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Little Bits Digital Trends: What marketers need to know about the podcast consumer

This month we are happy to share some interesting Media, Content and Design announcements, articles, features and reports along with our take on each, to help keep you up to date with the latest marketing news.

Gen Z, Millennials Say Creators Tell The Best Stories

According to a new study from Whalar, Gen Z and millennials are actively avoiding traditional advertising because they prefer going straight to the content they want—namely to the accounts of their favorite niche creators. This unreachable “ad-never generation” is utilizing ad blockers, paid content and more and finding their own places in private digital communities founded on shared passions.

Creators are at the heart of many of these communities, embracing underrepresented groups, promoting honest self-expression, and entertaining users all at once. And their content resonates with viewers. In fact, 70% of US social media users say that creators and influencers create content that they enjoy watching again and again and 61% say creators tell the best stories. What’s more, 63% trust content from individuals as much or more than content from big news and media organizations.

3 Key Takeaways:
1. Don’t invade a space where you don’t belong
2. Enrich the audience’s experience
3. Remember, this is a long-term project

Our Take: Holla out to our LiTerns for helping us see the truth is in the pudding! Creators can help by serving as cultural diplomats for brands and providing access to their own gated communities. They have their fingers on the pulse of these movements and are often leading them as they discover new topics and launch new initiatives.

TikTok versus Reels battle set to intensify as Instagram tries new experiment

The video shorts battle of TikTok versus Reels looks set to intensify. After Instagram essentially copied the 15- to 60-second video short feature from TikTok, branding them as Reels, the company is now considering turning all Instagram videos into Reels. What would that mean … ?

Reels differ from normal Instagram videos in three main ways:

• Creators get access to a music library, more filters, and editing tools
• Other users can include your original audio in their videos
• Other users can create a remix which includes your reel

Kind of fitting that Instagram ripped off a TikTok feature that lets users rip off other videos.

Our Take: This vertical video war is moving FAST.

New Strategic Overview Points to Major Changes Coming to Your Facebook Feed

According to an internal overview from Facebook App chief Tom Alison, which was obtained by The Verge, Meta’s looking to incorporate more AI-recommended content into Facebook feeds, based on overall engagement and popularity, not your personal connections. Which is similar to how TikTok sources content from a wider pool than your immediate network, while Facebook’s also working to streamline content sharing, by bringing more messaging tools back into the main interface.

Our Take: The effort to keep up with TikTok is real.

Leaked TikTok email reveals hashtag challenge changes

TikTok is offering big brands tens of thousands of dollars in free media to get hesitant advertisers to try the service, according to people familiar with TikTok’s advertising negotiations. Social media apps often give some free media to brands to test new ad products and campaigns

Our Take: It’s better to have direct integrations and have creators set up the challenges; there is more potential to be successful than a straight up branded hashtag

What Marketers Need To Know About The Podcast Consumer

Podcasts continue to burn up the media landscape, with no sign of slowing down. With 67 million Americans tuning in to a podcast in the past 30 days, this is an audience those marketers need to know.

• Thirty-five percent of listeners average 4-programs weekly
• Americans average 7-hours of listening per week
• Heavy listeners average 10-programs and 10-hours per week

Our Take: Podcasts are key to reaching affluent audiences (just ask Roop and Sam!).

Sonic Branding Is the Next Marketing Disruptor

For creative brands, the opportunity for sensory connection is rich. And in the realm of multisensory marketing, one opportunity speaks louder than words: Sonic branding.

Not every interaction has a sound component yet, but consumer data shows we’re headed quickly in that direction. Nearly half of U.S. internet users own at least one smart speaker, according to an August 2021 comScore survey.

Our Take: As our daily interactions continue to shift online, our world becomes increasingly connected—and complex. To succeed in this new age of quantum marketing, brands must find creative ways to engage their audiences.

Meta Publishes New Videos Which Highlight the Possibilities of its Metaverse Vision

Meta is now publishing new explainers and overviews, which aim to put more focus on where we’re headed, and the opportunities of advanced digital connection – as opposed to the current, legless genie engagement of its VR space.

Our Take: As we’ve discussed, the possibilities are huge, but the public still has no idea what the Metaverse really is. Some explaining in the form of simple storytelling might go a long way towards improving that …

YouTube Reports that 1.5 Billion Users Now Engage with YouTube Shorts Content Each Month

YouTube Shorts are now being watched by over 1.5 billion (!) logged-in users every month. That is a huge amount, especially when you also consider that YouTube’s total monthly ‘logged in’ audience is 2 billion total users.

Our Take: Um, wow!? Just as we were prepared to write off Shorts.

TikTok’s Latest Ad Targeting Provisions Reflect Increasing Revenue Pressure on the App

TikTok has begun showing users in Europe, the UK and Switzerland new in-app notifications to inform them of changes to its data collection policies. For users 18 and up TikTok is making a legal change to how it will use their in-app activity to personalize their ads. Historically TikTok has asked for “consent” to use in-app activity to personalize ads, however starting on July 13th, 2022, TikTok will rely on its “legitimate interests” as a legal basis to use TikTok activity to personalize ads for users. This appears to be a direct response to increased revenue pressure from its parent company ByteDance.

Our Take: We love ad personalization; this allows us to show you more relevant content and as browsers we do want to receive content that is more relevant to our interests or what we are actively browsing for. What we don’t love his having our consent to ad personalization taken away. TikTok provides a third of ByteDance’s revenue, it will be interesting to see how these changes play out for the company as it continues to push more China-centric ideas into other markets.

Brands, Here Are 5 Reasons to Tune Into In-app Advertising

Savvy marketers are always looking for what’s next. With more channels now available than ever before to reach consumers – from TV to web to social media – forward-thinking brands recognize that embracing different and emerging platforms is key to not only hold onto existing audiences, but also capture new ones. For today’s marketers, that next emerging frontier is mobile.

Our Take: We’re into it. But we would likely opt out of apps specifically geared toward children.

A New Content Era Has Arrived: social entertainment, and how can brands win?

Digital marketing has always been viewed as a numbers game – with creative (the art) often taking a back seat in marketers’ quest for performance data (the science). But in the world of social media – a world where entertainment is rapidly taking over – creative is a marketers’ superpower; it’s the one thing they have control over and the one thing that can help a piece of content thrive.

Our Take: People want to be entertained, not sold. Focusing more on engagement and video content on social is a must. But creating content that also entertains our customers is where we need to go.

Netflix Geeked Week 2022 Expands Their Games Inventory

Netflix announces three new games titles that are spin-offs of popular shows on the streaming platform. This continues their push into the gaming space and their bid to be the greatest gaming platform. The Streaming giant also announced that they have added three new popular game titles to their catalog. These games will be available to all Netflix subscribers for no additional cost.

Our Take: Netflix expands its catalog of Games available to subscribers which could be a draw for subscribers who are on the fence about cancelling their subscriptions ahead of the subscription price increases and new tiers. Will games be available to subscribers who opt into the lower price point in exchange for ads? Will ads be included on the gaming side of Netflix? We will be keeping an eye out on all these changes with the streaming giant as it progresses.

Pinterest Debuts New Ad Format For Its Idea Pins

Pinterest has launched a new ad format called Idea ads, which will enable advertisers to showcase a brand’s website, get step-by-step breakdowns, view ingredients lists and more.

Our Take: Pinterest’s new Idea ads are an expansion of its TikTok-like Idea Pins, a multi-page video format it launched in May 2021.

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