Marketing/Publicity

BIGSOUND 2016 Report

September 25, 2016

I could write an essay about BIGSOUND… but who has time for that ^__^ Here’s how this year’s trip went in a bunch of dot points:

  • Awesome to meet the QMusic team in person, after months of talking to them on the phone.
  • Sadly missed Kim Gordon’s keynote speech (plus most of the other conference sessions I had earmarked) because I was doing urgent campaign work from our apartment. But did manage to catch an interesting panel around A&R and marketing, and also hear one of the Pandora guys talk very candidly and honestly about streaming (and how they can do it better).
  • Also watched a session where a panelist criticised a recent advertising campaign I ran because it listed the national tour dates instead of just ticketing details for Sydney, his hometown. Did go up and have a chat to him afterwards because we did that strategically during the announce phase to highlight how large the national tour was/how big the band has become, and I think he died a little on the inside. (He was a really nice dude and had no idea I worked on the campaign… I just really needed to tell him haha.)
  • Our digital advertising workshop was apparently the most popular of the whole conference and was completely booked out. Also it ran perfectly on time… WINNING.
  • Serviced apartment with a full kitchen + near Woollies = best outcome for a girl who struggles to eat healthy/cheap when not in Melbourne.
  • BIGSOUND Buzz really freaked out band managers.
  • Showcase highlights: Jarrow, Alex Lahey, Vera Blue, Fractures, Teeth & Tongue and Olympia.
  • Espresso martinis at the Bolster party was a great idea. Side note – I ended up spontaneously doing door bitch duties (which is 100% fine) but a couple of industry people treated me like a lowlife, so that’s a great way to filter out jerks. (Never assume door people are only door people.)
  • After party toilet lines = best place for conversations.
  • Post BIGSOUND flu is a thing, and I’m still sick :(

😍😍😍 #BIGSOUND16

A photo posted by Bolster (@blstr.co) on

Nerd Alert: Writing For Web

September 3, 2016

I recently decided to take a short course in writing for web via Open2Study, the free sister program of Open Universities. Seems pretty weird considering that I’ve been paid to write content for web contexts for almost a decade… but it was free, I haven’t actually studied writing/comms in a formal setting, and I am an ultimate nerd. (And yep, I passed.)

IΒ  stumbled upon the course from a careers blog, and it definitely had immediate takeaways that I could apply to my current job in digital advertising. A lot of what I know about writing for online environments has been largely through experimenting, accidentally learning things on the go and seeing how other writers play with words (both good and bad). While I don’t think there was anything revolutionary in the course, it was a great way to turn my random hunches about web writing into a neat little list of best practices.

In terms of takeaways specific to music:

  • The end user and channel is pretty important, which is why a press release doesn’t need to be the same as a band bio. And should rarely be the same as social media content.
  • Context of use is often overlooked. Some of our festival clients have horrendous sites that make it hard for mobile users to purchase a ticket (i.e. try filling out 40 fields with an iPhone keyboard) even though most of their traffic is via mobile devices. Or I often see other advertisers push iTunes links to my Android device.
  • Copy needs to be relevant to the audience that is getting it. Half the time I get advertising for bands that I don’t follow with extremely basic copy (e.g. “NAME-OF-BAND-I’VE-NEVER-HEARD-OF’s new album out now on iTunes.”). This doesn’t sell the product to me because I have no idea what you’re about and there’s no story to entice me.
  • Consistency across channels is pretty important. I think many music brands (e.g. festivals, bands, labels) are great at being consistent across one channel (e.g. just Facebook, just Instagram, just their blog) but not so much between channels (i.e. is the tone of voice the same between their EDM, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Triple J Unearthed profile?). Big brands have style guides and a developed TOV, but most music brands don’t because the content is much more organic and/or channels may be split up between band members.

There was also a heap of content more focused around blogs and websites too, so here’s the course in case any of you want to ride nerdy with me.

BIGSOUND Buzz

August 31, 2016

WARNING: THIS SITE IS FUCKING BEAUTIFUL.

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Bolster (well, Mike & Nicky) built a social analytics site called BIGSOUND Buzz to accompany BIGSOUND. It ranks all 160 bands from the festival lineup according to who is the most talked about on Facebook and Twitter, over windows of the last 6 hours, 12 hours, day, 2 days and a week. Neat little summary around it on The Music.

Did notice a couple of grumpy peeps rag on this saying you can’t rank bands objectively because taste is subjective… which is TRUE. We’re not trying to rank the best bands of BIGSOUND, just trying to make all the noise a bit neater and see which bands people are writing the most about! Two different things. Also you’ll thank us at 10.30pm on day three when you don’t know which band to see next and your brain is fried ;)

Enjoy x

P.S. Here’s another bzzzz I like quite a lot.

Guess Who’s Running a BIGSOUND Workshop?

August 22, 2016

Me!

Headed up to Fortitude Valley in a few weeks for BIGSOUND, and excited to announce that I’ll be running a workshop with my boss at Bolster, Alex Zaccaria.

Naturally the workshop is on digital advertising (what we do best), and is called “Digital Advertising: More Than Just Boosting A Post?” Blurb below (no crediting because ahem, I wrote the blurb myself):

Too often bands, labels, festivals, and promoters focus too much on boosting a couple of page posts and forget all about the other digital advertising platforms. This masterclass dives into the different advertising channels on offer including Google Search, Google Display Network, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, publishers and more, plus other kinds of Facebook advertising types. You’ll learn about each platform’s key benefits for different kind of music product (recorded music vs. live music), and when in a campaign cycle each works best.

More info here. Hoping to get a nice mix of industry peeps across bands/management, labels, events, festivals and venues. If I remember correctly, only about 42 places for this masterclass. Registrations only to conference pass holders (BOOK YOUR CONFERENCE PASS IT WILL SELL OUT I AM NOT JOKING).

See you all in September!

This Is Why I Can’t Have Pets

July 2, 2016

So happy to announce that Darts will be heading over to Sydney next month for Volumes Festival. Looking forward to watching Nicholas Allbrook, Royal Blackouts, Rainbow Chan and Terrible Truths.

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And from there, my year will be Splendour In The Grass (yes, hello, come at me), BIGSOUND in September, and then Queensland again in summer. This is why I can’t have nice (furry) things (with names and feelings and expensive vet bills).

If you’re also flying to the east coast for SITG or BIGSOUND, hit me up so we can share a coconut water and secrets. Or just coconut water.

What Job Am I Best Suited To?

June 30, 2016

I don’t know why, but I enjoy taking quizzes. Maybe it’s because I was once a teenage girl with a Dolly Magazine subscription. Or perhaps it’s grown from years of doing psychological tests as part of my Psych degree. Or maybe I just have weird hobbies. (Not poorly designed Buzzfeed tests that aren’t set up for response bias, bullshit or OTT Twilight-fandom-ness, mind you.)

Either way, I recently took a TIME Magazine quiz on finding the best job for your personality. Yes, TIME Magazine is slowly turning into Buzzfeed. Never mind, moving along.

The quiz used questions from an American university professor designed to measure six personality traits (realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising and conventional) and match those to personality types that are known to suit certain jobs. I also chucked in my preferred/realistic income bracket, age, gender and university education. My ideal job? According to the folks at TIME:

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Yes, a broadcast news analyst. I scored extremely low on ‘Realistic’ (e.g. moving things, manual labour, getting up and doing shit) and ‘Conventional’, moderate to increasingly high on ‘Investigative’, ‘Enterprising’, ‘Social’ and ‘Artistic’ respectively.

Interestingly my other top matches were: industrial/organizational psychologist, and poet/lyricist/creative writer. Interesting to me because I studied psychology at uni, and was into creative writing in a huge way when I was younger.

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 9.37.46 pmScreen Shot 2016-06-29 at 9.37.17 pmSo how does my current job’s supposed personality requirements compare to my self-reported scores in these areas?

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Apparently much too investigative, artistic and social, but not enterprising or conventional enough… Let’s just say that I really do love looking at campaign and audience data to find consumer patterns, A/B testing with weird copy I write and sending GIFs to my clients, but not good at hustling and getting new contracts… which is why I work at an agency so I don’t have to do that. 😎😎😎

Segue – did you also take the TIME Magazine quiz, but got Advertising and Promotions Manager as your top employment pick? Bolster Digital (them people who pay me) is actually on the hunt for some new staff in Sydney and Melbourne. Job listings here. We don’t have high turnover. We just have lots of clients and work.

Bootcamp, Free Food & other Google Bits

June 23, 2016

Saw this while setting up a GDN campaign yesterday… Really, Google?! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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Serious business now… A couple of weeks ago, I headed over to Syd with the Bolster team to catch up with a few of our Sydney clients. We also made time to meet up with Bolster’s kickarse Google team (our account strategist & agency development manager who help us make the most of Google products for our clients). Always lovely to meet people IRL after working with them remotely for ages, and even more lovely to eat at the Google cafeteria. I know, I’m a weirdo but BUFFET AND FREE WATERMELON.

Carl & Paige being nerdy at Google Partners Bootcamp πŸ€“πŸ€“ #AcademyBootcamp #blstrDIGITAL

A photo posted by Bolster (@blstr.co) on

I also attended the Google Partners Academy Bootcamp in Melbourne earlier this week for a whole day of training on Mobile Advertising, and sat the exam. I am already Google AdWords Certified (Fundamentals & Display Advertising) and did know a lot of the exam contents from my day-to-day work in AdWords. Even so, it was definitely valuable to pick up pointers around those tricky technical questions like SDKs, app URIs and server-to-server conversion tracking (okay, okay, I didn’t know too much about advertising apps on AdWords but now I do). Hooray for upskilling.

Three Out Of Ten

June 5, 2016

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POW. Have been eagerly awaiting this week’s ARIA results to come in, and so happy to announce that three releases that we’ve been working on at Bolster Digital landed in the top ten.

To be fair, we’ve only been working on Adele’s latest single (via Remote Control) but stoked to see Flume (Future Classic) and Catfish and the Bottlemen (Caroline) enter so high on the list. Always makes me happy to see an Australian artist reach top spot in the charts too.

Types Of Music Consumers

May 22, 2016

Was reading through the April/May issue of ad rag B&T and came across this little consumer-themed DIY paper fortune teller:

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Nice touch, hey? I remember doing these in primary school but can’t actually remember what we wrote on this inside. Especially since I spent all eleven years of school in single sex institutions, so there was no crushing on boys for me!

The B&T paper fortune teller was not about high school heart throbs, but rather types of consumers. These were the possible choices:

  • The Troll – a.k.a. every brand’s worst nightmare, a.k.a. dicks, a.k.a. arseholes with too much time
  • The Researcher – weirdos like me who watch YouTube videos of people using stuff before I buy it
  • The Social Crusader – charity/brand partnerships were made for these kinds of folks
  • The Bargain Hunter – zombies you see lining up outside MYER at 4am on Boxing Day
  • The Pragmatist – sensible people
  • The Anti-Consumer – ad blockers are like water to these peeps (read: 100% necessary)
  • The Shopaholic – new stuff now, all day, err’day
  • The Loyalist – hardcore brand advocates (or maybe too lazy to stray)
  • (Side note – I think this is also missing a new type of consumer… Users who purchase/use items for prestige and how it’ll make them look on social media. You have no idea how many times I’ve been at brunch and my fellow diners order certain food because it’ll Instagram better. But I get there’s only space for 8 consumers. And also this is a joke thing they printed in their magazine and I’m probably the only person who actually cut it out. Okay, byeee.)

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Cute gimmick, but made me think about how marketing music as a product is so different to other industries. (NB when I say music as a product, I’m referring to an experience like recorded music and live music, whether it’s a music video, album on vinyl, Spotify stream, festival or concert. Not so much things like purchasing guitars, mixing software, piano lessons or rehearsal studios.)

You can’t apply these consumer stereotypes when it comes to something so subjective and wildly personal as experiencing music. There’s no such thing as a Bargain Hunter, unless you maybe count jerks who illegally download music. The Researcher doesn’t really exist with music, because you can read a thousand reviews about an album, but you physically need to listen to it to decide if it floats your boat.

When I think about the different music consumers I’m trying to target for a campaign, I imagine them less as archetypes and more as varied individuals who sit on different points along three different spectra. And where a single music fan is on these scales depends on what the music product is (e.g. a guy who goes to Meredith without fail but needs at least three bands he likes to consider Splendour, but will Instagram the shit out of both festivals if he’s there). These are:

Fans ←→ Not Invested

Fans are the folk we all love… Those gorgeous people who frantically refresh the ticketing page of their favourite festival when tickets go on sale (regardless of lineup), or folk who pre-order an album three months before it’s released. Not invested people aren’t haters, they just need a lot more than a name to get them to commit to a music product. Fans generally give us higher CTRs and lower CPCs. Not invested people can sometimes eat up advertising budgets because they need so much convincing.

Trendsetters ←→ Slow Burners

Think of music nerds who love discovering new music via Paul Lester or Indie Shuffle, compared to peeps who need to hear a song on Triple J daily for two months before they like it, or need all their friends to be going to a festival before they land a ticket for themselves as well. I think social media advertising works better on slow burners than publisher advertising because they can see if their mates are interacting with a band/festival on that platform. Stats-wise for slow burners, think targeting groups that clock up high frequency scores.

Vocal ←→ Silent

Regardless of where consumers sit on the above two scales is unrelated to how vocal they are about music. Some people will tweet about new albums (even if they hate it, or maybe especially if they hate it), tag themselves at music festivals and Instagram pictures of what’s spinning on their record player that moment. Silent characters just go about their music consumption without involving other people. Dollars from both types of consumers are great, but vocal consumers are more likely to act as brand advocates and take part in activations. Silent consumers also tend to just click on website links on Facebook advertising without also liking or commenting on the post.

Maybe I’m just thinking about things too much, but I definitely find it useful to figure out who I’m trying to reach and at what times. For example, no point targeting hardcore fans during week three of a campaign because they’ve probably already dropped some cash on whatever it is I’m trying to get them to look at.

Shoot me an email if you know how I can put three scales on a paper fortune teller ;)

How Australian consumers do… stuff

April 10, 2016

Recently stumbled across Google’s Consumer Barometer Tool, and its Graph Builder. Essentially you pick some filters:

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And then check out the questions to get data for your audience! Annoyingly there are a few issues with the MUSIC filter… It doesn’t explain what counts as a MUSIC product purchase (not mentioned in their methodology but I’m guessing anything from a $0.99 iTunes single to a $400+ SITG ticket, but does it include things like instrument apps, metronome apps, instruments from eBay, sheet music etc.?) and that some questions don’t have enough responses from MUSIC users to have any data!

That aside, it’s a pretty cool insights tool, and probably works a dream if you’re in the US or a clothing retailer in Australia. Check it out here, and below are a few things I found interesting if you are too lazy to have a dig around:

  • Music was the second most watched video genre watched by users in their last session, with 28% of all Aussies (note: without the MUSIC filter) surveyed saying yes to this. Comedy was king at 29%, and TV shows sat at 23%. Everything else including beauty & fashion, health/fitness/exercise, how to videos and the like trailed far behind.
  • Users were more likely to watch videos in the evening regardless of the day of the week… Definitely something to note when advertising video content or with YouTube advertising on a limited budget.
  • Australians who purchased music last were slightly more likely to have heard of the product through advertising (14%) compared to all Australian purchases regardless of type (12%).
  • The MUSIC filter also worked on the question, ‘On what type of website did people make their online purchase?’ Stats below… I’m assuming download portal means iTunes, Bandcamp and the like. What really surprised me was that more of the users purchased from the record label over a record shop, but it should be noted that the survey pool on this Q was a measly 200 users. Hardly accurate for consumer behaviour of all Aussies but interesting nonetheless.

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