tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/influencer-marketing Latest Influencer marketing content from Econsultancy 2017-05-19T11:08:00+01:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69096 2017-05-19T11:08:00+01:00 2017-05-19T11:08:00+01:00 Four reasons luxury brands are embracing influencers Nikki Gilliland <p>The <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-new-face-of-luxury-maintaining-exclusivity-in-the-world-of-social-influence/">‘New Face of Luxury’</a> report – published by <a href="http://www.fashionmonitor.com/#/">Fashion &amp; Beauty Monitor</a> in association with Econsultancy – delves into this topic, exploring why luxury is embracing this growing trend. To whet your appetite, here's just four reasons.</p> <h3>1. Social media makes luxury accessible</h3> <p>There’s no doubt that social media has made luxury more accessible and appealing to everyday consumers. Now, shoppers aren’t required to enter a store to browse, meaning they can interact with and experience high-end brands on an entirely new level. </p> <p>Of course, the open and large-scale nature of social means that brands runs the risk of appearing less exclusive – perhaps a reason why the industry has been reluctant to forge relationships with social influencers up until more recently.</p> <p>Despite almost two-thirds of luxury brands being active within influencer marketing, 46% admit their influencer programme is a year or less than a year-old. Meanwhile, a further 28% say they have only used influencer marketing for two years or so.</p> <p><strong><em>Do you currently use influencer marketing as part of your marketing strategy?</em></strong></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6188/do_you_use_influencer_marketing.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="668"></p> <p>That being said, many luxury brands are recognising that, if they are able to find the right balance, channels like Instagram and YouTube can be used to create content that reflects the lifestyle and interests of the core consumer. Which in turn, is also promoted by influencers. </p> <h3>2. Mid-tier influencers offer authenticity</h3> <p>Alongside a growing cynicism over celebrity endorsements, there’s been the realisation that the biggest social influence does not yield the best results. In fact, <a href="http://markerly.com/blog/instagram-marketing-does-influencer-size-matter/" target="_blank">research</a> suggests that as an influencer’s follower count increases, the rate of engagement with their followers decreases.</p> <p>As a result, luxury brands have begun to embrace mid-tier or micro-influencers, with 40% of respondents saying that mid-tier influencers hold the most appeal.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6189/Mid-tier_influencers.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="432"></p> <p>This is because mid-tier influencers are dedicated to building active and engaged communities of followers who value their voice and trust their judgements on brands and products. In contrast, much like celebrities, top-tier influencers or those with mass audiences might have less control or come across as less authentic.</p> <h3>3. Enthusiasm for content-focused campaigns</h3> <p>So, how exactly are luxury brands collaborating with influencers?</p> <p>Interestingly, it appears that a growing focus on content promotion and distribution is informing campaigns – over and above product launches. While 74% of luxury brands say that influencers play a “critical” or “very important” role in product launches, 71% say the same for content creation and promotion.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6190/role_of_influencers.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="542"></p> <p>This shows that the real value of influencer marketing does not necessarily come in big brand campaigns – but subtle and original content. This tends to align with the opinions of influencers themselves, who typically feel that creative freedom and involvement is needed for the partnership to be worthwhile and successful for both parties.</p> <h3>4. Greater focus on ROI</h3> <p>With increasing investment, it’s naturally important for luxury brands to want to measure return. Unfortunately, this remains one of the biggest challenges, with the sheer amount of social and online data making it difficult to drill down to a single influencer, product or campaign.</p> <p>That being said, it is an area of growing focus. 62% of luxury brands say that revenue generation is an important measure of success, while just 44% of non-luxury brands place such value on conversion figures. 79% of luxury brands also measure the success of influencer collaborations through web traffic generated, closely followed by the number of times content was shared.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6191/ROI.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="479"></p> <p>Another positive is that social media channels are becoming increasingly trackable, with the use of affiliate programmes and conversion pixels, and with Instagram in particular introducing shoppable links.</p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>So, will luxury brands continue to invest in influencer marketing in future? With 66% of luxury brands saying that they expect their budget to increase "moderately" or "significantly" over the next 12 months, it appears so.</p> <p>Despite some existing reservations about retaining exclusivity and aspiration, the bravest brands are proving this is possible to uphold, providing the collaboration is a good fit.</p> <p><em><strong>For more, download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-new-face-of-luxury-maintaining-exclusivity-in-the-world-of-social-influence/">New Face of Luxury Report</a>.</strong></em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4485 2017-05-17T18:48:00+01:00 2017-05-17T18:48:00+01:00 The New Face of Luxury: Maintaining exclusivity in the world of social influence <p>For some time, the mass market appeal of social media seemed to be in contradiction to the privacy and exclusivity of the luxury industry, creating understandable caution among luxury brands. But with the influx of digital media platforms and the rise of social influencers, luxury brands have had to embrace (and brave) the new world of social influence.</p> <p><strong>The New face of Luxury</strong>, a report produced in association with <a title="Fashion and Beauty Monitor" href="http://www.fashionmonitor.com/">Fashion and Beauty Monitor</a>, offers valuable insight on how the luxury industry can collaborate successfully with influencers.</p> <p>The report outlines interesting trends to watch including rising budgets, increasing video content, commitment to resources, the rise of micro-influencers and experimental formats.</p> <h2>Key findings</h2> <ul> <li>73% of luxury brands are active within influencer marketing yet only half of luxury respondents admit that their influencer marketing programme is only a year or less than a year old.</li> <li>65% of respondents say that their approach to influencer marketing is effective and content collaborations are proving effective for 73% of luxury brands.</li> <li>73% say that maintaining exclusivity and aspiration on social media is their biggest challenge.</li> <li>Budget is proving to be the biggest factor holding luxury brands back from running an effective influencer marketing strategy.</li> </ul> <h2>Methodology</h2> <p>An online survey was fielded in February and March 2017 and a highly targeted base of 322 professionals working across the fashion, beauty and luxury sectors took part. In addition, telephone interviews were carried out in March and April 2017 among senior-level marketers and global luxury fashion and beauty influencers and brands.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69064 2017-05-11T11:41:58+01:00 2017-05-11T11:41:58+01:00 Will Instagram pods impact influencer marketing? Nikki Gilliland <p>But what exactly are these pods – and what do they mean for brands and influencers alike? Here’s a break-down of the situation so far.</p> <h3>What are Instagram pods?</h3> <p>Instagram pods are groups of people who join forces to increase engagement on posts. Essentially, they do the same thing as Instagram bots - liking and leaving comments to ensure posts appear higher up in user’s feeds. </p> <p>There are certain rules involved so that this engagement appears natural, such as not posting single emojis or leaving comments that are under four words. Members of the pods turn on notifications in order to like and comment on a post as soon as it is published – a vital factor for increasing visibility on the platform.</p> <p>It’s not that easy to become a member, apparently. Each pod is formed on an invite-only basis, with members hearing about the opportunity via Instagram direct messages or on other platforms like Twitter and Facebook.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5911/pods.JPG" alt="" width="300" height="523"></p> <h3>Who’s doing it?</h3> <p>It seems the majority of pods are made up of influencers or micro-influencers wanting to improve their presence on the platform, mainly so that brands will sit up and take notice.</p> <p>Sounds a bit shady, right?</p> <p>Interestingly, I’ve noticed some suggestions that pods are just another form or an extension of online communities. If bloggers and social media influencers tend to show support for one another anyway - surely pods are just another way to facilitate this activity? </p> <p>What’s more, can you really blame influencers for fighting against (what they see as) an unfair algorithm?</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/NiaSky">@NiaSky</a> Instagram pods are a great way to interact with other bloggers, but the best thing is to be active and connect with others! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/bbloggers?src=hash">#bbloggers</a></p> — chelsey ocean (@chelsocean_x) <a href="https://twitter.com/chelsocean_x/status/856226952121896961">April 23, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Perhaps, yet the biggest problem with Instagram pods is that they make it harder for brands to see which influencers are naturally succeeding. As a result, potential partnerships formed on the back of fake engagement will only lead to skewed data – certainly not a reflection of real success or consumer favour.</p> <p>Ultimately, pods seem to go against the very reasons brands want to work with influencers in place of traditional advertising – the notion that they are authentic and naturally influential on social media. </p> <p>By juicing engagement, influencers could also run the risk of harming their own reputation in the long run.</p> <h3>Will Instagram find a way to stop it?</h3> <p>So far, it doesn’t appear as though Instagram is doing much to prevent pods. However, that is not to say it will be happy to leave them be.</p> <p>Back in 2014, the ‘Instagram rapture’ ended in millions of fake spambot accounts being wiped out – much to the dismay of users who suddenly lost a large chunk of their audience. </p> <p>Ultimately, it demonstrated that Instagram is not willing to let fake accounts impact the user experience for everyone else. If so-called Instagram pods continue to grow in popularity, perhaps we will see a similar crackdown on fake engagement in the near future. </p> <p><em><strong>More on influencer marketing:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69053-how-maserati-uses-influencers-to-drive-its-instagram-strategy/">How Maserati uses influencers to drive its Instagram strategy</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68409-four-key-trends-within-the-world-of-influencer-marketing/">Four key trends within the world of influencer marketing</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68230-two-different-paths-to-influencer-marketing-which-is-best-for-you/">Two different paths to influencer marketing: Which is best for you?</a></em></li> </ul> <p><em>You can also download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/" target="_blank">Rise of Influencers report</a> for further insight</em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69077 2017-05-11T09:50:00+01:00 2017-05-11T09:50:00+01:00 Three reasons fast food brands use secret menus Nikki Gilliland <p>So, (sugar-aside) why are consumers such suckers for a secret menu? Here are just a few reasons why it tends to work.</p> <h3>1. Inherently shareable nature</h3> <p>It appears social media users cannot keep anything a secret these days. It’s been just a few weeks since <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67085-starbucks-new-london-digital-concept-store-puts-focus-on-customer-experience/" target="_blank">Starbucks</a> released its Unicorn Frappucino in the US, and there are now over 150,000 images using the related hashtag on Instagram.</p> <p>This was the aim, of course, with Starbucks deliberately creating a drink that they knew users would love. Regardless of whether or not it actually tasted nice (or could induce diabetes), consumers bought the item purely for the chance to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67547-10-excellent-examples-of-user-generated-content-in-marketing-campaigns/" target="_blank">post a selfie with it</a>. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5967/Unicorn_Frappucino.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="635"></p> <p>Other brands have also seen secret menu items go viral in this way – but it’s not always on purpose. </p> <p>Arby’s, the US fast-food chain, found that customers were requesting its ‘meat mountain’ special in restaurants – a stack of meat that was originally featured in a promotional image. The restaurant began making it for those who asked, leading to customers spreading the word on social and ultimately creating Arby’s first ever secret menu item. </p> <p>Unsurprisingly, as more and more brands have introduced secret items, consumers have also become extra savvy when it comes to sharing them. In fact, hashtags and websites, such as Hack the Menu, are dedicated to promoting the most recent items as well as offer reviews and opinions.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">About to conquer the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MeatMountain?src=hash">#MeatMountain</a>! <a href="https://twitter.com/Arbys">@Arbys</a> <a href="https://t.co/cSzxPFuKMX">pic.twitter.com/cSzxPFuKMX</a></p> — Sigmon (@sigmonwrestling) <a href="https://twitter.com/sigmonwrestling/status/853774822878433280">April 17, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>2. Allows brands to experiment</h3> <p>While a secret menu is a great way for brands to generate buzz, it can also be used in a more functional capacity. </p> <p>This means that instead of adding a new item to the main menu - which comes with the risk of customers not liking it or bemoaning the loss of an item it could have replaced – brands can still introduce it without the pressure or commitment.</p> <p>With less investment on marketing spend to promote new items, consumer response can be gauged to establish whether or not it’s worth introducing long-term. Often, items will find their way onto the main menu eventually. Take Starbucks again, for instance, whose 'pink drink' (now known as the Strawberry Acai Refresher) first made the rounds on Instagram last year.</p> <p>Brands like Panera and In-N-Out Burger also do this on a regular basis, even creating a permanent ‘not-so-secret’ menu for items that prove continuously popular.</p> <p>So, why don’t they just create a bigger menu overall? Ultimately, the sort-of-hidden element is all about customer service, offering people increased flexibility and opportunities to customise orders, without overwhelming or saturating the main menu. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5968/In-N-Out.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="700"></p> <p><em>In-N-Out Burger's 'not-so-secret' menu</em></p> <h3>3. Builds customer loyalty </h3> <p>Lastly, one of the biggest reasons brands use secret menus is that it instills a sense of importance in customers. </p> <p>People feel like they are getting their hands on something rare, or as if they are part of an exclusive club. As a result, they are more likely to forge a memorable or more meaningful connection with the brand, meaning they are also more likely to return again in future. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">.<a href="https://twitter.com/JuniperandIvy">@JuniperandIvy</a> slays the California classic <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/InNOut?src=hash">#InNOut</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/burger?src=hash">#burger</a>brioche and homemade animal fries <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/secretmenu?src=hash">#secretmenu</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/foodie?src=hash">#foodie</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cheeseburger?src=hash">#cheeseburger</a> <a href="https://t.co/ERysWppZ0u">pic.twitter.com/ERysWppZ0u</a></p> — Laura Taylor Namey (@LauraTNamey) <a href="https://twitter.com/LauraTNamey/status/858165997932470272">April 29, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Does it always work?</h3> <p>Of course, the strategy does not come without its downsides. As the Unicorn Frappucino demonstrates, brands run the risk of veering into gimmicky territory, resulting in the view that secret menus are purely a money-making scheme rather than something for the benefit or thrill of customers. </p> <p>Meanwhile, brands must also consider that staff will have to manage orders of customised items in stores and restaurants – as well as avoid potential waste.</p> <p>On the other hand, with huge opportunity for brand awareness and increased sales, it's little wonder so many restaurants can't wait for us to shout about their so-called 'secrets'. Consequently, it doesn’t look like the trend will disappear anytime soon. </p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67856-four-delicious-examples-of-food-drink-brands-on-instagram/">Four delicious examples of food &amp; drink brands on Instagram</a></em></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67856-four-delicious-examples-of-food-drink-brands-on-instagram/" target="_blank"><em>A day in the life of... a food &amp; drink startup entreprene</em>ur</a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69053 2017-05-04T11:30:00+01:00 2017-05-04T11:30:00+01:00 How Maserati uses influencers to drive its Instagram strategy Nikki Gilliland <p>So, why the rolling strategy? Here’s a bit more on the campaign and how it makes a refreshing change from the Instagram feeds of other automotive brands.</p> <h3>Bespoke and refreshed content</h3> <p>Disclaimer: I’m not the biggest car fan. One aspect that fails to interest me (especially when it comes to the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67604-what-s-the-point-of-social-media-for-luxury-brands/" target="_blank">social media</a> activity of brands) is the repetitive nature of the content. </p> <p>How many different ways can you photograph a car? This is a deliberately shallow point of view, of course, but it perhaps demonstrates why Maserati has created a strategy that is based upon diversity and change.  </p> <p>Every month, the brand partners with an influencer from a different industry or profession. The list ranges from chef Francesco Mazzei to photographer Darryll Jones. The latest has been an ambassador for VisitScotland – landscape photographer Marc Pickering. It’s not just a case of the brand posting the occasional image either. The influencers are in total control of the Maserati account, with a new person taking over from the last at the start of each month. With a continual cycle of fresh content, the result is an incredibly varied and interesting feed.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5857/Maserati_2.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="506"></p> <h3>Socially inclusive campaign</h3> <p>While Instagram is known for being a channel based on exclusivity, with some brands even <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68119-how-everlane-is-using-an-exclusive-instagram-account-to-strengthen-customer-loyalty/" target="_blank">creating private accounts</a> to build on this notion – Maserati aims to be socially inclusive instead.</p> <p>Of course, Maserati is a luxury brand with a price point to reflect this. However, the strategy is designed to attract people with a wide range of interests. So, whether potential consumers are into fashion, travel or sports – the idea is that there is bound to be an influencer that they can identify with. </p> <p>Meanwhile, this also allows the brand to showcase a wide range of cars and how they can thrive in specific contexts. For instance, while an influencer like the Dapper Chapper uses the GranCabrio MC for a trip around Chelsea, photographer Joshua Cowan uses the far more robust Maserati Ghibli to tackle the bendy roads of the Lake District.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5855/Lake_District.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="547"></p> <h3>Reaches a wider audience</h3> <p>As well as creating bespoke content, the takeover campaign has also allowed Maserati to increase its reach, capitalising on the existing audiences of the influencers themselves.</p> <p>Tallia Storm, for instance, has over 209,000 followers on her own Instagram channel. By promoting the partnership across all her social media, she is likely to have attracted users who would otherwise be unaware or unlikely to engage with a car brand. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5856/Tallia_Storm.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="322"></p> <p>Granted, not everyone involved has over 200,000 followers, however by choosing personalities with a smaller yet highly active and engaged audience, Maserati hopes to tap into high levels of authenticity and consumer trust.</p> <p><em><strong>Related articles:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67877-how-automotive-brands-are-blurring-the-lines-between-digital-reality/" target="_blank">How automotive brands are blurring the lines between digital &amp; reality</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66853-what-can-brands-learn-from-automotive-website-trends/" target="_blank">What can brands learn from automotive website trends?</a></em></li> </ul> <p><strong><em>For more on influencer marketing, download Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers" target="_blank">Rise of Influencers</a> report.</em></strong></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69044 2017-04-28T10:00:00+01:00 2017-04-28T10:00:00+01:00 Five reasons behind Boohoo’s 97% increase in profits Nikki Gilliland <p>So, is Boohoo’s success merely a reflection of the dwindling fortunes of the British high street? Perhaps somewhat, but with other online retailers struggling to capture interest, there’s a reason why Boohoo is head and shoulders above the rest.</p> <p>Here’s what it’s been doing in order to drive online sales.</p> <h3>1. Influencer marketing</h3> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/" target="_blank">According to research</a>, budgets for influencer marketing were predicted to increase by a whopping 59% last year.</p> <p>Boohoo has evidently ramped up activity in this area, with influencer marketing now a huge part of its strategy to target its core demographic of girls aged 16-24. </p> <p>The retailer has partnered with multiple influencers and bloggers to promote Boohoo across popular platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. One particularly successful example has been its collaboration with model Jordyn Woods on a new range of plus-size clothing. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5790/Jordyn_Woods.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="490"></p> <p>The reason it worked so well was not only due to Woods’ personal social media following, but also her connection to other high-profile media influencers like Kylie Jenner and Justine Skye – names that Boohoo’s Generation Z-consumers are likely to be aware of.</p> <p>More recently, Boohoo has also generated buzz from <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69011-jumping-on-the-bandwagon-how-brands-capitalised-on-coachella/" target="_blank">influencers attending Coachella</a> – a festival that typically fills social media news feeds during April.</p> <p>For more on influencers, download these Econsultancy reports:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/">The Rise of Influencers</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-voice-of-the-influencer/">The Voice of the Influencer</a></li> </ul> <h3>2. Mobile mind-set</h3> <p>Google suggests that <a href="https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/interactive-report/gen-z-a-look-inside-its-mobile-first-mindset/" target="_blank">68% of teenagers now shop via their smartphone</a>, while 63% of millennials are said to shop on their mobiles every single day.</p> <p>Unsurprisingly, two-thirds of online visits to Boohoo come from mobile, with the retailer subsequently taking steps to ensure that the user experience is as slick and seamless as possible. </p> <p>Last year, it launched apps in international markets as well as a new and improved version for the UK.</p> <p>Personally, I’ve always been a big fan of Boohoo’s app. In fact it’s one of the only examples from a fashion retailer that I turn to over its mobile site. Features like the ‘wishlist’ – which allows you to save items to revisit later – are perfectly aligned with the mobile experience, meaning browsing on the app is even easier than online.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5791/bohoo.PNG" alt="" width="250"></p> <h3>3. International expansion</h3> <p>As well as strong UK growth, Boohoo has also seen a rise in profits in international markets, with revenue rising 140% in the US and 40% in the rest of the world.</p> <p>What’s more, the brand looks set to increase expansion plans even further, acquiring Nasty Gal in February – a retailer with a large and existing customer base in the US. Combined with the fact that Boohoo also took over smaller rival, PrettyLittleThing, earlier this year, it looks set to capitalise on these takeovers with further international growth.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Fries before guys. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NastyGalsDoItBetter?src=hash">#NastyGalsDoItBetter</a> <a href="https://t.co/wYGU0PmtrR">pic.twitter.com/wYGU0PmtrR</a></p> — NASTY GAL (@NastyGal) <a href="https://twitter.com/NastyGal/status/856032866492334080">April 23, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>4. Fast and affordable fashion</h3> <p>Another draw for online consumers is undoubtedly Boohoo’s dedication to fast fashion – meaning the prices are low and the turnover is high. </p> <p>Unlike <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67870-why-asos-is-still-leading-the-online-retailing-pack/" target="_blank">ASOS</a>, which is well-known for carrying a broad and expansive range of designers at a higher price point, Boohoo focuses on stocking key seasonal trends at low prices. While 11% of ASOS products are in the £5 to £9.99 category, this rises to 23% for Boohoo. </p> <p>With consumer expectations rising, and millennial shoppers developing an ‘I want it now’ mindset, Boohoo's business model enables it to deliver a rapid and continuous cycle of affordable fashion trends.</p> <p>Its ‘test and repeat’ strategy allows it to quickly find out what items are selling online before ordering and stocking more.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">This <a href="https://twitter.com/boohoo">@boohoo</a> dress FINALLY came back in stock long enough for me to grab one...Happy Friday!!<a href="https://t.co/xKexqUAbkQ">https://t.co/xKexqUAbkQ</a> <a href="https://t.co/UapfEFbDHr">pic.twitter.com/UapfEFbDHr</a></p> — Halinalinalina (@viechoufleur) <a href="https://twitter.com/viechoufleur/status/850231762961571840">April 7, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>5. Harnessing social media and commerce</h3> <p>Its product offering is not the only reason Boohoo has such a large online customer-base. Its dedication to delivering high quality service – both pre- and post-purchase – has helped it to retain strong levels of customer loyalty.</p> <p>One way it does this is through social media, using platforms like Twitter and Facebook to communicate and resolve customer service issues. </p> <p>Of course, it also uses social to drive engagement, continually asking for feedback and opinions, as well as offering incentives such as promotions and competitions. </p> <p>Meanwhile, its also appears to be veering into the world of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69041-social-commerce-why-basic-bots-and-buy-buttons-are-not-enough/">social commerce</a>, notably including new shoppable elements in a number of recent Facebook posts. While other examples of social commerce have failed to live up to expectations, Boohoo’s ability to resonate and relate to a young and fashion-hungry demographic could mean that its one of the first to truly take off.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5792/facebook_boohoo.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="392"></p> <p><em><strong>Related articles:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68659-three-reasons-behind-the-white-company-s-boost-in-profits/">Three reasons behind The White Company’s boost in profits</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68472-three-reasons-behind-whsmith-s-boost-in-profits/">Three reasons behind WHSmith’s boost in profits</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69011 2017-04-19T15:00:00+01:00 2017-04-19T15:00:00+01:00 Jumping on the bandwagon: How brands capitalised on Coachella Nikki Gilliland <p>Last weekend, the Californian desert was home to music, merriment, and a whole heap of marketing - with brands taking the opportunity to capitalise on the ‘coolest’ event in the calendar.</p> <p>Here’s a few examples of how brands of all kinds capitalised on it.</p> <h3><strong>Pop-ups and parties </strong></h3> <p>This year, brand involvement began even before Coachella started, with ecommerce retailer Revolve taking advantage of inevitable excitement and pre-festival buzz.</p> <p>Revolve’s Social Club typically holds exclusive and members-only events, however, it launched a special pop-up shop – which was also open to the general public – a week before the festival started.</p> <p>Selling limited edition items inspired by the festival, its aim was to generate excitement for people going as well as those who might be missing out.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5525/Revolve_social.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="491"></p> <p>Pre-festival events like these are just the beginning of the story, of course, with most pop-ups and parties occurring during the festival weekend itself.</p> <p>While sponsorship is also commonplace at concerts and sporting events, festivals are the perfect environment to go one step further with an <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66908-10-inspiring-experiential-marketing-examples/" target="_blank">experiential marketing</a> approach. Heineken is one example of a brand that delivers an ‘experience’ for festival-goers, using its ‘Heineken House’ concept to entertain visitors and bring a sense of fun along with its brand message.</p> <p>This year, the pop-up included a sustainable dancefloor – powered by the movement of dancers during musical sets – and a free water initiative designed to encourage responsible drinking.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Our <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HeinekenHouse?src=hash">#HeinekenHouse</a> lineup is finally here, and it's looking like our most impressive line-up yet! You're not going to want to miss this. <a href="https://t.co/SvbMMmEPcI">pic.twitter.com/SvbMMmEPcI</a></p> — Heineken US (@Heineken_US) <a href="https://twitter.com/Heineken_US/status/851438114526695424">April 10, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3><strong>Freebies </strong></h3> <p>It’s ironic that the more famous people become, the more freebies they're able to get their hands on. Coachella is no exception, providing the perfect spotlight for brands for showcase their products, with the knowledge that the images will be circulated in the media and fashion magazines.</p> <p>Meanwhile, luxury brands are willing to give away products simply because the Coachella demographic is exactly the type of consumer they would normally target. For instance, tequila company Casa Dragones partnered with a startup helicopter service to offer consumers a journey like no other. (Yes, I did say 'startup helicopter service'. Moving swiftly on.)</p> <p>Offering free shots to all passengers, it ensured brand visibility at a time when consumers would be most receptive to it. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5526/Casa_Dragones.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="412"></p> <p>With transportation company Tesloop also reportedly offering free rides home from after-parties, it appears companies of all kinds are vying just for the opportunity to have a presence at the festival.</p> <h3><strong>Fashion inspiration</strong></h3> <p>While high-end fashion designers are typically seen at Coachella, high street brands still try to emulate the festival look with items inspired by the event itself – even if they aren’t directly affiliated with it.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66292-how-urban-outfitters-can-improve-in-joining-offline-with-online/" target="_blank">Urban Outfitters</a> landed in hot water last month over its recent Coachella-themed range, so much so that the festival filed a lawsuit against the retailer for exploiting the trademark without authorisation. Free People were also hit with the lawsuit, suggesting that the items falsely implied the brand was an official sponsor.</p> <p>Regardless of the outcome, this demonstrates just how synonymous Coachella has become with fashion, with brands using its name to drive sales as well as directly influence designs.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5527/Urban_Outfitters.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="528"></p> <h3><strong>Social media influencers </strong></h3> <p>These days, brands don’t only want to see their products promoted by celebrities, with some choosing to pay for <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68409-four-key-trends-within-the-world-of-influencer-marketing/" target="_blank">social media influencers</a> to attend festivals like Coachella instead.</p> <p>This is because, instead of counting on third-party publications to cover the event, brands are able to rely on influencers dedicating posts or even entire blogs or vlogs to them. Keihl’s took several beauty influencers to Coachella this year, featuring them on its own social media channels as well as capitalising on their combined audiences.</p> <p>Fleur de Force, just one influencer involved, has over 1.4m subscribers on her second YouTube channel. By working with influencers like Fleur, whose dedicated audience is likely to trust her advocacy, the brand is able to ensure extra visibility and greater authenticity – as well as a strengthened relationship with the influencers themselves.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/os_DqBG6Xm4?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p><strong>To find out more about influencer marketing, check out Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/" target="_blank">Rise of Influencer</a> report.</strong></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68987 2017-04-12T14:42:34+01:00 2017-04-12T14:42:34+01:00 Why Instagram is the ideal platform for fitness brands Nikki Gilliland <p>So, which fitness brands are winning on the platform, and why exactly does it work so well? Here are a few reasons and examples.</p> <h3>Offers instant gratification</h3> <p>Visual content is an incredibly memorable medium, with people typically <a href="http://www.brainrules.net/vision" target="_blank">recalling 65% more</a> of a piece of information if it is paired with a relevant image. </p> <p>Another reason it is so effective is that it also provides instant gratification without the need for any wider context. For fitness brands, this means it is a low effort but a highly effective medium, allowing them to reach followers in moments of real-time need. This is most often a motivational quote or image that taps into the user’s specific goals.</p> <p>With fitness hashtags also incredibly popular on Instagram, brands know that users will search specifically using keywords like ‘fitness’ or ‘fitspo’. Under Armour Women often uses this approach, using motivational and empowering quotes to engage users but also demonstrate its own brand values and beliefs.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5380/Under_Armour_women.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="499"></p> <h3>Builds communities</h3> <p><a href="https://selfstartr.com/instagram-marketing-tips-ecommerce/" target="_blank">68% of Instagram users</a> are said to engage with brands on a regular basis compared to just 32% of users on Facebook. This demonstrates how the platform is highly effective for building and maintaining a strong audience, with many brands fostering a sense of real community.</p> <p>SoulCycle has garnered a reputation for being more of a cult than a brand – a fact emphasised by how it engages with fans on Instagram. It regularly posts videos and images that are localised, showcasing activity in various gyms or pop-up events across the US. This gives users the sense that they are part of the brand, simultaneously providing motivation and an incentive to get involved.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5381/SoulCycle.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="495"></p> <h3>Capitalises on influence</h3> <p>SoulCycle also capitalises on the fact that its instructors are seen as mini-celebrities in their own right, often with huge audiences on their personal accounts. This approach is popular across the board, with fitness brands commonly <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/">using influencers</a> as a key part of their Instagram marketing strategy.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5382/soulcycle_influencers.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="555"></p> <p>With research suggesting that <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/deborahweinswig/2016/10/05/influencers-are-the-new-brands/#103c92a77919">92% of consumers</a> now trust an influencer recommendation over an ad or celebrity endorsement, it’s a great way for brands to build authority. Meanwhile, many are also realising the power of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67807-is-micro-influencer-marketing-viable/" target="_blank">micro-influencers</a> – those with a smaller but highly engaged audience – to establish a highel level of credibility.</p> <p>While it’s not a fitness company per se, sparkling water brand LaCroix has recently been tapping into the health market by getting involved in Whole30 – a month long clean eating program popularised on Instagram. As well as using hashtags like #whole30approved, it has also been partnering with fitness and health micro-influencers to help expand its own customer base.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5378/lacroixwater.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="571"></p> <h3>Promotes a lifestyle rather than a product</h3> <p>Finally, the most successful fitness brands on Instagram take a subtle approach to selling, focusing on posts that tap into the user’s desire for a certain lifestyle – not a product.</p> <p>It’s pretty likely that if a consumer is interested in sport, they’re also going to be interested in nutrition, health and general well-being, too. Consequently, it’s important that brands view users in this light, ensuring that their posts aren’t too repetitive or dull.</p> <p>ClassPass regularly mixes up its feed with a combination of actual exercise, food and pop culture references. From smoothies to movies, it demonstrates a real understanding of its audience as well as what type of posts they’re engaging with elsewhere on the platform.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5379/ClassPass.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="515"></p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68245-seven-examples-of-motivational-copywriting-from-fitness-brands/" target="_blank">Seven examples of motivational copywriting from fitness brands</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67786-10-great-sports-digital-marketing-campaigns/" target="_blank">10 great sports digital marketing campaigns</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68988 2017-04-12T14:37:00+01:00 2017-04-12T14:37:00+01:00 Crocs aims to turn around fortunes with celebrity-driven campaign: Will it work? Nikki Gilliland <p>But then again, Crocs could be on the cusp of a comeback. </p> <p>Last year, Christopher Kane actually featured a pair in his catwalk show. Now, the brand is launching a marketing campaign to help change its image, with help from a few well-known celebrities. </p> <p>The question is – will it work? Here’s a bit more on the campaign and why celebrity-driven marketing could prove to be a tricky strategy to pull off.</p> <h3>New brand messaging</h3> <p>Crocs has always marketed itself as a brand that offers comfort, quality and fun. With a focus on the colourful nature of its shoes, it has previously used the tagline ‘Find Your Fun’ to evoke this care-free image.</p> <p>Its new campaign, however, concentrates on a new type of brand messaging. The ‘Come as You Are’ campaign celebrates individuality, instilling the idea that people should reject labels and feel comfortable in their own shoes. Both literally and figuratively, of course.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/NS2LwZOLL8g?wmode=transparent" width="578" height="325"></iframe></p> <p>While it’s an undoubtedly positive and empowering campaign, it’s hard to ignore the fact that the brand is also referencing its own struggles to be accepted. There is the sense that it deliberately referencing its uncool image – perhaps even capitalising on it.</p> <p>This is no bad thing actually. In fact, the campaign's slightly ironic element might be the best thing about it. </p> <h3>Using celebrity endorsement </h3> <p>To deliver its new message, Crocs has chosen to feature celebrities in its ads including Drew Barrymore, WWE wrestler John Cena, and Korean celebrities Yoona Lim and Henry Lau. This is where the campaign seems off the mark. </p> <p>Sure, John Cena and Drew Barrymore come across as confident in their individuality, but placing them together seems a somewhat strange and random combination – especially when you add in Lim and Lau who are lesser known outside of Asia.</p> <p>This is the problem with celebrity-endorsement in a nutshell. If, for some reason or another, it doesn’t feel entirely authentic or natural – it just doesn’t work.</p> <p>With more brands choosing to work with social media influencers to build a sense of real relatability – Crocs’ reliance on celebrity endorsement feels a little tired.</p> <p>Similarly, the broad and somewhat sentimental nature of the ad feels too heavy-handed. When you think about it, Crocs fans don’t actually buy the shoe because it showcases their individuality – they do so because it’s the most comfortable pair of shoes they can get their hands on. Surely promoting the functional aspect of the product would be far more authentic.</p> <h3>Personalised and interactive elements</h3> <p>Celebrity-driven ads are not the only part of the campaign. Other online activity includes a GIF generator, allowing users to upload a selfie that celebrates their unique and individual traits.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5398/Crocs_selfie.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="628"></p> <p>The brand will also roll out <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68888-six-examples-of-mother-s-day-marketing-from-online-retailers/" target="_blank">Mother’s Day</a> promotions in time for the US holiday, heavily featuring Drew Barrymore and her own story as a mother.</p> <p>So, will the 'Come as You Are' campaign do much to combat recent losses? With Crocs reporting a $44.5m sales decline in the fourth quarter, as well as the imminent departure of CEO, Greg Ribatt – it’s a pretty tall order.</p> <p>While a few recent posts indicate that Crocs might be delving into the world of influencer marketing to support its social strategy, it remains to be seen whether or not it's too late. Of course, celebrity-driven marketing is still relevant and highly effective when done right, but to use it to turn around a failing brand is perhaps too much of a gamble.</p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68012-five-key-changes-within-the-world-of-celebrity-marketing/" target="_blank">Five key changes within the world of celebrity marketing</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68691-why-iceland-has-replaced-celebrities-with-micro-influencers/" target="_blank">Why Iceland has replaced celebrities with micro-influencers</a></em></li> </ul> <p><em><strong>You can also download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-future-of-celebrity-marketing/" target="_blank">Future of Celebrity Marketing</a> report here.</strong></em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68961 2017-04-06T14:07:52+01:00 2017-04-06T14:07:52+01:00 Amazon tries its hand at influencer affiliate marketing Patricio Robles <p><a href="https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/31/amazon-quietly-launches-its-own-social-media-influencer-program-into-beta/">According to</a> TechCrunch's Sarah Perez, the program functions like the company's affiliate program in that participants are paid a commission for product sales that they drive. It is not known if the commission structure differs from Amazon's affiliate program.</p> <p>Unlike Amazon's affiliate program, which requires that affiliates link to Amazon products from their own websites, Amazon is offering influencers vanity URLs, such as <em>https://www.amazon.com/shop/whatsupmoms</em>, on which lists of products they curate are displayed. As Perez notes, "Basically, it's a more exclusive step up from Amazon Affiliate linking, and offers a better browsing experience."</p> <p>One of the early participants in the Amazon Influencer Program is WhatsUpMoms, which claims to be the top parenting network on YouTube. Its president and COO, Liane Mullin, says that the program was a natural fit. "We are constantly asked by our community for product recommendations and about the products used in our videos. Now that we have our own Amazon store it makes it much easier to have a curated collection all in one spot," she told TechCrunch.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5232/amazoninfluencer.jpg" alt="" width="878" height="322"></p> <h3>The appeal of performance marketing for influencers</h3> <p>Amazon's desire to team up with influencers isn't at all surprising. After all, influential social media entities like WhatsUpMoms, which counts more than 1.5m subscribers to its YouTube channel, have the ability to promote products to broad and often loyal audiences. And there's <a href="http://www.latimes.com/fashion/la-ig-bloggers-20160809-snap-story.html">strong evidence that influencers <em>can </em>convert their followings into<em> </em>sales</a>.</p> <p>For that reason, it's reportedly not uncommon for brands to pay the most prominent of influencers – those with millions of subscribers on popular social platforms like Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat – well into the five figures, and in some cases even six figures, for each promotional post.</p> <p>Given the large sums being paid in the upper echelons of the market, brands tapping influencers to promote their wares will increasingly seek to justify the spend <a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/measuring-roi-on-influencer-marketing/">by tracking ROI</a> and ensuring that their deals make financial sense. Performance marketing payment structures, which align compensation directly to customer acquisition or sales, could help them do just that in a very straightforward manner.</p> <h3>But will influencers embrace performance marketing?</h3> <p>For those earning thousands of dollars or more for sponsored posts, the prospect of giving up a guaranteed payment for a percentage of sales generated or a set fee for each customer acquisition might not be all that appealing. While some arrangements could theoretically offer significant upside, the truly influential influencers aren't likely to see the benefits of taking on increased risk unless the market dynamic changes completely and they are forced to.</p> <p>Instead, so long as their sway is growing and bringing with it negotiating leverage, expect to see more top influencers focus on long-term <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/09/16/loreal-on-why-other-brands-are-using-influencers-the-wrong-way/">partnerships</a> in which they might even work with brands to co-create product lines that they have a real ownership stake in. And expect to see the most ambitious influencers try to follow in the footsteps of social media stars like Michelle Phan, <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/natalierobehmed/2015/10/05/how-michelle-phan-built-a-500-million-company/">who has built</a> her own business empire on the back of her YouTube popularity.</p> <p>Of course, none of this means that the Amazon Influencer Program is destined to fail. But absent a bigger hook than an Amazon page on which influencers can curate lists of products that are sold on Amazon, it seems unlikely that the influencers with "large followings" Amazon is courting would have good reason to give their Amazon Influencer Program links top billing.</p>