Later helps entrepreneurs live in the moment

The social management platform moves into brand-building mode to reach small businesses that are realizing the necessity of social media.

 

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By Justin Crann

Social media management platform Later is taking advantage of 2020′s online surge to amp up its own brand building efforts, by casting a wider net and stepping up its marketing game.

In its new ad, the platform – once known as Latergramme – offers a simple pitch to entrepreneurs: using its platform, a person can develop a marketing plan and schedule social media posts that deliver on that plan, which leaves them free to run their business or pursue their passion while social runs itself.

“This is very much a brand awareness campaign,” said Cameron Uganec, the company’s SVP of marketing, who says this is a new approach compared to the search and organic marketing it previously relied more heavily on. “We’re starting to invest more in building our brand.”

Ultimately, the goal is to demonstrate the value of Later’s platform to plan a marketing strategy in advance and serve it to the audience on a set schedule — essentially, setting and forgetting it – to help small business decision-makers expand their audiences.

Uganec says during the Vancouver-based company’s first few years, the people who understood Later were influencers. But the market has matured and, recently, more small businesses have been looking for ways to tap into the full potential of social media and the audiences there, instead of just major corporations with large marketing budgets.

“I feel like we are finally delivering on the promise of social commerce and small businesses are starting to realize the impact of that,” says Uganec. “You can sell things and drive revenue. Social isn’t a secondary channel…it is a primary channel for many businesses.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has further driven new business toward Later, Uganec says, as millions are living under lockdown and beyond the reach of traditional advertising media.

“In March, there was a decline for about a week and a half when the lockdown started and then we saw a real surge in terms of signups,” he says. “We’re now over four million users. It really was a tailwind for our business.”

But existing businesses aren’t the sole focus of the new ad campaign. Also featured in the spot are the kind of influencers who first used the platform, like a chef who promotes his cooking through video and photos — a nod to the “passion economy,” Uganec says.

“There are people out there who have a niche, have a passion, and now they can create an audience by telling their story,” he adds. “A lot of people will start by telling their story online and building an audience, and then they will start to figure out how to monetize it and what to sell. For some, it’s a side hustle. And for some, that side hustle turns into a full-time business.”

The global spot, created by 123w, will run primarily on YouTube, with some placements on Facebook and Instagram. It will be accompanied by some PR and content, Uganec says, around subjects like creating a digital storefront and driving commerce through social.