IG Gets in Front of Influencers
Instagram has added a new "Sponsored Post" tag to all future influencer content. Which feels like a long time coming. Prior to this new feature, influencers and paid publishers were expected to include a hashtag or some other "clear" language to communicate that it is promoting a brand or product (though we’ll put clear in quotation marks, because burying "#ad," "#sp," or "#sponcon" in a block of other hashtags hardly feels like a testament to marketing transparency).
This comes on the heels of a Buzzfeed article earlier this week that reported 93% of top celebrity Instagram ads weren't properly disclosing this information. Not to mention that the FTC was forced to send letters to influencers reminding them that they need to “clearly and conspicuously” disclose when their posts are sponsored.
Anyhow, as a part of this new "Paid partnership" label, both influencer and brand will be able to access metrics for the content. The creator of a post will be able to view performance inside of Instagram itself, while business partners can access it through the Facebook Page Insights apps.
Facebook Lets You Get Picky
In the past few months, there has been a greater call for ad placement control, as ads, for one reason or another, got placed alongside controversial or scandalous content. Looking to keep brands and publishers happy, Facebook is giving brands more control over where their ads appear.
"[Facebook] will provide advertisers with a list of publishers up front to show where ads might appear via Instant Articles, in-stream ads within Facebook and across the Facebook Audience Network. While the tools are now in beta, they’ll be rolled out over the course of this year."
Previously, advertisers had to list every possible publication they would not want their ads running with, and every app they didn't want to appear in. This new list should make the process both simpler to navigate and more thorough in its effect.
Creative, but Not Diverse
Research that came out last week found that advertising still deals in stereotypes and that women of color feel particularly ignored in marketing campaigns. A Refinery29 study on intersectionality and gender equality revealed:
- 54% of survey participants think marketing remains dominated by clichés
- 51% said these campaigns feel irrelevant
- 53% said they do not believe that brands on the whole care about their personal experiences.
So how do we overcome this? According to Hallie Johnston, Refinery29's SVP of client services and strategy for branded content:
“If marketers and agencies can go beyond the demo and psychographic definitions of women leveraged for marketing campaigns, and look at the small but important nuances of how women see themselves, we can start to see change taking place in creative and advertising."
Obviously, not all millennials are the same. Or even millennial moms. Or even millennial moms that make the same income. So it's easy to agree with the above quotation in theory, but the realities of what we do sometimes require painting with an unfortunately broad brush. That said, Jill Cress, National Geographic's EVP/CMO, was able to put it in more succinct and perhaps actionable terms:
"We must… recognize and understand the layered identities of our customers."
To "better understand how people consume media and marketing via voice-enabled devices," Adobe is preparing to launch a new analytics service that analyzes "how users interact with... Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant and Apple’s Siri."
This new offering will integrate Sensei, Adobe's AI and Machine Learning service. The goal—at least partially—with Adobe's new service will be to glean a better understanding of consumers' behaviors when they aren't clicking or tapping on a device:
"With Adobe’s analytics, one way brands can track voice usage is based on intent (what they’re trying to do, such as playing music or ordering something) along with parameters (such as playing a specific song or ordering a specific item). And over time, analyzing the data can help us understand how much a certain consumer is worth based on their behavior."
Snapchat's Growing Pains
As ol' Donny Draper used to say, "If you don't like what's being said, change the conversation." Snapchat has decided its lack of growth is actually perfectly, totally chill because it can still claim high engagement and a strong influence over users.
Unlike other social platforms, Snapchat, in its own words, "drives purchase intent." Which sounds great, but, as the article goes on to point out, Snapchat's iOS downloads have plummeted over 40% and total downloads have fallen 22% in the last two months compared to the year prior. Not to mention that just yesterday Snap fell back to its IPO share price. TechCrunch didn't mince words:
“Snap’s last earnings report resulted in a disaster, and while the company still managed to stay above $20 for an extended period of time, a string of bad days for the market—and likely increased skepticism for the company’s future among the rest of the bundle of growth stocks—is putting increased pressure on its price.”