Facebook Watch, Messenger, and Instagram get a couple of updates
There’s always something brewing in Facebook land, and yesterday we got a couple of updates to three distinct Facebook platforms: Watch, Messenger, and Instagram.
Without further ado, let’s ado further:
- You can now age-gate specific posts. Instagram has added a new feature that allows you to set a minimum age for specific posts, and you have the option to set age by country. A handy new tool if your product has certain age requirements across the globe!
- The Messenger API supports Instagram. It’s been announced that the Messenger API now supports Instagram messaging. This allows businesses to integrate messaging in a more versatile way – a useful update!
- Watch gets topical. Facebook announced yesterday that you can now filter through and follow content on Watch by topic, which could help your content get discovered by more users.
The three updates from the Facebook family yesterday are all welcome ones. Whatever you may think of Facebook, one thing’s for certain: A day rarely passes without another handy update or two!
TikTok’s head of marketing dishes out some advice to brands
You’re probably familiar with the viral skateboarding-slash-Ocean Spray trend that went viral on TikTok a couple of weeks ago – at least, you are if you’ve been reading this newsletter!
The whole trend ended up with a truck being given out, the Ocean Spray CEO, Mick Fleetwood, and thousands of other people recreating the viral TikTok, and a whole lot of brand exposure for Ocean Spray.
The situation fell into Ocean Spray’s lap – but what should your brand be doing to maximize its presence on TikTok? The global head of business marketing at TikTok, Katie Puris, talked to AdWeek about best practices for brands:
- Take five (or, in this case, ten). Katie recommends opening TikTok, checking out the first ten videos you see, and paying close attention to the comments. Don’t get caught in the trap of chasing trends – instead, get the general vibe of the community and work it out from there.
- “You can’t plan for viral.” Don’t sit around waiting for your very own Ocean Spray moment. Instead, build a smart marketing strategy and be ready to capitalize on something if it does occur.
The Crew’s take: Katie’s tips are simple, but important. Chasing trends is all-too-common in most areas of marketing – whether it’s gunning after those successful DTC brands (more on that later in this email) or creating content on TikTok, it’s easy to get caught up looking at other brands.
Instead, focus on what makes your brand special, keep your finger on the pulse of the community, and work things out from there.
How to create live-action videos without leaving your desk
If you want to get ahead in the auction of advertising platforms, you can’t neglect high-quality video ads. Heck, even if you just want to produce informative and entertaining content for your audience, without thinking about ads – same story.
So, do you need to rent a Hollywood studio? No, you just need Backstage.
Backstage helps businesses find actors for content productions large and small. They have tools that let you cast those productions right from your couch. As you can imagine, that came in pretty handy during the pandemic.
Backstage knows how to pull off completely remote productions! They can help businesses find the perfect cast and create new content, even during a production pause, because the need for great brand messaging never slows down.
In other words, how you can get live-action high-quality videos without leaving your desk.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg in this whitepaper which guides you through topics such as:
- Why now is the right time for brands to produce User Generated Content (UGC).
- How to cast your project and where to find talent.
- How to produce your UGC project, including defining campaign goals and giving creative direction.
- Why UGC will continue to be relevant and popular even after social distancing ends.
Join companies like Tinder, Zappos, Etsy, and Levi’s who leverage UGC and get the free guide here.
You might be too late to start a DTC brand
After seeing the immense success of brands like Casper or Native Deodorant, marketers and e-commerce junkies jumped into the DTC (direct-to-consumer) party hoping for a similar 8-figure exit.
But as Paul Jey explains in this post, these companies were started 5-6 years ago, in a totally different environment. Here’s how things have changed since the ‘golden age’ of e-commerce and what it means for you:
- There’s aggressive competition. Titans like P&G and Unilever have made acquisitions in the space, meaning that you’re now competing with DTC brands backed up by piles of cash. Also, at the time of its launch, Casper was a unique ‘game-changer’ idea that flipped the mattress industry on its head. Now there are Purple, Leesa, Endy, Luuna, Koala, Helix, and plenty of other competitors.
- Advertising costs have scaled up. Native Deodorant’s founder said that in their beginning, the cost to acquire a user was $2. Now it’s $7.
- What worked then isn’t working now. Facebook has been doing its best to crack down on low-quality dropshipping, and affiliates are getting banned for running legacy offers.
Starting a DTC company today thinking that you’re gonna hit your dream exit – as ‘easily’ as a brand like Native Deodorant did it – isn’t a smart approach.
This doesn’t mean you should give up, but here’s what Paul suggests:
- Make your idea defensible. Can someone with $10k and a web developer replicate the concept overnight?
- Longevity is key. Can you acquire users and scale today the same way you’ll be able to in 5 years?
- Set realistic goals. Do you really have a shot to become the next $100M Native Deodorant exit story? Or would you rather settle for a quick run to $5M?
- Competition exists. How will you compete with 50 people copying your product and bidding against you in the auction for your customers? Because that’s what will happen.
The reality is that the competition is much harder than 5 years ago. And, in the next 5 years it will be tougher and tougher. Bottom line? You better prepare yourself.
Paul shared a great idea here, but we found some gold in the comments too:
+ Mirella Crespi says that Paul’s analysis reflects the USA landscape. But, the DTC wave in Europe is starting just now due to several factors, such as culture and consumer behavior. Make the best of this piece of advice ;).
+ Fraser Mackie started a DTC brand in 2015 and gave more advice on how to do it:
- People buy stories. How many times have you heard this?
- Acquisition costs will continue to increase, so the best thing to focus on when you have customers is LTV (lifetime value) because that has unlimited potential.
- It’s better to find partners than venture capitalists.
- Work with people who have already done it.
Think that was a long post? Well, there’s plenty more here if you’re still hungry – and there’s some great advice in the comments, too (rare, we know).
GOOGLE: Is Google doing more harm than good? Geoffrey Fowler at the Washington Post puts together a compelling article about why Google’s ‘monopoly’ might actually be hurting businesses.
INSTAGRAM: Worries over Instagram’s handling of kids’ data in Europe has led to two additional probes into how the company is conducting business.
TIKTOK: Remember when Pakistan banned TikTok? Like, less than two weeks ago? That’s over, as the country has announced they are lifting the ban.
SEO: In a recent video, Google’s John Mueller stated that slow URLs on your site could potentially impact your overall ranking – though it depends on a wide variety of factors.
I scream, I can be mostly any shape or colour, but everyone seems to talk about screaming when they talk about me. What am I?
You can find the answer here.
Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things marketers like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.
It’s all yours for 99 bucks
The future of movie theaters is completely up in the air – and mostly because it’s a little harder to head to a packed-in venue when, well, packed-in venues aren’t really a thing anymore.
Movie theaters aren’t completely dead, though, and some are getting creative to bring people in during a slow time for business. One of the coolest creative strategies out there? Letting people rent auditoriums for themselves and their friends.
AMC, the largest theater chain in the United States, just announced that you can rent a movie theater for yourself and up to 19 friends – as long as you’re willing to pay $99.
You can’t pick just any movie, though – the theater is offering a curated selection of both new and old films to watch. So, unfortunately, you probably won’t get to pick The Room or Sharknado 3 this time.