The breakfast saw top talent, brands and agencies come together to discuss how to make killer content in 2019 and answer burning questions around user generated content. Our founder Taryn Williams hosted a panel with some of the industrys top leaders; Chris Wirasinha the Co-Founder of Pedestrian.tv, Nathan Burman the Head of Communications at Twitter, Andi Lew who is a Influencer & Content Creator and Sam Berry from DVM Law.
The key takeaways from the day were that the volume of content created will only continue to increase, with different channels requiring unique versions of content to speak to different audiences. All parties agreed that influencer content and using content creators as storytellers are key for achieving cut-through and gaining consumer attention.
TW: Firstly, advice to those publishers (content creators, storytellers, influencers) in the room, how can they get cut-through in a rather saturated market?
Chris – It’s about consistency, the audience should know what they are getting from you and you should deliver that day in and day out. Whether this is having the same tone of voice consistently, or focusing on a certain interest or niche. That’s what will have people seeking you out in a crowded market. The other challenge is knowing which platforms work for you, there are so many platforms out there and it is hard to choose where to place your investment.
Who actually owns content?
Sam – Intellectual property laws apply in Australia across all platforms, including social media. The content creator owns the content automatically upon creation, then we need to look at what has been agreed on contractually between the content creator and the brand. Additionally, we look at the laws of the social media platform. For example, Facebook has a native share functionality, but Instagram does not. If you want to share and repost you should get permission from the content creator if there is no inbuilt or first party share function.
AANA guidelines, talk us through this? When do you need to use ‘sponsored post’ as a brand or content creator?
Sam – Section 2.7 which is the part relevant to influencers and content creators, it states that advertising and marketing must be clearly distinguishable. If a campaign is sponsored, then this must be clear to the audience through hashtags etc.
What are the ramifications of not adhering to the guidelines?
Sam – Under this scheme there is no financial penalty, but if the board finds you are in breach of the code you make be asked to stop the campaign. Financial loss from this may not be great but reputational loss can be worse.
Isn’t the whole point of working with a brand to create an authentic story? How do you work within these guidelines whilst being authentic but not seeming too branded?
Chris – It is a case of finding what the brand truth is and what the brand can speak to as an expert. When content is done well, it is because the brand plays a meaningful part in the story that is either educational, entertaining, or adds value in some way. If a brand entertains you or you learn something from them you are willing to receive a brand message from them.
Andi – That is where theright.fit comes into play, you really need to have the right fit and that authenticity when working with a brand. The platform allows an influencer, content creator or storyteller to share how they could help bring the brand to life.
As an influencer how do you decide who to work with?
Andi – I work backwards and go who needs me and how can I help them, then how can we help each other. How can I, as an influencer, add value to the brand, and tell an authentic story? You should partner organically with companies that work with your brand, this is a sincere and genuine way of doing business.
What should I actually be measuring to gauge success of a campaign?
Nathan – There are different metrics and methods of measuring success for campaigns, for example if you are running a video campaign you may be measuring completion rate of that video. One thing that we do is run research post-campaign and discover if our audience saw the ad, is brand recall higher, do they remember what the campaign was about? etc.
It amazes me how many brands engage talent without a contract in place, back in the day if you were engaging a talent as a brand there would always be a legal contract, and of course quite a bit of back and forth to get it agreed to! If I was going to engage someone with my brand now, what do I need to include in a contract?
Sam – There is a commercial aspect and a legal aspect and in terms of doing the research and your due diligence on a talent prior and knowing they are the right fit and that works both ways. When you get to engaging a talent, frankly it’s just risky if there is no contract, while appreciating as a lawyer that you have to be pragmatic if you are giving free product in return for a post or promotion then you do not have much control.
That said for smaller engagements with micro influencers a contract may not need to be a lengthy document, and could be quite different to a brand ambassador contract. There are quite a few things that must be included in a contract, you are really looking for clarity on what the services are, what the brand attributions should be, if there is a media plan and then depending on which side you are on – either a brand or agency – there should be protections to ensure you get what you paid for. In terms of payment this can be quite important, contractually you may seek some certainties or what we call warranties about the reach or the organic following. There is a whole lot of stuff in there that can be relevant on a case by case basis but fundamentally getting some certainty and some control over the service and how it will be provided is important.
Talk us through the creative ideation process you go through, to come up with the killer campaigns for your clients.
Chris – Look at what is around you in the world, go to a gig, get out and see what are all the cool things going on and how can the brand engage with them. There is also a concept called Diversion Thinking which is where you have a few seconds and have to come up with all the uses of something like a paperclip, it’s that kind of process where you think you can attach paper with it but you can also blow up the paperclip really large and use it as a raft, you can get really crazy with the thinking. That is what we like to do, get together as a team and brainstorm.
Andi – That’s what media and news do, it does not have to be newsworthy it just has to be new. So it needs to be new and you have to observe the culture that is happening around you and then marry that together with storytelling. As you are telling the story of the brand you need to see what is new with culture and how can I impact the world, the best campaign provokes thought.
How do you create brand advocates or engage people who are going to be advocates?
Andi – I met a client recently who had some thoughts on this, he did not call them advocates but ‘Pied Pipers’ and said if you inspire one person through education then all of a sudden they are doing the marketing for you.
Nathan – Twitter is a place where people get together quite organically. One of the best examples we have seen is ANZ who were a sponsor of Mardi Gras. Last year their campaign was around a number of same sex couple employees who did not feel comfortable showing affection in public. So that campaign was built around supporting those people and they released a number of videos supporting their staff which was true to their brand.
What do you think the next trend will be?
Chris – I think the future will be everyone acting like a publisher or content creator. Red bull is a good example, now their media company makes as much as their soft drink company! Showpo is a great example too of creating engaging content, it is a retail store but creates great content that people engage with and would continue to engage with, even if the retail element of the business no longer existed. There will be more hand-held stars as opposed to household stars in premium content, we have seen this with HP, they used online content creators in above the line content.
Head here for more images from the day.