The Figaro Digital Monthly Digest: November

by Figaro Digital

It’s (almost) Christmas! With huge marketing events coming up in December, from last-minute festive shopping to New Year, November was a great time to prepare for them. The month, as always, was packed full of ice cool marketing strategies and news.

The Latest Social News

Instagram Cracks Down On Fake Followers

Faking your way to influencer fame and Instagram popularity may be at an end thanks to the platform pushing to eliminate fake followers.

Instagram has attempted to cut down on fake accounts since its inception, but, according to its most recent statement, the social media giant is upping its efforts:

“We’re taking a number of steps to limit this kind of unwelcome behaviour. Accounts we identify using these services will receive an in-app message alerting them that we have removed the inauthentic likes, follows and comments given by their account to others.

“We will also ask them to secure their account by changing their password. People who use these types of apps share their username and password, and their accounts are sometimes used by third-party apps for inauthentic likes, follows and comments. Not only does this introduce bad behaviour into the Instagram community, it also makes these accounts less secure.”

This is an obvious effort from the social media giant to reduce fake followers, which have been on the rise given the lucrative benefits of reaching influencer-level of fame on the platform. So, it may be time to say goodbye to the good old adage ‘fake it ‘till you make it’.

LinkedIn And Hootsuite Join Forces

Hootsuite and LinkedIn have announced a deeper collaboration, allowing Hootsuite to work on LinkedIn’s Notifications API and companies on the platform to manage their content and engagements more effectively. In a statement, Hootsuite elaborated:

“Hootsuite worked closely with LinkedIn Marketing Solutions to make it easier for our customers to drive engagement and succeed with social on LinkedIn,” said Stefan Krepiakevich, VP of Strategic Alliances, Hootsuite. “As a strategic partner of LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, we’re thrilled to be the first social media management platform to build off LinkedIn’s Notifications API to deliver added value to our customers.”

LinkedIn customers will be able to schedule and publish video from Hootsuite, as well as directly mentioning pages in LinkedIn posts to up engagement. LinkedIn just became more of a serious business opportunity, y’all!

The Latest Google News

The EU May Force Google News To Shut Down

Following an ongoing argument between Google and the EU, a Google News executive has admitted they may have to shut down the News service in Europe. The EU’s controversial “link tax” for news stories has not gone down well at Google. The proposed law gives powers for media giants to charge licencing fees for posting links through a new type of copyright, colloquially known as “link tax”.

Websites would, in a sweeping change, have to install bots to monitor all posts and content to detect when someone is using a copyrighted link. This is bad news for Google and journalists, particularly with the need for stringent referencing.

As a result, Richard Gingras, Google’s vice-president for news, said “it’s not desirable to shut down services,” but is considering it in Europe.

Google Explains How It Merges Sites

For those in the dark about how Google works its website merging magic, Google’s John Mueller gave some tips and insight into the process during a recent Hangout. He outlined some of the difficulties of the process, but most importantly, he reiterated that merging websites doesn’t guarantee a merging of traffic.

Speaking on websites from a content perspective, Mueller stated:

“I think it’s just important to also make sure that… from a content point of view you also make sure you have something that matches the old content. So that people who are explicitly looking for their old stuff they will have some place to go.”

For those on the verge of a merge, ensure that content is a 1:1, or you’ll miss out on clicks.

The Latest In Branding

Allianz Marketing Boss Drums Up Importance Of Email

Despite the long-term impact of GDPR, the Vice President of Marketing in Northern Europe for Aliianz, Tom Hughes, has stated that “email is still so important – it’s the be all and end all” of digital marketing.

Post-GDPR, companies should now have a smaller, but more invested database of emails. In the logic of Hughes, this means content needs to be excellent, as it can ensure a better percentage of return than previously.

His theory is backed up by facts and figures too. According to a study conducted in the US last year by market research company The Relevancy Group, email accounted for 21 per cent of total revenue delivered through marketing channels at the end of the second quarter of 2017, up 17 per cent from the year prior.

Wahaca Proves Grassroots Aesthetics Can Work For Brands

(Source: DesignWeek)

Wahaca has 25 restaurants in the UK, but you wouldn’t guess that by looking at its design. The Mexican food chain has stayed true to its grassroots origins with a stripped-back menu, rejection of “brand standard” interiors and, of course, by opting for simple branding.

As middle-tier chains such as Jamie’s Italian and Prezzo are struggling with their overly-corporate messaging, brands such as Wahaca continue to do well. Its new branding campaign focuses on hand-drawn logos, zine-like menus and contrasting colours to give it an independent finish with a chain budget.

Our Favourite Campaign Of The Month

It wasn’t going to be anything else, was it? Iceland’s banned #NoPalmOilChristmas campaign was a digital masterstroke, with the company making full use of social media and YouTube to spread its message. The campaign flew in the face of the usual marketing decorum of staying politically balanced, instead showing that an ethical (and somewhat political) stance can be widely successful.

The content of the advert itself is relatively straightforward, telling the tale of orangutan habitat deforestation through a cartoony aesthetic, driving home Iceland’s long-term ambition to be palm oil free with all of its own products.

The advert’s positive message and environmental slant made it widely popular. The advert – banned for its affiliations with Greenpeace – showed that even if an advert cannot make it to TV, businesses can still find avenues to get it circulating.

Iceland’s campaign stood out not only due to the content, but the way in which it reacted to changing circumstances. By pushing the fact that the advert was banned, Iceland ensured the consumer was immediately on their side. The advert already orientated Iceland as a ‘good’ brand on the high street, but being banned made it the underdog in consumer’s eyes, which is an effective tool.

Iceland followed this all up by offering gifts, such as a free pack of palm oil-free mince pies with online orders, to translate on social media interest to in-store engagement. The chain even set an animatronic orangutan free to roam around London.

The campaign has been a huge success, driving Iceland’s consideration among consumers up 5.9 points on the YouGov BrandIndex up to 21.6. This means it is now ahead of its competitors for the busiest shopping period of the year.

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