Snapchat launches self-serve ad manager

Category: Social Media Date: Thursday, 15 June 2017 23:17

First it was sponsored geofilters, and now Snapchat is working on launching a new self-serve Ad platform for its Snap ads product. There’s also a new Snapchat Mobile Dashboard and the Business Manager site for configuring the roles and permissions of team members. Snapchat was aware that lack of metrics was a major reason why many brands were hesitant to advertise on the platform, so this is a welcomed change. But first, let’s breakdown the capabilities of the three new Snap business tools:

  • Ad Manager Buy, manage, optimize and view reporting on campaigns for all Snap Ad types, including video, app install, long-form video and web view. Organise targeting capabilities, goal-based bidding for swipes or installs and assets like video creative, audience lists like emails and mobile IDs.
  • Snapchat Mobile Dashboard View and share ad creative as it will be seen by Snapchat users, review live campaign performance, edit, pause campaigns and receive notifications about key metrics from within the Snapchat app.
  • Business Manager Configure roles and permissions for ad team members, change billing contacts and manage different ad accounts.

According to several sources the new platform is expected to be timed to release to everyone in the U.S., U.K., Canada, France, Germany, Australia and more, alongside the IAB’s Newfronts conference, in New York on May 1. Agencies have been pushing for a self-service tool for a long time and The self-serve ad manager will be free, which is a much needed improvement because until now, you could only buy Snap Ads through Snap’s sales team or third-party ad tools built on the Ads API that often charge a fee.

Snapchat recently went public and with a valuation of $20 billion-plus which it will seek to justify, so these changes come at a particularly important time. Snapchat wants the ad dollars of smaller businesses, not just giant brands and will focus on attracting a growing roster of advertisers and advertising dollars to fend off Instagram who are more aggressively than ever encroaching on its territory.  Broadening the range of advertisers it accepts could help Snapchat boost its revenue at this critical time. The question will be whether smaller businesses can create compelling video ads for Snapchat’s unique vertical video format and its low attention span teenage audience. Creating polished video ads will be much harder for small-to-medium businesses on a short budget, unlike running Google AdWords, AdSense or Facebook’s image and link-based ads.

There are a few things Snapchat haven’t added. For instance, right now you can’t buy Sponsored Geofilters through Ad Manager, only though a separate self-serve tool, it’s not simple to do advanced A/B test campaigns, and both Ads Manager and Business Manager don’t currently plug into other business software. Some say Snapchat may even decide to launch a business education app to teach merchants how to make Snap Ads as some might need help learning how to shoot eye-catching video that users won’t just skip.

Bottom line is any business, big or small, that wants to reach teens, will need to get up to speed. App Annie says that 35 percent of Snapchat’s daily users can’t be reached on Facebook on a given day. That percentage rises to 46 percent on Instagram and 61 percent on YouTube confirming Snap’s distinct and coveted audience will mean businesses have no choice but to get with the times.

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Social commerce – Why buy buttons are not enough

Category: E-commerce Date: Sunday, 11 June 2017 19:32

In 2016 nearly 52% of marketers predicted that social commerce would be the biggest trend of the year. It turned out that social commerce didn’t quite take off in the way it was predicted to. Leaving live video and influencer marketing stealing its thunder!

 Although 1 in 4 users are using mobile commerce to purchase products – many brands have struggled to find the right balance between social media and ecommerce.

In fact, it’s been recently suggested that up to 45% of adults have no current interest in clicking on a 'buy now' button, while a further quarter don’t even know the technology exists. As a result, many brands are scaling back on chatbots too (programs designed to simulate conversation with human users) after Facebook reported a failure rate of 70%.

So the question is, how can brands make social commerce appealing to users, as well as ensure the process is seamless across channels?

At a recent “We Are Social” event a number of brands spoke about their previous experience and what they think will be the key to success.  The key takeaways are listed below:

Most buy buttons do not mirror the mind-set of a user
Although users are increasingly turning to social media for shopping inspiration, many brands are failing to realise it’s a big leap for customers to actually buy on social. Currently, the reality of social commerce is often very different to the user’s expectations. Most experiences involve clicking on a link in a social bio, then being taken to an interim landing page, before finally onto the main ecommerce site itself.

“That’s a lot of disruption when you think about it, which could naturally lead to users abandoning the journey, or worse – being put off the brand as a result”  States Caroline Lucas-Garner, strategy director at We Are Social.

Caroline also suggested that buy button are very much seen the same as a pushy sales rep, which when you’re simply having a leisurely browse (or scroll), can feel frustratingly intrusive.

Brands in your DM’s (Direct Message Inbox) feel intrusive
We’ve seen the examples of branded Chatbots being created for customer service or to drive conversions. But do users really feel that comfortable allowing them into this space? Do users want to see messages from a brand alongside their family and friend? Probably not!

Dominos is one brand that has tried to get around this by creating a character specifically to front its chatbot. Dom the Pizza Bot has his own unique set of characteristics, designed to urge people to speak to it like they would a friend.

However Skyscanner, made the decision to include a ‘talk to a human’ option in its chatbot to point users towards an alternative or next step, hoping that would prevent people from abandoning their journey, by giving users an option to talk to a real employee instead.

Focus on the brand messaging – not just they’re buy button.
For brands like ASOS, who have seen an 84% growth on mobile orders year-on-year – social commerce will be a natural evolution. It is obvious that its target customer is highly engaged on social, with those aged 16-24 particularly bypassing search for social platforms like Instagram and Facebook. 

Morgan Fitzsimons, ASOS’s acting head of content and broadcast, explains how ASOS going forward is taking a three-tiered approach to targeting these kinds of customers – focusing on the top of the conversion funnel to ensure the bottom doesn’t have to work so hard. Meaning they’ll focus on the brand messaging – not just they’re buy button.

As a prime example ASOS’s recent campaign for jeans used a combination of organic and paid promotion as well as dynamic product ads. The initial video told the story of the brand but didn’t include any links, instead it hinted of the shopping experience in retargeted ads, before delivering buying options in the final push.

Morgan also admitted that it’s taken a while for ASOS to get to this stage, with previous campaigns on Snapchat failing to follow up with those who first engaged. 

Ultimately, only continued testing will determine social commerce’s success, and only then will brands understand how customers will best respond in this new and unique platform.

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What does Facebook's new VR and AR platforms mean for your brand?

Category: Social Media Date: Saturday, 29 April 2017 09:34

Last week’s 2017 F8 Facebook event caused quite a stir as they unveiled their augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology. Whilst the AR features showcased are mostly still in beta mode, the VR technology is available to a limited audience. Today Multitrix reviews some of the key functionality and what it could mean for your brand.


AR: The Camera Effects Platform

This platform is like Snapchat on steroids and gives creative power to the user. In the BuzzFeed video below you'll see the platform takes the idea of Snapchat lenses and extends this functionality to other objects and parts of the scenery. The video shows how photo and video sharing might be taken to the next level. 

https://www.facebook.com/BuzzFeedTech/videos/1298622390258734/

This platform could make creative content production even easier, but much like the app model, effects have to be submitted and reviewed by Facebook before being made available. Going forward we could see consumers creating an even greater share of the most popular content online, just by using their social apps? The possibilities for your brand to produce their own AR content are impressive, but so too are the possibilities of leveraging newly AR-literate influencers to create some of this stuff on your behalf.


Huge advertising opportunities

Snapchat lenses and filters are already being sponsored. With Facebook's Camera Effects Platform, this potential is hugely multiplied. With a range of objects being recognisable, from cars to clothes, furniture to buildings, food to scenery, the creative applications should allow Facebook to create some very cool branded experiences. 


Adding info cards to real world objects

One of the immediate uses of the AR Studio in the Camera Effect Platform is to add information cards to real world objects. This has broad implications but is particularly interesting in education as the smartphone evolution of making real-world learning more fun has had limited success. Facebook's use of precise location data and not just visual triggers looks like it might expand the possibilities for annotating the real world.


Creative uses vs functional ones?

Labelling of real world objects will be a super cool and functional use, but the real gem in AR is actually identification and search – pointing your camera at something (let's say a bottle) and being told what that thing is and either where to get it or what to do with it.

This is functionality is somewhat around already, but hasn’t quite taken off  –  I.e. Amazon Firefly, Google Goggles and Bing visual search.  As Pinterest and other tech companies enter the visual search space again, it seems Facebook is concentrating on fun aspect. Most likely the fun side of AR is probably the only proven use case on a large scale currently, so Facebook is arguably putting its money in the right place.

VR - Facebook Spaces

Facebook’s explainer video for Spaces is the quickest way to understand the platform. It's a heady mix of communication through avatars, 360-degree scenery, content sharing and 3D drawing. Watch it here:

https://www.facebook.com/FacebookTips/videos/10155260579068466/ 


360-degree content 

There will be many opportunities for your brand to create 360-degree content for your customers to explore. 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."

Brands such as Thomas Cook, Ted Baker and Renault have all experimented with AR/VR and the addition of social interaction makes for an interesting prospect from an experiential/events marketing point of view as it allows a salesperson to interact with the consumer within the content, rather than simply whacking a headset on a person —which is a much more personable and enjoyable experience. 


Patience, headsets aren’t common place… yet!

Amongst the general populace VR headsets are few and far between at the moment, which means that as Facebook Spaces is rolled out; many interactions must necessarily be between one caller in real life and one in VR. It will take time to decide whether these interactions work?

Your brand won’t need to worry about this for now, as truly social experiences in VR will depend on headset penetration increasing dramatically. 


The markets appetite for animation?

It’s unknown whether people will enjoy these types of experiences. Whilst the millennials and youngsters might want to hide behind an avatar, it won’t for everyone.  Only time will tell if AR and VR make real experiences all the more valuable.

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Latest social media trends

Category: Social Media Date: Thursday, 20 April 2017 22:03

Social media continues to change the way companies market their brands and engage with customers. It’s a business essential and your brand should take a close look at how effectively it uses social media and learn how it can be done better.

“Businesses have started moving away from the idea of social media being a separate entity and are now fully incorporating it into their marketing, PR and customer service campaigns," says Todd Grossman, CEO of Talkwalker, a marketing analysis tool that assists businesses in developing a social media strategy and measuring results.

 “Many business owners now realise that the data produced by social networks holds a treasure trove of marketing and PR information."

Amidst the many platforms, it's often challenging for a brand to know where and how to focus social media efforts. But knowing what's trending may help you pinpoint where to focus your efforts and here’s a few trends you can leverage.

 
Visual Storytelling Is a Growing Trend
 
One of the most powerful trends in social media is live video and visual storytelling is a big trend.

“With support from Facebook and Instagram in the form of automatic push notifications to followers, it's possible for a business to quickly garner a sizeable live audience," says Jay York, social media manager for EMSI Public Relations. He has extensive experience in social media marketing dating back to the early days of MySpace and LiveJournal.


The interactive nature of this platform allows brands to take questions and directly interact with their following."

All kinds of brands are getting strong engagement from this form of social media posting, and social networks are also favouring this kind of content by pushing users to post live videos — particularly via mobile. 

You should aim to make videos less than 30 seconds. Longer video can certainly be worthwhile, but know you have a significant chance of losing viewers before they reach the end, so grab them early.

Social Media Engagement is becoming a Necessity

Connecting and engaging with businesses is something that customers increasingly seek and expect and this is one of the reasons that video is increasing in popularity, as it encourages two-way communication. If you simply post content and then fall flat on engagement your followers will lose interest. They want to hear from you if they comment or ask a question on your posts.

Most brands fail to add this to their social media strategy ad whilst its true that content is king, if you engage your customers and then fail to keep that interaction, they may be left feeling you're just a computer and not a person.



Social Messaging is another important trend

As customer service quickly becoming more socially influenced, brands must find new resources and channels for handling customer inquiries. Facebook has released several tools, including automated messaging, away messages and more to provide more control to brands, while ensuring they're able to assist customers before any escalation.

Today's consumers don't want brands aggressively pushing their way into social media feeds," says social media strategist Stacy DeBroff, founder and CEO of Influence Central, which connects brands with influencers. “Pop-ups, banner ads and disruptive brand messages aren't welcomed.

As consumers seek to learn about new products on their own time and when it makes sense for them, we can expect continued resentment over perceived intrusive marketing to further deepen in 2017. Consumers will vote with their feet away from social platforms that overly inundate them with brand marketing."

That being said, don’t just use social solely as a channel for promoting your own content. It’s a great channel for promotion, but if that's all you do, your audience will turn off. Share and comment on posts that you find interesting, even if they don't mention your brand.

Think about what's in it for your followers. Instead of just promoting a sale, tell customers what's in it for them by explaining how much they can save. Build your followers by being a leader who shows you're also an active follower.

  

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What is Yubl?

Category: Social Media Date: Wednesday, 09 November 2016 04:55

The app first hit the stores at 501st place in just over two months ago and has successfully reached 4th place, just behind WhatsApp, Facebook and Facebook Messenger. It beat out Periscope, Skype and LinkedIn as the application of choice at the time. It has dropped to 8th place at this point in time, but likely to climb back up the social media app ladder in the near future. 

So what is it that makes Yubl different? We downloaded the app and took a look. One of the first features that showed a marked difference from other social media chat apps is the ability to build your messages using text boxes, buttons, photos and stickers. This makes the messages much more interesting, which means a larger measure of engagement. The point here is to garner a response of some type from the social media audience. This points to Yubl being an excellent marketing tool on this platform.

Another interesting concept this app offers is allowing you to arrange meetings, share content and places of interest and even links. You can also use this app to ascertain consensus by using the 'see who agrees' and 'take a vote' options. Yubl is designed to work in real time, with the audience responding immediately on posts and in this way achieve faster results.

Although this app appears made for business at a first glance, it appears to be more of a social app created to entertain large audiences and offer bonds of unity and social acceptance. It does not lend itself to large scale sales messages or advertising and does not seem to be an ideal platform in this regard.

If you are looking to do some social media marketing, this platform is perhaps a little too new and does not offer as wide an audience as many other platforms already have to offer. It is also difficult to determine the general audience using this app as yet. It would be of benefit to wait until the application has grown further and could perhaps offer a better marketing experience. If you feel that your brand is not that corporate and that your target audience on this site might be interested in some fun banter with only light hearted marketing efforts, then this might be a social media application to try out. Keep your eyes out, this might be a far reaching app in the future as it has a lot of growth potential and offers more user engagement than most platforms of similar types.


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