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  • Feedback from our Final Customer Survey of 2020

    Every three months, our Customer Success team surveys our customers in both the Radio and Managed Communities industries to get a gauge on the value that Fabrik is currently contributing to your business, and how we can improve our service to you. This is done in 2 different ways: 1. Quantitative information A survey is emailed to each of our Fabrik administrators, i.e. those who have login access to applications such as Smashboard and Echocast. The responses give us quantitative information regarding how our product and services are being received across our base of administrators. 2. Qualitative information Our team also conducts in-person interviews with a segment of our Fabrik client base to gain qualitative insights into how Fabrik is contributing to their success. In the final round of customer interviews for 2020, our team received some interesting feedback which we’ve taken on board and used to iterate our product and service delivery. Innovation In general, our customers scored us 7.67/10 for innovation and found the platform ‘handy and innovative’, noting that the platform is ‘constantly evolving and improving’. Some of our customers felt that the recording workflow on Echocast could be improved and we’ve taken that to heart! A useful suggestion on Smashboard was for a preview of the message to appear when hovering over it. Our dev team determined that this would be a quick (and delightful!) user experience improvement, and have already implemented this functionality to Smashboard. To view all our recent updates, check out our Release log. Adding Value to our Customers Our customers scored us 8.5/10 in terms of how well the platform meets their needs, and 83% of customers surveyed felt that the platform had contributed to improving their teams’ workflows. In specific, one customer mentioned the fact that the ability to remotely access Fabrik’s web-based applications was very useful, and our Metrics data visualisation and reporting tool was specifically mentioned as a feature that makes it much easier to provide post-campaign reporting to clients after app-driven campaigns. Support Our Customer Success team have been working intently to provide our customers with exceptional customer support. We are elated that, in general, our customers are extremely satisfied with the way in which we support them and their app members, scoring us 9.33/10 on our Support provision. Communication In terms of the frequency and quality of our communication, all of the customers surveyed feel satisfied with our current routines around communication. One customer mentioned that they would like to see content in the monthly Fabrik Features Update that is more relevant to their professional services business, so we will be implementing a new monthly newsletter for our PAL communities from February onwards. Propensity for Digital Change Within the survey, we also wanted to gauge our customers' perceptions about their organisations’ own ability to implement digital change and transformation. In general our customers gave their businesses a confidence rating of 7.87/10 in their ability to implement digital change and transformation in their organisations. This is a 10% increase from the previous round of surveys, denoting an improvement which we hope is due to our more robust Customer Success engagement and workshops! Whilst they are eager to embrace change within their organisations, some customers felt that they were limited in terms of time and resources which stopped them from achieving what they would have liked to in the last quarter. While our surveys and interviews are scheduled every three months, you are always welcome to send us any feedback you might have. And as always, we would love to hear of features or tweaks that would make Fabrik more useful for you and your team.

  • Echocast Gets Some Love

    Among the first parts of Fabrik to be shipped more than 10 years ago, Echocast was created to address a few key challenges in the Radio industry that unfortunately persist even today: the inability of the on-air team to capture on-air moments live; the inability to create and publish podcasts in real time without having to rely on workflows that were too time-consuming or technical; and the lack of quick and easy access to the broadcast programme archive to retrieve pieces of audio for advertisers or compliance. Echocast has since evolved to the point where it has become a vital content management, archival and compliance tool used extensively across our base of media customers. Radio Programming teams use it to capture snippets of audio that they'd like to make available for listening beyond the live moment, as well as to record and store useful content they may need to access later. Content and Production teams use it for publishing and managing on-demand content (either live or immediately after the moment) to the website, mobile app and social media channels. Promotions and Marketing teams use it to publish featured audio content as part of station promotions and campaigns. Technical teams use it for compliance and audit purposes by downloading any audio from Fabrik's cloud archive. As our Media customers across various departments become more reliant on creating and distributing podcasts, we receive feedback every so often about how the live recording and podcast publishing workflows can be improved. Taking into account our customer feedback, Echocast has received a few updates over the last month to enhance existing functionality and add some new features. Here's what you can expect to find in the latest update: Skip & Return to add Podcast Metadata The workflow of real-time recordings has been improved, providing more options and flexibility upon stopping, saving and publishing the recording. This means that, if you're short on time, you'll be able to skip the capturing of required metadata, and return to complete and publish your podcast at a later time. New 'Publish none' Category Setting It is now possible to set a Category's publish setting to either All, Latest or None. This setting impacts what is shown in your public feeds on your website or app, and all recordings, regardless of this configuration, will still be available in your Echocast admin view. While 'All' is the default, 'Publish latest' is useful for frequent, repetitive recordings (such as News, Sport or Weather) for which your listeners might only be interested in the latest recording in that category. When configuring your Category as 'Publish latest', the previous recordings available in your public feeds will be automatically unpublished whenever a new podcast is published to that category. The 'Publish none' setting is useful for podcasts that are required for archival or proof-of-execution purposes, but not necessarily for publishing to your general consumer. This setting is perfect for sponsored audio content such as live-reads or competition moments that must be captured for business purposes but may not be compelling on-demand listening for your audience. And, when used in conjunction with a Preset associated to this Category, 'Publish none' enables a streamlined and consistent recording workflow for your presenters/producers of content. Increased live-stream buffer One of the most important components of Fabrik for our broadcast customers is the digital live stream, which enables your live radio broadcast to be transmitted via your mobile app and website. The way the app or website transmits the live broadcast is that it loads small sections one after the other into the app to make sure that any breaks in connectivity or interruptions to the stream are sufficiently buffered, providing time for the stream to recover from any unexpected interruptions. In order to make your live stream even more resilient to network interruptions, the duration of that buffer has been extended to allow for a better experience when your listener's connectivity is strained, thereby reducing the likelihood of interruptions to the stream. Increased time tolerance of missing audio segments In the past, if there had been an interruption or break in the audio broadcast, Echocast would restrict the ability to request and retrieve a piece of the audio that had been interrupted. This was fairly limiting in terms of being able to retrieve audio from that section - a feature our Media customers require quite regularly. To ensure all audio (regardless of interruptions) is accessible to those requesting it, this restriction has now been adjusted and is more tolerant to periods of missing audio. Once having downloaded that audio snippet from the archive, you can then go ahead and edit or manipulate the audio as you see fit. Reworked Architecture Echocast was initially engineered to solve a few key challenges in the Radio industry more than a decade ago! Since then, Echocast has undergone a number of iterations, and different parts of the application have been worked on and improved at different times. Although the application had been maintained consistently over the years, it had come to a point where some of the back-end code and architecture had grown outdated and required quite a bit of work and time to bring it up to date. After this update, you should find that the Echocast application loads and processes your audio more quickly, and that podcast recording, audio archive requests and manual uploads are more reliable and speedy. Bug Fixes Preset Recordings Recordings configured with a Preset were occasionally affected when the Pause/Resume recording functionality was used. The result was that, when the recording was resumed, the assigned Preset would be automatically and incorrectly cancelled and erroneously saved to the General Preset. Now that this bug has been addressed, recordings categorised with a Preset will record, pause, resume and publish as expected. More Informative Error Notices In the past, when an audio archive request or a podcast recording failed, a generic email would be sent to the administrator notifying them of the failure. The email notification is now more useful, containing more information around the error. In addition, the way technical issues are logged to our Support team has been improved so that we receive more information regarding the issue, allowing our team to be more proactive when diagnosing issues and/or failures. Content Type Validation on Audio Upload Additional validation has been added to the audio upload functionality so that invalid content types are flagged before the podcast goes into a Processing state. Assigning Podcasts to a Blank Category A bug that caused podcasts to be assigned to a blank Category has been fixed. Further Info Watch our webinar about Echocast's podcasting and content management capabilities.

  • Navigating the Digital Sea of Change: 3 tips to help your business swim not sink

    How ready is your business for digital transformation? If your answer is “not very”, the data shows that you’re not alone. That’s the answer we received from a surprising number of our clients we canvassed in a recent survey. We got a similar response when we polled our audience during a recent webinar on 'Radio's Digital Transformation in a Data-Driven Age'. Watch the webinar: I say “surprising” because you’d expect companies in the media and broadcasting space to be ahead of the digital curve. While many undoubtedly are, particularly those who have adopted digital tools such as Fabrik, quite a few others aren’t as ready for digital transformation as they might need to be. If 2020 has shown us anything, it’s that momentous change is not only inevitable, it’s upon us, whether we’re ready or not. While we were all busy drawing up our ‘Digital Transformation’ strategies and debating the definition of “4IR”, Covid came along and thrust everyone off a cliff into a digital sea. Whether your company sinks or swims may depend on how quickly and adeptly you adapt to a new reality, one where formerly fringe concepts like WFH (work from home) have entered the business mainstream and niche products like Zoom have become verbs – much as Google and Skype did for an earlier generation of netizens. The good news is that there are three practical things you can do starting today that will help ensure your success in this regard. While the experience I draw on is largely in technology and broadcasting, these three principles are relevant for decision makers in most industries who find themselves confronting the reality of digital transformation. 1. Look within It may not always be apparent, but most members of your organisation can help point the way to your digital transformation priorities. The younger people are more obviously digitally savvy, having grown up in a world of smartphones, memes and connectivity. But don’t discount your older team members. They’ve already lived through the arrival of - and in many cases helped usher into their workspaces – tech like fax machines, the internet, email and voice conferencing, long before the arrival of instant messaging and video calls. They bring a wealth of institutional knowledge and expertise as well as solid values and ethics to any discussions around your company’s digital transformation journey, all of which can be the perfect counterpoint to their younger colleagues’ enthusiasm, energy and comfort with cutting edge tech and the latest trends. This may mean looking at your people through new eyes, employing a collaborative process, and being receptive to ideas from unexpected quarters. But if you’re open to allowing discourse, debate and conversation, looking within will help you find the seeds of change - and maybe also the agents of that change - inside your own organisation. 2. Look without While change starts from within, looking outwards can take its positive effects to an entirely new level. Internal collaboration unlocks the potential of your own team, but external collaboration can unleash the power of the entire supply chain. To get started, identify at least one external partner – perhaps a supplier or even a key customer or a loyal advertiser – who would be prepared to take this digital journey of discovery with you. Try looking at your supply chain in an entirely new way and identifying individual links as potential partners. Digital transformation is a convergence problem and the more partners you have in this journey, the more perspective you can collectively bring to solving problems. Taking this path requires courage and will push you well out of your comfort zone. It will require a leap of faith and trust in your prospective partners. But the rewards are worth it. 3. Adopt a culture of change If it wasn’t already apparent, 2020 has driven home the fact that change isn’t a once off, but a continuous, often disconcerting, reality of life. To survive and thrive in this state of constant flux, you will need to adapt your internal culture and structure to embrace change and encourage it within your organisation. This may involve re-examining the metrics you currently use to measure progress, productivity and other organisational priorities. You’ll need to ask yourself, “Do the things we measure encourage change or do they entrench established practices that may be at odds with change?” As important as being agile and responsive to change is finding consensus as an organisation on what constitutes good change. Chaos is change, but you want to avoid that. Throwing stuff up against the wall and seeing what sticks is not meaningful change. Nor is change for change’s sake. Yes, the prospect of transformation can be daunting. But doing nothing simply leaves you vulnerable to unwanted and unexpected changes you haven’t planned for. So, tap into the insights, energy and experience of your own staff and external stakeholders, then have a robust conversation on what kind of change you want. If our own experience and that of our partners is anything to go on, this will get you out of the starting blocks and further along the path to sustainable digital transformation than many, maybe all, of your competitors. In a recent webinar on digital transformation in the Radio industry, Anice delves into the subject in a lot more detail, as well as discussing issues like customer privacy and opportunities for real-time rich data in metrics. “You are not flying blind. That’s the digital transformation - it makes reality a lot more accountable.”

  • Use billboards to engage your advertisers & your audience

    We know that starting anything new can be hard, and that as your organisation embarks on your journey of digital transformation, your advertisers need to come along too. One of the most simple, yet powerful ways you can start to build familiarity and trust with your advertisers, generate revenue and connect with your audience is by using app billboards. What is an app billboard? An app billboard is a promotional image that appears for a few seconds after your app is launched. Billboards are a popular choice for advertisers, and can also be used communicate special campaigns or any other newsworthy information you'd like to share with your audience. Within your app, you have the option to display more than one billboard at the same time. These can represent separate advertisers/campaigns or a single campaign with a number of different billboards. If you are flighting a number of billboards at the same time, you can choose whether you'd like them to appear in a particular order, or randomly. You also have the option to add a call-to-action to your billboard which could consist of either a clickable link allowing app members to navigate to a website or a clickable button allowing them to dial through to a predetermined phone number. The billboard/s will display once every 10 minutes so if you're coming in and out of the app frequently, the maximum amount of times the billboard/s will be shown is once every 10 minutes. And once you're in the app, there's no need to quit and reopen in order to view the billboards again. Simply tap the star in the top right of your app. Benefits of using app billboards Billboards can be used effectively to stimulate app engagement and offer value to your advertisers regardless of what industry you're in. Our customers across all industries, such as broadcast entities, residential communities or business groups, use billboards to support their business objectives in a few different ways, including: Promoting local business specials, products and deals. Providing community-interest info such as Covid-19 awareness. Supporting broader engagement campaigns or initiatives. Building strong brand affiliation over a longer period of time. Informing audiences on features and functionality within the app. Introducing an Advertiser to Billboards Billboards are a low-risk way to introduce a new advertiser to your digital audience, or to get an existing advertiser comfortable with the wide range of app-based inventory options available. It's easy to measure and provide statistics on the performance of a billboard campaign and, for an advertiser who would like quick in-flight changes, it's so simple to change or adjust a billboard on-the-fly. Pricing of billboards could also be offered at an introductory or promotional price, or part of a package with other elements such as on-air or social media. You can price this inventory in a similar way to your other inventory so as not to deter your advertisers from being willing to experiment. You could even consider offering premium pricing if a customer would like their billboard to always appear first when the app is launched. how to set up a billboard campaign Now that you've aware of what an app billboard is and its benefits, there are a few simple steps before you're ready to run a successful billboard campaign, whether it's an internal initiative or a partnership with an advertiser. Step 1: Plan your Billboard Campaign For the purpose of this exercise, let's imagine our community is hosting a Fun Run to raise funds for the local SPCA. The community would like to share a billboard in their app to let people know about the event, and potentially add a link navigating to a website for registrations or ticket purchases. Some questions you can ask when considering how to create your billboard are: What is the message you'd like to get across? Is it simply one billboard or a campaign of several billboards? Would you like the billboard to link through to a website or video when tapped? How long would you like the billboard to run for? Step 2: Design your Billboard Once you've decided what it is you'd like to say in your billboard, it's time to create the design. As this stage, it is important to be aware of a few simple guidelines to ensure that the billboard displays appropriately within your app. One design for the billboard will be required, which will respond to different device sizes. The actual size of the billboard will be different to the size of the 'safe area' which is the area that will be visible within the app, to accommodate for different device sizes. Any text included in the billboard should not be too small or illegible, and images should be clear and not too detailed. Below is an example of what our Fun Run billboard could look like. Including a call-to-action button that informs the member that the billboard is clickable will help our community find out more and maybe even sign up. Step 3: Submit your billboard to the Fabrik team for flighting Once your billboard design is complete, and you've decided how long you'd like the campaign to run for, you're ready to get started with your campaign! When you're ready to submit your billboard/s for flighting, please contact our Customer Success team who will do that for you. Measuring the impact of a billboard campaign Once the billboard is live, you will need to find reporting and insights about how the advertising campaign is performing. This information is available within the Metrics application, where you'll be able to see exactly how many times the billboard was viewed within the campaign and, if there was a clickable URL associated with it, how many times the billboard was clicked or tapped. To find out more about how to use billboards to engage with your advertisers or to flight your next billboard, please get in touch with our Customer Success team. And stay tuned for some exciting upgrades we have coming to app billboards soon! further info Read more about Fabrik's other Advertising Inventory possibilities. Watch our webinar about different campaign ideas and opportunities within Fabrik.

  • Bring your digital strategy to life with an App-driven campaign

    Execute a high-impact, integrated campaign that works across your digital platforms to support your audience growth and engagement objectives. Fabrik's suite of applications can enhance your traditional audience engagement campaign by adding a powerful real-time element, along with sophisticated campaign insights and metrics you can leverage in-flight to increase your outcomes. To help you get more comfortable with executing app-based campaigns, we'd like to share some guidelines on how you can get started. Let's imagine an example of a campaign that can more clearly illustrate these steps. How about something like 'Create your own Christmas Jingle?' For this kind of campaign, we'll be asking our app members to send us a voice-note of themselves singing their most festive Christmas tune. The winner at the end would be the person who'd sent through the best one! Step 1: Plan your campaign The first step in this process is to consider what you'd like to get out of the campaign, and start to plan the activities required to achieve those goals. Determine your Campaign Objectives: The objective/s you'd be aiming to achieve with an app-based campaign should ideally support your Business Strategy, such as: growing your digital audience or membership, increasing engagement, or obtaining more meaningful demographic or psychographic information about your membership. For each campaign, consider any particular objectives you have around audience growth or engagement, and whether there are specific audience insights you'd like to gain or habits you'd like your audience to form. These could be objectives such as: Educate your audience on how to use key functionality of the app i.e. sending voice-notes or images. Increase the size of your app audience through new downloads. Increase the size of your addressable audience through new registrations. Enhance audience insights through the addition of new profile fields or through surveys and polls. Create a compelling case study you can take to future advertisers or sponsors. In our Christmas Jingle campaign example, we want to increase the size of our audience and engagement through new app downloads and registrations, as well as introduce our audience to the concept of sending voice-notes. Create your Campaign Mechanic: Consider how you'd like to invite your audience to enter the campaign in a manner that aligns with your objectives. Ensure that the mechanic is easy enough to follow so it does not deter your audience from entering. For example, in our Christmas Jingle campaign, we would want to encourage our members to Download the Fabrik app. Register your profile. And send us your most festive Christmas Jingle via the Contact Us conversation! You'd also want to make sure your mechanic is very clear when it's being mentioned within social media promotions or during your on-air broadcast. For more fun campaign ideas, check out this video with promotions expert Jonathan Lumley! Choose Inventory to support your Campaign: There are a number of in-app inventory options you can use to support your campaign objectives within the app, including a promotional billboard, or even a pre-roll audio that can be added to your live-stream or podcasts, or both! Within our Christmas Jingle campaign, we're adding a festive billboard and an audio pre-roll (a clip that plays before our livestream and each podcast) to remind our audience about the campaign and how to enter. Read more about the various kinds of advertising options available. Engage with potential Advertisers: When planning the campaign, consider whether it would work best as an internal engagement campaign, or whether you'll invite an advertiser to be a part of it. This may be a good opportunity to get one or more of your advertisers or partners acquainted with how to use the app, and demonstrate how their investment can yield pleasing results. Consider offering sponsored prizes to incentivise your audience to engage with the campaign, and ensure they pose a large-enough incentive to obtain the engagement you're looking for. STEP 2: CONFIGURE YOUR APP At the heart of any Fabrik-powered campaign is your mobile app, and using it effectively throughout the campaign is important to maintain a high level of engagement and interest with your audience. Plan your App Engagement and Content: The way the app's Messaging functionality is employed is a key part of sustaining audience engagement throughout the campaign. During our Christmas Jingle campaign, we might consider adding a dedicated channel for the duration of the campaign where we could share regular updates about the campaign, celebrate winners, etc. Consider whether you'd like to make it a Conversation in which people would be able to chat about the competition, or a Channel in which only Trusted Members in your organisation can share information that everyone else can view. Watch this video to learn how to use Conversations and Channels more effectively. Create your campaign using Campaign Manager: To make it easier to monitor and measure the impact and engagement of your campaign, you'd want to track responses to the campaign using Smashboard's Campaign Manager. Campaign Manager empowers you to enter a particular keyword associated with the campaign that would be monitored throughout, and facilitates the selection of winners from those who've submitted entries using that keyword. In the event that your campaign is active across other messaging platforms, you also have the option to consolidate all entries from Twitter, Facebook or even SMS. Update your app's Profile Fields: Consider the kinds of information you'd like to collect from your audience, and use your campaign as an opportunity to encourage people to update these fields. Profile fields are configured within the Community Centre application and can be set as 'Required' or 'Optional.' STEP 3: set up your Promotions In order to ensure the success of your campaign, there are a number of activities you can embark upon to promote your new campaign and create awareness. Use Social Media to create awareness about the campaign & drive engagement: Use all your social media platforms to create awareness around your campaign, mention the entry mechanic often and share information about winners to create buzz and excitement. Put together a content plan to begin a few days before the campaign and to run throughout the course of the campaign Set aside some budget to boost specific posts promoting the campaign within which you'll ask your followers or those targeted with the content to download your app. Co-ordinate any other Promotional Activities: Consider how else you could create awareness around your campaign. Rally your internal team around incorporating the campaign into their routine communication initiatives like monthly emailers or your on-air broadcast. If your organisation is a radio station, consider prepping your presenters with live-reads they can incorporate into each show or include your on-air audience in the fun by getting your presenters to read out the winners on air, or better yet, call the winners back on air and ask them to answer the call with a specific phrase to win. Step 4: execute & Monitor your campaign It's now time to execute! During the duration of your campaign, your aim will be to optimise the effectiveness and impact of the campaign to provide the best ROI possible. Looking at the data on a daily basis will help inform "in-flight" tweaks that need to be made to the execution, and help keep all important stakeholders informed on the campaign progress. Create in-campaign analyses for internal and external stakeholders: Keep all stakeholders informed throughout the campaign with regular updates. Consider including information like new downloads, new registrations, daily engagements via Smashboard's Campaign Manager and social media engagement. You can obtain all this information easily using the Metrics application. Watch this video to learn about the engagement information available within Metrics. If you've included an additional action in your campaign mechanic like asking your audience to update their Profile Fields, you may want to include some information about how many individuals have updated those fields. Get in touch with our Customer Success team if you'd like access to insights or information that are not yet available within Metrics. Step 5: Create your post-campaign Reporting Fabrik offers powerful data and audience insights after the fact, which you can use to demonstrate value to your advertisers or impact to your team. Create a post-campaign analysis: Use Fabrik Metrics to create an insightful post-campaign analysis which your stakeholders can use to gauge the impact of the campaign. Create a campaign case study: Once you've created your post-campaign analysis, you may want to package it in a different way, to appeal to your press office for added publicity, or send out to your Sales teams which they can use to engage with potential advertisers. Further Info: Read this case study around how one of our customers successfully implemented a Fabrik-powered campaign. Watch our recent webinar around how a Fabrik customer achieved over 1 million campaign entries!

  • I left radio to save radio

    I vividly remember sitting in my bedroom back in the 1990’s, next to my double cassette deck and radio combo with detachable speakers - yes, my Pirate Bay friends, back then I could record straight onto cassette from the radio. I was listening to a competition on Radio 5. It was a clip of 10 songs spliced together into 10 seconds and I knew all 10 clips! I stole a call on my parents’ landline to the station, but I wasn’t able to get through because the lines were jammed. Fast forward a few years later and I was the desk controller at Highveld Stereo directing all the buttons for Carnival City’s “Beat the Bomb” promotion. What an experience to see how the competition worked at the backend and how excited the audience was. By the way, a decade later, we still used phone calls as the entry mechanism and all six of our lines were “jammed”. I laugh now because I can’t imagine telling a client today that their campaign was a success because all the telephone lines to the station were blocked by callers. Yet, that was a measurement of success. Things changed when SMSes became a standard competition entry. And now, voice notes. But first the SMS. Back then the total SMS numbers delighted the client, until we could see the UNIQUE count and we found out only 100 people sent all those SMSes in the first place. Now we are discovering true engagement in radio. But unfortunately, not from industry itself. And that’s why I left radio. I have joined a Durban company, a team of developers and broadcast veterans whom I have known for years. They opened my eyes to a suite of digital radio tools called Fabrik. It is that nirvana that radio has been looking for. Except it’s not here to disrupt or topple you, it is a massively empowering tool to help. The impact speaks for itself. I have seen radio stations use the product to great effect. Imagine having a dashboard view of who is listening to the station, a view of how many people are interacting with you, and from what area of the country and with what device? There is tons more information. It is all on one platform and it is all available in real time. It is that incredible and I left radio for this. The way radio typically tries to serve its advertisers is to have an outside supplier give them a messaging system and message board. Another supplier hosts your podcasts and live streams and another company will build you an app. Another will host your website. And yet none of these systems “speak” to another. Sure, you get some information and data from some platforms, but never a view into the audience to interact with them or to have a full repository for your audience. To put it another way, imagine your radio station had a way to put everyone in one place and get them to send you voice notes from your own app, and then build up a profile of that engaged audience? Imagine you could find out how many people were listening to you at any given time and were able to picture that listening behaviour to understand over time what it actually means. This is something that RAMS has never been able to achieve, and now it’s a tangible thing. Now, of course, the more astute of you will say, “yes but that’s just a small section of my total audience”… and yes that’s true. But what if you actually grow YOUR OWN platform? Instead of pushing Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter or Instagram for feedback, you can actually have access to YOUR OWN listeners to communicate with in your own environment, in real time. Maybe, just maybe that is a better option than the disparate tools you currently deploy that still don’t let you know anything about your audience. This is harnessing digital. It takes us that much closer to understanding our audiences at a more granular level. Media buyers are familiar with social media dashboards, or web view engagement figures which they use to view or deep dive into. Now we have it for radio, with Fabrik. And it is a real digital offering for those same media buyers. Now radio can harness digital in its own way. It is a true engagement audience metric. There are no bots. Just real audience figures. The audience is ready. Is your radio station? To find out more about the outcomes that our clients are experiencing with Fabrik, check out our guest webinars on YouTube or read our case studies.

  • Protect your audience from objectionable content

    As any online community grows in size and chattiness, it's crucial that members feel that they are in a safe and respectful environment that upholds their values. At the same time, as a community administrator, it can be a concern when considering how to create a safe space where members within large, highly-engaged audiences behave respectfully. Engagement is important - the lifeblood of any online community - but it’s equally important that community administrators have a way to manage that engagement without lengthy additions to existing workflows. App stores like Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store also have strict requirements protecting app members from user-generated content they deem 'objectionable,' and require developers to provide a method for members to flag this content. In our aim to make sure your app is compliant and passes all requirements from the app vendors, Fabrik app members now have the ability to report content they deem inappropriate within a conversation, or block members they'd prefer not to see messages from in future. Your team as the community administrators will then be prompted to review the reported content and choose to either remove or retain that content based on your community guidelines. Here's how the planned changes will help you manage your community with ease. How can your audience report objectionable content? The new 'Report a Message' and 'Block Member' options within your app are accessed by long-pressing on the particular message the individual would like to report, or a message sent by the individual they'd like to block. a) Block/report another member 'Block Member' will result in any content being shared by that particular member being hidden to the member who blocked them. b) Report a piece of objectionable content 'Report Message' will flag that piece of content to community admins, to be reviewed based on the reasons provided by the reporting member. How can your team moderate content? Step 1: Access Community Centre to view a consolidated list of all content that has been reported by your community. To access this functionality: Log in to Community Centre using your Fabrik account details. Click on 'Content Moderation' on the left-hand menu. Select 'Reports.' From this screen, you'll be able to view and navigate through a chronological list of all reported content, click on each item for more details or sort by the status of the 'Action' on each one. 'Sorting by Action' gives you the ability to see a list of all content with the same status grouped together, making it easier to take action on those items where action is required. Step 2: View more information about each reported piece of content. If you'd like to view any particular piece of reported content in detail, you can do so by clicking on the » arrow on the left of the member's username, on your initial dashboard view. This will open a more detailed view of the specific report and, from here, you'll be able to update the status and resolution message of that content. Step 3: Take an action on a piece of content. Once you've clicked on the 'Status' option, you'll be able to choose one of the following actions: Pending - this is the default state meaning this item still requires action. No Action - select this option when you feel the reported content does not contravene your community guidelines, and will remain visible within your app. Remove - select this option when you feel the content does contravene your community guidelines, and will be removed from your app. The 'Resolution message' is a place for you to add any pertinent information related to your decision for the rest of your team to view - this is not visible to any app member. Further Info Watch our walk-through of Community Centre's Community Management functionality.

  • Delight your advertisers with smarter promotions

    Within the Fabrik platform, you're offered a number of opportunities to generate revenue and impress your advertisers! Many of our customers are experimenting with the different advertising options available within the platform, and gaining confidence implementing and reporting on app-powered campaigns. In an effort to help you do so with greater ease, we're exploring a few unique yet simple campaign executions that can be used to boost audience growth, engagement and, of course, revenue! These executions make use of Fabrik's advertising, engagement and data insights capabilities, making them easy for your team to implement and accessible for any advertiser. Campaign #1 - Keyword Campaign Possible Uses: A first-time advertiser seeking to engage with your audience, or as an internal campaign to increase audience engagement and time spent listening. Execution: This execution involves a simple mechanic requesting entrants to engage with the station's Contact Us conversation using a particular keyword. Smashboard's Campaign Manager would be used to create a campaign that runs behind the scenes to collate all received text, image and audio messages tagged with that particular keyword. The campaign would also monitor engagement and be used to pick winners - info that can be packaged and shared with your advertiser during or after the campaign. Watch how a well-known Gauteng-based Radio Station used this execution to increase time spent listening and audience engagement! Campaign #2 - Voice Note with Text Possible Uses: A first-time advertiser, or an advertiser who'd like to connect with your audience. Execution: Fabrik's mobile app offers the unique ability to attach text to a voice-note, making it easier to track entries and drive engagement for that particular campaign. This execution is a variation of the previous one, with the addition of a voice-note sent along with the campaign keyword. Again, Smashboard is used to set up and track campaign engagement, as well as to play campaign-related voice-note content during your live broadcast. Fabrik's Metrics application can also be used to gain real-time engagement data and insights, as well as offer your advertisers a peek into how the campaign is performing in-flight. Before the campaign begins, ensuring that your app's registration profile fields are set up with information you deem important can provide you with insightful information about your audience. Campaign #3 - Sponsored Channel and/or QR Code Possible Uses: A trusted advertiser who is interested in connecting with your community, and open to experimenting with different inventory options. Execution: Buying a sponsored conversation or channel within your app offers your advertiser a simple-to-implement, yet powerful tool for building brand intimacy and trust with your audience. Listeners would be invited to engage within the channel to win daily prizes or access exclusive content like QR codes or vouchers. A campaign billboard, audio pre-roll or branded push notification can be added to create awareness and drive engagement to the channel, offering your advertiser tangible value. Campaign #4 - App Takeover Possible Uses: An advertiser who has budget available and is looking to build extreme brand intimacy with your audience. Execution: A powerful, immersive campaign execution including a combination or all available advertising inventory depending on the campaign objective/s. Livestream and podcast pre-rolls - consistent brand messaging and re-enforcement of the campaign message Featured podcasts - branded with a logo or campaign imagery for added brand visibility Billboards - re-iterate the campaign calls-to-action, or add a URL linking to your advertiser's website or online form Sponsored Conversation or Channel - send out targeted campaign messaging on an opt-in basis from a sponsored Channel, or get your audience talking in a sponsored Conversation Dialboard - offer your audience the ability to contact your advertiser with the tap of a button Branded concierge button - give your audience the opportunity to request a call-back from your advertiser via a branded attention button Easily access real-time analytics and reporting within Fabrik's Metrics application, to measure the effectiveness of the campaign as well as your advertiser's return on investment. Whether you're an existing Fabrik customer or are thinking about how Fabrik can help to generate revenue during your next campaign - we hope these suggestions help you get started, or inspire you to think differently about how to create engaging campaigns with your audience! Further info Explore Fabrik's Advertising Inventory options. Watch our walk-through of Smashboard's Campaign Manager functionality. Get in touch with our Customer Success team if you'd like some help getting started in setting up a new campaign!

  • ‘Crazy good!’ App boosts radio station’s reach and revenue

    “It has been crazy,” says Tamie Mbombo with a huge grin. “You guys have put us way ahead in a race our competitors didn’t even know was being run in the first place!” Tamie is the head of Marketing and PR at Izwi LoMzansi, more commonly known as the Voice of South Africa, a community radio station broadcasting from the bustling Durban Station Complex, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. The fast-paced madness has been crazy good for Mr Mbombo, and it all centres around engagement with his 278 000 listeners, people who tune in from as far afield as Port Edward in the South and Empangeni in the north. More specifically, in the case of this story, it relates to Izwi LoMzanzi’s direct engagement with over 20 000 of those listeners who have downloaded the station’s app on their smartphones. For one thing, it means they are no longer reliant on the terrestrial radio signal to listen to their favourite radio station and they now have a whole new platform to interact directly with presenters and advertisers. The app was developed on the Fabrik platform, a product of Durban based technology company immedia that is at the forefront of digital innovation, revolutionizing communication for broadcasters and community organisations. The software platform, which has been licenced by African radio stations since 2016 and is now in use by nearly 300,000 people across the globe, boasts a host of unique features that reimagines revenue for the radio industry. Jonathan Lumley, Fabrik’s head of Clients, Channels & Markets has been part of the team working with Tamie on Izwi LoMzansi’s digital journey. “Tamie has made some huge strides in upselling Izwi’s on air clients onto the app – having already sold a large amount of inventory to cell phone companies and big retailers to monetise its audience.” An example of an opening billboard in Izwi’s app Jonathan adds that Tamie has led the digital charge with featured podcasts and integrated advertising campaigns. “The impact of ‘change agents’ that drive digital transformation from within a station is crucial. Tamie has embraced the possibilities of this new revenue stream by providing relevant app-based campaigns which enhance the experience for Izwi listeners.” Tamie says that the app has made his job that much easier, dramatically improving the station’s listener data. “When our listeners download the app, they put in their age and other relevant data, so we know specifically what they want. That is gold. Fabrik has helped us prepare for the future.” While total privacy is consistently maintained between members who engage in public channels, individuals are given the option to share demographic information with the station – resulting in aggregated data that is then used to conceptualise campaigns that are ‘on the money’ for their advertisers. Tamie cites one of the recent app campaigns as an example. Called “#PimpMyBiz”, it involved entrepreneurs pitching their business idea to listeners in a voice note. In total 45 000 votes were received for the entrepreneurs that audience members rated as most likely to succeed. Calls-to-action alerted app members to the competition, and voters could send a hashtagged voice-note to the Izwi Studio. The five finalists in the competition won training and a suite of products and assistance to bootstrap their businesses. “This is the sort of engagement that is meaningful to our listeners and it helps advertisers direct their spend very specifically. Fabrik has brought us to the front of the starting line, in a race many are unaware is even being run.”

  • Customise your Message Groups to Promote conversations that matter

    One of the more challenging aspects of managing an online community is considering how to stimulate engagement, as well as creating ongoing opportunities for re-engagement. Fabrik offers powerful real-time Messaging functionality to bring your audience closer through easy-to-configure message groups called Conversations and Channels. What are Conversations and Channels? Each message group type you create can be categorised as either a 'Conversation' or a 'Channel' which empower you with different ways to engage your members based on your specific needs. What is the difference between a Conversation and a Channel? Channels are read-only message groups in which only 'Trusted' individuals (members who you assign the 'Trusted' status, such as administrators or moderators) can post content. Channels are especially useful for when you need to broadcasting information to a wide audience and don't require a response i.e. a Security channel in an emergency situation, or a dedicated Special Offers channel for adding value to your advertisers. Conversations are interactive message groups where anyone who is a part of that conversation can post content. A Conversation is a useful tool to have in your app when you're seeking active engagement or feedback from your audience, or would like to bring your community together around topics of interest. How can I set up a conversation or a channel? Log in to your Community Centre portal to administer your Conversations and Channels. Adding, editing, and removing a message group as simple as tapping a few buttons, uploading your image and presto! You're now ready to connect with your audience more meaningfully. When creating a message group, it’s important to know and understand the different options you have available to you. Here's a quick introduction to the various settings. Step 1: Set your group Name, Description and Image When choosing a name, try to be as concise as possible, as a long name i.e. name with multiple words, may run onto two lines. You'll also be required to add a description to each message group so your members know its purpose, as well as any guidelines that apply to that particular group. When creating images for conversations and channels, it's best to use a plain image with no text or logos, with a slightly dark colour, or overlay. Then, select the Settings tab to toggle your Conversation's/Channel's settings. Step 2: Depending on whether you're creating a Conversation or Channel, select your preferred message group type. Step 3: Set your Visibility. The Private option provides the opportunity to invite specific members to be a part of a hidden and secure Conversation or Channel which will not be visible to members who have not been added. Step 4: Options for Public message groups If you've created a 'Public' message group, the following options provide you with even more flexibility. Join by default All members will automatically be joined to this message group when they register their profile for the first time. They can choose to opt out afterwards. This can be useful when you'd prefer your audience to be part of a particular message group, but would still like to give them the option to opt out, i.e. in a Special Offers channel. Required If you set a message group as 'required,' all existing app members will be automatically added to this message group and will not be able to opt out. This is useful for Announcements or Security channels. Optional App members can join this message group if they’d like, and opt out whenever desired. Optional groups are useful when related to very specific topics like Gardening or Pets, that may only appeal to a certain subset of your audience. Step 5: Notify by Default Configure any message group to receive push notifications by default. Note that your members will still have the option to enable or disable push notifications on any Conversation or Channel if they wish to do so. Your direct messaging channel with each member While Conversations or Channels are to be created by your team according to the custom needs of your community, a standard conversation that you'll find within your app is the direct message space in which each individual can communicate privately with you. Messages received from this conversation land into your community's Smashboard for an administrator to see and respond to quickly. Messages sent via this conversation (often referred to as Contact Us but can be customised) are only visible to yourself and that particular member, and become an important part of the way that you're able to be of service individuals. This is a great solution for a helpdesk, control centre, or studio environment as it brings all your inbound direct messaging engagement into one place! Watch our Smashboard webinar to find out how to use this channel effectively. Content Moderation - coming soon! As any online engagement platform grows in size and chattiness, it's important that community administrators have a mechanism to review and moderate all content being shared to avoid content that contravenes community guidelines. Look out for new functionality coming to your mobile app and Community Centre soon to assist you in doing so, which you can read about in August's emailer. Further info Explore the features of Community Centre. Offer a Message group to your advertisers. Watch our walk-through of the Smashboard messaging management portal. And of course, get in touch with our Customer Success team if you'd like some help with setting up a new Conversation or Channel.

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