Tag Archives: digital marketing

5 social media features – and how to use ‘em!

If you work on the digital marketing side of things, you’re probably on edge with the endless stream of new updates, social media tools and advertising features, and wondering how you can find time to make use of them in all your campaigns.

I can’t help with the nervous disposition, (that said, my recent blog post on mindfulness is a good place to start) but I can offer a handy list of the features that I think are most valuable to you, and how you might use them.

Let’s get cracking.

1. Instagram story ads

You can now run a photo or 15 second video advert that will appear seamlessly between stories from two accounts that the user follows. Astonishing really. And it’s as simple as editing your placement options (Note: these can only be run using the reach, video views or conversions objectives within Facebook advertising).

How do I use them? Use story ads to drive awareness of your organisation or brand. The idea is to pique their interest enough to want to find and follow you afterwards. We suggest a very short trailer or photo of an exhibition/performance. Questions help drive actions: where will you be this Friday? Remember to keep the message simple, so it could be: tickets now on sale! Or One week until the show begins. Or One show we highly recommend

Tips: Use clear, large branding that stands out aesthetically; keep the message and ad concept simple; and make use of the full length of the screen by uploading a 9:16 vertical image. Remember that viewers will only see your ad the once, so let them know where to find you afterwards.

2. Live audio on Facebook

This one’s been around for a while, but I don’t see many people taking advantage of it. Just as with a live video on Facebook, listeners can discover live audio content in News Feed, ask questions in real time, and easily share with their friends. An advantage of audio is that listeners can continue to listen to your broadcast while they browse other areas of Facebook, and Android users can even continue listening if they leave the Facebook app or lock their phones.

How do I use it? Use live audio to stream live interviews, readings, debates, podcasts, music, discussions, poetry, audio performance extracts, artist talks, post-performance Q and A’s and more.

Tips: Consider live audio when you’re in areas that lack strong network connectivity or when the backdrop isn’t pretty! If visuals are not adding any extra value to your content, streaming audio will allow your listeners to focus on the content more easily.

3. Instagram shopping!

It’s been around since November 2016, but have you tried it yet? 56% of consumers said they followed brands on social media to browse products for sale, and 31% of online shoppers say they’re using social media specifically to look for new items to purchase.

How do I use them? Just select the “Conversions” objective when setting up your advert, and select “Purchase” as the type of conversion you want to optimise for (on the ad set page). All the budget and targeting settings are the same for running a Facebook advert, but make sure to select Instagram only when it comes to selecting your ad placements. For further help with this, drop me an email.

Tips: Your priority might not be to sell products on Instagram, (or sell products at all!) but perhaps it’s something to think about. Do you have exhibition catalogues/postcards/programmes to sell? This might be an effective way to reach out to potential new audiences, and raise awareness of your brand and the work you do at the same time.

4. Facebook split testing

Facebook have been phasing in the option to split test on  Facebook ads. Split testing is a method of determining how different elements of your advert affect its performance.

How do I use it? The three elements available now are: delivery optimisation, audience and placement. You can use Split Testing to interpret how changes in these variables impact the success of your ads. For example we can test the same advert on two different audiences to see which audience engaged most. This helps refine audiences to those most engaged with ads, and from here we can create lookalike audiences.

Tips: Split testing is only available for the following advert objectives: traffic, app installs, lead generation and conversions. We’d recommend a minimum of 3 days for your ads (to yield sufficient data to draw conclusions) and a maximum of 14 days for your tests – around 5 days would be spot on. With split testing it’s best to start broad and work from there. An effective split testing campaign will have a thorough plan and schedule that details WHICH element to test, WHY test and WHAT you hope to discover. Also, WHERE to go from there!

5. Accessible images and videos

This one’s more of a tip as it’s something I feel is really important, especially with Global Accessibility Awareness Day in May. Have you noticed the rise in subtitles on your Facebook news feed? This is due to the rise in mobile viewers and subsequently, the rise in viewers either with sound but without headphones, or in noisy environments. Viewers without sound – this also includes the audio impaired – are 52% more likely to stop and watch a video with subtitles.

How do I use it? By simply adding subtitles to your videos before uploading. It requires a little extra work, but the result will be a video more accessible, more attractive and more informative. This is extremely important for the audio impaired, and also for non-native English speakers, as it helps to increase the amount of information they gain from the video.

Tips: While we’re on the subject of accessibility, Twitter have been focusing on making Twitter more accessible for Tweeters who are visually impaired. This means you can now add alt text descriptions to images within tweets. Go to your Twitter settings (the gear icon); tap Display and Sound and then Accessibility and turn the Compose image descriptions on. From here you can add descriptive text to your Twitter images by tapping add description. Adding accessibility may seem like a win for only a small audience, but it’s a best practice across the board for organisations looking to grow their audiences and be open and accessible to all.

Happy Global Accessibility Awareness Day (May 18th!)

If I’ve lost you on any of the points above, or if you’d like more help getting to grips with any of the features, just drop me an email. And if you’d rather read about how to be more relaxed in the workplace (why wouldn’t you?) click here.

Sarah

Analytics gone mobile!

pexels-photoWe are delighted to announce that Instagram have recently introduced analytics – or Insights, as the app calls them – and they look amazing! The new profiles offer businesses a wealth of super useful info that will help users reach the right audience at the right time.

In this post we’ll give you a quick tour of the tools as well as the inside scoop on how to use the new profile to your advantage. Much like Facebook insights, the new profiles will allow users to track important characteristics of follower activity including post engagements, site clicks, top posts, most popular hashtags… the list goes on.

14273445_10154366495089333_817327813_oIf you haven’t already, the first thing you need to do is activate your business profile. To do this, tap the wheel in the top right of your Instagram profile and select ‘Switch to Business Profile’ (this option only appears if you have a Facebook account). You will then be asked to log in to Facebook and select which Facebook page you want to connect. You must be an admin of the page you’re wanting to connect, and can only connect one Instagram Business profile and Facebook page together.

Once you’ve activated your business profile, a chart icon appears next door to the wheel – here you’ll find your analytics. You’ll also notice a ‘Contact’ button appears on your profile besides the ‘Edit Profile’ button (or ‘Following’ button on other profiles), which allows you to call or email directly from the app. When clicking through to Insights you are immediately shown your weekly impressions, reach and most usefully, how many website clicks you’ve had. This means you can now track and compare conversion rates across Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

14269609_10154366514594333_1847906406_n

The new features!

Top posts

Instagram displays your top posts, organised by number of impressions per post, and you can choose to filter these from 7 days to two years. Do note that Instagram Insights do not pull historical data; it only starts tracking once an Instagram Business profile is set up.

14284958_10154366494449333_1326520350_o

You can click individually on posts to see the total number of times
the post has been seen, the number of people who have seen the post and the number of likes/comments. The app also defines all its statistics for you (so you know what you’re looking at!) Example definitions below – you can see at any time by clicking ‘What do these mean?’ below your statistics.

14256344_10154366541049333_777494117_nFollowers

Instagram will tell you your total amount of followers, including how many new followers you’ve gained each week. Aside from this, Instagram is handing out gold for businesses: follower demographic analytics. Now you’re able to see where your followers are located, their age range, and the gender – even the ratio of men to women!

Location: You can now see your top follower locations by country and by city. Not only is this incredibly useful data for marketers to understand their audiences, but it also gives you a better sense of when you should be posting time zone-wise to reach the majority of your followers. On this note, you can also see the days of the week when your followers are most active and the average times your followers are on Instagram, so you can schedule posts in the specific hours in which followers are most active – hooray!

14247730_10154366493134333_1072462407_oGender and Age: 
Next, you’re able to break down the gender and age of your followers and You can use the age and gender statistics to see the age range of men and women both separately and combined, and view a breakdown of your male to female follower ratio in a circle graph.

Promoting posts

Much like Facebook, you can now turn everyday image posts into ads at the touch of your thumb! You will see below every post you have a ‘Promote’ option – from here you are guided through the steps. Since the app is linked to Facebook, you also have the option to invite or find Facebook friends to follow.

We hope that all this rich data will help you create effective content for Instagram and market your business more effectively. HdK are delighted to see it in action and are excited to incorporate the insights into our clients’ digital marketing plans.

Any questions for us? Don’t hesitate to contact. We’d be happy to walk through the Insta-analytics with you.

That’s all for now!

Sarah

 

Dance Consortium’s Q & A with Nederlands Dans Theater

Working with Dance Consortium, a group of 17 large theatres located across the UK, HdK has the lovely job of sharing behind-the-scenes content from the international dance tours that Dance Consortium bring to the UK each year.

Since 12 April 2016, the world-class Nederlands Dans Theater 2 has been touring venues across the UK; we have been catching the dancers where we can, and sharing live content from the tour on the Dance Consortium blog and social media feeds.

Now with just one venue left of the 2016 UK Tour, we thought we’d share the post-performance Q and A from the Theatre Royal in Plymouth to give you a taste of the company before it heads back to The Hague, Netherlands. The two NDT2 dancers in the Q and A were Rachel McNamee [21] and Benjamin Behrends [23]. For the dancers’ biogs head to the tour microsite. The dances in the night’s repertoire were: I New Then (choreography: Johan Inger), mutual comfort (choreography: Edward Clug), Solo (choreography: Hans van Manen) and Cacti (choreography: Alexander Ekman).

Audience member: How much input do the dances have in the choreographic process?

Rachel: It really depends on each piece and each choreographer and what they want. Every choreographer is very different in every process. Sometimes the choreographer comes in with a very set idea of what they want and they have movement and they just give it to is, or sometimes they come in and ask us to give to them, or they see what’s in front of them and create with us… so it really depends on the situation.

Benjamin: Adding on to that, we also do a bit of improvisation in some of the pieces. In the last piece, Cacti, some of the spoken word is ad-libbed and also some of the dancing as well. All the nude work before the couples’ dance is all improvised, so it all depends on what the choreographer wants.

Audience member: Which piece did you enjoy dancing most?

Rachel: It’s hard to have a favourite because I enjoy all of them. I think it also depends on the night. A piece is always a magical experience but I think for me, all the pieces I danced tonight, for example I New Then – the music is amazing and it always puts you in such a special place and it has such a heart-warming feeling for me at least as a dancer. I feel like I give a lot to it.

NDT2, , WOKING, UK, 2016, CREDIT: JOHAN PERSSON

I New Then, NDT2 2016. Photo: JOHAN PERSSON

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But also in Cacti, it’s nice to have a big group and it’s very fun and exciting. It’s nice to have such a range of repertoire because you get to experience different parts of yourself within each piece.

Benjamin: Also for me, each ballet has its own jams that you get to discover while you’re dancing. For me, I really enjoy the technical aspects of Solo, when you finish it you just feel really good if you’ve had a technically clean one. And then I New Then is very special, it’s very easy to get into the role and have this sunshine-y feeling, and then Cacti is the big horah!

NDT2, , WOKING, UK, 2016, CREDIT: JOHAN PERSSON

Cacti, NDT2 2016, Photo: JOHAN PERSSON

 

 

Audience member: Do any injuries occur whilst handling other people’s bodies?

Benjamin: Yes (laughs) I think actually for me personally, all my injuries have happened completely on my own – no one was handling me! But yes as a profession of course we’re very careful and we train very hard every day. Fatigue also comes along with that. We always try and keep our bodies ready and fit to prevent injuries but of course things happen.

Audience member: How much do you train each day?

Rachel: We have ballet class every morning at 9.30am and then we rehearse for the rest of the day until 5.30pm and that’s usually 5 or 6 days a week, but we also do a lot of shows and touring, so sometimes we might have performances and things, but 9.30am – 5.30pm is the regular.

Audience member: How long does a show like that take to put together?

Benjamin: It’s about the programme and depends on how many dancers know it from previous seasons. I would say it takes us roughly two months to prepare for a dance like Cacti because it’s a huge piece. But when you’re creating with one of the choreographers it can take anywhere between two weeks to one month and sometimes they come back. But usually two weeks for set pieces. We have a great artistic team coaching us so sometimes it can go a bit faster.

Rachel: We also don’t work on one thing at a time. We have our programmes in Holland that are often new pieces and new creations and then half way through that run we go on tour with a completely different programme, so you’re working on about 8 pieces at any one time for various different shows, so it’ s hard to tell how long each piece takes but it’s quite busy!

Audience member: There’s a lot of rhythm and combination. You’re all doing the same thing at different moments! And you did it [Cacti] to perfection I must say!

Benjamin: (laughs) We practise a lot! And something with Cacti – it’s also a piece that gets brought back a lot so that’s one that the dancers might know from previous seasons but also we listen to the music in great detail. We have different groups: first row boys, back row boys, first row girls, back row girls, so it’s like now you do this, now you do this… (laughs) At the beginning it can be quite a challenge.

Audience member: How do you memorise the moves? How do they stay with you and do you listen to the music and immediately know what the movements are? How do you remember?

Rachel: It’s a skill that you develop because we’ve both been dancing for many years so for me now it seems normal to pick up movement and to learn it within my body. You feel yourself getting stronger at it. You don’t magically pick it up, you learn it and you think about it but there becomes a point where it gets into your body. That’s when you can play with it or feel it rather than just think it.

Benjamin: Also what we call muscle memory, it can be almost like a twitch, you know you have to do this on the music. Of course you can still put the same thoughts or emotions behind it but it might not be so in-your-brain about it. Like Rachel said, since a young age we have to memorise so much just in class, we’re constantly memorising what the teacher’s saying. It’s a tool you develop throughout your career. But also I find you can go into a room and completely forget why you’re there, so it doesn’t leave a lot of room for other stuff! (laughs)

Audience member: Do you use yoga in your training?

Benjamin: Lots of dancers do yoga on their own, it’s not required for us to do it, but some do it for cross-training. A lot of the positions we make on the boxes in Cacti are also improvised. They have a set structure, a geometric pose, and then you hold it, but actually the postures are based on the dancer’s interpretation of the pose and the music.

NDT2, , WOKING, UK, 2016, CREDIT: JOHAN PERSSON

Cacti, NDT2 2016, Photo: JOHAN PERSSON

Audience member: When did you start training?

Rachel: I started when I was three – a long time ago!

Benjamin: I started a bit later when I was thirteen.

Audience member: Do you require classical ballet training?

Rachel: I think it depends on the company and the work you’re doing and the dancer. We’re both trained in ballet and we start each day with a ballet class, but all of us come from many different countries and backgrounds and training and so we bring those differences into the repertoire we’re doing. It’s important to have some classical training but to be able to use that and go beyond it.

Audience member: Is it all about interpretation or is there a narrative or storyline?

Rachel: It depends on the piece. There’s definitely an intention behind every piece. mutual comfort is about the relationships between the dancers on stage. There’s a sensuality. There might not be a full story or narrative but it’s opened up for the audience to feel something and interpret it in their own way, or maybe they see their own story in it.

Audience member: Assuming you don’t have an injury, how long can you keep going? What happens when your body says ‘that’s enough’ – what do you do then?

Rachel: I think that depends on the dancer and what they want. And also the type of dance and the way you dance changes as you get older. There are dancers in NDT1 who have had families who still dance beautifully. Sometimes dancers choose to stop early, not because of their body, but because they want to do something else, or many go into choreography or teaching, or some go into something completely different. Right now I hope to be dancing for much longer so I can’t really say personally what I’ll be doing.

Audience member: How important is the applause? Is the dancing the rewarding part or do you like to get that response from the audience?

Benjamin: We always love a response from the audience and you guys were amazing thank you (laughs) but of course we do it for the dance, it’s a way of expressing ourselves on stage. It’s good to feel a vibe coming back and it’s a great feeling on stage to have an audience with a great energy.

Audience: You don’t ever feel, ‘I’m tired and I want to go home now’?

Rachel: (laughs) No. It’s funny because when you’re on stage you can actually feel an audience’s energy and even if they’re not saying anything or laughing or making any noise, you can feel it. Audiences can be really different and it actually really helps me understand the piece when I can feel the audience reacting. It gives me energy or it helps us to share something. We dance to share, and it’s an honour to share it.

Benjamin: It’s also nice to have a piece like Cacti where it’s almost interactive with the audience, we hear you laugh and it’s really nice to feel like we’re playing with you and you’re playing back. It’s a nice feeling!

To see the microsite for NDT2’s 2016 UK Tour or book tickets for the show at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, click here.

For contemporary dance fans, follow Dance Consortium on Twitter for news of their future tours.

sarah@dekretser.com