Are you ready for a new kind of internet?

Online advertising is about to change – are you ready for a new kind of internet? Competing visions between Apple and Facebook mean we all need to ready ourselves for a slew of changes which will influence how we interact with content and primarily advertising online.

Apple has made it’s position clear. According to Tim Cook – tracking is bad, and privacy is not only important but central to how Apple makes decisions.

A good example would be Apple’s ‘Sign In with Apple’. Signing up to any web service using this functionality, means you have the option to withhold your email address thereby providing the user with some control over the data they share with that web service.

“We don’t think you should ever have to trade it [your personal data] for a service you think is free but actually comes at a very high cost. This is especially true now that we’re storing data about our health, our finances, and our homes on our devices.” –Kapersky

… but ‘Sign In with Apple’ was 2019’s news.

New kind of internet

Early in 2021, Apple plans to go further by enabling functionality already baked into iOS which notifies users when an app is attempting to access the users personal data.

Whilst this functionality doesn’t proclaim to target Facebook explicitly, Facebook would undoubtedly be materially impacted as the company requires significant amounts of users data in order to enable personalised advertising.

In January 2019, Apple stated that there were 1.4 billion active iOS devices in the world. That’s a huge install base. Facebook, suspect that when prompted, users would choose to disable the tracking which would thereby inhibit their ability to serve personalised advertising.

Consequently back in December of 2020, Facebook made a bold counterpoint by taking out full page ads in some of the most prominent newspapers in America to make their case. According to Facebook, small businesses around the world rely on their powerful targeting systems to advertise their products and services.

Are you ready for a new kind of internet

Facebook state that Apple’s position is not so much pro-privacy but rather anti small-business. Mark Zuckerberg and his team would be right to point out that millions of businesses around the world rely on Facebook advertising to reach their audience and have launched a website Speak Up For Small Business where they go into more details about the consequences of embracing Apple’s vision of internet privacy.

Whilst Apple haven’t directly responded to Facebook assertions, as part of iOS 14.3 they have launched what Apple compare to ‘nutritional labels’ for apps. Located within the AppStore, these labels lay bare the resources apps might access as a means of informing the user of how their data might be used.

Are you ready for a new kind of internet

How will this effect my business?

These are uncertain times in the advertising industry. Facebook seems to be fighting a war on two-fronts. Not only is it grappling with Apple on the topic of user data and privacy but it has also recently been sued by the FTC over anticompetitive practices.

Whilst nothing is going to change quickly, the FTC is pursuing a divestiture of both Instagram and WhatsApp. Given that the FTC approved these acquisitions, it is not clear how this situation will play out or what the outcome of this action will be.

Whilst Apple have taken a clear position on privacy, Facebook in response claim that small business is under attack from these measures. Rather than taking a view that this is Apple vs Small Business, it is probably more objective to view it in the context of Privacy vs Relevance. 

Most users have grown so accustomed to tailored advertising on the web, they may well decide that they are prepared to accept some form of tracking in order to see ads they are interested in.

In fact many Gen Y users will know nothing beyond personalised advertising and will likely get infuriated by exposure to irrelevant commercials.

Ultimately competition in the feed will be just as fierce as it has always been. Brands have forever had to reconsider what their competition is on the likes of Facebook. Creativity will remain an important currency in the effectiveness of your ads. The new landscape doesn’t mean targeted advertising will go away; removing them entirely risks doing more damage than good.

What do you think? Would you prefer more generic ads whilst maintaining your privacy or do you think Apple are being overbearing in taking this approach. For me, this is one of those situations where I can really see both sides of the argument.

To my mind, the important thing is choice. The user should be given the option to accept tracking or not; it shouldn’t be foisted upon them. For the brand itself, it’s vital to embrace creative storytelling. It’s been some tough times recently and as a consequence we need to be entertained. A smile can go a long way in making your brand more sticky.

About the Author

Nathan Haines

Nathan is the managing director of Element 26 and an expert in video production and video marketing. Nathan enjoys supporting companies to grow their businesses using video. Get in touch on Twitter @element26uk

How To Choose The Best Social Channels For Your Video?

Sharing video on social media is a fantastic way to build awareness of your products or services. But with so many social channels out there, how do you choose which ones are most appropriate for your business.

As regular readers of our blog will know, we talk a lot about where video fits in the customer journey. In broad terms, that journey starts when a potential customer becomes aware of your product or services. Once this happens, the role of your marketing, and your videos, is to lead them from becoming aware of what you offer, to evaluating it and in turn buying it.

One of the best types of video to grab people’s attention about your product or services is an elevator video (such as the Elevator 1). This is a video version of your elevator pitch. You would use this to build your brand and create an emotional connection with your audience. This is about showing what your values are and why you do what you do rather than selling your goods or services.

One company that does this brilliantly is GoPro. Their videos sell adventure and excitement. Check out their Best of 2016 video and you’ll notice that there isn’t a single reference in it to their products. In the month after the video was posted on YouTube it was viewed more than 1.6 million times.  

YouTube is one of many social channels you can choose to show your videos. Each channel has different attributes and it can be difficult to determine which ones are most appropriate. Here’s our guide to help you find the best social media channels for your awareness videos.

social-media-channels

Facebook

Most businesses would be wise to consider using Facebook for their videos as Facebook loves video. As at January 2016, more than 500 million people watched Facebook videos every day (Recode). In February 2016, videos uploaded directly to Facebook generated more than 199 billion views (ReelSEO). (Up-to-date figures, when they come out, are likely to be higher still.)

People scroll through their Facebook feeds expecting to be entertained. They are open to authentic video content that makes them laugh or cry or go ‘wow’. You don’t even need expensive kit to do this. There’s nothing to stop a short video shot on a smartphone going viral, like the one of a person shovelling snow from their yard dressed in a dinosaur outfit.  

You can now live stream video on Facebook using Facebook Live. These videos are watched three times longer than regular videos (Mediakix.com) and offer unlimited potential to engage directly with customers. Showing plenty of personality in Facebook Live videos is important and if you get this right you can quickly build brand awareness and loyalty.

YouTube

YouTube has many plus points, one of which is the fact that it has more than one billion users. It is also the second biggest search engine in the world.  People use it to watch music videos and clips of people falling over, but they also search for educational information and useful stuff about how things work. And, as it is owned by Google, a video posted on YouTube is more likely to show up in organic Google search results than one hosted elsewhere.

Another advantage is that you can use YouTube videos to drive viewer action. You can add annotations to your videos and clickable hotspots linking back to your website or ask viewers to subscribe to your YouTube channel. All these features make it a good place to spread the word about your business.

It has its downsides, though. The site is huge, so your video can easily get lost. Plus, viewers may have to watch an ad for anything from a few seconds up to 30 seconds before your video loads. You could lose them before your video starts playing.

The biggest problem though is that YouTube sucks viewers away from your website. You want people on your site so you can drive them along the customer journey using calls to action and relevant links. YouTube works well for raising awareness but less well for the videos a prospect watches when they are close to making a purchase decision (such as product videos). You probably want these on your own website rather than YouTube.

Instagram

Instagram generates more than 3.5 billion likes a day and with 30% of internet users now on Instagram, you can use it to reach an enormous audience.  What’s more, as the platform is owned by Facebook, with one click you can publish a Facebook video directly onto Instagram.  For these reasons alone you would be crazy not to at least consider posting videos on Instagram – or at least extracts, as Instagram allows videos of up to 60 seconds only. Instagram also has a useful Stories feature that allows you to post photos and videos throughout the day that play like a slideshow. At the end of the day, the photos and videos disappear. Stories is a great feature for using either pre-made or live video promoting an event and combining them with still photos.

Snapchat

According to Bloomberg, Snapchat’s daily video views grew in the year to May 2016 from two billion to 10 billion. By May this year, daily views are expected to exceed 18 billion. These are impressive numbers but it doesn’t necessarily mean you should post your videos to Snapchat. It has a predominantly young demographic, with 18 to 24 year-olds making up 45% of its audience so it won’t suit all businesses (eMarketer). Another drawback is that it doesn’t use hashtags or help users by recommending people to follow. That makes it harder to build an audience or get found by people who don’t know you already. 

Twitter

Twitter is a good place for businesses to post videos. At the awareness stage of the customer journey, one of the best ways to spread your message is through engagement. According to Twitter, video is the most shared type of media and tweets with video are six times more likely to be retweeted that tweets with photosTwitter has also jumped on the live video bandwagon with its Periscope app. As with Facebook, this is popular with brands that want to connect with their audience by live streaming events and launches.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn in not particularly video friendly. It does allow certain ‘influencers’ to upload video but this feature is not available to the masses – yet. Sure, you can make posts that link to videos hosted elsewhere but not in a way that shows your video directly in people’s timelines. Watch this space, though. LinkedIn was recently acquired by Microsoft, meaning 2017 looks to be an interesting year for the business. Its only a matter of time before LinkedIn opens out video to all its users.

To discuss further how you can produce video for your social media channels, get in touch with us today.

About the Author

Nathan Haines

Nathan is the managing director of Element 26 and an expert in video production and video marketing. Nathan enjoys supporting companies to grow their businesses using video. Get in touch on Twitter @element26uk