By Katie Boland

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Walmart Canada: One-stop shop for groceries, general merchandise and now beer and wine

Canadians are consuming hundreds of pieces of content daily, faster than ever before, which makes it important for brands to capture the attention of users quickly to impact and secure brand recall.

According to Fors-Marsh group tests, it takes only 0.25 of a second of exposure for people to recall mobile feed content at a statistically significant rate. In Facebook’s News Feed people spend, on average, 1.7 seconds with a piece of content. That’s a very short amount of time to capture audience attention.

Taking into account the current social media landscape and how important it is to communicate fast and effectively on social, ruckus digital helped Walmart Canada develop Facebook video carousels to drive awareness of Walmart locations now selling beer and wine.

Here is a summary of this campaign and how it helped Walmart to drive local awareness about it beer and wine offering on social media:


The government of Ontario now permits grocery stores to sell beer and wine, giving consumers more convenience and choice. Walmart was looking for a local strategy to communicate to shoppers that select stores now sell beer and wine. Adding to the challenge was that their competitors were also launching their own communications about beer and wine availability.


Ruckus digital created beer and wine animated cinemagraph carousels that were geo-targeted to local shoppers of select Walmart stores now selling beer and wine. The video cinemagraph carousels helped Walmart stop social media scroll through by creating innovative visuals to help increase local awareness of their expanded in-store offering.


The animated cinemagraph carousels resulted in an increase of 280 per cent engagement and helped Walmart reach an engaged local audience.


Ad targeting: Let’s go beyond demographics

Considerable thought goes into content creation, but often marketers forget about reaching the Social Advertisingright audience and social media advertising can help. If only we could just publish content and the perfect audience would just find it – but we don’t always get that lucky.

With social media advertising you don’t have to rely on audience assumptions. For example, not all 30-year-olds are starting a family and reading Today’s Parent. Or all not all teenagers need fashion advice and watch MTV.

Marketers can tap into the 71% of Canadians visiting Facebook weekly, and use the data they collect to deliver more relevant and interesting content to audiences.

Be smarter when targeting your audience with these options:

  • Custom audiences: Target users that have engaged with your Facebook page in the past, watched a video, used your app or visited your website. This is great for reaching loyal fans with which you want to maintain a relationship.
  • Lookalike audiences: Reach users who are similar to your audiences based on the individuals who liked your page, had some trackable actions after viewing your ad through conversion pixels [which can be added to your website to track who visits or purchases] or any other relevant Custom Audiences listed above. This is a great way to reach new consumers that have similar interests and behaviour to your current fan base.
  • Interests: Target users based on their interests, activities and the pages they engage with. This could be interest in movies, parenting, yoga, pets or biking. This helps you tap into consumer interest that aren’t easy to see based on demographics.
  • Relationship status: Looking to reach those who are planning their weddings? Serve up your ad to users in this target. Local venues, bridal fashion or DIYs for centre pieces – they’ll love to see it!
  • Network/smartphone: Have a product or app specifically compatible with iPhone or Android? Target users based on their smartphone or the network they use or don’t use.

What targeting criteria have you seen great success with for your content? Let us know on Twitter.

Katie Boland, @kathrynboland is a digital strategy account manager @ruckusdigital. Need help with your paid social media strategy and targeting? Drop us a line.

Clients are embracing more “open relationships” with their agencies

The notion might be scary, but open or shorter-term agency relationships are representing the new reality of current marketing environment. In-house marketers can really play the field until they find a partner they love, but they can also love other agencies in the meantime, said Matt Lewis, President of Momentum Canada.

So how can we cope and be prepared for this new reality?

On Tuesday, December 14th, the American Marketing Association – Toronto chapter hosted a panel on the agency landscape in 2017. The discussion was moderated by Andrew Grenville of Matchbox and the panel of industry executives included:

Each panelist presented how their agency or business is approaching these changes and the following insights stood out to us:

  • Execution is just as important as the big idea. It is exciting to present big innovative ideas to clients, but it’s important to ensure an excellent execution across the marketing funnel. Bring together your super team – even if it’s separate agency partners – to truly tackle a key problem for clients and make sure the big idea matches the execution needed to bring it to life.
  • The “bespoke” agency will win tomorrow. The borders between PR, advertising, digital marketing, media buying and shopper marketing agencies have been blurring for a while now. Recognizing that no two clients are identical, the agency (or inter-agency) team that can rise above these divisions and create unique, multi-channel solutions to market challenges are best poised to lead the race in 2017 and beyond.
  • Creative doesn’t just come from the creative department. Be open to listening to the innovative ideas from the people who work across the business. Creative and innovation needs to live across the whole customer experience. With the proliferation with social media and shifting consumer preferences, the customer experience today IS the brand.
  • Don’t be scared of data and automation. With the advancement of new technologies in media and research, agencies are being presented with opportunities to show true ROI to client and we should embrace them. Creative, technology, media and product need to work together to truly provide innovation and a solution for customers’ needs in order to win mind share.

For more insights from the night, check out the hashtag #AMAevents.

Katie Boland, @kathrynboland is a Digital Strategy Account Manager at ruckus digital @ruckusdigital where we embrace the idea of a bespoke agency and working with creative partners!


Buzzfeed: Curate content audiences are looking for

Last week, we were very excited to host our second ruckus makers event with our special guest Elamin Abdelmahmoud, the Social Media Editor from Buzzfeed Canada.

As Buzzfeed secures their spot as the king of content, many brands are left wondering how they do it. The quick answer, they develop sharable content tailored for each social media platform. Roughly, 75 per cent of Buzzfeed’s content is consumed outside its own website so they understand that’s it’s important to tailor and develop content for platforms. “Don’t even bother building a website,” says Elamin. By leaning into the benefits of Facebook video, Buzzfeed’s 8-month-old Tasty channel has grown to an average of 360 million users a month.

Recently, Buzzfeed even experimented with Facebook Live, attracting more than 800,000 live viewers to watch their editorial team make a watermelon explode with rubber bands (spoiler it takes longer than you’d think!)

And get this, Buzzfeed has been able to get this giant audience reach with no paid media.

Ready for a content makeover? Take a read of our major takeaways from the event:

Curate conversations: Before creating a piece of content Elamin and team are listening to what’s most important for their audiences and develop content tailored to them. If you know there is a huge audience looking forward to Beyonce’s Lemonade soundtrack you should have content ready for this release. For brands, this could implemented by creating content around consumer seasonal behaviours, policy changes or cultural events etc.

Brand voice: Understand how you want to be perceived as a brand and speak in all of your content in that voice. For Elamin, that’s writing in the voice as a sixteen-year-old girl. Once you’ve defined that voice, make sure you’re being authentic and don’t be afraid to be a little playful. Elamin loves @DennyDiner’s content – they’re all about that breakie voice.

Metrics: For Buzzfeed, they’re data-driven company and are very focused on how shareable their content is. They have even defined their own social measurement around this called ‘”Social Lift.” For brands, you should always been reviewing what you’ve done in the past and keep learning and tweaking from successful campaigns. For agencies, it’s important for us to educate our clients on the metrics and how they differ from traditional advertising metrics.

If you weren’t able to make it out, take a look at our video recap:

Or the evening’s activity on Twitter here:

Katie Boland is a Senior Consultant at ruckus Digital.

ruckus digital welcomes a new digital media specialist

Dimitri Bariamis joins the team

Who are you and tell us about your background?

Hey there! I’m Dimitri Bariamis, a digital junkie with a passion for storytelling. I studied Development Economics and Politics at the University of Guelph before completing Centennial College’s communications and public relations program. Since then I’ve been fortunate to work with clients that ranged from local artists to some of Canada’s most-renowned brands both as a freelancer and through my previous agency experience. Before joining ruckus I worked with Canada’s leading sports broadcaster, Bell Media’s TSN, on initiatives and projects ranging from major rights acquisitions to the network’s national expansion to five feeds.

What is the biggest surprise/change that you’ve seen in the industry this past year?

The explosion of participants in the interactive/virtual reality sector. Over the past few months especially, it has been interesting to see the number of players entering the field, and it’s been one of the more dominant topics in the discourse around digital. The opportunities that the influx of open-source stitching software and accessible arrays present have definitely piqued my creative curiosity.

What app or technology do you rely on most day-to-day?

I’m active on most social platforms, and although I’m definitely not always posting personal content I am constantly checking out what different brands are doing. But the single app I rely on most is Pocket – if there’s something I want to read I just add it to the app to curate my content for later viewing, which is especially handy for flights or other scenarios where there’s no wifi.

What are you favourite blogs and podcasts?

In a stricter definition, my go-to podcast is definitely Bill Simmons’ and my favourite blog is Humans of New York. But every day I click my ‘morning links’ bookmark and scan approximately 25 sites to complement my first coffee with a little ‘mental breakfast’. It’s a combination of tech, news, and sports that includes pages like Medium, Adweek, Techcrunch, Re/code, Awful Announcing, and Digiday.

What are you most excited for this year?

I think this year has continued the trend towards a greater emphasis on digital, with brands shifting more resources towards their online presence. It’s been great to see the conversation about digital and social shift from ‘what are we doing for digital’ to ‘how are we doing’ and, more recently, to ‘where are the opportunities to invest more, engage, innovate, and forge stronger connections’. Having just joined ruckus, I’m most excited to work with the amazing team here to provide tailored solutions to these challenges.