Some weeks, we end up reading a lot about how to create compelling content. This week, we’ve been reading a lot about the gadgets one can use to disseminate that content. From emerging live video platforms to new tools to creative ways to use existing tools, this week’s edition of Weekly Reads is all about the digital toys. Here’s to hoping it helps you nerd-out as thoroughly as we did!
Blink and you’ll miss it
With the help of its digital agency, Red Bull has created a new social media tool that will allow fans to bypass character limits on Twitter during live events. How? By going directly to RedBull.com during one of its sponsored live events and typing a customized social post into the new Shout/out tool. Those words are then transformed into an animated speed reading GIF, where each word appears in rapid sequential order. Users also have the option to customize the GIF with imagery before sharing.
Meanwhile, in Russia…
Mashable: Live video could be headed for Instagram
Facebook and Instagram have been known to test new features in other countries before rolling them out in the U.S., which is why it’s worth noting that a Russian publisher was able to push out a live video on Instagram last week. More than anything, this underscores the need to start thinking about how to leverage live video – the same sort we offer through our video partners at Fourth Wall Productions, who have created seamless live video productions for Adventure Fest, Rocky Mountain CitySummit and Denver Street Talk.
Take a look around – literally
Instant Articles have already come to Facebook, as have 360 photos and video. But last week, Facebook announced that it has laid plans to combine the two. For those still catching up on Instant Articles, Facebook created this how-to guide for you. And for those thinking that 360 images can only be leveraged when you have an amazing image to share, think again. The Pittsburgh Steelers used a 360 photo to bring a page of statistics to life.
(Thumbs up) 4 emojis
SmartBrief: 7 ways to use emojis for marketing
Emojis aren’t exactly a new tool, and that’s the point. As much as they’re constantly evolving, emojis are a tried-and-true gadget and they’re here to stay. Not only are they popular with the coveted millennial audience, they can help your brand express emotion and personality, they can help you squeeze a few extra characters a tweet and you can even use them like Domino’s, Pepsi, Bud Light and Taco Bell – as a way to allow your audience to interact with you.
It’s not what you know; it’s who you know
It’s hard to think of human beings as gadgets, but with Facebook choking off reach in its newsfeed, that’s exactly what influencers are becoming. Case in point: Publishers like Mic, Slate, Knowable and Ashton Kutcher’s A Plus are now paying celebrities, whose pages aren’t hampered by these same newsfeed restrictions, to get their content in front of bigger Facebook audiences.
Small agencies: The ultimate gadget
If we can view influencers as gadgets, we can certainly view ourselves through that same lens. This insightful case study explains why smaller, independent agencies in the UK feel they’re better positioned to face the tough realities of Brexit than their larger competitors. As one small agency chief puts it, “we’re able to differentiate ourselves by our specialties and output,” which he feels “is more powerful than buzz words” relied upon by larger agencies.