10 Mar

Viral unicorns and left handers

Here’s the story of one of the most viral posts we’ve ever done for a brand.

The simple post and graphic we did for Left Handers Day on the Four Cousins brand page in 2015 and 2016 ended up making about 150 000 impressions. That is almost three times the total number of fans on the page, all with zero ad spend.

Left handers day is not one of the ‘special’ days that jump out at you as gold for social media engagement. It took a left hander on our staff, our content coordinator Louis, to see its potential and to suggest it as a post topic for the mass-market wine brand.

The brand persona Four Cousins has built up on Facebook and Twitter since 2010 is one of supportive and inclusive camaraderie. The social media messaging built on the true brand story, of four cousins taking the wine industry by storm to create the best-selling bottled wine in South Africa. YB built the social presence of the brand from the inception of the social media accounts until December of 2016, taking care to make it a place where all South Africans feel at home.

Finding the unicorn

We did not expect the left handers post to work wonders when we first put it out on 13 August 2015.

However, it immediately caught on with the audience. It reached more than 25 000 individuals without a cent of advertising spend behind it. The post made almost 50 000 impressions. It was hugely viral: For every impression from a fan of the page it made four impressions with non-fans.

A year later, we decided to see if lightning would strike twice. This time the reaction was even more astonishing.

Facebook post by YehBaby Digital Creatives for Four Cousins celebrating left handers day

The post reached almost 58 000 individuals, of which only 13 000 were fans of the page. With about 60 000 fans on the page, this meant that about 80% of the people who saw the post at least once were not fans of the page.

It went on to make 94 000 impressions, again 100% organically. In the “post-reachpocalypse” social media landscape we are living in, this was a true viral unicorn.

It was shared 482 times and got 276 reactions. Some people even tagged themselves or friends in the image, all without being asked to do so. And perhaps our favourite stat: although some people must have seen the post repeatedly, we got only six negative reactions.

What we learned

We’ve thought a lot about what made the magic happen. As best we can tell, here are some of the reasons people loved the post so much:

  • The post is on brand and meets the expectations fans have of the tone of the page. It struck home as a message from a brand that had spent years walking the talk of being the every-man’s friendly wine. The brand is positioned as part of the extended family. It had often demonstrated that it was there for fans when they reach out on Facebook and Twitter.
  • To an extent, it was pay-off for years of patient and strategic brand-building. That can make messages that could’ve been very trivial strike way closer to home.
  • It didn’t condescend or trivialize. No “Happy Left-handers day, folks!” The post managed to emphasize with differently abled people without “othering” them.
  • The post contained truth. Left handers could immediate relate to the picture of Louis’ ink-smudged hand resting by the message (also smudged) that he wrote to his fellow left handers. The look and presentation was low-fi and unglossy.
  • It illustrates what has become a content marketing mantra here at YB: Truth beats bullshit every time.
08 Dec

YB’s trend predictions for 2017

It’s that time of year when we must look ahead, while we fight the last 2016 deadlines.

Of course, the world of online marketing is rather unpredictable and 2017 is sure to hold many wonderful surprises. Looking back on what worked in 2016 tick, there are clear indications of what can become even more influential in 2017.

Trust, authenticity, uniqueness

Marketing trends are underpinned by human, social trends, as marketers are always trying to meet the people in their target markets ‘where they live’. As the digital world expands exponentially, even while globalization makes our daily lives ever more international, the concept of trust will become even more pertinent. We buy from, sell to and chat with people who will probably never look in the eye or shake hands with. We judge their trustworthiness based on the authenticity of their online behavior.

 Since the start of the social media revolution it has gotten ever harder and more important for a brand to stand out and be unique. In 2016 it was the brands with original ideas that got the attention. We can only expect that in 2017 the brands who give their consumers experiences worth recording and sharing will still be rewarded. Brands who enrich the lives of their fans will be enriched in return.

Trends to watch

 What are the trends to watch in marketing channels and tactics?

  • Submersive branding, which means that the experience of the brand must pull through into every aspect of your plan and activation. In 2017 the relationship between physical and online experience will narrow even more.
  • Beacon marketing, letting retailers guide shoppers towards specials in-store. Retailers would have to look at ways of including an online experience in their stores which brings in-store marketing into the digital space. Time to get creative!
  • Content personalization and focus on a specific audience is where we’re heading. Stand out by being unique in approach and relevant to a specific target group.
  • Ephemeral content was introduced by Snapchat and Instagram stories. It has been tricky to figure out how to make it work for brands, and to justify investment in content that only lives for a few hours. 2017 will bring a lot of development in this department. In a world filled with information and a longing for something new and exciting it definitely has a niche.

Content marketing and influencer marketing are set to continue the growth phase into 2017. As always it will be essential to keep content aligned with your marketing goals and measure effectiveness. Brands are wising up when it comes to the importance of quality and context for effective influencer marketing.

 Yes, we’ll be seeing even more video. We can only dream of all the cool tools for making and editing video we’ll see this year.

As digital marketing matures, brands realize they don’t have to jump on every new thing like an over excited dog. Keep focus and do what is right for you.

 As always, ideas will always be king, queen and the entire royal family for online brand marketing. Without a strong concept of brand ‘self’ and the ability to evoke emotion and enthusiasm around the brand, there is no channel or tactic (or app) can pick up the slack.

15 Aug

Inspiration Makes All The Difference

Our Creative Director, Ronelle Louwrens, was invited by Paarl Wine Route to speak at the Paarl Wine Challenge awards ceremony this week. This is what she said.

“When YehBaby was asked to speak, the first thing that came to mind, of course, was digital media and wine tourism. These are the things we at YB work with every day of our lives: finding interesting reasons for people to visit your cellar door or purchase your wine via online channels. Just about 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. read more

22 May

Twitter ads: Déjà vu all over again


In its quest to catch up to Facebook in social advertising, Twitter is now also targeting smaller brands and businesses in South Africa.

Having thus far mostly focused on large, corporate accounts, we hear Twitter’s ad sales partner in Africa, Ad:Dynamo, has appointed a representative to focus on local wineries. They’re trying to get more of these small and medium-sized businesses on the platform and using the Twitter advertising options.

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