How Can Brands Unlock Black Friday and Cyber Monday on TikTok?

November 24th, 2021 by

Black Friday is arguably the biggest shopping event of the year, closely followed by Cyber Monday. Although initially created as an offline, in-store sales event (featuring thousands queuing outside stores in hopes of a steal), it has since transitioned to include online shopping as a result of consumer habits changing. 

As a result of the pandemic, the way consumers shop has once again changed, with online shopping more important than ever before as consumers look for deals from the comfort of their own homes. This change, while led by stay-at-home orders, was solidified by social media phenomena, namely the “TikTok Made Me Buy It” mindset. 

TikTok has been a driving force behind changing consumer behaviour. Not only has it changed the way we spend our time (i.e. spending hours and hours scrolling through hilarious, digestible videos), but it has changed our purchasing habits and the way we view and respond to ads.  

TikTok has a unique ability to deliver authentic content that resonates with users all over the globe. The potential audience reach of the platform makes Black Friday on TikTok an opportunity that brands will not want to miss out on. 

Black Friday on TikTok

According to TikTok, 54% more users plan to find Black Friday offers through sponsored social media posts on TikTok than any other platform. In 2020, 80% of TikTok users who made a purchase on Black Friday said that TikTok played a role in their decision, and 40% of purchasers said they made a purchase after seeing an exact item on TikTok. For Black Friday 2021, 80% of TikTok users expect TikTok to inspire them to make a purchase this year. 

Pre-pandemic, Black Friday used to be about rushing to stores or malls as early as possible on Friday morning. Now, things look slightly different. Online retailers have begun stretching out their Black Friday sales over multiple weeks and offer regular customers early access to discounts. The early start of sales may have been a result of supply chain issues facing retail markets all over the world. However, TikTok users have happily embraced this change and have already begun their purchasing. 

The communities available on TikTok are almost endless. Think of a community niche and there’s an incredibly high chance they’re active on TikTok. However, TikTok has revealed there are certain categories TikTok users are more likely to buy in Black Friday sales compared to other platforms. 

TikTok users are 35% more likely to purchase gaming devices, 20% more likely to buy personal care items, 16% more personal electronics and 15% more clothes. 

How to hack Black Friday 

So, with this in mind, how can brands make the most from TikTok during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales season? 

The first thing to remember before making any content for TikTok is that authenticity rules the platform. TikTok users see straight through overly-promotional ads; you have to be genuine. Authenticity is the reason many brands have been able to succeed on the platform. 

The best way to target users on TikTok is through paid ads. TikTok offers a suite of paid ads that all offer their own benefits to brands. In general, TikTok ads capture users’ attention and encourage engagement more than other platforms. They also increase brand recall more when compared to other social platforms. The average user’s attention span has shrunk to only 8 seconds, so make sure you begin all your ads with key points and call-to-actions. 

There are a variety of paid ads available. One of the most effective at capturing attention is TopView ads. These present ads to users as soon as they open the platform, capturing their attention immediately. 

Another ad available involves creating a Branded Effect. Branded Effects are a fun way to increase reach and conversions, and can seamlessly navigate traffic to your website or dedicated Black Friday landing page. 

As with all social platforms, influencer marketing is highly effective on TikTok. Using TikTok creators to demonstrate or promote your deals not only increases reach and brand awareness, but gives your brand social proof and credibility—something brands can never have enough of. TikTok has its own Creator Marketplace you can browse to find the perfect creators for your brand. 

Another thing to remember is that, while Black Friday is technically only one day, deals can last for multiple days or weeks. You don’t need to stop promoting your deals on TikTok just because Black Friday is over. Users love deals at every time of the year, but especially in the run-up to Christmas. 

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Posted in Social Commerce, Social Trends

The Battle for Ears: The Importance of Audio

November 24th, 2021 by

Audio experiences are huge parts of consumers’ lives. Consider the rise in popularity of podcasts—in the past decade, we have seen a steady increase in regular podcast listeners; 56% of consumers under the age of 35 listen to podcasts at least once a month. Combining this with the impact of TikTok audio (88% of users said that audio was a crucial part of the TikTok experience), it’s understandable that major social and commerce platforms want a piece of the audio pie. 

But who’s getting involved? And what are they doing to differentiate and stand out? 

The Battle for Ears

Amazon reinvents radio

Amazon is preparing for the battle for ears by developing a new audio app. Codenamed “Project Mic”, the app will give anyone the chance to make and distribute a live radio show, complete with selected music. Initially focused on the US, the app aims to democratise and reinvent radio. 

Listeners can tune in through the app, Audible, Amazon Music, Twitch and any Alexa-enabled devices. Through Alexa devices, listeners can interact with their favourite shows using just their voice. The app will be optimised for driving, leaning into Amazon’s idea of reinventing the radio. 

To arrange their own program, users can pull any music available within Amazon’s music catalogue. To launch the app, Amazon is planning to use celebrity talent and smaller artists. Although the app will be primarily music-focused, programming will also focus on pop culture, comedy and sports. It is also rumoured that Amazon is working with big-name record labels to coordinate live events with artists. 

Amazon-reinvents-radio

YouTube gets serious about podcasts

Presently, podcasters looking to publish audio-focused content to YouTube have access to a large distribution platform and traditional RSS feeds. However, the experience for listeners isn’t ideal and the video feed doesn’t really contribute to the podcast discussions. So, in hope to increase its competitiveness in the podcast industry, YouTube has hired someone to lead its podcasting efforts. 

The position has been filled by Kai Chuk, who has been at YouTube for nearly 10 years focusing on media partnerships. It’s not yet clear exactly what his role will entail or what YouTube has in store for its podcasting developments. 

YouTube is a Google company, and Google already has its own podcasting feature (aptly named Google Podcasts). Podcasters already upload and host videos on Google’s servers, and Google monetizes those videos for them based on user data. While YouTube could directly enter the audio-only podcasting space, that’s not what the platform has historically been used for. YouTube does have its own music streaming service that offers ad spaces for businesses and could be looking to expand this service to replicate Spotify or Apple Music by offering podcasts—and even more ad spaces. 

This could be beneficial for podcasters already uploading to YouTube. They would have access to a service designed specifically for audio-only entertainment and could—potentially—still have access to and promote to their pre-existing subscribers. 

Twitter lets hosts record Spaces 

Twitter has rolled out recording and resharing to its Spaces users, allowing users to listen to Spaces after they air. The decision has allowed hosts to extend the value of their work and reach audiences that can’t always keep an eye out for live conversations—especially considering the global timezone differences on the platform. 

Spaces hosts that have access to the recording feature have to actively toggle on “Record Space” before they launch a new conversation. While the Space is ongoing, a recording icon will be visible to everyone—cohosts and listeners. Hosts have access to the recording for 30 days following the initial broadcast and can share and tweet it to their followers to check out if they missed it. Listeners can play back recordings directly within their timelines and can share them to their own followers. 

In adding a recording and reshare feature, Twitter has essentially created its own limited-edition podcasts. The main drawback to live-conversion features is that there is limited reach for the host’s efforts—they can only access the people within the conversation at the time. If a creator has an audience majority that lives in a different time zone, they may not be able to cater their Spaces for them. By having the record and reshare option, creators can still offer semi-exclusive content to their audiences. 

Twitter-lets-hosts-record-Spaces

Spotify launches Clubhouse clone ‘Greenroom’ and works on video podcasting

In summer, Spotify acquired sports-focused audio app Locker Room to help speed its entry into the live audio market. Relaunching the platform as Greenroom, Spotify suddenly had its own Clubhouse clone that operated in, pretty much, the exact same way. 

However, Spotify Greenroom has created six new podcast shows that are focused on music and pop-culture and inspired by popular Spotify playlists. The podcasts air at a set time and are live conversations, similar to a radio show. Due to demand, many of the shows are being published on-demand after the livestream has aired. 

Spotify-launches-Clubhouse-clone-_Greenroom_-and-works-on-video-podcasting

Not only has Spotify been busy creating its own podcast-radio shows, it has also been looking into video podcasting. It announced that it will be providing access to a new tool that will allow creators to publish video podcasts to its service. Provided by the company’s podcast creation platform Anchor, it expands on the global launch of video podcasts in 2020, which was only offered to a select group of creators. 

Now, creators on Spotify can upload their video podcast content in the same way they would upload audio content. Fans can listen and watch the video podcasts across all platforms Spotify is available on. Creators are also able to monetize their content by using subscriptions, similar to how they can with audio podcasts. 

Video podcasts aren’t yet available to all podcasters on the platform—there’s a pretty hefty waiting list to gain access to the feature. The feature is already available to Spotify Originals and Exclusives podcasts, including The Joe Rogan Experience and The Philip DeFranco Show. 

Considering the introduction of these two new features, we can’t help but wonder whether we’ll see videoed live conversations, changing the inspiration from a morning radio show to a morning TV-show. Video podcasting has been available on Apple Podcasts for some time, and with YouTube entering the podcasting space, Spotify should focus on rolling out its video feature as quickly as possible or risk losing out on its share of the pie. 

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Why does Twitter’s Spaces work?

November 23rd, 2021 by

While visual content has dominated social media since its conception, audio content is gaining momentum. As video begins to take precedence over static content, the importance of audio has increased, with many social media platforms introducing their own drop-in audio features. 

Following the initial success of Clubhouse, Twitter began testing its Twitter Spaces to selected users in November 2020, before rolling it out to users with 700+ followers in May 2021. Since then, it has begun rolling out a dedicated Spaces tab, in addition to the Spaces header (where Fleets used to live). 

How does Spaces work?

Twitter describes Spaces as the place “where live audio conversations happen.” Initially described as “a small experiment focused on the intimacy of the human voice,” Spaces follows the once-popular format of Clubhouse where users can get together with another person or group of users to host live conversations. 

When someone you follow on Twitter starts or speaks in a Space, it will appear at the top of your timeline (where Fleets used to live) in a purple bubble for as long as it is active. If you join a Space as a listener, you can react to what is said with emojis, tweets and DMs within the Space or request to speak.  

Twitter has begun rolling out monetization methods for Spaces through Ticketed Spaces and its “Spark” program for creators. 

Ticketed Spaces is a way users can support creators on Twitter and thank them for their time and effort hosting, speaking and moderating the public conversations. Hosts can decide the ticket prices and how many tickets to be sold; hosts will earn the majority of the revenue from purchased Tickets, but Twitter will keep a “small amount”. 

Twitter creators can use Ticketed Spaces to host workshops, conversations or meet-and-greets with their biggest fans. 

Twitter has also introduced a three-month accelerator initiative, designed to discover and reward the best Spaces on Twitter with financial, technical and marketing support. The Twitter Spaces Spark program will give participants $2500 per month, in addition to ad credits and customised Spaces swag. Participants will also receive opportunities for “prioritised in-app discoverability” for their best-performing Spaces, meaning Twitter will highlight these conversations at the top of the Spaces tab, helping creators build their audience. 

Why does Twitter Spaces work? 

Twitter Spaces has gained popularity since it was rolled out to all users globally. The audio feature can be directly compared to the once-popular audio platform Clubhouse, which has since fallen into irrelevancy. But why has Twitter Spaces succeeded? 

While the concept of Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces are essentially the same, the way the platforms are used differs. People use Twitter for specific reasons including hyper-local engagement, niche community engagement, celebrity and influencer commentary, trending news, brand interactions and public venting. What do these all have in common? They are time sensitive. 

Twitter is a social platform for the “now”. It’s where many users go to find trending news and updates relevant to their interests. This means when a big event is happening, users are already actively searching for the latest news on Twitter; Spaces lends itself to acting as an instant-reaction podcast to users. 

Twitter users actively follow other users within their interests, so if they see a Space is active, it’s likely to be on a topic they are interested in and have an opinion on. Opinions run rife on Twitter, but the limited word capacity results in multiple-tweet threads to address an issue or topic. With Spaces, users can share their thoughts easily and verbally, but still receive the same engagement through Spaces’ built-in features. 

Notably, Twitter Spaces has been particularly popular within the sports and gaming communities and is used as an instant-reaction podcast. Prominent figures within sports, gaming and esports have been organic hosts or selected by sports teams/brands to host. As events are taking place, hosts can offer expert, unbiased and uncensored commentary on the state of play. 

This use for Spaces is more engaging that listening to an official broadcast on a TV or radio station as users can respond to commentary in real-time and receive a response in the moment. It creates a sense of momentary community as users of the same interest gather in the same place for a specific event. 

It’s for this particular use that Spaces will have succeeded where Clubhouse didn’t. Although created for similar reasons, Clubhouse was quickly invaded by business-professionals and entrepreneurs that are keen to share their experiences and knowledge to others; it became too formal and censored. 

Spaces also present brands with more opportunities to connect with pre-existing audiences. Brands that have already built a following on the platform can collaborate with relevant creators to host launches, Q&As or use their own employees to host Spaces for relevant cultural events and offer a brand perspective. 

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Weekly Marketing News, 12th November 2021

November 12th, 2021 by

Who’s behind the ‘1 tree for every pet picture’ trend? YouTube hiding Dislikes, Instagram launches social reality series, Nike trademarks virtual goods and Aldi’s ‘A Christmas Carrot’.

What is this?

Each week, Socially Powerful get together and share industry news and what is inspiring us from The World of Social Media, Advertising, Influencer Marketing, Gaming and more…

PLATFORM NEWS

1. Who’s behind the ‘1 tree for every pet picture’ trend on Instagram?

Who’s behind the ‘1 tree for every pet picture’ trend on Instagram?

Over the past few days, everyone’s Instagram feeds were inundated with pictures of peoples’ pets. It was people adding to the viral Instagram sticker that said, ‘We’ll plant 1 tree for every pet picture’. Within a few days, the sticker had been shared over four million times, with the company behind the trend Plant A Tree Co. taking to their Instagram feed to explain that they’d be unable to keep their promise.

2. WATCH: YouTube will now hide the dislike count on videos

YouTube has announced plans to hide the dislike count for videos, and is now slowly rolling out the change across its platform. A dislike button will still be shown to all, and a channel owner will still be able to privately view the number of dislikes on a particular video. The only change is that the count will no longer be public.

INDUSTRY NEWS

3. Instagram and Channel 4 tie up for ‘world’s first’ real-time social reality series

Instagram and Channel 4 tie up for ‘world’s first’ real-time social reality series

Channel 4 and Instagram have announced the world’s first real-time social reality series told through social media. You Do You will air exclusively on Instagram from Sunday 14th November 2021. The ground-breaking four-part social series is set in the bustling UK city of Manchester and follows SINDYSPLACE – a collective of young creatives.

4. Nike files to trademark ‘virtual goods’; hiring metaverse designers

Nike files to trademark ‘virtual goods’; hiring metaverse designers

The sports apparel and sneaker company filed seven requests for trademarks and patents on their goods ranging from footwear, clothing and sports bags to art, toys and accessories. These requests hint at the possibility that the company is planning to either sell its products as virtual goods or non-fungible tokens (NFTs) or is trying to protect its products from becoming NFTs.

WORK WE LIKE

5. WATCH: Kevin the Carrot stars alongside Ebanana Scrooge in Aldi Christmas campaign

After conspicuously leaving Kevin the Carrot out of its Christmas teaser this weekend and causing much speculation over his fate, Aldi has released its full length festive ad in which the brand mascot returns for his sixth year. The ad plays on the classic Charles Dickens’ story A Christmas Carol.

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How Car Brands Can Use TikTok

November 11th, 2021 by

If you think of a car advert, your mind probably goes to luscious green scenery with a shiny car winding through remote mountain roads. Or maybe you think of neon city lights and smooth roads? Either way, with a varying combination of these features, you’ve probably covered every car advert out there—maybe with a smiling family thrown in. 

As consumers become more resistant to traditional advertising channels, auto brands need to find a new way to connect to audiences—particularly younger audiences. They need to learn how to be agile, captivating and authentic in order to foster new relationships. How can they do this, you ask? TikTok. 

The State of Auto

Even before the unprecedented arrival of COVID-19, the automotive industry was experiencing huge changes. Now we’ve entered a new—predominantly digital—normal, we can safely say what used to work, won’t work now. TikTok has already presented brands of all sizes and industries with the chance to reach new target audiences, build authentic connections and win the race for consumer attention.

Disruption 1: Car ownership 

Consumer habits have shifted to favour subscriptions. Outright car ownership isn’t a priority for new vehicle owners; many consumers say they value transportation, but are reluctant to own a vehicle. 

Disruption 2: Smart technology

Where car owners will have once bragged about their car’s horsepower, they now brag about its smart technology. Thanks to big-players such as Tesla, the boundaries of the tech available in a vehicle have been blasted through the roof. Car brands need to showcase their vehicles’ technological power to stay competitive. 

Disruption 3: Sustainability

The fact sustainability is shaking up the automotive industry is no surprise. Consumer interest in sustainable vehicles has grown significantly throughout the pandemic, with many only considering owning electric or hybrid vehicles. 

Automotive brands on TikTok

Several automotive brands have already seen success using TikTok’s creative tools and ever-expanding community. So, who are they and how are they succeeding? 

Hyundai

Hyundai partnered with the incredibly popular K-Pop band BTS to create a Branded Hashtag Challenge #ExpectingGen1, supported with a secondary hashtag #Move4Gen1 to promote its carbon neutral initiative. 

@hyundai_worldwide#광고 Join our #Move4Gen1 challenge now! #BTS #CarbonNeutrality #Hyundai #ExpectingGen1♬ I’m On It (Remix) – Hyundai x BTS

Hyundai created multiple TikToks with the band to explain the initiative and also a fun carbon-zero inspired dance, which have both been boosted with TikTok TopView ads. Hyundai reused these videos and captioned them in different languages for key markets in order to reach wider audiences. 

@hyundai_worldwide#광고 Join our #Move4Gen1 challenge now! #BTS #CarbonNeutrality #Hyundai #ExpectingGen1♬ I’m On It (Remix) – Hyundai x BTS

The hashtags combined have reached over 4.7 billion views and counting, and have housed a large amount of global user-generated content of users recreating the dance—with the branded sound (a remix of BTS x IONIQ I’m On It) reaching over 4590 videos. 

Toyota US

While Toyota has a global account, it is yet to make its first TikTok. Instead, Toyota has used influencer marketing to support its position as one of the Olympic sponsors for Team USA. Toyota sponsored Team USA Olympians and Paralympians to show off their skills, including backflips, pull-ups and other impressive physical activities. 

@davidboudia1…2…3…stitch this video if you’ve got what it takes. #ad #ToyotaTryouts #TeamToyota #Olympics @Toyota♬ Team Toyota Going For Gold – Jessica Long

Using the hashtags #ToyotaTryouts and #TeamToyotaTryouts, Toyota used influencers to encourage users to get involved with the Olympic spirit and share their own impressive skills—or therelackof. 

@calvinandhabs#ad #stitch with @davidboudia Armchair Quarterbacks watching the Olympics @toyota #teamtoyotatryouts #olympics♬ original sound – Calvin & Habs

Honda US

Honda’s TikTok strategy has focused on using TikTok creatives as Honda Partners. These partners create engaging content on their own channels that Honda then collects and reposts to its own account. The content has primarily been focused on the Honda Civic and includes back to school tips to pack your car and futuristic-ly edited, but incredibly captivating, content. 

@hondaThe all-new ##HondaCivic Sedan came to play. ##fyp ##honda_civic ##TikTokCars ##CarTok 📷: @theanimatedpoet♬ original sound – Honda

Content created by Honda Partners was posted on their own channels first, and some videos have managed to reach over 9 million views. 

@katyschlemmerA show of hands for the super stylish 2022 Honda Civic 👋🏼🚙 Honda Partner♬ original sound – Katy Schlemmer

Other Honda content includes tips, tricks and hacks for the Honda Pilot. 

BMW UK

BMW UK entered the world of TikTok using TopView and In Feed ads to drive mass awareness on the platform. Using two Team GB athletes, BMW created eye-catching content with the athletes doing BMX and gymnastics tricks around a BMW 1 Series.

 

The campaign pulled in over 27 million impressions and achieved a click-through rate of 16.08%, as well as an ad recall of 10.7%—all without creating an official BMW UK account. 

MINI

MINI has gained a strong following on TikTok as a result of consistent posting, audience engagement and achieving viral content. On every post, MINI engages with its audience by responding to comments in a friendly, but MINI-way. 

@miniReply to @wierdo9345 Did you guess it too? ##MrBean ##Icon ##ClassicMini ##MINI ##MINICooper♬ BATHTIME MAMBO – Dug

MINI maintains its brand essence across its account and makes many of its TikToks in the same location for continuity. The account also shows off MINI’s proud heritage by showing older versions of their cars, including the well loved Mr Bean Mini.

@miniThere was BIG LOVE all around at IAA Mobility. What was your favourite part? 👇 ##MINIBigLovefromMunich ##MINI ##iaamobility♬ BIG LOVE – Sickickmusic

MINI also created a BIG LOVE campaign, composed of 3 TikToks that received over 43.5 million views combined. 

BMW

BMW has experienced incredible growth on TikTok and is the fastest growing car brand on the platform. With a focus on futuristic/cybertech-inspired content that creates engaging videos, it has already amassed over 283K followers on the platform, despite only joining in August. 

@bmwShall we go for a spin? ##TeamBMW ##BMW @falcopunch ##cars♬ bright – Official Sound Studio

BMW has managed to nail a content style that regularly results in a viral status, with its first 7 videos having at least 3 million views each, with the highest reaching over 10.6 million. 

@bmwCan we ##ReImagineToday ? Watch @dannero try to solve a mystical quest at the ##BMWIAA♬ original sound – bmw

The Opportunity on TikTok

It is impossible to deny the opportunities that TikTok presents automotive brands. While promoting vehicles is typically a primary objective, TikTok gives auto brands the chance to humanise themselves and offer transparency and authenticity to new audiences. Auto brands can use the platform to inform TikTok users of important initiatives or partnerships that will be of interest to them and use paid advertising to ensure the content is seen by relevant audiences from the get-go. While not directly promoting vehicle purchase, this strategy will build an emotional relationship with TikTok users that connect with a brand’s values and activities. 

TikTok users want to discover new brands and products—this extends to vehicles. TikTok has revealed that almost half of US-based TikTok users are planning to buy or lease a car in the coming 12 months. Typically, the household members instigating a car purchase or rental are the decision-maker or highly influential within their home. More interestingly, TikTok has also revealed that 74% of car fanatics on TikTok have taken action (including sharing with a friend, reading reviews or visiting a dealership) after seeing automotive ads or content on the platform. This shows that automotive brands have a place on TikTok, and many users are waiting to be guided towards a brand and purchase. 

TikTok presents automotive brands the chance to be agile and connect with their target audiences directly—something that’s imperative in the new digital era. Where car advertising has become stuffy and overused, using TikTok, car brands can position themselves as culturally relevant and worth investing in. 

Our Influencer marketing agency and Social agency are located worldwide, with our agency network based in the USA, UK, UAE and China.

If you want to receive our industry insights, visit our Influencer Marketing & Social Media blogs here.

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Posted in Industry Trends

Using Live Streaming To Drive An Omnichannel Strategy

November 8th, 2021 by

As the “new normal” becomes simply “normal”, the retail industry has readjusted to post-pandemic consumer habits. So, what does normal look like? 

New research shows that consumers aren’t necessarily prioritising either online or in-store shopping, but want retailers to meet them wherever they are. In a report by Klarna, nearly 90% of shoppers say they use multiple channels to search and spend. 

A key trend emerging from consumers’ omni-channel demand is live streaming. Also known as live commerce, this trend enables retailers to combine the most important elements of in-store shopping with the convenience of online shopping—think interactive customer service but entertaining. 

Live stream shopping or shopping entertainment has been massively popular in China for the last few years, with sales expected to reach $423 billion by 2022. In the Western market, there has been a slower uptake from retailers getting involved with live commerce, but we are slowly seeing this change. A few brands have begun investing in the medium in order to drive consumer engagement and sales. 

Clarins 

In September 2021, beauty brand Clarins Group confirmed it will extend its partnership with the live video shopping platform Bambuser. In a long-term deal, the partnership will execute shoppable live streams across 10 key markets including the US, Canada and Spain. According to the platform, the initial pilot program resulted in conversion rates of 30% and the live video successfully kept consumers engaged for an average of 17 minutes at a time. 

The main strategy for Clarins is to focus on skincare expertise. It uses live streaming to hold skincare sessions (hosted on its own websites) led by experts and special guests, covering tutorials for specific skincare and beauty topics. Viewers of the live streams could shop the products featured directly, with Clarins’ approach aiming to create “more conversational relationships with shoppers, leading to deeper, more meaningful relationships and higher long-term customer value.” 

Clarins

To amplify meaningful interactions, Clarins also made use of Bambuser’s one-to-one video solutions, in addition to the mass audience live streams. This service is essentially a personal FaceTime with a brand representative and serves to replicate the in-store experience in Clarins stores, helping create a more intimate experience than a simple online live chat. 

Clarks Shoes

While some retailers have been busy integrating live shopping solutions onto their own websites, Clarks Shoes has been welcoming the medium on social media. Clarks has focused on executing a social-focused strategy that uses shoppable videos powered by video platform Smartzer. It’s first livestream event was hosted by influencer Nià Pettit, and allowed users to browse and buy shoes without even leaving Instagram. 

The shoe brand decided to invest in live stream shopping after seeing its success in Hong Kong, and to find a digital-first approach to targeting its audience post-pandemic. The brand had already begun utilising Instagram Live regularly, so introducing a shoppable medium was a natural progression. 

From its first live stream event, Clarks Shoes experienced a large number of click-throughs to its website. Interestingly, these clicks mainly came after the event as people didn’t want to miss what the hosts were saying by clicking through to the shoes immediately. Moving forward, the brand has said it needs to consider how it can track sales subsequent to the event. 

Its social-first approach and use of culturally relevant influencers is helping the brand succeed in attracting a younger female audience—something the shoe brand was keen to do. 

Nordstrom

There’s no doubt that COVID-19 has accelerated the growth of live commerce in Western markets. Retailers are also firm in their beliefs that this will continue due to the buying behaviours of younger consumers, which is mainly influenced by social platforms and the trends and influencers they popularise. 

Nordstrom has launched its own Livestream Shopping channels in order to keep up with the evolving needs of its customers. In order to “serve customers on their own time,” the channel will help Nordstrom deliver on its commitment to do so, and help them shop whenever and however they want. 

In addition to offering live, shoppable content, Nordstrom is also informing its engaged customers of the brands and influencers featured—the Livestream Shopping events typically centre around a designer partnering brand or figure. In June and October, Charlotte Tilbury hosted a Live on the channel and offered viewers her own tips, tricks and favourite makeup products. 

The limited-time Livestream events offer customers a unique online experience that is an authentic progression from an in-store experience. While there is no need for a store, this method is evidence as to why many retailers are using livestream shopping as a consumer touchpoint. 

 Aldo 

Aldo has invested in making live streamed shopping a long-term strategy, piggybacking off the success of its pilot run—once again helped with Bambuser. Hosted by celebrity stylist Mimi Cuttrell and entertainment figure Nate Wyatt, the first live stream allowed viewers to directly shop Aldo’s SS21 collection. 

Following the event, Aldo’s website saw over 17,000 page views, with an average viewing time of over 12 minutes. In addition, the live stream generated an impressive engagement rate of nearly 310%. 

Aldo recognises that livestream shopping doesn’t replace an in-shopping experience, but that it is so successful because it meets customers where they are and can be used in a way that best suits their shopping needs; it offers a new solution to consumers whose shopping habits have shifted. 

When considering livestreaming as a solution, it appears to be an effective way to capture the attention of those whose habits have shifted since the pandemic. This is because it’s not just a solution for immediate sales, but can have a real impact on lifetime customer value. 

Authenticity is key in order to impact lifetime customer value, which is why Aldo has invested in names that have authority within professional styling; this will help them successfully showcase the brand and its products to the desired audience. 

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Weekly Marketing News, 5th November 2021

November 8th, 2021 by

TikTok increases caption limit, Pinterest launches live shoppable content, the rise of the super app, Instagram’s new ‘Add Yours’ feature, Amazon wants to reinvent radio. 

What is this?

Each week, Socially Powerful get together and share industry news and what is inspiring us from The World of Social Media, Advertising, Influencer Marketing, Gaming and more…

PLATFORM NEWS

1.  TikTok is increasing the caption character limit to 300, and testing a new tip feature for users to support their favorite creators with

tiktok caption limit

TikTok’s getting in a couple of new creator oriented features into the mix, adding a Tips feature to its videos and increasing the character limit of the caption box to three hundred. Whilst not an official TikTok announcement, some users have began to report the presence of both a 300 caption box character count and new tip option being attached to TikToks.

2. Pinterest launches ‘Pinterest TV’ featuring live, shoppable content

pinterest tv

Pinterest has introduced its new Pinterest TV product, featuring new fresh episode series from its top creators every weekday. Pinterest is increasingly offering engaging, shoppable experiences in more immersive formats as well as actionable entertainment. Now, the inspiration platform wants to gather these experiences under a new content panel called Pinterest TV featuring a series of live, original, and shoppable episodes featuring creators from the platform.

3. How to use Instagram’s new ‘Add Yours’ sticker in Stories

How to use Instagram’s new ‘Add Yours’ sticker in Stories

Instagram released an Add Yours sticker in Instagram Stories, which allows creators to turn their Stories posts into threads where other users can respond with their own content that matches a particular prompt. For instance, a creator may share an Add Yours prompt with the phrase “Outfit of the day,” which encourages other users to share their own outfits in response to the prompt. Here’s AdWeek’s guide on how to use it.

INDUSTRY NEWS

4. Netflix sets launch of games in mobile app worldwide, including ‘Stranger Things’ titles

Netflix sets launch of games in mobile app worldwide

It’s game on for Netflix: The streaming giant is launching the first collection of games available in its Android mobile app for users worldwide. Netflix says the effort is designed to buttress the core video-subscription service rather than representing a discrete new revenue stream. The games on Netflix are included as part of the overall subscription — with no extra fees, ads or in-app purchases.

5. Amazon is building a Clubhouse competitor that turns hosts into DJs

Amazon is building a Clubhouse competitor that turns hosts into DJs

Amazon is next on the list of companies getting into the live audio game. The company is building a new app, codenamed “Project Mic,” that gives anyone the ability to make and distribute a live radio show. This project’s big goal is to democratise and reinvent the radio.

OP ED

6. The rise of the super app

The rise of the super app

The idea of the super app first gained popularity in China with WeChat – commerce done through mini-apps that WeChat lets other developers build on its platform reached a staggering $240 billion last year alone. In the Western world, social media firms are playing catch-up but will soon become super apps, acting as gatekeepers to a wider array of things people do online – becoming increasingly important ways people shop, bank, and entertain themselves.

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Posted in Marketing News

Weekly Marketing News, 29th October 2021

October 29th, 2021 by

Instagram Story links for everyone! New creator monetization options for TikTok and IG, Burger King give away free meals at 3am, Whatsapp Shopping Collections and War photographers go inside Call of Duty.

What is this?

Each week, Socially Powerful get together and share industry news and what is inspiring us from The World of Social Media, Advertising, Influencer Marketing, Gaming and more…

PLATFORM NEWS

1. Instagram now lets all users share links in Stories via Link Stickers

Instagram now lets all users share links in Stories via Link Stickers

 

The expansion comes as the company recently ditched the “swipe-up” link in Instagram Stories in favor of the new Link Stickers. Both the previous “swipe-up” link and new Link Sticker feature have been historically limited to businesses and high-profile creators.

2. TikTok’s testing a new ‘Tips’ option for selected creators

TikTok's testing a new 'Tips' option for selected creators

TikTok’s trying out another new creator monetization option, with some users seeing a new ‘Tips’ tab in their TikTok settings. Some creators now have a Tips section in their account options, through which they can apply to receive tips from their audience. To be eligible for Tips, users need to have at least 100k followers and their account needs to be in good standing, in line with TikTok’s platform rules and regulations.

3. WhatsApp rolls out ‘Collections’ to make it easier to shop

WhatsApp rolls out ‘Collections’ to make it easier to shop

WhatsApp is launching a new feature called “Collections” to make it easier for users to shop for items using categories. The Facebook-owned platform is rolling out catalog collections to small businesses around the world starting today. WhatsApp has added a number of shopping features in recent years to expand the e-commerce experience on its app.

4. Instagram adds more tools to help creators maximize branded content partnerships

Instagram adds more tools to help creators maximize branded content partnerships

Instagram’s testing some new creator monetization options, ahead of the Christmas shopping push, with a view to helping its most prominent users maximize their earnings potential through branded content arrangements. First off, Instagram’s testing a new ‘Partnerships’ messaging folder within Instagram DMs, which will be a dedicated space to keep track of sponsored content opportunities and communications.

WORK WE LIKE

5. WATCH: At 3AM, ghosts come out. So do free meals at Burger King

Burger King launched a new campaign inviting people to face the scariest hour of the day for a free meal—or what the brand is referring to as “3 AM Apparitions.” According to paranormal experts, 3 AM is the time when most paranormal activity happens.

6. War photographers go inside Call of Duty: Vanguard to capture images

Activision sent war photographers into Call of Duty: Vanguard, and their images illustrate the realism of the video game world’s graphics. The war journalists will auction off limited edition photo prints of their shots with the proceeds going to the Call of Duty Endowment – a non-profit organization that helps veterans find high-quality careers. For every photo sold, the endowment will fund one veteran job.

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The Age of the Super App

October 29th, 2021 by

Super apps provide a dizzying array of services, all in a one-stop-shop on your phone’s home screen. Popular in Asia and Latin America, super apps such as WeChar, Grab and Kakao have become ingrained into people’s everyday lives thanks to their convenience and versatility. 

But why haven’t they managed to conquer the West?

In Europe and North America, we are yet to see an app that integrates entertainment, communication, ecommerce and payment services on a mass scale. There are two main reasons for this

The first is that the maturity of western economies acts as a barrier for super apps. Western consumers have long-established and loyal relationships with banks and retailers, resulting in a distrust towards virtual providers—less than 10% of British consumers have gone fully digital with their banking and a quarter are uncomfortable with the idea. This has not been the case in Asia; the low penetration of bank accounts has aided the rise of super apps such as WeChat. 

The other is that technology in many Asian countries leapfrogged other technologies to develop smartphones. While the West was developing apps and technologies for PCs, Asia was focused on developing its smartphone capabilities. As super apps were developed for smartphones, the uptake for paying for goods and services using these apps was fast; the uptake was also supported by the strong government backing, giving Asian consumers the confidence that’s missed in the West. 

Super apps

However, these barriers haven’t deterred one platform from announcing it’s plan to become a super app in the West. PayPal has been talking about becoming a super app for some time, but it only recently revealed its new super app that offers a combination of financial services including direct deposit, bill pay, a digital wallet, peer-to-peer payments, shopping tools, crypto capabilities and more. 

Though PayPal doesn’t aim to be a “bank”, its shift from a payments utility app to a fully-fledged finance app offers competitive features that appeal to those considering shifting their finances to neobanks. 

PayPal explores acquisition of social media platform Pinterest

Over the past week, PayPal has been front-and-centre in the news due to rumours of an acquisition of social media platform Pinterest. Although PayPal has since confirmed it will not be looking to acquire Pinterest for $45 billion “at this time,” it does make us wonder what the acquisition would look like and what it would mean for both platforms. 

A Pinterest acquisition would have been PayPal’s biggest acquisition, beating its $4 billion purchase of money-saving, price-comparison app Hone Science Corp. Pinterest is a platform that offers visual search and scrapbooking where users can save and group images by whatever themes they want. 

Pinterest benefited hugely in the early stages of the pandemic, where advertisers scrambled to social media sites to capture an audience that embraces the ecommerce shift. Pinterest itself has been introducing new tools that help creators make their pins shoppable thanks to a dedicated “Shop” section, resulting in a seamless ecommerce experience between content and online purchases. Being acquired by PayPal could have resulted in a more seamless buying experience within the platform. 

A key element PayPal is missing in its efforts to become a super app is a high-engagement consumer business at scale. While PayPal users open its app 9 times a month, Pinterest’s users open its app upwards of 37 times a month. In order for PayPal to be a true super app, it needs users to open its app and use it everyday in order to rack up the engagement that drives PayPal’s average revenue per active account. 

As of July 2021, PayPal has 403M active users—a number PayPal is expecting to increase to 750M by the end of 2025. However, a Pinterest acquisition would have given PayPal its strong user base of 454M+ monthly active users. Had PayPal continued with acquiring Pinterest, it would have had the huge user base required to become a super app. 

An acquisition of Pinterest would have given PayPal a social media presence that rivals Instagram and access to highly engaged consumers and influencers. A PayPal-Pinterest platform would have assisted merchants in selling products with added protection, and give consumers peace of mind when purchasing through the platform. With social commerce on the rise, the acquisition could have put PayPal in fierce competition with ecommerce site Shopify. 

Given the huge benefits acquiring Pinterest would have offered PayPal, why didn’t the fintech go ahead with the acquisition? 

PayPal didn’t provide any details as to why it decided to not go ahead with the acquisition, so we can only speculate. While Pinterest saw impressive growth and engagement over the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, it has been struggling recently to maintain this. With restrictions easing, Pinterest has experienced a slowing user growth—particularly in the US. The visual platform has said it experts further growth through deeper engagements with existing users, rather than new sign-ups. Back in June, Pinterest’s monthly active users rose by just 9% to 454 million, which is a large drop from the 30% jump the previous quarter. 

This fall in user engagement would mean PayPal would have to immediately focus on driving user engagement, something the fintech isn’t used to doing in such force considering it’s current user base only uses the platform around 8 times a month.

In addition, at the beginning of October, co-founder Evan Sharp announced he would be stepping down as chief creative officer. While he will remain an adviser to the platform, having a company leader depart any company will result in some shake-ups and teething periods as replacements settle in.  

So, while PayPal acquiring Pinterest may look appealing and a sure-fire deal on the surface, if you dig a little deeper, the cracks begin to show. 

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The Future of Fashion is Digital

October 21st, 2021 by

Technology is developing at an incredible rate. With social media platforms offering in-app shopping, Facebook and Snapchat’s AR glasses, AR in retail stores and live shopping platforms, the Metaverse is creeping closer and closer with each incremental innovation. We’ll soon be spending a significant amount of time in the Metaverse, but we have one important question left: what should we wear? 

Within the past couple of years, the fashion world has actively begun adopting AR and technology—from NFTs and digital garments to AR try-ons in retail to virtual shopping, now including virtual stylists.  

The main way we interact with others nowadays is through digital. We instant message, voice call and video chat. We like, comment and watch livestreams. Living in an era of instant gratification, it’s unsurprising that our shopping experiences are taking a digital turn. 

The rise of digital in retail

Livestream Shopping & Virtual Styling

The concept of blending entertainment with instant purchasing isn’t new—it’s been incredibly popular in China for the past few years. However, it is only just making its mark in the West. Livestream shopping is an immersive experience that keeps shoppers engaged for extended periods of time. The latest development in livestream shopping is the introduction of virtual styling.

Livestream Shopping & Virtual Styling

Hero is a virtual styling platform. Brands can partner with the platform to provide text, chat and video styling assistance to their customers. Using the platform, brand teams can walk customers through key pieces in their physical stores to help identify the right items for the customer. Customers could ask real-time questions about the garments, return policies and even store availability for specific products. 

Hero allows brands to seamlessly blend online and in-store experiences. Many brands—including Levi’s, rag & bone, Nike, and Chloé—have partnered with Hero and seen incredible results. As a result of real interactions between associates and customers, Hero can yield an incredibly high conversion rate of 20%, and for some stores, up to 88% of users make a purchase within 24 hours of a virtual styling session. 

Livestream Shopping

Having the ability to speak to potential customers in real time allows chosen associates (or stylists) to offer their expertise on products they handle day in, day out. A brand’s stylists have the best understanding of the brand’s product offering and can most accurately provide a solution to a customer’s fashion query; stylists can also invite customers in for a private, reserved fitting room session to try on the clothes they discussed in their styling sessions. This not only increases footfall, but the opportunity to create a completely unique and personal experience for customers, increasing the likelihood of conversion. 

With the development of social commerce, it will be interesting to see whether digital styling will take its place on social media. TikTok and Instagram are leaders for in-app shopping, and with livestreaming capabilities where customers can purchase directly from a livestream, we could anticipate that influencers and brands may begin to offer virtual-styling services. 

Virtual Try-ons

Virtual try-ons using AR are bridging the gap between traditional brick-and-mortar retail and ecommerce. This tech allows consumers to achieve an accurate sense of look and fit of fashion items before making a purchase, all from the comfort of their own homes—something that is increasingly appealing to consumers following COVID-19. 

Sneaker and apparel resale brand GOAT launched an AR try-on feature within their app that allows shoppers to virtually try on sneakers. The brand implemented the feature to elevate the experience of discovery and to allow customers to see what some of the most exclusive trainers available would look like on their feet. 

Shopify retailer Tenth Street Hats has implemented AR tech directly onto its ecommerce website, allowing shoppers to try on selected hats on mobile and desktop devices, without having to download an app. The AR works by superimposing a real-time image of the hat onto the user’s head. 

Virtual Try-ons

The tool increased purchasing confidence significantly. For shoppers who engaged with the tech,the conversion rate increased by 52%. Data also showed that the longer a consumer engaged with the tool, the higher their average order value became.

The rise of digital fashion

Digital Clothing

A few years ago, if you suggested to customers they could buy an outfit that didn’t actually exist, you would have been laughed out the door. What’s the point in owning something that doesn’t exist? However, since the rise in popularity of cryptocurrencies and the consumer switch from a physical to digital mindset, the idea of digital fashion has become more accepted and even anticipated. 

Many fashion brands have already bought into the concept of digital fashion by creating branded items Snapchat users and gamers can dress their avatars in—including Adidas, Levi’s, Gucci, Valentino and Burberry. 

Digital Clothing

In more recent years, the fashion industry has been plagued with the issue of sustainability. As fast fashion brands have been boycotted and attacked for encouraging a disposable mindset and inflicting 10% of the world’s carbon emissions, the demand for digital fashion couldn’t have come at a better time; digital fashion could be the sustainable answer to fast fashion. 

With supply chains in tatters thanks to COVID-19, and social media revealing the impoverished worker’s lifestyles and the sad truth behind many “ethical” brands, the appeal of digital fashion has grown. For as little as $35, consumers can have a unique digital garment photoshopped onto their selected photos, which they can then share on their social media profiles. 

Digital fashion has no supply chain, no factories and no delivery delays. All digital fashion requires is a digital designer, a photo editor and a computer. With these three components, the expanse of digital fashion is limitless. Digital fashion presents the opportunity to be highly reactive to fashion trends, without any of the negative impacts of real fast fashion. 

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Digital Fashion & Social Media

The popularity of digital fashion on social media is rising. Popular influencers have begun investing and posting their digital looks on social media and have been met with overwhelming positivity from their audiences.  

In addition, Farfetch has become one of the first large retailers to rest digital sampling by dressing influencers in digital clothing to promote the launch of its pre-order offering from brands such as Balenciaga, Off-White and Oscar de la Renta. 

Digital Fashion & Social Media

Using digital clothing gives brands the opportunity to work with influencers in a new and exciting way, without having to send any physical products. This opportunity saves fashion brands of all sizes money and resources, all while generating a buzz on social media. 

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Posted in Industry Trends, Social Commerce, Social Trends