18th November | Trends and Insights Team back

R&T Trends & Insights: What’s new in PR & Social?

Get set to read up on the latest (and tastiest) goings on in the fast-evolving world of PR and social media. November has been a juicy month, so we recommend you grab yourself a snack and a cuppa (or suitable drink of choice depending on the time you’re reading this, we don’t judge) and let’s dive in…

WHEN THE SOUND’S RIGHT WE BITE

The Context

Did somebody say…

If the words ‘Just Eat’ didn’t pop into your head, you’re one of the lucky few who hasn’t succumbed to the viral earworm from the food delivery service. Made famous by consecutive star-studded collaborations with Snoop Dogg & Katy Perry, the audio bite of the latter recently became a TikTok sensation with thousands of user-generated videos racking up more than 150m views.

While catchy jingles aren’t anything new, TikTok’s unique ability to transform audio snippets from traditional marketing material into viral moments has added an extra layer to brand considerations around how to formulate and maximise audio branding.

The Upshot?

Whilst Instagram democratised imagery, giving anyone the ability to present & promote a brand independent of its own visual guidelines, TikTok is making sound accessible & shareable like it’s never been before.

Brand sounds now have the potential to cross over from standard marketing tool to creative muse and, in some instances, viral moments.

There’s rarely rhyme or reason in predicting what TikTok’s next big trend will be, but considering paid partnerships with creators as part of a product or campaign launch could plant the seed for a viral moment with the compounding potential to push brand awareness far beyond the capabilities of typical advertising or even that of Instagram influencers.

INSTAGRAM… PROCEED TO CHECKOUT

The Context

Shopping direct via social media platforms like Instagram is gaining traction, with almost one in five impulse buyers accrediting social media ‘buy’ buttons as one of the most common reasons they make unplanned purchases (with four in 10 Gen Zers impulse buying online at least once every 2-3 weeks).

We’ve long looked to influencers to ‘influence’ our purchase habits. That we can now simply click on the outfit we’re coveting & buy it instantly – forgoing the need to hunt it down online – and have it on our doorstep the next day, makes many transactions almost too simple to refuse.

Retail trends reflect this, with the ability to browse items & check out in a few taps driving consumer confidence in social shopping. And with retail technology directly embedded into platforms, like Instagram’s ‘shopping bag’ feature, it’s becoming easier for today’s consumers to shop ‘til they drop.

The Upshot?

Instagram’s expanding retail functionality is an example of how social platforms continue to evolve & blur the lines between social-connection tool & retail channel – streamlining what is already a very efficient customer experience to maximise our impulses in the fashion, lifestyle & beauty spaces.

With consumers readily accepting Instagram as a shoppable platform, it’s an additional channel for brands to tap into – so, if & where possible, consider building direct shopping into future influencer campaigns.

INSTAGRAM… BRAND PORTFOLIO

The Context

The OG monetised platform for social creators, Instagram continues to evolve its influencer offering, actively working to boost its appeal to commercial creatives as it looks to retain talent who might be tempted to prioritise TikTok or YouTube instead.

Having tried various routes to get creators more exposure in the app – by recommending posts from profiles that users don’t follow, effectively pushing them into new feeds – that ultimately proved unpopular, Instagram has just announced a ‘Creator Portfolio’ option.

The new feature (that’s still being tested, launch date TBC) will enable creators to build a media kit type portfolio in-app, readily showcasing their audience reach, as well as previous work to prospective brand partners.

The Upshot?

Having access to integrated reach & engagement figures, direct from a creator’s profile will better enable brands to choose the best individuals to partner with for an upcoming campaign.

Third-party platforms do exist through which brands can gauge reach & engagement, but the figures & averages provided don’t always take into account paid versus unpaid content, the latter of which typically performs better than paid-for content & can skew results.

The ability to see how previous branded activity has performed in-app however will provide a much more accurate read on anticipated results.

18th November | Trends and Insights Team
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