Industry Update: Brands Take a Stand, IGTV Ads, and More

How will recent events curate your marketing strategy?

Lena Young
June 03, 2020

Brands Publicly Support #BlackLivesMatter

Following the murder of George Floyd, an unarmed black man at the hands of Minneapolis police, an outpour of support for the Black community and in support of the Black Lives Matter movements has come from brands, celebrities, and influencers. Because, in 2020, it’s hard for brands to deny the importance of social issues. 

In 2018, Nike resonated its Just Do It slogan in support of Colin Kaepernick and taking a stand against injustice. The brand’s past rhetoric made its recent support of Black Lives Matter much more authentic. But, this isn’t just a theme for large brands, smaller companies have ingrained their values into their brand identity. Like KeepCup, a company that produces reusable cups and strongly advocates for the environment. KeepCup transitioned their environmental activism to social justice, by expressing that caring for the world means caring for people. 

In an analysis of the Fortune 100 Best Workplaces for Diversity, we identified that in response to the Black Lives Matter protests 31% of companies made a public statement in support of the Black community and against racism. Companies that released a statement included Salesforce, Dropbox, FedEx, Delta, FootLocker, and more. Statements ranged from social media posts, letters from CEOs, to donation pledges.

Additionally, this social justice is not just a matter of importance to American consumers. The #blacklivesmatter hashtag is used internationally. In fact, in the last 7-days, 34% of posts are from the US, 23% are from the UK, 7% from Australia, 4% from Germany, and 3% from Canada.  If recent protests in places like London, Berlin, and Iran are an indication, this is a global issue. 

People Want to Hear Your Brand:

Understand who your audience and partners are. For many, saying nothing is saying something.  Influencers have called out brands who have remained silent, perhaps indicating that brand opinions can sway potential collaborations. 

IGTV Ads

IGTV, Instagram’s long-form video platform, has been around for some time, but many have been unsure on how to use it. For those unfamiliar; there is a stand-alone IGTV app, or you can opt to use the IGTV Instagram integration. Basically, it is Instagram's version of YouTube. 

The one main difference between Instagram and YouTube is ads. Not anymore. 

Starting this week Instagram is going to begin running ads on IGTV and sharing 55% of ad revenue with video creators. This is just an initial testing phase that will run with a select number of influencers, to help advertisers and creators understand the monetization value of IGTV. 

Video content tends to have the highest overhead fees, with influencers charging between $114 - $3,138, yet significantly less expensive than most production studios. The ability to monetize video content on Instagram will be a game-changer. It will not only let brands measure their ROI, it will also enhance the quality of Instagram video content.  

What Does This Mean For Brands?

You can begin to see a revenue stream if you use IGTV correctly, and create monetizable content! 

Sell Directly On Facebook & Instagram

Last week Facebook announced the launch of two exciting platforms; Facebook and Instagram Shops, offering brands the ability to list and sell products from Facebook and Instagram. 

In a recent company blog post, the company announced that Facebook Shops was created to help small businesses struggling during the coronavirus pandemic to easily transition to eCommerce. “Right now many small businesses are struggling, and with stores closing, more are looking to bring their business online. Our goal is to make shopping seamless and empower anyone from a small business owner to a global brand to use our apps to connect with customers.”

Creating Facebook Shops are free and relatively straight-forward. Businesses list the products they wish to sell from their catalog and have the ability to customize their page to fit the look and feel of their brand. Instagram Shops will be launched later in Summer 2020, but will initially be part of the Instagram Discover feature. 

Why is Facebook Shops exciting? 

Influencer marketing, like any other marketing channel, requires sufficient metrics to measure reach and impact. The ability to now measure purchases will help create a more holistic picture of your campaign, and provide additional data for analysis. 

Twitter Factschecks Trump 

Trump and Twitter go together like...I’ll let you finish that sentence. But, the two’s relationship took an interesting turn last week when two of  the President’s tweets were flagged as potentially misleading. The President’s tweet implied that Mail-In Ballots would lead to voter fraud, which Twitter fact-checkers debunked. 

Twitter is rolling out a new policy that attempts to curb the spread of misinformation. In a company statement Twitter said, “In serving the public conversation, our goal is to make it easy to find credible information on Twitter and to limit the spread of potentially harmful and misleading content. Starting today, we’re introducing new labels and warning messages that will provide additional context and information on some Tweets containing disputed or misleading information related to COVID-19.”

The President also posted a Tweet in response to the Black Lives Matter protests and subsequent looting. His tweet implied that “thugs” looting will result in shooting, and caused Twitter to take the unprecedented step of removing the Tweet as it incited hate.

Comparatively, the President used similar rhetoric on Facebook that was not flagged or removed. Many Facebook employees have expressed anger over this, even staging a virtual walkout. Mark Zuckerberg has argued that the President’s statements were hateful, but did not break Facebook guidelines. 

What Does All This Mean For Your Brand?

The world is moving fast. Navigating your brand message during turbulent times can be challenging. Influencers are a great way to have an authentic conversation, and right now authenticity is everything. Schedule a call with one of our influencer marketing experts to learn more.