Welcome to the September edition of “Curation Corner,” my list of the best August articles on marketing, branding and public relations!
Click on the titles in blue below to read the articles themselves.
Fortune, August 2
Probably the biggest social media news of August came early in the month, when on August 2 Facebook introduced Instagram Stories, which is a near-exact clone of Snapchat, offering photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours.
Author Matthew Ingram notes that this is at least the fourth time Facebook has tried to copy Snapchat’s disappearing content, first with Poke (2012), then with Instagram Direct (2013), then with Slingshot (2014). To say nothing of Facebook’s famously-rejected offer to buy Snapchat for $3 billion in 2013.
I could go on, but this piece actually inspired me to write a full separate post about it. You can find it here.
Huffington Post, August 26
I like this piece for several reasons, one of which is that it largely reinforces my recent piece, the 5 Social Networks You Can Ignore.
Once again, the point of disagreement was with Instagram. But here author Justin Sachs, CEO of publisher Motivational Press, notes that Instagram is most useful for chronicling his company’s presence at special events, like trade shows. These types of special events do play well on Instagram – the problem is day-to-day life in most companies tends not to lend itself to compelling visuals. Nobody needs to see more cubicle shots.
Still, this is worth reading because both the social media channels listed, and (perhaps Instagram excepted) the priority order in which they’re listed, is dead on.
Recode, August 30
Kurt Wagner reports that, In an effort to compete with YouTube, Twitter has begun selling ads alongside creator videos and sharing that ad revenue with content creators.
Notably, Twitter is offering a 70/30 split, meaning the content creators get to keep 70 percent of the ad revenue (vs. YouTube, which gives creators just 55 percent).
This move is a big deal, as it’s a strong play by Twitter to bolster its video presence (particularly as Vine withers), and marks yet another step in the convergence of the major social networks, as they each increasingly copy the features of the others.
The New York Times, August 30
This piece by Sapna Maheshwari illustrates how the Kardashians have begun tagging sponsored Instagram and Twitter posts with #ad or “gift” in the wake of the FTC’s cracking down on sponsorship transparency for social media posts. Example:
But the meat of the article is the raters that social media celebrities can receive for sponsored posts:
According to Cativ8, influencers with 50,000 to 500,000 followers, can charge an average of:
- $2,500 for YouTube,
- $1,000 for Instagram or Snapchat and
- $400 for Twitter
With 3-7 million followers, influencers can charge, on average:
- $187,500 for a post on YouTube
- $75,000 for a post on Instagram or Snapchat, and
- $30,000 for a post on Twitter.
Contently, August 26
Dillon Baker’s article touches on many of the same points as the New York Times piece above (and came out several days beforehand).
It’s notable to me for three reasons:
He notes the difficulty the FTC will have in regulating sponsored ads on Snapchat, which definitionally disappear within 24 hours.
This piece got picked up and reprinted by Fast Company.
It came across my desk as a sponsored ad on Facebook. A sponsored piece of social media content that details the trouble with sponsored social media content. Hah!
Forbes, August 31
This summer showed the increased balkanization of would-be blockbusters – an ever-widening gulf between the successes and the flops.
For instance, as of today, 8 movies this year have made more than $300 million in the domestic box office, but no other movies beyond that have made even $175 million.
Notable flops this year (so far) include:
- Star Trek: Beyond
- X-Men: Apocalypse
- Independence Day: Resurgence
- Alice Through the Looking Glass
All of these are sequels or remakes of incredibly successful films.
So here, film critic Scott Mendelson analyzes why Independence Day: Resurgence failed, where last summer’s similar decades-later sequel Jurassic World succeeded.
His primary point?
Jurassic World succeeded because it did not just rely on nostalgia, but rather advanced the story in a meaningful way. The idea of a fully-functional Jurassic Park was new. Further, it sold itself as a fun time at the movies even for those (particularly, current teens) unfamiliar with the original. Unlike most of the failures listed above, it didn’t purely rely on nostalgia.
Mendelson’s article is important because its insights could well shape the next slate of summer Hollywood blockbusters.