Platforms Featured Global

Twitter introduces new feature ‘Twitter Circle’

Singapore – Social media platform Twitter has announced a new feature called ‘Twitter Circle’, which allows users to send tweets to select people, and share their thoughts with a smaller crowd.

Twitter users can now choose who is in their Twitter Circle, and only the individuals they have added can reply to and interact with the Tweets one shares in the circle.

The feature was first tested to select users in May, and is currently rolled out to everyone on iOS, Android, and globally.

“With Twitter Circle, people now have the flexibility to choose who can see and engage with their content on a Tweet-by-Tweet basis. This makes it easier to have more intimate conversations and build closer connections with select followers,” Twitter said in a press statement.

Tweets sent to one’s circle will appear with a green badge underneath them. They can only be seen by those they have selected to be in your circle and cannot be Retweeted or shared. Additionally, all replies to circle Tweets are private, even if your Twitter account is public. 

“We want to ensure everyone on Twitter has the choice, control, tools, and transparency to join the conversation how and when they want, and Twitter Circle is another important step in that direction,” the company added.

Marketing Featured APAC

Unlocking the power of video for unforgettable shopping moments

After over a year of enduring lockdowns and restrictions, there is no stopping the e-commerce wave. Driven by boredom and necessity, shoppers continue to flock to online shopping platforms in droves as evidenced by record-breaking numbers across the board on e-commerce platforms. According to Facebook and Bain & Company, about 70 million more people have turned into avid online shoppers in Southeast Asia since the start of the pandemic.

This boom in online shopping is a tremendous opportunity for brands to seek and deepen audience engagement through digital channels. With the year-end shopping and holiday season approaching, this is a critical period for brands looking to cap off the year with a bang.

In today’s digital age, where audience attention spans are shorter, simply trying to stand out among the competition is no longer enough due to the sheer amount of content dispensed on every page and with every click. Online consumerism is no longer merely about purchasing products, but also the customer journey and experience. One way to embrace this period of disruption and retain consumer attention is through harnessing the capabilities of video and creative for genuine audience-brand connection.

It is also no surprise that video consumption has grown amid the pandemic, especially in mobile-first Southeast Asia and Asia Pacific regions. Results from a 2020 study conducted by Media Partners Asia revealed that mobile video streaming increased by 60% across Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore, with social media videos being one of the top channels for the discovery of new products.

The rise of Connected TV 

Standing out amid the rise in video consumption, Connected TV (CTV) continues to grow and dominate viewing habits worldwide, with 42% more attention going to CTV since lockdowns began. Compared to the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, CTV ad spend in Asia Pacific is forecasted to have the fastest growth by a Forrester study, contributed by new CTV channels and devices entering the market. 

The growth of CTV presents plenty of avenues that advertisers can leverage; its scalable and premium qualities, along with unskippable content, provide prime advertising real estate. As CTV viewership increases, brands should utilize this opportunity to adopt an audience-first strategy through tailor-made, data-driven, and relatable content relevant to their target audiences. As a massive canvas on which multiple formats can be experimented, CTV provides the perfect opportunity for storytelling and engagement within high-quality environments. This could come in the form of branded frames to reinforce product visuals, dynamic overlays to supercharge the viewing experience, and even opportunities for the audience to customize their own products on-screen.

Television and on-demand viewing platforms are often referred to as ‘lean-back’ media due to the audience experience of being relaxed and served content without being fully engaged. Hence, to capture attention, transfer the experience from TV to mobile device, and encourage further interaction, consider supporting CTV ads with a seamless purchasing experience across multiple screens. A great example would be a click-out feature, where consumers can scan a QR code for products to be instantly added to their shopping carts – seamless, quick, and fuss-free.

Genuine emotional engagement 

People forget what you say, but they will not forget how you made them feel. Emotion has always been a powerful tool in engaging and creating valuable connections with consumers. Video is one of the best mediums to evoke emotion and drive emotional engagement, and subtly help audiences respond more strongly and favorably to a brand. This helps to enable brand recall in peak moments and influence post-viewing behaviors, including brand perception and decision making.

Advertisers can better equip their ads for memory by leveraging a mental short-cut known as the peak-end rule – affecting how users remember the past through selected snapshots of memories that shape their perception and feeling about an event. To take advantage of this, place important takeaways at intense positive or negative moments, also known as its ‘peaks’, as well as the final moments of an experience.

It is also important to select the right mix of emotions to be evoked in ad campaigns, as the right emotional mix can have a huge impact on brand building and sales uplift: the right visuals, copy, sounds, and placements can all stir feeling and impact. Playing around the full spectrum of emotions – from positive to negative – can create that much-needed spark.

When it comes to season shopping, no other holiday evokes stronger emotions than Christmas, and the pandemic seems to have further amplified those feelings. Based on a study by video ad platform Unruly, amid the pandemic, 2020’s Christmas ads were found to be 51% more emotive than the global average, and even increased the average purchase consideration score by 41%.

In the Philippines, the same study found that Christmas ads evoked 14% more intense emotions than the average ad, and the top positive emotions associated with Christmas ads were happiness, inspiration, and warmth. Similarly, in Australia, a study of 2020 Christmas ads saw a 36% increase in intense emotions than the average ad. 

Captivating viewers with creative

Apart from cookies and targeting, which are some of the primary drivers of today’s campaigns, a Nielsen study found that creative is responsible for 47% of the uptick in sales from advertising.

Ultimately, creative should continue to be aligned with specific media goals, as well as its audiences, screens, and placement types. Capture audiences’ attention by telling engaging, relevant stories across all screens.

Brands can also capture viewers’ attention with short-form videos, where shorter ads can deliver higher dwell time, completion rate, and brand recall.

Interaction is key

Interactive video ads provide unique and engaging experiences for audiences, allowing them to live through your brand’s narrative and driving immediate action. Standalone interactive elements, or a combination of elements, can take the viewing experience to greater heights.

A common example today is the use of QR codes; their popularity has been further driven by the pandemic as viewers may take action almost instantly. Particularly useful in CTV, QR codes are an efficient way of getting viewers to continue the consumer journey on their mobile devices – including downloading an app, adding an item to an online cart, or even redeeming a gift.

Other elements that help push users down the conversion funnel include countdown clocks, which heighten the sense of urgency and excitement for promotions and product releases, and shoppable videos, which provide an instant path to purchase.

As CTV and video continue their rise as one of today’s most important marketing channels, it is time for brands to start riding on the wave of video and creative to unlock growth. With the close of 2021, it’s now time to harness the host of possibilities that CTV and video bring, to engage with audiences uniquely and personally for the most unforgettable shopping moments.

This article is written by Greg Fournier, senior vice president of global strategy at video advertising platform Unruly.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

theAsianparent launches VIPP platform of most ‘influential’ parents

Singapore – Parenting-focused platform theAsianparent which has presence all over Southeast Asia, has launched its VIP Parents platform (VIPP), which comprises of its most vocal and influential parents, enabling brands to engage directly with this segment of parents across the region.

The VIPP platform has been officially launched six months ago, and according to theAsianparent, the VIPP has a base of over 40,000 moms and dads, giving marketers the opportunity to tap this audience. Brands can use the platform to let parents participate in surveys or polls, create original and meaningful content, and even have them review their products and attend brand events, with the possible opportunity of bringing parents on board as official brand ambassadors.

On the side of parents that are part of the platform, VIPP provides an opportunity for them to learn and earn. The women-led VIPP team has a training program for registered VIPP moms and dads to help them increase and maximize their social capital. 

Founder and Group CEO of theAsianparent, Roshni Mahtani Cheung, commented that the reality of parenting such as messy homes, spit-up, tantrums, and eyebags are rarely reflected in ad campaigns that target the mother audience, saying that engagement begins with “understanding.” 

“With VIP Parents, brands can get direct feedback from our parent community at their convenience, whether that’s a quick poll to gather first impressions on a new product or a massive survey that could help fine-tune a local campaign. Enlisting our moms and dads, who are already talking about these brands anyway, to both amplify and ground their campaign messages, is that sought-after authenticity every digital marketer talks about,” said Cheung.

Premium Main Feature Technology Southeast Asia

Engagement and reach: The potentials of augmented reality app development

The modern age has seen the rise of various strategies to maintain customer retention, whether through their services, or even marketing campaigns to create organic reach. From social media trend jacking to sophisticated software such as digital experience platforms (DXPs) or customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, every institution, every brand tries its best to retain relevancy if you will.

But there is one special platform that takes customer experience and retention to the next level: perhaps one could say one step closer to the customer if you will. 

Augmented reality, the interactive technological experience that makes consumer base reaction with respective brands more meaningful and realistic even to make them feel connected, intertwined like a large network.

What is augmented reality?

Generally, augmented reality is defined as an interactive experience that combines elements of the real world with digital elements embedded in the augmented reality (AR) to create an environment that is interactable with both movements digitally and physically.

One of the most profound successes brought by AR experience is the popular game Pokemon Go, developed by American game developer Niantic. The game’s premise truly embodies the essence of being a Pokemon trainer, as you have to walk in real life to ‘catch’ Pokemons, find the nearest ‘Pokemon Gym’ at the area to battle out, or even stumble across a legendary Pokemon for yourself.

Another popular example of AR technology is what is pioneered by the social media platform Snapchat: face filters. Through the help of AR technology, users can use filters such as the ‘floating heart’s filter’ or the well-known ‘dog filter’ to bring their wacky game on in their social media posts.

Over the years, the utilization of AR technology has been widely used by brands and organizations to bring at least a bit of tangible experience for their customer base. Whether it is a new product, a virtual product launch, or perhaps just another of those social media-based filters, AR has gone a long way from being an interactive experience to a globally-recognized industry.

Statistics from market research company IDC estimate that global spending on AR/VR in 2020 will be up to $18.8 billion, up 78.5% from 2019. From 2019-2023, the global VR/AR market will see a 77% compound annual growth rate.

With the constant growth of the AR industry, it’s no wonder that the technology itself has caught the interest of many businesses and brands who want to get their hands on this engaging technology. But before one could dip into utilizing AR into their next big campaign, one should first understand the development of AR mobile applications.

Augmented reality app development: from the ground-up

The development of augmented reality is based on a mix of traditional mobile app development and expertise in superimposing images and other 3D elements or multimedia within the platform which then responds to the real environment it is encoded with to develop a mixed experience of physical and digital elements, working hand in hand towards an interactive platform.

When developing an augmented reality experience for your business and brand, ask yourself: what are the premises of experience and reach I want to come out of this platform? While AR itself is engaging in its sense, the ulterior motive of the brand or the service and the business you’re providing must prevail.

Think of this: the interactive experience is just one of the objectives, as viewed from a marketer’s perspective. Whether you’re creating an online face filter for your brands’ online contest, a virtual launch perhaps, or even a ‘stay-at-home’ campaign to bring the service right at your fingertips, the AR experience, while uniformly carrying the same interaction, differs on the manner it is being delivered, and how it sells itself organically to the consumer base.

Regardless, most AR experiences are developed under common platforms, which include Unity3D, Unreal Engine, ARCore, among others. 

Brand/tech presence and renewed campaign platform: the whys of using the AR experience

Every brand wanting to take their hands onto the augmented reality experience may have different aspirations on wanting a custom-made AR experience for their services, but there is one common factor that draws them into these platforms: innovation.

The aspect of marketing itself is all about being in with the latest trends of today and keeping in touch with the wirings of technology. Humankind has long since evolved its marketing strategies from traditional media into something more engaging, a touch of the future if you will. And for most brands, AR is like a step into the future, the next generation and medium of upcoming campaigns they have. 

Of course, marketers off the top of their mindsets also think that AR is a unique platform to boost one’s brand presence, and it is truly a unique one. Psychologically, a customer could perceive that a company engaging in a next-generation platform like AR to be a business signal that things are going for the better, which is actually the company’s motive in advertising itself to others. Our progress throughout the course of humanity has been defined as jumping into a more developed concept we can work into, and augmented reality is changing that.

Coming under the umbrella of advertising, AR then gives brands an opportunity to potentially grow their sales organically since AR itself demands a more engaging and organic approach for it to take effect. And with better sales comes better customer engagement brought by greater reach AR has done to its clientele base.

Overall, AR gives brands a unique image that they can portray, an image that speaks of relevancy against the ongoing tide changes of today, a more openly accessible brand that majority of demographics can or actually relate to, and in the current state, a more ‘safer’ version to customers interact with their favorite brands while staying at the comfort of their homes and personal spaces.

So, should everyone try it?

An app developer may always get asked all the time if a particular next-generation platform like augmented reality is applicable for organic reach and customer engagement. The answer is…well the middle of the scales. It all boils down to how a marketing department decides how the campaign will utilize AR in a way that is relatable, accessible, and at the same time, manageable. After all, the general rule of the thumb of augmented reality is that it stays to its core objective: providing engagement and reach for customers and brands alike.

Humankind has evolved a long way in developing unique experiences for humans to appreciate and augmented reality is one of those digital channels. Should the opportunity and time arise, hop on to the trend.

The author is Adam Eastburn, CEO & Founder of Adaptis.

Adaptis is a global technology development company with presence in Europe and the Asia Pacific. The company offers experience design, digital development, and team solutions. Kempinski Hotels, Toyota, and Johnnie Walker are some of its global clients.