SPARKS

October 2022

October 2022 Roundup

We’ve made it to October, and that means it’s officially spooky season aka Q4! So, let’s not delay – here’s what’s intriguing us in the world of digital marketing this month. TikTok is trying to eat BeReal’s lunch, according to Meta’s internal data, Instagram Reels are gasping for air, Google is making some positive UI changes, and there’s some rumblings about how much a Netflix ad will cost.

TikTok is trying to eat BeReal’s lunch

If this is your first time hearing about BeReal, then it probably means you are too old to be Leonardo DiCaprio’s girlfriend.

BeReal has been the social media sensation of the summer with the youths. It’s a photo-sharing application that notifies users to post one photo per day to show their followers what they are doing in that exact moment.

It’s very much a reaction to the curated approach you see with apps like Instagram. You can post outside the window, but your delay is announced to your followers on the app. No matter your excuse, accusations could arise that you’re not being real!

Naturally, anytime anything gets traction like this the tech giants start “benchmarking.” Instagram is notorious for this. They copied Stories and AR selfie filters from Snapchat. Hell, we’ve written quite a lot in the last year about how Reels is Instagram’s attempt to take down TikTok (more on this in a sec!).

TikTok must have been taking notes on how Instagram does business because they’ve beaten Instagram to the punch with the launch of TikTok Now.

The US will have access to the feature in the main app, but currently in Ireland and other regions TikTok Now is a standalone app. If it tests well then, we wouldn’t be surprised to see it show up in the main app everywhere else.

Instagram probably aren’t that far behind as a leak recently showed them prototyping a feature called IG Candid. Snapchat is working on one too, but nobody cares.

BeReal is a fun little app, but we think it has an expiry date. It gained traction over the summer when young people were out doing fun summer kid things. We’d expect it to get boring quick as it naturally turns into pictures of going to, being at, and coming from school. We think this is the exact reason why adults haven’t flocked to the app – commutes, laptops and coffee mugs isn’t exactly riveting content!

Instagram Reels are gasping for air

Meta is going all in on short term video content with Reels, and unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be going well.

According to a document seen by The Wall Street Journal, Instagram users cumulatively spend 17.6 million hours a day watching Reels. This is less than one-tenth of the 197.8 million hours TikTok users spend each day on that platform.

That’s got to sting. Especially after their summer of proverbially trying to make fetch happen.

Instagram has been aggressively promoting Reels all summer, along with serving content to users from accounts they don’t necessarily follow. People didn’t like it – even famous people like Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner who both posted to their story saying:

When Kylie Jenner posts, tech giants listen. She was infamously blamed for Snapchat losing $1.3 billion in stock with just one tweet. In response, Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri released a video defending the changes saying they were designed to make Instagram better. His tone is meant to reassure you, and Instagram have not been as aggressive with the changes since, but if you listen to him, it’s clear that they have no intention of trying to put the Genie back in the bottle.

Videos will dominate Instagram because it’s videos you actually like. Not pictures. It doesn’t matter that you’ve explicitly told us you prefer pictures. You’re getting videos.

The document seen by the journalists was published in August, and worryingly for Meta, it said “Reels engagement had been falling—down 13.6% over the previous four weeks—and that most Reels users have no engagement whatsoever.”

Meta might be headstrong with Reels. People didn’t think stories would work, but that turned out to be the right call. The difference between the two is that stories was simply an add-on feature and reels are trying to fundamentally alter how you consume Instagram.

Google is making UI changes

Okay, so moving on to something far less controversial, and actually quite positive. Google is making a UI change to Google Ads by rebranding extensions to assets.

Extensions/assets expand search ads with additional information, giving people more reasons to choose your business. These may increase an ad’s click-through rate by several percentages.

Extension formats include call buttons, location information, links to specific parts of your website, additional text, and more.

Previously, creating and managing assets such as call extensions or site links were done separately from the campaign creation process. Now, they’re created in the same step.

We honestly love this because it means we can set up campaigns quicker!

How much will a Netflix ad cost?

Digiday anonymously spoke to big-wig media buyers who have been given an insight into Netflix ads, and frankly, they’re not impressed.

Below is what they’ve found out:

  • The ad-supported tier will launch Nov. 1, 2022 (perhaps to beat Disney+’s ad-supported tier, which launches in the US in December)
  • They’re hoping to have 500,000 subscribers by the end of 2022 (a very modest number given Netflix’s 220 million or so total sub count)
  • There will be no third-party measurement partner at the outset
  • Netflix is now providing a total switch in positioning from telling buyers clients would cap out at $20 million spend to declaring $20 million the base amount around which to negotiate
  • The asking CPM is $65 (purportedly higher than the Super Bowl which was $56)

Obviously, and unfortunately this is not going to be a realistic option for everyone. However, even advertisers with the big bucks are balking at this.

Do you need help with your digital strategy or have a specific topic you want us to cover?

If there’s anything you want us to cover in our future Sparks Roundups, or if you need help planning and implementing your digital marketing campaigns, just pop [email protected] an email, and we will be happy to get back to you.

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