The biggest marketing trends in June have generally been focused on social - there has been a lot to talk about on social advertising and who could forget the large-scale brand input on #LoveWins?
Facebook and Twitter have used ads for a long time now so it makes sense that the other social players would also monetise their platform. Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, began to release ads in the news feeds of users last month. Surprisingly, they are quite unobtrusive and blend well with the existing news feed. The only downfall is that they don’t seem targeted at all, unlike Facebook and Twitter’s pinpointed advertising algorithms.
Our advice: It is not available for small businesses just yet, but if you’re a brand which has a lot of strong imagery, you should definitely consider this if and when it becomes available to the mainstream.
Pinterest Buy Pins
You can now buy products directly from within Pinterest. The big social media platforms have been hinting at this for around a year now but there has been no apparent execution as of yet. When you see a blue pin on Pinterest, this means that you can click to buy and you don’t have to leave the Pinterest platform to do so. No re-directing to third party websites.
Our advice: It’s currently only available for US retailers but even when it does arrive to the UK, we feel that there are only certain markets where this may be profitable - clothing and fashion brands in particular.
The United States’ legalisation of same-sex marriage was applauded by many on social media, including some very big brands both in the UK and US. The list of brands taking part was huge, including: Coca-Cola, American Airlines, Ben & Jerry’s, Entertainment Weekly, Macy’s, Target, Visa, Gap, Uber, MTV, YouTube, Spotify, Starbucks, AirBNB, Absolut, Cheerios, Snickers, Pandora, Budweiser, Tumblr, Expedia, AT&T, T-Mobile, Chipotle and Skittles.
This just goes to show that users, on the most part, are open to brands sharing their views on social issues as long as the message is issue-focused and isn’t clearly a ploy to sell their product.
Our advice: If there’s a view that your business is passionate about, don’t be afraid to share it on social. Just don’t turn it into a way to sell your product - instead, sell your brand values.
The Importance of an Integrated Strategy
Your customers want to interact with you on as many platforms as they can. They want to talk to you on social, read about you in email, visit you in shopping centres, compare your products on your website, see you in search results etc.
Many brands feel that because, for instance, social media does not give them a direct ROI that it is not worth investing in. But on the contrary, a recent study has shown that brands who can be reached by consumers, on as many platforms as possible, are able to convert these consumers at a rate 2.5 times greater than those who can’t. Source.
Our advice: Have a presence on as many channels as you can - social, email, website, stores, search results, press, bloggers, videos etc.