Ryan Sauers. Picture: Supplied
Ryan Sauers. Picture: Supplied

App-tracking settings will affect Facebook

Social media channels and many other media platforms rely on the hardware and operating systems of mobile, either IOS or Android. If the roles change in these environments, user behaviour changes too. iOS 14 brings with it app-tracking settings that will affect Facebook tracking, and thus monetisation. Fewer South Africans are at present on an Apple device than on Android operating systems, but it will change. It’s going to be essential that you consider how this will affect your campaign.

For example, if a native app user of Facebook has turned their app-tracking setting off, you cannot run remarketing or location-specific adverts to them. Plan to work on first-party data plays in the next few months as they will become critical in the cookieless world.

Social commerce

Since 2004 we’ve seen our social posts mature from mostly text-based communications to image and videos. We will start to see social commerce fulfil a through-the-funnel-role, which hinges strongly on content and product discovery, fusing social media and e-commerce without you leaving your favourite social media channel.

The way this will affect you is that, because a brand’s call to action lives in their content, it will end up changing the engagement and conversion of social media content pieces. Instagram and Facebook will allow for e-commerce conversions on their platform, reducing drop-off and driving revenue.

Be one step ahead of this change by developing a strategy that will require you to enable business e-commerce that can be linked to a Facebook shopping environment.

The challenge for many brands will be the logistics of fulfilment if they don’t have a direct e-commerce distribution in place. In other words, if you rely on Takealot at the moment to distribute your products, social commerce will take a little time to become available to your products.

Conversational commerce

While chatbots are not new, their functionality has advanced. Use natural language processing and decision-tree methodology chatbots to easily answer generic questions as well as pick up on sentiment while at the same time assisting in lead generation by gathering first-party information. Consider conversion journeys and ways of getting first-party data from your customers while addressing their initial reason for engaging the chatbot function. Giving a customer a price for a product or stock availability at a store level are some examples of how conversational commerce can drive digital conversion.

The rise of the super app

People want to stay in native environments; leaving platforms spends marketing budget and results in a high drop-off rate. If you can keep a user on a particular platform, they will be more likely to engage and convert. Build native platform experiences, and should a user move out of a platform, reduce the lags and loadings to the best of your ability.

Virtual lifestyles

Customers are spending way more time in alternate realities while they are online than they did pre-Covid. With 5.3% of South Africans surveyed by Wearesocial confirming they use a VR headset, and Google and Apple investing in this space, it’s time to start planning how products and brands feature there. If your brand lives in an alternate reality gameplay, the probability of a user engaging it in the real world increases. What you can do to improve your visibility in these worlds is to first establish in which environments users are spending most of their leisure time, and place brands with medium frequency in these environments.

Channel trends – reaching the consumer at home

With internet connections for mobile increasing by 24% and fixed internet connections increasing by 42.4% according to Wearesocial, the streaming trend is here to stay. Binge watching and multi-video binging on YouTube has increased dramatically thanks to smart TVs. What we’ve seen is that to feature on a “TV” with a high frequency and a powerful sequential brand message can be powerful if you apply your messaging systematically. To do this, consider producing content that is evergreen, and seed this on YouTube at high-impact times over a one-year timeline.

Security and privacy

Nearly half of South Africans use an ad-blocking tool. A further 56.8% say they have deleted cookies from their web browser in the past month. Thanks to new rules and restrictions it’s not going to be as easy to track cookies and target audiences by past behaviour, as user-identifiable data is going to disappear. Because performance and conversion tracking are changing, brands and businesses will need to plan and prepare for a different tracking environment. The way you can combat this is to invest in first-party data by building a direct relationship with your clients. Keep your data connected and clean, and consider using the latest Google Analytics (GA4) for better analytical tools and reporting.

E-commerce, FMCG and retail

E-commerce, return on investment and return on advertising spend are all becoming factors in digital media budget planning. We’re seeing more third-party e-tailers waking up to data sharing in order to drive sales and attract media spend. Ideally what you want to be doing is to tap into brand-retailer partnerships to drive adoption and analytics. Given that consumers are buying low-price-point FMCG products bundled in with their regular retail shop, it’s going to be necessary that you consider driving sales in moments of consideration through packaged deals with strong incentives to encourage a purchase. This could be by including or excluding price discounting to drive trial and adoption.

Those brands that improve leads and sales by staying ahead of trends in order to identify opportunities as they appear are going to be the ones that reap the rewards.

  • Ryan Sauer is the MD at King James Digital.

 

The big take-out:

 Marketers need to stay ahead of trends in a rapidly evolving digital environment.

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