At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Twitter unveiled an ad product that would pull tweets from everyday users into branded campaigns on the platform. It’s an enormous step toward greater authenticity in advertising, and demonstrates a realization by Twitter that average consumers can often be exceptionally influential in driving purchase decisions for their peers.
According to Digiday, “The new product is based on what Twitter is calling a ‘brand enthusiast gallery,’ which will house a repository of brand-related tweets for advertisers to pick through.” Of course, as the social network continues to evolve and develop more attractive advertising options for brands, this is an interesting program. In our opinion, here are a few reasons why it makes a lot of sense:
- Advertising needs greater authenticity: With the rise of ad-blocking technology, including Apple’s move late last year to allow ad-blocking within its Safari web browser, and Samsung’s more recent announcement of a similar policy on its phones equipped with Android, brands and advertising agencies are facing a potential crisis of reach with their most important consumer segments. Still, while some have called ad-blocking the beginning of the end for advertising, we firmly believe it is simply a call-to-action: for brands, advertisers, and marketing technology organizations alike to create more authentic, meaningful marketing experiences that consumers will want to engage with. This program is one step in the right direction, by enabling users to contribute to the marketing process, brands will be able to design more conversational marketing experiences on Twitter, instead of trying to fit an outmoded methodology onto the social network.
- Everyday users have more power than previously thought: We’ve written about the power of the digital influencer, which in many cases has supplanted the traditional celebrity endorsement. Taken a step further, average users with very small digital footprints can also have an enormous impact on the marketing process. In fact, in our experience, some of the most powerful earned content conversions are prompted from users with very few followers on a platform such as Twitter. This program is giving a voice to all online consumers, and recognizing that in order to make an impact on the marketing process, an enormous network is less important than a very well-placed, high-quality photo or brand review.
- Rights management is an essential component to the program: We speak frequently with brands about the importance of a rights management strategy in earned content efforts like the one being developed by Twitter. By asking explicit permission to use consumer-generated content for marketing purposes, a brand is not only protecting itself but more importantly, it is creating a more meaningful relationship with the consumer, built on trust and empowerment rather than exploitation.
Today’s brands need to incorporate consumers into the marketing process, those who do so effectively will realize a new level of success. What do you think about Twitter’s new ad tool, and what it says about authentic marketing?
Image Source: Unsplash.com / By: Barn Images