• Aubrey Lehrmann

S.M.I.L.E. in September 2020

TikTok Accepts Deal Revision from Oracle

The saga surrounding TikTok is literally evolving by the hour. To catch you up: After TikTok sued the Trump Administration late last month to stall pressure to put together a sales deal, Oracle beat out Microsoft/Walmart in a bid for ownership of the app’s US assets that would theoretically delay an impending ban from the Trump administration; government officials criticized that the deal was too lenient; the treasury department proposed changes to the deal; and now, TikTok has accepted these new terms. This article does a good job of breaking down what we know so far, as well as TikTok’s potential next steps will be (such as finding a replacement for their former CEO.) UPDATE: Literally in the process if typing this email, it was also announced that the US will ban WeChat and TikTok downloads starting on Sunday. We are working with our TikTok team to draft a formal POV, but for now: no current advertising campaigns will be impacted.

All of these announcements come at a time when TikTok has been working hard to release new features in order to keep users engaged. For example, they recently announced a new integration with Teespring that lets Creators sell merch on the app. TikTok is also offering a new, free education session for brands to help education on options to create branded AR effects on the app. And for context: they were still named the #1 downloaded app in August, even with news of a potential ban looming. Another interesting fact: Snapchat also had a big August amid TikTok uncertainty, as their app downloads spiked.

Facebook Adds Custom Backgrounds to Messenger Rooms

The company recently announced a slew of new features designed to enhance the Messenger experience. In additional to personalized backgrounds and integrated AR effects, they are also allowing for co-watching of videos in Messenger with up to 50 friends.

Report: Influencer Marketing in the Age of COVID

eMarketer discusses here how marketers have had to adjust their influencer strategies due to the pandemic. They also highlight some key best practices brands should keep in mind in order to continue making the most of influencer marketing. In a subsequent article, they also reported that influencer marketing has had a particular impact to the e-commerce industry over recent months. Influencer marketing has also become a key part of recent campaigns for CPG brands.

Augmented Reality in Social Media

The shutdown of many retail stores and increasing usage of mobile social activity has motivated some marketers to invest in more AR as a way to engage customers. This eMarketer report discusses how and why the use of AR is rising, and covers the features available on the major social networks today. Sunglasses maker Bolle also shared with eMarketer what led their team to invest in developing a new AR experience for trying on product.

Facebook Connect 2020: A Recap

Speaking of AR, Facebook recently live streamed their Connect virtual and augmented reality conference. While the day centered around announcements for the future of Oculus, we also learned of plans for their first “smart glasses” (coming soon in partnership with Ray-Bans), as well as plans to expand their partnership with Spark AR to make it easier for people to utilize camera effects in Portal and Messenger.

Facebook: Tips to Improve Stories and Video Ads

Facebook’s creative team looks to help brands improve the experiences they are building for stories and video ads though this new set of tips. Key points to remember include: stories ads with sound are now driving better results (a trend that may have been pioneered by TikTok’s sound-on format), adding stickers to stories ads is not always effective, and mobile-shot stories tend to outperform overly produced studio-shot ads.

LinkedIn: Brand and Demand Playbook

This newly released LinkedIn playbook helps brands understand what ad formats and targeting features are available, how to best combine messaging placements to reach and convert your audience, and how to leverage retargeting and other ad platform tools to target potential customers. It also provides some tips on using a brand and demand approach to guide the customer journey. For more information, you can also check out their updated guide on ad targeting options, here.

Report: LinkedIn in Canada

eMarketer recently published a new report that shows how B2B marketers in Canada can tap into the app to reach the country’s internet users. They also talk about the role LinkedIn can play in ABM campaigns, the ad experiences available on the platform in Canada, and key statistics around user activity and demographics on the platform.

Twitter: Insights Into Video Ad Effectiveness

According to research, Tweets with video see 10x more effectiveness than those without. Twitter recently published new insights into exactly why you should utilize their various ad options to maximize campaign impact. This article covers recommended strategies for making the most of the various Twitter video opportunities.

Pinterest Outlines Feed Ranking Improvements and Video Content Enhancements

Social Media Today highlighted this month some important new information from Pinterest that shows how they have recently updated their system to improve the relevance of recommendations and listings in their feed, which has also boosted engagement. This process also allowed them to feature more videos in-feed, and optimize the engagement to increase 10-second plus view time. In other words, video content in particular should be a key focus for Pinterest marketers this year.

This month, some of our social partners also released information and updates specific to particular verticals. I’m sharing them all below, for your reference.

We also received a few new Holiday 2020 planning guides to help get you through the remainder of the year:

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