2019 has been the year of social media marketing! Russ Powell, Head of Marketing, Red Hot Penny, talks about five social media platforms that will continue to shape up this year.
Social media couldn’t be more vital for marketing nowadays. Especially for retail marketers and ecommerce brands who need to continually engage with customers to drive brand awareness and conversions.
A Quick Guide to Social Media Marketing Tools for SMBs
An updated GreenZone, few additional features evaluated and here comes the refreshed Buyer’s Guide no SMB can afford to miss!
Many marketers default to the major platforms when it comes to social media, but solely focusing on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat will limit a campaign’s potential. New platforms are coming to the fore, each with a specific purpose and audiences. Marketers should look to the new generation of social media to amplify their precision targeting.
With hundreds of social platforms out there, catering for every niche imaginable, let’s cut through the noise to the top 5 shaping 2019. User bases, ad formats and targeting can inform which of these platforms deserve a share of your ad budget.
Also Read: 5 Key Trends Facebook Will Explore in 2019
There’s a lot of buzz around China’s short form video app and for good reason. With over 800 million daily active users the app is making a concerted push into the West by treading ground that Vine did previously, but with a more structured approach.
In the UK it has a 58:42 female to male split with users spending an average of 41 minutes per day using the app. The demographic is young too, predominantly made up of millennials, Gen Z and even Gen Alpha (born from 2010 onwards). This makes it an ideal platform those targeting younger consumers such as fashion or beauty brands.
Tik Tok has recently begun testing ads in the US and UK with 4 ad formats available:
Brand takeover – directs users to your brand’s landing page and is category exclusive: only one advertiser has a brand takeover per day
In-feed native videos – full screen ads that show up on a user’s “for you” page and support CTAs so you can drive traffic elsewhere
Hashtag challenges – encourages User Generated Content (UGC), collaboration with influencers and builds brand awareness
Branded lens – customized lens added to videos, similar to Snapchat. Currently available in 2D, but 3D and AR formats are coming soon
Tik Tok has got the established social media players on high alert. Facebook launched Lasso late last year with very similar functionality.
The digital video streaming site has been around since 2011, but the growing popularity of e-sports is making the platform vital for marketers looking to tap into fans and the gamer market.
Twitch has over 15 million daily users. 81% are male and 55% of those are between 18 and 34, making it a crucial channel for brands with a millennial male focus. Unlike other platforms, Twitch users are open to advertising. 82% say sponsorships are good for the gaming industry and 80% are open to brands sponsoring gamers or teams.
The ads Twitch provide for brands fall into 2 categories, video and display.
- Video – Twitch video ads can be run solely on mobile or desktop, or as cross-screen ads across all devices pre, mid and/or post-roll. Sure stream, which is a new video ad product, seamlessly weaves ads directly into a broadcast as either pre-roll or mid-roll ads.
- Display – Twitch display ads take the form of carousels, takeovers or other on-screen ad units like rectangles, leader boards or synced units.
Twitch also offers custom executions, granting the opportunity to do something special.
A “social satnav”, Waze is a community-based GPS app. It aims to give drivers the best routes to their chosen destination based on real-time help from other drivers.
There are currently just over 90 million users globally who spend an average of 438 minutes per month on the app –roughly 15 minutes a day.
That suggests people are using Waze for short journeys so there’s massive potential for local marketing activities at origin and destination locations. There’s also opportunity for brand building and awareness over time, especially if you can target people on regular journeys. It’s ideal for marketers at food & beverage or travel & leisure brands
Waze currently offer 4 different types of ad, largely on a cost per thousand basis:
- Branded pins – digital billboards let drivers know you’re on or near their route
- Takeovers – large branded canvas that appears on screen when a driver has stopped
- Arrows – a signpost that appears when the app is opened to let them know you’re nearby
- Promoted search – bumps your business up the app’s search results page
Waze can also target ads based on a number of factors like driver type, where they’re driving too, weather, time of day and more
Also Read: 5 Social Media Marketing Trends to Win in 2019
Billed as an Instagram competitor due to its highly visual nature, Vero is the antithesis of Zuckerberg-owned platforms with a focus on “more social, less media”.
Vero offers zero ad functionality, doesn’t collect personal data, and tells users how long they’ve been on the platform to discourage overuse. It’s currently free to use but a subscription model is imminent.
Marketers may think there’s nothing here for them, but brands can set up profiles and engage with followers organically.
As users become frustrated with ads on other platforms and look for alternatives, Vero could be a great place to engage with people naturally. It also gives you a chance to grow a following based on what your brand stands for and how you do things, rather than budgets.
This means dedicating more time to the platform, but the results in terms of brand perception and awareness could be huge.
There’s no need to introduce the messaging platform we send 60 billion messages with every day. But, with the integration of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, it’s worth mentioning the impending introduction of ads.
This already started in a small way last year with ads on Facebook clicking through to a WhatsApp chat, but following the integration we’ll probably see ad functionality within WhatsApp itself.
How users respond to this remains to be seen but there are a number of brands already using WhatsApp to great effect, such as Absolut, Clarks, and Agent Provocateur.
However, these brands have used WhatsApp organically, when users engage the brand first rather than sending push notifications. It will be interesting to see what the brand pick-up is like and how users react once ad functionality goes live.