The Digital Video Explosion

I’m sure at some stage we’ve all been subjected to the “video offers a rich and engaging way to connect with your audience and grow your business” advert at the start of a YouTube video. Actually it’s probably more like “video offers a rich and engag…” because you’ve probably cut it off at the 3 second mark. However as irritating as it may be, it’s definitely true. I realise this is somewhat of of a contradiction but in fairness, that AdWords for Video ad takes it to the absolute extreme. But hey, not like we’ll ever be able to forget it!

Video advertising is continuing to gain momentum as marketers see the vast potential in this sharable content. With the introduction of Vine, which allows you to capture, post and share 6 second lopping videos, it is only getting easier to share interesting and engaging video. Brands are seeing real value in this. There’s a wealth of information out there on the importance of video in digital marketing so I decided to try  and condense the most important of it into an infographic for easier consumption. This is my first infographic and it was actually a lot easier than to make than I thought it would be. I used Piktochart and thought it was a really great tool. I’d appreciate any feedback you may have! Good or bad (please be nice)!

Infographic on Digital Advertising

I’ve hit the big time!


Yes, the rumours are true. My humble video has made the DCU website annnnnnd the YouTube Channel! I can only presume it will be IFTA’s and Oscars from here on in..

I shot and edited this video for a Business and Sustainability summit called SustaiNext that took place in the Helix, DCU on the 11th and 12th of October. It was a really interesting two days and filming the video enabled me to engage with speakers and industry experts from all over the world within the Private and Pubic Sector and Academia. Mingling with the big timers is definitely something I could get used to. The Next Generation Management students were in attendance to add a new element to the conference. ‘Green Economy’ is a concept that needs to be integrated across businesses now and in the future. The conference utilised social media excellently. Delegates were encouraged to tweet using the #SustaiNextDCU hashtag which invited the twittersphere to engage in the green conversation. Of course, our social media savvy students had it trending in Ireland in no time over the two days! We even had Irish rugby player Jamie Heaslip giving his two cents on sustainability.

Except from some sound issues which were out of my control, I’m happy with the outcome of the video. It gives a informative overview  of what the conference was all about and incorporates a multitude of delegates. Drumroll please. Tada!


BA seek new Digital Marketer

Or at least they should after this weekend’s Twitter catastrophe.

On Saturday afternoon, a disgusting tweet was retweeted by the British Airways account to 211,749 followers. The mind boggling thing is that not only was the tweet critical towards another user, it was also VERY critical towards British Airways themselves! The racist and foul-mouthed comment was quickly deleted and a apology tweet was sent from the account. But not before retweets of disgust and outrage came flooding in from users. Rightly so in fairness, this isn’t exactly Saturday afternoon reading! (if you’re easily offended maybe don’t read the tweet. It really hurts the retinas!)

British Airways

Regardless of whether it was a member of the team or a hacker, this kind of content shows how the ‘tweet’ button has become a weapon of mass destruction on social media (cue you singing this in your head, I certainly couldn’t resist) To be honest, I don’t really know how I feel about the ‘we were hacked’ excuse. It’s a bit too easy for my liking. If it is true, British Airways were impressively quick to regain control because the completely impersonal apology tweet was sent fairly quickly. Can’t get away with it that easily BA,  you see the retweet button is just as powerful as the tweet button.

Outrage at British Airways

This comes in the wake of the twittergate against Cinnamon, a relatively new cafe in Dublin, who unbelievably managed to recently call one of their paying customers an ‘asshole’.

I feel like I’m in the twilight zone reading these tweets. Essentially a class in ‘how not to do social media. EVER.’ Did the people managing the accounts wake up on the wrong side of the bed that morning and decide to take on the twittersphere? Maybe.

Sorry mate, this is one battle you’re never going to win.

Digital Marketing

Life in a wolfpack

Hello and welcome to my guest spot on this wonderful blog.  My name is Paul Ryan and I am a former NGM graduate (for all you non-DCU folk, NGM entails a lovely stress-free year in DCU…), a fresh one at that, just last year!  Going through college, I became fascinated with a career in digital marketing and set it out as my career goal, particularly the areas of organic and paid search.  I’m gonna tell you a little bit about how I’m somewhat achieving this at Wolfgang Digital.

Wolfgang Digital is a digital marketing agency specialising in SEM.  We create and manage companies online marketing activities in the areas of paid and organic search, website design and optimisation as well as helping them get their social activities up to scratch from an SEO perspective.  We have a wide range of clients ranging from DMI, Dublin Web Summit, Voya, etc.

A normal day is spent across a range of activities. Each employee manages a whole host of accounts. As a recent recruit of only a month, I currently assist in the management of accounts as I get to know the company.  I’m going to give a lovely description of the day-to-day activities that I perform.  The key activities include:

  • Campaign creation: I create campaigns across Google’s search and display networks to ensure the highest visibility possible for our clients.  The amount of data available nowadays through tools such as Google Analytics, AdWords, SEOMoz allow for highly targeted campaigns based upon real-time information from your target market.  We use this data to structure our campaigns accordingly to ensure products/services that that offer the biggest ROI will be given the best chance to achieve this.
  • Campaign optimisation: Campaigns are designed to allow for the cheapest CPC/CPA in every campaign and ad group.  To ensure this, optimisations are performed on a regular basis to each account to ensure clients are getting the cheapest, most relevant clicks and getting a ROI.
  • SEO: Using the several tools available (too many to mention), we create audits on the organic search activities of companies and prepare reports on how to improve them and then implement them on request.  This includes managing on-page & off-page factors that will increase page rankings
  • Social Media: I manage the blog content and the company Twitter page, make sure the world stays informed of what we’re up to and some of the cool stuff in the industry (hint hint check out @WolfgangDigital…)
  • Continuous Improvement: This is a crucial one in my opinion.  I think we’re all aware of the speed that this industry changes.  In order to keep up, we take turns presenting some of the innovations that are churned out on a weekly basis to everyone else in the office.  We also present some of the campaigns that we’re working on that were successful to share.

That would somewhat conclude a regular day in the Wolfpack. It’s a really fun organisation to work for. I think it’s rare these days that anyone can say that they enjoy going into work every morning but I actually do! As a recent graduate, the experience that I have already gained from just under a month is enormous and I really love the trust and responsibility that they have placed on my relatively inexperienced shoulders.

To summarise, without sounding overly cheesy, I would seriously recommend following what it is that you want to do. I think the temptation with NGM based courses is that you are trained to fit into many different industries and organisations whether it be consultancy, digital marketing or analyst roles. Make sure that you choose the one that you think fits you best and not wherever a job is available. I nearly fell into that trap myself and I’m glad to say I didn’t. Do the same!

Social Media

Is Zesty the besty?

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!

Dream Job

When I grow up, I want to be an Superhero.. or a Community Manager

I attended the Techspectations Get Social conference yesterday.  I have to say it was fairly useful in that I think I may have found my dream job.  But before I get all cringe inducing with my aspirations I have to plug this conference.  Amazing stuff.  It was so interesting.  Never before have I enjoyed 4 hours of presentation slides so much!  It was great to see the speakers, who came from a whole host of huge, please-let-me-work-for-you companies like Twitter, Facebook and Google+, engaging with the next generation at such a real level.  There was no pretense, no jargon, just simple and to the point pieces of advice like “social media is about people, not brands” (Claire Wardle, Storyful) and my personal favorite “don’t be a dickhead” (Darragh Doyle,  Poetry, eh?

Two speakers that stood out for me particularly though were Darragh Doyle and Brian Herron (Google+).  They were both fascinating, honest and most importantly, so passionate about their job.  Which is, yes, you’ve guessed it, Community Manager.  A  Community Manager’s job involves managing, well.. the community.  The online community that is.  If I’m honest I hadn’t heard much about this role up to now but these guys really got me goin’ gorillas (note: nobody knows what it means but it’s provocative, gets the people going!).  There really is so much more to the social media than posting a funny picture of a pug on Facebook or instagramming your cereal in the morning, although don’t get me wrong, these ARE crucial!  Social media is about a complete series of channels including marketing, customer service and PR.  The Community Manager’s job is to build on these and encourage collaboration across them.  Or as Brain put it, 25% social media and 75% meeting people and sitting down for an old-fashion’d with them!  Now of course this isn’t the reason it’s my new dream job but I’ll do it if I absolutely have to, you know?  One of the reasons I’d love to give this role a shot is that I actually think I’d be half decent at it.  And if that sounds totally obnoxious, so sue me.  I already have a huge head anyway (I really do, in the literal sense like. Very misfortunate).  A great piece of advice Brian gave me when chatting to him after was to get out there and just do the job.

So here goes, anyone need a Community Manager? Anyone? Go on, I’m lovely, swear.

A review a week keeps the blog lookin’ sleek

My rhyming skills on the other hand, do not.

Either way I’ve decided I’m going to do a little review once a week.  Mostly because I love a good moan but also because the odd time I actually do have something positive to say!  I’ll be reviewing anything and everything that takes my fancy.  Or doesn’t.  For today it’s going to be the film The Irish Times is calling ‘the most important Irish film of this decade’ ‘What Richard Did‘.  Although, in fairness that doesn’t say much.  I hate to say it because a big part of me is keen on supporting and encouraging Irish film-making but more often that not, it just doesn’t do it for me.  However I’m pleased to say ‘What Richard Did’ by critically acclaimed director Lenny Abrahamson, did.  It really did!  So what exactly did Richard do?  (All these did’s and do’s are making me feel like Bart reading his ‘Don’t do what Donny Don’t does’ book).

Anyway, whatever it was that Richard did, it was apparent for the beginning that this wasn’t something to shout from the rooftops about.  I try and avoid watching trailers for films like this as I like to be blissfully unaware from the moment I sit down with my (preferably) butter popcorn to that ‘ahhhhh, ye, of COURSE’  bit.  In the case of ‘What Richard Did’, I could tell from the opening scene that there was something not quite right.  Disaster was looming.

But something else was just perfect.  I’m talking about the cinematography.  David Grennan does a superb job.  From the picturesque Wicklow skyline to the leafy quiet of Ballsbridge, the cinematography is understated and enticing.  As I am interested in videography myself, I really appreciated the subtle merging of the backdrop with the characters.  Long shots with little dialogue drew me in from the get go.  The acting was so natural and engaging, it could have well been my own friends up on screen.  If of course, I could somehow block out the over-exaggerated south-side Dublin accent, mon.  In simple terms, the film was extremely relatable and I think that is what scared me the most.  Richard is a quintessential popular 18 year from middle class Dublin.  He displays all the preconceived attributes of a South-side Dublin teen; the accent, the big house, the holiday home by the beach, the rugby background and the girls falling at his feet. However, I quickly realised that there is more to Richard than meets the eye. A whole lot more.  He’s got a loving and supportive family behind him and we more often than not see Richard by himself; long, slow shots that almost feel like that we’re intruding on a personal, pensive moment.  At the same time though, he can be a typical lads lad and in typical lads lad fashion, he allows his masculinity to get the better of his good judgement for a split second.  And it is in this split second that his life is altered forever.   What Richard Did is a slow moving yet poignant portrayal of how fleeting life really is.  I left the Light House Cinema with this message and a rather horrible sinking feeling in the pit of stomach. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the popcorn either.

Saying that, I urge you all to get out your cineworld unlimited cards and see this film.  If I’m honest, The Irish Times was probably right..