tickets that have varying entry times. but this may become more commonplace for all types of events. Staggered arrival times reduce queuing times and allow you to better control the flow of fans in and out of your venue.

We understand that many nights out aren’t meticulously planned out beforehand. The best way to still allow on-the-door tickets would be to implement a scannable QR code that takes fans straight to a contact information form. No one wants to extra hurdles for potential customers, but venues have few other options until the rules around contact tracing relax.

Concluding words

In many ways, it’s too early to make any serious assumptions about what the future of music venues looks like. While this is partly due to the government’s emphasis on other parts of the economy, it’s mainly because hospitality is intrinsically linked to close-quarters social interaction. The audience plays a huge role in creating the experience that fills venues in the first place.

What venue owners, artists and fans can all agree on is that no one likes an empty club.

Back to Business

Throughout the pandemic the E1MA team have been busy helping our clients adapt to an ever-changing landscape. Now as restrictions continue to ease, we’re doing everything we can to ensure our clients get off a flying start as their doors re-open. Here’s what we’ve been working on:

Greenwich Comedy Festival

London’s leading comedy festival, Greenwich Comedy Festival sees over 30 top-tier comedians perform in front of thousands across 5 days and nights. From international-renowned acts to rising stars, all can be found at this boutique festival taking place in the heart of the city.

For this year’s instalment they’ve made a few changes to make the festival as safe and enjoyable as possible. This includes moving it to the lawns of Greenwich Maritime Museum. The open-air setting will feature a domed stage, socially-distanced seating and delicious food & drink purchasable via their app.

E1MA have been advising on and executing their social media marketing strategy. We constructed a social media timeline and populated it with a variety of posts, tailored for each platform. Maintaining close communication with the organisers, we carefully crafted copy that both reflects the comedy festival’s personality and drives sales.

This organic output has been supplemented with paid social. The E1MA team are creating and maintaining ad campaigns, making sure they are seen by the right audiences at the right time.

Platform

Platform is the UK’s #1 social gaming experience, located in the heart of London. Taking gaming to the next level, their unique space features classic games, delicious cocktails, and mouth-watering pizza. From eSports to bottomless brunch, anything goes at this fun-filled venue.

A total transformation has taken place at Platform, illustrated by their exciting new re-brand. The passionate team have worked hard to make sure visitors can get the full Platform experience in a safe manner. Separate gaming booths, table service, a venue flow system and regular cleaning are just a handful of the measures Platform have taken so everyone can #GameSafe.

We’ve been working with Platform on their digital media strategy, conveying their unique brand personality and driving bookings through carefully-crafted social media ads. These ads are continually monitored and maintained, highlighting their performance through regular reporting. E1MA also manage email campaigns for Platform – this omni-channel approach converts fans into customers.

Karma Cans

Starting off in a basement kitchen, Karma Cans has grown into full-fledged corporate catering service delivering over delicious, sustainable meals a day across London.

Community is an important part of Karma Cans’ ethos, and this year they’ve decided to host a summer-long pop-up restaurant at Hoxton Docks. The Karma Cans Rooftop Summer Series featuring several of their iconic dishes, set on a safe and welcoming rooftop overlooking the canal.

To ensure this got off to a flying start, we devised a social media competition that both created awareness and generated email sign-ups. E1MA then constructed mailers that provided more information on the venue and encouraged online bookings.

We ran a lead generation & brand awareness campaign alongside this. By creating lookalike audiences based on Karma Cans’ existing fans and focusing on the local area, we delivered ads to the right people. This resulted in a higher familiarity with the Karma Cans brand and ultimately, more bookings.

How Sentiment Analysis Can Help You Understand Your Audience

How well do you know your brand’s audience? You might know some basic demographic information, such as their age-range, geographic location, or loosely-defined ‘interests’. But do you know how they feel, particularly regarding your brand? Sentiment analysis can find out the answers.  

What is Sentiment Analysis?

Don’t let the technical-sounding name deter you, Sentiment Analysis or ‘Opinion Mining’ is the process of determining the emotional tone behind a series of words (or even emojis).

This allows you to understand the attitudes, opinions or emotions of users when they post and comment online.

Sentiment Analysis is commonly used by brands to gauge how online audiences feel about them. Naturally, social media is the best place to find out, as self-expression plays a huge role. From comments on your brand’s FB posts to indirectly mentioning you in tweets, customer sentiment is everywhere and publicly accessible for free.

The best part is you don’t need a degree in Marketing Analytics or expensive software to undertake basic sentiment analysis, as we will demonstrate later.

How Will It Help My Brand?

Being able to quickly observe how your fans feel about your latest festival announcement, social media post or product innovation is a major benefit. It’s almost like gathering customer feedback without needing to formally ask for it. This allows you to better tailor your product or social media output and in turn, boost your sales.

Sentiment Analysis can also be used to snoop on your competitors and gain an insight into what they’re doing well (or not well). You can even analyse Twitter hashtags that are related to your industry. For example, you could use #LetTheMusicPlay to understand consumer attitudes towards nightclubs re-opening. The possibilities are endless.

How to Create a Sentiment Analysis Report

For your first dive into Sentiment Analysis, we recommend performing it on one of your brand’s social media posts. Whilst using an analysis tool is faster, doing the first few manually will you better understand the process. It’s also free – you can always invest in software later down the line.

In our example, we analysed the sentiment of We Are FSTVL’s recent FB announcement of a new show – We Are Mexico:

The start of any Sentiment Analysis report should provide some context for the reader. Describe the content of the post and how many engagements it had (likes, comments and shares). 

A ‘like’ on your post is pretty self explanatory – it’s a positive reaction to the content. Comments are far more important as their tone can vary wildly. Sarcasm is something you need to be on the lookout for, as you may perceive a comment to be positive when it’s actually negative. There’s no way to know for certain, so pay close attention to the wording and look out for clues.

Emojis and use of punctuation can often reveal the true sentiment of a comment. Take these three sentences:

All contain the same words, but are conveying different sentiments. Summarise how many of the comments are positive or negative. In our example, 100% of the sampled comments were positive.

If you can’t establish the sentiment of a comment, simply label it as ‘unknown’. It’s better to admit you’re unsure rather than taking a stab in the dark.

Identifying Key Themes

Grouping comments by their purpose or theme and displaying this in a pie chart allows you to quickly identify key points:

In our example, most of the comments simply consisted of fans tagging their friends, with a few asking questions. What we can deduce from this is that We Are FSTVL’s audience are hugely excited about the upcoming show, and a few want to know the specifics. It helps to list these questions in your report:

This helps us establish the fans’ priorities. Are they enquiring about the price? The line-up? The date? Use these questions to both tailor your social media output and flesh out your FAQs.

Sentiment Analysis is far more straightforward than many businesses realise. How complicated it becomes depends on the level of detail you want, and the size of your audience. But even the most rudimentary Sentiment Analysis report can reveal how your fans truly feel about your brand’s online presence.

Has the Pandemic Changed Shopping Behaviour for Good?

The UK is returning to a resemblance of ‘normal life’, signalled by the widespread relaxation of social distancing rules. As our economy re-opens and shops throw open their doors, we felt it an excellent time to think about consumer shopping behaviour.

An event as impactful as a pandemic will no doubt have a lasting impact on the way we go about our daily lives. For businesses, this means adapting the way they promote and sell their goods & services to align with new-found consumer shopping habits.

Here are the trends you should be aware of and whether they will have a lasting impact beyond the pandemic.

Consumers are shopping online more

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone – 2 in 5 UK shoppers say they will make more online purchases after lockdown ends.

All but the most essential offline businesses have been shut-down in the UK for over three months. Wide-scale adoption of ‘work-from-home’ practices means many consumers are saving money through a lack of travel and dining out costs.

People have typically had more free time during lockdown, due to a lack of commuting or furloughment. Shopping has long been a popular pastime, and we’ve seen a massive shift towards shopping online in recent months.

Much of this growth is attributed to ‘low-frequency’ online users – those who rarely shopped online before the pandemic. Accenture are predicting a 160% increase in the number of purchases made by this group moving forward:

One clear e-commerce winner is fashion retailer Asos, whose active customer base has grown by 16%. A whole range of industries are seeing a boost to online sales, particularly the food & drink sectors. The pandemic has seen more money going towards essentials rather than ‘luxuries’, and this applies to e-commerce as well. You only have to look at online food retailer Ocado , who’ve seen their profits double as grocery delivery soars in popularity.

Will this continue beyond the pandemic?

Absolutely. Non-essential shops have re-opened their doors again, but despite an initial surge in numbers (we all saw the Primark queues), high street footfall was down 65% in June.

The government’s recent pivot in messaging from ‘Stay Indoors’ to ‘Enjoy Summer Safely’ is not yet having the desired effect. The fact is, many consumers are still wary of the virus and will continue to take social distancing measures seriously.

The shift towards online shopping has been progressing for years, but the pandemic has only further accelerated it. Widespread smartphone adoption, faster internet and even faster delivery times are all contributing factors.

E-commerce is here to stay – that’s why E1MA are also getting involved with our own projects.

The rise of the conscious consumer

This is another consumer behaviour trend that started before the pandemic but has been amplified in recent times. The global health emergency is seeing consumers focus on their wellbeing more than ever. Sales of home exercise equipment are through the roof, and smokers are quitting at the fastest rate in a decade.

Deloitte predicts people will read labels more carefully, scrutinise the ingredients of products and be more careful about what they put in their bodies.

These changes in purchasing behaviour will impact not only which products consumers buy, but where they buy them. From ‘Black Lives Matter’ to ‘End Modern Slavery’, several important, progressive movements have been gaining global traction. This is causing consumers to think twice about how and where they spend their money. 

Attitudes towards the fashion industry, which makes up 10% of global emissions, are changing considerably. Consumers are becoming more concerned about sustainability – awareness movements like Plastic-Free July are clear evidence of this.

Unethical business practices are also becoming an increasingly important factor in spending habits. Fast Fashion retailer Boohoo have been making headlines recently for allegedly using suppliers that pay below minimum wage and provide substandard working conditions.

Consumers are demanding that products are ethical from both an environmental and social standpoint. Over 50% are willing to pay more for these assurances.

Will this continue beyond the pandemic?

Most likely. The lack of economic and social activity during lockdown inadvertently saw a reduction in global C02 emissions, improved air quality and the return of nature to our urban areas. The benefits of an environmentally-conscious society are there for all to see.

On the other hand, widespread economic shutdown means many people have less income at their disposal. 54% of Britons say they’ve been spending moderately less during the pandemic. When times are tough, shoppers often disregard environmental concerns in favour of more cost-effective products.

Nevertheless, we expect the ‘conscious consumer’ to continue its steady rise as environmental and social issues become more and more prevalent. Second-hand clothing, organic groceries and plastic-free products are moving into the mainstream.

Shopping locally

The local high-street has taken a beating in recent years, marked by a societal shift towards e-commerce. However, geography has been playing an increasingly prevalent role in our daily lives during the pandemic. Lockdown restrictions have seen most people confined to their local areas, unwilling to travel on public transport or visit busy supermarkets.

The togetherness and community spirit that has been fostered during the pandemic is also having an influence. The result is more and more people shopping locally, with corner shops seeing a 23% increase in customers.

Will this continue beyond the pandemic?

In the short-term, yes. 2 out of 3 consumers plan to shop locally more often in the future, but this is driven by fears of long queues and busy shopping malls. As the pandemic subsides, such factors will become less important.

Online shopping remains a powerful draw, especially as supply chains restart and delivery times fall. Rather pessimistically, we also need to remember that we’re in an economic recession – shopping online or at a national chain is often cheaper than your local businesses.

The pandemic has no doubt had an everlasting impact on the way we live our lives. These transformations in consumer spending habits have the potential to shape the future of business, and our world.

Has Your Festival Been Targeted By This New FB Scam?

In recent weeks we have seen a number of festivals targeted by a number of sophisticated Facebook phishing scams. We’ve documented how this has impacted Noisily Festival, to bring more attention to this industry-wide issue.

What Have the Scammers Been Doing?

Producing dozens of fake Noisily Facebook pages and events in an attempt impersonate the event:

Creating hundreds of official-looking live stream links to trick fans into clicking through and entering their credit card details.

Infiltrating our FB communities and sharing deceptive links:

Flooding the comments section of our posts with fake live-stream links:

Fake pages had been requesting co-hosting on their events on their pages. Their events were exactly the same as the official events:

Imitating Noisily Festival in the comments of our official social posts:

and even pretending to be part of the Noisily team, taking copy from older posts:

Noisily Festival had been fundraising to survive through the coronavirus pandemic for next year. Its final stage of fundraising was marked with a live stream on Sunday 12 July leading into an announcement that the festival would survive to 2021, thanks to many generous donations and support from the Noisily community.

However, these fraudsters managed to trick fans into entering their credit card details on this final stream, in a highly co-ordinated attack.

Many months of hard work from the festival’s production team and its partners were poured into the fundraising campaign.

What Was Noisily’s Response?

For the last few weeks we’ve had to delete 300+ posts and 500+ comments. Over 15 fake Noisily pages have also been reported to Facebook. Despite this, the scammers have consistently found a way to target our communications.

We have contacted Action Fraud regarding this scam, but have yet to receive a response.

What Can You Do to Protect Your Event?

  • Turn off commenting on your posts. Do remember, this also stops comments from your fan base which would usually be encouraged.
  • Proactively monitor your Facebook activity; comments and posts. This will require a team to monitor and review the posts and comments that are coming in to ensure no spam comments are getting through. 
  • Make sure you are keeping track of your entire Facebook page; comments and posts in your event, on your Facebook wall, in your Facebook community groups, and on every social post you do. 
  • Set up strong comment filters on your page that relate to anticipated kinds of abuse, for example, “https://” or “www.” or “watch now” for spammers. Blocking specific words, and turning on the profanity filter for your Page will help prevent the scam messages get through. You can go this in ‘General’ in your page’s settings. More info HERE
  • Any suspicious posts or comments found need to be flagged, reported and banned. 
  • Hide or delete any spam comments. Hiding them will allow you to keep track of how many you have received, but your followers won’t be able to see them.
  • Ban any usernames/fake profiles you find commenting or posting on your page. 
  • Make sure your Facebook community groups have ‘membership approval’ on – be vigilant with who joins. If they have no existing friends within the community, a brand new Facebook page and in Bangladesh, they are probably not trying to come to your event.
  • Reporting the pages will help Facebook keep track of them. How to report a page: https://www.facebook.com/help/171757096241231
  • Report to Action Fraud: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ The more reports they receive, the quicker this situation will be dealt with for our community. 

What Should You Look Out For?

  • Pages of the same name as yours requesting to co-host your event, or you to co-host theirs.
  • New Facebook profiles that have been created in the last month. 
  • Pages with no interests in common to your festival. 
  • Pages not in this Country; many of the requests we have found are coming from Bangladesh. 
  • Posting the odd word in your event to look legitimate before then moving in with a live stream post.

Have you or your events been affected by these scams? Let us know.

E1MA’s Digital Billboard Concept

We’re proud to present our entry into Ocean’s Crucial Creative Competition – ‘Stay Apart, Game Together’

Held by Ocean Outdoor, a pioneer in Digital Out-Of-Home advertising, this competition offers a generous £1 million worth of advertising space to help galvanise advertisers & agencies into action as lockdown eases.

“Now, more than ever, Ocean is inviting Britain’s brightest creative minds and brands to keep us safe and well by educating our citizens how to adapt to the new normal through relevant, positive messages or by simply making us smile” – Richard Malton (Chief Marketing Officer @ Ocean Outdoors)

‘Stay Apart, Game Together’

In collaboration with our client, Platform, our entry sees us take full advantage of the technological capabilities of electronic billboards.

The electronic billboards are all connected together and scattered through London. On the billboards are scannable QR codes that enable anyone with a smartphone to control the billboard, using their smartphone as a ‘video game controller’.

Two players on different billboards are then pitted against each other in a game of Pong – the beautifully simple arcade game that anyone can play. They can express their joy or frustration through emojis that pop up on-screen akin to a Facebook live-stream.

Lockdown has felt like a video game at times – with challenges to overcome and obstacles to clear. Our campaign sees Londoner’s test their newly formed gaming skills in a fun, social and most importantly safe manner. 

This is a fun experience that runs across London, across people and across boundaries. Brought to you by E1 Media Agency and Platform – London’s premier social gaming venue.

Getting Your Business Ready for the 4th July

The UK continues to emerge from its hibernation, signalled by the Government’s announcement to allow more non-essential businesses to resume trading on Saturday, 4th July.

A lot has changed since our previous blog piece on re-opening businesses. Here, we supply you with all the latest government information and advice on getting your business off to a flying start.

What’s New

Last week, Boris Johnson announced that the 2-metre social distancing rule is being reduced to 1-metre plus. This is excellent news for businesses, as many argued that they could not turn a profit whilst maintaining a 2-metre distance between customers.

Non-essential businesses including bars, restaurants, museums and hotels will be allowed to open from Saturday 4th July.

Sadly, there is no indication that nightclubs, live music venues or theatres will be able to open any time soon. The government have outlined a brief recovery roadmap, and we will provide an update on the situation once more information becomes available.

These changes are a massive boost to a large portion of the hospitality industry, which has been severely crippled by the pandemic. Although some bars & restaurants have continued trading through takeaways & deliveries, most of their revenue comes from visits to the premises. These businesses will be eager to open as soon as possible.

But what we need to remember is that despite the loosening of restrictions, we are still amidst a pandemic. The way businesses operate moving forward will not be the same as pre-lockdown. Here are three key points to consider:

Indoor Customers Must Be Seated

To minimise social contact, patrons are not allowed to order at the bar or stand around the premises. The government has also instructed bars & restaurants that they must collect the contact information of patrons in order to help with their ‘test-and-trace’ efforts.

Having an online ordering system could resolve both these issues. If you don’t already use an app, build one as soon as possible, or use a third-party service. Alternatively,  you can modify your website to allow for online ordering.

This more efficient method of taking orders will free up valuable time for your serving staff, so they can focus on maintaining a clean and safe environment.

The Premises Must Be ‘Covid-Secure’

The social distancing guidelines have relaxed from 2-metres to 1-metres plus. While the recommended distance is still 2-metres, for many businesses this is simply not manageable. To better control the flow of people throughout the day, implement pre-booking and time slots where possible. This would also give you an opportunity to collect customer contact information.

Every business will have slightly different social distancing guidelines, and these should be clearly communicated to customers. Floor stickers can be used to guide patrons through your premises. Clearly marked signs should convey what they should and shouldn’t do.

The government is providing plenty of guidance to help businesses become ‘Covid-secure’. These include small changes like providing hand sanitizer on entry to encouraging contactless card payment.

The pub chain Wetherspoon’s have revealed the changes they’re making to their establishments. Your bar or restaurant could incorporate a similar set-up:

Source: Wetherspoons
Source: The Daily Mail

It’s important to remember that everyone has a different level of ‘C19-comfort’. Some customers may be fine with physical contact, others might be shielding or within a support bubble. We cannot stress enough how important it is to be in constant communication with your audience, both in-store and online. 

We cover this in more detail in ‘Key Considerations Before Re-opening Your Business’.

Selling Outdoors Is Now Easier

Scientists generally agree that being in an open-air environment decreases the risk of transmission. That’s why the government is introducing changes that make it easier for businesses to trade outdoors.

This includes temporarily changing laws to allow more licensed bars & restaurants to sell alcohol for off-site consumption. The cost of the licensing process for outdoor seating and stalls is also being reduced – great news if your premises is located next to a park or public space.

Pubs & restaurants will be able to use car parks and terraces as dining and drinking areas, using their existing seating licenses. Now is definitely the time to make the most of your surrounding outdoor space – especially if your premises is on the smaller side. You can read more about all these changes here.

Although businesses have much more flexibility around how you can serve customers, you should still actively encourage and incentive take-away orders. Not only is this safer, but it frees up vital indoor & outdoor space for additional customers.

Final Words

It’s safe to say that the changes announced last week are a real boost to businesses, particularly bars & restaurants. These decisions are reflective of the ‘feel-good’ messaging present by the government in recent times. Although the 4th July sees us take a step back into normality, we must reiterate that we are still in a pandemic. Your business needs to operate with caution.

We await to see what the government has to say regarding the re-opening of nightclubs, live music venues and theatres. These have largely been forgotten so far, despite their numerous social, cultural and economic contributions to society. We will explore this situation further in a future blog piece, but for now, prepare yourself for ‘Super Saturday’.

For more advice on promoting your business, please check out our new-and-improved journal

How We’re Stepping Up Our E-Commerce Game

E-commerce has grown exponentially over the last few months. As the lockdown forced businesses to close their doors, consumers shifted their shopping habits online.

The UK has started the cautious re-opening of our economy, as non-essential shops once again open for business.

But the pandemic has fundamentally transformed consumer behaviour. 2 in 5 UK shoppers say they will make more online purchases after the lockdown ends. This is why at E1MA we are expanding our knowledge in the e-commerce industry. Primark’s sales dropped from £650 million a month to nothing because they lacked an online presence. This should be a wake up call to all retail businesses.

What We’ve Been Working On

A key ethos we believe in at E1 Media Agency is to learn by doing. You can read all the guides and news articles in the world, but to truly understand a subject you need to take initiative.

There’s a lot more to e-commerce than just ‘having a website’. From Drop-shipping and Social Commerce to Shopify – there are plenty of concepts that we needed to expand our expertise on. The more knowledge we have, the better we can serve our clients.

That’s why we’ve launched two brand new e-commerce projects – Living Thing and Horus Health.

Living Thing

Living Thing is a social-led clothing store – taking our expertise in social media to creating fun, on-trend garments for the modern consumer.

Living Thing allows us to build on the skills we already have – creative design, digital advertising, social media strategy – and apply them to the world of e-commerce.

To minimise waste and improve efficiency, we use a supply chain technique known as drop-shipping. We do not hold stock or deliver products – this is all handled by the manufacturer.

This allows us to spend more time designing products and refining the website. We will explore drop-shipping further in a future blog piece, but it’s worth looking into if you’re new to e-commerce.

Horus Health

Horus Health was set up to provide customers in the UK an easy and accessible way to purchase herbal and hemp-based health products. Until recently it has been notoriously difficult acquiring these in the UK despite being perfectly legal.

We decided that there was no one destination that had everything we were looking for for a reliable CBD service, so we made one ourselves.

Horus Health utilised all of the skills required to launch Living Thing and more – liaising with CBD suppliers and payment providers to ensure we comply with UK law around hemp-based products.

Many consumers aren’t familiar with CBD, we oversaw the creation of informative and trustworthy articles that highlight its wide-reaching benefits. 

Together, these websites have considerably boosted our knowledge within e-commerce.  We understand that many businesses will need to pivot online to survive in a post-pandemic world. 

Expect to see more e-commerce pieces on our blog in the near future, and check out both Living Thing and Horus Health to see how they’re progressing!

E1MA’s Favourite Instagram Accounts

We love Instagram here at E1 Media Agency. As we discussed in a previous blog piece, we know what it takes to create a stunning feed that attracts followers.

When we’re not curating our client’s accounts, we’re admiring the work of others. 

This week, the E1MA team choose their favourite Instagram accounts, based on both their cool content and their aesthetic appeal:

Joel – Grind London

I like the mix of content that this store provides, mixing typography, imagery, photographs, product shots and edits. I think the feed has a nice mix of all of these types of content and flows nicely as you scroll through it with a fairly consistent colour palette and style. I think it definitely sells the lifestyle/culture that it is trying to effectively.

View this post on Instagram

for your eyes only

A post shared by grindlondon (@grindlondon) on

George – Godz Dnt Die

It’s just a big collection of weird/bizarre art basically. Sometimes it’s gross, sometimes it’s ugly, sometimes it’s a bit sexy but it’s just kind of works!

Joey – Taste of Streep

Everything you want in a feed when scrolling mindlessly through your phone; “a celebration of film, art, food & fashion” – with a lot of Meryl Streep mixed in! Instagram was made for creators, and Taste of Streep really celebrates imagination and creativity whilst tying in the foodie element. Incredibly random, it’s perfect for those days when all you want to see is Meryl Streep lying in a Babybel, or sleeping in a bed of fries… 

Ben – Scenic Simpsons

The Simpsons is one of my all-time favourite tv shows, and this account captures the iconic sitcom’s hidden beauty with these stills from classic episodes. The curator has a keen eye for detail that most people would miss.

Ziggy – Spanielziggy

Woof.

View this post on Instagram

🤷‍♂️

A post shared by Ziggy The Cocker Spaniel (@spanielziggy) on

This New Facebook & Instagram Feature Can Boost Your Sales

The retail industry has suffered many blows over recent years, but no one has felt this more than independent shops.

Online shopping has seen a massive increase in popularity of late, as lockdown measures continue to restrict the opening of non-essential stores.

Mark Zuckerberg recently announced new features that will help small businesses sell their products through Facebook and Instagram.

Introducing: Facebook Shops.

What is Facebook Shops?

Although it’s always possible to sell goods through Facebook, it was often a confusing, unintuitive experience for both merchants and customers.

Shops is a mobile-first shopping experience where businesses create an online store, choose the products they want to display and customise their branding – all without leaving Facebook.

Customers can browse and save products as you would on an e-commerce website.

A Facebook Shop can also be connected to WhatsApp and FB Messenger so you can answer customer queries directly. It was also hinted that customers will be able to purchase directly through these messaging tools in the near future.

The goal is to replicate the shopping experience you would deliver in-store.

What about Instagram?

Some businesses, such as fashion retailers, consider Instagram to be the more important avenue for attracting and connecting with customers.

Good news: Facebook Shop works seamlessly with Instagram – it’s one unified shop that works on both channels.

Customers can access through both your profile and by swiping up on Instagram Stories – great news for those who have less than 10,000 followers.

Another game-changing feature being introduced is ‘Live Video Shopping’.

In addition to the live-streaming features we mentioned in a previous blog piece, customers will be able to purchase products directly from a live-stream.

Much like the introduction of shoppable tags last year, these new features have the potential to turn Instagram into a complete social shopping experience.

What Does This Mean for Small Businesses?

It means that it’s now much easier to build and maintain an e-commerce presence. 

Facebook is also working with partners such as Shopify, so if you already have a website, you’ll be able to sell through Facebook Shops too. Giving your customers multiple channels to purchase from can lead to more sales.

An important note to make is that you cannot currently check-out through Facebook or Instagram in the UK. Customers will need to finish the transaction via your website.

Checkout for Instagram has already been rolled out in the US, so it won’t be long before it’s available here.

Checkout for Instagram

In the meantime, start thinking about how to incorporate Facebook Shops into your e-commerce strategy.

Take Instagram-worthy photos of your products, use Messenger as a customer service tool and stream-line your website’s checkout journey. 

If you would like to read the full Facebook Shops announcement, you can do so here.

E1MA are working on two exciting new projects to test these new features and expand our expertise on e-commerce. Watch this space for more details!

Key Considerations Before Re-opening Your Business

As we cautiously take our first steps out of lockdown, many businesses will be keen to resume trading. Those in the hospitality sector, who’ve had their revenues entirely slashed, will want to open as soon as possible.

Here we explore the challenges your business faces, and how to adapt accordingly.

1. Plan Carefully

The PM recently announced that hospitality businesses could be allowed to open from 1st July, provided they follow social distancing rules.

If your business is solely offline and not generating revenue, you’ll likely want to re-open as soon it’s permitted.

But this decision shouldn’t be taken lightly. Operations will have to change to reflect the post-lockdown world we’re entering. 

The premises might have to be rearranged, staff retrained, and supply chains restarted.

Explore the challenges your business might face in re-opening, and how you can overcome them. It is essential you don’t rush the process. Use the time between now and July to plan and prepare.

2. Adhere to Social Distancing Rules

As we mentioned, your premises will have to undergo changes to make it safer for both staff and customers.

Government advice on this is continually being updated, but we can assume that tables will need to be kept at least 1 or 2 metres apart.

In Italy, who have just started re-opening cafes & restaurants, plastic screens have been placed at tills and between tables:

Source: The Metro

It’s too soon to say whether the UK government will adopt this approach, but it’s worth taking into consideration.

Regardless, the entire premises will need to be thoroughly cleaned daily, right down to the door handles. Hand sanitiser should be available to use. If you have seating areas, they should be disinfected in-between customers.

Provide masks and gloves for your employees. Not only do they offer protection, but they also act as a visual indication that you’re taking the safety of customers seriously.

3. Take Reservations

Social distancing measures, such as the 2-metre rule, above will no doubt slash the seating capacity of businesses.

Pre-bookings will allow you to control the flow of customers and therefore the safety of your establishment.

Customers will not want to stand inside a restaurant waiting for a table. If you don’t already have an online booking system, implement one as soon as possible. 

This doesn’t have to involve complicated IT systems – a quicker solution is to set up your pages Facebook Messenger to answer customer queries. You can answer them yourself or, more intuitively, set up a chatbot.

We often create chatbots for our clients here at E1MA, as it acts as both a way to communicate with customers and as a promotional tool:

A chatbot can answer any potential questions a customer may have, including the steps you’ve taken to make your premises as safe as possible.

4. Set Up Google My Business

Aside from social media, Google is where customers will search for information on your business.

This is while it’s imperative that your Google My Business page is up-to-date with your latest opening hours, menu and contact details.

What is Google My Business? It’s essentially a listing service that allows you business to appear in Google Maps and next to search results:

Creating an account is free, fast and could increase pre-bookings and foot traffic.

5. Communicate With Your Customers

Once your business is ready to re-open, announce it on social media. 

Clearly communicate the measures you’ve taken to ensure the customer’s experience is as safe as possible: 

How we're looking after teams and customers

Our newly reopened Pret shops look and feel a little different, thanks to the safety and social distancing measures we’ve put in place. Thanks for your support and stay safe ❤️

Posted by Pret A Manger on Friday, May 1, 2020

Take photos of your newly-transformed premises and upload these in a carousel post, so potential customers know what to expect.

When it comes to a caption, a candid approach might work best.

Consumers desperately want to support their local businesses during this time, so be transparent regarding the challenges you’ve faced during lockdown and in re-opening.

Reply to any and all questions that are asked within the comments. Even regular patrons will be hesitant to visit your premises at first, so a positive, reassuring tone of voice is essential.

Finally, gather customer feedback – did you feel safe? Was the service fast? What improvements can you make?

This is new to everyone, so don’t worry if things aren’t perfect – consumers will be much more understanding. If there’s one message that’s been illustrated during the pandemic, it’s that we are all in this together.

5 Great Facebook Communities and Why Your Brand Needs One

Facebook has been encouraging users to join ‘meaningful groups’ in recent years, and the power of community has been illustrated throughout the pandemic.

In fact, over 400 million people are in one Facebook community or another. From a brand’s perspective, these groups gather all your most dedicated fans in one convenient place. 

As we covered in a previous blog piece, groups such as Scrub Hub bring together like-minded people for a common cause or interest.

We take a look at some of our favourite Facebook communities.

1. Borough Market

London’s Borough Market has long been a hub for the local community, and this has been replicated online through their Facebook group.

Recognising that the pandemic has severely limited offline interactions, the Borough Market Community aims to “keep us all connected, sharing and talking, whilst we may not be able to in person’.

The 3000+ members share and discuss their latest culinary creations:

Whilst Borough Market themselves host #BoroughTalks, Zoom calls featuring professional chefs, giving fans the chance to get cooking tips in a more personal manner:

As we discussed last week, Facebook will soon allow creators to charge for access to live-streams. Expect to see more high-quality content in this style.

2. Dogspotting

Facebook communities don’t have to revolve around a particular location like Borough Market. 

Animals have always been wildly popular on social media.

Dogs in particular have seen a monumental increase in popularity (sorry cats), as illustrated by FB groups such as Dogspotting.

With a whopping 1.7 million members, Dogspotting isn’t just a place to view cute dog photos – it’s become a de-facto sport, with its own rules and regulations.

In their own words, Dogspotting is:

  1. A sport and lifestyle of spotting random dogs.
  2. Classifying the nature of the sport according to the rule set.
  3. Assigning a score or sharing the spot for peer scoring.
  4. A fun place to hang out with friends and enjoy dogs.

It’s a great example of a community that doesn’t need to rally behind a just cause or a niche interest – it’s simply a space for fans to share and enjoy photos of Man’s Best Friend.

3. The Cloud Appreciation Society

There really is a Facebook community for everything out there. This 30,000+ group brings one of our most ancient pastimes into the digital era.

“We feel as though the clouds don’t get as much acknowledgement as they deserve. It’s time to unite to raise awareness, appreciate and admire the beauty of these underrated, natural spectacles”.  – The Cloud Appreciation Society

The beauty of this group is there are zero barriers to entry – anyone can take part:

FB groups don’t get much simpler than this one – which is exactly why it’s so popular. 

The Cloud Appreciation Society reminds us that even if we’re located in all four corners of the world, we are united under one glorious, cloudy sky.

4. DnB Talk

While Drum ‘n’ Bass started off as a niche sub-genre of electronic music, today is massively popular, with dedicated communities across the globe.

DnB Talk is a hub for their 51k members to discuss all things DnB. New tracks, festivals, memes – anything goes:

The community has grown by 10% in the last month, demonstrating that it’s more than a place to find upcoming DnB events, but a space for fans to share their love for the genre.

5. Noisily Festival of Music & Arts Community

We started the Noisily Festival Facebook Community at the end of April 2019 as another touch point with their audience.

There are now 4.6k members of this community, and as it grew, it became clear it is not used just as a fan base or a place to share Noisily news on our side.

The Noisily community group is a place for the fans not just to find other Noisily souls, but to share their music taste, their memories, their music memes, and their countdowns to the next festival.

The insights in these communities now allow you to see best performing posts, track members and growth.

Facebook communities are a great way to see how others are engaging, see whether there is something you can improve on, and talk on a more personal level to your loyal fans.

Will This New Facebook Feature Transform Live-Streaming?

Last week, an official Facebook press release announced new live-streaming features.

These include the ability to add ‘donate’ buttons, watch Instagram live-streams on desktop and an ‘audio-only’ viewing option for slow internet connections.

Most importantly, “to support creators and small businesses, we plan to add the ability for Pages to charge for access to events with Live videos on Facebook”.

Facebook hasn’t gone into detail on how this will work, but plans to introduce it “in the coming weeks”.

How Will This Benefit Me?

This is excellent news for content managers and creators.

Whilst live-streaming has become a massively popular format during the pandemic, until now there has been no simple way to monetise it.

All industries can take advantage of this new feature. From yoga classes to cookery courses, brands can now earn much-needed revenue for all their live-streaming efforts.

It also allows fans to support their favourite businesses directly, without the need to visit their offline premises.

It goes without saying that musicians will also greatly benefit from this move.

We will no doubt see the creation of more personal, high-quality videos, as live-streamers strive to provide value to paying customers.

Engagement and retention rates should receive a massive boost, as customers will feel more invested in the live-stream.

All in all, the introduction of this feature will improve the live-streaming experience for both the content creator and the viewer.

What about Facebook’s Copyright Policy?

Content creators, specifically DJs, have been struggling to live-stream recently on Facebook due to their tough stance on copyright infringement. Rightly so as well, we wholeheartedly agree with IP protection! It does present some challenges though…

It’s difficult to determine concrete policy from Facebook on exactly what their line on owned content is, and even more difficult to get advice on how to publish content legitimately within their copyright framework – because nobody seems to know. 

Nonetheless, our understanding of the platform’s copyright process for music is as follows:

  • Facebook is not a content publisher
  • Audio content is claimed by publishers. For example: major labels each have a rights management team which uses Facebook’s Rights Management platform to manage their owned content.
  • Bear in mind that all three majors also distribute music and claim content on behalf of many other partners and smaller independent labels. So while you might be spinning a niche Berlin tech classic that you think never would have even been heard on High St Kensington, you may find that the artist’s label has a distribution deal with a big bad major, which has processes for claiming content – Nein!
  • When owned content is detected automatically in a live stream the content owner is notified.
  • If the content owner does not allow the owned content to run the stream is stopped, audio muted, and in some recent cases the page is blocked from live streaming. We’re unsure about this part of the process so don’t quote us on it!

This process presents a challenge for DJs who play recorded music. One of our clients even plays his own music on live streams on Facebook which subsequently has banned him from streaming.

The only way to avoid this, as we understand, is to get an agreement in place with content publishers (e.g. the aforementioned majors) who are able to ‘white list’ a page ahead of your streams, in order to avoid falling foul of a copyright infringement.

Now try asking a DJ exactly what their set list is going to be, then proactively find out who the content owner is for every track and ask all the content owners to whitelist your page – it becomes impractical to do.

Final Words

Facebook’s copyright policy is incredibly challenging for DJ’s, whose touring revenues have been wiped out due to the pandemic. It seems that they have been left with no practical way to live stream on the platform without falling foul of the copyright framework, even if there’s an appetite to pay for recorded music – there isn’t a way to do that.

Does a DJ playing someone else’s record really pose a threat to record sales? We would argue the opposite; live streamed DJ sets are an opportunity for discovery. Consumers are not recording these sets and using them to listen to individual tracks instead of finding them on Spotify, Beatport and other platforms. Diplo’s successful live streaming activity and the fact that pluggers are serving up records to him in place of club promo is case and point to this.

Facebook have not commented on whether monetised streams will be subject to the same rules, but we expect that they will be.

If fans pay to watch a live stream only for it to get taken down by Facebook after 10 minutes, it will hurt the artist’s reputation and leave the fans disappointed. 

Artists and brands alike will have to wait and see what this exciting new feature brings, and whether Facebook will address this gap in their copyright framework.

We Need Your Help

The ongoing pandemic has been detrimental to the live events scene we hold so dear here at E1 Media Agency.

We’re witnessing first-hand the challenges our clients are facing. Parable, Phase Croydon, Electric Brixton and countless more have had to pause their operations almost overnight.

It’s particularly difficult for independent festivals, with big and small events being cancelled around the world.

The future of Noisily Festival is in serious jeopardy.

We’ve worked with Noisily for over 3 years, since before E1MA even existed as a business. From strategy and community management to content creation and live-streams – we’ve poured our heart and soul into this festival.

Not only are they our clients, but they’re our friends. We want to do our utmost to ensure there is a Noisily Festival for years to come.

That’s why we’re supporting the #SaveNoisily campaign.

Having invested significant funds into the now-postponed 2020 festival, Noisily need to raise £150,000 to safeguard its future. 

Almost 10 years ago my new friend Lachie asked me to help him and his pals on some marketing activity for a party they were putting on. I even built the website myself !

The festival has since shaped my appetite for electronic music and arts, not to mention my career in events marketing.

The party they put on is second to none, words can’t describe the fun I’ve had in Coney Woods; a testament to the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into the show from the incredible crew that put it on every year.

It’s absolutely critical that we #savenoisily

… Without it our summer will lose its most important fixture in underground electronic music, and we will all lose one of the last places in the world we can really let go.

Nick

A wise man once said “Only tell the good ones” in reference to Noisily, and I couldn’t agree more.

6,000 people, lost, by choice, in the woods. The production alone is just mind-blowing, not to mention the elaborate array of art, music and the Mind Body Soul area that go with it. It creates a certain euphoria amongst those who attend that is indescribable.

Alongside the amazing people that attend year on year, the founders are something else – it’s been an absolute pleasure to work with the Noisily team for 3 years, and I really hope this isn’t the last.

We’re all going to need a bloomin’ good party at the end of all of this, and let’s hope it’s Noisily 2021. For those of you who haven’t been yet, dig into your pocket’s for Noisily’s crowdfunding campaign, you won’t regret it. See you in the Woods, and remember, only tell the good ones! – Joey

There’s something really special about Noisily, it’s just got so much going for it for a festival of it’s size! The intimate setting beneath the canopy of the beautiful Coney woods, coupled with the immense amount of thought that goes into every aspect of the festival leaves you with a lasting feeling of warmth long after you depart from the woods.

From production, sound and stage architecture right through to the catering, arts and entire ethos of the festival – all are thought out and planned to the nth degree in such a creative way, and all tie together to form a really exceptional experience. – George

If you would like to find out more or donate, please click here.

These are extraordinary times, and it’s going to take an extraordinary effort from everyone to save our live events scene – starting with Noisily Festival.

5 Brands Positively Adapting Their Messaging #2

The ongoing pandemic is bringing the best out of people, as we adapt to a new way of life. 

Brands are no different, adapting their social media communications and spreading positivity however they can. Here are some that grabbed our attention.

The Athenian

The restaurant sector has been hit particularly hard by the lockdown. That hasn’t stopped The Athenian from adapting their online messaging whilst making positive real-world contributions.

The Greek street food chain has been running live cookery classes on their Instagram, sharing delicious Greek recipes that can be created at home with everyday ingredients:

Although many restaurants have recently jumped on this trend, The Athenian’s in-depth tutorials are great for beginners and are perfectly suited to IGTV. 

Instagram’s long-form video app has been criminally under-used, but now is the perfect time to jump into it. Check out our live-streaming guide for more information.

In addition to their live-streams, they donated 2,500 meals to NHS workers:

We could not be more grateful for the NHS right now as they put their own lives at risk to help those in need. It’s a…

Posted by The Athenian on Thursday, 9 April 2020

Remember, even if this period is hard on your business financially, acts of generosity and kindness greatly resonate with consumers right now.

The amount of brand awareness you can gain is invaluable.

Brewdog

Brewdog’s meteoric rise as one of the most recognisable modern beer brands shows no signs of slowing down.

In addition to making hand sanitiser for the NHS, this largely-offline business has been producing a variety of online activities to keep Brewdog fans engaged with the brand.

For instance, they’ve created a virtual pub called ‘The BrewDog Open Arms’, featuring live music, cook-a-longs, and more:

They’ve supplemented this by filling their socials with little activities, like colouring-in:

Colouring for mindfulness hones your focus & keeps your hands busy. We’ve curated 20 iconic BrewDog designs for you to…

Posted by BrewDog on Tuesday, 7 April 2020

fun and insightful videos:

Eating Bugs As a Snack? | The BrewDog Show

Welcome to the future of snacks 🐛🐛🐛

Posted by BrewDog on Thursday, 2 April 2020

BrewDog is still an operating business, and so they are carefully balancing the fun & games with sales messaging – other brands should follow suit.

Pret A Manger

Pret is another eating-out brand that has been forced to transform their online activity. 

Much like The Athenian, they’ve successfully risen to the challenge their industry is facing.

Shortly before the lockdown, Pret served free hot drinks and half-price food to 150,000 NHS workers.

More recently, their social media channels have been encouraging fans to re-create their favourite Pret recipes at home – including their delicious vegan cookies:

Much like Innocent Smoothies, they’re engaging with fans in the comments on a 1-to-1 basis, answering recipe questions and sharing works of encouragement.

Positively is exactly what’s needed right now. Don’t be afraid to reply to comments on your posts as your brand.

And let’s not forget their Sandwich Seminars – bite-sized lessons on how to make the perfect sandwich:

Welcome to Sandwich Seminars, a series of bite-sized lessons designed to help you develop your sandwich CV, so you can…

Posted by Pret A Manger on Monday, 6 April 2020

These lessons, while entertaining, served a greater purpose. 

Pret asked fans to design their perfect Pret sandwich, using what they learned:

We’re on the hunt for The Next Pret Sandwich! The winning recipe will be launched into our shops when we reopen (and…

Posted by Pret A Manger on Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Not only is this an excellent way to engage your audience, but it also provides direct customer feedback that can be used in future product development.

Scrub Hub

Scrub Hub is a new brand born out of community spirit and a strong desire to support those fighting the pandemic.

Volunteers in this grassroots project can offer up their sewing services, creating scrubs (hospital clothing) for NHS staff.

Scrub Hub is using the power of social media to create a network of volunteers across the country.

Their Instagram illustrates their important cause in a visually appealing way:

Whilst Facebook acts as a hub for their network of volunteers to communicate with each other:

This brand perfectly encapsulates the power online communities have to make a difference during these unprecedented times. 

Noisily Festival of Music & Arts

Some may consider this cheating, but we’ve enjoyed helping Noisily Festival diversify their social media channels to reflect the situation we’re in.

No-one has been hit harder than the events industry, but Noisily have been working hard to maintain a positive outlook.

In addition to the fun & games we mentioned in this blog piece, Noisily Festival have created an online ‘Mind Body Soul’ series.

Fans can follow along with these live-streams, which range from Yoga:

NOISILY MBS LIVE // Nature Flow Yoga with Hely Cameron – Patterns of Nature

Join Helen Cameron to explore grounding & opening movement inspired by the rhythms & patterns of nature. Somatic & Scaravelli inspired hatha flow yoga with a focus on feeling, fluidity & freedom in the body, creating the space to deepen our roots & let go.

Posted by Noisily Festival of Music and Arts on Tuesday, 31 March 2020

To the lesser-known practice, Wim Hof Method:

NOISILY MBS LIVE // Introduction to the Wim Hof Method with Heather Gordon Athié

Join Heather Gordon Athié at Caluna Wellness for a chat about the scientific studies behind the Wim Hof Method & why it's relevant to you right now. Beaming in live from Kilifi, she has selflessly switched off her ceiling fan to bring you a dose of dancefloor realness so we can all feel like she is imparting all this sciencey goodness MID STOMP!!

Posted by Noisily Festival of Music and Arts on Thursday, 2 April 2020

Mind Body Soul is an integral part of Noisily’s brand personality, and gives fans a taster of what to expect at the festival itself.

Not forgetting that it’s first and foremostly a music festival, they’re also curating Spotify playlists and live-streaming DJ sets:

Noisily Festival is doing an excellent job of keeping fans entertained whilst clearly communicating their brand’s ethos.

5 Live-streams Raising Money For Good Causes

There has never been a more important time for the world to come together in the face of this pandemic. 

While a multitude of live-streamers are keeping us entertained, some are going that one step further – hosting charitable live-streams and raising awareness for important causes. 

Here are some that have caught our eye recently.

Marvin & Rochelle Humes – ‘Stay At Home With The Humes’

Marvin Humes is no stranger to live-streaming (we should know). Together with wife Rochelle they’ve created a #StayAtHomesWithTheHumes series.

Previous instalments include Rochelle cutting Marvin’s hair the first time:

The Humes House Party:

And most recently, a ‘stay-at-home’ edition of their TV quiz show The Hit List:

Not only are they producing a diverse range of fun content (today it’s Pilates), but they’ve set up a JustGiving page to raise money for children’s charity the NSPCC.

DJ EZ – 24Hr Non-Stop Set

Tee-total DJ EZ’s unrelenting stamina and extensive knowledge of the UK Dance scene was on full display for this mammoth set:

This isn’t the first 24Hr stream DJ EZ has done, but it’s certainly the biggest – partnering with Boiler Room and charity My Kind Deed.

The hashtag #StayHomeWithDJEZ reached an incredible 40 million people across the world.

WOW… what can I say! I’m awake and overwhelmed!Thank you for all the truly wonderful messages of positivity, it has…

Posted by DJ EZ on Tuesday, 31 March 2020

“DJ EZ performed with such skill, passion and energy for the whole duration dedicating the set to those working in the frontline to battle Covid-19 whilst reinforcing the stay home – save lives message” – My Kind Deed.

Combat Corona – FIFA Charity Stream

The football season may be paused, but the next best thing, FIFA 20, is being used as a vehicle to raise money for UNICEF.

Combat Corona gathered world-famous footballers from across the world and played competitive matches each other on the popular video game.

The likes of Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale and Paulo Dybala took part:

This wasn’t just about FIFA – there were also Q&A’s, Prizes, Giveaways and more. 

Altogether, this charity stream managed to raise £18,000 to help UNICEF #CombatCorona.

Mr. Afterparty – Last Night A Streaming Saved My Life

From Beatport to Tomorrowland, electronic music brands have brought the music community during this pandemic with their virtual festivals.

Mr. Afterparty are no different. Their virtual event, aptly named ‘Last Night A Streaming Saved My Life’, welcomed 24 DJ’s, in 24 locations, over 24 hours.

Featuring the likes of Oliver Huntemann:

Mr. Afterparty Presents "Last Night a Streaming Saved My Life" – Oliver Huntemann is LIVE NOW from Hamburg (Germany) for our 24h Fundraising Marathon in aid of Coronavirus relief. ❤️

Posted by Mr. Afterparty on Sunday, 22 March 2020

And Archie Hamilton:

Mr. Afterparty Presents "Last Night a Streaming Saved My Life" – Archie Hamilton is LIVE NOW from London (UK) for our 24h Fundraising Marathon in aid of Coronavirus relief. ❤️Donate: http://bit.ly/LastNightAStreamingSavedMyLife

Posted by Archie Hamilton on Saturday, 21 March 2020

All funds raised through their JustGiving page were donated to the International Red Cross and the Global Coronavirus Relief Fund.

Tiltify – Hope From Home

Taking place on World Health Day, #HopeFromHome was a unique, multi-platform digital fundraising event that brought together entertainers, influencers and celebrities.

Irish YouTuber JackSepticEye’s 10-hour stream raised $650,000 alone. It featured a diverse array of entertainment, from a ‘Let’s Play’ of the new Animal Crossing game, to a surprise message from by Jeff Goldblum:

Altogether Hope From Home raised an eye-watering $1.6 million, for charities including United Way, Red Nose Day and the Covid-19 Solidarity Fund.

All these live-streams, regardless of how much money they raised, are doing their part to unite the world and bring together communities doing these unprecedented times. 

Interested in watching more live-streams? Check E1MA’s brand new website – Sofastreams

5 Brands Positively Adapting Their Messaging Right Now

From large multinationals to small independent retailers, brands impacted by COVID-19 are adapting in a fun, novel or entertaining manner. Here are some of our top picks.

The Hummingbird Bakery

London-based dessert chain The Humming Bakery are encouraging their fans to bake for themselves while in self-isolation by sharing their own secret recipes.

Recipes from their book ‘Cake Days’ are emailed out every few days. Fans are then encouraged to show off their creations on social media.

“It’s our aim to bring the online baking community together at this time” – The Hummingbird Bakery

This gesture not only engages their fans in a positive manner, it promotes their book and boosts the number of mailing list subscribers.

It’s an excellent (and delicious) example of how ‘offline’ brands can adapt their communications and create opportunity from a disadvantage.

Innocent Smoothies

Innocent have always been ‘on-trend’ with social media. Despite being a corporate entity, they continually manage to keep their socials feeling human – which is exactly what is needed right now.

Every day for the last week they’ve been posting ‘Daily Updates’ that have absolutely nothing to do with their smoothies – and people are loving it.

Rather than describe these updates, it’s best you see one for yourself:

DAILY UPDATEMorning everyone. Welcome to yet more things you didn’t know you didn’t need to knowToday is a Tuesday….

Posted by innocent on Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Innocent also invites fans to submit photos of their pets, as well as responding to almost every comment.

Fun, interesting, comical, cute – this approach is a welcome relief from the more sombre approach some brands are taking in response to COVID-19.

It’s clearly working.  The average daily update is receiving 4K likes, 500 comments and 600 shares – all without spending a penny.

Innocent Smoothies can be considered a ‘non-essential item’, but instead of ramping up the sales messaging to counter a drop in sales, they’re focusing on building brand awareness. Other businesses should take note.

Family Store

Family Store is a small independent shop in Brighton (and online) that stocks clothes, zines and artwork from independent artists.

But their size hasn’t stopped them reacting to the pandemic in a manner that conveys their brand values and engages fans.

They are running an Instagram competition where fans send in their art – a select few will be made into apparel and sold at Family Store.

Every day presents a different theme. Family Store will share submissions with their 22K followers on Stories.

Drawing is a classic but increasingly uncommon pastime. Family Store are using their online presence to encourage self-isolators to pick up the pencils and give it a go.

In addition to this competition, they have been honest with their struggles as an independent retailer during this crisis. As we stated in our Covid-19 Communications Advice, transparency is appreciated by consumers.

Headspace

The Headspace app has rapidly gained in popularity as an easy way to get into Meditation and Mindfulness.

They have generously offered all NHS staff and educators a one year premium subscription to their service for free. There is no doubt that these two groups of workers are under immense strain right now.

Plenty of additional free resources have been made available for everyone to use.

For those who haven’t downloaded the app, Headspace are posting useful content on their socials, like this home workout video:

Yes, it’s likely your routines have been totally upended, but no, you shouldn’t abandon them altogether. Try integrating this workout into your morning to get energized for the day.

Posted by Headspace on Monday, March 23, 2020

And have created a Facebook Group:

Digital brands such as Headspace haven’t suffered as much as offline businesses  – but it’s still wonderful to see them doing what they can to help people get through this pandemic.

Dave

The ‘Home of Witty Banter’ (and re-runs of Top Gear) has gathered a large social media following for it’s on-trend humour. 

It should be no surprise that, much like Innocent, their socials have a place to ‘look on the bright side’ of the pandemic.

How to make working from home feel like you’re in the office:

Posted by Dave on Wednesday, March 25, 2020

They’re clearly well-received, as some have garnered over 2.5k shares – showing sometimes ‘less is more’.

Not only are Dave posting hilarious posts like this, they also raise awareness to those who might be struggling – raising money for various mental health charities.

Our friends at The CALMzone have created some simple tips for anyone that is finding things tough in this weird time we are all in right now.Please feel free to share with anyone you know who may need this.

Posted by Dave on Thursday, March 26, 2020

TV viewership is no doubt soaring due to self-isolation, and Dave will only benefit from their balanced but ‘on-brand’ approach to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 If there’s a lesson to be learned here, it’s that now is the best time to illustrate and amplify your brand’s personality.

What We’ve Been Doing For Our Clients This Week

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many businesses’ operations.

We’ve been assisting on planning, creation and execution of digital content for our clients to help them through these unprecedented times.

Here’s a taster of what we’ve been up to.

We Are FSTVL

We Are FSTVL, like much of the events industry, have been forced to rapidly adapt their communications – which we’ve been assisting with.

The E1MA team created a ‘virtual pub quiz’  to build brand awareness and maintain enthusiasm for the festival, which has been moved to September.

To build excitement, we used a combination of social posting and chatbot announcements.

From designing the questions and creating the assets to monitoring the live-stream, E1MA took complete creative control over this quiz.

THE WE ARE FSTVL PUB QUIZ IS NOW LIVE!! Comment your answer below to be in with the chance of winning over THIRTY HUGE PRIZES! We'll be picking winners at random and announcing in the comments every minute. 🤩 You can answer each question as many times as you like so go wild! We'll be following up with all the winners tomorrow too! Good luck! 🍀 We Are FSTVL HQ ❤x

Posted by We Are FSTVL on Thursday, March 26, 2020

As a result it reached over 45k people with an incredible 91K comments.

Offaiah

With most people stuck indoors, now is the perfect time for live-streaming – and that’s exactly what we’ve been assisting Offaiah with.

For Offaiah’s Facebook live-stream with Bacatime, we created the artwork and promoted it across his channels before, during and after the set.

Noisily

Much like We Are FSTVL, we’ve had to adapt Noisily Festival‘s digital communications strategy in response to the pandemic.

In addition to actively communicating the latest festival developments with the Noisily fanbase, we’ve been providing home activities.

For example, we created a fun Noisily-themed word-search.

As the instructions suggest, fans could screenshot the IG story, complete the word-search on their phone and send them in.

Noisily are also curating ‘stay-at-home’ playlists featuring music from various Noisily 2020 musicians:

We’ve got plenty more great content in the pipeline for Noisily and the rest of our clients, so keep an eye on our socials!

In meantime, why don’t you check out the rest of our blog?

Our Guide to Live-Streaming from Home

With most people being stuck indoors for the foreseeable future, now is a great time for you or your business to get into live-streaming. Here’s what you need to consider (5 min read)

• Announce your live-stream in advance to build anticipation

• Excellent live-streams can be made with just a phone, tripod and microphone

• Choose the best format (portrait vs. landscape) for the channel you’re using

• Do a test-run before you go live to ensure there’s no technical errors

• Enable other pages and brands to share your live-stream to boost reach

Getting Started

Before getting started with the stream, let your audience know it’s happening. 

Create a simple but eye-catching post or event announcing what you’re streaming and when, like we did for Offaiah.

To draw in as many viewers as possible, you’ve got to build anticipation and excitement.

Choose a sensible time – most people are now working from home, but this doesn’t mean ‘office hours’ don’t apply.

(Pssst: If you’re working from home too, you might find our top tips useful).

Before the working day (7AM – 9AM), during lunch (12PM – 2PM) or after work (6PM – 8PM) are always reliable options.

Equipment

We don’t expect you to have Hollywood-level film cameras lying around in your garage.

A top-of-the-line iPhone or Android phone will do the job. Besides, it has been suggested that consumers prefer ‘rough-and-ready’ videos rather than polished content.

While modern smartphone have excellent cameras, the microphones are often lacking.

If you have an external microphone – use it. 

If not, position the phone between 6-12 inches away from your mouth and speak clearly. 

Too close and it’ll distort the sound – it shouldn’t sound like you’re eating the phone.

Finally, you might want to invest in a tripod. Especially if your live-stream is more than a few minutes long.

Arms are shaky and get tired – tripods do not.

Small phone tripods are inexpensive and can greatly boost the quality of your live-stream.

Format

There is more to live-streaming than pointing a camera. You should be taking specifications into consideration too.

Portrait or Landscape? 

As a rule of thumb, it’s best to design mobile-first – this means using Portrait (4:3)

But it depends on both the platform you’re streaming on and the content of the video.

Instagram/IGTV live streams should almost always be in portrait mode – it’s mobile-only after all.

Facebook is used on both desktop and mobile. Here you can be more versatile with your live streams, as both portrait and landscape modes are effective.

YouTube and Twitch host more long-form content and are typically watched in landscape.

Ultimately, it depends on the content.

Portrait mode is great for spontaneous live-streams that only focus on one or two subjects.

If the main focus of your stream is audio (such as a DJ mix), then landscape might be more suited.

Testing

This important step is often overlooked. 

Unless your live-stream is completely spontaneous, you’ll want to test, test and test again.

Film a short video – then ask yourself three key questions:

1. Can you be heard clearly?

You don’t want your viewers to have to turn the volume up to maximum. Ensure there is no clipping or distortion

2. Are you framed correctly? 

Make sure you’re not cutting off an important part of the frame, such as your head or your DJ equipment.

3. How is the lighting?

If the natural light is behind you, move – unless you want to look like a shadow. Consider using artificial lighting.

Send it to a friend for a second opinion.

Showtime

Make another announcement right before you’re about to go live across ALL platforms – even if you’re only streaming on Facebook or Instagram.

These two platforms also send notifications out to users alerting them that a live stream has started (unless they’re switched off).

Do you have any associated brands, labels or pages that are interested in your stream?

Then enable cross-posting so they can share it on their pages. Collaborating with a carefully-chosen broadcasting partner can greatly boost brand awareness.

For Noisily Festival, we formed a brand partnership with electronic music page Mr. Afterparty, which massively multiplied their reach.

Eelke Kleijn at Noisily Festival 2019

Throwback vibes to Noisily Festival of Music and Arts last summer with Eelke Kleijn… Looks like a special one!! 🌳🌲🌳

Posted by Mr. Afterparty on Thursday, January 30, 2020

All that’s left is to go live – produce an entertaining live-stream that engages your audience and compels them to come back for more.

Our Tips for Working From Home

The ongoing crisis is forcing many businesses to work from home, including our own. We share some of our top tips:

1. Pretend you are still going into the office

This might sound like a strange idea, but the mental association you make between ‘working’ and the office is powerful.

Wake up at the same time you usually do and get changed into regular day clothes – even your shoes.

Have your morning coffee, check the weather (even though it makes no difference) and walk the dog.

Maintain your regular morning routine.

2. Use the extra time productively

One clear benefit of working from home is the lack of commuting. But how are you spending that extra 30, 60 or even 90 minutes you have at your disposal?

The temptation to sleep-in is great, but you should try and stick to the same sleeping pattern.

You could instead use this time to make a healthy breakfast, engage in light exercise, or read a book (or all three, if you have a commute as long as Ben’s).

Alternatively, you can use this time to get ahead at work. Plan out your working day, sift through your emails, or catch-up on the latest industry trends.

3. Create a distraction-free working environment

Whether it’s your study, the spare bedroom or your living-room table, create an ‘office-space’ for yourself and exclusively work there.

This means no working on the sofa or in bed. These seem like great ideas at first, but it won’t be long before back pain and sleeping troubles arise.

You need to keep your ‘work’ environment and ‘home’ environment separate.

Consider investing in a comfy desk chair and noise-cancelling headphones (especially if you live with others).

If you’re in need for music suggestions, check out our new ‘Working From Home’ playlist, curated by the fine taste-makers of E1MA:

Decorate your desk with houseplants – they help you relax.

Put your phone on silent and turn the TV off – it can be easy to get distracted by the minute-by-minute coronavirus updates.

4. Keep collaborating

Trading your open-plan office for a living room might make collaborating with your colleagues slightly more tricky, but by no means impossible.

We should be grateful to live in an age where vast quantities of digital tools are available at our fingertips.

Most modern messenger softwares have both text and video chat options: Messenger, WhatsApp, FaceTime.

But for speaking to your entire team, Slack, Zoom or Skype might be more suitable.

The E1MA team find Slack particularly useful, as you can create separate channels for separate projects.

These are tough times for businesses to operate in – bringing the whole team together (digitally) is the solution.

5. Look after yourself

Carrying out tasks for your business is important, but looking after both your physical and mental health is more so.

Don’t feel guilty about taking regular breaks during the day to go outside for some fresh air.

If you were considering taking up Yoga, Meditation or Mindfulness – now is the perfect time.

Apps like HeadSpace can work wonders. Alternately, there are countless free tutorials on YouTube.

Working alone gets lonely. Continuing ‘water-cooler’ chats with your colleagues as if you were still in the office. 

Create a ‘random’ channel in your Slack in which you share gossip, memes or inspirational quotes – whatever keeps your spirits high.

Call your family & friends and see how they’re faring.

We’ll all in this together during these unprecedented times.

Our Covid-19 Communications Advice

Every single one of our clients is being affected by the Covid-19 outbreak in some way or another. We specialise in supporting festivals, venues and artists on their digital marketing activity, and we are sharing our clients’ pain, worry and shock at how the events economy as a whole is being affected by the outbreak.

This is the advice we’re offering to our friends and family in the events industry, and anyone in the wider business being affected by the outbreak.

1. Stay Safe!

We’re not doctors. Please check and follow government and medical advice on the situation. Be sensible, look after yourselves and your friends and family. Your health and the health of your loved ones is more important than any business activity.


Please check the NHS website and the Prime Minister’s Office website for the latest official advice.

2. Maintain Focus

We are deeply involved in promoting events, festivals and recorded music with our clients, so we have a broad view of the challenges the industry as a whole is facing.

The no.1 piece of advice we’re offering right now is maintain focus, be one step ahead and be ready to pivot your digital footprint quickly to react. Don’t get caught without a plan if restrictions on movement and public gatherings are going to affect you. Have a party line ready and be ready to put it out there.

3. Maintain Communication with your Audience

Be transparent

At a time like this the importance of communicating with your audience is paramount. All of our clients inboxes on all platforms are inundated with questions from ticket holders about whether or not their event is happening, and what the cancellation and refund policy is. Have your answers ready and ensure your FAQ’s are up-to-date.

If your public-facing policy is to follow government guidelines and your event is still happening – say it.

This means if people are trying to decide whether or not to buy a ticket, they will have the necessary information to make that call.

Maintain engagement

At this unprecedented time, a lot of people are at home, online and looking for alternate things to do within the walls of their own home. Utilise this time to keep your fans and customers engaged, make sure they keep you in the forefront of their mind.

Change your objectives – there should be less emphasis on selling tickets and more on building brand awareness and connecting with your audience.

Live streams, Spotify playlists, new mixes, previous content – this is a window to really interact with your fans – it may not be selling tickets to events, but keeping them engaged will inevitably work in your favour in the long run. It could also be a chance to gain new fans in the interim. 

EXAMPLE: Maceo Plex had to cancel a multiple shows at the weekend, so live streamed one instead for those who have missed out. 

Diplo is promising daily live streams in the wake of the quarantine situation. 

Tom Hanks’s wife and musician Rita Wilson has made a fun Spotify playlist whilst they’re both in self-isolation, transforming the situation into an opportunity to promote her music.

Basically don’t stop talking to your fans, keep them engaged, think outside the box, and maintain your social presence. 

4. Stay Positive!

Don’t let the virus infect your confidence and affect your ability to manage your communications effectively. The crisis is going to affect sales, so it’s important to make sure that when the crisis is over that your followers remember who you are and you can move back to a sales strategy – stay positive and keep talking to your followers.

How to Sell Tickets to Your Event (Part. 2)

In Part 2 we outline how to use Paid Social to help you sell more tickets to your event. (5 min read)

• Know your audience inside and out

• Choose the right objective

• Good creative draws attention

• Compelling copy drives clicks

• Monitor and tweak the campaign if necessary

1. Know your audience

Who do you want to buy your tickets?

You’re probably thinking “anyone and everyone, it doesn’t matter”.

But it DOES matter.

Advertising to consumers who have no interest in your events is a waste of time and money. That’s why it pays to research your target audience prior to launching paid ads.

Initially you’ll want to know their basic demographic info such as age range and location. 

But more advanced audience information is what will sell tickets. What are they interested in, which events do they attend, who are their favourite artists?

This wealth of audience data can be found in Facebook Business Manager under ‘Audience Insights’.

A safe option is to target consumers who already connected to your page. They’ve already displayed interest and are therefore more likely to purchase a ticket.

If your event has just launched, you may want to consider creating a ‘lookalike audience’. This is where Facebook creates a new audience for you to target, based on your previous customers (in this case, event attendees).

As you learn more about your potential audience, you’ll want to create several ‘sub-audiences’ that hone in on particular interests, for maximum effectiveness.

For example, you can funnel down your “electronic music” audience to “fans of [headline act A]” and “fans of [headline act B]”.

2. Decide on your campaign objective

Once you’ve set up your audiences, the next step is establish your marketing objective for each ad campaign.

Facebook Ads Manager gives you several options. As expected, the most important one for driving ticket sales is Conversions.

(Another popular option is ‘Brand Awareness’ which is useful for growing your social following, but not for selling tickets).

These options aren’t just namesakes – Facebook’s algorithm targets specific segments of your audience depending on your choice.

No doubt you’re thinking: why wouldn’t I always choose Conversions if the goal is to sell tickets?

Because Conversions campaigns are costly, and only effective once Facebook’s algorithm has been given time to learn about your audience.

In other words, they have to proceed through the ‘Awareness’ and ‘Consideration’ stages first.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter which option you pick if you don’t have an eye-catching creative.

3. Prepare your creative

The ‘creative’ is marketing-speak for the image/video that accompanies the text (or copy).

The creative and the copy are, without a doubt, the two most important elements of an ad.

It can be easy to spend too much time on targeting. Even if your ad is displayed to the right audience, without good creative and copy they aren’t going to pay attention.

It’s down to personal preference whether you work on the copy or the creative (the image or video) first but in our experience, the creative is far more important.

After all, visual content increases the desire to read text by up to 80%.

Most consumers only skim through posts on social media – an eye-catching creative makes them stop scrolling and pay attention to your message.

For Platform, we work with professional photographers to gather images and videos for use in our ads (and organic social).

Have specific outcomes in mind when carrying out these exercises – if you plan to run ads showcasing your new drinks menu in the future, take these photos well in advance.

Videos typically out-perform images (by at least 20%). Videos are more eye-catching and auto-play by default on Facebook and Instagram. 

Combining this with an in-app ticket link is a recipe for success.

You always want to make the customer journey as streamlined as possible.

If you run events regularly you should already have a bank of content taken from previous events.

If you’re low on content, you can use the creative from your organic posts, in your ads. This works best if you’re targeting an audience that doesn’t already follow your page.

4. Craft your copy

You’ve grabbed your audience’s attention with the creative, now the copy needs to convince them to purchase a ticket.

First and foremost: keep it short.

Rewrite your copy, making it as concise as possible without losing the key message.

Here’s an ad we’re running for Phase Live:

The 5-star review gives the event credibility. This follows a brief description of the event, dates and finally the all-important link to tickets.

It’s often best not to mention the ticket price in the copy (unless you’re running a special promotion). 

If you convince consumers that the event is ‘unmissable’, they’ll be less influenced by the price.

5. Monitor the campaign’s progress

Once you’ve done all the hard work and your ads are running, you need to keep an eye on their progress.

We’re not suggesting you have to look at it every hour, but at least once a day you should check on their performance.

If you find they aren’t producing the results you hoped, consider tweaking the creative or copy. 

Paid Social is all about trial and error, over time you (and Facebook’s algorithm) will learn more about your audience, which form of creative resonates most and which copy drives ticket sales.

You may want to look into A/B testing: this is where you have two similar ads running simultaneously. 

For example, you could learn that your audience converts from messaging like this:

As opposed to messaging like this:

On the other hand, if you find your ads are already driving strong ticket sales, consider increasing your budget, or running the same ad with a separate ‘lookalike’ audience.

Follow these tips and you’ll be selling more tickets to your events in no time.

How to Sell Tickets to Your Event (Part. 1)

In Part 1 we outline how organic (non-paid) social media help you sell more tickets. (5 min read)

• Post consistently on social media to build brand awareness

• Mix up your content strategy to keep people interested

• Curate your Instagram feed to make the event look unmissable

• Run competitions to greatly improve your organic reach

• Use your chatbot as an additional sales tool

1. Post consistently

Regular posting reminds your audience of your existence – they have terrible short-term memory.

This is especially important if you only hold one or two events a year, such as a festival. 

It’s about building brand awareness – you want your event to be the first that springs to mind when consumers are deciding what to attend.

At a minimum you’ll want to aim for 3 posts a week across your social channels (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter).

At a maximum we recommend no more than 2 or 3 posts per day – you don’t want to overwhelm your audience and prompt them to unfollow.

The best time to post is usually between 12PM – 2PM (lunch time)  or 6PM – 8PM (after work) but this isn’t as important as it used to be.

Social media feeds haven’t been chronological for a number of years. 

Your position in the feed depends on how often an individual interacts with your page/event – having a good content strategy is key.

2. Mix up the content

Keep your audience engaged by providing several types of content. This can range from interviews with artists and footage from previous events, to blog posts and news articles.

Just keep it relevant.

Posting appealing content attracts new followers. Over time you’ll discover which types of content resonate with your audience the most – these should form the core of your social media strategy.

Naturally, you’ll want to promote the event itself – that’s the ultimate goal after all!

You should be creating a sense of urgency in your sales communications:

Hard sales messages like this are perfectly acceptable as long as they aren’t too frequent. No one likes being ‘sold to’ on a daily basis – it will only cause people to unfollow.

A more subtle way of driving ticket sales is by placing bit.ly links to tickets in your posts.

Change the default end of a bit.ly link, like we do for ByDay ByNight:

This makes the link more appealing and increases clicks.

For Noisily, photos from last year’s festival form the backbone of our social media strategy, supplemented by Noise Pieces (blog posts), announcements and fun competitions:

3. Create FOMO with your Instagram feed

If your events look amazing on social media, then consumers will want to be a part of that experience and avoid the dreaded FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).

As we discussed in ‘E1MA’s Top 5 Tips for Marketing Venues‘, Instagram is used by consumers as a tool to discover new products and services – including events.

Source: Facebook

The first thing consumers see when opening your Instagram profile is your feed – in a 3×4 grid format. 

This is your first chance at impressing, so it is critical that this grid is visually appealing.

Varied content isn’t as important on Instagram.

Instead you should be posting beautiful photos from previous events, press shots of artists, professionally-created event flyers.

Instagram doesn’t allow for links in feed posts, so don’t forget to put a link to tickets in your bio!

Displaying ‘Stories Highlights’ at the top of your feed is a simple way of showcasing key features of your event, such as line-ups, FAQs and more.

By presenting key information in a clear and accessible manner, you simplify the customer journey – which leads to more ticket sales.

If you’re verified or have more than 10,000 followers, you unlock the ability to put ‘swipe up’ links in Instagram Stories.

It’s a useful tool to have at your disposal as it’s an additional way to drive traffic to the ticket page.

4. Run competitions

Competitions are an excellent, cost-effective way of engaging your audience and spreading awareness of your event.

A simple ‘like/comment/share-to-win’ competition can greatly boost your organic reach. Make sure the prize is compelling enough to entice people to enter – offer more than just a free ticket.

The greater the prize, the higher chance of people entering.

For Facebook we often use “Share & tag 3 friends to enter”. Shares are more likely to appear on other people’s feeds than likes.

People do not typically share posts on Instagram (unless it’s Stories), so you may want to focus on tagging and page likes instead:

Tagging 3 friends is the standard for social media competitions – requiring too many will deter entries.

In addition to the bonus reach comments generate, they can be used to grow your chatbot audience.

5. Use your chatbot

Chatbots simple terms, can act as a social media equivalent to mailing lists.

With this chatbot audience, you have a list of prospects that are clearly interested in your event.

After the competition has finished, you can send an automated chat message saying

“thanks for entering! You didn’t win, but you can still buy tickets here [link to your ticket page]”

As long as they don’t unsubscribe, you can continue to send them updates about your event, line-up announcements and more.

Even without a competition, chatbots (such as ManyChat) unlock Facebook Messenger as another channel that can drive traffic to your tickets:

The initial set-up requires some effort, but the amount of time saved in the long run makes it worthwhile.

In Part 2, we’ll be outlining how to use Paid Social (Social Media Advertising) to reach new audiences and sell even more tickets!

Content Production at Events: An E1MA guide

From expansive festivals to intimate nightclubs, we’ve been working with our clients to produce content on-site for a few years. (5 min read)

Here are a few things to consider before, during and after:

  • Live-streaming remains a good platform for organic reach
  • Immerse yourself into events to gather authentic content
  • User-generated content can generate tons of organic reach
  • Brand partnerships are an important and effective resource
  • Event headliners can be used to your advantage

1. Live-streaming

We love creating live-streams for our clients here at E1MA.

Over 67% of consumers have tuned into a live stream.

Increased ownership of smartphones combined with faster internet has allowed live-streaming to become a mainstream distribution channel for event content.

We can observe this through the introduction of Instagram’s IGTV and the rise of Twitch.

Last year we shot and produced Eelke Kleijn’s 2-hour set at Noisily Festival, in order to stream ‘as-live’ later. We used the asset to count down to the festivals subsequent year lineup announcement, and set up a media partner to reach new audiences with.

Eelke Kleijn at Noisily Festival 2019

Throwback vibes to Noisily Festival of Music and Arts last summer with Eelke Kleijn… Looks like a special one!! 🌳🌲🌳

Posted by Mr. Afterparty on Thursday, January 30, 2020

Another client we produce live-streams for is Marvin Humes, as part of his highly successful ‘Marvin’s Room’ club night series.


Live streaming takes planning, testing and a whole lot of anxiety to ensure it all goes to plan. The preparation is essential. Making sure all the equipment is set up correctly, that the equipment works, the lighting is right on screen, the music is feeding through properly, that the internet connection is stable…. Test, test, test again, and if you can, one more time for good measure. 

Once the stream is on, it’s all eyes glued onto it to make sure it goes smoothly- everything being set up perfectly is essential. Once it’s on, it is good to have someone else on hand to collect some content to use for socials around the stream – stories, tweets all leading back into the stream. 

When the stream has finished, it’s time to get as much reach as possible. Not everyone tunes in when it’s live, so it is important to ensure it’s shared everywhere else possible, and allocate some advertising budget to make sure it still reaches your audience.

-Joey, General Manager @ E1MA

One excellent feature of live-streams is that the video produced can be recycled into different pieces of content.

You can re-upload the live-stream down the line to promote the next event:

For a mobile-first approach, transform your stream into a portrait video that is primed for IGTV:

Or simply taking the best parts of the stream and breaking in down into bite-sized chunks:

Marvin's Room Aftermovie // Jax Jones, Sammy Porter and Ben Bux

Throwback to last Friday night Queen of Hoxton the last #marvinsroom of the year! What a finale!!! The biggest shoutout to the realest guy in the game Jax Jones for coming through and going back 2 back with me plus a guy I’ve wanted to play with for a long time Sammy Porter and Ben Bux FOAMA & Jordan Fleet.I’ve learnt so much this year hosting my own night and it’s been a lot of fun..big thanks to all the DJ’s who have come through and spun a few tunes for me! Big love and only bigger and better to come in 2020📸 Kristie Paul Glennon

Posted by Marvin Humes on Monday, December 16, 2019

2. Immersing yourself into events

There’s enough articles arguing how brands need to ‘humanize’ in order to better connect with their customers – this includes the manner in which you collect content at events.

It’s important to view your event from the attendees’ perspectives. We pushed for this in our “how to promote your events” guide, and for good reason.

Firstly, it means your content will receive higher engagement. 

Studies have found that ‘less polished’ videos perform better on Instagram Stories.

You should also remember that Facebook’s algorithm favours ‘authentic’ content rather than meticulously planned videos.

But this doesn’t mean you can’t ‘plan’ and create authentic videos.

The E1MA team are on-site for the entire duration of Noisily Festival to gather content (and manage the community).

 One video series we planned in advance was ‘Humans of Noisily’:

“Keeping content consistently fresh & dynamic can be a real challenge for brands year on year. Which is why for this year’s Noisily Festival we wanted to come up with something new to keep socials looking engaging throughout the year. Humans of Noisily was a project that involved conducting a few short interviews at the festival with the Noisily ravers themselves. 

We then played around with editing these snippets together to form supercuts of all the best interview answers about specific brand values that Noisily holds dear. The result was brand new, engaging Noisily content ready for posting done in a format that no-one had seen before!”

-George, Digital Account Manager @ E1MA

3. User-Generated Content

Sometimes the best content from events is created by the fans themselves.

(If you’re not familiar with ‘UGC’ you can check out our short blog post here)

Fan-made content works well for many of the same reasons. It’s raw, unpolished and authentic – which social media algorithms love.


“Since 2017, Facebook’s algorithm has prioritised posts from ‘real people’ over brands. User-generated content is perfect as it bridges the gap between the two. You can build brand awareness without being punished for being a business page.

Everyone has access to amazing cameras on their phones – it’s like having an extra 1000 content creators at your event! We encourage attendees to use brand hashtags, like #WeAreFSTVL so you can find all the best photos and videos quickly.

“Think of all the funniest videos you’ve seen. Were they carefully curated by a large corporation, or a random moment caught by a bystander?”

-Ben, Junior Digital Marketer @ E1MA

If even one video from your event goes viral, it could result in massive amounts of organic reach.

4. Managing Brand Partnerships

If you have partnered with brands for your event you need to take them into account when collecting content.

Large-scale events often partner with multiple brands.

Music festivals and events present a fantastic avenue for brands to reach their target audience. Thousands of festival-goers in one place, people are in the frame of mind to try new things. Creating a brand experience can have a lasting impact on consumers and affect their buying habits for years to come. The right brand aligned with the right event is a potentially powerful partnership.


A huge secondary opportunity for brands being present at festivals is content. Video of people interacting with a brand gives currency to that brand when it’s presented later online, and it can be distributed through the events’ channels, giving further reach and engagement.
In tandem with our work for our clients on site, we can also deliver a database of content that shows fans interacting with brands, which helps in later conversations.

Nick – Managing Director @ E1MA

5. Event Headliners

When collecting content from events, you want plenty of footage of the acts themselves – after all, it’s why people came to your event in the first place!

A healthy relationship between you and their team is essential as they will often bring their own photographer and videographer.

It is crucial that you gain access to the artist’s social media channels for advertising if they are playing at your next event.


Whenever possible when marketing events for venues, we always try to secure advertiser access to artist pages. artist pages tend to bring a sense of validity to adverts and markets events in a more personal manner than the often faceless, sales-y approach of using the venue page. 

Gaining advertiser access to these pages also allows us to access the core audience of the artist, through which we can create lookalike audiences to further push events to a more focused local audience”.

– Joel, Senior Account Manager @ E1MA

By using footage of the artist and promoting it from the artist’s page, it almost doesn’t feel like an ad – which is exactly why it works.

The ideal scenario would be to have footage of the artist playing at one of your previous events. But if you have recently launched (like Phase Croydon) then this isn’t always possible.

In this case, get creative and use footage from other events like so:

February at Phase Croydon

Our full February listings are here. Tickets to all shows at https://www.phase-croydon.com/listings

Posted by Phase Croydon on Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Interested in more tips on events marketing?

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E1MA’s Top 5 Tips for Marketing Venues

Promoting your venue can be tricky, but it doesn’t need to be.

E1MA has a long background in delivering a full range of digital strategy and marketing activity for venues. Past and present venue clients include Electric Brixton, Phase, E1, Prince of Wales, Platform, SWX Bristol and more…

Here are our top tips to successful venue marketing online.

1. Consistent branding and artwork is key

Make sure you have a clear set of brand guidelines established. At the bare minimum you want to have a logo, font and colour scheme that can be applied across all your online channels as well as in-venue

(If there’s one thing we learned from Dishoom’s talk at MAD//Fest, its that customers appreciate subtle details)

These guidelines should then be incorporated into all your online channels, such as your website, email and social media pages.

We convey Platform’s brand identity through all of their marketing channels:

Website
Social Media & Email

Consistency is the key to building brand awareness and retention. 

After all, you want your venue to be the first place that comes to mind when people ask:

“where should we go tonight?”

2. Illustrate your venue’s uniqueness through social media

74% of people use social media to guide purchasing decisions.

40% of Millennials visit on a location purely based on its ‘instagrammability’ (i.e. how good it looks on social media)

Now, we may not be interior designers here at E1MA, but we do understand that good photography can make any space look interesting – including our own office!

Hire a professional photographer to capture all the elements a customer might want to see before they book, or parts that are aesthetically pleasing.

This depends on the type of venue – music fans would love to see the space itself, for example these photos we used for Phase Croydon’s launch: 

(If you’d like to check out some more you can in this DJ Mag exclusive)

Such photos can then be used to create beautiful Instagram feeds that make the venue look interesting whilst keeping the branding consistent, like so:

Remember: A picture paints a thousand words.

3. Advertising is essential to reach new audiences

You have your customer data and your social media following. Now what? How do you grow those and ultimately sell more tickets?

The short answer is advertising.

Once you have a great brand and killer content that represents the experience – you’re ready to tell the world about it!

How you spend your advertising budget will depend on individual needs. More often than not we find venues benefit from two strands of activity:

  1. A good combination of maximum-reach brand awareness awareness activity about the venue as a whole in your local area.
  2. Coupled with more targeted activity to hone in on sales for particular events.

4. Consider using influencers to promote your venue

This is an area we’re starting to get into at E1MA, and for good reason. 

49% of consumers, particularly younger generations, use influencer recommendations.

Influencers can be expensive, but they don’t have to be.

For smaller or independent venues, ‘micro-influencers’ can be a cost-effective way of driving traffic.

What is a micro-influencer, you ask? In short:

“A micro-influencer is someone who has between 10K and 50K followers (usually on Instagram)”

Not only do smaller influencers come across as more authentic and receive higher engagement levels, their fees are much lower.

In fact, many micro-influencers will accept gifts (such as a free night at your venue) in exchange for posts.

In terms of content, make sure you give them guidelines (e.g. “post at 7PM, mention our 2-for-1 offer”) but after that, let them add their unique spin.

This is their full-time job – influencers understand their audience and know how to make your venue look like the hottest place in town.

5. Make FAQ’s easy to find

Your customer might want to check opening times, cloak room availability, accessibility and all manner of other basic information before they book their ticket.

Make that information super easy to find. Don’t make them email you to find it out your opening times – if you don’t respond fast enough you might miss out on those sales!

Another handy tip is to put these FAQs on your Instagram as archived stories, for example:

Getting important information to your customers doesn’t have to be boring.

For Noisily we give the option to ask questions directly through Instagram.

E1MA’s Favourite Albums of 2019

It’s been another amazing year of music, the E1MA team have chosen the albums they’ve loved the most.

George – Melt Away by Jadu Heart

So I had a think, and it was a hard decision as a lot of new music to wrap my ears around this year – but I keep coming back to this one album again and again since its release in August, and it’s the one that I probably enjoy most on the whole over the countless others so, my album of the year is Melt Away by Jadu Heart. 

I first discovered them a couple of years ago when they released “I’m a Kid” which I think was probably one of my top tracks of 2017, and granted – they did do that annoying thing where they just whacked all their best tunes of the past few years on the album when it eventually came out, so I had already heard a fair few when it was released earlier in the year.

However I don’t think that takes away from that fact that it’s a stunning piece of work. Their tracks are the perfect mix of emotive yet upbeat – and they’re filled with reverbed guitar sounds and synth galore which is pretty much my whole music taste lol. Pitchfork describes their sound as borderless electronica which I think pretty much nails it, I’d describe it as a kind of chilled out psych-pop/electro.

Their lyrics can be a bit ??? But I’ve never really been one to listen intently to lyrics, and their melodies are spot on in my eyes and always make me get up in my feelings so that must count for something right? Their waves of musical bliss won’t be leaving my ears any time soon.

Ben – Nothing Great About Britain by slowthai

The first time I heard slowthai I disliked him. Now I love him. His music is very much like Marmite – you either love it or you hate it.

This album arrived at an important time. With Brexit constantly making the world news, the Northampton-born upstart explores what it means to be British. It’s a welcome change from the London-centric perspective that many UK rappers adopt. Slowthai speaks for the regular Brits who live in the forgotten mining towns of yesteryear.

What I love about slowthai is that he is totally himself. The way he delivers lyrics is raw and gritty but his wordplay is excellent. Very much reminiscent of Dizzee Rascal’s iconic 2003 debut album “Boy In Da Corner”.

The album straddles so many genres – UK Rap, Grime, Punk Rock – slowthai is remarkably adaptable. The featuring artists (Mura Masa, Skepta and Jaykae) add their own flair. It never feels as though slowthai put them on the album for “name-recognition” purposes. A special mention goes to the producers on the album – the razor-sharp instrumentals play the perfect backdrop to slowthai’s lyrics.

Joey – SOLACE by RÜFÜS DU SOL

Rufus Du Sol are an Aussie electronic trio that now live in LA. They they released their third album last year, ‘Solace’. Inspired by the ambient electro soundscapes of Jon Hopkins and Brian Eno, it was nominated for the Grammy award ‘Best Dance/ Electronic album’ last month. 

Following this album, they released ‘Solace: remixed’, this year – my album of the year. It is always a risk to release a remixed version of your own album and trust other musical artists with your work, but this is a great example of what a remix album should be. They have carefully selected artists in the dance scene that repurposes the album in an entirely new light. Artists from Audiofly, Icarus, Eelke Kliejn to Hot Since 82 really manage to capture the essence of their own style through the tracks.

As an added extra love of the trio – for some unknown reason – #innerbloomhowl became a social media phenomenon with people playing one of their old classics ‘Innerbloom’, to dogs, and the dogs howling along. Turns out that if you ask any dog what their favorite album of the year was, they would probably agree with me. 

Joel – Hoodies All Summer by Kano

In a year where a lot of leading UK artists released significant rap projects, Hoodies All Summer by Kano is the one that stands out for me. Three years after his last album, which I also loved, it felt about time for Kano to make a return and what he provided is a raw, politically charged and culturally significant body of work that will no doubt stand the test of time. 

With a range of interesting sampling and some choice features from the likes of Popcaan, Ghetts and former N.A.S.T.Y Crew co-member D Double E, the body of work as a whole is really special. I also saw him perform it live in Brighton in October and it was a truly faultless performance. Perhaps he is known more this year for the new Netflix-backed series of Top Boy, but for me his best contribution was this album.


E1MA’s Favourite Christmas Adverts

December is finally here and E1MA team have picked their favourite Christmas ads from recent years:

George – Digital Account Manager

So I’ve gone with the somewhat controversial Sainsbury’s 2014 100 year anniversary of WW1 ad;

I think it resonated with me because of the historical nature of the ad – it’s based on real events that actually happened in WW1. That along with the lack of products shown throughout kept the tribute and message (that Christmas is for sharing) genuine rather than just showcasing Sainsbury’s products the whole way through.

It also sparked a debate over how tasteful it was to use this historical moment and “glamourise it” for TV to use as a campaign to sell groceries. However the debate around this essentially just got more people talking about it – all press is good press right?

Joey – General Manager

I’ve randomly actually gone with Sainsbury’s too – but from last year: 

Aside from the now infamous, ‘plug boy’ at the end, this advert ticks a lot of Christmas advert boxes – cute kids, catchy music, and an overall Love Actually feel. The concept of a school panto resonates with both young and old, whilst the fancy dress manages to incorporate every aspect of Christmas; each time you watch it you see a new character.

 From the Queen’s speech on TV to Christmas cards, to wise men – they really have Christmas covered! The words in the song tie it all together at the end, and with no product placement – selling Christmas as a time for giving, and spending time with friends and family. (Awwww.) It’s a yes from me! 

Fun fact: 35 people reported the advert to the ASA for ‘health and safety’ concerns – you really can’t please everyone!

Ben – Junior Digital Marketer

Seeing as my actual favourite has been taken (thanks George), I’ve gone for another one I love – John Lewis’ 2014 ad:

It features Monty the Penguin (who doesn’t love penguins?). I appreciate how it focuses more on the ‘winter romance’ aspect of Christmas rather than the stereotypical elements like jingle bells or reindeer. 

It has absolutely nothing to with John Lewis and that’s what makes it so enjoyable. You never feel like you’re being sold to – it’s just a wonderful xmas short provided by John Lewis.

The CGI penguin is adorable and emotive – you genuinely feel joy when he finds love at the end! Tom Odell covers John Lennon’s ‘Real Love’ superbly to provide a wonderful backing track. I would argue that John Lewis haven’t managed to top ‘Monty the Penguin’ since its inception. 

I also highly recommend watching the Geordie parody version after – it’s canny good like! Especially as I lived in Newcastle for 5 years. It’s side-splittingly funny (a lot of swearing though, you’ve been warned).

Joel – Senior Account Manager

My favourite Christmas advert is actually this year’s IKEA advert:

My favourite Christmas advert is actually this year’s IKEA advert. It’s funny and not saccharine like a lot of Christmas ads. What I like most about it is that it shouldn’t work. D Double E rapping about someone’s messy house doesn’t sound very Christmassy at all, but that is what makes it great, it stands out from the crowd.

The concept is also just so strange in general that it provoked a lot of social media chat, proving it to be an effective marketing campaign not just on TV, but online, through the media and beyond.

Maha – Finance Manager

Holidays are coming, but they didn’t need to tell us that; we knew as soon as we saw the red glittery Coca-Cola trucks drive onto our screens. This nostalgic, feel good ad doesn’t seem to have changed in my lifetime, which must equate to marketing gold!

 It ticks all Christmas boxes, Father Christmas , snow, lights, Christmas trees adorned with decorations, snowmen. Whether you’re a Christmas lover or not, it’s hard not to like.

What Are eSports and Why Should Brands Care?

With nearly 557 million viewers predicted by 2021, it’s time to start taking eSports seriously.

What are eSports?

An ‘eSport’ is not you playing 8-ball pool on your smartphone during your morning commute.

eSports (electronic sports) is competitive video gaming at a professional level.

I’m sure you heard the story of a 16-year-old US teenager winning $3 million after becoming world champion at free-to-play game Fortnite.

eSports are a combination of team-based games (such as Call of Duty) and solo games such as before-mentioned Fortnite.

Real-world sports teams are getting involved too – the ePremier League allows fans to represent their favourite teams in FIFA 20 Tournaments.

Last year’s final was broadcast on Sky Sports and Twitch, reaching nearly 14 million views.

What makes eSports so unique is that anyone can make it big. Our client Platform is London’s first dedicated gaming bar, complete with an officially licensed ‘eSports training ground’.

Platform Shoreditch visitors playing call of duty on eSports computers

‘Noobs’ and ‘Vets’ alike can hone their skills here. 

It is easy to get confused by gaming jargon (noob = ‘newbie’) but one thing is clear – with a growing audience and dedicated fans, eSports present a massive marketing opportunity for businesses.

Who watches eSports?

62% of esports viewers are aged between 18 – 34.

The audience is older than most people imagine – making it an excellent channel to reach millennials.

 After all, 43% of millennials say that they always appreciate brands that reach out to them in the gaming world.

Although eSports caters to a mostly male audience, interest amongst women is increasing.

Currently around 30% of eSports audiences are female and this growing as it becomes more widely accessible.

“For brands and fans, esports offers something that most traditional sports cannot- nearly unprecedented access to star players” – AdAge

Most of this happens online – esports players regularly interact with fans through social media and video-streaming platforms YouTube and Twitch.

I know about YouTube, but what is Twitch?

Twitch is an Amazon-owned video live streaming service where fans can watch their favourite streamers (eSports or otherwise) play video games. 

It draws 9.7 million active daily users.

Fans can regularly chat with other fans and their favourite streamers – who often respond immediately.

Aside from a rare live-stream Q&A, its difficult to imagine real-world celebrities interacting with fans in such a personal manner.

Twitch’s popularity is partly due to its low ad frequency – only a couple of ads an hour are displayed to viewers. This will likely increase as the platform gains popularity.

How brands can get involved

An accessible way of tapping into the eSports market is by sponsoring a streamer to wear, consume or endorse your product.

“Streamers are the new ‘influencers’ of the gaming world” – E1MA

Like using influencers (or advertising on podcasts), this can be effective as fans trust their favourite streamers will recommend them quality products/services.

You can also immediately measure the effectiveness of a in-stream “shout-out” unlike traditional advertising channels.

One risk for brands is that unlike carefully curated influencer posts, streaming is unedited and unfiltered.

 Streamers often record 12+ hours a day and you cannot have constant control over what they say. 

Like influencer marketing, a high level of trust between the brand and the content creator is essential for success.

Concluding Words

eSports is no longer ‘niche hobby’.

It has become a mainstream sport, with fan-filled stadiums, sponsors and influential star players.

You do not need to be a major corporate entity to get involved in this fast-expanding  market.

Take a gamble and align your brand with a small-time streamer.

Because you never know who will be the next eSports superstar or Twitch sensation.

How Audio Advertising Is Being Reborn in the Digital Era

2019 marks the 100th anniversary of audio advertising. 

Businesses have been using radio to advertise for over a century, but the rise of digital media is bringing a whole new meaning to the term ‘audio advertising’. 

Introducing: Digital audio advertising.

So, what is digital audio advertising?

More than just ‘radio advertising but online’.

Although 88% of UK adults still listen to traditional FM radio, younger audiences do not. 

In fact, listenership among 15-24 year olds has dropped by over 30% since 2010.

Younger audiences are increasingly abandoning radio for digital audio content – PCs and laptops are being abandoned in favour of more convenient, mobile-led ways to  consume content. 

Streaming music and listening to podcasts are now the norm.

This applies to all ages – according to eMarketer, the average adult spends over an hour a day listening to digital audio content.

Most of this audio consumption happens on-the-go, simply walk into any train station, gym or library and you’ll notice the sheer number of people with headphones on.

79% of all audio media usage takes place in situations like these, where visual content is inconvenient.

Let’s look at these explore the two key varieties of digital audio content – and how advertisers can use these emerging formats to their advantage.

Music Streaming

Physical ownership of music is on the decline, and aside from the small rebirth of vinyl, music streaming has become the mainstream way of listening to music.

Source: BBC

Consumers are simply not interested in ‘owning’ their music anymore.

Music streaming service Spotify has over 300 million users – and 60% of those use their ad-supported free version. The average Spotify user spends 25 hours a month listening on the app.

To say that this is a lucrative opportunity for marketers is an understatement. 

As only one in-stream ad can play at a time, you are much more likely to have your audience’s full attention.

Advertisers can target based on age, gender, location, activity and music taste. This is the ideal platform for those involved in the music industry – DJ’s, festivals, club owners.

Or, you could get really creative – why not target salsa lessons at latin-american music fans?

The possibilities are endless.

Podcasts

Podcasts are similar to traditional radio shows except that they’re usually episode-based and focus on specific subjects.

(Fun fact: Podcast is a combination of the words ‘iPod’ and ‘broadcast’)

Almost anyone can make a podcast – all you need an internet connection and something to talk about. This makes it much more accessible than radio.

What kind of podcasts do people in the UK listen to? Take a look for yourself:

Source: Ofcom

What’s even more exciting is the levels of engagement ads on podcasts receive: 

According to The Drum, an incredible 76% of surveyed consumers have acted on a podcast advert or sponsorship message.

Why?

This format is all about storytelling, and stories are powerful – they have been proven to be more effective at keeping people’s attention.

If you trust a podcast host to keep you entertained for 30 minutes a day, you’ll likely trust in their product recommendations or sponsorship messages.

The issue with advertising on podcasts is that it’s difficult to measure.

The only metric you have to go off are impressions (i.e. how many people have listened to the podcast) and even then you can’t ‘prove’ that they all listened to the ad.

Concluding words

Both these formats clearly have potential. 

As digital audio technology advances, so will our ability to target more specific audience with ads and measure its effectiveness.

Digital audio advertising is definitely a marketing trend to keep an eye (or ear) on – with so many visual ads vying for consumers’ attention, why not get them to listen instead?

What We Learned At MAD//Fest 2019

Some of the E1MA team attended MAD//Fest on the 13th & 14th November. Here’s some of our favourite insights and stories:

Influencer – “Micro vs. Macro: Understanding Scale in Influencer Marketing”

Influencer co-founders Caspar Lee (of YouTube fame) and Ben Jeffries delivered an excellent discussion on Influencer Marketing:

  • Use a combination of Macro (10,000+ followers) and Micro (under 10,000 followers) Influencers for your campaign.
  • Larger influencers are excellent for building brand awareness, but smaller ones are better for conversions  as social media algorithms favour (sigh) “authentic” engagements. It can also be a waste of money chasing huge, global influencers for your UK-only business.
  • Take your time when choosing an influencer – make sure they align with your brand’s values. 
  • Be wary of untrustworthy influencers who purchase likes and followers, particularly on Instagram.
  • Remember that you’re not just paying an influencer to “shout out” your product – they are producing content for you, so make sure you re-use it across your channels and make the most of it.

Lumen Research – “Attention Mobile! How attention technology can boost your mobile advertising”

Lumen’s Managing Director Mike Follet present their interesting eye-tracking software and the insights they have found while using it:

  • For video content, keep it short – people typically lose interest after 15 seconds.
  • Include your branding at the start of the video for maximum brand-recall but display your product at the end.
  • Design video content for mobile-first. “Vertical” videos are by far the most popular way consumers watch videos.
  • If you need to shorten a video, take out the parts that do not emotionally resonate with the audience.
  • 90% of people’s attention on Facebook is on the news feed and so optimise your ads accordingly.

Paddy Power – “Making mischief: combining live and social interactions”

Paddy Power’s head of Brand Activations Paul Mallon showed the audience a selection of their (often controversial) marketing campaigns – discussing which ones worked and which didn’t:

Their message was simple – don’t be afraid of your audience.

You cannot please everyone, and the backlash they receive from social media ‘keyboard warriors’ almost never have an actual negative impact on the business.

During the 2018 World Cup, Paddy Power donated thousands of pounds to LGBTQ+ charities each time Russia scored a goal.

Despite all the backlash they received on Twitter, a grand total of 4 people closed their betting accounts.

You can see their hilarious response to the backlash here:

Dishoom – “How culture, story and experience can disrupt a category”


Dishoom founder Shamil Thakrar spoke about how his ‘chain’ (though he hates the word) of Indian-inspired restaurants came about, and the power of storytelling:

  • For each individual restaurant, Dishoom crafts a unique world that they want their customers to experience when they walk inside.
  • You only need to visit their website to see how serious they take this. Everything aspect of a restaurant, right down to the screws, has been carefully considered.
  • Attention to detail is critical – customers want to feel truly immersed when they step into a restaurant (unless you are, say, McDonalds).
  • Focus on creating value for your customer and your team first. THEN you can start making a profit.
  • Make sure your brand is poetic in the way it tells its story.


Bonus Insights

Reform Political Advertising: There are no rules on political advertising in the UK.

Skyscanner: Perfect your offering before marketing it. You don’t need a ‘company culture’ page – demonstrate your culture through your dealings with customers.

IBM: The secret to inspiration is to lock yourself away from the outside work a few hours a week, with just a notepad and your imagination. If you’re struggling for content ideas, ‘remix’ existing content and make it your own. After all, “originality is just undetected plagiarism”


Tenzing: The entire E1MA team are now addicted to their natural energy drinks. Not so much of an insight, but perhaps demonstrates that giving away free samples can still be an effective marketing tool!

How Awareness Days Can Be Your Content Lifeline

We are now in the awkward period where it is too late to post about Halloween but too soon to post about Christmas.

Awareness Days can be extremely useful for your business if you’re ever stuck for ideas on what to post. 

They are designed to draw attention to a cultural or social cause. These can range from national holidays such as St. George’s Day to the more tongue-in-cheek National Hangover Day (which, you guessed it, is the 1st January).

There are hundreds of awareness days, weeks and months that you can associate your brand with.

By using the relevant hashtags (e.g. #NationalPancakeDay), you can drive more traffic to your social media pages. 

Feel free to get creative with your posts – but make sure there is a genuine link between your business and the cause you’re supporting.  

It’s best to choose ones that align with your brand’s core values – fans may be confused as to why a clothing brand is celebrating British Sandwich Week.

(yes, it’s real)

For Noisily we created a post highlighting the importance of mental wellbeing – an important topic to both Noisily and their fans. By posting on World Mental Health Day, we organically reached over 4,000 people with 500+ engagements.

Man hugging woman for World Mental Health Day

Awareness Days are valuable opportunities to take advantage of an important or trending topic in a creative manner. With so many to choose from, you’ll never be struggling to come up with content ideas again.

What’s in a Community?

In social media terms, a community is a place where like-minded people can share and express their opinions around a common interest. With a staggering 620 million groups, Facebook is by far the most popular platform for online communities.

These groups often have far higher levels of engagement than the average social media post. They act as a hub where users can post photos, share content and discuss related topics.

This makes them excellent marketing tool for brands – you can have your most loyal and engaging fans in all in one place.

For example, our Noisily Festival Community has over 4,000 of their most dedicated fans. Here, the ‘Noisily Family’ can ask enquire about the festival, share videos and build genuine excitement around Noisily Festival 2020.

In their own words, the community contains:

“big characters, big ideas, dynamic dysfunction and enthusiasm that knows no bounds”

Facebook’s new algorithm favours community and real conversations. 

Because everyone in the group has shown serious interest in your brand, it can often be more effective to your focus marketing efforts here instead of far-reaching ad campaigns. 

How Fan-Made Content Can Do Wonders for Your Business

User-generated Content (UGC) is the simple process of repurposing customer content for your needs. By directing involving them in your campaign, your customers may become advocates for your brand.

UGC posts shared to social channels typically see a higher 28% engagement rate compared to standard branded posts. Fans enjoy seeing their content adopted by brands and often share, retweet or repost this experience.

This provides genuine, organic reach and builds customer-brand relationships that money can’t buy.

The E1MA team were heavily involved in the creation of Oliver Heldens’ official music video for ‘What The Funk’. 

Hundreds of fans from across the world submitted homemade clips of them singing and dancing to the song’s lyrics. 

The resulting video achieved an amazing 2,000,000 views and nearly 2,000 comments on YouTube alone. This is without including all the social media engagement leading up to the video’s creation and after its release.

User-generated content can be a fast, fun affordable way to produce phenomenal results for your brand.

Competitions – A Winning Ticket for You and Your Fans

Competitions are an excellent, cost-effective way of engaging your audience. A simple ‘share-to-win’ contest can drive traffic to your social media platforms, increase brand awareness and encourage sales.

For We Are FSTVL, we live-streamed a countdown contest on Facebook. To win, fans simply had to ‘guess the artist’ depicted in the photo. 

This generated 20,000 views and 700 comments in just 30 minutes. Our chatbot automatically followed up each response in Facebook Messenger, and we were subsequently able to remarket to those fans.

You can read more about our work with chatbots here.

We’ve since ran a number of competitions for our clients – each one increasing the potential audience we can engage with for future campaigns.

How to Train your Chatbot

Chatbots are software applications that mimic human conversation. Think of them as a virtual companion that can be integrated within your website, mobile apps, or instant messengers such as Slack, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. 

The most advanced chatbots can handle and understand complicated customer requests and personalise their responses accordingly.

We incorporated a Facebook Messenger bot into our marketing work for Noisily Festival – with excellent results.

For example, a welcome message had an incredible 99.5% open rate and a click-through rate of 46% – encouraging potential attendees to explore the website and find out more about the festival.

Chat Bot GIF Noisily

Not only can chatbots perform actions like these, but they are available to help 24/7, can be cost-effective, and have the potential to attract new customers.

Chatbots are expected to save businesses over £6.5 billion globally by 2022. Will yours be one of them?