Tag Archives: Digital

If you haven’t heard yet, there’s a brand new reality tv show called The Circle that aired on UK’s Channel 4 last week and lo and behold, people are already outraged by it. Welcome to television programming in 2018.

The Circle’s premise is a game show where being liked is everything, with a bunch of players holed up in a housing complex making friendships, flirting and bitching it out to be the winner of a £50,000 prize. It’s essentially the Big Brother format, but there’s a modern-day societal twist because the contestants are all housed in separate apartments and will never meet face-to-face during the show.

Instead, their interactions will only exist on a specially designed social media platform where they’re encouraged to shape, bluff or completely distort their persona in a desperate bid to be ‘liked’ by their fellow contestants, the player who is ‘liked’ most wins this nightmarish popularity contest. Sound familiar?

It should do. Not only is it a jazzed up and plugged-in version of Big Brother for the Snapchat generation, but the concept is also conspicuously indebted to Charlie Brooker’s Emmy award-winning Black Mirror series. Particularly the fantastic episode Nosedive, in which people live in a world where social interactions are constantly being rated (that dreaded down-rating tone!) and every individual has an overall rating which has a real-life influence on their socioeconomic standing.

The common ground these shows share is an exploration of the very real consequences of social media and how us Humans are so easily beguiled by its capacity to curate an idealised version of ourselves, or you know, create a completely different persona altogether.

The Circle immediately ignited controversy by featuring a player who’s gambit is fabricating an online identity in which she presents herself as an oncologist that treats cancer. This is, for obvious reasons, a despicable and manipulative tactic to win internet brownie points on the show and, let’s be honest, probably the very reason why Channel 4 picked such person in auditions. Controversy is their currency, after all.

The thing is, in reality, there’s little to nothing preventing someone from doing the same sort of thing on LinkedIn or Facebook either, which may also be the poignant comment C4 producers wanted to make on our digital society. Maybe.

The question is, where does the responsibility in keeping check on this online activity lie for our real social networks? Do the tech companies need to police it better? Do we need to take a closer look at home to why people create fake online personas? Or perhaps we just rely on the discerning Nev & Max from MTV’s Catfish to oust these online charlatans for the delight of the viewers at home. It’s certainly a tricky topic and judging the people behind fake or augmented online profiles is a moral minefield.

However, one intriguing development we’ve seen in recent months is that the tech giants behind our real-life social media platforms, which over 3 billion of us use, have started to implement features specifically designed to curb usage of the very applications they created.

Which is sort of bizarre when they look to gain so much advertising money from our mindless scrolling, albeit it comes across as a solid PR move. Facebook-owned Instagram launched a ‘Time Well Spent’ tool which allows users to see just how long they’ve spent scrolling through doggy snaps and memes, but also self-manage daily limits on how long they can spend in the app.

The two leading mobile operating systems, iOS and Android, have also baked similar tools into their latest updates, giving users to ability to self-police their time on their devices. It’s encouraging to see the tech companies feeling an obligation to help us better understand our relationship with social media – it’s a start at least.

So yes, The Circle is a sensational take on the issue of social media and sure, it offers a cheap hit of reality entertainment in the gap that Big Brother left. But the producers came up with the idea for reason, and that’s because it’s something almost all of us find relatable. The jury’s still out on how the balance of our digital lives will affect our IRL lives, but the needle seems to be tilting ever further towards our virtual selves.

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Simon Franklin
Simon Franklin
Categories: Opinion, tags:

It’s no secret that crowdfunding is going through a turbulent time. We’ve seen very high profile campaigns not deliver to backers despite raising millions. It’s understandable that people have become more sceptical of crowdfunding campaigns and whether campaign creators can deliver on their promises.

Despite this, 2017 has been our most successful year of crowdfunding since we launched the world’s first crowdfunding division four years ago. This year we’ve worked on several multi million dollar campaigns including TicWatch ($3.2m), Bluesmart 2.0 ($2m) and Pimax ($4.2m).

So how did we do this? It’s all about understanding how perceptions have changed and working with your community. It’s important to build trust, showcase your product in an engaging way and share the process to get to this point. Clear communications with your community is necessary. You need to talk to them before you launch, show them the product at events and listen to what they have to say.

You can read more about our work with Pimax, the 8k VR headset, and what we did to help them raise over $4million to beat Oculus here.

Ellen Powell-Chandler
Ellen Powell-Chandler

In short, no. Let’s explore further though.

This question and similar were present at Social Media Week 2016, alongside the overarching theme of the ‘invisible hand of social media’, referring to algorithms, bots and next-level targeting that follows us around our favourite websites like a friend that you thought you liked, but now can’t stand. It’s annoying right? But, not the leading cause for the demise of the world as we know it, surely? Well, no. Something unnerving is happening though.

Let’s talk about Brexit (again). Cast your mind back to the way that you voted, in or out. Have a think about how you made your decision. For many of us, that included chatting to friends and colleagues, reading the papers on our commute, googling “what happens if we leave/stay” and of course, checking our social news feeds.

Around 2 billion people are on Facebook, checking it 14ish times a day. With the latest algorithms, when you check your feed you’ll only see posts from your fav people. Great, right? No. This is awful. Most the time you surround yourself offline and online with people you like. People who have the same values and opinions as you. How many of you culled your Facebook when you saw people with the opposing view, slapped there as their status? Or were shocked when the vote didn’t go the way everyone you know wanted?

This is the equivalent of turning up at a meeting, telling everyone your idea and everyone saying “Exactly what I thought, nothing to add. Let’s go for it.”. Whilst, this sounds beautiful (it really does), imagine that happening every single meeting. It’s so one-sided and unchallenging. Whilst this emperor-has-no-clothes style is fine when you share personal updates, it’s scary when wider issues are shared in just one light.

Facebook is incredible and as a Digital marketer, I’m a fan. However, they are moving to be an all consuming platform that you’ll never need to leave, the ‘new internet’ was a comment heard last week. Let’s just hope they continue to address the issue of curation, as they seem to be.

Who’s the real saviour in this end of the world scenario? Firstly, you. Everyone has a responsibility to themselves at the least to explore multiple angles before making a decision.

Secondly, Twitter or one of the newer social media platforms like Snapchat. This might be the moment where the rest of the attendees from Social Media Week disagree, as it’s been widely reported that Twitter’s growth is struggling. However, it remains an organic channel, with limited curation and censorship (Hi, Donald Trump) and frankly, the one place you can access breaking news and a flurry of different opinions.

Image credit: © socialmediaweek.org

Dynamo Team
Dynamo Team
Categories: Opinion, tags:

Over the past two years, I’ve been day tripping down to the coast for Brighton SEO conferences, and this September rounded up to my fifth visit. In that time, I’ve seen the event adapt and evolve throughout its biannual affair (although, if you’re a veteran Brighton SEO-er you’ve seen it change a whole lot more since it began as a gathering in the upstairs room of a pub). September 2016 saw another revamp – a venue upgrade to the Brighton Centre on the beach front.

It’s a packed out event (free tickets sell out in less than 13 minutes) with lots of talks, training sessions, roundtables, networking drinks and socials all fit into one day. So here’s a quick guide to making sure you get the best out of the conference.

Before the Conference

Be on the Eventbrite website the minute the tickets are released…

Otherwise you won’t get a ticket. Make sure you sign up to the newsletter emails so you know when each ticket release date is, which is normally around three months beforehand. It’s just like getting tickets to Glastonbury, although tickets to Brighton SEO sold out quicker than the festival itself in April.

If you don’t get a ticket…. you have a backup option

In the case that you miss out on a ticket, fear not, you can still go to Brighton SEO. If you book a place on one of the training courses on offer, you’ll automatically get a ticket to the main conference the next day.

Book somewhere for lunch

Although Brighton is a big seaside city, everyone goes for lunch at the same time, and in the same places. Expect to queue for a table for a long time if you haven’t reserved anywhere in advance. It’s easy to be caught up in a queue and miss the first sessions back in the conference centre after lunch at 2:30pm.

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On the Day

Turn up to a talk around 20 minutes beforehand

That’s if you want to get a seat and not stand at the back, or sit on the floor. This year, around 3,000 people attended September’s event, and with each session being a “first come first served” seating structure, capacity fills up quickly, and you might not be able to go to that all important talk at all. Unless you have a previously subscribed wristband access, it’s important to hang around each conference room early, it also gives you more opportunities to network.

Go to the networking drinks afterwards

You get a free drink token upon entering the conference on the day, so it’s worth going to the main foyer at the event to take advantage of it. There’s a huge variety of people from different industries (not just SEO!), and many often attend the conference for new business and even career opportunities.  

Go to at least one talk you don’t specialise in 

Brighton SEO is good for helping you work out what you know, as well as what you don’t know within an industry that’s ever changing. Talks are based on various skill set levels and are grouped into a range of different categories, which means it’s worth going to a few talks that aren’t relevant to your every day job role. This will come in handy further down the line if your agency adapts or acquires a new client in a new industry area, or with a different content and media focus. 

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Dynamo Team
Dynamo Team
Categories: Opinion, tags: ,

From digital marketing meet-ups and conferences to PR events, the term ‘PR SEO’ is increasingly a topic I hear people talking about.

Only a few years ago there used to be a budget scrum between the various elements of the marketing mix. With drastic changes happening to the Google Algorithm over the last few years the nature of how SEO needs to be executed has shaken up both the practice of and the type of the agencies that provide these services. Hybrid consultancies are on the rise and the consensus seems to be that it is necessary to blend PR with SEO in order to safely optimize on Google in 2015 and beyond.

Having worked in house in a digital marketing role and now agency side at Dynamo I can see from both perspectives why PR and SEO go hand in hand.

To put it simply, PR builds, crafts and helps to give brands more exposure to the public. For sometime SEOs have understood that Google gives preference to brands which are popular, as can be seen below.

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If you take a look at the key ranking factors Google uses to order who’s hot and who’s not, you can see that six out of the nine major factors can be influenced by what we would think of as traditional PR activity. With a little tweaking of the ‘old fashioned’ PR processes, the combination of PR and search marketing can be further enhanced. For example prioritising press lists not just on the publications circulation and target audience but also considering the SEO value the client will receive from the publication.

Reporting in the PR industry has until recently revolved around AVEs, but the online metrics that Google Analytics and reporting tools like Majestic offer have a much wider reach in understanding RIO. Pulling data and figures is all well and good, but it is only of use if you can tie this into measurable KPIs. Knowing that an article from E-consultancy drove 100 visitors, 20 of which then bought your product, is something that circulation alone just can’t do. Equally, understanding that a specific PR campaign moved rankings for key search terms from page two to page 1 is highly valuable and impacts the spend clients allocate to PPC, which is directly quantifiable in monetary terms.

PR campaigns like bathroom sweets where we created the world’s first bathroom made entirely from chocolate for Bathrooms.com is an example of how traditional PR can have outstanding results by utilising SEO tactics.

The campaign built over 50 links of DA 40 and above in sectors spanning from food, interiors, lifestyle and design; capturing the attention of audiences across the UK , Europe and in the even the USA.

Google algorithm updates, like Panda and Penguin mean a squeaky-clean link building strategy is the only way to ensure the hard work and investment you are putting into your PR and SEO now really goes the distance and provides long-term ROI.

This multidiscipline knowledge base can also help inform PR strategies too, determining what type of articles, publications and activities your key audiences are most receptive too.

Dynamo Team
Dynamo Team
Categories: Opinion, tags:

Kicking off the first in a season of search marketing conferences this year was Brighton SEO, which brought some of the top experts and speakers in the field down to the coast for another great event. This is one of the largest free SEO events and has continued to grow each year, with word on the door being that 1500 people were on the waiting list for the 2015 event!

It was exciting to watch the talks on topics from a varied range of digital marketing and social content trades. The most exciting part of the day was to watch our very own Digital Account Manager Rebecca Lee speak about, ‘A Supercharged Approach to PR SEO Success’.

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To make sure the rest of the team back at Dynamo HQ could enjoy the talks, our co-founder Peter Bowles live-streamed the sessions from the audience using the new Periscope app.

Rebecca’s talk highlighted the importance of implementing public relations activity for SEO benefit. Focusing on how news jumps, strong journalist rapport, creative brainstorms and great story making can contribute to online coverage and building safe links to a client’s website.

Her talk received high praise from members of the audience on Twitter:

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Identifying a healthy balance and functional interaction between these two core practices of PR and SEO is essential to what we do at Dynamo and it was great to see other talks at Brighton SEO 2015 highlight this.  One of the best was presented by Samuel Scott, who offered one of the most engaging talks of the day entitled, “Stop Thinking About Links And Start Thinking About Publicity.”

The day of talks, roundtables and speeches closed with Brighton SEO’s founder Kelvin Newman having a “fireside chat” with Apprentice winner and Internet marketing specialist at ClimbOnline, Mark Wright. Wright revealed anecdotes of his time on the Apprentice show, company life after his win, as well as the mix of criticism and support in the SEO world since his victory.

Once 6’oclock came around and Kelvin Newman officially closed the conference, most dashed to the main dome bar to exchange drink tokens for wine and beer for a couple of hours, discussing the day’s events, networking as well as enjoying the last few hours of the sun in Brighton town.

All in all it was a highly informative and productive day at Brighton SEO for our team, and a big congratulations from everyone at Dynamo to Rebecca for her inspiring talk at the event!

Dynamo Team
Dynamo Team
Categories: Opinion, tags: ,

We’re delighted to announce that Attraction World, one of the world’s leading theme park and attraction ticket specialists, have appointed Dynamo PR to handle their consumer PR, to increase brand awareness of their ticketing sites AttractionTix.co.uk and Floridatix.com.

Sitting within Dynamo PR’s Digital division, the team will be tasked to generate news and creative campaigns with the aim to grow the brand awareness among a wider audience of UK consumers.

Launched in 2006, Attraction World is an award-winning theme park and attraction ticket specialist who supplies tickets to the world’s leading travel agents. The agency team will be led by Jonny Stanton, Account Manager, and report to Attraction World’s Simon Applebaum, Consumer Marketing Director.

Lexi Mills, Head of Digital, Dynamo PR, commented:

“Attraction World are already well established in their industry as a leading specialist and it’s going to be our job to share their story with the wider consumer market. We’re all looking forward to an exciting ride!”

Simon Applebaum, Consumer Marketing Director at Attraction World added:

“We chose Dynamo because of their unique understanding of both the print and digital PR spheres, and the need for brands to be storytellers through all of their activity. Their creativity and excitement for our business shone through and we look forward to working alongside them.”

Dynamo Team
Dynamo Team
Categories: Clients, News, tags: , ,

As an example of some of the varied work we do here over at Dynamo HQ, our design team have been hard at work putting together this interactive web app for Bathrooms.com.

The central idea around this project was to help people enhance the value of their home whilst providing simple guides to those irritating DIY problems in and around the bathroom, and provide it in a way that can be easily shared and consumed.

The app uses the latest HTML5 and JavaScript techniques to create a smooth, cross-browser compatible experience that allows a user to browse tips and track their progress in enhancing their “virtual bathroom”

Have a play, and share!

Pat Scullion
Pat Scullion
Categories: Clients, News, tags: