With the high customer acquisition costs of e-commerce platforms, social media such as WeChat, Weibo, Douyin, and Xiaohongshu have seen a wave of new traffic dividends from 2017 to 2018. According to AdMaster statistics, from January to November 2018, Xiaohongshu’s related voice volume in e-commerce reviews increased by about 719%.
Thanks to the active attempts of social media marketing, Chinese brands have ushered in explosive growth opportunities. In the “Double 11” beauty and personal care category in 2018, in addition to traditional brands such as Pecho Ling, Nature Hall, Winona, the newly established HFP, Perfect Diary and Zhiyouquan also joined the Tmall “Double 11” billion-dollar club. Among them, the growth rate of Perfect Diary is as high as 1192%. As of August 2019, Perfect Diary is the makeup brand with the most fans on Xiaohongshu.
The impact of this wave of social media dividends on the rise of new brands can be roughly classified into three types:
Social media has lowered the marketing threshold: new brands have new ways to speak out, breaking the media pattern of monopolizing the voice of big brands;
Social media promotes precision marketing: the brand’s ability to acquire and apply consumption data has improved marketing ROI to a certain extent;
Social media magnifies brand advantages: brands with differentiated advantages can use social fission to form rapid communication within the circle.
The routines and content that countless brands have competed to imitate have turned social media into a trash. Social media marketing that originally supported the rise of new brands seems to be unable to replicate more successful cases.
Why will social media marketing gradually move from the low-cost fast lane to the booming dilemma of loud volume and no sales?
This article will start with the following 4 questions to take you through the little-known secrets of social media marketing:
What are the disadvantages of the fun of social media marketing? Why are the soft texts and soft advertising of social media marketing inefficient? What are the applicable conditions of social media marketing? Why are the success stories of social media marketing difficult to replicate?
Consumers remember interesting content, but can’t remember brand information
Consumers do not like to watch advertisements. One of the important psychological reasons is that advertisements interrupt consumers’ attention in the current environment. For example, when browsing celebrity anecdotes on Weibo, a hair plant advertisement suddenly appears. Conversely, the closer the advertisement is to the tasks of consumers in the current environment, the higher the consumer’s acceptance of the advertisement.
Therefore, with the help of hot topics, exporting content that consumers are interested in has become the mainstream of social media marketing.
On the eve of Double 11 in 2019, Dapu Home Textiles released an advertisement, which became a case of screen-scrolling on social media in just a few days. The reason is that this commercial uses “sex” to play, the whole film only has one sentence “Our youth is all in the bedsheets of naked sleep”.
The commercial caused an uproar on social media. Some people admire that the commercial is very real and creative, while others say it is pornographic and explicit.
Leaving aside values for the time being, at least from the perspective of the screen effect, this was a successful social media marketing case recognized by most marketing experts at that time. But what practical impact did this commercial have on Dapu Home Textiles? Consumers gave the answer using Baidu search.
After this social media marketing, consumers do not like Dapu Home Textiles brand products as much as Dapu Home Textiles advertising videos.
This is the common social media marketing situation: consumers are keen on interesting content and don’t care about the brand itself. There is creativity, no strategy, data, and no sales. How meaningful is this screen-swiping case?
The so-called “education and fun” in social media marketing often turns into pure “entertainment” without “education”.
When I summarized the five common misunderstandings of communication, I named this misunderstanding as the overwhelming: music, plot, special effects, sexual temptation, intimidation and other creative techniques overuse, causing consumers to pay too much attention to creative content and ignore brand information.
In fact, Internet celebrity brands that have emerged on social media are the easiest to fall into this vicious circle: I remembered a series of novel characteristics that you have, but did not remember who you are and what unique value you can bring to me.
Ruanwen and Ruanguang are difficult to highlight the brand value proposition
The development of social media marketing has promoted the popularity of Ruanwen and Ruanguang. The leader among them is Durex.
In 2011, Durex took the lead in opening Weibo and became the light of social media marketing. The dazzling methods have swept the country. It can be said that “If you don’t see Durex in your life, you will be called a great god.”
It was a heavy rain in Beijing that year, and the Durex team discovered the whimsical idea of ”wearing covers on your feet to prevent wet shoes”, so this advertising idea was promoted on Weibo. Within a week, Durex’s content caused tens of thousands of reposts. In the same year, the English version of China Daily ranked this case as one of the most representative social network marketing cases in 2010. After this battle, Durex firmly moved on to the “sex blessing” road of social media marketing. There are various social hot topics that Durex would not dare to touch.
But under Durex’s strong social media marketing, the Japanese brand Okamoto is gradually eroding Durex’s market share.
In August 2016, Okamoto’s new Touhou series debuted on JD.com, which became a key step in sniping Durex. Okamoto’s advertisement proclaimed that “80 years, only advanced by 0.02mm”, not only expressed the ultra-thin characteristics of Okamoto products, but also hinted at Okamoto’s 80 years of dedicated craftsmanship.
This marketing strategy is Okamoto’s standard play. From Okamoto 0.03 to Okamoto 0.01, it is highlighting the brand value propositions of “ultra-thin” and “wear-free” in various communication media. Today, Okamoto almost occupies the leading position of high-end condoms in major retail stores.
Why can Okamoto break through the encirclement of Durex and rise rapidly in the high-end market?
Regardless of product line strategy for the time being, only in terms of brand communication, Durex focuses on increasing awareness and allowing more consumers to see Durex frequently. So wherever there are hot spots, there is Durex, while Okamoto focuses on increasing the depth of awareness. Let consumers who see Okamoto quickly form their preferences, so Okamoto spreads the selling points of “ultra-thin” and “wearless” everywhere.
When researching brand awareness, Y&R Advertising Co., Ltd. discovered the model of the famous cemetery, which was then promoted by David Aker, the “Father of Brand Equity”.
The cemetery of popularity describes a marketing phenomenon that customers can recognize when they see or hear a brand, but when they have a demand, they ignore the brand and choose other brands. Because customers only know that the brand is famous, other than that, there is no other in-depth knowledge, trust, or preference for the brand.
Those social media marketing with loud volume and no sales usually walk into the cemetery of popularity, believing that marketing is communication, that is, popularity… There is no systematic understanding of corporate growth at all.
Social media marketing and advertising creation are accustomed to focusing on creative strategies, that is, how to come up with fantastic ideas, but they ignore the valuable information that creative strategies must convey.
Internet marketers like to talk about Ruanwen and Ruanguang, but in many cases, Ruanwen and Ruanguang are inefficient because they lack a clear brand value proposition. Contained and even interesting, soft text, soft and broad are naturally “moisturizing things silently”, which makes consumers happy to hear, but the result is often “water over the land wet”, without leaving a valuable cognition for consumers.
Although Hard Wide has commercial intentions that make consumers resist, it also assumes the role of brand value promise. Broadcasting hard broadcasts in media such as CCTV, Focus Media, and airports is in itself using capital costs to express brand value promises. Without a brand that is capable of fulfilling its promises, it cannot build consumer awareness and trust, and advertising costs will be wasted.
Social media marketing lacks unique media effects
The classic American fashion brand Tommy Hilfiger is a mid-range brand in the United States, but it is a high-end brand in China, and the price has at least doubled. Why did American popular brands sell for the price of light luxury brands when they went to China?
If you often visit shopping centers, you will find that Tommy Hilfiger stores are usually opened near luxury stores such as Gucci.
Luxury stores such as Gucci will form a media environment to convey information about luxury brands, so that consumers can recognize Tommy Hilfiger and Gucci as one category.
In other words, the information consumers receive is not only the advertising content output by the company, but also the media environment in which the information is located. In the past, we thought that the medium was just a carrier of information, not important. In fact, the media itself implies information. The advertisements placed on CCTV imply high quality and trustworthiness, and they are printed as paper strips and posted on shared bicycles, implying vulgarity and unreliability.
Social media has lowered the funding threshold for marketing, and even start-ups and individuals can spread content. So social media marketing has become a popular method for small and medium-sized brands.
However, high-end, big-brand advertisements are generally placed on media with higher thresholds such as CCTV, Focus Media, and airports. Because the medium is the magnifier of the value expressed by information, sometimes even more important than the information. If luxury brands like Hermès, Casarte, and Mercedes-Benz follow Durex’s example on social media in hot spots, jokes, and essays, I don’t think you think they are very high-end. On the contrary, you think they are too low and not worthy of high-end. , Luxurious, connotative life.
Social media is a necessary external communication tool for most brands, but it is not necessarily important for different categories and brands.
The screen effect of social media is difficult to control
In 2020, the launch of the “earth flavor” strategy of fellow chicken may be the most concerned social media marketing event. Although there are endless discussions between marketing experts and the media, no companies have successfully replicated them. There are too many similar situations.
During the National Day in 2018, Alipay launched the Weibo campaign “I wish you a Chinese Koi”, and the number of forwardings exceeded one million in less than 6 hours and the number of followers increased by ten million.
Subsequently, many brands followed the example of “Shanghai Koi is here” and “Hangzhou Koi is here”, but the results were mediocre and no one remembered it. Even Alipay itself could not replicate the success of Chinese Koi.
Why are the marketing cases of swiping screens on social media often difficult to replicate?
Some successes are difficult to replicate because our understanding has a representative bias: we tend to overestimate the probability of an event based on representative characteristics, such as an accidental success. In statistics, it is called regression to the average, and online jokes are called “money made by luck, lose money by strength”.
Social media marketing has always had such a strange phenomenon: using 1% of the world’s accidental screen-swapping cases as a benchmark, no one can successfully replicate it. The painstaking research and imitation eventually turned into sunk costs.
Hua Shan, the founder of Huayuhua Consulting, has also made a wonderful comment on this: “The essence of publicity lies in repetition, and the essence of audiences lies in forgetting. We must master the principle of communication-to fight against forgetting with repetition. Don’t engage in that kind of wonderful screen-scrolling articles. The thing that an audience won’t watch the second time is a night of fireworks. If everyone thinks about such a fireworks show all day long, first of all, its success rate is very low, and then the fireworks will be gone in one day.”
It’s better to work every step of the way if you want to make a trick. Brands should pay attention to things that are sustainable and accumulative, pursue long-termism, and enjoy the compound interest of time.
Looking back at the development of social media, hot topics are changing faster and faster, the volume of social media marketing has fluctuated wildly, and various marketing ideas have made it difficult to accumulate brand value over the long term.
There are no more than three brands that are thriving on social media:
Grasp the marketing model dividends: Perfect Diary, HFP earlier adopted unique social media marketing methods; self-contained social hot topics: Durex’s category is born to be a hot topic; super-topic characters: Jack Ma, Lei Jun, Luo Zhenyu can be described as “walking advertisements” “.
If you don’t have the above three opportunities or resources, and if you want to succeed with social media marketing, your strategy will inevitably appear thin.
Successful marketing depends on system capabilities
The social media marketing methods of Perfect Diary and HFP are widely circulated. Today, there are so many brands that follow this method, but there are very few brands that have also achieved success from 0 to 1.
Although social media marketing has many benefits, if it does not catch up with the dividends (time window) of the new marketing model, it will be difficult to achieve explosive growth.
Because what you can copy is only the marketing model, but you can’t copy the unique conditions attached to the early stage of the marketing model-low-cost content production and KOL cooperation, and the blue ocean of competition in the new marketing model.
With the maturity of the social media marketing industry chain, social media will soon become the red sea of marketing battles, its effect will be half the effort, and the cost will rise. Moreover, if you accidentally make the common sense mistakes mentioned above, then your marketing investment will be in vain.
New domestic brands such as Huaxizi, Winona, and Perfect Diary, which are popular on the Internet, have deployed offline brand advertisements this year, penetrating various life scenes such as buildings, theaters, supermarkets, and airports that consumers must pass through. This is the only way for a brand from small to large to break the circle from social media to the public market.
In the future, social media marketing will gradually become a general marketing module, and the effect of a single marketing module will become worse and worse. Only by combining social media marketing with brand advertising and other methods and functions to form a system superposition capability can the best results be produced.