February doesn’t just get lovey-dovey couples excited, it’s a month filled with opportunity for digital marketers too.
This month saw some big changes on social media platforms, developments at Google, and some truly exciting, innovative campaigns.
Get caught up below.
The Latest Social News
LinkedIn is getting its own version of Stories
This seems like an off-brand decision, but LinkedIn is adding its version of Stories. The functionality will work similarly to Snapchat and Instagram with LinkedIn keen to include Stories as they are “a way of speaking”.
LinkedIn’s Pete Davies explained the platform’s rationale, “Stories first appeared on Snapchat, with other platforms like Instagram and Facebook adopting them soon after. They spread for a good reason – they offer a lightweight, fun way to share an update without it having to be perfect or attached to your profile forever.
“Does that exist in the business world? I’d hope that most of my interactions in the break room or passing people in the hall are similarly ephemeral and light.”
While it may seem like LinkedIn is following a trend too late, Stories are a new way of communicating; a platform that relies on communication needs to accommodate all forms of it.
Brands up support for TikTok
Despite TikTok’s status as the fastest-growing social media platform in the world, it has struggled to connect this success with brands.
Now, however, brands are increasing their associations with the platform. This month, a wave of brands from PlayStation to Prada have thrown their hat in the TikTok ring.
This coincides with the belief from several analysts that TikTok is likely to be the next hotspot for influencer activity. Social media professional Taylor Lorenz of the New York Times, for example, said, “TikTok is so thirsty to get brands to work with them. Brands are still struggling to see their place on the app […] The place for brands within TikTok is ads and partnerships, as opposed to trying to make your own thing to blow up, which is very hard as a brand without a paid spend behind it. ”
Keep an eye on TikTok and don’t miss the boat, everyone.
Instagram opens up DMs on PC
Instagram has added direct messages on Windows 10, as well as updating its software to become a Progressive Web App (PWA) on desktop.
The web app prevents users from uploading images directly from their PC, but it does allow them to send and receive messages.
Despite being strongly mobile first, Instagram is freeing up functionality on PC.
The Latest Google News
Google Search Console rolls out new tools
Google has rolled out some exciting new Search Console updates, especially for those who are changing domains.
The updates focus on the change address functionality, adding two features:
- Redirect validation
- On-screen reminders
Redirect validation for a website’s top five URLs will happen automatically. Search Console will intuitively indicate whether a redirect from an old URL to a new URL is valid.
Secondly, on-screen reminders will occur after a change of address request is submitted.
These updates open up the accessibility of domain changes, as well as the speed of it.
The Latest Brand News
Tesco hits big with skin tone plasters
In an overdue but celebrated move, Tesco has offered fabric plasters that mimic skin colour.
While the campaign has seen a mixed response from some on Twitter, generally it is being well received.
It’s evidence that sometimes all you need is a good, on-point product to take care of the marketing for you.
Ebb & Flow Group introduces an AI and analytics-driven menu
Did you think analytics and AI lay solely in the realm of marketing for brands? Well, think again – Singapore-based Ebb & Flow Group has launched a “dark kitchen” known as Wrap Bstrd with a menu driven by AI and analytics.
By using over 200,000 data points including digital trends, customer journeys, predict demand, and behavioural intent, the brand has created menus cultivated in line with the taste of geographical areas. If it works properly, this means each menu will be perfectly suited to the area a premise is operating in.
As marketing and customer experience coalesce, don’t be surprised to see more business offerings interweaved with digital data.
Yorkshire Tea’s social media tangles with political vitriol
Sure, you want your customers to naturally be influencers, but Yorkshire Tea probably didn’t have the British Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, in mind.
Sunak posted a picture with himself and a bag of Yorkshire Tea, causing onlookers to believe this was an intentional advertising opportunity for the tea company.
The politicised response was heavy, and Yorkshire Tea’s Twitter admin soon found themselves having to deal with an onslaught of difficult interactions:
The brand did, however, come out the other side with a better reputation, but it was a reminder that a jovial, Wendy’s-style social media presence is a double-edged sword.
Our Favourite Campaign of the Month
The mouldy Whopper
It’s okay to not know how to feel about this one. It’s gross. It’s honest. It’s memorable.
But is it memorable for the right reasons? Is it captivating or revolting? Will it ruin the Whopper for you forever, or will it make you realise how artificial other fast-food burgers are?
Can you take your eyes off it?
The existence of these questions means one thing: Burger King took a risk.
For now, it’s paid off.
The idea of the campaign was to announce the brand’s move away from artificial preservatives. Everybody remembers the Big Mac that lasted 10 years without going mouldy, and this implicit response from Burger King is a continuation of its decade-long feud with McDonald’s.
With two million YouTube views, numerous mentions, tit-for-tat with other brands, big news links and 21 million hashtag impressions, the campaign can only be seen as a success.
It’s okay for this to gross you out, but the next time you dig into a Burger King, there’ll be one phrase in your mind: “this is natural”.