Digital Dash: Instagram improves #spon, Facebook ups value & more

Digital Dash: Instagram improves #spon, Facebook ups value & more

1. Instagram upgrades #spon with ‘paid partnership’ feature for influencer collabs
If you dabble in a spot of Instagram celeb (or wannabe celeb) stalking every now and again, you’ll be more than familiar with the non-stop product pushing antics.

Anyone who works in social media can spot one of these blatantly-paid-for posts a mile off. For others, it’s not always as obvious – and they’re at risk of believing the sponsored content reflects genuine product recommendations and suggestions. Bless.

To help improve transparency, Instagram has been encouraging the use of #spon and #ad… but the trouble is, very few are bothering to actually use them.

In fact, data from Mediakix found that only 7% of the top 50 celebrities complied with guidelines and regulations set by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

So, as of this week, Instagram’s launched ‘paid partnership’ tags as a formal callout to official collaborations. The tags will appear prominently above the post image (for both regular posts and stories).

Here’s what they look like:
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The new feature will also automatically grant partnership brands access to the content’s analytics via their Facebook page manager (creators will see the metrics in their app).

2. Facebook’s new value optimization feature is music to brands’ ears
Last week, I told you about the arrival of value-based Lookalike Audiences – which let you target people based on their similarity to your high lifetime value customers.

This week, Facebook has followed up with another sweet, sweet gift for brands: value optimization.

The feature uses data pulled from the Facebook pixel to estimate how much a person may spend over a seven-day period on your site. It then adjusts the bid of your ad based on this, meaning you’re hitting the users who are likely to spend more, for a lower cost.

Put together, the two features make a killer combo and reflect a shift by Facebook towards the metric that matters most – money.

3. Snapchat makes a power move, rolls out self-serve ad platform
Snapchat is great in so many ways (just ask Instagram) but one thing that’s been really holding it back – at least as far as brands are concerned – is its ad offering.

Until recently, brands who wanted to advertise on the platform would have to a) have a ginormous budget, and b) be willing to put up with a complex, indirect set up system that involved working with a Snapchat sales rep or third party partner on creation and approval.

This put the app out of reach for the vast majority of advertisers.

But this week brings big news – Snapchat has FINALLY rolled out a self-serve ad tool, meaning a whole new world of social advertising just opened up for brands.

Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 13.51.30Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 13.51.42

The tool lets buyers create and target ads, and apply budget, much like you can on Facebook (although Facebook’s ad manager is still far more advanced) for its standard vertical video offering, Snap Ads.

Other ad options such as Sponsored Geofilters and Sponsored Lenses aren’t yet available as self-serve.

Brands can enjoy many of the same targeting options offered by the likes of Facebook and Instagram, including demographic, location, device and lifestyle categories (based on Discover and Stories data).

Importantly, the ads manager also offers audience match, lookalike and engagement audience functionality. And this news specifically just put Snapchat well and truly on our radar.

4. Facebook is ready to give brands more control over ad delivery, new tools announced
Just in case this didn’t come across in the story above, Facebook’s ad manager is an absolute beast of a platform. We. Are. Fans.

There really is little you can fault it on, although one major issue brands have had with it is the complete lack of information relating to where ads appear.

Concerns have been magnified a fair bit since the whole YouTube fiasco of a couple of months back, which saw a heap of major brands fleeing the site after reports surfaced of ads appearing next to offensive content.

New tools announced this week aim to improve transparency for advertisers, and will give an indication of where ads might appear via Instant Articles, in-stream ads within Facebook and across Audience Network.

You will also be able to stop ads appearing where you don’t want them to by blocking them at account level. Prior to this, it was possible to block, but only by listing publications one by one.

Another new feature means more control over where video ads appear and what format they will use – in-stream, native or interstitial.

5. Pop-up stores are the hottest trend in retail right now – here are 3 reasons why
The pop-up store concept has been around for a while but in the last few years it’s taken off at rocket speed. It’s fast becoming a core part of retail strategies for brands across the globe.

Here are 3 reasons why the pop-up store trend is here to stay:

Offline presence: loads of online-only retailers are using pop-up stores to try their luck with the IRL crowd. They offer a great way to test demand in a local market and weigh up the pros and cons before making a more permanent move into bricks and mortar.

Pop-ups are also good for brands already established offline but that want to enhance their presence in new areas.

Brand awareness: rather than focusing solely on sales (as was the case a few years back), modern pop-ups are driven by creating a richer experience where visitors can get to know the brand as well as shop.

Cost effectiveness: compared to a permanent store, pop-ups can be relatively good value.

Although Digiday reports that the average duration of pop-up occupancy has increased from 1 – 6 months to 6 months – 1 year, it’s still a lower risk option than locking into a 12 or 24-month tenancy agreement.

Bonus bite: you can now post GIFs directly within Facebook comments
To celebrate the GIF’s 30th birthday, Facebook has made the announcement everyone’s been waiting for – GIFs in comments.

Just as with iMessage, Messenger and WhatsApp etc. you can now search for your perfect option through a dedicated GIF button.