Teri’s Take: Calvin Klein’s TikTok Campaign, Instagram’s Latest Update and What Consumers Think About Branded Content

Thu Mar 28 2019
Terilyn Walker

We’re back with this month’s most relevant news in the social media and marketing industry. We read through hundreds of articles and picked the best so that you don’t have to. Keep reading for quick summaries and our take on Calvin Klein’s newest marketing strategy, Instagram’s game-changing update, and what consumers really want from brands’ content.

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The Article: Data Points: What Consumers Really Want From Brands’ Content

The Summary

Are you surprised that consumers are starting to see through overly-photoshopped, highly-produced content? New data shows that consumers want brands to share content that is “informative and authentic rather than overly aspirational or perfect.” The survey found that 82% of Gen Zers and 77% of millennials are more likely to purchase from a company that provides consistent and relevant content. Furthermore, 82% of respondents say that trust is inspired in a brand when the brand uses actual customers in their content.

Our Take

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, in the age of social media, traditional, one-size-fits-all advertisements just aren’t going to resonate with today’s consumers. “Perfect,” highly-produced content comes across as unattainable and not aspirational to the majority of the population. Instead, each unique customer resonates with content that speaks to them authentically. That’s why 78% of CMOs see custom content as the future of marketing.

Content is the bread and butter of your brand. It’s how you separate yourself from your competition and communicate with your audience. In fact, brands that rely on content save over $14 on each new customer acquired. So, how can you create content that is a combination of everything consumers are looking for—informative, authentic, aspirational, yet relatable, and from real customers? The answer is influencer-generated content.

Influencers are real people with knowledge in a specific space. They create content that is inspirational yet relatable to consumers who look to them for advice. And by partnering with influencers to generate branded content, you can source large amounts of diverse content quickly, yet inexpensively.

The Article: After dropping runway fashion, Calvin Klein turns to TikTok

The Summary

After seeing a significant drop in sales, Calvin Klein shifted their focus away from the runway and towards social media, in particular, the popular social media app TikTok. The brand debuted its first TikTok campaign, which was the latest iteration of its “My Calvins” ads, and featured celebrities and influencers with cultural capital among younger consumers. Within 24 hours of launching the campaign on TikTok, it became the most-viewed digital campaign the brand has ever done, with over 10 times the engagement of the famous campaign it ran with Justin Bieber in 2015.

Our Take

First, let’s echo the point from the previous article, customers crave authentic content. Brands that are afraid to stray away from a polished appearance are going to get left behind when consumers gravitate towards brands whose identity comes across as more personable.

Calvin Klein, a leading fashion brand that has been around for decades, realized that younger demographics relate to their favorite influencers’ styles of clothes in a way that’s realistic for the everyday person. While the runway will always be respected by fashion junkies, the majority of the population cannot relate to couture fashion. Brands risk ostracizing themselves from an entire market of people if they don’t speak to each of their audiences in a way and on a channel that they will understand. By turning to social media and ditching the high fashion models, Calvin Klein did an amazing job at speaking their audience’s language.

TikTok is an up-and-coming app that allows its users to create and share short-form video. Although TikTok has (only) 500M active users, a fraction of the activity that Instagram or Facebook see each day, the new app’s audience is highly engaged. The platform is also not yet saturated with ads, making it the perfect platform to test new campaigns.

The Article: Instagram just took advantage of Amazon’s biggest weakness

The Summary

Yes, you can now make purchases directly on Instagram. Following the recent launch of its in-app purchase capabilities, Instagram is now setting out to bridge the gap between product discovery and purchase. This will give the company an opportunity to build a big business inside a mobile app based on the kind of serendipitous impulse buying that brick-and-mortar malls have feasted on for decades.

Our Take

Let’s be honest, Instagram has always been a dangerous place for those who are impulse buyers. I know I am not the only one who scrolls through my Instagram feed, comes across an item I don’t need but really, really want, only to have it delivered to my door in 3-5 business days. Lucky for me, and unfortunately for my wallet, Instagram just made it easier to make purchases from a growing list of brands, all without leaving the app.

While impulse buyers are jumping for joy, brands will have to work harder to get those customers who have a bit more self-control to enter their credit card information on Instagram. While this feature is not yet available for all brands, here are a few things you should know.

  • 1. Don’t overuse this feature. Your followers will be turned off if you only post promotional content. Make sure you’re sharing content that is informational and/or entertaining, then feel free to post a “shoppable” image.
  • 2. Shoppable posts will only be available to your followers, not on ads or sponsored posts for now.
  • 3. Authentic content drives more conversions (refer to the first article). Your shoppable posts should show how consumers can use your product in real life.

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