Magazine: Inked // Facebook: @InkedMag // Video Credit: Paul Gambino // Project Editor: Sami Hajar
Views: 11 million // Likes: 212,000 // Shares: 47,000 // Reach: 25.9 million
Caption: Post Mastectomy Repair Tattoo on the lovely breast cancer warrior Denise by Ink Master's Sarah Miller – Tattoos, Illustration, Art for our Inked for a Cause program.
Sarah to Denise as they started: "I want you to feel beautiful again, because you are."
Denise on why she allowed us to broadcast this live: "After breast cancer, I want to show other women that things can look better."
The Live video lasted just under four hours and showed a post-mastectomy repair tattoo of a flower garland and reconstructed nipples. The video opens up with the breast cancer survivor, Denise, sitting in a chair with the tattoo sketched on her. By the end, it’s complete.
At the top of the 59,000 comments, a woman writes: “I did not know there was a magazine. I'm not really sure how I came upon this video… I love what she is doing with her scars. Thanks for having the video. How would I go about getting a subscription?”
Talk about audience acquisition!
Not all of Inked Magazine’s content is of the inspirational sort. The tattoo enthusiast brand, which editor-in-chief Rocky Rakovic describes as “a ‘skin magazine’…that includes beautiful tattooed women showing their artful skin,” consistently does well on Facebook Live, with videos ranging from celebrity interviews to “Inked Girls” broadcasts — tawdry livestreams of scantily clad, albeit tattooed, women on beds.
Rakovic says that the average video reaches around 1 million people, thanks to a major investment by the brand into an in-house tattoo studio — “I can currently hear the buzz of a tattoo machine from my office,” he says — as well as a resident DJ to spin on set. Now, Facebook Live is a core part of the brand's content strategy.
“A few years ago we thought of ourselves as a print magazine first. Now when we look into the mirror we see the Inked brand as a social media creator, curator, and distributor. Because our Facebook Lives have rated highly, we have begun to schedule Live videos by different Inked contributors in the same way a television station schedules their programming.”
While viral videos are difficult to duplicate, Rakovic credits Inked’s overall success to an increased concentration on engagement metrics, as well as a commitment to mastering each medium for what it is.
“Engagement is key. Never before have editors such as myself, who come from a print background, had access to real time analytics on their content. I was monitoring a Live tattoo session the other day and saw that every time the camera focused on the person getting tattooed — rather than the tattoo itself filling up the frame — viewership would valley.”
“No longer do content creators put out media without input. Now our fan-base, our community, is helping to shape the direction of our pieces — that’s dope.”