tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/influencer-marketing Latest Influencer marketing content from Econsultancy 2018-04-09T08:33:21+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69929 2018-04-09T08:33:21+01:00 2018-04-09T08:33:21+01:00 The best digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week Nikki Gilliland <p>So, let’s not dilly-dally, shall we?</p> <h3>Social media advertising disappoints 27% of consumers</h3> <p>When it comes to ads on social media, it seems consumers are becoming all the more cynical.  </p> <p>According to a <a href="https://sproutsocial.com/insights/data/social-advertising-report/" target="_blank">new survey</a> by Sprout, which polled over 1,000 US consumers on the topic, 27% of respondents said their opinion of social media advertising has declined in the past year. The biggest reason for this is too much clutter, with 58% citing that they simply see too many ads on social. </p> <p>So, how can marketers combat this? Sprout’s survey found that users crave entertainment over anything else, with 41% saying that this is the most engaging type of social ad, followed by 37% who say discounts, and 33% saying educational. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3386/27_percent_graphic.png" alt="" width="615" height="314"></p> <p><strong>Related reading:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69832-four-challenges-that-any-paid-social-strategy-should-consider" target="_blank">Four challenges that any paid social strategy should consider</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69400-ask-the-experts-paid-social-media-trends-challenges-strategy" target="_blank">Ask the experts: Paid social media trends, challenges &amp; strategy</a></li> </ul> <h3>Over half of millennials have stopped shopping with a brand due to poor returns</h3> <p><a href="https://www.reboundreturns.com/ebooks-and-reports?hsCtaTracking=a5b70ad6-af0b-4ba0-9fb4-8debb90008cd%7C36280834-ee0f-4566-b25a-ac8e6d60d622" target="_blank">Research by ReBound</a> has found that brands are struggling to offer an easy returns process – despite the fact that consumers are returning more goods than ever before.</p> <p>From a survey of over 1,000 UK consumers, the study found that 42% of shoppers aged 28 to 35 are returning more than they did two years ago. However, 59% say that they have stopped shopping with a brand due to a difficult or unclear returns process.</p> <p>Interestingly, one in 10 consumers say that this is because they received no communication on how to return a product, with a lack of information clearly impacting overall customer experience. Another reason is a lack of options – 62% say they would use a courier service if it was available to them.  </p> <p><strong>More on returns:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68677-how-10-ecommerce-sites-present-returns-policies" target="_blank">How 10 ecommerce sites present returns policies</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68477-how-six-online-retailers-are-combatting-wrong-size-returns" target="_blank">How six online retailers are combatting wrong-size returns</a></li> </ul> <h3>US influencer marketing budgets on the rise</h3> <p>Back in February, we highlighted <a href="https://www.prweek.com/article/1457215/influencer-marketing-damages-publics-perception-brands-survey-finds" target="_blank">a study</a> that found influencer marketing could be damaging the public’s perception of brands, as confusion around sponsored posts continues.</p> <p>However, <a href="http://www.ana.net/content/show/id/48437" target="_blank">new research from the US</a> suggests that marketers remain positive about the industry. So much so, in fact, that 43% expect to increase their spending on it over the next 12 months. According to the Association of National Advertisers, which surveyed 158 client-side marketers, the majority of marketers are satisfied with their influencer strategies. 54% are very satisfied with performance, and 36% say they think the strategy is effective.</p> <p>So, despite issues surrounding disclosure of campaigns, marketers appear optimistic about achieving campaign objectives. 86% of respondents cite brand awareness as the main reason for using influencer marketing, while 69% say content creation and distribution, and 51% say driving purchases.</p> <p><strong>More on influencer marketing:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69801-are-virtual-stars-the-next-step-for-influencer-marketing" target="_blank">Are virtual stars the next step for influencer marketing?</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69723-how-philips-has-benefitted-from-authentic-influencer-marketing" target="_blank">How Philips has benefitted from authentic influencer marketing</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69723-how-philips-has-benefitted-from-authentic-influencer-marketing" target="_blank">Only 29% of influencer campaigns use trackable URLs for attribution</a></li> </ul> <h3>Brands need a more specific CSR strategy</h3> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Instead of making general claims about corporate social responsibility (CSR), brands need to be more specific in how they communicate CSR-related messages. For example, stating exactly what they do to be sustainable rather than merely saying that they are.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">This comes from a <a href="https://www.warc.com/content/article/jar/improving_the_effectiveness_and_credibility_of_corporate_socialresponsibility_messaging_an_austrian_model_identifies_influential_csr_content_and_communication_channels/105462" target="_blank">new study</a> by the Journal of Advertising Research, which also suggests that brands that win awards for CSR generate a more positive reaction than those who promote their efforts on social media. In fact, it suggests that four out of the five most credible channels for communicating CSR are external, including awards, TV, newspaper coverage, and partnerships with non-governmental organisations.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">With sustainability and other social and environmental issues becoming increasingly importance for consumers, it’s also vital that brands communicate efforts in the right way.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3390/CSR.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="466"></p> <p><strong>Related reading:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68452-cause-marketing-examples-from-uber-starbucks-jetblue" target="_blank">Cause marketing: Examples from Uber, Starbucks &amp; JetBlue</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69702-five-brand-campaigns-that-took-a-stand-on-social-issues" target="_blank">Five brand campaigns that took a stand on social issues</a></li> </ul> <h3>Always-on sales are damaging retail profits</h3> <p><a href="https://www.klarna.com/uk/klarna-confidential/ditch-discounting/" target="_blank">New research</a> by Klarna has revealed that retailers feel an increased pressure to promote discounts in order to keep up with the competition. However, this could in fact be damaging profits.</p> <p>In a study of the views of 1000 UK consumers and 500 retail decision-makers, Klarna found that 53% of retailers believe the ‘always on’ nature of sales is having a negative impact on profits, with 11% saying that discounting cost them over £25,000 in 2017.</p> <p>Meanwhile, 28% of consumers say that sales are too stressful, and as a result avoid them altogether. 25% also say they are less likely to shop regularly with a retailer who always has sales on, and 38% say that constant sales make a brand look cheap and unfashionable.</p> <p>So, should retailers avoid sales? A more considered approach is certainly preferable, with a focus on features such as flexible payment options, one-click checkout, and personalisation likely to lure in consumers all-year round. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3385/Klarna.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="280"></p> <p><strong>Related reading:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69679-luxury-brands-must-focus-on-digital-experiences-to-fight-the-discount-trend" target="_blank">Luxury brands must focus on digital experiences to fight the discount trend</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67841-as-consumers-clamor-for-good-deals-discount-strategy-becomes-key-for-retailers/" target="_blank">As consumers clamor for good deals, discount strategy becomes key for retailers</a></li> </ul> <h3>Half of consumers want retailers to invest in AR</h3> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Consumers have always been more resistant to spend on big items online. However, research suggests this would lessen if retails offered ‘visualisation’ technology to allow shoppers to better envision products before buying.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">In a <a href="https://www.pushon.co.uk/showrooming-webrooming-report/" target="_blank">survey of over 1,000</a> consumers, PushOn found that 45% of people would be more inclined to spend larger amounts online if this technology was available. More specifically, 40% of consumers said they would use AR to test a product before buying it. </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Meanwhile, the survey suggests that the problem extends to more than just what the products look like. 41% of consumers said they would like to see improved online security so they know their money is safe when making expensive purchases, while 32% would like to use AI chatbots to get instant answers to their questions. </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3389/Comparing_online_prices.jpg" alt="" width="670" height="446"></p> <p><strong>More on AR:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69388-ar-is-on-the-brink-of-a-breakout-thanks-to-new-platforms-from-google-apple" target="_blank">AR is on the brink of a breakout thanks to new platforms from Google &amp; Apple</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69619-how-publishers-are-using-augmented-reality-to-bring-stories-to-life" target="_blank">How publishers are using augmented reality to bring stories to life</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69455-five-new-and-innovative-examples-of-augmented-reality-in-retail-apps" target="_blank">Five new and innovative examples of augmented reality in retail apps</a></li> </ul> <h3>Black Friday extends to more than a two-day event</h3> <p>According to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/lessons-from-black-friday/" target="_blank">Econsultancy’s recent report</a> on the topic, the majority of retailers now extend Black Friday for as long as possible – far more than the traditional two days. 35% of survey respondents said that Black Friday was a four-day weekend as a minimum. Meanwhile, 45% said that they extend the duration for a few more days on top of this.</p> <p>One benefit of this extended period is that it eases pressure on retailers, and lessens the likelihood of websites crashing.</p> <p>The biggest winner on Black Friday, Amazon, even extended its marketing of the event for a full 13 to 14 days last year, advertising online and on TV the Friday before the event and finishing after Cyber Monday.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3388/Black_Friday.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="553"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69913 2018-04-01T10:22:46+01:00 2018-04-01T10:22:46+01:00 The best digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week Nikki Gilliland <p>Enjoy, and happy Easter!</p> <h3>Grocery retailers failing on ecommerce UX</h3> <p>From a survey of 2,000 consumers in the UK, France, and Germany, Rich Relevance <a href="https://www.richrelevance.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Grocery-Infographic-Final-UK.pdf" target="_blank">has discovered</a> that there are still barriers preventing people from switching from in-store to online grocery shopping. </p> <p>Despite the fact that 53% of the UK population now buy groceries online – falling to 40% and 32% in France and Germany respectively – consumers expect more from their experience.</p> <p>53% say that they would be happy for their retailer to automatically re-order frequently bought items. Meanwhile, 55% of consumers would like grocery retailers to offer recipe ideas based on what they are adding to their cart.</p> <p>When it comes to consumers that don’t shop for groceries online, 51% say the reason is a lack of trust in retailers picking the freshest produce on their behalf, while 68% say they prefer to physically handle items themselves in-store.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3253/RichRelevance.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="562"></p> <p><strong>More on grocery retailers:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68723-store-locator-tools-which-supermarket-has-the-best-mobile-ux" target="_blank">Store locator tools: Which supermarket has the best mobile UX?</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69071-m-s-to-trial-grocery-delivery-service-will-it-take-off" target="_blank">M&amp;S to trial grocery delivery service: Will it take off?</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69645-10-of-the-best-ad-campaigns-from-the-uk-s-top-supermarkets" target="_blank">10 of the best ad campaigns from the UK’s top supermarkets</a></li> </ul> <h3>US TV ad spend predicted to decline further in 2018</h3> <p>In 2017, TV ad spending dropped 1.5% to $70.22 billion. According to eMarketer’s <a href="https://www.emarketer.com/content/us-tv-ad-spending-to-fall-in-2018" target="_blank">latest forecast</a>, further decline is expected in 2018, with TV ad spend set to drop another 0.5% to reach $69.87.</p> <p>Overall, this will bring TV’s share of ad spend down to less than a third of US ad revenue in 2018.</p> <p>Elsewhere, spend on digital advertising is predicted to surge, growing 18.7% to reach $107.3 billion. eMarketer suggests that OTT (over-the-top) video platforms will play a large part, offering live services that directly compete with television.</p> <h3>Product discovery can increase mobile conversion</h3> <p><a href="https://www.qubit.com/research/mobile-product-discovery-ecommerce-revenue/?utm_campaign=2018-Q1-Mobile-Product-Discovery&amp;utm_source=hs_automation&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_content=61655456&amp;_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_2p48GUzh1xj1WAlyuN_NO_O-k5meaKPxqPYRSaxwFtaVLtY4QjlZ19OiSvio8MldeaixYC4FrZgvoZYXvkuPOy6uLiAX6suF2bSTWzWPmBKWQ6Z8&amp;_hsmi=61655456" target="_blank">A new report</a> by Qubit, which is based on the analysis of 1.2 billion customer interactions, has delved into the causes of low mobile conversion.</p> <p>While the assumption might be that payment methods are the biggest barrier for mobile shoppers, Qubit’s research found that problems tend to occur much earlier in the funnel. </p> <p>47% of respondents said that they would complete more purchases via mobile if ‘the browsing experience was easier or faster’. Similarly, 44% said they would if ‘it was easier to find exactly what I want.’ </p> <p>A better mobile UX doesn’t just lead to more mobile conversions either. Mobile discovery is said to have a direct impact on cross-channel sales, increasing revenue by around 19%. </p> <p>One way brands can improve product discovery is with artificial intelligence or machine learning - Qubit suggests that AI-powered discovery helps customers find 2.25x more products, making them 80% more likely to buy.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3252/Qubit.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="517"></p> <p><strong>More on mobile conversion:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69193-using-data-to-improve-your-mobile-conversion-a-simple-but-effective-approach" target="_blank">Using data to improve your mobile conversion: A simple but effective approach</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69160-mobile-conversion-rates-how-does-your-site-compare" target="_blank">Mobile conversion rates: How does your site compare?</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69447-ask-the-experts-conversion-rate-optimisation-trends-challenges-strategy" target="_blank">Ask the experts: Conversion rate optimisation trends, challenges &amp; strategy</a></li> </ul> <h3>Programmatic budgets held back by poor measurement</h3> <p>A new study by Infectious Media has revealed that the inability to effectively measure campaigns is preventing advertisers from further investing in programmatic. </p> <p>From a <a href="http://info.infectiousmedia.com/measurement-report" target="_blank">survey of more than 200 decision-makers</a> in EMEA, APAC and North America, it found that almost 90% of marketers would be able to justify ‘slightly’ or ‘significantly’ more investment in programmatic with better measurement.</p> <p>66% of respondents said they find accurately measuring campaigns ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ challenging, while 65% said the same for maintaining high viewability. 64% said that increasing brand safety protection is highly challenging.</p> <p>Lastly, it appears that advertisers largely view clicks as the most important indicator of success – despite click data often being distorted by fraud. 56% of advertisers describe number of clicks as the most important metric, followed by 45% who say cost per click and 43% who say click-through rate.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3251/Measurement_report.JPG" alt="" width="592" height="372"></p> <p><strong>More on programmatic:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69624-three-ways-to-boost-brand-safety-in-the-programmatic-age" target="_blank">Three ways to boost brand safety in the programmatic age</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69558-ask-the-experts-what-s-the-best-way-to-target-programmatic-ads" target="_blank">Ask the experts: What's the best way to target programmatic ads?</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69588-10-signs-that-programmatic-advertising-is-reaching-maturity" target="_blank">10 signs that programmatic advertising is reaching maturity</a></li> </ul> <h3>56% think that most mobile ads are boring or dull</h3> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Verve <a href="https://www.warc.com/newsandopinion/news/relevance_doubles_engagement_with_mobile_ads/40238" target="_blank">has found</a> that generic mobile ads generate little engagement. From a survey of 2,000 UK adults, it found that just 17% of people are ‘likely’ or ‘very likely’ to interact with a generic ad on their phones, while 56% think that most mobile ads are boring or dull.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">As a result, brands need to do more to pique user interest, which means making mobile ads much more relevant to individuals.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Verve found that mobile ads which reference the user’s interests or location drives twice as much engagement as generic mobile ads. Dynamic ads (that use phone mechanics to tilt, tap, zoom or zoom) were also found to increase engagement by 20%, while interactive ads that ask questions can do so by 21%.</p> <h3>‘Digital trailblazers and emergers’ create sweet spot for brand engagement</h3> <p>Do all influencers have an impact on consumer behaviour?</p> <p>A <a href="https://fullscreenmedia.co/2018/03/27/influence-numbers-lowdown-whos-really-influential-online/" target="_blank">new study</a> by Fullscreen Media has attempted to find the answer, analysing 31,802 influencers with a range of followings, and surveying 1,200 individuals aged 18-34 who have in some way interacted with their branded content.</p> <p>Overall, it found that digital creators (i.e. those with one to 19 million followers) have the highest cross-social engagement rate among influencer segments – ranging from 50% to 88% higher than celebrities and micro-influencers. This is said to be the ‘sweet spot’ for engagement, resulting in the greatest impact on purchasing decisions.</p> <p>While micro-influencers (those with 250,000 to 999,000 followers) generated the lowest engagement rate among the four measured Influencer segments, this group is still fairly effective at driving purchases. 26.9% of people that viewed or interacted with micro-influencer content went on to make a purchase, compared with just 20.4% who interacted with celebrity content.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3254/Influencers.JPG" alt="" width="520" height="801"></p> <p><strong>More on influencers:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69620-only-29-of-influencer-campaigns-use-trackable-urls-for-attribution" target="_blank">Only 29% of influencer campaigns use trackable URLs for attribution</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69801-are-virtual-stars-the-next-step-for-influencer-marketing" target="_blank">Are virtual stars the next step for influencer marketing?</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69801 2018-02-15T10:25:00+00:00 2018-02-15T10:25:00+00:00 Are virtual stars the next step for influencer marketing? Nikki Gilliland <p>But who is behind Lil Miquela, and what is her purpose?</p> <p>More to the point, will virtual influencers be the next big thing for influencer marketing? Here’s more on the story so far. </p> <h3>Who is behind Lil Miquela?</h3> <p>Miquela Sousa fits the typical bill of an Instagram influencer. She is a 19-year-old model of Brazilian and Spanish descent, currently living in Los Angeles. A real ‘fashionista’, her Instagram feed is filled with designer ‘outfit of the day’ posts. She’s also a keen musician, having released a number of her own songs on Spotify.</p> <p>The only real distinction – she’s fake. Though she is the brainchild of someone clearly very dedicated to keeping the illusion alive.</p> <p>So far, there’s no real concrete evidence as to who her creator actually is. When she first appeared on Instagram back in 2016, the main theory was that she was part of a large-scale advertising campaign, with some suggesting that it was a clever plot by The Sims.</p> <p>However, there’s no been no sign of brand involvement since, only further reports that she’s the invention of various digital artists and animators.   </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2267/Lil_Miquela.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="494"></p> <h3>Creating a virtual community</h3> <p>One of the most interesting things about Lil Miquela is the extent to which she blurs the lines between reality and fantasy. She’s not just a voiceless face, as she (or whoever is behind her) is very active online, typically replying to comments, DMs, and even partaking in media interviews.</p> <p>There’s also the fact that she alludes to her virtual identity, recently telling Business of Fashion that she’d ‘like to be described as an artist or a singer or something that denotes my craft, rather than focus on the superficial qualities’.</p> <p>So what is her ‘craft’ exactly? Well, the same as any other influencer it seems. And in some ways, Lil Miquela feels more ‘authentic’, even expressing deeper personality than her real-life counterparts. </p> <p>Unlike personalities that project a one-sided image, Lil Miquela uses her channel to post content relating to social and political issues – she’s shown support for causes including Black Lives Matter, DACA, and transgender rights to name a few. She also posts about humorous and relatable scenarios, commenting on pop-culture and expressing admiration for celebrities. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2268/lilmiquela_social.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="494"></p> <p>So, does it matter that she’s not real? For her hundreds of thousands of followers, the answer appears to be not really. After all, they get from her the same (if not more) than they do as other influencers. Even the chance to buy Lil Miquela merchandise, albeit without the opportunity to meet in person at a launch or event.</p> <p>There’s also just the fascination and added mystique that comes along with someone who appears so human, but who actually isn’t. The film ‘Her’ springs to mind. </p> <h3>Modernising an old strategy</h3> <p>While CGI influencers might be a new phenomenon, virtual celebrities have in fact been around for years, with examples including the band Gorillaz and Japanese singer Hatsune Miku. </p> <p>Lil Miquela isn’t the only modern example either. Recently, beauty brand Fenty re-posted a photo of virtual model Shudu Gram, generating massive interest in photographer Cameron-James Wilson's latest creation.</p> <p>While there has been some negativity towards the use of a virtual model - with some saying that it promotes the dilution and distortion of real images - others have suggested that it is the natural next step in a world that’s already characterised by filters and perceived 'perfection'.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2269/Fenty_beauty.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="497"></p> <h3>What does it mean for brands?</h3> <p>Lil Miquela’s rapid rise to Insta-fame poses a big question for brands and publishers. Does it matter if an influencer is fake if they have the same ‘influence’ as someone who is real?</p> <p>I don’t think it necessarily does, mainly because the problem within influencer marketing is largely to do with misleading content. For example, if an influencer is being paid to promote a product but fails to disclose it, or worse - lies about it. This is when audiences feel like they’re being scammed, ultimately leading to negative sentiment towards the brand and influencers involved.</p> <p>In contrast, if virtual influencers are transparent - with no pretence that they’re actually real - there’s no reason why brands shouldn’t feel comfortable partnering with them or using them in campaigns. </p> <p>Similarly, it might be a case of whether or not the influencer’s identity (virtual or not) fits in with that of the brand’s. In the case of Fenty, which typically promotes the values of diversity, creativity, and expression, the image doesn't seem too out of place in its feed.</p> <p>In terms of consumer reaction, it also helps that we are becoming more and more used to technology within the context of everyday life. From chatbots to digital assistants like Siri and Alexa, we’re already used to interacting with fictional characters, and more importantly, we're being influenced by what they tell us. </p> <p>Lastly, virtual influencers could also mean greater control for brands, with partnerships resulting in less danger of <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69709-will-influencer-marketing-take-a-hit-after-the-logan-paul-firestorm" target="_blank">scandals or controversy</a>. What’s more, if they begin to create their very own influencers, this control could be taken to another level. Essentially, brands would be able to create an ideal representation of what it is they stand for, and a spokesperson that their audience is most likely to identify with.</p> <p><strong>More on influencer marketing:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69697-is-the-influencer-marketing-bubble-set-to-burst" target="_blank">Is the influencer marketing bubble set to burst?</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69620-only-29-of-influencer-campaigns-use-trackable-urls-for-attribution" target="_blank">Only 29% of influencer campaigns use trackable URLs for attribution</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69196-11-impressive-influencer-marketing-campaigns" target="_blank">11 impressive influencer marketing campaigns</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69774 2018-02-06T14:00:00+00:00 2018-02-06T14:00:00+00:00 The fake follower economy is beginning to crumble Patricio Robles <p>But it looks like fake follower economy is set for a potentially big fall. </p> <p>This past Saturday, New York attorney general Eric T. Schneiderman <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/27/technology/schneiderman-social-media-bots.html">opened an investigation</a> into Devumi, a prominent purveyor of fake followers.</p> <p>A <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/01/27/technology/social-media-bots.html">New York Times exposé</a> published the same day Schneiderman announced his investigation concluded that Devumi was in control of more than 3.5m fake Twitter accounts and has used them to sell more than 200m fake followers on the popular social media platform.</p> <p>Perhaps the most disturbing thing about Devumi's business is that many of the fake accounts are alleged to use photos and other personal information taken from the social media profiles of real users. In other words, Devumi is accused of engaging in a form of social media identity theft.</p> <p>Impersonation and deception are illegal in New York, and that's the angle attorney general Schneiderman is taking in pursuing Devumi.</p> <h3>An inconvenient truth</h3> <p>How did Devumi and shady businesses like it get so big? The answer is simple: there's big demand for fake followers and engagement on social platforms like Facebook and Twitter. And this demand often comes from the very individuals and businesses who would like the world to believe that they need Devumi's “services” the least:</p> <blockquote> <p>The Times reviewed business and court records showing that Devumi has more than 200,000 customers, including reality television stars, professional athletes, comedians, TED speakers, pastors and models. In most cases, the records show, they purchased their own followers. In others, their employees, agents, public relations companies, family members or friends did the buying. </p> </blockquote> <p>Why would high-profile individuals and companies risk their reputations buying fake followers? It's simple economics. As the New York Times revealed, the cost of fake followers and engagement actions is often measured in pennies, a small price to pay for inflated metrics that can lead to big bucks.</p> <p>Virtually all of those big bucks come from brands, of course, which have embraced influencer marketing in all its forms in an effort to better connect with consumers online.</p> <h3>Just how badly are brands being duped?</h3> <p>Thanks to the rise of influencer marketing, there are influencers routinely earning five, six and even seven figures for sponsored social media posts. How much they earn is largely a function of the size of the audience they appear capable of reaching. The bigger the audience, the bigger the paychecks.</p> <p>While there are tools and methods brands can use to assess the quality of an influencer's audience, none are perfect and it would seem few brands are doing significant due diligence on their influencer marketing transactions. In many cases, sponsored social media posts are bought through automated or semi-automated platforms, or by ad agencies.</p> <p>All indications are that some if not much of the spend is for naught. Case in point: the Times identified two teenagers, Arabella and Jaadin Daho, who reportedly earn $100,000 annually through influencer marketing. They <a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/5030582/aspiring-child-youtubers-callum-ryan-erin-bradley-arabella-daho/">have worked with</a> brands including Amazon, Disney, Louis Vuitton and Nintendo.</p> <p>But, according to the Times, their Twitter accounts “are boosted by thousands of retweets purchased by their mother and manager, Shadia Daho, according to Devumi records. Ms. Daho did not respond to repeated attempts to reach her by email and through a public relations firm.”</p> <h3>An urgent wake-up call</h3> <p>This sort of dubious social media arbitrage, in which supposed influencers turn pennies into dollars at the expense of brands using fake followers and engagement, is obviously not healthy and is also unsustainable.</p> <p>While <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69343-are-marketers-underestimating-the-fraud-threat-to-influencer-marketing">the existence of what can only be described as fraud</a> has been known for some time, companies like Facebook and Twitter face numerous technical challenges in cracking down on fake accounts. They have also been disincentivized from engaging in major purges of accounts, even if they're fake. That's because, just as it is for influencers, more is better for these companies. </p> <p>But the recent news, which included the revelation that a Twitter board member purchased at least 65,000 fake followers, along with law enforcement action, suggests that the fake follower economy is now too big to ignore.</p> <p>Already, Twitter is apparently cleaning house. As The Daily Mail <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5341637/Celebrities-lose-followers-Twitter-rids-fake-accounts.html">detailed</a>, a number of high-profile users are seeing their follower numbers drop significantly in the wake of the Times piece. And one celebrity – Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood – <a href="https://www.eater.com/2018/1/29/16944770/paul-hollywood-deletes-twitter-account">has deleted his Twitter account</a> after being outed as a Devumi customer.</p> <p>For everyone involved, the writing is on the wall. Savvy brands whose dollars have largely fueled this craziness will get in front of the collapse and adapt their influencer marketing and broader social strategies accordingly.</p> <p><em><strong>Further reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69620-only-29-of-influencer-campaigns-use-trackable-urls-for-attribution">Only 29% of influencer campaigns use trackable URLs for attribution</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69751 2018-01-26T12:39:27+00:00 2018-01-26T12:39:27+00:00 10 of the best digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week Nikki Gilliland <h3><strong>Influencer posts on Instagram doubled in 2017</strong></h3> <p>According to <a href="https://www.emarketer.com/content/instagram-influencer-marketing-doubled-last-year" target="_blank">new data</a> from Klear, the number of influencer posts on Instagram doubled in 2017, reaching more than 1.5m in total.</p> <p>Klear also found that nearly three-quarters of Instagram influencers fell into the 18 to 34 age range, with those aged 18 to 24 accounting for 42% of them.</p> <p>Interestingly, Klear only took into consideration posts containing hashtags such as #ad or #sponsored, which are recommended by the FTC as a way to highlight brand-sponsored posts.</p> <p>With influencers still appearing to flout the rules and neglecting to disclose brand partnerships, this is likely to mean that a number of influencer posts also slipped under the radar. Just last April, the FTC sent reminder letters to hundreds of brands and influencers, once again reiterating the need for transparency.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1865/instagram.jpg" alt="" width="650" height="433"></p> <p><strong>More on influencers:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69697-is-the-influencer-marketing-bubble-set-to-burst" target="_blank">Is the influencer marketing bubble set to burst?</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69196-11-impressive-influencer-marketing-campaigns" target="_blank">11 impressive influencer marketing campaigns</a></li> </ul> <h3>Tablet sales decline for 11 consecutive quarters</h3> <p>A new report by DeviceAtlas has revealed that tablet sales have been declining for 11 quarters in a row. In Q2 2017, there were 37.9m tablets shipped compared to a staggering 341.6m smartphones in the same time period. </p> <p>The gap between tablets and smartphones is even more visible when taking into consideration usage statistics. Tablet usage ranges between 2% and 16.9% depending on the country, with the countries with the highest tablet usage being developed markets such as France and Germany.</p> <p>The report also compares web traffic for two of the biggest smartphone manufacturers in the world – Samsung and Apple. According to data, Apple is ahead of Samsung in Australia, Canada, Sweden, UK, and the USA. Interestingly though, during the last four quarters, Apple has dropped 4% traffic in the UK and 11% in France. Meanwhile, Samsung usage dominates in countries including Argentina, Egypt, Germany, and Italy.</p> <h3>Publishers gained and lost search visibility in 2017</h3> <p>Searchmetrics <a href="https://blog.searchmetrics.com/us/2018/01/22/google-winners-losers-2017/?utm_source=PR&amp;utm_medium=external+media&amp;utm_campaign=2018%2F01-EN-Winner%2FLoser+2017" target="_blank">has revealed</a> which websites saw the biggest gains and losses in search visibility last year. The study is based on analysis of the change in organic search performance for each website during 2017.</p> <p>57% of the sites that saw the biggest gains were publishers, including the Guardian and the Sun. However, it seems that category isn’t the biggest indicator of success, as 44% of sites that saw losses were also publishers. YouTube was the overall winner in search visibility, taking the number one spot ahead of dictionary website Merriam Webster.</p> <p>Elsewhere, several social media sites including Reddit, Tumblr, and Pinterest saw losses, as did music-related sites like AZ Lyrics and Metro Lyrics.</p> <p>Insight suggests that two major Google algorithm updates were the main cause. First, ‘Phantom V’ – which aimed to improve the quality of content appearing in search results, and ‘Fred’ - which punished sites with ad-heavy, low quality content.</p> <p><strong>More on Google:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69693-seven-quick-steps-to-prepare-for-google-s-mobile-first-index" target="_blank">Seven quick steps to prepare for Google's mobile-first index</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69201-four-search-engine-marketing-updates-busy-marketers-might-have-missed" target="_blank">Four search engine marketing updates busy marketers might have missed</a></li> </ul> <h3>59% of companies planning for conversational commerce</h3> <p>Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/ecommerce-performance/" target="_blank">Ecommerce Performance</a> report, which is based on a survey of more than 400 ecommerce professionals, suggests that 60% of companies will experiment with conversational commerce by 2020. This is likely to take the form of chatbots to help steer users towards a purchase.</p> <p>Next up in terms of future priorities, 55% of companies rate artificial intelligence for personalisation as their next focus for experimentation, while 44% say the same for digital wallets. </p> <p>Rather surprisingly, just 18% of companies say that they are planning to experiment with voice technology, despite a huge surge in <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69724-how-will-voice-technology-change-consumer-behaviour" target="_blank">popularity of voice assistants</a> including Google Home and Amazon Echo. Rather than a lack of interest in the technology and its potential, however, perhaps we can put this down to the technology’s scale, with many ecommerce companies instead choosing to focus on short-term and achievable goals to improve performance such as multiple payment options, mobile UX, and checkout.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1861/ecommerce_performance.JPG" alt="" width="602" height="473"></p> <p><strong>You can read more <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69741-just-half-of-ecommerce-companies-do-regular-usability-testing-but-60-planning-conversational-commerce/" target="_blank">insight from  the report here</a>.</strong></p> <h3>36% of internet users discover new brands from TV ads</h3> <p>According to Global Web Index’s <a href="https://insight.globalwebindex.net/e1t/c/*MWK9rvrY4_7W3bMLWs6W98Gn0/*W1gTdfw793BKkW6bhS6B7vrw9V0/5/f18dQhb0SfHy9ctyq0W9hCyTX5D47MtN243x6js1jxdW2SkrRC384nqCW5q9cPw8yygZHVPdD3D5rQJ9_W8l8TDs5rjr7BW8r4Cxz8wxl18W8v318N8r4KxqW3GtThy5ycchLW8yVgLR8l2nT4W5y5jh-1rfXlzW1kRpb77YCP78W8PS4SZ6L67prN67LfkcdfskBW560qrC5ZpycSW57-ZBT83C5JPW37Rhtb7NrMZsW3ndfYD5DFWr2W5mKjF63mbPRVW6R4d2j7P1-wWN33FK-yqPkxDVnjZC88kpk-gW1RHlbz7LRJtCW85gb3l5pCpWVW6znMd27JXknMW7xrf8j768jtSW1yl2Zm4M-k18W7t5wBH7spTh2W9gwLh59d5pZgVsVFl14c_MdYW7wQ2z92LDT79Mprgq8mVKF0W32Gdz64cXfb4W1FgRJH6W1v3DW75WPyS2rt-tpW7JH30L2bVTm6W7wV4z18NPW40N1_ck3jrX3l1N6VzPC-nH3-pW7ZlrGc5Ckq7hW25Zhwb2F5wNZW6Lsr_b1Q2FfdW1L9wgV4J35SnW2N3Dcp808NM2W6_J4Q_7qSSHvW7SLv-m7yYcD6W3CwjM246MpLqW13fYwc2z7R2zVcSpB02VR305102" target="_blank">latest report</a> (which comes from a survey of over 350,000 internet users aged 16 to 64), traditional television remains the most effective form of advertising. Despite 30% of consumers saying they discover brands from online ads, 36% say they do so via TV adverts.  </p> <p>Unsurprisingly, traditional forms of advertising are said to have the most impact on older generations, while younger consumers are more receptive to other forms. For example, 16 to 24-year olds are three times as likely as 55 to 64-year olds to discover brands via in-app advertising. </p> <p>Similarly, younger consumers are the most influenced by branded content on social media, which has resulted in influencers gaining even more marketing power. More than half of 16 to 24 year olds say they have watched a vlog in the last month, while about a fifth are actively following vloggers on social platforms. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1863/GWI.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="451"></p> <p><strong>Relating reading:</strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69559-ask-the-experts-how-to-integrate-your-programmatic-and-tv-ad-strategy" target="_blank">Ask the experts: How to integrate your programmatic and TV ad strategy?</a></p> <h3>UK ad viewability hits three and a half year high</h3> <p>In the final quarter of 2017, the proportion of banner ads served that met minimum viewability guidelines rose from 52% to 56%. According to Meetrics, this means that UK ad viewability hit their highest level since Q2 2014.</p> <p>This also means that the UK is starting to catch up with other countries, overtaking both Switzerland and Poland and falling just behind Germany. With 67% ad viewability, Austria leads the way in Europe, followed by Italy with 63% and France with 62%.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1864/meetrics.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="518"></p> <h3>Emojis can boost completion of mobile surveys</h3> <p>A recent study by the Journal of Advertising Research (JAR) suggest that the <a href="http://www.journalofadvertisingresearch.com/content/57/4/462" target="_blank">use of emojis</a> could increase engagement in smartphone surveys without hurting data quality.</p> <p>As it stands, the number of people that abandon surveys on their smartphone are typically around twice as many that abandon surveys on a desktop or laptop. Completion times are also longer on smartphones, which is also likely to contribute to a higher abandonment rate.</p> <p>In its research, JAR found that the use of emojis reduced drop-off rates, improved overall survey satisfaction, and provided comparable data. With emojis already infiltrating into other areas such as email marketing and brand communication, could it be too long before we see emoji-only surveys? We’ll leave you to ponder that one.</p> <p><strong>More on emoji:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69595-emojis-in-email-subject-lines-smiley-face-or-smiley-poop" target="_blank">Emojis in email subject lines: smiley face, or smiley poop?</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69261-how-to-use-emoji-to-boost-hotel-marketing" target="_blank">How to use emoji to boost hotel marketing</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69239-will-emoji-search-ever-catch-on-kayak-certainly-hopes-so" target="_blank">Will emoji search ever catch on? Kayak certainly hopes so</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69723 2018-01-17T10:27:57+00:00 2018-01-17T10:27:57+00:00 How Philips has benefitted from authentic influencer marketing Blake Cahill <p>What’s evident is that done right, influencer marketing can be invaluable to your bottom line.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">At Philips we have been using influencer marketing to support our core message and inform our customers. Most recently, mothers using our Avent suite of products (breast pumps) were in need of more content to support them in one of the most exciting but also challenging journeys of their lives. Influencer marketing was a natural solution to the mothers needs and so we began working with mummy bloggers to create this content, founded on the conviction that no one can talk in a more authentic or informed voice than a real mother who is sharing this exciting journey with our customers.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1710/Screen_Shot_2018-01-17_at_10.13.54.png" alt="mummy blogger avent breast pump" width="615" height="336"></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>A Philips Avent brand ambassador</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">For brands early in their influencer marketing journey, what you’ll find out quickly is that it can be instrumental in highlighting product features that can change a consumer’s life in ways our marketing team could never authentically get across. This is exactly what we found with our SoniCare toothbrushes, with influencers driving home the added benefit of increased confidence levels by using Philips products. Influencers have been able to unlock precious insights into our product features - free of bias - which our marketing team can use for wider marketing efforts.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/TMxMgYzVck4?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Working with influencers can also have a dramatic impact on engagement levels. By simply incorporating influencer stories into canvas ads on Facebook, we have seen that the average time spent looking at a post has gone from around four seconds to a minute, which has ultimately been reflected in buying patterns and overall brand engagement. </p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Yet while influencer marketing can reap huge rewards for your brand, it isn’t for the faint hearted. The Committee of Advertising Practice recently announced new guidelines for brands working with influencers, with the aim of making clearer what social content is sponsored or paid for by ads. This means that brands need to be much clearer about the nature of influencer content or risk a negative backlash from your customers with big fines to follow.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The message of these new regulations is clear: authenticity should run through all of your influencer campaigns. It’s not just about being honest with your customers through influencer marketing, but also being authentic as a business. A prime example of this, and often an easy trap to fall in to for brands is when influencers buy fake followers to boost their attractiveness. Adweek recently shone a light on this issue last year by creating two fake Instagram account and buying followers, ultimately <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69343-are-marketers-underestimating-the-fraud-threat-to-influencer-marketing">scoring paid partnerships with brands totalling more than $500</a>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This is why at Philips, we have brand custodians to make sure that any influencer activities we conduct are in line with our values and are based on truthful interactions with people who share our beliefs. It’s one of the easiest ways to make sure you’re engaging with the right audience, through the right channel and with the right partners.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">With all that being said, if there’s only one thing you take away from reading this; it should be that for brands to successfully harness the power of influencer marketing and gain the most from this modern channel, you’ll need to make sure that the individuals you work with truly match your core values rather than just simply boast the desired number of followers.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Consumers will be the first to notice the differences between a brand and those advertising it, so making sure you align yourself with the right people are of up most importance. Only after doing this and creating believable content as a result, can a business truly reap the rewards of influencer marketing.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em><strong>More on this topic:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69697-is-the-influencer-marketing-bubble-set-to-burst/">Is the influencer bubble set to burst?</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69709 2018-01-09T15:00:00+00:00 2018-01-09T15:00:00+00:00 Will influencer marketing take a hit after the Logan Paul firestorm? Patricio Robles <p>But Paul's gravy train might be nearing its end following his posting of a disturbing video filmed in Japan's Aokigahara, a forest that has come to be known as “the suicide forest.”</p> <p>The video, which has since been taken down, sparked international outrage as it shows a dead body Paul and his friends discovered, as well as their less-than-sensitive reactions to it.</p> <p>Not surprisingly, Paul has since issued an apology, but additional footage released from his Japan trip shows the mega influencer engaging in callously disrespectful behavior that some are pointing to as evidence that Paul's fame and fortune has gone to his head.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Turns out, Logan Paul's trip to Japan was problematic for many reasons <a href="https://t.co/yhj2BYgk4G">pic.twitter.com/yhj2BYgk4G</a></p> — We The Unicorns (@wetheunicorns) <a href="https://twitter.com/wetheunicorns/status/949297972986163200?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 5, 2018</a> </blockquote> <h3>Another blow to influencer marketing</h3> <p>With brand safety top of mind, the Paul backlash has caused some to begin asking: is brand safety even a possibility in the realm of influencer marketing?</p> <p>It's a reasonable question given that Paul is not the first high-profile influencer who has seen the viability of his career called into question after finding himself in a media firestorm. Last year, another homegrown YouTube star, Felix Kjellberg, who goes by the name PewDiePie, found himself facing a backlash when videos he published were called out for being anti-semitic.</p> <p>As a result of the backlash, some of Kjellberg's biggest partners, including Disney's Maker Studios and YouTube itself, <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69209-six-inconvenient-truths-about-influencer-marketing">terminated their relationships</a>. Kjellberg is said to have earned $11m last year and was the highest-paid influencer the year prior with estimated earnings of $15m.</p> <p>While Kjellberg's fall from grace was surprising, Paul's might be even more stunning because of the strides he had made to cross over to traditional media stardom.</p> <p>In January 2016, <a href="http://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/how-vines-hunky-goofball-logan-paul-plans-become-mainstream-superstar-169152/">Paul graced the cover of AdWeek's print magazine</a> and in the associated article about his internet stardom and plans to make himself a Hollywood powerhouse, AdWeek's T.L. Stanley wrote:</p> <blockquote> <p>Trolls, be warned: slamming Paul would be like punching a puppy. He's just that earnest and adorable. Instead of talking smack, watch where he might go, which, if he has his way, is to mainstream superstardom on the level of his idols, Will Smith and Dwayne Johnson.</p> </blockquote> <p>Stanley added that Paul “has also established a squeaky-clean reputation, though he says he's shifting 'from PG to PG-13' material as his act evolves.”</p> <p>Two years later, it seems likely that Paul's behavior in Japan could very well ensure that nobody will refer to a “squeaky-clean reputation” alongside his name again.</p> <h3>What's up with influencers?</h3> <p>In light of Kjellberg and Paul fiascoes, it's worth asking: why do influencers seem so prone to meltdowns? It's not that they don't have adequate management. Paul, for instance, is repped by Creative Artists Agency (CAA), one of Hollywood's most powerful talent agencies.</p> <p>So if it's not that the most prominent influencers don't have access to the same guidance as the world's most successful traditional media stars, what is it?</p> <p>James G. Brooks, CEO of social video distribution platform GlassView, <a href="http://www.adweek.com/digital/james-g-brooks-glassview-guest-post-logan-paul-youtube/">has a theory</a>: “when you give a young person with an inflated ego a camera, they are apt to do or say something stupid.” As a result, brands he says “should calculate a certain amount of brand risk into every YouTube buy.”</p> <p>Brands would be wise to consider this but so long as their engagements with influencers are one-offs and they don't enter into broader partnerships, such as long-term endorsement deals, the good news is that there's no real evidence yet that their past work with fallen influencers will have lasting effects on their reputations. </p> <p>For example, brands that have worked with Kjellberg and Paul have not seen their names dragged into the mud by consumers.</p> <p>Obviously, brands should tread carefully when contemplating new projects with influencers who carry baggage. For instance, if the dust settles and Paul is able to restore his reputation, at least partially, brands would still be wise to tread carefully. </p> <p>But despite all of the discussion around influencers' inability to be brand safe in the wake of the Paul firestorm, brands have less to worry about than many are suggesting and that means that brand investment in influencer marketing will likely continue to grow in 2018.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69697 2018-01-08T10:57:00+00:00 2018-01-08T10:57:00+00:00 Is the influencer marketing bubble set to burst? Nikki Gilliland <p>Rakuten Marketing <a href="https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Influencer-Marketing-Prices-Rising-UK/1016283" target="_blank">found that 75%</a> of marketers plan to spend even more on influencers in the months to come, while Celebrity Intelligence says that <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69620-only-29-of-influencer-campaigns-use-trackable-urls-for-attribution" target="_blank">digital influencers</a> are the most popular choice for brand endorsements.</p> <p>But while this indicates that the industry is booming, it’s hard to ignore murmurings that it could also be in danger of bursting. From fake Instagram ‘<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69064-will-instagram-pods-impact-influencer-marketing">pods</a>’ to troubles with attribution – there are certainly many issues to tackle.</p> <p>So, is influencer marketing really a safe bet for 2018? Here’s bit more on the state of the industry, and what marketers can do to minimise the risks involved. </p> <h3>Fraud and fakes</h3> <p>Authenticity and trust is key to any successful influencer campaign, as consumers become all the more sceptical when it comes to forced and purely-commercial partnerships. </p> <p>One common example is the one-off paid Instagram post, whereby celebrities or influencers are paid to promote a particular product or service. Sometimes, this can work out fine – if the influencer in question is a natural fit or genuinely uses the product. On the other hand, it can also result in failure.</p> <p>We’ve previously seen the likes of Scott Disick and Naomi Campbell demonstrate disingenuous brand partnerships, having clearly copied and pasted pre-written copy on their paid-for posts. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1433/scott_disick.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="375"></p> <p>Similarly, even when the quality of the content is greater, disclosure remains a huge problem across the board. Many influencers fail to highlight when a post is sponsored or if there has been brand involvement. In turn, this contributes to a lack of trust from a consumer perspective, and in the worst cases, result in punishment from the FTC or ASA. </p> <p>Alongside this lack of authenticity, blatant fraud is also plaguing the industry, with influencers now using so-called ‘instapods’ to artificially enhance their number of followers or likes. These pods are made up of 30 or so people who commit to commenting on or engaging with each other’s posts, with the end-goal being to get noticed by brands and earn money.</p> <p>Of course, this also means that any campaign involving an artificially-enhanced influencer will be based on skewed data – which also means the brand will potentially be backing a dud, as the influencer could have no actual influence or effect on a real-life audience. </p> <h3>Measuring ROI</h3> <p>According to Rakuten, investment in influencer marketing is still on the up. Marketers are reportedly willing to pay in excess of £100,000 for a single post mentioning their brand, and yet, a massive 86% of marketers admit that they aren’t entirely sure how influencer fees are calculated. </p> <p>Celebrity Intelligence’s <a href="https://hello.celebrityintelligence.com/age-of-influence/" target="_blank">Age of Social Influence</a> report also highlights confusion around ROI, with marketers finding it difficult to measure true success, and instead relying on outdated metrics such as mainstream press coverage.</p> <p>The report states that just 41% of respondents say they are measuring revenue generation, and just 29% say they are using trackable attribution links within influencer content.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1434/celeb_intelligence.JPG" alt="" width="350" height="500"></p> <p>Altogether, this means that the potential for fraud is further increased, with brands unable to differentiate between real and fake engagement. </p> <p>Last July, MediaKix demonstrated just how easy it is for influencers to pull the wool over brands’ eyes, creating<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69343-are-marketers-underestimating-the-fraud-threat-to-influencer-marketing"> two fake profiles</a> made up of stock images. After just two months, both accounts had accumulated thousands of (paid-for) followers and had misleadingly high engagement levels. On the back of this, MediaKix secured four brand endorsement deals, with influencer content eventually being exchanged for money and free products. </p> <p>This goes to show the need for greater or perhaps more diverse measurement, which takes into account a wider variety of metrics (and not just the most obvious).</p> <h3>Advocacy or influence?</h3> <p>Finally, another reason investment in influencer marketing might not come to fruition could be due to changes in what actually generates real success. </p> <p>Last year, the general consensus seemed to be that micro-influencers were the key – i.e. individuals with 10,000 to 100,000 followers and theoretically a highly engaged audience. However, it has been suggested that the trend is perhaps a scam started by influencer marketing platforms. Essentially, as brands work with an increasing pool of small-scale influencers, ‘high’ engagement levels could be misleading - failing to translate to legitimate or large-scale impact, as well as diluting the quality of content.</p> <p>Looking at alternatives, some have suggested that advocacy could be the next big trend, with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67547-10-excellent-examples-of-user-generated-content-in-marketing-campaigns" target="_blank">user-generated content</a> potentially leading to higher levels of engagement. </p> <p>So, what’s the difference between influence and advocacy? In broad terms, it seems the former is focused on driving awareness, while the latter is much more laser-focused on helping others to have the same positive experience as them.</p> <p>Advocates can therefore be anyone that has experienced a brand or product, regardless of the size of their social media audience or how much engagement they have previously generated. This point is the key, as it ultimately takes away the competition element (and even the danger of fraud) as selection is purely based on genuine promotion and support for brands. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1435/brand_advocacy.JPG" alt="" width="649" height="470"></p> <h3>The road to success </h3> <p>So, does this mean that brands will turn their back on larger influencers for everyday folk? Maybe not entirely, as research suggests that the strategy in its original form – i.e. utilising the power of known and trusted individuals – can still be of great benefit. </p> <p>However, it might also mean that marketers will be more fluid within their strategies, utilising a wide range of influencers (and channels) rather than the most obvious or mainstream tactics. This could mean focusing on both user-generated content as well as larger influencers, most importantly depending on what is the best fit for the audience and their values. </p> <p>Perhaps then, instead of valuing the influencer’s audience (in terms of numbers), brands should start to focus more on who their own audience is following and why.</p> <p><strong><em>More on influencer marketing:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69196-11-impressive-influencer-marketing-campaigns" target="_blank">11 impressive influencer marketing campaigns</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69209-six-inconvenient-truths-about-influencer-marketing" target="_blank">Six inconvenient truths about influencer marketing</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69365-five-steps-to-successful-b2b-influencer-marketing" target="_blank">Five steps to successful B2B influencer marketing</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69620 2017-12-01T11:00:00+00:00 2017-12-01T11:00:00+00:00 Only 29% of influencer campaigns use trackable URLs for attribution Ben Davis <h3>Digital influencers in greater demand than celebrities</h3> <p>61% of survey respondents said they have worked with digital influencers in the past 12 months, compared with 57% who have worked with singers or musicians, and half who have worked with TV actors and models.</p> <p>When asked to pick the type of person suited to campaigns in the near future, digital influencers again came out on top, selected by 44% of respondents.</p> <p>One reason for this is undoubtedly the pre-eminence of social media within influencer campaigns. Fully 75% of survey respondents said social media promotion is “critical” or “very important” within their celebrity engagement, increasing to 92% of respondents who are also working with digital influencers.</p> <p>The table below shows social media's importance far outstripping that of product placement, content distribution and digital advertising. Every single respondent (100%) backed up this view, saying they believe their social media promotion is proving very effective.</p> <p>Influencers and social media are evidently indelibly linked.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0837/role_of_influencers.png" alt="role of influencers" width="800" height="652"> </p> <h3>Talent-led campaigns deliver 1700% ROI</h3> <p>For every £1 ($1.34) spent on talent-led influencer campaigns, average return on investment (ROI) amongst respondents was £17.21 ($23.08). </p> <h3>Attribution could be more sophisticated</h3> <p>Despite the confidence of respondents in their campaign ROI, here's that headline stat. The table below shows that only 29% of respondents are tracking links in influencer content, only a fifth are using social measurement tools (despite their admission of social's criticality) and little more than a quarter are using platform-specific metrics.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0836/online_metrics.png" alt="metrics" width="615" height="378"></p> <h3>Encouragingly, data is coming to the fore when selecting influencers</h3> <p>Finding influencers and tracking their influence has traditionally been a challenge for marketers. Indeed, in Econsultancy's Rise of the Influencers study in 2016, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67555-the-three-biggest-challenges-in-influencer-marketing">73% of marketers said</a> their biggest challenge in this area was finding the right influencers.</p> <p>So, it's encouraging to see 59% of survey respondents in Celebrity Intelligence's new study say that data and insight relating to a talent’s audience and followers are proving the most useful way of finding the right people to work with.</p> <p>It’s also good news that 45% of respondents are investing in specialist engagement tools (such as Celebrity Intelligence and Fashion &amp; Beauty Monitor), a significant rise on the 36% of companies and 32% of agencies taking this approach last year.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0838/finding_influencers.png" alt="tools to find influencers" width="615" height="281">  </p> <p>The Age of Social Influence report includes more stats, in-depth case studies and interviews with brands and influencers such as ITB Worldwide, East of Eden, L’Oréal, The Body Shop and Tanya Burr. <a href="https://hello.celebrityintelligence.com/age-of-influence/">Download it here</a> to learn more about</p> <ul> <li>the current state of influence</li> <li>the opportunities and risks posed by digital technology</li> <li>the rise of social influencers and its impact on celebrity culture</li> <li>the trends and spends for the year ahead and what factors equate to success on talent-led campaigns today.</li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69507 2017-10-19T12:00:00+01:00 2017-10-19T12:00:00+01:00 Why Jack Wills and other fashion brands are prioritising influencer content Nikki Gilliland <p>According to influencer management platform Takumi, which manages the activity, the strategy has been highly successful. Recent influencer content for Jack Wills’ Sporting Goods collection generated 29,600 likes, 750 comments, an engagement rate of 2.99% - all with a reach of over 1m.</p> <p>So, why is influencer content proving to be the best choice for fashion brands? Here’s a bit more on the case study, along with what we might learn from it.</p> <h3>Resources and budget</h3> <p>There’s no doubt that social media has dramatically changed the fashion industry as a whole. Last year, Brooklyn Beckham was chosen as the photographer for Burberry’s latest ad campaign – in no small part thanks to his millions of Instagram followers (and perhaps his famous parents). Similarly, Kendall Jenner was chosen to be the face of Estee Lauder, over and above other models or celebrities with less influence on social. </p> <p>Alongside general reach, another reason fashion brands are turning to influencers on social media is that these campaigns can be much easier to facilitate – in terms of both time and budget.</p> <p>For Jack Wills, a brand that launches new collections every few months, new photo shoots and related ad campaigns can be time consuming and budget draining. While working with top Instagrammers doesn't immediately solve all these problems, influencers can potentially provide a greater variety and volume of content, as well as a built-in distribution network.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9762/Jack_Wills_3.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="479"></p> <h3>Greater authenticity</h3> <p>One of the main challenges within influencer marketing is creating content that is authentic, and that it does not appear salesy. Of course, this remains a even more difficult considering the fact that consumers are increasingly demanding of relevant and personalised social interactions, meaning the hard sell just doesn’t work anymore. Then again, neither does being too subtle, with transparency also being of vital importance to consumers.</p> <p>So what’s the answer? For Jack Wills (and many other brands), it is to work with <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69161-micro-influencers-how-to-find-the-right-fit-for-your-brand">micro-influencers</a> – online creators who have a smaller but more highly engaged audience.</p> <p>Alongside this, Jack Wills ensures authenticity by choosing influencers who are a good fit for the brand in terms of their personal style, interests, and values. To promote its sportswear collection, for example, it has worked with influencers such as personal trainer and fitness author, Max Lowery. Meanwhile, for more trend-led items, it has worked with menswear blogger, Jake Spencer.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9761/JAck_Wills_2.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="476"></p> <p>In this sense, Jack Wills’ influencer strategy is also part of its aim to appeal to a wider and more diverse audience. While it has typically been thought of as a brand for affluent teenagers or young millennials in the past, it is now targeting an older audience – one who might not have considered wearing the brand before. With <a href="https://sproutsocial.com/insights/new-social-media-demographics/">59% of all 18-29 year olds</a> said to be using Instagram, it is the perfect platform to reach them.</p> <h3>Greater control and creativity for influencers</h3> <p>As well as brands reaping the rewards of authentic influencer content, it seems the influencers themselves are also benefitting from these kinds of relationships. Essentially, it means that creators are given greater control and freedom over the content they create, which is then used as advertising for a brand. It is far removed from the days of posting a one-off product promotion, with no real input or creativity from the influencer themselves.</p> <p>So, what other fashion brands are putting this kind of content first? </p> <h4>1. Brandy Melville</h4> <p>In March 2016, US retailer Brandy Melville generated 9.3m likes on Instagram, making it the top fashion brand for engagement. As well as a heavy focus on ‘lifestyle’ rather than just the clothes themselves, one of the key reasons for its success was the online influencers it used. During a single month, Brandy Melville increased its following 1.6%, with 53,000 new followers added.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9760/BrandyMelvlle.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="692"></p> <h3>Jimmy Choo</h3> <p>Luxury fashion brands are also realising the power of influencers. Jimmy Choo, for example, capitalises on the credibility of style influencers – i.e. fashion bloggers who are known for being on the cutting edge of the industry.</p> <p>Each year it holds its #ChooTravels event, documenting it in an editorial shoot, as well as allowing the influencers to post related content on their own channels.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9759/Jimmy_Choo.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="537"></p> <h3>Mejuri</h3> <p>Finally, it’s not just big fashion brands that are putting influencer content first. Fine jewellery brand Mejuri recently undertook a similar campaign to Jack Wills, partnering with six top fashion influencers to launch a limited edition collection. Working with a diverse set of influencers, each specifically chosen to represent the brand’s aesthetic, the campaign resulted in an increase in engagement.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9758/Mejuri.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="523"></p> <p><strong><em>Subscribers can download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/measuring-roi-on-influencer-marketing/">Measuring ROI on Influencer Marketing</a> report.</em></strong></p> <p><strong><em>Or you can read:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69196-11-impressive-influencer-marketing-campaigns">11 impressive influencer marketing campaigns</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69096-four-reasons-luxury-brands-are-embracing-influencers">Four reasons luxury brands are embracing influencers</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69209-six-inconvenient-truths-about-influencer-marketing">Six inconvenient truths about influencer marketing</a></em></li> </ul>