North Thinking
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North Thinking

TRENDING NORTH: OCT ‘21

A monthly look at the marketing and advertising industry from NORTH’s point of view.

Source: Social Media Today

Introducing: Instagram Video
Nicole Shockley, Media Director

October was a big month for Instagram. They retired the IGTV brand, essentially merging their long-form IGTV videos (up to 60 minutes) with its Feed videos into one single format on the app called, “Instagram Video.” This new format will still live separately from the Reels tab, but streamlines video consumption for its users making it easier to discover new content. Instagram also began to test long-form Stories so that videos up-to 60 seconds in length will no longer be split into shorter segments. Instagram also made it possible for all users to share links in their Stories. This was previously only available to users with over 10K followers or verified users. This will be really impactful for small business and micro-influencers. Instagram also released new data points for marketers including the accounts that have engaged with a brand, demographics surrounding the audience that is engaging with a brand, and detailed information about the audience that a brand has reached. This new data will breakdown what kind of content a brand’s audience engages with most, making it easier for a brand to streamline its content strategy.

The New Way To Shop
Nicole Shockley, Media Director

The pandemic changed the way consumers shop. It advanced the world of ecommerce, and at the same time isolated consumers that used shopping for human interaction. Earlier this month, a Dutch grocery chain announced “Chat Registers” for lonely and elderly shoppers. These new registers are check-out lanes dedicated to shoppers that want to have a conversation while they buy their groceries. The retail world has moved toward a more digitized experience, but this supermarket chain has reminded us that sometimes we just need a little human interaction — and I thought that was lovely and a good reminder that consumers sometimes need to know that marketers care.

Source: EuroNews

BookFace Chases the Youth
Madelyn Engel, Senior Performance Marketing Strategist

It seems that Facebook has been going through a bit of an identity crisis. After revealing they would be rebranding, the internet went into a frenzy guessing the new name — my personal favorite being “Boaty McBookFace”. Zuckerberg’s goal with the rebrand is to shift the public’s view of the company from seeing it as purely a social channel into a “metaverse”. As Facebook continues to adopt and promote new technologies and ways for connection, such as AR, VR, and the evolving metaverse concept, they will need a large youth base, who are traditionally the first to use and adopt new technology. However, youth is the one thing Facebook has been sorely lacking. As the leaked Facebook Files showed, teen and young adult users have been declining over the last ten years. As such, Zuckerberg is making young adults a key priority as Facebook looks to evolve, even if it means losing their older users. Expect short form videos to be a primary focus of this evolution, and divisive in-feed debates to take a back seat.

Prepping for 2022
Madelyn Engel, Senior Performance Marketing Strategist

As spooky season comes to a close, the holidays and 2022 are quickly approaching. Hopefully your 2022 plans are well underway, but next year’s predictions are starting to roll out if you are in need of inspiration. It’s no surprise that video, specifically short form video, will be a top content type moving forward. It’s recommended that brands invest in mastering this content type, especially as users have become quick to skip or scroll, leading many impressions to go to waste. The pandemic has accelerated eCommerce behaviors, and platforms will continue to invest in in-platform shopping with increased product-tagged posts and in-platform checkout. Product search by image will also continue to advance, making it easier to find products similar to your pinterest boards or favorite trendsetters. Platforms are also leaning into the gig economy as they find ways to pay content creators and grow their platforms. Furthermore, platforms are looking for ways to support freelancers and small businesses. Lastly, with the release of the “Facebook Files,” many are predicting (or wishfully hoping) that platforms will reduce or eliminate algorithmic amplification, shifting your feed away from promoting popular content and refocusing on the people and brands you follow.

How the Facebook Blackout Impacted Advertising
Stephen Lawrence, Media Planner

As many users remember at the beginning of October, Facebook and all of its subsidiaries (including Instagram and WhatsApp) went offline for almost six hours. While many users and companies (including Twitter) were able to make a joke out of the apps going dark, many companies and businesses began to stress about the implications of a main social advertising platform being down, with some media buyers and agencies worried about loss of sales and revenue during the beginning of the holiday season. Fortunately, Facebook was able to come back online quickly — but many advertisers used this as an opportunity to look at the media landscape and deeply consider the use of multiple social media channels in the future, focusing less of their dollars towards Facebook.

Source: Pexels

How OOH Has Recovered Post-COVID
Stephen Lawrence, Media Planner

At the beginning of the pandemic, the OOH (out-of-home) advertising landscape dropped significantly as the general public went indoors for the majority of the year. However, now that the pandemic restrictions are easing up, many advertisers are turning their attention back to outdoor media. In one article, Windermere Real Estate discusses how their media mix has begun to include billboards and outdoor media again, after spending a good portion of the past year focusing on digital media. With the rise of digital billboards that allow advertisers the accessibility of outdoor media without the time restraints and budget, OOH advertising is likely to bounce back to pre-pandemic numbers by 2025.

The New York Times is Beta Testing a New Audio Product
Stephen Lawrence, Media Planner

As podcasts and audio continue to see a rise in user interest, The New York Times has begun beta testing a new product called “New York Times Audio”. “‘New York Times Audio’ is a new listening product designed to help you understand the most important stories of the day. It includes news, opinion, narrative storytelling and more,” says The New York Times. The platform would allow users to engage in not only podcasts, but news articles, new audio newsrooms and more. While the product is still seeking volunteers to test the product, many advertisers are interested to see what this new audio platform might hold for ad placements and custom integrated advertising.

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