Look What You Made Me Do
After years of disappointing revenue returns, Jeff Bezos officially ‘retired’ Amazon’s aStore affiliate feature. Launched in 2006, aStores gave affiliates ‘the power to create a professional online store’ that they could embed on their own websites. But with only 25% of active aStore pages actually leading to Amazon.com product sales, Bezos decided it was time to move onto bigger (and more profitable) things. We’re sensing an upgrade in Amazon’s future.
What it means, IRL: With the aStore no more, the move puts significance on the value exchange and key differences between influencers and affiliates when it comes to creating content and driving purchase behavior (transactional vs. relational). Yes, this is a big stamp of approval for the power of influence and the influencer model. In March, Amazon launched its Influencer Program for YouTube celebs, which, from its ‘apply to join’ model to its emphasis on social, is everything aStore was not. The curated online experience also lives on Amazon, condensing the path-to-purchase and allowing the A-team to track all traffic and transactions.
Make it work: Amazon’s failing aStores proves that influence is much more than creating compelling content. In today’s hyperfocused content world, who is curating and creating the content matters just as much as the quality of the content itself. If your brand wants to drive purchases, implementing an influencer marketing mix that incorporates mega-, macro- and micro-influencers should be the center of your strategy, leveraging affiliates to amplify influencer- or brand-generated content only during promotional shopping periods.
For Your Coworker Who Keeps a Chocolate Stash
Godiva is making moves. After five years of exclusively selling online to Amazon and Macy’s, Godiva is expanding its e-comm strategy with seven new retailers, introducing dedicated product pages around its boutique product lines, which before were only available in-store.
Can Amazon’s playbook be replicated for other retailers? What other retailers lack in Amazon’s consumer-powered business savvy, Godiva is making up for in its biggest marketing investment in 10 years. In addition to adding media partners to the mix, the brand is working with mom bloggers, food, and lifestyle influencers to bring the campaign to life. “It’s all about taking this artistic and crafted chocolate and making it accessible to people, and a focus on chefs seems to be counter to that purpose.” said Godiva CEO Brian Blanchard.
(Full disclosure, Godiva is a Mavrck customer).
Gone in 6-ish Seconds
If TV and video ads had a baby, it would be the six-second spot. In the era of shrinking attention spans, TV networks are introducing six-second ads to capture consumers’ interest. TV is the final holdout to jump on the six-second bandwagon as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube already have versions of the ad format. Re-purposing TV ads for the digital space has always been a struggle, and with the convergence of ad formats, it will be easier to seamlessly re-purpose content across multiple channels.
This is also the first innovation in TV commercial length since 15-second ads were introduced in the 1980’s, which is ridiculous when you consider it. Experiment and adapt by taking a lesson from the Sundance Film Festival: involve influencers in the creative process to learn how they’d tell your story in six seconds or less, and if you’re planning to repurpose influencer-generated video content – make sure your briefs make six-second video shorts mandatory.
Twitter Is Auto-playin’ With Video
It’s no secret that video has been growing on all social platforms. Last Tuesday, Twitter launched Video Website Cards, a new ad format that allows for click-through video, enabling brands to generate web traffic from paid video content. So far the new cards have been successful in generating 2x higher clickthrough rates than the industry benchmark for mobile video ads.
This move comes at a time when all social platforms are finding ways to shorten the path-to-purchase (h/t to 360i for the roundup below). Simply put, if video is driving traffic – you need more video. On a platform like Twitter where a lone Tweet can be lost in the all-encompassing Twittersphere, you need both the content and amplification to be successful. In order to make video creation cost-efficient, brands should be tasking influencers for video creation, and leveraging influencer-generated video across owned and paid media.
Tbh, Pinterest Next Up for Zuck & Co.
In this week’s social GoT feature war – FB goes after Pinterest. This week, Zuck & co. began testing ‘Sets,’ a new feature where users can create a themed collection of specific posts, photos, and videos to share with friends. Given that Pinterest houses 150 million active users per month, this move could have tremendous implications for brands and influencers alike as FB introduces its volumes of users, social savvy and e-comm aspirations to content curation.
And tbh, that’s not all Zuck & Co. have been up to. Last week, Facebook acquired ‘tbh,’ an app which lets people give each other compliments by participating in anonymous quizzes. So far over 1 billion compliments have been sent via tbh. Cheers to Zuck & Co. for making social media a more positive place… for the moment, at least. #GoodVibesOnly – why be liked when you can feel truly appreciated?