Close to 100% of executives say social media helps with brand building and 84% say it's a viable tool for generating leads and sales, according to analysis of the top 500 companies on Inc.'s 2019 5000 list and individual interviews conducted by The Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. LinkedIn is the most preferred platform followed by Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, and while return on investment is a primary concern at 44%, that number is down from 59% in 2016.
Direct-to-consumer and startup brands such as Thinx and The Citizenry are increasing their Pinterest budgets for lead generation and sales efforts as the platform expands its support services, offers self-serve tools and conversion optimization campaigns, writes Allison Schiff. Daniella Amirian, Thinx's director of growth marketing, says: "In the past, Facebook was always our No. 1 traffic driver for new customers, but now Pinterest is neck and neck with Facebook in terms of bringing new prospecting pools into our funnel."
To mark its launch of Sky Dreamer in Chicago, Puma worked with Whisk, Firefly and Havas Media on holographic displays of the basketball shoe on vehicles parked at city landmarks. "Holograms have never been used as an integration into a D-OOH channel before, so [the] stunt is not only delivering the Puma brand message but also celebrating the innovation in one of the fastest growing media channels," says Whisk co-founder Matt Wilkinson.
Agency Eleven created an augmented reality Instagram filter for Black History Month that superimposes figures from ancient and traditional African cultures, such as the Yoruba religion, on users' faces before finding their match. The initiative was conceived by copywriter Dotun Bello, who emigrated in 2015 to the US from Nigeria.
Marketers can boost video views on TikTok by ensuring they have a high authority ranking, understanding the review process and creating quality content, write Genevieve Patterson and Hannah Donovan. They also suggest sticking with a content vertical and creating short and looping videos accompanied by music.
Facebook is testing a different format for its Stories discovery page with some panels appearing larger than others, which is a style reminiscent of Instagram's IGTV panels, writes Andrew Hutchinson. He contends this move may help the platform boost lackluster Stories user engagement.
Ashley Bower started a Twitter thread titled "What Movie Traumatized You as a Kid?" that has gone viral with more than 84,000 likes and 65,000 replies. Many users tweeted their sometimes surprising responses, which include "Jumanji," "Pinocchio," "Jaws" and "The Wizard of Oz," inspiring a lively discussion.
Direct-to-consumer brands and startups are looking less at cluttered social platforms such as Facebook and Google and more toward billboards, digital bus stops, painted murals and other out of home advertising activations to boost brand awareness and for product launches, writes Anna Hensel. While brands such as Dagne Dover point to low cost as a primary attribute to OOH, some contend there are still challenges regarding gaining consumer insight and campaign measurement.
Nonprofit Downtown Tempe Authority has joined forces with the city of Tempe, Ariz., to roll out the first of 15 planned kiosks for residents, local students and visitors that feature business listings, an emergency call system, a photo booth and other tools and act as a tool that "improves social equity, encourages city exploration, promotes economic development and enhances public safety," according to a Temp spokesperson. The kiosks are the first of their kind in Arizona and are funded from ad sales.
Out of home is "the perfect hybrid medium" because it "combines the high-impact creative associated with TV, with the advanced audience targeting and attribution capabilities of digital marketing," writes Greg Sterling. The benefits that set it apart from other media include the ability to combine location data to prove OOH return on investment, the lack of brand safety issues and the strength of OOH placements in expanding the reach via social sharing.
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