July 31, 2018: Influencer marketing software companies continue to invest in fraud detection, Facebook launches Watch Parties, Snapchat pilots creator program, Saks Fifth Avenue’s new mobile app, and YouTube’s VR bet
Here’s what’s worth knowing this week:
Now Trending: Influencer Fraud
Influencer marketing software companies are increasingly investing in fraud detection, making it easier for marketers to detect and understand fraudulent behavior where social media platforms have been slow-to-move.
Catch Me Up
Issues over influencer fraud and bots have plagued the industry for quite some time now, with key players like Unilever and P&G calling for urgent action ASAP, claiming they’ll never work with social media influencers who have bought followers.
Why Should I Care?
With social media platforms slow to address this problem, the responsibility to remain vigilant has fallen on the shoulders of brand marketers and their partners. Regardless of which platform you’re using, here’s what to to look for in assessing your risk & overall brand safety, given your own brand’s risk tolerance for fraudulent behavior. Hint: creating authentic, long-term influencer relationships is a good place to start.
Increasing concerns around data quality and brand safety are driving urgency for standardization in the industry around fraud and measurement. As more influencer marketing technologies and social platforms roll out fraud detection features and work to eliminate bots all together, marketers are now able to allocate their marketing dollars to influencers that are low-risk. As influencers themselves become more commoditized, also look for some low-risk influencers to capitalize by charging a premium.
We define influencer fraud as any act that artificially inflates reach, engagement, clicks or any other performance metrics relevant to influencer marketing. These fraud detection capabilities are designed to assess and indicate follower and engagement fraud to empower marketers to make an informed decision. We also recognize the need for an industry standard, and actively working with other influencer marketing solutions towards that goal. For more on Mavrck’s methodology, check out our fraud one-sheeter.
Facebook’s Bringing Us Together With Watch Parties
Last week Facebook launched Watch Party, a new feature that lets members of Facebook Groups watch live or pre-recorded videos together (and chat) in real time. Live videos must be hosted on Facebook, or pre-recorded and uploaded directly and currently, the feature is exclusive to Facebook Groups.
Tell Me More
It’s no secret Facebook’s been struggling for quite some time now, and last week’s earnings drop didn’t help its case. Hate to say we told you so but… And with ad inventory and space at an all time low, FB is still desperate to create new revenue gen opportunities via Watch. They’ve been trying for quite some time now. In their most recent quest, they’re prioritizing a “shared viewing experience” to provide an engagement boost to Watch, even though the new feature isn’t only limited to these shows.
Got It. How Can My Brand Make This Work?
Since the feature is not yet available to Pages, in order for brands to test this feature they’ll need to identify & partner with key leaders of topically relevant FB Groups, as well as bloggers who formed their own Groups when they realized they could no longer reach their audience directly via the News Feed. While these people may not outwardly have the most followers are engaging posts, they are influential in their own ways among these niche groups – where ad targeting isn’t get available. Make it work for your own brand by surveying your own influencers and advocates to understand which groups they’re apart of and which groups they own and co-host a Watch Party specific to that group or community.
Snapchat’s Creator Play
Snapchat launched “Snapchat Storytellers” a new pilot program that will link brands with five popular creators who will either appear in ads or lend expertise and knowledge to brands seeking insight for creative campaigns.
Snap hopes to boost ad spend by connecting brands with its top creators, but it won’t take a cut of the deals it helps arrange. As we’ve already seen with Facebook Inc. & Pinterest, leading social media platforms are investing in creators as strategic business initiatives – as part of a larger strategy to expand revenue potential. Slow clap.
With every social platform making a play to be creators’ “preferred network” – marketers are still going to want a centralized platform where they can execute across all. Look for social platforms to broker ‘exclusive’ Creator contracts and new native features, while marketers continue to push for influencer marketing platforms to up their cross-channel functionality.
Saks Launches Community of Style Advisors
Saks Fifth Avenue has added a “mobile style advisor” tool to its app that has helped to transform nearly 200 of its employees into “style advisors.” The goal? Incentivize store employees to help shoppers make purchases outside of the store, as well as drive more traffic to stores. According to Saks, the mobile app is its highest-trafficked channel, yet stores still remain the highest-conversion channel (35 percent of app users actually complete purchases in-store).
Tell Me More
By combining personalized product recommendations in the app with regular store employee engagement, Saks is taking a Stitch Fix-adjacent approach to guided selling, using its network of employees rather than outsourcing to part-time stylists, integrating social proof in the path-to-purchase. Marketers can activate influencers, both in-house and out, to drive consumers to complete in-store purchases or in-app purchases, depending on what a marketers preference may be.
YouTube’s Big VR Bet
Streaming giant YouTube has announced VR compatibility with Samsung – expanding its VR capabilities and making YouTube VR available for all Gear VR users. YouTube is also introducing a new feature called “Watch Together,” which lets viewers watch and discuss videos with others in a communal, virtual space.
Marketers can look to work with influencers to use these new features in a number of ways, including unboxing videos, experiential tours of destinations or a behind-the-scenes look at an unreleased product. Influencers can also interact directly with consumers in the YouTube community while talking about or showing a product in VR.