TheAudience works hard to “craft content for particular platforms and make it spreadable,” King said. That means tailoring content to each platform. Instagram posed the biggest challenge.
“Early on, we were posting the same social images to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram,” King remembered. “We learned pretty quickly that they didn’t translate at all to Instagram. We reassessed and shifted our strategy to celebrate the visual culture on Instagram.”
The agency occasionally does paid amplification for clients. “We use paid media to amplify content, but we try to be as smart and efficient as we can to get that audience,” said Grant Zanini, VP of entertainment for theAudience. “We might do it to hit a certain demographic for the content we’re creating.”
“We used a paid push to get things off the ground, but as we learn the patterns ourselves, we’re able to sustain growth through organic engagement,” King said.
The Platform Conundrum
Because theAudience relies on organic engagement, it’s affected by the changing algorithms on platforms like Facebook. Sometimes that can be positive.
“Facebook has put a huge emphasis on native video in their platform,” said Tim Sovay, SVP of entertainment and brands. “We are seeing five to eight times better performance with organic and paid with Facebook native video vs. YouTube embed or outside embed.”
Other times, it can be negative.
“A lot of our partners are feeling really burned by Facebook right now and uneasy about their recommendations,” Sovay said. “They’ve spent millions of dollars building audiences, with pages and fan acquisition, and they’re seeing their organic reach move to zero.” The effect is most pronounced in certain categories, like automotive and CPG.
Even influencers’ pages have been affected. “For quite a while we saw the exact opposite with individual pages and influencers,” Sovay said. “They’ve always had the highest organic reach. Everyone wants to be like Katy Perry or their favorite star, so it’s been through the roof. But we’ve seen them tick down over the past couple of months.”
Creating a multichannel audience could be a boon to advertisers, but King cautions that it’s still early days. “Thinking about how to connect an experience across social, digital and TV is at the heart of what we’re doing right now.”
T-Mobile advertises on “The Daily Share” with an “integration across the full experience of the show,” King said. More multiplatform sponsorships will hopefully follow.
“We’ve thought about how we could package this to advertisers,” King said. “There’s a lot of work happening now ahead of the Turner upfronts this spring, and you’ll see things then.”