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WHAT IS IT? With consumers
demanding a more seamless and cohesive buying journey, brands explored integrating the new commerce options being developed by the social networks. As a result, social media is shifting from merely being an inspiration or education channel to a full storefront experience. 60% Percentage of people who are influenced by digital content when shopping Percentage of people bought a product online after discovering it on social media Percentage of merchants who use social medial to generate sales 55% 40% Deloitte; Kleiner Perkins; Big Commerce.
INTERACTIVE COMMERCE: ADIDAS Adidas teamed
up with Snapchat to launch its limited- edition baseball cleats. Adidas created a game that you can play in Snapchat called "Baseball's Next Level," where customers can play as famous MLB athletes. Users can also shop for the new Adidas cleats through a shopping functionality built right into the game. Creative content will take a front seat as social commerce features become increasingly popular. It is more important than ever to add value and put customer experience first through content which leads to purchase in a natural, non-invasive way.
OMNICHANNEL COMMERCE: OASIS Oasis has
built a complete omni-channel experience that extends through their social channels. On Instagram, they feature tagged products that link directly to optimised product pages and their profile features a link to their mobile optimised Instagram store. Most impressively, when users login, the product stays in their cart, regardless of what device they use. Customers even have the option to "Find in Store," allowing customers to find the product they've identified online in their nearest store to try on or pick up. To complete the experience, in-store shop assistants will offer advice based on user’s online preferences and history with the brand.
AR COMMERCE: LEGO LEGO Wear
and Snapchat launched a clothing store with no clothes in it allowing them to swap a traditional shopping experience for AR pop-up. The physical store was empty of everything except a plinth-posted Snapcode which once scanned allowed shoppers to enter a virtual shop that an featured an interactive DJ booth, LEGO bouncer, arcade machine, and most importantly, exclusive products for purchase. It’s a fantastic example of how brands are blurring real world and virtual spaces and enabling people who can’t make it in person access to their products.
WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT?
• The platform's walled ecosystems will get even higher as social content becomes shoppable microsites. This could lead to the proliferation of 'dark websites' that are just a warehouse of items available for purchase through APIs. • There will be a boom in influencer affiliate marketing through social as their sales figures become more trackable and transparent. • Fuelled by improvements in augmented reality and camera detection technologies the distance between inspiration and purchase will continue to shorten upending the path to purchase funnel. Everything we see will be instantly shoppable both on and offline wherever we are in the world. • Personalised marketing will get more personal as social media platforms track previous purchases and begin to recommend the perfect accompaniments. • Social platform's digital wallets will open the internet up to the 'unbanked’.
WHAT IS IT? Users have
had enough of staged morning routines and transactional endorsements. Influencer culture isn’t ‘niche’ anymore and the authenticity of ‘influencers’ is being called into question. In 2019, we saw the rise of ‘shitposting’, a documentary about the Fyre Festival, the rise of ‘vlogpologies’, as well as audiences starting to fight back by calling out faked and photoshopped content. In the Gartner Hype Cycle influencer marketing appears to have reached the Trough of Disillusionment. To help get to the Plateau of Productivity brands need to work with influencers to ensure there's a clear value exchange for both the influencers and their followers. 10bn USD The predicted size of the influencer marketing industry by 2020 Percentage of consumers aged 18- 34 have been swayed in their decision-making process by digital influencers 61% +22% YoY Consultancy, Influence 2020 Influencer marketing was the fastest growing online customer acquisition channel in 2018.
INFLUENCER TIERS: REVOLVE Revolve has
remained authentic, relatable and influential to Millennials and Gen Z’s by carefully selecting the right influencers since 2003. An early adopter in the influencer marketing space, they are a perfect example of how-to successful blend influencer strategy across campaign objectives. Revolve carefully selects a range of influencers from celebrities to a large mix of micro and mid-tier influencers allow them to gain both reach as well as authentic endorsement and engagement. They’ve now accrued a roster of over 3,500 influencers who collectively drive an estimated 70% of sales for the company despite only making up 25% of their annual marketing budget.
There’s a new niche of
'good influencer' content emerging like Study Tube - an online community of young people who revise and encourage each other in their scholastic endeavours. These ‘good influencers’ revolve around helping Gen Z better themselves - a sort of online study buddy or influential role model. One in five UK teenagers are now using “Study Tubers” to help them revise for their GCSEs, a survey has found. In a recent survey 29% per cent of UK children said that the videos give them social support and reassurance while they studied. GOOD INFLUENCE: STUDY TUBE
VIRTUAL INFLUENCE: LIL MIQUELA Samsung
partnered with well-known virtual influencer, Miquela Sousa (Lil Miquela), bringing her onboard for the new Galaxy S10 launch. They also featured her alongside, Steve Aoki, Millie Bobby Brown and Ninja for a video in their #DoWhatYouCant campaign. Miquela, who has 1.6 million followers on IG, shared her Instagram secrets through a written interview on the Samsung site. She also posted product endorsements with the Galaxy S10 images on her Instagram. Virtual influencers represent a need for people to express themselves and are a unique representation their true selves. As they gain popularity more brands will likely jump on board to leverage their lower risk round the clock efficiencies.
WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT?
• Authenticity and creativity will be the biggest factors in whether a campaign resonates with consumers. • Brands will strike up more longer-term partnerships with smaller influencers so they can grow their followings together. • Advancements in CGI and AI technology will allow brands to embrace the weird and wonderful world of virtual influencers through branded storytelling. • Influence will become more closely associated with purpose through the rise of 'good influencers' • Whilst Instagram will remain the preferred platform for influencer marketing, platforms like TikTok will go mainstream with more brands using the platform and its influencers. • Brands will realise that they have influencers within their walls that they have yet to discover leading to new influencer employee advocacy programs. • Whilst video in all its forms (Live, IGTV, YouTube, etc) will continue to grow, audio enabled influencer content like podcasts will become the powerful medium in a marketer's toolkit.
Pew Research; Sprout Social; The
Atlantic WHAT IS IT? Data privacy concerns, combating disinformation and a rising awareness of mental health has led to users to take more control of their social media usage. Consumers are starting to lock down their accounts and explore new closed communities. The knock-on effect for brands has been equally as stark as they respond to new regulations like GDPR and are required to re- examine their paid media strategies due to reduced retargeting capabilities. 80% Percentage of social media users are concerned about businesses accessing the data they share on social media platforms. Percentage of consumers say they’re likely to buy from brands that are transparent on social. Percentage of users surveyed by the Atlantic who said they changed their behaviour after learning about the Cambridge Analytica scandal 53% 41.9% .
PLATFORM ADJUSTMENTS Facebook Ad Library
Why Am I seeing This Ad Targeting Transparency Removal of suggestions Clear Activity Facebook News Restricted Targeting Fake account crackdowns Third party fact checking and labelling
ALT PLATFORMS: PRIVATE NETWORKS People
are starting to explore more private social networks like Minds, MeWe, Telegram and WT:Social. Minds is an open source networking platform with familiar features like the newsfeed, groups and discovery, but all its code is open source and all messenger services are encrypted along with options for anonymity. Similarly, Telegram with over 200 million MAU's has become the social media of choice in some areas of APAC. Telegram offers complete anonymity of users, multiple sessions , secret chats, and a public API have been gaining traction. Features that prioritise user privacy, anonymity and public contribution to the source code have gained trust and popularity and large platforms are starting to take notice. Twitter has announced it will be funding a research project for a decentralised version of its platform.
FACT CHECKING GOES SOCIAL: SNOPES
& AFP The number of fact-checking outlets around the world has grown to 188 in more than 60 countries amid concerns about the spread of misinformation. While politics has been a major driver, many outlets are also concentrating on viral hoaxes or other forms of misinformation such as fake health claims. Interestingly, the fact-checkers are starting to deploy more in-depth social media strategies to ensure their content gets shared rather than just referenced. Snopes for example has started an Instagram handle which creates bold, succinct, social media ready posts and AFP Factcheck Twitter is focusing on making fact checking accessible to the normal user.
CLOSED BRAND COMMUNITITIES: STARBUCKS Starbucks'
"Pumpkin Spice Latte" or "PSL" is one of the brands most loved and followed products. To capitalize on this, the coffee brand started an exclusive Facebook Group called the Leaf Rakers Society. PSL lovers can to apply to be part of the group. Starbucks posts exclusive content in the community, members share images with their PSL's, comment with suggestions that might help the brand inform product decisions, and even donate to charitable causes.
WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT?
• Engagement rates will continue fall as more conversations and sharing shifts to private social networks. As a result the measures for what success looks likes will need to change. • Amidst privacy concerns (and potentially new regulations) social media targeting will become less personalised and CPMs will increase as there more competition for inventory. • There will be a rebirth of human curated, fact checked, slow content. • Transparency and provenance will become key components of branded communications. • New privacy first social networks will start to gain traction, but most if not all will fail as the major networks copy their key USPs. • Consumers will start demanding direct control of their data, becoming gatekeepers of their own digital lives, so they can start to design and control their own digital ecosystem to servers up content based on how they’ve set their personal algorithms.
Markets and markets; Oracle; Deeptrace.
WHAT IS IT? 'How to best utilise AI?' is quickly becoming a key question for business so it’s of little surprise that it could have a huge impact on the marketing department as well as agencies. One of the most exciting areas of AI is how it can be used to bolster humanity creativity. AI is already being used to power customer experience through chat bots, but it’s quickly expanding into other areas such as video and copy creation. While AI has the potential to make a huge positive impact, there are also real concerns around its misuse. Brands and agencies will need to tread very carefully when using AI to avoid creating even more distrust and disillusionment amongst consumers. 2.1 bn USD The predicted size of the AI for social media market The predicted percentage of brands who will be using chatbots for consumer interactions by the end of 2020 80% 2X The increase in the amount of deepfake videos compared to the previous year
CAMPAIGN DEEPFAKES: MALARIA NO MORE
Like most technologies, deepfakes aren't inherently bad, they can be used to entertain affect as on TikTok, or to help deliver a more global reach. Malaria No More A launched a “Malaria Must Die” campaign, where David Beckham appears to speak nine languages using deep fake technology. After watching the video viewers were encouraged to sign a “voice petition” by recording their own voices saying, “Malaria Must Die.” As the technology continues to develop brands will need to weigh the utility and efficiency benefits against consumer sentiment. Creative execution and obvious transparency will likely be key to avoiding any backlash.
BIG DATA AI: KFC E-sports
is a growing global phenomenon with over 25.7 million viewers in the US and over 200 million people engaging with it in China. KFC realized that there wasn’t a way to predict who’d win these highly watched matches, so they created a prediction model that leveraged big data to solve the problem. KFC built the Colonel KI into their mobile app giving fans access to the predictions along with exclusive KFC coupons leading to 203 million views and 70 minutes of brand exposure per day (4x more than planning). More importantly, KFC inserted itself in the e-sports arena, by becoming an invaluable part of their customer's everyday lives.
AI COPYWRITING: ALIBABA AI COPYWRITER
Venturing into the realms of transitional creativity, Tech giant Alibaba has created an AI copywriter that produces up to 20,000 lines of e-commerce copy per second. The AI copywriter continuously improves its craft by analysing lines of copy on Alibaba's T-mall and Taobao eCommerce platforms to understand what types of copy perform best. Brand wanting to use the platform simply need to insert a link to their product page and click a button to have the system generate AI copy. The biggest benefit to brands utilising this tool is increased efficiencies through the removal of repetitive tasks allowing creatives to spend more time on big ideas and content for their audiences.
WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT?
• Organizations will need new, systematic approaches for unlocking the full potential of human collaboration with AI. People will soon need to learn how to work with the machines and how to better communicate with them. • Big data will unlock previously incomprehensible insights for brands meaning they can narrow the gap between what brands think consumers want and what they actually want. • First touch customers service will become increasingly automated and most consumers won't be able to tell the difference. Humans will only become involved in outlier cases. • AI will become a go-to resource for iterative creative executions especially if multiple languages are involved. Programmatic media buying solutions will port into social content as turnkey SAAS solutions for personalised messaging campaigns. • People will begin to demand proof of digital provenance in the content they're consuming.
WHAT IS IT? People are
consuming more content than ever before. In fact, we spend more than 142 minutes just on social media a day. As people’s content consumption continues to rise, they are finding new ways to engage with content throughout their lives. Last year saw the explosion of new content types such as podcast, longer captions, and micro blogs. Most importantly, total brand immersion through experiences and technology are becoming mainstream. 175% Percentage growth from last year of Spotify’s monthly users listening to podcasts Percentage of predicted online searches in 2020 will be voice searches Percentage of respondents who believe that by the year 2025, immersive technologies like augmented reality, will be as ubiquitous as mobile devices. 50% 90% Spotify for Brands; Comscore; Perkins Coie.
PERSONALISED AUDIO: MICHELOB Michelob partnered
with Spotify to build a custom, experience for runners. To make the experience as personalised as possible, content was delivered to runners based on their location, local time and weather with the follow-up messages during exercise and recovery. Each ad then invited Spotify free users to visit the ‘Miles of Michelob Ultra’ microsite where they can listen to their personalised Spotify playlist based on the running distance, intensity and location. On finishing the playlist, listeners were invited to post their run on the Michelob Ultra Marathon site to receive rewards.
INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING: TINDER Tinder created
an interactive adventure that represents a whole new way to match on the app. The "Swipe Night" story is an adventure that allows you to decide what happens next at key turning points. Importantly, the choices not only impact the story, but also who you match with. Swipe Night takes place live, inside the app and as the story unfolds users face moral dilemmas and practical choices. With 7 seconds to choose, there's no going back. After Swipe Night, the choices are added to your profile showing what decisions you did or didn't make to your potential matches. Storytelling through immersive experiences is a great way to keep customers engaged with attention spans continuing to decrease.
AR FILTER: WHICH CHARACTER ARE
YOU? Instagram and Facebook Stories were taken over by filters in December as users raced to find out which Disney, Pokemon, or Harry Potter charter they were. Although created by users and not brands in this instance, this phenomena clearly outlines the potential of augmented reality lens in brand campaigns as a way of getting consumers to further engage with branded content. There is a huge opportunity for clever brands to couple AI and personal data to create highly personalised experiences that people will want to share.
WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT?
• Audio and voice will becoming an increasingly important part of the marketing mix as brands explore audio driven content narratives. • Interactive storytelling will unlock more personalised content experiences based on user choices. The opt-in nature of the experience will lead a greater acceptance of future personalised content from the brand. • Immersive content will blur the lines between offline and online allowing brands to increase engagement and build affinity through interactive experiences. • Event driven cultural moments will become integrated viewing experiences that see audience participation on a level playing field with the content itself.