How Referral Marketing Can Combat Facebook’s Algorithm Update

by Sean Ogino |

How Referral Marketing Can Combat Facebook’s Algorithm Update

How referral marketing can combat Facebook's algorithm update

In the wake of yet another update to Facebook’s News Feed algorithm, marketers need to shift their focus from brand broadcasting to referral programs and word-of-mouth, earned social media. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg recently sent the marketing world into a flurry when he announced a News Feed algorithm update that prioritizes personal profiles and groups over … Read more

Facebook Rewards and the Omni-Channel Loyalty Landscape

Facebook Rewards

Keeping true to its innovative spark, Facebook has started testing mobile retail rewards. To improve connection between participating businesses and their customers, the social media giant is focusing on rolling out a mobile feature called Facebook Rewards, where users can scan a personalized QR code to score discounts or bonuses when they buy something in-person at certain shops. According to sources, Facebook has said that this recent advancement of Facebook Rewards feature will enable customers to collect and redeem rewards when they make purchases at a participating store. Facebook Rewards will be tucked away under the More tab of the Facebook mobile app.

facebook rewards 1

The most striking aspect of Facebook Rewards is that instead of giving an offer code to scan, it assigns a single personal QR code to each customer, which he can scan everywhere. This is quite a new approach considering that marketers have always used loseable cards or new apps altogether for such functionalities. But a single personal QR code signifies that Facebook Rewards will be positioned as a key building block of loyalty marketing.

The Rationale Behind Facebook Rewards

It’s aptly clear that Facebook doesn’t just want users to tap on ads- it wants them to head to the store. And this will help it to prove its worth to both Facebook users and retailers. It’s directly beneficial for consumers, as they can earn discounts just for being Facebook users. Similarly, marketers and retailers can expect higher customer footfall due to the allure of special offers that Facebook Rewards puts in front of its users.

Owing to the jaw-dropping reach that Facebook has among global masses, it can command a high price through ad revenue from marketers. The feature will also allow Facebook to have more data on who buys what, which it can use to improve the relevance of ad targeting and News Feed content. Note that Facebook works with data providers like Datalogix, Epsilon, Acxiom, and BlueKai to index people’s offline purchases.

Another reason that might have propelled the social media giant to come up with Facebook Rewards is competition. Other social media networks are not ready to turn the tap off on the flow of cash that brick-and-mortar advertisers offer. Snap Inc is trying hard to bridge the gap between its users and advertisers with physical stores, hotels, restaurants, and the like. It’s become well-known for its geotargeting program. Through this program’s Geofilters ads, Snapchat users can overlay special graphics related to a business over their photos and videos when they’re nearby. Through “Snap to Store” program, users can share this info with businesses. Twitter is already ahead in this regard, as it has been offering mobile coupons programs since 2014. Clearly, Facebook couldn’t stay inactive.

But the point that needs to analyze here is that this isn’t the first time that Facebook has toyed with in-store discounts. In 2012, it launched Facebook Offers, which allowed a special barcode and promo code that’s either scanned at the shop or entered in the online checkout flow.

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Even though, as per Facebook’s confession, it was a big hit, it came at a point when omni-channel shopping experiences were still in their infancy. Many people called it a flash in a pan, as buying from multiple devices and channels was not considered necessary. But the changing technological landscape of business, which has resulted in a surge in connectivity devices and customers’ genuine need to have a seamless experience across all channels, built up the strong case for omni-channel.

IDC data shows that multi-channel customers spend 15% to 30% more than single-channel customers, and additional data reveals that omni-channel customers spend 15% to 30% above multi-channel customers. Facebook Rewards- a sort of revamped form of Facebook Offers- is indeed an acknowledgment of the evident impact of omni-channel strategies, particularly that of omni-channel loyalty.

Just like Facebook, we are well aware of omni-channel’s multi-pronged ability to enhance program members’ shopping experiences as well as a program’s operational efficiency. To let marketers thrive in this environment with a minimal resource investment, we have come up with a technological advancement called the Native Receipt Scanning.

The Native Receipt Scanning Importance:

As it’s an indisputable fact that people shop through multiple channels, for marketers it’s necessary to have granular data of all of its customers’ purchases. This is possible for businesses who have direct contact with the end buyers. For other businesses who rely on third parties for sales, like CPG brands, it can be hugely daunting. Even if they try to collect data from those multiple sources and touchpoints, it will be marred by silos and inconstancy. This data deficiency can put a lump in their walk towards proper and effective communication with customers, optimizing upsells, increasing repeat purchase rate, and launching new products.

The Native Receipt Scanning throws cold water on that burning problem of data deficiency by allowing loyalty program members to submit receipts to brands in order to get points for purchases. There are three ways to accomplish that:

  • Receipt scanning with a camera phone and mobile upload
  • SMS receipt forwarding
  • Email receipt forwarding

Native Receipt Scanning slide

Scanned physical receipts will be processed with optical character recognition (OCR). Data pieces collected through these receipts get stored in our database with the assistance of our auto-processing API. As every detail of their purchase is in front of us, the task of allocating loyalty points to customers becomes much simpler. Customers can redeem accumulated loyalty points with third-party sellers through branded app barcode scanning, packaging inserts, and QR codes. Up to 20% of an in-store audience will sign up for a brand’s loyalty program thanks to the convenience of the Native Receipt Scanning.

Compared to Facebook Rewards and other omni-channel loyalty solutions, the Native Receipt Scanning has another clear advantage. Through instant identification and processing of receipts, brands will be able to get complete information of more customers who have been buying from different retailers. If, for example, a shopper purchases 2 of your products and 5 other products from one of your retail partners, you’ll be able to see which other products they bought, how much they spent, where and when they bought, and more. This creates an amazing opportunity for insights and optimizing everything from packaging to merchandising to marketing and more!

The Native Receipt Scanning and Facebook Rewards are clear indicators of the importance of omni-channel loyalty strategies. It’ll be fascinating to see how this field shifts next!

6 Consumer Research Tools You’re Probably Not Using

Consumer Research Tools

The final buying decision of a customer is not usually straightforward. It gets shaped by various forces, be they cultural, social, psychological, and economical. Understanding how these factors prompt or repel people from buying is needed if marketers wish to succeed. The reason is that once you know the “actual” facts about the consumers, you can decide what consumer segment  needs to be on your marketing radar and, more importantly, how to get their attention. Consumer research, thus, is like a lighthouse for your marketing efforts. It gives direction to everything that marketers do.

Today’s marketers, especially ecommerce marketers, are lucky in a sense that they are living in a world where information about customers is never far away from them. Along with their own database, the market is flooded with tools which can further simplify their process of consumer research. Though there are plenty of such tools, I have listed down some of the most innovative consumer research tools.

1) Reddit

Reddit, a social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website, reaches over 200 million unique visitors each month from over 208 countries. This means that the chances of the presence of your desired target audience are very high here. Apart from being free, it boasts a presence of multiple communities called subreddits, groups of people that discuss common topics. This is precisely where the possibility to peep into the consumers’ mindsets arrives for marketers.

With the help of Subreddit Search Tool, you can search your keywords to find your audience on reddit. Suppose that you are selling nutritional products. Then, you might type in “nutrition” to bring up a list of subreddits related to that topic.

reddit

After combing through the top results in the subreddit, you can see the popularity of the post.

reddit upvote

As you can see, two of those top spots are taken up by talk of energy and nutrition. Now, through this you can understand what they are thinking about the overall nutritional products and industry. If you think that you have a product which can meet their expectations, you can target them accordingly. Remember that Reddit isn’t called the front page of the internet for nothing!

2) Google Trends 

Google is regarded by many as one of the most powerful consumer research tools. Its Google Trends feature in particular gives you an unobscured picture of how often particular keywords or subjects have been searched over a certain time period. Of course, you can check the keyword related to your brand as well as the keywords of your competitors – that too in a real time. As it gives refined results by location, category and search history along with the cause of the sudden rise in interest for few keywords, it tells you what people find more interesting, what is on their mind for most of the time and what they love the most.

google trends

3) Ratings and Reviews

Ratings and reviews is one of the most direct consumer research tools, as it gives marketers valuable insight into what their own customers think of their products, service, and brand. While it’s illuminating to visit third-party review sites and read reviews about competitors, you’ll get the most data as efficiently as possible by mining your own product review platform.

Your review solution should be able to do sentiment alerts and/or analysis, merchandising reports, and segment reviews based on issues pertaining to categories like fit, defective product, and shipping.

Click here to learn more about optimizing your ratings and reviews!

4) Social Data

Facebook has already become much more than a mere social media platform where people connect. As of the third quarter of 2016, Facebook had 1.79 billion monthly active users. Thus, Facebook’s massive repository of data makes it perhaps only second to Google in terms of the most powerful consumer research tools.

This data made it simple for the social media giant to come up with its own Facebook Audience Insights- a tool that is available to anyone through the Ad Manager interface. It’s an incredible way for marketers to gain access to data Facebook is gathering about its users. It is more useful to brands both that want to-

  • Use Facebook heavily for interacting with their audience.
  • Learn as much as possible about their core demographics.

The best part of this data is that Facebook provides it in a proper format of  graphs and other descriptive summaries by staying away from the irritating spreadsheets. It enables to provide you with the bird’s-eye view of your chosen group. And generally, this is what matter the most while making important marketing related decisions.

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You can also get valuable data from a social login solution. Social login lets your customers create an account and sign into your site using their existing profiles from platforms like Facebook, Google, Amazon, and more. It’s one of the most convenient consumer research tools, as it delivers social graph data about your customers and site users directly to you. Many social login clients use the solution to get data about the following:

  • Social network popularity: e.g., do your customers live on Facebook or do they choose Google?
  • Device use: See if shoppers are using desktops, tablets, or smartphones to order from you
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Region
  • Interests/likes

Read on below for more on consumer research tools…

5) Think with Google Marketer’s Almanac

Customers’ choices, and thus, trends change according to the seasons. Think With Google’s Marketer’s Almanac allows you to gather information on how people browse and buy according to seasonality. As it is able to tell  the slightest change in consumer behavior according to seasons, so you can catch the pulse of people by staying relevant. This, among all other consumer research tools, is especially valuable for those marketers whose businesses get severely affected by the seasonal fluctuations.

6) Customer Loyalty Data

A good customer loyalty program will act as a treasure trove of consumer information. In it, you’ll have your shoppers’ contact information, birthdays, and purchase history at the very least. You should also be able to pull in purchase data like recency, frequency, and average order value. With an optimized advocate loyalty program, you’ll be able to pull in advocate marketing data as well, including whether or not customers referred friends, submitted reviews, and so on. All in all, your customer loyalty program is one of the most comprehensive consumer research tools, as it can give you the following data to both analyze and segment:

  • Purchase recency, frequency, and average order value
  • Customer loyalty and advocate marketing data
  • Location of purchase or delivery
  • Type of product purchased
  • Interactions with your brand in-store, online, in-app, or on social
  • Any data imported from your CRM, ERP, ESP, or personalization engine

All of the aforementioned consumer research tools can show you vital insights, such as age group of consumers, their geographical location, their lifestyle, and more. What makes them even more desirable is that you can get hold of such valuable information without spending much. Many of these consumer research tools are free, and the ones that aren’t do double duty as acquisition, conversion, and retention solutions. The significance of this cost saving becomes startling when placed against the contradiction of paid consumer research.

Note: To learn more about all the information you can collect in your online or omni-channel customer loyalty program, don’t miss out on this post!. And this article will show you what to do with your advocate marketing data!

Facebook Dynamic Ads for Retailers: Tips From a Pro

facebook dynamic ads for retailers

While Annex Cloud and our experienced Customer Success Team specialize in customer loyalty and advocate marketing solutions, we’re tapped into all facets of digital and omni-channel marketing. We chatted recently with Leanna Kelly, a Retail Content Marketing Specialist at CPC Strategy.

CPC Strategy implements performance growth for paid search, Google Shopping, Amazon sales, and other vital shopping channels. Given this background, Kelly is the perfect person to share some tips and tricks about Facebook Dynamic Ads for retailers!

1. For those of us who might not be familiar, what are Facebook Dynamic Ads, and why are they beneficial?

Kelly describes Facebook Dynamic Ads for retailers as “a way to promote relevant items from your entire product catalog across any device.” They work off of a template and your product feed. From that feed, working in conjunction with the Facebook Pixel, the ads are “targeted towards people who’ve taken actions on your website.” In this way, they pick up very valuable potential customers.

Compared to ads that don’t get updated automatically based on your product feed, Facebook Dynamic Ads for retailers are a piece of cake. Kelly tells us that “once you set up dynamic ads, it’s pretty simple. You just need to check them regularly, but they basically  run themselves.”

Other than reduced maintenance, Facebook Dynamic Ads for retailers are also more effective. In a CPC Strategy client study, they found that dynamic retargeting ads have a 250% higher return on ad spending (ROAS) compared to static retargeting ads.

2. So clients can get product descriptions, product IDs, PDP URLs, and so on automatically pulled into these ads? Do they have to set up multiple templates for these or is it just one?

All product information is “feed-driven” and automatically pulled in. Due to this, Kelly goes on, “It’s one standard template, but you can add other information in if you want and customize how the ad appears.”

3. With some of the basics out of the way, let’s talk about your advice. What are some of the best practices for Facebook Dynamic Ads for retailers that you find to be crucial?

Right off the bat, Kelly tells us that advertisers and their clients must thoroughly QA their Facebook Pixel. “Make sure it’s firing correctly on the relevant pages on your site. If you want it to track cart abandoners, it’d better be set up on your checkout page. If you want to track certain product page visits, make sure it’s set up on those.

Kelly’s second piece of advice concerns retailers’ product feeds. “When you’re pulling a product in from the feed, make sure to take a look at how it appears in terms of text, headline, and so on. You can customize the names of products so they don’t get cut off on mobile. Facebook is very mobile-driven, so it’s extra important to make sure you’re not just looking at how ads appear on desktop.

“Another huge potential problem for the product feed is image size. People can have really weird sizes for their product images and sometimes when they’re pulled in they won’t show up. Make sure that you optimize them before they’re pulled in.”

Lastly, she clarifies a common misunderstanding: “Some people have asked about the differences between Facebook’s Power Editor and its Ad Manager, and which one you should use to manage your ads. Basically, you use both–you create ads in Power Editor, and manage them in Ad Manager.”

4. Do you have any examples? Any stories of surprise issues that clients wouldn’t initially think about?

One word of warning that Kelly has is that “the implementation of the Facebook Pixel is always harder than you expect, especially if you don’t have an in-house developer.”

In terms of examples, she points to an athletic apparel client called Alp-n-Rock. The CPC Strategy team cleverly decided to use Facebook Dynamic Ads to target past purchasers for upsells and/or cross-sells. Combined with a few other best practices, their orders grew by 29% within 4 months.

Another story comes from a home goods client that CPC Strategy works with called Designer Living. Introducing Facebook Dynamic Ads to them–along with a slew of best practices–helped them target the right audiences and gave them another way to directly promote products. Within 6 months, their Facebook revenue grew by 574% and their Facebook ROAS increased by 220%.

designer living

5. Even though Facebook Dynamic Ads for retailers are constantly updated with any changes in a seller’s product feed, are there any additional steps they should take to make these ads engaging?

Kelly tells us that dynamic ads “are essentially evergreen. The way we do it, they’re constantly running. They’re engaging because they’re for people who’ve visited your site, have interacted with you, and are interested in your brand. Furthermore, the audience is constantly being refreshed by the Pixel.

“That said, when you add new product, make sure that they’re included in the feed and look great. Also, you can splice up the time frames for your audiences. Find the window that works for you, like people who visited in the past 3 days or week or so on.”

6. What are the best ways to measure success with Facebook Dynamic Ads for retailers?

Conversion–clicks through to the ads to purchases–is a crucial metric. Kelly says, though, that “the biggest thing is that your ROI should always be higher for dynamic ads than for anything else you’re doing on Facebook. If it’s not, you’re doing something wrong.”

7. What should retailers expect to see from Facebook Dynamic Ads? Do certain types of sellers generally do better than others?

Kelly notes that the results from Facebook Dynamic Ads for retailers will vary quite a bit depending on a company’s industry, size, budget, and goals.

That said, she clarifies, “A lot of people might not think that dynamic ads can work for their brand. Even if you don’t think your brand is clickable enough for Facebook, these ads are showing up to people who have already been to your site and have shown they’re  interested in your business, so you have an advantage.”

CPC Strategy’s blog is a great place to learn more about the world of paid ads. If you’re interested in acquiring customers through organic means, you should look into how a proper sharing and referral program can increase orders by 38% in less than a year. Check out our Refer a Friend best practices guide to learn how to do it the right way!

Facebook New Camera Is Another Snapchat Ripoff

After cloning Snapchat’s Stories in the form of Instagram Stories, it looks like Facebook is all set to steal one more feature from its constantly growing rival. The recent development is suggesting that Facebook is testing Snapchat-like camera filters in its main app, in a feature it’s calling Facebook New Camera.

Facebook New Camera: How It Works

These Facebook filters will also include Prisma-esque fine art-themed filters along with Snapchat features such as selfie masks, overlaid graphics, and geofilters. First, we will see how this will operate and look before we discuss the hidden intentions behind this act of Facebook. Facebook New Camera will be easily available from your mobile News Feed, with a camera icon in the top left, or you’ll be able to swipe right.

facebook new camera 1
Once Facebook New Camera gets activated, a full-screen will appear with options available along the bottom of the screen. You can simply swipe down to see the different filters Facebook has created, or tap the creative tool buttons to add more effects. Through these effects, you can stick pieces of clothing and accessories on to your photos, you can use geofilters that show stylized graphics describing where you are, or you can make your footage look like a piece of an art.

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Once you are done editing your image with Facebook New Camera, you can then post it to your News Feed as normal, or share it via a new direct private messaging feature. The thought behind making it sharable via private message is propelled by the fact that some of those photos may be too funky and unconventional to fit in the News Feed where your family and coworkers might see it. Also, it’s a pretty blatant copy of Snapchat’s formula.

Facebook has tried to do this previously also where it allowed the creation of groups in which people may share what they want to a particular community. But this simple, convenient feature where you pick who you want to share with each time could finally set a smart way to share privately. It’s like creating a strong and personalized outlet for micro-sharing.

facebook new camera 3
Facebook New Camera’s direct message capability is also Snapchat-esque in its ephemeral nature.  When you send an image or video to someone through direct message, he will get a notification and see an alert jewel overlaid on the new direct inbox in the top right corner of the News Feed, similar to Instagram’s own direct messaging product. Each image will be viewed once, and then once more within 24 hours using a “replay”. If someone fails to respond and goes 24 hours without creating any communication, the conversation perishes, similar to Snapchat’s direct messaging feature.

It’s not that Facebook is just doing the copy-paste job with this feature. It is putting its own flavor of innovation for which it is revered by everyone who knows what social media is. As stated in this report, this feature will be strengthened by reactive filters, which cover the screen in leaves you can wave around with your arms, or cool little line patterns you can disrupt with your movements. All these changes will be made possible due to facebook’s March 2016 acquisition of MSQRD, a face-swapping and filtering app that had been exploding in popularity.

Facebook New Camera: Why Another Snapchat Copy, and Why Now?

Naturally, the next question that arises is why the social media giant is doing this. The main reason is Facebook wants a gradual transformation of the News Feed into a home for videos that encourage creative self-expression. But there have been talks of the undercurrent of existential threat that Snapchat might pose to Facebook. And this fear is fed by some cold and cruel statistics.

Facebook has seen a significant decline in personal sharing on the platform. Various reports have indicated that sharing of personal posts – like people’s own thoughts and photos – fell 21% between 2014 and 2015. Sharing of news articles and other links saw a substantial increase. This increase in news has made Facebook information rich, but deprived it of the kinds of photos and videos that keep users engaged with each other…and ad revenue is not even a mere possibility when engagement in on the declining side. It’s important to note here that that was the same time when Snapchat saw its most significant rise, with 10 billion daily video views and more daily active users than Twitter. It was a clear cut sign of the fact that much of the personal information sharing activity was moving across the ephemeral content app. To channelize its ad targeting, Facebook was in a dire need of one such app on its platform which will enable people to share more often.

Consequently, Facebook New Camera, Instagram Stories, and other efforts are attempts to achieve two things at once: Firstly, by giving an outlet to share silly and less important things in the form of personal and ephemeral way, Facebook is trying to avoid its already existing users from moving to Snapchat. Secondly, by creating a better version of the Snapchat app, it is also trying to attract Snapchat users to do the same thing that they have been doing on Snpachat.

To Conclude… Indeed, it’s an attempt to rip apart Snapchat.  Facebook reportedly tried to buy it for at least $3 billion in 2013 and now it is rumored to be headed toward a $4 billion IPO in March.  No one will be surprised if Facebook directs its efforts towards the same direction. The success that it has had with Instagram Stories proves that such things do work!

Note: We always keep a close watch on each and every happening in the social media world. In this blog also we have discussed Facebook’s recent updates for marketers, including product tags.Here, you can find out everything about Facebook’s launch of Marketplace. To know which new targeting tools Snapchat has added in its arsenal, have a glance at this blog.  Similarly, to get acquainted with recent Instagram updates, this blog is a must read.

Facebook TV? Social Giant Integrates with Chromecast, Apple TV

facebook tv

Facebook has already become the most prominent entity that dominates the small screen in many people’s pockets. Now we’re approaching the start of Facebook TV. Just recently Facebook announced that it has added Apple TV or any other AirPlay-enabled device, as well as Chromecast, in its streaming network. Currently, it is available for iOS devices and web browsers, and Facebook has not said anything about a specific date for when this feature will roll out to Google-powered phones and tablets.

For this Facebook TV feature, Facebook has devised a new small button — a TV-like icon — which is located on the top-right corner of the Facebook window. After clicking on the button, the user will be provided with an option to select one of the supported devices — Apple TV or Chromecast. In short, the steps can be formulated as follows-

  • Find a video you want to watch on your phone or desktop and press the TV symbol in the top right corner.
  • Select the device you want the video to stream to.
  • Enjoy the video right from your TV.

The good thing about this Facebook TV feature is it doesn’t get on the nerves of people by forcing people to do something or making other options inaccessible. Facebook knows very well that people like to get connected with others through their stories and feeds. That’s why while you’re watching a Facebook video on your TV, you can go back and scroll through News Feed on the device you’re streaming from, without disturbing the streaming video. Thus, you won’t be cut off from other stories while your video keeps playing on the TV.

Similarly, you will have the flexibility to go to News Feed or your Saved tab if you want to find more videos. And if you are streaming a Facebook Live video to your TV, you will be able to see real-time reactions and comments on the screen as well as you can join in the conversation yourself by reacting or commenting.

Why is Facebook looking to TV?

Of course, this is a way to create more channels through which people can watch videos. It’s a clear-cut effort to not confine videos within the outline of consumers’ computers, tablets, and smartphones. But this is just a medium through which Facebook has to take care of many other things, such as-

A) Competition:

The Facebook TV support decision wasn’t a random one. Facebook had originally added AirPlay support to its iPad app in 2011. Thus, the idea was already there. But what must have triggered the sense of urgency is last month’s announcement that Twitter will come up with an app to live-stream video on your TV. Facebook is too prudent to be left behind by the competitor- it means a straight threat to the engagement, revenue and membership monarchy that Facebook is currently enjoying. So, to sit idly was out of the question!

B) Increasing Clout Of Videos:

Videos are a central part of user activity on Facebook. And by videos, I don’t mean just socially relevant, newsworthy, or live videos . I am also including pre-recorded videos shared by users. Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook’s president of the EMEA region, has clarified that the news feed would probably be all video in five years. Thus a Facebook TV feature will just add a more experiential value to the site, as there is a definite difference between watching videos on mobile screens and large TV screens.

C) Monetization:

Just like Facebook’s TV feature, YouTube’s iPhone app also allows you to set one video at a time to stream to an Apple TV. It’s clear that Facebook’s AirPlay and Chromecast support doesn’t appear to offer anything that other video services like Google’s YouTube, Netflix and Hulu don’t already provide. But it has one big differentiator: the news feed algorithm. Until now, the algorithm of Facebook has functioned only to tempt more people to watch videos in Facebook’s apps and on its site. But with this customized programming, which this TV feature will definitely offer, it will attract more people. After all, who wouldn’t like to watch longer, higher-quality videos and live broadcasts on the big, flat and shiny screens of TV? Naturally, it will ensure high engagement and high usage of Facebook videos. And that’s where video ads can ensure greater viewership. There is hardly a chance of less video ad revenue when viewership is all time high.

In A Nutshell-

Facebook’s TV integration is a sign of the growing importance of social media in modern life. And considering the amount of time that people spend on social media, it is going to become even more important. That’s why as a marketer, you need to think how to use it in future for your marketing and promotional purposes!

Note: We always keep a close watch on each and every happening in the social media world. In this blog also we have discussed what new Facebook is doing. Here, you will know everything about Facebook’s launch of Marketplace. To know which new targeting tools Snapchat has added in its arsenal, have a glance at this blog.  Similarly, to get acquainted with the recent Instagram updates, this blog is a must-read.

Facebook Marketplace: What You Need to Know

facebook marketplace

Facebook has evolved far beyond a digital hangout platform crowded your friends. Buying and selling–albeit informally–sprung up on the social media platform long ago. It began with simple statuses advertising concert tickets or old furniture for sale. Facebook Groups devoted to selling have now become common, where more than 450 million people visit to buy and sell each month. Facebook finally codified it all this Monday when it announced the launch of Facebook Marketplace, a new feature and standalone app that facilitates buying and selling between peers.  Integration with Facebook Messenger lets people bargain or arrange a meet-up. In short, it allows members of a community to meet, discover, buy and sell items within the community.

How Does Facebook Marketplace Work?

It’s as easy as any other typical buying-selling mobile app. It works in four steps.

A) Explore:

You have to tap on the shop icon at the bottom of the Facebook app to begin exploring with Marketplace.

B) Discover:

The opening screen of Facebook Marketplace displays photos of items for sale by people who live in a user-defined geographic area. You can sharpen your research by filtering your results by location, category or price. With the help of a built-in location tool, you can decide in which region you want to focus.

C) Buy:

If something of your choice catches your eyes, by tapping on the product images you can know more about the product and the seller including a product description, the name and profile photo of the seller, and their general location. Besides, you can also save the item to find it later if you don’t want to buy it right now.

facebook marketplace 2

 

Once you have made up your mind about buying it, you can send a direct message to the seller through Marketplace to tell them you’re interested and make an offer. The role of Facebook Markplace ends there. It is not responsible for payment or delivery.

D) Sell:

If you want to sell on Facebook Marketplace, all you have to do is…

  • Take a photo of your item
  • Enter a product name, description, and price
  • Confirm your location and select a category
  • Post

facebook marketplace 3

 

The important thing to note here is that you can maintain a close eye on all of your transactions. In the Items section, you can view your saved items, products you’ve posted for sale, and all of your messages.

While this sounds very convenient for people looking to set up a digital garage sale or score concert tickets, why is Facebook doing this? And, why should marketers care?

A) Spontaneous Shopping:

The number of people who use Facebook and its Messenger service is high, and these users spend tons of time on these platforms. Nobody goes on Facebook deliberately to shop, but then again nobody goes on Facebook deliberately to see videos either. They end up watching them because the feed intelligently inserts them. If people suddenly stumble upon a product that they may like, they may buy it. That’s why Bowen Pan, Facebook Marketplace product manager, compares the experience of Marketplace shopping with the offline shopping behavior of going to a Sunday market or to the mall. You might not know the items you want, but you’re open to seeing them. In a nutshell, Facebook Marketplace can do to shopping what Facebook did with video consumption: make it utterly spontaneous!

This may have a strong spillover effect for mid-size and enterprise retailers. If users get habituated to shopping or browsing on Facebook through Marketplace, it’s probable that they’ll become more responsive to ads from bigger sellers.

B) Competitive Edge:

Craigslist and eBay have a strong hold on community buying and selling. Through Marketplace, Facebook will be in a position to threaten their dominance. A few of its features or benefits have been clearly developed by keeping in mind the weaknesses of both the competitors–Craigslist’s specifically. With buying and selling on Craigslist, you never know with whom you are involved in talks due to its anonymous nature. Buyers and sellers on Craigslist know little about each other, and thus there’s a trust deficit. In other words, Craigslist sellers have partially earned their sketchy reputation!. But that problem will be ironed out with Facebook Marketplace as this app is related to your Facebook profile.

As ABI’s principal analyst Michael Inouye said, “Sellers are going to feel compelled to be more honest and forthright, because their activity is attached to their account. You don’t want your friends to see that you’ve been doing bad, shady things.” Moreover, it will also give Facebook direct access into mobile commerce, which is growing more quickly than e-commerce as a whole.

C) Monetization:

We have always believed in the fact that no feature or app will come into existence in the landscape of social media without the ulterior motive of monetization. Facebook Marketplace is certainly no exception. The calculation here is very simple. The greater the number of users of this app, more will be the possibility of exposure to its revenue-generating ads.

Similarly, through Marketplace, Facebook will be collecting very granular information about their users–what kinds of products are getting sold quickly, what types of offers are making people buy, which process affects their buying behavior and much more. Facebook will certainly use it as an input in deciding its future customer targeting strategy. If we are talking about the possibility of immediate monetization of Marketplace, Facebook can generate revenue by selling News Feed ads or sponsored placements to businesses.

Less Positive Aspects

Just like every app, Facebook Marketplace also has some drawbacks. There is no way that the buyer and seller can rate each other, which might have kept control on their irresponsible or unethical behavior. Another significant negative is unlike Craigslist, Marketplace user’s buying experience will be interrupted by Facebook ads.

Even though Bowen Pan has said that nobody is allowed to sell guns, adult services, or other illegal things on Marketplace and strict action will be taken against those who will try to do it, an incident already exposed the vulnerability of Marketplace’s security level. Even a royal python was put up for sale!

Less Positive Aspects

Facebook immediately came up with an explanation that some technical glitch has caused this listing and it is working to fix the problem by closely monitoring its systems to ensure the proper identifying of the items before giving access to Marketplace. But before rolling it out worldwide (it is beginning with the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand), Facebook will surely make sure that such problems will be nipped in the bud!

To Wrap It Up:

The unambiguous reading from Facebook Marketplace is quite clear- Facebook wants its dominance to spread to all possible verticals and solutions. It wants to become a platform for everything that happens digitally. Nobody can be absolutely sure about its success, but in this war of dominance, customers are going to be benefited. We can be sure about it!

Note: In this blog also we have discussed two other new Facebook marketing capabilities–product tagging and Stories for Messenger. We always keep a close watch on each and every happening in the social media world. To know which new targeting tools Snapchat has added in its arsenal, have a glance at this blog.  Similarly, to get acquainted with the recent Instagram updates, this blog is a must read.

Facebook Marketing Updates: Product Tags and Messenger Stories

facebook marketing

One of the major reasons why Facebook has reached the level of being really unremovable from the modern marketer’s life is its endless pursuit of betterment. Its think tank is never tired of exploring new avenues by remaining on its toes all the time. Two recent announcements about Facebook marketing make this especially clear.

Facebook Marketing Update #1: Now, It Will Be Possible For Businesses To Tag Their Products In Photos And Videos

In this post, we explained that the Twitter’s decision to slowly and steadily do away with the buy button is an indication of how difficult it is to monetize any social media platform. But the conundrum that is no social media platform can exist for a long time without methods of monetization. Facebook marketing leadership is too prudent and wise to follow Twitter’s path with social commerce.

Thus, to further merge shopping with Facebook marketing, Facebook is testing letting page owners tag actual products in their photos, videos, and other posts. The functionality, as well as the logic behind this, is very simple: Clicking the tag would take readers to the product page where they can learn more about your products.

facebook product tag

A Facebook spokesperson has said that it will help the page owners get more organic traffic via organic discovery. Though the term “organic” discovery implies that there’s no paid advertising related to tagging products this way, business doesn’t work for charity. We assume that it’s just a matter of time until Facebook adds a paid component to this product tagging feature.

This is especially true when all other social media platforms, including Snapchat, Pinterest and Twitter are splitting hairs to find new ways of monetization. Any timeline for its arrival is not clear, however, as of now, pages with their own product catalog and shop section on Facebook can make use of this feature. But it will be highly interesting to see how the transformation of tagging into a profit-making tool will work out.

Facebook Marketing Update #2: Facebook is Testing the Stories Feature Inside Messenger

facebook-stories

Everybody has understood the importance of visual portrayal of human stories on social platforms as far as engagement and consequently revenue are concerned. The success of Snapchat stories gave this though a solid backing of proof. And that’s why Instagram launched its own clone of Snapchat Stories.

Now the Facebook marketing team is also adhering to this trend by testing its own Snapchat like ‘Stories’ feature inside Messenger. In Poland, Facebook launched “Messenger Day”, which lets people share illustrated filter-enhanced photos and videos that disappear in 24 hours, just like on Snapchat. Most of the functionality is exactly like Snapchat Stories, with the capability to draw or add text to images. The only area where it scores higher than Snapchat stories is the use of graphic filters as suggestions for what to share by not just focusing on celebrating holidays and events.

facebook-messenger

The Facebook marketing team has seemed to make Stories more engaging than either Instagram Stories or Snapchat Stories–Facebook Stories is definitely more expressive with an added flavor of feelings and emotions. It has inbuilt prompts like “I’m Feeling”, “Who’s Up For?” and “I’m Doing”. By tapping on the “My Day” tiles, the user is exposed to a range of filters “I’m feeling…so blue” with raindrops and a bubbly blue font, “I’m feeling…blessed” with a glorious gold sparkly font. And all these filters come up with nicely crafted and eye catchy visual illustrations. The only thing Facebook Stories lacks is Snapchat’s more advanced lens effects. But Facebook’s acquisition of MSQRD back in March will help the social media giant in overcoming this limitation.

It’s not difficult to understand why Facebook is doing this. Messenger is already very popular among people and they use it all day with close friends. There is no point in either creating a separate platform for stories or stuffing it into Facebook’s core app, which the company tested as “Quick Updates” and scrapped. Besides, Facebook has realized that those days are gone when people only posted about really big events from their life- marriage, anniversary, vacation are a few to name. Now even going to the mall or Starbucks is enough for people to share it on Facebook. So, clearly, there was a scope for this sort of feature where a person’s life can be put on display for 24 hours.

There are geographical aspects too. The reason why Facebook is testing Messenger Day and its new Stories feature in Poland is that Snapchat is not very strong there, but Facebook Messanger is. It’s important to note that 60 million people in the US and Canada already use Snapchat daily. The aggressive pushing of Messanger might repel them. But in countries where people aren’t that familiar with Snapchat, it has nothing to lose by experimenting. Similarly, after testing it thoroughly, Facebook could hamper Snapchat’s growth by bringing its Stories to the untapped corners of the earth where Snapchat’s penetration is low. The less influence of Snapchat in Russia is one among many other reasons why Instagram Stories are flourishing there.

To Conclude… Clearly, Facebook is trying to be as rich as possible as far as features are concerned. Simply because it is directly related to people’s engagement and thus the high possibility of revenue generation by creating a mold of monetization around all these features. I won’t be surprised if we see implementations of more and more features directed towards monetization…not just by Facebook, but other social media platforms too. After all, monetization is like oxygen for them!

Note: We always keep a close watch on each and every happening in the social media world. To know which new targeting tools Snapchat has added to its arsenal, have a glance at this blog.  Similarly, to get acquainted with the recent Instagram updates, this blog is a must read.  

The Most Valuable Content Marketing Trends for 2017

content marketing trends for 2017

Content is not merely the written word anymore, and it shouldn’t only discuss your products. Content, whether it’s blog articles, videos, pictures, GIFs, emojis, or whatever else, has become a way to inform, entertain and educate your audience about everything that happens in and around your respective industry. Indeed, content is changing and so is the way it is being presented and marketed. Here are our picks for the hottest content marketing trends in 2017.

Content Marketing Trends for 2017 #1: Click Bait Will Cease To Exist

There isn’t a single person in the whole world who hasn’t been victimized by click bait. The catchy and intriguing headlines prompt us to click to see if anything new or interesting is there. Instead of that, we are bombed with ads, pop-ups and a page that seems impossible to navigate away from.

clickbait
But there’s good news here that makes more one of the most relieving content marketing trends for 2017. Now social media platforms have realized that nobody is happy with this infinitely irritating ploy. In a recent CNN Money article, Facebook, perhaps the biggest social media giant, issued an earnest diktat to marketers: Stop creating click bait titles or we’ll put a blanket ban on you. Facebook is also working on a new algorithm to kill click bait headlines along with the provision to ban repeat offenders.

Content Marketing Trends for 2017 #2: Live Streaming Video

This is undoubtedly the most vital and dominant of content marketing trends for 2017, and there are plenty of reasons behind it. If we consider the overall consumption of all content formats, videos are a clear winner. Even if we talk about engagement, hardly any other content format beats video. That’s why many are predicting that video will comprise 70% of all internet traffic by 2017. Besides, videos don’t just ensure higher penetration and engagement. They positively affect the conversion rates and thus the bottom line too.

video conversion rates
As live streaming videos are unedited, authenticity naturally comes with them. Through videos, you can have a question-answer session with your customers, which is as interactive as anything. Sometimes, reading an article on mobile can be taxing and may repel people from your content. Consuming content via video is way too easy. Besides, you can often explain your product or service in a better and detailed manner with videos.

In short, live streaming videos satiate the basic needs of customers- authentic, interactive and easily digestible content. It is not at all surprising then that all social media platforms are developing live streaming capabilities to get ahead of the curve. Some are even going further by integrating niche live stream apps such as Twitch and Periscope. Just like Snapchat, Facebook is even testing advertising during live video broadcasts as well as live video filters. Indeed, the future is video.

Content Marketing Trends for 2017 #3: Native Advertisements

The biggest truth of modern advertisement is that people hate ads that are entirely salesy and interruptive. That’s why ad-blocker use is at an all time high. Users want a natural feeling in the ads they see. That is, the ad should match the form and function of the platform on which it appears. That’s what native advertisement is all about! The ability to keep the user experience untouched along with the smooth integration into its host environment has been the core reason why native advertising has been extremely successful. So much so that The New York Times has cited it as a singular reason for surviving in an ad-block-heavy digital environment, as companies like Buzzfeed are built on native advertising. The following Buzzfeed example explains how the native news feed ads work. These are promoted posts that show up next to real news in a publisher’s news feed like the one you can see here:

native ads
Even social media has embraced it with open arms. As you can see below, apart from the “Promoted by” text, a promoted tweet looks just like any other.

promoted tweet
Their non-interfering nature in the customer experience certainly enhances the chances of ad views…and that’s the beginning of any conversion process. Thus, upcoming times will see more of such ads, as well as new formats. Maybe we’ll see clickable promoted filters on Snapchat, ads inserted into Facebook comments, or something entirely different.

Content Marketing Trends for 2017 #4: Long Form Content Will Dominate SEO

Contrary to what many people think, the study conducted by Search Engine Land concluded that long form content not only gets read more, but gets ranked better, too.

longform content
But, it’s not at all surprising. When someone is looking for articles on the particular topic, he is in need of quality and relevant information. The length is not a hindrance if the content is able to fulfill the above-mentioned criteria. In fact, Google has mentioned the following advice in its Google Webmasters Blog: “Users often turn to Google to answer a quick question, but research suggests that up to 10% of users’ daily information needs involve learning about a broad topic. That’s why today we’re introducing new search results to help users find in-depth articles.”

Not just that… Google is gratifying long form content writers and distributors with better saturation in their “Answers” features and enhanced rankings. As the green signal for long form content has come from Google itself, we can be assured that this trend is all set to shine. But Google is well known for the incessant introduction of algorithms to keep the content unique and relevant. As a marketer, you should keep a close eye on what Google does. This trend of long-form content  may not be a permanent thing!

Content Marketing Trends for 2017 #5: How We Publish Will Continue To Evolve

This is a content marketing trend in 2017 that, well, will continue far past next year. The past few years have shown that your own website isn’t the only destination to publish your articles or blogs. Social media platforms have innovated themselves in terms of how marketers can publish content on them. For example, LinkedIn released Pulse – a native blogging platform in 2014 and in 2015, Facebook came up with Instant Articles – a feature to enable publishers to post interactive articles inside Facebook. The rationale here is very simple. Social media enjoy immense user base all across the globe.

The kind of reach that social media will give to your blogs is almost impossible to get by posting blogs solely on your website. Marketers, as well as social media leaders, have a complete realization of this fact. And allowing marketers to post the content on various social media platforms may become a simpler way to monetize the platform. Marketers will get maximum mass reach. Thus, it’s kind of a win-win scenario. It gives a reason to believe that more social media platforms and other digital platforms will be the places where content marketers like you might place more and more content.

This won’t just be a phenomenon on social media. Many retailers–whether they’re in the same or disparate industries–team up to do contests, one-off product lines, and more. Tons of merchants are also syndicating their Ratings and Reviews and should be syndicating their Visual Commerce. There will definitely be more and more content collaborations, guest posts, takeovers, and so on between different companies as well as influencers.

Content Marketing Trends for 2017 #6: Objective Algorithms Will See A Surge

Quality is highly subjective.  What is great content to you might be bad for someone else and vice-versa is also true. It can really be a great source of conflicts as it’s really hard to decide how to decide what actually quality content is. Thus, we will see that more and more publishers will rely on objective algorithms, similar to Facebook, to govern which content will get more attention on their sites. It will result in a focusing on true engagement and distribution rather than just getting more clicks to divert people on the content piece. Naturally, quantifiable measures like data on finish rates, time on site, readability, and engagement spans will get more prominence. It will affect the way marketers take efforts to publish their content on right platforms that have more traction and traffic.

Content Marketing Trends for 2017 #7: User Generated Content

With the easy availability of mobile phones and a plethora of social media and video sharing platforms, your customers are taking and uploading photos even of the least important events and happenings in their lives, as well as the most important. Thus, it’s a logical step to make use of such an authentic and easily available content to remain in the eyes of the people by using user customers’ photos. User generated content has thus got importance and it will go on increasing.

Truly, users and customers are your best marketers. In fact, 70% of consumers place user generated content above generic written content. UGC is not just about photos- it includes reviews, recommendations, comments, and questions and answers too. In short, UGC is like asking your customers to create content for you to display it on your website, social media networks and even in-store. People have 12 times more trust in such content as it is derived from the common lives of everyday  people. They relate to it more easily and naturally. Besides, it’s very difficult and time-consuming to come up with a fresh content on a daily basis.

To learn about the most exciting content marketing trends in 2017 specifically for UGC, check out this guide!  You might also find our Visual Commerce best practices ebook, our guide to Visual Commerce for Fashion, or our Ratings and Reviews FAQ sheet helpful!

Snapchat’s New Ad Tools Copy Facebook’s Playbook

snapchat's new ad tools

Not long ago Evan Spiegel, co-founder and CEO of Snapchat, famously said that he doesn’t want for the network to “creepily” target users. But it looks like reality has dawned upon him. And that reality is to monetize any social media or digital platform, targeting audiences on the basis of behavior is a necessity. Of course, he was right in the sense that random and unwanted ads play a huge role in repelling user bases, but there are always ways to it in a better way. And a social sharing platform like Snapchat, which has an immense user base of 100 million active daily users with a 10 billion daily video views, shouldn’t make the mistake of missing out on such a huge opportunity of revenue generation. That’s why Snapchat’s new ad tools are exciting for both marketers and the Los Angeles-based company. Here’s a look at its three new targeted formats.

A) Snapchat’s New Ad Tools: Snap Audience Match

This product of Snapchat will enable marketers to take existing lists of email addresses and mobile device IDs and anonymously match that data with Snapchat’s own set of consumer data to enhance ad targeting. But care will be taken that while executing these ad campaigns, it will not disclose any personal data beyond what marketers already have. Besides, consumers will have the option to opt out of the Audience Match product, but until then will have to tolerate any unwanted ad attention.

snapchat's new ad tools

But the truth is that Snapchat is not rolling out anything new here. The company is following the ad-targeting playbook popularized by, if not written by, Facebook and already adopted by other major ad-supported digital platforms like Google, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. It’s a clear cut attempt to compete with the Facebook’s dominance on the social web.

B) Snapchat’s New Ad Tools: Snapchat Lifestyle Categories

It’s just not enough to target customers based on their age, gender or geographical location, if only because people who belong to the same age or gender group may have different interests. The core of targeted advertisement is to target the interest and that’s what Snapchat Lifestyle Categories will do. With this tool, advertisers will be able to target people based on the types of videos they watch, like gaming or beauty.

C) Snapchat’s New Ad Tools: Snapchat Lookalike

Using the same process as Snap Audience Match, once you’ve uploaded your audience data, Snapchat will be able to use those matched users as templates and create a similar audience based on related characteristics and behaviors. This should prove an easy entry point for first-time Snapchat marketers to see how Snapchat users act and, ideally, compare that to the behavior of audiences on other targeted channels.

Again, it’s no different than the Facebook namesake. It works as per the lookalike algorithm that differentiates and picks the consumers based on certain similarities and characteristics of existing audience

To Conclude…

It’s quite clear that Snapchat is sharpening the sword of their targeted ad efforts. Snapchat’s new ad tools will make the focus as narrow as possible to make sure that the right advertising is reaching out to the right customers. Regardless of how good an ad’s content is, if it’s irrelevant to the customers it’s essentially useless. It will be interesting to see if this new shift, at least for Snapchat, will answer the growing pain points of platform monetization.

Tip: Social media login for websites reduces cart abandonment by up to 26%

For more ideas on how to boost sales, recognition, and engagement with visual social content, take a look at our guides, “Sell Experiences, Not Clothes: Visual Commerce and the Fashion Industry,” “The New Wave of User Generated Content: 7 Concepts for 2017 and Beyond,” “A Picture’s Worth 1,000 Words: A Visual Commerce Best Practices eBook,” and “Visual Commerce Permissions: Vital Best Practices for Using User Generated Content!

Burberry’s See Now Buy Now Collection Debuts with Massive Social Campaign

Social Campaign

“If they see a girl wearing a red dress, they want to go out and buy that red dress and they don’t understand that it’s a season. For them, it’s just a red dress”. These words from Kate Phelan, creative director of High Street giant Topshop, exactly mirror the psyche of most fashion customers. More than the need, the fashion industry has always been driven by the desire to have that particular piece of a beautiful garment. Thus, the months-long delay between seeing a new collection and having it in your hands was always frustrating. But the industry has sensed this latent urgency and it is trying everything to drastically minimize this time gap between seeing and buying. Tom Ford and Tommy Hilfiger made their collections available for buyers as soon as they were displayed at New York Fashion Show. British luxury brand Burberry also traveled on the same path during London Fashion Week. Its entire September collection, 250 pieces, was available to be purchased as soon as it was previewed on the London catwalk. Unlike Ford and Hilfiger, Burberry connected this see now buy now debut to an immersive social media experience. The see now buy now approach is a more advanced form of a direct-to-consumer presentation. For a little while now, Burberry has been reaching out to digital fashion fans by broadcasting its fashion show and entire presentation via live stream on its website. But now it has decided to make full use of all the available social media and other platforms to reach out to the maximum number of people. For this season, Burberry live-streamed the show using Facebook Live. It allowed users to see the show in real time. Besides, to make the presentation as interactive and as engaging as possible, it also harnessed the potential of Facebook Messenger to answer any questions that customers generally have about the pieces shown. Burberry on Facebook Messenger                                     Promotional image for Burberry on Facebook Messenger  Along with Facebook Messenger, the luxury giant used Chinese social messaging application WeChat for the first time. It used it as an e-commerce platform, as WeChat users were able to purchase directly from its live stream. Burberry introduced its ‘see now buy now’ collection on WeChat platform directly after it was shown on the catwalk. It included the purchase of its two new variations of its Bridle bag along with 83 looks for both men and women. Burberry's Bridle handbag                              Burberry’s Bridle handbag for September Collection 2016 Snapchat was another vital tool in Burberry’s see now buy now kit. It used Snapchat to engage with consumers in London during London Fashion Week as well as New York and Beverly Hills. Burberry launched geofilters about show’s content from 18th September for users nearby Makers House, where the London presentation occured. To symbolize its love for the craftsmanship and artisanship, Burberry joined hands with The New Craftsmen, a British brand that promotes the work of “makers” and “craftsmen” — ceramicists, potters, leather, textile and jewelry designers, woodworkers, silversmiths, and illustrators. Their works will be exhibited in the Makers House from 21-27 September. Apart from celebrating the love and respect for the craftsmanship, these installations will also reveal the creative process and other factors which have inspired this new collection. For an outsider, all of Burberry’s aforementioned undertakings are just ways to gain maximum viewership, which social media unquestionably assures, and thereby boost sales. Of course, that’s true…but that’s not the only truth. These trends of see now buy now and expert social media coordination go much deeper than this obvious benefit. Due to intense competition, luxury houses are finding it hard to retain their best creative directors. They are losing them at a rapid rate. With department stores in decline, fast fashion companies speedily updating their wares, and the advent of direct-to-consumer fashion businesses like Everlane and Reformation proving that customers love these models, the notion of fashion’s seasonal calendar seems to be outdated. Burberry reacted by paring down its offerings and amping up its marketing–it merged their men’s and women’s lines and thereby reduced its number of shows per year from four to two. Now, the fashion house can release seasonless collections twice a year. It can have a huge impact on the customers who live in numerous climates all over the world who may not experience fall or spring at the same time. Naturally, this is allowing Burberry to be in the reach of a global audience as it is breaking the barrier of the season. In short, see now buy now is tackling the gloomy problem of unavailability of skilled art directors along with the fine outlet to reach out to the world consumers. Also, as per Isabel Kieszkowski, paid media coordinator at Blue Moon Digital, correctly promoting the collection through digital channels can also meet other goals for the brand such as improving customer experience. With this being the first direct to consumer show, Burberry will have the ability to improve future collections with the help of data insights from its digital channels. Thus, it’s clear that pure sales are not the only goal which would be achieved by this live streaming!

To Wrap It Up: In an era of one-day delivery, making your customers wait for two or three months to buy a look just seems outdated. Luxury shoppers’ desires change as quickly as those of other shoppers, so the fever of instant gratification has infected the luxury clothing industry too. That’s why abandoning the long-established tradition of showing one season ahead looks like an intelligent act. And what better than social media to ensure maximum exposure? Burberry did nothing different than that! For more ideas on how to boost sales, recognition, and engagement with visual social content, take a look at our guides, “Sell Experiences, Not Clothes: Visual Commerce and the Fashion Industry,” “The New Wave of User Generated Content: 7 Concepts for 2017 and Beyond,” “A Picture’s Worth 1,000 Words: A Visual Commerce Best Practices eBook,” and “Visual Commerce Permissions: Vital Best Practices for Using User Generated Content!

360-Degree Video a Win for Barbour, Despite Missteps

360-Degree Video

Barbour, the luxury outerwear and fashion brand, is the latest of a growing group of high-end apparel companies to use social media and video technology to democratize the runway. It’s well-known that traditional fashion shows are populated by elite industry insiders and VIPs, but more and more consumers have gotten to experience them thanks to video streaming and social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. Some designers have presented their collections exclusively on Instagram, and Topshop–a Facebook and Google+ veteran–streamed its autumn/winter 2016 show on Periscope. Barbour went a step further with its spring/summer 2017 men’s collection and turned its runway presentation into a digital fashion show with 360-degree video.
The Barbour team used 360-degree cameras to capture the presentation and then uploaded the footage to its social platforms within an hour. Viewers–who were largely prompted to watch by Instagram posts and Facebook Canvas adverts–then had an almost real-time, panoramic view of the experience.

The results? The brand saw an uptick in online traffic and sales, and garnered over 7 million impressions on Instagram and Twitter. This is no small feat, considering that Barbour only has 149,000 Instagram followers and 111,000 Twitter followers.

This success speaks to the pull of 360-degree video, even when it’s not used to its full potential. Barbour could, and perhaps should, have made more use of the video format by having its models walk around the room, rather than just standing against a backdrop. Considering the money it can take to do a proper 360 video, it only makes sense to design the presentation with this panoramic view in mind.

In order to hold viewers’ interest after the novelty wears off, brands using 360-degree video will need to make their content more engaging and interactive. George at Asda’s campaign earlier this year is an excellent example of 360-degree video done right. They did a virtual tour of their branded house, and asked users to count how many clocks they saw in the video. The first user to answer correctly won £250 in vouchers. The video got over 11,000 views on Facebook and almost 1 million on YouTube.

In the case of a fashion show or other sorts of live events, live streaming will be another vital way of engaging audiences. While 360-degree video can’t yet be used this way, it’s an inevitable development as competition for attention in online video gets fiercer.

Facebook E-Commerce Bot Lets Users Try and Buy Makeup

facebook messenger chat bot

It looks like this is the summer of the Facebook e-commerce bot! Only two months after the social media giant unveiled its chatbot technology in April, a company called Modiface has launched a bot that lets users try on and buy lipstick. ModiFace is a VR company that’s made apps for L’Oreal and Avon. It … Read more

Three Key Factors in Setting up Successful eCommerce Contests

Setting up Successful eCommerce

Contests are a great way to promote your social commerce and customer loyalty programs. Whether your contests are on your site, offline, or on any of the popular social media networks, their success is primarily dependent upon two things: planning and marketing. In this article I will cover planning: incentives, contest platforms, and the information … Read more

Facebook Is Dabbling in Online Shops…Again

Facebook shops

Everyone is joining the ecommerce game. Facebook is following suit behind Pinterest by testing new Facebook stores, which let companies set up ecommerce shops within their current Facebook pages. Facebook made previous attempts to enter the ecommerce space but has seen relatively little success. Last year they introduced a Buy button similar to Pinterest’s Buyable Pins. … Read more

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