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Global Marketing

What Movie Marketers Can Teach Us About Social Media

Today’s top movie studio executives use a four-lever approach to predict the success of a film: capability, marketability, playability, and buzzability. These pillars look to previous trends to indicate how a given project will perform—and what audiences may seek it out.

Although movie marketing is a much lengthier (and costlier) process than planning an Instagram post, understanding the framework behind these decisions can fundamentally improve the way your brand executes its social media strategy. Specifically, the overarching story behind it.

Defining the Pillars

Here is an overview of the four factors movie marketers must consider before a story is green-lit:

1) Capability: A concept study. The earliest measurement of a given property’s potential. In this phase, a studio will decide whether to commit tens of millions of dollars to a project.

Who is the audience for this movie? How many of the four quadrants (male/female, 25+/25-) does it appeal to?

2) Marketability: A positioning study. Assesses the best strategic positioning for a movie, which is how the marketing campaign will present the film to the world.

What combination of genre & MPAA rating will yield the highest number of attendees?

3) Playability: A study that examines the level of satisfaction an audience derives from a movie. Occurs in post-production, before the film is picture locked.

How does the film perform in test screenings in various geographic areas? Do the jokes land? Are special effects believable?

4) Buzzability: A measure of critical response and social media influence.

How will people talk about the film online?

Applying the Pillars

As a social media marketer, you can use these strategies to create your proof-of-concept. A novice company make the mistake of copying innovative engagement strategies without taking the time to understand its unique brand image. These four pillars provide a framework that, when utilized correctly, ensures a brand’s digital story is told effectively—and to the optimal audience.

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Global Marketing

The Role of Augmented Reality in Social Media Marketing

Over the past several years, marketers have discovered the value of integrating augmented reality (AR) technology into their social media strategies. From Pokémon GO and Snapchat to Facebook and Instagram—AR has quickly shifted from a novel development to an entirely standard feature on most mobile social media platforms.

As a brand manager, you may be wondering how augmented reality can benefit your business. By considering the following practices, you may be able to significantly enhance your brand value and increase sales through mobile engagement.

1. Try Before You Buy / Greater Sale Retention

Customers who are accustomed to making all purchasing decisions in-store will need extra reassurance before placing an order online. Using AR technology, they can digitally try on a pair of sunglasses—or even view an armchair in their apartment—to ease trepidations around online shopping. Meanwhile, a tech-savvy consumer with a habit of purchasing (and quickly returning) products online may make more long-lasting, substantiated decisions with guidance from an AR feature.

IKEA’s augmented reality app allows you to place virtual furniture in your living space

2. Increase Buzzability Through Branded Filters

Immersive promotional tools have capabilities far beyond Snapchat filters. Memorable brand experiences, such as the Jack Daniels’ virtual distillery tour, create value by setting the bar for creative storytelling in the AR medium. This type of feature is not meant to immediately drive purchasing behavior; rather, it keeps the brand relevant and strengthens its long-term image.

Jack Daniels AR experience / Image Credit: Tactic

3. Boost B2B Marketing

In B2B transactions, AR technology can significantly increase buyer confidence by allowing a firm to demonstrate value at early touch points and accelerate sales cycles. By showcasing products virtually, augmented reality allows buyers to easily visualize the features of a tool and how they could benefit their organization. This degree of interaction allows businesses to make decisions faster—and with greater confidence.

Three-dimensional equipment trial with AR technology

How do you think immersive experiences will expand in the aftermath of COVID-19?

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Global Marketing

Spotify’s Role in the Social Media Landscape

In today’s moment, social media users are inundated scrolling through their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds. Chances are, your brand won’t break the noise. If you’re willing to get creative, the solution may be Spotify.

The music streaming platform is quickly—and discreetly—becoming a sophisticated advertising space. The service has 286 million users worldwide and can provide deep access to user behavior and insights. Here are a few techniques to consider:

Branded Playlists

Most Spotify users found their way to the platform in the pursuit of:

  1. Music and podcasts they already love
  2. Recommendations for new content, based on their unique taste

The platform is known for its remarkable ability to provide a constant, daily stream of curated content for every individual. You, too, can create the feeling of a personalized experience by organizing playlists that capture themes associated with your brand.

The beauty brand Glossier operates 30 playlists for 17,000+ Spotify followers

The COVID-19 moment illustrates the value of this strategy. At this time, people may not have the desire or disposable income to make nonessential purchases. Providing a comforting Spotify playlist is one of the easiest ways for your brand to preserve a positive relationship with your audience—and unlike traditional advertising, it’s virtually free to do.

The rise of “Work from Home” playlists and livestreamed content

Targeted Advertising

For a more standard advertising approach, your brand can create and manage ads through Spotify Ad Studio. The self-service platform allows creators to:

  • Build an audio campaign in ten minutes
  • Forecast impressions based on your target audience
  • Track and manage the results of your campaign

These advertisements are served to Spotify’s free subscription listeners (approx. 100 million users) in between songs. Like a traditional marketing approach, you can choose to direct your advertisement to a specific age, gender, location, genre listener, or device. These ads begin at $250.

The Podcast Revolution

In the past years, Spotify pledged to invest $500 million in podcasting. If your brand has an existing podcast or the resources (and a reason) to create one, this is a great way to leverage Spotify’s technical capabilities and wide audience reach.

To Review

Start simple. Create a Spotify profile for your brand and experiment with playlists. If your target audience engages, Spotify may be your new path to success!

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Global Marketing

2020 Social Media Marketing Trends

A study by SurveyMonkey and Hubspot discovered that social media trends seemed to match across regions, likely due to the globalizing effect of the internet. Here are four global social media trends to pay attention to this year.

1. Short-lived content will continue gaining popularity

Ephemeral content, like stories, have been a huge social media trend in the last few years and 2020 is shaping up to be no different.

Instragram Stories increase audience engagement through interactive stories and polls, giving a voice to your brand. While the dominance of Instagram Stories is prevalent, Facebook Stories are at the same engagement level reaching 500 million daily users.

Interactive Instagram Stories are among the most important social media trends of 2020
Examples of engagement through Instagram Stories

2. Influencer Marketing will narrow focus

Influencer marketing has become so popular that some brands are moving away from traditional methods in favor of creating influencer partnerships. The trend now is to be more selective in influencer selection. In the past, brands paid top dollar for large numbers of followers. Now we are seeing brands connect with nano-influencers who have a smaller following. These tight knit communities are having more meaningful and engaged conversations.

@Sashaspots has an engaged following of 2,400 on her Instagram which focuses on food at local spots in Orlando.

3. Social commerce will expand

Consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with social shopping. That, in addition to advancements in advertising capabilities, will continue to increase social commerce. We forecast that social commerce will become a mainstream retail channel on par with websites and offline stores. This trend will continue as social network introduce and improve shoppable posts.

The growth of direct shopping on Instagram is one of the biggest social media trends that will have lasting implications for the platform
An example of shopping on Instagram.

4. Video Content will dominate

Videos are the future of social media content because they are the most engaging. Short-form videos on TikTok or Stories and long-form content on YouTube will both continue to dominate. Cisco forecasts that 82% of online content will be video content by 2022. Brands not currently using videos should start adding them in content strategy or they will be left behind this trend.

What trends do you think will define 2020? Let us know in the comments!

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Global Marketing

How to Create Social Media Engagement

Social media engagement comes from interactions with your social media account. They include reactions, follows, shares, comments, or click-thru’s. These metrics are key ways to gauge the impact of content marketing and drive long-term brand favorability.

A clever comparison by Hootsuite labels companies as either a “soap box” or “dinner party.” Soap box brands have a one-way dialogue from the brand to consumers while dinner party brands are all about engagement, especially the small conversations between guests. Dinner party brands have the best level of consumer engagement. Be a dinner party brand.

“Your followers don’t want to talk to a faceless organization. They want to talk to real people on social media. Engaging one-on-one lets them know there’s a real person behind the account, and that can really make a difference in the trust they have for your brand.”

Nick Martin, Hootsuite social engagement specialist

Dinner Party Brand Examples:

Nike created a Twitter account dedicated to customer service in English, Spanish, and French to serve multiple countries.

Netflix has different twitter accounts for regions and spotlights new content released in that region. Considering not all content is shared in multiple regions, this is a great way Netflix localizes content to increase engagement. Each account still keeps a similar tone of humor to match the overall voice of the Netflix brand.

Domino’s celebrates cultural differences through its menu offerings and social media, strengthening its international presence.

Ways to Generate Social Media Engagement

Define Your Goals

What do you want your followers to gain through their online interaction with your brand? The “dinner party” brands referenced above have different goals. Some goals to consider include:

  • Create or change brand perception (Netflix)
  • Find and/or nurture leads
  • Offer promotions (Domino’s)
  • Providing product information to move customers through the purchase funnel
  • Obtain product or campaign feedback
  • Provide customer support (Nike)

Know Your Audience to Share Valuable Content with Them

To start, spend time researching your customer’s needs and desires. Every customer has a problem. How do they use social media to solve their problems? Your audience will dictate the frequency of posts, messaging, and content to share. You just need to listen to them!

Also pay attention to topical and trending events that resonate with your customers. These will be top of mind for your customers already so they will instantly connect with your content. However, use caution to make sure the topics or trends are in the correct brand voice.

Engagement Time!

Reactive engagement includes responding to customers who direct message, comment, or mention your business.

  • Decide the circumstances you will respond and be consistent.
  • Determine the best way to pass along messages to different internal departments.
  • Define a workflow for incoming messages.

Proactive engagement involves searching for indirect comments about your brand or relevant conversations. This can be very helpful for creating buzz for a product launch or campaign. Twitter is an essential social listening tool used by brands to proactively influence brand perception.

  • Determine guidelines for engaging with opportunities.
  • Look at Netflix or other best practices to learn about proactive engagement.

Track Your Progress

Each platform has different metrics that can be used to track audience engagement. As you get started, establish benchmarks for each platform to measure your content’s impact. This will ensure brand messaging is tied to something more tangible and constantly improving in quality.

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Global Marketing

How To Set Up International Social Media in 4 Steps

1. Choosing Social Media Platforms

The popular social media sites in your country may not have the same market share in other countries. As of January 2020, the most popular social media platform around the world was Facebook, with 2.5 billion users. However, if you plan to enter China, QZone is an important platform to pursue.

Last year’s map also shows the runner up platforms in each country. Instagram is ranked second in 44/58 analyzed countries , and Twitter and Reddit also make appearances. This is important to know if one plans to select more than one platform.

2. Selecting Content

Internationally, people use social media for different purposes. It’s important to know what people use the platforms for to make sure content is well-received. Globally, engagement on any platform is highest on photos and <30 second videos.

  • Asia Pacific countries go to social media for consumer reviews and also share brand-related information. Research from GlobalWebIndex shows that social media informs purchase decisions, especially with younger users. This is one reason the Philippines consumes so much media: the high amount of user-generated content produced.
  • Europe uses social media to get news. 40% of adults in Spain and Sweden get their news from social media, primarily from Facebook. 75% of all “news-seekers” on social media live in France, Italy and Denmark.

It is also helpful to know what how much time each country spends on social media platform. The graph below shows time spent on social media per country as of January 2018. The Philippines, Brazil and Indonesia hold the top three spots.

3. Localizing Content

  • Is it relevant or culturally specific? If your product launch is solely for one country, then curated content should not appear on sites in any other countries. If you plan to share articles using colloquialisms or celebrities, try adjusting the content to fit the country you plan to post in. Also take into account different currencies, measurement systems, and local spellings. These considerations will make your content more relevant.
  • Any cultural factors? Take into consideration laws and regulations in other countries. In China, there is a list of banned keywords and the Chinese government will block any content that violates the list.
  • Are there any current events to keep in mind? Being mindful of the current pandemic, organizations may want to market specially discounted prices on goods and services.

4. Interacting with Customers

The most important part of any social media plan is interacting with consumers. If you can engage followers, you have the opportunity to turn your brand into a living entity.

Creating content is a time-consuming process between sharing posts, and monitoring all the reactions and comments on each platform. Fortunately there are many social media tools to help do this all while boosting engagement. These tools are critical for a brand to stay on top of the rapidly evolving landscape and potentially high volume of consumers to monitor. Reviews of Hootsuite and other top tools can be found here.

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Global Marketing

TikTok: The Next Frontier of Global Marketing

TikTok, the Chinese video-sharing social media platform, seemingly exploded out of nowhere. The app currently has over 2 billion users worldwide, 60% of which are between 13-24 years old. And yet, TikTok is only being used by 4% of social media marketers.

There is a reason brands are apprehensive to enter this massive digital space. First of all, it is overtly anti-marketing. TikTok users flock to the app with an almost urgent intention to showcase their knowledge of new trends, dances, pranks, comedy routines — the list goes on.

So how can you leave an impression on the the impossible-to-ignore platform? Make sure your customers are there, then capture their attention with organic influencer marketing.

Case Study: FENTY Beauty House

Targeting a Gen Z audience, Fenty Beauty invested in a TikTok strategy by opening a dedicated content creation “Fenty House” in March 2020. After the physical location has closed due to coronavirus, Fenty’s influencers continued promoting the brand remotely.

For a brand like Fenty Beauty, TikTok is the perfect space to promote diversity and inclusivity — values that closely align with Gen Z and the Fenty brand. Challan Trishann, one of the Fenty Beauty House creators, believes that “Fenty Beauty works [so well on TikTok] because it’s a brand that everybody loves and that has something for everybody. Everybody can find their match.”

Case Study: Chipotle

The Chipotle team first decided to create a presence on TikTok after seeing their brand repeatedly mentioned by users of the app when a Chipotle Instagram video of an employee flipping a lid over a burrito bowl made it over to the platform.

Shortly after, Chipotle launched a #GuacDance challenge, where guacamole fans filmed themselves dancing to a popular avocado-centric song. The campaign took place in July 2019 and became TikTok’s highest performing brand challenge in the US, resulting in an extraordinary 250,000 video submissions and Chipotle’s most successful guacamole day in history, with more than 800,000 sides of guac served.

The Power of the Zeitgeist

Ultimately, the success behind running these types of campaigns relies on trendjacking: harnessing the creativity of amateur TikTokers who are, too, seeking a way to break the noise and stay relevant in their followers’ feeds. This symbiotic relationship between marketers and creators is an incredibly powerful tool that can strengthen a brand’s digital strategy overnight — but the most important caveat? You can’t try too hard.

llustration by The Sporting Press, The Hollywood Reporter
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Global Marketing

Considerations for your Global Social Media Strategy

So, you’ve decided to take your brand global—congratulations! Before you begin, consider the following question: Should you manage a global account or pursue a localization strategy?

The answer is likely a bit of both.

The Appeal of Global Branding

“As more and more companies come to view the entire world as their market, brand builders look with envy upon those that appear to have created global brands—brands whose positioning, advertising strategy, personality, look, and feel are in most respects the same from one country to another. It’s easy to understand why.”

David Aaker and Erich Joachimsthaler, Harvard Business Review

Global branding is desirable but difficult to achieve. With some logistical and emotional considerations in mind, you may be able to pull off a global strategy with little headache.

Keep a Consistent Heart

On the path to global success, the easiest thing you can do is commit to your values. Business practices are not inherently meaningful; you must assign meaning to your product/service and communicate it to your audience.

Let’s examine AirBnB. The company’s mission is to “help create a world where you can belong anywhere and where people can live in a place, instead of just traveling to it.”

Some consumers will find this more touching than others, but overall it’s an undeniably stronger sell than “online couch surfing.” Once you figure out how to evoke emotion through product storytelling, you can use local assistance to adjust the message and preserve its universal value.

Amplify Through Others

After you find your brand’s voice, recruit opinion leaders who matter in the global environments you want to pursue. Experimenting in a new culture without proper guidance can produce detrimental and costly results. To avoid this anxiety, introduce your brand through a well-known individual or channel. New consumers may embrace your offer with some encouragement from a voice they trust.

Simplify your Canvas

Consumers all over the world are inundated by their social media feeds. It is important to consider how your company can distinguish itself from the noise—and even provide some refuge. We recommend keeping your online presentation sleek, simple, and more visual than verbal.

What brands do you think excel at this today?