Here is your weekly edition of “5 Minutes of Marketing,” a newsletter delivering the latest marketing, business, and technology news.
The three main stories from Week 41 are – a sudden drop in Facebook followers, TikTok’s new Showtimes ad format, and Netflix’s ad-supported plan will launch in November in 12 countries worldwide.
Grab a cup of coffee and let’s go!
Facebook follower numbers drop across the US
Several of America’s biggest media outlets recorded sudden drops in their Facebook follower counts last week, sparking speculation that the social media giant may have gotten rid of bot accounts.
It was reported that the number of followers significantly dropped for the New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, The Hill, USA Today, New York Post, and Newsweek, according to the data from the analytics platform CrowdTangle.
In total, the seven publications lost almost 70K followers in early October.
Facebook’s owner Meta acknowledged that from April to June this year, Facebook estimated that “fake accounts represented approximately 5% of worldwide monthly active users.” Between April and June this year, Facebook took action against 1.4 billion suspected bot accounts, while in the preceding months, Facebook terminated 1.6 billion “fake accounts.”
How does it impact you?
If you noticed a sudden drop in Facebook followers in early October, it might be due to the removal of the bot accounts. While it may be discouraging to see the numbers of followers plummet, in the long run, it’s positive news.
Many of these fake accounts seek to cause harm as they are used in spam campaigns and are often financially motivated. Facebook has been working hard to block the attempts to create these fake accounts. They claim that they block millions of fake account creations daily.
It’s clear that fake accounts serve no purpose (other than exaggerated numbers of followers ); however, they never engage with the content posted and misrepresent the important metrics, such as engagement rate, reach, and organic growth.
For marketers, this is good news as cleaner Facebook means more accurate and reliable data for your campaign planning and further Facebook marketing strategies.
What should you do if you recently lost a bunch of followers? Continue with your Facebook strategies. If the number of followers is important in your business strategy, you may consider running campaigns enticing users to click “Follow.” However, if it’s not essential, I’d suggest maintaining your existing growth strategies and rebuilding the number of followers organically.
TikTok’s new Showtimes ad format
TikTok World Summit took place on Thursday (13 October), where the ByteDance-owned app announced a variety of new features. Among multiple features in pursuit of building a new era of advertising, TikTok has announced of Showtimes ad format – a native solution for movie studios.
With 52% of people discovering a new show, movie, or actor on TikTok and 1 in 4 people who saw an entertainment ad having bought a ticket, TikTok powers discovery and reinvents entertainment marketing. To help movie studios connect with these engaged communities, TikTok has created Showtimes, a new native experience optimized to drive movie-going intent directly from TikTok to ticketing partners to complete purchases.
Showtimes allow movie studios to promote their latest film by showcasing a full trailer to generate interest and then seamlessly provide showtimes and theater information based on the users’ location.
Viewers of these ads can voluntarily submit their postcode to find cinemas near them, then click on showtimes for the specific movie, and find the buy ticket options from ticketing partners.
According to the TikTok blog post, Showtimes on TikTok is currently available to invited movie studios in the United States.
Why is this big?
This may bring online commerce to a new level (something that Instagram has been trying to achieve with its Shoppable posts). It starts with cinema tickets; however, it will inevitably grow beyond that.
I guess soon, TikTok will allow users to purchase more than just cinema tickets. Users will be able to buy fashion items, beauty products, household items, books, and maybe even groceries on the TikTok app. All that ByteDance needs to do is find partners for each category and connect them to the ads.
Fashion brands (for example, Zara or H&M) may connect their online stores to TikTok, allowing direct purchases from a TikTok ad. Wouldn’t it be cool?
Netflix’s ad-supported plan to launch in November
Netflix announced last week that it would introduce a streaming plan with advertising for roughly $7 per month in November, a move to attract new subscribers after the company lost customers in the first half of the year.
Netflix reported 220.7 million paying subscribers as of June, a drop of nearly 1.2 million from the start of the year. The drop in subscribers has shaken its stock price; it’s currently around 60% lower than a year ago.
The $6.99 cost for the “Basic with Ads” plan will roll out in 12 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain, the UK, and the US. The rollout will take place in stages, with Spain expected to be the last on 10 November.
Netflix says that the commercials will be 15 or 30 seconds long, and the subscribers will see roughly four to five minutes of advertising per hour. Newly released content will have limited advertising to preserve the cinematic experience.
In the US, Netflix is using Nielsen’s digital audience measurement to offer advertisers a better understanding of the platform’s reach. According to CNBC, the Nielsen ratings will begin sometime next year, and this is the first time Netflix will have ratings available for its content. These ratings will be comparable to the ones used to measure the success of TV shows.
What does it mean?
Brands have long waited to tap into Netflix’s user base and directly advertise to them. It’s a great opportunity to reach a highly engaged audience. Netflix is a premium brand providing outstanding quality to its users. Therefore, there is little doubt that brands will be extremely interested in being aligned with this quality content.
Nevertheless, Netflix will give its advertisers multiple ways to target viewers by country, gender, or genre. There will be options for brands to exclude their ads from content that might be inconsistent with their brands, such as excluding ads from content featuring graphic violence, sex, or nudity.
For Netflix subscribers, especially those who are more cost-sensitive, this will become a more affordable option to continue enjoying the content on Netflix.
Other interesting stories:
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