Key Content Marketing Trends in 2018 Earlier in the year, we published an article which highlighted the key trends it believes will shape content marketing in 2018. We suggested that brands would diversify the type of content they produce, and would also invest in developing multidisciplinary content teams. We predicted that GDPR would have a significant impact on the shape of content marketing and that social issues could come to the fore. I think that in many ways we have been more right than wrong in our predictions. Certainly GDPR is a catalyst for seismic change. With the quieter summer months looming we wondered what the companies who are at the cutting edge of content marketing in the UK thought of the way that the discipline has evolved this year. Overall around 20 companies took part with key executives offering their opinions. What we discovered was that content marketers have plenty to be concerned about from GDPR though to emerging social platforms, but they are overwhelming mostly focused on with producing quality content. The impact of fake news and GDPR It is hard to overstate the impact of the growth of fake news on brand communications. That isn’t to say that brands were ever in the business of tricking their consumers. The increasing scepticism with which consumers view social content however has meant that there has been a clear shift from filling platforms with large amounts of content to delivering high quality stories, videos and images that will engage consumers. This includes podcasts and longform, but on an everyday basis means that blog posts, listicles and social updates are more thought out, crafted, ruthlessly edited and rooted in strategy  than ever. Fortunately brands have an emerging ally in their quest for content that will chime with consumers – technology. Use of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence continues to grow in content marketing, from helping brands to personalise content through to optimising the reach of that content. The other huge question for content marketers is to how to handle the fall out from the introduction of GDPR last month. Some companies have seen their email lists decimated, while others have started from scratch with new ones. Yet, as tricky as its implementation has been, GDPR presents brands with an opportunity. How can they both create and maintain meaningful relationships with consumers? The longest list of email addresses ever is pretty useless if no one opens the communications that the brand sends. So, it is fascinating time for content marketers of all types. Click here to download the report. Ashley Norris, Content Consultant, The CMA Read more Editorial to the Rescue In a flagship state of the industry thought piece CMA Chair Vince Medeiros charts the rise of editorial leverage and how it is empowering traditional and emerging publishers as they seek to offer genuine value in an age of infinite content. It’s no secret that traditional journalism has faced an existential threat over the last decade or so. Digital disruption has meant the advertising revenues that once sustained a vital, if at times flawed, media system have been drying up. And amid the crisis, no one was hit harder than traditional print publishers. Despite recent news that the UK press has shown small signs of growth, a once dominant print media now draws only a fraction of overall marketing spend. Many publishers, especially those with a heritage in print, have had to reinvent themselves, looking further afield for the revenue needed to sustain and grow their businesses. Along the way, some old models have remained, while new ones seem to appear almost every day. There’s the public service model in the UK and other European countries. There’s The Guardian, supported by a non-profit trust – but even that can’t shield it from the fiercest market forces, forcing it to experiment with donations and membership fees. There’s new owners, rich underwriters like Jeff Bezos for The Washington Post, or Alexander Lebedev for The Evening Standard. Drawing on its global brand status, The New York Times has recently made incredible gains via subscriptions, following a trend first pioneered by The Financial Times. There are co-ops such as the Bristol Cable, shaking up local news with a community focused and run model, and the likes of ProPublica, doing investigative journalism funded by foundations and individuals, with multiple other permutations in between. There’s also Civil, pioneering a new way of funding journalism via the blockchain. Editorial leverage And then there is content marketing. Editorially-led content sponsored by brands is an increasingly vital revenue stream for many publishers. Here, journalistic skills and access are leveraged to tell stories that are credible, authentic and can reach an existing and engaged audience on behalf of brands. This is a space where publishers have valuable resources in abundance: storytelling talent and credibility via newsroom expertise; access to great stories through daily news reporting; and readers and viewers who are bona fide fans. These projects in turn provide a wealth of insights to be dissected, evaluated, packaged and built into campaigns. ‘Editorial leverage’ is therefore the engine that’s mobilised to pitch a uniquely credible storytelling product to brands. As tangible, recognisable entities in an increasingly competitive attention economy, publishers not only benefit from scarcity but also capitalise on what they do best: act as a gravitational force for making sense of society and culture, offering a premium space where readers can go for contextual, curated journalism. That’s why giants like GE are increasingly bypassing ad agencies to work directly with publishers like The New York Times. In an age when information overload is setting in, credible publishers elevate brand messages. Even the digital disruptors crave the credibility and prestige of traditional publishers. Facebook recently launched a magazine, Grow, following in the footsteps of Google, whose iconic Think Quarterly helped it successfully reposition from being known as an Internet ad seller to digital thought leader. Digital companies moving to print might seem counterintuitive, but it’s all about building trust that their platforms, despite their size and scale, cannot achieve. A recent study by MediaCom and Magnetic found that 70% of magazine readers trust magazines, but only 30% of social media users trust social media. There’s little doubt that editorial leverage is a powerful tool for cutting through and offering genuine value in an age of infinite content. It helps brands ask the questions journalists have long asked: Why does this matter? What’s really going on in people’s lives? By doing so, they can establish strong relationships with consumers while offering value that traditional advertising is often unable to do; a kind of value exchange that publishers are uniquely positioned to deliver given their access to stories and talent – and their ability to provide deeper levels of engagement. When working with brands, publishers not only help clients cut through, but they can also tap into new insights for brands, which in turn helps publishers by injecting critical revenue to sustain vital journalistic work. Vince Medeiros, CMA Chair   Read more Measuring PR: how to value the invaluable “How do you know it works?” “Can you prove it drives customers to do what we want?” “How are you measuring PR?” “Why should we bother?” “Can’t we just advertise?” “Shall we Tweet it instead?” Every PR will have had a client or colleague who asks these sorts of questions. They are ultimately asking, why are you here? Those in the industry, or who at least understand how PR works, know that it can make or break a company. It’s about putting your business in front of the right people, in the right place, at the right time, and saying the right thing. It helps build brand awareness and reputation, and it can change the way a target audience thinks. It is invaluable. And yet we are constantly asked to prove its value. The importance of measurement Of all the arms of the multi-dexterous marketing octopus, PR probably has the toughest gig when it comes to justifying its place in a campaign or communications plan. And a huge part of that challenge is down to the fact that measuring its success is so hard to pin down. While other marketing tools have many industry-standard measurements to back up their effectivity, PR is lacking. But whether you’re agency side or in-house, you need to validate your campaign costs or PR investment to an executive team or client. And that’s not to say that PR measurement exists solely to justify a budget. Having a proven measurement approach which shows the success of your PR efforts in both qualitative and quantitative measures which tangibly link back to the business’s overall objectives is crucial to not only getting support for the PR project at hand but also to show that PR is every bit as important as other marketing tools. One thing’s for sure, AVE is dead. For a long time, the ‘advertising value equivalent’ has been widely disregarded as a measurement for PR, and rightly so. But since then there has been no true successor. We don’t have a uniform, accepted way of measuring what it does and why it’s effective. The best of a bad bunch There are, of course, a number of ways to measure PR. You’ve got: Reach – How many people your story has reached Audience – Who’s been reading your story Tiered media targets – Gold, Silver or Bronze, how much of your coverage has reached the top? Cost per number of people viewed – A measure based on the investment divided by reach, multiplied by whatever quantity you want to find the cost for Backlinks – For online publications, does the story link back to your brand’s website? Outputs – the PR elements you produce; press releases, blogs, brochures, newsletters Outcomes – the change in behaviour or in purchasing that we want to see happen And there are more. But still, PR is crying out for a unified measurement. In the meantime, there are at least some important ways to prove the worth of your PR campaign: Find out what success looks like for your client or business, and build your measurements around that Always agree KPIs with your client or business before any campaign Always make sure your measurements link back to the overall business objectives Always use campaign or project results to inform your future PR activities. Dissecting what works and what doesn’t, and the reasons behind it will help to ensure you improve next time As an industry, we need to share best practice and agree the ultimate way to measure PR and to prove just how valuable it is. Laura is BrandContent’s PR Manager, you can learn more about her here. Read more Save your budget: Digital PR & Content Marketing campaigns for less Go big or go home Go cheap. I’m from Yorkshire and, in case you weren’t already aware, us Yorkshire folk are known for being cheap. So much so that this is literally the Wikipedia description of the Culture of Yorkshire: Unsurprisingly this ‘tightness with money’ also often comes through in my professional life, meaning I’m always looking for ways to make campaigns cheaper, but without compromising on quality. I spoke at Learn Inbound last week about making campaigns work harder, and half of that presentation centred around saving money when creating campaigns so I thought I’d also write these tips up. The second half was around getting more results which I’ll probably write up later. Use free data I cringe when I look back at the amount of money I’ve spent acquiring data (through surveys and other means) when there’s such a vast amount of data out there. I don’t think I’m the only one either – in my Learn Inbound presentation I showed some examples and offered up a list of free data sources I’ve collated and I’ve received A LOT of requests for the list of data sources (this makes me feel better!) There’s a wealth of data sources we can use, public data is one of the most readily available free sources but there’s also a lot of other sources. Here’s some of my fav data sources to showcase the variety: Office for National Statistics (ONS) – ‘The UK’s largest independent producer of official statistics and the recognised national statistical institute of the UK’ – this is like a rabbit hole for me that I get lost down every time I visit. So. Much. Data. WhatDoTheyKnow – ‘Make a request for information to a UK public authority: by law, they have to respond’ – easy platform to make Freedom of Information (FOI) request to public bodies in the UK. Also asktheEU for European version. IMDb Datasets – ‘Subsets of IMDb data are available for access to customers for personal and non-commercial use’ – access to IMDb’s wealth of data on films and TV shows. World Health Organization (WHO) – ‘WHO’s gateway to health-related statistics for more than 1000 indicators for its 194 Member States’ – health stats across the world Amazon AWS Datasets – ‘This registry exists to help people discover and share datasets that are available via AWS resources’ – so much varied data including ‘A collection of Earth science datasets maintained by NASA, including climate change projections and satellite images of the Earth’s surface’ here *Do just check with each data set the permissions for using it* Nowadays I just Google the data I want to see if its out there already, sometimes I’ll then find this through a third party and may have to pay a small license fee for the data but this is generally cheaper than gathering it myself. Use design tools Stop obsessing over big, shiny things – you are not a magpie! Far too often we immediately go down the route of building a big interactive campaign thinking that it will automatically translate to more links/coverage/whatever you’re aiming for. The problem is that’s not a default of building something cool, so you may end up wasting a lot of time and money. Paddy Moogan also spoke at Learn Inbound and delivered a great presentation which looked at the average amount of coverage gained from interactives vs other formats: Although interactives do deliver more coverage for them, the gap between interactive and static isn’t actually that high and considering the cost difference between the two, it makes sense to not always default to big interactive. I’ve recently discovered some really cool tools that enable me to create my own graphics with an element of interactivity (hovers etc) but without the need for a designer or developer. Now I’m not saying that we’ll just use these for all future campaigns, but it does allow us to save money on the campaigns that don’t need a big interactive piece to accompany them. Here’s an example of one of my favourite discoveries Infogram to show how easy it is (like literally if I can do it, anyone can!) There’s a bunch of other similar tools I’ve seen but haven’t got round to trying yet – Outgrow, Piktochart and Mapme being a few. Plan newsjacking opps Once you’ve launched your campaign, got all the coverage/links you think you can and have reported don’t just stop there. Plan a roadmap of upcoming ‘events’ that you can still target with your campaign. For example, we recently launched this campaign for 247meeting looking at security and privacy in the workplace. In it we have a section on GDPR and one on data breaches and hacks, so each time these topics are in the news we have an opportunity to newsjack. We use Buzzsumo’s Trending feature to look for newsjacking opportunities every morning. We could also plan for these, so say we’d done a campaign around mental health, there’s a bunch of mental health related ‘days’ every year that we can use to newsjack with the campaign as well. Refresh old campaigns Again, once a campaign has finished many people just forget about it and move onto the next one. But often if a campaign performed really well once it could do the same again. Especially if your campaign involves data, think about whether that data might change in six months, a year later, or ten. A successful campaign from my time at my last agency was a simple survey that we re-ran every 6 months to see how people’s opinions on their community changed. This was visualised in a map where we just had to update the data each time and it could go out again. This provides a great return on the up-front cost of creating the interactive map. Think about any previous companies you’ve run/your client has run and whether they’d be worth a refresh to go out with again, it’s much cheaper than creating a whole new campaign every time. Summary Saving money isn’t the only benefit from the above tips, utilising design tools and not planning interactive campaigns all the time will require less developer resource. Because as much as I love my developer friends, trying to get something pushed through client development teams has without doubt been one of the biggest hurdles/delays of any campaign I’ve run! This approach also has the benefit of slightly less pressure and means you can test campaigns you aren’t 100% sure on. If you invest a huge budget and resource into a campaign you better be sure you’re delivering some big results to match. But if you’ve scaled back the budget and time investment you can experiment more and there’s less pressure to deliver huge numbers of links/coverage. Laura Crimmons, Founder, Silverthorn Agency Read more Five excellent and innovative examples of content marketing – September 2018 Every few months we like to highlight a few content marketing campaigns that have caught our eye. This time there’s a mixture of content from the UK and the US, some of which is created in house by established companies, some by agencies and others by startups eager to grow their nascent businesses. What links them is they boast superbly executed, inspiring editorial content that has generated great results for the brand. Zipcar – Ziptopia Zipcar, in common with a lot of startups that focus on offering items for short-term loan, it has a bit of a problem. People don’t tend to rent cars that often, the loan is usually driven by need and invariably at short notice. So how then do they keep their customers engaged? The answer is Ziptopia a content site aimed at urban dwellers, Zipcar’s key audience, that combines tips for negotiating city life along with inspirational content that suggests how people can use the cars they are hiring. The company is also not afraid to tackle issues either, whether they are around diversity or the restructuring of traditional areas of famous cities. There’s great video content too. Ziptopia is a site that is really well thought out and put together, and its popularity among Zipcar’s social followers suggests that it is achieving what it was designed for. Infogr8/Joe Sarah Although not branded content per se, this article, which is a collaboration between photographer Joe Sarah and creative agency Infogr8 is one of the most innovative we have seen in a long time. It highlights how smart and original interactive scrollable content can look if you have the right elements to populate it. In this instance, the article looks at the way that Britons have become so obsessed with photographing food. So it features among other things; discussions around the topic, a series of charts mapping out what food we shoot and why, and top tips on capturing food from Joe Sarah which are interactive and annotated. There’s also short form audio content to accompany the images which are obviously all of really high quality. The article works really well in two ways. Firstly because it is smartly put together and looks stunning it pulls the reader in. Yet at the same time, it unpacks a narrative in an engaging and interesting way. If you have never considered interactive scrollable content it is worth looking at as it really could inspire you. Scottish Widows Pensions and insurance are topics that no one likes to think too much about. So for companies that sell financial services creating content to inspire readers can be a very tricky task. One company, which in our opinion undertakes this tasks with a degree of originality and panache is Scottish Widows. The brand recently undertook what it calls Pension Awareness Day (actually a series of days) which involved visiting a selection of British cities with a Scottish Widows bus and then talking to people about the company’s financial offerings. It is a smart idea, but what makes it really clever is the way that the brand delivers the content via social media. Through a series of short videos and posts on Facebook and Twitter it gently gets its message across encouraging people to think about their future and answering some of the key questions about pensions. The campaign is also supported by influencer outreach with a series of financial bloggers also representing the brand talking about their experiences. Icelandair Another great example of interactive content, Discovering the Northern Lights is a microsite created for Icelandair by agency Builtvisible. The mission for the brand and the agency was to create inspiring content that encouraged people to visit Iceland to see the lights, positioning it as the world’s number one destination for the experience. Bearing in mind it faces hot competition from several other Scandinavian countries the content needed to be good. The microsite is absolutely stunning. The company has made the most of its striking images of the phenomenon by ensuring that the scrollable copy displays the images full screen. Accompanying the text is a very smart interactive component that allows readers to alter environmental conditions, create their own aurora and gain a deeper understanding of the science behind the Northern Lights. Overall it is a stunning and informative microsite that the client loves so much it has already translated it into several other languages. Headspace – Orange Dot One of the big problems of many content sites from smaller companies is that the brands often don’t tend to think too much about the look of their site. The stories are often accompanied by stock lifestyle images which have been used many times before. Headspace, a company with an app that uses technology to encourage mindfulness, has shown with its Orange Dot website that there is another way. Rather than use standard images the company has commissioned some striking colourful illustrations to partner its content. A subject that in some ways can be perceived as being a little heavy and intense is therefore lightened up and is much more accessible. The content itself is informative and not too pushy either. Many brands would do well to take note of Headspace’s subtle approach Ashley Norris, CMA Editorial Consultant Read more Key social media listening tools’ benefits for content creation Some of the key social media listening tools’ benefits are about giving deeper insight into audience profiles and behaviour which helps define any content strategy, says Dialogue’s Content Strategist, Howard Wilmot. With the advent of SEO and social media, content creation became a highly complex proposition, moving away from a journalistic take on who the audience was and what it wanted to an analytical approach, based out of keyword traffic and audience insight. Hence the rise of social media listening tools. Marketers use a variety of tools to analyse audiences, their behaviour and their user journey. From traffic volume and keyword tools like Keyword Planner, SEM Rush and Moz, brands can discover potential ‘interest’, while moving through to Google Analytics, they ascertain just how well the content they’re creating is servicing this audience. Similarly social media has offered a different take on how content is engaged with and how it is shared. This can be analysed through the channels themselves or various tools that may also help with scheduling and distribution like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Iconosquare etc. But while they may tell some of the story, it’s not necessarily going to give the full picture. What are social media listening tools? Social media listening tools like Pulsar, Brandwatch and Salesforce are important because they do just that – and at Dialogue, we use Pulsar. These tools inform pre-campaign, allowing greater insight across audiences and the whole digital media landscape any brand operates in. In essence, social media listening tools can give the data insight necessary to create strategy and content that will resonate before you type, take a picture or video. In social media, people define themselves by what they’re interested in and they use social media to re-enforce these definitions daily. In this space, users articulate and voice their opinions, they are driven by passion, association, emotion, inspiration and distraction. Using social media tools allow content strategists and planners to analyse these conversations, which often cluster around geographic, ethnic and/or interest areas, giving real insight on the messages which can hook wider audiences. “Understanding our clients’ audience is key to what we do at Dialogue.” How do social media tools work? Essentially, this type of social media tool is like Google on steroids, helping surface content and conversations around groups of keywords which can be product, brand, activity or service related. You can then group, filter and analyse the results in a dashboard to analyse, benchmark and evaluate to help advise on future campaigns. There are some limitations of course; for example, you can only surface Facebook group content and the software isn’t necessarily able to read sentiment – though Pulsar can identify joy, anger, fear, disgust and sadness. So, thinking like a researcher is important, using a hypothesis-led approach and/or having specific questions that need to be answered: can we identify influencers?; can we understand an audience type and their issues? This helps define the relevant online conversations. For example, we use Pulsar to examine content for one of our clients, the Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.). By understanding what the users are talking or not talking about from bike customisation through to rallies and merchandise, helps us not only shape relevant content to engage them but also create campaigns to support or promote underperforming messaging for the social space and beyond on the website and in the magazine we create. Key social media listening tools’ benefits? Brands now need to create a variety of content that engages users at various stages in their discovery or purchase journey. Social media listening tools allow brands and agencies to understand the messages and nuances any community or sub community responds to – a one size fits all approach just can’t be relevant online and content therefore has to work much harder than ever before. And social media listening platforms can go much further to evaluate a whole sector in the following ways: 1. Highlight key audience personas Showing an understanding of digital behaviour is vital to ensure you know the general landscape a brand is operating in and also begins the funnel for a targeted insight-driven content strategy that will resonate with them. 2. Identify a new distribution network Social media influencers can act as a distribution network for content, but locating them and targeting them with the right message can be time-consuming and laborious. Social media listening tools allow you to understand the exact connections between the influencers, so we can even discover who’s influencing who. Furthermore, there may be a lower tier of powerful influencers who don’t necessarily look to make a career out of it which this type of platform can surface. 3. Category mapping for content These tools allow us to understand a sector as a whole – and the conversations happening not only around a topic but competitors too to get a macro and micro view of trends, issues, and needs. This real insight can inform all content. 4. Understanding context and tactics But you can also make sense of other issues: the moments when a user is most likely to post, the context in which the conversations are happening as well as key social media tactics like hashtags that work. 5. Measuring success And finally, it allows you to understand how your content is faring in relation to others’ and the client’s overall share of voice online, allowing you to set realistic kpi’s. The kind of insight provided by social media platforms is increasingly important for brands looking to validate their choices and messages – and being able to define these pre-campaign gives any client greater security in this most challenging media landscape. Howard Wilmot, Content & Social Media Strategist Read more Key trends in video The future of online content may be video, but the jury is out as to what form it might take. This is because the last few years have witnessed a rush of new formats and platforms which are forcing savvy content marketers to re-appraise their working practices. The CMA is running a video storytelling course for beginners on September 6th, which will look at the basics of video creation and distribution. In advance of that event though, we thought we would look at a few trends which may or may not shape the future of video in the coming years. Vertical video Not many pundits saw the emergence of vertical video in 2016/17 coming, but then maybe they should have. Vertical video makes sense in content creation for one huge reason. Most of the videos uploaded to social channels are shot on mobile phones, and the easy way to shoot that footage is vertically.  In fact, research has shown we hold our phones vertically 94% of the time. Another reason for vertical videos’ popularity is that it is simple to embellish those videos with interactive features such as geofilters and stickers. Almost all the major platforms, from Facebook through to Instagram Stories and Snapchat, have been gradually adopting vertical video options. In spite of vertical growing prevalence most brands have stuck with the horizontal format, though there are signs this is changing. It is early days for Instagram’s IGTV, but the format could potentially do a great deal to popularise vertical video in longform. The music industry is responding to the change too with artists like Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande delivering vertical clips to complement their standard horizontal videos. Horizontal video may still prove to be the most popular format with brands, but smart video creators are already accompanying that widescreen footage with vertical clips. Emerging platforms Although it can hardly be referred to as a startup as it has been existence for over half a decade, Twitch is becoming a platform that many marketers are keeping a close eye on. Owned by Amazon it was until fairly recently largely the preserve of gamers sharing their footage with fellow players. There is, however, something of a backlash against YouTube at the moment among members of the creator community who are displeased with its recent moves to limit advertising, as well as its ‘apparent censorship’ of some controversial video bloggers. This has meant that a growing number of video creators have begun experimenting with Twitch. And on their coat tails are a number of brands including KFC, which has teamed up with high profile Twitcher DrLupo, and EA which is working with gamer RoryPlays. What level of resources they will plough into the platform is anyone guess for now, but Twitch boasts a growing number of prominent and creative influencers keen to work with brands, and this can give companies a foothold in a potentially important online community. Another platform that may be worth keeping tabs on is DTube. Billed as the anti-YouTube, because of its fiercely cherished independence, DTube is an offshoot of the blockchain based social network Steemit. As DTube is built on the blockchain it is decentralised – which basically means that no one has control of what people upload and send. This has captured the imagination of a small, but noisy group of content creators who believe that YouTube’s regulations are limiting what they can post. The slightly concerning part of DTube for brands is that once something is posted it can’t be taken down. While it seems very unlikely that anyone but the edgiest of brands would use DTube for content marketing, its decentralised approach does provide a few clues as to how video platforms might develop in the future. DTube is unlikely to be the only platform of its kind (decentralised and on the blockchain) for long, and there may be similar sites that are more brand friendly on their way. Influencer video content Another trend I think we are going to see a lot of in coming years is brands requisitioning social media influencers to create content for them. There are already many agencies who are offering this including CMA member Tribe. The concept differs with the platforms, but invariably brands come up with a product to promote, and the platform connects the brand with its inventory of influencers who then submit ideas for content that they propose to share with their audiences. The brands choose the content they like best and the influencers create the video collecting a flat fee in the process. It’s champions claim that this approach is many times more effective than traditional advertising or brand created content, as the influencer not only has an authentic voice but also a unique connection with their audience. The number of companies offering this service now means that costs to brands are starting to fall. I wonder if what might happen is that brands will use influencers tactically in the future still creating their own content, but using that video as a starting point to inspire influencers. Don’t forget our video storytelling course for beginners on September 6th, Ashley Norris, CMA Editorial Consultant Read more Award Winners: Rising Star, Tom Cornish In addition to the awards for campaigns and media, the CMA Awards also offers individuals the chance to shine. Editor of the year and Designer are up for grabs alongside an award introduced for the first time last year for ‘Rising Star’ – the person under the age of 30 who have demonstrated they have played an important part in their company’s content marketing success. In 2017 the clear winner was Tom Cornish, the Influencer Marketing Director from Wavemaker. Tom has already notched up an impressive career working with both PR and media agencies, but he thinks that the move to Wavemaker gave him an opportunity to make his mark. “Since being at Wavemaker I’ve become more prominent in what the business does, so it’s opened up some big opportunities for me,” explains Tom. “I’ve moved over to focusing on influencer marketing more recently, which is a big strand of what we do as a content practice.” “The influencer marketing practice works across the whole business,” adds Tom. “So we work for  big clients, but because influencer marketing is quite agile, quick to activate, relatively inexpensive compared to something like TV – it also means we work with a lot of our smaller clients. So, we have done campaigns for a train operator called C2C, which has had some brilliant success. They actually got silver in the Content Marketing Awards last year for an influencer campaign in the Best Use of Monetised Content category.” Great work Wavemaker entered many CMA awards in 2017 and it was Abi Morrish, Head of Digital Engagement at Wavemaker, who pushed Tom into entering for rising star. “We have a marketing department within the agency, and one of the responsibilities of that department is to find relevant awards for us to take part in. And it was through my boss at the time, Abi Morrish, that I f got wind of the CMA Rising Star award.” “She, for better or worse, thought that I could do it. And she said, ‘you should put yourself forward for this.’ To be honest, I don’t think I would have, without her giving me that nudge.” Together Abi and Tom filled out the application highlighting some of the excellent work that Wavemaker in general, and Tom in particular, had done in the previous year. “I talked a lot about the C2C work that we’d done, because that was being submitted at the same awards. Also, we talked quite a lot about some of the new business stuff that we’d done.” “I was also doing a lot of planning, helping our teams to work on social content, to have a bit of strategic direction in what they were going to do over the course of the year. So, we talked quite a lot about that stuff and the impact that those changes and strategies had had on the brands.” Although Tom clearly had a really strong entry he admits to feeling “gobsmacked” when on the night his name was called. Bit of a blur “My first reaction was that they were just putting up the names of everybody else before the person who’d won. And in my head, was just, ‘well that’s not me.’ And it’s genuinely just a blur from that point until later when there was this short piece to camera afterwards out back, and that was kind of when I was back in the room. It was amazing, really. I did not see it coming.” Many companies, when they win awards have established practices for sharing the good news, which means pushing the news out to the media and sharing across social channels. With the Rising Star award Wavemaker’s approach was more nuanced. “It’s been more organic, because I wouldn’t really have wanted to be trotted out by Wavemaker and used as a marketing tool, and I think that they are respectful of that,” explains Tom. From a career perspective too winning an award can be transformative. “The award has raised my profile internally and people are now more aware of who I am.,” adds Tom. “There’s been, people contacting me on there and congratulating me – people I’ve worked with in the past, which is really nice.” Finally Tom has some advice for people entering the awards this year. “I think you need to have a story, I think you need to have a reason for winning the award, over and above the numbers, and performance of the work that you’ve done.” Read more Measurement Survey Measurement has been identified by our CMA members as one of the major issues facing the content marketing industry. So we have a set up a CMA Special Interest group specifically to assess and develop a “best practice” approach that can be used to promote and use in the future. Now, more than ever, content marketing needs to find a repeatable and robust method for measuring the value delivered to clients and together we would like to crack it! So with this in mind, we would like to gain some credible research from all content enthusiasts about current existing thoughts and processes on ROI and measurement. Please take 4 mins to complete the survey below. Your time is greatly appreciated, a full report will be shared in September 2018. To be in with a chance of winning £100’s worth of M&S vouchers, please fill in the data capture section at the end of the survey. If you work for a brand, please complete this survey. If you work for an agency, please complete this survey.   Read more CMA Member Exclusive Discount on VR & AR Training Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) 1 Day Training Masterclass London Thursday 13th December Background to this workshop By 2021, the combined market size of augmented and virtual reality is expected to reach 215 billion U.S. dollars. All around us we are now seeing examples of where both VR and AR can reshape existing ways of doing things- buying a new home, educating children, interacting with a doctor or watching a concert with VR and the recent launches of Apple’s AR Kit and Google’s ARC Core proves the tech giants continued investment in Augmented Reality applications. Some commentators now believe in the next 18 months that AR has a higher potential for growth than its more higher profile VR cousin. What is certain is that both VR and AR advances and price points decline enable these immersive technologies to offer incredible almost limitless creative opportunities ranging from experiences based to live-action, replicating traditional storytelling and filmmaking, pioneering 360 content production computer-generated content for learning and education and much more. About this 1 Day Workshop: On this 1 day workshop you be will introduce attendees to the fundamental pillars and creative possibilities of virtual reality and augmented technology which are disrupting the entertainment, engineering, property and healthcare industries. Attendees will learn how to create and manage immersive technology environments, design 3D scenes and be taught the essential element of interactivity using Oculus Rift and Touch technology Who should attend This workshop is designed for marketing professionals, creatives, technologists, storytellers, writers and film producers, senior strategists and entrepreneurs who wish to fully understand the core principles and practical applications of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality technology Training Venue: Wework Southcentral The workshop will be held at Wework Southcentral, 33 Stamford St, South Bank, London SE1 9PY: What you will learn by attending this workshop The workshop will include the following modules Introduction to VR and AR – A brief history of VR and AR, – The titans of VR and AR explained; Oculus/Facebook, Samsung, Sony, Apple and Google. – The essential ingredients of presence (Tracking, FoV, peripherals, haptics, foveated rendering, locomotion, 3D audio etc) – The continued rise of MR and AR (Inside-out tracking, MS HoloLens (I will try and bring one) and why it is so important. Content and Distribution – VR, AR and 360 content distribution platforms – What content is working and what is not – The commercial landscape – Software development platforms – Introduction to social VR – Creative tools VR production process explained – 360 degree capture – 360 video formats – Editing 360 content – Capturing 360 sound and core principles of 360 production – How to make a simple webVR app – Group 360 photo tour project, from concept to delivery Use cases for immersive technology – How immersive is revolutionising multiple verticals, from healthcare, recruitment, productivity to training. – Integration of VR into existing workflows – Practical applications of ARKit and ARCore The Future of VR and AR – The new 180 degree format – Volumetric video capture and photogrammetry – Making a simple VR animation (each person will need their laptop) – Artificial intelligence, 5G and IOT – what these will mean for immersive – Q  and A About your Virtual Reality Workshop Trainer- Jonathan Tustain Jonathan Tustain has been fascinated and deeply involved in the virtual reality and AR industry all his life and has been immersed in the industry since 2012. He is founder of London’s largest VR meetup group, VR Developers Meetup and is well known in London VR circles, writing for founding mobile VR company Proteus and freefly VR and acts as a consultant for many companies and agencies seeking to test VR applications and speaks at regular VR events such as 2018 recent Future Tech Now VR in London He has written features and stories for (for example – The future of digital actors), How it Works magazine and Yahoo and shoots video reports from VR events such as VRLO. Testimonials: Below are some customer feedback from attendees who have attended our workshops in 2017/2018: “I wanted to say that I had an EXTREMELY useful day at the VR Workshop – it covered all of the questions I had and I took away a lot of ideas as my knowledge about VR was greatly enhanced after this day. What I loved the most was the demo and examples given, the opportunity to play around with the equipment and to see the endless VR possibilities within a day. The VR Workshop has broadened my perspectives and awaken my imagination. A HUGE THANK YOU to both of you for organizing and running this great workshop – it will certainly make a difference to my line of work”  In-house Digital Executive- Knight Frank ‘As a producer for a production company I found this course incredibly useful. I was specifically looking for a workshop that was really practical and would expand my knowledge of the production process, trends and how best to use VR creatively. This course certainly delivered on these requirements and has inspired me to go learn more about this space’ Production manage- leading Ad Agency in London “We really enjoyed this workshop.  Jonathan clearly had a huge wealth of knowledge of the VR industry and was able to cover a lot of the positive aspects and pitfalls of VR.  It was an very interesting journey through the history of VR and also the different types of virtual media that existed. In many respects, this has given us more confidence in identifying the type of virtual media that would benefit a training solution we could offer in our area of business. We’re greatly appreciative to Jonathan for bringing some clarification to this from the huge range of VR choices. We made many notes of websites and facts concerning AR, VR and mixed reality that were really useful. It was also great that Jonathan had an understanding of the different range of tools that we could use to get started on VR. Jonathan also gave us some good leads on future VR training events, some of which we’ve signed up to already.” Digital Services Producer, The Police “I am going home inspired, moved and energised. Your masterclass training hit so many spots for me. Apart from being fascinating on a personal level, it could not have been more relevant professionally. And having Jonathan’s industry experience and insight was hugely valuable. I look forward to receiving Jonathan’s links and resources so I can properly process the wealth of information we covered today. The experiential parts of the workshop will stay with me for a long, long time. Your communication leading up to the event was first class. And the venues were ideal. Thank you.” Cost to attend £450 is our normal retail rate Special rate for CMA members! Let’s Learn Digital are offering CMA members a special rate of £400 to attend our next workshop To reserve your place booking here: To redeem this offer, CMA members will just need to enter a code at the checkout. To get the code, please email: Please contact us on or call direct on 07989 985922 if you have any questions on the above course. Read more Read More News Articles »
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