“Genius” isn’t a title that L2 throws around lightly. Only 4% of brands in 2017 scored high enough to earn this top distinction, demonstrating consistently strong performance across key digital metrics.

This year’s Geniuses are a diverse crowd, and no two take the same approach. But they have a few things in common. We point out a few key trends from this year’s research retrospective, In the Company of Genius.

Geniuses are supercharging their mobile and video investments. Over the past year, desktop ad impressions declined by 10%, while mobile impressions surged by 36%. Desktop video impressions are also up, indicating that brands are making a conscious effort to adapt their strategies to changing viewing behaviors among consumers.

Genius distribution

When it comes to content, Geniuses never lose sight of the ultimate goal: conversion. They make content shoppable wherever possible, even on social media. Many of this year’s geniuses have been part of the social commerce vanguard on Instagram, using Like2Buy links or Instagram Shopping Tags to turn their accounts into shoppable lookbooks. On brand sites, they make sure rich multimedia content like lookbooks and blogs allow customers to add products to their cart without forcing them to navigate to a new page.

Genius brands lean into their e-tailer partnerships, using them to boost visibility and sales. Outside of the luxury sector, nearly 80% of merchandise-oriented Genius brands are official distributors on Amazon. Their product descriptions are armed to the teeth with high-volume search terms, which not only boosts visibility within the platform, but also gives them a better chance of showing up in Amazon search listings on Google. They’re looking beyond Amazon, too. Local and specialty retailers may lack Amazon’s scale, but they can help brands tap into target demographics.

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