tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/twitter Latest Twitter content from Econsultancy 2017-02-20T10:52:00+00:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68815 2017-02-20T10:52:00+00:00 2017-02-20T10:52:00+00:00 Becoming an influencer: Notes from a fledgling travel blogger Nikki Gilliland <p>I recently caught up with Marion (while she was on a jealousy-inducing trip to Guatemala) to find out how she has generated such a large following, how she works with brands, and her thoughts on travel influencers in general.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3939/Marion_Payet.JPG" alt="" width="720" height="534"></p> <p>Here’s what she said.</p> <h4> <em>Econsultancy:</em> Could you start by explaining a bit about your blog and how you got into the industry?</h4> <p><em>Marion Payet:</em> I initially started my blog because of an interest in creating something more authentic than I was seeing elsewhere. </p> <p>I recognised that I could offer more than standard recommendations from huge companies like Lonely Planet. I mean, a brand like that might tell me to go to a specific market – but how will I know if it’ll provide me with anything unique or truly interesting? I’m more inclined to trust someone with a personal point of view rather than a book that’s been written for the masses. </p> <p>So, I aimed to build something based on the notion that if you like my lifestyle and the way that I am travelling, then you would like the recommendations I make too.</p> <h4> <em>E: </em>Did you start your blog with any knowledge of influencer marketing? </h4> <p><em>MP: </em>In terms of my own background, I started in the hospitality and travel industry in Florida, then I moved to London where I worked in retail – specifically ecommerce and digital marketing. </p> <p>This is how I knew I could offer something different from other travel websites, because I already knew many tricks of the trade. </p> <p>I had worked with influencers myself through affiliate channels, and had general knowledge of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/seo-best-practice-guide/">SEO</a>, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/paid-search-marketing-ppc-best-practice-guide/">PPC</a>, coding, etc. – so I knew I could use this to my advantage, especially compared to other bloggers I was seeing at the time.</p> <h4> <em>E: </em>What are the main strategies you have used to build your audience?</h4> <p><em>MP:</em> I obviously have the main website, but as I didn’t originally have much money to invest, I knew that in order to drive traffic to it I needed to use another organic channel like social media. </p> <p>So, I started <a href="https://www.instagram.com/hibiscusandnomada/">with Instagram</a>, spending days and days just being really active on it, engaging with the community and making friends with mutual interests. </p> <p>Over time my presence grew. From last June to now I have managed to reach 29,000 followers, and that’s just organically, from being super active and building my own community.</p> <p>Eventually, this audience has also found its way back to my website, so now we’re at about 1,500 visits per month.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3941/HN_insta.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="420"></p> <h4> <em>E:</em> At what point did you start getting interest from brands?</h4> <p><em>MP:</em> Quite recently. Before that, it was purely me reaching out to brands through email and social media, saying this is what I do if you are interested. </p> <p>Then, about a month ago, it seemed to flip – I started to get emails every day from brands and websites saying that they had found me. As soon as I reached about 25,000 followers on Instagram, it started to happen, and then I also got quite a bit of press coverage from online and print magazines. Combined, this seemed to really ignite interest.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Do you only work with a certain type of brand, and how do you decide who to work with?</h4> <p><em>MP:</em> Absolutely, since the very beginning I’ve made a point of being picky. I’ve seen a lot of other bloggers on Instagram being quite blatant, posting photos of a watch with a mountain in the background.</p> <p>I would never want to get paid to promote a brand that I don’t believe in, so I only work those that I think are a really good fit for me.</p> <p>For example, I am now working with a brand that offers travel insurance, because I have used it myself and I know that my audience will find it useful. If I am holding an expensive watch – why would a backpacker be interested in that? I’m not scared of saying no or explaining that it won’t be a good fit, either.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What would you say is the best way for a brand to approach an influencer?</h4> <p><em>MP:</em> A brand can usually get my attention if it is a personalised message, so not just mentioning that they have seen my blog, but pointing out a specific article or photo that they liked. </p> <p>I get countless emails saying that someone wants to work with me, so I really need to feel that there is some kind of personal connection. I can also tell if it is an email they have sent to hundreds of other bloggers – I can read between the lines. </p> <p>Lastly, I have to feel like it’s not just about them, that it’s about both of us, and that all parties will be able benefit from the deal.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> How do you see influencer marketing evolving? Do you think it will reach saturation point?</h4> <p><em>MP:</em> I do think it will reach saturation point. You can tell this, not just from the amount of influencers, but the type and quality of content that they are promoting. You can usually tell that it’s not authentic, that they are staying in a hotel simply because they are being paid to – it doesn’t align with their identity or approach to travel in any way. </p> <p>This weekend I was in the south of Mexico, in a hostel that paid for my entire experience, and while the hostel is definitely a place I would stay at (and promote), my article will also include detailed information about the day-trip I went on and every single activity I did. It’s always better to promote a story rather than just a straightforward recommendation. </p> <p>I think authentic influencer marketing will evolve in this way, telling the story and entire experience of a place rather than just one aspect.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Finally, what’s the best place you’ve been or experience you’ve had thanks to your blog?</h4> <p><em>MP:</em> The best feedback I’ve had has been from my Iceland trip - I was there for a whole week over New Year. I didn’t even really plan anything, then I slowly realised that it was winter, there would only be four hours of daylight, we’d be freezing. </p> <p>Who goes to Iceland in winter? But we embraced it and ended up taking the most incredible photos. The feedback was amazing, with people commenting that they now want to visit during the winter time rather than summer, and asking questions about how we got there, how we travelled and so on. </p> <p>People don’t even think to go to a place like Iceland before they see photos and then they get obsessed with it. For us, this is so rewarding – it shows that you can truly inspire.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3940/Iceland.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="429"></p> <p><strong><em>For more on this topic, check out the following research from Econsultancy:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/">The Rise of Influencers</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-voice-of-the-influencer/">The Voice of the Influencer</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68814 2017-02-16T11:15:00+00:00 2017-02-16T11:15:00+00:00 How utilities brands use social media for reputation management Nikki Gilliland <p>Before we go any further, what exactly is <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65523-what-is-online-reputation-management-and-should-you-use-it/" target="_blank">online reputation management</a>? Well, though it largely comes under the umbrella of social media monitoring, this practice can also involve dealing with online reviews, producing content and general <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66439-three-ways-community-management-drives-loyalty-for-charities/" target="_blank">community management</a>.</p> <p>In this article, I will specifically be focusing on how utility companies use social media channels for reputation management.</p> <h3>Basic principles</h3> <p>Online reputation management on social media refers to <em>how</em> brands respond to customer conversation.</p> <p>For example, if people are complaining or even praising a service, but the brand remains entirely unresponsive – this can have a detrimental effect on its overall reputation. </p> <p>Here are a few basic rules for effective management:</p> <ul> <li>Monitor mentions</li> <li>Respond quickly</li> <li>Be transparent</li> <li>Prepare for a crisis</li> <li>Address criticism</li> </ul> <p>Let’s look at a few examples of utility brands putting the above into practice.</p> <h3>Hawaiian Electric</h3> <p>Not many electricity suppliers have an Instagram account, let alone use it to effectively communicate with customers, but Hawaiian Electric is different.</p> <p>When a storm hit shores in 2014, it utilised the channel to let customers know about areas of power outage and repairs, as well as reinforce messages about safety. It has since continued to do this, expanding its strategy to incorporate general posts relating to the local community. </p> <p>By using a visual medium like Instagram, the brand is able to project a positive image and reassure customers in the process. </p> <p>After all, while it might be useful to hear that a company is repairing a broken electricity pole, seeing a photo of it in action is far more powerful.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3927/Hawaiin_Electric.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="489"></p> <h3>SSE</h3> <p>Figures from Citizens Advice revealed that SSE received the lowest number of customer service complaints last year, making it the top energy company overall for customer satisfaction.</p> <p>A big contributing factor appears to be the way it handles queries and criticism on social media, with a fast response time and polite tone of voice across the board.</p> <p>This is particularly evident on the brand’s Facebook page, where it ‘typically replies within an hour’. And although complaints are still common, the brand’s approach appears to be effective for calming angry customers. </p> <p>With <a href="http://blogs.forrester.com/kate_leggett/15-03-03-consumer_expectations_for_customer_service_dont_match_what_companies_deliver" target="_blank">77% saying</a> that valuing the customer's time is the most important thing a company can do – a fast response is one of the most effective ways for brands to ensure that they can maintain and improve a positive reputation.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3928/SSE_energy.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="469"></p> <h3>PSEG</h3> <p>PSEG – a gas and electric company based in New Jersey – shows that social media can be used for brand reputation management in alternative ways.</p> <p>In 2014, it started planning for an infrastructure upgrade to replace 250 miles of gas line - a project that would result in a lot of upheaval for local residents.</p> <p>Instead of an announcement on its website, PSEG chose to use micro-targeted Facebook ads in order to let people know what was going to happen and how it would affect them.</p> <p>When users clicked on an ad, they were taken to a specific page where they’d be able to select and view a work schedule and relating disruption.</p> <p>By utilising social media in this way, not only did PSEG demonstrate transparency, but it also pre-empted its customers' needs.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3929/PSEG.JPG" alt="" width="540" height="716"></p> <h3>Ovo</h3> <p>Brand Q&amp;A’s on Twitter are always risky. A few years ago, British Gas suffered a huge backlash from angry customers over price hikes, leaving the social media team with egg on its face and even more of a negative reputation than before.</p> <p>On the other hand, this type of activity can work well for smaller brands. Ovo is one brand that has utilised an ‘always on’ strategy to monitor brand mentions and successfully draw in new customers, often using Q&amp;As to highlight the shortcomings of competitors. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">We came here to have breakfast and help our customers. And we've just finished our toast. <a href="https://t.co/Bcr3QYnRGP">pic.twitter.com/Bcr3QYnRGP</a></p> — OVO Energy (@OVOEnergy) <a href="https://twitter.com/OVOEnergy/status/828513583000592387">February 6, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Despite its overall approach to social media being far more appealing than most utility companies – using a conversational and personal tone – Ovo has not had an entirely positive couple of years.</p> <p>Having failed to compensate customers for missed or late appointments, the company recently agreed to pay £58,000 to charity instead of undertaking formal enforcement action.</p> <p>While the experience has undoubtedly tarnished its reputation, Ovo’s charitable donation and intent to improve customer service is part and parcel of online reputation management in action.</p> <p><strong><em>Related articles:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68789-how-smart-switching-energy-apps-are-tapping-into-customer-need/" target="_blank">How smart-switching energy apps are tapping into customer need</a></em></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65478-how-20-top-uk-retailers-handle-social-customer-service/"><em>How 20 top UK retailers handle social customer service</em></a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68802 2017-02-14T10:41:36+00:00 2017-02-14T10:41:36+00:00 Five content marketing examples from dating sites and apps Nikki Gilliland <p>As online dating services become increasingly popular – with <a href="http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/02/11/15-percent-of-american-adults-have-used-online-dating-sites-or-mobile-dating-apps/" target="_blank">15% of all American adults</a> reportedly having used one – these sites are cleverly tapping into customer demand.</p> <p>While some larger dating sites rely on television or PPC advertising, good old fashioned content marketing remains a great way to attract a clientele.</p> <p>Here’s a look at just a few examples. And to learn more on this topic, check out these Econsultancy resources:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/content-marketing-and-strategy">Content Marketing Training Courses</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-future-of-content-marketing/">The Future of Content Marketing Report</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/implementing-content-strategy-digital-best-practice/">Implementing Content Strategy: Digital Best Practice</a></li> </ul> <h3>OKCupid</h3> <p>OKCupid was one of the first online dating websites to use content to drive its overall strategy.</p> <p>The original incarnation – OKTrends – was run by the company's co-founder, Christian Rudder, who used his mathematical background to set the tone of the blog. </p> <p>Essentially, he turned statistics and user data into fascinating articles, generating huge interest from online readers in general - not just those using its main dating service.</p> <p>Since being acquired by Match.com the blog has changed, however data and insight from the dating community remains at the heart of its content.</p> <p>It also regularly posts larger features, designed to poke fun at the perils of modern dating. One recent example is the amusing ‘Dictionary for the Modern Dater’, found on its Medium blog. Managing to steer clear of the clichés of online dating, it uses relatable humour to engage and entertain readers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3867/OKCupid.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="422"></p> <h3>Match.com</h3> <p>Match.com is another site that uses data to inform its content, largely for its annual ‘Singles in America’ study, which surveys over 5,000 US singletons to create informative and in-depth infographics and blog posts.</p> <p>Last year, the ‘Clooney Effect’ was one of the most successful pieces of content to arise, subsequently being picked up by a number of high profile publishers such as Glamour and Business Insider. </p> <p>Stemming from the statistic that 87% of men would date a woman who made ‘considerably more money’ than them (like Clooney and his highly successful wife, Amal Alamuddin) – it built on themes of positivity and empowerment to generate interest. With a reported 38% increase in traffic around the period the study was published, the results speak for themselves.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3868/Match_survey.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="428"></p> <h3>eHarmony</h3> <p>Unlike the aforementioned examples, eHarmony relies on emotive storytelling rather than statistics.</p> <p>With a helpful and thoughtful tone of voice, it aims to stem the fears and general stigmas that surround online dating, using advice-based articles to drive registration on the main site. </p> <p>While some have labelled its style of content as patronising, one area where eHarmony undeniably succeeds is in user-generated content. The 'success stories' page of its website is littered with positive reinforcement, cleverly breaking down content into various categories to target a wide range of demographics and backgrounds.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3870/eharmony.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="720"></p> <h3>Tinder</h3> <p>In just two short years, Tinder acquired more than 50m users – a feat that can perhaps be put down to its shrewd use of third-party integration. </p> <p>By enabling users to sign up with their Facebook login, it cleverly cuts through the frustrations of traditional dating websites, encouraging a younger audience to download and use the app.</p> <p>Unsurprisingly, Tinder is also one of the best examples of how to use social media to engage users. Not only does it integrate social on its app (now allowing users to cherry-pick the Instagram photos that they would like to show on their profile) it also populates its own social media with interesting, humorous and decidedly tongue-in-cheek content.</p> <p>For example, its Facebook page continuously drives interest. Last year, a Valentine’s Day post generated over 58,000 likes, 9,600 shares, and 2,900 comments – coming out on top in terms of engagement for online dating sites.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Ftinder%2Fphotos%2Fa.378789085524216.87768.353659601370498%2F914594031943716%2F%3Ftype%3D3&amp;width=500" width="500" height="589"></iframe></p> <h3>Hinge</h3> <p>Dating app, Hinge, has turned its back on ‘swipe culture’, recently introducing a subscription-based model to help users cultivate meaningful connections. Features of the app, unlike Tinder, are also designed to resonate on a deeper level. For example, users are required to ‘heart’ specific parts of another’s profile such as the book they’re currently reading or their go-to karaoke song.</p> <p>Hinge also builds on its positioning as a ‘relationship app’ rather than a dating app to inform its wider content marketing. </p> <p>A recent email campaign, launched in time for Thanksgiving, asked users what they were thankful for.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3874/Hinge.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="787"></p> <p>Using a seasonal theme alongside a message of gratitude – it was a clever example of how to use content to reinforce brand values and reignite user interest. </p> <p><em><strong>Related articles:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64270-five-dating-tips-you-can-apply-to-your-email-marketing/" target="_blank">Five dating tips you can apply to your email marketing</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68068-four-ways-brands-are-marketing-through-dating-services/" target="_blank">Four ways brands are marketing through dating services</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67563-how-tinder-has-changed-ecommerce/" target="_blank">How Tinder has changed ecommerce</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68785 2017-02-08T14:44:21+00:00 2017-02-08T14:44:21+00:00 How Adidas Originals uses social media to drive sales Nikki Gilliland <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">What a trend <a href="https://t.co/Vp78zN8nfL">pic.twitter.com/Vp78zN8nfL</a></p> — meredith faust (@mere_faust) <a href="https://twitter.com/mere_faust/status/822921744512065538">January 21, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>The brand has come a long way since the term ‘Adidad’ was coined. Maybe this was something that only occurred in my school, but it was used to denote somebody who typically wore unfashionable sportswear or offensively white trainers. Kids can be so cruel.</p> <p>But what’s made the brand cool again? </p> <p>Interestingly, Adidas Originals now has more followers on Twitter than the main Adidas account, cementing its position as a truly cult lifestyle brand. On the flip side, this also proves that it is definitely doing something right on social.</p> <p>Here are a few ways it has made its mark.</p> <h3>Creating hype</h3> <p>Social media is a natural extension of Adidas’s wider approach to marketing, especially when it comes to creating hype around its high-profile collaborations.</p> <p>Since the brand famously snatched Kanye West from Nike in 2014, it has carefully crafted a series of product launches, cleverly building on the rapper's wider (and fanatical) fan base.</p> <p>Tweeting and posting on Instagram in the run-up to shoe releases, the brand creates massive excitement and interest from followers.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">The V2’s Primeknit upper features SPLY-350 in mirrored text on both feet, engineered as part of the knit. Coming February 11th. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/YEEZYBOOST?src=hash">#YEEZYBOOST</a> <a href="https://t.co/Bb5H09LLwO">pic.twitter.com/Bb5H09LLwO</a></p> — adidas Originals (@adidasoriginals) <a href="https://twitter.com/adidasoriginals/status/828630759548317696">February 6, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Meanwhile, from Pharrell Williams to Stella McCartney, Adidas Originals is also shrewd in terms of how it collaborates with high profile personalities. Unlike other brands, who might merely use celebrities to front campaigns, Adidas put a huge focus on the personal and direct involvement of influencers in the actual designing process.</p> <p>In doing so, it ensures its collaborations feel entirely authentic rather than purely sales-driven.</p> <p>Again, this is reflected in how it posts on social, continuously reinforcing the core topic of originality and creative and artistic expression.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Strikingly similar. Completely unique. Nothing is original except your true self. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SUPERSTAR?src=hash">#SUPERSTAR</a> <a href="https://t.co/5TyKfEbN4H">pic.twitter.com/5TyKfEbN4H</a></p> — adidas Originals (@adidasoriginals) <a href="https://twitter.com/adidasoriginals/status/827435119375941632">February 3, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Giving control to consumers</h3> <p>Adidas’s resurgence truly began with the relaunch of its iconic Stan Smith shoe. Not only did this draw on feelings of nostalgia, but by emphasising its heritage, it also helped to reinforce the brand’s influence on streetwear and subcultures such as Brit pop and hip-hop.</p> <p>The social media campaign surrounding its release cleverly made consumers feel part of the story.</p> <p>The ‘Stan Yourself’ initiative involved asking users to tweet a photo of themselves for the chance to win a personalised pair of shoes. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Stan yourself! Send us a selfie using <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/stansmith?src=hash">#stansmith</a> - the best will get their own personalised Stan Smith tongue logo! <a href="http://t.co/csFEvnVb6k">pic.twitter.com/csFEvnVb6k</a></p> — adidas UK (@adidasUK) <a href="https://twitter.com/adidasUK/status/422704045229219840">January 13, 2014</a> </blockquote> <p>This customer focus has been integral to the success of Adidas Originals in recent years, with the brand aiming to create conversation about youth and street culture rather than simply promoting its products.</p> <p>One example of this is the brand’s recent series of live events called TLKS. Featuring high profile influencers within fashion and music, each one was <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68075-who-will-win-the-live-streaming-battle-facebook-live-or-periscope/" target="_blank">streamed live on Facebook</a>, while giving fans a unique opportunity to relate to Adidas on an experiential level.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FadidasOriginalsUK%2Fvideos%2F1838108906404925%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>Organic content</h3> <p>Lastly, we can see how social media is not simply a one-way marketing tool for Adidas Originals, but also a way for fans and consumers to show their appreciation. </p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67547-10-excellent-examples-of-user-generated-content-in-marketing-campaigns/" target="_blank">User-generated content</a> is particularly widespread on Instagram, with fans posting their love for the brand as well as excitement about product launches and exclusive events.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3713/Adidas_Insta.JPG" alt="" width="670" height="656"></p> <p>Likewise, the Adidas Originals Instagram feed (also with more followers than the main account) typically makes use of imagery from musicians, fashion designers and models to reinforce its tagline of ‘We Are Originals’ – including the consumer in the collective ‘we’.</p> <p>Using influence and artistic expression, Adidas Originals has managed to make its brand relevant again.</p> <p>By delivering its message on social media in a natural and authentic way, it has truly connected with a new and highly engaged young audience.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68771 2017-02-06T11:33:00+00:00 2017-02-06T11:33:00+00:00 Q&A with Nescafé's Community Manager: Melody Meacher-Jones Nikki Gilliland <p>I caught up with Melody Meacher-Jones, who is a community manager for Nestle UK, to find out what her job entails and her tips and advice for others.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3629/Melody.jpg" alt="" width="512" height="512"></p> <h3>Econsultancy: Firstly, could you explain what you do?</h3> <p>Melody Meacher-Jones: A community manager’s role is to advocate brands on social networks. Essentially, we create a brand’s persona and seek out opportunities to engage with potential or existing consumers online. </p> <p>On a day-to-day basis, I’m responsible for the look and feel of my brand’s owned social channels (Nescafé and Nescafé Dolce Gusto), generating earned media, and ensuring our community online is being engaged with and to the highest standard.</p> <h3>E: How do you measure success?</h3> <p>MMJ: For me, it’s all about gaining a high engagement rate and generating earned impressions. Whether that’s jumping on a trending topic with a custom-made piece of content or having ‘a bit of banter’ with an <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68566-what-are-the-most-effective-channels-for-influencer-marketing/" target="_blank">influencer</a>; success lies in those earned metrics. </p> <p>However, as a community manager I’m also passionate about every person who’s a member of my brands’ communities. Success can also mean converting just one consumer to buy or become an advocate of your brand through a simple tweet.</p> <h3>E: What are the most challenging aspects of your role?</h3> <p>MMJ: Being the first brand to jump onto a trending topic. For me, reactive marketing is an integral part of my role and being a graphic designer too, I’m always searching for opportunities online for my brands to join in. Seeing and creating the content first however, can be challenging. </p> <p>Another challenge is that consumers are expecting higher levels of engagement from brands. Over 50% of people who contact a brand on social media expect a response within an hour and they no longer want a mundane 140-character response. </p> <p>Brands like Innocent Drinks have set a benchmark for community management and customer engagement online that the rest of the industry is having to follow and hopefully exceed. </p> <p>For me, this means every interaction with a consumer has to be flawless and original to win over my communities.</p> <h3>E: Do you see the role changing/evolving in the near future?</h3> <p>MMJ: Absolutely. Community management is still a relatively new role within any marketing team, and as digital is evolving so will community managers’ responsibilities. </p> <p>With the rapid rise of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67536-three-dark-social-channels-with-a-billion-active-users-how-to-use-them/" target="_blank">dark social</a>, I’m interested to see how community managers will tackle this as our role relies on what people are saying being public. We can only wait to see how this situation develops. </p> <h3>E: Do you collaborate with wider teams within the company?</h3> <p>MMJ: In my role, I sit in digital marketing and work closely with brand teams and external agencies to ensure our earned strategy is aligned with theirs. </p> <h3>E: What social channels or platforms do you think are most effective for your role and how do you use them?</h3> <p>MMJ: Tough one. They all have pros and cons. It completely depends on where your community lives online. It might be a little ‘old school’ but from a community management perspective I find interacting with consumers on Twitter really effective. </p> <p>It’s completely public (most of the time) and hashtags enable you to gain a wider reach and tap into conversations you couldn’t do on Facebook or Pinterest.</p> <h3>E: What advice would you give to people interested in pursuing community management?</h3> <p>MMJ: 1. DO IT! (It’s really fun) </p> <p>2. If you’re looking to start a career in community management, I’d first search for brands who inspire you on social and see how they engage with their community.</p> <p>Then I’d start putting that into practice by starting a Tumblr blog or an Instagram account with content that you’ve created. From there, I’d just start responding to users when they comment on your posts and start familiarising yourself with social media terms and analytics.</p> <p>On that basis, you’ll have a great case study for when you start applying to roles.</p> <p><em>To find your next role in digital marketing, check out the <a href="https://jobs.econsultancy.com/">Econsultancy Jobs Board</a>.</em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68763 2017-02-01T10:13:33+00:00 2017-02-01T10:13:33+00:00 Can Snapchat survive Instagram’s aggressive copycat tactics? Nikki Gilliland <p>So, is this really the case? Here’s a quick look at how the platforms have evolved since last summer.</p> <h3>Snapchat vs. Instagram</h3> <p>While the claims are unsubstantiated, a <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/30/attack-of-the-clone/" target="_blank">recent report suggests</a> that view counts for Snapchat Stories declined by an average of 20%-40% from August to January.</p> <p>From analysis of 21,500 Snapchat Stories, analytics platform Delmondo also say that the average unique viewers per story has decreased by around 40%.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3552/Delmondo.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="416"></p> <p>But it's not all bad news. A separate report from eMarketer predicts strong growth for Snapchat’s ad revenues. Driven largely by ads placed in the app’s Live Stories section, US revenues are predicted to more than double from $348m in 2016 to $804m in 2017.</p> <p>To sure up its finances for the coming year, Snapchat has reportedly been seeking big spending commitments from ad agencies.</p> <p>The company is apparently <a href="http://uk.businessinsider.com/how-snapchats-commitments-with-ad-agencies-will-work-2017-1">asking for amounts between $100m and $200m</a>, despite the fact that ad giant WPP only spent around $90m with Snapchat in 2016.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3563/snapchat_revenues.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="525"></p> <p>Meanwhile, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68142-instagram-stories-what-do-marketers-need-to-know/" target="_blank">Instagram Stories</a> has enjoyed rapid success. Not only did it reach the 150m milestone in an impressively short amount of time, but it is still building on this with further additions to the feature.</p> <p>It recently announced that it is to add advertising into the mix (again following on from Snapchat’s example last June), allowing 30 companies to place ads within Stories.</p> <p>With <a href="http://www.livemint.com/Industry/qJuO2CY13sGqrTyPwJY6ZN/Instagram-adds-advertising-to-Instagram-Stories.html" target="_blank">74% of US companies planning to use Instagram</a> this year, it appears brands are increasingly favouring it over Snapchat. This is cemented by a recent study that found 30% of surveyed brands with a Snapchat account are <a href="http://uk.businessinsider.com/brand-usage-snoozes-on-snapchat-2017-1" target="_blank">dormant on the platform</a>. </p> <p>Finally, see the below Google Trends snapshot for an overview of the comparative search interest worldwide.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3551/Instagram_vs_Snapchat.JPG" alt="" width="680" height="514"></p> <h3>Why are users moving to Instagram?</h3> <p>So, why exactly are brands and consumers more interested in Instagram Stories? One possible reason for the decline in Snapchat views could be the decision to remove the autoplay feature in favour of a queuing system.</p> <p>Although the change aimed to provide greater control, offering the chance to cherry-pick content, it actually meant that people were no longer able to use Snapchat in the way that they had grown accustomed. While it’s true that view counts now show what users are actively watching, and are therefore more valuable, the disruption could have impacted user behaviour in general.</p> <p>In a wider sense, some say that Snapchat is a one-trick pony, meaning that if users prefer the experience of watching disappearing stories elsewhere, the platform has nothing else to offer. On the other hand, Instagram is able to rely on its original features - as well as Facebook's involvement.</p> <p>Recent decline could also be put down to a case of following the herd, with a wealth of social media influencers choosing Instagram over Snapchat due to its opportunities for greater reach. In Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-voice-of-the-influencer" target="_blank">Voice of the Influencer report</a>, 74% of influencers cited Instagram as platform that they are most influential on, with Snapchat even coming below Facebook and Twitter.</p> <p>It's not clear from the report whether influencers are drawn to Instagram because that's where the audience is, or whether their audience follows them to the platform. It's probably the former, but either way it's another plus for Instagram.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3553/Voice_of_Influencer.JPG" alt="" width="340" height="784"></p> <h3>The future for both platforms  </h3> <p>Despite constant suggestion that Instagram Stories is a Snapchat clone, it has also been borrowing from Facebook and Twitter of late with the introduction of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68640-why-live-video-was-the-biggest-social-trend-of-2016/" target="_blank">live video</a> streaming.</p> <p>Following on from the launch of Boomerang and an increase in video length, video in general looks to be a clear focus for Instagram. With this and the aforementioned ad integration, the clear opportunity for monetisation could prove to be irresistible.</p> <p>Meanwhile, Snapchat is focusing on the user experience, having taken steps to improve its navigation with the introduction of a new search functionality.</p> <p>Now, users can find groups, friends and stories from a search bar that’s constantly visible. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0EFGrJE6NTo?wmode=transparent" width="640" height="390"></iframe></p> <p>With some users put off by Snapchat’s arguably confusing and less-appealing interface, this could help the platform bite back at Instagram.</p> <p>What’s more, with the arrival of its first hardware device in the form of Spectacles, continued focus on the user experience and wider diversification could offer a boost.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68758 2017-01-31T11:42:58+00:00 2017-01-31T11:42:58+00:00 The best social media campaigns and stories from January 2017 Nikki Gilliland <h3>#EndTheStigma</h3> <p>The sad death of Carrie Fisher inspired one of the most popular hashtags on social media this January. </p> <p>The #EndTheStigma campaign involved users posting colourful badges adorned with declarative statements, with the aim of combatting common misconceptions about mental health.</p> <p>Designed and created by mental health advocate, Kat Selwyn Layton, the campaign was quickly met with a flurry of positive support online. Since then, the badges have been shared over 40,000 times on Facebook alone, and the relating Facebook page now has over 37,700 likes. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3512/Endthestigma_2.JPG" alt="" width="300" height="300"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3513/Endthestigma.JPG" alt="" width="300" height="297"></p> <h3>Twitter ditches the buy button</h3> <p>Twitter has finally axed its buy button after the platform’s attempts to move into social commerce failed to take off.</p> <p>The ‘donate’ button, which allows users to give to charities and non-profit organisation, will stay. However, as Shopify told its clients this week, users will no longer be able to include a “buy now” option on tweets.</p> <h3>Twitter replaces 'Moments' tab</h3> <p>Yet more news from Twitter, as the platform replaced the Moments tab on its mobile app with an Explore feature. The new tab will feature trends, news, search and live video in one place, meaning users can find new content more easily.</p> <p>This falls in line with Twitter's focus on content discovery and its aim to become the go-to place for breaking news.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">We're introducing a new way for you to discover what’s happening on Twitter, with Explore.<a href="https://t.co/tlHcqLCHj7">https://t.co/tlHcqLCHj7</a></p> — Twitter (@Twitter) <a href="https://twitter.com/Twitter/status/824666495305162752">January 26, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Sainsbury’s kitchen dancing</h3> <p>Sainsbury’s started the new year with a decidedly upbeat new campaign – and a distinct move away from the discount and product-heavy ads of the past.</p> <p>Featuring footage of people dancing around their kitchens, it celebrates the joy that comes with cooking rather than eating.</p> <p>With a bespoke song created by UK hip-hop artist, MysDiggi (who apparently used to work at Sainsbury’s), it’s undeniably silly - but you’d have to be pretty cynical to not let it raise a smile. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/H4bDzg9Wo_0?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Facebook updates Trending feature in US</h3> <p>Towards the end of January, Facebook announced that it would be updating its Trending feature to help combat the spread of fake news in the US.</p> <p>Now, Facebook will no longer feature trending news topics based off a single report, and instead focus on articles that have been covered by multiple news outlets. It’s also going to stop personalising trending topics, and instead deliver the same stories to all users.</p> <p>In doing so, it aims to minimise the chances of a single (and potentially untrue) news story going viral.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3510/Facebook_Trending.JPG" alt="" width="740" height="324"></p> <h3>Know your lemons</h3> <p>The charity Worldwide Breast Cancer launched a clever and highly shareable campaign last month.</p> <p>Labelled #KnowYourLemons, the campaign was designed to promote awareness of the various signs of breast cancer, and remind women that lumps are not the only symptom.</p> <p>Using lemons to depict 12 different signs, the image cleverly gets around censoring rules, and aims to help women overcome fears about checking their breasts.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fworldwidebreastcancer%2Fposts%2F1357549987610502&amp;width=500" width="500" height="821"></iframe></p> <h3>Mr. Clean's sexy superbowl ad</h3> <p>We recently mentioned it in <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68750-all-the-digital-news-stories-you-missed-this-week-22/">a digital news roundup</a>, but surely the new Mr. Clean ad deserves a second look (if only for comedy purposes).</p> <p>Released by P&amp;G, the ad – set to run during the Super Bowl – features a sexed up version of the famous character doing a particularly provocative dance.</p> <p>While reaction to the ad has been mixed, the overriding emotion from viewers appears to be ‘uncomfortable.’</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/GDzMxlw2Fgo?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>#DeleteUber</h3> <p>It was a saddening end to the month, marred by news of Trump’s so-called Muslim ban and an unsurprisingly fierce reaction on social media.</p> <p>People have been getting behind the #DeleteUber campaign, both in response to suggestions that <a href="http://fortune.com/2017/01/29/uber-immigration-protests/">Uber exploited a taxi protest against the ban</a>, as well the CEO’s reported relationship with Trump.</p> <p>While Uber has released several statements to try and stem the uproar, it only seems to be gaining traction, with several high-profile celebrities also backing the campaign.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">When you go from living with a boyfriend to never speaking to him again <a href="https://t.co/s5n2kGyG6r">pic.twitter.com/s5n2kGyG6r</a></p> — Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) <a href="https://twitter.com/lenadunham/status/825793575942230017">January 29, 2017</a> </blockquote> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68745 2017-01-31T10:31:00+00:00 2017-01-31T10:31:00+00:00 Five examples of brands using emojis in marketing campaigns Nikki Gilliland <p>With a <a href="http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2015/11/19/twitter-emoji" target="_blank">25.4% increase in engagement</a> on Twitter, and <a href="https://www.quintly.com/blog/2017/01/instagram-emoji-study-higher-interactions/" target="_blank">17% higher interaction rates</a> on Instagram – it’s not difficult to see why. Emojis present an opportunity to connect with consumers in a fun, relatable and creative way. </p> <p>But do some brands go too far? A <a href="https://yougov.co.uk/news/2016/11/17/consumers-tired-of-emojis/" target="_blank">YouGov survey</a> found that 59% of people aged 18-34 say companies are trying too hard when using emojis in ad or marketing campaigns.</p> <p>With this in mind, here’s a look at how some brands are incorporating emojis into marketing, and whether or not they pull it off.</p> <h3>Hillary Clinton</h3> <p>Kim Kardashian might have been one of the first to use custom-made emojis, but Hillary Clinton also capitalised on the trend during her presidential campaign.</p> <p>The iOS app, Hillarymojji, included over 30 emoticons, stickers and GIFs, which could be used in conversations on messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3397/Hillarymoji.JPG" alt="" width="300" height="465"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3398/Hillarymoji_2.JPG" alt="" width="300" height="473"></p> <p>While Hillary herself reportedly had no direct involvement, Hillary (the brand) certainly benefited from the exposure and engagement.</p> <p>Instead of simply incorporating emojis into marketing messages, custom-made keyboards allow brands to go one step further and infiltrate <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67536-three-dark-social-channels-with-a-billion-active-users-how-to-use-them/" target="_blank">dark social,</a> ensuring wider reach.</p> <h3>Disney</h3> <p>People go gaga about Disney, so it was only a matter of time before the brand cottoned onto the power of creating its own custom emoji keyboard. Unlike the aforementioned example, however, there was a twist.</p> <p>Disney added a gamification element to the mix, meaning that users could only get their hands on the emojis by winning points in ‘Disney Blast Blitz’.</p> <p>It's a risky tactic - while this gives users an incentive to continue playing the app, it’s likely that many people would lose interest after a while or simply abandon the idea when first finding out a game was involved.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3399/Disney_emojis.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="649"></p> <p>Sure, it could provide value for dedicated Disney fans, but it could mean that it doesn’t quite have the same accessibility and reach as free or paid-for emoji keyboards.</p> <h3>Pepsi</h3> <p>Designed to promote a range of specially designed emoji-themed Pepsi cans and bottles, ‘Say it with Pepsi’ was based on the same premise as Coca-Cola’s #shareacoke campaign. </p> <p>Instead of personalising its product with consumer’s names, Pepsi included various moods and country-specific emojis to encourage people to share images on social media.</p> <p>It’s a simple tactic, but by realising that emojis transcend linguistic barriers, it was the basis of a successful global campaign.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Take a break from the ordinary; you deserve it! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LiveForNow?src=hash">#LiveForNow</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SayItWithPepsi?src=hash">#SayItWithPepsi</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PepsiMojiJa?src=hash">#PepsiMojiJa</a> <a href="https://t.co/whqzaqFzKB">pic.twitter.com/whqzaqFzKB</a></p> — Pepsi Jamaica (@pepsijamaica) <a href="https://twitter.com/pepsijamaica/status/813806744614948864">December 27, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Domino’s Pizza</h3> <p>Instead of a large marketing push, Domino’s has been using emojis to offer its customers greater convenience (as well as ramp up its sense of fun on social). It <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68184-domino-s-introduces-dom-the-pizza-bot-for-facebook-messenger/">introduced a chatbot feature</a> to allow customers to order using a single pizza emoji.</p> <p>However, despite being described as the ‘epitome of convenience’, it does seem like more of a marketing gimmick than something that offers any real value to consumers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3400/Domino_s_Pizza.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="519"></p> <p>The whole process is a bit fiddly, with users needing to register with an ‘Easy Order’ account and pick out their pizza preferences in order to use it.</p> <p>That being said, it still shows how much emojis have infiltrated into everyday consumer behaviour, and is a prime example of how they can be used to effectively complement a fun and creative brand persona. </p> <h3>Durex</h3> <p>Lastly, Durex is a brand that has been using emojis to further its core message and champion a worthwhile cause.</p> <p>Its #CondomEmoji campaign has been going on for a while, calling for a safe sex emoji to be put on every smartphone in order to help young people communicate about the subject.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/O7iKgKpkWfU?wmode=transparent" width="876" height="493"></iframe></p> <p>In a survey undertaken by Durex, 60% of young people admitted to being uncomfortable discussing safe sex, and 72% said they find it easier to express emotions using emojis. Building on this even further, Durex also put its support behind World Aids Day, creating its own safe sex emoji in place of the long-awaited official one.</p> <p>By using emojis to promote social good (as well as its own product) Durex ensures relatability and an increase in awareness and positive brand perception.</p> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66043-email-subject-lines-the-best-words-emojis-to-boost-open-rates/">Email subject lines: the best words &amp; emojis to boost open rates</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67965-emojis-gone-wild-twitter-unveils-emoji-targeting/">Emojis gone wild: Twitter unveils emoji targeting</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67651-lgbt-emojis-are-dividing-emotions-internationally/">LGBT emojis are dividing emotions internationally</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68751 2017-01-27T14:56:00+00:00 2017-01-27T14:56:00+00:00 10 superb digital marketing stats from this week Nikki Gilliland <p>This week we're covering news about cart abandonment, adspend, dodgy ads, and lots more. Don't forget to download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium/" target="_blank">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> for even further info.</p> <h3>76% of marketers see ad blocking as a positive</h3> <p>According to a survey by YouGov and the Chartered Institute of Marketing, the majority of marketers believe that ad blocking will be a positive for the industry, encouraging better practice and greater levels of creativity.</p> <p>On the other hand, 38% of respondents believe that it could lead to a decline in online marketing.</p> <p>Other key stats from the research include the key areas of focus for the year ahead, with 42% of marketers citing personalisation, 37% citing data-driven marketing and 31% saying influencer marketing.</p> <h3>Emojis generate 17% more interaction on Instagram</h3> <p>A new study by Quintly has revealed that emojis result in 17% higher interaction when used on Instagram.</p> <p>From analysis of 22,000 profiles and 6.2m posts, those which included emojis were found to have a 2.07 interaction rate compared to 1.77 for those without.</p> <p>Other findings include the most popular emojis of 2016, with the most-used being the camera emoji, followed by the ‘OK’ hand signal and the pink hearts. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3441/Quintly.JPG" alt="" width="680" height="369"></p> <h3>43% of marketers still experimenting with influencer marketing</h3> <p>According to Altimeter’s Traackr report, 71% of marketers rate influencer marketing as a strategic or highly strategic area of marketing.</p> <p>However, 43% of those that agree are still experimenting with the practice, and 28% are only involving influencers at campaign level.</p> <p>The report also found the influencer budgets are still small compared to other areas of focus, but a shift in prioritisation means that 55% of marketers plan to spend more on influencers in 2017.</p> <h3>Trump’s inauguration generates 15m social media engagements</h3> <p>4C has revealed how social media users reacted to Donald Trump’s inauguration.</p> <p>The day’s event saw over 15m engagements across Facebook and Twitter, with the new President generating over 5m of them.</p> <p>Engagement peaked for the inauguration when the Obamas met the Trumps at the White House – a moment that’s now famous for Michelle Obama’s awkward reaction towards <em>that</em> Tiffany box.</p> <p>While the #inauguration hashtag generated 2.6m engagements on the day itself, the #womensmarch hashtag drew 7.3m engagements the day after.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3443/Trump.PNG" alt="" width="653" height="439"></p> <h3>Google removes 80m misleading ads in 2016</h3> <p>Google’s Bad Ads report has revealed that 80m bad ads were removed in 2016 for deceiving, misleading or shocking users with false information or clickbait headlines.</p> <p>Similarly, Google also took down 7m bad ads for intentionally trying to scam consumers or deliberately trying to trick its detection systems.</p> <p>In 2016, 1.7bn ads were removed overall, which is double the amount of ads removed the year previous.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3444/Google_Ads.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="339"></p> <h3>82% of customers over 55 feel undervalued</h3> <p>A new study by ICLP has found that customers over the age of 55 often feel overlooked, with 82% saying that retailers do not understand their needs.</p> <p>Consequently, 95% of over 55s would consider abandoning their favourite retailers in favour of others.</p> <p>ICLP’s survey also discovered what would make this demographic more loyal. The results found stronger reward programmes, communication and reliability to be the top three factors.</p> <h3>Adding touch to mobile ads increases engagement</h3> <p>In a study of 1,137 Android users, IPG Media Lab discovered that capitalising on consumer’s sense of touch during mobile video ads can produce a 50% uplift in brand favourability.</p> <p>While a standard video ad achieved happiness and excitement levels of 37% and 30% in consumers, video ads with touch-enabled elements resulted in rates of 44% and 38% respectively.</p> <p>This also resulted in a halo effect, with a 6% increase in positive brand perception overall.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3447/Touch.JPG" alt="" width="513" height="303"></p> <h3>Global cart abandonment rates up 2.4%</h3> <p>SalesCycle’s <a href="https://blog.salecycle.com/post/remarketing-report-q4-2016/" target="_blank">Remarketing Report</a> details the latest global cart abandonment stats. It shows that global cart abandonment rates were 76.8% in Q4 2016, a figure up 2.4% on the previous quarter. </p> <p>In terms of industry, fashion cart abandonment remains the lowest at 67.4%. Meanwhile, utilities is the highest, with an abandonment rate of 84.4%.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3446/Abandonment_rates.JPG" alt="" width="710" height="502"></p> <h3>58% of B2B buyers distrust vendor claims</h3> <p><a href="https://vendors.trustradius.com/b2b-buying-disconnect/" target="_blank">Research from TrustRadius</a> has found that tech vendors are failing to keep up with expectations, as nearly 60% of B2B buyers cite vendor-provided materials as the least trustworthy source.</p> <p>Despite many feeling sceptical over claims, buyers still acknowledge that vendors play a significant role in the purchasing process, with 62% saying they help answer questions, facilitate basic demos, and provide technical support.</p> <p>Additionally, the report found product demos and free trials to be the best and most trustworthy resources for buyers.</p> <h3>UK adspend increases following Brexit</h3> <p>According to the latest figures from the Advertising Association, UK adspend increased 4.2% in the quarter following Brexit.</p> <p>This news comes on the back of a Deloitte survey which found that 22% of advertising businesses have lost contracts since last June, and 62% believe the decision has negatively affected their business.</p> <p>On the other hand, the survey also found that 23% see Brexit as an opportunity for growth, and as a result, 8% plan to increase investment in the UK. </p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68716 2017-01-19T11:50:18+00:00 2017-01-19T11:50:18+00:00 Four common mistakes brands make with influencer marketing Nikki Gilliland <p>As highlighted in Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-voice-of-the-influencer" target="_blank">Voice of the Influencer</a> report, there appears to be somewhat of a power struggle between brands and influencers, with the main challenges involving strategy and motivation.</p> <p>So, here’s a bit of insight into the biggest mistakes brands can make, and why it’s important to avoid them.</p> <h3>Choosing influence over authenticity</h3> <p>The natural instinct for brands is to choose an influencer with the largest audience. While this makes sense in theory – as in the bigger the influence, the greater the reach – it can also backfire.</p> <p>This is because real influence comes from a sense of authenticity. In other words, a person who is staying true to their own beliefs or values, and in turn, promoting a product that somehow reflects this.</p> <p>It’s recently been proven that micro influencers (those with 500 to 10,000 followers) generate greater engagement that those with a larger audience. So, just like you might be more inclined to trust the opinion of a friend rather than a celebrity, consumers are more likely to trust someone with a smaller reach but who is a respected authority on a particular topic.</p> <p>For brands, it’s important to get this balance right, choosing the person whose identity best fits the campaign rather than chasing who is the most popular. </p> <p><em>Read why Iceland has chosen to work with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68691-why-iceland-has-replaced-celebrities-with-micro-influencers/" target="_blank">micro influencers instead of celebrities</a>.</em></p> <h3>Over-branding</h3> <p>Despite 93% of influencers believing that they should be in charge the narrative of a campaign – brands often struggle to relinquish control.</p> <p>Historically, brands determine everything from the copy to the look and design of a campaign. However, with many influencers used to creating their own content, complex negotiation is required to determine exactly what will be said or how it will be done.</p> <p>The key appears to be compromise – especially when it comes to brand marketing messages. </p> <p>On a platform such as Instagram, for example, overly branded images can come across as unnatural and disruptive to the style of the feed. So, while it’s important for branded messages to be included, it’s also crucial that influencers incorporate them in a natural and subtle way.</p> <p>The below example strikes me as one that gets the balance right. </p> <p>Watch brand Daniel Wellington worked with a number of lifestyle influencers on Instagram. It chose selectively, however, only teaming up with bloggers whose feed already reflects the brand’s pared down aesthetic.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3156/Daniel_Wellington.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="478"></p> <p>While a discount code was included to drive sales, the product itself was barely highlighted, being a small part of the overall image.</p> <h3>Campaign overkill</h3> <p>This leads us nicely onto the next common mistake, which is flooding users with multiple messages or posts relating to a campaign.</p> <p>Influencer marketing is built on the notion that the audience already exists – the brand is simply using the influencer as the vehicle to send the audience a message. </p> <p>Consequently, it is easy to alienate audiences (who are coming to a channel for a certain type of post) by bombarding them with brand slogans.</p> <p>This means that subtle campaigns, such as one-off posts, can be more effective. Alternatively, using multiple influencers in a campaign hosted on the brand's own marketing channels, such as Styld.by from Gap, uses storytelling elements rather than blatant advertising.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Step-by-step style with <a href="https://twitter.com/Judith_Hill">@Judith_Hill</a> in a look that easily transitions from day to night. <a href="https://t.co/ahAHEpC8jw">https://t.co/ahAHEpC8jw</a> <a href="https://t.co/XXjoVQsZQT">pic.twitter.com/XXjoVQsZQT</a></p> — Gap (@Gap) <a href="https://twitter.com/Gap/status/755507510568779778">July 19, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Focusing on the numbers</h3> <p>Lastly, with 75% of influencers citing frustration over reach and follower figures being of primary importance to brands, it again falls to marketers to change the perception of sponsorship deals.</p> <p>Like choosing influence over authenticity, brands can make the mistake of measuring success in terms of reach or sales following a campaign.</p> <p>Rather, factors like positive sentiment, increased awareness and online interaction can be equally important measures of success (for both brands and influencers alike).</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PPChNyCwMEo?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p><em>Dodi Clark, a YouTuber and musician, speaking about her brand-related troubles.</em></p> <p><strong><em>Further reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68230-two-different-paths-to-influencer-marketing-which-is-best-for-you/">Two different paths to influencer marketing: Which is best for you?</a></em></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67555-the-three-biggest-challenges-in-influencer-marketing/"><em>The three biggest challenges in influencer marketing</em></a></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67443-eight-influencer-marketing-stats-for-fashion-beauty-brands/">Eight influencer marketing stats for fashion &amp; beauty brands</a></em></li> </ul>