‘If you want impact, you go to a media company’: A Digiday+ town hall with Cycle CEO Jason Stein
Jason Stein, the CEO of Cycle and founder of agency Laundry Service, joined members of Digiday+ on Thursday for a Slack town hall. We discussed the challenges of building a media company out of an agency, why influencer marketing has its issues and more.
Digiday holds Slack town halls every two weeks, and in between, we’ll have editorial chats and group discussions on industry topics. Become a member of Digiday+ and join us.
Here’s what you missed from our chat with Stein.
Building a media company out of an agency
“Media companies are building agencies because that’s the best way for them to monetize digital now that so much of their reach is across social platforms. We’re building media brands because agencies (branded content and distribution, to be specific) are the best way to monetize and happen to have a pretty good background in doing those things. So, we need to build media brands faster than media companies can build agencies.”
Staffing and having go-to content formats are the biggest changes
“For Cycle, we needed to build out an entire editorial team, which is now 20 full-time employees. We also had to create a sales team for the first time to sell to media buying agencies. It took a year to get both right. We didn’t have clear content formats when we started. We knew our brand and what we stood for, but we really started grooving as a media company when we had four or five highly repeatable and shareable content formats.”
Impact is most important when it comes to ROI on content
“Reach is a commodity. Anyone can buy reach. And if you want to buy reach, you go directly to Google and Facebook. You don’t need a publisher for reach. If you want impact and cultural relevance, you go to a publisher or media company. The best way to measure that is shares/retweets/engagements. We focus mainly on shares per post, and I am pretty sure at Cycle, we have the highest shares per post rate of any publisher across Facebook and Twitter.”
Influencer campaigns need to involve the influencer
“The biggest things to focus on with influencer campaigns: Making sure the talent really likes and cares about and would use your product, and trying to form long-term relationships with them. Also, running media buys on the talents’ channels is critical. Make sure the content is great. Also: Make sure you brief the talent well and help them create the type of content you want (high quality). Especially when it comes to videos with influencers, we collaborate on creative and then we execute the production and editing for them to ensure quality. Or, if you’re working with talent that isn’t a photographer, we often shoot it. But we’d never run content on talent channels that was made purely by the brand without their input or them being in it.”
It took a global pandemic, but Facebook Live is back in favor
With people at various levels of lockdown, Facebook Live has gone from being a back-up way to being at events to being one of the only ways during the pandemic.
‘Be helpful’: How marketers are adapting their messaging to a fraught environment
Using that tactic -- fostering a sense of community with some version of “we’re in this together” and making explicit how big businesses are trying to help -- is common in the new advertising.
‘Right thing to do at the right time’: The definitive oral history of Hyundai’s assurance program
Here’s the story of how the Hyundai Assurance came to be and how it was revived in recent weeks.
SponsoredAs cookies vanish, publishers are using new authentication strategies
Up to 40 percent of browser inventory is already cookieless, giving publishers, marketers and their technology partners an opportunity to build a new and better digital ecosystem.
Member ExclusiveFinance is the new creative: Balance-sheet crunch leads ad and media businesses to seek new liquidity avenues
This is the second of a weekly column about the big changes and challenges facing media and marketing leaders. Be sure to join Digiday+, our membership program, to get access to this column and all Digiday articles, research and more. First came the shock. Then came the bills. Eager to maintain positive free cash flow […]
Ad-buying agencies are cozying up to SSPs, creating more transparency questions
After exerting their buying power and influence over other ad tech vendors, the holding groups are coming for supply-side platforms.