Australian’s are fast becoming addicted to multi-screening, with the number of people watching two screens at once jumping 75 percent in the past 12 months and triple screen viewing rapidly catching up.
Similtaneous watching television, checking Facebook on your tablet and messaging friends on your phone is about to become the norm.
Our need to feel connected has never been more apparent and it’s having a huge impact on the way we as consumers engage with brands.
I spoke extensively with Robyn Foyster, Founder of The Carousel, an independent Australian women’s lifestyle website, who is seeing first hand the benefits of tailoring to consumer habits.
“We’re getting great traction with My Kitchen Rules by running digital content on The Carousel and our Facebook feed just before the show goes live, it creates a lot of chatter because people are on multiple screens,” Robyn says.
Robyn who has an impressive journalism career background (Editor and Publisher of titles including The Australian Women’s Weekly, Woman’s Day, New Idea, Harper’s BAZAAR, Madison to name a few) believes more magazines, which are in double digit declines, will fold like Cleo, but those which are innovative will survive.
“Good content is always going to be what wins… it’s funny that when I was in magazines everything you did was a closely guarded secret…you wouldn’t want your competition to get a taste of anything you were doing, especially who was on the cover before your first day of publication … now in the digital space it’s about good content, speed and actually capturing what people’s interests are at the time.”
“In August the year before last Elise only had 50,000 Facebook followers, she now has 4.2 million followers. She is a fantastic story, an inspiration and shows that someone who has the craft of producing engaging content will just skyrocket.”
“Elise is bigger in America and around the world than she is here in Australia and yet she is our home grown talent, residing on the Gold Coast. She was a Jetstar flight attendant 8 years ago and now has the third largest food channel in the world, and the only Australian to be featured in Google’s top 1% of YouTube creators.”
“Elise is working on a TV series, a book and often travels around America on promo tours. She beats The Australian Women’s Weekly on her website engagement and her Facebook following yet she only started a few years back. She is a super brand unto herself.”
Speaking of brands they are influencers in their own right with their own publishing platforms and far reaching audience.
“Last year Priceline had over a million visits a month now heading towards two million – an audience they can continually grow and get immediate feedback from. They have this fantastic health tracker where you can complete a survey, receive your health score compared to other Australians. You can also sign up for activity and meal planners. I really like the positive approach they have to engaging with women.”
“Businesses collaborating together is the future and you can see the huge benefits this has at events – earlier this month David Jones did a collaboration with the Sydney Dance Company for their Fashion Show and it was fantastic.”
“You have this beautiful dancing with fashion and the models together, it’s engaging because the content is fantastic, it had everyone talking about it and with influencers filming it and amplifying it out into the digital sphere, it had much more cut through than what they had done traditionally with a TV ad spend – everything in digital is disruptive.”
“It’s all about sharing and amplifying your content, ensuring as many people as possible have access to it, because that’s your way of growing your audience and your brand and so for me I’m always keen to share our content and to actually work with other influencers who might be in the same space that I am.”
When I asked Robyn about her thoughts on emerging social media platforms she told me a funny story about her Periscope debut.
“I was in bed playing around with the app only to be contacted by a friend to let me know I was live streaming my toes!”
A lot of brands are still trialling Periscope which can be amazing for capturing a moment live but that live moment could stay on the internet forever, which is fine if everything goes as planned … not so good if it doesn’t.
“Snapchat is definitely one for the younger demographic but I think we are still mainly going to see the growth in Facebook … they’ve responded well to the consumer’s thirst for video content and it’s so easy to share content and direct people to your website.”
Robyn is a big believer in video content helping grow your audience.
“To give you an example we had engagement of one million in one week just because of one video … it’s a great way of getting the message out there for brands.”
If you’re wondering how long video content should be ….
“It’s a little bit like vinyl records where they used to say don’t go over two and a half minutes, so there are very few Bohemian Rhapsodys out there! Concentration levels drop off at that point, however I have also experimented with longer forms as well with great results.”
The Carousel produced a video conversation series hosted by Chris Bath with various inspirational women, including Gill Hicks, who lost her legs in the London bombing ten years ago and TV chef and entrepreneur Lyndey Milan.
“This has been a great success and it shows if it’s good content the audience wants more .. they will make the time to watch and listen.”
Robyn is impressed with the quality of bloggers out there ..
“To be honest I have met an enormous number of dynamic women in this space. They don’t necessarily have the media background that I have but they’re actually really good at producing good content and coming up with something that’s in their niche that’s really appealing and so I’m really happy to work with those people and actually share that content and link back to them.”
While Robyn is quick to praise others she deserves praise herself – a captivating lady whose determination and innovative flair has kept her ahead of the game, an inspiration to those who cross her path.