Snapchat to Shake the Ad Industry with Scannable Ads

Snapchat’s branded filters, which have been around for quite some time now, take advertisements to a whole new level. Many advertisers find branded filters to be an effective marketing medium because they make ads more fun and interactive by adding an augmented reality layer. But Snapchat isn’t stopping there; they keep finding methods to monetize the growing intersection of people and the digital world. Their latest ad concept, which encourages users to scan or “snap” an image to unlock content, could succeed where QR codes fail miserably.

“Snapchat is working on a new type of ad that would allow people to use their smartphone cameras to unlock special sponsored content in the app. The feature lets people scan an image or barcode on a poster or a website, which later gives them a special deal on a product, according to two people briefed on the company’s ad strategy.”

— Tom Dotan and Amir Efrati/The Information

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Snapchat Codes on the Rise 

Snapchat’s new marketing codes are just starting to pop up. These scannable ads invite people to scan them in exchange for promotional add-ons.

Snapchat expects that this innovation will boost engagement rates for ads and will resonate with marketers. Many brands are still skeptical of the platform’s ability to deliver meaningful media tactics beyond top funnel branding tactics.  

One of Snapchat’s longtime advertisers, Universal Pictures, is among the first to test “Snap to Unlock” for its new movie “The Girl on the Train.” According Doug Neil, exec VP of digital marketing at NBC Universal, mysterious billboards will be showing up around subways in New York and Washington, D.C. and in some parts of Los Angeles.

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Mr. Neil stated that QR codes failed miserably because they were at a disadvantage. Users and consumers had to scan them with dedicated applications, all of which needed to be installed for the sole purpose scanning the QR codes. Snapchat on the other hand, is already installed across millions of active users’ phones.

Snapchat users are assigned a snapcode of their own that friends can scan, making it easier it to follow each other.

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“Snapchat is a little more ubiquitous and kids do love the discovery aspect of the Snapcode,” Mr. Neil stated. “So this could be a bigger play there.” This could change the whole advertising field.

Coca Cola Company has already used snap codes on Sprite soda cans as part of their marketing strategy. Users are instructed to scan the snap codes to unlock special discounts.

The Future of Snapcodes

According to Chris Tuff, director of business development at 22squared, it is  expected that more movie studios, fashion brands and retailers will follow suit with the use of snapcodes.

“You could get a code on your receipt or it could be on a sign at the store,” Mr. Tuff stated. “And you could get an exclusive filter for 24 hours, so there’s exclusivity and the ability to share it. That makes sense for certain companies.”

“The Girl On the Train” snapcodes on billboards will on have the words: “What happened that night.”

The downside of these snapcodes is that a civilian may not make sense of the ad if he doesn’t know how Snapchat works. Once the user snaps the code, he’ll be taken to special geofilters.

Further development is expected to be done in the “Snap to Unlock” feature.  Advertisers’ snapcodes could lead to deeper content offers like animated lenses, Snapchat’s popular feature that adds special visual effects to video selfies.

Noah Mallin, head of social at MECNorth America stated that while snapcodes may seem fun and playful, they could be helpful to marketers with measuring how well their Snapchat campaigns perform, particularly if they send out offers that lead people redeem them in stores.

“QR codes are one of those things everyone laughs about but Snapchat found an interesting way to reinvent them,” Mr. Mallin added. “They’re taking a real-world interaction and making it actionable on the platform.”

The Rise of Fraud in Influencer Marketing

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Internet users have an average of 5.54 social media accounts, and many of them can be found on Instagram. The social network has more than 400 million active users, making it an ideal platform for influencer marketing.

Where there is audience, there is inevitably monetization. Where there is money, there are often unfortunately individuals or communities looking to game the system and make a quick buck. We’ve seen it again and again, both inside and outside of the advertising world.  It is estimated that 60% of global advertising dollars are wasted due to fraudulent activities. Instagram and other social networks are no exception to this rule. In fact, recent studies show that over 8-11% of social media accounts are fake.

The potential for fraud has grown as marketers move more budget into social, where some users are even seeking inorganic ways to grow their follower base and activity. These days, some influencers are tempted through scams that allow them to purchase  “fake” users and engagements.   “Unfortunately, a lot of businesses and content providers on social media are looking for a quick fix when it comes to building a follower base,” says Gina Lee, an Instagram influencer with more than 67K followers. “And it’s even more unfortunate, that many of them go as far as paying for fake followers. While it might be an easy game to play, in the end, it not only hurts the purchaser, but it hurts the entire social community.”

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Many influencers treat their profiles as business assets.

Building a Reputable Business

Influencers constantly speak of the pressure to go above and beyond in terms of establishing a large audience. Creating the perception of influence indicates that an individual or brand has the ability to market to thousands of people.  However, in order for influencer marketing to be effective for brands, the influencers behind the promotion need to remain genuine. Thankfully, the majority of influencers treat their accounts as their professional business and brand.  They are driven by creating quality, engaging content for their audience and growing a reputable business for marketer partnerships.

“For me, I prefer to build and belong to my various social communities through a much more organic process,” Lee continued. “That means being consistent and engaging with those I am connected to on social media. I value the engagement and the connections I make more than the number of followers listed in my profile.”

Fullbottle encourages influencers like Gina to continue to grow their business.  We rely on a number of tools to help mitigate the risk of fraud for brands and promote a community that values ethical business practices. For example, we use sophisticated tracking methods to monitor and analyze activity in real time and provide alert notifications when suspicious activity is detected.  If fraudulent activity is detected we have a zero tolerance policy.  We also rely on our community of influencers to report any signs of fraudulent activity.  This approach of community monitoring has proven to be very effective in reporting and detecting fraud. Additional product features are also in the works to help maintain a clean and honest marketplace.

“We believe that by building a community that cares about ethical business practices and takes fraud seriously, everyone involved wins,” said Natalie Enright, Co-founder of Fullbottle. “The brands win by cutting out waste, and influencers win as brands continue to move more and more dollars into influencer marketing when they see fraud is not tolerated.”

If you are an Influencer who is building a reputable business and would like to work with great brands like Almay, Toys”R”Us, Chobani, you may want to contact Fullbottle to join our marketplace. If you have any additional questions on fraud detection policies and monitoring or would like to anonymously report any suspicious accounts, please contact the Fullbottle fraud team. We appreciate your support!

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Big Entertainment Comes in Small Packages.  Learn more on this week’s edition of Vine Tips.

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Influencer Marketing: 4 tips for a successful campaign

Are you an influencer?  Anything you would add to this list?

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Vine Tips featuring top creators from the 6-second social video platform.  In this week’s episode we learn another story-telling tip from the Eh Bee family.  The advice:  How to Pack a Punch

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Big week for twitter in the news

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This is the type of creative that is extremely effective at promoting a product without being heavy handed in it’s approach.

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Vine Tips featuring top creators from the 6-second social video platform.  In this week’s episode we learn the first of many story telling tips from the Eh Bee family.  The advice:  Deliver the Unexpected

Football Game VS Ads. Why Will You Be Watching This Sunday?

By Alison Lukin

Making it to the Super Bowl is undeniably the biggest gamechanger in a professional football player’s career. But just like those
players, snagging a coveted Super Bowl commercial spot is the most coveted
accomplishment in the marketing world.

Not only is the competition brutal, the price tag is steep.
This year, that brief snippet of time will cost an astronomical $4.5 million
dollars. That’s not including production costs to keep your commercial on par
with all the other Hollywood productions that will air.

While it’s almost guaranteed your company will gain upwards
of 100 million new consumers, there is no guarantee that even the best
intentions will gain your business positive press. Who can forget the “Just For
Feet” commercial of 1999
? Humiliating.

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With such little commercial time available and $4.5 million
at stake, should companies even bother to aspire to such heights? Yes! The football field isn’t the only place
for game changers.

The culture of TV watching is changing. Big time! According
to Business Insider
cable and broadband TV subscriptions are dropping by the millions every year. With
the ability to stream live on the internet, former cable customers find
themselves only in need of broadband internet.

It’s also no secret that people are on their mobile devices
infinitely more during the day than they are sitting on their couches in front
of the TV. What does this mean for the Super Bowl? A heck of a lot.

The viewing options this year are too many to list. NBC
alone is offering 10 hours of live stream programming on NBCSports.com,
NBCSportsWorld.com, and ProFootballTalk.com. This opens up the door for so many
more advertisers to have an opportunity to reach viewers.

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Think social media is getting in on the game? You thought
correctly. According to www.TVGRAPEVINE.com:

Announced last Thursday, NBC Sports
Group will present its most comprehensive social media campaign ever to promote
NBC’s coverage of Super Bowl XLIX, including around-the-clock coverage across
all of NBC Sports’ social media platforms.”

NBCSports
will have virtually every inch of social media covered with pages on TUMBLR,
Facebook, Twitter (#MYSUPERBOWLPICK), Instagram, Vine, and Pinterest. And there
will be ads galore! But this is where the smart companies advertise. Not only
does this adspace NOT hold the hefty price tag, but the style of advertising is
completely different. It’s low budget, and that’s how we like it.

These
ads won’t feature Hollywood actors, but the biggest stars on the internet, who
have larger followings anyway. They won’t be over-produced 30-second commercial
spots; they’ll be hysterical 6 second Vine videos that will make you shoot beer
out of your nose (well, maybe not that part;).

But
is all this advertising too much? Don’t we want to just be serious and watch
the game? The folks at www.Entrepreneur.com say, not so! They conducted
a survey that clearly shows a large portion of the Super Bowl audience cites
the ads as being their primary reason for tuning in.

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And what about social media? Surely all we want to do is
stalk our Twitter feed in peace?! Wrong again. Not only are viewers looking
forward to the ads, but we also want to share them! We’re just dying to be the
first ones to find the funniest ad and have a hand in making it go viral.

We couldn’t resist, here’s a rundown of the top-10 Super Bowl Ads of all time. Will an ad from this year’s game crack this list next year?

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