The @crocbites social media roundup – August 2016

August seemed to be the month when every man and dog decided to break cover and reveal their own take on a Snapchat-killing app. They didn’t have tunnel vision though, with plenty of other stuff emerging too – here’s what happened last month.

Facebook

First up in the Snapchat lookalike contest we have Facebook with Lifestage, which lets teens emote using photos and videos and could be a fantastic way to reach that audience if it takes off.

On the main site, control over ad preferences is changing in an attempt to discourage people from using ad blockers.

You won’t believe what Facebook are going to do to clickbait-titled posts on your news feed! (They’re cutting down on them to improve quality).

They’re also aiming to give stories a rating based on how informative their quality control people think they are, hopefully with a similar effect.

Facebook’s trending topics have been fully automated, although it looks like it’s still a work in progress.

Add music, text, stock imagery and more to your slideshow ads.

Is your mobile site up to scratch? It’ll need to be if you don’t want your Facebook ads to feel the wrath of Zuckerberg.

Could autoplay with sound be a thing soon? Mashable reckons so.

Twitter

Twitter’s swipe at Snapchat comes in the form of building on stickers with promoted ones that brands can create. First up: Pepsi.

There’s a new tool in your Twitter ads arsenal – you can now create cards that allow followers to unlock exclusive content.

Users will now be able to set a quality filter to prevent poorly crafted content appearing in their timelines.

Monetising your Twitter profile will now be easier… if you’re in the US. Hopefully similar changes will happen over here soon.

Instagram

Introducing Instagram Stories, which is nothing like Snapchat, um, Stories. Except that it is – a lot: build your own 24-hour photo/video slideshow with emojis, artworks and such.

Instagram is even copying Facebook now! Or rather, it’s using the same new features for slideshow ads that its big brother has rolled out.

Worried that people may miss the intricacies of your Insta posts? Worry no longer, as you can now pinch to zoom on photos and videos.

Google

Google doesn’t know when to quit trying to jump on the social media bandwagon, so it’s trying out Allo, which offers self-destructing messages, just like… yup.

Apple

Apple’s take is to introduce a video sharing app that lets you apply filters and drawings to your media, then send it to your existing followers on various social media platforms.

Snapchat

So how does Snapchat react to what its rivals are doing? It decides to spend $110m on search start-up Vurb.

It’s also been playing midwife to Stickers and Geofilters, as they’ve had a baby – introducing Geostickers, which offer new options to users in some of the world’s biggest cities.

Geofilters won’t be a stay-at-home parent, though – it’s going to be far too busy now that you can use templates to make your own in minutes.

LinkedIn

Video is so hot right now, even LinkedIn wants a piece of that particular pie, so your feed will now feature 30-second clips from influencers on professional and trending topics.

Find the content you want quickly and easily with the new content search feature on the mobile app.August seemed to be the month when every man and dog decided to break cover and reveal their own take on a Snapchat-killing app.

It’s certainly been a busy month and, not wanting to miss the Snapchat bandwagon, this blog will auto-destruct in 24 hours. Before it does, get in touch with our social team to help you get to grips with all these new innovations – email us at hello@thecroc.com

The B2B Marketing Awards 2016 – in it to win it!

Here at The Crocodile we like to think of ourselves as versatile, problem-solving partners that can help give our clients an edge. We don’t see everything in competitive terms…just most things!

So being shortlisted today for four awards across three diverse categories in the 2016 B2B Marketing Awards underlines the extent of our capabilities and plays to our desire to win – both for ourselves and our great clients.

The nominations

This year The Crocodile had four campaigns shortlisted in three different categories:

The Croc’s MD Adam Wooff commented:

“It’s tough to get a nomination in the B2B Awards, and genuinely difficult to achieve four or more. Only a handful of agencies made that grade, including The Crocodile.

I love the fact that we are being recognised for strategies as diverse as real time marketing, social media-led lead generation, social listening and digital platform development to support an international sales initiative.

It’s a great illustration of the breadth of our skill set and the vitality and inventiveness of the B2B sector right now. Well done to our talented people and visionary clients!”

Frazer Nash 3D approach to lead generation

When we were asked create a lead generation program for cutting-edge metal 3D printing innovator Frazer-Nash, all of us tech geeks got very excited. This is an uber-cool technology area right now.

Frazer-Nash is an engineering firm with a distinguished heritage in motorsport and aerospace. Today, they are applying the latest metal 3D printing technology within their business – and want to offer this capability as a service to a wider range of customers.

After Frazer-Nash appointed The Crocodile earlier this year, we worked closely with them to understand the complexities of ‘metal additive manufacturing’ technology, and helped them develop a GTM proposition for their unique combination of modern 3D automation with precision-finished craftsmanship.

The result is a cost effective digital lead generation campaign – which includes a highly optimised and responsive landing page for ongoing SEO and PPC run by The Croc, a compelling case study, an explainer video to bring their unique and cool proposition to life, and ongoing PR aircover.

Check it out now at www.frazernashAM.com.

The @crocbites social media roundup – July 2016

Not everyone was off on their summer holidays in July – there were still plenty of people ferreting away at social media companies, unveiling innovations that could benefit you and your business – let’s see what they came up with.

Facebook

Messenger is testing out secret, one-to-one encrypted messages for private information – they can even auto-delete after a set length of time.

What isn’t secret is the fact that Messenger now has one billion people around the world using it every month.

Big numbers for Facebook – 1.1bn daily users, 1.7bn monthly users and ad revenues are soaring, particularly on mobile.

Twitter

Twitter is making it easier to manage and report on your ad campaigns, which is rather good of them.

For the first time, you can actually apply to get a coveted blue tick to show that your account is verified.

Twitter’s getting into sport in a big way – first it live streams bits of Wimbledon, now it’ll be showing in-game clips from the Premier League.

You want big gifs? You’ve got big gifs! Upload gifs of up to 15MB from your desktop.

Instagram

Need help building your business profile on Insta? You’re in luck – here’s a guide.

Not only that, but you can ingest loads of good advice about how best to use the platform through a series of webinars.

Send trolls back under the bridge – you’ll soon be able to filter comments on your account and set up your own watchwords.

Snapchat

Snapchat performs a complete about-face in strategy and lets users save snaps asMemories.

Ever wanted to be an emoji? Course you have – and now you get the chance on Snapchat.

More adults are using Snapchat – great for advertisers, not so great for the teenagers who enjoyed an adult-free oasis.

Periscope

Periscope users have some new toys to play with, including highlights, tweet embeds and live autoplay on Android.

There are certainly a few things that could prove very useful there – if you need any help with their implementation get in touch with our social media team:hello@thecroc.com.

After the main event

Never think that the benefits of social media end once your event closes its doors – attendee and non-attendees alike will still want to catch up on what happened, particularly if they already know how content-rich it was.

You’ve got an audience, so make the most of it – show the videos of the speeches and seminars, publish a review of the event, share some of the more memorable short-form highlights, continue the push for what you’re providing and encourage people to keep following for future opportunities.

After all, you’ve made this event such a rich and engaging experience, why wouldn’t they want to come back for more?

Be Bold. Be Brilliant. Be the Best.

We are proud to announce our sponsorship of the always hotly contested B2B Marketing Awards 2016.

They have become not only an important annual gathering of leading B2B marketing practitioners, but also a genuine exhibition of innovation in marketing.

True customer insight is of huge importance and it can free our clients and ourselves to have braver and more meaningful conversations with people. That’s why it felt natural for us to sponsor the Best Use of Customer Insight category at the Awards.

We are delighted to champion the considered, the curious, the intuitive and all the many other flavours of geek. We look forward to seeing some great submissions and wish all entries the very best of luck.

“The creative man with an insight into human nature, with the artistry to touch and move people, will succeed. Without them he will fail.” – William Bernbach

See you all at the event in November.

The @crocbites social media roundup – June 2016

As summer stuttered into life, our favourite social giants were coming up with lots of new innovations to help us in our personal and business lives. Let’s have a look at some of them.

Facebook

See panoramas in a whole new light with 360 Photos – just move your phone around to see the bigger picture.

Messenger has evolved – no longer just a list of past messages, it’s now got birthdays, favourites and more.

Time for another algorithm tweak, this time it’s to help people see more updates from friends and family, rather than brands.

Android users: Still sending messages via the main Facebook app? Get with the times and download Messenger! Not that you have a choice any more.

Twitter

Longer videos can now be sent in tweets – for most, it’s 140 seconds (see what they did there?) but some will be able to do 10-minute epics.

It’s going to be easier to serve pre-roll ads now Twitter has done some magic.

Who uses words these days? Now, emojis – that’s different, hence Twitter deciding to let you target users through shy monkeys, smiley faces and anthropomorphic poo!

Introducing the Twitter Dashboard – ideal for SMEs that want to keep all their interactions in one intuitive location.

Want to jazz up the photos you put on Twitter? Now you can with Snapchat-esque stickers. This makes them searchable too.

Instagram

Instagram – kind of a big deal. It’s just passed 500m members.

Now all Instagrammers have to deal with the ‘best’ posts coming at the top, just like on Facebook.

Missing out on context from photos through not understanding the captions? Fear not – integrated translation is coming.

Folks with Apple devices don’t even need to have the Instagram app open these days to post on Instagram.

LinkedIn

New premium tools offer more information about your team and potential future hires.

Snapchat

Snapchat is bigger than Twitter… if you take into account the amount of daily users each platform has.

Snapchat spreads its wings to open a new online magazine that offers insights about “how our lives are mediated by devices”, i.e. how much we’re on our phones.

YouTube

Put together a video ad for your business using just YouTube Director and your phone… and people to be in shot… and scenery… and – you get the idea.

Vine

Even Vine is getting in on Twitter’s longer video thing.

Pinterest

Don’t pin it, save it – Pinterest loses its pin… so should we now call it Terest?

Pinterest gets over 2bn idea searches each month.

Introducing new ways to shop online, including a handy shopping bag so you can collate your purchases.

It’s been another busy month – how many of the new developments can you see yourself or your business taking advantage of? Let us know which take your fancy – and any others you spot – by getting in touch via @crocbites.

Standard Life Launches SME Video Campaign

As we (quite rightly) strive to deliver measurable revenue conversions, the influence of human stories is often forgotten in B2B marketing, with brands focussed of defining product and service capability rather than building an emotional connection with the audience.

We reminded ourselves of this recently when planning the next wave of Standard Life’s Workplace Pensions campaign.

Whether you run a business or work for one, chances are you’re familiar with Workplace Pensions.

Auto-enrolment was introduced by the Department for Work and Pensions to help more people save for their retirement. Businesses across the UK have gradually been going though the process of enrolling employees into suitable workplace pensions schemes, starting with large enterprises, before moving on to SMEs.

As the profile of staging companies changed, it was important for Standard Life to position itself as a relevant and trusted provider for smaller businesses.

We were asked to evolve existing messaging frameworks to have a stronger resonance with the SME market. Qualitative research and customer journey mapping were used to provide direction for a new, more customer-centric approach to market.

The output was a series of new brand videos designed to create more empathy with the market and demonstrate that Standard Life supported ‘businesses like yours’. By elevating the brand, the aim is to create a halo effect for all other activity while building confidence and trust.

The videos are broadcast via social channels to achieve high levels of reach and targeted impressions in a cost-effective way. Tactical retail activity – including search, display, email and social – runs alongside the video promotion to drive online conversions.

Take a look at campaign videos here:
Video 1
Video 2
Video 3

And visit our YouTube page to watch more videos created by the Crocodile.

Laser precision social media targeting drives ROI for healthcare leader

Keen to explore the opportunities of paid social media to impact the bottom line, Lumenis Aesthetics’ Marketing Director, Justin Richards, approached The Crocodile to define and deliver a strategy for key European markets.

Lumenis is a pioneer in the field of aesthetic medicine with world-renowned expertise in innovative energy-based technologies, including laser, intense pulsed light (IPL) and radio frequency. Innovative products require innovative go-to-market approaches.

Facebook lead adverts were just one part of a highly targeted, multi-language and multi-channel advertising approach recommended by The Crocodile to reach hair removal and skin treatment practitioners and professionals.

In just two privacy-safe clicks (one on the in-newsfeed ad, another to submit the autofilled form) dermatologists, cosmetologists, cosmetic surgeons, laser therapists, estheticians, and beauticians (or Kosmetikerinnen, Chirurginnen or Dermatologen in Germany!) were able to register their interest in the new generation of laser system.

More than 70 leads were generated at an average cost of ~£20 per lead. Yes, higher than your average click-to-website cost-per-click on Facebook, but consider this: by ‘lead’ we’re talking in-market, purchase-ready, named and telephone numbered contacts, and when your average unit price is £40,000 the potential return on a £1,400 investment is huge. Sales team follow up to date has resulted in a single conversion that already translates as 2,757% ROI.

Moral of the story? Lead adverts: simple for people and valuable for businesses.

The @crocbites social media roundup – May 2016

May was quite possibly Twitter’s month for far-reaching social news, but there was plenty of other stuff going on too – let’s have a look.

Facebook

After taking a bit of a battering in the media about how its trending topics were curated, Facebook has decided to update the way they’re done.

Fancy being on X Factor, but no auditions take place near you? Don’t worry – just do them over Facebook Live.

Facebook announces a load of product updates to help more businesses drive sales across its main site and Instagram.

Twitter

As you may have heard, the 140-character is being relaxed.

How influential are influencers on Twitter? Spoiler: pretty darn influential.

The Connect tab will help users discover accounts that Twitter thinks they’ll be interested in.

Instagram

They’re here! Business profiles are now a thing on Instagram.

Insta simplifies its logo and the app’s design so that photos and videos are even more the focus.

You love videos? You love carousel ads? Well, now you can have videos as part of your carousel ads!

YouTube

Good news! Three million people watched the Champions League and Europa League finals on YouTube, as Google takes a swipe at Facebook and Twitter’s live video platforms.

Bad news! Amazon’s looking to muscle in on YouTube’s main raison d’être by allowing users to post videos and earn royalties for them.

Vine

There’s a new Windows 10 app for Vine, if that’s your sort of thing.

Periscope

Search for broadcasts that interest you, save streams for longer than 24 hours and Periscope… with drones? All coming… soon, apparently. We’ll keep an eye on those.

Something that’s happening now is Periscopers becoming self-policing, to help keep it friendly and instantaneous.

Pinterest

Pinterest starts a seven-month campaign of ads on Channel 4 that use the channel’s content as their inspiration.

That’s it for what’s certainly been a notable month. We’ll be sure to keep an eye on how these changes work in practice and look out for new innovations – the summer’s sporting events are sure to see social come to the fore. Let us know if you see anything good – @crocbites.

Aryzta Americas’ digital food catalogue

The Crocodile’s latest project for ARYZTA – one of the largest bakery companies in the world – called on our digital expertise to scope, design and build an online platform to showcase the range of ARYZTA Americas’ foods available across North America.

We’re a bunch of digital geeks and foodies so working on a project that tickled our tech taste buds (with lots and lots of cookies!) was a dream come true. In response to the brief, we baked up an online food catalogue good enough to eat.

The catalogue was built with complex logic and sophisticated functionality to enable users (ARYZTA teams across North America) to search for specific food types in a broad range of categories. SAP data integration also enabled us to streamline the build, inputting vast quantities of ARYZTA’s data efficiently.

Sadly for our sweet teeth, we didn’t sample all 100 products but our waistlines are grateful.

The @crocbites social media roundup – April 2016

Our favourite social media platforms were certainly busy during April, bringing out loads of new features between them. Let’s have a look at what’s been introduced…

Facebook

Greater strides are being made with Facebook Live, as you can now stream directly into groups and events – great if you’re running a promotion.

Technically this happened in March to no fanfare, but you’re no longer restricted to 20% text on ad images.

It’s now even easier for people to contact your business through Messenger.

You’d probably better check how Facebook’s amended branded content policies affect your marketing.

News feed algorithms have been tweaked so customers may still see content even if they don’t regularly interact with its creator.

If your PC or tablet’s using Windows 10, you can now get Facebook and Messenger apps.

Twitter

It’s much easier to share tweets as DMs in case you want to chat about their contents privately.

Want to better target customers and monitor how your advertising is doing? Now you can, as Twitter has added new layers to its ads editor.

It feels as though we’ve been talking about First View ads for a while, but they’ve only just been released to UK marketers.

Apparently only 2% of users opt out of Twitter’s algorithmic timeline…

Instagram

Fresh from extending the length of its videos, Instagram now offers you a curated section.

Instagram for Windows 10 is now a thing.

YouTube

Spatial audio is now available on 360-degree videos, to help with the immersive feel.

Rather than have people skip bumper videos 5 seconds into a 30-second clip, you can now create 6-second standalones.

Pinterest

Good news! Pinterest has a new app that’s much quicker to load and is perfectly legible in 31 languages.

Like First View on Twitter, it feels as though Promoted Pins have featured prominently for a while, but they’ve only just been rolled out in the UK.

Vine

Much like you can binge view a series on Netflix, you can see Vines back-to-back by using the new Watch feature.

It’s been a bumper crop of new features of late, but that’s it for another month. As ever, let us know if you spot something; tweet us @crocbites.