tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/social-2 Latest Social content from Econsultancy 2017-02-06T14:32:00+00:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68737 2017-02-06T14:32:00+00:00 2017-02-06T14:32:00+00:00 Why brands are increasingly creating experiences & adventures to woo consumers Patricio Robles <p>In partnership with Momenta, a photojournalism non-profit that offers workshops around the world, Leica is inviting individuals who love photography the rare opportunity to travel to India or Myanmar later this year with professional photographers as part of <a href="http://momentaworkshops.com/workshops/leica-destinations-travel-photography-workshops/">its new<em> Destinations</em> program</a>.</p> <p>The two trips, which take place in October and November, consist of "off-the-beaten-path" journeys "without tour buses or large groups."</p> <p>The professional photographers will serve as tour leaders and be available for "one-on-one private editing sessions" with participants. Participants do not need to own Leica equipment, but not surprisingly, "Leica gear...will be made available for those who would like to experience the joy of a rangefinder or elegant point-and-shoot cameras." This includes new Leica equipment, such as the company's $8,000-plus model SL camera.</p> <p>Each trip costs $6,995, excluding international airfare, and is limited to 15 participants. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3623/leica.png" alt="" width="778" height="297"></p> <p>Attendees are promised the experience of a lifetime. As Jamie Rose, the COO of Momenta told Bloomberg about a recent workshop the organization held in Myanmar, "We found out about a novice monk induction ceremony the day before it happened, and we were able to get into it. That’s something nobody else would have had."</p> <p>Leica's <em>Destinations</em> program is an extension of <a href="http://leicaakademieusa.com/">Leica Akademie</a>, which hosts a number of events and has offered a <em>Landscape</em> program that offers photography trips to National Parks.</p> <h3>A way for high-end brands to connect with customers and aspirational consumers</h3> <p>Even though only 15 individuals will be able to participate in each of Leica's <em>Destinations</em> trips, that isn't the point. The mere fact that Leica is offering a program like this helps reinforce its brand and position in the marketplace.</p> <p>Increasingly, that's critically important for companies that compete in the high-end of their markets and often appeal to aspirational consumers. For Leica, a company that sells cameras routinely costing thousands of dollars, and some costing tens of thousands of dollars, experience is indeed one of the most potent ways to reinforce its brand.</p> <p>Leica isn't the only high-end brand taking advantage of experience.</p> <p>Lamborghini, for example, offers the Lamborghini Esperienza, a "tailor-made program [that] allows participants to experience the brand’s values." It includes a visit to the Lamborghini factory in Italy and gives participants the ability to get behind the wheel of some of the company's vehicles on the Autodromo di Imola race track.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3622/lamborghini.png" alt="" width="852" height="259"></p> <p>The luxury car brand also runs Lamborghini Accademia, which offers training programs for those who want to learn how to drive Lamborghinis in a variety of settings.</p> <p>The company's Winter Accademia, which takes place later this month, gives participants the opportunity to learn how to drive Aventador and Huracán vehicles costing hundreds of thousands of dollars in "extreme winter-driving conditions." The program is open to anybody; no ownership of a Lamborghini is required.</p> <h3>The convergence of product and experience</h3> <p>Leica and Lamborghini are two examples of high-profile brands that manufacture and sell physical products and that are building experiences around those products. But what about companies that are focused on experience?</p> <p>Interestingly, some of those are getting into the business of creating products to go along with their experiences. Case in point: <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68333-what-brands-need-to-know-about-snapchat-spectacles/">Snapchat Spectacles</a>.</p> <p>Spectacles hints at a future in which brands, no matter what they sell, ultimately seek to cement their position in the markets they serve by combining product and experience.</p> <p>While not every brand has the ability to do this in the same fashion as brands like Leica, Lamborghini and Snapchat, expect to see more and more brands moving in this direction in years to come.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68768 2017-02-02T14:41:08+00:00 2017-02-02T14:41:08+00:00 What marketers need to know about Pinterest's new search ads Patricio Robles <p>Here's what marketers need to know about Pinterest's new ad offering, which had previously been tested by a number of major brands.</p> <h3>The ads are inserted as Pins into the search results page</h3> <p>On Pinterest, when a user enters a search query, Pinterest displays a search results page consisting of pins that match the query. On average, there are about 55 pins displayed per search results page.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/3619/pinterest-target-ad-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="313"></p> <p>Search ads are simple: they insert advertiser pins into the search results page and are marked as being promoted. Pinterest dynamically determines the number of ads that appear on a search results page.</p> <h3>Search ads are auction-based</h3> <p>Pinterest sells search ads the way Google sells its search ads: through an auction-based system in which advertisers specify how much they're willing to pay for each click on their ads.</p> <h3>There are two campaign types</h3> <p>Pinterest's search ads come in two campaign types: keyword campaigns and shopping campaigns.</p> <p><strong>Keyword campaigns</strong> allow advertisers to target their ads using keywords, which can optionally be grouped. Because the keywords that users search with on Pinterest might be different from other search engines given the visual nature of the service, Pinterest will suggest keywords that might be appropriate for a particular image.</p> <p><strong>Shopping campaigns</strong> give advertisers the ability to auto-generate ads from product feeds they supply to Pinterest via FTP. In the future, advertisers will also be able to use feeds through integrations with feed management providers. Shopping campaigns, because they are feed-based, give advertisers an easy way to quickly create campaigns at scale.</p> <p>To help advertisers manage shopping campaigns, Pinterest allows advertisers to dynamically update these campaigns as inventory changes.</p> <h3>The size of the opportunity could be large</h3> <p>Pinterest says that every month it handles around 2bn search queries. While that pales in comparison to Google, which handles over 3.5bn searches per day, it's still not an insignificant number.</p> <p>What's more, Pinterest isn't Google. It's a visual search tool, so the value of a search to brands, particularly those in industries like retail and fashion, differs from the value of a Google search.</p> <p>While it remains to be seen just how productive search ads will be for advertisers, a volume of searches in the billions should give advertisers more than enough to work with.</p> <h3>Most searches are unbranded</h3> <p>The news gets better for brands active on Pinterest: according to Pinterest, 97% of its searches don't include a brand name, giving advertisers the opportunity to reach consumers who might be interested in a particular type of product but who haven't already decided on a specific brand or product.</p> <p>Pinterest's global head of partnerships, Jon Kaplan, <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/pinterest-rolls-out-search-ads-1485950403">told</a> the Wall Street Journal that this has produced "new demand" for advertisers who participated in early testing of search ads.</p> <h3>Pinterest is targeting the upper funnel</h3> <p>Pinterest sees its search ads a powerful tool for marketers looking to reach consumers in the upper funnel. According to Kaplan...</p> <blockquote> <p>When people come to Pinterest, they’re starting earlier in their decision-making process. We saw this with the holidays — people were pinning holiday ideas as early as August. For brands, the implications to our business, that’s an amazing opportunity to reach someone at the earliest stages of decision-making.</p> </blockquote> <p>So while it's possible that clicks on Pinterest's search ads will convert quickly, Pinterest is positioning search ads as a driver of awareness, not conversions.</p> <h3>Search ads are now available to Kenshoo clients<br> </h3> <p>Initially, search ads are available to advertisers who are using the marketing software suite offered by Kenshoo, which is used by many search advertisers. Thanks to its integration with Kenshoo, Pinterest is now listed as an option alongside other search providers Kenshoo clients can run campaigns with, including, of course, Google.</p> <p>Pinterest will reportedly add partnerships with other companies that operate ad buying platforms in the near future.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68753 2017-01-30T14:31:08+00:00 2017-01-30T14:31:08+00:00 What brands need to know about Facebook's long-form video push Patricio Robles <h3>It's changing the way video completion rates are factored into News Feed ranking</h3> <p>In a blog post, Facebook product manager Abhishek Bapna and research scientist Seyoung Park <a href="https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2017/01/news-feed-fyi-updating-how-we-account-for-video-completion-rates/">explained</a> that Facebook is changing the way it factors the <em>percent completion</em> metric for video into how it ranks content for placement in user News Feeds:</p> <blockquote> <p>If you watch most or all of a video, that tells us that you found the video to be compelling — and we know that completing a longer video is a bigger commitment than completing a shorter one. As we continue to understand how our community consumes video, we’ve realized that we should therefore weight percent completion more heavily the longer a video is, to avoid penalizing longer videos.</p> </blockquote> <h3>Distribution changes are expected to be small</h3> <p>Despite the tweak, Bapna and Park say that Facebook's distribution changes are not expected to be significant.</p> <p>"Longer videos that people spend time watching may see a slight increase in distribution on Facebook — so people who find longer videos engaging may be able to discover more of them in News Feed. As a side effect, some shorter videos may see a slight dip in News Feed distribution," they stated.</p> <h3>This is (probably) mostly about advertising</h3> <p>Facebook obviously has an interest in ensuring that the content it delivers to users is relevant and engaging, but the decision to more heavily weight video completion percentage for longer videos, however slight, is probably designed to help Facebook's video ad business.</p> <p>Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is not a fan of pre-roll ads, and thus his social network has to date refused to employ them. Facebook is, however, <a href="http://www.recode.net/2017/1/9/14211466/facebook-video-advertising-midroll">testing mid-roll ads</a>, that display after users have watched a video for at least 20 seconds.</p> <p>For mid-roll ads to be successful, Facebook will realistically need to ensure that it has enough inventory of videos that are not super short. That's where the new update and its theoretical incentive to publish longer videos comes in.</p> <h3>Facebook is reportedly going to pay for content</h3> <p>Facebook <a href="http://www.recode.net/2016/12/14/13955348/facebook-original-video">is said to be in talks</a> with television studios and other content creators about the licensing and production of original content, which would seem to be related to a desire to increase the volume of longer-form video content available to its users.</p> <h3>Brands should think twice before they jump on the long-form video bandwagon</h3> <p>While Facebook suggests that changes in distribution won't be significant as a result of its update, in the ultra-competitve Facebook ecosystem, any update that could give brands a slight edge in capturing eyeballs might entice marketers into changing their behavior.</p> <p>But given the cost of producing longer-form video, and the risk that users won't stay engaged with this content no matter how much Facebook hopes they will, brands active on Facebook should be cautious about pursuing the creation of longer-form video in the hopes that it will help them eek out gains on the social network.</p> <p>Even brands that Facebook lures with payments have reason to be cautious. After all, to drive adoption of its livestream feature, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67808-10-pioneering-examples-of-brands-using-facebook-live">Facebook Live</a>, Facebook struck deals with publishers and celebrities to create live video content. The company reportedly allocated $50m to these deals, with some individual deals being worth seven figures.</p> <p>But a year later, reports indicate that Facebook will not renew these deals, and even if it wanted to, some of the publishers have no interest in renewing because the deals did not prove worthwhile financially.</p> <p>That is a reminder that what Facebook wants today, it might not want tomorrow, especially once it gets what it needs. There's no reason to believe that won't be true for long-form video content too.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68747 2017-01-30T11:47:08+00:00 2017-01-30T11:47:08+00:00 From buzzword to bullsh*t: celebrating 144 years of ‘influencer marketing’ Ian McKee <p>Yeah, you read that right — 1873. Jules Verne, a hugely influential author, was known to be writing another adventure novel <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Product_placement#Origins">when he was lobbied by transport companies for mentions</a>.</p> <p>Perhaps if Jules had been a millennial, then ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ would have been an Instagram Story featuring definitely-not-awkward contract-fulfilling selfies taken on the Orient Express. </p> <p>I’m sure the world would have been a richer place. </p> <h3>New tricks for old dogs</h3> <p>You can see my point, through the dripping sarcasm — <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/">influencer marketing</a> is not a new thing. </p> <p>In the decade I’ve been in PR, I’ve been involved in activity that today you might term ‘influencer marketing’ from day one. And I’m a relative whippersnapper compared to the transport industry lobbyists of the 1870s. </p> <p>It goes like this — this person holds sway over our audience. Give them free stuff, or some other compensation, to talk about our brand. Bingo, consider that audience influenced. </p> <p>Coining new terms for old tactics is something we love doing in the internet age. Look at fake news (or, propaganda), <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63722-what-is-native-advertising-and-do-you-need-it/">native advertising</a> (what we used to call advertorial) and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/content-marketing-and-strategy">content marketing</a> (all marketing involves content, people). </p> <p>Just because the media has changed immeasurably doesn’t mean the ways we use it have. And influencer marketing is another buzzword coined more for tech companies to sell software than it is to describe anything new. </p> <h3>Rule of diminished returns</h3> <p>Which isn’t to say it’s not of value. There’s a reason marketers have been using this tactic for over a century. </p> <p>However, gaining buzzword status has inevitable negative effects. Just as in B2B content marketing when it started getting harder and harder to attract attention to your latest white paper, if everyone’s employing the same tactic then the rule of diminishing returns comes into play. </p> <p>In the case of influencer marketing, if it continues to grow there are only two routes we’ll plausibly go down.</p> <p>The first is a world where literally everyone’s an influencer to some degree. Like in the Black Mirror episode <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5497778/">Nosedive</a>, whether you can live in a certain place, buy your coffee from a certain café or do a certain job will all depend on your influencer score. Social media armageddon, basically.</p> <p>The second (and far more likely) outcome is a backlash. Consumer cynicism reaches the point where your average Instagram user can spot a plug from a mile off, and the returns of influencer marketing are significantly diminished. </p> <p>I think it’s fairly obvious that we’re approaching the second outcome right now. Stories like <a href="http://digiday.com/agencies/confessions-social-media-exec-no-idea-pay-influencers/">confessions of a social media exec on influencer marketing</a>, or from the other side, Bloomberg’s <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2016-11-30/confessions-of-an-instagram-influencer">confessions of an Instagram influencer</a> show the cracks are forming. </p> <h3>Gaming the system</h3> <p>Of course, I’m aware of the long tail argument — don’t pay over the odds for a superstar ‘influencer’, go with the person that has 10,000 genuinely engaged followers, or even 1,000 but they’re all actual friends and acquaintances. </p> <p>There’s Brian Solis's ‘<a href="http://www.briansolis.com/2012/03/the-pillars-of-influence-and-how-to-activate-them-in-business/">Pillars of Influence</a>’ — reach, relevance and resonance. Make sure your strategy is balanced. </p> <p>The problem is that at the moment, consumers are becoming more cynical, destroying the trust that these pillars are founded on. And this is not helped by the fast-growing phenomenon of the self-made influencer — those that are gaming the system. </p> <p>As any social media guru knows, you can game followers, likes and shares, and plenty of self-proclaimed ‘influencers’ are doing just that. All this makes it harder for any software tool to tell true influence.</p> <h3>Human intuition</h3> <p>Cue influx of software vendors protesting that their tool is super intelligent and can weed out the bogus influencers. </p> <p>I’m sure some of them do, to some degree. But just as in the earlier days of influencer marketing when it was just choosing which media outlets to send a product to, human intuition and experience come into play. </p> <p>I would always tell clients that when choosing media targets that circulation (reach) was one metric, audience (relevance) was another, but so was our own intuition and knowledge. And not just in ‘resonance’ — that should come from the story, the message, or the content. </p> <p>I’m talking about understanding who really knows what they’re talking about and commands attention on a topic. </p> <p>For this there’s no substitute for reading, interacting with and working with the media full time. And the same applies whether you’re talking about a steel industry trade mag or a health and fitness Instagrammer. </p> <h3>‘Influencer marketing’ won’t die</h3> <p>As much as I wish the buzzword would disappear, at the very least the practice will continue. But hopefully it will be <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/05/26/more-must-be-done-to-educate-brands-on-online-ad-rules-says-asa/">under better-observed regulations</a>, and with growing consumer cynicism the market will bottom out to a more measured approach. </p> <p>If you’re planning an influencer outreach programme anytime soon, obviously you won’t just cream off the top 10 Instagrammers using a relevant hashtag. But hopefully, you also won’t just use what your fancy software’s proprietary algorithm tells you are the top 10 either. </p> <p>By all means take those factors into account, but also spend time reading and reviewing content, understand the audience you want to reach and work transparently with people you know they’ll trust. </p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68666 2017-01-05T01:00:00+00:00 2017-01-05T01:00:00+00:00 Five things social media marketers like (and five things they don't) Jeff Rajeck <p>Econsultancy recently held roundtable discussions with dozens of brand managers in Singapore to discuss the future of social media marketing including issues they face, trends, and best practices.</p> <p>Although many were interested in new technologies and platforms, especially chatbots, brand marketers were mostly concerned about what they needed to do to adapt to the changing media landscape and how to add value to the business.</p> <p>Their main interests are summarised below in a list of things which participants 'like' about social media - and things which they 'dislike'.</p> <h3>Likes</h3> <h4>1) Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)</h4> <p>Nearly all attendees on the day had <strong>moved away from social media 'vanity metrics</strong>' and had <strong>adopted social media KPIs</strong>. Some of the KPIs were just to gauge individual performance, but others they reported upwards to the business.</p> <p>Social media KPIs which marketers use include:</p> <ul> <li>Increase in followers.</li> <li>Social media credited conversions.</li> <li>Social content quality score.</li> <li>Clicks from social media, along with time on site.</li> </ul> <p>KPIs are important, marketers said, because they give the team direction and helps them 'sell' social media to the business.</p> <p>While everyone agreed that there wasn't a single set of KPIs which would suit every organisation,<strong> participants felt that marketers should try to have a mix of qualitative and quantitative metrics.</strong></p> <p>For example, marketers may have a goal of a certain number of posts per week, but ensure that the number of clicks per post stays constant. Otherwise, one attendee noted, the increase in the quantity of social media posts will result in a decrease in their quality.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2661/1.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="547"></p> <h4>2) Messaging apps</h4> <p>Delegates reported that<strong> they are spending less effort on investigating new social platforms and more time researching messaging apps.</strong></p> <p>The research is necessary, according to participants, because each country in the region has its preferred messaging app, and each app has its own interface for brand and fan management.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2657/chart.png" alt="" width="800" height="460"></p> <p>Regardless of which app they were using, marketers said that messaging apps are a great way to:</p> <ul> <li>deliver information about exclusive events,</li> <li>answer pre-purchase questions, and</li> <li>provide ongoing customer service.  </li> </ul> <p>Because of how important messaging is to consumers now, some<strong> participants felt that they will be investing more time in messaging apps in 2017.</strong> Others said that they were holding off due to the lack of tools to help them manage the channels (see below in 'dislikes').</p> <h4>3) Consumer / customer data</h4> <p>Everyone agreed that relevancy is the key to success of social media marketing, but many participants felt that it was difficult to know what content will be engaging for their audience. In order to help them improve their posts, <strong>participants indicated that they are using data to understand their social media audiences better. </strong></p> <p>Some are using consumer data from social media platforms and create content based on their audiences' interests and demographics. Others were also using their internal customer data to get a clearer picture of their audience.  </p> <p>They felt that <strong>combining first-party and third-party data gave marketers the 'best bang for their buck'.</strong></p> <p>For those brands that pay to promote their content, audiences created from first and third-party data were very useful for targeting content as well, one attendee noted.</p> <h4>4) Being prepared for crises</h4> <p>Most participants on the day had been involved in a social media crisis of some sort and the consensus was that<strong> the best way to manage a crisis was to be prepared.  </strong></p> <p>Ways that marketers could prepare for a social media crisis include:</p> <ul> <li>Implementing <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68373-what-is-agile-marketing-and-what-do-marketers-think-about-it/">agile marketing methods</a> </li> <li>Having a predetermined 'situation room' prepared</li> <li>Writing reactive content ahead of time</li> <li>Running drills so that everyone understood their role </li> </ul> <p>While there was no guarantee that any of these would prepare them for every crisis, participants felt that not preparing at all was a recipe for disaster.</p> <h4>5) Senior management buy-in</h4> <p>Participants felt that they spent most of their time on strategy and execution, but <strong>a social media marketer's biggest worry is getting senior-level buy-in.</strong></p> <p>As one attendee said, "social media marketers need to continuously engage and educate senior management on what social media can and cannot achieve for the company."</p> <p>Speaking regularly with senior management about the value of social is a key part of a social media marketer's job, participants concluded, and <strong>engagement for brand building must be emphasized as a benefit</strong>.  </p> <p>Otherwise, one pointed out, management will see social media simply as another sales channel, and it often does not live up to the hype.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2663/2.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>Dislikes</h3> <h4>1) Hashtags</h4> <p>At one time, hashtags were regarded as a way for brands to link content across various posts, including user-generated content (UGC). This meant that nearly every tweet and tagline had to have at least one hashtag on it.</p> <p>Marketers are now less enthusiastic about them. Some participants said that they are still useful for events or to find out what is trending now. Others felt that <strong>because the impact of hashtags is difficult to measure, there is little reason to use them at all.</strong></p> <h4>2) Channels in decline</h4> <p>Brand presence on a social media channel requires significant effort even if it is not popular, according to attendees. So, following the nearly complete abandonment of Google+ by brands, many marketers are asking themselves 'which one is next'?</p> <p>While there was no one channel which all participants agree was in terminal decline, <strong>some delegates said that they are finding it difficult to monetize their audiences on Twitter and Pinterest.</strong> For that reason, they were investing less time and effort on them.</p> <p>Another pointed out that working on a channel in decline is demoralising for marketers and so tough decisions will be made in 2017 regarding which channels will be part of their social media efforts.</p> <h4>3) Facebook algorithm changes</h4> <p>One social network which is clearly not in decline is Facebook. Everyone agreed that Facebook was still one of the best places to engage with audiences across nearly every market (<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67740-five-things-western-brands-should-know-about-china-s-digital-landscape/">notable exception being China</a>).</p> <p>What marketers did not like, though, is <strong>how difficult it is to keep up with the changes in the Facebook algorithm</strong>. Facebook has been slowly reducing the reach of organic posts from brands since 2012, but marketers noticed a rapid drop in the first half of 2016.</p> <p>As one marketer put it,<strong> 'no one knows what Facebook is about any more. Is it brand-friendly? Or are they trying to get rid of us?'</strong></p> <p>These changes have made it difficult to execute long-term strategies on the platform and everyone felt that they were always playing catch-up.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2664/3.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h4>4) Lack of publisher support</h4> <p>As mentioned previously, brand marketers struggle to manage content, campaigns, and audiences across multiple social media platforms - and they felt that the networks were not making life any easier for them.</p> <p>While there are several software solutions available for managing social networks, <strong>few social media tools work well across all major platforms and, of these, none work for the China networks yet</strong>. Thus, marketers need multiple tools to stitch together their content calendar and measurement data. </p> <p>One participant pointed out that<strong> the lack of publisher support on existing channels will make it more difficult for new channels (e.g. Snapchat) to get investment from brands.</strong></p> <p>Many felt that tools to solve this problem are in development, but as platforms change so will the requirements. Few expected a 'magic bullet' solution for this issue any time soon.</p> <h4>5) Little for business-to-business (B2B) marketers on social media</h4> <p>While business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers are seeing significant returns from their social media campaigns,<strong> B2B marketers indicated that they were still struggling to get return on investment (ROI) from their social media efforts.</strong></p> <p>One reason for this, as a B2B marketer explained, is that <strong>few social networks capture any meaningful data about their members’ workplace or occupation.  </strong>The only one which does, LinkedIn, has been very slow to make user data available and only offered programmatic display in mid-2016.</p> <p>Because of this, <strong>many B2B marketers are still avoiding social media</strong> and relying on email as well as traditional marketing tactics such as events for lead generation and sales.</p> <h3>A word of thanks</h3> <p>Econsultancy would like to thank all of the marketers who participated on the day and the moderator for the Social Media Measurement &amp; Optimisation table,<strong> Kanchi Dheer, Social Marketing Manager in Asia at Spotify.</strong></p> <p>We hope to see you all at future Singapore Econsultancy events!</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2665/end.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68619 2016-12-12T14:46:11+00:00 2016-12-12T14:46:11+00:00 What were the biggest social media trends of 2016? Nikki Gilliland <p>Here’s some insight from several social media experts, and for more, be sure to get involved with the following resources from Econsultancy:</p> <ul> <li> <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/fast-track-in-social-media/" target="_blank">Fast Track Social Media Training</a>.</li> <li> <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-best-practice-guide/" target="_blank">Social Media Best Practice Guide</a>.</li> </ul> <h3>Live video taking off</h3> <h4><strong>Will Francis, founder of Vandal London:</strong></h4> <p>It felt like Facebook Live really took off in 2016, and this will become more important as more viewers tune into important streams.</p> <p>Like many things, mainstream adoption has been and will continue to be driven by major world events such as the US Election and who knows what else in 2017.</p> <h4><strong>Kirsty Price, senior community manager at PSONA Social:</strong></h4> <p>From Buzzfeed’s Tasty to 360° tourism videos and celebrity livestreams - video has undeniably become the most scroll-stopping social media content format.</p> <p>Facebook reports that by 2020, 75% of all mobile data will be video. In 2016, we’re already seeing that brands that don’t create and publish video content are trailing behind competitors that have invested heavily in this captivating medium. </p> <h4><strong>Alice Reeves, associate director of social and outreach at Jellyfish:</strong></h4> <p>Live video really took off this year. Since Facebook Live launched in April, we’ve seen a wide variety of uses – from TheLADbible gaining almost 800,000 viewers by stacking biscuits live and seeing which tower would fall over first, to CNN live-broadcasting a man scaling the Trump Tower in NYC which attracted over 8m views.</p> <p>It is such an exciting development. What I found particularly interesting when watching the CNN Broadcast was how people were interacting with the news story, telling the person filming to move the shot back to the man when they panned over the crowd.</p> <p>It was intriguing watching the live reactions changing from amused to angry as soon as viewers weren’t seeing what they wanted. This opens up a whole new dimension to how we engage with news, brands, and organisations.</p> <h4><strong>Jordan Stone, deputy head of strategy at We Are Social:</strong></h4> <p>Live video has taken off in a big way both among consumers and brands, and with Facebook, Periscope, and Twitter all introducing new ways for brands to livestream more professional-looking content - streaming shows no sign of slowing down as we move into the new year.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fcnn%2Fvideos%2F10155249752501509%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>The rise of chatbots</h3> <h4><strong>Kirsty Price, PSONA Social:</strong></h4> <p>Back in April, Facebook announced that bots could be developed for Facebook Messenger. So far, the applications have been incredibly innovative.</p> <p>Over 11,000 bots have been built for customer service delivery, concierge-style services, ordering products and more. While they’re definitely still a work in progress, we’ve seen some promising early efforts from brands such as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68388-how-klm-uses-bots-and-ai-in-human-social-customer-service/">KLM</a>, Estee Lauder and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68184-domino-s-introduces-dom-the-pizza-bot-for-facebook-messenger/">Domino’s</a>.</p> <h4><strong>Jordan Stone, We Are Social:</strong></h4> <p>2016 has definitely been the year of the chatbot. We’ve seen bots cropping up for the likes of Domino’s, Skyscanner, British Airways and even Miss Piggy. </p> <p>Chatbots are a fantastic way for brands to relieve the pressure on customer service teams and drive deeper engagement with brands; they are quick and simple to use, and as AI capabilities develop, they should become far more sophisticated and ever more indispensable.  </p> <h4><strong>Joanna Halton, Head of Client Strategy at MyClever:</strong></h4> <p>Brands have been launching more and more sophisticated bots and with Messenger’s new payment functionality, it’s been a non-brainer for the likes of Dominos.</p> <p>As a trend, it’s raised awareness of automation and I don’t see take-up slowing down any time soon.</p> <h3>Disappearing content</h3> <p><strong>Alice Reeves, Jellyfish:</strong></p> <p>The trend for disappearing content has boomed this year. I love how it allows a more personal connection with people, mimicking a conversation more closely than one on Facebook or Twitter. Knowing the content won’t stick around and pop back up in Timehop a year later encourages users to share more freely.</p> <p>Plus, there’s a sense with Facebook that the more you invest the more history you rack up with the platform – so you end up being committed to it. With Snapchat it’s gone almost immediately. There’s something liberating about that.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2284/Disappearing_content.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="524"></p> <h3>Politics and fake news</h3> <h4><strong>Will Francis, Vandal London:</strong></h4> <p>The politicisation of social media has been extraordinary during the Brexit referendum and US election. The two events generated huge engagement spikes for the big two platforms - Facebook and Twitter - but left them both cast in a negative light. </p> <p>News coverage of how the platforms fostered mono-cultural echo chambers and disseminated fake or heavily biased news has eroded trust. But growth seems to be holding for both so far.</p> <p>From a brand perspective, vociferous commentary and political rants further crowd out their messages and smarter brands are looking to other platforms for more authentic organic engagement.</p> <h4><strong>Jordan Stone, We Are Social:</strong></h4> <p>Politics has dominated social media throughout 2016, with pictures of cats and babies being replaced by political posts on Facebook feeds in the UK, US and around the world. </p> <p>Social media played a huge part in influencing voters in the EU Referendum and the US presidential election and, crucially, social media data correctly predicted their outcomes, while the vast majority of traditional polls were wildly inaccurate.</p> <p>But what this has brought sharply into focus is the fact we are all existing in social media ‘bubbles’ with algorithms on platforms like Facebook only showing us the news we want to see. </p> <p>This may have been going on for some time but it’s only now that these two seismic events in history have taken place that the pressure has really increased for social platforms to address the issue.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68604 2016-12-06T11:20:00+00:00 2016-12-06T11:20:00+00:00 Why UGC is the future of social media in travel and tourism marketing Ian McKee <p>Despite this, there are those that would have you believe that UGC is the future of social media for all brands.</p> <p>There are a number of tech vendors in the space that have made it their raison d’etre - Olapic, Duel and Chute are all examples I’ve come across.</p> <p>These vendors seem to be gaining most traction in fashion and commerce, where UGC makes total sense. As a potential customer, seeing other customers trying on clothes adds authenticity. </p> <p>But there’s another sector for which I think UGC is an even more ideal fit, and where we’ll see it really explode over the next year or so — travel. </p> <h3>Automatic advocates</h3> <p>As someone who cut his teeth specialising in travel, I’m very aware that the use of UGC in the industry is not new.</p> <p>In my very first PR job I was eager to get the agency’s high profile tourist board, airline, tour operator and hotel clients on Facebook and Twitter because it made total logical sense to me.</p> <p>Particularly in the case of a tourist board, you’ve automatically got a large bank of advocates — your ‘customers’ (visitors) are more likely to be enthusiastically sharing via social, but you’ve got residents too.</p> <p>No one sells New York better than New Yorkers, London than Londoners or Azerbaijan than Azerbaijanis. </p> <p>In the relatively early days of Facebook marketing back in 2008 one of the most successful initiatives I ever implemented was a simple open album on a tourist board client’s Facebook page.</p> <p>People living or visiting the region would more than happily upload their shots, and we would share the best on the main feed, with that content often being far better received than the more polished official tourist board stuff. </p> <h3>Landscapes to fit</h3> <p>Nearly nine years later and technology has evolved to make this easier to do at even greater scale. </p> <p>I recently attended a great event as part of <a href="http://www.bristolmedia.co.uk/socialmediaweek">Bristol’s recent inaugural Social Media Week</a> with VisitBritain at which I heard that the brand’s social media plans for the coming year centred around Instagram and the hashtag #OMGB (oh my Great Britain) — encouraging people to use it on their uploads, from which the brand handpicks the best to share on its official feed. </p> <h3>#Latergram?</h3> <p>Startlingly simple, but effective. It’s easy to see why this is increasingly becoming the approach for destinations worldwide.</p> <p><a href="https://www.instagram.com/visittheusa/">Brand USA is doing it</a>, <a href="https://www.instagram.com/visitbrasil/">so’s Visit Brasil</a>. Barely a day goes past at the moment where I’ve not shared a shot tagged #VisitBath or #VisitWiltshire for my local tourism organisations.</p> <p>Mainly because I love where I live and work (I’m an advocate!), but also because like any self-respecting social media professional, I am addicted to likes — massaging your followers’ egos is a key part of a UGC strategy after all.</p> <p>If anything one is left wondering why it hasn’t more commonly played a central role in the tourism industry given this is just an evolution of what some travel brands were doing nearly a decade ago. </p> <p>There’s also an element of the reactive here. An unofficial Instagram community exists for virtually every destination — #IGersUK, #IGersUSA, #IGersBath etc.</p> <p>It would be silly for any destination not to want to capitalise, and many do so by partnering with their respective unofficial community (<a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BM6twohDXhU/?taken-by=visitbath">Visit Bath has just hosted an IG meet up with #IGersBath</a>).</p> <p>It’s been said before that as an industry travel can be a bit behind the curve in terms of marketing maturity comparative to the more forward thinking worlds of tech or even retail.</p> <p>I’ve always thought with social media in particular, travel brands have an easier job than most — leaving aside airlines which perhaps don’t generally have the bank of social goodwill or content to cash in on. So they should be ahead of the game, and they aren’t.</p> <p>But for whatever reason, I think we’re starting to see them push ahead.</p> <h3>Bursting the locality bubble</h3> <p>There is one small impediment to the UGC approach in travel however. By encouraging a community in a set locality, you run the risk of creating a bubble — residents and existing fans that are great at sharing and interacting with each other, but not with a wider audience. </p> <p>There are a few things you can do to try and counteract this:</p> <h4> <strong>1. Be creative with your branding</strong>.</h4> <p>#OMGB is social by nature, a playful tag that I might want to share on my posts and that translates internationally to any followers I have outside of the UK.</p> <p>Sorry Yanks but the same cannot be said for #VisitTheUSA — however good the content I’m less likely to use or browse that hashtag as it’s clearly a commercial message. Be creative and come up with something that lends itself to being social.</p> <p>If you’re marketing a destination, try to remember people love the destination, not the tourism department’s brand. </p> <h4> <strong>2. Integrate</strong>.</h4> <p>Another thing VisitBritain is doing right is pulling #OMGB through into its other marketing — print, outdoor, etc. It’s not a standalone social thing.</p> <p>The UGC tech vendors I mentioned earlier are all about pulling UGC into advertising and ecommerce platforms and this is where the approach can really take off, when it’s not just a simple tactic for growing an Instagram community and nothing more. </p> <h4> <strong>3. Play to other trends</strong>.</h4> <p>A recent campaign AgencyUK implemented called <a href="http://www.visit-exmoor.co.uk/secrets">Secret Somerset</a> played heavily to the strengths of local knowledge and UGC, but packaged in a way to appeal to a wider audience.</p> <p>The trend of ‘secret’ things to do and see was another acknowledged by VisitBritain at SMW Bristol, and in this campaign we pulled together the top 50 ‘secrets’ as voted for by the public into a digital resource for visitors, with an interactive map and downloadable itineraries.</p> <p>This both played to a trend, and turned the UGC into more than just a tactic — it became material to share with media, and for visitors to use as a resource. </p> <h3>In summary...</h3> <p>We’ve come a long way since the days when seeing someone else’s holiday snaps meant sitting in a darkened room while your boring uncle clicked through slides on a projector.</p> <p>With 80m images shared to Instagram alone per day, clearly our appetites are insatiable and the content is abundant. With some creativity and a bit of clever strategy, travel brands have a huge opportunity to capitalise. </p> <p><em>For more on this topic, see:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66739-how-user-generated-content-is-changing-content-marketing/"><em>How user generated content is changing content marketing</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67547-10-excellent-examples-of-user-generated-content-in-marketing-campaigns/"><em>10 excellent examples of user-generated content in marketing campaigns</em></a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3119 2016-12-05T07:35:22+00:00 2016-12-05T07:35:22+00:00 Content Marketing for Web, Mobile and Social Media - Malaysia <p>Brands are increasingly turning to content driven marketing strategies to gain marketplace attention and increase customer engagement in a multi-channel environment. For your marketing to be effective in 2015 and beyond, you will need to provide content that's useful to your customers and that advances your business objectives in a measurable way. It is also vital to create high engagement by building and maintaining a community around your content. </p> <p>The discipline of content marketing provides the framework for ensuring that your content delivers on these essential requirements across all relevant traditional and digital platforms. In addition to covering the basic principles of content marketing, this 3-day workshop seeks to address the challenges of marketers in developing a content strategy and help marketers to create a realistic and sustainable content plan.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3118 2016-12-05T07:32:53+00:00 2016-12-05T07:32:53+00:00 Content Marketing for Web, Mobile and Social Media - Malaysia <p>Brands are increasingly turning to content driven marketing strategies to gain marketplace attention and increase customer engagement in a multi-channel environment. For your marketing to be effective in 2015 and beyond, you will need to provide content that's useful to your customers and that advances your business objectives in a measurable way. It is also vital to create high engagement by building and maintaining a community around your content. </p> <p>The discipline of content marketing provides the framework for ensuring that your content delivers on these essential requirements across all relevant traditional and digital platforms. In addition to covering the basic principles of content marketing, this 3-day workshop seeks to address the challenges of marketers in developing a content strategy and help marketers to create a realistic and sustainable content plan.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68449 2016-11-25T11:17:26+00:00 2016-11-25T11:17:26+00:00 Grabbing attention online: Three questions to kickstart your strategy Bola Awoniyi <p>However, in 2016, attention is a commodity system that can be gamed if you know how to play.</p> <p>Those that know the rules have been wildly successful, without the relative cost one would have to have paid 15-20 years ago.</p> <p>You only need to look as far as your children’s favourite YouTubers, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67633-the-social-strategy-behind-kim-kardashian-s-internationalwomensday-nude-tweets/">Kim Kardashian</a> and even <a href="http://www.wired.co.uk/article/donald-trump-attention-economy">Donald Trump</a> to understand that attention can be gained, if you know the rules of the game.</p> <p>The good news is, these rules are open for brands to play with too, if they're prepared to try to circumvent traditional marketing practices.</p> <p>Now, the quest for gaining digital attention is a beautiful art and science in which the roles change constantly.</p> <p>Therefore the questions I present below are not exhaustive: There is certainly more to consider, but this is a sufficient starting point to begin experimenting.</p> <h3>Where does your market digitally hang out?</h3> <p>This is the biggest question and not just because that is where the brand should direct all of the marketing spend.</p> <p>The type of platform that the consumers in question frequent give some kind of indication to the sensibilities of the customer base (Twitter super fans are different to Facebook news feed fanatics and the differences between a Snapchat and Instagram superuser are not immaterial).</p> <p>In addition, answering this question provides a clear direction on the competencies needed to be successful in reaching the particular audience.</p> <p>For example, if the best place to reach an audience is Pinterest, there is no need to invest resources in live digital video, despite that being the current craze among many a digital marketer.</p> <p>A great example of a brand doing this is British bank Nationwide, which is <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68410-how-nationwide-is-using-tumblr-to-target-a-younger-generation/">using teen-centric platform Tumblr to engage with young users</a> around banking advice and tips.</p> <p><img style="width: 600px; height: 315px;" src="http://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/pmiproductionmediaassets/ckeditor/pictures/data/102.png" alt=""></p> <p>While the team behind this project needs to be adept at handling Gifs, humour with heavy hints of satire and the occasional video case study, it is nowhere near as capital intensive as making the most of a Facebook page or staffing a Discover Channel on Snapchat.</p> <p>Not bad for an industry that is deemed as “boring and highly regulated”.</p> <h3>What other interests do they have outside of your product?</h3> <p>As intriguing as your business and its products may be (and they should be interesting - products that market themselves are the best), they often don’t represent the full breadth of any consumer’s interests.</p> <p>However, by understanding what other topics and activities are likely to gain your prospective customers' attention, there are clear opportunities for formal or informal partnerships or collaborations.</p> <p>Some would simply refer to this as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65184-what-is-agile-marketing-and-why-do-you-need-it/">agile marketing</a> and this is certainly part of the solution.</p> <p>Many organisations have tried to jump on newsworthy trends as they try to win the war for attention. <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64911-23-nimble-examples-of-agile-marketing-from-ecommerce-brands#i.98x0lj12pmcn61">The internet is awash with examples of this</a>.</p> <p>However, limiting it to only attempting to go viral on the back of a random entertainment, sports or news story does this method a disservice.</p> <p>If appropriately prepared, brands can make themselves the star of a story that had nothing to do with them, to the benefit of the topic and the brand.</p> <p>My favourite example of this was when <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67633-the-social-strategy-behind-kim-kardashian-s-internationalwomensday-nude-tweets/">Kim Kardashian took over International Women’s Day</a> early this year.</p> <p>However, if you want a more tasty example, Ben &amp; Jerry’s is still probably sold out as a result of <a href="http://www.benjerry.com/whats-new/why-black-lives-matter">its stance on Black Lives Matter</a>.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Black Lives Matter. Choosing to be silent in the face of such injustice is not an option. <a href="https://t.co/6Vy0KHJeKU">https://t.co/6Vy0KHJeKU</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BlackLivesMatter?src=hash">#BlackLivesMatter</a> <a href="https://t.co/pK96teLRhd">pic.twitter.com/pK96teLRhd</a></p> — Ben &amp; Jerry's (@benandjerrys) <a href="https://twitter.com/benandjerrys/status/784062366577225728">October 6, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Where does the audience have strong opinions?</h3> <p>This point is extremely pertinent given the past year’s politics in the UK and the US, but the principle is not a new one: People that find something they are passionate about will be more likely to talk about it.</p> <p>Given that the key to getting attention in 2016 is to do or say something worth talking about, it follows that brands need to either be bold and take a stance on something, or present an opportunity that makes it very easy for consumers to take a stance.</p> <p>While clearly taking a side on an issue can be risky, aligning the stance with the brand’s values, <a href="http://www.benjerry.com/values">like Ben &amp; Jerry’s has done</a>, can make the controversy much easier to stomach.</p> <p>However, the latter option is just as valid, and can keep the brand above the fray.</p> <p>For example, my startup, <a href="http://www.blackballad.co.uk">Black Ballad</a>, recently released an old video that was scrap footage from a previous project we worked on regarding identity.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FblackballadUK%2Fvideos%2F1806761312901317%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>Despite only having 1,800 Facebook Likes prior to posting the video, the footage has as of writing:</p> <ul> <li>Reached over 200,000 Facebook users.</li> <li>Been viewed over 55,000 times.</li> <li>Been shared over 950 times.</li> <li>Gained 175 comments on the video and increased the page Likes by 25% to 2,250.</li> </ul> <p>Although we didn’t anticipate this sort of reaction, we knew that our audience fiercely debate matters pertaining to their perceived identity.</p> <p>Without Black Ballad even taking a side, our brand has spread significantly and gained a large amount of new advocates in the process.</p> <p>Clearly, this is far from the viral sensation of the week.</p> <p>However, it is important to consider that brands have historically paid thousands to be exposed to a relevant audience of that quantity, which we were able to get organically.</p> <hr> <p>As I said previously, there is more than just the above to gaining attention and breaking through the market noise to get through to consumers.</p> <p>But considering those three questions is a great start.</p> <p>If a brand can conceive meaningful answers to these questions, it will have effectively created the basis for a modern <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/content-marketing-and-strategy">content marketing</a> campaign.</p>