SBS recently announced a new focus on audience engagement through the establishment of an Engagement marketing team and two new appointments.

The changes will expand the broadcaster’s marketing capabilities through direct and social media channels.

With the establishment of the Engagement marketing team, direct marketing and new and social media activity will be joined within SBS marketing for the first time, providing a better synergy between current direct marketing initiatives and new social media activities such as Facebook and Twitter.

SBS marketing director Jacquie Riddell said:

Direct marketing and new and social media channels are critical tools for establishing better connections with our sophisticated and diverse audiences. We are building communities of interest around content, and SBS’s new specialised Engagement team will allow us to further develop and maintain these relationships.

In the year since launch, SBS has grown its database of interested audiences by 275% and has delivered more than two million targeted emails around major content areas including news and current affairs, documentaries, food, entertainment and sport, particularly the Tour de France and football.

Through its already robust and fast-growing CRM system, the engagement team will continue to improve SBS’s direct marketing communications.

The team will also build communities of audiences in relevant social media channels and capture demographic and other information that will further increase direct marketing activity.

Its following on Facebook and Twitter around such programs as Insight with Jenny Brockie has soared in the past three months. The Insight community on Twitter has grown from a standing start to over 1,000 followers in that period, at one point attracting 300 new followers in an hour.

Audiences are looking to use online tools to engage with SBS content and Insight’s audience is a great example, stated Jacquie Riddell. Traditional audiences are joining Twitter to continue the debate begun on television.

Convergent media specialist Aisha Hillary joins SBS full time from a previous SBS marketing advisory role. She has over 10 years experience in consumer marketing strategy and promotions in Australia and the UK and is currently completing a masters degree in convergent media.

CRM specialist Andy Miller joins SBS from triple j, where he managed digital marketing initiatives including creating and managing online and offline communities. He was instrumental in growing the broadcaster’s Facebook community from 3,000 to 70,000 in under one year. At SBS, Miller will take responsibility for growing SBSs direct to audience communication via its CRM system.

The new division will be led by communications manager, Engagement, Ellis Neil.