tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/pinterest Latest Pinterest content from Econsultancy 2015-12-10T11:10:00+00:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67306 2015-12-10T11:10:00+00:00 2015-12-10T11:10:00+00:00 Is Pinterest or Instagram better for driving ecommerce? Georges Berzgal <p>However, what hasn’t always been obvious is how to convert these followers into sales.</p> <p>Both platforms recently developed new tools to more easily facilitate commerce across the board.</p> <p>So what are the inherent benefits of services like Pinterest and Instagram, and which provides the best platform for commerce?</p> <h3>Target audiences</h3> <p>It’s no secret that brands looking to target female consumers see the benefits of embracing social media.</p> <p><a href="http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/231970">Women are 10% more</a> likely than men to show brand support and 17% more likely to access offers on social media, although <a href="http://digitalmarketingmagazine.co.uk/social-media-marketing/is-the-social-buy-button-poised-to-take-off/2766">research found</a> that men are slightly more interested in purchasing directly on social networks by using a social buy button than women (33 % vs. 30%).</p> <p>All social media networks, bar LinkedIn, have more female users than male, although women’s domination of social media is not equally spread across all networks.</p> <p>Figures suggest that <a href="http://www.conversedigital.com/digital-strategy/should-my-company-be-on-instagram-or-pinterest">Pinterest’s users are 70% and Instagram’s users are 55% female.</a></p> <h3>Buyable Pins</h3> <p>Pinterest launched <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66529-pinterest-enables-ecommerce-with-buyable-pins/">Buyable Pins</a> earlier this year, allowing consumers to purchase items without leaving the platform, and to pay using Apple Pay or credit cards.</p> <p>With a <a href="http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/pinterest-stats/">user base of 70m</a> made-up largely of consumers who are the most active and engaged, it’s no surprise that Pinterest is often seen as the social network with the highest potential for ecommerce.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/9879/buyable_pins.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="466"></p> <h3>Instagram's buy button</h3> <p>However, the truth, as unveiled by research from member-based business intelligence firm L2, is that Instagram actually <a href="http://business.financialpost.com/investing/trading-desk/how-instagram-is-becoming-a-must-have-for-retailers?__lsa=6904-3bfd">has the highest browser-to-shopper conversion rate</a> of the social media outlets it tracks.</p> <p>This is all the more impressive considering that Instagram only allows brands to link to their website from their profile page.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/9878/instagram_ads.jpg" alt="" width="700"></p> <p>The introduction of the Instagram ‘buy button’ sounded like a shift for the network.</p> <p>It is not available on regular Instagram posts yet, but limited to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66689-how-brands-are-using-instagram-ads/">the recently-introduced ad platform</a>.</p> <p>So if consumers see an item on the brand’s Instagram page they would like to purchase, they still have to search for the item on the retailer’s website to be able to buy it.</p> <h3>So, why is Instagram better at converting browsers to shoppers?</h3> <p>The answer is two-fold. What Pinterest promises is a channel through which brands can speak to women in a way that they like being spoken to.</p> <p>From our experience with clients, marketing messages with gender specific content are five times more successful than unisex messages.</p> <p>Brands understand the need to target consumers by gender, what seems odd is that brands are excited to segregate their female-targeted messages onto an entirely separate platform. </p> <p>Instagram, on the other hand, has a much more level gender split, allowing brands to target both men and women through the same platform by separating their content through gender specific accounts.</p> <p>Apparel retailers like Nike and ASOS are amongst the pioneers of this approach to Instagram, and it makes total sense. Why would you split your product by gender in-store, but then present it all together online?</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/9880/Screen_Shot_2015-12-10_at_11.08.21.png" alt="" width="700"></p> <p>It is more difficult for retailers to push their products openly on Instagram, which is the second, counter-intuitive reason why the platform is better for driving commerce.</p> <p>Brands publish content on Instagram that describes the lifestyle and culture of the company; it is the social network where retailers can forge an emotional connection with consumers.</p> <p>With our own customers we often see marketing messages with an absence of product promotion bringing in the most revenue.</p> <p>Messages promoting the culture behind the brand – be it a tie in with another brand or a connection to the local community – have proven to be extremely effective at driving engagement and revenue.</p> <p>Pinterest has been under pressure to bring commerce to the front of its platform for some time.</p> <p>Buyable pins move Pinterest towards becoming an aggregator of ecommerce, something akin to a digital shopping centre.</p> <p>This is by no means a bad thing, either for brands or consumers, but this evolution also moves Pinterest away from its social origins.</p> <p>Brands looking to tap into Instagram for ecommerce must keep in mind that the logical benefits of a product are often outweighed by a decision based on emotion.</p> <p>Social media allows brands to share their brand story in a way that retail space and owned websites often cannot offer, and for this reason a targeted Instagram account looks to be the better choice for driving revenue now, and potentially in the future.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66990 2015-10-01T01:34:00+01:00 2015-10-01T01:34:00+01:00 How Australia's Woolworths delivers the goods on social Jeff Rajeck <p>With over A$60bn in revenue in 2014, second only to mining company BHP Biliton, Woolworths is both Australia's largest supermarket and retailer.</p> <p>And with 872 locations across Australia, an incredible 91% of Australians live within 10km of a store.</p> <p>Its ecommerce footprint is impressive as well. Woolworths enjoyed more than A$1.2bn online sales for the year ending June 2014, a 50% rise from last year.</p> <p>On a per capita basis puts it far ahead most other online retailers globally.</p> <p>And Woolworths is clearly reinvesting profits in digital The brand just launched a new online shop with big photo buttons, clearly designed for mobile.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7522/1-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="372"></p> <p>So with all of these other things going on, what is Woolies up to on social media?</p> <h3>Website<del></del> </h3> <p>Before we look at their presence on social media, let's take a quick look at their website for clues about its social media strategy.</p> <p>The Woolworths website is bright and colourful and offers a lot of information to help customers feel more comfortable shopping online. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7523/2-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="235"></p> <p>One interesting feature I noticed straight away was that put the Facebook 'Like' button right at the top. The Like button was popular a number of years ago, but it has fallen out of favour recently. The reason for this may be that Facebook organic reach for brands is so low now that most are no longer growing a Facebook following.</p> <p>Also at the top are the social icons. At just 15px high these are much smaller and less notable than social icons on other sites (though for the mobile site Woolworths does enlarge them to 75px).  </p> <p>But what is really interesting is that the site is missing a social icon which is very common on other Australian retailer sites... Twitter. More on that later.</p> <p>So, let's go through them in the order on the site which is presumably the order of importance to the brand.</p> <h3>Facebook</h3> <p>First is Facebook. With more than 800,000 followers, 6% of Australia's 14m Facebook users, Woolworths has a very popular page - in line with the reach of Macy's in the USA, or Tesco in the UK.</p> <p>And as with most <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66923-how-australia-s-officeworks-makes-office-supplies-attractive-on-six-social-channels/">other</a> <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66902-how-an-australian-retailer-drives-brand-awareness-and-sales-with-social-media/">Australian retailers</a> that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66922-how-australian-supermarket-coles-delivers-engaging-content-on-social/">we've covered recently</a> Facebook is the brand's home base.</p> <p>Woolworths updates the page daily and posts up food pictures, special offers, how-to videos, and info about how the brand 'gives back' to the community.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7524/3-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="667"></p> <p>Most of the content is fairly typical, but Woolworths' engagement with its audience is impressive. Many post have hundreds of likes and dozens of shares.</p> <p>Now, some of this probably is achieved by paying for reach, but what's really interesting is how many comments the posts and page get from fans.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/7525/4.JPG" alt="" width="241" height="328"></p> <p>Just looking through them, it seems the page gets a comment or a post every few minutes, and many of them are complimentary. Woolies clearly is doing something well here.</p> <p>It's difficult to say exactly what that something is, but I suspect that it is related to providing a great customer experience at its stores. This creates goodwill with customers and Facebook is the place where the customers return the favour.</p> <p>This contrasts sharply with other brands that, for whatever reason, have failed to deliver a great experience in the real world and try to make up for it by being chirpy and friendly online. Doing this brings out the worst in your online audience!</p> <p><strong>Lessons from Facebook: </strong>Deliver on your brand promise everywhere and Facebook can be a place where people don't only complain, but engage with you in a positive way.</p> <h3>YouTube</h3> <p>Woolworths has a relatively successful YouTube channel with more than 12,000 subscribers.</p> <p>This is much smaller than Facebook, but I don't think the YouTube subscriber model works well for retail brands. Sure you don't mind seeing a brand-centred video now and then, but subscribing seems a step too far.</p> <p>What is cool though is that Woolworths has the YouTube 'gadget' interface which lets them design their YouTube channel like their website.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7526/5-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="314"></p> <p>The YouTube gadget interface was discontinued in March 2015 but existing users are allowed to keep it until the end of the year. It is surprising that such a feature is being removed, but it must just not have been popular enough for Google to support.</p> <p>The content on the Woolworths channel though is high-quality and timeless. Woolies put together short cooking videos which are great for social sharing. Some of them feature Jamie Oliver and will certainly have a long social shelf-life.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7527/6-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="131"></p> <p>What is unusual, though, is that the view count on YouTube is very low, many with less than 1,000 views. Compare this with the same videos on Facebook, some of which had hundreds of thousands.</p> <p>I think we are seeing a real challenge to YouTube here. I mean, why go all the way to YouTube to watch a video when you have plenty available to you in your Facebook and Twitter feeds? Brands need to be more conscious of this shift when devising their media strategy.</p> <p><strong>Lessons from YouTube: </strong>Still a great place to do evergreen content, but watch your view counts and make sure you're distributing your high-quality work to a platform which gives you decent exposure.</p> <h3>Instagram</h3> <p>Woolworths has dutifully created an Instagram feed and has amassed 20,000 followers with just 350 posts over 18 months.</p> <p>Funnily enough though, it wasn't able to wrestle @woolworths from some other guy who just has 60 followers. Surely this sort of squatting is something that Instagram has to deal with if they want traditional brands to join the platform.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7528/7-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="331"></p> <p>But despite being relegated to @woolworths_au, the brand does seem to be enjoying the platform and using it well. The pictures are largely the same on Instagram and Facebook, but it seems like the photos were taken originally for Instagram and then reposted on Facebook.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7529/8-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="299"></p> <p>Woolies also includes some user-generated content on its feed which is always a great way of both engaging and making life a bit easier for the social media team.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7530/9-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="303"></p> <p><strong>Lessons from Instagram: </strong>For brands not yet using the platform, it's an great place to build up a new audience - but you might be too late to get your brand name if you're not there already!</p> <h3>Pinterest</h3> <p>And last, and perhaps least, on Woolworths' social media icon list is Pinterest.</p> <p>Now, Woolies has put a decent effort into Pinterest and there is some quality content here including beautiful food photos, gift ideas, and links to the brand's YouTube videos.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7531/image_16-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="290"></p> <p>But with only 1,900 followers and 400 pins, the board doesn't have much life in it. Even the best pins have very few comments and hardly any repins.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7532/17-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="200"></p> <p>I did start wondering about what 'killing it' would look like on Pinterest.</p> <p>A quick search turned up the Whole Foods board with 177,400 followers and 5,200 pins. With a larger audience the US supermarket had many more repins and likes, naturally.</p> <p>But have a look at how different Whole Food's pins are from Woolworths:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7533/14-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="138"></p> <p>Instead of just posting up food pictures and linking to content hosted elsewhere, the Whole Foods pins are self-contained nuggets of information. They include ingredients, instructions, and some are even done in an infographic style.</p> <p>Now, the different levels of engagement could be caused by the US having many more Pinterest users than Australia. But even taking that into account, it seems like there is something missing here so the channel isn't working well for them</p> <p><strong>Lessons from Pinterest: </strong>If you are determined to 'make it' on Pinterest, then have a look at other brands who have great engagement and try to learn from them.</p> <h2>Twitter</h2> <p>So, as I said at the beginning, Twitter is noticeably absent on Woolworths' front page. And a search for Woolworths on Twitter leads to a dead end.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7534/18-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="222"></p> <p>Woolworths did manage to get its brand name on Twitter at least, but it is quite shocking that there is no content there at all. The brand joined Twitter in July 2008!</p> <p>Also most of the other retail sites in Australia are using Twitter actively to both talk with and listen to their customers. Surely Woolies should do the same. So what gives?</p> <p>Well a sneak-peak at its brand-new ecommerce site shows the state of things to come. Scroll down to the bottom and you will see...</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7536/19-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="71"></p> <p>That's right. Pinterest has been kicked out by Twitter. And the link works, so this is no oversight. Stay tuned then for Woolies on Twitter.</p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>Like most other big, retail brands Woolworths has realized the importance of using social to stay relevant in the lives of its consumers. The feedback on social channels shows that its customers are having positive offline experiences with the brand.</p> <p>And despite the apparent upcoming shift in platforms, Woolworths consistently delivers great photos and shareable videos with high engagement on Facebook and Instagram. This leads me to conclude that many other brands could learn a thing or two about social media from ol' Woolies.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66952 2015-09-25T14:30:00+01:00 2015-09-25T14:30:00+01:00 How brands can build brilliant customer relationships Jen Todd Gray <p>Consumers have endless choices and only open their wallets for the brands they really love, ones they feel they can relate to, and ones they feel care about them. </p> <p>With this in mind, it’s important for marketers to start thinking less as big companies and more as friends of their customers.</p> <p>Formal language is long gone, ads are featuring 'normal people' and in-store employees are working with shoppers by name.</p> <p>This is a transition that consumers are welcoming, and we’re only continuing to see more brands jumping on board.</p> <p>The brand-consumer relationship is growing closer; in order to stand out, you better buddy up.</p> <h3><strong>Speak their language</strong></h3> <p>To relate to customers, it’s a wise idea to familiarize yourself with 'what the kids are sayin' and how they’re saying it.</p> <p>Recently, brands have been doing this in spades. IHOP’s “Pancakes on fleek” was the tweet heard round the world, cementing the brand’s reputation as charming, funny and relatable.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Pancakes on fleek.</p> — IHOP (@IHOP) <a href="https://twitter.com/IHOP/status/524606157110120448">October 21, 2014</a> </blockquote> <p>Taco Bell’s Twitter operates similarly, engaging with consumers on any and all topics. What sets Taco Bell apart from how brands have operated on social historically is a willingness to interact on topics beyond just customer service (the norm for many other brands on the platform). Taco Bell tweets at you like your best friend would. </p> <p>Also, Chevy shook up how we view press releases earlier this year, when they issued a news release published entirely in emoji.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/7314/_ChevyGoesEmoji.png" alt="" width="658" height="806"></p> <p>As a marketer, it’s understood that press releases won’t get your news in front of your customers, but with Chevy’s foray into emojis, not only did customers take notice of their new vehicle, but it put Chevy on the map as a fun, approachable brand.</p> <h3><strong>Showcase your customers</strong></h3> <p>Marketers realize that in order to appeal to customers, those customers have to be able to imagine themselves using your brand. It sounds simple, but the execution can be difficult.</p> <p>Instead, take a page from brands like Gap, Dove and Apple and put your customers front and center, spotlighting them in your marketing.</p> <p>Gap Casting Call allowed parents to submit photos of their children for a chance to have them included in Gap’s campaigns.</p> <p>Dove has been highly celebrated for eschewing typical models in its Real Beauty campaign and instead featuring everyday women with a variety of body types, a move that has solidified it as a beloved brand, celebrating its customers of all shapes and sizes.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/XpaOjMXyJGk?wmode=transparent" width="615" height="346"></iframe></p> <p>Another way to show your customer appreciation is to spotlight how customers engage with your brand. Apple replaced its usual ads with photos taken by everyday users on the iPhone. By highlighting users by name, consumers feel closer to the brand and appreciated for their talents.</p> <h3><strong>Have a hospitality mentality</strong></h3> <p>Many of the most elite hotels, resorts and restaurants are well known for the personal touches they impart on the customer experience.</p> <p>Greeting a guest by name without an introduction, remembering personal preferences and catering to special requests are all par for the course in the hospitality industry, and offer lessons for marketers of all brands.</p> <p>In order to win extra points and ultimately brand loyalty with your customers, it’s all about improvingthe experience you’re delivering.</p> <p>For instance, when shopping at retail stores, many brands have in-store associates introduce themselves and then refer to customers by name throughout the shopping process.</p> <p>Personal styling service StitchFix sends a personalized letter with each shipment, explaining why each piece in the package was selected specifically for you.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/7315/Stitch-Fix.png" alt="" width="930" height="538"></p> <p>Online, algorithms like the ones Amazon has become famous for, offer suggestions for customers based on his or her prior purchases. These sorts of personal touches make consumers feel cared for individually, rather than just being one in a sea of other shoppers.</p> <p>We know that consumers expect more from the brands they know. They expect personality, attention, respect, and appreciation. With this in mind, brands will need to rise to the occasion to emerge on top.</p> <p>In fact, advancements in technology may be the key to truly drilling down on how to properly care for consumers.</p> <p>Imagine a world where we can offer unique greetings and product recommendations to each customer, both online and in-store automatically.</p> <p>While we wait for this to be the ultimate in delivering an uber-personalized experience, much is possible now through learning about your consumers through gathering their preferences and communicating to them through your app, iBeacons on location and personalized communications via wearables.</p> <p>It’s wise to look into your own marketing strategy and ensure you’re delivering on these customer experience expectations at every junction.</p> <p><em>You can learn even more about engaging customers on social at our two day <a href="http://ecly.co/1EmHi7L">Festival of Marketing</a> event in November. Book your ticket today and head to the Social stage to learn how to manage brand perception and reach new audiences.</em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66945 2015-09-22T00:50:00+01:00 2015-09-22T00:50:00+01:00 How Australia's Cotton On uses social to build its brand Jeff Rajeck <p>Cotton On is one of the fastest growing retailers in Australia. Sales for Cotton On Group (COG) have been growing 20% per year for the past five years and revenue is projected to reach A$1.5bn this year. And COG plans to open 570 stores around the world over the next two years taking the total to almost 1,900.</p> <p>A significant amount of that growth is projected to come from online sales, A$250m annually. To help hit that target, Cotton On, the group's apparel brand, is active on many social channels.</p> <p>Let's have a look at some of its strategies.</p> <h3>Website</h3> <p>As with other social media strategy reviews, the brand website is a good place to start. The reason is that a brand can be very creative on its own digital property and really show off its personality.</p> <p>Typically, brands put social icons on the front page of their site to indicate that they are active on social media and to help users get there.</p> <p>Not so with Cotton On. This website is all business. There's not a bright blue 'F' or little bird to be seen anywhere.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7165/image_007-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="99"></p> <p>I think there are two reasons for this. First off, it's possible that Cotton On has paid for you to get there so the last thing it wants you to do is to click away to a social network.</p> <p>But also, everyone already knows that Cotton On is on social media. There is no need to tell people this any longer, and I expect other brands will soon remove the social icons soon too.</p> <p>Another interesting thing about the site is that Cotton On serves up an interstitial page the first time you visit. It is full-screen and asks for your email address and personal info.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7166/image_001-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="311"></p> <p>And you see the same offer again when you, inevitably, close the interstitial.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7167/image_002-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="405"></p> <p>This is interesting. Most apparel sites focus on branding first and leave ecommerce as almost an afterthought. Cotton On, however, makes it clear from the start that its focus is getting you to buy something online.</p> <p><strong>Lessons from the website:</strong> If you're paying for clicks and already have a social following, then think about removing the social icons from your site.</p> <p>So without an ordered list on the website, I'll cover Cotton On's social presence in order of numbers of fans.</p> <h3>Facebook</h3> <p>Unsurprisingly, Cotton On's Facebook page has more fans (650,000+) than any of its other channels.</p> <p>Facebook is very popular in Australia and having good reach on the platform will help Cotton On achieve its ecommerce goals. It's a home base for content with attractive and shareable product shots, offers and branded videos.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7168/image_006-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="347"></p> <p>And the photos Cotton On posts all have a photo and a link back to the relevant portion of the site.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7169/9a-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="313"></p> <p>Notice however the shortened link in each post which looks a bit out-of-place (http://ow.ly...).</p> <p>The reason this is there is that the posts are 'photo posts' and do not have an embedded link. To link the posts to the website the text needs to include a somewhat unsightly link.</p> <p>The simple way around this is to post the link into your status and then manually change the photo, headline, and text copy. Here is an example of this from another Australian retailer, Coles.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7170/image_010-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="509"></p> <p>Notice how it looks cleaner without the link in the text, but still encourages the user to click to the site.</p> <p>The downside of doing this, however, is that your photo dimensions are smaller on link posts. On a photo post you will get a 1:1 square (470 pixels square on desktop) but on a link post you only get 470px wide by 352px high. So there is a trade-off.</p> <p>Another interesting aspect of Cotton On's Facebook page is that it also has content about its customer community, not just product photos and videos.</p> <p>Here are two examples, one about a local artist and another showcasing community-generated Instagram photos.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7171/10a-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="331"></p> <p>I also noticed that Cotton On gives social media 'office hours' at the top of the page and its social media team actively monitor and respond to customers who post enquiries on the Facebook page. The social media team seem to be making a big effort in this area and respond rapidly and personally.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7172/image_003-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="625"></p> <p>Some people seem to take advantage of this feature by posting their own, unrelated content, but thankfully Facebook gives page admins the ability to hide these posts to reduce clutter.</p> <p><strong>Lessons from Facebook:</strong> Facebook can be a lot more than a place to post product photos. Community support and customer service work well here too.</p> <h3>Instagram</h3> <p>Cotton On has 430,000 followers on Instagram making it the brand's second most popular social channel by fans.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7173/image_017-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="414"></p> <p>But if you look at engagement perspective, Instagram is by far its most popular network. Whereas Cotton On's Facebook posts tend to get a handful of likes and shares, the brand's photos on Instagram typically gain more than 5,000 likes.</p> <p>This is partially because Cotton On does Instagram well. The photos on its feed are unique and suited to the channel. And everyone likes to like cool photos of clothes and models.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7174/image_018-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="306"></p> <p>But just as important, Instagram has the right audience for its products. Young people typically are the largest purchasers of clothing and Instagram's audience is younger than Facebook's. So even with a difference of 200,000 followers, there are far more people who are likely to 'like' Cotton On's products on the channel.</p> <p>One issue with Instagram now though, is that it is tough to measure how engagement translates into sales. The issue is that Instagram only offers brands one clickable link - in the profile. And as Cotton On aims to grow its ecommerce business, being popular on a channel which can't deliver traffic isn't so useful.</p> <p>To get over this problem, Cotton On are using a service (Like2B.uy) which helps the brand capture clicks and measure revenue from Instagram. The service does this by republishing Cotton On's Instagram feed and linking each post to the appropriate product page. Quite clever.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7175/image_019-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="215"></p> <p>But with the roll-out of Instagram ads globally soon, I do wonder whether the platform will offer clickable links on posts and make this service redundant.</p> <p><strong>Lessons from Instagram:</strong> Great if you have a young audience, but beware that measuring ROI on this channel is tricky - for now.</p> <h3>Twitter</h3> <p>With 25,000+ followers, Twitter is Cotton On's third most popular social channel.</p> <p>The content here is repeated from Facebook, and by examining the Twitter payload we can see that Cotton On is using Hootsuite to post across multiple networks.</p> <p>Though I don't see this as a problem, I think that cross-posting may lead to missed opportunities. Sure brands need to get a clear and consistent message out across all social channels but what works on Facebook may struggle on Twitter, and vice versa.</p> <p>And there is clear evidence of this phenomena on Cotton On's Twitter feed. Product shots have very low user engagement and even great brand shots only have a few favorites and retweets.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7176/image_013-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="494"></p> <p>But when Cotton On was mentioned by a celebrity, who also has a large following, the Tweet had 36 retweets and well over 100 favorites.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7177/image_014-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="359"></p> <p>Of course star power helped here, but the distribution of that message was far greater than any of the product shots.</p> <p>It's not all negative here though. Cotton On also has an active customer service desk on Twitter and from the payload we can see that the team uses Zendesk to manage this.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7178/image_016-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="430"></p> <p>Finally, I see that Cotton On is favoriting a lot of other people's Tweets. Most of these mention Cotton On and it's a nice way to say thanks for the mention.</p> <p>What Cotton On doesn't do though, is follow many other Twitter users. As a result, it may be missing out on opportunities to interact with people who don't mention Cotton On by name.</p> <p><strong>Lessons from Twitter:</strong> Reposting content across networks may not be an ideal strategy. But direct customer engagement is another way to use Twitter effectively.</p> <h3>Pinterest</h3> <p>And finally, Pinterest. Here Cotton On has 3,700 followers making it the least popular of the apparel brand's social networks.</p> <p>And you'd think Pinterest would work well for Cotton On. The photos are larger there than on other networks and, unlike Instagram, the posts can be linked directly to the appropriate product page via the "Visit site" button.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7179/image_021-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="318"></p> <p>And Pinterest has just let everyone know that it's not a small social media platform. It now <a href="http://venturebeat.com/2015/09/16/pinterest-finally-shares-its-size-100m-monthly-active-users-and-counting/">claims to have 100m monthly active users</a>.</p> <p>Now, Pinterest does let businesses pay for promotion. And that might make sense for Cotton On as 67% of Pinterest's audience is under 40. But until evidence emerges about other brands being successful on the platform, it may be better to focus on the more successful channels.</p> <p><strong>Lessons from Pinterest:</strong> It seems Pinterest is growing, but engagement is so low that it may be better to focus on other channels.</p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>Cotton On aims to be a global clothing brand and grow its ecommerce business at the same time. To do this, using social media for distributing product shots and offers appears to be a big part of its strategy.</p> <p>Facebook and Twitter help Cotton On to promote its products to some extent and it has great visual content. It seems though that the brand is better at direct customer engagement on these channels than it is on content distribution at the moment.</p> <p>Cotton On's brand shines brightest on Instagram, but at the moment I suspect that it's quite hard to capture much ecommerce traffic there, for now.</p> <p>Pinterest seems to be a non-starter at the moment but, as with the other channels, paying for distribution may help.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66668 2015-07-16T16:05:00+01:00 2015-07-16T16:05:00+01:00 Four ecommerce tech trends to watch in 2015 Jen Todd Gray <p>Although it's one of the most important times for driving revenue, the holiday season is difficult for brands to set themselves apart from competitors and connect with customers in meaningful ways. </p> <p>Therefore it’s important for marketers to harness emerging technology to drive customer engagement.</p> <p>From receipt validation to building sharable content, brands have more tools at their disposal than ever before as they prep their strategies for the biggest spending season of the year.</p> <p>Let’s take a look at how brands can use current technology trends to help them rise above the noise during December.</p> <h3><strong>Integrated wishlists</strong></h3> <p>Brands are making it easier than ever for customers to share their favorite finds with loved ones with wishlist functionality integrated into their websites, apps and social channels.</p> <p>Capitalizing on the success of social networks like Pinterest, brands need to allow customers to seamlessly share desired wishlist items across Twitter, Facebook and email, taking the guess work out of holiday shopping and drawing more eyes on (and directly to) company offerings.</p> <p>Amazon recently made headlines with its <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64793-amazonbasket-is-it-anything-more-than-a-gimmick">Twitter integration</a>, which allows consumers to tweet their favorite items with a designated hashtag to have the product added to their Amazon Wish List. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/iAm6pa9hPKA?wmode=transparent" width="640" height="300"></iframe></p> <h3><strong>Receipt validation</strong></h3> <p>Just because a brand made the sale doesn’t mean they should stop there.</p> <p>Brands must create ways throughout the holiday season to reward customers for their continued loyalty. Receipt validation in particular has grown easier than ever thanks to mobile integration.</p> <p>Customers can simply scan or upload photos of receipts of recent purchases for the chance to win prizes, earn rewards and more. This not only delights shoppers, but allows marketers to track consumer trends. </p> <p>Last January, Clorox invited customers to enter a $1,000 monthly sweepstakes by submitting a receipt showing purchases of two Clorox products. Customers could also win additional entries for daily site visits to keep the excitement going past the sale.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/5240/clorox_reciept.png" alt="" width="389" height="630"></p> <p>Validation campaigns like this heighten sales, provide opportunities to build CRM data, while using a 'chance-to-win' call-to-action to keeps brands top of mind.</p> <p>By inviting customers to submit receipts, brands are also presented with a plethora of customer data, allowing them to fine tune campaigns and product offerings.</p> <h3><strong>Apple Watch</strong></h3> <p>After much anticipation, the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66342-the-apple-watch-bringing-marketers-closer-to-customers-than-ever-before">Apple Watch made its debut in April</a>, allowing marketers unprecedented connections to their customers.</p> <p>Since then scores of brands have jumped onboard, creating apps that engage with customers on a hyper-personal level.</p> <p>Recently, Degree deodorant launched its Sweat This, Not That app, <a href="http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/advertising/20297.html">a 30-day fitness challenge for Watch OS</a> that invites consumers to complete personalized workouts each day.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/5241/fitness_app.jpg" alt="" width="420" height="525"></p> <p>Sporting goods brands can follow in Degree’s footsteps by prompting users to complete daily fitness routines in exchange for timely coupons and the chance to win a holiday shopping spree.</p> <h3><strong>Mobile countdowns and geolocation</strong></h3> <p>Mobile devices have given retailers accessibility to driving in-the-moment in store visits. Target’s Watch OS app allows users to build shopping lists on their Apple Watch and then guides them to items when in-store based on their current locations. A great idea to create themed holiday shopping lists and delight frazzled customers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/5242/target.png" alt="" width="400" height="680"></p> <p>Brands can also utilize geolocation features by creating mobile countdowns to major holidays.</p> <p>Invite customers to visit stores to receive exclusive timely deals. Each day, share a new mobile coupon while customers are in-store. They have to be there to receive it!</p> <p>Select random days to supplement the campaign with text-to-win initiatives with prizes presented in certain day parts. By using geolocation to reward in-store shoppers with coupons, brands can direct shoppers to sections that may not be hot while driving excitement about the holiday shopping season.</p> <p>By thinking strategically about how emerging trends can play a role in seasonal outreach, marketers can continue to bridge the gap between brand and consumer and ensure that the holiday season is as merry as can be.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66641 2015-06-30T14:02:45+01:00 2015-06-30T14:02:45+01:00 Five small businesses with brilliant Pinterest pages Jack Simpson <p>I’m sure there’s an oxymoron somewhere in that sentence, but in any case I thought I’d look at some smaller ecommerce brands to see what they’re doing to compete. </p> <h2>Farmdrop</h2> <p>When it comes to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65764-a-recipe-for-shareable-content">shareable content</a> on social media, everyone loves a good food pic. That’s why people in restaurants pick up their phone before their fork when their dinner arrives (*unimpressed face*). </p> <p>London-based local produce delivery firm Farmdrop has quite rightly jumped on that idea and created some really attractive Pinterest boards</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4604/Farmdrop_home.png" alt="Farmdrop Pinterest page" width="1236" height="1212"></p> <p>As you would expect from a company that sells local organic food, there is a board related to seasonal produce. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4605/Farmdrop_seasons.png" alt="Farmdrop Pinterest page" width="1238" height="820"></p> <p>But Farmdrop also gets involved with foodie trends such as Veganuary (it’s a thing, apparently), as you can see from the board below. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4606/Veganuary.png" alt="Farmdrop Pinterest page" width="1240" height="808"></p> <p>But my favourite part about Farmdrop’s Pinterest page is the brilliant use of colour, like this board of various green foods.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4608/Farmdrop_green_is_good.png" alt="Farmdrop Pinterest page" width="1234" height="819"></p> <p>Or this one, which frankly makes me ashamed of my limited carrot knowledge.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4609/Farmdrop_carrots.png" alt="Farmdrop Pinterest page" width="1236" height="815"></p> <p>I like Farmdrop’s Pinterest page because it achieves something quite clever: it hardly ever links to its own content but almost everything it posts about involves the products it sells in some way (recipes, etc). </p> <p>To me, this is exactly the balance that this type of businesses should be aiming for on Pinterest. </p> <h2>Firebox</h2> <p>Seller of weird and wonderful stuff Firebox has split its Pinterest board in much the way you’d expect: some seasonal boards such as ‘Festival Must Haves’ and others grouped by product type. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4610/Firebox_home.png" alt="Firebox Pinterest page" width="1236" height="1215"></p> <p>Firebox is one of those rare and brilliant brands whose product range is so interesting it makes for <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65003-15-indispensable-content-marketing-tips">good content</a> in itself. </p> <p>Take the ‘WTF’ board below, for example. From the guitar amp fridge to the hot tub that’s also a boat, this would make for a pretty interesting Pinterest board in its own right, but all those products happen to be stocked by Firebox. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4611/Firebox_WTF.png" alt="Firebox Pinterest page" width="1238" height="916"></p> <p>There’s even a limited addition solid silver anus (which contributes nothing to this post but simply had to be included). </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4612/Firebox_AN.png" alt="Firebox Pinterest page" width="736" height="818"></p> <p>Firebox also makes really good use of imagery for its pins, using multiple photos in a series to show different sides or uses of a product.</p> <p>You can see this in the ‘Make Your Own’ example below.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4613/Firebox_make_your_own.png" alt="Firebox Pinterest page" width="1238" height="1230"></p> <p>Unlike Farmdrop above, Firebox almost always links to its own content on Pinterest.</p> <p>As I mentioned above, though, its product range enables it to do this without ever being boring or too ‘salesy’. </p> <h2>Bellroy</h2> <p>The main reason I chose to cover Bellroy is that it has a Pinterest board dedicated exclusively to owls. </p> <p>This isn’t as silly as you might think given that an owl features in its logo. Pictures of animals tend to do well on social media and it has the added bonus of strengthening the Bellroy brand. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4614/Bellroy_owls.png" alt="Bellroy Pinterest page" width="1237" height="823"></p> <p>My personal favourite…</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4615/Bellroy_owls_2.png" alt="Bellroy Pinterest page" width="738" height="778"></p> <p>As for the rest of its Pinterest page, Bellroy has a mixture of product-related pins and general design or lifestyle categories. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4617/Bellroy_home.png" alt="Bellroy Pinterest page" width="1235" height="902"></p> <p>The latter is almost entirely made up of third party content, such as the ‘Design Inspiration’ example below. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4616/Bellroy_design_inspiration.png" alt="Bellroy Pinterest page" width="1235" height="1053"></p> <p>Bellroy does link to quite a bit of its own content in its ‘Adventure Bound’ board.</p> <p>Each photo links back to a nice-looking <a href="http://bellroy.com/travel-light">travel tips blog post</a> on the Bellroy website.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4618/Bellroy_adventure_bound.png" alt="Bellroy Pinterest page" width="1237" height="764"></p> <h2>Rokit</h2> <p>Vintage store Rokit was always going to have a lot of potential for an interesting Pinterest page, and I’m pleased to say it doesn’t disappoint. </p> <p>There’s lots of colour and plenty of vintage imagery to keep Rokit’s target customers happy. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4619/Rokit_home.png" alt="Rokit Pinterest page" width="1234" height="1231"></p> <p>I like that the page isn’t just focussed on clothing. In the example below you can see there are boards relating to different decades, areas, tattoos, weddings and lots more. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4620/Rokit_vintage_stuff.png" alt="Rokit Pinterest page" width="1236" height="611"></p> <p>There are also a couple of board dedicated to male and female fashion icons throughout the years, labelled ‘Gods’ and ‘Goddesses.’ </p> <p>Again, this type of content is always going to be popular and it’s very relevant to Rokit’s market. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4621/Rokit_gods.png" alt="Rokit Pinterest page" width="1237" height="820"></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4622/Rokit_Goddesses.png" alt="Rokit Pinterest page" width="1235" height="821"></p> <p>Last but not least: no fashion brand’s Pinterest page would be complete without the obligatory board of inspiring and shareable quotes.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4623/Rokit_quotes.png" alt="Rokit Pinterest page" width="1239" height="986"></p> <h2>Tatty Devine</h2> <p>Jewellery maker Tatty Devine has the most Pinterest followers out of the five companies I’ve covered, so it must be doing something right. </p> <p>Most of the pins link back to the Tatty Devine site, with only a small amount of third party content.</p> <p>As with Firebox, though, I think its products are interesting enough that they make for good content in themselves. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4625/Tatty_Devine_home.png" alt="Tatty Devine Pinterest page" width="1237" height="1225"></p> <p>Tatty Devine also has an entire board dedicated to its minion jewellery collection. </p> <p>Given how many Minion memes get shared on Facebook every day (and the recent release of the film) I’d say this is a clever move (although, I hate to say it, I’m kind of bored of Minions now. You ruined it, Facebook).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4626/Tatty_Devine_minions.png" alt="Tatty Devine Pinterest page" width="1239" height="1062"></p> <p>Playing on the ‘inspiring quotes’ theme that so many fashion brands seem to love, Tatty Devine has used its own collection of speech bubble necklaces to create this type of board. </p> <p>Whether you’re a ‘babe with power,’ a big fan of Anchorman or ‘so quiche,’ there’s something here for everyone. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4627/Tatty_Devine_speech_bubbles.png" alt="Tatty Devine Pinterest page" width="1236" height="813"></p> <p>There is one board linking exclusively to external sites, called ‘we like,’ and I have to say it does contain some pretty decent content. And look: there’s even a trusty inspiring quote in there. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4628/Tatty_Devine_we_like.png" alt="Tatty Devine Pinterest page" width="1234" height="1381"></p> <h3>Conclusion: SMEs have more fun</h3> <p>Maybe it's just me, but it seems like these brands are having much more fun on Pinterest than the five I covered in my previous post on the subject.</p> <p>There could be a number of reasons for this: </p> <p>With generally more relaxed brand guidelines and fewer layers of approval, smaller businesses can act more quickly and arguably be more creative and experimental than their corporate counterparts. </p> <p>Also, smaller businesses may need to be more creative in order to stay relevant and competitive in their markets.</p> <p>A company like Amazon, on the other hand, probably doesn’t need to worry quite so much about making a big impression on Pinterest, so can focus more on using it to draw people in to specific product pages. </p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66617 2015-06-23T13:55:00+01:00 2015-06-23T13:55:00+01:00 How the top five UK ecommerce brands use Pinterest Jack Simpson <p>According to the Internet Retailing UK Top 500, the top five ecommerce brands in the UK are:</p> <ol> <li>Amazon UK.</li> <li>Argos.</li> <li>House of Fraser.</li> <li>John Lewis.</li> <li>Marks &amp; Spencer.</li> </ol> <p>It therefore makes sense to focus on these five companies. They may not be the most successful brands in Pinterest terms, but I wanted to focus on the ecommerce companies who’ve had the greatest success overall.</p> <h3>Amazon UK</h3> <p>Amazon takes a no-nonsense approach to naming its pin boards, using simple, literal phrases such as ‘Kitchen Gadgets’ or ‘Lawn and Garden.’ </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4333/Amazon_home.png" alt="Amazon Pinterest" width="1485" height="1000"></p> <p>It also makes heavy use of phrases such as ‘For the Baby’ or ‘For the Home Office,’ again going for basic but descriptive terms. </p> <p>It’s no secret that Amazon is all about selling products, and lots of them. If you go into one of its Pinterest boards you won’t see an exception to this rule.</p> <p>Unlike some other brands, the majority of Amazon’s pins link back to its own product pages. There is some third party content scattered about but it’s definitely in the minority. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4334/Amazon_pin_pic.png" alt="Amazon Pins" width="1487" height="1632"></p> <p>Amazon has even got around the need to publish other people’s videos by hosting its own content on Amazon.com and linking back to that. </p> <p>In the below example it has created a board of recipes which all link back to video content from the ‘Amazon Kitchen Shorts’ page.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4335/Pinterest__discover_and_save_creative_ideas_2015-06-19_15-37-00.png" alt="Pin linking to video" width="987" height="759"></p> <p>Here's the video itself:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4336/Oatmeal_cookie_froyo.png" alt="Oatmeal cookie froyo video" width="1264" height="621"></p> <p>Being Amazon, it has of course included a handy sidebar of suggested products. You wouldn’t expect it to miss out on the opportunity to sell you something, would you?</p> <p>It does feel like Amazon is using Pinterest solely as an advertising platform, but you can’t fault its ability to draw people into a purchase. </p> <p>It catches people’s attention with the original pin, builds their interest with the video, and then presents them with relevant products once their excitement has peaked. It’s a classic strategy. </p> <h3>Argos</h3> <p>Argos has gone for an upbeat, seasonal feel when naming its Pinterest boards, using phrases like ‘Get Set For Festivals’ or ‘Get Set For Mother’s Day’ or ‘Back To Uni.’</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4337/Argos_home.png" alt="Argos Pinterest" width="1487" height="999"></p> <p>Unlike Amazon, Argos seems to pin a fairly even mix of links back to its own site and third party content, which provides a nice balance and makes the whole thing feel a bit more fun and friendly. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4338/Argos.png" alt="Argos pin board" width="1488" height="915"></p> <p>One thing Argos does really well on Pinterest is the use of appealing imagery when displaying its products. </p> <p>Take the garden-themed example below. All of the pictures have a positive, summery feel to them, which is likely to put people in the right mood to buy that type of product. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4339/Argos_get_set_for_outdoors.png" alt="Argos pin board" width="1487" height="742"></p> <h3>House of Fraser</h3> <p>House of Fraser is by far the most prolific pinner of the lot, with 6,943 pins. That’s more than double the number John Lewis has as the second highest of the five brands.  </p> <p>In terms of the look and feel of the main page it is understandably very fashion-focused, with words like ‘beauty’ and ‘style’ popping up all over the place. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4340/House_of_Fraser_home.png" alt="Argos Pinterest" width="1485" height="998"></p> <p>In terms of where the Pins link back to it’s a bit of a mixed bag. Some of its boards are very product-focused, like the ‘Men’s Formalwear’ example below.</p> <p>These are heavily weighted towards its own content.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4341/House_of_Fraser_menswear.png" alt="House of Fraser pin board" width="1491" height="1326"></p> <p>But House of Fraser also includes several boards almost entirely dedicated to third party content, such as the ‘Quotes to Live Your Life By’ board below.</p> <p>It feels like the whole inspirational quotes thing has been done to death, but people still seem to share them so it obviously works. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4343/House_of_Fraser_quotes.png" alt="House of Fraser inspirational quotes" width="1486" height="770"></p> <p>The ‘Nails | Beauty’ example below represents a third type of board that includes a fairly equal mix of links to House of Fraser product pages and third party content. </p> <p>I suppose the reasoning behind the amount of third party content on this board compared to the formal menswear example above is to do with the subject matter. </p> <p>The images and ideas associated with nail decorating are generally more eye-catching and shareable than pictures of blokes in suits (although I suppose that’s subjective).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4344/House_of_Fraser_nails.png" alt="House of Fraser nails and beauty" width="1506" height="758"></p> <h3>John Lewis</h3> <p>I’m not sure why but I really like the look of the John Lewis page. It could just be the mix of photos it uses and the decent amount of colour, but somehow it seems more eye-catching than the other four. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4345/John_Lewis_Home.png" alt="John Lewis Pinterest" width="1486" height="996"></p> <p>John Lewis does some things on a monthly cycle. This makes sense for its fashion lines, but it’s also a good way to build up excitement for the next instalment and keep people coming back to the page. </p> <p>The example below shows how it focuses on monthly trends for men’s fashion and then links back to relevant items from its own range. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4346/Key_trend_John_Lewis.png" alt="John Lewis monthly trends" width="1508" height="793"></p> <p>John Lewis also has boards featuring products that its customers are talking about, like the ‘Beauty Faves’ example below. </p> <p>This is a clever move for two reasons: firstly, John Lewis knows people are already interested in these products. Secondly, the board provides an effective form of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66569-five-ways-to-use-social-proof-online">social proof</a>. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4347/John_Lewis_beauty_faves.png" alt="" width="1491" height="790"></p> <h3>Marks &amp; Spencer</h3> <p>The boards on the Marks &amp; Spencer Pinterest page seem to be mostly split between women’s fashion and home décor.</p> <p>There are also a few wedding-related boards, presumably to cater for the marriage season over the summer months.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4348/M_S_home.png" alt="Marks &amp; Spencer Pinterest" width="1489" height="996"></p> <p>Marks &amp; Spencer, like Amazon, mostly just Pins links to its own product pages, even on boards like the ‘London Street Style’ example below that would lend themselves quite nicely to some curated or user-generated content. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4350/MandS_London_Street_Style.png" alt="London street style Marks &amp; Spencer" width="1489" height="1114"></p> <p>There are a couple of boards that have a slightly better balance. The ‘Wedding Inspiration’ example below includes a mix of clothing and décor ideas, with all the clothing images linking back to a Marks &amp; Spencer product page. </p> <p>I like this approach because it gives the customer some genuinely useful information while directing them to product pages that are actually relevant.</p> <p>Win-win for the retailer and the consumer.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4351/M_and_S_curated.png" alt="Marks &amp; Spencer wedding inspiration" width="1488" height="727"></p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>All of these ecommerce sites are doing certain things really well on Pinterest, but I couldn’t say any one of them is absolutely nailing it in the same way as companies like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65826-what-is-asos-doing-so-right-on-pinterest">Asos</a> or Etsy do. </p> <p>I think there is a lot to be learnt from Amazon in terms of the customer journey, though, i.e. hosting valuable content (not just product pages) on your own site, drawing people to it from Pinterest and then suggesting relevant purchases when they get there.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66477 2015-05-26T09:55:23+01:00 2015-05-26T09:55:23+01:00 Pre-consideration marketing: the future, now? Depesh Mandalia <p dir="ltr">Whilst Facebook user growth may not be at the <a title="Fastest growing social sites" href="http://www.globalwebindex.net/blog/pinterest-was-the-fastest-growing-social-network-in-2014" target="_blank">levels of Pinterest or Tumblr</a>, what is certain is that Facebook's advertising revenues continue to grow.</p> <p dir="ltr">After all, an active monthly user base of 1.44bn as of March 2015 represents a fairly large proportion of the internal enabled world. Plus, revenues are looking healthy even if analysts were upset at Facebook <a title="Facebook earnings Q1" href="http://venturebeat.com/2015/04/22/facebook-just-misses-expectations-with-q1-revenue-of-3-54b/" target="_blank">missing expected Q1 earnings by $200M</a>. </p> <p dir="ltr">At Lost My Name we're one of the countless advertisers playing the paid marketing game. We're comfortably spending six figures each month on Facebook and other ad platforms as we continue our global growth.</p> <p dir="ltr">Paid search makes up a smaller percentage of our overall marketing mix; a growing trend in small and medium business land. For us, paid search advertising is predominantly capturing in-market consumers.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65989-are-you-ready-to-start-paying-for-your-social-media">paid social</a> (we need a better term than this - help!) is for us tapping into passive consumers. Those that are not being targeted by their buying intent, but their buying persona. Demographics, interests and other signals. And this is where we're seeing both volume and return.</p> <p>Our challenge right now is this: how do you maximise in-market consumers (paid search’s bread and butter for example) vs passive consumers (those that may or may not be looking to buy but fit your target demographic)?</p> <p>This isn't a new challenge, since TV and radio were effectively unaware of the consumer state. However digital has changed that dramatically. </p> <p>How far up the purchase funnel can we go to capture the sale as early and profitably as possible? What does the right blend look like across the purchase journey?</p> <h2 dir="ltr">Finding the right paid marketing mix</h2> <p dir="ltr">I'm focusing on paid marketing as a point of interest as ad platforms are innovating immensely. Looking at the basics of how ad platforms operate, you’re given a choice of targeting options using some kind of creative format, with an amount you’re prepared to bid against a particular action.</p> <p dir="ltr">That’s as simple as I can distill any form of paid advertising down to. Plus, eventually making more money than you’re spending at some point is nice.</p> <p dir="ltr">Here’s an example using <strong>Adwords</strong>:</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Targeting:</strong> includes keyword, location, device, age and gender (if using YouTube ads).</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Creative format:</strong> includes text, text and image, image (moving into Google Display Network territory), video (moving into YouTube video ad territory).</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Bidding:</strong> generally a fixed amount with ‘bid modifiers’ to increase or decrease bidding under certain conditions plus reach (GDN, YouTube).</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Action:</strong> bidding is per click (direct action) or per thousand impressions (regardless of clicks).</p> </li> </ul> <p> Here are some of the <strong>Facebook ads</strong> options:</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Targeting:</strong> includes age, gender, location, interests, device and many others.</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Creative format:</strong> includes static image, multiple images, and video.</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Bidding</strong>: a fixed amount or an amount which Facebook decides is optimal against your ‘strategy’ such as conversions, downloads or leads or an amount based on reach and frequency not dissimilar to TV targeting.</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Action</strong>: includes per conversion (sale or lead), per download, per click, per thousand impressions.</p> </li> </ul> <p dir="ltr">Here’s how <strong>Pinterest ads</strong> currently stack up:</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Targeting:</strong> includes gender, location, language, keywords (terms) and device.</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Creative format</strong>: includes static images with text and and video.</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Bidding:</strong> a fixed amount.</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Action:</strong> bidding is per click, per thousand impressions and now per action.</p> </li> </ul> <p>Not so dissimilar are they? Of course there are quite a few differences. For example the audience targeting options available in Facebook are by far much more advanced than Google Adwords or Pinterest, in particular because of the amount of data Facebook users willingly give up.</p> <p dir="ltr">Google Adwords thrives on user-intent; that is, a search for the product you’re interested in or ready to buy. Their non-search products have fantastic reach for brand campaigns (e.g. YouTube ads and the Google Display Network) but generally don’t generate the positive returns seen via paid search.</p> <p dir="ltr">Pinterest is still developing its targeting options and from what they’re working on, seem to be attempting to find a happy medium between active in-market consumers (via wishlist type pins and implied intent) and passive consumers (by growing their audience level targeting). Kind of a merge of Adwords and Facebook ads.</p> <p dir="ltr">Other ad platforms like Twitter and Reddit are creating positive returns for businesses and yet others are still to take full revenue advantage of their user base like Instagram and WhatsApp.</p> <p>Their goals are similar, to grab marketing dollars and push ads to consumers before they decide to buy whilst keeping those consumers engaged on those platforms.</p> <p>It's a difficult blend for sites like Pinterest and Facebook which are destinations in their own right. Google's goal in contrast is to get you to your destination as fast as possible.</p> <p><strong>This creates a fine balance for social sites to monetise whilst retaining engagement.</strong> This is what a marketer needs to tap into, creating consumer value first and generating sales as the benefit.</p> <h2>Looking to the future</h2> <p dir="ltr">As the competition for consumer spend increasingly seeks out new and first mover advantage channels, the need for us as marketers to capture user attention before consumers even know they want to buy an item becomes a murky battlefield. </p> <p dir="ltr">Have you considered personalised neuro targeted ads? Sound crazy?</p> <p dir="ltr">One wonders what wearable devices could bring to marketers when the Google Glass and Oculus Rifts of today becomes as normal and mainstream as mobile devices in the next few decades.</p> <p dir="ltr">I was inspired years ago by a <a title="Lindstrom" href="http://www.martinlindstrom.com/about/" target="_blank">Martin Lindstrom</a> talk around neuro-marketing and the triggers marketers can use to influence buying decisions.</p> <p dir="ltr">He talked about how Mini changed the front grill of the Mini Cooper in the US to reflect the softer look their female demographic found more visually appealing. And how Coca Cola, used reinforced glass around the logo on their glass bottles to ensure that if the bottle shattered, their logo would remain visible.</p> <p dir="ltr">Uncovering your brand appeal to consumers is the way forward to developing pre-consideration marketing in the emerging social ad platforms.</p> <p dir="ltr">The future is now. React, learn and adapt or be left behind.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/65965 2015-01-15T10:03:36+00:00 2015-01-15T10:03:36+00:00 Storytelling brands: Jaeger's illustrious 130-year heritage David Moth <p>Last week I looked at <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65941-storytelling-brands-zady-s-sustainable-fashion-label/">Zady</a>, an eco-friendly fashion and homeware ecommerce brand.</p> <p>This time around I’ve decided to turn the spotlight on Jaeger, an English fashion label predominately aimed at women.</p> <p>Personally I would class much of what Jaeger does as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-content-strategy-best-practice-guide/">content marketing</a> rather than storytelling, but that’s because I’m a fusspot.</p> <p>Here’s a look at some of the work Jaeger does on its site to tell the brand story, but for more on the company's ecommerce strategy read my <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65670-jaeger-s-head-of-ecommerce-on-customer-experience-multichannel-retail/">interview with head of ecommerce Simon Spencelayh</a>...</p> <h3>Ecommerce site</h3> <p>In my post on Zady I noted that the brand story was woven into every aspect of the ecommerce site, including the homepage and product pages.</p> <p>Jaeger doesn’t go to the same lengths, which is potentially missing a trick as it has more than 100 years of heritage and some interesting stories to tell behind its products.</p> <p>The story behind the brand is presented on the ‘<a href="http://www.jaeger.co.uk/Aboutus-timeline.html">about us</a>’ page, which includes attractive imagery of old ad campaigns and celebrities wearing Jaeger’s products.</p> <p>It could be made more interactive, potentially with some video content added in, but it’s a good start.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/8150/timeline.png" alt="" width="1144" height="799"></p> <p>Jaeger also has an <a href="http://www.jaeger.co.uk/jaeger-journal">online Journal</a> that sits within the top nav. </p> <p>This is a fairly common feature among fashion brands these days, but Jaeger’s content is unique as much of it focuses on the company’s heritage and celebrates its history.</p> <p>There is a regular ‘flashback’ feature that delves into the company’s archives to tell the story behind old images.</p> <p>One example <a href="http://www.jaeger.co.uk/Journal_Jaeger_Flashback_Jan_1.html">is this photo from 1956</a> of model Anne Gunning wearing a Jaeger coat in front of the City Palace in Jaipur.</p> <p>By retelling the stories behind glamorous photos from the past Jaeger is reinforcing its reputation as an iconic, heritage brand.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/8148/flashback.png" alt="" width="957" height="924"></p> <p>Another article worth flagging up is one entitled ‘<a href="http://www.jaeger.co.uk/Journal_Past_Present_Nov_1.html">Our past inspiring our present</a>’. Jaeger turned 130 last year and to celebrate it used archive images to inspire its AW14 range.</p> <p>Again, it’s a way of telling the story behind the brand while also marketing its new clothes.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/8149/heritage.png" alt="" width="1018" height="661"></p> <p>The Journal also features articles that one would consider to be more formulaic, such as fashion edits, interviews and product wishlists, but these all help to reinforce the brand image.</p> <h3>Gostwyck Wool</h3> <p>This is the campaign that first brought Jaeger’s storytelling to my attention.</p> <p>In August it launched a new range of clothing that is made using wool from Gostwyck farm in Australia.</p> <p>The sheep are given an extremely high level of care and attention, which apparently means their wool is of a higher quality.</p> <p>Jaeger had exclusive rights to the wool in the UK and made the most of it with this neat video telling the story behind Gostwyck farm.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/b-gsdKOMB_8?wmode=transparent" width="615" height="346"></iframe></p> <p>The campaign also involved Jaeger’s other social channels, including the Journal and <a href="http://www.pinterest.com/jaegerofficial/introducing-gostwyck/">a Pinterest board</a>.</p> <h3>A Voyage of Endurance</h3> <p>Exactly 100 years ago Ernest Shackleton attempted to cross Antarctica on his famous Endurance Expedition.</p> <p>Why is this important? Because his team were all wearing Jaeger.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/8201/Screen_Shot_2015-01-14_at_14.57.44.png" alt="" width="1194" height="738"></p> <p>Jaeger is celebrating the centenary with a series of blog posts that focus on the moment when Shackleton’s ship became stuck fast in ice near the Antarctic Peninsula in January 1915.</p> <p>Journalist Jonathan Thompson and photographer Mark Chilvers have been sent over to report on their experiences in the region, and describe how their Jaeger kit holds up to the cold.</p> <p>There are seven articles in total that will be revealed at regular intervals throughout January.</p> <p>This is another neat bit of storytelling as it associates Jaeger with a noble era of exploration while also promoting the quality of its products.</p> <p>It could, however, do a better job of promoting this story via its other social channels.</p> <p>At the moment I can only see one tweet and a single Facebook post about the Voyage of Endurance, so how are people going to become aware of the expedition?</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Discover how we embarked on a <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/JaegerAdventure?src=hash">#JaegerAdventure</a> to follow in Sir Ernest Shackleton’s footsteps… <a href="http://t.co/gnC80rdlFU">http://t.co/gnC80rdlFU</a> <a href="http://t.co/KMR2wk1G9r">pic.twitter.com/KMR2wk1G9r</a></p> — Jaeger (@JaegerOfficial) <a href="https://twitter.com/JaegerOfficial/status/554623908859494400">January 12, 2015</a> </blockquote> <p>Jaeger presumably invested a lot of money in this trip so should be making a bigger deal of it. Where are the videos showing the voyage by sea, the penguins and the looming Antarctic landscape? </p> <p>Or at least some extra mentions on social or by email? It could be a really interesting story but at the moment Jaeger is missing a trick. </p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/65941 2015-01-07T11:32:00+00:00 2015-01-07T11:32:00+00:00 Storytelling brands: Zady's sustainable fashion label David Moth <p>I’m of the opinion that the term is best used to describe authentic content that reveals something interesting and truthful about the company, such as the origins of its products or a look inside the company culture.</p> <p>I don’t really think storytelling should include a contrived brand marketing campaign cooked up by an FMCG's ad agency. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7860/coca-cola.jpg" alt="" width="706" height="264"></p> <p>Alas I’m not in charge of the marketing dictionary (yet), so I’ll just have to live with people labelling almost any form of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-content-strategy-best-practice-guide/">content marketing</a> as storytelling.</p> <p>But what I can do is highlight a few brands that I feel excel at storytelling, i.e. those companies that actually stand for something and are able to promote that ethos through their products and their marketing.</p> <p>I shall begin with a brand I only became aware of quite recently after seeing co-founder Soraya Darabi speak about ecommerce trends at Le Web.</p> <p>Described as a “lifestyle destination for conscious customers”, <a href="https://zady.com/">Zady</a> sells eco-friendly fashion and homeware products that are designed to last.</p> <p>It promises that its supply chain is limited to companies that have a low carbon footprint and that treat their workers fairly.</p> <p>Darabi believes that the future of ecommerce lies in storytelling and as such Zady has a strong focus on content marketing.</p> <p>Here’s a look at its storytelling strategy...</p> <h3>Ecommerce site</h3> <p>Zady.com is built using a custom backend to enable the ecommerce team to infuse stories of its suppliers into the site.</p> <p>The homepage features a short video that shows where the wool comes from that goes into its sweaters.</p> <p>The message is simple (‘Process Matters. Quality Matters. Honesty Matters.’) but powerful, and it feels sincere.</p> <p><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/112192408?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" width="615" height="346"></iframe></p> <p>There are also links to its articles, labelled ‘features’, and essays as well as links to its products.</p> <p>The product pages themselves continue the narrative, with plenty of detail about where and how the items are made.</p> <p>All the products receive this treatment, from the clothing to the stationery to the dog’s leads.</p> <p>Take this jacket, for example. The product description begins: “Made from up-cycled nylon fishing nets…”</p> <p><a href="https://zady.com/products/ecoalf-kilimanjaro-down-jacket"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7859/zady_product_page.png" alt="" width="978" height="722"></a></p> <p>It goes on to list the benefits of the jacket before detailing which environmental standards the supplier adheres to.</p> <p>Further down the page we’re introduced to the supplier, EcoAlf founder Javiar Goyeneche, and given details of his company’s sustainable ethos.</p> <p>The brand story even reveals the etymology of the company name – it’s a combination of ‘eco’ and the first three letters of his son Alfredo’s name.</p> <p>It’s small titbits like this that fill out a narrative and help people to identify with the brand.</p> <p>It also explains how you can <a href="https://zady.com/products/kiss-by-fiona-bennett-alexis-beanie">charge almost $200 for a beanie</a>.</p> <h3>Blog</h3> <p>Zady has an excellent <a href="https://zady.com/features">blog</a> that feeds into the narrative about sustainability and the importance of caring for our planet.</p> <p>But as this is a fashion and homeware site there’s also a lot of lifestyle content, mainly relating to travel, interior design and food.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7889/Screen_Shot_2015-01-07_at_10.56.59.png" alt="" width="1270" height="1084"></p> <p>The posts aren’t dated so it’s impossible to tell how frequently the blog is updated, but the content is always of a high quality and relevant to the brand’s image.</p> <p>There are frequent interviews with clothes makers and designers, essays on sustainable living, inspiration for healthy eating, and profiles of attractive travel destinations.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7890/Screen_Shot_2015-01-07_at_10.59.19.png" alt="" width="1237" height="911"></p> <p>Hardly any of the posts try to sell something, it’s all about associating the Zady brand with a sustainable yet glamorous lifestyle that its customers might aspire to.</p> <p>And it’s also about getting people to keep coming back to the site so they’re more likely to eventually make a purchase.</p> <h3>Social</h3> <p>Zady’s social channels all contribute to the overall narrative of sustainability. Much of the content is product focused, but it also frequently shines a light on the suppliers.</p> <p>For example, on <a href="http://instagram.com/zady/?ref=badge">Instagram</a> we get this shot of the land that is home to the sheep that produce the wool for Zady’s sweaters.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7869/Screen_Shot_2015-01-06_at_17.22.49.png" alt="" width="922" height="551"></p> <p>The same is true of <a href="https://twitter.com/Zady">Twitter</a> and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/zady/timeline">Facebook</a>, which are predominately product-focused but also include links to interviews, lifestyle articles and other relevant content.</p> <p>If I was being critical I would say that perhaps it veers too much to the overt sales messages and could focus more on the stories behind the products, particularly on Facebook.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7870/Screen_Shot_2015-01-06_at_17.42.48.png" alt="" width="381" height="510"></p> <p>Also, the Twitter feed is a bit uninspiring as it lacks personality. </p> <p>Links and retweets are often posted without additional commentary and many of the articles would benefit from having an image included.</p> <h3>Campaigns</h3> <p>A final nod goes to some of Zady’s on-going campaigns.</p> <p>The ‘Sourced In’ Movement promotes Zady’s sustainable supply chain and tries to encourage other brands to follow suit.</p> <p>It has it’s own hashtag, <a href="https://zady.com/features/knowyoursource">#KnowYourSource</a>, and the company has even gone so far as to create <a href="https://www.change.org/p/united-states-government-create-a-new-standard-where-apparel-brands-label-all-goods-sold-in-the-u-s-with-a-new-sourced-in-tag-that-discloses-the-country-of-origins-of-the-entire-product-supply-chain">a petition</a> to get the US government to require apparel brands to label their items with a ‘sourced in’ tag that discloses the origins of the entire product supply chain.</p> <p>It’s a worthy cause and certainly one that fits with Zady’s brand image, though I’m not entirely confident of its chances of success in the short-term.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7888/Screen_Shot_2015-01-07_at_10.54.13.png" alt="" width="1094" height="285"></p> <p>Another movement that Zady frequently references on its blog is the ‘<a href="https://zady.com/features/the-slow-travel-manifesto">Slow Travel Manifesto</a>’, which advocates slowing down the pace of our leisure time.</p> <p>Instead of rushing around trying to cram in as many experiences as possible, people should take the time to explore new destinations and cultures to get more value from each experience. </p> <p>This fits with the idea of becoming more aware of the world we live in, as slow travel is about getting to know communities and ‘reigniting our consciousness’.</p> <p>However all the posts I read on slow travel did avoid the tricky question of what flying around the world does for your carbon footprint.</p> <p><em><strong>For more on this topic read our posts on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65397-five-brands-excelling-at-storytelling/">brands excelling at storytelling</a> and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65419-content-marketing-and-the-difficulties-of-storytelling/">content marketing &amp; the difficulties of storytelling</a>.</strong></em></p>