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Social Media & Product Placement

Advertising | Social Media | Vizeum | 28 September 2015

Advertising happens on every social platform. Whether it has been formally monetised or not is irrelevant; people (and brands) will find a way to promote on every corner of the internet, guerrilla-style or otherwise. Product placement in social is a bit of a grey area at present, but for brands and influencers alike, it’s proven too lucrative to pass up.

Now often employed as a brand’s sole tactic, product placement on these platforms may be ‘brave’ in traditional terms, but understandable when you see the reach and high frequency that a lot of the ‘newer’ social platforms hold. In the most recent Social Messaging Quarterly, daily use of Snapchat usage was higher than any other platform (and 10% ahead of WhatsApp) at 63%.

Some Irish influencers are reporting (and screenshotting) as many as 40k views on their public Snapchat stories. This is incredible, especially when compared to YouTube and Facebook video. It’s even more interesting to consider that all views are organic, and makes for the perfect product or brand placement opportunity. Influencers in most categories are used to talking about and reviewing products in a native tone of voice, and Snapchat is a great way to extend the reach of any campaign when working with any socially ‘famous’ figure.

The self-destructing nature of content on Snapchat means that there is not much of a trail for the likes of the ASAI to follow (save for screenshots). It’s certainly imperative for advertisers request records of all paid activity on the platform, as well as the view count.

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Given the popularity of Instagram with youth audiences, it’s unsurprising that Instagram is actually becoming a bit cluttered in terms of sponsored content and product features – though not all are disclosed as such.

Another nice and less utilised tactic is to do a sponsored Instagram ‘takeover’. An influencer (or several) may create ‘guest posts’ on a brand account for an agreed period, and also encourage their own followers to engage with this content, which works very well in increasing affinity and following for brand accounts. With paid advertising approaching fast on Instagram for Ireland, we may see a slow-down in the ‘native’ approach as advertisers test capabilities on the ad platform.

The procedure for disclosure on these platforms is a bit hazy, to say the least. There is no clear standard set out by the ASAI, but best practice is of course to be upfront. Using #ad or #spon is a good safeguard against backlash and even if legal guidelines are not in place, advertisers are best placed to uphold a good standard of integrity and honesty across the board.

Hear from Vizeum at the next Marketing Breakfast

On October 21st, Vizeum’s speakers Jane Madden, Head of Strategy and Meabh Connellan, Head of Digital, will be speaking about  – ‘The Truth About Content – Understanding the role of content and how you can leverage it to enhance your brand strategy.’ You can register to attend here

This article was originally posted on Vizeum.ie

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