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What is TikTok and how is it engaging Generation Z?

If your parents were on Facebook and Instagram, wouldn’t you want an alternative platform to connect with friends? It’s a no-brainer that Generation Z does. Enter the new social platform – TikTok.

To be exact, 41 per cent of TikTok-ers are between the age of 16 and 24 according to Globalwebindex. Many of which likely don’t appreciate the original TikTok song by Kesha as much as I do.

It’s a great reminder that social platforms are made and perfected by their daily users. It’s the users that wanted a new way to share and engage with friends. It’s also these creators that are developing a new community to share, connect, and entertain.

I’m optimistic that the platform will hold on throughout 2020 but the power behind giant companies like Facebook and Google won’t let this little company capture audiences without a fight.

Here are the five things you need to know about the platform:

1. TikTok content should entertain: Content getting the most attention entertains first. With music at the center of the app, TikTok gives users access to the most popular music on the charts, making it easy for individuals to recreate topical content. As users easily scroll through 20-30 videos within five minutes, the content should be creative and attention-grabbing. These users don’t like any content that interrupts their experience or feels like it doesn’t fit.

2. Adapt your content to the community by leveraging what users expect to see. Combine different elements like challenges, trending music and jump transformations to tell a unique story. Stay tuned on the discover page to see what’s trending in the community.

3. TikTok campaigns can drive sales: Users like a good challenge that’s why brands like Chipotle or Kroger took to the platform to challenge fans to join them. Chipotle held a #GuacDance challenge and received over a quarter of a million content submissions and 430 million video plays during its first six days. Kroger held a #TransformUrDorm challenge which asked users to post before and after videos of their dorm makeovers using products from Kroger’s.

4. Influencer exists here too! Check out Influencer Grid to search for the most popular TikTok creators based on followers, video views, topics or engagement rates. In Canada, the most popular users are Eric Struk, Sophia Diamond or Anna McNulty. These influencers can drive crowds of teens like the Beatles or Elvis used to do, as a few influencers recently took to the Eaton Centre to show how to draw a crowd.

5. Organic engagement won’t last long: For many of these platforms, their objectives are driving daily active users and then monetizing them. With an advertising page and a growing Canadian account team, if you want to take part in the early adoption phase of this community, act now.

Katie Boland is an Account Director at ruckus digital. Drafted with notes from APEX PR coordinator and huge TikTok fan, Jesse Cecchetto. Need help with

your social strategy? Drop us a line.

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.

#SMWTO – Providing LEGS for Real Time Community Influencer Moments

Earlier this month, the ruckus team had an opportunity to attend Social Media Week Toronto, which brought several leading social media marketers, influencers and social media platforms together to outline what’s new and upcoming for social media marketing. We live-tweeted, laughed, cried, and learned from the best.

This piece highlights our key takeaways from the conference and what inspired us the most:

1. A Moment Like This

FOMO and inclusion are the two main drivers in why individuals join social media. There is a large fear of missing out with an equally large drive to be included and feel part of a movement. Various speakers touched on the fact that to understand social media is to understand your audience. Challenges such as the ice bucket challenge, planking, and the kiki challenge give your audience the ability to be “cool” by partaking in a trending topic. They can then share their “entry” and be part of something bigger— a specific moment in time.

2. Community is King

We’ve all heard that content is king, but during the course of the week, it was all about community reigning supreme. Posting content for content sake is not going to earn you much engagement or clout with your followers. A few speakers hypothesized that the best method of creating content comes from seeking out your community and asking what they want to see. Conduct searches to see what accounts are saying about your brand, not just those who tag you, but the individuals who hashtag your organization or just write it out. By engaging with your community, you give them a voice, make them feel heard, and increase the chances of them sharing. Word of mouth is just as important online as in person.

3. Does your content have LEGS?

Yes, you read that right, but no, we don’t mean will it walk away. Creating content for the ad-averse is a real day challenge, and in order to grab those eyeballs, content should include at least one of the following elements:

Laugh Out Loud – If your content incorporates humour, individuals are willing to overlook the fact that it’s an ad for the reward of a good laugh.
Edgy – Pushing boundaries sparks conversation.
Gripping – Does it grab and hold your attention?
Sexy – make it visually appealing.

If your content doesn’t have legs, it needs to offer personal value in the forms of being inspirational, educational, or thought-provoking.

4. Real-Time

The theme of time and trends was woven through presentations on Twitter, 5G, Pinterest, and TikTok. Audience users expect immediate results and interactions. Whether it be in conversing online or partaking in a TikTok trend (which on average lasts about a week), they expect immediate response and reaction. With the development of 5G phone networks, we’ll be able to download and process information in 3-second increments. With Pinterest’s new lens, you can point your phone at an object and find out exactly where it’s from and purchase it on the spot. This is going to mean content creators (and everyday individuals) will have to work quickly to produce timely content while the idea is still fresh. On the flip side, this also means we’ll need to pay closer attention to real-time analytics in order to pivot in the moment.

5. Nano Influencers

In the era of fake news and bots, a lot of brands and agencies are shying away from influencers with large followings for nano influencers with more authentic reach. Much like brands, audiences don’t like the feeling of being duped when a piece of content gets thousands of likes and thousands of the same comment within moments of a post going live. Nano influencers offer more niche targeting with a higher likelihood of your branded content resonating with audiences leading to engagement.

Abby Radovski is an Account Director at ruckus Digital. Need help with your social strategy? Drop us a line.

5Q’s: Comedic Artist AManLikeJoseph

AManLikeJoseph
Find him on Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

Aaron from ruckus Digital chatted with @AManLikeJoseph about his beginnings in comedy and music as well as ways he has cultivated his loyal and engaged following.

1. What first attracted you to the comedy industry?

“What first attracted me to comedy was Vine and then later on Instagram grabbed my attention. Seeing other people creating six seconds to a minute videos that were entertaining or comedic was something I thought I could do. Especially because I was always the class clown at school, and you know the tings love comedy. But really @renny was the first person to inspire me to actually do skits.”

2. What are some ways that you’ve grown your following and how have you kept them engaged? 

“When I would make videos, I would really attack the Toronto audience. So, I’d basically make fun of the Toronto culture through comedy but also base my content on real life experiences. People love videos they can relate to so I slowly transitioned to more global skits. While doing that, I started getting into music which was my first passion. This transition caught everyone off guard, but I feel like making videos can get redundant so it’s always good to switch it up.”

3. How will advancements in technology affect your work? 

“Everything is always changing so as a creator/artist, it’s important to adapt and follow the latest trends. I don’t think technology will ever be able to replace creators so with that being said I don’t personally believe it will affect my work.”

4. Who are some of your favourite individuals to follow?

All of these guys are different in their own way, some are artists and some are creators, but I enjoy their content the most right now.
@renny
@the6atsix
@booggz_gme
@tedddles
@liltecca

5. Do you think it’s important to align yourself with organizations that represent you and your values? Why or why not? 

“Yeah for sure it’s important to align with like-minded brands. I feel like it would be a lot easier to get your vision across working with an organization that suits you.”

Aaron Short is a Digital Marketing Intern at ruckus Digital.

Read more 5 questions of people we find interesting.

5Qs: Lifestyle blogger Maca Atencio

Maca Atencio (HeyMaca)
Find HeyMaca on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and at heymaca.ca

Emily Rivas from ruckus Digital recently chatted with influencer and lifestyle blogger Maca Atencio on how she started HeyMaca and what it is about her content that keeps her audience so engaged.

1. What first attracted you to the industry?

“I think it was natural step for me to start a blog and get into content creation. I graduated in marketing and sales, worked as a marketing and advertising manager at an agency in Venezuela, then ended up working as a digital strategist in Montreal, planning sponsored content for different media outlets. Along the way, I got into interior design, too. What I love most about this industry is how I can be on the “other” side as a creator and help brands produce beautiful imagery, videos and fun content to promote product launches.”

2. What are some ways that you’ve grown your following and how have you kept them engaged? 

“I think the unique style that HeyMaca has across all platforms has helped me a lot. I started the blog during my first mat leave about seven years ago. That’s when I began growing the readership, followers and community I have now (and all with no Instagram around!) I keep them engaged by creating fun content. From real stories on Instagram, to useful tips on the blog, and fun recipes they can cook with their loved ones–keeping my audience inspired is my number one goal as a creator. We also just expanded our business a month ago by launching an online shop. One of my dreams has always been to get our community wearing and loving our products.”

 3. How will advancements in technology affect your work? 

“I don’t think it will affect my work negatively. On the contrary, I’ve seen how digital media has evolved and how it can benefit us. Smarter tracking and planning in the industry are coming and that makes me so excited!” 

4. Who are some of your favourite individuals to follow?

I have so many favourites! But here are a few specific ones I love:
@_lucilel_
@ohjoy
@colourspeak_kerry_
@ananewyork
@annaroslily

5. Do you think it’s important to align yourself with organizations that represent you and your values? Why or why not? 

“Absolutely! At HeyMaca, we partner with brands and products that we use, love and believe in. Our mantra is to show our genuine selves across all platforms and in real life–for example, I love hugs and hug anyone upon meeting them the first time.”

Emily Rivas is a senior strategist at ruckus Digital.

Read more 5 questions of people we find interesting.

5 QS: DANETA BUDALICH – BACHIU

Daneta Budalich – Bachiu
@DanetaB

We sat down with Daneta Budalich – Bachiu to talk about future trends in the world of Instagramming and what she loves most about being an influencer.

 

1. Tell us about what you’re working on currently.

 “I’m just in the midst of creating a blog and plan to launch next month. I held off for years thinking the platform would become irrelevant, but it seems like it’s a stronger channel for communication now more than ever.

My page will give my audience a little more about me – my interests, my home, my experiences with products, my shopping preferences… but I hope to deliver it in an easy to read, relatable way. I want my information to be relevant and attainable, but I also want to make my followers LOL!”

 

2. Why did you start Instagramming?

 “Instagram was an amazing source of inspiration for me when I first had my son. It also kept me from falling asleep during all those middle of the night wake-ups! I found a passion for styling and photography and things just snowballed from there. It also became my creative outlet as I pushed the pause button on my career in event marketing to raise my kiddos.”

 

3. How does being a mom influence the content you write, and your lifestyle as an influencer? Is it difficult to juggle parenthood with brand partners’ competing priorities?

 “What works best for me is partnering with brands and products I already use and love. It makes it so much easier to shoot and share if that product fits naturally into our everyday. There’s no denying the allure of authenticity for brands and consumers, and in our space, moms trusting and admiring other moms. It’s really important to me that I remain honest, and that sometimes means turning down partnerships.

Being a mom is my full time job, so I find myself sneaking in some shooting during nap times or when the kids are in their best moods. A lot of my editing and emailing happens in the evenings and sometimes really late at night (after the kids have gone to sleep!). Basically, I don’t get any time off! But, I love what I do and it’s amazing how much you get done when you are busy. The biggest challenge I have is being able to attend events when I have a baby glued to my hip, or when the household needs me the most (dinner and bedtime). In those cases, I have to pick my battles and do what’s best for my family first.”

 

4. Where do you see the industry heading in the next few years?

“It will be very interesting to see where the industry goes – how long Instagram and blogs will remain relevant. New apps will be created that will seem more desirable when compared to Instagram’s shortcomings, like the lack of a chronological timeline and an increase in sponsored posts. We are already seeing it with VERO. Video will be huge, especially for brands, so we will see a surge in branded video content and what influencers will put out there, as well as a big partnership between the two.

As for brands, I think many have realized the value of what the convergence of “content” and “influence” have created and we will see this type of marketing become the main focus for many big brands. This will create a new ‘Human to Human’ approach, or ‘Social Selling’ – finding ways for consumers to sing the brand’s praises while influencing other consumers, not the other way around. I think there will be more opportunity for influencers to enter long term ambassador-like relationships with brands – being the primary content makers that brands feature on their portals (for example, brands shifting to a more blog-like approach) with content that’s real and updated frequently (vs a standard website).”

 

5. As someone who’s been on both sides of the industry – working in it as a practitioner and as an influencer – what’s one piece of advice you can give PR agencies when working within their existing network of influencers, or those agencies that are looking to start working with influencers?

      “Developing sincere and collaborative relationships with influencers are key to shared success. I think you can achieve this by:

  1. Develop strong relationships | Don’t just email an influencer for a campaign opt-in when you have a deadline to a client and then never talk to them again. Really create a respectful relationship with the influencer. Follow up on lost campaigns, give them feedback, etc. Create strong relationships!
  2. Work for both parties | Manage client needs with the influencers, but also manage the brands expectations when it comes to the influencer’s work. The influencer’s main role is to ensure they are producing content that the client is happy with, but none of us want to break outside of our own unique style to achieve this (if we felt uncomfortable sharing content, it means it isn’t the right fit). Having a PR person stand up for the value of an influencer’s work is huge. Also, being fair when it comes to timelines and revisions, as well as compensation.
  3. Be educated and real | Understand influencers stats (not just followers, but engagement and quality of work, which is unique to every influencer), as well as being knowledgeable on the amount of work that goes into producing and sharing content will really help in the negotiations with both client and influencer. Also, be as honest as you can be! We all know there are budgets and KPIs but everyone wants to be compensated for their hard work.
  4. Collaborate | Give more when you can because that same influencer you have a great relationship with, will for sure do more for you when you can’t – when budgets and timelines are tight, they will be there to help you look good.”

These five questions with Georgia Eliopoulos were compiled by Kristia Pavlakos, Coordinator, and Derek Bathurst, Coordinator, APEX PR/ruckus digital.

5 QS: Georgia Eliopoulos of Extra Sparkle Please

Georgia Eliopoulos
Extra Sparkles Please
@extrasparklesplease

 

Up next, we sat down with Georgia Eliopoulos, creator of ExtraSparklesPlease.com, to talk about future trends in the world of blogging and what she loves most about being an influencer.

 

1. Tell us about your blog currently and the direction you see it heading in the years to come

“Lifestyle! As 60 per cent of my followers are moms and dads, I want to provide more content about family life in general. I also want to talk more about personal experiences… the stuff people “don’t talk about”. Most recently I started adding in food and recipes.”

 

2. Why did you start blogging?

“When I started this blog my slogan was always “because she had so much to say and wants the world to hear it.” I had people in my everyday life asking me questions and decided to take that and make it more accessible to them… just one click away!”

 

3. What is your favourite and least favourite thing about being an influencer in Toronto?

“My favourite things are the experiences I’ve had and the people I have met along the way. I’ve met two of my closest friends through this industry – if all of this were gone, I still have friends for life. My least favourite thing is how cut-throat and cliquey it can be. I’ve learned that the reality is that the “bloggers supporting bloggers” concept may be true, but people will do whatever they have to do to get ahead.”

 

4. Where do you see the industry heading in the next few years?

“Personally, it’s going to be interesting. EVERYONE seems to want to be a blogger, so it is becoming very oversaturated. This is what I am doing for a living and I can see how many people are finding loopholes in the system, which sets back the ones who are staying as organic as possible.

“I think bloggers in the next 2 years will end up gearing their content more towards podcasts and “video diaries” (not YouTube); people will want to visually see and hear what people have to say rather than looking at the same photos of people at the same trendy cafes and restaurants. I think in 2 years, Instagram won’t pack the same punch and we will have to rely on a new, more realistic platform to be heard!”

 

5. What’s one piece of advice you can give PR agencies when working within their existing network of influencers, or those agencies that are looking to start working with influencers?

Be less sweet. There are a lot of influencers who have a sense of entitlement and people have to realize that you have to get through all the no’s in order to get a yes! I started working towards this in January and first started getting paid in September. Let us work to build a relationship with PR agencies and help you guys out. It goes both ways! Also, give us more links to purchase to include in our posts. For example, even if no one buys anything from one of your client’s posts, look at how many people’s interests are being piqued to go beyond Instagram and our blogs.”

 

These five questions with Georgia Eliopoulos were compiled by Kristia Pavlakos, Coordinator, and Laura Zechel, Consultant, APEX PR/ruckus digital.

 

5 Qs: Danie Reyes, CEO, and Catherine Sugrue, COO, of Do the Daniel Inc.

APEXers and the ruckus team are asking five questions about the year it’s been and what individuals are looking forward to in 2018. Up first…

Daniel Reyes
CEO, Do The Daniel Inc.
@dothedaniel

Catherine Sugrue
COO, Do The Daniel Inc.
@cnsugrue

 

1. How do you choose the content you share with your followers?

Daniel: “It’s all about the things that actually resound with us. We would never write about or partner with anything we don’t believe in. We want to be one hundred percent transparent with our audience and the only way to do that is to make sure you are supporting things you believe in.”

2. In your opinion, what is an example of a compelling campaign?

Catherine: “Audible, a seller and producer of spoken audio entertainment, information, and educational programming on the Internet, launched in Canada last year. To promote the launch, the brand ran a campaign that contracted different influencers throughout the year, to promote awareness amongst consumers all year round. I think that’s a great way of keeping the narrative going!”

3. What are your most favourite and least favourite things about being an influencer?

Daniel: “The best thing about being an influencer is that no two days are ever the same! There are long term partnerships we can rely on, but every day at the office is always new. There are so many aspects involved in keeping this business running that you never get bored.”

Catherine: “The boundaries sometimes get blurred in this industry. Shutting off from work is not always an option. It’s hard when you’ve built a brand where every single second of your life needs to be seen, to ask for that time to yourself.”

4. How does it feel to have a partner who is in the same industry?

Daniel: “In the beginning it was a lot of fun because we used to go to the same events all the time. As both Do The Daniel and Fashion Nights continue to grow it’s fantastic to be able to support each other, but it’s also great to be able to operate in different circles. However, it’s nice to have the constant support and mutual understanding of the business and the industry.”

5. How do you see the industry changing?

Daniel: “For a long time, there have been a lot of individuals in this industry. Lately, we have noticed more and more that like-minded people are beginning to collaborate in teams, and create content for a larger audience. There is more support throughout the industry.“

These five questions with Daniel Reyes and Catherine Sugrue were compiled by Kristina Mikhalkova, Coordinator, and Lindsey Soper, Consultant, APEX PR/ruckus digital. Follow Kristina on Twitter. Follow Lindsey on Twitter.

Upstairs Amy – the making of a web series

Recently Walmart and Interac launched their new comedy web series, Upstairs Amy. We spoke with Jenn Stein of APEX and Gary Edgar of ruckus Digital to find out what goes into making it, how the brands get integrated and why they think this approach will work with the target audience.

Subscribe to Upstairs Amy on YouTube and watch new episodes every Monday

What’s the story with Upstairs Amy?


RUCKUS DIGITAL AND APEX PR ARE COLLABORATING WITH WALMART CANADA AND INTERAC® FOR AN ORIGINAL DIGITAL SERIES, UPSTAIRS AMY, PRODUCED BY SHAFTESBURY

From the producers of global phenomenon Carmilla, Upstairs Amy is a scripted comedy that will also feature real-life digital influencers curated by APEX Public Relations.

The grass is always greener on the other side – or, in Amy Zhang’s case, on another floor.

 

Upstairs Amy follows the lives of three millennial moms on a journey through friendship, motherhood and self-discovery. When Amy’s apartment floods, she, her husband Dean, and their toddler are forced to move upstairs while the damages are repaired. There, Amy meets her captivating new neighbour Kaavya, the “it-girl” from the 26th floor. When a white lie turns into a new life, Amy and her best friend Veronica find themselves surrounded by Kaavya’s world of beauty, glamour, mystery and men – and so begins Amy’s transformation from average accountant into social media superstar “Upstairs Amy.”

 

ruckus Digital knows brands need storytelling and relatable characters that resonate with their target audiences. Before, commercials were the standard way of serving content to consumers. Now, consumers are in control – they decide when and how to interact with brands. This is why we are so excited to be working with Kin Community and their talented group of influencers, whose participation in-show will extend to their own channels and beyond. The influencers will be posting weekly content on their own channels relating to each week’s episode. ruckus Digital will lead the development on media buying and social content for the series.


The series is scheduled to launch
in November 2017 on a dedicated Upstairs Amy YouTube channel.