tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/facebook Latest Facebook content from Econsultancy 2016-07-14T15:17:07+01:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68075 2016-07-14T15:17:07+01:00 2016-07-14T15:17:07+01:00 Who will win the live-streaming battle: Facebook Live or Periscope? Blake Cahill <p>With an injection of social along with the time-sensitive nature of breaking broadcast, live-streaming is simply an age-old device repurposed for the present times. </p> <h3><strong>What does it mean for all of us?</strong></h3> <p>As traditional social channels are coming close to saturation, tech companies need to build new channels to invigorate their consumers.</p> <p>For brand marketers, this offers a tremendous opportunity to access tech-native early-adopter millennials and post-millennials – the customers of today and tomorrow.</p> <p>Most of whom have foregone broadcast, print, and 1.0 social networks for next-gen platforms.</p> <p>When it comes to advertising value, according to <a href="http://totalaccess.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1014105&amp;dsNav=Ro:-1,N:789,Nr:NOT(Type%3aComparative+Estimate)">eMarketer</a>, digital video advertising spending grew 46% to $7.7bn in the US last year alone.</p> <p>Meaning marketers are increasingly betting on the success of these live platforms. </p> <h3><strong>#SendMeToSleep – the world’s most sleep-inducing social campaign</strong></h3> <p>A good example is the <a href="http://www.philips.co.uk/healthcare/resources/landing/world-sleep-day">#SendMeToSleep</a> social media campaign we rolled out in time for the World Sleep Day.</p> <p>As part of this campaign – during which we actively tried to create content so boring it was capable of sending our audiences straight to sleep – Philips broadcasted what Twitter tells us is the world’s longest Periscope stream.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZzOFWhtxEUw?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>For 41 hours straight, we showed splashes of paint being added to a canvas.</p> <p>And because the whole campaign was engaging and worked as a holistic experience, more than 6,000 people tuned in to watch paint dry.</p> <p>Besides being strangely soothing and entertaining, the campaign has achieved significant commercial success which should be the cornerstone of any good marketing strategy.</p> <h3><strong>Periscope &amp; Facebook Live: A modern day David &amp; Goliath?</strong></h3> <p>At first glance, it might look like Facebook is the obvious winner – it has the size, money, user base and brand trust as a popular advertising platform.</p> <p>Despite all this, however, I wouldn’t count out Twitter just yet.</p> <h4>Four reasons for choosing Facebook Live:</h4> <ol> <li> <strong>Audience:</strong> Facebook has a user base of 1.2bn people.</li> <li> <strong>Brand presence:</strong> Live broadcast can bring life back to Facebook brand pages that have been lagging behind Instagram and Twitter in terms of engagement.</li> <li> <strong>Spending power:</strong> Facebook has been on a spending spree signing over 140 contracts worth more than $50m with the likes of CNN, the New York Times and BuzzFeed.</li> <li> <strong>Pioneers:</strong> Airbnb and Disney teamed up for the Jungle Book premiere, Chevrolet used it to launch its new electric car, and Patron taught viewers how to master the perfect drink. </li> </ol> <h4>Four reasons for choosing Periscope:</h4> <ol> <li> <strong>The “cool” factor:</strong> Twitter’s <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2016-02-12/social-studies-comparing-twitter-with-facebook-in-charts">user base</a> skew younger, more diverse, wealthier, more educated and more likely to live in urban areas. This will drive usage as the two platforms integrate.</li> <li> <strong>Additional features:</strong> The native app offers a dedicated space with broadcast tabs, account tracking and sketch &amp; reaction options that just make it a bit more fun and user-oriented.</li> <li> <strong>Content:</strong> Periscope recently secured partnerships with <a href="https://gopro.com/help/articles/Block/Periscope-Live-Streaming-with-your-GoPro">GoPro</a> and <a href="http://uk.businessinsider.com/twitter-to-stream-nfl-thursday-night-games-2016-4">Thursday Night Football</a> (NFL) to ensure a lineup of engaging content.</li> <li> <strong>Innovation:</strong> Periscope just recently announced a series of new functions such as drone feed integration, search functions, and auto-save through app and Twitter comments.</li> </ol> <h3><strong>What are the downsides? </strong></h3> <p>Live on camera, some products, and even some people, may not work well.</p> <p>It’s difficult to be smartly scripted while still coming across as authentic, and a constant stream of comments from viewers can be hard to manage and moderate.</p> <p>It’s also important that you own what you’re streaming. No brand wants to end up tied in legal battles because they streamed content where ownership and rights haven’t been made clear.</p> <p>As with all new tools, it’s not easy to measure a return on investment. How you measure success – do you look at viewer numbers or drop-offs, likes or the comments?</p> <p>Lastly, live-streaming without a clear strategy and a clear focus on quality and relevance will ultimately disappoint the audience.</p> <h3><strong>Who is the winner?  </strong></h3> <p>At this point, it’s still too early to call.</p> <p>However, the competition is heating up, with YouTube and Tumblr unveiling their competitive offering along with lesser known players such as Live.ly, Livestream, and Hang all releasing their own live broadcast services.   </p> <p>If you’ve already placed your bets then make sure your content fits with the medium and you’re totally clear on ownership, quality, and measurement.</p> <p>Everything after that is just a stream away. </p> <p><em>For more on this topic, read:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67603-what-marketers-need-to-know-about-facebook-s-livestreaming-push/"><em>What marketers need to know about Facebook's livestreaming push</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67712-seven-helpful-tips-for-livestreaming-success/"><em>Seven helpful tips for livestreaming success</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67967-six-things-we-learned-from-using-periscope-to-live-stream-from-fodm16/"><em>Six things we learned from using Periscope to live stream from #FODM16</em></a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68058 2016-07-12T14:51:07+01:00 2016-07-12T14:51:07+01:00 Has Amazon Prime Day 2016 made up for 2015’s #PrimeDayFail? Nikki Gilliland <p>Despite some initial fanfare, social media was soon flooded with complaints about laughable discounts and naff products, with consumers gleefully using the hashtag #primedayfail to highlight everything that went wrong.</p> <p>Today, the sales event is back, with Amazon promising even more bargains to tempt consumers.  </p> <p>But has Amazon learnt from its mistakes? Here’s the situation so far…</p> <h3>Who’s eligible?</h3> <p>The clue is in the name. The biggest and best deals are only available to Prime members. </p> <p>With last year’s event resulting in the most Prime sign-ups in a single day (and a subsequent 19m US subscribers since) – the event is clearly just a vehicle to grow Amazon's member base.</p> <p>For regular consumers, this has the power to repel rather than pull people in, especially since the retailer has been intent on hammering home the ‘exclusive’ message on all its main email, website and social media copy.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6950/exclusive.PNG" alt="" width="700" height="218"></p> <p>It has to be said, there are <em>some</em> deals accessible to all, but they are extremely limited and very hard to find.</p> <p>It took a good few minutes for me to figure out that the ‘Featured Prime Day’ savings were eligible to me (a non-member).</p> <p>And let’s be honest, they’re far from exciting. (Unless vitamins and minerals are your thing...)</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6942/prime_day_deals.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="243"></p> <p>Ironically, if you’re not a Prime member, you’re the consumer that Amazon probably cares about the most today.</p> <p>However, its heavy-handed targeting means that you might feel more inclined to avoid the whole thing rather than tempted to sign up. </p> <h3>Social promotion</h3> <p>If you follow Amazon on any of its main social media channels, you’ll have seen its attempts at building excitement around the event. </p> <p>A series of countdown tweets and Facebook posts means that the event has been well signposted and cleverly executed.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Only 5 days to go!<a href="https://t.co/pRdR7iWm6z">https://t.co/pRdR7iWm6z</a> <a href="https://t.co/6O9TMNVmmD">pic.twitter.com/6O9TMNVmmD</a></p> — Amazon.co.uk (@AmazonUK) <a href="https://twitter.com/AmazonUK/status/751113558352691200">July 7, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>While the Facebook ads are slick and well-designed (with a simple and effective call-to-action for a free trial on the main site), the fact that it's so heavily geared around exclusivity surely means that non-Prime members are likely to ignore it.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6945/facebook_prime_day.png" alt="" width="550" height="588"></p> <p>In terms of emails, I only received one on the morning of the event itself.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6946/Amazon_email.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="522"></p> <p>Instead of promoting the discounts, I did find it slightly off-putting that it only showcased the products – an obvious attempt to get consumers to click through to learn more.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6947/Amazon_email_deals.PNG" alt="" width="600" height="772"></p> <p>Whether or not that click converts to a purchase, again, probably depends on Prime membership status.</p> <h3>The discounts</h3> <p>One of the biggest complaints from consumers last year was that the biggest discounts were not properly promoted on the site.</p> <p>Eventually, it emerged that Amazon used a broad algorithm to select the deals, leading to a lot of random items such as tupperware and dishwasher detergent.</p> <p>This year, it’s not entirely clear how it’s been set up, but according to a company spokesperson, Amazon has ‘increased the number of deals and at the same time, increased the volume of inventory behind those deals.’</p> <p>With a dedicated homepage, showcasing a variety of categories and filter options, there is a clear attempt to give the user greater direction.</p> <p>Navigation is simple, with good signposts to point customers in the direction of 'deals ending soon' and 'recommended deals'.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6949/amazon_homepage.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="654"></p> <p>In terms of savings, there does appear to be a decent amount of products on offer, with the best being discounts being on electronics and home appliances.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6939/prime_day_deals_tech.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="481"></p> <p>However that algorithm must be working its evil magic again... I also spied far too many irrelevant items for my liking.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6941/Amazon_deals.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="510"></p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>It’s probably too early to say for sure if this year’s Prime Day has been any more successful than the last.</p> <p>While clearly an attempt to bag even more Prime memberships, what the retailer fails to realise is that the hype might do more to put people off than draw them in. </p> <p>Similarly, there's already an amusing amount of social media backlash, so Amazon clearly hasn't done much to sort out that algorithm issue.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Thanks <a href="https://twitter.com/amazon">@amazon</a>! This is just what I needed! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PrimeDayFail?src=hash">#PrimeDayFail</a> <a href="https://t.co/mIiNUs4l6u">pic.twitter.com/mIiNUs4l6u</a></p> — Martin Untrojb (@MEUntrojb) <a href="https://twitter.com/MEUntrojb/status/752805002884898820">July 12, 2016</a> </blockquote> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68042 2016-07-07T15:04:02+01:00 2016-07-07T15:04:02+01:00 Snapchat’s user base is getting older: How should marketers respond? Patricio Robles <p>According to comScore data, in May 38% of US mobile users aged 25 to 35 and 14% of those older than 35 used Snapchat, a significant increase from 5% and 2%, respectively, three years ago.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6817/snapchat_reference.png" alt="" width="600" height="316"></p> <p>As <a href="http://www.wsj.com/article_email/snapchats-teen-fans-grumble-as-app-catches-on-with-their-folks-1467661872-lMyQjAxMTA2NzA3NDMwNDQ5Wj">noted by</a> the Wall Street Journal's Yoree Koh, "An aging demographic is inevitable for many apps that first catch fire with teens," but the <em>parents-are-joining-Snapchat</em> moment has not surprisingly been the subject of headlines like <em>Adults are invading Snapchat</em>.</p> <h3>Is Snapchat different?</h3> <p>At the moment, comScore's data doesn't indicate that Snapchat's popularity with younger users is waning.</p> <p>The number of US mobile users between the ages of 18 to 24 has hit 67.5%, up from 24% three years ago. ComScore doesn't provide data for users under 18.</p> <p>While it's conceivable that the growth in older users will eventually change the way Snapchat's youngest users view the service, other popular social networks like Facebook have "grown up" and still managed to remain dominant, suggesting that Snapchat's maturation probably isn't the beginning of its demise.</p> <p>And because of the way communication on Snapchat functions, Snapchat's young users could find that insulating themselves from the adults will be far easier than on other services, making it less likely they'll cut their Snapchat use significantly or abandon it altogether.</p> <h3>What marketers need to know</h3> <p>That would be good news for the growing number of marketers spending time and money trying to reach Snapchat's 150m-plus audience.</p> <p>But marketers do need to be aware of Snapchat's changing demographics for a couple of reasons.</p> <p>First, even if the risk of a young user exodus is small, changing demographics could prompt changes in behavior on Snapchat.</p> <p>For example, older users might exhibit different usage patterns than younger users, or younger users might alter how they use the app to deal with the "my mom is on here" phenomenon.</p> <p>Some of these behavioral changes could be of importance to marketers as they work to create effective Snapchat campaigns.</p> <p>Second, the growing number of older users on Snapchat could create new opportunities for brands.</p> <p>Rather than seeing Snapchat as a platform for reaching teenagers, marketers who recognize that the user base is diversifying may be able to target and reach multiple demographic groups on the service.</p> <p>This makes Snapchat an even more attractive and productive platform than it is today.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68022 2016-06-30T14:52:54+01:00 2016-06-30T14:52:54+01:00 What marketers need to know about Facebook's latest News Feed update Patricio Robles <p>Now, Facebook <a href="http://newsroom.fb.com/news/2016/06/building-a-better-news-feed-for-you/">is taking action</a> to ensure that its users not only see the content most likely to be relevant to them, but also that they understand how Facebook selects that content.</p> <p>Here's what marketers need to know about the changes Facebook has made to the News Feed...</p> <h3>Facebook is putting friends and family first</h3> <p>Facebook has undergone a significant evolution since it was launched in 2004.</p> <p>Today, the world's largest social network is not just home to people, but also to brands, and it's a hub for the sharing of all content, not just user-generated content.</p> <p>That has created a tough balancing act for the company, and perhaps recognizing the risk that a less personal Facebook could be less attractive to its users, the company is taking a clear position:</p> <blockquote> <p>Facebook was built on the idea of connecting people with their friends and family. That is still the driving principle of News Feed today. Our top priority is keeping you connected to the people, places and things you want to be connected to — starting with the people you are friends with on Facebook.</p> <p>That’s why if it’s from your friends, it’s in your feed, period — you just have to scroll down.</p> </blockquote> <p>But Facebook isn't just making sure content from friends is present in users' News Feeds; it's prioritizing that content so that it appears "toward the top."</p> <p>In addition, its algorithm tries to identify the content posted by friends that is most likely to be relevant for even greater prioritization.</p> <p>"For example, if you tend to like photos from your sister, we’ll start putting her posts closer to the top of your feed so you won’t miss what she posted while you were away," Facebook VP Adam Mosseri explained.</p> <p>For marketers, the new prioritization of friend content could make competing for attention more difficult, and perhaps even necessitating changes to Facebook marketing strategies.</p> <p><a href="http://newsroom.fb.com/news/2016/06/news-feed-fyi-helping-make-sure-you-dont-miss-stories-from-friends/">According to</a> Facebook engineering director Lars Backstrom...</p> <blockquote> <p>...we anticipate that this update may cause reach and referral traffic to decline for some Pages. The specific impact on your Page’s distribution and other metrics may vary depending on the composition of your audience.</p> <p>For example, if a lot of your referral traffic is the result of people sharing your content and their friends liking and commenting on it, there will be less of an impact than if the majority of your traffic comes directly through Page posts.</p> </blockquote> <h3>Facebook isn't biased, but there are rules</h3> <p>Facebook is adament that it is not biased.</p> <p>"Our integrity depends on being inclusive of all perspectives and view points, and using ranking to connect people with the stories and sources they find the most meaningful and engaging," Mosseri wrote.</p> <p>But he also pointed to Facebook's <a href="https://www.facebook.com/communitystandards">Community Standards</a>, which are a collection of policies the company has created in an effort to protect its users from abuse.</p> <p>Obviously, most legitimate marketers aren't in the business of promoting content that attacks public figures, encourages criminal activity, or contains hate speech or graphic content, so most don't have to worry about running afoul of the Community Standards.</p> <p>But marketers that deal in regulated goods or are considering getting edgy with their Facebook campaigns should familiarize themselves with the rules.</p> <h3>Clickbait and spam is in the crosshairs</h3> <p>Facebook says that its users value "authentic communication," and in an effort to deliver that to them, it's working "to understand what kinds of stories people find misleading, sensational and spammy, to make sure people see those less."</p> <p>As Facebook gets better at that, marketers shouldn't be surprised if the efficacy of clickbait decreases.</p> <h3>Ultimately, users have a lot of control</h3> <p>While Facebook's algorithm exercises a great deal of control over what users see in their News Feeds, users aren't without power of their own.</p> <p>Facebook allows users to suppress content using unfollow and hide features, and they also let them indicate which content they'd like to "see first."</p> <p>The company says that it plans to build additional functionality that enables users to personalize their News Feed experience, giving savvy and proactive marketers the ability to earn attention with quality, relevant content and a touch of encouragement and education.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68000 2016-06-28T01:00:00+01:00 2016-06-28T01:00:00+01:00 Three social media lessons from Asia-Pacific travel sites Jeff Rajeck <p>To help out, here are three examples of Facebook posts which have outperformed, contrasted with three which have not worked out so well and a takeaway lesson from each.</p> <h3>Background</h3> <p>It's easy to find examples of social media posts which have really taken off. There are many lists of these, and they all seem to include 'Don't dunk in the dark'.</p> <p>But these examples are typically one-offs. <strong>What worked for that brand in that instance is highly unlikely to work for your brand today.</strong></p> <p>Additionally, such examples don't help with the day-to-day social media postings. Most brands have guidelines about what type of content should be posted and, hopefully, few say 'post something viral'.</p> <p>So, instead, it's more interesting to look at brands that:</p> <ul> <li>Have a large audience.</li> <li>Post regularly.</li> <li>Rotate content. </li> </ul> <p>Then, have a look at the brand's posts. Compare ones which have a lot of likes, shares, and comments with those which do not, and try to draw some lessons from them.</p> <p>And it's not hard to do. Anyone can do this analysis just by surfing brands on Facebook.</p> <p>To make it a bit easier, though, I used the paid version of <a href="http://www.socialbakers.com/">Socialbakers</a> which makes it easy to find brands which are active on social media and then neatly organises social media engagement data.</p> <h3>Why Asia-Pacific travel sites?</h3> <p>In theory we could use this method across any brand, in any country, but it's sensible to focus on a particular industry and region. </p> <p>The reason is that brands in the same sector are trying to attract the same audience, so it should be possible to see some similarities and elicit trends.</p> <h3>The lessons</h3> <h3>1. Share the fantasy, not the reality</h3> <p>Headquartered in Singapore, COMO Hotels and Resorts offers 'handcrafted hotels and luxury travel experiences designed just for you'.  </p> <p><a href="http://www.comohotels.com/">The company website</a> is stunning and you almost couldn't invent a brand more suitable for social media.</p> <p><strong>So what can we learn from the brand's posts?</strong></p> <p>The posts with a lot of likes and shares show off the fantasy of the COMO Hotels and resorts.  </p> <p>They capture scenes of the brand's properties which people do not see every day and receive comments such as 'I don't know where this is but let's go there'.</p> <h4>High-performing</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6514/test2.png" alt="" width="800" height="270"></p> <p>Those with fewer shares and no comments are still beautiful pictures, but <strong>less popular posts are about things which people encounter frequently in their everyday life</strong>.  </p> <p>They show thingss like food, restaurants, and pretty, yet unremarkable, views.</p> <h4>Lower-performing</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6508/2.JPG" alt="" width="800" height="301"></p> <p>The lesson?  <strong>If you got it, flaunt it.</strong> Don't waste your posts on pictures of everyday things.</p> <h3>2. Highlight what makes you unique</h3> <p>Resorts World Genting is a resort in Malaysia which targets a budget-conscious traveller.</p> <p>Though the brand doesn't have the drop-dead gorgeous scenery of COMO to draw on, its marketers post regularly and the posts have a wide variety of engagement.</p> <p>Through looking at the brand's posts, it is clear that <strong>those which highlight unique aspects of Resorts World Genting do well</strong>.  </p> <p>Its audience seems to enjoy reminiscing via social media about things which they cannot experience elsewhere.</p> <h4>High-performing</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6509/3.JPG" alt="" width="800" height="390"></p> <p>Posts which perform poorly feature things which are easily available elsewhere and do not draw on the unique personality of the brand.</p> <h4>Lower-performing</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6510/4.JPG" alt="" width="800" height="378"></p> <p>The lesson? <strong>You don't have to be fancy to be shareable on social media, just unique.</strong>  </p> <p>You have to emphasize what distinguishes your brand from all the others on social media.</p> <h3>3. Be different, but pleasant. Avoid disturbing, shocking, or disgusting topics.</h3> <p>TravelBook.ph is a Philippines travel site run as a joint venture by a number of large conglomerates in Asia. </p> <p>The brand marketers post regularly on social media about a variety of travel-related subjects.</p> <p>Many of the general travel posts do okay, but <strong>the posts which get the most likes and shares link to original content about places to visit in the Philippines.</strong></p> <h4>High-performing</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6513/test.PNG" alt="" width="800" height="316"></p> <p>Occasionally the marketers will shake things up a bit and post something a bit more challenging.  </p> <p>Posts which are about unpleasant topics tend to perform much worse.</p> <h4>Lower-performing</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6512/6.JPG" alt="" width="800" height="299"></p> <p>One example of a recent post which performed poorly was about balut. Balut is a Philippine delicacy which consists of a developing bird embryo still in the eggshell.</p> <p>It's hard to think of anyone who would appreciate such a photo on their timeline.</p> <p>Other more challenging posts may have their place, of course. But <strong>when engagement is the main criteria, keeping the subject of your posts pleasant is the way to go.</strong></p> <p>The lesson? Be unique, for sure, but also try to fit in with what people want to see in a social media newsfeed.</p> <h3>So...</h3> <p>So the main social media lessons from Asia-Pacific travel sites are that posts on Facebook which are attractive, pleasant and emphasize what makes your brand unique will deliver the highest level of engagement.</p> <p>All of this makes sense, yet it is surprising to see how many brands don't adhere to these rules and have reduced engagement as a result.</p> <p>Low social media engagement is discouraging for the team and also means that more posts will be required to get your audience's attention.</p> <p>Without doing this sort of analysis (i.e. finding what types of post are successful and doing those types of posts more often) marketers will be making an already hard job, harder.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67925 2016-06-22T15:12:00+01:00 2016-06-22T15:12:00+01:00 Social media image guide for brands: June 2016 Andrew Chrysostom <p>It’s always useful to have a reminder, so please use this handy guide to ensure your brand looks spick and span when it comes to posting images.</p> <p>Here are the exact image sizes required by Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and, just for laughs, Google+. The sizes are accurate as of June 2016.</p> <p><a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6131/size_guide.jpg"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6131/size_guide.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="4996"></a></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67958 2016-06-22T09:56:00+01:00 2016-06-22T09:56:00+01:00 If video is the future of the internet, here's what brands need to know Patricio Robles <p>If it is, here's what brands need to know.</p> <h3>Video is changing the face of non-video services</h3> <p>One of the strongest pieces of evidence to support the notion that video is the future of the internet is the impact it's having on some of the most popular online services that, unlike YouTube, didn't start out with a video focus.</p> <p>For example, when Instagram, which rose to prominence as a social photo sharing app, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67684-instagram-s-new-60-second-video-limit-five-things-brands-need-to-know/">announced a new 60-second video limit</a> earlier this year, the company revealed that the time its users spend watching videos has increased by more than 40% in the past six months.</p> <p>There's no reason to believe that trend has stopped and, while it's still a popular photo sharing app, video is increasingly becoming a bigger and bigger part of the Instagram content mix.</p> <p>The impact of video is even more apparent when looking at Instagram's owner, Facebook.</p> <p>The world's largest social network is now one of the most popular platforms for sharing video, and <a href="http://thenextweb.com/opinion/2015/04/23/facebook-video-is-on-course-to-steal-youtubes-video-sharing-crown/">a real threat to YouTube</a>.</p> <p>But Facebook doesn't just have the potential to overtake YouTube; it could find that it is overtaken by video itself.</p> <p>Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook's VP for EMEA, <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2016/06/15/facebook-may-be-all-video-in-5-years-vp-says.html">made headlines</a> recently at a conference in London when she predicted that the social network would "probably" be "all video" in the next five years.</p> <p>"If I was having a bet, it'd be video, video, video," she told the audience. Why? Video packs a lot of punch...</p> <blockquote> <p>The best way to tell stories in this world - where so much information is coming at us - actually is video. It commands so much information in a much quicker period so actually the trend helps us digest more of the information in a quicker way.</p> </blockquote> <h3>Video ads are big, but...</h3> <p>For brands looking to take advantage of mobile, video advertising is the low-hanging fruit.</p> <p>While digital video ads - at least the good ones - <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64222-good-digital-video-ads-aren-t-just-tv-spots-on-different-devices">aren't repurposed TV spots</a>, they're the easiest way for brands to dip their toes in the online video waters.</p> <p>But the formats most familiar to brand marketers, like pre-rolls, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63277-pre-roll-video-ads-is-it-any-wonder-why-we-hate-them">aren't exactly loved by consumers</a>, and there's that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65538-advertisers-spending-more-on-online-video-despite-viewability-concerns">darned issue of viewability</a>.</p> <p>So it's no surprise that many brands are going beyond video ads. For example, brands are creating original content for platforms <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63257-four-examples-of-brands-rocking-instagram-video">like Instagram</a>, including <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67562-could-shield-5-signal-a-new-wave-of-social-cinema">mini-series</a>, and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63073-eight-brands-that-have-run-video-contests-using-twitter-s-vine">encouraging consumers to create content as part of contests</a>.</p> <p>They're also working with influencers <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/influencing-the-influencers-the-magic-of-co-created-content">to co-create content</a>, and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/6834-why-etailers-need-product-videos">using product videos to increase conversion rates and basket sizes</a>.</p> <p>In short, there are plenty of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/7397-the-10-types-of-online-video-that-brands-should-embrace-with-gusto">ways brands can embrace online video</a> and while some are associated with advertising, some of the most effective aren't.</p> <h3>Live video is not a fad</h3> <p>The biggest trend in online video recently has been live video.<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66225-is-meerkat-the-next-big-thing-in-social-media"><br></a></p> <p>Numerous brands <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66564-how-brands-can-use-periscope-and-meerkat">have embraced Meerkat and Twitter-owned Periscope</a>, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67808-10-pioneering-examples-of-brands-using-facebook-live">as well as Facebook Live</a>. Facebook <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67603-what-marketers-need-to-know-about-facebook-s-livestreaming-push">is investing heavily in Live</a>, and it appears to be paying off.</p> <p>According to Facebook's Mendelsohn, Live has been "a bigger, faster phenomenon" than the company expected, and engagement on Live videos is "much higher," with Live videos receiving ten times as many comments as pre-recorded videos.<strong><br></strong></p> <p>While live video's rise is most evident on social platforms like Facebook, brands should keep in mind that live video isn't exclusive to these platforms, as evidenced by <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67627-is-amazon-s-style-code-live-this-generation-s-answer-to-the-tv-shopping-channel">Amazon's Style Code Live</a>, a live 30-minute show the online retail giant produces and streams daily Monday through Friday.</p> <p>It features an interactive player that highlights products as they are featured in the show, giving viewers the ability to more easily purchase them.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2790/stylecode2.jpg" alt="" width="621" height="106"></p> <h3>Mobile isn't a barrier</h3> <p>If there were reasons to be skeptical about video's potential, one of the biggest might have been concerns over mobile performance, as well as bandwidth and data utilisation.</p> <p>But advances in mobile technology and reduced data costs mean that widespread mobile usage isn't a permanent impediment to the growth of video on the internet.</p> <p>The statistics back this up: Facebook's Mendelsohn revealed that the company's users are watching an average of 100m hours of video every day on mobile devices.</p> <h3>Sound is optional</h3> <p>Video has traditionally been an audiovisual medium, but the internet is changing that.</p> <p>On Twitter and Facebook, videos autoplay without sound, challenging brands to find ways <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67442-how-to-create-facebook-video-ads-that-cater-for-silent-autoplay">to deliver video content that's compelling even without audio</a>. One of the more increasingly common techniques: <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67932-the-future-of-video-is-vertical-texted-emotional">texted video</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5827/Screen_Shot_2016-06-08_at_14.26.36.png" alt="" width="615" height="344"></p> <h3>Video is for more than big brands</h3> <p>Content is king, and producing high-quality video content can require a royal budget. But costs <em>are</em> coming down and companies have more tools than ever to create video content without spending five, six or seven figures.</p> <p>For instance, there are plenty of services that offer stock video, and video platforms are increasingly aiming to make themselves accessible to even the smallest of companies.</p> <p>Just recently, <a href="http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/youtube-introducing-new-ways-help-small-businesses-make-better-video-ads-171999">YouTube launched YouTube Director</a>, a free app that provides templates and editing tools, and is even offering businesses that spend as little as $150 on YouTube advertising the services of a filmmaker who will come to their location to film an ad spot.</p> <h3>New technologies will change the game</h3> <p>New technologies, such as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66587-10-ways-marketers-can-use-virtual-reality-right-now/">virtual reality</a>, are offering new opportunities for brands to create compelling original video content.</p> <p>Naturally, some of these technologies are expensive - pro VR cameras can cost tens of thousands of dollars - but some, like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67748-three-ways-marketers-can-benefit-from-the-drone-revolution">drones</a>, don't require mega-brand-sized budgets and they can still captivate.</p> <p>Drone-captured video, for instance, has been used to great effect by small businesses like Capt. Dave's Dolphin &amp; Whale Watching Safari, which has racked up millions of views on YouTube.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Bo_f8mV5khg?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>There are riches in niches</h3> <p>The internet, as compared to mediums like radio and television, is the most niche-friendly, and given the appeal of video content, it's not surprising that digital video is giving birth to and supporting lucrative niches. </p> <p>One of the best examples of this is Twitch. Launched in 2011, the video game-focused streaming service was acquired by Amazon in 2014 for nearly $1bn.</p> <p>Last year, its users watched 459,000 years of video, and that number should only rise as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67921-what-marketers-need-to-know-about-esports">eSports continues to grow</a>.</p> <p>For brands, there are great opportunities to get involved in these niches through advertising, sponsorship and original content.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67973 2016-06-21T14:20:55+01:00 2016-06-21T14:20:55+01:00 Facebook's Offline Conversions API is a big deal for merchants Patricio Robles <p>As the name suggests, the <a href="https://developers.facebook.com/docs/marketing-apis/offline-conversions/v2.6">Offline Conversions API</a> gives merchants advertising on Facebook the ability to track how their Facebook campaigns drive offline action.</p> <p>It functions similarly to <a href="https://developers.google.com/adwords/api/docs/guides/importing-conversions">Google's offline conversion tracking</a>:</p> <ul> <li>Merchants configure their ad accounts for offline conversion tracking.</li> <li>Offline conversion events data is sent to Facebook via API.</li> <li>Facebook identifies offline conversion events that are associated with Facebook users who viewed the merchants ads.</li> </ul> <h3>Getting attribution right</h3> <p>Of course, correlation isn't causation.</p> <p>Merchants may be running campaigns through many networks, so the fact that someone viewed a merchant's Facebook ad does not necessarily mean that the ad was responsible, directly or indirectly, for an offline action like a sale. </p> <p>To make <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65459-what-is-marketing-attribution-and-why-do-you-need-it">attribution</a> a bit more exact, advertisers will need to establish a methodology for analyzing offline conversions data, which can then be applied using Facebook's Ads Insights API.</p> <p>That API allows Facebook advertisers to retrieve statistics about their ads.</p> <p>By combining the API's Breakdowns and Breakdown Actions functionality, it's possible for merchants to do deep analysis of customers who viewed their Facebook ads and completed a specific offline action.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fmarketing%2Fvideos%2F10154372038226337%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>For example, Argentine retailer Frávega was "able to show that for every dollar of ecommerce revenue we were generating from Facebook ads, we were actually getting an additional $2.20 in our brick-and-mortar stores.</p> <p>"With the Offline Conversions API we were able to optimize our investment and increase spending with confidence," <a href="https://www.facebook.com/business/news/drive-and-measure-store-visits-and-sales">according to</a> Frávega digital marketing manager Mariano Tordo.</p> <h3>The importance of first-party data</h3> <p>As one might expect, Facebook's new Offline Conversions API can't perform miracles.</p> <p>To function, merchants must be in a position to supply Facebook with customer information it can use to match offline events to its users.</p> <p>This includes usual suspects like email address, phone number, first and last name, but Facebook will also accept information like date of birth, gender and ZIP code, which can help pinpoint users more accurately.</p> <p>This highlights the growing importance of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-promise-of-first-party-data">first-party data</a> to merchants.</p> <p>Obviously, it is in many cases easier for merchants selling online to collect the personally identifiable information that Facebook needs, but given the challenges brick and mortar merchants face in measuring the influence of online ad campaigns on offline sales, it behooves merchants to develop strategies to collect and store more information about their customers.</p> <p>There are a number of techniques commonly used to do this, such as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62489-b-q-s-club-app-is-the-perfect-mobile-loyalty-scheme">loyalty schemes</a>.</p> <h3>Third-party integrations make Facebook's API instantly accessible</h3> <p>In an effort to make the Offline Conversions API more accessible to companies that may lack the technical resources required to integrate with it, Facebook has created partnerships with companies that are already working with merchants of all shapes and sizes.</p> <p>For example, one of those partners is Acxiom-owned data connectivity platform LiveRamp.</p> <p>Thanks to its integration with the Offline Conversions API, LiveRamp clients can take advantage of Facebook's new functionality without building an integration of their own. That was a no-brainer for the company.</p> <p>"By connecting campaign exposure data to offline sales transactions, marketers can understand which campaign strategies are truly generating real business returns,” Travis May, LiveRamp's president and GM, stated in a press release.</p> <p>“This insight is key to optimizing campaign performance and justifying higher digital marketing budgets."</p> <p>Other companies that offer solutions now supporting the Offline Conversions API include IBM, Marketo, Square and Invoca, so many businesses will find that they are in a position to put Facebook's offering to work with minimal effort.</p> <p><em>For more on Facebook Ads, download Econsultancy’s new <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-best-practice-guide/">Social Media Best Practice Guide 2016</a>.</em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67931 2016-06-13T14:20:32+01:00 2016-06-13T14:20:32+01:00 Why all the excitement surrounding Facebook’s Dynamic Ads? Lauren Evans <p>Because they're starting to really take off.</p> <p>In fact, the growth in product-focused dynamic ads (originally called Dynamic Product Ads) is believed to be one of the factors that helped spend on social ads jump 86% year-on-year in Q1 2016 according to Kenshoo data (see chart).  </p> <p>And dynamic ads, coupled with growing Instagram advertising, helped push social spend in Q1 2016 higher than Q4 2015, going against the grain of typical seasonal spend patterns.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5969/facebook_dynamic_ads.png" alt="" width="464" height="233"></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5970/facebook_dynamic_ads_2.png" alt="" width="464"></p> <p>So what is behind the increasing interest in this ad format?</p> <p>Here are three important things you should know about dynamic ads.</p> <h4>1. They were designed to make advertising easier for retailers who have a large product inventory</h4> <p>Dynamic ads were introduced in early 2015 to give retailers an effective, automated way to promote large numbers of products on Facebook.</p> <p>To use this ad format, advertisers have to connect their online product feed to their Facebook ad accounts.</p> <p>This allows Facebook to dynamically generate ads for individual products and show them to relevant audiences.  </p> <p>Product IDs, names, descriptions, landing page and image info is automatically pulled from the feed to build the ads, hence the ‘dynamic’ in the name.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5971/facebook_Walgreens_ad.jpg" alt="" width="800"></p> <p>Dynamic ads can support thousands of products and as long as your feed is up to date, any items that are out-of-stock will never be shown.</p> <p>You can choose to display a single product image or video per ad, or showcase a carousel of up to ten products within a single ad unit.</p> <p>You might use the carousel format to show a pair of shoes in several colours for example, or a selection of jeans in a specific price range.</p> <p>Typically we’ve found that between three and five related products in a carousel produces the best results.</p> <p>To date, more than 2.5bn unique products have been uploaded to the dynamic ads for Facebook format.  </p> <p>And as of April 2016 dynamic ads have also become available to advertisers on Instagram.</p> <h4>2. Retargeting and personalisation are a key part of their success</h4> <p>You can target dynamic ads at people’s interests, likes or demographic profile, as well as to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64980-put-your-email-list-to-work-facebook-custom-audiences/">custom audiences</a> extracted from your customer database or email lists.</p> <p>And what’s been really effective, is retailers using this ad format to retarget those who have visited their website or app.</p> <p>Facebook provides a custom audiences pixel which tracks the product pages a visitor has viewed, which products they’ve added to shopping baskets and what they’ve purchased.</p> <p>This allows advertisers to show people personalised ads based on their behaviour and interaction with their products online.</p> <p>So a retailer can, for example, target someone who’s looked at a specific product page and show them ads displaying different versions of the same or related products or offer incentives to help them convert.</p> <p>This kind of intent-based retargeting makes ads less intrusive.</p> <p>And is one of the reasons why we’ve seen clients generating click-through rates of 1.7% in Q1 of 2016, outperforming the overall social average of 1.0%.</p> <p>Facebook recognises the value of personalised behavioural targeting and has added new options to retarget based on stronger intent signals - such as when a visitor has gone to the same page a number of times or spent a certain amount of time there.</p> <p>You can also retarget based on the value of their last purchase.</p> <h4>3. They’re now available to travel advertisers</h4> <p>Facebook now believes that dynamic ads can appeal to more than just product advertisers.</p> <p>So in the first instance it has started making them available to travel advertisers to run more personalised retargeted ads.</p> <p>Initially a select number of travel advertisers are able to retarget hotel ads to online visitors who have browsed hotels or bought flights from their sites.  </p> <p>The ads can be dynamically updated with hotel availability and pricing for the booking window and the location someone has shown an interest in, for example.                                               </p> <p>Looking ahead you can quite clearly imagine other travel services that could be advertised in this way aligned to purchase intent.  </p> <p>For example car rental ads could be retargeted based on time and location that someone has browsed.</p> <p>And it would not be a big leap to envisage this type of dynamically retargeted ad working for other verticals besides travel.</p> <p>The danger with any kind of advertising is that it can seem invasive and an unwelcome interruption.  </p> <p>Dynamic ads are showing that it’s possible to sidestep this with high performing automated social campaigns that make ads meaningful and relevant to the audience.</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, read:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67924-is-facebook-doing-enough-to-prevent-fraudulent-ads"><em>Is Facebook doing enough to prevent fraudulent ads?</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67879-facebook-s-busy-may-2016-provides-new-opportunities-for-marketers"><em>Facebook’s busy May 2016 provides new opportunities for marketers</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67603-what-marketers-need-to-know-about-facebook-s-livestreaming-push/"><em>What marketers need to know about Facebook's livestreaming push</em></a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4148 2016-06-01T12:45:00+01:00 2016-06-01T12:45:00+01:00 Social Media Platforms Overview <p>Part of our <a title="Social Media Best Practice Guide" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-best-practice-guide/">Social Media Best Practice Guide bundle</a>, this report aims to provide <strong>a snapshot of the major social media platforms and the most pressing considerations for marketers looking to generate the most value from social media</strong>, as well as what to consider when making the business case for social media platforms.</p> <p>It provides a summary of the main features of these platforms, and outlines some of the options available to marketers when developing a paid, owned and earned strategic approach to social media marketing and communications.</p> <p>Throughout the report, we bring you <strong>examples of how companies are using social media in different ways, as well as insights from companies interviewed</strong> specifically for this guide.</p> <p>For more details on <strong>best practice approaches, techniques, challenges and opportunities for creating your social media strategy</strong>, read the complementary <strong><a title="Social Media Strategy Best Practice Guide" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-strategy-best-practice-guide/">Social Media Strategy Best Practice Guide</a></strong>.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_IhT9S2YEyY?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h2>Methodology</h2> <p>The methodology involved two main phases:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Phase 1:</strong> Desk research to identify relevant issues, examples and models.</li> <li> <strong>Phase 2:</strong> A series of in-depth interviews (20 interviews in total) with a range of senior digital and non-digital marketers, communications leads and social media strategists. Interviewees for the research covered sectors as diverse as aerospace, retail, hospitality, public sector (including government), SaaS, FMCG, non-profit, agency, financial services and media.</li> </ul> <h2>Lead author</h2> <p>The lead author for our social media best practice guides is <strong>Michelle Goodall</strong>, an experienced consultant. She has more than 17 years’ B2C and B2B experience client and agency-side, providing digital transformation and social media strategy advice and support.</p> <p>She has worked with a wide range of clients, including London2012, BBC, Direct Line Group, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Barclays Bank, Coca Cola, Unilever, US Embassy, and many others.</p> <p>Michelle is a trainer and consultant for Econsultancy and can generally be found curating things that smart people write / make / do and getting to grips with Peach and other peripheral / transformative / game-changing technologies for her clients.</p> <h2>Contributors</h2> <p>The author and Econsultancy wish to extend sincere thanks to the following respected professionals who have contributed to the report:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Richard Bagnall</strong> – CEO, PRIME Research UK &amp; SVP PRIME Research Europe</li> <li> <strong>Vikki Chowney</strong> – Director of Content &amp; Publishing Strategies, H+K Strategies</li> <li> <strong>Sarah Coggins</strong> – VP, PR and Social Media, Virgin Atlantic</li> <li> <strong>Raluca Efford</strong> – Head of Digital and Social Media Marketing, Direct Line Group</li> <li> <strong>Marisol Grandon</strong> – Head of Creative Content, The Department for International Development (DFID)</li> <li> <strong>Katie McDermott</strong> – Marketing Director, Gourmet Burger Kitchen</li> <li> <strong>Will McInnes</strong> – Chief Marketing Officer, Brandwatch</li> <li> <strong>Kerry Taylor</strong> – Senior Vice President Director of Television, MTV Networks</li> <li> <strong>Guy Stephens</strong> – Social Customer Care Consultant, IBM</li> <li> <strong>Stephen Waddington</strong> – Partner and Chief Engagement Officer, Ketchum</li> <li> <strong>Scott Wilkinson</strong> – Head of Brand, Acquisitions and Digital, Virgin Media Business</li> </ul>