Teri’s Take: Chipotle’s TikTok Strategy, Vidcon Takeaways & Boosting Website Conversions

Wed Jul 31 2019
Terilyn Walker

We’re back with July’s top social media and influencer marketing news. Keep reading to learn about Chipotle’s winning TikTok strategy, key takeaways from Vidcon 2019, as well as why more brands are putting influencer content on their websites.

The article: Brands are putting ‘Instagram content’ on their own sites

The summary

More and more brands are using “likable” content outside of Instagram, such as e-commerce sites, subscription boxes, and more. For instance, after men’s subscription company, Bespoke Post, repurposed six images from Instagram on its “Downpour”-themed box, it saw an increase in purchase rates for the boxes by nearly 20%. The Collected Group, the parent company of various fashion brands, is also incorporating a “fan reel” Instagram feed on its website and featuring brand-curated posts by influencers and other customers. A spokesperson from The Collected Group explained, “We’ve realized how important it is to take a 360-degree approach to marketing. And if influencers are creating beautiful content, we’ll happily take that and run with it. Why not?”

Our take

What do consumers want when they visit a brands website? In addition to discovering new products, shoppers want to see how real people use said products. While professional content featuring models can be aspirational, repurposing influencer content on a website provides shoppers with a customer testimonial and how-to manual wrapped in one beautifully crafted piece of content. Simone Delfino, The Collected Group’s senior director of global brand communications, says influencer content “brings Instagram into our world and brings more visibility to how real users — not just studio models — are wearing and styling our clothes.”

A study found that when brands feature Instagram content on their website, consumers spend 250 percent longer on the site. And consumers who view the content convert at a 140 percent higher rate than shoppers who don’t. And as an added bonus, influencer content comes at an affordable price. Both Bespoke Post and The Collected Group only pay influencers in free product. Even the brands that choose to compensate influencers monetarily can source high volumes of content at a fraction of the cost of professional photoshoots, giving them the ability to invest that budget in different channels. By leveraging influencer content and cutting down on producing content in-house, Bespoke Post was able to spend 15% more on advertising in June.

The article: Inside Chipotle’s TikTok strategy

The summary

Chipotle is kicking off its second TikTok “challenge” that enables users to dance for free guacamole under the hashtag #GuacDance. Earlier this spring, Chipotle was the first restaurant to partner with TikTok in the U.S. by launching its first “challenge” campaign under the hashtag #ChipotleLidFlip, leading to the brand’s highest digital sales day. Stephanie Purdue, Chipotle’s VP of Brand Marketing, said, “our digital sales have grown significantly — we’re up 99% versus last year — and they now represent about 18% of our sales. Half of our customer base is Gen-Z and millennial, so it’s important for us to show up where they are. We really like being in unexpected and uncluttered spaces, and we felt like TikTok was one of them.” As the company increases its digital spend, it is also working with more influencers.

Our take

Chipotle has historically focused its marketing efforts on local restaurants rather than national campaigns. By increasing its digital budget and partnering with TikTok, Chipotle aims to spread brand awareness on a larger scale and become a “more convenient brand that allows for more personalization”.

The number one rule to personalization is understanding your audience. Brands risk missing their target audience if they don’t speak to each of their audiences in a way and on a channel that they will understand. Chipotle knows that more than half of its customers are under the age of 26, and it knows that young consumers live on social media. Instagram and YouTube are heavily used by young audiences, but often times the content on these platforms is produced and staged, not to mention these platforms can be saturated with sponsored content. Chipotle got ahead of its competitors by dialing into the new platform being used by its target audience.

Chipotle senior digital manager, Candice Beck, said the company wanted to incorporate more “relatable” content into their marketing strategy and young consumers love TikTok for its authenticity. TikTok is a newer platform with less active users than some of its competitors, yet fast adopters have seen high returns by investing in the video sharing app. We’re interested to see more brands test new strategies on the app.

The article: What VidCon means for the future of social media platforms

The summary

This year’s VidCon showed five major themes, according to TechCrunch. One of the most notable takeaways was that TikTok is blowing up among Gen Z, especially because it features more diverse and “real” creators than other platforms. Another big takeaway was that creators are being increasingly careful about brand partnerships, and many are choosing to launch their own products. Additionally, it seems celebrities are now aspiring to be digital creators, not the other way around.

Our take

Vidcon, a huge digital content conference, is a place where social media influencers, brands, and their fans come together to interact and talk all things digital. One recurring theme we’ve seen through all of the conventions keynote speeches is the demand for authenticity. Consumers crave it from influencers and influencers crave it from brands.

Authenticity is the reason why we’ve seen a huge influx of Gen Zers flock to TikTok in order to see raw, less produced content from creators. We’ve mentioned that early adopters to TikTok, like Chipotle, are seeing huge returns by injecting this content into their marketing strategies.

Additionally, influencers are also requiring authenticity from their brand partnerships. Now that there is a seemingly endless amount of brands looking to work with influencers of all sizes, social media stars have the luxury to be more particular about the companies that they promote. Some choose to stop working with brands all together. Instead, influencers, regardless of follower count, are starting to move towards starting their own businesses and products. From a brand perspective, this means that you’ll need to start giving influencers more incentives to work with you. Whether that means larger portions of the profits, more creative control, or promises for more exposure in the form of long-term partnerships.