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Jordan Froud

Published on

August 18, 2018


Branding, digital, Marketing, social, Social Media

Analysis: Alternative Thinking

With digital audiences growing and attention spans shortening, businesses and brands are feverishly churning out social campaigns, each one battling it out to grab the attention of scroll-happy internet users.

However, digital and social advertising is often unpredictable and attitudes in the industry are changing regarding how methods are used. Influencer marketing is under more and more scrutiny, social media giants are falling from grace and customers are more sceptical of marketing gimmicks.

Because of this, alternatives to traditional methods of social and digital advertising are cropping up. Here are some recent trends that could spice up your next campaign and help you avoid any social snags:

Alternate Social Platforms

As the social media world has boomed after the last decade, several platforms stayed ahead of the curve and have been a preferred choice for marketers. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have dominated most conversations about paid ads and influencer marketing. Whilst these platforms are profitable and practical to build a campaign around, controversies have haunted them in recent months and many are seeing declines in effectiveness and user behaviours.

Despite this, several other social platforms, such as Pinterest and Reddit, are seeing significant rises in engagement rates for both advertisers and users. Whilst these platforms are very popular, from a marketing perspective, they’ve never been regarded in the same ways as the Facebooks and Twitters of the world… but perhaps it’s time they were.

Reddit is famously difficult for advertisers to navigate but they have recently beaten Facebook to become the third most visited site in the US and while ad options are limited, the site has seen “three to seven times better engagement rates” and an increase in their active audience base by 30% in six months. Pinterest is also experiencing similar growth thanks to expanded shopping and ad capabilities. The platform reports particularly high numbers for engagement and conversion rates, with 93% of users saying they use the platform to plan or make purchases.

These stats are nothing to scoff at, especially considering the declining numbers of other platforms. This, along with new capabilities for mediums like WhatsApp, may mean that trying out a different platform could keep your brand on the cutting-edge.

Alternate Influencers

There’s been a ton of industry chatter recently regarding influencer marketing with shifts in how brands are utilising it. Unilever has announced that they will no longer be working with any influencer that has fake followers and other brands are starting to shift their focus from big names to micro-influencers.

One alternative to using these insta-celebs are meme accounts. That’s right, social accounts dedicated entirely to posting memes are seeing better ROI than influencers. These accounts often have smaller follower counts but have high engagement rates, meaning that conversion rate can be much higher. These accounts also tend to charge far less for their posts than standard influencers, meaning more bang for your buck.

Meme accounts can positively drive brand awareness as their engagement is based around tagging other users meaning it is often more reliable. Their follower count also grows more predictably than that of an influencer as their focus is generally more tailored in one direction and there is no singular “person” behind the account that can divide user opinion.

Alternate Product Placement

Embarking on ad partnerships with popular events and TV programming is an advertising staple, albeit an extremely expensive one. Instead of placing a standard commercial on TV, brands can spot the opportunities surrounding popular celebrities, events and programmes, even if they aren’t directly sponsoring them.

This will give brands the chance to reach new audiences and take advantage of opportunities that will arise when a popular show begins. Conversations online are driven by casts, presenters and TV moments as well as by products and items featured on said shows. For example, during The Great British Bake Off, there is a swell of mentions for aprons and rolling pins, not to mention Love Island’s unashamed and synchronised cross-platform placements. Spot what’s popular and see how your brand can naturally jump on board without having to take the expensive route.

There are several ways to mix up your next campaign; think outside the box and keep your ideas fresh because internet trends tend to have a short sell-by date.

This Week’s Top Social Stories

Hundreds of Instagram users have had their accounts hijacked by Russian based bots and are unable to log back in. Read More

Facebook has announced a new batch of updates including expanded capabilities for their pages feature. Read More 

Tinder execs are suing parent group, Match Group for $2 billion for allegedly cheating them out of stock options. Read More

Twitter is continuing to clean up its user count by purging accounts that are found to be evading previous suspensions. Read More 

Snapchat has released a new report on the benefits of its ‘addressable reach’ for advertisers after their last disappointing earnings report. Read More


LinkedIn Win

LinkedIn has shown they’re a social media platform to be taken seriously this week as they’ve announced they now have 575 million registered members across the globe, including 150m in the US, 42m in China and 25m in the UK.


Photoshop Flop

Australian cosmetics brand BECCA has come under fire after posting an ad that appeared to have photoshopped a white person’s hand to look darker. The company later deleted the ad and replaced it one with one using “real” girls from their office.


What’s My Name?

Nando’s latest campaign in South Africa set out to remove the red spellcheck line from under their name as well as all non-traditional English names. By crowdsourcing names, people could download a new dictionary on SA’s Human Rights Day and remove the red line from their names for good.


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