tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/influencer-marketing Latest Influencer marketing content from Econsultancy 2017-07-14T10:52:35+01:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69250 2017-07-14T10:52:35+01:00 2017-07-14T10:52:35+01:00 Four reasons behind Superdrug's 41% increase in profits Nikki Gilliland <p>So, why the big turnaround? Here’s a look at Superdrug’s strategy, and the reasons why it’s currently enjoying a resurgence.</p> <h3>Targeting younger shoppers </h3> <p>Boots is the largest health and beauty retailer in the UK, with over 2,500 stores compared to Superdrug’s 850 or so. It’s also got the longest history, as well as a large and loyal consumer base that includes people of all ages and budgets.</p> <p>With Boots catering to such a large demographic, Superdrug has changed its strategy to target a more specific set of consumers. While its rival concentrates on its own-brand beauty range of Botanics, as well as more mid to high-end brands such No. 7 and L’Oréal, Superdrug deliberately targets younger consumers interested in more affordable cosmetics. </p> <p>Cheaper brands like MUA, GOSH and Make-Up Revolution, despite being less well-known, are now sold in most stores.</p> <p>So, alongside a general focus on affordability, how exactly does Superdrug entice younger consumers?</p> <p>In the face of low-price beauty launches from the likes of Primark, H&amp;M and New Look, Superdrug’s work with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66560-what-are-influencers-and-how-do-you-find-them" target="_blank">influencers</a> certainly sets it apart. The retailer struck a deal with Zoella in 2014 to sell her beauty range, with the collection going on to break sales records. </p> <p>Upon launch, the Superdrug website saw twice as many visitors as usual, with 25% of new visitors clicking on the Zoella range. Since then, Zoella has gone on to release two new collections, both resulting in similar success for Superdrug.  </p> <p>Other popular influencers such as Tanya Burr and Fleur de Force have also partnered with Superdrug to sell exclusive make-up and cosmetics collections, meaning the retailer has been able to capitalise on their existing and loyal audience. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/Zoella">@Zoella</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/ZoellaBeauty">@ZoellaBeauty</a> I've just picked this up from Superdrug it's so pretty <a href="https://t.co/IKAg0QyMdR">pic.twitter.com/IKAg0QyMdR</a></p> — Jessica newman (@jnew135) <a href="https://twitter.com/jnew135/status/883622463531253760">July 8, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>In-store experience</h3> <p>Influencers are not the only way Superdrug has aligned itself to younger shoppers. In 2014, it rolled out its new ‘Beauty Studio’ concept, offering beauty services such as threading, manicures and eyelash extensions in-stores. In select locations, it also introduced digital displays and an interactive ‘selfie’ area to encourage shoppers to share their makeovers on social media.</p> <p>Elsewhere, and even in stores that do not include a Beauty Studio, the design and layout of most stores is used to differentiate itself from Boots’ pared down approach. The retailer often uses bright colours and illuminated lettering, bringing a fashionable element into stores. Again, cosmetics is a huge focus, with this area often much larger than other areas.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7455/superdrug_cosmetics.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="431"></p> <p>Another way Superdrug has enhanced the in-store experience is to introduce Wi-Fi and its own radio station. ‘Superdrug Live’ is used to support brand campaigns and promotions, as well as create a unique store environment through music.</p> <h3>Healthcare focus</h3> <p>Alongside its Beauty Studio, Superdrug has also expanded into the healthcare market, placing much more focus on its status as a pharmacy as well as cosmetics retailer.</p> <p>While its stores used to have a 70/30 split between beauty and health products, some stores now have a 60/40 strategy, with the retailer introducing consultation rooms and services from pharmacists and nurses, such as flu vaccinations. </p> <p>Interestingly, Superdrug has also introduced its own brand of morning-after pill, selling it at half the cost of the average pill sold over the counter. The move has been praised by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, which applauded the retailer for giving women greater choice and accessibility. </p> <p>There’s no doubt that Superdrug’s focus on healthcare is succeeding – sales of this category grew 12% last year.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7456/wellbeing.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="444"></p> <h3>Rewarding loyalty</h3> <p>Superdrug’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/admin/blog_posts/69250-four-reasons-why-superdrug-is-succeeding/edit/Six%20tips%20for%20loyalty%20program%20success" target="_blank">loyalty program</a> has also grown over the past few years. In fact, membership is said to have doubled over the past two years, with the retailer having 19m registered members by the end of 2016. </p> <p>The Health and Beauty card is a fairly standard retail loyalty system, rewarding shoppers with points that can be exchanged for discounts. However, Superdrug adds value with exclusive offers and perks, also rewarding long-term loyalty members with exclusive gifts. Regular promotions like ‘Treat Thursdays’ – which offers exclusive discounts – provide incentive for members to collect and spend points.</p> <p>The Health and Beauty card also works in conjunction with the Superdrug app, allowing shoppers to collect and monitor points as well as access offers. By aligning the app and loyalty program, Superdrug has also been able to improve targeting, offering deals and promotions to customers based on their location or past purchase history.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Calling all Health &amp; Beautycard members! Get 10% off Diet &amp; Fitness products until 23:59 tonight <a href="https://t.co/pj1ctMQvf7">https://t.co/pj1ctMQvf7</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/treatthursday?src=hash">#treatthursday</a> <a href="https://t.co/qcrKFWzd3g">pic.twitter.com/qcrKFWzd3g</a></p> — Superdrug (@superdrug) <a href="https://twitter.com/superdrug/status/885431137660796928">July 13, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Improved online presence </h3> <p>While most consumers might naturally think of Superdrug in terms of physical stores, the retailer has been making strides to improve its ecommerce capabilities – as well as its general digital presence.</p> <p>With improved delivery and click and collect, it offers customers more flexibility than before – perhaps one of the main reasons its saw a 60% growth in online sales last year.</p> <p>Another reason could be its Online Doctor service, which allows customers to consult with a doctor on various medical issues and arrange prescription for collection or delivery. The popularity of the Online Doctor has spurred on expansion of Superdrug’s healthcare services, with the retailer recently announcing that will open 30 new stores and create 600 new jobs in the UK.</p> <p>Meanwhile, Superdrug uses social media to reach out and interact with consumers. Its Twitter and Facebook strategy involves a lot of user generated content, with the brand also using lifestyle and pop-culture inspired content to engage younger, female consumers.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Chris says he isn’t bothered… but we have a feeling that he is defo bothered! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/draaaaaama?src=hash">#draaaaaama</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/muggymikeisback?src=hash">#muggymikeisback</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/loveisland?src=hash">#loveisland</a> <a href="https://t.co/Tzj24KdgFW">pic.twitter.com/Tzj24KdgFW</a></p> — Superdrug (@superdrug) <a href="https://twitter.com/superdrug/status/885590454573641736">July 13, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>In conclusion…</h3> <p>Making both beauty and healthcare accessible, Superdrug has managed to carve out a niche in the market, making its high street presence almost indispensable to consumers.</p> <p>While it previously stood in the shadow of Boots, its strong growth and expansion plans means it is a worthy competitor – possibly even winning in the fight for the attention of today’s young consumers. </p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67138-native-apps-for-retail-10-reasons-it-s-now-or-never/">Native apps for retail: 10 reasons it's now or never</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66160-how-boots-can-improve-its-customer-journey-from-search-to-checkout/">How Boots can improve its customer journey from search to checkout</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68472-three-reasons-behind-whsmith-s-boost-in-profits/" target="_blank">Three reasons behind WHSmith’s boost in profits</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69209 2017-06-30T10:43:00+01:00 2017-06-30T10:43:00+01:00 Six inconvenient truths about influencer marketing Patricio Robles <h3>1. Calculating ROI can be difficult</h3> <p>As Rakuten Marketing MD and Econsultancy contributor James Collins <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69164-should-sales-be-used-to-measure-the-roi-of-influencer-marketing/">recently noted</a>, “influencer marketing is often about raising awareness through aspirational content, with a view to generating purchases further down the line, rather than pushing immediate sales.”</p> <p>But for brands spending growing amounts of big bucks on influencer marketing campaigns (according to research from Linqia, marketers will spend $50,000 to $100,000 per influencer marketing campaign this year) justifying that spend increasingly requires more than faith that it will produce a return down the line. </p> <p>Unfortunately, a recent Econsultancy report <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/measuring-roi-on-influencer-marketing/">revealed that measuring ROI on their influencer initiatives is the biggest challenge for 65% of marketers</a>. While measuring ROI is hardly a challenge exclusive to influencer marketing, given the growing cost of influencer marketing campaigns, it's getting harder and harder for marketers to brush the ROI question aside.</p> <h3>2. Engagement doesn't necessarily translate to efficacy</h3> <p>Part of the ROI calculation challenge is that some of the most easily tracked metrics in influencer marketing campaigns are related to how much followers engage with sponsored content. But likes, retweets and comments aren't always meaningful metrics and don't even necessarily mean that an influencer's followers have truly engaged with the branded content.</p> <p>At a minimum, companies should use benchmarking to assess whether or not the engagement their campaigns is generating is in line with what they expect based on an influencer's non-paid content, but it's not clear that marketers are even doing this.</p> <h3>3. It's hard to assess audience quality </h3> <p>Fake accounts, often created by automated means, have for years been a thorn in the side of social platforms like Facebook and Twitter. While it's impossible to pin down exactly how many fake accounts exist, even if a relatively small percentage of the accounts on these platforms are fake, that represents tens of millions of fake accounts, if not more.</p> <p>By some estimates, even some of the biggest influencers on these platforms have fake followers well into the double digit percentages, which can equate to anywhere from tens of thousand to millions of fake followers. Even though in most cases this almost certainly isn't intentional, it's a problem given that the most popular influencers are setting their prices based on their total audiences and marketers can't really be sure whether the number of useless accounts following a particular influencer is 1%, 10%, 25%, etc.</p> <p>Beyond fake accounts, it's even more difficult to assess the quality of an influencer's legitimate audience. How many followers are active? How many are truly fans of the influencer? And so on and so forth.</p> <h3>4. You can't control how people will react</h3> <p>The concept behind influencer marketing – that brands benefit by positive associations with high-profile individuals on social media platforms – isn't an invalid one, but that doesn't mean that campaigns are guaranteed to produce positive reactions.</p> <p>For example, Marigold, a prominent dairy and beverage company in Singapore, learned that the hard when when it used three influencers to promote its Marigold Peel Fresh juice drink. One of the influencers, Naomi Neo, who did not disclose that she was being paid by Marigold, claimed that she “always [carries] around a carton of my favorite MARIGOLD PEEL FRESH juice.”</p> <p>That claim was, for obvious reasons, <a href="http://mothership.sg/2016/05/internet-person-says-she-carries-1-litre-carton-of-marigold-peel-fresh-everywhere-she-goes/">met with extreme skepticism</a> and lots of negative comments on social media and the web – probably not what Marigold was looking for.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7191/neo.jpg" alt="naomi neo" width="615" height="424"></p> <h3>5. Influencer relationships can go south, and quickly</h3> <p>Influencers are human beings and thus not infallible. That means influencer relationships are fraught with many of the same risks as typical celebrity endorsements.</p> <p>In a worst-case scenario, brands associated with an influencer could suffer some level of embarrassment if the influencer becomes the subject of a public firestorm.</p> <p>Case in point: after a Wall Street Journal article highlighted a number of anti-Semetic videos posted by PewDiePie, YouTube's biggest homegrown star, brands that had been involved with him, <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/disney-severs-ties-with-youtube-star-pewdiepie-after-anti-semitic-posts-1487034533">including Disney</a>, made the decision to cut ties. </p> <p>While it's unlikely that the PewDiePie association will have a lasting negative impact on a brand like Disney, the fact that it had to end the kind of long-term influencer relationship that is most likely to pay dividends demonstrates just how hard it can be to bank on internet stars as reliable partners.</p> <h3>6. Disclosure is still an issue</h3> <p>In the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is ramping up its efforts to ensure that influencers are adequately disclosing when they are being paid to promote products and services for companies. </p> <p>While in theory it should be easy for marketers to require that the influencers it works with are following the applicable rules, and platforms like Instagram are aiming <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-14/instagram-to-make-it-clearer-when-influencer-posts-are-paid-ads">to make it even easier</a>, the FTC <a href="http://fortune.com/2017/04/20/ftc-instagram/">is still finding dozens upon dozens of instances of violations</a> of its rules. Even following the FTC's letters, a number of watchdog groups <a href="https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/303461/celebrities-still-fail-to-disclose-instagram-ads.html">discovered that</a> many of the influencers the FTC warned are not disclosing when they are posting content for brands.</p> <p>Ultimately, if brands aren't proactive about making sure the influencers they work with are following the rules, it's likely that the FTC will be forced to take enforcement action, action that could carry with it fines for brands.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69196 2017-06-27T13:30:00+01:00 2017-06-27T13:30:00+01:00 11 impressive influencer marketing campaigns Nikki Gilliland <p>Andd to learn more about influencer marketing, check out Econsultancy’s subscriber reports:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/measuring-roi-on-influencer-marketing">Measuring ROI on Influencer Marketing</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-voice-of-the-influencer">The Voice of the Influencer</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-future-of-celebrity-marketing">The Future of Celebrity Marketing</a></li> </ul> <h3>Daniel Wellington</h3> <p style="font-weight: normal;">While there’s nothing particularly innovative about this example, I feel it’s worth including simply to show the scale of impact that influencers can generate.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Daniel Wellington is a watch brand that has chosen to completely bypass traditional marketing to focus on influencers. The brand pays celebrities for sponsored posts and gifts watches to lesser-known micro-influencers. In exchange, they post photos of themselves wearing the watch, accompanied by a unique money-off code for followers. </p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">It’s a simple formula: beautiful images of minimalistic jewellery, which serve to promote a lifestyle as well as a product. There are over 1.3m Instagram posts using the #danielwellington hashtag, with the brand’s main account amassing over 3.2m followers. Considering the brand’s beginnings as a small start-up – it’s an impressive display of the strategy's potential.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6959/DW.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="370"></p> <h3>Apartments.com &amp; Super Bowl 50</h3> <p>Commercials have arguably become just as much a part of the Super Bowl as the game itself – and usually a primetime slot is more than enough exposure for the brands involved. However, Apartments.com wanted to ensure that it created as much of a splash as possible for its 2016 ad, using the #movingonup campaign to capitalise on the power of the influencers and celebrities involved in it.</p> <p>In the 10 days leading up the Super Bowl, campaign activity involved Lil’ Wayne (who featured in the ad alongside Jeff Goldblum) posting brand-related content to his social media following. Meanwhile, three musical influencers on YouTube created their own interpretations of ‘Movin' on Up’, introducing Apartments.com and its concept to a whole new digital audience. </p> <p>With Apartment.com’s social content generating over 8m engagements, the combination of mainstream and niche online influencers created an effective buzz in the run-up to the Super Bowl, leading to even greater impact when the commercial was broadcast.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2wYMVcDtDLE?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>ASOS Insiders</h3> <p>Instead of using sponsored posts, ecommerce giant ASOS has created sponsored accounts for individual influencers. Known as ‘ASOS insiders’ - they primarily post images of themselves on Instagram wearing ASOS clothing – using links to prompt followers to ‘buy the look’. </p> <p>The ‘Insiders’ are usually fashion, beauty, or lifestyle bloggers, meaning they already have a large and existing audience on their main accounts. This means that the people involved are able to capture more than just the product, offering style tips, behind-the-scenes insight into the brand, and general lifestyle-related content.</p> <p>By encouraging influencers to build a natural and organic audience based around the brand, ASOS is able to widen its reach (and create long-term engagement) without spending money on big advertising campaigns. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6961/ASOS_Ashley.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="446"></p> <h3>Revolve &amp; #Revolvearoundtheworld</h3> <p>Influencer marketing has been at the heart of clothing retailer Revolve’s brand strategy for a few years now. Instead of using traditional fashion models for editorial-style ads, the LA-based ecommerce retailer takes top influencers on trips to exotic locations, with those involved typically documenting the entire experience on social media. </p> <p>Beauty bloggers like Fleur de Force and In the Frow have been involved with #Revolvearoundtheworld, posting images of themselves wearing Revolve clothing to their large audiences. Naturally, with 53% of women reportedly making purchases due to influencer posts, this kind of content is hugely valuable – helping to widen its reach and strengthen its image as the ultimate ‘cool girl’ brand.</p> <p>As well as influencer getaways, Revolve also regularly holds parties and events for people in the industry. Most recently, it held #revolvefestival during Coachella, capitalising on the hype and interest surrounding the music festival and those that attended. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6956/Revolve.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="559"></p> <h3>Mercedes Benz &amp; Loki (+Kelly Lund)</h3> <p>While many luxury brands want to maintain a sense of exclusivity, influencer marketing can be effective for making brands seem <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69096-four-reasons-luxury-brands-are-embracing-influencers/" target="_blank">both accessible and desirable</a> – particularly to younger audiences.</p> <p>Mercedes Benz is a great example of how to use influencers to drive storytelling. Earlier this year, it created a 360-degree video featuring the Instagram-famous wolf dog, Loki, and his owner Kelly Lund. The video sees Kelly Lund drive a Mercedes through Crested Butte, Colorado, giving the audience a glimpse of the landscape through Loki’s eyes.</p> <p>This example demonstrates that influencer marketing does not always have to follow the (rather cliché) formula of a sponsored Instagram. Sure, Loki is likely to have contributed to some of the video’s appeal, however it was this combined with innovative technology and authentic storytelling that truly drove its success.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/vVNylwQRUQM?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Glossier's UGC &amp; referral program</h3> <p>Cult beauty brand Glossier believes that every single customer has the power to become an influencer. So, unlike other brands that pay well-known personalities to promote a product, Glossier relies on the authentic devotion of its loyal following – some of which just so happen to have a powerful social presence.</p> <p>Glossier creates buzz about product releases by sending freebies to influencers and loyal customers before they’re widely available. This encourages organic reviews, blogs, and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68536-how-glossier-has-used-instagram-to-create-a-cult-following/" target="_blank">Instagram posts</a> – all of which contribute to hype and excitement surrounding the brand.  </p> <p>In order to expand on this kind of social influence, Glossier has also created a referral program, which offers money-off incentives to people who refer the brand over Facebook or Twitter. By using its customers to create a cycle of advocacy, Glossier ensures that its dedicated fan-base continues to expand. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">I love introducing friends to <a href="https://twitter.com/glossier">@glossier</a> like YOU'RE WELCOME</p> — Hannah Chait (@hanchait) <a href="https://twitter.com/hanchait/status/875738022498770944">June 16, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>BoxedWater's ReTree Project</h3> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Influencer marketing has come under fire in the past for <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69064-will-instagram-pods-impact-influencer-marketing/" target="_blank">being disingenuous</a> or a purely sales-driven tactic. This is not always the case, however, with BoxedWater – a company that sells water in sustainable packaging – using the strategy to spur on a philanthropic campaign called the ReTree Project.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">In partnership with the National Forest Foundation, Boxed Water promised to plant two new trees for every Instagram photo posted with the hashtag #Retree. In order to spread the word and highlight the cause, influencers like Julianne Hough and Alyssa Milano shared the campaign across social media.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">As well as increasing visibility, support from high-profile names made the campaign appear authentic, with people getting involved due to a legitimate and personal interest in the cause rather than paid-for sponsorship. In turn, this encouraged social sharing and the campaign's organic reach.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6957/Julianne_Hough.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="498"></p> <h3>Lagavulin &amp; Nick Offerman's 45 minute video</h3> <p style="font-weight: normal;">While some brands use multiple influencers for mass reach, others draw on a single name in order to target a niche audience. Scotch whisky brand, Lagavulin, did just this when it released a 45-minute video starring Parks and Recreation actor, Nick Offerman.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">The campaign aimed to reposition the brand as one that’s relevant to a young audience, using YouTube to reach a whole new demographic of digital natives.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">The video itself put a clever spin on the phenomenon of yule log videos – which allow people to watch hours of footage of a burning yule log fire. Lagaluvin’s video involved Nick sitting by a fire, doing nothing more than occasionally moving and sipping whisky.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">The video’s strangely captivating and humorous nature – alongside the cult appeal of the influencer – ensured viral success. It generated 2m views in just one week, with the brand’s YouTube channel subscribers increasing from 5.5K to 23K due to the campaign.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_StgHl92v5Q?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Got Milk?</h3> <p>Before social media influencers, the California Milk Processor Board capitalised on the influence of celebrities and sports stars to encourage the consumption of milk. The 'Got Milk?' campaign (which first started in 1993) mostly involved famous faces sporting a 'milk moustache' to promote the health benefits of milk and the reasons why it should be a beverage enjoyed by people of all ages. </p> <p>From Harrison Ford to Serena and Venus Williams - Got Milk? worked with people from various different industries in order to widen the product's appeal. In recent years, the brand has updated its strategy to promote milk as the perfect drink to enjoy with different types of food. However, it has not sidelined its influencer strategy entirely, instead featuring niche influencers from the food industry - such as chefs from the popular US food truck movement - in its online marketing.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7061/Got_Milk_Serena.JPG" alt="" width="450" height="617"></p> <p>In recent years, there has been a number of homages to the original 'Got Milk?' campaign. One of the most notable has been by Refuel, which aimed to educate consumers about the science behind its product, and how chocolate milk can be beneficial for recovery from exercise and injury. For its 'Got Chocolate Milk?' campaign, it worked with Hines Ward - former American footballer for the Pittsburgh Steelers - as well as a number of other sports stars to emphasise this message.</p> <p>By choosing influencers that people might not expect to be associated with its product, Refuel's campaign was able to create a big impact – going on to change common brand perception and driving increased sales of the product from a new demographic. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6965/Got_Milk.JPG" alt="" width="775" height="500"></p> <h3>Nikon &amp; the Warner Sound Festival</h3> <p>It’s all well and good for an influencer to mention a brand on social media, but seeing them actually use the product usually creates the most impact.</p> <p>Nikon turned influencers into photographers during the Warner Sound Festival in 2013, asking attendees to document the evening with a Nikon camera and share the results with their own Facebook communities. It also asked select artists to use Nikon cameras to share content in the run up to the festival.</p> <p>As well as showing the product in action, this also meant that Nikon accounted for a huge share of social mentions on the night of the event itself. #NikonWarnerSound became a top trending topic on all three nights, which was also thanks to Nikon live streaming select musical performances.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/livehappy8">@livehappy8</a> That was a fun party last year… I got this AMAZING photo of <a href="https://twitter.com/paramore">@paramore</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/nikonwarnersound?src=hash">#nikonwarnersound</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SXSW?src=hash">#SXSW</a> <a href="http://t.co/UCCwELDBH3">pic.twitter.com/UCCwELDBH3</a></p> — Sweet John (@SweetJohn) <a href="https://twitter.com/SweetJohn/status/438889294690652162">February 27, 2014</a> </blockquote> <h3>National Geographic &amp; International Women's Day</h3> <p>Lastly, an influencer-driven campaign that aimed to deepen an emotional connection with consumers. On International Women’s Day 2016, National Geographic launched “Make What’s Next” – a campaign to encourage young girls to study or work in STEM (the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).</p> <p>The brand posted 30 images on its five Instagram accounts, with each one taken by influential wildlife photographers. The photos, which featured a number of prominent female scientists and adventures, were hugely well received – generating over 3.5m likes in total.</p> <p>By capitalising on a popular event, and drawing on real-life stories, National Geographic was able to deliver an authentic and emotionally inspiring campaign. What’s more, it showed that influencer marketing does not have to be consumer-focused, proving to be an effective strategy for B2B campaigns too.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6968/natgeochannel.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="499"></p> <p><em><strong>Social media is just one of the 12 stages at the Festival of Marketing in London from October 4-5. <a href="https://goo.gl/nJMlTI">Book now</a>.</strong></em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69191 2017-06-23T12:58:09+01:00 2017-06-23T12:58:09+01:00 Five lessons retailers can learn from Wayfair’s Instagram channel Nikki Gilliland <p>The brand has consistently grown its audience across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, with the latter platform seeing particularly high levels of engagement. From October to November 2016, the Wayfair US Instagram channel accounted for 84% of the brand's total social engagement for the period. </p> <p>So, what can other retailers learn from its strategy? </p> <p>Here’s a run-down of why I think Wayfair is an example worth following. </p> <h3>Create consistency (but keep it fresh)</h3> <p>The home and interiors category is a saturated space, especially on visual discovery sites like Pinterest and Instagram. With stiff competition from big global brands like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67694-10-examples-of-great-ikea-marketing-creative/" target="_blank">IKEA</a> and West Elm, plus the increasingly popular channels of design and style bloggers - it can be hard to stand out.</p> <p>The biggest challenge is to create a consistent feed without becoming repetitive or dull.</p> <p>Consistency on Instagram is important for creating a point of difference - it can help brands establish a unique and recognisable identity. Many often use colours or tones that reflect their overall branding in order to do so. Art retailer <a href="https://www.instagram.com/desenio/?hl=en">Desenio</a> is one example, using a combination of blues, dark green, grey, and monochrome in the majority of its posts. This helps users recognise the brand and allows for a much more seamless and visually pleasing experience.</p> <p>If posts are too similar, however, it can soon become a negative. With many Instagram users typically engaging with posts directly in their news feed, similar or repetitive posts could eventually be ignored over time.</p> <p>Desenio is also guilty of this on occasion. And while I personally enjoy its style, I can see how the below screenshot of consecutive posts could appear monotonous.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6912/Desenio.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="255"></p> <p>While <a href="https://www.instagram.com/wayfair/?hl=en">Wayfair</a> occasionally uses imagery matching its core colours of yellow and purple, it has chosen to go with an overarching bright and colourful theme, meaning it is not limited to a reduced palette. As well as colour, it also uses a variety of different types of posts, ranging from standard beauty shots of interiors to animals and other more lifestyle orientated photos.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6913/Wayfair_Insta.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="524"></p> <p>This is perhaps a reflection of its expansive product range. Unlike Desenio, which only sells art, Wayfair sells mattresses, storage, rugs and a whole array of home furnishings. However, even when posting similar images, Wayfair still ensures variety and difference in order to capture user interest.</p> <h3>Engage and respond</h3> <p>While Instagram is a less communicative platform in comparison to the likes of Twitter or Facebook, it is still important for brands to engage with users and respond to comments. </p> <p>One way Wayfair helps to prompt user engagement is through its photo captions – some of which ask questions or promote discussion points. Others involve whimsical or humorous comments, but again, it tends to always be varied.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6914/Wayfair_dog.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="501"></p> <p>With Instagram’s algorithm favouring posts that generate high levels of engagement, comments and likes can be effective for ensuring high or boosted visibility.</p> <p>Meanwhile, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68715-what-does-a-community-manager-do-and-what-skills-do-they-need/" target="_blank">effective community management</a> on Instagram also involves responding to user queries and comments. </p> <p>Wayfair does this by directly replying, offering helpful tips and suggestions to satisfy users and promote loyalty. By reassuring customers or simply pointing them in the right direction, it is able to increase positive sentiment about the brand. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6915/Wayfair_response.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="503"></p> <h3>Make users feel valued</h3> <p>Instagram famously instils ‘FOMO’ in users, with many brands using slick and beautiful imagery to instil desire for a product or lifestyle. While Wayfair does this – it also takes steps to ensure its brand is also accessible and attainable. </p> <p>One way is through <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67547-10-excellent-examples-of-user-generated-content-in-marketing-campaigns/" target="_blank">user generated content</a>, with the brand’s Instagram description asking users to share their own photos of Wayfair products for the chance to be featured online. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6916/Description.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="405"></p> <p>As well as diversifying its feed, this type of content promotes a sense of authenticity, helping others to imagine how their own homes might look instead of merely viewing products from the perspective of the brand. Perhaps even more importantly, this also makes those selected users feel special, helping to strengthen the connection between brand and consumer. </p> <p>User generated content is not the only way it does this. Wayfair also uses exclusive competitions, sales and discounts to provide extra value for Instagram followers. It recently used the platform to tease an exclusive series of upcoming sales on its app, prompting users to take action. </p> <p>While posts like these can potentially take away from the aforementioned design consistency – and poses the danger of appearing too sales-driven – Wayfair manages to strike a good balance by only doing it every so often. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6918/Wayfair_app.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="495"></p> <h3>Make it discoverable </h3> <p>According to <a href="http://get.simplymeasured.com/rs/simplymeasured2/images/InstagramStudy2014Q3.pdf" target="_blank">research</a>, posts which include at least one Instagram hashtag generate on average 12.6% more engagement than those without. </p> <p>Hashtags can help to collate user generated content, like in the case of #wayfairathome, but they’re mostly used to aid discovery. Wayfair often uses hashtags related to product categories, such as #serveware or #summercooking, and while these sound rather niche – it means the brand will become visible to users searching for specific inspiration or products.</p> <p>This falls in line with the view that the more specific the search, the more likely the person is to actually convert to a buying consumer.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6923/serveware.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="442"></p> <p>That being said, Wayfair doesn’t stick to only product-related tags. It often uses those related to trending or popular topics. And although it’s also guilty of using random and somewhat pointless hashtags this adds to its quirky and slightly humorous identity.  </p> <p>It’s not only the content itself that needs to be discoverable. As Instagram <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68485-what-marketers-need-to-know-about-instagram-shopping/" target="_blank">becomes increasingly shoppable</a>, product links can help make the user eperience much more seamless, allowing users to easily make the transition from browsing to buying. </p> <p>Wayfair does think by using Like2Buy – a platform that allows users to find and shop the items featured in an Instagram channel. With 60% of Instagrammers saying they learn about products and services on the app, this means users can directly access them without asking in the comments or endlessly searching the main site. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6919/Like2Buy.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="612"></p> <h3>Capitalise on influence</h3> <p>Wayfair has a history of using influencer marketing to spur on its social strategy. In 2015, it even launched a conference called HeartHome specifically to foster collaboration between the brand and bloggers.</p> <p>Its Instagram channel is no different, of course, with the brand regularly featuring content involving and created by influencers. It does not necessarily partner with the most obvious or popular people, instead choosing <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69161-micro-influencers-how-to-find-the-right-fit-for-your-brand/" target="_blank">micro-influencers</a>, or those with a mid-level following, for higher levels of authenticity. </p> <p>This more targeted approach extends to the audience, too. Wayfair often works with personalities from TV shows such as the Bachelorette and Pretty Little Liars, drawing on the typically female fan base of these programs. A post featuring actress Shay Mitchell was one of the most popular posts of last year, demonstrating that influencers have the power to generate high levels of engagement. More specifically, how this can be increased when the influencer is aligned with the brand, its audience, and their interests.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6920/Shay_Mitchell.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="496"></p> <h3>In conclusion…</h3> <p>While Wayfair’s Instagram account is by no means the biggest, it is an impressive example of how to capture and engage a community around a core theme.</p> <p>Other brands owned by Wayfair, such as Joss &amp; Main and Dwell Studio have also rolled out similar Instagram activity – a sure-fire sign that the strategy is effective for generating social growth.</p> <p>And while the home furnishings category is arguably more aligned to the visual nature of Instagram than others, Wayfair shows why a mix of creativity, usability, and customer insight should be at the heart of any social strategy.</p> <p><em><strong>Related articles:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68262-three-innovative-examples-of-instagram-ux-hacks/" target="_blank">Three innovative examples of Instagram UX hacks</a></em></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67856-four-delicious-examples-of-food-drink-brands-on-instagram/" target="_blank"><em>Four delicious examples of food &amp; drink brands on Instagra</em>m</a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69197 2017-06-23T09:24:15+01:00 2017-06-23T09:24:15+01:00 “It was a great campaign. It cost me $2M”: A discussion on EMV and social media measurement Nicolas Chabot <p><strong>Me:</strong> I would love to understand how you measure success on social and especially on your influencer programmes.</p> <p><strong>CMO:</strong>  Ideally, we’d like to find a simple and easy number that management can relate to, and we are looking to use Earned Media Value as a core KPI to measure success there, including on influencer relations. We see that some of our competitors even use EMV in their communication with financial analysts.</p> <p><strong>Me:</strong> Really? Interesting. It sounds like an updated Advertising Value Equivalent from the PR world. At a time when leading communication associations such as AMEC are now officially discarding AVE, is it not contradictory to push an equivalent metric into the new digital world ? </p> <p><strong>CMO:</strong> I understand your challenge. EMV however is seen as a simple, understandable number that is also easily comparable among brands or regions. We really need some way to quantify all this great organic content the teams are generating, and we believe it’s a good and easy way to put a value on it all. It also gives a sense of ROI to the investment we make to grow our earned media presence.</p> <p><strong>Me:</strong> Measuring success of your brands on social in a consistent way is indeed absolutely critical.  It’s interesting you say ‘value’. But thinking about how you typically measure success on communication activities - if someone asks you about your latest TV campaign, would you typically respond: “Yes, it was great! It cost me $2M”?</p> <p><strong>CMO:</strong> No, of course not! We would use “target coverage” and “repeat” as core KPIs to measure the efficiency of the media plan and then awareness and attribution as key outcomes for example.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/6972/sharp-1844964_1920-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="314"></p> <p><strong>Me:</strong> That seems to make sense. So I am wondering why you would try to measure your success on social media through a measure of cost? How can costs be a success measure then? To compound this; EMV is not a real cost, It supposed to be the equivalent cost of purchasing such content whereas the value of such content lies in the fact you cannot buy it. </p> <p><strong>CMO:</strong> And what about paid posts where we can actually ‘buy the content’? </p> <p><strong>Me:</strong> OK, so…. practically, how would you calculate EMV? What is your methodology for putting a $ to a retweet or an Instagram post? Are you assuming that $ value is identical for all your brands?  </p> <p><strong>CMO:</strong> The methodology seems a little unclear to be honest, and does seem to change wildly month on month, which makes benchmarking difficult. Some vendors seem to be able to come up with standardised numbers to value a publication or an engagement. In the end the important thing is that the same approach is used across all competing brands so that our “share of EMV” remains a valid concept.</p> <p><strong>Me:</strong> I can understand how a single metric would be useful internally, but it concerns me that some companies would communicate a KPI to financial analysts that they wouldn’t be able to explain, even on a “market share” basis.</p> <p>On the same topic, I was reading a post on LinkedIn the other day by a marketing executive at a global car company, quoting “I normally value a “like” on Facebook or Instagram around €0.3-0.4, while I give more value to a “share” because it generates more engagement among other users so I value it around €2-3”.</p> <p>Does this mean that if I like or share an influencer post, I immediately create €2-3 of value ? If yes… I want that money!</p> <p>(laughs)
</p> <p><strong>CMO:</strong> Well, yes, it guess it’s not real $. It is a “theoretical value”. But what would you recommend as a valuable way to measure success on social media then?</p> <p><strong>Me:</strong> When we work with clients, we help them develop their measurement framework using the <a href="https://amecorg.com/how-the-barcelona-principles-have-been-updated/">Barcelona principles</a> and AMEC’s recommendations. In particular we try to focus on the impact of communication. We’d generally advise against single ‘black box’ metrics that aren’t clearly understandable. </p> <p>For influencer programmes, we believe “engagement” is a very strong proxy of impact for example. But this metric only makes sense if you track it in the overall context of the objectives of your brand: are you trying to build awareness? Advocacy? Generate traffic to your web assets? Leads for your sales team? It’s not an easy or quick conversation, but one we’d love to have ;)</p> <p><strong>CMO:</strong> I see.</p> <p><em><strong>More on social media measurement and influencer marketing:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/">The Rise of Influencers</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69144-measuring-social-media-roi-case-studies-stats-that-prove-it-s-possible">Measuring social media ROI: Case studies &amp; stats that prove it’s possible</a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69189 2017-06-22T10:09:00+01:00 2017-06-22T10:09:00+01:00 A closer look at WWF’s social strategy Nikki Gilliland <p>I recently followed up with Alice to find out more about WWF's wider strategy. Here's what I discovered. </p> <h3>The role of social</h3> <p>As <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69105-three-social-media-lessons-from-wwf-s-earth-hour/">my previous article</a> on WWF's Earth Hour probably made clear, social is not a singular focus for the charity - but something that feeds into every element of its digital strategy. This means it views each and every digital touchpoint – from its Facebook page to its main site – as an opportunity for people to discover more about the charity and its work. In turn, social also provides an opportunity for WWF to tell its story, grow its community, and find out more about its audience. </p> <p>Social is not only key to the user journey, but a vital way for the charity itself to capitalise on valuable data from new and existing supporters. </p> <p>So then, what does it do with this insight?</p> <p>As Digital Engagement Manager for WWF International, it is Alice’s job (among many others in the team) to ensure the charity is able to guide its digital supporters into taking action. Whether it's sharing a Facebook post, signing up to an e-action (a WWF petition) or joining Earth Hour – WWF is focused on making it as easy and intuitive as possible for people to get involved. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FWWF%2Fposts%2F10154695476481305%3A0&amp;width=500" width="500" height="671"></iframe></p> <h3>Local and global content</h3> <p>A lot of the issues WWF focuses on - such as climate change, wildlife crime, or ocean conservation - are global in scale. However, these issues also have very stark local impacts, with the interest of users often dependant on where they live. As such, even though WWF is a global network – with national offices all around the world and over 6,500 staff – it plans content at a local level in order to be most relevant and compelling for local audiences. </p> <p>Of course, that does not mean it limits followers to just local issues. WWF’s large global network also offers the audience opportunity to discover its work in places thousands of miles from their doorsteps. The current #savethevaquita campaign – a movement to save the world’s smallest porpoise found only in the Upper Gulf of California in Mexico – is just one example of this.</p> <p>Only recently, the Mexican government announced they are taking the necessary steps to help stop the most endangered marine mammal from going extinct. It was a combination of local and international support which truly drove the change. The campaign generated a lot of support from celebrities around the world, most notably from Leonardo DiCaprio, who is also a WWF-US board member.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">“This is not a problem only unique to Mexico"-<a href="https://twitter.com/WWF">@WWF</a> Jorge Rickards explains why we need to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/savethevaquita?src=hash">#savethevaquita</a> in <a href="https://twitter.com/NatGeo">@NatGeo</a><a href="https://t.co/2jL41PNeAH">https://t.co/2jL41PNeAH</a></p> — WWF Media team (@wwf_media) <a href="https://twitter.com/wwf_media/status/874253364170825728">June 12, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Experimenting with Viber</h3> <p>In terms of specific areas of focus, WWF works across the major social media channels of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. However, the charity is not averse to venturing outside of the big three. It also recently began experimenting with Viber, launching on the messaging app in time for Earth Day. This allowed users to send free stickers to friends, use public chat, and even talk to an adventure chatbot that aimed to engage a younger audience on important topics. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6902/Viber.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="368"></p> <p>WWF has amassed 2.5m followers on Viber since the launch – evidence that the charity is able to adapt its strategy to suit various platforms and demographics. </p> <p>When it comes to measurement and metrics such as KPIs, Alice suggests that it is usually content dependent. For certain types of content, the charity might focus on engagement levels, while for others it might aim for conversion (e.g. a user signing a petition), website visits, or comments and responses.</p> <h3>Social data and demographics</h3> <p>Alongside differing metrics, WWF is also aware that each channel tends to attract a different demographic. Consequently, the charity tailors its messages to varying audiences where it can. This is not only due to the varying concerns of different age groups – but the differences in how they respond to certain calls to action. </p> <p>For example, an older demographic might have more money to support fundraising efforts or show more interest in signing up to emails. On the other hand, a younger audience might be more interested in galvanising their local community or joining a creative competition, such as the one launched this year for Earth Hour, which challenged young people to make a video about how climate change affects them.</p> <p>Again, data is a big focus for WWF. As a non-profit organisation, social data in particular allows the charity to generate the best ROI on digital activity. The charity uses a weekly review schedule to measure content across all channels, in order to see what is performing best and where. It also regularly conducts user surveys and asks for feedback from supporters about what types of content they like the most. </p> <p>Similarly, while WWF used micro-influencers for Earth Hour 2017, Alice mentioned that the charity hopes to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69161-micro-influencers-how-to-find-the-right-fit-for-your-brand/" target="_blank">capitalise on influencers</a> more widely in future to better understand how to reach its audience on the issues that matter most to them: </p> <blockquote> <p>As an NGO (non-governmental organisation), our supporters are our biggest strength and we are keen to hear from them as much as we can.</p> </blockquote> <h3>Trends and innovation</h3> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66620-10-inspiring-content-marketing-examples-from-charities/">Charities often seem particularly innovative</a> when it comes to social campaigns, perhaps more so in comparison to other industries. Alice mentioned that this might be due to the fact that, when budgets are constrained, creativity tends to flourish. But it's also true that social is a medium for emotional stories – this is something the charity sector happens to have in bucket-loads. </p> <p>When you combine this with WWF’s evident passion for the cause, it’s unsurprising that campaigns like Earth Hour create more impact with each passing year.</p> <p>In 2017, 187 countries and territories joined the Earth Hour movement, with the hashtag eventually trending in over 30 countries. As a result, WWF witnessed both individuals and organisations calling for stronger climate policy in seven countries, and over 100,000 people changed their profile picture and used Facebook to shine a light on climate action.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fearthhour%2Fphotos%2Fa.10150097338104436.279450.6867084435%2F10154593926999436%2F%3Ftype%3D3&amp;width=500" width="500" height="548"></iframe></p> <h3>So, what’s next for WWF?</h3> <p>When it comes to the next big trend in social, Alice cited <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69146-five-things-we-learned-from-launching-a-facebook-messenger-chatbot/" target="_blank">AI in social messaging</a>, i.e. chatbots. </p> <p>By giving people real-time responses to issues, Alice suggests that AI will enable organisations like WWF to better use their resources, all the while improving the audience's experience. Whether or not the charity sector can overcome most of the current chatbot pitfalls – such as limited technology and user apathy – remains to be seen. However, if there’s one charity that sets a goal and sticks to it – it’s this one.</p> <blockquote> <p>AI is pretty exciting right now and the possibilities are endless. I appreciate that people are worried about how it might affect us in the long-term, and it is disruptive. However, I think that AI could prove to be beneficial in many applications - particularly in social media.</p> </blockquote> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69161 2017-06-16T09:11:52+01:00 2017-06-16T09:11:52+01:00 Micro-influencers: How to find the right fit for your brand Nikki Gilliland <p>More to the point, will the micro-influencer bubble eventually burst?</p> <p>Here’s a short recap on the benefits micro-influencers can bring, the challenges, as well as how to connect with the right ones for your brand.</p> <h3>What are the benefits of using micro-influencers?</h3> <p><strong>Lower costs:</strong> Before we get into the potential results of micro-influencer campaigns, there’s no denying that one of the biggest benefits is that the approach is far less costly than using celebrities or well-known influencers. It is therefore a much more viable solution for smaller brands looking to expand their reach on social platforms, or simply those that are still unsure whether it is worth large-scale investment.</p> <p>Without high costs, brands can use multiple micro-influencers for a single campaign, which could also increase the chances of success.</p> <p><strong>Better targeting:</strong> While some influencers might have a huge audience, the chances are that a large portion of that audience will be less engaged. People might typically follow an influencer because they’ve heard of them in the media or through others, but not really have a long-term or invested interest in their content.</p> <p>In contrast, users are much more likely to follow a micro-influencer due to a real or more authentic appreciation of their channel – which in turn, means they’re going to be heavily invested or engaged in whatever they post in future.</p> <p><strong>Long-term results: </strong>With greater authority in a certain industry, micro-influencers are intrinsically more authentic. Their opinions tend to be more trusted and valued by their audiences, meaning they are also able to build loyal relationships with followers. Essentially, this means that brand relationships are more likely to yield longer-term results – as opposed to a flash in the pan effect generated by a larger influencer. </p> <h3>What are the downsides? </h3> <p><strong>Requires more effort:</strong> One of the biggest downsides is the logistics involved. Often, multiple micro-influencers will be required to create a campaign of similar scale to that involving just one or two big influencers. </p> <p>As a result, these campaigns require heavy amounts of planning and co-ordination to ensure that everything runs smoothly. This means more resources and a longer timeline before the campaign comes to fruition.</p> <p><strong>Instagram-focused:</strong> While Instagram is not the only channel where influencers are used, it is by far the biggest. This means that brands who do not use Instagram – or who do not see much success from it – will be shut out or unable to reap the rewards of micro-influencers in the same way.</p> <p>Similarly, with Instagram’s algorithm favouring popular posts, it can still be difficult to wade through the top level influencers to find those that are lesser-known.</p> <p><strong>Concerns the bubble will burst:</strong> Recently, there’s also been some suggestion that micro-influencer marketing is yet another bubble set to burst. This stems from the idea that anyone can become one if they want to – and the more people that get paid to promote products online, the less credible it will appear and so on. </p> <p>Essentially, this might mean the industry will turn on its head, and bigger influencers will once again prove to be the most valuable option.</p> <h3>How to find &amp; reach micro-influencers</h3> <p>So, how can brands ensure that the micro-influencers they use retain credibility and reach a highly engaged audience?</p> <p>First and foremost, it helps to use the social media channel in question to research and discover people who are already highly engaged with the brand or aligned with the industry in some way. </p> <p>This can be done by looking through the people who follow your brand. Even better, reaching out to an existing follower if they clearly use or have posted content relating to the brand or product in the past. </p> <p>Another way is to search for niche influencers based on hashtags or popular social media trends. For example, the popularity of posts using the hashtag #f52grams has recently exploded. It was first started by the food network, Food 52, as a way of collating their own content on social media. However, it has since been adopted by budding foodies on Instagram hoping to get noticed by Food 52 and other food-related brands. </p> <p>Searching this hashtag could be an effective way of uncovering budding influencers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6632/food52.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="558"></p> <p>Of course, manual search is not the only option. There are a number of third-party tools out there which allow you to search for and connect with influencers. This might simply be a listening tool that automically searches through profiles on social platforms, or a third party influencer marketing platform that allow you to measure and scale up campaigns (e.g. Upfluence, Blogfoster, Buzzsumo, Traackr, Onalytica etc.).</p> <p>The latter approach is often part of the practice referred to as '<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66780-from-crm-to-irm-the-rise-of-social-influence/" target="_blank">IRM</a>' or influencer relationship management, and essentially, it is a strategy (inspired by CRM) that is designed to target relevant influencers.</p> <p>Alongside this, there are is also the option of using a third party agency that will search for and manage the entirety of your influencer marketing campaign. These are particularly growing in popularity, mainly due to the fact the they can offer influencers themselves a more long-term partnership, moving away from the one-off paid sponsorship deals we've seen in the past. These agencies tend to also specialise in user-generated content, which just goes to show how the lines between 'user' and 'influencer' can so easily blur.</p> <h3>What to look for in a micro-influencer</h3> <p>So, what about the size of micro influencers and their audiences?</p> <p>Markerly suggests that a following of 10,000 to 100,000 generates the best results, however I think the ideal strategy is to use a variety of different sized influencers. </p> <p>One example is GoHawaii - a tourism board that regularly features influencer content on its Instagram channel. It has 202,000 followers itself, so is mid-range in terms of its own scale, but it does not stick to one kind of influencer. Instead, it collaborates with everyone from local artists - for instance a creator with an audience of 9,000 – to more established photographers, such as Pete Halvorsen, who has 195,000 followers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6631/GoHawaii_local.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="359"></p> <p>For a brand like GoHawaii, working with a mixture of different sized influencers means that it can create a varied stream of fresh content, which also means users will want to keep coming back for more.</p> <p>In the case of a new opening or product launches, another good strategy is to reach out to local micro-influencers or bloggers who have a connection with the location or area in question. One example of this being done is the Turkish restaurant chain, DonerG, who reached out to local food blogger Paul Castro to promote a new opening on his own channel. This enabled the brand to reach a super targeted audience, as well as capitalise on the influence of an already well-respected industry voice.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6633/Doner_G.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="561"></p> <p>Lastly, it is important for brands to reach out to micro-influencers who share a similar tone and set of values. After all, just because someone is an advocate of a brand does not necessarily mean they will have the type of personality or style that consumers will relate and respond to.</p> <p>UK supermarket <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68691-why-iceland-has-replaced-celebrities-with-micro-influencers/">Iceland is one example</a> of a brand that changed its marketing strategy to become more relevant to its target audience, veering away from flashy celebrity-driven campaigns to micro-influencer fronted content. </p> <p>By working with creators who are a better contextual fit, the brand has become far more credible to its target demographic, helping to drive long-term loyalty and action from social media users – not just passive awareness. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ulr5p5xCc2k?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68716-four-common-mistakes-brands-make-with-influencer-marketing/">Four common mistakes brands make with influencer marketing</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69064-will-instagram-pods-impact-influencer-marketing/" target="_blank">Will Instagram pods impact influencer marketing?</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69126 2017-06-06T15:45:00+01:00 2017-06-06T15:45:00+01:00 Why did Amazon's online video shopping channel fail? Patricio Robles <p><a href="http://pagesix.com/2017/05/29/jeff-bezos-live-television-stint-canceled/">On May 26</a>, the online retail giant "abruptly" told staffers that the show – which was hosted by former MTV-er Lyndsey Rodrigues, ABC news correspondent Rachel Smith and reality TV star Frankie Grande – was being canceled.</p> <h3>So what happened?</h3> <p>Amazon posted a message on the Style Code Live Facebook Page telling fans that "all good things must come to an end" and promising that "there is more to come." But it has not revealed any further information about its decision or details like viewership.</p> <p>While most of the Style Code Live social media accounts have been deleted, it appears that the show had accumulated some 69,000 followers on Instagram, 42,000 likes on Facebook and 18,000 followers on Twitter. Interestingly, the show's YouTube channel remains and reveals that the company had generated little activity and engagement on one of the most popular platforms for style and beauty content.</p> <h3>A failed experiment?</h3> <p>Amazon's prowess in using data to inform business decisions is no secret and thus if one was to speculate about the cause of Style Code Live's cancellation one would have to conclude that the most likely reason for it was that the show was not generating sufficient business to make the investment worthwhile.</p> <p>Producing a live broadcast five days a week was likely a costly undertaking, and during its run Style Code featured celebrity guests like Sarah Jessica Parker, Meghan Trainor, Meghan Markle, Nicole Richie, Kourtney Kardashian, Kelly Osbourne and Ariel Winter. Ostensibly, Amazon compensated them for their appearances on the show.</p> <h3>All about influencers?</h3> <p>Celebrity and new media influencers looked to be a prominent part of the Style Code Live value proposition, but it's not clear that Amazon's program was actually able to take advantage of their influence.</p> <p>While the aforementioned Style Code Live social media accounts had tens of thousands of followers, that's a drop in the bucket compared to many of the celebrities that appeared on the show. For instance, Kourtney Kardashian has over 57m followers on Instagram, and Sarah Jessica Parker has over 3.5m.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2792/stylecode3.jpg" alt="" width="311" height="264"></p> <p>If one assumes that the activity on Style Code Live's social media accounts were indicative of the show's actual viewership, it would appear fairly likely that audience numbers were extremely modest and thus nowhere near high enough to move the needle for Amazon, which generated more than $135bn in revenue last year.</p> <p>As far as bringing the home shopping channel into the 21st century, consider that QVC generates more than $8bn in sales every year. Clearly, if Style Code Live showed any promise of being the digital QVC for millennials, Amazon wouldn't have shuttered it. </p> <p>So if Amazon's plan was to pair original content with a hefty dose of influencer appearances to sell fashion products, it fell short. But that doesn't mean Amazon is giving up on influencers. To the contrary, the company is now trying to tap them through alternative means: <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68961-amazon-tries-its-hand-at-influencer-affiliate-marketing">a special affiliate program</a> that allows influencers to curate their own collections of products on Amazon, which they can promote to their fans.</p> <p>Will that be a more effective and less costly approach? Time will tell.</p> <p><em>For more on influencers, check out these Econsultancy reports:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/measuring-roi-on-influencer-marketing/"><em>Measuring ROI on Influencer Marketing</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-voice-of-the-influencer/"><em>The Voice of the Influencer</em></a></li> </ul> 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>