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The Month In Digital: July

This blog post is by Conor Bolton from our Digital & Social team.

Global Pokemania

In less than a month, Pokemon Go topped Twitter’s daily active users, saw more engagement than Facebook, and became the biggest US mobile game of all time. What can brands learn from the defining pop culture release of 2016?

Firstly, brands must tap into our obsession with mobile if they are to succeed in the digital world. This doesn’t necessarily mean inventing your augmented reality (AR) world, however brands need to keep an eye on AR trends and seek opportunities for partnerships with innovators in the field. For example, McDonald’s are partnering with Pokemon Go in Japan by turning all of its 3,000 restaurants into Pokemon Gyms.

Instagram “Stories” Launches

Instagram has officially launched “Stories” – a new feature that allows users to post photos and videos that appear in a slideshow format at the top of the feed, and disappear after 24 hours. Many have criticised the update as a carbon copy of Snapchat Stories. However, the launch of “Stories” has a lot of potential opportunities for brands looking to include this as part of a content strategy.

Brands who may have been slow or unsure on embracing Snapchat can now essentially implement the same content formats as Snapchat on Instagram – where brands are far more likely to have an existing following and a wider audience demographic. Could this new Instagram update have made Snapchat as ephemeral as Snaps themselves?

Are Chatbots The Future Of Social?

Automated chatbots are getting a lot of attention from brands – considering their huge potential in enabling efficiency, personalisation and reduced reliance on human resources on messaging platforms that can process 60 billion messages per day.

Early releases have been plagued with criticisms. Facebook has tackled this by simplifying chatbot conversations by replacing the free-form text input with reply buttons to improve the user experience. As chatbot AI continues to improve, brands should bear in mind the time and customer service resources that could be saved by implementing bots.

Instant Unlock Twitter Cards

Brands now have the ability to promote an exclusive piece of content – whether this be a video or exclusive Q&A – which people have to tweet to unlock by tapping a call to action button. This makes it even easier for consumers to engage with and increase brand’s campaign reach, impressions and engagement. See it in action here.

Are Brands Emoji Ready?

Over the past year, customer messaging campaigns that include emojis increased by a massive 609%, and Twitter also introduced emoji targeting for ad campaigns. Whatever your feelings toward emojis, they are evidently here to stay – and brands need to decide where they stand on emoji marketing.

Traction Over Traffic

Buffer found that 55% of visitors to articles read them for just 15 seconds or less. In a digital world where many suffer from content overload, brands must think innovatively beyond the simple blog post to hook their audience into their messaging. For example, the ‘Every Last Drop’ page uses parallax scrolling to animate information on how much water people use on a daily basis – a format that is very hard to click away from.

#SelfieLove

Selfies are 38% more likely to receive engagement on Instagram than any other type of photo (and also have amazing health benefits too, apparently).

Hey Facebook, It’s My Birthday

In a move to fight the decline of personal and organic posts on Facebook, the platform has rolled out a birthday-video update that prompts you to share with your friend on their special day.