Archives for August 2015

August 21, 2015Published by: Joe Cant

Is now the time to capitalise on shopping through social media?


Earlier this week, former Twitter brand advertising head Nipoon Malhotra joined Pinterest to help the company with its plans to monetise the platform. This news came shortly after both Pinterest and Instagram announced ‘buy’ buttons - direct mechanisms through which a user can shop for visual on-display content through the social networks.

Twitter’s new Collections, or ‘shop window’ - is another example of this trend. Providing a facility through which users can buy items via mobile devices, or click through to an item-in-basket page. For an example, British heritage brand Barbour has been reported as being the first to host this service.

Pinterest, although a great research and design inspiration feed, is a social network full of beautiful content that, until recently, didn’t provide retail options. Having proven itself to be a great place for style inspiration, it’s possible that the ‘buy’ button could see Pinterest become an extremely valuable online shopping platform.

It’s easy to imagine users want to use Instagram for its original purpose - to post creative and relevant images and to browse their friends’ profiles to do the same. Do people really want to purchase through social? There are already enough websites on which a user can go to purchase items. Apps like prove that the user doesn’t have to be hassled into buying an item, but will receive a direct link to purchase after the user likes an Instagram post. This may ensure a genuine purchase process, possibly enabling the user to browse freely without interruption.

Timing couldn’t be better for Pinterest and Instagram; not only developing their apps and websites with a mechanism linking purchases through social media, but also e-commerce behemoth Amazon has recently taken a big hit, following a New York Times article about employees “being evaluated unfairly or edged out rather than given time to recover in Amazon’s intense and fast-paced workplace”. The moment to react, grow and become leaders in the online retail market could well be now. Both Instagram and Pinterest already have the user base and the data - but can they capitalise on this PR slip-up from Amazon?

Overall this trend adds ease of use to the online shopping experience, whilst providing a platform to act as a bridge between items they like and the opportunity to shop for those items online - so long as it isn’t forced into the user’s face.

August 20, 2015Published by: Jonny Atter

Three top tips for YouTubers working with brands

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 12.49.30

August is the month when YouTubers across the world get together at two major video conventions. At the beginning of the month the massive Vidcon in the USA draws around 20,000 people eager to find out more about video and to meet their idols, and this is quickly followed up by Summer in the City (SITC) - the largest YouTube convention in the UK.

While at SITC last weekend, it quickly became clear that there is increasing emphasis being put on how YouTubers can work with brands. How they can and should work with brands, the problems they face when they do, and how this affects the YouTubers’ viewers.

These are our three top tips for YouTubers we gleaned on working with brands.

  1. Be true to you and your brand

As a YouTuber, you need to retain creative control of the content on your channel. A brand deal has to be a good fit with the YouTuber’s content, otherwise the audience will see through it and label the YouTuber a sell-out. The videos you create should always be created to suit your audience, but most importantly you should work for those brands that really excite you so that you truly enjoy working together.

Brands must learn to give up creative control to YouTubers in order to deliver the most authentic results. When there is too much emphasis on landing key messages for a brand it can come across as somewhat contrived which has ultimately has no value for either party. A brand shouldn’t give a YouTuber a script, just key points they wish to cover.

Equally, YouTubers need to communicate effectively with brands to let them know what they have to offer and be savvy about their approach to journalists when selling in their own stories. At SITC, YouTube Communications Manager, Thea O’Hear talked a lot about the do’s and don’t of contacting journalists and teaching YouTubers how to build their brand through effective PR and media management.

  1. Be transparent

Being transparent and honest with your audience is key and many viewers have quickly realised that some YouTubers treat YouTube as their full time job, and are ok with with the odd branded video as long as it’s upfront and of value to them.

This week the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) released new guidelines for vloggers who work with brands to make sure viewers know when they’re being advertised to. When a the question was raised during #YouTubeHonestyHour panel at SITC, about whether or not YouTubers are seen as sell-outs for taking sponsored deals, it was clear that if the audience knows what to expect from their favourite YouTuber and they’re upfront about it, the viewers really appreciate it.

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 10.23.17

It’s not only the viewers who appreciate it, many of the panelists at SITC agreed that they prefer having the CAP guidelines. Although it can get confusing for viewers when they see some YouTubers following the guidelines and others not. And typically, you’ll find that American YouTubers who dominate the platform, don’t have the same guidelines as British YouTubers do.

  1. Be connected on and offline

Fandom is at all all time high with YouTube viewers and this was evident both at VidCon and SITC. At VidCon they had to restrict access for guests at hotels to maintain control during a YouTuber meet and greet, while at SITC there were queues of people lined up to say hello to their favourite video creator. It’s staggering! Opportunities to meet your favourite YouTuber, or indeed celebrity are incredibly rewarding for your viewers and critical to building your brand further.

It also goes beyond just meet and greets with top YouTubers, it’s a chance for them to meet their online friends too. As a YouTuber myself, it was lovely to meet fellow #Battenveda vloggers Sonja, who spotted me across a room at a panel session, as well as Laura-Christelle, who was volunteer at the event and joined me to make a vlog together.

Finally, both VidCon and SITC presented an important reminder for any brand and YouTuber doing a deal. It’s not just about the numbers, how far a post will reach or if it will ‘go viral’, it’s about providing something of value and something that YouTuber or audience might not have access to ordinarily.

August 18, 2015Published by: Drew

Facebook tests out Medium-style blogging on Notes


Facebook is trialling a new way of creating blog-style updates for its users. In its own words, Facebook told digital news site The Next Web that it is testing an update to Notes to make it easier for people to create and read longer-form stories on Facebook. The new trial is being described as having the look and feel of blogging platform Medium.

Facebook Notes isn't widely used, or not anywhere near as much as regular photo, video and status updates. This new lick of paint that's being given to notes is similar to what LinkedIn did with its own long form blogging platform earlier this year, and may pave the way for more direct publishing straight to Facebook from its users, as opposed to linking elsewhere as is currently mainly the case.

For more info see here on The Next Web's original post.

August 11, 2015Published by: Drew

Google becomes Alphabet and what it means for digital innovation


The company formerly known as Google last night announced a new company structure, name and CEO. Google as it used to be is now called Alphabet, a new holding company which oversees a bunch of new companies that used to be subsidiaries of old Google. These new companies include new Google, which now has a new CEO, Calico, which specialises in health innovations, Internet of things company Nest, and X Labs, which is all about far-out R&D and new products.

Old Google was a company and a product, but the diverse range of sister companies and products under the Google brand weren't really Google, is a Search engine, so a new brand structure makes total sense.

Why is the arrival of Alphabet and the new Google and its brothers and sisters of importance for the future of digital as opposed to this just being a corporate restructuring thing? It's all about better innovation and enhancing mainstream digital products.

Innovation in digital

Google's X Labs has to date created some some stand out some truly stand-out concepts that have pushed the boundaries of digital, such as wearable tech, drones, self-driving cars and many more. The Internet of things is the next frontier of digital innovation, and having X Labs, and Alphabet's other companies operating independently will surface more innovation and enable it to diversify even more, blending the digital and physical world in ways the average consumer does not today get to see.

Mainstreaming Google's core

Google can now focus its brand efforts more on its core products, such as YouTube, Search and Android. Less of the cars, health, labs etc. What we should expect to see here is much more of the same, but clearer focus and a more straightforward brand.

The bigger picture is that Alphabet is clearly now more than ever into a very diverse and innovative range of activities. For those keen to see boundaries pushed, at Google and beyond, this is an exciting move.

August 10, 2015Published by: Drew

Register to attend Battenhall’s 2015 FTSE 100 Social Media Report launch at Social Media Week London

Battenhall FTSE 100 SMW 2015

It's that time of year again. Social Media Week London kicks off on Monday 14th September and for the third year running we will be unveiling our new FTSE 100 Social Media Report at the beginning of the week at a keynote presentation where we will also present the top social media trends to prepare for in 2016.

Our Social Media Week event has just opened for registration, so if you would like to come, click here, and do it sooner rather than later, as spaces are limited.

Last year at Social Media Week we filled the Soho Hotel and in 2013 over 800 people registered to see our inaugural SMW talk at the Royal Institute in Mayfair. You can read about our FTSE 100 research here and download the most recent report.

We look forward to seeing you in September!