All Posts in brands

October 14, 2015Published by: Mashaal Jolly

Will Pinterest be the new online shopping marketplace for fashion brands?

 

pinterest-buy-buttonLast week, Pinterest rolled out the ‘buy’ button to thousands more merchants, four months after it unveiled its e-commerce plans. Social platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have all jumped on the bandwagon to make their sites and apps shoppable with an additional button to buy the product featured, shortening the process from decision to purchase.

Whether you're planning a wedding, searching for outfits, creating arts and crafts with your children or decorating your home, Pinterest has typically been the platform used for practical and inspirational ideas. Today, the platform stands as a ‘social shop’ for its followers and removes the hassle of searching for an item of interest externally.

According to Fortune.com, the visual discovery tool now has more than 60 million ‘shoppable’ pins available across its platform, with users often searching with the intention to buy. Interesting and eye-catching ‘pins’ - or visual bookmarks - previously directed users  to blog posts or a completely different website. However, with ‘buy’ buttons now embedded onto Pinterest itself, could this affect the way shoppers purchase items from their favourite fashion brands?

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Dedicated fashion followers and bloggers are always open to new and innovative companies. Whether it’s eBay, charity shops or vintage marketplaces, they’d go anywhere to get their hands on the unique and exclusive. Let’s face it... no one wants to be caught in the same outfit as someone else, which is why apps including Depop, eBay, Asos Marketplace, ASAP54 and Grabble have generated a stream of income for fashionistas recycling their apparel. Apps like online fashion directory, Shopstyle, owned by POPSUGAR Inc, also has a click-to-buy option and offers high-street brands, but could Pinterest’s latest venture see the likes of POPSUGAR being dethroned?

It's fair to say that there are platforms available for every type of shopper, but Pinterest seems to be the go-to platform which will create success for bloggers and smaller, independent brands who ‘pin’ on a regular basis. With 100 million users, Pinterest already has the numbers and fashion brands to capitalise on its offerings. Many brands have seen company profits double since the ‘buy’ button was introduced, however, bigger brands also stand to benefit from uploading their lookbooks and driving more traffic to their websites through Pinterest.

August 20, 2015Published by: Jonny Atter

Three top tips for YouTubers working with brands

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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.

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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.


March 31, 2015Published by: Drew

Live streaming services Meerkat and Periscope woo influencers, brands and the media

courtesy of the BBC

The BBC's Meerkat stream from coverage of the Ferguson protests, from the BBC's College of Journalism Blog

Live streaming video is a red hot area in social media right now. Last week Twitter launched Periscope, and at the beginning of March Meerkat opened up for business. Also since then, Meerkat landed $14m in funding from VCs and individuals including Universal Music Group, Jared Leto, David Tisch and Chad Hurley.

What's interesting to us here is a couple of factors: firstly that Meerkat and Periscope are making a bigger impact because they are here at the same time, and how the two services are being used by the media, high profile individuals and brands, ie not just by any old user, but influential users that are tapping into large audiences from the beginning. That presents a big opportunity.

Brands, influencers and media outlets have been bold in their rapid pickup of Meerkat and Periscope. We've seen some nice examples (and a load of curious ones - namely #fridgeview). Here's a run down of the more notable ones:

This article in BGR looks at Meerkat and Periscope's impact, in particular that it's not one of the top apps at all - but rather just with early adopters and the media. And that's how Instagram and Twitter started.

We're fans of video in general here at Battenhall, so it should be no surprise at all that we're fans of both Periscope and Meerkat. For what it's worth, Meerkat pips Periscope for my coveted prize of which one is best, because of the interaction you get with viewers.

Tomorrow marks the start of VEDA (Vlogging Every Day in April) and specifically BattenVEDA, which you can read about and get involved with here. Happy vlogging!

November 24, 2014Published by: Janey Spratt

The social media food porn effect

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Today, The Drum announced @Nandosuk as the most engaging brand on Twitter in the UK, coinciding with The Forbes Top 25 restaurants on social media. It got our team thinking, why is it important for food brands to be recognised on social media, ahead of their competitors?

Here’s three reasons why we think it’s important for food brands to be prominent on social media:

1. Top of mind

When you walk into a supermarket or plan to go out for dinner, your decisions are generally based upon what’s top of mind. Food brands need to have a presence on social media so that consumers have fresh, positive brand associations that they remember when they walk into a store or down the high street. It’s all about standing out from the crowd!

2. The food porn effect

Food brands are investing more and more in food porn whether it’s visual imagery, a video or a Vine. The ‘food porn effect’ refers to powerful photos of delicious looking food and the emotion that it sparks among the people you share it with. It taps into a passion for food, how people share pictures of food, take pictures of their meals whether it is in a restaurant or at home, and has the aim of getting a reaction from other people online.

Through their posts food brands aim to generate a sense 'needing' or ‘wanting’ a particular product or meal which, in turn, drives behaviours such as cravings. With creative content and timing, brands can tap into emotions and moods that will increase engagement around the brand, make an emotional connection and ultimately drive sales.

3. Deepening the customer experience

For all brands, social media is a powerful tool for managing the customer experience, interacting with them on a direct and public level.

Food brands need to be listening to what their customers are saying, whether it’s around a particular part of their experience, the service provided, a specific branch or an item on the menu. They can make a direct and personal interactions with customers, deepening their experience and creating positive experiences. Ultimately, creative engagement with customers and positive word of mouth drives social media brand advocates.

oreoIt’s not easy for food brands to be creative on social media as a lot of the time they’ve a small selection of products to talk about. For example, Skittles and Oreo are time and time again recognised for their excellent social media content yet only have one product to talk about.

With so much competition out there, food brands need to have their finger on the pulse, be thinking creatively and act quickly. Speedy, creative content has the power to engage customers, generate emotional connections which drives behaviours.

Photo credit 1, photo credit 2.


September 18, 2014Published by: Janey Spratt

The UK YouTubers power list

ZoellaThere’s a new breed of digital content producers on YouTube who have amassed fan bases bigger than some of the top celebrities and public figures on social media. Zoella has more YouTube subscribers than Demi Lovato, more Twitter followers than David Cameron and more likes than Innocent on Facebook.

Top YouTubers have become a new brand of celebrity for young people and they’re changing the shape of youth entertainment. Teenagers now watch as much, if not more, YouTube than TV. Perhaps these YouTubers have such large fan bases as, unlike celebrities, young people can relate to what they do and they’re seen as being more ‘normal’ than celebrities who’ve earned their fame through music, film or television.

We’re noticing more and more brands collaborating with these YouTubers. For example, brands like Skype and Krave cereal are using YouTuber talent to endorse their products.

Each YouTuber has their own niche whether it’s fashion, beauty, comedy or family and in recognising their power of influence, brands are actively seeking opportunities for product placement and collaborations as a key part of their digital communications strategy e.g. Mulberry with Tanya Burr and Jim Chapman.

Young YouTube personalities are shaping the future of social media in an ever changing landscape and we’re interested to see how they will adapt to remain successful in their space.

Here’s our power list of the YouTubers we consider to be the key players in the industry:

1Zoella5.8m subscribers
Zoe Sugg is possibly the most recognized female Vlogger in the UK. Zoella has been blogging about her love for fashion and beauty since 2009. The internet sensation has recently announced the launch of her book ‘Girl Online’ due to launch this November. This summer, Jonathan Ford of the FT wrote a very inspiring feature about his lunch with Zoella.

2Tyler Oakley - 5.4m subscribers
LGBT advocate, best friend of Zoella and the only US based Vlogger on our list. Tyler vlogs about pop culture, ‘sassiness, beauty and fabulousness’.

3. Pointless Blog – 3m subscribers
Zoella’s boyfriend, Alfie Deyes posts humorous pranks and YouTube challenge videos. Alfie is an entrepreneur and recently published his own book ‘The Pointless Book’.

4. Caspar - 3m subscribers
The English-born, South African teen, Caspar Lee, vlogs about his life observations and has a passion for acting.

5. Marcus Butler TV – 2.95m subscribers
The hugely popular Marcus Butler vlogs humorous sketches and ‘YouTube tag’ videos and is dating YouTuber Niomi Smart.

6. Thatcher Joe - 2.8m subscribers
The younger brother of Zoella. Joe is a roof thatcher and a newcomer to the scene, building his channel through creative and comedy videos.

7. Troye Sivan - 2.7m subscribers
The Australian actor, YouTuber and singer-songwriter has just signed a record deal with Universal music and has appeared in films such as the X-Men.

8. Tanya Burr - 2.4m subscribers
A beauty expert who has built her reputation through beauty tutorial videos, appearing regularly in the beauty media and working with fashion brands such as Topshop and Mulberry.

9. Jim Chapman - 1.7m subscribers
Tanya Burr’s fiance, Jim Chapman, is one of the more sophisticated male Vloggers on our list, vlogging about life and love. The brother of Pixiwoo and twin brother to The Lean Machine’s John Chapman.

10. Sprinkle of Glitter - 1.6m subscribers
Mummy Vlogger, Louise Pentland vlogs about lifestyle, family, DIY, beauty, fashion and offers advice to her fans. Louise is also best friends with Zoella.

Other YouTubers to check out: The Lean Machines, The Saccone Jolys, Pixi Woo, Fun for Louis, Niomi Smart and Oli White.

Image credit.

 

March 26, 2014Published by: Drew

The implications of Facebook purchasing Oculus

Facebook buys Oculus Rift

It seemed no one in the tech space saw it coming. On Tuesday the 25th of March 2014, Facebook announced that it had purchased Oculus, developers of the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift, for $2bn. According to Oculus' company statement on its website, Facebook "understands the potential for VR" and the social networking giant can see "virtual reality’s potential to transform the way we learn, share, play, and communicate."

Despite some excitement at the thought of Facebook entering the VR market, not everyone in the VR industry was enthralled by the acquisition. Noticeably, Markus Persson, the creator of Minecraft who is planning a Oculus Rift version of his sandbox game, posted a particularly scathing view on the whole deal. In his blog, he mentions that he finds Facebook "creepy" and is unsure of the social network's motives.

Regardless of the negative and positive reactions Facebook's acquisition of Oculus is bound to receive, there is no denying that it presents opportunities for brands, education and the way we consume social media.

Brands 

Apart from simply creating more immersive gaming experiences, VR provides opportunities for brands as well that goes beyond gamification. According to Marketing Week, Facebook entering the VR space enables marketers to take on a more indie games developer role, developing immersive gaming content for their audience.

Additionally, VR on social networks presents marketers with the opportunity to create even deeper brand experiences for their target market. Mobile operator and England Rugby sponsor 02 is already being a first mover with the Oculus Rift by offering fans a chance to go behind the scenes with the England Rugby squad.  With this acquisition, we're bound to see more brands, who already have a strong presence on Facebook, experiment with VR.

Health

Virtual reality has huge implications for the real world - one of the most important areas being health. The Oculus Rift enables individuals to rehabilitate from experiences physical and mental as well as to experience things which they may not have otherwise been able to due to limitations. From a more in-depth perspective, the Oculus Rift enables health professionals to more deeply study organic matter and perform research, insights or study things which might be difficult to do in previous tech environments.

Education

Where education has been based around broadening the horizons of the young and old, virtual reality adds a layer to the toolkit of professors and teachers around the world. From a research perspective and a teaching point of view, Education fulfils this remit to broaden horizons and provide access to parts of the globe which were not accessible before. A PhD student can explore relevant elements of their study in the OR, or a teacher can show students a part of the world they're studying. Facebook wants to tap into this and become a 'go-to' source for knowledge, plus an incredible medium to view it on.

Photo courtesy of Kotaku


February 6, 2014Published by: Fereshta Amir

One of the first WhatsApp marketing campaigns

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You may have read about the social messaging boom in our previous blog posts and we are slowly but surely seeing brands pick up on the trend in creative ways. It's not easy integrating WhatsApp into a marketing campaign, so whenever a brand does it and does it well, it catches our eye. Late last year we saw Absolut holding a party for Absolute Unique and they wanted to make it special.

The launch party was announced on their Facebook page with a notice telling wannabe attendees to convince the doorman Sven to give access to the party - through WhatsApp! This simple but effective use of WhatsApp saw high numbers of Argentinians trying to blag their way into the party in lots of creative ways, including bribery and some indecent proposals. You can watch the video here. Hats off to Absolut for thinking this up. We're looking forward to seeing more campaigns like it this year.

January 22, 2014Published by: Drew

Snapchat brands showcase site Snapular launches

Snapular

With news emerging in December 2013 that Snapchat had overtaken Facebook and Instagram put together for volume of photos shared through its network, the question many ask is: "how can brands make use of Snapchat?"

Enter Snapular, the site that showcases the most popular accounts on Snapchat. If you are a brand and looking for inspiration on how to use the photo sharing app, it is worth a look.

Snapchat turned down a $3bn acquisition offer from Facebook in 2013, and was rumoured to be considering a $10bn offer from Google, more than 10 times the amount Google paid for YouTube in 2006.