Welcome Cinemagraph: the new fascinating visual trend that will change Advertising and Marketing

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What if there were an ad that you just couldn’t draw your eyes from? It’s oddly captivating, almost hypnotic, and it would halt your thumb from scrolling farther down your Facebook feed.

There’s one such creative format that is only now catching on as the digital world’s equivalent of the glossy magazine ad: cinemagraphs. And Facebook, along with its mobile photo network Instagram, wants more brands to try them out as it quietly introduces advertisers to the potential of this half-video, half-photograph style, according to digital marketing insiders.

“You’re going to start seeing a ton of these on Facebook,” said one advertising executive who has seen a guide produced by Facebook for marketers called “Hacking Facebook Autoplay.”

Cinemagraphs have been around for a few years, made popular by two artists well-known in ad circles, Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck (who created the Armani eyeglasses image above). The format is a type of GIF, a photo in which only a piece of the image subtly moves.

A cinemagraph created for Balenciaga by Burg and Beck’s Ann Street Studio.

 

The style has been used in ads on Tumblr created by Burg and Beck, and now Facebook is giving it a whirl.

“Because of autoplay, brands need to be doing more with this stuff,” the ad exec noted. “This is something that plays out with motion in the feed that’s cool.”

Some brands already have shared cinemagraph-style posts to Facebook, including Stouffer’s and Coca-Cola. One of the common uses is to depict steam wafting off a hot dish, for instance.

Facebook has only been able to support such creative because of its autoplaying video, which sets images in motion without users having to click a button. “Advertisers buy it just like video,” the ad insider explained.

A cinemagraph created at Inkaterra La Casona by Burg and Beck’s Ann Street Studio.

Just last week, Facebook updated Instagram to allow videos to play on a loop, which could help brands post cinemagraphs there because they are set to constantly repeat.

Burg and Beck have done Tumblr ads for Saks Fifth Avenue and Lincoln Motor Co. It’s helped luxury brands like Chopard with creating cinemagraphs for organic social campaigns.

The duo said they were just playing around when they discovered this idea of “isolated motion,” Burg said in a phone interview this week.

They thought the format would be ideal for advertising. “People can’t stop staring at them,” Burg said. “Isn’t that what advertisers want?”

A third of the projects they do with brands include cinemagraphs, and the artist agreed that their clients are just now planning how to get them on Facebook and Instagram.

A cinemagraph created for Ecco Domani by Burg and Beck’s Ann Street Studio.

 

Burg and Beck have even talked with Facebook’s team to consult on projects because of how complicated the format is. It could take weeks in production to create a cinemagraph, they said.

“We’ve had all kinds of new inquiries [from brands],” Beck said. “They don’t want video that’s so noisy; they want a cinemagraph because it has more elegance.”

A cinemagraph created for Lincoln by Burg and Beck’s Ann Street Studio

[Source: Adweek]

2015 Worldwide Trends and Data for Digital, Social and Mobile [Global + 30 Country Reports]

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The wonderful folks at GlobalWebIndex have been great partners to WeAreSocial over the years, most recently helping them to put together a superlative report on digital stats from around the world.

Look through We Are Social’s comprehensive new Digital, Social and Mobile Worldwide in 2015 report, and it’s clear why fast-growth markets are now so important to digital and social trends: regions such as APAC and LatAm contain online populations which are not only vast in size but which are growing at phenomenal year-on-year rates.

What’s more, GlobalWebIndex’s data shows that digital consumers in these fast-growth/emerging markets are some of the most engaged when it comes to online behaviour. They’ve been tracking the daily time that people spend on various forms of media since 2012; by asking 170,000 annual respondents how long they typically devote to the internet as well as online and offline forms of TV, press and radio, they’ve been able to build a detailed profile of daily media behaviors. The results show that the internet is capturing more and more of our time each day – with total hours spent online via PCs, laptops, mobiles and tablets growing from 5.55 in 2012 to 6.15 in 2014.

One of the drivers of this is still-increasing levels of engagement with social networks, which have climbed from a daily average of 1.61 to 1.72 hours over the period in question. This offers important food-for-thought given that some commentators still like to proclaim the “end of social networking”. In actual fact, we’re spending more time on networks now than in the earlier part of the decade – with the rise of the mobile internet, and the ability it affords us to connect to a still-widening range of networks at any time and from any location, being a major driver of this.

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Click image to enlarge: Average number of hours per day spent using social networks, by country. NB: GlobalWebIndex have calculated these average times using data for all internet users (including those who do not use social media at all), whereas the figures in We Are Social’s Digital, Social, & Mobile 2015 report are averages based on the same source data, but which do not include the data for non-social media users.

That said, engagement with social networking can vary significantly from country-to-country. Typically, it is highest in fast-growth/emerging nations where online populations are skewed towards young, urban and affluent demographics (all of these being characteristics which increase an individual’s likelihood of being a social networker).

The Philippines posts the highest figure of all (with a sizeable 3.42 hours), but LatAm countries follow very closely behind. It’s hardly a surprise that there’s a very strong correlation with usage of the mobile internet here; where the mobile web scores well, we typically see social networking accounting for large amounts of daily media time too.

At the other end of the spectrum, we find the lowest amounts of time being devoted to networks in a number of mature markets; here, internet penetration rates are normally very high, meaning the corresponding online populations have a much broader / higher age profile, and are more representative of the country’s total population.

In short, older segments are better represented in mature nations but are some of the least enthusiastic about social networking – something which has an obvious impact on national averages. Japan appears at the very bottom of the table, with just 0.30 hours spent on networking per day; the lack of enthusiasm for networks generally – and for Facebook in particular – are key local factors in this market. Behind this are other mature APAC markets such as Australia as well as most of the European countries tracked by GWI.

Given these geographic and demographic patterns, it’s hardly a surprise that internet users in fast-growth nations are also the biggest “multi-networkers” (those who maintain accounts on the highest number of social platforms). Indonesia tops the table here, with internet users typically being members of 7.39 networks, but it’s in China where people are most likely to actively use the greatest number of social networks (4.27 per internet user). That there are so many local platforms in China is a major contributor to this, as is the fact that leading global names such as Facebook are not as off-limits as is often assumed.

In some studies – especially those based on data from passively collected analytics – it’s still common to see Chinese usage of Facebook, Twitter and similar sites recorded as zero. This is a major mistake; there are in fact a number of ways that Chinese internet users are bypassing official restrictions on social networks, including accessing via apps (16% in China say that they have used the Facebook app in the last 30 days, and a look at the top apps being downloaded in China on a daily basis shows that Western social networks feature very prominently within the list).

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Click image to enlarge: Average number of active social media accounts maintained by internet users, broken down by age and by country.

Significantly, VPN (Virtual Private Network) apps are also being widely downloaded in China – with these tools representing the other major access route for those Chinese users looking to bypass official restrictions. Close to a fifth of online adults in China in fact say they’ve used a VPN in order to access restricted websites or social platforms.

Not only does this trend underline the potential limitations of using passively collected, geo-located data in isolation – which can over-estimate the size of social audiences in markets such as the USA, Netherlands, South Korea and Sweden, where VPN and Proxy servers tend to be located – it also emphasizes the growing futility of attempting to prevent national audiences from accessing certain sites. Most clearly of all, though, it demonstrates why networking behaviors in China – as well as in many other fast-growth markets – are much more diversified and sophisticated than is often assumed.

[Source: We Are Social]

Social is more important than Search, bigger than most TV networks and deeply interconnected with Mobile

Although it is still relatively new as far as media entities go, BuzzFeed has become one of the leading new-media players, thanks in large part to its command of the social web, an ability to craft viral content and a large fan base among millennials. True to form, the company has created a visually-rich index of factsabout its size and reach — numbers which help explain how it was able to raise $50 million in a recent financing round.

As a caveat, it’s worth noting that the presentation is clearly designed to be a sales pitch for the company’s native advertising efforts, and so there are no links to or discussion of any of the data used to compile the charts. Most of the figures come courtesy of the site’s Google Analytics data, or from firms like Nielsen and comScore.

One of the core principles behind BuzzFeed is that social sharing is more important than search, so it’s no surprise that the main driver of traffic (which is estimated to be about 150 million unique visitors per month) is social — in fact, the company says that its social traffic is five times larger than its search traffic.

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Although social has grown to become one of the leading sources of traffic to most web content, the advertising industry still hasn’t quite caught up to this development, as shown by a BuzzFeed graph courtesy of eMarketer and Shareaholic — which says that social accounts for 30 percent of referral traffic but only 14 percent of advertising budgets.

Search vs. social

The other major shift in content consumption is mobile, and according to BuzzFeed the two are interconnected, in the sense that a majority of the site’s social traffic comes from mobile, and its share rates on mobile are twice as high as they are from its desktop users.

Mobile and social

BuzzFeed said mobile also accounts for a rapidly growing amount of video consumption, including 50 percent of all the video that the site produces, and this is particularly the case among millennial users. As a result of its focus on that market, BuzzFeed says that its reach is larger than several leading TV networks, including Fox, CNN and MTV — and among millennials it is larger still, putting the site ahead of most of the major networks, including NBC.

BuzzFeed reach

Obviously, BuzzFeed’s statistics are designed to promote its advertising appeal. And as with any form of web measurement, the sources it has chosen have their flaws — Google Analytics has a tendency to over-estimate certain kinds of traffic, while Nielsen and comScore have a tendency to under-estimate other kinds, including traffic from corporate networks (and BuzzFeed founder Jonah Peretti has said one of his secret weapons is the “bored at work” network).

Some of the conclusions suggested by the BuzzFeed numbers are also debatable: for example, some media analysts argue that social is not as good as search — even if the raw traffic number is larger — because search is a better indicator of purchasing intent. As for video views, TV insiders would no doubt argue that their viewership is more loyal than someone watching a viral video on their mobile device.

Those caveats aside, however, the numbers BuzzFeed is generating are still quite impressive for what is still a relatively young company.

[Source: GigaOM and BuzzFeed]

How ‘sticky’ is Facebook?

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For most Facebook users, the social network has become a fully integrated part of our life. Our personalities now mesh with the online world in the form of Facebook making us all one step closer to eventually that in the not too distant future we will all in some small way become cyborgs. So the question becomes, how ingrained is Facebook into our lives?

With hundreds of cable channels, on-demand videos, HD video game consoles, and massive libraries of e-books all calling for our attention, Facebook continues to stand out as a major player for our time and attention making it one of the stickiest websites in the world.

Engagement Rates

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The engagement figures for Facebook are quite astounding, SimilarWeb PRO shows that visitors to Facebook spend an average of just over 23 minutes on the site which is roughly the time it takes to watch an episode of The Simpsons. Compare this to the data for Google Plus, where visitors spend less than 4 minutes, barely enough time to make a decent cup of coffee.

Bounce rates for Facebook are very low with less than 2 in 10 visitors leaving it immediately after entering as opposed to Google Plus where nearly 5 out of 10 visitors bounce. One key feature, which has kept visitors engaged, is the revamped news feed with its content rich images and ads.

After Facebook?

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Such huge numbers of traffic are a boon for advertisers, so understanding where this traffic heads after Facebook is very useful. SimilarWeb PRO illustrates that 1 in 5 visitors head straight to YouTube. We love to share videos and our platform of choice is YouTube. This is probably why Facebook is making such a hard push to get into video advertising.

From this, it’s clear to see there’s a real desire for online videos. Advertisers want to chase this traffic, so it makes sense to organize Facebook campaigns to be mirrored on YouTube and maximize the chances of conversion.

Opportunities on Facebook

Over the past year, according to SimilarWeb data, average time on site for Facebook has never dipped below 22 minutes per visit. This data looks at desktop visits only, so it is fairly safe to assume that combined with mobile usage, Facebook is a dominant part of our lives. Gone are the days when advertisers fight over Superbowl Ads to reach a billion people, because today Facebook enables any advertiser anywhere to reach a bigger and more engaged audience.

[Source: Inside Facebook]

Teens heavily use Facebook, Instagram more often than Snapchat

One of the most pressing questions about Facebook’s future revolves around teen usage. However, a new study by Forrester shows that maybe teens don’t hate Facebook after all.

Forrester surveyed more than 4,500 U.S. online users between 12 and 17 about their habits on social networks and apps. Among apps they use “all the time,” both Facebook and Instagram finished ahead dof Snapchat.

Nate Elliott, Forrester’s Vice President and Principal Analyst Serving Marketing Leadership Professionals,summed up the findings of the study in a blog post:

The results were clear: Facebook remains young users’ favorite social network. More than three-quarters of online youth use Facebook — twice as many as use Pinterest or Tumblr or Snapchat, and more than use Instagram and WhatApp combined. And 28% of young users who are on Facebook say they use it “all the time,” a higher percentage than said this about any other social network.The bottom line: The sky is not falling. Facebook does not have a problem attracting or retaining teen users.

Here’s a look at the graph, with different apps and social networks used by teens plotted in terms of adoption and hyperusage:

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[Source: Inside Facebook]

Seven Deadly Sins of Social Media

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The seven deadly sins: just the mention of the term stirs up feelings of guilt and an urge to right your wrongs. This goes for social media too! When it comes to social media, there are countless examples of individuals and companies making all sorts of mistakes and not using social networks to their full potential. So let’s strike a little fear into your hearts here and show you how the seven deadly sins can have a damning effect on your social media efforts.

1. Gluttony

You are a social media glutton if you try to be everywhere at once. You feel the need to create an account on every social network in existence, regardless of whether or not the network is appropriate for your specific goals.

If you do not know what your social media goals are, start by asking the following questions. Does your target audience use the social network? Do you produce content that the social network can showcase appropriately? What results are you looking to see from being on the social network (i.e. leads, website traffic, exposure, etc.)? Answer these questions for each social network before actually creating your account.

2. Sloth

If you created a social media account and then left it dormant, shame on you! Or perhaps you post some great content to your social media account on a regular basis: great! But what about engaging your audience? Facilitating conversations with your followers?

If you leave your social media accounts inactive or fail to respond to social media interactions, then you are guilty of social media sloth. Sloth is a sure way to have your followers lose interest in you or to give them the impression that you do not care about them as customers or as an audience.

3. Greed

Are you willing to do whatever it takes to gain more followers? Will you pay, lie, cheat, maybe even rent out your firstborn to get your follower counts into the 10K range? If so, then you are guilty of social media greed.

The number of followers on your social media accounts is an important metric in terms of the growth and success of your efforts. Your main focus, however, should remain on producing quality content, nurturing relationships and building a community online.

4. Wrath

Have people criticized or complained about your services via social media? If so, don’t respond in haste. You most definitely should respond, but you have to make sure your response is tactful and not attacking in any way. If your response is mean-spirited or fails to address the complaint, then you are guilty of social media wrath.

Don’t think it’s a bad thing to take your time to calm down and contemplate any criticism on social media. It lets personal offense simmer down so you can see things from the complainer’s perspective. Even if you think responding is futile, according to Kissmetrics 22% of social media complainers welcomed the interaction that resulted from their complaining and later posted a positive response.

5. Lust

If your business is struggling to market itself effectively, you may think that social media will help you out. In fact, you may believe that social media will be the golden ticket to instant success, fame and profits. If your mouth waters at the perceived magic of social media to solve all your marketing problems, then you are guilty of the social media sin of lust.

The truth is social media is a tool that takes time and effort. It’s part of a larger, long-term marketing strategy. Social media is definitely not a quick fix or a panacea for broken or inadequate marketing strategies.

6. Envy

Do you look at others’ social media accounts, large followings and constantly shared content and get an overwhelming desire to be just like them? Then you are guilty of social media envy. No two companies, individuals or organizations are exactly the same, so don’t feel envious just because your competitor is performing a particular way on social media. While it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your competitors on social media to look for opportunities to grow and gain inspiration, it’s not a good idea to copy your competitors under the illusion that you’ll achieve the same results.

7. Pride

Yes, you (hopefully) control your social media accounts. Yes, social media is a tool that can help promote your brand. But no, your social media content cannot be all about you. If so, then you are guilty of the social media sin of pride. If you talk about you, your business or your product all the time or even most of the time, it bores your audience and puts yet another nail in your social media coffin. Instead, mix it up. Remember the 4-1-1 rule: for every self-serving message you post (i.e. promoting an article you wrote or an event you’re hosting), you should share one message from another user and four pieces of others’ original content.

[Source: DashBurst]

Social Commerce: Which Social Media Platforms Drive the Most Sales?

Business owners often wonder about the “ROI of social media”. Is my Facebook page actually driving sales? Is all this tweeting really doing anything for my bottom line? Should I be on Pinterest and Instagram?

Well it turns out, when it comes to ecommerce, being social matters.

To better understand how social media is impacting the ecommerce industry, Shopify analyzed data from 37 million social media visits that led to 529,000 orders.

Here’s some interesting data points they uncovered:

  • Facebook dominates as a source of social traffic and sales. Nearly two thirds of all social media visits to Shopify stores come from Facebook. Plus, an average of 85% of all orders from social media come from Facebook.
  • Orders from Reddit increased 152% in 2013.
  • Perhaps most interesting and surprising was community style site Polyvore which is generating the highest average order value ahead of Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. Also noteworthly in this category is Instagram which is also generating higher average orders than those same sites. This is especially impressive considering the only clickable links in Instagram are those in profile bio’s.
  • Facebook has the highest conversion rate for all social media ecommerce traffic at 1.85%

In addition to these stats, they’ve also analyzed specific industries to determine which platforms are performing better. You can check out all the findings in the infographic below.

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[Source: Shopify]