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Social Media Trends 2022

Use of social media has been growing exponentially of late, and the changes forced by the Covid-19 pandemic have accelerated that growth, as consumer habits and demands have adjusted in response.

A recent report by Hubspot and Talkwalker ‘Social Media Trends in 2022’ has highlighted 10 key trends in social marketing that you need to know about, and consider their relevance as part of your digital strategy.

The common denominator in all these trends is the consumer. Consumer power has grown, and they are now effectively in charge of your brand. What’s important to them needs to be important to you – so your market intelligence is going to become even more crucial.

The report is packed full of insights, and is well worth a read, But for busy readers who don’t have time to dive into the full thing, I’ve summarised the main take-outs for you here.

1. The domination of TikTok

Remember when TikTok was a playground for kids doing lip-synch videos? There’s still plenty of that going on, but savvy brands have been exploring its potential for a while, and the platform has been developing new tools for marketers, with an e-commerce and monetisation model rumoured to be in the pipeline.

During 2021, TikTok became the first non-Facebook platform to exceed 3 billion global downloads, its meteoric rise largely driven by users turning to it during successive lockdowns.

TikTok’s popularity lies mainly with the younger age-groups, and successful brands are those which are able to capitalise on the move from simple ads to more direct communication with consumers.

One of these is live-stream marketing, which has already taken off in Asia. Read about live-stream here.

The essential message here is that if your customers are on TikTok, you should be too. More than that, you need to be part of their conversations and willing to embrace user-generated content.

2. As cookies are phased out, social media ads will grow in importance

Social media continues to develop as a tool for reaching out to bigger audiences than ever before, and to engage with them in a more personal way. The customer journey is changing (and shortening) and successful brands on social media know how to engage directly and positively with their audience. That relationship might also be fragmented across various channels, so your data strategy will become more critical.

3. Social selling will simplify the customer journey

Social media platforms have recognised the importance of social selling and started to provide new shopping features, making it easier for brands to engage with, and sell to, social media users without them needing to leave the platform. Instagram is just one platform that has introduced these new shopping features. Combining the power of a strong influencer strategy with these new e-commerce possibilities is one way that brands are simplifying the customer journey and making it easier for social media consumers to become customers.

But it’s important to recognise that the brands doing this successfully are those willing to get creative with their customer engagement. It’s not just about well-placed ads. Livestreams and other engagements with consumer-led content are creating more positive engagements – shoppertainment is a growth area.

4. Consumer needs will shape content

The pandemic drastically increased our use of and reliance on social media. As a result content trends have moved on and brands need to adapt their marketing accordingly. Social media users increasingly expect that, since companies have their data, they tailor their content more accurately – so brands need to get more granular in terms of how they create content for specific locations, age groups, interest areas or gender.

The key take-out from this is that consumer insights are vital to enable you to create content that’s targeted to specific audiences.

Lifestyle and working habits having shifted during lockdown, consumers are acutely aware of the types of content that suit them – whether in terms of platform or duration. Bitesize formats are popular.Interestingly, too, although video and livestream content is still on the up, audio only content – including podcasts – is also very popular.

Think about your customer experience and whether it needs improving to make buying from you as simple as it can be. How easy is it to make a buying decision without seeing or touching an actual product? VR features are being added by many successful brands, allowing customers to explore, test and try out online.

5. Onmi-channel engagement is changing the way customers use social media

According to the Hubspot report, 64% of users now receive their news from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and Snapchat, instead of traditional media. This rise in social media consumption gives brands many opportunities to expand their audiences and increase the number of connections with you – as long as you are providing the content that your consumers actually want. Beware of fake news and misleading content!

As the table below shows, media is the largest source of misinformation, so to gain and keep the trust of your audiences you need to ensure you are providing trustworthy content, and challenging sources of fake news.

Although social media platforms are beginning to take more responsibility for fact-checking (Twitter, for example, has a partnership with Reuters to help combat misinformation), consumers themselves play a significant part in spreading misinformation. So brands who want to remain trusted need to be keeping an eye on not just their own content, but the content their online community is reading and sharing, and take a proactive role in sharing factually correct information to build trust.

6. Influencer marketing will come into its own

Influencer marketing has been growing up over the last few years, and is fast evolving into a sophisticated and more regulated version of itself. Combined with brand advocacy, where ‘real’ consumers become influencers in their own right, it’s a powerful tool for switched-on brands. Since the onset of the pandemic, we’ve become more conscious that a consumerist outlook isn’t good for the planet, so many brands are choosing to work with influencers with a social conscience that reflects their own vision.

A 2021 report by the Influencer Marketing Hub revealed that 67% of respondents were using Instagram for influencer marketing as part of their strategy.

This article explores developments in influencer marketing in more detail: https://gordonglenister.com/brand-advocacy/

7. Brands will take more control over social, with their own platforms

Social media used has exploded through the pandemic precisely because it enables the connections, socialising and relationship maintenance that Covid-19 impacted. The lesson brands need to learn from that is that they need to ensure that their digital platforms, apps and channels include social aspects.

The other side to this is that the ability to create communities is no longer limited to the big social media platforms. It’s now possible to build effective in-house social networks –enabling brands to take back control of their audiences from the global giants and, crucially, maintain more control of their content – or put more control in the hands of their audiences.

Stronger interactions mean greater engagement. As consumers become more able to interact direct with a brand, we’ll see how engagement and retention increase.

One brand that has been doing this very successfully is Venmo, which keeps its users engaged through conversations and connections on its social media channels, resulting in a higher level of trust and appreciation.

8. The rise of the metaverse

So what’s a metaverse? A good question, as the word didn’t really exist until recently. It refers to the amalgamation of the physical world, the augmented and the virtual. It was led, unsurprisingly, by the gaming industry, but even before Covid-19 hit, many brands were experimenting with virtual reality. The need for increased online social interactions and more immersive experiences during lockdowns has accelerated developments. Across industries and sectors, brands have realised that features like virtual dressing rooms, digital meet-ups and more personalised digital customer service can help them to stay relevant and create deeper connections, especially with younger audiences.
As Tania Tal, MD at DIA Brand Consultants says in the Hubspot report, “The metaverse is becoming the future playground for brands, where real and virtual worlds converge.”

Expect to see exciting new developments over the coming year.

9. Sustainability and inclusivity will become key

Covid-19 forced people to make drastic changes to how they live and work, and they now demand more from the brands they buy from. People are increasingly valuing sustainability – and they expect it to be authentic. The re-evaluation is also impacting on employment, with employees giving more importance to a company’s purpose than ever before.

Brands are no longer able to simply produce products or provide services and ignore the topics that matter to their audiences. Customers expect them to engage with issues of sustainability, inclusivity – everything from environmental concerns to social justice and mental health.

Lego is an interesting example. Their ‘Everyone is Awesome’ set, launch to coincide with 2021 Pride Month garnered 64% positive conversations, with over 20K people heading to social media to express their excitement.

Some of the most important take-outs here are that whatever you say needs to be genuine and authentic. It’s no good saying one thing, but acting differently. Your customers will notice! Listen to your customers and come up with ways to include as many of them as possible.

10. Communities are becoming the driving force

Given the previous trend, it should come as no surprise to hear that the community is taking charge. Whilst the onus is on brands to establish communities of consumers through strategic content shaped around their needs, they can’t always control what they say and do. With social media, these communities are able to form outside the brand’s owned spaces, which can have interesting outcomes. Social communities and movements can form, grow and gain power very quickly (witness the BLM and #MeToo movements) and brands with the right messages will be able to tap into them. On the flip side, get it wrong, and the disruptive power of the community can have catastrophic effects.

Again, transparency is important here – your social media presence needs to be as genuine as possible, with the ability for your audience to interact as much as possible. Communities also need nurturing, so be prepared to put the commitment in when it comes to maintaining them, and the pay-off will be brand engagement, exposure and even brand love.

There’s so much valuable information in the full report that I’ve only been able to give you a digest of the key points here. If you want to explore the case studies and examples in more detail, you can download the full report here ↓

If you’d like to explore how to tap into these emerging trends and build an effective social media marketing programme for your brand, let’s talk.

Gordon Glenister is the author of a new book, Influencer Marketing Strategy. Learn:

  • how to build an influencer strategy
  • what makes a great influencer
  • about the rise of Clubhouse and TikTok
  • about future digital trends for connecting with a digital customer

Order your copy from Kogan or Amazon

Find out more at: https://gordonglenister.com/

BRAND ADVOCACY – why community should be at the heart of your digital marketing strategy

Developments in social media, and the lasting impact of the global pandemic, have changed the face of marketing. Social media has provided important marketing tools for many years now, enabling influencers to build, and connect with, communities of followers.

But recent shifts have meant that consumers are moving away from engagement with the type of influencer who they don’t relate to, in favour of ‘real people’ who deliver trust, authenticity and transparency instead of flash; largely through:

  • Social media sharing
  • User-generated content (UGC)
  • Customer referrals
  • Online reviews

A recent white paper from Wearisma looks at how brand advocacy is changing, in a big shift towards building communities instead of audiences.

In this article I’ll share with you some of their most important findings and outline some of the key elements of an effective brand advocacy programme.

1. What is brand advocacy, and why does it work?

Brand advocacy is a way to build an authentic online community of people who genuinely love and support your brand. Yes, we still need influencers to generate high levels of engagement and curate professional content, but making the most of our social media content now involves a shift towards content generated by customers themselves.

It’s not unlike traditional ‘word of mouth’ marketing, but now we can make use of modern digital channels to locate our genuine ambassadors within our customer base.

Wearisma have a simple way to explain the differences between influencers and advocates.

Source: Wearisma

So brand advocates can be either influencers or consumer advocates. From a community point of view, the magic happens when the enthusiasm of a consumer of your brand creates a desire to talk about you online through positive reviews, mentions and recommendations. Combine this with influencers who have a genuine passion for your brand rather than an eye solely on the metrics, and you have a potentially powerful community of brand advocates.

In Wearisma’s study, they found that 74% of people stated that more recommendations from people they know would encourage them to purchase from brands.

2. Trust, transparency and purpose – the three pillars of brand advocacy

The brand/consumer relationship has undergone a major shift recently, and the power is very much in the hands of consumers. Consumers are, increasingly, insisting on a genuine sense of connection with brands, a connection for which trust is essential.

That’s why community has become a vital online experience. Consumers trust their communities – whether physical or online – more than advertising, so messages ‘pushed out’ by a brand are no longer sufficient or acceptable for building trust.

With consumers easily able to block messages they don’t want to receive, building authentic online communities and engaging consumers personally is essential. According to Wearisma, brand advocacy is the leading strategy for achieving this level of engagement.

Building trust relies on authenticity and transparency. Consumers need to be assured that the content they are seeing is genuine, and originating from people with a ‘passionate, emotional attachment with a brand’.

So who are these people?

Wearisma’s research included looking at the essential attributes of successful brand advocates. It revealed a demand for advocates who are passionate about the brand and will provide honest reviews – including negative ones. They need to be genuine, knowledgeable users of the products, and to be transparent about their other interests and partnerships.

Source: Wearisma

This transparency is particularly important when your consumers consist mainly of Gen Z and Millennials, as they tend not to be simply purchasers of a product. For these consumers, the brands they buy from reflect and are aligned with their personal core beliefs and values. So the personality and purpose of the brand is as important as the product – if not more so.

Brands who can have real conversations with the consumers, rather than always talking like a brand, tend to develop better relationships, and their consumers are more likely to move to becoming brand advocates.

Wearisma gives Ann Summers as an example of how building trust and connections with real people online has turned consumers into passionate advocates who go on to feature in brand campaigns.

3. Some dos and don’ts of a brand advocacy programme 

An affect brand advocacy campaign will enable you to leverage the power of your biggest fans, helping you to:

  • build the genuine brand love which is fast emerging as the most effective form of advertising
  • remain relevant to your online community
  • cut costs whilst driving impact

But some brands have made a few mis-steps, having failed to understand how vital a role authenticity plays.

Don’t rely on mass campaigns

Wearisma gives an example of brands who, in an attempt to build their online communities, have sent out mass DM campaigns, offering consumers discounts in exchange for their content. Whilst, on the face of it, this might seem like a perfectly reasonable idea, to today’s consumer it lacks authenticity, and may even look suspect – like a scam. This tactic lacks the personal touch which is at the centre of authentic brand advocacy. An offer in exchange for the label of ‘ambassador’, coming from a brand with which a consumer may have minimal or no prior relationship, is meaningless and may even deter people from engaging with you further.

Do nurture relationships with individuals

An effective brand advocacy strategy involves identifying the consumers who already love your brand but don’t (yet) consider themselves advocates. Whilst their reach might be smaller than a popular influencer, their impact within their own networks is likely to be greater. Plus, the chances are that their network consists of people like them – who share at least some of their values and core beliefs. So if they already love your brand, their community is already partly self-selected to love it too.

Do give something back

One of the ways to engage with your consumers and nurture them to become brand advocates is through gifting.

If these consumers are already posting positive content about you online, give them something back, as a thank-you for their support, and encourage them to share more about their relationship with your brand.

A well-thought out gifting strategy as part of your loyalty programmes, will enable you to reward the ambassadors for their authentic promotion of your brand. Wearisma’s research has shown that audiences are becoming more interested in content that highlights how brands are thanking their advocates for their loyalty, and also that 76% of people say they would be encouraged to purchase if first given a gift.

Source: Wearisma

Tiered gifting allows you to reward your advocates according to how much engagement their content generates – rewarding your highest performing fans more generously will help to further build the relationship and connections.

One way to approach tiered gifting.

  • Step 1: Design your tiers. You can have as many gifting tiers as you like, but a simple place to start might be a discount code (level 1), a sample product (level 2), and a full-size product (level 3). If you’re just starting out, begin with every advocate at level 1.
  • Step 2: Track your advocates. Once you’ve sent out rewards, you need to keep an eye on what your advocates are doing. Are they responding by posting further positive content about your brand?
  • Step 3: Monitor activity. Which advocates are creating the best performing content? You can track this with metrics like Engagements, Engagement Rate and Media Value, as well as tracking which content is driving traffic to your website and creating sales.
  • Step 4: Tier placement. Once you can see who are the top performers for your brand, you can reward them further, by moving them up a tier, then repeat steps 2 and 3. Keep rewarding everyone else at level 1 to maintain loyalty and engagement!

Summary: Why you should be considering a brand advocate strategy for your brand

Your best brand advocates will be highly active online, will have a great social reach, and will represent your company in the best way possible. They are likely to be customers, but could also be employees or partners.

The benefits for your brand will be:

  • using the power of your advocates to reach more potential consumers, both online and in-person
  • it’s a more authentic form of marketing, as your advocates are people who believe in your brand, andsupport it without being paid to do so
  • in an online world, it humanises your brand, and potential customers see it as more genuine, creating empathy, personality, and trust
  • it can create media interest – when publications see people talking about your brand, you are more likely to get your products featured
  • it’s a great way to educate people about your products or services
  • although you may need to invest a bit of money and effort in building your strategy, having a strong community of brand advocates can ultimately reduce the time and money you need to invest in marketing

You can download and read the full Wearisma report here.

If you’d like to explore how to build an effective brand advocacy programme, let’s talk.

Gordon Glenister is the author of a new book, Influencer Marketing Strategy. Learn:

  • how to build an influencer strategy
  • what makes a great influencer
  • about the rise of Clubhouse and TikTok
  • about future digital trends for connecting with a digital customer

Order your copy from Kogan or Amazon

Find out more at: http://gordonglenister.com/

 

Live-stream marketing is booming in Asia. Here’s why you should be paying attention

Live stream shopping (or live stream e-commerce) is being touted as the next big thing in retail. Whilst it’s probably fair to say that it hasn’t yet reached anywhere like its full potential with customers in the UK and Europe, or even the US, customers in South East Asia have switched on to it in their millions, and it’s become a major marketing tool for brands from cosmetics to fashion. It’s estimated to have generated somewhere around $136 billion in revenue in China in 2020.

In China, Taobao Live dominates, with 80% of the market, but other platforms are growing, and Douyin (China’s version of TikTok) is rapidly transforming itself from a social network to a home shopping channel.

And although it’s early days, TikTok in the US have started experimenting with it through a partnership with Walmart.

According to Mike George, president and CEO of Qurate Retail, inventors of TV shopping channel QVC, the seeds of what would become livestream shopping were first sown in China in the mid-2010s. Influencers began using live video apps to take their fans with them to boutiques in exotic locations. They would share information and explain products along the way. These virtual journeys offered viewers a glimpse of places like New York or Los Angeles, with the option to discover and buy products that were not readily available in China.

You can read more of what Mike has to say about the rise of live stream marketing in his article for Fortune.com: Livestream shopping is the next best thing in retail.

What is live stream marketing?

Simply put, it’s when influencers and brands stream live content on platforms like (in Asia)Shopee and Lazada, and their audience can instantly purchase the things that they are seeing on the app.

These platforms have integrated features that allow viewers to see these influencers and key opinion leaders in real-time, promoting products and services. It’s big business, certainly in Asia. Shopeeis a Singaporean online shopping platform which streams 17,000 pieces of live content every day, accumulating 14 million daily views, equating to over 700,000 hours of viewing time from potential customers.

Live stream commerce originated in Asia, and was already big before Covid-19 saw lockdowns around the world, but the pandemic certainly didn’t hurt this form of marketing. In fact, Shopee reported 99% global growth during 2020. Even after lockdowns were lifted, it seems customers, now accustomed to online shopping, have no intention of turning their backs on it. Many more and brands are now looking into turning Live E-Commerce into a common shopping experience for their customers.

In Europe, Chinese online shopping giant AliExpress conducted a survey which revealed that around 70% of European shoppers are open to the idea of experimenting with live streaming ‘shoppertainment’.

How they prefer their content does vary by country, a factor which is essential for marketers to consider.

Vita Chang, Head of Content Operations Ecosystem at AliExpress, says ““When exploring the European opportunity, it is important to look into distinctions of each country to cater the right messages for different consumers in different countries.”

Some of the study’s key findings suggest that UK consumers favour trustworthy and entertaining mobile-friendly content, while French consumers prefer succinct content endorsed by influencers. Shoppers in Spain seek out the best deals and practical information.

You can read the full findings of the AliExpress study: Shoppertainment is landing in Europe here.

How do brands use live formats to attract customers?

Live stream marketing content can appear on social media platforms.Facebook, TikTok and Instagram have already gone for it in a big way and other platforms are rapidly catching up.

Facebook launched ‘Live Shopping Fridays’ this summer, going through to mid-July, and it includes partnerships with major beauty brands like Clinique and Sephora.

The beauty of live stream is that it allowsinfluencers and brands to communicate with followers and consumers in the moment. Unlike a standard ‘video ad’ format, live stream allows the audience to interact directly with the host, to ask questions, for example. And the host can provide answers and give product feedback. It allows the kind of awareness-building and engagement which might previously have taken weeks or months of campaign activity.

As you might expect, influencers have been a major (ahem) influence on this online marketing phenomenon, andmany brands have been quick to recognise the value of using them to host their live shopping streams. The clever brands script the presentation carefully to ensure that, whilst the host influencer champions the brand in a variety of ways, – through demos, reviews, live-testing and promotional offers – they remain on-message.  Then, if a consumer likes what they see, they can buy the product instantly in-platform.

Creating digital events

Not for nothing is it known as ‘shoppertainment’, and these streams are turning into mini variety shows – with concerts, cooking demonstrations and workout classes, among others, added to the mix to keep engagement levels high.

It’s also worth noting that, whilst Asian, particularly Chinese live stream marketing has tending to rely on big-name influencers (with the associated a hefty price tag), it’s not always necessary to commit that kind of investment. Interestingly, whilst many brands do start out using established influencers as hosts, it’s not uncommon for a brand’s ‘in-house’ host to work it the other way, and develop such a following that they become an influencer in their own right.

Driven in part by recent restrictions, a number of brands have all but dropped physical product launches from their calendar, opting instead for live stream events.

The Goat Agency, which works with clients across Asia, including Olay, reports a significant rise in these events, like a recent launch campaign for Olay Retinol, where influencerslive-streamed product reveals on their personal channels, and were joined by a P&G scientist to answer questions about the product, whilst engaging the audience. The live content was enhanced by gamificationwith trivia questions and other activities to let the audience win products, with the added advantage of educating them about product benefits.

What are the downsides to live stream e-commerce?

Although undeniably effective (when done right), it can get expensive. With its popularity comes rising media costs, and the expense of paying a high-profile celebrity or influencer.

It’s also important to remember that, just as with any retail experience, it’s about building a relationship with the customer. Relying on flashy tech, or the influencer of the moment, without paying attention to the detail risks your investment being a costly mistake – or at best, a short-lived success. Competitive prices, efficient customer service and distribution, and the power of storytelling are just as important as ever.

Where is live stream marketing going?

There’s no doubt that it’s a growing phenomenon, and that it has plenty of untapped potential for brands across a multitude of sectors. Beauty and fashion brands have been quick to see its potential, but there’s really no limit.

And for the future, Mike George, of Qurate Retail has some tantalising ideas.“Perhaps”, he says,“artificial intelligence on social media will enable us to provide each customer with a fully individualized channel of live, interactive content, curated just for them. Maybe virtual reality will allow us to transport the customer to a front-row seat at a livestream fashion show, right next to a friendly host who is ready to answer questions and take an order.”

If you’re thinking about how live stream e-commerce could work for your brand, let’s talk.

Gordon Glenister is the author of a new book, Influencer Marketing Strategy. Learn:

  • how to build an influencer strategy
  • what makes a great influencer
  • about the rise of Clubhouse and TikTok
  • about future digital trends for connecting with a digital customer

Order your copy from Kogan or Amazon

Find out more at: http://gordonglenister.com/

A marketers’ guide to TikTok

One of the biggest and fastest-growing social media channels, TikTok is a phenomenon that looks set to stick around.

It’s particularly popular with millennials and Gen Z, with 69% of users being aged 16-24. It was the most downloaded iOS app on the Apple App Store for Q3-Q4 in 2019, has been downloaded over 1.5 billion times, and (as of January 2021 figures) had amassed over 689 million users worldwide.

The main reason for TikTok’s popularity is that it’s a lot of fun. It makes it simple for users to create, edit and share their own content, and popular content goes viral really quickly. The younger generation of users are smartphone natives, accustomed to consuming YouTube content created for them, and comfortable with the idea of creating their own, as well as being open to the idea of influencers.

But despite its opportunities, it’s an app that many marketers haven’t quite got the hang of yet. Captiv8, the largest AI-Powered Branded Content Platform, recently published a comprehensive marketers’ guide, and I want to share with you some of the key insights and TikTok marketing tools.

What is TikTok?

In case you’re unfamiliar with it (in which case, where have you been?), let’s start with the basics. TikTok is a social platform which allows users to create and share short-form videos. 15-second videos can be set to soundtracks using published music or original backing sounds, and lip-synching, dance and prank videos are all popular.

Challenges are also hugely popular on TikTok, where users are challenged to recreate a video on a particular theme, or using a particular piece of music, and share it using a challenge hashtag.

One of TikTok’s big success factors is its simple, lo-fi production capability. Millennials and Gen Z, although used to influencers, find content that is too ‘slick’ inauthentic and less trustworthy. TikTok ‘keeps it real’, bringing often unfiltered, unedited and deliberately imperfect content to users, in contrast with the level of ‘perfection’ which often characterises Instagram channels, for instance.

Another string to TikTok’s bow is its potential for rapid internet domination. Unlike other channels, where it can take years to build enough of a following for content to go viral, with TikTok, a single video has the potential to go viral within hours, catapulting the content creator to fame.

For millennials and Gen Zs whose ambition is to become an influencer, or even just those who enjoy the challenge of creating viral content, the potential is seductive indeed.

Let’s take a look at five key ways marketers use TikTok:

  1. Branded hashtag challenges

Hashtag challenges make use of the natural tendency of TikTok users to create and share content, rather than merely consume it.

Branded hashtag challenges take it a step further to create genuine brand engagement, and are one of TikTik’s most widely used and most successful marketing tools.

By sharing a branded video, and challenging users to record their own version using your sponsored hashtag, you can build affinity and drive engagement with your brand, potentially across millions of users.

In a recent campaign, E.L.F cosmetics created a song ‘Eyes, Lips, Face’ to use for their #eyeslipsfacecampaign which (at the time of Captiv8’s report publication had nearly 18,000 TikTok videos using the song and collectively the videos tagged with #eyeslipsface had been viewed nearly 1.2 billion times.

Find out more about how to create a branded hashtag challenge: https://www.tiktokforbusinesseurope.com/resources/7-tips-for-an-effective-branded-hashtag-challenge

  1. In-feed videos

In-feed videos look like the typical social media ads you’ll be familiar with from other platforms. The video spots (up to 60 seconds, but 15 is recommended) havesound and you can choose from CTA types including website clicks, app downloads or to your brand’s TikTok Business Account. The video ads auto-play within a user’s feed, but can be skipped.

This is a relatively cost-effective way to advertise onTikTok, but some skill is needed to make sure your video is eye-catching enough to avoid a skip.The CTA options make it simple to measure your ad’s success.

Find out more and see some examples on in-feed video ads here: https://blog.shuttlerock.com/complete-guide-to-tiktok-video-ad-formats

  1. Brand takeover

TikTok Brand Takeovers are ads that are served to users immediately they open the TikTok app. It’s a 3-5 second full-screen ad which can be either a static image or a GIF, and users can click out at any point. You can use the CTA options to link to your brand’s TikTok page or to your external website.

You can also add interactivity and engagement by including a branded hashtag. It’s a great high-impact tool for generating high reach, as the whole screen is clickable.

Brand takeovers are exclusive to one advertiser in a category per day, so yours is the only ad in this format that users will see that day. This does make it a premium format, with a price tag to match, so is mostly used by larger brands looking for maximum exposure and reach.

  1. Branded lenses

Branded lenses are a feature that allows users to interact and play with the brand using their filter. They allow users to test products (so are ideal for cosmetic brands, for example) and choose to buy. You can also integrate branded lenses into a hashtag challenge, creating stronger interaction with your brand and promoting your products more widely. 

TikTokbranded lenses offer brands the possibility of using 2D, 3D and Augmented Reality (AR) to providecreative face filters and objects, including animated objects,for users toincorporate into their content.

Lenses appear within thetrending section of the TikTok app and users can select themwhile filming, giving them creative control whilst also interacting with, and promoting your brand.

They are time-limited, with branded lenses live for up to 10 days,and able to rank in the top 5 trends for up to 5 days. It’s an excellent tool for driving deeper brand engagement, and cosmetic brands have successfully used this ad format not only to generate sales, but also to trial new products through AR technology.

Read more about branded lenses: https://www.deptagency.com/en-gb/story/a-new-advertising-opportunity-has-arrived-copy/

  1. Top view

Top View is possibly the prime area of TikTok, appearing first when users open the app. Because it seems more native, users are less likely to skip it before it fades into an in-feed video ad up to 60 seconds long. By creating an engaging video, brands can develop a really immersive brand experience, and there’s no competing content to distract the user.

TikTok only allows one advertiser per day per category in Top View, so it’s great for increasing brand awareness in your category.

See a top view example here: https://www.tiktok.com/business/en-GB/apps/tiktok

The future for TikTok – watch this space

These are the top five options currently, but in common with other social media platforms, TikTok isn’t static, and there are constant new developments for marketers.

TikTok’s future focus looks to be on increasing revenue through advertising, creating revenue streams for creators, and improving its user safety measures, especially for children. The platform doesn’t yet offer a direct way for creators to make money out of their content, though there are a number of ways in which you can generate income streams through it – developing your influencer status, or using content to sell product or services being two.

According to the Captiv8 report, advertising and in-app spending accounted for $100M globally in 2020, so despite some gaps, it’s a serious revenue generator as well as being a highly effective platform for forward-thinking brands to use for audience building and engagement.

Read the full Captiv8 report here.

Gordon Glenister is the author of a new book, Influencer Marketing Strategy. Learn:

  • how to build an influencer strategy
  • what makes a great influencer
  • about the rise of Clubhouse and TikTok
  • about future digital trends for connecting with a digital customer

Order your copy at:Gordon Glenister | Membership and Merchandise Specialist London

Find out more at: http://gordonglenister.com/book-launch

How to segment your membership

There are many different ways you can segment your membership. What you decide to call the levels will be driven by whether this is an organisational or an individual membership. The advantages of segmenting your membership is that this will help you deliver benefits that are relevant to your different audiences. A student member will have different needs to a large corporate for example.

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How to measure your membership effectively

Why membership is a new driver of revenue for lots of organisations, for established clubs, associations, institutes, gyms and many others, there is a an increasing need to review the traditional models of membership. Millennial’s and younger people are not joining traditional bodies in big numbers, they are used to sharing their own experiences and knowledge online. Continue Reading →