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The art of selling on social is subtlety

15th August 2018

A tennis ball in the middle of a line of apples, with a speech bubble reading "They still haven't noticed"

The best ads don’t always need to stand out. Think subtlety, be chill and don’t always broadcast your sell.

Everyone on social is selling something. Brands, insta-celebrities, influencers, real celebrities, agencies, people – we’re all selling a story. More and more people are concerned with their brand on social. In a relatively short time (most) humans have adapted to a social landscape where everyone is curating their story. We formulate a narrative about how great our lives are; how stunning that view is; how delicious that meal was (it did LOOK delicious to be fair) and we SELL people on this idea of ourselves.

Agencies and social marketers get best results when they are able to tell their brand story in the same way that a (decent) human would offline. By creating a back-and-forth, generating interactions and responding to users.

Given the above, it’s weird that a lot of advertisers on social seem to be unable to grasp that this human-led approach to social ads is the best way to get results. Users on social are by default in browsing mode and it takes time and effort to transition them into buying mode. In the same way you wouldn’t hang out with someone who is constantly broadcasting about their life in your face, online people are put off by the hard sell. A lot of the ads I get served on social are the equivalent of someone sidling up to me on the street unsolicited, opening their gross overcoat and showing me a selection of knock-off watches that are available at VERY reasonable prices.

The art of the sale on social is about subtle micro-persuasions; building up a dialogue between a brand and their audience. First you need to raise awareness, identify those users who don’t know you and educate them. Once people know who you are they will be more likely to interact with you. This second phase is about fostering deeper engagements and building buyer trust. Subtly shifting users from simply being aware of you to considering whether or not they want to buy from you. Once people know who you are and you are able to identify users who have shown real interest in your brand then you can convert them from consideration to consumption.

Interaction. Traction. Transaction. If only the guy with the dodgy watches was just a bit more subtle about it…

Could IGTV be a game-changer for Instagram?

9th August 2018

A drawing of a living room, with IGTV logo on the television

On 20th June, Kevin Systrom CEO and Co-founder of Instagram (or @Kev as he is known to 1 billion monthly active users who now use the social platform) stood on stage in San Francisco and made an announcement that could change the social media landscape.

This announcement was IGTV, a new product that allows Instagram’s massive community to start sharing longer-form video content. The function, now open to all users and brands, aims squarely to take a huge bite-out of Snapchat and also YouTube. Over the last couple of years, Facebook have used Instagram as a tool to beat-off competition from Snapchat, and others, with the launch of various copy-cat features such as lenses and Instagram stories.

IGTV is a bold step for the platform into longer form content, up until now videos could only be a minute long, with IGTV anyone can create hour long, vertical, full-screen videos. The feature appears directly within Instagram and anyone can setup a ‘channel’ at the touch of a button.

Systrom stated in a blog post announcement by the company that he hopes IGTV will “bring you closer to the people and things you love” and that Instagram has“always been a place to connect with the people who inspire, educate and entertain you every day”.

Should Snapchat and YouTube be worried? In a word, yes! Instagram has continued to see massive growth over the last 12 months and the move into longer-form TV-style content through the Instagram app and the IGTV stand-alone app could be massive. We will just have to wait and see.

Anchoring your audience on social media

31st July 2018

Image of a drawing of an anchor

Don’t think about an anchor. What did you just do?

You thought about an anchor!

The ‘anchoring effect’ is a process that causes you to focus on the first piece of information given to you before making a decision. Humans love to latch onto whatever’s nearest to them and form an instant opinion.

For example, when you’re at the shop buying a bottle of wine (or two), an anchor is established when you first see the price tag. The first price you view – no matter how high or low – influences your final spend. And brands are using this brain default all the time to get us to make purchases.

This phenomenon is used across marketing to drive us to a purchase but how can we use this information on social? It’s not simple. Social media is like a living organism – there are so many factors affecting people’s views and decisions BUT we can still use anchors to our advantage.

People’s time is precious and you’re competing with the 4.75 billion pieces of content shared daily on social. Brands need to grab attention quickly and get people to stop scrolling. If they can do that, then they need to make sure that the first thing people see – that thumb-stopping piece of content – plants the right message in the first 3 seconds.

Remember that peoples’ first perception lingers in their mind, affecting later perceptions and decisions. So plan your strategy over time and make sure a post is not a lone piece in an unliked puzzle.

Storytelling has gone from ‘once upon a time…’ to ‘tap to find out…’

23rd July 2018

Image of the Three Little Pigs

Storytelling has gone from ‘once upon a time…’ to ‘tap to find out…’ but how do you make the most of Instagram Stories?

When Instagram Stories first launched it was blatantly obvious to everyone that it was a huge Snapchat rip off. But while Snapchat usage has plateaued, IG Stories have continued to grow and with them the options for brands have become more and more apparent. 250m active daily users post stories and of those a whopping 33% most popular stories are from businesses.

The amazing opportunity is that 20% of stories result in a direct message. The amazing revelation is that – loads of brands do a horrendous job.

As an agency, we have been reveling in the opportunity to be creative and innovative on the platform and it’s baffling to us to see so many brands simply posting a vertical (if you’re lucky) version of a trailer or a TV spot. We want to create immersive and high quality story content that sits in user’s feeds and gives them a reason to tap through or swipe up. As a user, when obvious ad creative drops in whilst I’m watching stories it takes me out of my experience and I can’t skip fast enough.

Social media is NOT a broadcast medium – I say that so much in new business meetings I should get it tattooed on my neck. Why would we want to just send out a message without trying to start a conversation when we have the tools to generate meaningful social interactions with our audience? Social has always been about making connections and Instagram Stories are a way to connect in an even more visceral way. You’ve got 24 hours to see what someone’s up to. They might be posting live. Sometimes they’re quick and throwaway. Sometimes they’re curated and painstakingly considered.

The best performing stories that we’ve created for our clients take film fans on a journey, make a game using the tap and swipe functionality, use the polls and slider functions in fun and innovative ways. Stories created by people are often self-shot and look handmade. We’ve had success when we show our fingerprints all over our work because users like to know that there’s another human at the other end sending a message. We’ve also built a strategy around posting beautiful bespoke creative and make sure that it gives users something to do, tells a story, is something to play with. We want to let users feel like they’re part of the story – or even better that they can control the story in some way.

Wilderness Agency in Marketing Week’s Masters awards shortlist

18th July 2018

Image shows Wilderness employee jumping in the air as they are nominated for an award

We’re absolutely jumping for joy to be nominated for a Master of Marketing Award! A big well done to the team for their hard work on the Christmas Elves campaign, created for our wonderful client Warner Brothers.



11th July 2018

Image from the Case for Change campaign showing Syrian Refugees in Jordan

We are delighted to announce that we have been chosen to partner with the GSMA on the Case For Change campaign.

17 Goals. 800 Mobile Operators. 1 #CaseForChange. The project is an online awareness campaign sharing stories about the direct, positive impact that mobile operators have on the lives of billions of men, women and children around the world.

When the United Nations set out 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), they had a clear mission to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities, and tackle climate change – while ensuring that no one is left behind. Mobile operators are challenged to help reach these Goals and connecting everyone and everything to a better future.

We are excited to help tell their story through social strategy and content production.

Check GSMA out

3 award nominations for Digital Agency Wilderness

10th July 2018

Our Digital Agency has been nominated for Best Use of Social, Best Use of Video and Most Effective/Measurable Campaign.

We are feeling hyped as we receive these 3 award nominations as part of the 2018 Digiday Marketing and Advertising Awards Europe.

Our work with Discovery Channel UK led to our nomination for Best Use of Video. Whilst our work with Warner Bros. on their Instagram Stories and their Christmas campaign ‘Warner Bros. Christmas Elves’ has led to our nomination in Best Use of Social and Most Effective/Measurable Campaign.


Two award nominations = happy team

17th May 2018

Image shows agency celebrating award nomination

WHAT A WEEK! We have been nominated in TWO categories at the UK Content Awards on behalf of our ongoing work with Warner Bros. UK, AND our client, Discovery UK, have been nominated for Best Digital Support for a Strand, Channel or Genre at the Broadcast Digital Awards.

Bring on the competition! We couldn’t be more proud of our team for consistently delivering great content that is revolutionary on social media. Here’s to everyone at Wilderness and Discovery and WB that worked on these projects and fingers crossed for the final announcements!

Learn more about our award-winning work.

Check out Wilderness’ latest venture @wearepitchside

16th May 2018

Image shows football player and Pitchside logo

The team at Wilderness have just launched Pitchside, a new sports division of the social agency.

To accompany the launch we have published the first edition of the Premier League Social Player Index the most in-depth independent social media analysis in football.

Our insight has outlined that players have replaced clubs as the powerful brands within football. In fact, Premier League playing squads have an average of 2.38 times more followers than their clubs.

Tom Jarvis, Founder of Pitchside, says, “This data is just the beginning. Pitchside can help players unlock their potential on social media. We give stars the tools to identify, engage, and commercialise their audience online.”

For more football social insights here is a top line summary of the report.



How tech and millennials are shaping the travel industry

26th April 2018

Image of a plane wing as people fly on holiday

It’s a buoyant and exciting time within the sector when it comes to innovation. Travel is one of the first industries in taking exciting steps to listen and react to new customer groups and expectations, particularly in the luxury market.

Whether it’s a full on luxury trip or adding luxury elements to their plan, Millennials are doing luxury – even if they are doing it differently.

Tom Jarvis, founder of Wilderness, tells us how millennials are shaping the travel industry and in turn, how brands can adapt.

Sir Martin Sorrell and the end of an era

19th April 2018

The departure at the weekend of Sir Martin Sorrell as CEO of WPP Group, the world’s largest advertising-and-marketing holding company, is a seismic event for ad-land. I don’t think it is an understatement to say it’s the end of an era given Sorrell’s 33-year reign as CEO and WPP position at the top of advertising and media world, with over 200,000 employees, operating in over 100 markets and with reported annual billings of over £50bn.

Though his departure is linked to an independent investigation into ‘personal misconduct’ the fall of a once great ad boss is without a doubt does part of a wider shift happening today across the advertising and marketing world.

Rather than thinking about WHO would be fit to replace Sorrell as a figurehead at WPP we need to question whether there is a place at all for big network agencies that are now under pressure to justify their high costs, particularly across digital and social. The power of self-serve ad platforms such as Facebook and Google and network agencies inability to adapt quickly to the pace of change has meant the lure of a media agency is no longer what it was.

Our Managing Director Tom Jarvis shared his thoughts with Creative Pool on whether there is still a place for the likes of WPP and how digital is now playing an ever more important role.


How to build a food and drink brand on Social Media

13th April 2018

We were delighted to this week launch our first PACK Talks event with a panel discussion on The Power of Social Media to Build a Food & Drink brand”. The event included figures from some of the UK’s leading food and drink businesses Rude Health and Hello Fresh, and restaurant founders from Pizza Pilgrims, and Polu Poke.

The panel event, at WeWork in East London was the first in our series of PACK Talks aimed at bringing together the most exciting start-up and scale-up businesses to discuss how digital and social media is helping to define their business and disrupt their market.

A packed audience of start-up founders and would-be entrepreneurs were given insight on how both paid and organic social has helped scale Hello Fresh, how Pizza Pilgrim surprise-and-delight fans through WhatsApp, and much more.

A huge thanks to Rosie, Meryl, Thom, and Celia for their insight and hopefully see you all at the next PACK Talks event.



Calling all start-up, scale-up and challenger brands

12th March 2018

We are excited to announce our new digital marketing solution for for start-up, scale-up, and challenger brands. PACK, by Wilderness provides start-up teams with the tools they need to get to the next stage of their journey.

We have partnered with experts across website design and build, content production and our in-house team across insights and strategy, social media management, influencer marketing, and advertising to create a solution for every stage of the start-up journey.

Our four launch packages are aimed at meeting the unique requirements of start-ups, scale-up and challenger brands as we aim to become your digital team. We are excited to be working with a disruptive partner client and are excited to support some truly exciting and inspiring teams.

Check out the PACK website for more details and follow us on Instagram to see more of our story.

3 steps to creating a digital marketing strategy

9th March 2018

Images showing the words engage activate convert.

We develop digital marketing strategies that create impact for some of the world’s biggest entertainment and consumers brands. We have learned a lot about how to drive impact but our approach has always focused on being fa-first. We want to talk passionately about the clients we work with and we want to engage fans who are just as passionate about the brands, shows, channels and products as we are.

Our core methodology as an agency is to take fans on a journey, to engage communities, activate audiences, and convert fans into consumers.

Here are the 3 steps to creating a digital marketing strategy that drives impact.