Your weekly digital marketing matchbox to kindle creative content.

April 17, 2020

Bargain Shopping

To buy or not to buy: That’s the question marketers ask today. And there’s no easy answer, just ask Facebook’s ad business. Because even as more people turn to social media to pass the time, many advertisers are pulling back ad spends to conserve revenue among economic uncertainty. And that's brought on a sudden plunge in prices for Facebook’s ad placements and cost of impressions. But while big brands ax campaigns to pivot their strategies, the lower-than-normal ad prices could give smaller businesses and DTC brands opportunity to reach larger audiences for significantly less. Which brings us to the next question: Is it worth it if consumers aren’t buying? At most, it could be an awareness play. That’s up for your brand to decide — but as ad rates are likely to shoot up once the crisis subsides, saving money now might be the forward-thinking move.


DIY or Don't

Many of us have taken on a quarantine DIY project: Crocheting a scarf, updating the bathroom, or the crowd favorite, making a sourdough starter. So to help brands with some DIY fun of their own, YouTube launched its Video Builder this week. The free tool lets brands create six- or 15-second videos using templates, still images, and stock music as well as their logos, customizable fonts and colors, and more. For companies with limited resources, this provides an easy solution to effortlessly finesse high-quality videos that can be used to convey updated messaging during this time or run as ads through Google Ads. Whether you plan to take advantage of the feature for marketing purposes or to practice your video creation skills, this do-it-yourself tool couldn’t have been released at a more opportune time for marketers.

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop

TBH, we’re a little unsure who uses the standalone IGTV app. But after Instagram redesigned it this week, it’s clear the social media company is determined to continue building up the platform’s user base. Now, IGTV's homepage will feature a creator at the top, specifically curated based on users’ watching habits, who they follow, and what content they like. The app also added a Discover tab to help people explore videos beyond just the most popular. Finally, savvy Instagrammers can now share 15-second clips of their IGTV videos on Stories, increasing cross-functionality between the two apps. While short-form videos seem to get the lion’s share of the love (and likes) lately, longer videos on IGTV are an excellent opportunity for brands to create more in-depth content, like tutorials, interviews, and more. And hopefully, these new updates will be what marketers need to take full advantage of the app.

One Sandwich Please, Extra Creativity

Potbelly —  a sandwich chain that makes 75% of its revenue from dine-in orders — spent the last several months building a campaign around positioning that it’s “the place to go for a lunch break.” Then ... coronavirus happened. How does a brand like that market during a pandemic that has most people under stay-at-home orders? A hefty serving of quick pivoting and a drizzle of creativity, of course! Instead of scrapping its lunch break idea, Potbelly shifted focus from being the place to go to for lunch to the place to get lunch (via delivery or pickup). And all the while, took things one step further with their newly released content — featuring clever team Zoom calls and at-home sandwich recipes. The adept campaign highlights that as many people work from home during this time, the need for lunch breaks is more necessary than ever. 

Nearly every brand around the world has had to completely rethink their marketing strategies over the past few weeks. And while many have put entire campaigns on pause (or tossed them completely), Potbelly is an excellent example of turning a concept (i.e., lunch breaks) that wouldn’t necessarily work during this quarantine era into one that makes sense. By creating content that strikes a balance between lighthearted and helpful, Potbelly pulled off a graceful marketing pivot that continues to build on its emerging image as a place to gather for lunch. The brand reminds us marketers that by looking at existing campaigns from a fresh angle, pre-quarantine work doesn’t have to go to waste. We’ll raise a sandwich to that.  


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