Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest… as you can imagine, the usual media channel suspects are booming in terms of social usage. It’s not surprising, since 45% of global consumers are now spending more time on social media (source: GlobalWebIndex).
With social distancing measures likely to be in place for many months to come, it’s worth investing in these social media channels. But consider where to place your content carefully. Right now engagement rates on Instagram are 7x higher than that of Facebook (source: Campaign). However, with the situation always changing, you’ve got to keep up your eye on the figures.
There’s also an emergence of new social media players to consider. Houseparty, launched back in 2016, has experienced a huge boom. In April, it became the no.1 social media app in 82 countries, with 50 million new signups (source: TechCrunch). TikTok, although already hugely popular with Gen Z, has also seen a rise in use, with more and more older generations signing up to the platform. TikTok achieved 315 million downloads between January and March, the largest app download figure for a single quarter ever (source: Sensor Tower).
So with more and more people scrolling to pass the time, and social distancing measures likely to be in place for many months to come, now’s the time to get active on social.
What creative opportunities do these channels have to offer? There are lots of trending formats that brands can experiment with. On Instagram, AR quiz filters on Stories continue to spark excitement amongst users globally, and AR face filters remain incredibly popular. There are also numerous branded effects to explore on TikTok, Facebook and Snapchat.
This playful and interactive type of content can be beneficial to the brands in 2 ways. Firstly, it offers fans of the brand with a form of entertainment when they need it most. Secondly, if executed creatively enough, this content can be an extremely effective vehicle for brand awareness.
New types of content
Obviously brands have had to massively pivot their comms in reaction to their consumers suddenly staying at home 24/7. And while the situation is likely to ease-up over the next few months, they won’t be returning to “normal” life anytime soon. So, content must remain “home-based”, adding value to consumers as they lead their socially-distanced lives.
Stats from search tools Pinterest and Google support this theory. In Spring 2020, Pinterest has seen a 45x increase in the search for ‘yeastless bread recipes’, a 2.9x increase in the search for ‘home workouts’ and a 128x increase in the search for ‘easy lunch ideas for kids’ to help feed home-schooling children.
In the first two weeks of May alone, Google saw a 1150% rise in the search for ‘easy desserts to make during quarantine’, while the search for ‘buzz cut’ and ‘garden’ reached an all-time high worldwide. Clearly, consumers want content to help them maximise their time spent at home – cooking, gardening, trying new activities – but also to help them stay healthy and feel good in themselves. So when you’re planning your marketing content, keep the latest trends in mind.
The influencer situation
When it comes to influencers, the road ahead is fairly unclear. In North America, influencers have seen consistently declining engagement rates since coronavirus started hitting hard, and there’s no current sign of improvement.
However, some brands are finding that collaborating with the right type of influencer is helping them to gain traction. In an effort to encourage Gen Z to follow social-distancing regulations, P&G reached out to Charli D’Amelio to help them with their #DistanceDance campaign. D’Amelio choreographed and shared her #DistanceDance on TikTok, gaining 8.7 billion TikTok views and 1.7 million videos in response.
With influencers, it all depends on their industry and the type of content they’re producing. A pivot towards relatable, home-based content – like D’Amelio’s dance routine – is still likely to amass a lot of viewers. So, if an influencer can provide meaningful content that can add value to consumers lives as they social distance then it may still be worth collaborating.
Despite social usage being on the rise, there are less advertisers on social media channels. Companies affected by the crisis have been decreasing their marketing budgets, resulting in a drop of up to 47% in CPM and CPC prices, due to a decline in competition (source: Match2One). This offers an ideal opportunity for marketers to capture more eye-balls at a lower cost than before the crisis.