A newsletter of the most literal kind, #SubjectToChange is our weekly roundup of all the social media and influencer marketing news worth knowing and sharing. Come for the knowledge, stay for the IRL know-how and occasional GoT references. Get it served hot and directly to your inbox by subscribing here.
Here’s what’s worth knowing this week:
Cheers to the new year! We hope your 2018 is filled with happiness, health, and influencer marketing success. In honor of the last STC of the year, we rounded up the most popular stories from 2017. Enjoy!
All About That Chat
In November, Facebook granted more businesses access to its Sponsored Messaging feature. Now, an increasing number of brands can send relevant promotions directly to users whom which they have already communicated with. Sponsored Messages appear as a new Messages Objective in Ads Manager, further simplifying the ad creation process and creating a seamless experience for brands to re-engage with their audience through conversation. With 9 out of 10 consumers wanting to use direct messaging to communicate with brands, the opportunities for marketers to engage are endless.
Through the expansion of Sponsored Messages, more brands are able to provide consumers with real-time personalized communication. In doing so, brands should be using the new capes to spark a conversation with consumers, not just to elicit a social reaction. As such, brands should work with influencers to understand what type of content inspires conversation among their audiences on Facebook and Instagram, and then leverage that experience through live Q&A’s, vlogs, holiday gift guides, etc. Additionally, brands can use influencers in their messaging content strategy through partnering to create or co-create content to send to consumers (i.e. send a recipe, link to Instagram, or AMAs).
For the CMO Whose 2018 Resolution Is To Be Like Amazon
Leading agencies are helping brands play offense and defense with Amazon. Just as we’ve all built out paid and social media strategies, Amazon is emerging as a marketing discipline in its own right.
In October, 360i launched an Amazon Marketing practice to ‘help clients succeed in that ecosystem.’ The strategy incorporates how to keep-up with the number and variety of Amazon’s trademark features, with special attention being paid to voice technologies. More or less, Amazon = the new omni-channel, with new rules we all need to be prepared for.
Jingle Bells, Non-Disclosed IGC Smells
Oh what fun it is to ride this one-horse open #FTCslay. Insta started to crack the whip on influencer-generated content in 2017. The social media giant expanded the roll out of its Branded Content tool, now requiring all sponsored posts by influencers be published using the tool. The ‘Gram announced the tool back in June in response to the infamous FTC-Insta crackdown and then, in August, established an initial branded content policy alongside it.
In addition to requiring all branded content to be tagged, Insta also says it will automatically detect and notify accounts that have posted content without the tool. Once notified, they will be prompted to tag a business. But to do so requires all compensated influencers to switch to a business account – which could, potentially, have a negative impact on organic reach and engagement.
New Year, New Feed
This month, Zuck & Co. announced plans to update its News Feed ranking to prioritize publishers and content creators that are producing shows for Watch. The algorithm will be revised to display the shows in the News Feed that people are seeking out or drawing repeat viewers. Watch out YouTube, things are about to get frosty.
Is this the ghost of must-see TV’s future? With ad inventory and space at an all time low, FB is desperately trying to create new revenue gen opportunities via Watch. In their most recent quest to monetize Watch, they’re prioritizing two things to drive viewership – most searched-for content and high-performing serial programming. As a result, publishers have greater incentives to create episodic content instead of ads or one-off videos.
As Facebook shifts its strategy towards Watch, marketers are left with three options. They can partner with the video creators and publishers who have already developed a high demand Watch series, they can create/co-create a Watch series with the creator of their influencer of choice aligned to audiences’ interests, or pre-roll video (among the most despised mobile ad formats).
For Your New Year’s Day #Brunch
In November, Instagram began testing the ability to let its users follow social hashtags. The feature allows users to click a hashtag to follow it to ‘see top posts and recent stories.’ Insta claims hashtag following would allow users to ‘keep better tabs on topics that matter to them.’ Hashtag following, the recent collections feature, and product tagging are all major moves on Pinterest territory – aka king of curated content – positioning Insta the future of visual search and visual commerce as we know it.
With this new means of content discovery and curation, brands now must consider the #who and #what for Insta domination. To make the most of this feat, brands should leverage higher volumes of influencers and advocates to own relevant hashtags during key periods, like #blackfriday and #holidays.