Facebook/Instagram Make Big Changes (and What Those Mean for Marketers)
Facebook made three important announcements today…
The Facebook AR Studio is now open to all
Facebook now has over 2,000 creators using AR Studio. They are using the platform to build fun, animated frames, masks, and interactive augmented reality experiences.
As of today, the AR Studio creative tools are open to everyone. In the next week or so, Facebook will also enable ‘world effect technology’ within AR Studio. Creators will soon be able to develop 3D digital objects for people to place onto surfaces and interact with in their physical space. This tech is akin to what Snapchat has been doing for quite a while now.
2. Hashtag followings on Instagram
Today Instagram introduced the ability to follow hashtags in the app. Below is a statement from the announcement:
“Now it’s even easier to stay connected with the interests, hobbies, passions and communities you care about. Every day, millions of people share photos and videos and tag them with relevant hashtags. #onthetable, #slime and #floralnails are just a few examples of hashtags that represent the many interests and passions of our community. To make these posts even more discoverable, we’re introducing hashtags you can follow.
Following a hashtag is just like following a friend. To get started, search for a topic you’re interested in or tap on a hashtag from any post. You’ll see relevant hashtags displayed in your search results along with related accounts. When you find a hashtag you like, open the hashtag page and tap on the follow button. You’ll begin seeing top posts from that hashtag in your feed and some of the latest stories in your stories bar. You can always unfollow a hashtag at any time.”
To us, this is big news for Instagram. Incorporating hashtags has been crucial aspect of marketing strategy. They’ve been very effective for organically growing your following. With this new feature, that strategy can be accelerated if done correctly.
From an advertising perspective, expect to see ads in these hashtag sections by the end of 2018.
According to Mashable, it was confirmed that Facebook quietly killed an old feature that gave users the choice to somewhat control the order of posts in the Newsfeed. News Ticker, the official feature introduced alongside Facebook’s algorithmic feed years ago, is no more. Get the full breakdown of Facebook’s latest Newsfeed algorithm changes here.
Facebook Launches “Facebook for Creators”; Renewed Focus on High-Quality Video
Facebook is going all in on high-quality video and is doing its best to take on YouTube. Facebook officially launches a new app last week called “Facebook for Creators”. The app allows creators/influencers to make and promote videos, as well as the ability to connect with their viewers and fans.
The app is open to everyone. Facebook is encouraging all to create high-quality video content.
“It has never been a better time to be a creator on Facebook,” Facebook product director Daniel Danker said at VidCon this year. “With Facebook we can connect and create community with your audience and tell stories that are social, personal, and authentic.”
The app lets users easily add intros and outros to live videos as well as stickers and frames. The community tab in the app pulls together comments from Facebook and Instagram and messages from Messenger into one inbox. The app even includes analytics about a user’s Page and individual videos. Additional features will be released soon.
“We’ve gathered feedback from creators as we’ve built these resources, and will continue to take cues from the community as we try to make the Facebook experience fun and easy for creators – so they can do what they do best,” wrote Fidji Simo, Facebook’s VP of Product.
Facebook for Creators
As a brand, this is definitely something to keep an eye on. Facebook has put a lot of effort behind this venture, and they’re marketing the heck out of it. Creators will be pushing content through this new app onto Facebook (a platform that creators have neglected for a while). Creators always test new apps/platforms, and stick with what works best. If Facebook for Creators can do that, then creators/influencers will add it to their repertoire.
From an ads perspective, expect Facebook to monetize these quickly. They’ve already begun testing mid-roll video ads, and rumor has it that they’ll be adding pre-roll ads soon too.
Snapchat Separates the “Social” (friends) from the “Media” (publishers)
Snapchat just launched a huge redesign today. They officially, according to their CEO in the video below, separated “social” from “media”. Check out the video demo here:
Here’s an official statement from Snap:
Until now, social media has always mixed photos and videos from your friends with content from publishers and creators. While blurring the lines between professional content creators and your friends has been an interesting Internet experiment, it has also produced some strange side-effects (like fake news) and made us feel like we have to perform for our friends rather than just express ourselves.
The new Snapchat separates the social from the media. This means that the Chats and Stories from your friends are on the left side of Snapchat, and the Stories from publishers, creators, and the community are on the right.
With this big change, Snapchat is simultaneously trying to appeal to its loyal users and newbies. We think that there is a lot of potential here. Snapchat may really be on to something…
App Annie just released a report today around Snapchat’s user base and exclusivity. The numbers are very interesting. Here’s a quick graphic of the main highlight (we’ll explain why it matters to marketers/advertisers below):
First off, that data proves that Snapchat users are extremely loyal to Snapchat itself. What does that mean for you? That means that reaching them outside of Snapchat requires working with multiple apps, which can add degrees of difficulty depending on the type of ads and/or content. Moving beyond “audience volume” and more towards factoring in metrics like “audience exclusivity” can help you more effectively and efficiently reach the audiences you want to target.
In short, Snapchat may be the place to be for your brand, depending on your audience and your daily goals.
Snap’s ad targeting capabilities are improving quickly as well. They are rolling out context cards and a new pixel. They are also moving towards a new algorithmic feed which should improve engagement and stimulate growth. CEO Evan Spiegel teased more interesting things in the pipeline as well.
Fun sidenote: Snap just announced the Snap Accelerate program. It’s a program for growth-stage mobile startups where if approved, the startup gets to ad spend, creative assistance, media coupons, and more. Apply here.
Snapchat Shows Are Game-Changing and The Future is Premium Mobile Video
Last updated: November 13, 2017
Snapchat’s Discover section is unique. For the unfamiliar, Discover is made up of daily content produced by professional publishers (think CNN, ESPN, NatGeo, People, New York Times, etc.), exclusive to Snapchat. The content, just likes Snaps themselves, is only available for 24 hours. But Snap, Inc. has a bigger vision for Discover: Snapchat Shows.
Before we dive in to Snapchat Shows, think about the video content you consume on mobile. Twitter is full of GIFs, Instagram is full of memes, Facebook is full of “viral” or political content, YouTube is full of garbage. Yes, you can find great video content on all of these platforms. But Snapchat is aiming to be the premiere hub for mobile video, and their approach is truly a unique one.
It was recently reported that Snapchat is looking for a head of brand integration to develop more branded Snapchat Shows. As we can see, Snapchat is going all in on original content.
Discover itself has daily editions of interesting content. But “Shows” is what can truly set Snapchat apart.
As of now, there are over 30 Shows on Snapchat or in development for Snapchat. Here are some:
The Bachelor: Watch Party – A weekly show on Tuesdays that recaps The Bachelor episode from the previous night – by ABC
The Rundown from E! (NBC just announced this gets 8 Million viewers/episode)
Good Luck America – A Snapchat original show (episode one of the new season had over 6 million viewers)
Game Day – A weekly show on Saturdays during college football season – by ESPN
The Voice – Additional, exclusive content from the network hit – by NBC
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon – Additional, exclusive content from the late night show – by NBC
Saturday Night Live – Additional, exclusive content from the comedy sketch show – by NBC
Hungry Hearts with Action Bronson – A reality show about dating – by VICE
Second Chance – An unscripted reality TV drama series – by A+E
Phone Swap – New original dating show from Vertical
SportsCenter (arguably the highest profile Snapchat Show to date) launched a twice-daily show on November 13, 2017
Snap recently announced a deal with Discovery Communications to develop shows for the platform under the Shark Week and Mythbusters properties.
Additionally, MGM Television inked a deal with Snapchat. MGM Television is the first major entertainment studio to sign on as a partner. MGM is involved with popular shows such as Fargo, Survivor, Vikings, and Shark Tank.
Recently, the biggest show of them all premiered: BBC’s Planet Earth II. Planet Earth will also be sponsored by Goldman Sachs, who will be running Snap Ads throughout the episodes.
Raj Mody, vice president of social media at National Geographic (one of Snapchat Discover’s partners), recently told Kerry Flynn at Mashable: “It started out as an experiment, but it’s become really, really real. When you look at our brand we’re a leader in social media and in visual storytelling. The fact that they’re evolving the platform, that’s something that has been enormously helpful.”
Discover has grown to over 40 partners now. And these partners produce more than just the Shows mentioned above. They produce digital magazines, “Editions”, “Our Stories”, and more. In aggregate, this original content on Snapchat is getting hundreds of millions of views per month. Some Discover partners are generating tens of millions in revenue. Vertical Networks’ Discover channel, Brother, now reaches over 1 billion views per month. And that’s not even the largest one.
One of Snapchat’s Originals: Good Luck America
If Snap can continue to build out original content through partnerships, the platform can continue to evolve and be a go-to destination for premium mobile video. Snap has some inherent advantages that will allow them to pursue this venture: being headquartered near Hollywood and the “cool” factor. Snap seems to zig when other social platforms of the past have zagged. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds over time. As we have written before, Snapchat is the future of television. And here at Wallaroo, we believe in Snapchat.
Snapchat is blowing up right now. Their recent IPO filing stated that they have over 160 million daily active users. And these users are HIGHLY engaged. Most users consume every post they see. Snap also announced that their average user spends 25-30 minutes on the app every day. And they command 41% of the coveted 18-34 age demographic. Humans only have enough time to dedicate to 5-7 apps a day, and Snapchat is quickly rising to the top. To stand out on Snap, you must be fun, creative, and engaging. To help get you started, here are 22 creative Snapchat campaigns from different brands to inspire your strategy! Want to get started with Snap Ads? Contact us today!
Taco Bell – Cinco de Mayo
Taco Bell got a lot of press when they created a filter for Cinco de Mayo. Here’s what that looked like:
The filter performed extremely well. It was viewed 224 Million times. That’s an absolutely incredible number. They paid an estimated $750,000 for 24 hours of that filter. That works out to be 0.3 cents per view. Not three cents. Three tenths of one cent! That’s insane. It paid off though. People thoroughly enjoyed playing with the filter and it surely helped increase Taco Bell’s sales.
X-Men: Apocalypse – Movie Promotion
X-Men did a massive takeover on May 23, to help promote the release of the new X-Men: Apocalypse movie. They didn’t just create one sponsored filter, they created ALL of them. Every filter, for the entire day on Snapchat, was related to X-Men. Analytics haven’t been released yet, but if their numbers mirror those of Taco Bell, they would have received around 1.5 Billion views!
Sphero from Star Wars – Toy Launch
Star Wars utilized influencers on Snapchat to promote their new toy, Sphero, during the holiday season. One of the influencers they worked with, Shaun McBride, gets 2 million Snapchat views every day. According to the Wall Street Journal, the toy sold out in a matter of hours and their campaign got 10 million views. Check out one of their stories here:
Working with influencers on Snapchat is a must. They know their followers best and can often help your brand create fun, engaging content that delivers results.
Terminator: Genisys – Movie Promotion
To promote the release of the new Terminator movie last year, a custom filter was created. Users were able to overlay the filter onto themselves or their pets. Smartly, Arnold Schwarzenegger also promoted this on Facebook. His Facebook post about the custom Snapchat filter received 3,000 shares and 55,000 likes. Cross-promoting onto other platforms is a good way to increase your organic reach with not much extra effort.
The MTV VMAs – Behind the Scenes
During the 2015 VMAs, MTV did a Live Story on Snapchat. This allowed anyone in the area to post pictures and videos to that Live Story, for all to see. Celebrities and audience members shared hilarious behind-the-scenes footage onto the story. About 10 million people tuned in to watch the VMAs on TV, and about 12 million people viewed the story on Snapchat! And at a much cheaper production cost.
6. Mondelez – A Candy Competition
Mondelez makes delectable candy bars. To increase brand awareness and sales, they created a competition on Snapchat. To enter the contest you had to snap a photo of their chocolate bar, modify it using Snapchat’s drawing tools, and send it to the TIMEOUTAU Snapchat account. The winner of the competition won $10,000! Mondelez also showcased some of the best creations on a website. Mondelez’s idea to create a microsite to enhance the competition was a great way to increase awareness and increase customer loyalty (and product sales).
GrubHub – Hiring
GrubHub is a cool online food ordering company. They used Snapchat to look for an intern with “Snapchat Skillz”. They used the image sequence below to recruit applicants to grow their company. Very creative!
World Wildlife Fund – #LastSelfie
The World Wildlife Fund used a Snapchat campaign to raise awareness about different endangered species. They came up with the creative #LastSelfie hashtag campaign that also allowed them to promote the cause on other social platforms. Check out the video here:
DJ Khaled – Snapchat All-Star
DJ Khaled is a Snapchat all-star. He’s not your typical brand, but he is increasing his celebrity presence on Snapchat, and brands can learn A TON from what he’s doing on the platform. His snaps are attracting 3-4 million viewers each. He has coined some fun mantras like “bless up” and “keys to wisdom”. His content is extremely shareable. Check out a compilation here:
Burberry – Spring Sneak Peak
To create some extra hype for their Spring 2016 Fashion Show, Burberry revealed their newest line of clothes through a series of snaps. They also produced pictures and videos featuring their designers and models. They also live-snapped the actual show, piggybacking off the hype they previously created.
Major League Soccer – Player Takeovers
MLS dedicated an entire week to Snapchat takeovers. A “takeover” is when someone else takes over and runs your Snapchat account. So each day, MLS handed over their account to a new soccer star. The stars promoted this on their own accounts leading up to their turn, and then created fun, engaging content on the MLS account on their day. Takeovers are a great way to build your Snapchat following.
Target – Holiday Geofilters
Target has been using geofilters around different holiday events. They target these geofilters around their physical stores to help increase brand awareness and sales. This is an easy, fun campaign idea that any brand can use to succeed on Snapchat.
13. Chubbies Shorts – Behind the Scenes
Chubbies Shorts is one of the most engaging brands on Snapchat (and all of social media and email, really). They constantly make me laugh out loud. They have an ongoing Behind the Scenes type campaign going. They mix in giveaways, stop motion, jokes, pranks, and more. They show how to effectively make content fun and memorable on a consistent basis. Check them out!
14. Rocky Horror Picture Show
Fox recently did a remake of the classic, “Rocky Horror Picture Show”. Fox partnered with Snapchat to create a trio of Snapcode activations that went live during the telecast. This is the first time anything like this has ever been done. The two companies partnered directly on this project. Fox ran Snap ads and a custom lens leading up to the telecast, and then offered more on the day of. Take a look below…
15. Netflix and Gilmore Girls
Gilmore Girls is launching four new episodes exclusively on Netflix in a few weeks. To build awareness for the launch, Netflix printed actual cups and distributed a total of 10,000 cups to a group of 200 coffee shops around the country. Each cup had a snap code, and when scanned pulled up the image below. The logistics behind a campaign like this can be complicated, but there are great lessons to learn here. A campaign with a smaller budget can still produce similar results with targeted geofilters around brick and mortar locations.
16. Budweiser Super Bowl Ad
Budweiser, always on the cutting edge when it comes to advertising, launched a Snapchat advertising campaign for the 24 hours leading up to the Super Bowl. The Snap Ad was actually a game you could play, and it was amazing. It was a mini-football game within the app. You could run different plays with funny, on-brand names. If you won, you unlocked an exclusive filter to use. This level of innovation and ingenuity isn’t possible for all brands. But if you have the budget for this type of advertising, it is incredibly effective. See more here.
17. Lucky Charms
Lucky Charms just ran this Snap Ad campaign during The Bachelor episode on Snapchat Discover. It was a short video ad that showed a woman fall in love with a man based on a relationship of Lucky Charms. Very on-brand, and very targeted placement as well. A great example of how to do effective marketing on Snapchat.
Walmart ran this campaign leading up to Easter to promote its festive treats. Take a look at the fun screenshots below!
19. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Musical
This is an innovative new Snapchat marketing campaign we haven’t seen before. Below is a screenshot from the Facebook page of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Musical. They have “hidden” Snapchat geofilters all over New York City. If you find them and send the account a snap, you can win free tickets, swag, and more. Fantastic idea!
Equinox is a high end gym with locations around the country. Below is a screenshot of a Snapchat geofilter that they are running at their competitors’ locations (this one is at a 24 Hour Fitness). Fantastic idea here. Hat tip to Ryan Hoover on Twitter for catching this one.
21. Gatorade’s #GatoradeDunk Lens
During Super Bowl 50, Gatorade created a customized sponsored Snapchat lens aimed at football fans. The “#GatoradeDunk” lens allowed users to simulate being “dunked” with their drink. Gatorade promoted the lens using an ad starring Serena Williams – one of the company’s sponsored athletes. The campaign performed very well, getting more than 100 million views over Super Bowl weekend, and 170 million total.
22. Stranger Things Season 2 by Netflix
Netflix went all out to promote Season 2 of Stranger Things on Snapchat. First of all, they had a world lens available, and it was epic (see below).
Here’s the kicker though – to unlock this unique lens, you had to either use a special Snapcode (see below) or Shazam in Snapchat whenever you hear the Stranger Things theme song (for instance, while watching the season 2 opening credits).
Stranger Things Snapchat code
Second of all, they had an “Eleven face” filter available to everyone. Check it out here:
Snapchat “Eleven Face” filter – Image via Netimperative
Years ago, I wrote a blog post titled “Why Your Company Needs a Hashtag Strategy“. That post hasn’t been updated in quite a while (I’ll have to remedy that soon), but the core of that post still holds true. Your company, every brand, needs to have a hashtag strategy. Well, it’s now time that you also have a GIF strategy. Let me explain…
Giphy is HUGE. If you’re not familiar with Giphy, it’s the largest GIF platform on the web. It has raised $150M and is valued at over $600M. It claims 300 Million daily active users (more than Snapchat, Pinterest, and Twitter), which is up from 200 M in July. Their users share more than 2 Billion GIFs a day across Giphy.com and the many other platforms where Giphy is embedded (Facebook, Twitter, Tinder, iMessage, Slack, and more). I could stop there, and tell you that that is why you need a GIF strategy.
But let’s continue. Gfycat just hit 130 Million monthly active users, up from 56 million in September 2016. These GIF platforms are growing extremely fast. There are several smaller platforms/apps that each have millions of users themselves.
What is a GIF strategy exactly?
To start, let’s check out what some brands are doing on Giphy.
Buzzfeed has 482 GIF uploads and 33 million GIF views. Very solid.
So, how can you apply this strategy to your company? Here are four simple tips that you can implement:
1. Create your brand’s Giphy and Gfycat profiles
This one is easy. Make a profile, add an image/bio/link/header, and upload at least a few GIFs! Over time, continue to build onto your profiles and grow them. Make sure you tag your GIFs appropriately so they can be found in the platforms’ search engines.
2. Create tangentially related Giphy and Gfycat profiles
Let’s say you run a women’s ecommerce boutique, and that dresses are some of your popular products. If that’s the case, you should create profiles on Giphy and Gfycat with the username of something like “summerdresses”. So the link to your account would look be giphy.com/summerdress. Then, on that account, upload myriads of different types of GIFs related to summer dresses. Some of these GIFs could contain your products of course, while others would just be GIFs you find of perhaps a girl in a dress in a meadow, or a scene from La La Land, etc. On some of these GIFs, put your brand’s logo in the bottom right of the GIF, to promote some brand recognition. Continuously add to these profiles.
3. Create a GIF hub on your own website
If you’re spending all this time to build your GIF profiles on sites like Giphy and Gfycat, you should also build out a GIF hub page on your own website! Here’s an example of how it could look (from the comedian Conan O’ Brien): http://teamcoco.com/gifs
4. Promote your GIF accounts externally
Once you have your profiles built out, share those GIFs! Share them on social media, share them on Reddit when/where appropriate, share them in your blog posts, you can even add them to your product pages (and measure to see if it increases conversion rates).
Below is a list we’ve compiled of GIF-related resources. We will continuously add to this list.
Snapchat has been exploding in the Middle East over the last year. There are now approximately 33 million Snapchat users in the Middle East (according to Snapchat advertising data). Here’s the breakdown by country:
Kuwait – 1,550,000 Snapchat users
Saudi Arabia – 13,425,000 Snapchat users
Qatar – 525,000 Snapchat users
UAE – 1,950,000 Snapchat users
Egypt – 2,650,000 Snapchat users
Israel – 1,375,000 Snapchat users
Turkey – 8,500,000 Snapchat users
Oman – 675,000 Snapchat users
Lebanon – 725,000 Snapchat users
Jordan – 1,400,000 Snapchat users
Bahrain – 500,000 Snapchat users
Are you interested in growing your digital presence in the Middle East on Snapchat? Contact us today!
Reddit Has Almost 300 Million Active Users Who LOVE The Platform – Here’s Why You Need to Be Actively Marketing There NOW
LAST UPDATED: October 30, 2017
Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit, recently released the following statistics: 270 million unique visitors/month, 13 billion pageviews/month, 12 minutes spent per site visit, 53% men, 47% women, and 87% under the age of 35. And it’s about to become a full-fledged social network.
From its inception until current day, Reddit has always been a place to share links. You can browse said links, up- or down-vote them, and discuss them. But Reddit just made a HUGE announcement. They’re creating user profiles, reminiscent of Facebook and Twitter, that will allow users to share posts/links directly to their own profiles. Reddit also announced that you will now be able to follow the profiles of different users. These moves mark a pivot for Reddit from the “front page of the Internet” to a true social network (and one that is larger than Pinterest and almost as big as Twitter).
So, now more than ever, you need to be marketing and sharing content on Reddit. At Wallaroo Media, we do a lot of content creation and content marketing. We always try to share content that we create on relevant subreddits. We’ve had pieces of content get hundreds of thousands of visits from Reddit by sharing them at the right time and the right place. Reddit can drive real results and impactful revenue. But you really need to know the ins and outs of the platform, the users and their behavior, and how to share content without devaluing your brand or getting a backlash from power Redditors. This post will teach you how…
How to Market on Reddit
The best place to start with Reddit marketing is by identifying the best subreddit for your content, and by doing keyword research on the platform.
Keyword Research on Reddit
Keyword research on Reddit can be an in-depth project that takes several hours. There are some nice shortcuts you can take. This piece is not meant to be an in-depth article on keyword research, so I will link to the piece I recommend on the subject, here. That link takes you to a nice 7-step Reddit keyword research process using the tool Keyworddit, which is a tool I explain more below.
Subreddit Research on Reddit
To find which subreddits make the most sense for your brand to be sharing content on, use RedditMetrics and Redditlist (I explain these tools more below). The other way to do subreddit research is quite simple: Google it. For example, if your company sells nail polish, Google “nail polish subreddit” to see which ones come up. You can also search for subreddits that would be tangentially related to nail polish, like fashion or accessories or style.
Curating Social Media Content with Reddit
There are many different ways to curate social media content for a brand. One very effective but under-utilized technique is to create a private “Multi-reddit”. A multi-reddit can be created by combining relevant subreddits into one. So if I was running a nail polish company, I would combine subreddits related to nail polish, fashion, accessories, style, and perhaps a few more into one multi-reddit. Then, each morning, I would check my private multi-reddit to see what content is trending the most in my space. Then I would create social media content based off those trending items. To learn more about this awesome strategy, click here.
Building Karma and Finding What Works
Reddit Karma is a form of gamification that the platform employs that allows users to gain points for posting popular links and comments. The higher your Karma, the higher your links appear when they’re initially submitted. So building up personal or company Reddit profiles is a must.
As mentioned above, it is crucial to do subreddit research to find what type of content works on the subreddits that you are interested in posting on. Some subreddits only allow comments. Others prefer images. The majority prefer links. But knowing how to posture the link correctly so as not to be overly promotional is important. Reddit users are notoriously anti-advertising/anti-marketing. So be careful here. Again, you need to analyze content that has performed well on your desired subreddit(s) to inform your own posting strategy.
Essential Reddit Tools & Resources
There are a few key tools and resources that are essential for a truly effective marketing campaign on Reddit. Below is a list of our favorites. Feel free to let us know if we missed some!
TrackReddit.com – Social listening tool that offers real-time tracking and alerts when your phrase is mentioned.
RedditMetrics.com – Leaderboards of the fastest growing, top, or new trending subreddits.
RedditInsight.com – Tool that offers user tracking, post tracking, interaction data, and more.
Reddit Submission Time – A tool that shows you when the most successful posts are submitted to each subreddit.
Redditlist.com – Similar to RedditMetrics, but this site offers some different data as well as subscriber growth and totals by subreddits.
Reddit should be an integral part of every content marketing campaign. It can be used to place content, learn about your target demographic and what they like, social media research, and more. Good luck!