tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/social Latest Social content from Econsultancy 2017-09-26T11:43:04+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69446 2017-09-26T11:43:04+01:00 2017-09-26T11:43:04+01:00 How can brands combat a lack of consumer trust? Nikki Gilliland <p>In Shoppercentric’s survey, local or independent retailers scored a rating of 6.5 for prioritising consumers. However, this decreased to 5.9 or less for supermarkets, grocery brands, and clothing retailers.</p> <p>So, what is causing this lack of trust, and how can brands combat it? Let’s find out, as well as take a look at how a few brands effectively instil customer confidence.</p> <h3>1. Value</h3> <p>As last year’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68587-black-friday-cyber-monday-2016-ecommerce-stats-bonanza" target="_blank">record-breaking Black Friday</a> shows, discounts and promotions still hold mass appeal for consumers. </p> <p>But while this strategy can be effective for increasing sales in the short-term, it can also lead to lower levels of long-term trust. This is largely because shoppers are increasingly wary of promotions that aren’t as good as they sound. </p> <p>Grocery retailers appear to be most guilty of this - 59% of people say it is the most annoying thing supermarkets do, even being annoying enough to prevent them from wanting to shop there again.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9135/Shoppercentric.JPG" alt="" width="550" height="680"></p> <p>However, it also seems that supermarkets are stuck between a rock and a hard place. With the likes of Lidl and Aldi gaining market share – and low pricing strategies appearing to be the driving force behind their success – how can the other big supermarkets compete?</p> <p>The key seems to be in providing value in ways other than rock-bottom prices. Waitrose – known for being one of the most expensive grocery retailers – does this through its personalised offers feature. Its ‘MyWaitrose’ loyalty program allows members to save up to 20% on the items they buy most often. Not only does this guarantee interest from customers (in comparison to randomly discounted items) but it also promotes the idea that Waitrose treats its customers as individuals – not just an opportunity for mass sales.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9139/Pick_Your_Own_Offers.JPG" alt="" width="740" height="439"></p> <p>Elsewhere, Asda aims to instil trust by promising value across the board. Instead of using heavy discounting or flash promotions, its ‘price guarantee’ means that if Asda is not 10% cheaper than Tesco, Sainsbury's, Morrison’s, or Waitrose on a comparable shop – it will give back the difference.</p> <p>As well as giving customers a tangible reason not to shop with the competition, this strategy also promotes the idea that the supermarket is to be trusted.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9142/Asda_Price_Guarantee.JPG" alt="" width="550"></p> <h3>2. Transparency</h3> <p>Another factor that leads to a lack of consumer trust is (rather obviously) dishonesty. More specifically, when brands display dishonesty during a period of bad publicity, or claiming to be ethical while undertaking unethical practices. In Shoppercentric’s survey, 50% of consumers cited this as reason to abandon a brand or retailer.</p> <p>There are obvious ways to remedy this, such as reacting to bad publicity or <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69153-how-big-brands-coped-with-social-media-crises" target="_blank">social media crises</a> with a swift, honest, and measured response. However, with <a href="https://www.bizjournals.com/prnewswire/press_releases/2016/06/21/CG29004" target="_blank">94% of consumers</a> now saying that transparency can impact purchase decisions, brands are also starting to use this to draw in consumers in the first place.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63032-10-brilliant-digital-marketing-campaigns-from-mcdonald-s" target="_blank">McDonalds</a> famously used transparency to drive its ‘Our food. Your questions’ campaign, where it responded to common concerns about its food and ingredients. By acknowledging that it is often thought of as an unhealthy choice, and responding to this with factual information, the brand was able to raise levels of trust and enhance customer confidence.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9162/Mcdonalds.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="483"></p> <p>Customer reviews can also be a great way to instil trust, especially considering <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/9366-ecommerce-consumer-reviews-why-you-need-them-and-how-to-use-them" target="_blank">61% of consumers</a> are said to read rating and reviews before making a purchase online. </p> <p>Transferwise, an online money transfer service, uses reviews to ramp up the company’s honest and reputable image. Interestingly, it also highlights reviews on its website which happen to include negative elements, such as restrictions and slowness of service. Instead of putting customers off, however, this is likely to win trust, as it lets people know exactly what they’re going to get. No false promises here.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9149/Transferwise_review.JPG" alt="" width="720" height="398"></p> <p>Of course, it helps that the Transferwise brand itself is based around transparency – its USP is that it is different to the banks that don’t disclose hidden charges – so it uses reassurance to inform the vast majority of its brand copy. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9151/Transferwise_trust.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="506"></p> <h3>3. Responsiveness</h3> <p>Respondents to Shoppercentric’s survey also cited poor customer service as another key consumer irritant, with low trust in retailers who promise good service but do not deliver it.</p> <p>Again, this perhaps boils down to honesty, as a lot of brands are guilty of promising something they cannot follow through on (with the only real solution being to ensure that they can).</p> <p>For brands that do aim to deliver but fail due to unforeseen circumstances or a lack of resources, being highly responsive on social media certainly helps. Social media ensures a certain level of accountability, with customers able to communicate with a brand in a very public forum. </p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68380-danone-why-social-media-should-drive-digital-transformation/" target="_blank">Danone</a> brand, Cow &amp; Gate, is one example of a brand that does this. It typically responds to people within an hour on Facebook, replying to both negative and positive comments as well as acting as a source of help and advice for parents. Its high level of consistency is what helps to instil trust, with users knowing that they can reach out and get a response from the brand within a short period of time.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fcowandgateuk%2Fposts%2F1496732103704678%3A0&amp;width=500" width="500" height="608"></iframe></p> <p>It's even better when the response is personal or entertaining in some way. There’s been a few instances where brands have mirrored a customer's slang or wry sense of humour, but this example from Tesco stands out for the time and effort it clearly took to reply.</p> <p>After a customer left a tongue-in-cheek complaint about the lack of chocolate in its doughnuts, Tesco replied with a similarly humorous response, leading to the post being shared hundreds of times.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9159/Ryan.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="496"></p> <p>As well as winning favour with the person who made the complaint, it meant that Tesco’s level of customer service became highly visible to others, leading to a general increase in brand sentiment and trust.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9160/Tesco_reply.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="584"></p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64107-how-trust-signals-can-double-your-conversions" target="_blank">How trust signals can double your conversions</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/64870-44-reasons-why-people-don-t-trust-your-website" target="_blank">44 reasons why people don't trust your website</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67049-data-hoarding-consumer-trust-are-they-mutually-exclusive/" target="_blank">Data hoarding &amp; consumer trust: are they mutually exclusive?</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69433 2017-09-21T10:30:52+01:00 2017-09-21T10:30:52+01:00 Five ways charities can use Instagram to drive awareness and engagement Nikki Gilliland <p>Twitter has also experimented with a donate button in the past, allowing users to give money to political candidates ahead of the 2016 US election. Of course, the platform is also typically used as a way for charities to communicate and engage with consumers online.</p> <p>But what about Instagram?</p> <p>In 2014, a report suggested that just <a href="https://pages.justgiving.com/friends-with-money.html" target="_blank">21% of charities</a> had an Instagram channel. Now with the platform surpassing 700m monthly active users, this figure is bound to have increased, and yet Instagram still feels like a bit of a forgotten-about platform within the sector.</p> <p>So what are the benefits of charities using Instagram, and how can they make the most of it? Here’s some insight along with a few examples of those doing it right.</p> <h3>Create spontaneous content</h3> <p>Instagram has doubled its user base in just two years, meaning it is now twice the size of Twitter. Users are also highly active on the platform, with 51% saying they access Instagram daily, and 35% saying they look at the platform several times per day.</p> <p>Despite brands increasingly using Instagram to post professional and more polished content, charities can still capitalise on its spontaneous nature, and its highly engaged audience. </p> <p>Doctors Without Borders is one charity that uses Instagram to candidly showcase its work in more than 60 countries around the world. This often involves photos of doctors and nurses communicating with and helping people in need. It also makes good use of captions, accompanying its imagery with copy to tell compelling stories.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9036/doctorswithoutborders.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="497"></p> <p>By using Instagram to post candid and more spontaneous snapshots of its work, DWB is able to promote a greater sense of authenticity and connect with users on an emotional level.</p> <h3>Don’t be afraid to entertain</h3> <p>As well as highlighting the work a charity does, Instagram can also be used purely for brand building purposes. While there is the assumption that charity content has to be serious or po-faced, it’s important to think about what type of posts resonate with users – such as funny or entertaining content – and to use this to help spread the word.</p> <p>According to a survey, social media users are more likely to share content if it is humorous and informative, as well as if it is in support of a social cause. Charities, particularly those that are related to animals, often use this two-pronged approach to engage users.</p> <p>Take Dogs Trust, for example, which often posts amusing quotes and funny photos of dogs. Not only does this make the charity more discoverable for people searching specific hashtags – such as #doglover and #instadog – but it is also effective for catching the user’s attention as they scroll.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9037/dogstrust.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="440"></p> <h3>Get people involved</h3> <p>While Facebook and Twitter are more directly associated with donations, Instagram can also be effective for driving fundraising.</p> <p>First, charities can use inspirational content to encourage and prompt others to also do their bit. Alzheimer’s Association often takes this approach, posting photos of supporters raising money via fundraising events and activities. </p> <p>Similarly, Macmillan Cancer Support encourages users to get involved with its ‘coffee morning’ campaign, posting images of products that people can buy in order to hold their own, as well as encouraging user-generated content in order to widen reach.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9038/macmillancancer.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="501"></p> <p>Meanwhile, charities can also take advantage of Instagram’s visual impact, simply by asking people to text in their donations. Save the Children utilises this tactic, directly asking users to donate to current and on-going causes.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9039/SaveTheChildren.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="495"></p> <h3>Help and educate users</h3> <p>While charities often use social media to promote long-term goals and aims, platforms like Instagram can also be used to reach out and help followers in need. Mental health charities and youth-focused non-profits commonly do this, capitalising on the platforms’ highly engaged and young user-base. </p> <p>Young Scot, a Scottish youth charity, often posts tips and advice for kids on a variety of topics, from how to stay safe on social media to what to do if they’re feeling depressed. As well as advice, it also promotes direct ways to access help, such as the Samaritans phone number. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9040/YoungScot.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="492"></p> <p>Mental health charity Mind also uses its Instagram presence to reach users who might be struggling. As well as tips on what to do, it uses <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65722-18-highly-effective-examples-of-social-proof-in-ecommerce/">social proof</a> to reassure users that they are not alone or abnormal for feeling a certain way. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9041/MindCharity.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="493"></p> <p>Breast cancer charity Coppa Feel takes advantage of its daily presence in users' Instagram feeds to remind women to check their breasts. It also uses pop culture references as well as advocacy from celebrities and influencers to drive interest.</p> <p>By tapping into users' daily Instagram habits, it means that charities can use the platform to do good, not just inspire charitable giving.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9042/CoppaFeel.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="497"></p> <h3>Show results</h3> <p>Finally, charities can also use Instagram as a vehicle for showcasing their good work by telling people how and where money is being spent. Instead of directly asking for donations or highlighting other people’s fundraising efforts, it can be far more effective to say ‘this is what we achieved with this amount of money'. In doing so, users are able to see the direct cause and effect, which could help to spur them on to get involved.</p> <p>Charity: Water’s Instagram feed is filled with positive proof, mainly involving posts relating to how supporter donations have helped change people’s lives in Africa. The charity also communicates gratitude – another strategy that is likely to encourage repeat donations and continued support and engagement on social.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9043/charity_water_3.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="566"></p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69391-how-five-charities-convey-purpose-through-tone-of-voice/" target="_blank">How five charities convey purpose through tone of voice</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68014-how-charities-can-win-at-the-zero-moment-of-truth/" target="_blank">How charities can win at the Zero Moment of Truth</a></em></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68781-five-ways-charities-can-encourage-more-online-donations" target="_blank"><em>Five ways charities can encourage more online donations</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69417 2017-09-19T13:00:00+01:00 2017-09-19T13:00:00+01:00 Four ways marketers can increase conversions from social video Nikki Gilliland <p>According to a recent report by <a href="https://animoto.com/l/state-of-social-video-2017" target="_blank">Animoto</a>, social video can have a direct influence on purchasing decisions, with 64% of consumers saying that a marketing video they watched on Facebook has led to an online purchase in the past month.</p> <p>So, why does social video lead to more conversions? And what can marketers do to maximise this? With stats from Animoto’s report, here’s a bit more on the subject, followed by four ways marketers can increase conversions from video.</p> <h3>Millennials are hungry for social video</h3> <p>Today, a whopping 86% of consumers are said to watch video on social media a few times a week or more. This rises to 96% for consumers aged between 18 to 34, with 75% of millennials saying they watch social videos once a day at the very least.</p> <p>Obviously, this might also relate to non-branded videos, such as those posted by friends and family, however it does appear that the lines between commercial and non-commercial content are blurring – perhaps due to greater levels of acceptance.  </p> <p>Animoto found that more than a quarter of all consumers would be happy to see social video from both local businesses they don’t know as well as large brands they regularly buy from.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8906/Animoto.JPG" alt="" width="475" height="551"></p> <h3>Social discovery and proof </h3> <p>So, why has the appetite for brand videos increased? </p> <p>One factor is that users are now turning to platforms like Instagram and Facebook for inspiration and discovery - not just entertainment.</p> <p>Instead of passively consuming content online or actively seeking out ecommerce sites, users are turning to social media platforms for shopping inspiration. </p> <p>While imagery is also undoubtedly effective in this sense, the immersive nature of video seems to further increase interest. <a href="https://kzoinnovations.com/video-stats-for-online-retailers" target="_blank">Research suggests</a> that after seeing a video featuring a product, consumers are 46% more likely to search for it online.</p> <p>Meanwhile, social video can satisfy consumer’s desire for peer recommendations, with online channels acting as a great source of social proof. <a href="https://www.pwchk.com/en/publications/total-retail-2016-they-say-they-want-a-revolution.html" target="_blank">PwC found</a> that 45% of online shoppers say reading reviews and feedback on social media has influenced digital shopping behaviour. </p> <p>Videos involving <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68566-what-are-the-most-effective-channels-for-influencer-marketing/" target="_blank">influencers</a> can be one of the most effective ways to prompt this, with advocacy from an authentic and influential source helping to drive purchase decisions.</p> <p>However, even if the video content does not necessarily involve any direct social proof (if it is an standard advert, for instance) - comments, shares or user engagement can still act as endorsement, in turn helping to drive click-throughs and conversions.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8907/Clinique.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="500"></p> <h3>Native user behaviour</h3> <p>Lastly, and perhaps rather simplistically, social video can be effective simply because it reaches users in the environments that they are already in. Brand videos have become an intrinsic part of the social media experience, with people consuming content as they scroll instead of actively seeking it out.</p> <p>In this sense, Facebook video drives more engagement and purchases than any other network. And according to Animoto, marketers are clearly taking note - it found that 67% of marketers paid to boost or advertise video on Facebook in the past 12 months. </p> <p>So, while we’ve established why social video might help conversions – what can marketers do to maximise the chances? Here are just a few ways, along with some brand examples.</p> <h3>1. Give viewers a next step</h3> <p>Regardless of whether it is a behind-the-scenes style of video or a standard ad - a clear call-to-action or next step is vital, especially when it comes to in-the-moment conversions.</p> <p>Social video can lead to purchases at a later date, but a good CTA can help to drive users away from their native platform and onto an external ecommerce site. </p> <p>Macy’s is one retailer that makes great use of Facebook video, continuously using it to drive interest in specific collections. Here it uses eye-catching content in conjunction with the call to action of ‘walk this way’. This is likely to be effective in the context of a news feed, where the user’s attention is up for grabs.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FMacys%2Fvideos%2F10155041973333037%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="373"></iframe></p> <h3>2. Think about length </h3> <p>According to Animoto’s survey, the length of a video can also impact whether or not a viewer takes action. </p> <p>First, it doesn’t take long for the viewer to decide whether or not they will watch a video until the very end. 43% of consumers say they decide in under 15 seconds, while 73% decide in under 30. Consequently, videos need to be as engaging as possible from the very beginning – slow or dull intros can result in viewers clicking away almost immediately.</p> <p>Next, consumers say that videos one minute or longer are the ideal length to influence purchasing decisions, with videos between 30 or 60 seconds being more useful for learning about a brand.</p> <p>This suggests that viewer investment could be the key to conversion. In other words, once a viewer has dedicated more than a minute of their time to watching a video, they will be more inclined to find out further product information.</p> <p>Kate Spade has been experimenting with long-form shoppable videos, which are deliberately designed to hook consumers into a story. Running over <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67977-four-examples-of-brands-using-an-episodic-content-marketing-strategy" target="_blank">several episodes</a>, the brand is able to ensure that the videos resonate, which could help increase the likelihood of conversion. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fkatespadenewyork.uk%2Fvideos%2F654840724710981%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>3. Know your target market</h3> <p>Does social video work for all ecommerce brands?</p> <p>According to a study by Deloitte, certain retail categories work better than others, with 56% of shoppers more influenced by social media when it comes to baby products, while 40% say the same for home furnishings, and 33% for health and wellness. </p> <p>This can also impact what channels a brand chooses to focus on.</p> <p>One retailer that utilises social video is Kiddicare, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68340-seven-kids-baby-ecommerce-brands-using-youtube-to-reach-parents" target="_blank">using its YouTube channel</a> to consistently post reviews and demonstration videos. However, it does not place the same focus on Facebook or other social media platforms. The reason for this is its understanding of its core target market, with <a href="https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/intl/en-gb/advertising-channels/video/mums-youtube-it-takes-online-village-raise-child/" target="_blank">mums in particular</a> increasingly relying on YouTube videos for parenting help and advice. </p> <p>By recognising this, and posting helpful and informative content here on a regular basis, Kiddicare aims to ensure that the brand will be the first port of call for parents looking to buy kids and baby products.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0nXkn09VueQ?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>4. Make it mobile</h3> <p>Finally, with 82% of millennials saying they watch social video content on mobile devices most of the time – mobile optimisation is vital.</p> <p>This means ensuring features like text overlay, and creating videos in a square or vertical format. Animoto found that 26% of consumers are less likely to finish a video without a vertical format, while 39% are more likely to finish a video with text. </p> <p>Earlier this year, Facebook unveiled its new ad format, Collection, specifically designed for <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67768-how-to-gear-towards-mobile-commerce-success" target="_blank">mobile commerce</a>. It works by giving consumers who click on an ad 50 products that are relevant to them.</p> <p>For Tommy Hilfiger, who tested the new format to allow social users the chance to buy direct from the runway, it has proven to be a success. The fashion retailer saw a 2.2x higher return on ad spend and 200% increase in return on investment from the ads. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/DjynvDFTa8c?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p><em><strong>R</strong><strong>elated reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69387-six-ways-boring-b2b-brands-stole-a-social-video-from-b2c" target="_blank">Six ways ‘boring’ B2B brands stole A+ social video from B2C</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66464-11-reasons-why-your-brand-should-be-using-social-video/" target="_blank">11 reasons why your brand should be using social video</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68640-why-live-video-was-the-biggest-social-trend-of-2016" target="_blank">Why live video was the biggest social trend of 2016</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69425 2017-09-15T12:02:00+01:00 2017-09-15T12:02:00+01:00 10 remarkable digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week Nikki Gilliland <p>Get stuck in…</p> <h3>Live stream engagement is on the rise</h3> <p>According to <a href="http://blog.globalwebindex.net/chart-of-the-day/the-rise-of-live-streaming-2/" target="_blank">GlobalWebIndex</a>, the amount of users engaging with live streams on social media has increased nearly 10%.</p> <p>Now, 28% of internet users have watched a live stream on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter in the past month – up from 20% in Q3 2016. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8992/GlobalWebIndex.JPG" alt="" width="720" height="540"></p> <h3>Data usage increases while lack of transparency remains high</h3> <p>A <a href="http://media2.bazaarvoice.com/documents/more-data-more-Problems-ebook.pdf?utm_source=press%20release&amp;utm_medium=PR&amp;utm_campaign=Ad%20Age%20Research" target="_blank">new study</a> by Bazaarvoice and AdAge has revealed how digital marketers view the impact and credibility of data partnerships. </p> <p>Despite an increase in data usage, it found that there is still a lack of transparency, with both the sources and quality of the data being misunderstood and mistrusted by marketers.</p> <p>While 95% of the marketers surveyed said that they employ first- and third-party data in their media plans, 64% are unsure about the origins of their data sources. What’s more, one quarter of brand marketers do not know how often their data sources are refreshed. </p> <p>Lastly, three out of four marketers said they are not confident that their data is reaching in-market consumers, and just 23% of agency buyers are fully confident that their third-party data partners deliver against KPIs.</p> <h3>Only 17% of new leads are converted as sales &amp; marketing teams struggle to align</h3> <p>A new study by <a href="https://www.dnb.co.uk/marketing/media/state-of-sales-acceleration.html" target="_blank">Dun &amp; Bradstreet</a> has revealed that there is huge disconnect between sales and marketing teams, with just 17% of new leads being converted into revenue as a result. </p> <p>57% of marketers say that understanding their target audience is a big challenge, and 56% say that an inability to find relevant and complete data holds them back.</p> <p>Meanwhile, 24% of salespeople say they don’t have enough time to research potential customers, and 35% say they are under more pressure to provide value in a digitally-led business.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8991/Dun_and_Bradstreet.JPG" alt="" width="423" height="438"></p> <h3>72% of consumers turn to Amazon to research products</h3> <p>According to <a href="https://kenshoo.com/e-commerce-survey/" target="_blank">Kenshoo</a>, Amazon is playing an increasing role in shopping discovery, as 72% of people say they visit Amazon to research products online.</p> <p>26% of Amazon users also admit to checking for alternatives, background information, and prices on the site when they are thinking about making a potential purchase in a physical store. Meanwhile, 51% say they usually refer back to Amazon to find out additional product information or to compare prices – even if they’re happy with the offering on another retail site.</p> <p>Lastly, 9% say that they often share interesting products that they find on Amazon with friends, colleagues, and family.</p> <h3>Millennials spend more time watching time-shifted content than live TV</h3> <p><a href="https://www.cta.tech/News/Press-Releases/2017/August/Millennials-Now-Watch-More-Time-Shifted-Content-Th.aspx" target="_blank">CTA</a> (Consumer Technology Association) has revealed that millennials’ interest in live TV is dwindling, with this demographic dedicating more time to watching content after it’s already aired.</p> <p>Millennials are now dedicating 55% of their TV-watching activity to ‘time-shifted’ content – either on streaming sites or on-demand platforms – compared to 35% of people aged over 35. </p> <p>Additionally, millennials are more likely to try content recommended by predictive recommendations, with 79% saying they've watched shows that have been suggested for them.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8990/CTA.JPG" alt="" width="491" height="491"></p> <h3>Personalisation generates 50% higher email open rate</h3> <p>A new report by <a href="http://www.yeslifecyclemarketing.com/campaign/benchmarks/vwo-subject-line-benchmarks" target="_blank">Yes Lifecycle Marketing</a> has revealed that brands are failing to use personalisation in email subject lines, despite a proven increase in open rates.</p> <p>It found that messages with personalised subject lines generated a 58% higher click-to-open (CTO) rate than emails without. However, just 1.1% of all emails sent in Q2 2017 had personalisation based on name in the subject line, while 1.2% were personalised based on other factors like browser behaviour or purchase history. </p> <p>In contrast, it appears marketers are largely focusing efforts on welcome messages, with 69% sending this type of email.</p> <h3>82% of global marketers say that predictive marketing is essential</h3> <p>Forrester’s <a href="https://rocketfuel.com/tlp/" target="_blank">latest study</a> has found that the majority of global marketers believe predictive marketing is essential.</p> <p>66% of marketers in a survey said that their customer and marketing data comes from too many sources to make sense of it. Consequently, 82% said predictive marketing is essential to keep up with competitors in future.</p> <p>The survey also found that 86% of global marketers plan to increase the use of AI to drive marketing insights in the next 12 months, and 80% said they will use AI to deliver consistent, optimised, cross-device content.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8988/Forrester.JPG" alt="" width="318" height="570"></p> <h3>Half of millennials prefer sales outreach via social media</h3> <p>Research by <a href="https://getbambu.com/data-reports/q3-2017-how-to-optimize-for-social-selling/" target="_blank">Bambu</a> has revealed that millennials are keen to use social media to learn about new products and services, with 45% of this demographic more likely to prefer sales outreach via social than older generations.</p> <p>Bambu also found that 35% of people are more likely to buy from a sales representative who shares industry news and helpful content on social, and 22% say that this activity makes them more likely to follow that representative on social.</p> <p>Social selling is clearly more favourable than traditional methods such as cold-calling – just 9% of consumers say that the phone is their preferred way to hear from a company for the first time.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8987/Bambu.JPG" alt="" width="720" height="467"></p> <h3>81% of retailers anticipate a future as a media company</h3> <p>According to <a href="http://go.brightcove.com/marketing-future-of-retail" target="_blank">Brightcove</a>, an increasing number of brands are taking on traditional broadcasters by producing long-form, TV-style content. As a result, 81% of retailers say they anticipate transitioning into fully-fledged media companies in future.</p> <p>From a study of 200 retail businesses in the UK, France, and Germany, Brightcove found that 61% are already offering TV-style content services, and a further 33% have plans to do so within the next two years.</p> <p>There could be resistance from consumers, however, as Brightcove also found that 41% of consumers who have previously watched this kind of content say it is too ‘salesy’, while 30% say it is inauthentic.</p> <h3>Only 9% of people visit high-street travel agents</h3> <p>Finally, <a href="https://www.apadmi.com/travel-report-2017/" target="_blank">Apadmi</a> suggests that the high-street travel agent could be under threat, as just 9% of UK holidaymakers say they now visit travel agents in person to book their holiday. This comes from a survey of 1,000 people who have gone on holiday in the past 12 months.</p> <p>The study also revealed that just 4% of 18-24 year olds have visited their high street travel agents in recent times, while this rises to 18% for people over the age of 65.</p> <p>It’s not all gloom and doom for travel agents though. Apadmi also found that an increase in technology would attract consumers back to the high street, with 48% saying they would like to see travel agents invest in augmented reality and virtual reality so they can view destinations, hotels or transport in store.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69418 2017-09-14T14:26:39+01:00 2017-09-14T14:26:39+01:00 The FTC begins cracking down on influencers who violate its rules Patricio Robles <p>Last week, the FTC <a href="https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2017/09/csgo-lotto-owners-settle-ftcs-first-ever-complaint-against">announced</a> that two influencers active on YouTube, <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69392-amazon-turns-twitch-into-an-influencer-sales-platform">Twitch</a>, Twitter and Facebook had settled charges that they "deceptively endorsed the online gambling service CSGO Lotto...while failing to disclose they jointly owned the company."</p> <p>In addition, the FTC says that the influencers, Trevor 'TmarTn' Martin and Thomas 'Syndicate' Cassell, paid other influencers to promote CSGO Lotto without requiring them to disclose that they were paid.</p> <h3>A notable first</h3> <p>This is not the first time that the FTC has taken action over influencer marketing rule violations – it previously won a settlement with Lord &amp; Taylor over the retailer's Instagram influencer marketing efforts – but it is the first time that the FTC has gone after influencers themselves for violations.</p> <p>"Consumers need to know when social media influencers are being paid or have any other material connection to the brands endorsed in their posts," FTC acting-chairman Maureen Ohlhausen stated in a press release. "This action, the FTC's first against individual influencers, should send a message that such connections must be clearly disclosed so consumers can make informed purchasing decisions."</p> <p>While this settlement is somewhat unique in that the influencers targeted owned the service they were promoting without disclosure, the FTC appears to be making it clear that it is now going to more aggressively pursue influencers for violations of its rule. Indeed, in its press release announcing this settlement, the FTC revealed that it has sent warning letters to 21 of the 90 influencers it contacted in April.</p> <p>"The warning letters cite specific social media posts of concern to staff and provide details on why they may not be in compliance with the FTC Act as explained in the Commission’s Endorsement Guides," the press release explained. "For example, some of the letters point out that tagging a brand in an Instagram picture is an endorsement of the brand and requires an appropriate disclosure."</p> <p>One would assume that if any of the 21 influencers the FTC contacted do not respond or don't allay the agency's concerns, new charges could be forthcoming.</p> <h3>A reminder for brands too</h3> <p>On one hand, the FTC's latest enforcement action is good news for brands, as it indicates that the FTC is willing to go after individual influencers and not just brands, who are the bigger financial targets. On the other hand, the FTC's move could signal that the agency is stepping up its enforcement efforts, which means that the entire influencer marketing ecosystem will be under more scrutiny and violations of the FTC's rules will carry with them a greater and greater risk of punishment for both influencers and brands.</p> <p>The good news is that as the FTC ups its enforcement, it is providing more guidance about what influencers and brands need to do to stay on the right side of the rules. For example, the FTC has also announced updates to <a href="https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/ftcs-endorsement-guides-what-people-are-asking">its enforcement guides</a> which were last updated in 2015.</p> <p>The new information in them covers a number of topics, such as the obligations of foreign influencers, disclosure of free travel and whether disclosures must be made at the beginning of paid posts. It also adds platform-specific disclosure guidelines for Instagram and Snapchat.</p> <p>Among the notable additions:</p> <ul> <li>"Tagging a brand you are wearing [in a photo] is an endorsement of the brand and, just like any other endorsement, could require a disclosure if you have a relationship with that brand."</li> <li>"There is a good chance that consumers won’t notice and understand the significance of the word 'ad' at the end of a hashtag, especially one made up of several words combined like '#coolstylead.' Disclosures need to be easily noticed and understood."</li> <li>"The use of '#ambassador' is ambiguous and confusing. Many consumers are unlikely to know what it means. By contrast, '#XYZ-Ambassador' will likely be more understandable (where XYZ is a brand name). However, even if the language is understandable, a disclosure also must be prominent so it will be noticed and read."</li> <li>"Keep in mind that if your post includes video and you include an audio disclosure, many users of [platforms like Instagram and Snapchat] watch videos without sound. So they won't hear an audio-only disclosure. Obviously, other general disclosure guidance would also apply."</li> </ul> <p><em>For more on this topic, read:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/measuring-roi-on-influencer-marketing"><em>Measuring ROI on Influencer Marketing (subscription required)</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69209-six-inconvenient-truths-about-influencer-marketing"><em>Six inconvenient truths about influencer marketing</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69196-11-impressive-influencer-marketing-campaigns"><em>11 impressive influencer marketing campaigns</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69414 2017-09-12T10:15:00+01:00 2017-09-12T10:15:00+01:00 Four big digital trends impacting travel & tourism marketing Nikki Gilliland <p>But, how exactly are they doing it? Here’s a look at of some of the most interesting trends in online tourism marketing, and why certain destinations are leading the way.</p> <h3>Immersive video</h3> <p>In 2015, both Facebook and YouTube introduced 360-degree video, leading many tourism destinations to experiment with the medium. </p> <p>The benefits are obvious. If done well, 360-degree video enables viewers to immerse themselves in a destination as well as specific activities or events, generating much higher engagement than standard video. </p> <p><a href="https://skift.com/2017/01/17/5-charts-showing-the-untapped-potential-of-360-degree-video-in-travel-planning/" target="_blank">Research from Skift</a> backs this up, but also shows that getting people to actively watch 360-videos is still somewhat of a barrier. It found that while only 13% of users say they’ve interacted with a 360-degree video, 51% of those that have say they find them much more engaging.</p> <p>So which tourism brands have been getting involved? Here are a few of the best examples.</p> <h4>Philadelphia Virtual Tour</h4> <p>Visit Philadelphia allows viewers to jump into the sights and sounds of ‘Philly’ with a series of immersive videos of the city’s most recognisable spots.   </p> <p>Viewers can skate along the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, look around Elfreth’s Alley and experience what it’s like to be in the middle of Washington Square. With a full-screen format plus the option to use a VR headset, it offers a great way to get a glimpse of what’s it like to actually be there.</p> <p><a href="http://www.visitphilly.com/virtual-tour/" target="_blank"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8877/Welcome_to_Philly.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="398"></a></p> <h4>VisitLEX Horses</h4> <p>Lexington in Kentucky is known as ‘horse country’. The city’s tourism board, VisitLex, chose to hone in on this niche appeal this with its 360-degree video, Horses.</p> <p>The video immerses users inside the world of horses, allowing them to see a 360-degree view of race day, the animals being groomed, and the fields in which they roam. By focusing on this rather than the general location, VisitLex is able to target a much more specific audience. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/4bx-RXegHus?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h4>British Columbia: Whistler Within</h4> <p>British Columbia uses action to drive its 360-degree video, Winter Within, showing viewers exactly what it’s like to ski in the area. In fact, by allowing viewers to navigate wherever they choose, it offers more of a view than the skiers themselves can enjoy.</p> <p>While 360-degree tour video might serve a more functional purpose, adventure videos can be effective for really ramping up excitement in the run-up to a trip.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/VVRAB4eoPbk?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Slick UX and design</h3> <p>Last year, I wrote about five tourism websites <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67952-five-tourism-websites-guaranteed-to-give-you-wanderlust" target="_blank">guaranteed to give you wanderlust</a>, and one thing they all have in common is a particularly slick and engaging UX.  </p> <p>While most other types of travel-related websites rely on bookings, focusing on avoiding abandoned user journeys and so on, tourist board sites have the luxury to concentrate on beautifully designed and informative content. </p> <p>Tennessee Vacation grabs the user’s attention with highly visual and arresting imagery, designed to highlight different aspects of the state. It also helps different types of travellers navigate the site depending on what they’re interested in.</p> <p>While indoor and outdoor activities might appeal to families, Nashville’s nightlife is bound to appeal to younger travellers. </p> <p><a href="https://www.tnvacation.com/" target="_blank"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8878/tennessee.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="343"></a></p> <p>Another example of great design is Visit Finland – specifically its animated map.</p> <p>Users are taken around the map as they scroll, with each section detailing information about key attractions within four regions. The map itself is deliberately cartoon-like, however I think this adds to its charm, with the main enjoyment stemming from the easy user experience and bright design.</p> <p><a href="http://www.visitfinland.com/destinations/" target="_blank"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8879/VisitFinland.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="455"></a></p> <p>In the UK, Visit Cornwall also makes use of striking design, integrating site-wide video into its homepage.</p> <p>Showcasing the county’s beautiful coastal views, it effectively captures the user’s attention and shows off its unique appeal.</p> <p><a href="https://www.visitcornwall.com/" target="_blank"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8880/visitcornwall.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="458"></a></p> <h3>Food tourism</h3> <p>Another element that tourism boards are increasingly focusing on is food. Gastronomy is a huge motivation for travellers around the world – the AAA found that an estimated 22m Americans will take a culinary-focused holiday in the next 12 months, while 75% feel that food is an integral part of their trip.</p> <p>It’s not just about recommending <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67785-why-restaurants-need-a-hyper-local-influencer-marketing-strategy/" target="_blank">local restaurants</a> either. Content relating to tasting experiences, food markets, and regional produce can all be effective for engaging foodies – all the while helping to boost local businesses.</p> <p>Catalunya is one tourism board to have a dedicated food section on its website, where it features videos about the region’s famous cuisine and wine. As well as increasing engagement from people interested in food, this type of content also helps to promote the authenticity and unique identity of a place.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/kXXsUlQgul8?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>NYCGo also has an extensive focus on food, using a magazine style format to delve into the restaurants, food trends, and quirks that make its dining scene so famous.</p> <p>It also promotes food events happening in New York City, helping users to plan specific trips and events as well as gain inspiration.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8881/NYCGO.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="677"></p> <h3>Instagram</h3> <p>It’s unsurprising that most tourism sites have a very strong presence on Instagram – it’s a trend that’s seen across the entire <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68815-becoming-an-influencer-notes-from-a-fledgling-travel-blogger/" target="_blank">travel industry</a>. However, it is a great way for tourism boards in particular to establish themselves as a standout brand, using the platform to increase visibility and awareness.</p> <p>Whereas Twitter or Facebook might create a more passive user experience, an increasing number of people are using Instagram to search for inspiration.</p> <p>Tourism boards are able to capitalise on this, delivering stunning and inspiring imagery based on destination-interest.</p> <h4>PureMichigan</h4> <p>PureMichigan has an impressive 516,000 followers on Instagram. Compared to VisitCalifornia’s 295,000 and NYCGO’s 212,000 – the US state is clearly doing something right.</p> <p>Most of its success appears to be down to a focus on user generated content, with the channel continuously posting and crediting imagery to others. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8883/puremichigan.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="499"></p> <h4>Greenland</h4> <p>Greenland makes the most of its photogenic landscape, using Instagram to showcase everything from its epic icebergs to magnificent wildlife.</p> <p>It doesn’t only just focus on the imagery, however, with its captions providing users with informative insight into life on the island.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8882/Greenland.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="650"></p> <h4>VisitLondon</h4> <p>Finally, VisitLondon shows that you don’t always have to use Instagram to target international travellers.</p> <p>Posting imagery that celebrates all aspects of life in the capital, it is able to become a source of interest for locals as well as potential visitors.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8884/VisitLondon.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="574"></p> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69052-how-visitscotland-is-transforming-the-traditional-tourist-body">How VisitScotland is transforming the traditional tourist body</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67996-what-travel-tourism-marketers-can-learn-from-discover-la/">What travel &amp; tourism marketers can learn from Discover LA</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69109-why-visit-sweden-and-other-tourism-boards-are-teaming-up-with-airbnb/">Why Visit Sweden and other tourism boards are teaming up with Airbnb</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69413 2017-09-11T09:49:36+01:00 2017-09-11T09:49:36+01:00 10 fascinating digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week Nikki Gilliland <h3>Searches for iPads increase 1.2x YoY</h3> <p>First up, <a href="http://www.hitwise.com/blog/2017/08/hot-back-school-products-age-student/?lang=1&amp;bis_prd=1" target="_blank">Hitwise has revealed</a> what parents have been searching for as their kids head back to school. </p> <p>Parents of children aged 6-11 have been searching for iPads, with online searches for iPad increasing 1.2 times overall year on year. For kids aged 12-17, branded apparel has been in demand, with searches for Gucci belts, Net backpacks and Yeezys by Kanye West all being popular.</p> <p>Lastly, interest in fashion has been much lower for college-age youngsters, while searches for technology such as Nintendo Switch, Apple Watch and HBO Now have been high.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8867/Hitwise.JPG" alt="" width="702" height="380"></p> <h3>More than half of Brits use an ad blocker</h3> <p>In a survey of over 2,000 UK adults, Affilinet has found that more than half of all respondents use an ad blocker while browsing the internet.</p> <p>When it comes to the reasons why, 61.5% say it’s because they find online ads annoying, 41.5% say it’s because they find ads intrusive, while 33.1% say it’s because the ads they used to see were irrelevant.</p> <p>Men are also slightly more likely to use an ad blocker than women, with 48.7% of women stating that they never use them compared to 42.5% of men.</p> <h3>39% of teen YouTube users say it has too many ads </h3> <p>A survey by Forrester Research has found that four in 10 teen users aged 12-17 say there are <a href="https://www.emarketer.com/Article/YouTubes-Teen-Viewers-Complain-of-Too-Many-Ads/1016436" target="_blank">too many ads</a> on YouTube. </p> <p>This is despite the fact that YouTube is accessed by more US teens than any other social platform, with 77% using it on a daily basis compared to 55% who use Facebook.</p> <p>Just 11% of teens think that there are too many ads on Instagram and Snapchat, perhaps proving that native ads are less disruptive than pre or mid-roll ads.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8871/iStock-458931653.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="438"></p> <h3>Brits abandoning £3.4bn in online shopping baskets due to device switching</h3> <p>A new report by <a href="http://www.newsroom.barclays.com/r/3514/_10_5bn_more_in_five_years___that_s_what_uk_retailers" target="_blank">Barclays</a> has revealed that £3.4bn worth of goods are left in online shopping baskets in the UK each year. This is said to be due to device switching, with consumers browsing on their mobile phones before changing to laptops to make the purchase.</p> <p>The report suggests that basket abandonment is also due to a lack of discount incentives and the desire for a variety of delivery options. 38% of consumers say discount codes and 56% say free deliveries would incentivise them to buy.</p> <p>By making online shopping more convenient, Barclays says that retailers could generate £10.5bn more within just five years.</p> <h3>44% of consumers will make a holiday purchase via a voice controlled device</h3> <p>A report by <a href="https://www.walkersands.com/The-Future-of-Retail-2017-Holiday-Report">Walker Sands</a> has predicted that purchases by voice-controlled devices are set to rise this holiday season.</p> <p>Currently, 24% of frequent online shoppers say they ‘often’ or ‘always’ purchase through a voice-controlled device like Amazon Echo. However, 44% of total survey respondents also say that they are ‘somewhat’ or ‘very likely’ to make a product purchase through a voice-controlled device in the next year.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the report also highlights the demand for same-day delivery services, with 66% of frequent online shoppers saying they have used Amazon Prime in the past year, and 39% saying same-day delivery would make them shop online even more.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8868/Voice_controlled_shopping.JPG" alt="" width="666" height="274"></p> <h3>Popularity of mobile payments is rising</h3> <p>A new survey by <a href="https://www.aciworldwide.com/news-and-events/press-releases/2017/september/mobile-payments-rise-in-popularity-reaching-tipping-point-in-some-countries" target="_blank">ACI Worldwide</a> has found that European and American consumers are increasingly embracing mobile payments.</p> <p>While just 6% of US consumers regularly used their mobile devices to make payments in 2014, this has now tripled to 17%. Similarly, 25% of Spanish consumers now use mobile wallets, as do 24% of Italian and 23% of Swedish consumers. </p> <p>Consumer confidence in mobile wallet security is also on the rise, with 37% of UK respondents saying they trust their bank to protect their personal information when paying via their smartphone.</p> <h3>37% of internet users watch Netflix each month</h3> <p><a href="http://blog.globalwebindex.net/chart-of-the-day/netflix-vs-amazon-prime-video-a-global-view/" target="_blank">GlobalWebIndex</a> has been looking into the user-share of both Netflix and Amazon, following on from the latter extending its introductory Prime Video offer across all global markets.</p> <p>It has found that 20% of internet users now use Amazon Prime Video each month, whether on their own account or via someone else’s. However, 37% of people say the same about Netflix.</p> <p>In terms of marketshare, Netflix boasts impressive usage in both Mexico and Brazil, while Amazon Prime reigns supreme in India.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8869/Netflix_vs_Amazon_Prime.JPG" alt="" width="632" height="664"></p> <h3>More than 60% of digital publishers auto-play half of video ads</h3> <p>Despite auto-play ads often being viewed as intrusive or annoying by consumers, <a href="http://www.marketingdive.com/news/mediaradar-61-of-publishers-autoplay-at-least-half-of-video-ads/504417/" target="_blank">MediaRadar</a> has found that 31% of publishers auto-start 75% or more of their on-site video ads. Meanwhile, 60% of publishers auto-play at least half.</p> <p>Small, regional, and B2B publishers have the highest instances of auto-play video ads. Similarly, websites that rely on programmatic advertising are also more likely to employ this type of ad.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8870/MediaRadar.JPG" alt="" width="685" height="346"></p> <h3>Consumers annoyed by disruptive ads</h3> <p style="font-weight: normal;">In other ad news, Inskin Media has been delving into the ad formats that users find the most annoying.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Unsurprisingly, 28% of respondents cited pop-up ads as the most irritating mobile format, closely followed by 26% saying the same for ads that sit in the middle of the screen. 18% said that they are vexed by ads that delay the page loading.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">In contrast, ads that that move down the page alongside the content or sit at the top and bottom of the page were found to be much less annoying. In fact, the study also found that people are 134% more likely to remember ads that sit around content compared with the average mobile ad.</p> <h3>Brand activation revenues to reach $357bn this year</h3> <p>According to the <a href="http://www.ana.net/content/show/id/brand-activation-spend-2017" target="_blank">ANA</a> (Association of National Advertisers) and PQ Media, brand activation revenues will reach around $357bn in 2017.</p> <p>This is based on the fact that total marketing operator revenues from brand activation rose by 6.7% in 2016, with further growth now expected.</p> <p>Revenues in content marketing climbed 11.3% last year, while influencer marketing saw the second-highest growth rate, growing 8.7% to $49.1bn. Revenues from experiential marketing also jumped by 6.7% to $50.6bn.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69408 2017-09-08T09:24:38+01:00 2017-09-08T09:24:38+01:00 Birchbox's UK Managing Director on content, personalisation & forays into physical retail Nikki Gilliland <p>I recently caught up with Savannah Sachs, who is Birchbox’s UK managing director, to gain more insight into this – plus her perspective on personalisation, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/measuring-roi-on-influencer-marketing">influencers</a>, and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/customer-experience/">customer experience</a>. Here’s a run-down of our conversation.</p> <h3>Using content to shape the customer experience</h3> <p>I first asked whether Birchbox sees content as a key differentiator, and something that sets it apart from competitors. Savannah agreed, explaining exactly how this is the case in relation to the brand’s ‘try, learn, and buy’ business model. </p> <p>It all starts with the monthly subscription box, she said, with customers signing up and filling in a beauty profile that includes details such as skin and hair type, beauty concerns, and individual style. From this data, Birchbox is able to send customers five beauty samples every month. </p> <p>The customer experience doesn’t end there. This is where the ‘learn’ part comes in, as each box contains tips and tricks relating to the products inside. This then continues across all of Birchbox’s social and digital channels, allowing customers to tap into content related to the products they’re using in real-time.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">How To: shape your brows with a brow pencil <a href="https://t.co/AkBr8rfNHu">https://t.co/AkBr8rfNHu</a> <a href="https://t.co/GvxDJ70zWt">pic.twitter.com/GvxDJ70zWt</a></p> — Birchbox (@BirchboxUK) <a href="https://twitter.com/BirchboxUK/status/877188062543065088">June 20, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Savannah explained that this is important because – while beauty is part of their life – customers are also likely to be busy and looking for more convenient ways to make beauty easy and fun. </p> <p>Finally, the ‘buy’ part of the business model is how the brand offers a really seamless path to purchase, with its relating ecommerce store offering an easy way for customers to buy full-sized items they might have tried in a box.</p> <blockquote> <p>We really see Birchbox as offering a 360-degree customer experience, with content being one of its core elements.</p> </blockquote> <h3>Creating personalisation that disappears</h3> <p>So where does personalisation come into play?</p> <p>Savannah explained how the beauty profile allows Birchbox to serve the most relevant content to individual customers. By stipulating what beauty products will suit them or that they’d like to try, Birchbox is able to tailor products and recommendations, also meaning each person will get a different box to their best friend, for instance.</p> <p>Alongside the benefit for customers, this also gives Birchbox’s brand partners a really powerful opportunity to target new customers.</p> <p>For example, Birchbox recently worked with Estee Lauder to specifically target a younger demographic in the UK. It sent products to customers between the ages of 24 and 34, as Estee Lauder particularly wanted to focus on millennials. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8809/estee_lauder.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="516"></p> <p>As well as introducing younger consumers to something they might not have considered before, the initiative was hugely beneficial for Estee Lauder, allowing it to align a new product launch and marketing strategy with a super-targeted demographic. </p> <p>Birchbox also takes a channel-by-channel approach to personalising content. For example, it recognises that Instagram Stories is more fun and playful, so it uses this channel to post raw, unedited, and spur-of-the-moment content. </p> <p>In contrast, it typically uses a more educational approach for its online blog, perhaps taking a deep-dive on a specific product. Essentially, it takes into account how long users spend on a particular channel as well as what they’re looking for from each.</p> <p>Another example of this is how Birchbox recently created a personalised email campaign focusing on skin type.</p> <p>Customers are able to pick a product in their beauty box each month – in July, it was offering the chance to pick between two different shades of a Benefit tint. In order to help customers choose the right shade for them, each email contained an image of a woman with a skin tone that matched the customer’s own, based on data from their beauty profile. From this, they could then easily see which product might look the best on them, without too much thought or deliberation.</p> <p>This is an example of what Birchbox calls ‘personalisation that disappears’.</p> <blockquote> <p>It is seamless, easy and feels right. It doesn’t require any work from the customer other than filling in their beauty profile – we then make use of that data throughout the customer journey.</p> </blockquote> <h3>The importance of user generated content</h3> <p>User-generated content is also critical for Birchbox. Savannah explained how the brand considers its subscribers to be its influencers, and a powerful way to help its growth. This is because Birchbox drives a good amount of acquisition organically, but also because word-of-mouth helps to make its paid acquisition activity much more efficient. </p> <p>In order to generate this type of content, the brand is focused on creating a monthly box experience that customers love and will want to share with friends on their social channels. In also means asking questions like ‘what’s going to make this month's box design super Instagrammable?’ or ‘why would a person feel proud to show this off?’</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8806/Birchbox_Insta.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="500"></p> <p>Next, it focuses on amplifying this organic word of mouth – and that’s typically been done via Facebook and Instagram, where the brand focuses the majority of its paid acquisition work. That being said, Birchbox is not entirely against using paid influencers to help attract new customers, doing so on a relatively small scale.</p> <p>Interestingly, Savannah said that the reason that it prefers user-generated content over paid influencers is all down to targeting. It aims to target a different kind of customer than other traditional beauty brands. </p> <p>Instead of the ‘beauty junkie’ – someone who is knowledgeable, trend-aware, and who follows all the top influencers – Birchbox is going after the ‘beauty majority’.</p> <p>This is because while the beauty junkie spends a lot of her disposable income on cosmetics, research indicates that she only makes up about 20% of women. In contrast, the more casual beauty consumer – who is willing to invest but needs help to figure out what’s right for her – makes up the rest. This consumer truly values having Birchbox as a sort of ‘beauty editor best friend’, to recommend and steer her in the right direction. </p> <blockquote> <p>In terms of appealing to this customer profile, Birchbox strives to be approachable, meaning it makes more sense to focus on the everyday woman rather than the expert influencer.</p> </blockquote> <h3>Translating the CX offline</h3> <p>Birchbox has a physical retail store in New York City, with imminent plans to open one in Paris. </p> <p>I asked Savannah how Birchbox is able to translate the customer experience into physical retail, especially considering that part of its USP is all about the convenience of delivery and laid-back discovery. In this sense, will customers seek out physical stores? </p> <p>Savannah assured me that, as a company which is about driving discovery and purchase online, Birchbox will always be digital-first. However, taking into consideration everything it has learned about its customer-base, it also realised that it has something quite unique to offer in terms of a bricks and mortar experience. </p> <p>The main innovation of its physical stores is that it does in fact mirror the online shopping experience. Its stores are merchandised by product type and category rather than brand. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8804/Birchbox_bricks_and_mortar.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="442"></p> <p>The reason being is that it does not believe the beauty majority has enough expertise to walk into a department store, with tens of thousands of products merchandised by brand, and know where to start. Instead, the beauty majority walks into a store and thinks ‘I’d love to get a new mascara’ or ‘I’ve never used a highlighter – where do I begin?’. </p> <p>It’s much easier to go to a shelf with all the mascaras side by side, to touch and try and compare. And albeit without the touch element, that’s exactly how customers navigate online shopping. </p> <blockquote> <p>An online customer will click into make-up, then eyes, then mascara – they would not typically navigate by brand. Our key innovation is bringing that online experience and navigation into the brick and mortar store – to make it easy for the customer to find the right product for them.</p> </blockquote> <h3>Channels of focus</h3> <p>I finished by asking Savannah where Birchbox’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/content-marketing-and-strategy">content strategy</a> might be heading next. </p> <p>Interestingly, she cited Facebook Live as a big focus. The brand currently streams on the platform once a week, typically using a casual, Q&amp;A-style format to encourage interaction. Videos are always fronted by Birchbox employees to make it feel authentic and approachable. </p> <p>It’s clear the channel is proving successful. Birchbox now sees about 4x the engagement on Facebook Live than it does for other types of Facebook content. What’s more, its Facebook Live content is getting about 5x the views and engagement as it did a year ago.  </p> <p>A recent Facebook Live called ‘Three ways to mermaid’ generated 18,000 views, proving that there is an appetite for this kind of fun and lightweight content. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FBirchboxUK%2Fvideos%2F1415131011870060%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>Finally, mobile is also an incredibly important focus for Birchbox, with 65% of UK traffic coming from mobile devices. Savannah emphasised that everything the brand does from a content perspective has to be mobile-first. While cutting down on copy, making sure images are optimised, and limiting vertical scroll is not rocket science, these elements are vital to the customer experience.</p> <p>Similarly, in order to truly engage customers, the content needs to be relevant to where they’re going to view it, and that is increasingly on a smartphone. </p> <blockquote> <p>Something that’s core to our overall strategy, but specifically in terms of digital content and social, is making sure everything we do is optimised for mobile.</p> </blockquote> <p><em><strong> Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69016-why-beauty-brands-are-betting-on-augmented-reality">Why beauty brands are betting on augmented reality</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68689-how-the-beauty-industry-is-embracing-the-internet-of-things">How the beauty industry is embracing the Internet of Things</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67884-seven-ways-social-media-is-shaping-the-beauty-industry">Seven ways social media is shaping the beauty industry</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69409 2017-09-07T14:00:00+01:00 2017-09-07T14:00:00+01:00 What's up with Facebook's estimated reach numbers? Patricio Robles <p>According to Pivotal Research Group's Brian Wieser, the audience reach estimates Facebook frequently displays to advertisers vastly exceed those of the number of people who are actually in those groups.</p> <p>CNBC <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/06/facebook-inflates-ad-reach-claims-pivotal-research-analyst.html">explained</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>Facebook's Ads Manager claims a potential reach of 41 million 18- to 24-year olds and 60 million 25- to 34-year olds in the United States, whereas US census data shows that last year there were a total of 31 million people between the ages of 18 and 24, and 45 million in the 25-34 age group, the analyst said.</p> </blockquote> <p>This raises a huge question: how can advertisers trust the reach estimates if they indicate there are far more users on Facebook in a particular group than there are living, breathing people in that group?</p> <p>One possible answer: non-human users, or bots.</p> <p>As one commenter <a href="https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15187001">suggested</a> on Hacker News, "I doubt that Facebook is purposefully lying about their numbers, but the fact that they estimate their reach to be greater than the census results means there must be a lot of bot accounts on Facebook."</p> <p>He added:</p> <blockquote> <p>Assuming that Facebook isn't lying, and they actually see as many accounts as they claim to reach this data would suggest that at least 25% of the accounts on Facebook are alt accounts or bot accounts. And that is assuming that everyone in the target demographic who was in the census is on Facebook. Facebook must be greater than 25% bots.</p> </blockquote> <p>While bots are one possible explanation for the discrepancy between Facebook's reach estimates and census data, other possiblities include users with multiple Facebook accounts and underage users who Facebook's algorithms have lumped into older age groups.</p> <p>Technically, Facebook, like most social platforms, isn't open to users under the age of 13, but that doesn't mean they don't use the social network. <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/children/12147629/Children-ignore-age-limits-by-opening-social-media-accounts.html">According to one survey</a>, the majority of 10- to 12-year-olds use social platforms despite the rules and 49% of those surveyed said they use Facebook.</p> <p>For its part, Facebook says its reach estimates "are designed to estimate how many people in a given area are eligible to see an ad a business might run. They are not designed to match population or census estimates." Facebook's estimates are based on "user behavior, user demographics and location data from devices."</p> <p>The company revealed that its reach estimates include people who visit a geographic area but don't live there, but given the significant gaps that appear to exist between Facebook's estimates and census figures, it's hard to know just how much this accounts for the discrepancies.</p> <p><strong>Which highlights the real problem advertisers face: Facebook's reach estimates, like many of its other metrics, are often generated by black boxes that advertisers have little visibility into the workings of.</strong></p> <p>According to Pivotal Research Group's Weisner, "Conversations with agency executives on this topic indicate to us that the gap between Facebook and census figures is not widely known." But even now that this has been brought to their attention, they'll probably have a limited ability to really understand what's going on because it's unlikely Facebook is going to provide much more in the way of detail about its reach estimates.</p> <p>"We think that awareness of general measurement issues causes larger advertisers to require the use of third-party measurement services, including Nielsen's DAR and comScore's vCE, to provide the basis against which Facebook is paid," Weisner suggested. </p> <p>He added, "While Facebook's measurement issues won't necessarily deter advertisers from spending money with Facebook, they will help traditional TV sellers justify existing budget shares and could restrain Facebook's growth in video ad sales on the margins."</p> <p>While it remains to be seen whether advertisers will really shy away from Facebook, with companies pouring more and more money into Facebook and the cost of Facebook ads jumping by nearly a quarter year-over-year in the second quarter, the stakes are increasingly high.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69395 2017-09-07T10:56:00+01:00 2017-09-07T10:56:00+01:00 The best social media stories and campaigns from August 2017 Nikki Gilliland <h3>Instagram Stories reaches 250m daily users</h3> <p>Instagram Stories celebrated its first birthday at the beginning of the month, taking the opportunity to announce that 250m people are now using Stories every day.</p> <p>As well as surpassing Snapchat’s 166m daily users, Instagram Stories has also contributed to an overall rise in users on the platform, with people naturally taking to sharing disappearing content.</p> <p>Users under the age of 25 are now said to spend more than 32 minutes a day on Instagram, while users aged 25 and older spend more than 24 minutes a day.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8684/Instagram_Stories.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="554"></p> <h3>Obama’s response to Charlottesville becomes most-liked tweet in history</h3> <p>In the wake of the tragic violence in Charlottesville Virginia, Barack Obama responded with a tweet that has gone on to become the most-liked in history. Quoting Nelson Mandela alongside a photo of himself greeting children, the tweet generated over 2m likes in just a few days.</p> <p>Currently, it stands at 4,571,083, surpassing Ariana Grande’s tweet in response to the Manchester bombings.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">"No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion..." <a href="https://t.co/InZ58zkoAm">pic.twitter.com/InZ58zkoAm</a></p> — Barack Obama (@BarackObama) <a href="https://twitter.com/BarackObama/status/896523232098078720">August 13, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Ikea’s ASMR video</h3> <p>Ikea is the latest brand to jump on board the weirdly enjoyable <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68306-what-is-asmr-and-why-are-brands-like-kfc-getting-involved" target="_blank">phenomenon that is ASMR</a>. As part of its ‘Oddly Ikea’ campaign, it created a 25-minute video promoting its new range of ‘back to school’ items for college and university accommodation. </p> <p>The video involves a woman narrator gently caressing pillows and delicately grazing her nails over a lamp, all the while explaining the products’ various features.</p> <p>If you’re a fan of ASMR, you’re bound to enjoy it – just don’t blame us if you start purchasing Ikea bedding in your sleep. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/uLFaj3Z_tWw?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>National Lottery’s #Represent campaign backfires</h3> <p>The UK National Lottery obviously didn’t learn anything from Walker’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69153-how-big-brands-coped-with-social-media-crises" target="_blank">spectacular Twitter fail</a> earlier this year. Its recent social media campaign, #Represent, suffered exactly the same fate thanks to an almost identical spate of pranks.</p> <p>The idea was that people would leave messages of support for the British Athletics team, which would then be incorporated into images featuring the athletes. Instead, users recognised that the tweets would be automatically generated, and took the opportunity to leave a series of offensive messages and slogans – just like they did with Gary Lineker. </p> <p>Seriously, do people have nothing better to do?</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8683/National_Lottery.JPG" alt="" width="515" height="578"></p> <h3>CNN starts daily streaming on Snapchat</h3> <p>CNN premiered The Update on Snapchat Discover in August – a new daily news show featuring breaking stories and reports from around the world. </p> <p>The decision comes hot on the heels of NBC’s Stay Tuned program, as well as publishers like Buzzfeed, the New York Times, and Vice, who also post breaking news content on the platform.</p> <p>CNN is hoping that the show will resonate with millennials looking for bite-sized and reliable news content on mobile. </p> <h3>Facebook adds logos to links to fight fake news</h3> <p>Facebook has taken another step towards fighting fake news, announcing that it is to add brand logos next to article links in Trending and Search. The decision is a result of research that found a large percentage of users are unable to determine the original source of news, as well as whether or not it is reputable.</p> <p>Only approved publisher Pages will be able to upload their own logos, which means that unreliable or deliberately fake news publishers will be kept at bay. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8723/Facebook_fake_news.JPG" alt="" width="560" height="591"></p> <h3>Trivago ads spook Londoners</h3> <p>Despite a number of fun and creative ads around in August, there’s only one that’s been standing out to Londoners – and not for the right reasons.</p> <p>Trivago has taken to plastering its posters all over the city's tube stations, so much so that the Trivago lady (you know her, she wants to find your ideal hotel for the best price) has been haunting people’s dreams.</p> <p>According to reports, she’s also been filming a number of Trivago TV adverts in recent months, which means we’re far from rid of her yet. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Trivago, you're making us all very, very scared. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SheHauntsMe?src=hash">#SheHauntsMe</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TrivagoWoman?src=hash">#TrivagoWoman</a> <a href="https://t.co/H8qI5rnyr5">pic.twitter.com/H8qI5rnyr5</a></p> — Sabrina Rodriguez (@sabrodriguez1) <a href="https://twitter.com/sabrodriguez1/status/902944862001135616">August 30, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Always #LikeAGirl campaign tells us to keep going </h3> <p>Procter &amp; Gamble resurrected its ‘Like a Girl’ campaign in August, this time basing it around a startling new statistic – that 50% of girls feel paralysed by fear of failure during puberty, while 75% of girls agree that social media contributes to this fear.</p> <p>Always’ new campaign ‘Keep Going’ sends the message that failure is okay, because it helps people to learn and to grow.  </p> <p>Alongside an 80-second video, the campaign has also involved work with UK influencers talking about their own experiences of failure, including Hannah Witton and Alesha Dixon.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">NEW VIDEO</p> <p>Dealing with the fear of failure | A Chatty GRWM <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LikeAGirl?src=hash">#LikeAGirl</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ad?src=hash">#ad</a></p> <p>Hope you enjoy!<a href="https://t.co/gZSgBqR195">https://t.co/gZSgBqR195</a> <a href="https://t.co/ReFEllSWED">pic.twitter.com/ReFEllSWED</a></p> — Hannah Witton (@hannahwitton) <a href="https://twitter.com/hannahwitton/status/898152332302725120">August 17, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Match.com creates male model pop-up</h3> <p>Match.com launched its very own ‘Model Male’ pop-up shop in August, allowing women to browse a selection of its male members in 3D model form. </p> <p>Apparently the initiative was meant to encourage women to make the first move, and to counteract negative dating traits including ‘ghosting’ and ‘breadcrumbing’. In other words, to represent Match.com’s commitment to forging long-lasting relationships. </p> <p>(In case you’re wondering, breadcrumbing doesn't refer to when a partner eats biscuits in bed, but when a person deliberately leads someone on).</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/TWpwafvaflU?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>YouTube introduces ‘Breaking News’ feed</h3> <p>August also saw YouTube introduce a ‘breaking news’ carousel to its homepage and mobile app, suggesting that the platform wants to offer users a different way of browsing.</p> <p>It also indicates that the platform wants to edge into Twitter’s territory, following on from the latter positioning itself as a place to come for breaking news.</p> <p>YouTube has not yet indicated whether or not its news section will be curated or determined by its algorithm, however, it's bound to be an interesting development for 24-hour news broadcasters who already publish content on the site.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8727/YouTube.JPG" alt="" width="483" height="457"></p> <p><em><strong>To learn more on this topic, check out Econsultancy's range of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/social/">social media training courses</a>.</strong></em></p>