Frequently asked questions
How can we help you?
ContentWhere does sponsored content sit on the site and where can I find it?
- Sponsored content sits within the section most relevant to the subject. It remains on the site for four weeks and you can direct readers to this content through purchasing web page traffic drivers (You Might Also Like tiles), eDM placements or social media.
- Content reach varies according to the topic, traffic drivers and length of campaign. Standard Time Out commercial content reach is generally between 3,000 to 8,000 page views. Time Out provide a conservative estimate during the sign-off process. We always suggest a mix of eDM and targeted social media drivers to ensure maximum reach.
- We cannot normally guarantee benchmarks, but we will always work to an agreed set of KPIs. We recommend outlining these from the get-go and providing expectation from the client.
- All content will sit within the relevant section on the website and is available for all readers to view. Whilst we cannot geo target content, we can target the supporting display.
- No. Time Out’s value to its readers is its independent voice when it comes to venue reviews. This means we visit bars and restaurants unannounced and pay for our drinks and meals like any member of the public. While we may work with you on a commercial basis, this does not guarantee editorial. What we can guarantee is additional editorial support throughout the period at our discretion in terms of detail and platform. Working with us on a commercial basis, however, does mean that you are frequently raised internally, and thus is a good way to soft-sell your brand into the right editorial hands.
- A listing is a traditional piece of content (including dates and contact info) that provides an impartial overview of the subject in 250 words or fewer. Normally a listing is accompanied by one lead image, although where appropriate we can look to include a supporting image gallery and display creative.
- An extended content piece provides more of a deep dive and may include up to 400 words, depending on the amount of information available and editorial discretion. Here, we can include a gallery (slideshow) and/or extra images throughout the text.
- A superlist is a subdivided feature where each item can click through to other content. Superlists lead with an image and text overview, followed by up to five separate list items as standard. The number of list items is limited only by budget; however, we recommend no more than 15.
- Time Out produces three styles of video as standard. The entry level video is an image-led video with text overlay. These videos are comprised of both still and moving images with text and sound effects overlay. These are often used for openings, announcements and overviews of festivals, events and activities.
- The next step up is a moving picture video that provides voice overlay, interview and an edited feel.
- The third video option is premium video, which involves our Time Out production studio, high quality visuals and slow motion at times.
Traffic driversDo you have performance benchmarks for traffic drivers and supporting display?
- Yes we do. Please contact our Advertising Operations team for more details on our benchmarks. As a whole, Time Out is over 3 x more engaged than our competitors.
- The eDM is sent out to each city’s subscribers. We have one general database, then segmented audiences who are interested specifically in Food & Drink, Shopping and Travel.
Social mediaWhat is the difference between a dark and live post?
- An organic post is a paid post that sits on the Time Out city Facebook/Instagram feed alongside editorial posts.
- A dark post is a targeted Facebook or Instagram ad directed to those with relevant interests. These ads reach active, engaged audiences who are looking to hear from Time Out when it comes to recommendations. We always recommend running social media ads with social campaigns to ensure your content is targeted and gets high-level engagement and results.
- Instagram stories are available to purchase but must be in line with Time Out editorial guidelines. We recommend these for travel, lifestyle and hospitality clients. We also offer Instagram stories, image-led videos for feed posts and the opportunity to be featured in our Instagram highlights section.
- Social media is an ongoing game. One week we may be smaller, the next larger, but it is not the size of the audience that matters so much as the engagement. Here at Time Out we will never say we are the biggest, but we will say we are the most engaged, with our readers really turning to us for a deep dive of inspiration. We receive the most shares, the longest dwell times and highest page views.
- When purchasing social media through Time Out, the fee covers implementation, the right to use our channels, and amplification. It also includes up to two rounds of optimisation and AB testing (if required).
- If Time Out posts organically on our platform, clients have the right to access and boost these posts on their own feeds. However, we cannot do it if we target the post.
ProductionWhen we pay for a photo shoot can we get the pics? Is it free? How much if not?
- When clients pay for a photo shoot this means they are receiving high-quality styled images to really make their content pop. These photos are the property of Time Out, but we share with our valued clients 5 x images for your own use across social media and web platforms only on the basis Time Out and the photographer are credited.
- Photography is also available for purchase and licence fees vary pending the period, use and quantity.
- As these elements are a hard cost to our business and require outlay on our end we are unable to make these commissionable for media agencies. In saying that, this only makes up a small portion of the brief, so there is still significant value applicable to agency commission.
- Time Out can certainly produce custom products and has done so for many years. As content creators we can not only produce quality material either white label or under our masthead, but we can design and distribute on your behalf. Our team is built much in the same way as a full service agency and we can provide these services to clients.
Are editors able to attend client meetings?
- Of course, we encourage it. With wider content partnerships we suggest kick starting meetings with key ad ops, content, commercial and client service teams. All Time Out projects come with a dedicated account manager, coordinator, ad ops, content and editorial contact to ensure smooth sailing from start to finish.
What is the usual turnaround time for commercial content?
- Commercial content turnarounds vary according to the project. A standard eDM or listing piece requires a ten-day turnaround. Once sign off has occurred the client completes a product brief, which goes to the relevant editor, who provides a draft within four working days. From there, two round of edits can be made.
- When working on wider commercial campaigns a project scope doc is created with timelines, contacts and assets outlined for approval. Once the scope is agreed, Time Out will work to these deadlines to ensure expectations are exceeded.
Who is the Time Out reader?
- The Time Out reader is an inquisitive social influencer within their circles. They have a passion for exploration and want to maximise the best of their cities. With high disposable incomes, they turn to us for inspiration and get out and about at least three times per week. They are highly educated, grocery buyers and inner-city residents. Slightly female skewed, they have the power to act as unofficial brand ambassadors based on their experiences.
How is Time Out different to other lifestyle publishers?
- Time Out does not stand for awareness, it stands for action. Unlike our competitors we provide honest critical opinions, and are a trusted source of recommendation. We work to help empower changemakers, which means we will take our time and ensure we provide fair insight that will have our readers using, returning and engaging with your offering in the long term.
- We offer similar products to our competitors. What we have over them is a highly engaged audience who turn to our renowned editors for inspiration. It’s because of this expertise that our readers view more of our pages, they stay on our site almost 3 x longer than the others, and recognise our brand all over the world.
- We view this not as our job, but as our lifestyle. We consume your products, go to your events and actually stand by what we preach.
How frequently do you deep dive into audience data?
- Time Out have access to Nielsen data each quarter as per Australian publishing mandate. Biannually, we speak directly to our audience to learn what makes them tick, but on a daily basis we analyse our own content, page views and videos to ensure we are always putting the best materials forward for our readers.
Can we target specific states in terms of content and display?
- Of course! We sell both on a city, ESB and national perspective. So long as it sits within one of the key cities, we have you covered.
What does it mean now you are global?
- With Time Out Australia now part of Time Out Global, brands can tap into over 109 cities with one point of contact. With the world at our fingertips we can help negotiate regional or global deals and ensure the same level of service applies whatever the territory. We can deliver a wider audience set, sophisticated digital capabilities and cost savings.
What does a Time Out event mean?
- A Time Out event is not just the party, but the entire execution. An event package includes conception, design, procurement, event management, attendee analysis and a supporting marketing campaign. You can hand over the reins and just turn up. Our dedicated events team will provide a full-service solution to ensure your objectives are met.
What types of events does Time Out produce?
- Time Out produces awards events (such as the annual Time Out Food Awards), owned events (Time Out Hop Up, Time Out Taste Test) and partnered events. Awards and owned events offer sponsorship opportunities, whereas partnered events are designed entirely for the client’s needs. These events can range from smaller insiders’ parties to custom products. Contact the events team for further details.
Time Out house style guidelines
We write sponsored content in our house tone and adhere to a strict house style. Any deviations from the official style guide that are requested by the client will be at the editor’s discretion but not guaranteed. Our strict house style is made of many parts. Here are some key elements to remember when giving feedback or when considering a deviation.
Biggest things to remember
- All Event or Venue listings must have [Sponsored] in the standfirst unless it is a page hidden from search. It must be authored by Sponsored Content. This is for legal reasons, and lets our audience know it is paid for.
- The headlines and kickers in the newsletter have strict character limits and are changed only at the editor’s discretion.
Grammar and punctuation
- We don’t put a full stop at the end of a standfirst.
- We don’t capitalise ‘the’ in names. We do so for titles (of books, films, artworks etc), but not for brand names, venue names, event names, or festival names. Eg:
We bought a copy of The Catcher in the Rye [title] at the Big Book Festival [name], which we read about in The New Yorker [title].
The exception is when the name appears at the start of a sentence:
The Super Tramps [name] performed ‘The Logical Song’ [title] at the Cricketers Arms Hotel [name].
- We don’t capitalise names unless they are an acronym. Just because a company logo uses capital letters does not mean we will capitalise it – we’ll only do so if it’s an acronym such as IKEA (an acronym for Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd).
- Speaking of acronyms, we never use full stops: it’s DJ not D.J. for example.
- Dates are written in this format: Mar 14, not 14th March. We always write it as Day Month Date, for example Tuesday March 5, or Tue Mar 5.
- There is no capital letter in any job title, no matter how important it sounds. Even prime minister is lowercase.
- Venues that have more than one location will have the name of the outlet directly after the venue name, no punctuation, like this: Belle’s Hot Chicken Barangaroo.
- Cocktails are always capped (Margaritas, Daiquiris, Martinis).
Details and structure
- Our CMS generates venue information when we create a listing. This includes the ‘Visit website’ button. The button will lead you to the website from the venue we’ve attached to your event. This information cannot change.
- Headlines for Event listings are the exact name of the event, ie ‘Bluesfest’ and not an explanatory or provocative title like ‘Catch over 70 acts this Easter at Bluesfest’.
- It’s not possible to add an end time in occurrences on the Dates and Times tab.
- With images we credit the name of the photographer. This will not include descriptive captions unless they are artwork credits.
- Multiple venues will often be changed to ‘Around Sydney/Melbourne’ by our CMS. This cannot be changed.
- The ‘Buy Ticket’ button cannot be changed to say ‘Book Now’
- We do our best to be enthusiastic without using hyperbole. We will never use “best”, ”greatest”, or “unmissable”, for example, but will strive to show how worthwhile something is to our readers in a captivating way.
- The point of view is always Time Out’s, not a client’s. We would never publish ‘We have seven great venues, so come and check them out’. Instead, it would be ‘They have seven venues.’
- We are the vehicle to spread awareness, without any guarantee on conversions. We will put as much information into the copy as possible, but “buy tickets right now”-style directives are a deviation from our usual tone.
- We will endorse your event/subject but may not use elements of your marketing angles if they don’t align with our tone. For example, we won’t use “we present” if Time Out isn’t presenting, or “our favourite bartenders” if they aren’t Time Out’s editorial recommendations.
What makes a Sponsored Content listing with Time Out special is that it is written by the Time Out editorial team. We write it in our house tone, host it on our website alongside our editorial content, and adhere to the same style standards we use for all content.
The same applies to social media ads run on Time Out’s channels. Our audience look to Time Out for our cheeky tone of voice and insider knowledge. Therefore:
- All ad copy will be written in Time Out’s tone of voice, with social media best practice in mind
- All ad copy will also follow Time Out’s house style. Any deviations from the official style guide that are requested by the client will be at the editor’s discretion but not guaranteed.
Each ad campaign is given bespoke targeting based on social media best practice. Depending on client goals, we target audiences by these broad categories:
- Location (eg: Melbourne, Sydney)
- Interests (eg: local arts organisations, foodies)
- Stage of life (eg: parents, at university)
When we run social media ads for clients, Time Out must disclose who these ads are being run by. To do this, the client needs a Facebook page and the client will need to give Time Out permission to tag the client’s page on the ads.
Good imagery is vital to the success of your paid post campaign on social media, and Time Out has strict photo guidelines. Please note the following applies on all images submitted for use in paid social media posts:
- Brightness: the image must be bright; dark images don’t cut through user’s feeds, and will impact the performance of your social media campaign.
- Clear on mobile: most audiences will reach your content via mobile, so make sure your image is clear when it’s small and seen on a mobile screen.
- Look and feel: the best images are dynamic, focused and give audiences the gist of the topic at hand in one look. Images also need to fit the Time Out style.
- No graphic or branding: Facebook and Instagram don’t like images with lots of text or branding, so we can’t use any images with graphics in them.
- Legal permission: please make sure you have legal permission or the copyright to use the image you send us.
- The job of the Ad Ops team is to implement all media sold by our sales team. This includes eDMs, social media, display, drivers and programmatic.
- We work directly with clients to achieve their KPIs and optimise their campaigns where possible.
- Following each campaign, we produce reports detailing the media’s performance.
- We manage inventory for all media.
- We work with Sales, Editorial and Design to deliver the best content for our audience.
- We ensure your campaigns run as booked and meet your expectations.
- We can negotiate and create PMP and PG deals for your programmatic campaigns.
- You can keep the same or have different display creatives throughout the course of your campaign.
- We only accept skins in a jpg/gif format. If you need tracking, please provide 1x1 tags.
- We have audience targeting for display.
- Social Display is great if you can’t provide designed assets but have organic posts on your social platforms that can be shared as a mobile MREC.
- We have standard and priority floor prices for programmatic PMP deals.
Newsletters and content
- Our newsletters include multiple tiles hyperlinking to our site. Each tile consists of a tile header designed to prompt our audience to click through and read further. They are often intentionally puns, as these engage our readers.
- Content can be driven through eDMs, social and drivers.
- All paid listings are displayed as ‘sponsored content’ on our site.
- At the end of each campaign, we put together a complete campaign report, using multiple resources.
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