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.”

How Can Your Brand Benefit from Influencer Marketing?

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Brands constantly need to work toward raising awareness of their products and services, and reaching out to a large audience can help. For this reason, social media has become a critical component of many companies’ advertising strategies. However, creating a profile on a network like Facebook or Twitter doesn’t guarantee success. To enhance their efforts, more brands are turning to influencer marketing, and for good reason.

Influencer marketing and advertising can extend a brand’s reach. Because influencers have massive audiences, companies can immediately benefit from the wide exposure. Here is what you need to know about teaming up with an influencer for marketing purposes.

Influencer Marketing Can Increase Engagement.
If you’re struggling with engagement, influencer marketing can help. After a prospect sees your content marketed by an influencer, he or she may be encouraged to go the extra step and engage with one of your posts. Additionally, an existing customer might be influenced to comment or like your posts after seeing you advertised by an influencer. This gives you more opportunities to market your products and services.

It’s an Ideal Way to Break into Your Industry.
By teaming up with an influencer who works within your specific industry, you can access his or her audience, which may subsequently be your own target market.

instagram, influencer marketing, influencer advertisingYou Can Test Your Brand Messaging.
If you want to gauge how responsive a large crowd may be to a new brand message, you can execute it through your influencer marketing strategy.

Influencer Marketing Can Enhance Lead Generation.
Because you can communicate your products and services through influencer advertising, you’ll have new opportunities to generate leads. You may also gain more targeted leads, assuming your influencer’s audience consists of your ideal prospects and customers.

You Can Gain More Credibility in Your Industry.
When you work with an influencer, he or she is vouching for your products, services, and brand messages. This can not only raise awareness of your company, but improve your reputation in the eyes of prospects who already know your business.

Influencer Marketing Can Help You with the Top of the Funnel.
If you’ve been stuck in terms of marketing to the top of your sales funnel, influencer marketing can help. By working with an influencer, you can reach out to prospects through channels they trust most, whether it’s a social network or email.

To learn how influencer marketing can benefit your brand, contact Fullbottle today for more information!

How Can Analytics Help Instagram Marketing Professionals Measure ROI?

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As marketers turn to networks like Instagram to reach their target audiences, they are dedicating more of their money toward social media. The CMO Survey found that social media spending is expected to rise to a 20.9 percent share of all marketing budgets within the next five years. However, not everyone has seen their investment in social media pay off thus far, despite their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram marketing efforts.

instagram marketing, analytics, instagram advertisingThe survey results discovered that 40 percent of marketers claim social media has a “below average” contribution to their firm’s performance. About 50 percent stated that social media’s impact has been “average.”

“Companies are spending a lot on social media right now, but demonstrating its contribution depends on more than investment in analytics, though that will help,” said Christine Moorman, director of The CMO Survey.

Analytics and Instagram Marketing
When you launch an Instagram advertising campaign, you’ll immediately gain an abundance of data that you can assess to determine your ROI. Key performance indicators, such as “Likes,” comments and number of followers, can help you gauge the progress of your Instagram marketing strategy.

Keeping tabs on your KPIs over time will also help you determine if your social media marketing investments are paying off. For example, a rise in “Likes” may be a sign of strong posts and resonance with your target audience. However, this isn’t the only step you can take to give your Instagram marketing strategy the best chance at success.

“Firms must also take other steps to integrate social with the rest of the company’s marketing strategies,” Moorman continued. “This will require changes to where social media is located, its involvement in the planning process, and consideration of how the firm’s customer and brand assets are managed in social media.”

Are you interested in learning how you can refine your Instagram marketing strategy? Contact Fullbottle for more information today!

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Vine Tips episode 7 is here and this week the importance of engaging with fans is discussed.

More Bang For Your Buck: How To Avoid Influencer Let Down

It’s no secret that major brands have been jumping on the social media bandwagon for years. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have been inundated with ads from products in every industry; big and small.

With the production of these ads comes the rising fame of the influencers that appear in them.

Amongst the sea of platforms, Twitter’s video platform Vine and Facebook’s photo sharing site Instagram have become prime real estate for influencer fueled creative.

However, there is one key challenge facing advertisers moving into the world of influencer advertising.  Influencer Selection.

Should an advertiser go with influencers that have HUGE followings (> 1 Million) or assemble teams of influencers with smaller but more engaged audiences?

Earlier this week, [a]ListDaily took a stab at solving this riddle in a well thought-out piece that you can read here.

“Discovery is a critical phase, to identify the key influencers is a mix of art and science,” Younger said. It’s a daunting task when you consider that there are over 400,000 influencers out there with a sizable audience, as Juarez noted.

At FullBottle, we recently looked at two campaigns for a side-by-side comparison.  Both campaigns ran only on Vine.  Budgets are estimates based on current rates for the influencers included on each program.

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Product A produced a paltry engagement rate of <1% while Product B’s engagement rate reached 2.7%.

The key differentiator: long-tail influencers have more engaged audiences.

But one key statistic from this recap might tell an even more compelling story.

Product B not only drove significantly more engagements but also produced more followers for the brand’s official account.

This indicates a more trusting relationship between long-tail influencers and their audiences.

Some advertisers are catching on to this trend.

Long tail influencer Chris Ozer has had an incredibly successful stint with Johnnie Walker sharing posts with his 557K followers. His posts documenting the Johnnie Walker distillery in Scotland helped grow the brand’s following on Instagram to 51.7K. An average post on the company’s account can garner up to 3K likes and 250 comments (6.3% engagement rate).

Meanwhile, Fanta spent a whopping seven-figures for their comedic Vine campaign, which featured several heavy-hitters in the Vine-o-sphere. Entitled, “Fanta For The Funny,” the promotion featured Vine celebs like AlliCattt, Jason Mendez and Mighty Duck. They shared content and encouraged others to do so but the official Fanta Vine account still only has 8.5K followers and a not so impressive 1.6M loops.

So does large scale or small-scale marketing work best on Vine and Instagram? Clearly, in this case, if the following is dedicated enough, size doesn’t matter.

Playing a Different Tune: How Advertising is Changing in the Music Industry

by Alison Lukin

“No industry has been altered by the Internet like the recording industry, “stated Uproxx.com. For over 10 years, the entire format of how music is bought and sold has been forced to change. Gone are the days of driving to the record store to purchase an entire album. Now fans can pick and chose individual tracks from a myriad of websites and the industry has had no choice but to bow to the whim of the consumer.

But they did fight the change for a while. From the moment we gained the ability to stream and download music, it changed everything. At first, no regulations were in place and there was anarchy. Illegal file sharing sites like Napster and LimeWire were popping up everywhere thinking they had unlocked the key to free music forever.

Rightfully so, it sent the entire industry into quite a tizzy. A countless amount of time, money, and talent had been taken to create this art, and it was being robbed from them. Artists spend their lives practicing, performing, and creating for our enjoyment. Why shouldn’t they be compensated?

It wasn’t long before the recording industry got a hold of all the insanity. File sharing quickly became illegal and well-needed regulations were put in place. But still, not everyone was happy about it. You mean, we don’t go to the record store and buy an entire album? We can choose individual tracks for 99 cents?

All was not well on the artist end either. They were painstakingly creating this complete work of art, called an “album” only to have it chopped up in some iTunes store. Tracks were leaked before the artist was ready to have it heard by the public. They felt a huge lack of control.

Even today, we’re still adjusting. But it’s unbelievably better.

Billboard, which is the industry standard for music charts, changed its methodology in 2005 to include paid digital download purchases. And they are soon to include streaming as well.  This will greatly impact the results of the Hot 100 and the Billboard 200 charts.

Yet another industry shift is taking place, which is one of the biggest changes in decades. The GLOBAL release date of music is being switched from Tuesdays to Fridays. Why Tuesdays? There are a number of theories. Most say it’s because Billboard releases its charts on Wednesdays, so Tuesday will give you a maximum amount of time over the week.

Having music released on different days in different countries was OK until the Internet came along. Since the Internet is international, piracy had become a big issue. Having music available in one country and not another resulted in major leaks and disgruntled musicians.

Artists like Beyoncé and Drake started preempting the problem by having a digital release before hard copies went into stores. It didn’t seem to harm their careers in the least.

This shift goes well beyond music in the recording industry. Pandora, unofficial “king” of online radio, as labeled by digitaltrends.com, offers their service for free with occasional brief commercial spots by paid advertisers. Larger advertisers have opportunities as well. Auto-giant Toyota has it’s own custom Pandora station called the, “Toyota Sessions” that “features behind-the-scenes artist interviews.” It’s opportunities like these that have opened a whole new world for marketing.

In fact, radio giant iHeartMedia has taken this premise a step further and will begin offering services to marketers that will help pair them “with publishers to fashion ads that blend alongside editorial work.” Some see this as a threat to ad agencies who can be bypassed as brands go directly to the source for effective content.  Other contend that ad agencies (media and creative) can help filter through the myriad of content solutions being proposed to their clients.

With this whole new way to reach consumers, the music industry is changing their tactics for how they reach new audiences.  One answer, of course, is finding the best performers (influencers) to help introduce their products to the online world.  If you mention Now That’s What I Call Music! to your average 30-something they’d probably be surprised that these compilations are still being made. To keep their brand fresh, they’ve made a pretty smart move.

Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, the companies behind the popular brand started in the 90’s have turned to social video marketing to up the ante.  Yours truly, FullBottle Group, was hired to find 10influencers for their campaign ranging from comedians to a sassy housewife. “They each created looping 6-second videos that will be posted to the NowThatsMusic Vine account and shared with their followers.”

“The beauty of influencer advertising in this day and age is you have a slew of people on a variety of platforms, like Vine, who really are the experts in that language,” explains Reed Berglund, co-founder and CEO of FullBottle. “So you ask for what an interpretation of the campaign theme is, and each Viner has their own shtick. It could be comedy. Maybe their thing is dancing or singing. And they then interpret that theme in their own voice, which is precisely what their fans want from them. They don’t want something that is forced, heavy-handed or a square-peg, round-hole scenario.”

The recording industry is starting to understand this and continues to evolve how music is released, distributed and promoted. The industry we see today is a far cry from the machine it was 20 years ago or even five years ago. Here’s to change and improvement.  Now if you don’t mind, we’re going to logon to Spotify and create today’s “mix-tape”.

Happy listening!

Social Platform by Growth

A fantastic look at which social platforms are growing fastest over the previous 6 months.

If you’re thinking about starting a social video campaign on Snapchat, Instagram. Vine, Twitter, etc…but not exactly sure how you get going…we’re more than happy to help and answer any questions you may have.

 

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Source:  http://oursocialtimes.com/8-useful-social-media-statistics-for-2015/

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FullBottle was honored to be considered for the Cynopsis Media Social Good award in the category of “Instagram/Vine Campaign”.  When we received the news that we had actually won, we were ecstatic.  Thank you to everyone who helped make this campaign a success!

The Hidden Tresure: Long-Tail Influencer Video Campaigns

What defines an influencer? Skyword.com defines it as “any person who is an expert in a particular field that has a niche following interested in his or her advice and opinions.” Thus continues the movement of online influencer marketing that has been taking over the industry over the past several years. But are the tides shifting?

Popular internet sensations are quickly becoming a dime a dozen. By now, we’ve all heard of Jenna Marbles, Michelle Phan, and PewDiePie. Yes, we all know they have a gazillion followers. But how are these YouTube gazillionaires any different than this?

Did you know that according to SocialBlade there are over 1,050 YouTubers with over 1million subscribers? That elite “million” club isn’t so elite anymore. Albeit, the vast majority of the non-traditional celebs that covet their large followings have made quite impressive careers for themselves.

Here’s another question for you. As a marketer or business owner, have you ever tried to contact a celeb YouTuber like Michelle Phan? Well it’s damn near impossible. You may as well give Tom Cruise a jingle. The amount of brands vying for their attention is astronomical, and their fees are stealthily climbing.

While they are more within reach than say, Mr. Top Gun, it’s still incredibly hard to get their attention unless you have a fat wallet. But thankfully, there is a better way to turn your efforts into sales by enlisting the talents of the lesser know species of YouTubers.

Longtail influencers. Never heard of ‘em? Oh yes you have. All of those specialized social videos you love watching that aren’t hugely popular, but hone right in on your target market. These influencers may not have the most subscribers, maybe between 10K-500K, but their fans trust them and are extremely engaged with the content.

A great example is when Bohemian Guitars paired up with popular guitar playing YouTuber Chad Neidt. Chad’s “One Minute Mashups” have been featured on The Today Show and in the Huffington Post, among many others. With over 67K subscribers, he was the perfect longtail pairing for Bohemian Guitars. Together, they created a great video that appeals to both of their audiences and has garnered almost 100K views. Check it out here:

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What’s missing from this Bohemian Guitar campaign? Additional Social Video outlets such as Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram and of course Vine.  Music is one of the most popular categories of content on any social platform and both labels and media companies are definitely becoming more aware.

Here’s how iHeartMedia helped spread the message about #MusicInTheMorning on a recent campaign:

Another example is Universal Music Group.  Remember Now That’s Music compilation albums that replaced mix-tapes back in the day?  Well the franchise is still going strong. For their 53rd album release (yes! 53!!!) they worked with long tail influencers across Vine, Twitter and Instagram to create music related content.

Videos like this one from the “too hot” Miuccio Brothers garnered over 1M views and helped propel the album to #1 on the Billboard Music charts!

People watch videos from influencers like The Miuccio Brothers with smaller followings because the content is usually more relatable.  And while a celebrity influencer with 5M subscribers may give your brand more exposure, the more highly engaged audiences are more likely to turn into actual sales.  Case in point: Now That’s Music Vol. 53.

Another major benefit of using long tail influencers for your brand’s social video is the lower cost. Combine the lower cost with a more engaged audience and an advertiser can start to see more efficient and effective campaigns; without sacrificing reach.

We will dive into data from two campaigns next Thursday and put a spotlight on the efficiency achieved when long tail influencers are leveraged instead of the super celebrities of social media.

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In the fourth episode of Vine Tips, advertisers can learn a key lesson when it comes to ceding control of the creative to the influencers who know their medium best.