Share the Week - December 15, 2017

Jonathan Gardner

A weekly wrap-up of valuable insights from the world of visual content, social media, and influencer marketing.

Kellogg's Cereal Killer Concept

New York City, long home to cultural icons like the Metropolitan Museum and M&M’s World New York, now hosts what is probably the largest shrine to Frosted Flakes in the universe. As we’ve noted before, Kellogg's is one of many brands embracing bold new marketing and retail concepts, looking to combine the two into experiential marketing and pop-up concepts.

Many of us were waiting with baited breath and spoons to flake out at the brand’s new retail experiment, which opened this week in an attempt to build revenue, and generate marketing, social media and sugar buzz. As Craig Giammona chronicled for Bloomberg:

The food giant, struggling to break out of a four-year sales slump, is opening a cavernous new cereal cafe in Manhattan’s Union Square -- doubling down on a concept that it started in Times Square last year.

The cafe will be about fives times larger and feature an Instagram station with props and professional lighting, designed to help customers perfect their social-media posts. There’s a full cereal bar, giant murals of Kellogg characters like Tony the Tiger, a station to heat up Pop-Tarts and a special iron to cook fresh Eggo waffles.

“We want cereal to be seen as modern,” said Aleta Chase, a marketing executive at the Battle Creek, Michigan-based company.

And while Kellogg sees the restaurant mainly as a marketing tool, the operators are trying to make money off the concept. The Times Square location was profitable, showing it can be done.

Instagram Hashes It Out

Social media and content marketing are more powerful the more tools and insights brands are given. Instagram this week rolled out a new feature that will most certainly make the app more powerful for consumers but will also provide new opportunities and data resources for marketers.

The photo sharing app now lets users follow hashtags -- in addition to brands and individuals. Of course, this presents new marketing opportunities for anyone that wants to try to gain share of voice on a topic (think #eyeliner, #makeover, #healthyeats, etc.).

As Josh Constine wrote in TechCrunch:

Instagram has always been a social network where you follow friends and creators, but today it’s evolving with a new way to follow hashtags so you see top posts and Stories about a topic on your home page. Rather than having to dig this content out of search or the Explore tab, you can see the best #Slime videos or #FloralNails tutorials no matter who posts them.

It has the potential to help users see beyond their own social graphs and dive deeper into niche communities they care about, making Instagram more endless. Eventually, hashtag following could give the app more powerful ad targeting data and an opportunity to show more interstitial ads between Stories, but the company says it’s not doing either right now.

How will posts get chosen to be shown to a hashtag’s followers? Instagram algorithmically selects the best ones based on factors such as recency and quality. That means just because someone punches in a ton of popular hashtags on their posts doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily see them unless they’re great. You’ll also be able to effectively downvote posts you didn’t want to see from hashtags with a drop-down menu in the top-right corner.

This new tool will make Instagram a more valuable component of a smart earned media marketing mix that includes other social platforms such as Pinterest. The important signal and context provided helps any brand that wants to connect earned and paid media more closelyand drive increased marketing ROI.

Six Sigma Social

It’s been eventful year in anyone’s estimation: from politics, business to weather, 2017 won’t be forgotten soon. We’ve seen a great deal of excitement and upheaval in the worlds of marketing and retail as well. With warnings of an impending “retail apocalypse” in the air, there’s been the surging emergence of challenger brands shaking up how to build retail businesses with smart strategies centered around consumer engagement via earned media.

Writing in Social Media Today, Deborah Sweeney took a look at brands that made major waves using social media and earned content strategies in 2017:

While some companies faced a significant backlash from fans for muddling the message, many others soared on social with their strategies. She noted six brands that really changed the game this year.

1. Halo Top

Their game-changing strategy: Disruption through advertising.

2. Instagram

Their game-changing strategy: Deepening how users can creatively engage with the platform.

3. National Geographic

Their game-changing strategy: A micro-storytelling boost.

4. Netflix

Their game-changing strategy: Understanding their audience and their own relevancy.

5. Patagonia

Their game-changing strategy: Standing by their values and ethics.

6. Wendy’s

Their game-changing strategy: Making the most of the moment with relevant content.

The Best of the Rest

NPR - 'I Came, I Saw, I Selfied': How Instagram Transformed The Way We Experience Art

Adweek - 40% of Millennial Women Say Instagram Is the Best Way for Brands to Reach Them

GQ - Instagram Is Messing With Your Feed Again (Maybe)

Pinterest - Millennials on Pinterest

Business Insider - Home Depot ups omnichannel strategy

Bloomberg Businessweek - The Retail Apocalypse Is Fueled by No-Name Clothes

A weekly wrap-up of valuable insights from the world of visual content, social media, and influencer marketing.
Jonathan Gardner

Jonathan is vice president of marketing for ShareIQ, based in New York City.