April 1, 2020: UN issues global call to creatives to help curb spread of COVID-19; influencers lean into #CreateForGood initiatives; TikTok launches #HappyAtHome programming; Instagram tests “support” sticker; Pinterest updates in-app shopping experience
The United Nations Wants Your Help
The United Nations is enlisting the help of influencers and creators to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
For the first time ever, the UN has issued an open brief to creatives everywhere to help spread health messages around the COVID-19 pandemic designed to be effective, accessible and shareable. The goal is to proactively communicate guidance to areas that can still minimize or prevent a coronavirus outbreak and stop the spread of misinformation. The UN has stressed this is not a single campaign, but rather a call for a “multitude of creative solutions” to reach audiences across different cultures, age groups, geographies and language.
How exactly is this going to work?
TLDR; The UN provides the resources (i.e., key messaging, existing assets, content inspo), the creatives provide the flair and relevance to their own, localized communities. Within the open brief are six mini-briefs with six key areas of activation it hopes to hit: personal hygiene, social distancing, know the symptoms, myth-busting, and do more, donate.
How can I help?
The brief calls on a variety of creatives to target specific audiences:
- Influencers to share this messaging with their followers.
- Creators to create content for particular audiences.
- Media owners to distribute content on their platforms.
- Brands to donate media space or work these messages into existing communications.
- Community Groups to help adapt and distribute messages so they resonate with their communities.
- All humans to model these behaviors and be a positive agent for change.
What’s the UN saying?
“We are in an unprecedented situation, and the normal rules no longer apply. We cannot resort to the usual tools in such unusual times. The creativity of the response must match the uniqueness of the crisis — and the magnitude of the response must match its scale.” – António Guterres, UN Secretary General
Creators and influencers alike are many consumers’ go-to sources for information. By reaching out to creatives around the world, the UN hopes to inspire creators and influencers to take the key messages and bring their own voice to amplify and create cultural relevance among a variety of audiences. One interesting element worth noting here is how the UN has chosen to define ‘creators’ and ‘influencers’ — not only is it separating the two, but providing the two groups different roles, implying that the two terms are not mutually exclusive (i.e., all ‘influencers’ are ‘creators’ but not all ‘creators’ are ‘influencers.’)
Not Unrelated: Influencers Are Leaning into #CreateForGood Initiatives
Italian blogger turned entrepreneur Chiara Ferragni and her husband Fedez have raised over €4 million in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
How did she do it?
You may know Ferragni as the 32-year-old macro-influencer, Italian model, fashion designer, entrepreneur and business owner, but now, you can add philanthropist to that long list of accomplishments.
While Ferragni is widely seen as a daily source of fashion inspo, in early March, as Italy became the epicenter of COVID-19, Ferragni’s role in the influencer world shifted. Instead of partnering with famous fashion designers, she began partnering with hospitals to spread messaging and source supplies; instead of posting fashion week outfits, she began posting ‘house look of the day’ photos to encourage her followers to participate in social distancing; and, most of all, she began consulting with experts like Professor Alberto Zangrillo, head of the cardiovascular and general intensive care department at a prominent hospital in Milan.
Following their conversations, on March 9, Ferragni and her husband started this Go Fund Me page and have since raised over €4.4 million ($4.9 million USD). After personally donating €100,000, both Ferragni and Fedez encouraged their followers to donate as much or as little as they were able to. By March 23, they helped to raise over €4 million and start construction on a brand new intensive care unit at Milan’s San Raffaele hospital.
What’s she saying?
As seen with the tremendous impact Ferragni and her husband have made with this fundraiser, influencers are so much more than just content creators. Their impact extends far beyond the feed — and proves that they can motivate people to take action. While Ferragni donated $100,000 herself, the real impact is in the $4.9 million in donations she’s raised among her audience. As well, Ferragni has demonstrated the power of influencer marketing for good during times of crisis. As much as social media can be used to show off and compare, it can also be used to educate, to uplift, connect and to inspire change during the times we all need it most.
TikTok Just Wants You #HappyAtHome
TikTok is continuing to push heavily into live-streaming during the COVID-19 pandemic, wrapping up its first-ever livestream series, #HappyAtHome: LIVE! on Friday.
Last week, TikTok partnered with a wide range of influencers and creators — from Charli D’Amelio to Alicia Keys to Dr. Phil (and literally everyone in between) — to launch #HappyAtHome: LIVE! The programming runs Monday through Friday and includes the following themes: Motivation Monday, Kick Back Tuesday, Show & Tell Wednesday, EduTok Thursday and Sound Check Friday. The goal of the programming is to provide some comfort and encourage others to stay inside to stop the spread.
During a time when live-streaming has skyrocketed on social media, more and more brands are turning to TikTok to reach a highly engaged audience in authentic and innovative ways. It’s not surprising that brands are turning to TikTok during a time when everyone is forced to be at home. Not only is the awareness and the widespread adoption there, but by tapping into TIkTok, brands have the ability to contribute to mainstream culture through the app’s innately viral and entertaining content.
Jansport, for instance, recently partnered with 10 TIkTok influencers to promote its backpack donations to the nonprofit World Central Kitchen as part of its #CreateForGood initiative. In just two days, Jansport’s campaign generated 3.7 million video views, hundreds of thousands of “likes” and thousands of comments on videos with its hashtag, #unpackthatchallenge (full disclosure: Jansport is a Mavrck customer).
For brands looking to get started activating influencers on TikTok, request a demo with our team of strategists to discuss how Mavrck can help.
Instagram Wants to Support SMBs with Stickers
Instagram is testing a new option to promote the sale of gift cards via Business Profiles.
Discovered (again) by Jane Manchun Wong, Instagram appears to be working on a new ‘Links’ option within its business profile settings that would enable brands to add a new quick link, via a profile CTA button, to guide visitors to purchase gift cards or make donations. Wong also discovered that Instagram is also looking to add a new ‘Support’ sticker for the purpose of gathering donations/promoting gift cards for SMBs and artists.
If Instagram does move forward with the eventual roll-out of these features, where influencers/creators are SMBs in their own right, it sets the foundation needed for direct creator-follower monetization (think: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook and Patreon all enable Creator tipping). Where Instagram is so far behind platforms like YouTube and Twitch in their abilities to provide creators with the opportunity to source income directly from their followers, this feature has the potential to slightly level the playing field.
From a brand perspective, the other interesting play here is that it helps any SMBs or restaurants who aren’t online make Instagram their new digital storefront. Where so many of these businesses are still operating (at least, in some capacity), these integrations would seemingly allow for increased digital “foot traffic”, seamless checkout processes, and conversion data – all without having to increase digital spend. As well, with the creation of a dedicated “Support” sticker, influencers and creators would be able to highlight SMBs that they know and love, amplifying the sheer visibility and awareness those entities can receive online.
New and Improved Shopping on Pinterest
Pinterest has introduced four new and updated shopping features aimed at helping brands bring their products to where users are most likely to shop.
Verified Merchant Program: Pinterest will now allow retailers on the platform to be verified (indicated by a blue checkmark badge on their profiles), making their products eligible for distribution across Pinterest shopping experiences, including ‘Shop the Look’ Pins and related product carousels.
Conversion insights: Retailers on Pinterest will have early access to organic and paid conversion insights to more accurately measure Pinterest’s impact on website visits, checkouts, and sales across multiple attribution windows.
Catalogs updates: Pinterest Catalogs have been optimized to “lessen the time from feed ingestion to Product Pin creation.” This update also includes new metrics, near real-time feed ingestion, user experience enhancements, and the ability to schedule feed uploads.
Dynamic retargeting: Pinterest has extended its dynamic ad retargeting to global markets for advertisers who want to reach users who have previously engaged with their brand online or have abandoned their shopping carts. Now, brands can globally retarget exact or similar products that users search and save on Pinterest.
What’s the user behavior like on Pinterest during this crisis?
Users are continuing to Pinterest as a place to get inspired, try new ideas and stay distracted from the chaos around us. In the past two weeks, Pinterest has seen increases in searches for topics like “home organization” (+43%), “spa day at home” (+19%), “makeup tutorial for beginners” (+180%), and “kid-friendly recipes” (+64%).
As brick-and-mortar retailers close for the indefinite future due to COVID-19, ecommerce shopping is even more important now. Amidst this global pandemic, where, for the first time ever, the overwhelming majority of the world is forced to stay home, brands have the opportunity to lean into this dramatic increase in online activity by making consumers’ experiences as personalized and as easy as possible. Now, more than ever before, consumers value convenience – and the brands who are able to provide that experience to consumers first will have the advantage for the foreseeable future.
Just as Pinterest is seemingly stepping up its efforts to close the loop on its social commerce capabilities, there are other technologies accelerating their go-to-market launch to meet the evolving needs of the ecommerce consumer as all businesses seek to transition their storefronts online in some way (whether it be through a delivery partner, gift card or capability otherwise).
On Pinterest, specifically, brands have the opportunity to make shopping as easy and convenient as possible. Brands who are already on Pinterest should apply to join the “Verified Merchant Program”, as it provides consumers with a layer of social proof to increase consumer trust in their ecosystem (notably, tapping into the established iconography that Instagram, Facebook and Twitter already use). Brands can also create pins around keywords like “home organization”, “spa day at home”, “makeup tutorial for beginners” and “kid-friendly recipes” – knowing those are the topics that have seen the biggest search volume in the past two weeks.