Monthly Archives: August 2015

The Influence of Social Talent (and the Minogue Sisters) – latest CIPR c-suite podcast

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Last week I recorded the 12th show in my podcast series that I produce for the CIPR’s Social Media Panel, with the topic this time being the influence of Social Talent.

YouTuber, Hannah Witton kicked off the show discussing how she launched her own channel, which started as a hobby during University and now, working with Triple A Media, has become her job.  She’s created a bit of a niche for herself by discussing sex and relationships on her channel, although was quick to say that she doesn’t want to ‘box herself in’ as she does a lot of other ‘stuff’ too.   However, it was due to the nature of her content that Durex recently approached her via Multi Channel Network (MCN) Channel Flip, to run a campaign for them.

If you haven’t seen the video, take a look below – it’s an excellent example of how a brand can work with a YouTuber:

The key to remember in this campaign is that, as well as ensuring everything was cleared legally, whilst Durex had certain key points that, as Hannah described, they wanted her to hit, she still had full editorial control.  This was a huge part of our discussion during the show, in terms of understanding the way these types of brand partnerships work.  For example, James Erskine, Strategy Director at The Big Shot, cited a great quote from another YouTuber, Jim Chapman, at a recent Drum conference, where Jim had said, ‘we’re not actors’ and explained that what The Big Shot say to their clients is that they will not have approval, but they will have veto, explaining the subtle distinction between ‘taking stuff out if it is inaccurate or legally wrong’, but not being able to insist on putting stuff in.

Hannah believes the reason brand partnerships work, like her one with Durex, is because when it comes to vlogging, as a YouTuber, she has a personal relationship with her audience, which, as long as that is kept authentic and transparent, her audience actually become really supportive in her being sponsored.  She explained that her subscribers can see that making YouTube videos is something she loves doing, are equally happy that it’s something she gets to do as her full time job and that they are clever enough to know that the way she does that is through working with brands.  However, with that particular Durex campaign, there was also a competition and a discount code, meaning her audience benefit too.

Interestingly, in terms of keeping a balance, James Hancock of Triple A Media said that for every sponsored YouTuber video we see, there may well be 10 that haven’t worked out, which could be because the Social Talent or the Talent Management have rejected it because it’s not right for that specific YouTuber.

There were also loads of really good insights into launching your own brand’s channel throughout the show from my fellow CIPRSM colleague Dom Burch, who is Senior Director for Marketing Innovation and New Revenue at Walmart in the UK.  Dom talked in a lot of detail and shared key learnings about how, with the help of Gleam Futures, they launched Asda’s UK channel ‘Mum’s Eye View’, which has grown to have over 168,000 subscribers, reaching over 8m views since launching in March last year.  Dom explained that effectively, they ‘rent’ the Social Talent’s audience, drawing a percentage of their audience from their own channels over to Mum’s Eye View when they appear there.  However, he is insistent that the YouTuber should never make a video for Mum’s Eye View that they would not be happy to post on their own channel.  He also explained how he measures ROI, saying that the amount he invests is worth every penny in reach alone.  He compared spending the budget on pay-per-view via pre-role on YouTube, where he could easily spend 10p to get one view on YouTube and the engagement is tiny.  He uses YouTube ‘thumbs up’ and comments as a way of measuring engagement as success, seeing tremendous results from the content created by the YouTubers on Mum’s Eye View, particularly as he hasn’t used media spend to drive people to the content.

A recommended way to discover which Social Talent to work with is via a new service launched by The Big Shot called Social Circle, which, as James explained, tiers talent in terms of size of audience (so not just the top YouTubers with the huge following) and places them across a number of different verticals.  The site is aiming to be a one stop shop in terms of allowing brands and agencies to brief multiple talents on their campaigns.

For any brand looking to enter this space of working with Social Talent on YouTube for the first time, there were a number of important tips throughout the podcast, which included:

  • Do your due diligence and watch the YouTuber’s channel and understand their content so that you get to know them, which will help you pick the right Social Talent to work with
  • Get to know what your target audience are watching – there are loads of niche channels – it’s not all make up and beauty!
  • Let go of control and accept that, whilst you will have a brief, this is the YouTuber’s content
  • Ask the Talent, Talent Management and/or MCN for a breakdown of the audience reached
  • Approach the vlogger or their agent with an idea but respect the media, which in this case is the vlogger themselves, and build a relationship with them
  • Be honest and transparent as a brand
  • Ensure you are aware of ASA guidelines
  • Remember it’s not just about YouTube – there are multiple platforms to consider that Social Talent use to reach your target audience

All the above aside, the biggest debate for me to have come out of this whole discussion was for, as Dom described, the older listeners to my podcasts, and whether you are in Team Kylie & Neighbours (Dom’s vote) or Team Dannii & Home & Away (my vote) – feel free to let me know your choice below!

Oh, and of course, please do share any other comments you might have on working with Social Talent.  You can also keep the conversation going on twitter around these podcasts using #ciprcsuite.

Finally, if you are interested in getting involved in this series, please do get in touch with directly.

Time to update to Charades

My wife just said to me, “I’ve got half hour left of my book.”

I just don’t get it.  If you read my last post, you’ll know I am a fan of old fashion, touchy feely books.  When you’re reading a book, you have 54 pages left, or two chapters left.  But for Kindle users, like my wife, you have 30mins left, or 11%.

I argued that if you’re watching a film, you can say you have 30mins left, but a book has pages or chapters left to go, my justification being, when you play charades, if you are describing a book title, you place your hands together like you are about to pray, and unfold your palms, like opening a book.  You don’t hold one palm out, and take your index finger of the other hand and keep touching your other palm with it!

So it got me thinking, what other forms of media need new descriptions in that classic old game.  The topic of my next c-suite podcast that I am recording this week for the CIPR’s Social Media panel is on the influence of Social Talent, focussing on YouTubers.  If you were playing charades with my two kids, rather than ‘Morecambe & Wise’, or ‘Jaws’ (we have a very old set of clues!) a more relevant clue for them to describe would be ‘Danisnotonfire’.

So how would they do that?

It’s one word, five syllables.  OK.  But how do you describe a YouTube channel?  Drawing a big box in the air with your finger for the TV screen won’t work.

Well, thanks to the good old interweb, it looks like the team at Outsetmedia are already thinking about this kind of thing.  They have the following additions to what they list as ‘Standard Signals’:

  • Computer Game – Using both hands move your thumbs like you are using a game pad.
  • Website – Hold one hand out, palm down, horizontal to the ground, as if holding a computer mouse. Make a sweeping motion side to side, then stop and tap index finger as if “clicking”.

So there you have it, Christmas day is sorted, and it’s only August.

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10 Essential Free Holiday Mobile Apps

Having just spent an incredible week at the lindosblu hotel in Rhodes, I realised this was one of the first holidays that I really made use of free wifi, that is pretty much everywhere in Lindos, and numerous apps that became a key element of the holiday experience.  So here in no order of importance, are my top 10.

  1. Spotify in the sky

I brought my ipod along, but didn’t use it once.  Instead, I used Spotify’s recommended playlists to chill out by the pool as well as (and this impressed me) on the beach, where the wifi was just as strong.  However, what’s also great about Spotify is the speed at which you can find new artists.  The hotel had some great playlists playing out by the pool and in the bar over the course of the week and one song in particular grabbed my attention, so I did a search and found it on Spotify – a most beautiful version of the Alan Parsons’ classic, ‘Eye in the sky’, by Alessandra Bosco

  1. Dinner courtesy of Google Maps

Staying just a 5min cab ride into Lindos, there was no shortage of great places to eat. However, we wanted to find something away from the masses, so I took to Google Maps, and using the link to ‘Restaurants’ feature, just moved around the local area searching for local restaurants on the beach, and discovered Milos, a fantastic family run restaurant where they even have a telescope pointing at the moon as it rises up over the horizon.  And in terms of customer service, it didn’t get much better than when, after the owner couldn’t manage to get a cab for us at the end of our meal, he gave us a lift back to our hotel himself!

  1. Check in, but not just at the airport – Foursquare/Swarm

I am not a huge Foursquare user on a day to day basis, tending to only check-in to places such as the theatre, that I can then share on Twitter and Facebook too, but I do like to use it on holiday, as it’s a good source of reviews and ideas for where to go in the area.  It worked well as the initial pointer for what other restaurants were close by, before we then checked out further reviews on Tripadvisor.

  1. Tripadvisor – #obvs

This one is a given for holidaymakers I guess, but reading the reviews and particularly some of the tips gave us some great recommendations, like trying the chilled house red at the Milos restaurant.

  1. A lorra lorra Twitter 🙁

Twitter was my go to app to keep up with the news and industry updates throughout the day.  Sadly, it’s where I found out about the death of Cilla Black this week.  Cilla was a fantastic entertainer and a genuine National Treasure.  We will miss her.  On a more positive front, and I mean this in terms of it being just a brilliant PR stunt, I also saw on Twitter the news that Kermit and Miss Piggie are to split.

Thankfully, they will continue to work together – lucky that, with a new series of The Muppets starting on ABC soon!

  1. WhatsApp’ening by the pool?

As well as keeping in touch with my kids back at home, WhatsApp turned out to be the communication channel for us and our friends who we were holidaying with, both in terms of meeting times and checking where we were, but also in sharing photos too.  We set up a group for the four of us and it meant we could easily share all our individual photos, creating our very own personal Storify of our holiday.

  1. Regular post(card)s on Facebook

Another obvious choice for showing off to friends and family about the great time we were having, whilst keeping up to date on how others were doing on their holidays.  Facebook of course also has Messenger, which was another way of keeping in touch with some friends for whom that is their message app of choice.

  1. It’s just the same old show on my TuneInRadio

I struggle to get to sleep without the radio on, and most nights I tend to go to bed with Ian Collins (not literally you understand).  I’ve known Ian personally for a good few years having met him through working at markettiers4dc, and I subscribe to his excellent podcast, which he started after leaving Talk Sport a couple of years ago.  However, he is now back on the radio, with a late evening show on LBC, so with me being 2hrs ahead on Greek time, it meant I could listen to him through TuneInRadio, an excellent app that also has stations from all over the world to choose from.

  1. Can’t Tunnel Bear to be without Netflix

I felt a little guilty about this one, but Tunnel Bear is a legitimate app, available from the App Store.  In layman’s terms, it basically makes other apps think your mobile/tablet etc. is still in the UK (or any other country you choose to ‘tunnel’ to from where you are), meaning I could continue to watch Netflix which, before I downloaded Tunnel Bear, was not available to me in Greece.  Tunnel Bear gives you 500mb of free data but if you tweet that you downloaded it, you get a further 1GB added to your account.  I used it to watch three more episodes of the remake of Battlestar Galactica (I know, geek!), which I’m so close to finishing, having watched almost all four seasons (no spoilers please).   FYI, a 45min episode used up around 250mb of streaming data, so I had plenty of free viewing time still to use.  (This being a blog post about free apps, Netflix didn’t qualify as I pay a monthly subscription for it.)

  1. As with Sky & the Beeb, the end of a great event needs a montage – Color Splash Effect

The last app in my list is one I downloaded on our final night, when playing around with some of the photos we’d all taken as a group of friends.  Color Splash Effect has some cool features, but the best one was the ability to create montages really easily from your phone’s photo gallery and then share them instantly on your social networks.  Here’s one I made earlier!


Final notes

For the record, I don’t have a Kindle because I am still a fan of ‘touchy feely’ books, hence there were no reading apps listed here, although I can recommend  Mark Haddon’sThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the night time’, which I read, and was a brilliantly written and truly original story.

There were, however, plenty of other apps I used during the week, like LinkedIn (I had recently posted a job there for Conversis as we are looking for a Senior Communications Exec, so was checking the applications we had received) and of course for those free calls, for business or pleasure, there’s Skype.  I also uploaded a couple of photos to Instagram, but if I was allowed one bonus app to recommend, then it would be Flashlight, because despite us having a fantastic meal at Tambakio on the moonlit sand in the beautiful setting of St Pauls Bay, without a torch on my phone, I wouldn’t have been able to read the bloody menu!

(If you have any other recommendations for free mobile holiday apps, please do add them in the comments box below.)