30 Oct Your Autumn Digital Marketing Summary
As Ned Stark used to occasionally mention, ‘Winter is coming.’ Nights are drawing in, the clocks have gone back and debates about when the heating can go on have already started. If you’ve been too busy ferreting around in cupboards trying to find where you packed the coats and scarves to pay too much attention to the digital marketing news, never fear. Here are some of the stories you may have missed.
US Voter registration gets social
The US Midterm elections are just around the corner. Getting people registered to vote is an important step. Snapchat did their bit by collaborating with TurboVote in recognition of National Voter Registration Day.
The network sent every US user that was of voting age a message and video encouraging them to visit a website where they could register. This had a huge uptake with over 600,000 people using the link to get registered. This shows the power that social media possesses. Obviously, your brand is unlikely to have the funds to get Snapchat to message everyone on your behalf. But with the right campaign, Snapchat remains a useful tool in your social media marketing arsenal.
We also really like Hook Studio’s campaign encouraging younger voters to exercise their democratic right or risk getting embarrassed by a middle-aged relative on social media (we’ve all been there). This encourages younger people to do something by tapping into something they can relate to. Well done!
Tim Cook warns of weaponised data
If GDPR has forced you to change a few aspects of how your brand markets online, you may be entitled to feel slightly smug and ahead of the curve in a few months time. Tim Cook recently gave a keynote speech to the European Parliament where he praised Europe’s data laws and called for the rest of the world to catch up and implement similar legislation.
Cook attacked big data companies and fired a few shots at a couple of unnamed businesses and countries (cough Russia and Facebook cough) when he said “Platforms and algorithms that promised to improve our lives can actually magnify our worst human tendencies. Rogue actors and even governments have taken advantage of user trust to deepen divisions, incite violence, and even undermine our shared sense of what is true and what is false. This crisis is real. It is not imagined, or exaggerated, or crazy.”
“The right to have personal data minimized; the right for users to know what data is collected on them; the right to access that data; and the right for that data to be kept securely.”
Big data businesses claim that too much red tape restricts innovation and their ability to develop new technology. This sounds wonderfully like an excuse to avoid having a major source of income taken away.
So, if your brand or agency has refused to bow to the power of GDPR, beware. It could be more important than ever.
Snapchat warns marketers not to underestimate AR
Snapchat made a bold claim this month, ‘the last 10 years have been about social media marketing, the next 10 will be about camera marketing.’ This doesn’t mean that Nikkon or Kodak are about to become marketing powerhouses.
They are talking about Augmented Reality. Conveniently, this is exactly what Snapchat does. What are the chances of that? According to Carolina Arguelles, product marketing lead for Snapchat (a totally unbiased source), “(AR marketing is…) an opportunity to reach the audience when their mindset is really attentive. The camera requires action. You’re not just sitting there passively when your camera opens. You’re leaned-in. You’re looking at every corner of that screen.”
Whilst we are slightly sceptical that camera marketing will supplant social media marketing, especially in B2B marketing. It is an important asset to consider, especially for B2C brands. BMW, IKEA, Amazon and many others have already taken advantage of this. IKEA has been particularly active, creating an app that allows you to see one of their products in your home through the camera. However, currently, it’s only really for brands with deep marketing pockets. Keep your eye out for other platforms rolling out AR marketing though. If you don’t have your own development team, we know a good one…
Gated Content is apparently in decline
A recent study by Drift has revealed that the age-old practice of offering gated content in exchange for marketing information or leads is in decline.
You know the drill. You write a white paper that you think will have value for your audience, but you add a form in front of it to capture emails and details of a lead that is clearly interested in a topic related to your brand. After giving you their details, the visitor then receives marketing emails from you promoting your services and ideally is so impressed that you convert them.
Of the top 100 software as a service (SsaS) businesses, those that said gated content in their marketing strategy dropped by 4% to 27 from 31% last year. Whilst this isn’t a reason to ‘open the gates’ just yet. It could, however, be a sign that the practice is on the way out as leads are becoming increasingly protective over their data in the post-GDPR age. Drift is calling this the #noforms movement.
The report also mentions that conversational marketing — using chatbots etc. is on the up. We agree that a well-designed chatbot can be a real asset on websites and social media. Whatsapp is increasingly a viable platform for bots too. A word of caution though. It’s arguably worse to have a bad bot than no bot at all, so don’t add a bot as an afterthought, think carefully about your user journies.
Proving ROI of social media marketing is still a hot topic
It’s one of the biggest sticks used to beat social media marketers. Prove your ROI. How much EXACTLY are you contributing in cost hard cash (not impressions or brand recognition)? This is a criticism that is as old as social media marketing itself, and it shows no sign of disappearing.
It’s almost impossible to assess how much your social media presence and awareness contributes to sales, but with social media marketing spend accounting for an average of 13.8% of a typical marketing budget, there is more pressure than ever. Only 24.7% of marketers say they can actually prove the impact of social activity quantitatively, while a worrying 39.3% are unable to show its impact at all. This does not mean that social media marketers are stealing a living, it can just be difficult to link to directly to sales.
Social media metrics can’t be considered in isolation,” says Kat Ward-Smith, Three’s director of brand and marketing communications. “Instead they need to be mapped together with our marketing tracking tools to see whether objectives are being met. It’s more complex than just ‘this post got loads of likes’. Engagement is best measured when paired with a form of brand tracking. People are starting to realise that social is rarely an immediate win. It requires patience and a long lead to shift the dial.”
Social media marketers might not be totally free from the ROI criticism, but slowly and surely there is an increasing understanding of the value it adds to a business.
That’s your lot this for Autumn. We’ll be back in the Winter with more stories you might have missed. Enjoy your Autumn guys!