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Using YouTube video to educate modern home buyers

Problem

For our RE/MAX client, it’s important to educate modern home buyers about the value of an agent, especially as digital-only real estate services are expanding within the Canadian market. With Canadian Millennials making up half of the home buyers in the coming years, RE/MAX wanted to experiment with new communications channels to inform, educate and entertain this audience about the value of using a real estate agent.  

For millennials, YouTube was the most used platform, with Canadian Millennials spending 8 hours a week, above watching live TV (4.1 hours), scrolling Facebook (7.3 hours) or binging Netflix (7.4). Millennials grew up with technology and were very aware of advertisements. They want control over their ads, with 69 per cent preferring “skippable” functions. To reach and engage with this audience, we knew we had to do it on the platforms they loved with people they watched and trusted.

Solution

Developed in collaboration with RE/MAX and APEX PR, we created a five-part content series to offer a behind-the-scenes look at real Millennial homebuyers in their very early search process. The series – hosted by YouTuber and social media personality Ashley Bloomfield, launched in October 2019 on RE/MAX Canada’s YouTube channel and was promoted via Facebook and Instagram.

Each episode focused on the beginning of the home-buying journey, as the featured buyers consider liveability factors and weighed them against other variables, such as price. “Liveability” is the satisfaction a homeowner gets within the context of a neighbourhood (such as proximity to public transit and schools) in addition to the home’s features (such as layout or number of bathrooms). Homebuyers featured included a range of narratives including newlyweds, moving close to work, new parents and first time moving in together.

#HomeGoals by RE/MAX depicts inevitable compromises and choices that real Canadians face when looking to begin the process of buying a home. The participants featured in the five-episode series discuss their decisions in the context of the neighbourhood, their budgetary constraints and their liveability goals. It offers advice from RE/MAX to assist on their journey.

Results

To drive video views and audience retention, this campaign leveraged YouTube and TrueView In-Stream Ads to highly target the home buying audience and ensure the right audience was receiving the right message, affordably and quickly. In the past, media channels like TV made it a challenge to reach a specific demographic quickly and cost-effectively. Overall, the #HomeGoals programming was able to reach out to the Millennial segment, earning over one million views (+ 500% of our benchmark) and saw an average watch time of 1:48 per episode.

See the #HomeGoals series here

Katie Boland is an Account Director at ruckus digital.

Read more of our favourite work from 2019.

2019 Reflection: Planet Fitness Awareness Campaign

Back in 2017, ruckus Digital successfully launched the Planet Fitness Canada social channels. While new locations are regularly opening across the nation, as a newer gym in Canada, there is still a level of education and brand awareness required for the Canadian audience.

December and January is a busy time for the fitness industry as Canadians look to join gyms and fulfill fitness New Year’s resolutions. To put Planet Fitness at the forefront of Canadian minds, we needed to create an awareness campaign that would tell social media users who Planet Fitness is and why they should join.

Since Planet Fitness’ brand voice is fun and sassy, we wanted to develop a campaign that not only boasted Planet Fitness membership perks and prices (which are extremely competitive), but that also stayed true to their unique tone. As an added challenge, we wanted to attribute as much of our budget as possible to paid social advertising to maximize reach, which meant we wanted to create assets without the use of production studio.

The result was a “Reactions” campaign – a series of overly and comically expressive stock models in Planet Fitness branded imagery with captions that spoke to Planet Fitness features in relatable, meme-like ways.

There was a moment during the ideation where I found myself feeling genuinely concerned we were going to have a hard time finding a winning idea – but when the idea came, it felt so natural and obvious, and one of those few times where you toot your own horn and think “genius!”

Once the base of the idea was created, the captions came easily, and it’s a campaign I’m very proud of.

The campaign ran from the end of December 2018 until early 2019 and resulted in over 1.75 million impressions and an average engagement rate of 12%, compared to an average engagement rate of 5% on always-on content.

A big takeaway I got from this project is realizing how a simple can idea can have a maximum effect. Despite brainstorming bigger ideas that would be more complex and harder to execute, the winning idea ended up being the one that was simplest to execute – meaning we could put those dollars directly back into media spend, which our team and the client team was very happy about.

Amanda Carreiro is the Senior Digital Content Manager at ruckus Digital.

Check out more 2019 highlights here!

2019: Tasking YouTubers with an Interac $100 Challenge

Problem

Interac is a world-class debit payment system and one of Canada’s leading brands. On average, it is used 16 million times daily and is a market leader in payment technologies. With a concern that new technology platforms and often-enticing credit card reward-programs could encroach as the preferred method of payment for Millennials, the brand wanted to remind their key targets why Interac Flash is the safe, secure and convenient way to pay. 

Roughly 60 per cent of consumers were being influenced by social media, according to Collective Bias, the brand saw this as an opportunity to speak to their targets outside of traditional media. Based on eMarketer research, YouTube was the most used platform, with Canadian Millennials spending 8 hours a week on the platform, above watching live TV (4.1 hours), scrolling Facebook (7.3 hours) or binging Netflix (7.4). Millennials grew up with technology and were very aware of advertisements. They wanted control over their ads, with 69 per preferring “skippable” functions. To reach this audience and show savvy young shoppers that using Interac Debit is the best way to own their financial future, we knew we had to do it on the platforms they loved with the people they watched and trusted.

Solution

Developed in collaboration with KIN Community and APEX PR, we created a six-month content strategy, leveraging YouTube creators to increase consideration for Interac Flash as THE choice payment method among Millennials. We knew that Canadian Millennials were highly engaged with “challenge” content in the lifestyle space, so we created a challenge that would link all YouTuber content so viewers could continue engaging with the brand through multiple videos. To do this, each creator was challenged to complete a task with a $100 budget. Why $100 dollars? Because it aligns perfectly with Interac Flash, reminding people that for under $100 you can touch and go. Every week, this “travelling concept” leveraged the audiences of established creators across their different YouTube channels, and across their social. The creators rose to the challenge!  And they inspired their audiences to #owntheirworld…

Trends were studied each month and we worked with each creator to tailor their content to these trends to remain top of mind and relevant with our target audience. For example, November and December’s research showed that gift guides were in high demand. This was capitalized on and amplified a core value for Interac in the process, supporting local businesses. In a unique twist, the YouTubers and local media experts created local, curated gift guides across the country that showed their viewers their favourite stores and gift ideas. Fans loved it and begged for more local guides! Proving that the Interac content was providing real value and solving a consumer need. 

In addition to organic distribution, we implemented a paid media strategy to target Canadian Millennials with Interac messaging. We ran full-length videos, up to 18 minutes in length, as TrueView to ensure our audience was being exposed to the messaging in a format native to the audience. Knowing that Millennials often choose to skip ads served to them on YouTube, we optimized videos to reduce the odds that viewers would choose to skip through introductions and editing styles that we knew would catch the attention of Canadian Millennials.

Results

To drive video views and audience retention, this campaign leveraged YouTube and their TrueView In Stream Ads to highly target the home buying audience and ensure the right audience was receiving the right message affordably and quickly. in the past, media channels like TV made it a challenge to reach a specific demographic quickly and cost-effectively. Overall, the Interac $100 Challenge delivered 20 million impressions, 7.3 million video views and 124K engagements across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Our colleagues at APEX PR delivered 11.3 million traditional media impressions across 46 stories from highly trusted outlets such as Breakfast Television Montreal, The Global Morning Show and CTV Morning Live Ottawa.

Katie Boland is an Account Director at ruckus digital.

Read more of our favorite work from 2019. Need help with your social media approach? Drop us a line.

Three ad copywriting tips

We’re supporters of Miami Ad School Toronto training. In fact, our integrated designer, Vanessa Cuartas, is even profiled as a testimonial for their UX program!

Recently, we attended their copywriting session, “Write Better, Asshole.” with advice from Angus Tucker chief creative officer  from John St.

Here are our top three copywriting tips from that session:

  1. Advertising comes with great responsibility: As a very public medium seen by millions of people there is an inherent obligation from society to represent the average – so avoid the following unrealistic clichés:
    • Supermoms
    • Dopey dads
    • Kids smarter than their parents
    • Models
  2. Rebel against the category standards: Before starting to write, do your research on the competitors and market industry to uncover some of the clichés around the category.
    • Like in dishwasher ads, they’re typically arguing whether a dish needs to be washed before adding it to the dishwasher (like who does that?). Therefore, look to avoid anything in your advertising that is expected of the category to stand out stronger.
  3. Tell a truthful story: Don’t try to write an ad, but tell a truthful story your audience can relate to, so avoid the following clichés:
    • Neat, tidy endings
    • Overselling a product
    • Fake, unrealistic conversations

Overall, his key takeaway was to be truthful in your advertising and avoid the stereotypical. Want to check it out for yourself? Click here for a video from the event.

To add to these tips our Katie Boland hates the saying “Need XX? Don’t worry, we have you covered!”

What are your copy pet peeves?

Contributors to this piece include Katie Boland and Vy Do. Need help with your social strategy? Drop us a line. 

Walmart Canada brings you into the dorm with Facebook 360 photography

Excitement for virtual reality continues to explode and with Facebook 360 photos. Users can expand the canvas of their images to new dimensions. Facebook 360 provides the ability to create 3D, panoramic-like views of your environment, similar to how people experience 360 videos.

This feature was launched last year, and has continued to be very popular with brands – over 70 million 360 photos have been shared on Facebook. In addition, people gaze 5x longer at video than at static content on Facebook and Instagram, so it is safe to assume the use of 360 photos will also establish a longer gaze and demand more attention than a fixed image.

Challenge

Students spend hours daily on digital channels and view advertising differently than their parents. They want to be in control of advertising and appreciate short and quick messages. With this in mind, Walmart looked to provide an inspirational digital execution to help students visualize a decked out dorm room with Walmart’s full assortment of home, technology and apparel products.

Solution

Using Facebook 360 posts, Walmart’s 2017 Back to Campus campaign allowed viewers to immerse themselves in four different dorm rooms. Instead of being a flat image, the 360 photos are much more inviting – drawing viewers into the scene and allowing them to feel the experience of being in a dorm and making sure their favourite desk will fit!

The posts were published as Facebook Collections (also a first time for Walmart Canada), which allowed users to go directly to Walmart.ca to purchase. Our ruckus Digital team was responsible for the campaign from start to finish including strategy, production, media buying and reporting/measurement.

Results

These Back to Campus 360 posts were the top performing posts within organic streams across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram during summer 2017, producing an 18 per cent increase to organic reach and exceeded benchmarks for online conversions.

Need help with your social content strategy? Drop us a line.

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:

Challenge

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.

Solution

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.

Result

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

 

Where do good content ideas come from?

Creating great content isn’t an exact science. At a recent event hosted by Rethink at the YouTube space in Toronto, the panel (featuring Alison Lawler-Dean, Rethink’s VP of Marketing and Communications) discussed how content is developed from various perspectives.

In addition to how a non-profit like Rethink approaches the concept, Lawler-Dean was joined by fellow panelists that included agency heads and a YouTube creator.

So where do good content ideas come from? There are underlying threads behind every strategy and each piece of content must demonstrate the following:

  1. Understand what motivates your audience.
    Identifying who you are creating for is important, but that’s just the start – what’s more important is knowing what motivates them. Whether developing recipes or influencer programs, reaching the audience is only as useful as much as you can motivate them to act. Whenever working through scripts or storyboards, constantly ask yourself: “who is this for, and what does this mean for them?”
  2. Communicate through partnership collaboration.
    Being a good partner and facilitator isn’t easy. The saying that collaboration “starts in frustration and ends in compromise” resonates with far too many, unfortunately. Place an increased emphasis on making sure partnerships work and are a good fit for all involved– whether it’s working with non-profits like Rethink, or influencers and celebrities – make sure goals and content align. Vigorous vetting means that you can start with excitement and end with results.
  3. Listen. Listen.
    When participating in conversations, use a mix of quantitative analytics, as well as qualitative data from your online communities to gauge how your content is performing. Listening to your community – to their wants, needs and desires – and incorporating what you’re hearing into your content will help to build your credibility and in the end will help drive results.

Dimitri Bariamis is an consultant at ruckus Digital. Need help with your content? Drop us a line.

WTR – what the ruckus on Pinterest

Ever wonder if your brand should be on Pinterest? Who is the main audience for this platform? What does it take to run a successful account? This and more in our latest WTR on Pinterest.

We’re back with our third installment of WTR (what the ruckus). This time we’re taking on Pinterest and whether or not it’s right for brands. If you ever wondered what it is that makes the platform tick and this particular form of “story boarding” interesting to consumers, we are here to help you figure it out. As with the previous installments you can expect a quick breakdown of the platform, stats, examples of good (and not so much) Pinterest branding and of course our recommendations. 

Posted by
Gary Edgar
on 19/02/2015

ruckus launches Seventh Generation and Polysporin®

This spring we’ve been very busy launching social strategies for Seventh Generation and Polysporin® – both focused on reaching the Canadian mom on social media.

With Seventh Generation, ruckus has been helping to craft a uniquely Canadian story for the eco-friendly brand, managing both their Twitter and Facebook accounts and building relationships with Canadian influencers and stakeholders. 

For Polysporin, ruckus launched a new Facebook page for the brand earlier this year with the objective of growing their Quebec audience and creating engaging content for the Quebec market. 

Keep an eye out for even more new and exciting projects and campaigns as we move through 2015.

Posted by
Serge Leshchuk
on 04/06/2015

Big stats about digital video

Digital video isn’t the next big thing, it’s ‘the’ big thing

How many online videos have you watched already today? 3? 6? A dozen? Whether it’s on Snapchat, Vine, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube or just embedded on a website, chances are you’ve watched at least one – probably more – videos before you’ve eaten your lunch.

In the last few years digital video has had its coming out party. It’s accessible, it’s affordable and it’s something all of us can do right from our phones. It’s a content form people are instantly familiar with and have no trouble consuming from any device – desktop or mobile.

Digital isn’t the costly big-ticket item it once was either. You can make beautiful, high-quality video with a completely affordable price tag. In fact recently, working with our Husqvarna client, we flew out to Mission BC with a film crew and shot these amazing videos in a day.