While you were planning #LDW – Twitter tweaks its algorithm following a dismal DAU decline; the convergence of creators, content & content distro tech; Amazon and Snapchat expand their influencer capabilities.
And #happybirthday, Twitter hashtag! #Hashtag10, you haven’t aged a bit.
That Tweet Was Sooo 5 Minutes Ago
With audience growth at a hard stop, Twitter is making a notable update to its timeline features. After moving to a pseudo-algorithmic feed Feb. 2016, users can now view tweets sorted by topic – without having to follow anyone – in its Explore tab.
What it means, IRL: It’s what Google knew before Yahoo, and what Facebook and Instagram knew before Twitter: algorithm-powered personalization #wins. Twitter’s algorithm now shows you topics based on what it knows about your interests – without having to build lists of followers. Doing so not only dramatically increases the lifecycle of those tweets, but provides relevant influencers and publishers in those topics top visibility.
Make it Work: Real time, chronological content doesn’t matter when it’s news people don’t care about. It’s why Netflix & Amazon invest time and dollars in developing recommendation engines. Before, investing heavily on Twitter outside of a sponsored tweet or hashtag made little sense – the content was so short-lived. If the influencers and publishers you’re working with are relevant on Twitter – and they’re already creating algorithm-winning brand content – Twitter may be worth a new look. Exposure increases with interactions (‘reply to’ and ‘like’ mentions), so leverage content that’s already proven to earn high engagement.
TL;DR: Stop reading this, start testing that.
Panic! At the Distro Tech
Turns out, the crunch for content is real – for everyone. Two new content partnerships of note: Taboola launched a new collab with Getty Images, while Hootsuite announced a new integration with Adobe Creative Cloud. Taboola users will now receive suggestions from Getty Images on relevant images to use or test; Hootsuite users have the ability to edit and optimize images using Adobe Creative SDK, as well as license content from Adobe Stock.
This is only the start of a larger trend to solve the bottleneck that is content: the convergence of creator, curation, and content distro technologies … especially as brands continue to lean more into influencers for on-demand content curation and distribution. While plugging into stock photog databases is an interesting move – they’re static resources. To save you an A/B test … if you can tell a stock photo is a stock photo … your consumers can too (see also: plandids).
While GoT is on Hiatus …
At least there’s retail, with both Amazon and Macy’s making moves ahead of the 2017 holiday season. First up – unboxing videos may never be the same. Amazon opened up its uber exclusive, pseudo-in-beta Influencer Program to Youtube stars, enabling the e-comm behemoth to tap into influencers’ selling power, audiences and, as they note, open up sales potential where linking is not possible (video).
Meanwhile Macy’s is doubling down on loyalty. In its announcement appointing BBDO as creative AOR, Macy’s marketing strategy launching in September will be focused on “building brand love, fashion authority, loyalty and value,” with a new loyalty component launching in October. The shift in strategy comes after the retailer posted its 10th straight quarterly sales decline, and it’s too soon to tell if it will be enough for this bleeding star to emerge as the new prince of retail.
L’Oreal – btw – is crushing it.
Too Little, Too Late?
With a $2.2 billion dollar loss, stagnant user growth and mounting competition from Facebook/Instagram, Snapchat finally introduced some influencer marketing capes. In hopes of not being the next Vine, Ghost Yellow is embracing influencers, offering up Official Stories accounts to increase discoverability and engagement (formerly only open to celebs and ‘public figures’), as well as letting brands control what content their ads appear next to.
Will influencers embrace the bait? Depends if the audience and the dollars are still there. To see how far we’ve come – here’s a look of how live video has evolved. Youtube is – by far – still the platform du jour to watch live stream content.
Things I Wish I Thought Of
For all you jetsetters – Delta is leading the charge in passenger personalization, partnering with TUMI to offer its luxe and business class passengers personalized amenity kits on Delta One flights. Not only are they positively ‘grammable, but an example of how every customer touchpoint is an opportunity to influence the next purchase.
You’re only as good as your last customer’s brand experience – and that includes influencer outreach & engagement. Not all influencers are created equal. And as the market becomes more saturated (Instagram alone is approaching 1M #sponsored posts) – how influencers experience brands and are introduced to products will become bigger factors in their decisions of which brands to partner with. By offering high-value influencer and customer segments an elevated, exclusive experience, you’re not only increasing opportunities to create amazing content, but for authentic advocacy and loyalty.