— W2O Group (@W2OGroup) October 30, 2017
We are seeing major changes in advertising on social channels this week. As the investigation on political advertising on Twitter and Facebook continues, the platforms are taking action to increase ad transparency as early as next month. Pinterest is also modifying its advertising capabilities and rolled out search advertising to all brands through the self-serve tool. In other news, Instagram now let’s users go Live with a friend (interesting) and Snap Inc. is partnering with NBCUniversal to create scripted programming on the Snapchat platform in 2-4 one minute segments. Take a look below to see what you may have missed this week.
Twitter Adds Transparency Center
- Twitter initiated a new ad transparency movement, announcing its “transparency center” last week. This is in light of the latest investigation on how the social platforms were leveraged to advertise during the 2016 election. The transparency center gives users insight into all advertising information, including campaign spend, details into the organization funding the campaign, and targeted demographics of all ads on the platform. Political ads will have to identify campaigns and Twitter will promote these ads with a different look and feel than other ads to differentiate them. Additionally, Twitter will be closely monitoring compliance of the new rules and cracking down on the penalties for brands that violate them. They have hired over 4,000 new employees that will oversee these rules.
- What it means for brands: The new ads transparency greatly reduces brand advertising privacy. Users and competitors will gain insight into details of campaigns that were traditionally not public information. While we don’t see this having a great effect on overall paid promotional plans, this may affect pharmaceutical companies that advertise during medical meetings and unbranded campaign/disease awareness ads. We’ll be tracking this update closely to learn next steps.
Twitter Launches New Video Cards
- Twitter is in progress of launching video cards which drive directly to a brand’s website. As a user navigates to a brand’s website the video will continue to play. Twitter hopes that combining the power of video while driving users to the site will increase conversions for brands. While testing this, Twitter says that the new cards achieved a 2X higher click-through rate than the industry benchmark for mobile video ads. Additionally, during testing they saw the number of users who abandon a site while it loads decrease because the ad continues to play as the site loads, keeping users’ attention.
- What it means for brands: Video advertising is a powerful tool for brands, allowing them to bring a product or service to life and entertain its target audience. Including video cards that link to a website will not only make a more seamless experience for users, but also increase website views for brands. Having a video that continues to play as the website loads will ensure that users are engaged and not clicking out of the website while they wait.
(via Social Media Today)
Facebook Increases Ad Transparency
- Facebook’s biggest update this week, following in suit with Twitter, is to increase ad transparency. Facebook will be launching a “view ads” feature which gives all users insight into how brands are advertising on the platform. Typically, “dark” ads are only seen by people within an intended target audience. Now, users outside of a brand’s target audience will be able to view all promotional content published by a page. For politically driven pages, Facebook is implementing an “archived” section to give all Facebook users full transparency into a campaign, even after a campaign is complete. As an extension of this new feature, Facebook is testing two different feeds for users. One feed would be an explore feed, featuring posts from friends and family only. The second feed would be a “pages only” feed, where users can explore the posts of pages and brands they follow.
- What it means for brands: Starting next month (in Canada, not US), brands will lose the ability serve content to (solely) specific target audiences. All paid advertising content will be viewable by users and competitors alike. Brands will be able to see each other’s ads, giving each brand insight into its competitors messaging and tactics- which is good and bad. While we don’t see this greatly affecting overall paid promotion strategies, where we do see this having a potential impact (for pharmaceutical companies) on paid promotions is surrounding medical meetings and unbranded disease education campaigns. We’ll be keeping our eye on this and share updates as they are released.
(via Social Media Today)
Instagram Adds Go Live with a Friend Feature
- Instagram is enhancing its Live stream experience by adding the option of going Live with a friend. The approach here is to make the Live tool more entertaining for users and less uncomfortable and intimidating for influencers or spokespeople.
- What this means for brands: Having the option to go Live with a friend can be valuable for brands, as they can leverage this to answer audience questions or conduct interviews. This also eliminates potential coordination of having to all be in the same room – now influencers can go Live together from across the country. Going Live can be a great way to reach fans for celebrities or showcase a new product for brands, and as these live-stream capabilities continue to develop brands can expect to continue leveraging this capability for their audience.
Snapchat Partners with NBCUniversal for Scripted Programming
- Snapchat jumping on the live-TV bandwagon. The platform recently partnered with NBCUniversal to bring a daily Snapchat program called “Stay Tuned” to the platform, a scripted program covering the latest news in 2-4 minute segments. It makes sense that they are moving towards video programming in the app, as it is following the demands of users wanting to use their social apps to connect with friends but also for news and media consumption. This makes us think that Discover may not be gaining as much engagement as it used to and they need to find new ways to reach audiences with newsworthy information.
- What it means for brands: Adding video news segments to Snapchat will expand advertising capabilities for brands in the coming months, possibly with more niche targeting and maybe even in-stream video ads like Snap story ads have now. Additionally, as Snapchat continues to ramp-up its user experience, this could attract more users and make it a more desired platform to advertise on. Younger audiences may start turning to Snapchat for all their news, which may cause competition with Facebook and Twitter.
(via Social Media Today)
Pinterest Launches Search Advertising
- According to Pinterest, there are over 2 billion searches on the platform every month and 97% of those searches are unbranded. These results fueled their latest update, the launch of search solutions advertising on its self-serve advertising platform. For soft launch, these ads were only available with Pinterest Partners, but are now available via Pinterest Ads Manager for all brands. The search ads will work similar to those on Google. Brands can add keywords or key terms, and when a user enables a search that is relevant to the ad keywords, a promoted pin will show up in the search feed. Additionally, Pinterest expanded targeting capabilities for these ads with the new “Taste Graph.” This is an auto-targeting option that utilizes the advanced understanding of what people are looking for based on the pins they save, and supplements a brand’s keyword strategy by automatically targeting relevant searches.
- What it means for brands: Giving brands the ability to promote their pins based on keyword searches is a great way to get the right ads in front of the right people. Additionally, leveraging Pinterest’s understanding of users via auto-targeting can expand a brand’s reach, but also ensure that the brand is reaching the right audience.
Additional Resources: Social Media Today
(via Social Media Today)
Tell us about your new company, Kaleido Insights? And what was the inspiration for the name?
Jeremiah: We’re a new boutique research and advisory firm, with four analyst partners. We’re focused on the buyers within large companies, who are often in marketing, innovation, product, strategy and beyond. My partners are Rebecca Lieb, who focuses on marketing, media, and content;also Jaimy Szymanksi who focuses on customer experience and digital transformation; and Jessica Groopman whose expertise is in autonomous technologies like IoT, Blockchain, and artificial intelligence. I focus on Corporate Innovation and new business models.
We’ve all seen an increase in the rate of emerging technologies, and it’s leaving business decision makers overwhelmed and confused as how to possibly keep up. Our brand, Kaleido (like Kaleidoscope) reflects how so many different technologies, like the shards within a kaleidoscope, create a fragmented, chaotic environment for companies. We try to provide clarity through the ever shifting lens. The tripartite logo represents our unique methodology on how we analyze any technology: impacts on Humans, impacts on Businesses, and finally the impacts on the larger Ecosystem.
This is your third research firm – the last two being Forrester and Altimeter – how is Kaleido Insights different?
Jeremiah: Ah yes, great companies, great experience all who taught me a tremendous amount, I’m grateful for those experiences. Currently, Kaleido Insights is the only independent analyst firm focused on the buyer side. There’s larger analyst firms, but it’s easy to differentiate from them as a smaller, more nimble organization.
What are the focus areas of Kaleido Insights (would be good to hit hard on the analytics/data piece here)?
Jeremiah: Kaleido Insights’ coverage areas don’t focus on single point technologies, but rather on the ‘horizontal’ areas that remain core to any business—the areas that are constantly impacted by emerging technologies. Collectively, these form a foundation for any digital innovation strategy. Our 4 coverage areas include:
- Customer Experience: Including deep analysis on consumer-facing programs, technologies, empowerment, and the organizational transformations required
- Business Models & Monetization: Including the impacts of emerging technologies on monetization models, and the role of innovation programs
- Marketing & Media: Including emerging practices in content and marketing strategy and execution and how to align hyperlocal, local, regional, corporate, and global teams for success
- Automation: Including the ever-evolving role of devices, algorithms, and architectural innovations in product, service, and process automation, driven by IoT, artificial intelligence, blockchain, and beyond
You mentioned in your announcement that you will continue to run Crowd Companies as well. Will there be synergies/overlap between Crowd Companies and Kaleido Insights?
That’s correct, Crowd Companies, which I started around 4 years ago, will continue forward under my leadership, with a seasoned team in place. Crowd Companies is a peer-to-peer council for corporate innovation and digital leaders –it was important to segment an advisory services firm away from the council. This separation is common at other large Industry Analyst firms, too. It’s possible we’ll have overlapping clients but the business models are significantly different.
Who is your dream customer and in one sentence, why should they be working with you?
Jeremiah: Our dream customer is a business leader at a large complex company that needs help innovating their digital strategy. They want help in charting the path, researching the market, and then collaborating with our team on an actionable road map that they can execute, while we coach the team. We’re seeking those long-term relationships so we can aid them as they shift their businesses to adapt to the many technologies that are constantly emerging.
You recently ran the Spartan Beast World Championship. You mentioned in a Facebook post that it was one of the hardest things you’ve ever done in your life. How does that compare to starting a business?
Jeremiah: We all spend most of our adult lives focusing on our career (often even more effort that we focus on our fitness) so getting back into shape was a significant challenge. It took about 3 years to get into shape so I could finish the 17 mile race in Tahoe with 38 military-style obstacles, but I got it done. With that said, it wasn’t easy, while the professionals finished in just over 4 hours, my time was just over 9 hours. What’s the insight and how it applies to business? With ample research, training and dedication and you can accomplish your goals in all areas of your life. On a personal note, I strive to balance three things: family, fitness, and being a founder.
From ubiquitous technologies to data privacy to multi-platform convenience, Europeans are on the verge of redefining how consumers and brands interact
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is quickly becoming more and more accepted not only in our personal lives but for business as well. It seems like each day we are exposed to a different AI application and with it a new experience. AI is the enabler within a digital world that is changing the customer journey offering a smoother path toward purchase, an instantaneous set of data to strengthen knowledge, and a more seamless way of living life.
Here in Europe, there is a growing AI industry spread across a number of countries. This solid infrastructure represents the next generation of business putting European companies at the forefront of this new technology and with it the challenge of navigating new pressures – both political and societal. Today, UK has the strongest AI ecosystem followed by German, France and Spain.
So where does this leave us from a communications and marketing standpoint?
First and foremost, the coming age of AI provides an early blueprint for how companies can convey their business mission, purpose, and efficacy. It begins with an analysis of the organisation’s influencer network. Meaning those constituents who are interested in your products and services, policies and beliefs, and who are shaping your story and carrying your messages. This ecosystem allows you to determine the vagaries of opinion across countries, boundaries, and regions.
Among the areas where AI is finding a home throughout Europe include: call centres, wearables, fitness, health and wellness, home security, HR recruiting, note-taking, banking, virtual assistants, payments, conferencing, search, lighting, energy management, warehousing, customer service, video games, robotics, etc. The benefits of AI revolve around a richer, more seamless customer experience tying people more closely to the brand in large and small ways such as product customisation, ordering ease, addressing issues promptly, faster turnaround, and more choice.
The promise of AI is the result of a digital world where technology places control in the hands of the marketplace.
With that in mind, savvy organizations are incorporating new elements into marketing and communications programming to move their business and mindset to the future including gaining knowledge, input, and acceptance of AI. Among the areas being addressed:
1. Bridging the Present With the Future
Rethinking the overall corporate narrative to paint a picture of what the future can look like
2. Discovering New areas that Improve Customer Experience
Identifying customer service connections where AI provides a high-quality experience
3. Balancing any Arguments That Might Impede Progress
Providing well thought-out points of view (POV) supporting a more digital experience for customers and employees
4. Engaging in Real-Time Discussion and Debate to Build Confidence and Trust
Creating interactive tools and apps to generate discussions and debate that leads to stronger policies and clearer decision-making
One of the most important issues regarding AI, as well as all digital intelligence, has to do with security and privacy. In April 2016, the European Parliament approved the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which goes into effect in May 2018. The measure is meant to protect an individual’s personal data and information and therefore privacy. As AI becomes prominent security and privacy will rise in importance providing fertile ground for organizations to declare a competitive advantage if their policies protect consumers and employees.
The future in many respects is already here as AI is changing expectations in the marketplace and the workplace. For European brands, who acknowledge this technological revolution, Top of the Document a proactive communications and marketing effort focused on education, efficacy, and dialogue will not only accelerate these changes on macro level but will position them in a much stronger place for growth.
In this week’s Social Scoop, we’re taking a deep dive into the recent updates from Twitter Instagram, Snapchat, and of course, Facebook – because when would a week go by without a Facebook update? Twitter’s announcement of a possible 280-character limit has created buzz amongst all Twitter users, including brand handles. Instagram is taking note on how user’s comment and what they are saying, enabling a new safety policy that makes the platform a positive place for people to express themselves. Snapchat announced 14 new creative partners that will be working closely with brands to create a memorable story ad experience….and lastly, Facebook is working amping-up the Messenger app, yet again.
Twitter Tests Increasing Character Limit to 280 Characters
- As most of you are already aware, Twitter announced that it is testing a 280-character limit for tweets. This update is in Beta testing for select users right now, but if testing is well perceived, they plan to expand the increased character limit to all accounts. With 140-characters, users are restricted in their story telling and information sharing, and often users leave out key aspects of a message to make their status fit within one tweet. Twitter is hoping that this motivates users to tweet more frequently and create thoughtful messages. The increased character limit will be available in every language except for Japanese, Chinese, and Korean because these languages use less characters in their text font than most other languages.
- What it means for brands: While this is not immediately available to brands and users yet, if Twitter rolls out this update it could have the potential to drive more advertising and engagement on its platform. It is difficult to fit a clear message into 140-characters, which turns people away from using the platform. With this update, brands can leverage the higher character limit with powerful messages that catch the eye of their target audience. Twitter’s targeting capabilities are very detailed, with the ability to target followers of certain pages. The combination of detailed targeting and more robust messages could put Twitter at the top of the list for brands.
Instagram Continues Optimizing User Safety
- Instagram is working diligently to decrease the amount of negative and abusive comments on the pictures of their now 800 million users. There have been 3 big updates in the last few months:
- Recently, they enabled public account users to choose who can and cannot comment on their pictures
- Back in June, they expanded their comment block capabilities, which allows users to opt out of receiving offensive comments on their posts. This idea is similar to Facebook’s spam filter, except instead of having to input keywords to block, Instagram will do the blocking for you through automated algorithms. The comment block capabilities are available in English, Arabic, French, German and Portuguese.
- They added an anonymous reporting feature during live broadcasts that will allow viewers to flag any live comments (that come in from another user that they think may be harmful or alarming) directly to Instagram’s 24/7 support team who would give the individual the help that they need. Cheers to Instagram for working to create a positive platform for self-expression and kindness.
- What it means for brands: Brand safety is a major concern and with the implementation of expanded comment block capabilities, brands can feel rest assured that any offensive or inappropriate comments will be automatically hidden. Additionally, the anonymous reporting feature could be especially useful for Pharmaceutical companies. If during a live broadcast a user commented something that needed to be handled but was out of the realm of the company and was not considered an adverse event, the ability to flag the comment to Instagram gives brands peace of mind that the viewer will receive the care that they need.
(via Social Media Today)
Snapchat Adds 14 New Creative Partners
- Last January, Snapchat introduced a creative partner network which would assist in ad creation for advertisers. Recently, they have expanded their creative network by adding 14 new companies to the list. Originally, the partners offered support for designing interactive ads that would appear between stories. Now, Snapchat has added its new partners to enhance the ad experience for users after they swipe-up on an ad and show interest in the brand or product. The partnerships bring the following new capabilities to Snapchat: custom games, interactive videos, gyroscope-powered experiences, lead generation campaigns, and pre-loaded Instant Apps as destinations for Snapchat ads.
- What it means for brands: With the addition of new design and technology partners to help brands advertise on Snapchat, brands can create a unique and memorable experience for users that swipe-up on an ad. There is really an opportunity for all, as long as platform is the right platform for your audience.
Facebook Launches Click-to-Messenger Ads
- According to Facebook, 18 million businesses exchange more than 2 billion messages with consumers each month. With this large number in mind, Facebook launched click-to-messenger ads to increase awareness of company messenger platforms as a means for consumers to communicate with brands. The ads will be clickable, and instead of driving to a landing page they will drive to the brands account on messenger. A survey conducted last year by Harris Poll found that 78% of adults were not aware that Facebook chatbots exist. Facebook hopes this new type of ad will bring more awareness to this method of communication between brands and consumers.
- What it means for brands: Using click-to-messenger ads is a great way for brands to ensure quality and timely customer service and communication with consumers. Driving awareness to a company messenger bot can expedite customer service and increase overall customer satisfaction. The ad format is like other ads, with the option of single images or videos, carousels of multiple photos or videos or Facebook’s slideshow format that stitches together photos to play like a video. We all know that bots are the future of communication, and there’s no shocker Facebook is owning the lead in rolling out new innovations.
There have been some big updates to hit the social sphere over the last week. Facebook is planning to increase click-through-rates and conversions via its magazine-esque shoppable ads. Also, you may have missed it, but Instagram’s new full-screen story ad is making its debut. LinkedIn’s newest Audience Network Update may impact your targeting & Twitter is making changes to their admin capabilities by making it easier for multiple people to work on the same account…from a mobile phone! See below for updates & let us know your thoughts!
Facebook Updates its Shoppable Ads & Custom Audiences
- Facebook is updating the shoppable collection ad format that was rolled out this past March. Shoppable collection ads drive product discovery and sales through a series of product images or videos, mimicking a catalog. The new update includes mobile-only, full-screen ads called “lifestyle templates.” With lifestyle templates, brands have more flexibility to include more robust information for consumers such as maps to brick and mortar stores or multiple product images and descriptions. These are being called a “digitalized magazine ad,” aimed to allow advertisers to bring their print creations to mobile. Additionally, Facebook will begin sharing metrics for brands on where their ads appeared via post-campaign placement reports. This is to ensure that brands are aware of what kind of third-party apps and websites their content is being displayed on through Facebook’s audience network. Lastly, Facebook has updated their engagement custom audience capabilities for brands. These updates include creating a custom audience for people who previously engaged with full-page canvas ad, as well as people who have engaged with the Instagram account linked to a brand’s business manager.
- What it means for brands: A larger template for ads is highly beneficial for brands, as this means that they are paying the same price for more newsfeed real estate. Additionally, brands have the option to become more creative with their ads and display the product on a larger scale to drive users to the website. Providing brands with reports entailing ad placements after a campaign ends gives brands an idea of what kind of third-party sites that their content is appearing on.
(via Marketing Land)
Instagram Brings Full-Screen Canvas Ads to its Platform
- Instagram’s latest update is here – canvas ads for Instagram stories. Although Instagram story ad placements have been available to brands, implementing canvas ads into stories will create a new, full-screen ad experience for users. Also, brands can save organic story content for ad campaigns through Power Editor and Ads Manager. This will allow brands to create evergreen content on IG that can then be set up as an ad on Facebook. Lastly, to increase the reach of stories, Instagram has implemented a feature that will allow users to direct message someone else’s story to a friend. If brands/users wish to have this feature turned off for privacy reasons, that option is available as well.
- What it means for brands: Canvas ads create a unique, full-page experience for consumers. With the canvas ad option, brands can create more robust, detailed story ads to further engage with consumers. Allowing brands to save story content to use at a later date in a Facebook ad could be highly beneficial for brands, as Instagram stories are candid and entertaining and more video content to leverage means more engagement across content. The new feature, which enables direct messaging an Instagram story from user to user, could exponentially increase the already 250 million users viewing stories daily.
(via Ad Exchanger)
Twitter Introduces Account Sharing in Mobile App
- Twitter has set up a new feature that will enable multiple admins to manage a brand’s Twitter account at one time, on-the-go, without sharing login information. The new account sharing feature that is being made available to mobile lets multiple employees and partner agencies to tweet, retweet, direct message, schedule tweets, and create lists all from a mobile phone. Previously, the only way brands have been able to do this for Twitter is through the tool Tweetdeck, which is only available on desktop. It looks like Twitter is one step close to on the go monitoring and management.
- What it means for brands: 24/7, on-the-go access by multiple people at once means brands can be more timely and present than ever. If relevant content is posted at 11:00pm on a Saturday, an employee or partner agency can easily login to the Twitter account sharing app on their phone and do a quick retweet or post of their own, without having to worry about accessing their computer. Moreover, multiple people can be working on the same brand’s account at once on their mobile phone. For instance, it multiple people need to do community management on a page, they no longer have to login with their credentials via desktop: they can now do it right on their phone, via the Twitter app. Set this up for your brand It could get tricky though with so many admins working from the same platform, so make sure to assign roles upfront!
Using Teams for shared accounts? You can now contribute to Teams on Android & iOS – so it’s easy to Tweet on the go. https://t.co/qJKcibDZxj
— TweetDeck (@TweetDeck) September 7, 2017
LinkedIn Introduces New Audience Network
- LinkedIn has launched a new audience network that allows brands to target content to users on third-party websites and apps. The way it works is simple: LinkedIn can place targeted ads into the News Feeds of those who have recently logged into their LinkedIn profile on other websites and apps that they visit. Brands can also control the types of third-party websites and apps that their ads appear on to ensure brand safety.
- What it means for brands: LinkedIn campaigns can now perform at a much higher reach by giving brands the option to have ads appear on other websites and apps. By increasing the potential reach of campaigns, brands can feel rest assured that their paid social spend is being used efficiently and reaching a vast audience.
This week on the Social Scoop, learn more about Facebook’s continued efforts to put brands first, Snapchat allowing brands to cherry pick the placement of their ads, and LinkedIn’s very exciting update involving video.
Facebook’s 3 Key Updates This Week
- Here’s what you need to know about the Facebook updates:
- To improve ad performance for brands, Facebook has created a list of 17 types of organic posts that can no longer be promoted. You can view the full list here, but the list includes boosted posts that are least commonly used, so no need to panic.
- Facebook also made some cosmetic changes to the newsfeed. These changes include circular profile photos, slightly larger photos attached to a link, shaded background in text to make it easier to read, and displaying comments in message bubbles. Did you notice?
- Facebook’s last update for this week involves Facebook Live. When users go live on Instagram (a Facebook owned platform), the live stream automatically populates into their story. Now, the same will happen for Facebook. Users have the option to turn this feature off, but if they do not, their live stream will automatically go onto their story. This one is a big one, since brands that go live will hopefully garner a greater reach and gain the immediate attention for followers who log into Facebook mobile and may not realize from the News Feed that a page is live.
- What it means for brands: Facebook wants to optimize the ad process for brands, and eliminating underperforming posts from being promoted will help brands be more efficient with their ad spend. Using Facebook Live can be a very powerful tool for brands, and adding the ability to have Facebook Live populate on a brand’s story will greatly increase the reach of the live stream. Additionally, it is always important to stay up to date when there are platform changes, should there be new spec sizes, or formatting updates that impact assets and approvals.
Snapchat Adds Manual Ad Placement Controls for Brand Safety
- Snapchat is continuing to evolve its advertising capabilities. Their most recent update allows brands to have more ad placement control. By default, ads run within all available ad inventory. This raises a concern for brands, as they want to ensure that their ads are appearing around brand-safe / relevant content. The new update will give brands three options for ad placement to have full control over where their ads are appearing on the platform.
- What it means for brands: The first option for ad placement is to do content exclusions, where brands can choose up to seven categories that they do not want their ads to appear next to. This could be for brand-safety or contextual reasons. The second ad placement option is to choose to have ads to only show up next to curated content, which would be content from Our Stories, Publisher Stories, or Shows. The third option is non-curated content only, which could be less expensive ad placement buys. Giving brands ad placement options like these adds value to the platform as it continues to grow its advertising sector.
Additional Resources: Marketing Land
(via Marketing Land)
LinkedIn Rolls Out Native Video Uploading to Platform…But Not for Business
- LinkedIn now allows native video uploading…although they have not made this available to company pages just yet. The platform predicts that this will come as video evolves. For now, it is available to personal pages only. There is a three second view time, which means that users are counted as a view if they watch the video for three or more seconds. Additionally, LinkedIn will provide insights on the type of people who viewed your profile, including the company that they work for or their job title. For privacy reasons, these characteristics cannot be tracked back to a specific profile- they will all be put into the same bucket, anonymously. For example, if John Smith, an analyst at Google, views a person’s video, the user who posted the video can see that an analyst from Google viewed their profile but will not know that it was John Smith.
- What it means for brands: Video is a powerful advertising tool and traditionally gets a higher rate of engagement than plain images, across all social channels. When LinkedIn gives brands the ability to post videos on the platform, it will open the door for a lot of creative opportunities for advertisers. Additionally, the video viewing metrics will be valuable to brands as they can get insight into demographics of their viewers and look for trends among this information.
(via Social Media Today)
Following find an excerpt from Bob Pearson’s “Storytizing,” contributed by Natalie Malaszenko.
Natalie currently works on the digital marketing team at Office Depot. Natalie led Hewlett Packard’s first ever fully centralized Global Digital Organization when she was vice president of Global Digital Marketing. Previously worked as vice president of marketing for Omni Hotels and senior vice president of marketing at Overstock.com.
The evolution of how, when, why and where people shop online is simply fascinating. It has become a part of our everyday lives. At the touch of our fingers, we can order almost anything, anytime, anywhere, and we’ll have our purchase in hand within days, sometimes hours. However, even at the rate in which e-commerce evolves today, these four consistent pillars should serve as anchors to every solid e-commerce strategy:
- Keep it Simple — The experience for a consumer today, whether desktop or mobile, must be simple and quick enough that a consumer can arrive at their destination in fewer than five clicks, and preferably with just one. Keep the organization of your site simple, direct and minimal. No need to oversell with more — in most cases, less is more.
- Never Underestimate the Power of Influence — Word of mouth goes a long way. People simply trust the opinions of other people. Integrate commentary from other shoppers into the experience and provide it in a helpful way. On the flip side, make sure it’s easy to leave feedback on a product or your company.
- Content is King — Compelling copy is no longer enough. Images, product videos, product 360s, and videos of the product in context of where and how it’s used are now critical aids in closing online sales. Good, unique and relevant content also improves rankings across search engines. Content is definitely one investment worth growing significantly year-over-year. Plan to create, repurpose and aggregate original and third-party content to give your product more weight.
- Exceed Expectations: This is the hardest of the four because consumer expectations have never been higher. Look for moments to surprise and delight customers, so you’re one step ahead of what they hope for their retail and product experience. This is truly what sets great companies apart and creates loyalists in a fiercely competitive marketplace.
For many initiatives, achieving high social engagement is a necessary step towards reaching an end goal. But in most cases, engagement alone doesn’t do enough to drive tangible results. No brand wants impressions for impressions’ sake—they want impressions that create an audience inspired to act.
The Millennial audience is one that is growing in importance as a powerful driver of the consumer economy, and while social media is native for them, most Millennials still report feeling overwhelmed by balancing their “double life”—that is both a social media presence and a real-world presence.
To harness the true actionable potential of the Millennial audience, it is crucial that communicators help Millennials bridge the gap between their lives on social media and their real lives; this bridge is content that inspires both engagement in the social realm and action in the realm of reality.
Luckily for social media marketers, Millennials are more willing than any other age demographic to base their actions upon content they consume in social channels.
A study conducted by Deloitte in 2015 found that 47 percent of Millennials say their shopping habits are influenced by social media, with 33 percent being influenced by social in health and wellness purchasing decisions. Survey respondents in other age demographics were only 19 percent likely to say that social media influences their buying actions.
This does not imply that Millennials are simply most willing to be passively led to action by branded social posts. Their adjusted action instead stems from content posted by their peers or trusted celebrities, such as product reviews. Social media content resonates with Millennials because it allows them to take informed action in the marketplace while still satisfying their innate craving for authenticity and social connection. These needs are no longer met by traditional corporate advertising.
Travel is also an area where Millennials find social media to be particularly actionable. A study by the Blitz Agency in Los Angeles found that 15 percent of Millennials say they use Facebook to decide where to travel, and 13 percent claim to base their travel actions on Instagram content. This ranks social media as the second strongest force driving Millennial action in the travel category, after word of mouth at 16 percent. This indicates that Millennials’ desire to feel like part of connected physical group is not purely metaphorical— they want an in-person connection.
Our very own Millennial employees here at W2O also noted that social content that features surprising facts and statistics also serves an extremely effective bridge between engagement on social media and real-world action. For example, shocking statistics that revealed a hidden truth about how destructive K- Cups are to the environment inspired one Account Associate stop using them to get her caffeine fix.
These examples demonstrate that content will spark action if it provides Millennials information about their peers’ actions or offers bold statistics. Both types of information serve as a compass, helping Millennials to guide their own actions to meet their innate desires for social belonging and authenticity.
And it makes sense that these factors would drive action. Perhaps the two halves of Millennials’ “double lives” are not as unique as previously thought. Historically, society has been most driven to action by leaders who create a sense of community and seem personally authentic. Why shouldn’t the same hold true in the social realm?
Engagement will come to those brands that make themselves relevant to their audience. But action on the part of Millennials will come to those brands that dare to cultivate online communities and strong, authentic brand voices on social media.