tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/video Latest Video content from Econsultancy 2017-04-20T10:00:08+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69013 2017-04-20T10:00:08+01:00 2017-04-20T10:00:08+01:00 What do Facebook's new VR and AR platforms mean for marketers? Ben Davis <h3>AR: The Camera Effects Platform</h3> <h4>Snapchat on steroids gives creative power to the consumer</h4> <p>The best way to think of the Camera Effects Platform is as Snapchat on steroids. Take a look at the BuzzFeed video below and you'll see the platform takes the idea of Snapchat lenses and extends this functionality to other objects and parts of the scenery.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FBuzzFeedTech%2Fvideos%2F1298622390258734%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=400" width="400" height="400"></iframe></p> <p>The video is compelling because it shows how photo and video sharing might be taken to the next level. One can imagine the creative lexicon of Facebook and Instagram users expanding quickly.</p> <p>My first thought was: 'What does this mean for Photoshop?' Creative content production is becoming ever easier. With the Camera Effects Platform open to developers, these effects will multiply. Much like the app model, effects have to be submitted and reviewed by Facebook before being made available.</p> <p>As the platform becomes richer, will we see consumers creating an even greater share of the most popular content online, just by using their social apps? Where brands were slightly slow to get to grips with Snapchat and perhaps justified this by thinking of it as a small(ish) walled garden, the same rationale cannot be applied to any camera app developed by Facebook.</p> <p>The possibilities for brands to produce their own magical AR content are exciting, but so too are the possibilities of harnessing newly AR-literate <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-voice-of-the-influencer/">influencers</a> to create some of this stuff on their behalf.</p> <h4>Big advertising opportunities</h4> <p>We've already seen the potential for sponsored Snapchat lenses and filters. With Facebook's Camera Effects Platform, this potential is multiplied many times.</p> <p>With any object recognisable, not just a face, the relevance for brands increases greatly. From cars to clothes, furniture to buildings, food to scenery, the creative applications should allow Facebook to create some snazzy branded experiences. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5575/feeding_time.gif" alt="feeding time gif" width="203" height="360"></p> <h4>Adding sticky notes to real world objects</h4> <p>One of the immediate uses of the AR Studio (one part of the Camera Effects Platform open to developers) is to add information cards to real world objects. In his keynote, Mark Zuckerberg described the scenario of visiting the Coliseum and learning about the building by holding up your phone.</p> <p>The implications of this are broad but are particularly interesting in education. The smartphone has long been touted as a way of making real-world learning more fun, but apps <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63197-pedigree-teams-with-zappar-for-augmented-reality-children-s-annuals/">such as Zappar</a> have had limited success in this area. Facebook's use of precise location data and not just visual triggers looks like it might expand the possibilities for annotating the real world.</p> <p>These virtual sticky notes are of obvious interest if they can be updated regularly and provided in multiple languages. They may have uses in providing product information, too. The still below from Facebook's example shows a card applied to a bottle of wine when the user clicks the highlighted blue dot as they look through their phone.</p> <p>Again, companies such as Blippar have so far failed to combine the physical and the virtual in this way – Facebook's tech will prove if those pioneers were hampered by lack of users or something more fundamental.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5574/pinot.jpg" alt="pinot AR" width="320" height="569"></p> <h4>Are creative uses as exciting as functional ones?</h4> <p>Though the labelling of real world objects is a functional use, many have pointed out that the real sweet spot in AR is actually identification and search – pointing your camera at something (let's say a plant) and being told what that thing is and either where to get it or what to do with it.</p> <p>This is functionality that has been around in admittedly limited form for some time (Amazon Firefly, Google Goggles, Bing visual search) but hasn't taken off (perhaps because of device and functionality limitations). As Pinterest and other tech companies enter this space again in pursuit of visual search, it's interesting that Facebook is concentrating on fun. Indeed, the fun side of AR is probably the only proven use case on a large scale, so Facebook is arguably putting its money on the right horse.</p> <p>Of course, search has never been a big thing for Facebook, but sharing content has.</p> <h3>VR - Facebook Spaces</h3> <p>In the great tradition of tech product launches, Facebook's explainer video for Spaces is cringey beyond belief, but it's probably the quickest way to understand the platform. It's a heady mix of communication through avatars, 360-degree scenery, content sharing and 3D drawing.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FFacebookTips%2Fvideos%2F10155260579068466%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h4>A premium on 360-degree content</h4> <p>Facebook's new release says: "You and your friends can relive personal memories from your own Timelines, or even make new ones as you explore things that interest you from people and Pages you follow."</p> <p>There's an obvious opportunity for publishers and brands here. Spaces needs 360-degree photos and videos for people to explore, and brands can provide this. Yes, there are brands that have already experimented here (e.g. <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67766-10-examples-of-great-travel-marketing-campaigns/">Thomas Cook</a>, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68900-ted-baker-uses-360-video-and-instagram-stories-for-new-ss17-campaign/">Ted Baker</a>, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67877-how-automotive-brands-are-blurring-the-lines-between-digital-reality/">Renault</a>) but the addition of social interaction makes for an interesting prospect.</p> <p>Even from an experiential/events marketing point of view, rather than simply whacking a headset on a person, a salesperson can interact with the consumer within the content, leading to much more personable and enjoyable experiences.</p> <h4>Patience, everyone need a headset</h4> <p>VR headsets are few and far between at the moment (among the general populace), which means that as Facebook Spaces is rolled out, many interactions must necessarily be between one caller in real life and one in VR. Will these interactions work?</p> <p>I know you've just watched one cringey video, but I'm going to make you watch another that illustrates one of these interactions.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FFacebookTips%2Fvideos%2F10155247823158466%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>I don't think it's such a terrible experience for the non-headset person as they can enjoy the cartoon avatar and relative novelty of the experience. However, I'm unsure of the benefit for the person calling in VR – all they see is a projected video call, just as they would do if they were looking at their smartphone.</p> <p>Truly social experiences in VR will depend on headset penetration increasing dramatically. Brands don't need to worry about this in the wild for a while yet.</p> <h4>Is there an appetite for animation?</h4> <p>The unknowable is whether people will enjoy these types of experiences. Whilst I can relate to millennials and youngsters who want to hide behind an avatar, I also know that bitmoji isn't for everyone. That Groove Armada lyric comes to mind – "<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOI-zEwjdEQ">if everybody looked the same...</a>"</p> <p>Personally, I would use social VR over Skype (or webinar tech) in a heartbeat, if the animations and the mouth movement are indeed convincing. However, much further down the line, it's not hard to imagine a world of AR and VR making <em>real</em> experiences all the more valuable.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69011 2017-04-19T15:00:00+01:00 2017-04-19T15:00:00+01:00 Jumping on the bandwagon: How brands capitalised on Coachella Nikki Gilliland <p>Last weekend, the Californian desert was home to music, merriment, and a whole heap of marketing - with brands taking the opportunity to capitalise on the ‘coolest’ event in the calendar.</p> <p>Here’s a few examples of how brands of all kinds capitalised on it.</p> <h3><strong>Pop-ups and parties </strong></h3> <p>This year, brand involvement began even before Coachella started, with ecommerce retailer Revolve taking advantage of inevitable excitement and pre-festival buzz.</p> <p>Revolve’s Social Club typically holds exclusive and members-only events, however, it launched a special pop-up shop – which was also open to the general public – a week before the festival started.</p> <p>Selling limited edition items inspired by the festival, its aim was to generate excitement for people going as well as those who might be missing out.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5525/Revolve_social.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="491"></p> <p>Pre-festival events like these are just the beginning of the story, of course, with most pop-ups and parties occurring during the festival weekend itself.</p> <p>While sponsorship is also commonplace at concerts and sporting events, festivals are the perfect environment to go one step further with an <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66908-10-inspiring-experiential-marketing-examples/" target="_blank">experiential marketing</a> approach. Heineken is one example of a brand that delivers an ‘experience’ for festival-goers, using its ‘Heineken House’ concept to entertain visitors and bring a sense of fun along with its brand message.</p> <p>This year, the pop-up included a sustainable dancefloor – powered by the movement of dancers during musical sets – and a free water initiative designed to encourage responsible drinking.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Our <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HeinekenHouse?src=hash">#HeinekenHouse</a> lineup is finally here, and it's looking like our most impressive line-up yet! You're not going to want to miss this. <a href="https://t.co/SvbMMmEPcI">pic.twitter.com/SvbMMmEPcI</a></p> — Heineken US (@Heineken_US) <a href="https://twitter.com/Heineken_US/status/851438114526695424">April 10, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3><strong>Freebies </strong></h3> <p>It’s ironic that the more famous people become, the more freebies they're able to get their hands on. Coachella is no exception, providing the perfect spotlight for brands for showcase their products, with the knowledge that the images will be circulated in the media and fashion magazines.</p> <p>Meanwhile, luxury brands are willing to give away products simply because the Coachella demographic is exactly the type of consumer they would normally target. For instance, tequila company Casa Dragones partnered with a startup helicopter service to offer consumers a journey like no other. (Yes, I did say 'startup helicopter service'. Moving swiftly on.)</p> <p>Offering free shots to all passengers, it ensured brand visibility at a time when consumers would be most receptive to it. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5526/Casa_Dragones.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="412"></p> <p>With transportation company Tesloop also reportedly offering free rides home from after-parties, it appears companies of all kinds are vying just for the opportunity to have a presence at the festival.</p> <h3><strong>Fashion inspiration</strong></h3> <p>While high-end fashion designers are typically seen at Coachella, high street brands still try to emulate the festival look with items inspired by the event itself – even if they aren’t directly affiliated with it.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66292-how-urban-outfitters-can-improve-in-joining-offline-with-online/" target="_blank">Urban Outfitters</a> landed in hot water last month over its recent Coachella-themed range, so much so that the festival filed a lawsuit against the retailer for exploiting the trademark without authorisation. Free People were also hit with the lawsuit, suggesting that the items falsely implied the brand was an official sponsor.</p> <p>Regardless of the outcome, this demonstrates just how synonymous Coachella has become with fashion, with brands using its name to drive sales as well as directly influence designs.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5527/Urban_Outfitters.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="528"></p> <h3><strong>Social media influencers </strong></h3> <p>These days, brands don’t only want to see their products promoted by celebrities, with some choosing to pay for <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68409-four-key-trends-within-the-world-of-influencer-marketing/" target="_blank">social media influencers</a> to attend festivals like Coachella instead.</p> <p>This is because, instead of counting on third-party publications to cover the event, brands are able to rely on influencers dedicating posts or even entire blogs or vlogs to them. Keihl’s took several beauty influencers to Coachella this year, featuring them on its own social media channels as well as capitalising on their combined audiences.</p> <p>Fleur de Force, just one influencer involved, has over 1.4m subscribers on her second YouTube channel. By working with influencers like Fleur, whose dedicated audience is likely to trust her advocacy, the brand is able to ensure extra visibility and greater authenticity – as well as a strengthened relationship with the influencers themselves.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/os_DqBG6Xm4?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p><strong>To find out more about influencer marketing, check out Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/" target="_blank">Rise of Influencer</a> report.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68996 2017-04-13T15:22:31+01:00 2017-04-13T15:22:31+01:00 10 cracking digital marketing stats from this week Nikki Gilliland <h3>28% of marketers still feeling unprepared for the GDPR</h3> <p>With just over a year until the GDPR comes into force, a <a href="https://dma.org.uk/infographic/infographic-b2b-marketing-and-the-gdpr" target="_blank">new infographic</a> from the DMA shows that many marketers are failing to prepare.</p> <p>While general awareness of the GDPR is up, 28% of B2B marketers still feeling unprepared – down just 2% from previous figures. Only two-thirds of survey respondents said their business would be GDPR compliant in time for 2018.</p> <p>In terms of the causes of concern, 37% of marketers said profiling, while 50% said it was legacy data. The biggest was by far consent, with 70% agreeing that it would change under the GDPR.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5442/DMA_infographic.JPG" alt="" width="618" height="324"></p> <h3>Three fifths of marketing graduates have no knowledge of affiliate strategies</h3> <p>Affilinet has been researching how well marketing students are prepared for a career in the industry, with results showing that many are graduating with little or no knowledge of affiliate or performance-based marketing.</p> <p>In a survey, 41% of graduates said that they have studied modules related to affiliate marketing. Out of these, however, 67% stated that the information taught was ‘outdated and unhelpful’.</p> <p>52% admitted that they’d needed to teach themselves to progress in their career, with 22% learning through courses later on. The remaining 26% of marketing graduates said that they still had no knowledge of affiliate practices whatsoever.</p> <h3>Mobile drives digital ad spend past £10bn</h3> <p>According to a new report from <a href="https://iabuk.net/about/press/archive/mobile-drives-digital-ad-spend-past-10-billion-threshold" target="_blank">IAB and PwC,</a> digital advertising grew at its fastest rate for nine years in 2016, increasing 17.3% to £10.3bn.</p> <p>Mobile video is now the fastest-growing ad format, with spend on mobile video ads doubling to £693m. Consequently, it now accounts for 29% of the total growth in ad spend.</p> <p>Insight suggests that the rise reflects the increasing amount of users watching video clips on their smartphones, with two in five people reportedly saying they now watch mobile video more than they did a year ago.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5440/PwC_IAB.png" alt="" width="780" height="480"></p> <h3>Just 13% of employees able to name their company CMO</h3> <p>New research by eShare suggests that chief marketing officers are one of the least recognised board members, with just 13% of employees able to identify the CMO of their organisation.</p> <p>In a survey of over 1,000 UK employees, just 8% were able to identify the chairperson and 14% were able to identify the chief information officer and chief financial officer. In contrast, 36% were able to name the CEO, making this the most visible board member to UK employees.</p> <h3>66% of beauty shoppers use Instagram for inspiration</h3> <p>Facebook and Instagram has revealed how beauty shoppers are increasingly turning to social media to help inform their purchases.</p> <p>The Mobile Makeover Report states that 66% of beauty shoppers look to social media for inspiration on how to achieve their perfect look, 70% for learning make-up techniques and 62% for advice on products. </p> <p>Tutorials are among the most popular types of video, with 74% of beauty viewers watching ‘how-to’ content. You can read more about how mobile is impacting the beauty industry <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68992-three-ways-mobile-is-impacting-the-beauty-industry/" target="_blank">in this article</a>. </p> <h3>41% of UK shoppers will spend more to make Easter special</h3> <p>Savvy has been exploring how consumers will spend their money over Easter, with 62% of UK shoppers planning to celebrate over the bank holiday weekend.</p> <p>In a survey, 41% of respondents said they don’t mind spending more in order to make their Easter celebrations special. That being said, shoppers will still be on the hunt for a discount, with 60% saying they already know where they’ll can find the best value Easter eggs.</p> <p>Unsurprisingly, eggs will be the most popular item to buy, followed by chocolate in general, and the ingredients for a roast dinner. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5441/Savvy.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="452"></p> <h3>62% of ecommerce brands don’t personalise digital experiences</h3> <p>Episerver’s <a href="http://www.episerver.com/learn/resources/research--reports/seven-digital-commerce-trends-for-retail-2017/" target="_blank">State of Digital Commerce</a> report suggests that just 38% of ecommerce brands are incorporating personalisation into their current marketing strategies. Despite 70% of companies using email marketing, only 28% are using triggered emails to re-engage non-converting customers.</p> <p>What’s more, despite the abundance of data available, 46% of marketers admit they wouldn’t be able to create an omnichannel campaign due to a lack of insight into the customer journey.</p> <h3>Paddy Power generates the most social engagements during Grand National</h3> <p>4C has analysed the level of social engagement generated from TV ads during the Grand National. Results show that Paddy Paddy stole the show, with its two ads generating 59,527 engagements from public mentions, retweets, comments and likes on social channels – double the engagement of competitors.</p> <p>SkyBet saw 16,840 engagements and Coral saw 18,733. Meanwhile, despite its close association with horse racing, William Hill saw just 2,812 over the course of the event.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Looking for some guidance on how to pick the winner of the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GrandNational?src=hash">#GrandNational</a>? Watch this video to find out how the experts do it. <a href="https://t.co/27q9DPQJP0">pic.twitter.com/27q9DPQJP0</a></p> — Paddy Power (@paddypower) <a href="https://twitter.com/paddypower/status/850644686096281600">April 8, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Consumers see Snapchat as a passing trend for brand communication</h3> <p>A new study by <a href="https://uk.mailjet.com/blog/guide/email-innovations-research-report/" target="_blank">Mailjet</a> has revealed that consumers are displaying a lack of faith in new platforms like Pinterest and Snapchat and their role in brand communication.</p> <p>41% of consumers believe that email is the platform most people will be using in 10 years’ time, followed by 26% of consumers saying the same for Facebook and WhatsApp. In contrast, just 11% of people are certain that Pinterest and LinkedIn will be used in a decade and only 14% are confident that Snapchat will still exist. </p> <p>Despite many brands getting involved, major updates to platforms are also going unnoticed by consumers, with just 6% of people noting Instagram’s ‘buy button’.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5443/Instagram_shop_now.JPG" alt="" width="680" height="452"></p> <h3>Supermarket promotions fall to lowest level in 11 years</h3> <p>According to <a href="http://www.nielsen.com/uk/en/press-room/2017/supermarket-promotions-at-lowest-level-for-11-years.html" target="_blank">Nielsen</a>, supermarket promotions have fallen to their lowest level in 11 years in the UK, with just 26% of consumer spend going towards temporary discounts or multi-buy offers in the four weeks up until 25th March 2017.</p> <p>Nielsen suggests that this is due to supermarkets becoming increasingly price competitive, turning temporary price reductions into permanent cuts as a result.</p> <p>Year-on-year supermarket sales have also fallen, with the late Easter period said to have contributed to a 2.6% decrease in the four-week period to March 25th.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68987 2017-04-12T14:42:34+01:00 2017-04-12T14:42:34+01:00 Why Instagram is the ideal platform for fitness brands Nikki Gilliland <p>So, which fitness brands are winning on the platform, and why exactly does it work so well? Here are a few reasons and examples.</p> <h3>Offers instant gratification</h3> <p>Visual content is an incredibly memorable medium, with people typically <a href="http://www.brainrules.net/vision" target="_blank">recalling 65% more</a> of a piece of information if it is paired with a relevant image. </p> <p>Another reason it is so effective is that it also provides instant gratification without the need for any wider context. For fitness brands, this means it is a low effort but a highly effective medium, allowing them to reach followers in moments of real-time need. This is most often a motivational quote or image that taps into the user’s specific goals.</p> <p>With fitness hashtags also incredibly popular on Instagram, brands know that users will search specifically using keywords like ‘fitness’ or ‘fitspo’. Under Armour Women often uses this approach, using motivational and empowering quotes to engage users but also demonstrate its own brand values and beliefs.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5380/Under_Armour_women.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="499"></p> <h3>Builds communities</h3> <p><a href="https://selfstartr.com/instagram-marketing-tips-ecommerce/" target="_blank">68% of Instagram users</a> are said to engage with brands on a regular basis compared to just 32% of users on Facebook. This demonstrates how the platform is highly effective for building and maintaining a strong audience, with many brands fostering a sense of real community.</p> <p>SoulCycle has garnered a reputation for being more of a cult than a brand – a fact emphasised by how it engages with fans on Instagram. It regularly posts videos and images that are localised, showcasing activity in various gyms or pop-up events across the US. This gives users the sense that they are part of the brand, simultaneously providing motivation and an incentive to get involved.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5381/SoulCycle.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="495"></p> <h3>Capitalises on influence</h3> <p>SoulCycle also capitalises on the fact that its instructors are seen as mini-celebrities in their own right, often with huge audiences on their personal accounts. This approach is popular across the board, with fitness brands commonly <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/">using influencers</a> as a key part of their Instagram marketing strategy.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5382/soulcycle_influencers.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="555"></p> <p>With research suggesting that <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/deborahweinswig/2016/10/05/influencers-are-the-new-brands/#103c92a77919">92% of consumers</a> now trust an influencer recommendation over an ad or celebrity endorsement, it’s a great way for brands to build authority. Meanwhile, many are also realising the power of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67807-is-micro-influencer-marketing-viable/" target="_blank">micro-influencers</a> – those with a smaller but highly engaged audience – to establish a highel level of credibility.</p> <p>While it’s not a fitness company per se, sparkling water brand LaCroix has recently been tapping into the health market by getting involved in Whole30 – a month long clean eating program popularised on Instagram. As well as using hashtags like #whole30approved, it has also been partnering with fitness and health micro-influencers to help expand its own customer base.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5378/lacroixwater.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="571"></p> <h3>Promotes a lifestyle rather than a product</h3> <p>Finally, the most successful fitness brands on Instagram take a subtle approach to selling, focusing on posts that tap into the user’s desire for a certain lifestyle – not a product.</p> <p>It’s pretty likely that if a consumer is interested in sport, they’re also going to be interested in nutrition, health and general well-being, too. Consequently, it’s important that brands view users in this light, ensuring that their posts aren’t too repetitive or dull.</p> <p>ClassPass regularly mixes up its feed with a combination of actual exercise, food and pop culture references. From smoothies to movies, it demonstrates a real understanding of its audience as well as what type of posts they’re engaging with elsewhere on the platform.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5379/ClassPass.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="515"></p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68245-seven-examples-of-motivational-copywriting-from-fitness-brands/" target="_blank">Seven examples of motivational copywriting from fitness brands</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67786-10-great-sports-digital-marketing-campaigns/" target="_blank">10 great sports digital marketing campaigns</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68965 2017-04-11T11:00:00+01:00 2017-04-11T11:00:00+01:00 SME case study: How an auction house added Facebook Live to its digital strategy Nikki Gilliland <p>Its use of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67808-10-pioneering-examples-of-brands-using-facebook-live/" target="_blank">Facebook Live</a> is particularly interesting, contributing to a 43.2% increase in new registered users to the Simon Charles website from February 2016 to February 2017.</p> <p>So, how exactly has it done it? Here’s a bit more on the story.</p> <h4>A change in mindset</h4> <p>Up until last year, Simon Charles mainly invested in offline marketing. It typically took out regular double-page spreads in industry and general publications including the Manchester Evening News – a local newspaper for the Stockport-based company.</p> <p>However, with offline activity limiting reach to the surrounding area, it unsurprisingly produced limited results.</p> <p>With guidance from digital marketing agency, Cube3, Simon Charles began a journey towards digital transformation, with a change in mindset from offline to online. In fact, the company took the decision to completely forgo offline activity for an online-only approach to marketing.</p> <h4>Multi-channel brand refresh</h4> <p>As well as implementing a foundation of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68594-seo-trends-in-2017-what-do-the-experts-predict/" target="_blank">SEO</a> and PPC, Simon Charles undertook a brand refresh in order to create a consistent user experience across all digital channels. This meant a greater focus on its online auctions, complemented by a streamlined new site and overall brand image.</p> <p>To give this a bit of context, below is a screenshot of the website from 2014. While there is a clear promotion of the brand’s social channels, the site itself looks rather clunky and dated in terms of design.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5217/Simon_Charles.JPG" alt="" width="740" height="852"></p> <p><em>Simon Charles' previous website</em></p> <p>In contrast, the <a href="https://www.simoncharles-auctioneers.co.uk/" target="_blank">Simon Charles website</a> is now a much slicker affair, with the site-wide banner hinting at the company’s newly found focus on video.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5218/Simon_Charles_2.JPG" alt="" width="740" height="570"></p> <h4>Adopting new technologies</h4> <p>Speaking of video, Simon Charles’ recent success has been in part due to the introduction of new marketing technology and techniques – namely Facebook Live.</p> <p>While we’ve seen many big ecommerce brands experiment with the technology, streaming everything from product reviews to interviews, it is less commonplace to see smaller or regional brands do the same. </p> <p>Possible reluctance might stem from a lack of resource, reliance on less-risky planned social activity, as well as the question of whether or not it is indeed worth the time and effort. </p> <p>Simon Charles’ has demonstrated that it can be worth both, mainly due to the fact that it uses live video to offer something of real value. If consumers are unable to attend auctions in person, Facebook Live enables them to experience it in real time, making viewers feel like they are a part of the action. What’s more, it gives potential consumers – i.e. people who might never be able to or even have the inclination to attend an auction – the opportunity to do just that.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FSimonCharlesAuctioneers%2Fvideos%2F1477136862359905%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>This just goes to show that video, especially on social, does not necessarily have to be flashy or even particularly impressive in terms of content if it is truly functional.</p> <h4>Targeting a specific demographic</h4> <p>The adoption of Facebook Live has proven successful for Simon Charles, demonstrated by a growth in footfall and a general increase in social engagement. While previous videos would garner around 15,000 views over the course of multiple days, the live element has seen views reach 25,000 over the course of a single broadcast. While Live video streaming offers users a sense of real immediacy, it is not the only use of the medium, instead serving as part as a wider video strategy. Other pre-recorded examples includes in-depth explanations about items for auction as well as looks behind the scenes. With some short videos generating around 9,000 views, there's clearly an appetite for non-live elements too.</p> <p>Alongside this, the company has been able to finally leave behind its ‘catch all’ approach to marketing, moving into a much more targeted strategy. </p> <p>By using technology such as video, it has been able to serve the right kind of content to the right people at the right time. As well as honing in on those who would be most likely to engage, it has effectively used other social channels like Twitter to reach out to them.</p> <p>With a 72.40% increase in new registered users over the past year, it’s clear that digital investment is paying off.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Another week, another chance to snap up some great deals. Explore what's on offer at Simon Charles this week: <a href="https://t.co/G49zd6v2qS">https://t.co/G49zd6v2qS</a> <a href="https://t.co/XjTpWJKHMH">pic.twitter.com/XjTpWJKHMH</a></p> — Simon Charles (@SimonCharlesUK) <a href="https://twitter.com/SimonCharlesUK/status/848584571000160257">April 2, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68864-myvouchercodes-experiments-with-six-hour-facebook-live-event-did-it-work/" target="_blank">MyVoucherCodes experiments with six-hour Facebook Live event: Did it work?</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68972 2017-04-10T13:00:00+01:00 2017-04-10T13:00:00+01:00 Want to do content marketing in FMCG? Here's four things you need to know Nicholas Villani <p>Keeping consumers engaged with your brand ensures that it remains front of mind when those consumers are in a store, about to make an 'impulse' purchase. But how can we do this? It’s no longer good enough to tell people your product is better than the others, instead, you need to demonstrate how it adds value to their lives. One of the best ways to do that is by creating relatable and engaging content.</p> <p>To say <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/content-marketing-digital-marketing-template-files/">content marketing</a> is important for <strong>all</strong> brands right now is a massive understatement. To put this into perspective, in a single day there are 3.5 billion searches on Google and 5 billion videos streamed on YouTube. It is estimated that more than 380 million people using adblockers worldwide, so reaching consumers with engaging content is more important than ever before.</p> <p>The obvious leader in this space is Red Bull, but to compare yourself to a brand who has spent more than a decade positioning themselves as a media provider more than a producer of energy drinks is to ignore the opportunity. What I’m suggesting here is careful consideration about how to use social listening, meticulous planning and clever curation opportunities to engage with your consumers in new, trustworthy and relevant ways.</p> <p>Here are four fundamental principles for an FMCG brands wanting to move to a content-led strategy</p> <p><strong>1. Give them what they want</strong></p> <p>Let’s not create content for the sake of creating content. Consider the 300+ hours of video being uploaded to YouTube every minute. How do you ensure your content is well thought-out and based on what your consumers care about? The answer to his question is Data!</p> <p>A brilliant FMCG example is Unilever with All Things Hair. By tracking, in real-time, what consumers are searching for in regards to haircare, Unilever have immediate insights to the types of content they know will resonate with their audience. With the average video receiving upwards of a quarter of a million views, it’s a great example of developing content that is tailored to the audience, and it’s far less complicated than you might imagine.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5346/all_things_hair.jpg" alt="all things hair" width="615"></p> <p><em>All Things Hair YouTube channel </em></p> <p>Free tools such as Google Trends, Facebook Audience Insights and Social Mention are super useful and let you explore what consumers are saying about your brand or your category. </p> <p>If it’s your first time using tools like this for insights, then a good place to start is by asking the following questions:</p> <ul> <li>What are my consumers searching for?</li> <li>What platform are they searching on?</li> <li>What are they talking about?</li> <li>Is the sentiment positive or negative?</li> <li>Which platform is the conversation happening on?</li> <li>Are there clear spikes in search volume around specific times of the year?</li> </ul> <p>Another brilliant example is Nestle Toll House, who specialise in baking products. Realising that bakers were slowly being aged out of the category, they needed to find a new way to engage them whilst retaining their core values. By partnering with Ashley Adams, an established food blogger, they created the ‘<a href="https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLag5-QrcetjoHvTfLo9oi29B_FZ5q6bm2">Bake My Day</a>’ series, sharing tips and tricks for the modern cook.</p> <p>By carefully using paid media to promote the channel, they amassed over 17 million views in less than a year. Pretty sweet results!</p> <p><strong>2. Get the role of the platform right</strong></p> <p>It goes without saying but understanding how each platform works is fundamental to success. Remember that advertising on social is considered much more of an intrusion than other digital channels. The first step here is to understand whether your primary reason for using social is for content distribution, CRM, PR or something else altogether.</p> <p>Furthermore, if you are using more than one platform, adapt your creative appropriately. Don’t repurpose content needlessly from Pinterest to Facebook without any consideration of whether it matches the environment. Remember why people are visiting the platform in the first place, then ensure your content is complementary to the experience. </p> <p>Every day in this digital age seems to bring about a new suite of innovative, yet arguably risky channels for marketers to experiment with. For example, Cadbury has recently been a trailblazer by commissioning Snapchat filters. This has allowed them to achieve an otherwise unimaginable 30+ second engagement with their consumers, and in an age where we have a shorter attention span than a goldfish, that must be worth something, right?</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="und" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/CadburyUK">@CadburyUK</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/snapchat?src=hash">#snapchat</a> <a href="https://t.co/0jasPMxlIm">pic.twitter.com/0jasPMxlIm</a></p> — Daniel Clayton (@8omb3r) <a href="https://twitter.com/8omb3r/status/774489637133877248">September 10, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>These new platforms are brilliant fun for creatives, but demonstrable ROI is difficult to ascertain. At the end of the day, it’s like having a high-risk product portfolio. If you have the budget and creative capability, then experiment away. Otherwise, I’d strongly advise keeping to the path well-travelled.</p> <p>(Related read: <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68955-marriott-uses-snapchat-influencer-campaign-to-target-millennials/">Marriott uses Snapchat influencer campaign to target millennials</a>)</p> <p><strong>3. Order, not chaos</strong></p> <p>Once you have gathered these insights, and you know the type of content that you should produce, it’s important to employ a framework to underpin your publishing plan. Content should only be created with a clear roadmap and measurable KPI’s. Whilst there are several highly valid approaches to this, the 'Hero, Help and Hub' framework developed by YouTube is my preference, even for content that is not specifically video. </p> <ul> <li>Hero – This is the content that should inspire and catch people’s attention. </li> <li>Help – This is content that helps provide answers. It could be cooking tips, life hacks or advice on how to get the most out of the product</li> <li>Hub – This is often the most overlooked, but this is the content you want your customers to subscribe to. This encourages repeat engagement with your brand</li> </ul> <p>Let’s look at an FMCG brand, Ben &amp; Jerry’s. Recently launching their new ‘Cherry Chocolate Garcia’ flavour, this approach is evident. </p> <p>Firstly, they did what any self-respecting FMCG brand would do, they created a 20-second advert, with drool-worthy creative. Designed for digital, it does little more than to introduce the product and make you want it now. This is their Hero content.</p> <p>Secondly, they set out to create several food-porn video recipes that involve the new product. One of which even suggests you need three tubs of the ice cream to achieve! They call it Ice Cream Hacks. I call it Help content.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/4RRhRaTdYIo?ecver=2&amp;wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <p>Lastly, and what is effectively a content play for the 'long tail', their Climate Justice series is an episodic, well produced, socially responsible series of videos that correlates climate change with melting ice cream. It’s a stretch creatively, but effective none the less. This is their Hub content that keeps their audience coming back.</p> <p>There are plenty of other examples of FMCG brands using the Hero, Help, Hub framework, as it is a simple yet highly effective way to segment and organise your content strategy.  </p> <p><strong>4. Always-on isn’t always on</strong></p> <p>Let’s get some hard facts straight, always-on marketing is not necessarily going to be the miracle solution for every brand. As much as I champion digital, content marketing, with the odd viral exception, is rarely useful in the awareness phase. By its very nature, content is about creating meaningful moments with your customers when they are the most receptive to your message.</p> <p>Let’s look at the confectionary sector, or more specifically, luxury chocolates. The product cycle is largely seasonal and there are clear seasonal peaks e.g. Christmas, Easter and Valentine’s day. It makes sense for marketers to capitalise on these events, and invest heavily in big, glorious, top of the funnel campaigns that saturate every consumer touchpoint, from TV to shopfront. The desire is to capitalise on the trend and saturate the market with your message.</p> <p>But, this is not about re-allocating your entire TV budget to start a YouTube channel. It’s more important to consider where your consumers are, what they are doing, and fundamentally, your metrics for success.</p> <p>It’s true to say that traditional mediums can be more effective than digital if your KPIs are purely reach-oriented. Arguably, digital is about moving your consumers down the funnel and engaging them in the moments that matter. Let the two work hand-in-hand. Allocate your budget appropriately and understand the role of each channel. It’s also highly unlikely your content is going to go viral, so make sure you are investing properly to promote it through paid media.</p> <p>Most importantly, in the world of social, likes, shares and comments may attribute to positive brand sentiment, but they are not necessarily a proxy for sales.</p> <p>To quote Tamara Schenk <em>"content may be king, but context is queen".</em> </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68970 2017-04-07T14:15:00+01:00 2017-04-07T14:15:00+01:00 Comedy Central creates branded content to replace ads: Could other networks follow suit? Nikki Gilliland <p>For networks and advertisers, this is a frustrating problem, potentially resulting in a loss of ad revenue if brands decide to place their efforts elsewhere. Comedy Central is one channel that has decided to do something about it, recently creating a series of branded content to replace bog-standard ads. </p> <p>So, will it be enough to engage viewers? And could branded content become more popular in future? Here’s a bit more on the story.</p> <h3>Avoiding viewer disruption</h3> <p>One of the worst things about TV ads is that they can completely disrupt the entire viewing experience. One minute you could be watching an episode of Friends, the next a commercial for toilet cleaner. </p> <p>With its branded content, Comedy Central is aiming to diminish this type of disruption by creating ads that feel more in tune with the network’s signature humour and style.</p> <p>The content is still advertising, of course, with each episode beiing sponsored by a different company. However, having been created by Comedy Central in-house, each one serves as a standalone story that feels very much like one of the network’s regular shows.</p> <h3>Engaging and entertaining viewers</h3> <p>Comedy Central’s first series is called Handy, which depicts the ups and downs of life as a hand model. The opening episode is sponsored by US restaurant chain, Joe’s Crab Shack, hence its humorous name – ‘Erik Gets Crabs’. Another is sponsored by jewellery retailer, Zales.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/TVYLW0ya6oY?wmode=transparent" width="652" height="367"></iframe></p> <p>Once the episodes have been aired on TV, Comedy Central is also pushing them on social channels, hoping to capitalise on the large number of people who interact with the network online.</p> <p>For viewers, the brand ads are likely to make a refreshing change. While there is still some level of disruption to the viewing experience, the fact that they serve as mini stories in their own right will increase the chances of the viewer's attention being held for longer. Similar to how online <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67083-is-native-advertising-sustainable/" target="_blank">native advertising</a> blends in with the context of the user experience, the ads also feel less over-bearing than standard commercials.</p> <p>What’s more, the content feels more genuine than regular advertising, mainly because it is of a much higher quality than the commercials usually seen on television. It also offers a story for viewers to invest in rather than a short and shallow ad.</p> <h3>Will branded content become the norm?</h3> <p>Comedy Central is not the only network to experiment with a new type of advertising. Last year, NBC announced that Saturday Night Live would have 30% fewer ads, replacing commercials with sponsored skits inserted directly into the show.</p> <p>This approach reduces viewer disruption even further, with advertising seamlessly blending into the main content. With its decision to include sponsored skits, SNL is clearly hoping that more viewers will want to watch the show live – using the pay-off of more entertainment and less ads. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rDyTsGtk5BY?wmode=transparent" width="779" height="438"></iframe></p> <p>Of course, just because it <em>feels</em> seamless doesn’t mean that viewers are going to respond positively. There is always the danger, again like with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63722-what-is-native-advertising-and-do-you-need-it/">native advertising</a>, that people will wrongly believe that the content is genuine when it is in fact advertising. This can result in consumers feeling like they have been duped, and in turn reacting negatively against the brand or publisher.</p> <p>Whether or not viewers respond positively to this type of branded content is still unclear, however, with Comedy Central showing that advertising doesn’t always have to follow the standard rules – we’re likely to see more of it in future. </p> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68450-six-things-to-know-about-addressable-tv-advertising/" target="_blank">Six things to know about addressable TV advertising</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68120-as-tv-ads-lose-their-sway-pharma-marketers-need-to-adapt/" target="_blank">As TV ads lose their sway, pharma marketers need to adapt</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65787-how-are-brands-driving-tv-ad-viewers-online/" target="_blank">How are brands driving TV ad viewers online?</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68927 2017-03-23T10:14:35+00:00 2017-03-23T10:14:35+00:00 Childline launches app to offer counselling direct to mobiles Nikki Gilliland <p>Luckily, digital technology now means that it’s easier than ever for young people to seek confidential advice and support. Last year, 1.8m sessions on the Childline website originated on mobile devices, and 71% of counselling sessions were delivered online via email and one-to-one chat.</p> <p>Taking this into consideration, Childline has decided to take its digital efforts one step further, creating a dedicated app so that children can access its online services direct from their smartphones.</p> <p>It’s said to be the first ever app of its kind in the UK – here’s a bit of a run down on its features.</p> <h3>Discreet installation</h3> <p>Free to download, Childline has deliberately avoided using any branding in its design.</p> <p>By using the name ‘For Me’ and an ambiguous logo, it ensures that if anyone happens to see the app on a child’s phone, they would not know that it was a Childline service.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4951/home_screen.PNG" alt="" width="250"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4952/pin.PNG" alt="" width="250"></p> <p>Even better, the app requires a pin in order to log in, meaning that nobody but the child can access it – a great way to instil confidence and reassure young users that the service is safe and secure.</p> <h3>Comprehensive help and advice</h3> <p>While the Childline website is a great resource, it might prove difficult for youngsters without direct access to their own computer, or who are worried about others looking at their search history.</p> <p>With many young people now having their own smartphone, the app provides a direct and instant link to Childline’s comprehensive counselling services.</p> <p>There is a tonne of information included on the app, ranging from general tips on exam stress through to practical advice like how to make a doctor’s appointment if you're under 16.</p> <p>I particularly like how the app can be tailored to a specific state of mind. Users can set their mood to ‘depressed’ or ‘stressed’ etc. and it will offer up articles that might be of help in this instance. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4953/mood.PNG" alt="" width="250"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4954/what_is_making_you_feel_bad.PNG" alt="" width="250"></p> <p>This is perhaps useful if a child does not necessarily know why they are feeling a certain way. For example, while they might be able to articulate that they are feeling depressed, seeing an article titled ‘worries about the world’ or ‘isolation’ might prompt them to further explore the reasons why.</p> <h3>Creative toolbox</h3> <p>Another thing I like is that the app is not merely a one-sided resource – it has plenty of interactive features to encourage children to actively express their feelings. </p> <p>The Toolbox section has a whole host of creative features, including integrated videos and an ‘art box’, which allows the user to create digital drawings and paintings. These images can be saved to the user’s ‘locker’, where they can also safely keep a mood journal and various other private documents.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4955/toolbox.PNG" alt="" width="250"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4956/Locker.PNG" alt="" width="250"></p> <p>This means that if a child does not actively seek further help and support, the app is still likely to act as an aid – even if it’s just as an outlet or a place to store thoughts and feelings.</p> <h3>Message boards and support</h3> <p>If a child does want to seek out help there are continuous prompts to do so, providing users with phone numbers and contact details for a range of support networks.</p> <p>What’s more, the app also has an in-built message board, where users can ask questions about whatever it is that’s worrying them. This is also likely to be effective for children who don’t want to ask a professional or even an adult – here they can talk to youngsters in similar situations.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4957/message_boards.PNG" alt="" width="250"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4958/get_support.PNG" alt="" width="250"></p> <p>Childline’s app cleverly taps into the idea that children today are glued to their smartphones. By opening up a direct link, it offers kids an easy and accessible way to seek help and advice whenever it’s needed.</p> <p><em><strong>Related articles:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66592-why-charities-need-true-digital-transformation/" target="_blank">Why charities need true digital transformation</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67451-the-smartest-experiential-charity-marketing-campaign-you-ll-see-this-year/" target="_blank">The smartest experiential &amp; charity marketing campaign you'll see this year</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68091-how-five-charities-are-innovating-with-contactless-payment-technology/" target="_blank">How five charities are innovating with contactless payment technology</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3191 2017-03-21T11:55:12+00:00 2017-03-21T11:55:12+00:00 Online Copywriting <p>Boost your online copy’s effectiveness (across all types of device) with our practical and hands-on training course.  </p> <p>Our best-selling ‘online copywriting’ course includes lots of hands-on exercises to help you communicate, persuade and sell more effectively.  We’ll show you copywriting techniques that can boost your web pages’ performance by over 100%.</p> <p style="vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-size: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-position: initial; background-repeat: initial;">No laptop is required.  For convenience, all exercises will be paper-based.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3146 2017-03-21T10:46:42+00:00 2017-03-21T10:46:42+00:00 Content Strategy, Editorial Planning & Content Calendars <p>Great content sells – it will build your brand and boost your business.  Our 1-day Content Strategy, Editorial Planning &amp; Content Calendars training course will help you to define and produce the content that will help your organisation succeed!</p> <p>On the day, you’ll learn about our unique 7-step process and  get our exclusive templates for: Strategy Statements, Content Audits, Content Requests, Content Briefs and Content Calendars!</p>