‘A picture can speak a thousand words’ and this holds true for marketing. Scroll-stopping, head-turning content is essential to success in 2021. An attention-grabbing mailer or billboard can be the difference between interest and conversions.
That’s why we’ve upped our creative capabilities, from strategy to execution. Our new graphic designers, Matt and Meera, have busy creating everything from motion videos and animations to posters and illustrations.
Learn a little more about the newest members of the E1Media and how they’ve been helping our clients Plan, Run and Grow.
“My initial thoughts when receiving a brief are used to sketch out my first concepts. Experimentation helps to develop the design further, along with interactions with the client to understand what they want to achieve with the design. Working with predominantly music-based clients means I am able to use my own musical inspirations to help inform my design.”
We’ve been working with the Nu Future team across the entire spectrum of shows they have planned this summer. The e-flyers, posters and promotional videos were all created in-house by the E1MA creative team.
“I work through stages, going back and forth between the client and the design work. The narrative to any project is integral to my process as it serves as a reminder of what needs to be communicated to the audience.”
“Subsequently, finding the creative direction early on in a project really helps me envision the final outcome. Research and sourcing references is also a significant part of my process as it allows me to explore the different styles that could be used to fulfil a brief. Ultimately, I love to have fun during the design and creative process and think this will always show in the final product.”
We’ve been heavily involved in the creative direction of London’s newest Hip-hop and R&B-led festival, Metrofest. Everything from the print & digital assets, to the artist videos, were created in-house by our talented team.
The E1MA team has been stranded on a desert island. Which items can they simply not live without? How will they keep themselves entertained? Let’s find out.
Ben – Digital Marketing Executive
Album: Chinoiseries (Pt.1 – 3) by Onra
I already spend most of my work days listening to this collection of obscure, eastern-inspired hip-hop beats, so naturally its accompanying me to the island.
It was a toss-up between this or pizza, but you really can’t go wrong with Lasagna. I can eat it for many days in a row without getting bored, as my former uni flatmates will attest to.
Movie: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
I’d take them all if I could, but the 2nd LOTR film is easily my favourite. I have fond memories of watching this film with my mum as a child. The extended edition is nearly 4 hours long, so should stop me going insane for a while.
Luxury Item: My bookcase
I’m an avid reader, so I’m taking my books with me. They’re a great source of entertainment, don’t require electricity and make great tinder if I need a fire.
Bryce – Digital Marketing Assistant
Album: West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum by Kasabian
It was the first album/CD I ever bought, and still to this day. I can not listen to this album and not resist singing along!
Food: Roast Chicken
In my eyes, Roast Chicken is a timeless classic which never fails to satisfy whatever mood you’re in!
Book: The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield
It was very close between this and the book I’m currently reading(Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts). But following the ideologies of The Celestine Prophecy by connecting with everything living doesn’t sound like a harmful way to live on a deserted island!
Luxury Item: My Bed
A good sleep makes everything better!
George – Senior Digital Consultant
Album: Playground by KiNK
It’s a real mix of electronic hedonism and I think I’d probably be missing being surrounded by people and dancing so listening to this with the volume all the way up might take my mind off my pretty dire situation.
I had the most incredible tomato risotto from this random pub in Surrey a few years ago and it’s not left my thoughts since so I reckon I’d take that!
Movie: The Simpsons Movie
I used to watch it on repeat with my friends during school and it’d remind me of home! Also maybe the constant jokes would lift my spirits – The Simpsons abandon Homer at one point in the film so maybe I could draw some comparisons there!
Luxury Item: My Pillow
I can’t function without a decent night’s sleep and would need to be on my A-game!
Joel – Head of Digital
Album: Midnight Marauders by A Tribe Called Quest
I’m a huge hip hop fan and ATCQ are my favourite hip hop outfit so naturally I’m going for this album, which always features in my Spotify tracks of the year at least once or twice.
Food: Fried chicken
Just the best food to be honest. I’ve tried to be a vegetarian out of guilt many times but chicken fried in one way or another is always too tempting, drawing me back to the dark side.
Movie: La Haine
I studied Photography at university and took a film module in which this was one of the films that we watched. I wrote an essay on it and even love it so much that I have ’so far so good’ tattooed on my legs because I’m a big nerd.
Luxury Item: Paper and paints
I’m terrible at painting. But if I had all that time to do something, maybe I could learn. It’s something to do at least.
Joey – General Manager
Album: For Emma, Forever Ago by Bon Iver
Bon Iver broke up with his girlfriend, band, got sick, and decided to seek refuge in a remote cabin in the Wisconsin woods where he recorded this debut album so it only seems apt to listen to it in a similar environment alone on a desert island.
In the event that I get too depressed on my own there listening to this, I will probably regret not choosing Netsky “2” to bounce around to.
Food: Pesto Pasta
Fresh pesto pasta is always a winner. Growing up as a vegetarian there never used to be much available so this was always a standard go to, but I’ve somehow never got sick of it. You can’t beat good quality pesto pasta – maybe some ravioli for the win!
Movie: Mrs. Doubtfire
Mrs. Doubtfire for the jokes, the feels and the fact you can watch it over and over again.
Luxury Item: Franco
It would be rude not to take @francosays_ with me for companionship, and entertainment. (When I’m not fighting him for the food.) Maybe he can help me forage once the pesto has run out… Although I will probably end up with washed up shoes for dinner.
Maha – Finance Manager
Album: Ready to Die by The Notorious B.I.G
I love 90’s hip-hop.
Food: Chinese Takeaway
Crispy shredded beef, seaweed, dumplings with a pak choi side please.
The best one-liners.
Luxury Item: Hercules
My resurrected dog.
Matt – Junior Graphic Designer
Album: Untrue by Burial
This album suits a drive through London at night more than being stranded on a desert island. However it’s a core part of my musical inspirations and an album I revisit very frequently.
A very versatile food that can be filled with pretty much anything. I recently made blackened Basa fillet tacos with a pineapple salsa and chipotle mayo, which was unreal!
Movie: There Will Be Blood
This was a very difficult choice for me, however Daniel Day-Lewis’ performance in this film is second to none and in general a very memorable film.
Luxury Item: My iMac
My workstation is a place of refuge for me, in my spare time I love to produce music and well as design for fun.
Meera – Junior Graphic Designer
Album: Buena Vista Social Club
This album just makes me happy and brings back memories of growing up listening to it with my parents.
The perfect base for whatever I forage and no need to season the water from the ocean!
Movie: Vicky Cristina Barcelona
The characters in this film are hilarious and I can and have watched it many times. I also love the soundtrack and cinematography.
Luxury Item: A Comfortable Bed with lots of Pillows
What better way to pass the time than to sleep!
Nick – Managing Director
Album: 2001 by Dr. Dre
Childhood favourite, so many great tunes it brings back memories throughout my teens and 20s, for me this beats any current hip hop out there at the moment. They don’t make them like this any more!
My Dad rarely cooked for me (outside of a Sunday roast), but I do remember him making a sort-of carbonara for me when he did and I picked it up when I was a student. I learned how to do it properly, now eat probably an unhealthy amount of it and am always compelled to order when it’s on a menu.
Book: The Lord of the Rings
I haven’t got round to reading it still and I love all the films so I reckon it would keep me occupied on a desert island.
Apple’s iOS14 will shake-up digital advertising as we know it. This is how it will impact your results.
What is the iOS14 update and why should I care?
Phone updates typically consist of bug fixes and smaller tweaks, but not this one. iOS14 could signal the start of a complete transformation in advertising, and its launching this week.
iOS14 introduces significant app privacy controls. For the first time ever, users will have to ‘opt-in’ to behaviour tracking, rather than opt-out. It also allows ‘precise location tracking’ to be disabled when it’s used for measurement and attribution purposes.
What this essentially means is the customer journey will be a whole lot harder to track. Ad performance across the board will suffer as a result of this update.
This is yet another blow to the marketing industry, which has been under increased scrutiny over its use of personal data. Google announced last year that its phasing out third-party cookies – a key staple of digital advertising.
How will it affect Facebook ads?
Facebook has been particularly against this ‘opt-in’ approach to data collection. They produced this article last week explaining how paid social activity will be affected. You need to take certain measures within Ads Manager, otherwise your ads could be disrupted in the following ways:
– Inability to create mobile app install ad campaigns targeting users on iOS 14.5 and above.
– Limited access to certain optimization choices and the pause of certain ad sets.
– Ad performance impact as delivery to users on iOS 14.5 and above may decline for certain ad sets.
At E1MA we’ve had to make changes to our media buying to fit around iOS 14, particularly around Facebook pixel data. You can now only have up to 8 conversion events sent through a single pixel. Conversion events include add-to-baskets, landing page loads, checkout completion and more.
You need to make sure your domains are verified on Facebook. Work with your website provider to initiate these changes otherwise it may negatively impact ad delivery. Reach out to us if you need assistance.
In short, expect to see a dip in your Facebook & Instagram ad performance. This could include reduced Reach, a higher CPC or a lower conversion rate. At this stage, it’s too soon to tell. iOS14 might not have the far-reaching impact we suspect it does, but it could be a sign of things to come. Will the likes of Google and Microsoft follow Apple’s lead?
It’s hard to see why users would willingly opt-in to personal data tracking. There’s certainly a slice of the population who enjoy seeing tailor-made ads that match their interests. But there’s also a vocal majority that find personalised advertising invasive and off-putting. Such sentiments are only accelerated by popular Netflix documentaries such as ‘The Social Dilemma’ and ‘The Great Hack’.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on our iOS14 impacts paid advertising. Our initial impressions are that, aside from a few technical tweaks needing to be made, it won’t have the catastrophic impact many were predicting. The E1MA team is communicating closely with our clients to ensure paid social activity continues as normal. If you have any concerns or would like to know how this will affect your business, get in touch.
It’s been a long road. Over 12 months we’ve seen daily life change irrevocably. Remote working has become the standard. We’re either shopping ultra-locally or having products delivered from the vast expanses of the internet. Zoom calls with friends & family have replaced jaunts to the pub.
But how many of these trends will last? It’s a question on a lot of people’s minds – including our own. Of course, we can’t speculate as to whether long-distance travel will return to it’s pre-pandemic highs or if loungewear will become the new smart-casual. One thing we do know about at E1MA however, is digital marketing. We select a handful of key online trends that either emerged or were accentuated by the pandemic, and explore whether they’ll become part of everyday life post-lockdown.
TikTok & Instagram Reels
TikTok is synonymous with the pandemic. The app has been out since 2016, but reached a feverish level of popularity in 2020 as consumers desperately sought new forms of entertainment. It’s since been downloaded over 2 billion times. With over 686 million monthly users, it’s clear this short-form video platform won’t be a passing fad.
The app has spawned the careers of countless influencers, with brands also taking advantage of its popularity amongst Gen Z. That’s not to say TikTok doesn’t appeal to older audiences too – 60% of users are between 18 – 44.
The reason we expect TikTok to stand the test of time is because it has an intimate understanding of what consumers want. The content is snappy and vertical-first, taking the best parts of both Snapchat and IG Stories and presenting it in a clean, highly personalised environment. Questions of data privacy aside, TikTok knows users don’t want to sift through endless posts to discover something worth watching. Both its brand identity and its content are light-hearted and jovial – exactly what consumers want during these challenging times and beyond.
You can’t mention TikTok without saying ‘Reels’ in the next breath. Instagram’s unerringly similar offering will likely succeed through pure muscle power. With Facebook’s level of resources, Reels is almost too big to fail. It certainly didn’t have the smoothest of launches – users were quick to point out that most Reels were simply TikTok re-uploads. Others simply felt Reels was one addition too many for Instagram, which already features a newsfeed, stories and IGTV. Instagram has yet to reveal how many people use Reels (a classic sign of sub-optimal performance), but we expect it to compete fiercely with TikTok over the coming years.
Will it stay? Yes.
This is the most obvious contender for the ‘trend most likely to stay’ award, simply because the pandemic only accelerated our already rapid shift towards online shopping. 2 in 5 shoppers say they’ll make more online purchases following the end of lockdown (the rest probably already spend copious amounts online). You only have to look at the phenomenal success of online-only retailers such as ASOS and Amazon, both of which are producing record profits. Meanwhile, the demise of brick-and-mortar favourites such as Topshop (bought by ASOS) and Debenhams signals the death of the great British high-street.
It’s easy to say that these retailers only collapsed under the weight of several successive lockdowns, but that only tells part of the story. Such brands failed to implement technological and supply-chain innovations that are expected as standard by modern shoppers. Fast delivery, user-friendly experiences and social commerce features are all critical to success – it’s not enough to simply ‘have a website’ in 2021.
Online shopping isn’t going anywhere. It has achieved many of the advantages brick-and-mortar shopping once had to itself and added more. More choice, more flexibility and more convenience. Real-life shopping is slowly being reduced to a social experience that you do with your friends & family on the weekends. Even during the brief summer reopening period, high street footfall was down 65%. Lockdown drove us to buying everything from loo roll to plant pots online. We expect this to be a concrete shift in consumer behaviour.
Will it stay? Yes.
The first lockdown in March 2020 marked a high point for live-streaming. Everyone from Boiler Room to Borough Market took advantage of the previously-neglected content format. The E1MA team witnessed first-hand just how effective live-streams could be as both a marketing tool and a source of entertainment. We even launched our own platform, SofaStreams – a catalogue of the very best virtual events the internet had to offer.
Unfortunately, the initial momentum didn’t last. The brief relaxation of restrictions during the summer saw interest in live-streams nosedive. There was a small resurgence over the winter period, but it never quite hit the same heights as before. Virtual events simply cannot compete with real-life. Even trips to the park with your friends can overshadow a 2-hour video of a DJ performing in his kitchen. That’s without mentioning all the problems that come with live-streaming. Technical difficulties, copyright issues and most importantly – a lack of real revenue.
It’s difficult to see the role live-streaming will play as venues open their doors and live events return. They can still act as great promotional tools for generating FOMO and reaching digital audiences, especially as many fans won’t be able or willing to attend real events. But ultimately we can’t see live-streams returning en-masse once the national lockdown is over.
Will it stay? No.
Clubhouse was one of the later lockdown trends to grip the internet. However, it could easily fade into obscurity just as quickly as it emerged. The audio-only social platform garnered real interest for both its exclusivity (it’s invite-only) and celebrity user base. The likes of Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg have been spotted.
Clubhouse’s simple offering of ‘virtual discussion rooms’ taps into the rising popularity of podcasts and audiobooks. But it’s exactly this simplicity and inexperience that will lead to its demise. Social media giants were quick to notice Clubhouse’s success and began developing their own audio-only alternatives. Twitter in particular were quick to launch Fleets, which has had promising early feedback. Facebook, now well known for borrowing ideas off rivals, are also developing a similar experience.
Clubhouse meanwhile still isn’t available on Android – accounting for 85% of the world’s smartphones. It’s the sad but all too common situation of a fledgling start-up being gobbled up by the giants of Silicon Valley. It will be interesting to see whether audio-only discussions have a place in post-lockdown life. Commuting springs to mind as a scenario where the likes of Twitter Spaces could thrive. Only time will tell.
E1 Media Agency is looking for a creative, talented, innovative, enthusiastic candidate. The applicant should be keen to develop their career in design, with attention to detail, a willingness to get stuck-in and have initiative.
E1MA started life as an agency focused on music. We have since evolved to deliver marketing services to food & beverage, travel, fashion, but retain a strong foothold in music and events.
THE KEY FOCUS AREAS OF THIS ROLE ARE:
– Producing attractive and effective designs for all media including motion graphics.
– Creating visual aspects of marketing materials, websites and other media, including infographics.
– Developing strong and engaging online content.
– Offering input to creative meetings and sharing ideas.
– Communicating with senior team members to receive feedback.
– Graphic Design qualification or similar.
– Some creative industry experience.
– Experience with design software and motion graphics software. The Adobe Creative Cloud (Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator and Aftereffects)
– Knowledge of design techniques.
– Adaptive design eye and skill.
– Self-disciplined and have good time management skills with the ability to manage a number of priorities.
In Part 2 we outline how to use Paid Social to help you sell more tickets to your event. (3 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 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 Clovelly, we use a combination of professional photography and user-generated contents for our ads (and organic social posts).
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. Of course, in the age of COVID, this isn’t as simple. It’s up to you whether you show pre-pandemic event photos. If you do, make sure it’s communicated clearly.
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. Edit and re-edit your copy, until it’s as concise as possible without losing the key message.
Here’s an ad we were running for Karma Kitchen:
Short, enticing copy, followed by a bright photo and ‘Book Now’ CTA that leads straight to the booking system, rather than the website. It’s often best not to mention price in the copy (unless you’re running a special promotion). If you convince consumers that the occasion 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. You might discover that your audience responds well to the ‘hard sell’.
On the other hand, if you find your ads are already driving strong 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.
In Part 1 we outline how organic (non-paid) social media help you sell more tickets.
1. Post consistently on social media to build brand awareness
2. Mix up your content strategy to keep people interested
3. Curate your Instagram feed to make the event look unmissable
4. Run competitions to greatly improve your organic reach
5. 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 the minimum you want 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. It’s all about quality over quantity.
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, especially during the pandemic. Traditional working hours have been thrown out the window in favour of a more flexible approach. Besides, social media feeds haven’t been chronological for a number of years.
As we mentioned in last week’s deep dive into the IG algorithm, your position in the feed depends on how often an individual interacts with your page/event. Having a strong, consistent content strategy is therefore 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. In the age of COVID-19 consumers a little more sensitive. It’s best not to push the ‘hard sell’ too early in the sales cycle, as fans as hesitant to book anything too far in advance.
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 Cinnabar:
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. This is especially important in 2021, as fans want to be aware of your health & safety guidelines and cancellation policies before they book.
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]”
The rules around chatbots on Facebook have drastically changed in recent times. The platform now enforces a ’24-hour reply’ rule. This means you can only send promotional material to users within 24 hours of them interacting with your chatbot.
The alternative is to use paid ‘Sponsored Messages‘. Although this is frustrating, it doesn’t mean you should write off this channel. Chatbots bypass the incessant noise of the feed, straight into the user’s inbox. This is the same reason email marketing is still so effective 2021.
In Part 2, we’ll be outlining how to use Paid Social (Social Media Advertising) to reach new audiences and sell even more tickets!
Make sure your posts are appearing first in your fans’ feeds with these top tips for beating the Instagram algorithm.
Social Media Algorithms in 2021
Social media algorithms can make or break a businesses’ organic social activity. A few years back they introduced it as a replacement for the classic chronological feed. Instead of seeing posts in by recency, they’re now intelligently recommended based on the users’ previous behaviour on the platform. In some cases, even behaviour exhibited outside of the platform can influence what you see. Your behaviour on Instagram can affect what content gets priority on Facebook, for example.
In terms of digital advertising, this is nothing new – ads have been stalking us around the internet since the invention of third-party cookies. But this behaviour-driven approach has been increasingly affecting the organic reach of social posts. Facebook has steadily gearing their platforms towards ‘meaningful interactions’ (with an emphasis on communities). Essentially what this means is posts from friends have an inherent advantage over posts from a business page, in terms of feed ranking.
This move, which was revealed by Mark Zuckerberg in 2018, has since had a damaging impact on organic social metrics. Reach and engagement rates have been dropping, forcing businesses to rely more on paid activity.
Thankfully, all is not lost. Organic content can still perform exceptionally well if you abide by Instagram’s unspoken rules. There are 5 key ranking factors that Instagram (and many other platforms) use:
How much IG thinks you’ll care about the post. This is arguably the most influential ranking factor. As we just discussed, social media platforms use your past behaviour to predict your future behaviour. So if you engage with one type of content more often (e.g. your friends posts, food posts, etc.) these will get priority in the feed. It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean the most popular posts in that topic will always appear first. Instagram spokespeople are quick to assure that the platform isn’t a ‘popularity contest’.
What to do: You should be focusing on quality over quantity. If the user continually passes over your content without interacting, IG will consider it uninteresting. Posting better content, less frequently is key. The user followed your account for a reason – you have to keep that level of interest up by producing unique content that isn’t supplied by the rest of their feed.
How recently you posted.IG may have moved away from the chronological feed, but when you post is still a factor to consider. Social media is all about keeping your finger on the pulse of the very latest trends and breaking news. The algorithm therefore determines newer posts to be more ‘relevant’ and gives them a higher ranking.
An interesting aspect of the ‘timeliness’ factor is that IG only arranges new posts in-between visits. The users’ feed is constantly evolving. Your post may have been ranked 1st in the feed when you posted at 12pm, but a newer, better post could push it down by 12:30pm.
What to do: This is why posting when your audience is active is crucial. Social media algorithms act like giant feedback loops – if a user isn’t engaging with your posts straight away, it won’t be considered timely and could get pushed down the rest of your audiences’ feeds.
The accounts you consistently interact with. IG’s algorithm monitors how frequently you engage with a user – whether it’s liking their photos or visiting their profile. This ranking has steadily moved up in importance since 2018 – it’s the reason your best friend’s photo with 17 likes appears first in the feed. IG stories rankings are entirely decided by your ‘relationship’ factor.
What to do: This is a tricky one to navigate for businesses. IG is unfairly bias towards posts from friends & family. You should be encouraging interactions with your posts by asking questions to your fans and by running competitions. But be warned: not all engagement is considered equal by Instagram. Shares, saves and comments have a stronger impact on your feed ranking than likes.
How often you check Instagram. This one is quite similar to ‘Timeliness’, except it’s the opposite. It’s not about when you post, it’s about when your followers open the app. Users who check IG often, but in short bursts, will see only the newest, most relevant content since they last looked. Those who check less often, but for longer durations, will be served a more diverse selection of content from a larger time frame.
What to do: There’s not a lot businesses can do here. A users’ behaviour is entirely individual. If you focus on meeting the criteria of the other ranking factors, you could consistently be at the top of the feed, no matter how often your fans open the app.
How many people you follow. With this ranking factor, it’s simple mathematics. If your fans follow 1000’s of accounts, there’s no way they can all achieve high feed rankings. This also works the opposite way – the more followers you have, the lower your engagement rate percentage will be.
What to do: Once again, you can’t control how many accounts your fans follow. It’s worth following good IG practices, such as tidying up your follower-following ratio. We advise businesses not to follow too many accounts as it can look unprofessional.
It’s unclear whether this influences the algorithm, but logically it makes sense. Having 10,000 followers but only 100 following indicates that you produce high-quality content. Instagram wants users to have the best experience possible, and this means showing the best the app has to offer.
As you can tell, there’s a lot more to the algorithm than you may have thought. We’ve laid out the factors as a guide, but ultimately the key to achieving that coveting 1st place in the Instagram feed is to bring your best. Post high quality content on a consistent basis – content that brings value and drives engagement. Make sure you’re posting when your audience is online, and don’t forget those hashtags!
Email Marketing is just as effective now as it was before the rise of social media. We explain why, and share our tips for making the most of this crucial channel.
Email marketing in 2021
Email marketing isn’t dead. Some people see email as an archaic marketing channel that can’t produce results in a world of social media and programmatic advertising. The word ‘e-mail’ may evoke memories of using AOL dial-up connection on your Apple Macintosh, but the practice of email promotion is very much alive.
In fact, many of the reasons email is so effective today is because of its (digitally) old-fashioned style. Much like the real-world format it replicated, email is delivered directly to the user’s mailbox. It’s not at the mercy of social media algorithms. Mailers have a 100% delivery rate, assuming it beats the spam filter – we’ll cover this in more detail shortly.
Because your emails are more likely to be seen, they’re more likely to produce customers. A study by eMarketer found that email marketing beats all other channels in terms of customer acquisition and retention. Yes, even more than organic search and social media. Of course, this study only covered small US businesses, but the results are applicable to UK business. The consistency and uniformity of email is one of its winning factors – everyone knows what to expect. It’s not a total mixed bag like social media.
Email can also cut through digital noise like a knife through butter. By sending a notification directly to the user’s phone, it commands the user’s attention immediately. Before you go saying that email didn’t make the leap from PC to smartphone like other channels, know that 46% of all email opens are on mobile devices. This number is only increasing.
The other 54% is probably employees religiously checking their emails at work (myself included). The average person checks their emails 15 times a day. That’s 15 clear-cut opportunities for your email promotion to be opened and acted upon.
Why do we check our emails so often? Much like social media, we like the ‘thrill’ of seeing a new email. Refreshing your emails is a bit like pulling the lever on a slot machine. The next pull could be an alert saying your order has been dispatched, or a 20% discount code from your favourite retailer. It could also be your boss asking you to work overtime, but it’s all part of the excitement.
How to create a compelling mailer
1. Make it interactive
Although the consistency of email being one of its benefits, this doesn’t mean your emails should be boring. Take inspiration from your social media strategy – fill your emails with images, GIFs, and CTAs. Blocks of text are acceptable in mailers, but don’t make the experience too text-heavy unless it’s important. Opening your emails should be a fun experience that provides value the user won’t find elsewhere. This could range from exclusive discounts and flash sales to behind-the-scenes footage.
2. Make it personal
Another beautiful benefit of mailers are the ability to personalise en-masse. Services like Mailchimp offer the option of adding each recipient’s name to the message intro or subject line (provided you have their name in your mailing list). Remember how we said earlier that email marketing tops the charts for customer acquisition and retention? That’s largely due to targeted personalisation. Users are 25% more likely to open an email with a personalised subject line.
2020 was all about ‘humanising’ marketing and we expect this to continue into 2021 and beyond. It’s a good idea to sign your emails off from a ‘person’ rather than the business itself. In a similar fashion, you should also try and send mailers from a real email address instead of a ‘no-reply’ email address. Emails should be a two-way conversation.
3. Make it trackable
‘Data is the new oil’. The term has become something of a cliche for a reason. Mailers feed into your greater digital strategy and you should be measuring its effectiveness. If you’re using a service similar to Mailchimp, you can connect it to Google Analytics. This lets you see if recipients are clicking through to your website via the email. This is great for building funnels and testing which CTA (Call-to-action) is best for driving traffic.
Even without Google Analytics, mail services can provide a wealth of useful data. This includes open rates and click rates. You can even see which specifically which elements of your email recipients are clicking on. All this data can feed back into your email marketing strategy. You can learn your recipients’ goals and motivations. You can figure out, to adapt an old saying, what ‘makes them click’.
4. Make it deliverable
Earlier we mentioned that email has a 100% delivery rate. The obvious caveat is that you need to get past the spam filter, which can be harder than it seems. Although there’s no guaranteed way to stop your emails going to junk, there are a few mailer best practices that can help.
Aside from these tips, you should ensure your emails are consistently of a high quality. The more people that click and interact with your mailers, the less likely they’ll get flagged by spam filters.
Hopefully we’ve opened your eyes to the potential of email. It’s easy to assume it will go the way of the fax machine – a redundant technology in the age of social media and instant messaging. On the contrary, email is firmly embedded in digital culture. Much like real-life mail, consumers appreciate the direct nature of email. No creepy ads following you around the internet and no social media algorithms guessing what you want to see. Let’s not forget that checking your inbox is insanely addictive.
Email isn’t going anywhere, but your email marketing strategy should be. Give your messaging some character, use personalisation and beat the spam filter.
The home of the 280-character tweet wants to pivot into something greater. We take a look at the developments that could shake up how we communicate on Twitter.
This first new development essentially encapsulates where Twitter sees the future of its platform. Communities, both in a figurative and literal sense, will play a big part in their future plans.
Firstly, Twitter announced their new Communities feature during an Investors briefing. Not much has been revealed so far. Clearly the platform wants to present itself as an alternative to Facebook Groups. Earlier images suggest it operates in a similar fashion:
‘Twitter Communities’ isn’t exactly an innovative idea that will completely transform the social media landscape, but it’s a clear indicator as to where Twitter is heading. It no longer wants to be the platform of throwaway comments and controversy. They’re steadily encouraging users to form deeper, more personal relationships with their followers. No doubt in anticipation for Twitter’s new monetisation plan, which we’ll look at now.
Users will soon be able to charge their followers for access to exclusive content in a feature dubbed ‘Super Follows’. Details are sparse, but it’s expected that this ‘exclusive content’ will mainly consist of premium tweets. But Twitter has been busy making key acquisitions and developments behind the scenes to ensure users won’t be just paying for 280-character messages.
In February, Twitter acquired start-up company Revue a platform that allows email newsletters to be published in different formats. Expect to see similar long-form content being offered as an incentive to ‘Super Follow’ a creator.
Twitter’s stakeholders have been pressing the platform to expand its monetisation capabilities for a number of years. Competing firms such as Facebook and YouTube have multiple, diverse incomes streams. Twitter is solely reliant on its ads service and usage pales in comparison to Facebook.
Similar subscription-based platforms are performing exceptionally well. The likes of Patreon and OnlyFans have become household names, for the right and wrong reasons. Twitter are clearly hoping to capitalise on their popularity with the introduction of Super Follows and their renewed focus on community.
The big question is: will users be willing to pay for premium content on Twitter? If this snap survey by Social Chain is anything to go by, then it doesn’t bode well:
Although this suggests users wouldn’t pay for Twitter as a whole, they may be more willing to support their favourite creators – especially those who have had their incomes decimated by the pandemic. Twitter is additionally introducing a ‘tipping’ feature with this type of sentimentality in mind. ‘Super Follows’ could work if the price was kept at an affordable level. The content offered would have to be full of genuine value. Users are not going to pay £5 a month to read tweets like the infamous ‘Covfefe’.
If 2020 was the year of TikTok, 2021 is starting to look like the year of Clubhouse. The exclusive, invite-only platform has been garnering plenty of interest recently, especially since the likes of Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg have been spotted in its virtual discussion rooms. Whilst still invite-only, Clubhouse developers are planning to expand the app to Android very soon.
Not to be out-done, social media giants have begun to implement their own TikTok clones. We expect this kind of behaviour from Facebook, well-known for ‘borrowing’ features from rival platforms – Stories, Reels, IGTV, the list goes on. Whilst Twitter was playing catch-up with its stories clone ‘Fleets’ (which has had a mixed reception), the tech industry is keeping a closer eye on Spaces.
Spaces are, in Twitter’s own words: “A place to come together, built around the voices of the people using Twitter, your Twitter community. Spaces are live for as long as they’re open; once ended, they will no longer be available publicly on Twitter.”
In short, it’s Clubhouse – but on Twitter. Users can join audio groups and listen in on live conversations between speakers. The feature sits in the ‘Fleets’ area:
So far, all Spaces are public, meaning anyone can join. We really do mean anyone – there’s no limit on the amount of listeners. When it comes to speakers, there’s a limit of 10 and the host decides who can and cannot contribute.
That’s all there is to say for now. Spaces is expanding testing to Android. The consensus among social media industry commentators is that Twitter has a real opportunity on their hands. Facebook are working on their own Clubhouse clone, to add to their already saturated services. This only further complicates their offering. You only have to look at the unsteady start of Instagram Reels – many users felt it was one addition too many.
Adding Spaces to Twitter feels a lot more organic, especially as they’re concurrently working on audio tweets. Twitter has clearly been working on a Clubhouse-style feature even before its namesake became popular. Spaces was announced back in December. It’s clearly been in the works for a while.
There isn’t obvious marketing appeal with this feature, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be adopted by your business. Spaces could be used for podcast-style interviews with special guests. If you’re a festival, you could host a space with some of your performing artists. Use the feature to gather live feedback and hold Q&A sessions.
Exciting times lay ahead for Twitter. It’s a platform that has been previously written off as a ‘one-trick pony’. To many, it’s nothing more than a news aggregator. But activist investors are forcing CEO Jack Dorsey and his team to develop his platform’s offering. With Spaces, Fleets and Communities, Twitter is certainly up to the challenge. Will it be enough to compete with the Facebook behemoth? Or to fend off plucky challengers Clubhouse and TikTok? We will have to wait and see.
Now’s the time to start mapping out a plan to re-engage with your audience and get your business moving again.
Over the last year, we’ve expanded our capabilities in all areas of digital marketing. From insight & analysis to e-commerce and media buying, we’re committed to providing excellent value to clients during these turbulent times.
We’ve scoured the internet for the very best social media & digital marketing resources so you don’t have to. We share our favourite websites, podcasts newsletters and other hidden gems that will keep you at the cutting-edge of the industry.
Avocado Social Media Club
“A friendly community for those looking to improve their social media marketing.”
The Avocado Social Media Club is a great way to stay in touch with others in the same industry. Members of the community share useful apps, articles, jobs, and help each other out with issues that they may be having with social media platforms. It is a good way to share and keep on top of new trends, work out if you are experiencing bugs within platforms, or find out insights from other people in your industry. At a time where a lot of the population are working from home, communities like this are hugely important – giving another touch point for communication where some people may be alone – Joey, General Manager @ E1MA
Join their WhatsApp for regular marketing bulletins. Text JOIN to +44 (0) 74 9307 2286.
When you sign up to the Battenhall Social Media Broadcast, you receive a short and sweet summary of social media marketing news directly to your WhatsApp messages Mon-Fri. This quick WhatsApp message highlights things that you may want to read, without having a ‘spam’-type nature. It’s quick, easy, to the point and can be really helpful to find out new social media news, without scrolling through a RSS feed which you may have not had time to do in your working day – Joey, General Manager @ E1MA
Buffer is the software that I use to schedule the majority of posts for clients and as such I am signed up to their emails. They often share interesting things, such as webinars discussing their social media predictions for the upcoming year as well as updates to the platform that can be useful for insights and reporting – Joel, Head of Digital @ E1MA
Business Keeps On Dancing
“Bringing together festival and event industry thought leaders.”
The ‘Business Keeps On Dancing‘ webinars provide invaluable insight from industry experts and thought leaders around various topics. The focus on music and events helps bring together a community that is in dire need of support right now, and provide some inspirational discussions and advice.
Following the webinars they started arranging ‘Clubhouse Q and A’ discussions. This opens up the panel to anyone who wants to get involved and has points to discuss – another great way for the community to come together and share experiences or concerns – Joey, General Manager @ E1MA
The Contently blog is a great resource for staying on top of innovations and ideas within the world of digital marketing. They have a lot of great guest writers as well as excellent staff writers who are very knowledgeable and enlightening – Joel, Head of Digital @ E1MA
Naturally, we’ve included the E1 Media Agency blog in this list! Over the past year we’ve written over 50 pieces covering everything from social media strategy to music industry news. Check it out if you haven’t already!
Facebook for Business
Given the amount of work we do on Facebook-owned platforms publishing and advertising, I do end up using this as a resource regularly, especially with new targeting restrictions coming into play this year it has tips to make sure we’re still targeting the right audiences with relevant content – Nick, Managing Director @ E1MA
HubSpot itself is a popular marketing software, but the real gem is their blog. They produce short blogs and in-depth guides for pretty much every digital marketing trend. The website also contains useful tools such as website checkers, email signature creators, and infographic templates. They have a solid newsletter too, but if you find it too ‘sales-y’, then bookmark the page instead – Ben, Digital Marketing Executive @ E1MA
“The World’s favourite Instagram marketing platform”, Later has an excellent blog that’s full of colour and personality. Like HubSpot, their sleek articles cover all the key trends marketers need to know. I recommend subscribing to their newsletter, which is made to a very high standard – Ben, Digital Marketing Executive @ E1MA
Marketing Dive is another good source of general marketing info and updates. It doesn’t seem to be updated in all areas as regularly and most of the focus here is American. But I do like the specific sections on influencer marketing which highlights how brands are using influencers to their advantage – George, Senior Digital Consultant @ E1MA
Technically a person rather than a resource, Matt Navarra is a social media expert and industry commentator. I highly recommend following him on Twitter (@MattNavarra) as he’s essentially an amalgamation of all the best sources. He runs the ‘Geekout Newsletter‘ if you prefer to get your updates via email – Ben, Digital Marketing Executive @ E1MA
Influence.co ‘s newsletter ‘nofilter’ is a great resource for staying informed on what’s going on in the world of influencers. It’s useful because it picks 3 or 4 key articles so you don’t have to wade through a lot of irrelevant information and it’s an easy and bitesize way to stay one step ahead – Joel, Head of Digital @ E1MA
Single Grain is another good one, offering broader tips and insights into marketing trends on their blog. Plus if you scroll to the bottom there’s also a marketing guides section which has loads of marketing info, I particularly like the “31 best digital marketing campaigns you can swipe” article, which not only lists the campaigns and why they worked well – but also offers key lessons to be learnt from each – George, Senior Digital Consultant @ E1MA
Social Media Today
Social Media Today is good as it always stays super current with the latest social media updates, from TikTok to LinkedIn it really covers all bases and provides informative, interesting articles to help you stay on top of all the social updates every day or two – George, Senior Digital Consultant @ E1MA
Although TechCrunch focuses on technology rather than digital marketing specifically, its an excellent place to learn about the wider industry. After all, you can’t really separate technology and marketing in 2021! Their articles are well-written, worldy and diverse – Ben, Digital Marketing Executive @ E1MA
Wired UK always some interesting science & technology reading and they usually feature key social and digital marketing news. The ‘future science’ section is where I usually end up – Nick, Managing Director @ E1MA
It’s a question on a lot of people’s minds – In what capacity could live events return in 2021? We break down the latest industry updates and discuss what’s next.
What’s Changed Since Last Summer?
Quite a lot. We last assessed the situation in August, with ‘What’s Next For Music Venues?’. This was a cautiously optimistic period. Bars & restaurants were open and small, social-distanced events were taking place. We were “Enjoying Summer Safely” and “Eating Out to Help Out”. Day-to-day life had made an improvement.
Sadly, the situation took a turn for the worse. We’ve since had two more national lockdowns and countless lives irrevocably damaged by the pandemic, both directly and indirectly. As bleak as the things look right now, most of us are quietly confident that 2021 will be a better year.
Why? Because of a critical development that could restore the world to normality: a vaccine. Not just one vaccine in fact, several. This is an immense achievement of global co-operation and despite concerns over new virus strains, will be prove to be an absolute game-changer.
Let’s bring this back down to the ground: what does this mean for businesses, and particularly the live events sector? We’ll start by looking at when live events could return.
When Could Live Events Return?
Much of this depends on the vaccination programme. Only once the most vulnerable are protected could we see a ‘return to normality’ . The rollout has been a great success so far. More than 12 million people have received their first jab at time of writing. The government’s goal is to offer the entire UK adult population a vaccine by autumn.
So live events could return around September, if everything goes as planned. But one thing we’ve learned during the pandemic is that it’s difficult to plan ahead. It’s an ever-changing scenario, and there’s a number of factors that could cause this target to be pushed back – namely, the impact of new COVID-19 variants.
In an ideal world, live events would return as soon as possible. The industry is on its knees. It’s been nearly a year since venues and nightclubs could open and operate on a consistent basis. According to the NTIA (Night Time Industries Association), 80% of nightclubs won’t make it past February. The situation is just as dire for festivals, many of which haven’t ran since the summer of 2019. Confidence within the live events industry is shaky at best. Especially after Glastonbury, one of the UK’s most enduring festivals, announced it will not take place this year.
Countless venues, nightclubs and festivals missed out on the Cultural Recovery Fund. £1.57 billion sounds like plenty to go around, until you realise it’s shared with museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas and heritage sites. But the live events industry doesn’t just need handouts. They need a clear roadmap from the government, and an investigation into the possibility of live events before autumn. This preliminary date would mean missing out on the all-important summer season, which this year could be make-or-break for many businesses in the industry.
Now we’re going to explore which key factors could influence how live events run in 2021.
New developments in rapid testing could be a potential lifesaver for live events and festivals in particular. A diagnostics firm in Derby just announced its producing 20 million rapid tests for the government. These tests are being offered to workplaces with more than 50 employees and can produce results in just 30 minutes. They’re being rolled out to key industries where employees can’t work from home, such as transportation. But it’s not a far reach to imagine they’ll be available for ‘non-essential’ sectors such as live events in the near future.
Rapid tests would allow festivals to vet their attendees upon arrival, temporarily quarantining them until the results come in. With a test time of 30 minutes, this could work for other events as well. Concert-goers already expect long queues that snake around the venue prior to doors opening. It’s safe to assume they wouldn’t mind waiting a little longer if it meant the return of live shows.
Even with a rapid testing system on entry, we expect social distancing to play a part in the live events experience. It’s an issue that concerns many indoor venues, especially those with capacities in the low hundreds. Many events simply wouldn’t be viable with social distancing restrictions in place. What’s needed is a certain level of support from the government that could partially replace the revenue lost to enforced restrictions. This could be in the form of VAT exemptions or lower business rates. We need to hammer home how important these institutions are to the country, both in cultural and economic terms.
On a more positive note, it’s already been proven that outdoor events can be successfully run with social distancing in place. Let’s not forget the Virgin Money Unity Arena, which spread 2,500 fans across 500 spaced-out platforms.
From personal experience the E1MA team know what’s possible. We worked with Greenwich Comedy Festival, who moved their 2020 edition to the lawns of Greenwich Maritime Museum. The carefully spaced outdoor seating arrangement has replaced the Big Tops of previous years, and was a tremendous success. With staggered entry times and a drinks-to-your-seat service, the festival was a shining example of how events can be held during the pandemic.
Harnessing the power of our technological age will be paramount if live events are to return. After a disastrous start, the NHS Track & Trace App has been greatly improved – checking into venues is now seamless. E-tickets will become the absolute standard, with the days of the traditional box office numbered.
Even minor details like cashless bars and merchandise stalls will become almost mandatory to decrease the risk of transmission. There is talk of new technology being implemented into venues, such as misting disinfection systems and UV air filtration. It could ultimately be technology that saves this intrinsically offline experience of attending live events.
The mood of the live events industry very much reflects that of the nation – a mixture of concern and optimism. There are still a number of pressing issues that need to be addressed in the short-term. Vaccinating a significant portion of the general public would open up a lot more opportunities for all sectors, including live events. We need a roadmap that outlines the path the industry will have to take, including what safety measures will be required. Rapid testing has the potential to change everything, but doesn’t go hand-in-hand with social distancing.
What we’re trying to get across here is that everything is still up in the air. However, we remain confident that 2021 will see the return of the large-scale live events that bring joy to countless fans up and down the country.
Here’s why building a community around your brand will be crucial for success in 2021.
Communities in 2021
The power of community has gone from strength to strength throughout the pandemic. Support for local businesses has increased, and groups such as Scrub Hub have been making a meaningful impact on society. But communities don’t have to be built around a social cause – most brands have some form of community, including yours.
Those that regularly shop with you or interact with your brand can be considered fans. You offer something unique that means they pay attention to your business more than the thousands of others vying for screen time. Your business doesn’t have to be in e-commerce either.
Intrinsically offline experiences like festivals often have informal communities run by fans on Facebook. The social media giant is continually pushed aside in favour of younger platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, but it remains the best place to find and build communities. Over 1.8 billion users are in a Facebook group.
The Benefits of Having a Community
Mark Zuckerberg has steadily gearing the platform towards ‘meaningful interactions’, with an emphasis on groups. The Facebook algorithm now favours posts from groups and friends as opposed to business pages. Building a community group around your brand combines all three elements in a way that is agreeable for both you and your fans.
There are more benefits to having a community than just a higher spot in your customers’ news feed. Having all your most loyal and dedicated fans in one place provides excellent opportunities for product promotion and up-selling. Your marketing efforts won’t be in vain as you already know existing members possess a strong interest in your brand. Think of it as a social media mailing list, only with much more interactivity and content diversity.
From a consumer behaviour perspective, humans are social animals. We like to find people with similar interests and form tribes. We also dislike being ‘sold to’. Communities provide a happy medium – members can connect with fellow fans, and you can gently promote your business through ‘soft-selling’ techniques such as branded content and Q&As.
Discussions between group members can be the perfect place to gather candid feedback about your products, services or experiences. It’s also an excellent way to acquire user-generated content (UGC), which is becoming increasingly important as the appeal of highly-polished content wanes. If you plan to use such content, ask permission from the author first – a key reason why communities are on the rise is due to their more personal, private nature. Your interactions as the brand should feel this way too – don’t just post the same content you use on your public channels. Make the community feel especially valued through sneak-peeks, exclusive discounts and more.
Case Study: Noisily Festival
We know all about community management here at E1MA. We supported the creation and growth of the Noisily Festival of Music & Arts Community. The group has grown by 15% to 5,000 members since the start of the pandemic, despite the event being postponed to 2021. This perfectly encapsulates the draw of Facebook communities in current times. People aren’t just joining and ignoring the group either – 3.5k members actively engage with community content, which includes Noisily videos, mixes and industry news & discussion. It’s a space where the most dedicated fans can share memories, mixes and discuss all things Noisily.
The benefits for Noisily Festival themselves are clearly to see. It gives members a chance to air their concerns and provide feedback through interactive Q&As. We can promote the latest Noisily merchandise directly to the loyal fans. It allows Noisily to share important festival updates that would otherwise be ignored by the Facebook algorithm. Most importantly, it’s fun for everyone involved!
In their own words, the Noisily community contains “big characters, big ideas, dynamic dysfunction and enthusiasm that knows no bounds”.
Communities are the future of social media. Mark Zuckerberg certainly thinks so, and so do the E1MA team. The end of highly targeted advertising is coming. Google is phasing out third-party cookies, and Apple plans to block apps from using personal data for promotional purposes. Soft marketing techniques are on the rise. This includes influencer marketing, branded content and community management. If you still need convincing, let’s not forget Pareto’s principle – 80% of your profits come from 20% of your customers. Make sure they’re a part of your community.
It may only be January, but we’ve already had a host of key developments in the world of social media marketing. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Introducing Clubhouse, the New Invite-Only Social Media Platform
Although the app has been out for a few months, widespread media coverage has seen it grow in momentum. Everyone wants to know: “what is Clubhouse, and how do I join?”
Firstly, Clubhouse is a social media platform that is built around audio. It’s being described as a mash-up between Spotify, Zoom and the X-Factor (yes, that X-Factor). Clubhouse is about connecting people through voice alone. You can drop into live conversations, share your thoughts, or simply listen from the sidelines, akin to a podcast.
What’s grabbing the most attention is its unrivalled exclusivity – it’s easier getting into Berghain than Clubhouse. The likes of Oprah Winfrey, Drake and Jared Leto use it. Each member can only invite an additional two people to join. There’s only 2 million Clubhouse users, so it’s highly unlikely you’ll receive the prized invite just yet. In the meantime, you can join the waiting list on their website.
Although it’s early days for Clubhouse, we can already see its marketing potential. With celebrities and content creators active on the platform, there’s a foundation for influencer marketing activity. Audio as a medium has been experiencing a resurgence recently, thanks to the rise of podcasts, streaming services and TikTok. Clubhouse looks to combine the best qualities of all three. Let’s also not forget that exclusivity drives desire – people want what they can’t have.
2. Millions Delete WhatsApp Over Privacy Concerns
Facebook is once again at the source of controversy, this time concerning WhatsApp, which it purchased in 2014. It has managed to avoid the ongoing backlash facing its parent company – until now.
Facebook has already been under scrutiny for its less-than-ethical data collection policies, which have been in the public eye since the Cambridge Analytica Scandal in 2018. WhatsApp clarified that they can’t see the content of your messages, as they’re protected by end-to-end encryption. But they can see the attached metadata, including the message senders name, phone number and time sent.
It’s not been enough. WhatsApp users have become increasingly aware that Facebook is harvesting tons of data on them, causing them to leave the en-masse. Rival messaging apps Signal and Telegram have been downloaded 7.5 million and 25 million times respectively since the start of January. Signal in particular is amassing interest for its privacy-led service.
What this whole ordeal proves is that data privacy is still a hot-button topic for consumers. Users are becoming more educated on how their data is handled online. It’s up to us marketers to make sure we maintain their trust. Brush up on the rules around GDPR, and if you’re unsure whether something infringes on a consumer’s privacy, assume that it does.
3. YouTube Shorts
It wouldn’t be an E1MA monthly social media round-up without announcing the latest in a long line of TikTok clones. Not wanting to be outdone by Instagram Reels, Snapchat Spotlight or Twitter Fleets, YouTube are currently beta testing their stories feature – Shorts. Many UK users can already view Shorts within the YouTube app despite officially being in beta.
We could go into more detail about how YouTube Shorts works but there’s not much to say. It’s the same mobile-led, story-audio hybrid we’ve come to expect in recent times. Your videos can be up to 60-seconds long and can be viewed on your YouTube channel or the user’s homepage (if the algorithm permits). YouTube also recently revealed how Shorts will impact channel analytics, which you can read more about here.
The proliferation of TikTok-style functions within social media platforms can be a little overwhelming. What we would suggest is creating content with your favoured channel (e.g. Instagram Reels) and sharing to your additional channels. As they all resemble TikTok in both form and content, so it’s easy to make any necessary adjustments. This would dramatically increase your content output and allow you to reach audiences that use Shorts but not Reels.
4. Pinterest Updates Story Pins & Adds New AR Tools
Often the forgotten child of social media platforms, Pinterest has been making some serious waves in recent times. Initially starting off as a ‘visual discovery engine’, the platform has been steadily growing in popularity and adding new features to its offering. We announced the launch of Story Pins, Pinterest’s take on Stories, a few months ago. Now it looks like they’re actively encouraging its usage. Recently they’ve been testing a new ‘Stories Panel’, found at the top of the home screen.
Look familiar? That’s because, like all social media advancements in 2021, they’ve decided to play it safe and copy everyone else. The key difference with Story Pins is that they don’t disappear after 24-hours – they live permanently within a Pin. We expect the relocation of Story Pins to become permanent, even if it’s an uninspired development. The top of the home screen is a tried and tested location and it’s where users have come to expect stories to live.
A more exciting Pinterest development is their expansion of new ‘try-on’ AR tools. Looking to gain an edge in social commerce over their competitors, the platform has introduced the ability to test eyeshadows through AR (Augmented Reality).
You can already ‘try-on’ lipstick with Pinterest, so this is a sensible next step. As you test shades, the feature will recommend new products you might like. They’re trying to replicate the experience of shopping in a beauty hall or department store like Debenhams (gone but not forgotten). As the pandemic shows no sign of slowing down, social commerce looks to fill the void left by brick-and-mortar shopping – AR tools like this blurs the line between the two.
5. Instagram Launches New ‘Professional Dashboard’
Instagram looks to improve the experience of content creators and businesses on the platform with their new professional dashboard. The dashboard essentially combines Instagram’s analytics feature with other tools that can help creators make the most of the platform.
Instagram themselves describe the dashboard as “a central destination to track performance, access and discover professional tools, and explore educational information curated by Instagram.“
This should make it easier to understand how your business is performing on Instagram, and how you can improve. Any feature that simplifies the user (or in this case, creators) experience gets a big thumbs-up from us. Instagram have also hinted more tools being integrated into the dashboard soon.
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, but can also just be fun.
We’ve rounded up some key awareness days that you can align your business with in the calendar below.
Click ‘Google Calendar’ at the bottom right to attach it to your own calendar so you don’t miss any more great content opportunities! Get creative with your posts and ensure there’s a genuine link between your business and the cause you’re supporting.
2020 was a tough year and has had a profound impact on the way we communicate with brands, customers and each other. Here’s what will continue into 2021 and beyond.
E-Commerce & Social Commerce
COVID-19 restrictions and the subsequent mass closure of brick-and-mortar retailers drove shoppers online in 2020. Of course, this isn’t a new trend. E-commerce has been increasingly chipping away at in-store sales for a number of years. 20% of UK transactions took place online in 2020. That’s including the pre-pandemic months of January – March and loosening of restrictions over the summer.
Shopping online has become embedded in the consumer psyche, even for those reluctant to shop online prior to the pandemic. Accenture expects an 160% increase in the amount of online purchases made by ‘low-frequency’ shoppers. This is promising news for e-commerce businesses, as it means there’s a large, newly digitally-savvy audience to target online.
Not only are there new demographics to target, but new means of reaching them as well. Social Commerce, or S-Commerce, is a rapidly growing arm of e-commerce. If you’re not familiar with the term, Social Commerce is selling products and services directly through social media, rather than a website.
Other platforms such as Pinterest and TikTok have also developed their own s-commerce iterations. Even messaging service WhatsApp is exploring its options. This trend is being spearheaded by social media giants looking to diversify their revenue streams rather than by users. Digital ad spend dropped for the first time ever in the early stages of the pandemic.
Regardless, we feel that social commerce is here to stay. The average 16 – 24 spends 3 hours a day scrolling through social media. 40% of people use social media to research products. Social commerce seems like the natural next step – streamlining the customer journey by cutting out the website-shaped middleman. We wouldn’t be surprised if websites go the way of the phonebook – an outdated medium that hasn’t kept up with evolving consumer preferences.
Live-streaming & Influencers
With most people confined to their homes in 2020, we desperately sought out forms of home entertainment. On-demand video services such as Netflix experienced exponential growth, and pretty much everyone took up baking if social media is anything to go by.
But these pastimes aren’t a substitute for live interaction. Zoom calls allowed us to interact with friends and family, but what about brands and celebrities? Live-streaming was the solution, and it took the world by storm. This isn’t going to be limited to 2020 either. 17% of all internet traffic is expected to be live video by 2022.
Live-streaming provides a way to host ‘virtual’ events. Musicians have had to perform free-of-charge in the early pandemic as there were no ways to monetise the experience early in the pandemic. Thankfully, online platforms have caught up and are starting to introduce ways to monetise live-streaming. Zoom for example, is launching its own paid-events marketplace called OnZoom:
Seamlessly blending Social Commerce and Live-streaming, Instagram has added shoppable product tags to live-streams and IGTV.
This is perfect for influencers. Love them or loathe them, the use of influencers (or ‘content creators’) as a promotional tool is here to stay. 8 out of 10 customers have purchased a product after seeing it on a content creator in 2020. Influencers are valued for their ability to reach target audiences without consumers feeling like they’re being ‘sold to’. This is especially poignant in 2020, where rampant consumerism took a step back whilst caring, community-focused issues came to the forefront. With regards to promoting products, the ‘soft sell’ became more effective than aggressive sales tactics. Content creators are the perfect vehicle for this.
We will feel the effects of the pandemic for a number of years, on both an economic and social level. Consumers will have less disposable income and will need more coaxing to make purchases. Influencer partnerships are great for making those early customer interactions, as their fans trust their judgement and the brands they advocate.
2020 made us rethink the way we live. The pandemic brought to light the fragility of the planet and the ecological challenges we face. Despite heart-warming stories of animals returning to urban areas during the 1st lockdown and temporary reductions in C02 emissions, the environmental situation is still dire. Wildfires, floods and drought are all on the rise. 18 billion pounds of plastic fill the ocean each year. Society is beginning to take notice – we documented the rise of the ‘conscious consumer’ in our Green Marketing blog piece.
Today’s customer expects the brands they associate with to minimise their impact on the environment. Promises aren’t enough, the conscious consumers see through attempts of ‘green-washing’. Cutting single-use plastics, reducing carbon footprints, green delivery vans – these real action companies need to take to win their trust.
We may speak of the ‘conscious consumer’ as a niche demographic that can be ignored, but it’s growing rapidly and can make or break a business. 27% of Gen Z (who are particularly eco-conscious) have boycotted a brand for its below-par sustainability practices. As Forbes rightly say, ‘sustainability has become a business necessity, not just a differentiator’.
Its hard to accurately predict what 2021 has in store for us. The pandemic will no doubt continue to severely impact businesses and wider society. Trends like environmentalism have been steadily growing in influence over the years. Others, such as live-streaming and social commerce, have been supercharged by the pandemic. Regardless of whether the global situation changes soon, the E1MA firmly believe these are long-lasting trends that marketers should be implementing into their strategy for years to come.
We take a tour through our back catalogue to bring you the unmissable blog pieces from 2020. Over the past year we’ve covered topics spanning the breadth of Digital Marketing, from consumer behaviour trends to Covid-19 communications advice. Here are 5 articles that are worth reading again and again.
Written during after the initial lockdown, we explored the impact Covid-19 has had on consumer behaviour, particularly when it comes to shopping. Using research and studies from credible sources, we illustrated 5 key trends that we expect to last beyond the pandemic. Most notably, the dominance of online shopping and the rise of the conscious consumer, which we explored later in our Green Marketing piece. We also present an argument for why certain trends might die as ‘pandemic trends’, such as hyper-local shopping.
Nothing captured the imagination of 2020 quite like vertical video. Words like ‘TikTok’ have entered the public discourse and aren’t going anywhere. We took a look at how Stories, the vertical format that gave rise to Reels and TikTok, become so unbelievably popular. The answer lies in a combination of classic consumer behaviour and digitally-enabled social trends. We don’t regale the history of social media. Instead, we look at the state of Stories in 2020 and what lessons can applied to your own digital marketing output.
Live-streaming emerged as an unlikely hero during the pandemic. As lockdowns and social distancing rules restricted the possibility of live events, we brought the events to you. The E1MA have had a lot of experience producing live-streams for clients ranging from We Are FSTVL to Marvin Humes. We wanted to share our knowledge in a succinct but informative guide that covers the before, during and after of live-stream production. We also highly recommend reading our recent follow-up piece, which provides further advice on live-streaming this winter.
It’s a good question that we wanted to find out the answer to. Hashtags have been around since the early days of Twitter, but are now found everywhere. But in the age of algorithms and paid social, are they actually needed? We used analysed our hashtag use for Noisily Festival using Sprout Social and found some interesting results. We also include some of our best practices for hashtags, such as which to use and where to use them.
This may have been written just before the pandemic tightened its grip on the UK, but the tips inside are still relevant today. 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.
Remote working isn’t going anywhere. Despite the promising news of a vaccine, it’s likely we’ll see a combination of office and home working become the norm. The E1MA team share their top tips improve your productivity, health and wellbeing whilst working from home.
Maintain a morning routine
It can be tempting to hit snooze on your alarm clock and lethargically dragging yourself to your desk 5 minutes before you switch on for the day. Having a clear, structured morning routine is the secret to productivity according to our finance manager Maha:
“For me the best WFH tip would be to get yourself into a good morning routine. My morning coffee at my desk, my comfy (anti slouch) chair, and a working from home playlist combine to get my head in the game. Start your day as you mean to go on. “ – Maha
Understand online communication
Now the working day is fully underway. You’ve opened Slack, checked your emails, and prepared for your Zoom calls. Our Senior Digital Consultant George raises an excellent point regarding online communication – don’t jump to conclusions:
I Read an article and found a good WFH tip, which was to “try and always assume positive intent”. Sometimes when you’re WFH and communicating much more with clients/colleagues via slack/email etc, quick messages can come off as rude or flippant. It helps if you use emoji’s (where appropriate) so people can gauge the tone of your messages.” – George
Take a lunch break
A theme that appears in many work-from-home tips is separating your home life from your working life. Seeing as you don’t need to pop out to grab lunch, it can be tempting to have a ‘working lunch’ – sitting at your desk (or dining table) and working whilst you eat. Our general manager Joey suggests this is a bad idea:
“Often working from home means you are closer to a kitchen which can lead to casual grazing throughout the day. Doing this with lack of movement can make you lethargic. Make sure you make time for a lunch break. Take a breath of fresh air, put your gadgets down and eat a healthy meal. It will allow your mind to rest, recharge and refocus on the what you need to do for the rest of the day.” – Joey
Choose the right music
Playing music whilst you work can improve your mood and in some cases, your productivity. We always play music in the office, but if you need some inspiration whilst working from home check out our latest playlist. Our Digital Marketing Intern Bryce believes the perfect soundtrack is everything:
During the week, music is the soundtrack to your career (I know it’s cheesy but it’s true). And at work, the best playlists are diverse playlists, you can listen to music that matches the energy of the project you’re working on. Video game and movie soundtracks are excellent at this. In the movie or game itself, this lyric-free music is designed to help you focus, it only makes sense that it would help you focus on your work as well.” – Bryce
At the end of the day, it can be tempting to squeeze in an extra hour, or religiously check your emails throughout the evening. Whilst there’s no denying that this is sometimes necessary, our Head of Digital Joel suggests clearly defining your working hours and leisure hours:
I think it’s important to know when you’re on and when you’re off whilst working from home. Whenever possible, set a time where you say “my work day is finished now” and pivot from work mode to leisure mode. It can affect you more than you realise when you’re constantly ‘on’ so it’s important to set boundaries where you decide you are going to relax in your space as opposed to working in your space. This helps to keep your performance at a higher level by keeping you focussed for shorter periods of time.” – Joel
We don’t mean Twitter either. Reading has had a major resurgence in popualarity during the pandemic, as people look for more pastimes that can pursue at home. Our digital marketing executive Ben explains how reading can benefit your work in more ways than you think:
“Throughout my time working from home I’ve been using my ‘commuting time’ to read more – I spend at least two hours a day reading. Every morning I read the news and check out the latest industry insights. Reading novels helps improve my creativity and copywriting skills. I also read non-fiction books around the subjects of business and psychology. One book I recommend for improving your productivity whilst WFH is ‘Deep Work’ by Cal Newport.” – Ben
With gyms frequently closing and classes being cancelled, it’s easy to stop exercising and instead sit at home watching Netflix. Our Managing Director Nick stresses the importance of regular exercise. Not only does it improve your health physically, but can do wonders for your mental health as well. Being in your peak condition will only improve your productivity when you hit the desk. Nick walks our office dog Ziggy every morning and religiously jogs around the park – even in winter.
It’s that time of year again! The E1MA team share their favourite Christmas ads of the year. We all know this has been a year like no other, and this has certainly been reflecting in the team’s picks.
Nick – Joules & The Woodland Trust
Joules’ ad this year is a nice departure from the big budget activity from the supers and high street retailers. Or worse making a fuss about not spending a big budget ‘because 2020’.
Instead, the online retailer has endeavoured to plant a tree in partnership with The Woodland Trust for every item sold on its Christmas list, a similar pledge that we implemented for our ‘Living Thing’ clothing brand.
The video itself is a sweet short story, the character showing that she cares for someone important.
Joey – Coca-Cola
Directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Taika Waititi , this year’s Coca Cola advert was always set to stand above the rest.
The story follows a Dad on his mission to deliver his daughter’s Christmas letter to Santa Claus. This mission is like a 3 hour movie, fast-tracked into 3 minutes. An advert starting with great depth and adventure leads into the iconic Coca Cola Christmas truck, restoring faith in the magic of Christmas. No cheesy emotional soundtrack, but still managing to pull on heart strings at the end.
This year has demonstrated the importance of friends, family and community. Coca Cola have managed to reflect this, showing that deep down the most important thing we need this Christmas is each other and through thick and thin, nothing can keep us apart.
Bryce – Branston
My favourite advert this Christmas time is Branston’s ‘Hit of Home’. Not your stereotypical Christmas advert but what it symbolises is all the same, There is a very personal feel to the advert which makes it more relatable and endearing than many others.
Its portrayal of a challenging time for the protagonist who is then cheered up at the end with the arrival of a very personal, gift that only someone that knows and cares a lot about you would send, regards a lovely sentiment that a personal touch can mean a lot at Christmas.There’s not a more comforting taste than one that reminds you of home. It reminds me of when I was traveling last year and i’d do anything for one of my parents’ amazing Christmas dinners!
As this festive period we will all be spending it at least slightly more independently than previous years, I feel it’s important that in some way we should all aim for the warm taste of home.
Ben – Disney
Disney were always going to produce a tear-jerker, and I think they’ve nailed it this year. I’ve always found it impressive how xmas ads manage to be so emotionally moving in such a short space of time. At the 3-minute mark, Disney’s is longer than your typical tv ad, presented as a short film.
This year tells the story of Lola and her granddaughter’s Christmas tradition of sharing Disney dolls and making lanterns – a tradition that fades as they both grow older. The granddaughter later realises how much it means to Lola, and makes up for it in a heart-warming fashion.
A Mickey Mouse doll acts as the vehicle for this story, a perfect choice as its iconic and instantly recognisable. The background song is a powerful yet stirring number by Griff, aptly named ‘Love is a Compass’. A creative juggernaut such as Disney always had an advantage over smaller brands, but I still believe this is the standout ad of the year.
Joel – TK Maxx
I like this year’s Christmas advert from TK Maxx because it’s funny. As opposed to trying to pull on the heartstrings with a soppy whitewashed cover of a classic song, it’s simple to the point and made me laugh out loud.
It’s only 30 seconds long and the wobble in the farmer’s voice when he says “she blooming well deserves it” is hilarious to me.
George – Barbour
I’ve gone with the Barbour ad – this ad features Santa reading Christmas lists from kids. Instead of a gift, one child asks for his dad’s Barbour jacket to be repaired and the ad shows Santa trying and failing to repair it before taking it to the Barbour factory to be repaired.
I really like the animation style and it’s nice that they’re advertising mending their jackets rather than buying new ones considering the state of the climate, especially over Christmas which will be a key sales period for them. Plus the message of passing them down through generations is a nice touch too.
Every month we present the biggest new developments in the world of social media so you can stay the cutting-edge of the industry.
1. Twitter Launches ‘Fleets’
2020 has undoubtedly been the year of stories. It was only a matter of time until Twitter joined Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest in having their own version of stories.
Twitter Fleets officially launched worldwide last week. Although the name looks to differentiate it from its rival platforms, Fleets has all the standard stories features. A 24-hr time frame, the ability to customise with text and effects and only visible to your followers.
Twitter says Fleets is for sharing ‘momentary thoughts’ that would otherwise remain as draft tweets. In many ways, this is what Twitter is already about – short, snappy bites of content. This new feature looks to enhance the audio-visual qualities of Twitter, no doubt inspired by the popularity of TikTok and IG Stories.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on Fleets. Twitter has never had the ‘playful’ nature of rivals such as Instagram, focusing more on breaking news stories over creative content. It’s too early to say whether Fleets will be ‘one stories feature too many’ or another valuable tool for social media marketers.
Check out our blog piece on the rise of stories if you’d like to learn how this format took over the world.
2. Instagram Tweaks the Homepage
Love it or loathe it, it’s here to stay. This month Instagram users opened the app to find the entire homepage has been modified:
‘Reels’ and ‘Shopping’ have replaced the ‘Create’ and ‘Notifications’ buttons, which have been moved to the top right next to ‘Messages’. The Camera button has been removed.
It’s not difficult to see what the motivation was behind these changes. Instagram are making Reels front and center. IG Shopping has also been provided its own interface, presented as a shoppable news feed.
We wrote about Reels a short while back. Instagram’s TikTok clone has been steadily growing in popularity and this move will only boost it further. Many social media developments in 2020 have revolved around ‘social commerce’. It’s viewed as the next big revenue stream for platforms. TikTok recently announced a partnership with Shopify. Instagram has responded by making Reels and IG Shopping more accessible. Both are competing for the same demographics. This rivalry will only intensify as time goes on.
Personally, we feel the new UI is cluttered. Instagram is trying to replicate the success of WeChat in China – a one-stop app for everything from entertainment to shopping. But Instagram will struggle to make this a reality without a complete overhaul of the app, which would receive fierce backlash from fans.
3. Snapchat Introduces Spotlight
Snapchat has struggled to stay culturally relevant in recent years. Instagram Stories and TikTok would not be the worldwide phenomena they are today if it wasn’t for the original innovators of the Stories format. Now the tables have turned, and it’s Snapchat who is taking inspiration from them.
Yesterday, Snapchat launched a new function called ‘Spotlight’ – a dedicated place within the app that lets users watch short, vertical videos in a feed that’s remarkably similar to TikTok:
Spotlight features videos from both public and private accounts (if you choose to). It’s accessible via a new fifth button at the bottom of Snapchat’s UI:
Like Instagram, Snapchat are trying to claw back users’ attention from TikTok by prominently displaying their Spotlight in the app. As a result, social media is starting to look homogeneous. Now that every major platform has Stories, will they all produce their own TikTok clones? It’s a question of whether this style of content will be suitable for Twitter or LinkedIn, both of which have an older user base.
As for Snapchat, it feels like they’re clutching at straws, adopting rival platforms’ most popular features to prevent users jumping ship. Nevertheless it’s still an extremely popular service and should be considered in your paid social strategy if you’re already familiar with Stories Ads.
4. New Google Branding
Last month Google rebranded Google Suite, which includes Gmail, Docs, Meet and Sheets, to Google Workshop. This is part of their ongoing effort to compete with Microsoft Office as an all-in-one suite for your virtual office needs.
More recently, Google Workshop’s logos have undergone a visual overhaul – much to the distaste of users:
One main criticism is that the logos are extremely similar, making it hard to immediately know which service you’re clicking on. The Gmail logo in particular has bore most of the brunt, as it no longer resembles an envelope. This could be an attempt by Google to ‘modernise’ the iconography of email. Much like the floppy disk, the envelope harks back to a time before the internet. A time that is not relatable to younger users.
While we don’t think Google’s new logos are perfect, we can appreciate how they’ve attempted to invigorate dying iconography and promote cohesion across their suite of apps.
5. Rupert Grint Becomes The Fastest IG User to 1 Million Followers
It was only two months ago that we announced Sir David Attenborough had broken the world record. Now, that record has been bested by Rupert Grint. The Harry Potter star acquired 1 million followers in just over 4 hours, beating Sir Attenborough by 45 minutes.
Rupert’s first post, introducing his new-born daughter, achieved a staggering 3.2 million likes and 110k comments:
A lesson to be learned from this is the power of community. The Harry Potter franchise has become one of the most beloved in the world, with countless Facebook groups, Instagram pages and fan-made websites dedicated to the wizarding world.Whilst we don’t expect you to achieve a million followers in 4 hours, you should be using your brand personality to attract and create a loyal fanbase.
The biggest shopping day of the year is going to look a lot different in 2020. We explore how businesses can grab the attention of customers and stand out from the crowd on Black Friday.
Black Friday in 2020
Black Friday is on the 27th November 2020. Traditionally a US custom that takes place after Thanksgiving, it has since taken the world by storm. For most people it makes the start of the festive season, as we start thinking about Christmas gifts for loved ones. Its certainly big business – Brits are expected to spend £6.5 billion on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
As the name suggests, Cyber Monday is the online iteration of Black Friday, the latter usually taking place in brick-and-mortar stores. This year will be completely different. With the ongoing pandemic preventing many offline businesses from opening, customers have shifted their shopping habits online. As we explored in a previous blog piece, the pandemic has irrevocably changed the way we shop. Even traditionally-offline shoppers are predicted to increase the amount of online purchases they make by 160%.
This is excellent news for e-commerce businesses, as it allows them to reach previously-unreachable audiences. Black Friday is the biggest opportunity of the year, if you know what you’re doing. Here, we explore some marketing techniques that can help you cut through the noise and win the attention of potential customers.
The best time to start your Black Friday campaign was yesterday. The 2nd best time to start is now. For those new to the concept, it would be easy to assume that it’s a 2-day event – the Friday and the following Monday. However, this hasn’t been true for a number of years.
In a bid to out-do each other, businesses have been starting their campaigns earlier and earlier – some as early as Halloween. Black Friday has become Black Friday Month. Every brand is keen to win the consumers’ wallets before their competitors do, and sometimes you need to play the game. Leaving your promotions to the actual day, when the noise is at fever-pitch, is risky. We’d only recommend this if you operate in a less-competitive sector or if your products are unique to your business.
Retailers in particular should start early. Consumers are extremely price-sensitive around Black Friday. Combine this with wider macro-economic factors (a struggling economy and low consumer confidence) and you get consumers that will scour the internet for the best possible price. By starting your campaign early, you can take advantage of lower advertising costs and drive conversions before the bigger brands aggressively discount their products.
On the subject of discounts, you’ll likely feel compelled to use them. A discount is a great way to get customers over the line, from consideration to conversion. It’s what Black Friday is all about, and it’s wise to provide one if you have room in your margins. This isn’t strictly necessary for all businesses. Now we’ll run through a couple of marketing strategies that could help you stand out without costing a fortune.
Use Black Friday to Expand Your Audience
Black Friday doesn’t have to just be about driving sales. It can also be a great time to expand your audience and grow your following ahead of the all-important ‘golden quarter’. As we mentioned earlier, traditional in-store Black Friday shoppers are going digital this year. This means new people to turn into fans of your brand.
Naturally, your socials should be in tip-top condition prior to launching your campaign. If you need advice on creating a strong social media presence, contact us or check out the rest of our blog.
You could launch a paid social campaign that emphasises brand awareness in the run-up to Black Friday. Entice users to follow by using the promise of incentives, e.g. “follow our page for exclusive Black Friday discounts!”. Exclusivity is a key aspect to building an online following. You need to make users feel like they can’t get the same content (or discount) anywhere else.
This is good for building both social media fan bases and mailing lists. Email marketing can be extremely effective on Black Friday. Firstly they have guaranteed delivery (assuming it doesn’t go to junk). It’s therefore much more likely your audience will see your communications. Posting organically on social media can sometimes feel like rolling a dice. There’s no guarantee that your content will get the visibility you need around Black Friday, with so many competing businesses posting at the same time.
Nevertheless, we advise making the most of all your channels. You may want to consider using channel-specific UTMs or discount codes so you can see which are generating traffic.
Consider a ‘Green Friday’ Approach
Black Friday & Cyber Monday have faced a growing amount of backlash in recent years. This is partly due to the rise of the ‘conscious consumer’ which we discuss in our green marketing article. A growing number of people see Black Friday as an example of ‘relentless consumerism’ and want to encourage society to shop more ethically and responsibly.If being eco-friendly is already a part of your brand identity, it’s a no-brainer to utilise this to transform Black Friday into Green Friday.
First, it starts with communication. In the build-up to ‘Green’ Friday you should announce on your social media channels that you won’t be heavily discounting products like other businesses, and explain why. Outline the green credentials of your business in a series of posts and fold in shocking facts on how Black Friday contributes to environmental harm. Electronics are highly sought-after during the event, and greatly add to the 50 million tons of electronic waste we produce each year.
The next step is to take action. An option you could consider is to donate a cut of your Green Friday profits to a charity that aligns with your brand. For example, our clothing project Living Thing is donating a percentage of profits to tree-planting charities. Rather than saying “we’ve raised £500 for charity”, instead say “together we’ve planted 100 trees”. Consumers want to see results, not numbers.
Not only will this do wonders for your brand image, but it means you don’t have to heavily discount products to keep up with the bigger businesses.
This is going to be a Black Friday & Cyber Monday like no other. The monumental shift to online shopping means e-commerce businesses will have more competition than ever. Thankfully, your campaign doesn’t have to be restricted to the two days. November is Black Friday Month in all but name. Start early to gain an advantage over your competitors, use the event to expand your audience and galvanize your existing fanbase to find success this holiday season.
Live-streaming will play an important role this winter. We look at what’s changed since the 1st lockdown and how businesses, musicians and creators can make the most of it.
The State of Live-Streaming
It’s fair to say live-streaming exploded in popularity during the 1st national lockdown. With venues unable to open their doors and consumers being stuck inside, it was a perfect storm for live-streams.
E1MA extensively pushed live-streaming as a content lifeline for our clients in the live events industry. On our blog, we provided best practices, the projects we were working on, and how others were getting creative with live-streams.
Unfortunately, we’re still in a position where live events can’t happen. We’ve spoken before about the woes of this industry. With the 2nd national lockdown underway, it’s highly unlikely we’ll see live events return before the new year.
Now we’ve all had a break from live-streams, the E1MA team expect them to make a resurgence. Positive changes made by online platforms since the 1st wave, adapting their services to better support live-streaming. Here’s what’s changed:
Live-streaming with Mixcloud Pro
A recurring problem faced by ourselves and our clients during the 1st wave of live-streaming was the constant threat of copyright. Social media platforms like Facebook would automatically mute or take down streams that featured copyrighted music. It’s safe to say this posed a challenge for DJs in particular.
It’s not just Facebook. We’ve seen it happen on Instagram, YouTube and Twitch as well. Thankfully, DJs now have a new option: Mixcloud Pro.
In case you’re not familiar with Mixcloud, it’s a service that operates much like Soundcloud, whereby you can upload audio mixes. Mixcloud Pro, their premium subscription service, lets you upload video live-streams as well, with no threat of copyright.
This is because “Mixcloud is a licensed service which has agreements in place with many rights holder partners around the world”. You will not encounter any takedowns or interruptions.
Last week, E1MA worked with Marvin Humes for the Marvin’s Room Halloween Special. We’ve been working together on Marvin’s Room for a long time, which usually takes place in various venues across London. Since the pandemic, we’ve shifted this to the digital space.
We live-streamed on several platforms simultaneously, maintaining Mixcloud Pro as a back-up. One critique we have is their Analytics are underwhelming compared to Facebook or YouTube. Once the video has finished, you can only re-listen to the audio. In their defense, Mixcloud Pro is still in beta.
“We’ve received an unprecedented level of demand from the Mixcloud community to build live streaming functionality. We’ve been working day and night to meet this demand and launch Mixcloud Live as fast as possible.Please note that this means we have released Mixcloud Live much earlier than we’d normally do for a product of this size. Consequently you may experience technical bugs or flaws in the Mixcloud experience.” – Mixcloud
Although you might not get the viewership expected from a platform such as YouTube, we feel it’s a safer option for DJs.
Live-Streaming Is Exempt From Lockdown Restrictions
Its important to mention that live-streams are exempt from English lockdown laws. As venues are considered ‘places of work’, you can live-stream from them. The Secretary for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports revealed this earlier this week:
IGTV Expands Live-Streaming Capability
The time limit for IGTV live-streams is being increased from 1 hour to 4 hours, Instagram announced recently.
In addition, they’re making live-streams more discoverable with a new “Live Now” section, as well as keeping them available to watch for a greater period of time afterwards.
IGTV became a surprise hit earlier in the year, as creators looked to push live-streams to their already-existing Instagram fanbase. Everything from cookery courses to workout classes could be found. IGTV was initially met with a lot of skepticism. Many marketers believed fans were unwilling to watch long-form videos vertically. This Instagram update proves them wrong.
We also used IGTV for the Marvin’s Room Halloween special, but found it kept getting taken down. This is frustrating, but demonstrates that parent company Facebook needs to do more to accommodate DJ live-streams.
Zoom Lets You Monetise Live-Streams
We spoke about this in October’s Digital Marketing Round-Up. The immensely popular video conference software is launching its own paid events marketplace called OnZoom:
It 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. OnZoom presents itself as an all-in-one solution.
Aside from copyright issues, another key problem that plagued live-steaming during the initial lockdown was the lack of monetisation options. It’s a problem that affects all creators, but especially those in the performing arts and live events sectors.
Could OnZoom present a legitimate way to host not only live-streams, but paid virtual concerts? Only time will tell.
Whether we like it or not, live-streams are coming back. We’re cautiously optimistic about this prospect. As we go into winter, people will be more inclined to stay indoors and watch live-streams. The initial lockdown took many creators by surprise, leaving them little time to develop new types of online-only content.
We’ve learned to adapt to the ‘new normal’ and make the most of the resources available. Social media platforms have been making steady improvements to their live-streaming capabilities. We’re more prepared for live-streams than before, and the E1MA team are excited to see what content creators can produce this winter.
The world’s largest professional network has serious marketing potential if you know how to use it. We take a look at how LinkedIn differs from other social media platforms, and how to harness its power.
What is LinkedIn?
In short, LinkedIn is a social networking platform that centers around employment. It presents itself as the world’s largest professional network, with over 722 million users located in 200+ countries. This makes it smaller than social media titans Facebook and Instagram, who have over 1 billion active users each, but larger than Twitter, Snapchat and Pinterest.
LinkedIn has been seeing ‘record levels of engagement’ during the pandemic. Combine this with its complete visual re-design and the long-awaited ‘LinkedIn Stories’ feature, this is a platform that can no longer be ignored by savvy marketers. While it’s true that LinkedIn was primarily designed for B2B (business-to-business) activity, ‘sales executives’, ‘creative consultants’ and ‘growth hackers’ are still consumers. They have lives outside of work, and as such, are potential customers.
So let’s dive into some LinkedIn marketing best practices.
1. Be Professional
As a ‘professional network’, there’s a certain level of expectation regarding how you should communicate on LinkedIn. It’s important to understand that this isn’t Facebook. You’ll not only be connected to your friends, but to colleagues, industry ties and potential clients. Whilst you should be expressing your opinion on the latest industry news, avoid controversy and confrontation. Respect differing viewpoints and be mindful of others’ experiences. Your personal LinkedIn presence is intimately linked to your businesses’ – don’t deter potential customers.
Instead, post industry-relevant content, contribute to ongoing conversations and celebrate the achievements of your business. Connect with fellow industry professionals and like-minded people.
A trend we’ve noticed growing on LinkedIn recently is the rise of ‘informal’ content, such as memes. Posts like this can perform well if they are extremely relevant and used sparingly.
The reason LinkedIn became popular in the first place is because it’s a haven for professionals that want to escape the jumbled nature of Facebook and engage with work-related content. It’s important to bear this in mind when posting on LinkedIn.
2. Make the Most of LinkedIn’s Connection Feature
A defining aspect of LinkedIn is that you can send a connection invite to almost anyone, even Bill Gates (though he probably won’t accept). This feature is critical to your success on the platform, as it determines who will see your posts. The first connections you should establish are your employees and industry professionals you know in real life. Get into the habit of connecting with new business contacts in LinkedIn shortly after meeting them.
Alternatively, attempt to make a connection with potential clients, or industry thought leaders. Reason being, if you post on LinkedIn, your connections will see it. If they engage with your post, their connections will see it. This is the best way to maximise your reach organically. If you’re trying to connect with strangers, include a personalised note before sending an invitation. According to LinkedIn, they’re far more likely to accept.
LinkedIn’s connection limit is 30,000. This may sound like a lot, but if you’re any kind of thought leader in your industry, you’ll reach this limit fast. We recommend accepting all kinds of connections at first. As your presence on the platform grows, occasionally disconnect with anyone that isn’t adding value to your business or newsfeed.
Remember that you can always ‘follow’ pages and people instead. They won’t see your posts, but you can still engage with theirs. Follow users that share good content, but won’t directly help your business.
3. Use Your Company Page
Your company page should be a hub for all your businesses’ activity on LinkedIn. It functions much like a Facebook business page. Unlike your personal profile, you can link to your website and therefore be a potential source of customer traffic.
It’s likely that after someone visits your profile, they’ll visit your business page, so make sure it’s in tip-top condition. Contact information should be up to date, and produce a compelling bio that will draw users to follow or click-through to your website. If your colleagues are on LinkedIn, they’ll appear here as well.
There are 3 lesser-known features that can increase your business page’s reach on LinkedIn. The 1st is that you can invite up to 100 personal connections to follow your company every month:
The 2nd is that you can alert your employees whenever you post on your business page. You should be encouraging them to engage with the content, as it will be displayed to their connections as well, even if they don’t follow your company:
Last but not least, your company page can follow up to 3 community hashtags. Within these hashtags you can like, comment and share posts AS your business:
This engagement will appear on the feeds of employees and those or who follow your page. Noticing a pattern here? Generating exposure is the key to success on LinkedIn.
Although you can only choose 3 hashtags, these can be changed at any time. If you see a post on your personal account that you’d like to engage with as your business, simply add its hashtag to your ‘community hashtags’ and find it on there. It’s tedious, but is currently the only legitimate way to engage with other posts as your brand.
4. Dig Into the Analytics
Understanding your audience is the key to success on every social media platform, and LinkedIn is no different. The brand-new analytics feature lets you see how many people are visiting your page and what industry they’re in. You can also see who follows your page and how they’re engaging with your content – great for scouting potential customers. This feature is at the top of your company page.
You can also engage in a little competitor analysis. LinkedIn provides a selection of similar pages to your own, along with their metrics. This gives you a good understanding of how your page is performing in comparison to others. What are you doing better? Where is there room for improvement? You can’t rest on your laurels when it comes to social media. You must continually tweak your strategy in this ever-evolving space.
5. Use Paid Social With Purpose
We’ve left this last as we feel LinkedIn is one of the few platforms left where you can succeed with organic social. That said, LinkedIn Ads provides an opportunity to directly target specific job titles and industries. Although you can do this on Facebook, with LinkedIn your potential customers are in a position where they want to read business-related content. This is particularly beneficial for B2B sectors.
If you’ve had experience with Facebook Ads, then LinkedIn Ads shouldn’t be much of a challenge. Social media platforms strive to make their ads services as simple as possible to encourage adoption. An important caveat to consider is that LinkedIn Ads can be expensive compared to rival platforms. The justification for this is that its quality over quantity when it comes to sourcing leads. If you’re considering running ads on LinkedIn, you should have clear goals in mind beforehand. Are you trying to host corporate events at your venue? Do you want your blog posts to be seen by key decision makers?
LinkedIn’s presence has rapidly grown over the last few months, causing an influx of professionals who don’t know how to make the most of it. Whilst the platforms clear strengths lay in B2B networking, don’t discount its potential for reaching customers where they least suspect it. Although it may operate much like Facebook, don’t treat it as such. Build connections, stay professional and use all the features at your disposal to have success on the world’s largest professional network.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
IG Reels gets a new update, allowing for longer videos (The Verge)
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
It’s safe to say thatthe 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.
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 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 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!
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
A sport and lifestyle of spotting random dogs.
Classifying the nature of the sport according to the rule set.
Assigning a score or sharing the spot for peer scoring.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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:
And Archie Hamilton:
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
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 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:
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 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
In December we were asked by Topham Guerin (TG) to assist with The Conservatives’ election campaign.
Based in New Zealand, TG delivers world-leading advisory and digital services. We had been assisting them with some of their UK activity earlier in the year – supporting with live streaming for the leadership hustings. When the election came around we were enlisted to support in delivering the party’s out-of-home and online advertising output.
This was a fascinating campaign to be involved with, we gained real-world experience and understanding in how a successful political campaign picks its targets and messages to them for effect. When we joined there was an existing strategy in motion already. We helped deliver the digital-out-of-home output for that strategy, supported on google search and programmatic, and we delivered simple metrics to give TG a read on how social advertising output was generating engagement within particular seats and audience groups, which informed subsequent output.
We extend our gratitude to Ben and Sean for inviting us to help them deliver the campaign and look forward to working with them again in the future.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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 4people closed their betting accounts.
You can see their hilarious response to the backlash on YouTube.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 2,000comments 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 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 700comments 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.
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.
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?
“We’re looking to brands to promote a sense of well-being and positivity across the country, to give a shot in the arm to the general public as they begin to venture back out of home, making people feel good about themselves and, in turn your brand.”
The electronic billboards are all connected together and scattered through London. Facing the billboard, street level, is a scannable QR code that enables anyone with a smartphone to control the billboard, using the small screen as a remote controller for the game that will be played on it. The billboard then matches the player to another, who may be connecting from any other billboard. In places where it is impossible to install a QR code, taking a picture of the billboard itself opens the webapp where the virtual controller is. Two players are then thrust into a quick paced arcade game, where the only form of communication is via emotes and emojis. Think Pong, but across the city, across people, crossing boundaries.
Watch a video of a proposed billboard in action:
Platform’s Billboard Strategy:
During lockdown and these unprecedented times, we have all found ourselves with something we have never had before. Time, to enjoy, to entertain ourselves, and find purpose. But after a couple of months, and days that just feel like the one before (the week becomes 3 days long: yesterday, today, and tomorrow), after having been through all of Netflix’s most obscure movies, everyone has had that itch to get out of the house, it’s just in our nature. In the new normal however, this is not to be taken lightly. Life is actually starting to feel more and more like the video games we fell back in love with during our time in confinement – it’s stressful, dangers are lurking, London becomes a map, the tube level is scary.
So, there is nothing better than to get a chance to reload. To live in a danger-free, but challenge-full world of online gaming. And when you are out, you can still use those newly honed playful skills, with our interactive billboards to have fun, safely, but most importantly connect with one another from across the city. And if you want to get closer, and challenge each other safely, you can still make your way to Platform, the safest venue to eat, drink and partake in some social gaming.
Karma Kitchen are a family run set of commercial kitchens, co-working space and storage in Hackney – designed for people with food & drinks businesses. They build, equip and manage the spaces, so that their tenants have everything they need to run a successful catering business directly from their space.
We were approached by them and asked to film a series of interviews with their tenants on their stories, and why they love using the space. We worked with Karma Kitchen to tailor make a set of open questions designed to get the tenants talking about content that would resonate well with their existing audience. The team then filmed and edited each interview, providing them with several video formats, perfect for sharing on multiple social channels on both desktop and mobile.
The Hamburg native DJ Magdalena, one of the founding forces of Diynamic Music record label, Brings her Ibiza party brand ‘Shadows’ Global. This year Magdalena has made strides bringing Shadows International. First, it was a massive Tulum edition to close out Sonorous Festival, now we’re onto the next step, Mainland Europe. Shadows will be doing two separate mini-tours of Berlin, Zurich, and Hamburg in both February and March. Magdalena will be hosting joined by Francesca Lombardo for February and La Fleur in March.
The Rave of Thrones team asked us to handle their social pages, event page and media spend for their upcoming immersive event at the renowned venue Electric Brixton. Winter is coming, and revellers can expect a faux banquet hall, white walkers, sword fights and even Hodor (Kristian Nairn) on the decks. Things kicked off to a great start, we built a bespoke media plan and a social strategy, and news of the event was picked up by major news outlets. We’re now managing their media spend as well as daily content on all socials. We here at E1MA are all really excited to see this event grow into what has the potential to be a UK wide tour – and we can’t wait for the first night in Brixton!
Yesterday we assisted We Are FSTVL with their first 2019 lineup phase announcement. We worked with the client to develop a live streamed countdown to the announcement on Facebook, and attached a Facebook Messenger bot to respond to competition entrants. Those entrants were then contacted about on-sales. We were incredibly pleased with the results across the board, and as ever it’s a privilege to work with the We Are team, always giving us creative freedom to bring these kinds of ideas to the table and see them through from beginning to end.
Maceo Plex’s events brand Mosaic brought us on board while we were still under the Listen Up umbrella over 2 years ago, but we’ve continued to assist on digital marketing for the brand since we moved over to our new home. We love working with the team, who consistently put on incredibly well produced and inventive events across the globe, the most recent being at Gashouder during Amsterdam Dance Event. We also worked on Maceo Plex’s ’Solar’ album release in 2017. We look forward to more work with the team in the future!
This year Camden Oktoberfest tasked E1MA with their digital marketing on the 3rd instalment of their annual event. For this year’s Oktoberfest they went for a 2-day event in a much larger venue, we were tasked with creating a media plan, handling all posts, ad spend resulting in two sold-out shows! The events themselves were hugely popular with many local live acts, great selection of import beer…. and some very happy crowds.