tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/influence-measurement Latest Influence measurement content from Econsultancy 2017-09-08T09:24:38+01:00 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/69349 2017-08-18T09:45:00+01:00 2017-08-18T09:45:00+01:00 Why marketers are failing to track 87% of their content shares Kevin Gibbons <h3>Mobile sharing </h3> <p>When it comes to the overwhelming amount of content that is produced online, most brands would measure part of their performance on reader engagement. </p> <p>This of course can be gauged by metrics like visits, bounce rate, time on page, scroll depth, and social shares. But even the most reliable metrics shift and change as quickly as consumer behaviour.  </p> <p>I believe that the boom in mobile usage has highlighted a serious insufficiency in traditional methods of tracking shareability as it turns out sharing <a href="https://digiday.com/media/80-percent-mobile-sharing-done-via-dark-social/">isn’t strictly a social affair</a>.</p> <h3>The psychological forces behind sharing </h3> <p>People share content for a myriad of different reasons:</p> <ul> <li>It’s interesting / insightful.</li> <li>It’s from a brand they love.</li> <li>It makes them look knowledgeable (social validation).</li> <li>It’s funny / entertaining.</li> <li>There’s an incentive.</li> </ul> <p>But for businesses, it’s important to understand <em>how</em> people are sharing.</p> <p>Traditional analytics tracks shares via social methods, but the reality is that a large chunk of sharing is happening not on public forums like Facebook and Twitter, but privately via messaging, emails, or chat apps. </p> <p>Moreover, this private messaging is facilitated by one of the simplest sharing methods in internet history: copy-and-paste direct from the URL address bar. </p> <p>It can be easy to get obsessed by the number of social shares a piece of content receives. However, the problem is that people often judge the success of content by social vanity metrics, and not by real impact.</p> <p>When I'm writing, I see it as a greater success if people are engaging with the content by sharing it around their teams internally over email, Slack etc - as then it's a strong indicator that it's resonating with the target audience. This often doesn't look as impressive publicly, but the content is hitting KPIs/goals that really matter.</p> <p>Because of the prevalence of address bar shares over share button shares, it’s important to learn how to understand and measure the use of this type of sharing – it can influence content and sales strategy. </p> <p>As mentioned, this method can prove to be an analytical blind spot for content marketers.</p> <p>For businesses, this information is a data goldmine as it can directly correlate to buying behaviours. Plenty of data suggests that digital word-of-mouth marketing still offers high value to brands. A personal, private recommendation or referral from a trusted source can tip the scales in an integrated content strategy.</p> <h3>Tracking address bar shares: A case study</h3> <p>I wanted to find out and measure the relevance of this type of sharing, which is so often overlooked. I used the BlueGlass blog as an experiment to understand the impact of address-bar tracking, filtering out our own internal IP addresses.</p> <p>I connected with the experts at <a href="https://amigotechnology.com/campaigns/content">Amigo</a> to test the method of content shareability from about three months of data. In our experiment, we used BlueGlass blog share data (and we also included a case study from PensionBee). </p> <p>Within our three month test (from 01/12/2016 to 14/03/2017), we found that 87% of our shares were coming from the address bar. We would not have been able to identify those address bar shares without this Amigo tracking tool.</p> <p><img src="https://www.blueglass.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/url-sharing.jpg" alt="URL vs social media sharing" width="600" height="699"></p> <p>The overall share rate was 3.4% – this was very high compared to our aggregate share rate across all the blog pages we are tracking (1.13%).</p> <p>Overall, we confirmed conclusively that the address bar was by far the most popular sharing channel:</p> <ul> <li>87% of all shares were made this way.</li> <li>The next most popular sharing channel was Twitter, with almost all other referral visits coming from Twitter shares.</li> <li>Our blog post, ‘25 Things You Need To Know About Local Search - BlueGlass' continues to be the page with the highest share rate (shares/visitors) at 9.52%.​</li> </ul> <h3>Optimising your social sharing </h3> <p>The scale of data that contributed to dark sharing was a surprise for me, but for Amigo, these results were normal. Frederic Kalinke, Managing Director of Amigo, comments:</p> <p>“Across all of our campaigns, we consistently see between 70% and 90% of total shares coming from copying and pasting the URL in the browser address bar. Despite the ubiquity of share buttons, most people distribute content with friends, family and colleagues in a point-to-point manner by pasting links into emails or messenger platforms, rather than broadcasting content across social media.</p> <p>"If marketers are not tracking address bar shares, it is an analytical blind spot as they have no idea how popular their content pieces are. Amigo tracks everything from the share right through to conversion and can shine a light into '<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67529-the-rise-of-dark-social-everything-you-need-to-know">dark social</a>'.  </p> <p>"One of the things we are keen to do next is to fuse our address bar share data with an IP Address identification provider so that brands can understand the virality of their content within an organisation. This is particularly useful for B2B marketers in mapping out where prospects are in the sales funnel."</p> <p>Personally, I found that by understanding an untapped level of our social shareability across channels, we were able to uncover more insight into our reader base and find ways to develop and improve our own marketing strategy.</p> <p>Jasper Martens from PensionBee also used the new sharing data to shape strategy: </p> <p>"We use Amigo to track address bar shares to understand what content triggers engagement and drives customer sign up. It has helped us to shape our content strategy and identify audiences that are most likely to engage with our content. In terms of share button shares, I was surprised to find out that WhatsApp was the most frequently used channel for sharing blog content. Today, most of our content is aimed at reaching key audiences that will share PensionBee articles on their phones with their friends."</p> <p>Now that we can prove that anywhere from 70% - 90% of social sharing is dark, the next step is to track how much of that sharing leads to traffic and sales.</p> <p>That personalised, private and trusted share is a powerful sales driver when juxtaposed with paid advertising, content, and influencer marketing.  </p> <p>A social button or public share offers a higher level of intent than simply a visit, but being able to analyse a private address-bar share allows brands to identify real content that is sparking interest, and the real influencers that are generating conversions.</p> <p>Are you tapping into this opportunity to learn more about your audience and potential buyers? Do you track address bar shares?</p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68094-three-ways-to-encourage-social-sharing-in-a-foreign-market">Three ways to increase social sharing in a foreign market</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69209 2017-06-30T10:43:00+01:00 2017-06-30T10:43:00+01:00 Six inconvenient truths about influencer marketing Patricio Robles <h3>1. Calculating ROI can be difficult</h3> <p>As Rakuten Marketing MD and Econsultancy contributor James Collins <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69164-should-sales-be-used-to-measure-the-roi-of-influencer-marketing/">recently noted</a>, “influencer marketing is often about raising awareness through aspirational content, with a view to generating purchases further down the line, rather than pushing immediate sales.”</p> <p>But for brands spending growing amounts of big bucks on influencer marketing campaigns (according to research from Linqia, marketers will spend $50,000 to $100,000 per influencer marketing campaign this year) justifying that spend increasingly requires more than faith that it will produce a return down the line. </p> <p>Unfortunately, a recent Econsultancy report <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/measuring-roi-on-influencer-marketing/">revealed that measuring ROI on their influencer initiatives is the biggest challenge for 65% of marketers</a>. While measuring ROI is hardly a challenge exclusive to influencer marketing, given the growing cost of influencer marketing campaigns, it's getting harder and harder for marketers to brush the ROI question aside.</p> <h3>2. Engagement doesn't necessarily translate to efficacy</h3> <p>Part of the ROI calculation challenge is that some of the most easily tracked metrics in influencer marketing campaigns are related to how much followers engage with sponsored content. But likes, retweets and comments aren't always meaningful metrics and don't even necessarily mean that an influencer's followers have truly engaged with the branded content.</p> <p>At a minimum, companies should use benchmarking to assess whether or not the engagement their campaigns is generating is in line with what they expect based on an influencer's non-paid content, but it's not clear that marketers are even doing this.</p> <h3>3. It's hard to assess audience quality </h3> <p>Fake accounts, often created by automated means, have for years been a thorn in the side of social platforms like Facebook and Twitter. While it's impossible to pin down exactly how many fake accounts exist, even if a relatively small percentage of the accounts on these platforms are fake, that represents tens of millions of fake accounts, if not more.</p> <p>By some estimates, even some of the biggest influencers on these platforms have fake followers well into the double digit percentages, which can equate to anywhere from tens of thousand to millions of fake followers. Even though in most cases this almost certainly isn't intentional, it's a problem given that the most popular influencers are setting their prices based on their total audiences and marketers can't really be sure whether the number of useless accounts following a particular influencer is 1%, 10%, 25%, etc.</p> <p>Beyond fake accounts, it's even more difficult to assess the quality of an influencer's legitimate audience. How many followers are active? How many are truly fans of the influencer? And so on and so forth.</p> <h3>4. You can't control how people will react</h3> <p>The concept behind influencer marketing – that brands benefit by positive associations with high-profile individuals on social media platforms – isn't an invalid one, but that doesn't mean that campaigns are guaranteed to produce positive reactions.</p> <p>For example, Marigold, a prominent dairy and beverage company in Singapore, learned that the hard when when it used three influencers to promote its Marigold Peel Fresh juice drink. One of the influencers, Naomi Neo, who did not disclose that she was being paid by Marigold, claimed that she “always [carries] around a carton of my favorite MARIGOLD PEEL FRESH juice.”</p> <p>That claim was, for obvious reasons, <a href="http://mothership.sg/2016/05/internet-person-says-she-carries-1-litre-carton-of-marigold-peel-fresh-everywhere-she-goes/">met with extreme skepticism</a> and lots of negative comments on social media and the web – probably not what Marigold was looking for.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7191/neo.jpg" alt="naomi neo" width="615" height="424"></p> <h3>5. Influencer relationships can go south, and quickly</h3> <p>Influencers are human beings and thus not infallible. That means influencer relationships are fraught with many of the same risks as typical celebrity endorsements.</p> <p>In a worst-case scenario, brands associated with an influencer could suffer some level of embarrassment if the influencer becomes the subject of a public firestorm.</p> <p>Case in point: after a Wall Street Journal article highlighted a number of anti-Semetic videos posted by PewDiePie, YouTube's biggest homegrown star, brands that had been involved with him, <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/disney-severs-ties-with-youtube-star-pewdiepie-after-anti-semitic-posts-1487034533">including Disney</a>, made the decision to cut ties. </p> <p>While it's unlikely that the PewDiePie association will have a lasting negative impact on a brand like Disney, the fact that it had to end the kind of long-term influencer relationship that is most likely to pay dividends demonstrates just how hard it can be to bank on internet stars as reliable partners.</p> <h3>6. Disclosure is still an issue</h3> <p>In the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is ramping up its efforts to ensure that influencers are adequately disclosing when they are being paid to promote products and services for companies. </p> <p>While in theory it should be easy for marketers to require that the influencers it works with are following the applicable rules, and platforms like Instagram are aiming <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-14/instagram-to-make-it-clearer-when-influencer-posts-are-paid-ads">to make it even easier</a>, the FTC <a href="http://fortune.com/2017/04/20/ftc-instagram/">is still finding dozens upon dozens of instances of violations</a> of its rules. Even following the FTC's letters, a number of watchdog groups <a href="https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/303461/celebrities-still-fail-to-disclose-instagram-ads.html">discovered that</a> many of the influencers the FTC warned are not disclosing when they are posting content for brands.</p> <p>Ultimately, if brands aren't proactive about making sure the influencers they work with are following the rules, it's likely that the FTC will be forced to take enforcement action, action that could carry with it fines for brands.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69197 2017-06-23T09:24:15+01:00 2017-06-23T09:24:15+01:00 “It was a great campaign. It cost me $2M”: A discussion on EMV and social media measurement Nicolas Chabot <p><strong>Me:</strong> I would love to understand how you measure success on social and especially on your influencer programmes.</p> <p><strong>CMO:</strong>  Ideally, we’d like to find a simple and easy number that management can relate to, and we are looking to use Earned Media Value as a core KPI to measure success there, including on influencer relations. We see that some of our competitors even use EMV in their communication with financial analysts.</p> <p><strong>Me:</strong> Really? Interesting. It sounds like an updated Advertising Value Equivalent from the PR world. At a time when leading communication associations such as AMEC are now officially discarding AVE, is it not contradictory to push an equivalent metric into the new digital world ? </p> <p><strong>CMO:</strong> I understand your challenge. EMV however is seen as a simple, understandable number that is also easily comparable among brands or regions. We really need some way to quantify all this great organic content the teams are generating, and we believe it’s a good and easy way to put a value on it all. It also gives a sense of ROI to the investment we make to grow our earned media presence.</p> <p><strong>Me:</strong> Measuring success of your brands on social in a consistent way is indeed absolutely critical.  It’s interesting you say ‘value’. But thinking about how you typically measure success on communication activities - if someone asks you about your latest TV campaign, would you typically respond: “Yes, it was great! It cost me $2M”?</p> <p><strong>CMO:</strong> No, of course not! We would use “target coverage” and “repeat” as core KPIs to measure the efficiency of the media plan and then awareness and attribution as key outcomes for example.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/6972/sharp-1844964_1920-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="314"></p> <p><strong>Me:</strong> That seems to make sense. So I am wondering why you would try to measure your success on social media through a measure of cost? How can costs be a success measure then? To compound this; EMV is not a real cost, It supposed to be the equivalent cost of purchasing such content whereas the value of such content lies in the fact you cannot buy it. </p> <p><strong>CMO:</strong> And what about paid posts where we can actually ‘buy the content’? </p> <p><strong>Me:</strong> OK, so…. practically, how would you calculate EMV? What is your methodology for putting a $ to a retweet or an Instagram post? Are you assuming that $ value is identical for all your brands?  </p> <p><strong>CMO:</strong> The methodology seems a little unclear to be honest, and does seem to change wildly month on month, which makes benchmarking difficult. Some vendors seem to be able to come up with standardised numbers to value a publication or an engagement. In the end the important thing is that the same approach is used across all competing brands so that our “share of EMV” remains a valid concept.</p> <p><strong>Me:</strong> I can understand how a single metric would be useful internally, but it concerns me that some companies would communicate a KPI to financial analysts that they wouldn’t be able to explain, even on a “market share” basis.</p> <p>On the same topic, I was reading a post on LinkedIn the other day by a marketing executive at a global car company, quoting “I normally value a “like” on Facebook or Instagram around €0.3-0.4, while I give more value to a “share” because it generates more engagement among other users so I value it around €2-3”.</p> <p>Does this mean that if I like or share an influencer post, I immediately create €2-3 of value ? If yes… I want that money!</p> <p>(laughs)
</p> <p><strong>CMO:</strong> Well, yes, it guess it’s not real $. It is a “theoretical value”. But what would you recommend as a valuable way to measure success on social media then?</p> <p><strong>Me:</strong> When we work with clients, we help them develop their measurement framework using the <a href="https://amecorg.com/how-the-barcelona-principles-have-been-updated/">Barcelona principles</a> and AMEC’s recommendations. In particular we try to focus on the impact of communication. We’d generally advise against single ‘black box’ metrics that aren’t clearly understandable. </p> <p>For influencer programmes, we believe “engagement” is a very strong proxy of impact for example. But this metric only makes sense if you track it in the overall context of the objectives of your brand: are you trying to build awareness? Advocacy? Generate traffic to your web assets? Leads for your sales team? It’s not an easy or quick conversation, but one we’d love to have ;)</p> <p><strong>CMO:</strong> I see.</p> <p><em><strong>More on social media measurement and influencer marketing:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/">The Rise of Influencers</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69144-measuring-social-media-roi-case-studies-stats-that-prove-it-s-possible">Measuring social media ROI: Case studies &amp; stats that prove it’s possible</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69096 2017-05-19T11:08:00+01:00 2017-05-19T11:08:00+01:00 Four reasons luxury brands are embracing influencers Nikki Gilliland <p>The <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-new-face-of-luxury-maintaining-exclusivity-in-the-world-of-social-influence/">‘New Face of Luxury’</a> report – published by <a href="http://www.fashionmonitor.com/#/">Fashion &amp; Beauty Monitor</a> in association with Econsultancy – delves into this topic, exploring why luxury is embracing this growing trend. To whet your appetite, here's just four reasons.</p> <h3>1. Social media makes luxury accessible</h3> <p>There’s no doubt that social media has made luxury more accessible and appealing to everyday consumers. Now, shoppers aren’t required to enter a store to browse, meaning they can interact with and experience high-end brands on an entirely new level. </p> <p>Of course, the open and large-scale nature of social means that brands runs the risk of appearing less exclusive – perhaps a reason why the industry has been reluctant to forge relationships with social influencers up until more recently.</p> <p>Despite almost two-thirds of luxury brands being active within influencer marketing, 46% admit their influencer programme is a year or less than a year-old. Meanwhile, a further 28% say they have only used influencer marketing for two years or so.</p> <p><strong><em>Do you currently use influencer marketing as part of your marketing strategy?</em></strong></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6188/do_you_use_influencer_marketing.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="668"></p> <p>That being said, many luxury brands are recognising that, if they are able to find the right balance, channels like Instagram and YouTube can be used to create content that reflects the lifestyle and interests of the core consumer. Which in turn, is also promoted by influencers. </p> <h3>2. Mid-tier influencers offer authenticity</h3> <p>Alongside a growing cynicism over celebrity endorsements, there’s been the realisation that the biggest social influence does not yield the best results. In fact, <a href="http://markerly.com/blog/instagram-marketing-does-influencer-size-matter/" target="_blank">research</a> suggests that as an influencer’s follower count increases, the rate of engagement with their followers decreases.</p> <p>As a result, luxury brands have begun to embrace mid-tier or micro-influencers, with 40% of respondents saying that mid-tier influencers hold the most appeal.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6189/Mid-tier_influencers.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="432"></p> <p>This is because mid-tier influencers are dedicated to building active and engaged communities of followers who value their voice and trust their judgements on brands and products. In contrast, much like celebrities, top-tier influencers or those with mass audiences might have less control or come across as less authentic.</p> <h3>3. Enthusiasm for content-focused campaigns</h3> <p>So, how exactly are luxury brands collaborating with influencers?</p> <p>Interestingly, it appears that a growing focus on content promotion and distribution is informing campaigns – over and above product launches. While 74% of luxury brands say that influencers play a “critical” or “very important” role in product launches, 71% say the same for content creation and promotion.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6190/role_of_influencers.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="542"></p> <p>This shows that the real value of influencer marketing does not necessarily come in big brand campaigns – but subtle and original content. This tends to align with the opinions of influencers themselves, who typically feel that creative freedom and involvement is needed for the partnership to be worthwhile and successful for both parties.</p> <h3>4. Greater focus on ROI</h3> <p>With increasing investment, it’s naturally important for luxury brands to want to measure return. Unfortunately, this remains one of the biggest challenges, with the sheer amount of social and online data making it difficult to drill down to a single influencer, product or campaign.</p> <p>That being said, it is an area of growing focus. 62% of luxury brands say that revenue generation is an important measure of success, while just 44% of non-luxury brands place such value on conversion figures. 79% of luxury brands also measure the success of influencer collaborations through web traffic generated, closely followed by the number of times content was shared.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6191/ROI.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="479"></p> <p>Another positive is that social media channels are becoming increasingly trackable, with the use of affiliate programmes and conversion pixels, and with Instagram in particular introducing shoppable links.</p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>So, will luxury brands continue to invest in influencer marketing in future? With 66% of luxury brands saying that they expect their budget to increase "moderately" or "significantly" over the next 12 months, it appears so.</p> <p>Despite some existing reservations about retaining exclusivity and aspiration, the bravest brands are proving this is possible to uphold, providing the collaboration is a good fit.</p> <p><em><strong>For more, download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-new-face-of-luxury-maintaining-exclusivity-in-the-world-of-social-influence/">New Face of Luxury Report</a>.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3175 2017-03-21T11:34:15+00:00 2017-03-21T11:34:15+00:00 Intensive: Mastering Analytics <p>Develop your analytics strategy and gain practical skills in measurement, interpretation, optimisation and prediction.</p> <p>The volume of data, analytics tools and different sources relevant to digital is ever-increasing and getting value from that data requires a focused and structured approach.</p> <p>This three day course will arm you with the practical knowledge and skills you need to transform this wealth of data into increased performance and better strategic decisions. </p> <p>The Mastering Analytics Intensive covers the full analytics journey from planning measurement and data collection through to the practicalities of analysing, optimising and predicting behaviour.</p> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">Econsultancy’s intensives are three-day programmes offering you a deep dive into specific digital disciplines. The intensives offer the practical training without the need for long term commitment.</p> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong>Intensives</strong>: </p> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">Are led by practitioner trainers</p> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">Include access to resources to support the training</p> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">Allow delegates to implement and evaluate what they’ve learnt through ‘homework’ and trainer feedback after training</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3171 2017-03-21T11:29:32+00:00 2017-03-21T11:29:32+00:00 Google Analytics <p>Research by Econsultancy has shown that over 70% of companies now use Google Analytics systems to report online performance. However, frequently once the tool is in place there seems to be a "what next" moment.</p> <p>This practical, small group workshop will help you to get started with Google Analytics, offering you plenty of practical tips and shortcuts.</p> <p>You'll learn how to get useful information from the tool so you can begin optimising your site, online marketing and content.</p> <p>Your website will also be viewed by an industry expert, who will make recommendations as to the best starting points for your own analysis.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68782 2017-02-10T11:36:23+00:00 2017-02-10T11:36:23+00:00 Three ways brands are using emotional analytics to connect with customers Tamara Littleton <p>But now it’s time for the next step.</p> <p>Emotional analytics allows brands to connect with people on a deeper, more personal, level. Unlike sentiment analytics, which simply allocates responses into broad positive, neutral or negative categories, emotional analytics tells brands what people are feeling and why. This, I think, makes all the difference.</p> <p>I might take to Twitter after a bad experience with customer service, and while the post could be defined as negative in a sentiment analysis report, how useful is that “negative” tag to the brand? My post will be lumped in with tons of other “negative” posts, depleted of all context which could make it actionable for the brand.</p> <p>Without deeper context, the brand can’t solve any problems. It can’t see that certain business practices make me frustrated, or that many other customers are experiencing a similar frustration for the same reason.</p> <p>Brands that don’t know why a customer feels the way they do can’t tailor their products and services to meet specific needs and wants.</p> <h3>How emotional analytics delivers results</h3> <p>By using emotional analytics, brands can see if there’s a disconnect between the emotions that we want the brand to create, and those that real customers are experiencing.</p> <p>A brand’s marketing team may want to promote the brand as inspirational and exciting, but how can it tell if it’s really delivering on this? Emotional analytics looks at how people are feeling, examines what topics they are having feelings about, and allows marketers the chance to change the narrative. </p> <h3>Three ways brands use emotional analytics</h3> <h4>1. Personalisation </h4> <p>As part of its 20th anniversary celebrations, <a title="campaignlive.co.uk" href="http://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/easyjet-transformed-customer-data-emotional-anniversary-stories/1414488">EasyJet</a> used emotional analytics to discover what its customers felt about previous journeys they had taken.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3819/easyjet_20_years.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="450"></p> <p>It then used these insights to send customers personalised emails featuring their own history with the airline.</p> <p>These emails were opened 100% more than regular email campaigns, with the word “love” being the most common word used by recipients to describe how they felt about it.</p> <h4>2. Compliance</h4> <p>Bloomberg allows its clients to track the emotion in text and voice communications, helping them <a title="informationweek.com" href="http://www.informationweek.com/big-data/big-data-analytics/businesses-harness-emotional-analytics-for-gains/d/d-id/1324970">prevent market abuse</a> and remain compliant.</p> <p>Think of all the times that we don’t say what we mean. When we say we’re fine, when really were angry. By analysing our emotional responses, brands have a better chance of spotting any hidden meaning behind our messages.</p> <p>Businesses can apply this technology to their own internal communications and identify irregularities before they become problems.</p> <h4>3. Improved experience </h4> <p>We’re starting to see more <a title="insider-trends.com" href="http://www.insider-trends.com/is-emotion-tracking-the-next-big-retail-trend/">wearables</a> that track our emotional responses. For retailers, these offer a way to improve and tailor their in-store customer service – from sending assistance to frustrated shoppers to knowing which customers would be more open to special offers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3820/feel_wristband.png" alt="" width="700" height="349"></p> <p>When <a title="wgsn.com" href="https://www.wgsn.com/blogs/ebays-pop-up-tracks-shoppers-emotions/">eBay</a> launched its pop-up store in late 2016, it wanted to track how people felt when they shopped for Christmas gifts. The answer? Stressed. 88% saw their heart rate jump by 32% during their shopping experience.</p> <p>Ebay wanted to use this data to take the stress out of shopping, and use the emotional insights to show shoppers what products they had connected with. The ecommerce giant tracked this data using wearables and in-store experiences, but it could gather the same sort of data online using emotional analytics.</p> <h3>Emotional analytics: using humans to turn emotion into action</h3> <p>From managing a crisis to refining a customer’s retail experience - if you understand the emotion that your brand elicits from a customer, you can take positive action.</p> <p>Using human insight to get under the skin of the data means you can turn analytics into action, transforming your marketing, customer service and experience to resonate with customers. You can win not just their heads, but their hearts. </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68747 2017-01-30T11:47:08+00:00 2017-01-30T11:47:08+00:00 From buzzword to bullsh*t: celebrating 144 years of ‘influencer marketing’ Ian McKee <p>Yeah, you read that right — 1873. Jules Verne, a hugely influential author, was known to be writing another adventure novel <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Product_placement#Origins">when he was lobbied by transport companies for mentions</a>.</p> <p>Perhaps if Jules had been a millennial, then ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ would have been an Instagram Story featuring definitely-not-awkward contract-fulfilling selfies taken on the Orient Express. </p> <p>I’m sure the world would have been a richer place. </p> <h3>New tricks for old dogs</h3> <p>You can see my point, through the dripping sarcasm — <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/">influencer marketing</a> is not a new thing. </p> <p>In the decade I’ve been in PR, I’ve been involved in activity that today you might term ‘influencer marketing’ from day one. And I’m a relative whippersnapper compared to the transport industry lobbyists of the 1870s. </p> <p>It goes like this — this person holds sway over our audience. Give them free stuff, or some other compensation, to talk about our brand. Bingo, consider that audience influenced. </p> <p>Coining new terms for old tactics is something we love doing in the internet age. Look at fake news (or, propaganda), <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63722-what-is-native-advertising-and-do-you-need-it/">native advertising</a> (what we used to call advertorial) and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/content-marketing-and-strategy">content marketing</a> (all marketing involves content, people). </p> <p>Just because the media has changed immeasurably doesn’t mean the ways we use it have. And influencer marketing is another buzzword coined more for tech companies to sell software than it is to describe anything new. </p> <h3>Rule of diminished returns</h3> <p>Which isn’t to say it’s not of value. There’s a reason marketers have been using this tactic for over a century. </p> <p>However, gaining buzzword status has inevitable negative effects. Just as in B2B content marketing when it started getting harder and harder to attract attention to your latest white paper, if everyone’s employing the same tactic then the rule of diminishing returns comes into play. </p> <p>In the case of influencer marketing, if it continues to grow there are only two routes we’ll plausibly go down.</p> <p>The first is a world where literally everyone’s an influencer to some degree. Like in the Black Mirror episode <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5497778/">Nosedive</a>, whether you can live in a certain place, buy your coffee from a certain café or do a certain job will all depend on your influencer score. Social media armageddon, basically.</p> <p>The second (and far more likely) outcome is a backlash. Consumer cynicism reaches the point where your average Instagram user can spot a plug from a mile off, and the returns of influencer marketing are significantly diminished. </p> <p>I think it’s fairly obvious that we’re approaching the second outcome right now. Stories like <a href="http://digiday.com/agencies/confessions-social-media-exec-no-idea-pay-influencers/">confessions of a social media exec on influencer marketing</a>, or from the other side, Bloomberg’s <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2016-11-30/confessions-of-an-instagram-influencer">confessions of an Instagram influencer</a> show the cracks are forming. </p> <h3>Gaming the system</h3> <p>Of course, I’m aware of the long tail argument — don’t pay over the odds for a superstar ‘influencer’, go with the person that has 10,000 genuinely engaged followers, or even 1,000 but they’re all actual friends and acquaintances. </p> <p>There’s Brian Solis's ‘<a href="http://www.briansolis.com/2012/03/the-pillars-of-influence-and-how-to-activate-them-in-business/">Pillars of Influence</a>’ — reach, relevance and resonance. Make sure your strategy is balanced. </p> <p>The problem is that at the moment, consumers are becoming more cynical, destroying the trust that these pillars are founded on. And this is not helped by the fast-growing phenomenon of the self-made influencer — those that are gaming the system. </p> <p>As any social media guru knows, you can game followers, likes and shares, and plenty of self-proclaimed ‘influencers’ are doing just that. All this makes it harder for any software tool to tell true influence.</p> <h3>Human intuition</h3> <p>Cue influx of software vendors protesting that their tool is super intelligent and can weed out the bogus influencers. </p> <p>I’m sure some of them do, to some degree. But just as in the earlier days of influencer marketing when it was just choosing which media outlets to send a product to, human intuition and experience come into play. </p> <p>I would always tell clients that when choosing media targets that circulation (reach) was one metric, audience (relevance) was another, but so was our own intuition and knowledge. And not just in ‘resonance’ — that should come from the story, the message, or the content. </p> <p>I’m talking about understanding who really knows what they’re talking about and commands attention on a topic. </p> <p>For this there’s no substitute for reading, interacting with and working with the media full time. And the same applies whether you’re talking about a steel industry trade mag or a health and fitness Instagrammer. </p> <h3>‘Influencer marketing’ won’t die</h3> <p>As much as I wish the buzzword would disappear, at the very least the practice will continue. But hopefully it will be <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/05/26/more-must-be-done-to-educate-brands-on-online-ad-rules-says-asa/">under better-observed regulations</a>, and with growing consumer cynicism the market will bottom out to a more measured approach. </p> <p>If you’re planning an influencer outreach programme anytime soon, obviously you won’t just cream off the top 10 Instagrammers using a relevant hashtag. But hopefully, you also won’t just use what your fancy software’s proprietary algorithm tells you are the top 10 either. </p> <p>By all means take those factors into account, but also spend time reading and reviewing content, understand the audience you want to reach and work transparently with people you know they’ll trust. </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67780 2016-04-26T15:45:06+01:00 2016-04-26T15:45:06+01:00 How the Democratic presidential candidates are using social media Patricio Robles <h3>Hillary Clinton</h3> <h3><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/4287/clintontwitter-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="241"></h3> <h4>Stats At-A-Glance</h4> <ul> <li> <strong>Twitter followers:</strong> 6.04m</li> <li> <strong>Facebook Likes:</strong> 3.2m</li> <li> <strong>Instagram followers:</strong> 1.1m</li> <li> <strong>YouTube views:</strong> 10.9m</li> </ul> <p>The front-runner for the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton not surprisingly has a presence on all of the major social networks.</p> <p>Twitter is her most prolific channel – she's very active on the service and now has over 6m followers – but has also made use of other networks, like Instagram.</p> <p><a href="https://captiv8.io/presidential-race">According to</a> social media analytics firm Captiv8, Clinton posted the most content overall of any candidate in either party to Instagram between May 2015 and January 2016.</p> <p>She had also accrued the most Likes on Instagram of any candidate in either party.</p> <p>Clinton's social media campaign has been likened to a a "new media startup" because she has a large full-time staff dedicated to producing original digital content. </p> <p>As USA Today's Heidi M. Przybyla <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/01/18/hillary-clinton-social-media-trump-twitter-facebook/78856358/">detailed</a>, the focus on original content has led some to compare the Clinton social media effort to the operations of successful digital publishers like BuzzFeed and Vox.</p> <p>Clinton's digital manager, Teddy Goff, who helped lead the Obama digital campaigns in 2008 and 2012, says the strategy has to be different in 2016.</p> <p>"[Before], we felt that we could pretty much reach the people we need to reach by running a really good Twitter and Facebook account," he stated.</p> <p>Now, individuals have "a higher set of expectations for how they’re going to be served." </p> <p>Despite the fact that Clinton looks to be the Democratic nominee, her competitor, Bernie Sanders, is besting her in some corners of the social mediasphere, something that the Clinton campaign <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/11/politics/clinton-campaign-social-media/">appears to have struggled with</a>.</p> <p>This past week it was announced that a Super PAC supporting Clinton <a href="http://www.marketwatch.com/story/pro-hillary-clinton-group-spending-1-million-to-push-back-against-online-commenters-2016-04-22">plans to spend $1m</a> to challenge Bernie supporters online, a strategy that might be smart but that some have questioned.</p> <h3>Bernie Sanders</h3> <h3><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/4288/bernieinstagram-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="226"></h3> <h4>Stats At-A-Glance</h4> <ul> <li> <strong>Twitter followers:</strong> 2.04m</li> <li> <strong>Facebook Likes:</strong> 4m</li> <li> <strong>Instagram followers:</strong> 1.2m</li> <li> <strong>YouTube views:</strong> 27.6m</li> </ul> <p>While Bernie Sanders trails Hillary Clinton in the delegate count, he's ahead of her on many social networks, including Facebook and Instagram.</p> <p>His social lead over Clinton is most pronounced on YouTube, where he has accumulated more than 131,000 subscribers and his videos have racked up more than 27.6m views.</p> <p>That's just shy of three times Clinton's number of subscribers (Clinton has just 44,000 subscribers) and video views.</p> <p>The fact that Sanders is besting the front-runner on social media success is not surprising. </p> <p>According to Captiv8, Sanders has the most engaged online audience (defined as Likes per follower) of any candidate in either party.</p> <p>Sanders’s social success, which has led to the popular #FeeltheBern hashtag, isn't accidental.</p> <p>His digital campaign is run by Revolution Messaging, whose CEO, Scott Goodstein, was the external online director of the 2008 Obama presidential campaign.</p> <p>That campaign was a breakthrough for the use of social media in a political race, but Goodstein <a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/3058681/inside-bernie-sanders-social-media-machine">is quick to note</a> that the Sanders social media blueprint isn't a copy of Obama's.</p> <p>Today, Goodstein and his team have more experience and knowledge, as well as more social networks and larger social networks.</p> <p>There are also tools like Slack, which the Sanders team uses to communicate.</p> <p>They have put all of those to good use, but ultimately, Goldstein believes Sanders's social success is about Sanders...</p> <blockquote> <p>You want to make sure that social media and digital all have the same authentic voice and reflect the exact campaign and candidate message - [and Sanders’s message] is amazing.</p> </blockquote> <p><em>For more on this topic, read: <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63672-seven-lessons-obama-s-digital-team-learned-from-a-b-testing-emails/">Seven lessons Obama's digital team learned from A/B testing emails</a>.</em></p>