The apps the kids are using, from TikTok, Snap Chat and Instagram to YouTube and Twitch
With so many social apps and platforms to choose from, which of these popular apps should be included in your brand’s social media strategy?
In this blog post I look at some of the more popular, high growth or established applications and platforms, and consider how brands can utilise them to introduce or promote products and services to millennials and generation Z consumers.
The time-limited photo and video clip sharing app, Snapchat, is no longer the “new kid on the block’. Its user base has stagnated over the past couple of years, but 2019 has seen Snapchat re-emerge as a strong contender for social advertising due to a range of new features. I now see this platform as a long-term player in the social apps market.
The launch of Snapchat Dynamic Ads last week is already producing some fantastic results for existing Snapchat advertisers.
Brands that advertise on Snapchat already had access to campaign tracking and optimisation, with the option to upload a product catalogue. The new Snapchat Dynamic Ads facility now cuts the creative time involved in developing ads, by providing automated personalisation – essentially your ads will automatically be tailored in real time to present your products in the best light, when you make changes to your synchronised product catalogue. One advertiser has seen up to a 66% decrease in cost per purchase and a 171% increase in ROAS as a result.
Understanding each social app’s user demographics is always a fundamental basic key to winning with social advertising. But none more so than with Snapchat, which has a really specific user demographic: 71% of Snapchat users are under 34 years old and 45% of are between the ages of 18-24.
For those not already in the know, Tik Tok is a video sharing app that has seen rapid user growth over the past couple of years. Launched just two years earlier, it became the third most downloaded app globally in October 2018. In August last year, TikTok merged with lip-synching video app Musical.ly (think X Factor ad break links), which already had over 100 million monthly active users. With over half a million active users monthly, Tik Tok is one of the most popular social apps to take off since Instagram.
But what is it? Unless you have a teenage niece or nephew you probably won’t know much about it. It basically allows users to create short (and looped) video clips with music and overlays. Posts tend to be quirky, funny or cute, so any businesses looking to engage on this platform need to understand this and have an authentically aligned offer and content to really hit the mark. Consider this app as a brand awareness tool rather than a lead generation channel, as overt selling won’t really work on here.
Hubspot has compiled a nice list of brand campaigns using TikTok so you can see some successful examples.
YouTube has almost two billion monthly viewers, making it the number one most popular purely video platform, or number two social app after Facebook. 79% of internet users have a YouTube account, and many log in to watch videos every day, so the brand exposure opportunities are huge.
Producing great video content does require investment – not only in the filming, editing and production process itself, but also in the creative process of coming up with innovative ideas to capture audience attention. The wealth of free and low cost video editing and production apps and equipment now available have opened up the market to amateur producers, and you can create really low cost viral videos with a bit of creative thinking. But often it’s a case of “you get what you pay for”. Developing a video marketing strategy, posting and promoting regular content is a discipline in itself.
Another option is to work with well-known vloggers to introduce your products and services to their established audiences. Vloggers are hugely influential, often more so for the younger generation than journalists and media platforms. Now considered celebrities in their own right, vloggers have crossed over into the mainsteam, appearing on primetime TV shows like Strictly Come Dancing (Joe Sugg in 2018 and Saffron Barker this year). There’s some useful info on approaching bloggers and vloggers in this blogger outreach article, albeit slightly dated now the principles remain the same.
Probably the least well know of all the apps I’ve covered here, Twitch is also a social video streaming platform. The key difference being that its main focus is around live video broadcasts of gamers playing video games while interacting with their audiences. However it offers many other possibilities, such as fitness professionals talking through their workouts or behind the scenes creative or entertainment industry professionals sharing insights into their workday.
If you think it sounds obscure, you’d be wrong. Twitch has 15 million active daily users, over 2.2 million unique content creators monthly, and 50% of millennial males in America use Twitch. For more statistics and information on how you can tap into Twitch to promote your brand, check out An Advertisers Guide to Using Twitch.
This platform likely needs no introduction and it almost goes without saying that Instagram should be on this list. But despite some brands producing fantastic regular Insta content and romping home with huge numbers of engaged followers, many still don’t get it at all.
For inspiration on how best to utilise Instagram for business, check out Tiffany & Co. (@tiffancyandco – 11 million followers). Here you will see how a heritage brand has used Instagram to adapt and develop its identity to reach and appeal to a new customer base. While still instantly recognisable as Tiffany, the brand’s page utilises modern visuals and storytelling to immerse audiences deeper into the world of the brand. And it works: Tiffany & Co’s Instagram posts receive 11 times more interactions than the average jewellery and watches brand.
Developing your Social Advertising Strategy
However you choose to engage, authenticity is key. Any attempt to pretend to be “down with the kids” when your brand clearly isn’t, will be viewed cynically by the tech-enabled and pop culture-savvy generation Z.
Take time to understand each platform – the demographics, the interactions, the conversational culture, how both competitors and your target audience are using it – before you dive in. Invest in high quality content production – whether that’s words, images or video. And plan your content strategy with as much tailoring and personalisation as possible, to achieve the best results.
I hope this blog post has given you a flavour of things to consider when developing a social advertising strategy, and a few ideas on how to run a great campaign.
Do you agree with my suggestions? I’d love to hear what’s working for you at the moment.
Want to develop your social media presence and need some social media training or social media consultancy help to get started? I can help! Contact me or give me a call today on 0113 493 1819 to discuss.