‘Being bold and doing what’s unexpected’: Domain officially launches The Circle

Domain is hoping to shed light on “really serious topics” as it officially launches its new online content series, The Circle.

The new Domain series comes three years after content series Avalon Now, and tells the story of two young couples who decide to leave their small apartments for a more affordable life on the Sunshine Coast.

It stars Felix Williamson, Rebecca Gibney, Richard Roxburgh, Daniel Whyllie, Geraldine Hakewill, David Berry, Nathaniel Dean, Ming-Zhu Hii and Brooke Nichole Lee.

According to Jen Young, Domain’s head of content and social marketing, the Domain audience has come to expect “high quality content” with a little bit of humour

“We really pride ourselves on our content. We’ve got a team of journalists who are covering all the latest property and lifestyle topics,” Young said.

“By being really bold and doing what’s unexpected is what people have actually taken notice of Domain, as a brand. It’s not just that quality journalism but we also as part of our brand have that humour, we have that fun approachable side to property.

“Our audience have come to expect Domain as a brand to have a bit of fun and really challenge ourselves and do something a bit different.”

Domain has become known for “being bold” says Jen Young

According to Young, The Circle also shows Domain’s support for Australian comedy and the local film industry.

Commenting on the talent, she added: “They just like to have a little fun and break into different characters and they love that Domain’s supporting the Australian film industry.”

Young said there is potential for a continuation of the series should it perform well.

“Success for us is around audience views, the growth, the amount of people who watch the series as well as engagement so engaging with our brand on social or time spent on site. They’re the key metrics we are after,” she said.

So far, the trailer has received more than 2m views and 12,000 engagements. Young said that alone has been really strong.

“We do listen to our audience, we do put ourselves out there, especially on social. And if they engage and respond well, we’ll definitely look to do something,” she said.

The Circle is part of Domain’s wide editorial and social marketing strategy, and comes ahead of the launch of the website’s lifestyle vertical, which launches on October 16.

For Domain, the wider editorial strategy is to ensure the brand is part of the “whole property life cycle”, irrespective of the strength of the Australian real estate market.

Young added: “Across a lot of publishers, there’s not many people who are taking these bold risks and I think that’s something that definitely sets as apart. Something that our brands want to align themselves with as well.”

Asked whether humour and satire is the way to attract audiences, Young said there needs to be a mix.

“We are really well known in the industry, trade and consumer for taking this bold risks.

“I definitely think that there needs to be that mix, and that’s what Domain does. We do have the humour pieces that can add light to those really serious topics like affordability.

“But we also – I guess our bread and butter and our core is around that journalism. We wouldn’t push ourselves as far at The Betoota but it’s one of those things that the diversification around the content offering that we do have allows us to really set ourselves apart and remain credible.”

Domain will be separated from Fairfax Media on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in mid November, but Young is confident the social marketing strategy will not change.

“We are separating mid November but what we are doing has worked. We’ve seen phenomenal growth over the lsat three years. We’ve got a social audience of 1.4m people, whereas three years ago I think we started at 100,000,” she said.

“In terms of the engagement and audience size and app usage, everything that we’ve been doing has just been setting ourselves up.

“There’s been a plan and we’ve been working towards it, and now it’s just around the execution of it all. The strategy won’t change.”

Creative Credits:

Executive Producers: Melina Cruickshank, Jen Young & Erika Forrest

Produced by: Hamish Roxburgh & Felix Williamson

Written and directed: Felix Williamson

Original concept: Felix Williamson

Director of Photography: Alex Dufficy

Edited by: Scott Warmsley

Domain’s chief editorial and marketing officer Melina Cruickshank will be sitting on a panel to discuss how publishers have found success through satire. To find out more and buy tickets click here.


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