Sparq Plug

In the ever-changing world of social media, The Social Sparq Plug is your one-stop-shop for all things digital marketing. Each week, our online marketing team meets to discuss the latest trends and updates happening on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Youtube, Pinterest and beyond.

We’ve aggregated the best creative and noteworthy news and campaigns from the past week. Here’s the hot take from the minds of our online marketers!

Social Media Updates You Need to Know This Week

Google is adding new promotional formats to online search, YouTube and its increasingly popular Discover service. The features, unveiled at a conference on Tuesday, reflect the early stages of the internet giant’s attempts to compete with Amazon for shopping ads and could ease investor concern that it is running out of new places to run ads.

Also in the news this week was NextDoor, a hyperlocal social network platform. Initially conceived as a neighborhood-focused community forum, NextDoor is now rising as a local marketing destination for businesses by offering the ability to claim pages and create organic listings similar to Google My Business. Among the most effective practices for local businesses to leverage in the platform are comment and review monitoring/response and offering promotions.

Finally, we shift gears to machine learning and its increasingly diverse applications taking place across verticals. This time, in the realm of beer with a Brooklyn-based agency using machine learning to analyze data from more than a thousand beer reviews to formulate the perfect, data-driven recipe. Efforts like these are emblematic of a paradigm shift toward data aggregation and artificial intelligence being used in its analysis.

Creative “Sparqs” to Get Your Imagination Flowing

Vita Coco is taking a unique approach to mitigating the effects of negative reviews/feedback with the brand’s “impossible to hate” campaign. After developing an algorithm to identify the most negative reviewers on platforms like Yelp, Facebook, etc., Vita Coco invited some of them in studio to offer their honest feedback about the product with one of the internet haters deadpanning that she would “drink this if someone gave it to me.” The effort is successful in showing that even the most negative reviewers in the country don’t have anything worse than mixed reviews to offer their product, making it “impossible to hate.”

This week, Clif Bar & Company debuted what it’s calling its most significant advertising campaign to date. The “Make It Good” effort debuted with a national television spot taking the viewer on a whimsical tour alongside a quirky, dry-wit bike riding guide. The advertisement is effective in showing how the company’s commitment to personal health and environmental sustainability is well aligned to the ethos of its target demographics without taking itself too seriously.

Swedish hardware chain Clas Ohlson is advertising with interactive magazine inserts made from plantable seed paper. The advertisement is promoting a flower pot that consumers can use to actually plant the seeds, which come from flowers like snapdragons, daisies, and catchflies. According to Swedish ad agency King, which developed the idea to illustrate how easy it is to prepare your home for Spring, the interactive element was partly created in response to the Swedish people’s general distaste toward advertisements. By making something that at least serves a purpose, Clas Ohlson is hoping that its target audience will find it useful instead of distracting.

What is RankBrain?

Rankbrain is a component of Google’s core algorithm that uses machine learning (the ability of machines to teach themselves from data inputs) and adjusts ranking by promoting the most relevant, helpful results. Takes a number of factors into consideration, including user engagement, location, personalization and more, to serve results that are as well aligned as possible to the true intent of the searcher.

Join us on Mondays to hear what brands are ‘sparqing’ our creativity, how algorithms have changed, and the bullet points on what you need to change in your marketing strategy to get your clients the best return on their investment.

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