What’s new in social marketing for 2017? Well, luckily people still want to buy and sell things, but there are some new trends that are popping up which show a shift in the way major advertisers are using social media – which can be used in social marketing all the way down.
Firstly, let’s talk about the new Carphone Warehouse advert for the Galaxy S8 in the UK. It stars Elijah Quashie, also known as the Chicken Connoisseur, asking the ‘Boss’ at a local chicken shop what he thinks of the new phone. It’s funny, it’s charming – it’s an ad.
What’s interesting about it is that rather than have a YouTube influencer pop up and shill the phone, the advert adopts the style of his own video series. Usually, I would skip a minute-long ad – this time I went to look at the rest of the ‘Pengest Munch’ videos.
Now, not everyone is going to be able to pay an influencer with millions of YouTube views – but what works about the video (which has over two and a half million views) can be adopted by all social marketers.
By using the Influencers style rather than imposing their own, the video seems authentic. It’s not afraid to make mistakes. It uses his bad after effects video editing, and the phone doesn’t even do what it asks him to do. It’s refreshing, it’s real and it’s effective.
It’s not going for the hard sell – the conclusion: “Bossman recommends the phone. And so do I. And that’s it.” People are used to the hard sell – going for the genuine sell can actually reach them.
The video is fun. If you took the Carphone Warehouse logo off the end of the ad, it would still be something you would watch. Even if you’re thinking about a Facebook ad, ask yourself if the image would be arresting on its own.
Ask if you would still laugh, or feel, or act if there wasn’t a product or service behind your message, whether it’s a tweet or a Facebook ad.
A fried chicken reviewer isn’t the first match for a mobile phone company. 1000heads said: “[we learned] by asking about dream lunch upgrades, that our audiences were big fans of fried chicken.”
Take that with a pinch of salt and cayenne pepper. The demographics of Elijah’s YouTube audience stack up quite nicely with people who also like phones – but it also shows you can think differently about ways to reach your audience.
Influencers were the big trend in 2016, and they are even more important in 2017. People with an already established audience can help with viral promotion. It combines the best of celebrity endorsements with testimonials from a trusted source.
Last year we realised their importance, this year we need to focus on the importance of working with them to create the type of content their audience already likes to help promote a business.
Another advert, this time by Heineken, shows some other interesting developments in Social Marketing. ‘Their World’s Apart’ is nearly five minutes long. It’s not a traditional commercial – it’s a mini show – or ‘midform’ content. After six people with radically opposing views state their opinions, they are then put into pairs, and asked to do a series of tasks together.
It so happens that the tasks culminate in them building a bar. Then the videos are shown, revelations are made and the new friends are asked if they would like to have a beer together. Spoiler warning – they do.
The ad has 12 million views. Like with the Carphone Warehouse ad, it’s something that has real people and would be entertaining on its own – you could easily turn it into a series like Buzzfeed’s ‘Worth It’. There are no celebrities, no CGI, no big production costs – it’s just a timely idea that’s well executed.
Whether you’re transgender or new right – a cold beer on a hot day still tastes pretty damn good. Advertising can be about what sets people apart – the whole ‘Keeping Up With the Joneses’ approach to advertising. It can also be about what brings us together.
After Brexit and the American Election, people are tired of focusing on what the differences are between us, but they are more keenly aware of them than ever. If you can, focus on the universal human condition – things that will appeal to us regardless of sex, race, politics or whatever.
The idea behind the Heineken Ad is similar to the one behind the controversial Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad, where she tried to bring police and protesters together with a drink. It’s a noble idea.The problem is that use of a celebrity (no matter how fire Kendall Jenner is) lacks authenticity and puts the product at the forefront – not the people.
The Heineken ad has real people; the Pepsi ad has a Kardashian. The Pepsi ad suggests the product could solve the problem while the Heineken ad suggests a beer might be a nice thing to have whole people work the problem out themselves.
If customers are consuming Social Marketing, on Social Media – then you have to remember that they are being social. Old trends like ‘Throwback Thursday’ and new trends like ‘That Moment When’ are all designed around making a connection based on shared experience. That connection is what ‘Their World’s Apart’ highlights so brilliantly.
What can you do to make your product feel more social? What can you do to make your company feel less like a corporate machine and more like a collection of people trying to do the best they can? It can be as simple as having testimonials on your ads or responding to tweets and comments like a person and not some kind of lawyer robot. Walk the fine line between annoying and alienating your audience.
Zachary Jarvis is a Digital Marketer with one thing on his mind: Results. Uninspired by the never ending talk of ‘vanity metrics’ in the world of digital marketing, Magnate was founded – the ‘Social-First’ marketing agency.On the very rare occasion, he isn’t watching Step Brothers in his spare time – you’ll find Zachary in the thick of social platforms, learning what makes us tick. This is driven by a fascination (perhaps a slight obsession…) with market trends and consumer behaviours.