Figaro Digital Digest: March 2020

by Liberty Marketing Figaro Digital

Coronavirus dominated the news in March, and continues to have a significant impact on our day-to-day lives.

The importance of digital increases as people spend significantly more time indoors. From online shopping to increased news consumption, people have never spent more time online than they are now.

Discover how the digital marketing world has adapted to this new, testing landscape below.

The Latest Social News

Facebook funds local news stimulus package

Facebook is set to give $25 million of emergency grants for local news, and will spend $75 million on ads for news outlets to offset their losses of revenue.

The decision has come after news outlets – particularly local news – have found themselves in a position where they are more important than ever, but have seen significant losses in revenue from ads, events, and other channels.

Sites like Facebook need reputable, local journalists in business to prevent the rise of fake news. Hopefully, this grant will help tide news outlets over through the economic effects of the Coronavirus crisis.

Facebook and Instagram introduce cross-posting of stories

Facebook has now introduced the option to cross-post Stories to Instagram. The alternative – posting from Instagram to Facebook – has been around for a while, but this is a further move to consolidate both social platforms.

The feature hasn’t been fully launched yet but, when it does, it’ll make things easier for social media professionals.

Theoretically, it allows for maximisation of views, but we’ll have to wait and see how the algorithm and users react to the consolidation first.

Twitter begins testing of “Fleets”

This seems like a strange one. Twitter is testing a new functionality called “Fleets” which are Stories in everything but name.

These, like most Stories, vanish after 24 hours. Testing has just begun in Brazil, and it appears that the Stories don’t show up in Search or Moments; you need to visit a Twitter user’s page directly to access them.

These cannot be interacted with in any way, so don’t expect people to retweet pictures of your brunch any time soon.

The Latest Google News

Google offers $800 million of coronavirus relief through free ads

Google has committed more than $800 million of funds to help small businesses and crisis responders during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of this aid will come through cash, with $340 million being free advertising credits.

CEO Sundar Pichai discussed the company’s relief efforts, stating that, “To help address some of these challenges, today we’re announcing a new $800+ million commitment to support small- and medium-sized businesses, health organizations and governments, and health workers on the frontline of this global pandemic.”

These credits will be deposited into accounts that have been active over the past 12 months, and will remain there to be used until the new year.

Google reiterates its commitment to block third-party cookies

Google has reiterated its intention to block third-party cookies on Chrome after a wave of concern from advertising companies. This change will render the use of cookies as an advertising tool useless.

In an open letter, several companies asked Google to pause this change until the COVID-19 pandemic slowed.

Marshall Vale, a Google product manager, responded to the letter, stating that it was still too premature to talk about changing this course.

In a month where advertisers are already seeing losses, managing this third-party cookie change may be tough.

The Latest Brand News

BrewDog produces “Brewgel” hand sanitiser

BrewDog normally makes beer, but as soon as the COVID-19 issue took hold of the country, it began pivoting focus at its Aberdeen brewery to produce hand sanitiser.

These will be supplied to the NHS and charities. While these aren’t commercial products, the branding ensures this can not only act as a much-needed supply but also as a neat, relevant promotion.

The hand sanitiser received impressive traction on social.

In Your Area combines hyperlocal news, digital, and coronavirus response

Reach’s online hyperlocal news aggregator, In Your Area, has come into its own this month.

Founded in 2017, the app and digital service originally just collated local news sources, but now it has evolved.

Seeing the app as an opportunity to help with the COVID-19 pandemic, the service now includes a coronavirus tracker both nationally and locally, a node that directs users to local food banks, and other useful add-ons and widgets.

It also upsells Reach-owned newspapers and, thanks to how useful it has been during this pandemic, the app has just broken three million downloads.

The app shows that if you can deliver on a much-needed service, then the promotion will follow.

Our Favourite Campaign of the Month

Burger King shows us how to make a Whopper at home

In times like these, it’s important to keep your campaigns relevant but not too depressing. Burger King France’s recent social campaign has shown just that.

The tweet has shown how to make the company’s Whopper at home using store-bought ingredients:

The social post is a perfect storm of referencing current events while keeping things light. Not only that, but Burger King has also shown it can, in a way, still end up on its customers’ plates while all of its stores are shut.

Get the Latest News

Take a look at more of our articles for the latest news updates, guides, and opinion pieces, or discover our digital marketing events for more in-depth learning.