This week in digital marketing news, it’s all about who will take home the gold for innovation. Instagram ups its game to compete with Snapchat (and makes a good case for its new features), Pinterest continues to gear up for a more commerce-driven social channel, and NBCU reflects on its Olympics social media success. Read on to keep up with the latest industry news and to hear our earned content perspective in the world of marketing and advertising.
OLAVIEW: AUGUST 26, 2016
Personally, I never got the hang of Pinterest. Perhaps it’s because every time I pinned something, I’d end up buying it – which isn’t good for my credit card. But I digress. Speaking of making purchase decisions, Pinterest just acquired Instapaper (a news reader and article archive tool). In addition to the eight acquisitions it has made this year, this deal further signals the platform’s shift from pinning and saving-for-later, to a more sales-focused strategy.
Within the last four months, Pinterest has announced several new products and features such as: click-to-play (mobile-only video ads in the US and UK), a native video player, a shopping bag and buyable pins on web, as well as a visual search camera, and Promoted Pins in the UK.
The acquisition of Instapaper’s technology (which stores actual content, rather than a simple link pull-in) will provide Pinterest with over eight years of data on habits, trends and preferences, that may give it a leg up in its competition with other players such as Facebook and Twitter. According to Google trends, Pinterest enjoys steady interest. As it increases its functionality, Pinterest seems to be geared towards creating specialty groups around its core functionality, that is, revolving around shopping and making relevant recommendations that its users can purchase. With this knowledge, I can hear my heartbeat quicken and credit card tremble.
June Wee, Events Marketing Manager
Here at Olapic, we’re pretty big fans of curated user-generated content, so we’re loving Instagram’s newest Events feature rollout.
In an ongoing effort to go toe to toe with Snapchat’s content offerings, Instagram’s Explore Now section includes Event Channels – collections of user-generated videos from live events like concerts and sports’ games. The advantage goes to Instagram for this feature, because with its 300 million users, and juggernaut Facebook data insights, Instagram’s Event Channels are algorithmically selected for each user. This big data curation of content edges out Snapchat’s reliance on hand-selected content; Even while carefully managed, hand-selected content is ultimately not as scalable or directly relevant on a 1:1 basis – at least, that’s what Instagram is betting on.
Regardless if you like your content curated by hand or by algorithm (shameless plug: Olapic loves both!), stories and event channels help to connect us to moments that are not to be missed.
Facebook used image-recognition technology to determine what photos contained pets. This technology is similar to what Olapic employs to determine which photos will be most successful for a brand’s marketing efforts. WashPo even quoted our own, Luis Sanz, Olapic co-founder & COO, who said, “If many of your pictures contain dogs, I can probably include you in an audience group that likes dogs without you having to take more actions.”
Think of the power that exists to have a computer auto-process millions of images with the efficiency a human could never possess! At Olapic, we love to use that type of technology to arm our clients with earned content that drives advocacy, engagement, and revenue.
Catherine Mietek, Sr. Director of Product Marketing
In the days following the Olympics, there is more than enough content from media pundits globally sharing their thoughts on which brands delivered the most creative marketing strategies during the two+ week marketing frenzy. Instead of taking a look at any one of the 555 TV advertisers (74% of which also ran accompanying digital ad campaigns proving that days of the Olympic games being largely a TV-driven play are over), let’s instead take a look at how NBCUniversal fared socially this season.
NBCU, which has been broadcasting the Olympics for the past 16 years, took a chance this year in an attempt to deliver Olympics-related content in various formats and channels while engaging the socially-driven consumer – which is pretty much everybody these days, right? In addition to catering to the hunger for live-streaming videos, and pushing hundreds of video clips to Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, NBCU handed the keys to its Snapchat account to BuzzFeed, giving them nearly free reign to run point on editorial content in the form of a pop-up Snapchat Discover channel.
The Buzzfeed team produced up to 20 pieces of content for Discover, while NBCU worked with Snapchat to curate Live Stories every day, tapping into social influencers, celebrities, and athletes. Across both tactics, the media giant was able to present the athletes and Olympics experience in a way that’s never been done before, content targeted at the millennial-driven Snapchat audience. “The move seems to have paid off to the tune of 35 million viewers over two weeks,” with 2.2 billion views and 230 million minutes of consumption. While TV viewership may have taken a dip, from a social perspective, NBCU took home the gold, declaring it their most social Olympics ever. And will they shift their advertising and sponsorship opportunities in the next go-round? Most definitely.
Meryl Seryoua, Sr. Director of Partner Marketing
What Your Instagram Says About You – Can It Diagnose Depression? [MIT Technology Review]
It seems your Instagram feed may reveal a bit more about you than you think. A recent study conducted by Andrew Reece at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Chris Danforth at the University of Vermont in Burlington, found strong indicators among the use of colors and filters that could detect mental illness such as depression.
According to an MIT Technology Review article about the the study, the research duo surveyed 170 people of whom approximately 70 were clinically depressed. The group’s photos were analyzed looking for trends among color, hue, color saturation, contrast, filters and even faces. A machine-learning algorithm was then applied to find the correlations between depression and the images’ characteristics.
The results? As you might guess people who are depressed tend toward darker, bluer or grayer images and apparently have a preferred filter. “When depressed participants did employ filters, they most disproportionately favored the ‘Inkwell’ filter, which converts color photographs to black-and-white images,” say Reece and Danforth. Conversely, healthy individuals preferred a filter called Valencia, which lightens photographs. Another interesting insight was that those who were depressed tended to post more photos with faces, but fewer faces per picture. While not confirmed, this could point to the “depressed selfie.”
All in all the algorithm proved to be 70% accurate identifying those with depression and demonstrating that what we think and feel comes out in our social media posts. There is also hope that machine-learning may be able to eventually provide early detection for mental illness to help those suffering get the help they need.
Jocelyn Johnson, Global Lead Press & Analyst Relations
Unintentionally, each of our OlaViews this week happened to be written by four awesome women from our Marketing team, reminding us to wish everyone a happy Women’s Equality Day and to send a shout out to all the intelligent women that make Olapic successful each and every day. Thanks for reading & have a fabulous weekend!