Social Media agencies are popping up everywhere these days. They’re innovative and creative agencies that manage the online presence of big companies. But what I wanted to know is who was doing it first in Ireland? Who’s the Big Daddy?
Well, 3 years ago Lauren Fisher and Niall Harbison recognised that Ireland was dragging its heels a bit in terms of social media and wanted to change this. They saw a huge gap in the market for an agency to develop the connection between the company and the customer online. And VOILA, Simply Zesty was born. Simply Zesty is a “digital agency with social in our DNA”. Couldn’t have put it better myself really, guess that’s why I’m not writing their blog (yet..). One at a time you know! In the beginning Simply Zesty was a small team of dedicated people with a big dream to develop social media in Ireland. Today, Simply Zesty have managed to realise this dream and more. They are now at the forefront of social media and online communication not just in Ireland but on an international scale too. Earlier this year, they were bought by UTV and have since opened offices in London. They’re fast paced, successful and Irish and that’s why I admire them a lot. Their clients include huge names like Vodafone, Samsung and Universal Music Group. They are an excellent example of Irish growth in a not so desirable economic climate.
Aaron Goodliffe joined the team 6 months after the birth of the Zesty baby. A keen videographer, Aaron came on board to manage all the video content for the agency. By himself. Now he holds the heavyweight title of Creative Director leading a team of talented videographers and graphic designers. I got in touch with Aaron to get his thoughts on social media today and find out if there’s more to his job than making amazing videos all day long.
So Aaron what does the Creative Director of Simply Zesty actually do?
My day-to-day job is coming up with a range of campaigns, solutions and different types of media, which will grow and engage our clients Facebook pages and online presence. This can range from coming up with a strategy for a product launch, to a video campaign, to games and competitions. I’ll also oversee design, video and implementation of creative, across most of the agencies clients.
Nice, so it’s not just a fancy title! What is your definition of social media based on your experiences?
Social media is a place to share and connect with friends, as well as being the best real-time information network on the planet. And a battleground for companies to win your attention!
And how has Simply Zesty impacted this social media scene over the last 3 years?
Three years ago there was no emphasis on social media in Ireland, there were people dabbling in competitions, teething with replicas of US campaigns. Now it’s as important as digital and the big (intelligent) Irish companies put social on a par with traditional, digital etc. This is great for the Irish consumer and will continue to get better in years to come. Simply Zesty capitalized on the early reluctance to use social media by other PR agencies and ended up doing work with a lot of top brands, which I think got a lot of digital agencies talking and more importantly, thinking about how they should be implementing social.
So it seems that businesses of all sizes need to have a prevalent online presence these days? Am I right?
Having a strong online presence is crucial, especially with the huge turn to mobile that is occurring. With people spending less time watching television and more time on Facebook etc. the place to connect and be seen by consumers is online. And with consumers expectations getting higher and higher, it is hugely important to be ahead of the curve online, to give your business an advantage over your competitors. The ones doing it right, are reaping the rewards.
Simply Zesty has a lot of big names as clients and I want to know what has been your most successful client campaign?
Critically, winning the best online video campaign award for the Vodafone SOS initiative was the best to date. It was a great campaign by Vodafone, giving great exposure to an Irish charity and we managed to get over 23,000 views on the main promotional video.
Well done! It’s great to see such a renowned company actively supporting such an important charity. So, what has been your favorite/most enjoyable campaign to work on?
Recently working on a campaign for Maxol has been fantastic. They are a brand that really understands the difficult landscape that is Facebook and know that the way to create engagement and connect with their fans is by creating great quality content and incentivizing visiting their page. I also got to conceive a Facebook game that lives on their page, which has had huge success and has kept the whole office busy playing it!
Sounds like a fun place to work! Simply Zesty has a very successful video production department but could you explain to me what role does video production have in digital marketing?
Video is a huge tool that really compliments social media. Creating content for brands that consumers want to share is a great asset, so we always consider video as one of the key structures to any social media campaign. And the fact that we’ve had such great success with several videos (that have received hundreds of thousands of views) really illustrates it’s importance.
Are many companies taking advantage of video marketing?
Around 80 percent of our clients have taken advantage of our video production facilities, from event videos to basic interviews and even bespoke “viral” videos, which are specifically made to get views. It’s tricky to create this sharable content, but when the right creative is combined with the right client, the results can be really impressive.
How effective is it in comparison to print marketing?
I think there are big similarities between the two, it really depends on your demographic and what your call to action is. If your company lives online and you want to get them to a specific link, maybe print isn’t the best option. But I would never disregard the impact a print advert can have and the resonance an advert can leave with the reader. Mind you, we may not have any newspapers left in ten years!
It’s mad! So, speaking of the future, what’s next for Simply Zesty?
Bigger, bolder and more ambitious! When I began here I was doing the video content myself, with a handful of clients and limited resources. I’m now overseeing a huge team of designers, videographers and developers who are highly talented and understand the landscape. We want to make digital, social and make sure our clients continue to be market leaders in social and the changing digital landscape.
Seems like Simply Zesty will continue to be the ones to watch so. To finish, what’s your favorite social media campaign out there at the moment (One you’re maybe a bit jealous of)?
The Resident Evil 6 “No way out” campaign was pretty good, they had a clever Facebook connect video as well as an offline butcher shop full of human body parts, which was pretty cool as well. Pity the video game was so bad!
Well that’s just disgusting. Great to chat with you Aaron, thanks for your time (and for putting me off my lunch). Best of luck with all things Zesty in the future. Not that you’ll need it!