tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/video-rich-media Latest Video Advertising content from Econsultancy 2017-01-16T14:14:50+00:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68705 2017-01-16T14:14:50+00:00 2017-01-16T14:14:50+00:00 Why Oprah’s endorsement could be the key to success for Weight Watchers Nikki Gilliland <p>But is Oprah a unique case due to her super-stardom?</p> <p>Here’s some insight into why she (and big celebrity endorsements) could still be the key to success for Weight Watchers and other brands like it.</p> <h3>Brand challenges</h3> <p>Weight Watchers has had a tumultuous time over the past couple of years, with shares rising and falling sharply. In 2015, Oprah bought a 10% stake in the company, which sent investment rocketing. A year later, CEO James Chambers left, leading to renewed doubt over the brand’s declining membership.</p> <p>One of the brand’s biggest challenges has undoubtedly been competition from emerging areas within the health and fitness industry, such as apps and wearables with tracking technology.</p> <p>It’s been estimated that <a href="http://www.wareable.com/wearable-tech/how-many-apple-watches-sold-2016" target="_blank">36.7m FitBit trackers</a> have been sold since 2014 – an impressive figure when you compare it to Weight Watchers’ 1.4m active online subscribers.</p> <p>Of course, for Weight Watchers - a brand that is rooted in the emotion-driven diet industry rather than rationally-focused fitness sector – this kind of comparison is a fruitless exercise. That being said, reversing dwindling membership is undoubtedly a big aim, and this brings us to its renewed marketing efforts with Oprah front-and-centre in a series of new ads.</p> <h3>The personal factor</h3> <p>Part of the ‘Live Fully’ campaign, Weight Watchers rolled out two new ads in time for autumn and winter 2016, both featuring Oprah “revealing her own story”.</p> <p>In both, she is seen announcing the fact that she has lost 40 pounds on the plan, putting it down to a focus on ‘living well’ and not feeling deprived in the process.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/UNlaMUnOVUg?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>The campaign depicts losing weight in a healthy and positive way by highlighting the amount Weight Watchers members are allowed to eat rather than what is off-limits. And with the brand promoting such a positive and life-affirming attitude, there’s certainly an empowering feel to the ads.</p> <p>Though this style of marketing is well-worn ground for Weight Watchers, Oprah’s influence injects a fresh boost of authority, and in turn gives the campaign greater value. Unlike a celebrity that’s merely been paid to promote a product, Oprah’s involvement is rooted in both personal and professional reasons.</p> <p>Of course, cynics might say that her shares in the company are motivation enough to front a campaign, but with Oprah’s well-documented association with Weight Watchers in years previously, it would suggest her association is authentic.</p> <h3>Building consumer trust</h3> <p>For brands using high-profile personalities in marketing, this authenticity is key when it comes to instilling consumer confidence.</p> <p>While research suggests that a celebrity endorsement can lead to a <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/steveolenski/2016/07/20/how-brands-should-use-celebrities-for-endorsements/#77eb58cc5556" target="_blank">4% increase in immediate sales</a>, it is vital that it is seen as a genuine and natural reflection of their personality and values. </p> <p>Oprah, who is well-known for championing female empowerment, philanthropy and entrepreneurialism, therefore aligns with, not only the values of Weight Watchers, but also its core consumer.</p> <p>Likewise, with social media also allowing us greater insight into the daily lives of celebrities, it’s becoming easier to see through those who are disingenuous. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3054/oprah_insta.JPG" alt="" width="680" height="437"></p> <h3>Positive results</h3> <p>In the third quarter of last year, <a href="http://www.weightwatchersinternational.com/file/Index?KeyFile=36547514" target="_blank">Weight Watchers reported</a> that subscribers were up 10.1% compared with the same period in the year previous. </p> <p>Similarly, revenue was up 3% year-on-year to $281m. Overall, it looks as though Oprah’s ad campaign contributed to these positive results.</p> <p>With a revamp that cleverly aligns with the TV star’s female fanbase, Weight Watchers has proven that celebrity endorsement still offer value – as long as it is done with transparency and real authenticity. </p> <p><em><strong>To learn more about this topic, check out Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-future-of-celebrity-marketing" target="_blank">Future of Celebrity Marketing</a> report.</strong></em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68704 2017-01-13T13:27:41+00:00 2017-01-13T13:27:41+00:00 10 mind-boggling digital marketing stats from this week Nikki Gilliland <p>You’ll find news on content marketing formats, abandonment emails, customer retention and social media. Don’t forget to download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium/" target="_blank">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> for lots more.</p> <h3>72% of marketers value data analysis over social media skills</h3> <p>According to a new report by BlueVenn, 72% of marketers consider data analysis to be the most important skill to acquire in the next two years.</p> <p>From speaking to over 200 marketers in the US and UK, BlueVenn found that understanding customer data is considered far more vital than the likes of social media and web development, with just 65% and 31% of respondents citing these respectively.</p> <p>This appears to be an especially common view in larger businesses, where a lack of tools and access to technologies is the biggest barrier.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3043/BlueVenn.jpg" alt="" width="740" height="475"></p> <h3>Abandonment emails sent after one-hour boost conversion</h3> <p>New stats from SaleCycle show that the best time to reconnect with shoppers is one hour after they’ve abandoned their basket.</p> <p>From the conversion rates of 500 global brands, an average conversion of 6.33% was seen after one hour, compared with just 3.14% when sent before one hour and 3.41% one to two hours after.</p> <p>As well as timing, research also found that personalisation is a big factor in email success, with subject names that include the customer name seeing the highest open-rate.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3048/Email_time.JPG" alt="" width="314" height="522"></p> <h3>Two-thirds of UK consumers willing to use robots for banking</h3> <p>‘Robo-advisors’ is not a term we’ll be adopting any time soon, however, according to new research from Accenture more of us will be willing to accept the concept in future.</p> <p>Apparently, it refers to the robots used to offer financial or banking advice in place of real-life humans. And according to a survey of UK consumers, 68% are willing to use them.</p> <p>The reasons behind the demand for this type of technology is speed and convenience, with 40% citing this factor for using it. Lastly, 25% see the impartiality of robo-advice as a key attraction, with this figure rising to almost one third in those over 65.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3047/Robots.jpg" alt="" width="650" height="397"></p> <h3>Instagram Stories grows to 150m daily users</h3> <p>Despite initial reservations from users, Instagram Stories continues to grow, with the feature adding 50m more daily users since October.</p> <p>According to other recent stats, a third of the most-viewed stories come from businesses, and one in five stories on Instagram result in a direct message. </p> <p>Lastly, 70% of video views are reportedly played with the sound on (though this does not include Live Stories).</p> <h3>Original data is the best-performing type of content marketing</h3> <p>A survey by Clutch has uncovered the types of content that marketers believe leads to greater success.</p> <p>17% of respondents said that infographics perform the best, while 18% cited research or original data – both trumped other formats like blog posts and video.</p> <p>In terms of promotion, 85% of content marketers cited paid distribution, such as social media, PPC and native ads as the most effective tactic, over-and-above organic efforts. This reflects the strategies of most marketing agencies, with 71% using paid distribution tactics most frequently.</p> <h3>Nearly 20% of online retailers lost out to rivals over Christmas</h3> <p>According to the latest JDA/Centiro report, many retailers failed to meet the growing consumer demand for convenience during the 2016 Christmas period.</p> <p>19% of online Christmas customers shopped at alternative retailers due to stock unavailability and delivery time constraints.</p> <p>While use of click-and-collect services has somewhat plateaued, it is mostly seen as a way of avoiding delivery charges, with 53% of consumers recently using it for this reason.</p> <p>The report also found that many people suffered problems with click and collect last Christmas, with long waiting times due to a lack of staff having a negative impact on the experience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3045/Click_and_Collect.jpg" alt="" width="350" height="571"></p> <h3>Valentine’s Day presents big opportunity for retailers</h3> <p>With Black Friday and Christmas out of the way, many retailers are turning their attention towards the next big holiday.</p> <p>According to stats from Bing, Valentine’s Day presents a huge opportunity, after an estimated $19.7bn was spent last year (and an average of $146 per person).</p> <p>However, it’s not just humans that can expect a gift or two. $681m was reportedly spent on pets for Valentine’s Day last year, giving pet retailers a good reason to get on board in 2017.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3046/Valentines_Day.jpg" alt="" width="483" height="229"></p> <h3>Instagram most important platform for marketers</h3> <p>In more Instagram-related stats, it’s been revealed as the platform marketers will invest the most in this year.</p> <p>Research from Greenlight shows that 70% will focus on Instagram, while 40% of marketers will invest in Twitter. </p> <p>Interestingly, older marketers are placing less importance on social platforms, with 50% of professionals who are over the age of 50 reporting no plans to invest in Instagram and 58% saying the same for Snapchat. </p> <h3>Generation Z bored by standard digital ads</h3> <p>According to a study by Kantar Millward Brown, generation Z (i.e. consumers aged between 16-19) have high expectations when it comes to digital advertising, preferring ads that allow them to interact or make a decision.</p> <p>When it comes to ads that prompt viewers to vote, generation Z reported a positivity score of 31%, compared to just 25% from generation Y. </p> <p>Generation Z were also found to actively dislike invasive ad formats like non-skippable pre-rolls. However, interruption appears to be a big bugbear for all age ranges, with the majority of people installing ad blockers due to this reason.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3044/AdReaction.jpg" alt="" width="740" height="399"></p> <h3>Customer retention is down 7% globally</h3> <p>From a global study of more than 24,000 consumers across nine industry sectors, Verint and IDC has found that customer retention dropped by 7% last year.</p> <p>Overall, this appears to be down to consumers who prefer using digital-based companies displaying less brand loyalty than those who engage with businesses on a human and one-to-one level.</p> <p>49% of digital customers have been with providers for more than three years compared with 57% who prefer to go in-store.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68686 2017-01-06T14:40:18+00:00 2017-01-06T14:40:18+00:00 10 stirring digital marketing stats from this week Nikki Gilliland <p>This week’s dose includes news about the internet of things, TV ads, and entertainment sales.</p> <p>Don’t forget – you can download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium" target="_blank">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> for lots more.</p> <h3>Holiday shopping generates $91.7bn in online sales </h3> <p>Adobe has revealed the total number of online sales from the Christmas period.</p> <p>November 1st to December 31st generated $91.7bn in online sales - an 11% increase year-on-year.</p> <p>Mobile brought in $28.43bn in revenue, which is a 23% increase from 2015. Figures also show that mobile drove 50% of visits and 31% of purchases.</p> <p>While there was an increase in sales, shipping costs were down, going from an average of $2.60 in 2015 to $2.50 in 2016.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2866/Holiday_spend.jpg" alt="" width="760" height="411"></p> <h3>Older consumers prefer rational marketing</h3> <p>A new study by the Journal of Advertising Research has found that older consumers have a clear preference for rational rather than emotional ads.</p> <p>While 49.7% of audiences under 50 preferred a rational advertisement compared to 50.3% favouring an emotional ad, this was significantly increased among those over 50, with 63% preferring the rational example.</p> <p>Insight suggests that this should inform marketing activity, with logical and knowledge-based appeals being much more effective for prompting older consumers into action.</p> <h3>One in five digital leaders consider their organization digitally mature</h3> <p>Clearhead recently undertook a survey of 150 ecommerce executives, aiming to find out the state of digital maturity with organizations.</p> <p>The results showed that there is still a significant gap between the desire for personalization and the processes and capabilities necessary to execute it, with just one in five leaders considering their companies as ‘digitally mature’.</p> <p>What’s more, despite the obvious desire to be data-driven – with 81% of retailers having purchased or built the technology required for testing programs – just 17% of online retailers have a path to develop personalized experiences for customers.</p> <h3>36% of consumers unfamiliar with IoT</h3> <p>According to a new study by Yahoo, consumer understanding of the Internet of Things (IoT) is below par, with many in the dark as to what the term actually means.</p> <p>Despite 70% of consumers currently owning a connected device, 36% still don’t know what IoT is. </p> <p>However, it appears many are keen to learn, with 41% of survey respondents interested in expanding their knowledge of the subject. </p> <p>The group with the highest level of understanding is teens and millennials, with video games and consoles the most popular connected device.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2867/IoT.JPG" alt="" width="493" height="407"></p> <h3>Increasing importance of customer service</h3> <p>Salesforce has released its latest <a href="http://salesforce.com/stateofservice" target="_blank">State of Service report</a>, delving into how service teams are responding to increasing customer demands.</p> <p>The most interesting stats from the research revolve around how collaboration within companies is key to delivering the best customer service. </p> <p>In fact, in a survey of more than 2,600 customer service professionals, 78% of respondents agreed that every employee is an agent of customer service. </p> <p>However, despite this level of recognition, there’s still room for improvement, with just 63% of service teams having a formal process in place to collaborate with sales.</p> <p>Alongside collaboration, service teams also recognise that a single 360-degree view of the customer can lead to greater productivity, with 79% agreeing that this helps to provide consistency and continuity in every customer interaction.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2870/Customer_Service.JPG" alt="" width="596" height="474"></p> <h3>One third of consumers actively choose to buy sustainable goods</h3> <p>A new study by Unilever has discovered how sustainability affects the purchases of 20,000 adults across five different countries.</p> <p>The results found that 33% now actively choose to buy from brands considered to be sustainable, while 21% would be more likely to choose brands that clearly promote sustainability credentials on packaging and in marketing.</p> <p>Consequently, Unilever predicts that the sustainable goods market is worth an average of £817bn in untapped sales.</p> <h3>'Personal assistants' is the top marketing search of 2016</h3> <p>Microsoft’s Bing Ads has released the top marketing-related searches of 2016.</p> <p>Due to greater advances in <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67894-what-are-chatbots-and-why-should-marketers-care/" target="_blank">chatbots</a> and virtual assistants like Alexa, Cortana and Amazon Echo, personal assistants and AI saw the biggest interest.</p> <p>The top five include:</p> <ol> <li>Personal Assistants/ Intelligent Agents</li> <li>Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality</li> <li>Search Marketing</li> <li>Artificial Intelligence </li> <li>Content Marketing</li> </ol> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2868/Bing_top_searches.jpg" alt="" width="537" height="268"></p> <h3>54% of consumers plan to buy a new smartphone this year</h3> <p>After a three-year low, an Accenture survey of 26,000 consumers has found that smartphone purchases are set to rise again this year.</p> <p>54% of the consumers surveyed said they plan to buy a smartphone in the next year - a figure up from 48% last year. </p> <p>Insight suggests that this demand is largely fuelled by better security, new functions and improved performance, with 51% of consumers planning to buy a new phone to access the newest and most innovative features and functions.</p> <p>Similarly, 45% of consumers cite inadequacy of their current device as motivation.</p> <p>While there is growing demand for smartphones, purchases of connected devices like smartwatches and fitness monitors are predicted to remain sluggish, mainly due to high prices and concerns about the privacy of personal data.</p> <h3>DFS dominates TV advertising over New Year</h3> <p>TVTY has analysed more than 80,000 TV spots from the Christmas and New Year period, revealing the brands that invested the most in the medium.</p> <p>Furniture company DFS came out on top with more than 1,200 spots over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. </p> <p>With a further 900 messages on New Year’s Eve and Day, the brand totalled 2,159 TV broadcasts.</p> <p>Other dominant brands over New Year included Confused.com and Thomas Cook, which both aimed to capitalise on consumer interest in holidays and finance. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2869/TV_spots.jpg" alt="" width="226" height="467"></p> <h3>Digital entertainment overtaking physical sales</h3> <p>According to new figures from the Entertainment Retailers Association, digital sales of games, music and video are now overtaking physical sales in the UK.</p> <p>74% of game sales are digital, and 57% of music revenues are derived from digital services like downloads or streaming.</p> <p>In total, digital revenues jumped 23% to £1,309.3m in 2016.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68640 2016-12-20T11:07:00+00:00 2016-12-20T11:07:00+00:00 Why live video was the biggest social trend of 2016 Nikki Gilliland <p>So why was has live video become such an important medium for brands? And what exactly should they be doing to capitalise on it in 2017?</p> <p>Let’s delve into the topic a little more.</p> <p>(Note: Despite other platforms introducing live video features, this article mainly focuses on Facebook)</p> <h3>Why are brands using live video?</h3> <p>When <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67603-what-marketers-need-to-know-about-facebook-s-livestreaming-push/" target="_blank">Facebook Live launched</a> last year, it certainly wasn’t the beginning of live video being used as a content marketing tool.</p> <p>We'd already seen many brands experimenting with Periscope for about a year or so, including early pioneers like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66564-how-brands-can-use-periscope-and-meerkat/" target="_blank">Red Bull and Mastercard</a>.</p> <p>However, with the arrival of the live video functionality on Facebook, the opportunity for brands to reach a bigger demographic came into play. </p> <p>With many already having an existing and well-established audience on the platform, it certainly made sense to start using it as the main output for live streaming.</p> <p>This year, we've also seen Instagram rolling out two new features, following on from Instagram Stories in August.</p> <p>The first, Instagram Live, allows users to live stream (before the video disappears for good when the broadcast comes to an end). The second feature is an update to direct messages, meaning that users can also send disappearing photos and text when communicating in a thread.</p> <p>Of course, we can't ignore the continued popularity of Snapchat either. Currently, the platform is said to generate a mammoth 10bn video views a day (up from 4bn a day in 2015), overtaking Facebook's last count of 8bn. When you take into account that Snapchat has a fraction of the daily users that Facebook does - 60m compared to 1.18bn - this is all the more impressive.</p> <p>Unsurprisingly, live video is now being taken seriously by brands of all kinds, with the medium becoming a core part of social media marketing strategies.</p> <p><em>Mastercard was an early adopter of live video.</em></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">|LIVE NOW| Watch <a href="https://twitter.com/Harris_English">@Harris_English</a> &amp; <a href="https://twitter.com/Morgan_Hoffmann">@Morgan_Hoffmann</a> share <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PricelessGolf?src=hash">#PricelessGolf</a> tips <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/meerkat?src=hash">#meerkat</a> <a href="http://t.co/9mm2W0Kn2q">http://t.co/9mm2W0Kn2q</a></p> — Mastercard (@Mastercard) <a href="https://twitter.com/Mastercard/status/600316262862954496">May 18, 2015</a> </blockquote> <h3>Why is live video so effective?</h3> <p>Firstly - and forget the live aspect for a moment - more people are watching videos on social platforms than ever before. According to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index, video will account for <a href="http://tubularinsights.com/2019-internet-video-traffic/" target="_blank">80% of all consumer Internet traffic</a> by 2019.</p> <p>Video is easier to consume than written content, with increased data and faster load times also resulting in people watching more videos on mobile - and sharing them too.</p> <p><a href="https://ondeviceresearch.com/blog/iab:-mobile-video-usage,-a-global-perspective" target="_blank">68% of users</a> are said to share the videos they watch on their smartphones, meaning that the most-used apps are ideal spaces for brands to infiltrate.</p> <p>Secondly then, alongside a desire to access the medium, live video also opens up an interactive and instantaneous connection with brands and well-known personalities.</p> <p>Allowing brands to broadcast live and ‘in the moment’, it means that viewers can also feel part of the action, creating a strengthened bond and connection.</p> <p>What’s more, it also allows for instant feedback, with viewers even more likely to comment and engage if there’s a chance the creator might also respond or say their name in real-time. Mark Zuckerberg himself has suggested that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/admin/blog_posts/68640-why-live-video-was-one-of-the-biggest-social-media-trends-of-2016/edit/people%20were%20watching%20live%20streams%20three%20times%20longer%20and%20commenting%2010%20times%20more%20than%20on%20regular%20vi%E2%80%A6%20" target="_blank">people watch live streams three times longer</a> and comment 10 times more than on regular videos.</p> <p>Facebook Live also has a few additional features which has ramped up brand-involvement.  Users can watch a stream even after it has finished and privacy filters mean brands can pick and choose the people they want to see a video. This adds an additional ‘exclusive’ element for fans, as well as a more tailored experience all round.</p> <h3>Types of live video</h3> <p>Brands used live video for a variety of different reasons in 2016.</p> <p>Lets’s take a look at a select few...</p> <h4>News and politics</h4> <p>Another big trend in 2016 has been the politicisation of social media, with both the Brexit referendum and the US election causing huge spikes in political-related content.</p> <p>Putting aside any controversy over the platform’s involvement with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68547-how-advertisers-are-being-exploited-by-fake-news-sites/" target="_blank">fake or biased news</a>, we can certainly see how brands and publishers jumped on these timely events to reach users in the moment.</p> <p>CNN was one broadcaster to make use of the opportunity to stream live, with its election results video resulting in 24m views, making it one of the top ten most-watched live videos of the year.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fcnn%2Fvideos%2F10155576641936509%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h4>Education and communication</h4> <p>Live streaming is also very effective for conveying what’s going on behind-the-scenes.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68090-how-zsl-london-zoo-is-using-facebook-video-to-drive-social-growth/" target="_blank">ZSL London Zoo is a great example</a> of this, using the medium to communicate the work being done by the zoo as well as by its conservation scientists out in the wild.</p> <p>By combining three elements that it knows its audience is interested in – the cute, the wondrous and the weird – it ensures user interest.</p> <p>Similarly, by capitalising on Facebook Live’s autoplay function and integration into newsfeeds, it has found far bigger reach than when it was previously using Periscope.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fzsllondonzoo%2Fvideos%2F756217194414741%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=400" width="400" height="400"></iframe></p> <h4>Humour and fun</h4> <p>For brands that make content merely to delight and entertain an audience, Facebook Live is an ideal medium.</p> <p>LadBible in particular is a good example of how to captivate users with light-hearted and cliff-hanger style content.</p> <p>It builds on the notion that views won’t be able to tear themselves away from a live stream because they’re hooked into what’s unfolding – regardless of how ridiculous it is.</p> <p>Case in point, this July live stream of a line-up of melting lollies…</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FLADbible%2Fvideos%2F2783253238388515%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=400" width="400" height="400"></iframe></p> <p>Of course, we can’t fail to mention Buzzfeed’s watermelon video, which drew 800,000 people at the time - a figure comparable to live TV.</p> <p>Since then, it has gone on to generate over 11m views in total.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FBuzzFeed%2Fvideos%2F10154535206385329%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=400" width="400" height="400"></iframe></p> <h4>Regular series</h4> <p>While many take a one-off approach, other brands have been using Facebook Live to create a new kind of serialised content.</p> <p>Makeup brand Benefit hosts a weekly series called ‘Tipsy Tricks’, which is usually held on the same day and the same time each Thursday.</p> <p>By sticking to a schedule, Benefit is banking on viewers getting into the habit of tuning in, much like they would a TV series.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fbenefitcosmetics%2Fvideos%2F10154080819678148%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=400" width="400" height="400"></iframe></p> <p>What’s more, the brand also builds on the interactive element by using viewer comments and feedback to inform the direction of the content or what will be discussed in next week’s show. </p> <h3>What’s next for live video?</h3> <p>With many of our experts also predicting <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68630-social-media-in-2017-what-do-the-experts-predict/" target="_blank">live video to be big news in 2017</a>, it’s clear that this year has been a case of trial and error.</p> <p>For Facebook, it certainly hasn't all been smooth sailing. Concern over the platform’s graphic content censorship policy arose after it streamed footage of the aftermath of a fatal shooting, before the video also disappeared due to a supposed ‘glitch’.</p> <p>Facebook has since <a href="http://newsroom.fb.com/news/h/community-standards-and-facebook-live/" target="_blank">reiterated its stance</a> on graphic content, however, it surely remains a sensitive issue. </p> <p>For brands, the potential earnings from advertising will undoubtedly continue to be a big draw. In June, it was revealed that Facebook had paid 140 media companies a combined $50m to create videos for Facebook Live. The list – including everyone from Gordon Ramsay to Mashable – demonstrated the brand’s intent to promote the product.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2434/Facebook_Live.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="449"></p> <p>As we head into 2017, there's also the announcement that Facebook is to expand its broadcast feature to enable 360 degree video.</p> <p>It's an interesting development, which will ultimately combine the immersive aspect of 360 technology with the instant and engaging features of live.</p> <p>So, keep your eyes peeled this time next year, as we'll undoubtedly be looking back at how the biggest brands capitalised on it.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68614 2016-12-19T15:30:00+00:00 2016-12-19T15:30:00+00:00 Why HotelTonight’s holiday campaign is a humorous hit Nikki Gilliland <p>While most marketing focuses on ‘family togetherness’ at this time of year, HotelTonight is instead promoting the idea that, sometimes, there’s such a thing as <em>too much</em> family time.</p> <p>It was originally launched for Thanksgiving in the US, but it’ll stay relevant throughout Christmas.</p> <p>Here’s just three reasons why it works so well.</p> <h3>Goes against tradition</h3> <p>HotelTonight offers consumers the chance to book last minute hotel rooms via its app or mobile website, similar to the likes of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67402-how-hotels-com-uses-email-to-keep-me-as-a-loyal-customer/" target="_blank">Hotels.com</a> or LateRooms.</p> <p>In contrast to the aforementioned examples, HotelTonight doesn’t tend to focus on inspirational travel content.</p> <p>Instead, it boldly takes a different tack.</p> <p>This year, its "Visit, Don't Stay” campaign is based on the simple idea that you might not want to stay with your family at Christmas time.</p> <p>It has created a variety of funny print ads to demonstrate why.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2204/HotelTonight_1.JPG" alt="" width="390" height="785"></p> <p>Choosing to go against the sickly-sweet theme of family togetherness, it cleverly takes the simple and highly relatable idea – that we might have to put up with family rather than enjoy seeing them – and runs with it. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2205/HotelTonight_2.JPG" alt="" width="390" height="786"></p> <p>It gets the balance right, too.</p> <p>The anti-family feeling comes off as jovial rather than hateful or serious, conveniently promoting the brand's promise of a room whenever you need it.</p> <h3>Gets consumers involved</h3> <p>Alongside humorous print and video ads, HotelTonight has been rolling out efforts to engage consumers on social media.</p> <p>This is in the form of a competition, whereby users are asked to explain their own reasons for not staying the night at a family member’s house, with the best (or worst) winning HotelTonight credits as a rewards.</p> <p>Using the hashtag #HotelTonight on Facebook and Twitter, it’s easy to get involved, with a presence on multiple platforms leading to high visibility and increased awareness of the brand. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FHotelTonight%2Fposts%2F1170087673026775%3A0&amp;width=500" width="500" height="391"></iframe></p> <h3>Creates something memorable</h3> <p>With most travel brands going for an experience-led approach – building on the idea that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68428-how-travel-brands-are-capturing-millennial-interest-on-mobile/" target="_blank">millennials in particular crave adventure and spontaneit</a>y – HotelTonight’s focus on humour makes a nice change.</p> <p>With CMO, Ray Elias, suggesting that the company’s competition is “big brands with deep war chests that have been advertising for years” – its clearly designed to be disruptive. Its highly visual nature sets it apart.</p> <p>Others try to do this by creating a distinctive tone of voice. <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68375-airbnb-how-its-customer-experience-is-revolutionising-the-travel-industry/" target="_blank">AirBnB</a> is welcoming and reassuring, for example, while <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68201-how-hostelworld-uses-video-to-connect-with-target-audience-of-young-travellers/">HostelWorld</a> is overly comical. </p> <p>However, words are limited in the “Visit, Don’t Stay” campaign.</p> <p>In fact, the video ads include no spoken words whatsoever.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ya9Tzl0LUYo?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>A bold image and tagline of “Family overload?” is all that’s needed, resulting in a simple but memorable message.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/o88DK3IF90M?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>So, if you’re one of those people who’s a bit concerned about staying with the family in a few weeks’ time – at least you can take comfort in these gloriously relatable ads.</p> <p><em><strong>Now read:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68154-16-ad-examples-that-prove-print-isn-t-dead/">16 ad examples that prove print isn't dead </a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68637 2016-12-14T10:11:44+00:00 2016-12-14T10:11:44+00:00 The Guardian claims impressive results from new native ad platform Nikki Gilliland <p>On the back of this, the fact that the Guardian has launched a new platform for advertiser created content might not come as much of a surprise.</p> <p>But is it a welcome move? Here a bit more on the story.</p> <h3>What is ‘Hosted by the Guardian?’</h3> <p>‘Hosted by the Guardian’ is a new platform that has been specifically designed to host advertiser content on Guardian.com, mainly in the form of videos, articles and galleries.</p> <p>It has been described as a ‘premium environment’, drawing on traffic from the Guardian’s homepage where the content will first be promoted.</p> <p>So far, Renault is one of the biggest brands to test out the platform, running three videos to sell its new range of electric ‘ZOE’ vehicles.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2399/Renault_desktop.png" alt="" width="780" height="490"></p> <h3>A transparent approach</h3> <p>Native advertising continues to be a big challenge for both brands and publishers.</p> <p>On one hand, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67019-12-alarming-ad-blocking-stats-that-reveal-the-size-of-the-problem/" target="_blank">the rise of ad blocking</a> suggests that readers are fed up of intrusive ads, meaning that surely native ads - where the content mimics the editorial environment on which it is displayed – would be preferable.</p> <p>However, increasing confusion and frustration over poorly labelled sponsored content means that reader distrust is one of the biggest risks for publishers.</p> <p>The below chart from Contently’s <a href="https://contently.com/strategist/2016/12/08/native-advertising-study/" target="_blank">latest report</a> reflects confusion over the classification of ads, with the majority of readers unsure about what a native advert actually is.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2400/Contently_chart.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="412"></p> <p>Interestingly, the Guardian’s new platform aims to combat this issue, mainly by prominently labelling the various types of sponsored content it produces.</p> <p>The example from Renault is clearly labelled as ‘advertiser content’, meaning that is has been paid for and produced by the advertiser rather than the publisher. </p> <p>It also includes a link to a more in-depth disclaimer about what this means.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2404/Guardian_disclaimer.JPG" alt="" width="640" height="560"></p> <p>The videos distinctly feel like adverts, too.</p> <p>Showing a group of Central St Martins students taking part in a competition to design the 'car of the future' - the brand involvement is obvious.</p> <p>While there’s no real mention of the ‘ZOE’ cars, Renault has a heavy presence throughout, even down to praise from the judges about the company's innovative nature and its support of students.</p> <p>Despite this, the storytelling aspect means it is engaging to watch, with the genuine hard work and talent of the students shining through.</p> <h3>Will readers embrace it?</h3> <p>Results from Renault’s campaign indicate that the platform has so far proven successful.</p> <p>Apparently, Renault’s ‘Hosted by’ videos delivered a 60% view-through rate from over 25,000 unique visitors, with a further 4% clicking through to the brand website.</p> <p>What’s more, the overall campaign was said to double awareness of the Renault ZOE, with a third of those who recalled the campaign claiming that they would consider buying an electric car in the future.</p> <p>It’s surprising to hear such a positive result, however, this could be down to the platform being hosted on its own hub.</p> <p>It’s unclear whether or not the ad was labelled as ‘advertiser content’ on the homepage, as there is currently no sign of Renault’s campaign anywhere else on the site. But I’m assuming that this was the case, which means that readers would have known this before actively clicking through to watch it.</p> <p>Perhaps we can also put down this campaign's success to the fact that readers view both the Guardian and Renault as two trusted brands. </p> <p>Contently found that 41% of readers would feel increased trust towards a publisher if it featured a native ad from a most trusted brand.</p> <p>So, while there are obvious risks involved, native advertising does have the potential to increase positive sentiment for the publisher - as long as it is executed correctly.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2401/Impact_on_reputation.JPG" alt="" width="705" height="436"></p> <h3>In conclusion… </h3> <p>With native advertising remaining an important source of revenue for publishers, the Guardian's new platform is a sign that many are taking notice of the <a href="https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/native-advertising-guide-businesses" target="_blank">FTC's stricter regulations</a>.</p> <p>Of course, it helps that Renault's content is well produced, using the real-life context of a student competition to increase engagement.</p> <p>Likewise, with prominent labelling of 'advertiser content' as well as heavy use of the Renault logo, it's pretty unlikely that anyone would view it without knowing that it is an ad.</p> <p>Created with transparency in mind <em>and</em> the aim of providing value for readers, it is a decent example for others to follow.</p> <p><em><strong>Further reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67083-is-native-advertising-sustainable" target="_blank">Is native advertising sustainable?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67044-is-native-advertising-the-answer-to-ad-blocking/" target="_blank">Is native advertising the answer to ad blocking?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66281-five-changes-programmatic-native-advertising-will-bring/" target="_blank">Five changes programmatic native advertising will bring</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68520 2016-11-11T14:28:00+00:00 2016-11-11T14:28:00+00:00 10 dumbfounding digital marketing stats from this week Nikki Gilliland <p>But, if there’s one thing that’ll help us digest a rather surreal few days, it is some good old facts and figures.</p> <p>This week’s stats roundup includes news about online retail sales, dark posts, Instagram users and, yes, election night response.</p> <p>You can also download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium" target="_blank">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> for more.</p> <h3>Online retail sales stronger than expected in 2016</h3> <p>The latest data from IMRG and Capgemini shows that this year’s online retail growth sales have been higher than expected.</p> <p>Despite the economic uncertainty following Brexit, growth is currently running at 15.1% for the months January to September compared to the same period in 2015. </p> <p>Now, with just three months until the end of the year, the overall forecast has changed to 15%+ annual growth for 2016 (IMRG's original estimate was 11%).</p> <h3>John Lewis Christmas ad garners over 200,000 shares in an hour</h3> <p>It’s always a hotly anticipated sign that Christmas is around the corner, but <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68512-john-lewis-combines-tv-ad-with-snapchat-lens-and-email/">this year’s John Lewis ad</a> has smashed all previous records.</p> <p>Within the first hour, Buster the Boxer had already garnered 218,330 video shares on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.</p> <p>This is in comparison to last year’s Man in the Moon ad, which saw just 174,717 shares within the hour.</p> <p>Consequently, the 2016 ad looks set to be John Lewis’s most-shared ad of all time.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/sr6lr_VRsEo?wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <h3>53% of investors cite AI as the biggest threat to jobs</h3> <p>In a Venture survey of over 200 investors at this year’s Web Summit, 53% agreed that artificial intelligence poses the biggest threat to jobs in the digital and tech industries.</p> <p>Similarly, a whopping 93% said that governments are unprepared for the impact of AI.</p> <p>Here are some other results from the poll:</p> <ul> <li>82% of investors agreed that Brexit is damaging to the European economy.</li> <li>39% said the least innovative major tech company is Apple.</li> <li>94% of investors would have voted for Hillary Clinton, with 89% predicting the democrat candidate was going to win.</li> </ul> <h3>More businesses are investing in dark posts on Facebook</h3> <p>According to the 2017 Facebook Advertising Budget Benchmark Index, more companies are investing their time and budget in <a href="http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/4-ways-to-use-dark-facebook-posts-for-business/">dark posts</a> rather than boosted posts on Facebook.</p> <p>While the average total spend for a dark post is nearly twice as much as that for a boosted post, it is now seen as a viable strategy for larger businesses with bigger than average Facebook audiences. </p> <p>This is because the average number of likes for a business’ Facebook page with active dark posts is 845,086, compared to just 592,797 without. </p> <p>What’s more, dark posts tend to be active for around 14 days longer.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1416/dark_posts.JPG" alt="" width="720" height="456"></p> <h3>Millennials are more likely to buy a product after watching a video ad</h3> <p>New <a href="http://groundbreakproductions.co.uk/the-future-of-audio-visual-content/" target="_blank">research from Groundbreak Productions</a> has uncovered the kind of video adverts that are most likely to make consumers spend money.</p> <p>From a survey of 1,000 UK consumers, 42% said that they like video ads that are informative and 'to the point'. Consequently, 22% would be more likely to buy a product after watching one. </p> <p>In terms of the biggest spenders, the report suggests that ads have more an effect of millennials, with one in five being more likely to purchase a product or service after watching a video ad. This is compared to 12% of 45-54 year olds, 13% of 55-64 year olds and 6% of those aged 65 and over.</p> <p>Interestingly, just 8% of consumers say they are receptive to celebrity-endorsed ads, with only 3% being more likely to purchase after watching one.</p> <h3>Election night peaks with 96,000 tweets per minute</h3> <p>If you stayed awake throughout election night to hear the final result, 4:20am was said to the be the peak moment for Twitter activity in the UK.</p> <p>This is the latest data from social media tracking company, Spredfast, which also analysed how the situation unfolded.</p> <p>Throughout the day, hashtags supporting Hillary accounted for four times the volume as Trump’s campaign, however, this gradually shifted over time. (See below graph).</p> <p>Data also shows that there was a 342% increase in the word "shocked" during the last nine hours, alongside the phrase "no words" being used 3,900 times in the final six hours.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1414/Election_analysis.png" alt="" width="507" height="195"></p> <h3>Instagram’s UK community grows to 18m</h3> <p>I recently wrote about the top 10 <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68482-the-uk-s-top-10-most-popular-lifestyle-brands-on-instagram" target="_blank">most influential UK lifestyle brands on Instagram.</a></p> <p>In other news, it has just been announced that the platform’s community has reached 18m monthly users in the UK – an increase of 29% in just one year. Also, time spent watching video on the platform is up 150% over the past six months.</p> <p>This comes in the year the platform launched <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68142-instagram-stories-what-do-marketers-need-to-know/">Instagram Stories</a>, introduced a new logo and expanded its Explore feature. </p> <h3>B2C marketers have superior social knowledge than B2B</h3> <p>The latest social media snapshot from the DMA has revealed that B2C marketers spend more time on social than those working in B2B. </p> <p>A study found that people in the B2C industry spend more than 75% of their time working on social, with this percentage answering more questions correctly in the DMA survey. </p> <p>In terms of knowledge gaps, social specific areas like Pinterest’s Rich Pin and the length of Instagram video resulted in the biggest number of incorrect answers. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1415/DMA_social_snapshot.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="556"></p> <h3>Half of consumers have an unused email account</h3> <p>The DMA’s Consumer Email Tracker 2016 research has discovered that nearly half of all UK consumers have a ‘ghost’ email account, meaning that it is still active but no longer used. </p> <p>Consequently, this means that companies could be sending unread messages to around 19m email addresses.</p> <p>According to the research, 62% of consumers typically abandon an email address because they are receiving too many unwanted messages. </p> <p>This behaviour is even more prevalent among younger people, with 58% having abandoned an account for this reason compared to just 27% of older consumers. </p> <h3>Christmas spending looks set to increase post-Brexit</h3> <p>Despite initial fears over Brexit, new research from Accenture has revealed that retail spending could increase this festive season.</p> <p>In a survey of 1,500 UK consumers, 85% of respondents said that they are likely to spend the same or more money in 2016. </p> <p>However, people <em>are</em> looking to get more from their money, with 74% saying they will shop around to get the lowest price.</p> <p>The survey also found that 57% of shoppers say their shopping habits have been unaffected by the UK referendum result. </p> <p>Similarly, only 11% say they are now more cautious about spending on non-essentials.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1413/Accenture.png" alt="" width="502" height="482"></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68512 2016-11-10T09:07:53+00:00 2016-11-10T09:07:53+00:00 John Lewis combines TV ad with Snapchat lens and email Ben Davis <p>Here's the ad, which reportedly cost £6m to make and took six months.</p> <p>Not sure about you but it feels aimed at a bit of a younger audience this year (and animal lovers, of course).</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/sr6lr_VRsEo?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>And here's the Snapchat lens. Very smart.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">In case you're wondering about the John Lewis Snapchat lens here it is on my big head. <a href="https://t.co/Z8U1i9FGgG">pic.twitter.com/Z8U1i9FGgG</a></p> — Ben Davis (@herrhuld) <a href="https://twitter.com/herrhuld/status/796631783764873216">November 10, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>And below is the email marketing I received this morning. What I haven't captured here is the header text bouncing around and Buster's head nodding up and down.</p> <p>Using GIFs to really bring the bouncing story into the email creative is a really simple but creative idea.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1361/Find_it_all_at_John_Lewis.png" alt="john lewis email" width="400" height="1581"> </p> <p>Time will tell how successful this year's campaign is compared to last, which had a slightly luke warm reception due to its more reflective tone.</p> <p>Anecdotally, anticipation seemed high this year, with the annual event being jokingly referred to as the only thing that can save 2016.</p> <p><strong><em>More on John Lewis and Christmas:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li> <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67161-is-john-lewis-playing-with-fire-with-its-annual-christmas-advert/">Is John Lewis playing with fire with its annual Christmas advert?</a> </li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68484 2016-11-03T10:14:00+00:00 2016-11-03T10:14:00+00:00 The top 10 most shared Christmas ads of all time Nikki Gilliland <p>So, with newly-released data from <a href="https://unruly.co/">Unruly</a>, let's take a look back at the most-shared Christmas ads from over the years.</p> <p>According to the figures, Sainsbury's is the UK champion among supermarkets, featuring twice in the top 10.</p> <p>Likewise, John Lewis is a prominent fixture, as one would expect. Its 2016 advert hits our screens in the next few days - the excitement is palpable.</p> <p>To find out who makes the top spot, scroll through the list (counting down from 10 to one).</p> <p>And for more on digital marketing at Christmas time, check out these other posts:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68447-12-examples-of-early-christmas-marketing-from-online-retailers/">12 examples of early Christmas marketing from online retailers</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67364-my-10-favourite-christmas-experiential-marketing-campaigns-of-2015/">My 10 favourite Christmas experiential marketing campaigns of 2015</a></li> <li> <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67161-is-john-lewis-playing-with-fire-with-its-annual-christmas-advert/">Is John Lewis playing with fire with its annual Christmas advert?</a> </li> </ul> <h3>10. NBA: Jingle Hoops (2013) - 564,475 shares</h3> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/EYEHUOpwNvE?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>9. Sainsbury’s: Christmas is for Sharing (2014) - 771,387 shares</h3> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/NWF2JBb1bvM?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>8. John Lewis: Monty the Penguin (2014) - 1,012,605 shares</h3> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0DPDIkuU_cY?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>7. Sainsbury’s: Mog’s Christmas Calamity (2015) - 1,072,251 shares</h3> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/kuRn2S7iPNU?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>6. John Lewis: The Bear and the Hare (2013) - 1,226,467 shares</h3> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/NW2EmATcb6o?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>5. John Lewis: Man On The Moon (2015) - 1,672,666 shares</h3> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wuz2ILq4UeA?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>4. Kmart: Show Your Joe (2013) - 1,857,872 shares</h3> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/K3rHibpKMxc?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>3. WestJet: Real-time Giving (2013) - 2,221,976 shares</h3> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/zIEIvi2MuEk?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>2. Universal: Minions movie (2014) - Minions Go Caroling - 3,849,214 shares</h3> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wTGOK9VqOxA?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>1. Edeka: #Heimkommen (2015) - 3,984,010 shares</h3> <p>For those who don't speak German, 'Heimkommen' means ‘Homecoming’.</p> <p>Since it was released by supermarket chain Edeka in November 2015, this ad has generated 3.98m shares, putting it just ahead of a 2014 Christmas teaser for the movie Minions.</p> <p>Bravo to Edeka!</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/V6-0kYhqoRo?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68463 2016-10-31T11:09:00+00:00 2016-10-31T11:09:00+00:00 Facebook: A handy roundup of its latest developments and commercial opportunities Nick Hammond <p>In the 2016 Interbrand ranking of world's most valuable brands, Facebook climbed eight places up the list to 15th, and is the fastest grower, with its brand value up almost half (48%) to $32.6bn. </p> <p>On a daily basis, developments at Facebook take up a large amount of digital news column inches; but what do all the recent changes mean for marketers?</p> <p>How can you best take advantage of the ever-changing opportunities on Facebook’s many channels?  </p> <p>Here then, are some highlights of the latest commercial opportunities with Facebook.</p> <h3><strong>Facebook Workplace</strong></h3> <p>Facebook’s first enterprise offering has hit the ground running, claiming 1,000 global organisations and 100,000 groups, many of which had been using the previous service, Facebook at Work. </p> <p>Here are some of the <strong>pros of the new service:</strong></p> <p><strong>1.</strong> It could be a platform to tap into a new generation of workers.</p> <p>Workplace gives millennials a platform they are already comfortable with, and one which could more easily create new relationships in the workplace.</p> <p><strong>2.</strong> Workplace offers ease of communication, connectivity between members and the potential to help individuals understand more about their work environment and network, by assessing large amounts of personal data.</p> <p>But here are <strong>some of the cons:</strong></p> <p><strong>1.</strong> Facebook is late on the scene, with services like Slack already well established.</p> <p><strong>2.</strong> Workplace is not connected to the systems people are already using.</p> <p>Employees, will still have to go to Salesforce, SAP or Oracle to view their records.</p> <p><strong>3.</strong> Workplace’s big claim is that it will eliminate email. This is a promise made before and always without success.</p> <p>Email is the place people spend their work time; it’s the place they go to receive and share information with colleagues and customers.</p> <p>It will be hard, even impossible, to wean them off it. </p> <p><strong>4.</strong> Finally, what will companies think about giving even more of their precious information to Facebook.</p> <h3><strong>Robot shopping</strong></h3> <p>Facebook is back again with its latest ecommerce iteration, following <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/oct/01/facebook-businesses-online-shopping-chatbots">a few failed attempts in this area.</a></p> <p>Facebook’s new ecommerce capability allows Messenger bots to accept payments without requiring users to leave the app.</p> <p>People with credit card information stored with Facebook or Messenger will be able to make instant purchases within the bots of their favorite stores and services.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0885/chatbots.jpg" alt="" width="780" height="519"></p> <p>Launch partners include Booker, BookingBug, Front Desk, HomeAdvisor, MyTime, Pingup, Schedulicity, Setster and Simplybook.me.</p> <p>Amongst other things users can now order food, request an appointment, get a quote and buy tickets. </p> <p>For more on this topic, read Econsultancy's post looking at <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68458-why-chatbots-are-an-important-opportunity-for-retailers/">why chatbots are an important opportunity for retailers</a>. </p> <h3><strong>Facebook Live</strong></h3> <p>Although launched back in April, Facebook Live has been in the news recently as a result of Donald Trump launching a nightly talk show on this channel, <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2016/10/24/13395436/donald-trump-campaign-facebook-live-nightly-news-show">seeking to avoid ‘biased’ liberal news media in the US.</a></p> <p>But what are the opportunities here for brands and businesses? </p> <p>Facebook Live offers the opportunity to add to your PR efforts, or even offer up next level support for clients.</p> <p>Some of the key areas to consider when <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67808-10-pioneering-examples-of-brands-using-facebook-live/">setting up and screening a Facebook Live event</a> are:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>The audience:</strong> Getting the time right; when will your audience be at its largest and most receptive?</li> <li> <strong>Production:</strong> Lighting (employ LED work lights) and sound (use the right microphones) are hugely important.</li> <li> <strong>Connectivity:</strong> Ensure a very strong WiFi connection.</li> <li> <strong>Promotion:</strong> Start a good time in advance and maintain updates with regular frequency leading up to the event. Ensure a clear and concise description of the event in all communications</li> <li> <strong>The Event:</strong> Provide good context to maximise relevance, generate high levels of interaction, and make the event ‘real' rather than ‘staged’.</li> </ul> <h3><strong>Word of Mouth</strong></h3> <p>This is a new feature that makes it easier for users to get and organize recommendations in one place and allows them to put out a call for recommendations from their connections.</p> <p>When they are writing a status update seeking advice, Facebook will detect the query via its machine learning systems and suggest that they turn on recommendations for the post. </p> <p>The focus here is on highlighting local businesses – one can switch on the feature for any post in which recommendations are being sought, but the map feature only provides assistance when a query relates to geographic proximity. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fjessethomas%2Fposts%2F10154016148123861&amp;width=500" width="500" height="546"></iframe></p> <p>The tool will provide additional discovery potential for local businesses, though the businesses themselves will have no control over how they’re recommended or highlighted.</p> <p>Of course, it could also lead to businesses working with well-connected local influencers to have them recommend their services in a related query, but given the tool is built to work within an established friend networks, it’ll likely be difficult to influence commercially.  </p> <p>Worth however, keeping an eye on this to see how it develops.  </p> <h3><strong>Going out</strong></h3> <p>Facebook’s been working to improve its events offering, launching a new, <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2016/10/7/13192918/facebook-events-app-ios-android">dedicated events app</a> recently, in order to capitalize on the millions of people who use Facebook Events every month.</p> <p>In addition to the new app, Facebook has also re-vamped the Events bookmark within Facebook itself.</p> <p>The update makes it easier to see what events are happening in your area, as well as those that your friends are either hosting or attending, and events that you’re likely to be interested in, based on past activity.</p> <p>A good opportunity here for businesses in the experiential and events space to promote their offering. </p> <h3><strong>Facebook Marketplace</strong></h3> <p>Launched a month ago, this venture hit the UK headlines for the wrong reasons, <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-37560910">as illegal and inappropriate items went on sale</a> at the outset.</p> <p>Ecommerce businesses will already see this channel as an important one that will compete with big players such as eBay.</p> <p>Interesting that Facebook’s share price dipped with its announcement, presumably an observation that this initiative represents getting into a very competitive market.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0303/notification.PNG" alt="" width="640" height="219"></p> <p>It is too early to know how quickly Facebook’s ecommerce platform will grow, but it is likely that social commerce will play a big ongoing role in consumer shopping, and that Facebook and Messenger (along with platforms such as Pinterest) are well positioned to compete given their scale and access to data.</p> <p>Also worth noting that increasing Facebook commerce is also a positive for service providers such as Shopify, Big Commerce, and ChannelAdvisor, who help to power merchant sales. </p> <p><em>(Read Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68415-the-low-down-on-facebook-marketplace-is-it-any-good/">review of Facebook Marketplace</a>.)</em></p> <h3><strong>Here come the commercials (again)</strong></h3> <p>Starting mid-October, Facebook announced several new advertising options for <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67544-facebook-to-open-up-instant-articles-what-publishers-need-to-know/">Instant Articles</a>: Support for new and custom ad sizes, as well as video and carousel ads.</p> <p>Publishers can use the Facebook Audience Network to monetise Instant Articles and can now incorporate video ads and carousel ads across iOS and Android with no additional implementation.</p> <p>Given the ever-increasing importance of mobile, both in terms of user numbers and performance, this is an important development. </p> <p>Perhaps it is no coincidence that this video ‘good news story’ comes hot on the heels of the less good ‘erroneous video metrics story’ <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/09/26/mark-ritson-facebooks-erroneous-video-metrics-show-no-one-has-a-clue-about-digital/">as reported recently in Marketing Week</a>.</p> <h3><strong>Help talking to our friends….</strong></h3> <p>Facebook has launched a ‘Conversation Topics’ feature in Messenger.</p> <p>The idea behind Conversation Topics is simple: If you’re looking for a way to break the ice with a new Facebook friend or catch up with an old one, these conversation prompts help you figure out what to talk about.</p> <p>Additionally, the feature would have the added benefit of being a more basic News Feed of sorts, as it lets you catch up on friends’ recent activity, without having to scroll through News Feed and its clutter of shared links, posts from Facebook Pages, ads, and other content. </p> <p>Most interestingly, this could be an attempt to build public chat rooms on Messenger’s platform around shared topics and interests.</p> <p>Commercial opportunities in this space are as yet unclear, but worth watching closely.  </p> <h3><strong>Virtual reality</strong></h3> <p>Mark Zuckerberg recently unveiled the concept of <a href="http://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/why-social-vr-game-changer-facebook/1411487?bulletin=campaign_brands_bulletin&amp;utm_medium=EMAIL&amp;utm_campaign=eNews%20Bulletin&amp;utm_source=20161015&amp;utm_content=">virtual reality social networking</a>.</p> <p>This is why this could be a game changer: </p> <ul> <li>VR is no longer a solitary experience.</li> <li>It can be about the ‘real’ and not just the ‘virtual’ world (Zuckerberg used his device to connect to his wife... and his dog).</li> <li>‘Touch’ handsets, to be released shortly, will allow us to touch things, and people, virtually. </li> <li>Brands will be able to create engaging and interactive communal experiences, which we can virtually attend with our friends.</li> </ul> <p>For more on this topic, download Econsultancy's report on the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/a-marketers-guide-to-virtual-reality/">Marketer’s Guide to Virtual Reality</a>.</p>