tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/influencer-marketing Latest Influencer marketing content from Econsultancy 2016-09-22T12:17:52+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:ConferenceEvent/833 2016-09-22T12:17:52+01:00 2016-09-22T12:17:52+01:00 Festival of Marketing <p>The Festival of Marketing is a unique experience where ambitious marketers can discover, learn, celebrate and shape the future together. As the largest global event dedicated to brand marketers, the Festival reflects the very nature of marketing – seamlessly blending inspiration and practical application.</p> <p>This is a place for professionals to experience everything they need to find success – the ideas, the connections and the practical skills. It is both inspiring and hands on learning. Marketing is creative, strategic and tactical and the Festival is built in this spirit.</p> <p>We do this through an expert conference programme boasting more leading marketing minds than anywhere else on the planet, along with workshops, training, awards and networking opportunities.</p> <p>Whether you’re attending the conference at the Festival, celebrating your successes at the Masters of Marketing awards or joining our partners at the Official Festival Fringe, you’re part of an experience like no other.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68243 2016-09-06T01:00:00+01:00 2016-09-06T01:00:00+01:00 Influencers in Asia-Pacific: Four things you need to know Jeff Rajeck <p>Using a local influencer to carry your brand message could help, but there are a few things you need to know about the market first.</p> <p>Asia-Pacific (APAC) has an influencer market which is growing in, well, influence. </p> <p>Influencers are loosely defined as anyone with a sizable social media following and they can play a significant role in an APAC marketing campaign.</p> <p>The reason they are so useful is that <strong>influencers have a ready-made audience which can help a brand break into a new market</strong>.</p> <p>If a brand is looking to reach a particular segment, then using an influencer may be a handy shortcut to today's media-saturated consumers.</p> <p>According to recent reports, brand marketers agree.</p> <p>More than three-quarters (78%) of respondents to a Econsultancy survey, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/">The Rise of Influencers (2016)</a>, indicated that they were using influencers in their marketing campaigns (57%) or planning to do so in the next 12 months (21%).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8531/influencers.png" alt="" width="282" height="340"></p> <p>Unfortunately it's not quite as simple as just finding someone with a large social media following in a target country and signing them up.</p> <p>There are many potential issues which can arise when using influencers in APAC, so marketers need to be aware of a number of things before attempting to tackle this channel.</p> <h3>1. Each country has its own influencers and platform of choice</h3> <p>This seems obvious. The whole purpose of using influencers is to find someone who is well-connected in a particular country and so, almost by definition, the influencers are going to be different for each market.</p> <p>Influencers may, however, also be on different platforms depending on the market.</p> <p>In China, where influencers are typically called key opinion leaders (or more commonly, KOL), <strong>they are now most active on WeCha</strong>t.</p> <p>There are still KOLs who focus on blogging (<a href="https://www.techinasia.com/remember-han-han-chinas-brazen-blogger-startup-raised-9m-series">or even their own app</a>), but WeChat, with its enormous growth and more reliable follower counts, has become the platform of choice for marketers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8533/fan-bingbing.png" alt="" width="222" height="363"></p> <p><strong>Thailand's influencers are mainly active on YouTube</strong>.</p> <p>Some of Thailand's most-popular internet celebrities on the channel include itinerant videographer <a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/softpomz">softpomz</a> with over a million followers and makeup artist <a href="https://econsultancy.com/admin/blog_posts/new/%20https:/www.youtube.com/user/pearypie%20%20">pearypie</a> with around 250,000.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8529/thailand.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="193"></p> <p><strong>Instagram is the choice for Australians.</strong> <a href="https://www.instagram.com/piamuehlenbeck">Pia Muehlenbeck</a>, model and blogger, has amassed 1.3m followers.  </p> <p>This is quite an achievement in a country with a population of around 23m.  </p> <p><a href="https://www.instagram.com/harperandharley">Sara Donaldson</a>, a fashion and beauty writer, still maintains a popular blog but has moved more than half a million of her fans to Instagram.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8534/pia-muehlenbeck.jpg" alt="" width="569" height="323"></p> <h3>2. Due diligence is required</h3> <p>It's well known that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67531-fake-likes-clicks-followers-in-asia-what-you-can-do-about-them/">followers on social media can be faked</a>.  Search on Google for "Facebook likes" or "Twitter followers" and dozens of pages come up with ways of getting fake fans, for a fee.</p> <p><strong>Brands should be wary of influencers with high follower count but poor content and low engagement</strong> from their 'fans'.</p> <p>In China, however, it is not so easy to distinguish real from fake.</p> <p>According to Wechat consultant <a href="http://walkthechat.com/wechat-advertising-the-power-of-key-opinion-leaders/">WalkTheChat</a>, fake influencers (KOLs) in China both steal real content from other influencers and have a 'bot' network to boost engagement numbers.</p> <p>These practices are possible in any country, though, so <strong>working with well-known influencers with a verifiable history of working with other brands is best practice</strong>. </p> <h3>3. Influencer agencies are emerging</h3> <p>Alternatively, instead of trying to figure it out by themselves, marketers can use one of the many agencies which have sprung up.</p> <p>APAC has a long tradition of influencer agencies. <a href="https://www.nuffnang.com.sg/">Nuffnang</a> has offered brands advertising deals with blogger influencers in the region since 2006.  </p> <p>It is now operating in seven countries and boasts a global community of nearly 1m blogs.</p> <p>For those looking for more visually-based influencers, <a href="http://www.tribegroup.co/">TRIBE</a> in Australia and <a href="https://gushcloud.com/">Gushcloud</a> in Singapore offer marketplaces where influencers can sign up and marketers can search for one with the audience which suits their brand.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8535/tribe-australia.jpg" alt="" width="586" height="298"></p> <p>In China, there are countless digital marketing agencies to help brands enter a market with influencers as well as influencer agencies, such as <a href="http://www.parklu.com/faq?lang=en">ParkLu</a>.</p> <p>For marketers doing their own research, there are directories such as <a href="https://popularchips.com/">Popular Chips</a> and <a href="http://www.fashionmonitor.com/#/">Fashion Beauty Monitor</a> which cover APAC and other international influencers.</p> <h3>4. The cost for an influencer still varies considerably</h3> <p>According to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/">The Rise of Influencers</a> most brands still make arrangements with the influencers directly.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8532/influencers-apac.png" alt="" width="441" height="455"></p> <p>Should you decide to do this, one of the first items to establish is the cost.</p> <p>Unfortunately,<strong> there is not yet an industry standard for how much brands should pay for influencers.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://thefoxandshe.com/how-much-to-charge-for-an-instagram-post/">Some have suggested</a> linking the cost for an influencer to a typical advertising metric, say $5 to $10 cost-per-1000 views (CPM).  </p> <p>This might work, though <strong>actual impression counts may be hard to get on some social networks</strong> so brands should probably agree a fixed rate before hand.</p> <p>Another approach is for brands to use cost-per-engagement (CPE) or even cost-per-lead (CPL).  </p> <p>Mavrck, a US-based marketing platform, <a href="http://www.mavrck.co/5-ways-to-measure-digital-and-influencer-marketing-campaigns/">has carried out research</a> to identify what those costs are for US-based clients and these figures could be used as a benchmark for APAC.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8536/Untitled-design-6.png" alt="" width="461" height="329"></p> <p>TRIBE, the Australian influencer agency, suggests per-post rates based on the number of followers the influencer has.  </p> <p>Again, useful for reference but an influencer with an affluent audience should certainly charge significantly more than one who is followed by bargain-hunters.</p> <p>So, then, <strong>the cost per post will then typically be agreed directly between the brand and the influencer. </strong></p> <p>According to industry feedback though, many influencers are inexperienced with negotiating and so brands should be ready to walk away should the price be unreasonable.</p> <p><a href="http://digiday.com/agencies/confessions-social-media-exec-no-idea-pay-influencers/">According to one brand executive</a>, these negotiations can be difficult.</p> <blockquote> <p>They’re all nuts. They say, “I want to take a car and pick it up in London and drive it around Europe, so give me $100,000.”  Nope, let’s totally never do it that ever. These people don’t understand budgets.</p> </blockquote> <h3>So...</h3> <p>Influencers can be a great way for a brand to tap into a market in APAC.</p> <p>Using one means that you will not have to worry so much about how to find the right audience, the influencer will bring people to you.</p> <p>Before simply booking one yourself, however, do some research and find a well-established influencer who has a track record of helping brands find the right audience in the target market.  </p> <p>Influencer marketplaces and research publications can help, but simple due diligence should also be carried out as well.</p> <p>As for negotiating a rate, it seems that you're on your own. The best approach is to have a budget in mind and negotiate hard.  </p> <p>Because the market is so new, most influencers are relatively inexperienced too, and they may very well be open to striking a deal to develop a long-term relationship. </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4182 2016-07-05T15:01:00+01:00 2016-07-05T15:01:00+01:00 The Future of Celebrity Marketing <p>The Future of Celebrity Marketing, a <strong>Celebrity Intelligence</strong> report produced in association with Econsultancy, considers how the rules of celebrity engagement are shifting. Thanks to the advent of social media and the subsequent rise of online influencers, a new generation of talent has emerged for traditional celebrities to compete with.</p> <p>The report looks at how the definition of celebrity is evolving, the challenges this creates, and the new ways in which brands and agencies are selecting and engaging celebrities to work with. Backed by independent online research, the findings demonstrate the impact social media is having on celebrity engagement and assess how the future market is shaping up.</p> <h2>Read to discover:</h2> <ul> <li>Global celebrity engagement practices.</li> <li>Expert opinions and findings from leading voices in the industry.</li> <li>Budgets and predicted growth.</li> <li>The impact of social media.</li> <li>Priorities and tactics.</li> <li>Current and future trends.</li> </ul> <h2>About Celebrity Intelligence</h2> <p><a href="https://www.celebrityintelligence.com/#/">Celebrity Intelligence</a> is the ultimate celebrity engagement tool. We are the industry's only tool providing celebrity contacts, in-depth celebrity profiles and intelligence, celebrity events information and a live Buzz Index of 'who's hot and who's not' all in one place.</p> <p>Covering film, TV, music, fashion, sport and more, we provide everything you need to know to make intelligent decisions about which celebrities to work with, when and why.</p> <p>To find out more about Celebrity Intelligence, or for more information about the report, please contact Centaur Marketing's Content Marketing Manager, Priyanka Mehra Dayal, at priyanka.mehra-dayal@centaurmedia.com. <br></p> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Download a copy of the report to learn more.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67953 2016-06-15T11:36:40+01:00 2016-06-15T11:36:40+01:00 How Lush Cosmetics uses word-of-mouth marketing Nikki Gilliland <p>After all, it is a retailer that does not advertise on traditional media, nor is it totally mainstream like its rival the Body Shop.</p> <p>But now with a three-storey flagship slap-bang in the middle of Oxford Street, Lush certainly appears to be making the most of its cult following.</p> <p>On the back of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67158-why-lush-is-the-undisputed-master-of-b-commerce/">last year’s website comparison</a>, and in the run up to the <a href="http://www.festivalofmarketing.com/awards/categories?utm_source=econsultancy&amp;utm_medium=blog&amp;utm_campaign=econ%20blog">Masters of Marketing</a> (deadline for entry this Friday, June 17th), we thought we’d take a look at how Lush has gone from a small ethical cosmetics company to a high street behemoth.</p> <p>Here are four ways Lush has executed a winning <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/digital-content-strategy/">content strategy</a> through non-traditional methods.</p> <h3>Brand values and identity</h3> <p>Since it first began in 1995, Lush has always prided itself on its ethical principles.</p> <p>From minimal packaging to protests against animal testing – it has become just as well-known for its charitable endeavours as its use of organic ingredients.</p> <p>Undoubtedly, these core values of honesty and positivity have enabled the brand to build a large and loyal fan base. </p> <p>As well as promoting good causes, Lush also practices what it preaches, with 100% of the earnings from its ‘charity pot’ body cream going to environmental, animal protection and human rights organisations.</p> <p>Similarly, by focusing on grassroots charities, it further emphasises its position as being a friend to the little guy.</p> <p>Ultimately, any purchase from Lush comes along with the reassurance that it’s from a brand that truly cares. And there’s no denying that this is an incredibly powerful (and persuasive) notion for consumers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6090/Lush_Charity_Pot.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="305"></p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/it2ADEr_rEo?wmode=transparent" width="700" height="424"></iframe></p> <h3>Unique copywriting</h3> <p>Alongside its core values, Lush is famous for its unique and quirky <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/online-copywriting/">copywriting</a>. </p> <p>In recent years, the brand has ramped up its efforts in this area even more, with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62713-six-things-to-consider-when-writing-product-descriptions/">product descriptions</a> becoming a huge focus of its online shop.</p> <p>Using an unashamedly flowery and funny tone of voice, Lush’s copy combines both puns and rhymes with practical information. </p> <p>From ‘You’ve Been Mangoed’ to ‘Granny Takes a Dip’, the names of the products also range from the predictable to the rather ridiculous. Yet somehow, it still works.  </p> <p>The style is nothing if not consistent, with similarly punny headlines being found throughout the website and blog, as well as a similar style on social media. </p> <p>It is not everyone’s cup of tea of course, but it is certainly distinctive.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6091/Lush_Copy_2.PNG" alt="" width="700" height="417"></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6092/Lush_Copy.PNG" alt="" width="665" height="469"></p> <h3>Influencer marketing</h3> <p>In recent years, YouTube has turned out to be one of Lush’s most effective marketing channels. </p> <p>Despite uploads on the brand’s own account being surprisingly rare, mentions from a number of influential internet personalities has meant that it has still enjoyed valuable exposure.</p> <p>With the likes of Zoella and Tanya Burr declaring their undying love for the brand in endless ‘Lush hauls’, the store has garnered millions of new customers as a result.</p> <p>There’s no denying the power of this word-of-mouth marketing. Despite the world of influential advertising becoming <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67923-influencer-marketing-is-becoming-a-joke-what-can-brands-do-about-it/">increasingly murky</a>, most of Lush's endorsements do appear to be organic (with many videos appearing during the early days of YouTube).</p> <p>With millions of subscribers, personalities like Zoella are able to influence buyer behaviour far more than most other forms of advertising - a fact that has certainly gone in Lush's favour.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/lJDOtzCHXKo?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>User-generated content</h3> <p>Lush doesn’t only put effort into growing its customer base. A big reason behind its success is its focus on building a relationship with its audience.</p> <p>By talking to customers on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, Lush maintains a continual cycle of conversation and engagement. </p> <p>Using hashtags such as the popular #lushtime, it encourages customers to share their own personal Lush experiences, in turn building the brand's community.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6094/Lush_Instagram.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="634"></p> <p>A further example of how the brand uses content to elevate the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics/">customer experience</a> is the 'Lush Kitchen'.</p> <p>By creating a limited number of online-only products, it aims to offer a personalised and exclusive service.</p> <p>Far more appealing than a standard shopping experience, it automatically encourages shoppers to recommend it to their friends or post about it online.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6095/Lush_Kitchen.PNG" alt="" width="730" height="461"></p> <p>Lush is a brand that promises far more than just a good bubble bath.</p> <p>With its passionate values, distinct style and positive community, it ensures customers are more than happy to spead the word.</p> <p><em><strong>Don't forget to get your <a href="http://www.festivalofmarketing.com/awards/categories?utm_source=econsultancy&amp;utm_medium=blog&amp;utm_campaign=econ%20blog">entries in for the Masters of Marketing</a> awards before the deadline on 17th June. </strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67923 2016-06-09T14:43:00+01:00 2016-06-09T14:43:00+01:00 Influencer marketing is becoming a joke: What can brands do about it? Patricio Robles <p>That dark side was on display for all to see recently when Scott Disick, a television personality best known for his relationship with reality TV star and socialite Kourtney Kardashian, was caught posting an ostensibly paid promotion for Bootea protein shakes.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/5705/oops-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="415" height="738"></p> <p>As the screenshot above demonstrates, Disick's Bootea Instagram post was about as far from authentic as is possible and not surprisingly, Disick was subsequently teased and lambasted for his embarrassing faux pas.</p> <p>Brands should take note and heed the following advice to ensure their influencer marketing campaigns don't become a joke.</p> <h3>1. Align your brand with the right influencers</h3> <p>With 16.4m Instagram followers, Scott Disick's ability to reach a large number of people is hard to dispute.</p> <p>But why would Bootea, a health and wellness brand, align itself with a celebrity who is known for his hard-partying ways and who has made headlines for his struggles with drug and alcohol abuse?</p> <p>While Disick shouldn't be shamed for those struggles, it's hard not to think that Bootea would have been better off aligning itself with influencers whose lifestyles are more consistent with its values.</p> <p>Long-term, that is a much safer bet.</p> <h3>2. Think bigger than paid posts</h3> <p>For obvious reasons, paid posts are not going away.</p> <p>But any good influencer campaign should be more thoughtful and comprehensive than paid posts that are the social web equivalent of product placement.</p> <p>The reason for this is that paid posts alone are probably not going to move the needle, especially if those paid posts are not compelling and not clearly aligned with the influencer's persona. </p> <h3>3. Trust your influencers</h3> <p>If a brand can't trust an influencer to write his or her own 140-character tweet or caption for an Instgram post, the influencer relationship needs to be reassessed.</p> <p>Influencer content, even when paid for, should at least <em>appear</em> to be somewhat authentic.</p> <p>Here, an influencer was directed to publish a post referencing a morning protein shake in the afternoon. #fail</p> <h3>4. Co-create, and demand more</h3> <p>Naturally, brands are going to want to have some say in what influencers post.</p> <p>But a brand shouldn't have to direct an influencer to write something as simple as "Keeping up with the summer workout routine..."</p> <p>Instead, they should <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/influencing-the-influencers-the-magic-of-co-created-content">co-create content</a> with their influencers to ensure that they stay on message without compromising the influencer's authenticity and creativity.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5752/disick.jpg" alt="" width="578" height="370"></p> <p>And they should demand the latter to ensure that they don't get lazy, uninspired content like the above, which is another paid post Disick published for Bootea several weeks ago.</p> <p>Note the similarity to the botched paid post, and the fact that neither post even suggests that Disick is actually using the product. There isn't a glass in sight in either photo.</p> <h3>5. Don't ignore the rules</h3> <p>Although Disick fixed his Instagram faux pas and included the hashtag #ad to identify his post as a paid advertisement, brands looking to ensure their influencer marketing campaigns don't fail should remember not to ignore <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67368-what-advertisers-need-to-know-about-the-ftc-s-new-guidance-on-native-ads/">the guidances provided by the Federal Trade Commission</a> vis-à-vis advertising disclosures.</p> <p>While the FTC obviously can't take action against every violator, <a href="https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2016/03/lord-taylor-settles-ftc-charges-it-deceived-consumers-through">the agency recently settled</a> with Lord &amp; Taylor after alleging that the retailer, among other things, paid Instagram fashion influencers to post pictures of themselves wearing a dress it sold.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67830 2016-05-13T14:02:06+01:00 2016-05-13T14:02:06+01:00 Young users aren't fans of targeted social ads: Report Patricio Robles <p>Harris Poll <a href="http://www.lithium.com/company/news-room/press-releases/2016/lithium-74-percent-of-digital-natives-tired-of-brands-shouting-at-them">asked</a> some 2,000 consumers across generations about their use of social and found that nearly three-quarters (74%) took issue with marketers targeting their social feeds.</p> <p>Most worryingly, over half (56%) said they were cutting back or stopping use of social platforms because of these ads.</p> <p>These numbers suggest the possibility that by pouring more money into ads that target younger users' social feeds, marketers risk losing them.</p> <p>According to Lithium Technologies president and CEO Rob Tarkoff:</p> <blockquote> <p>Pushing out ads on social media is the surest way for brands to alienate consumers, especially the younger generations who make up more than 50% of the population.</p> <p>The promise of social technologies has always been about connecting people, not shouting at them, and the brands that don’t do this risk their very existence.</p> </blockquote> <p>But is this really the case? </p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64189-facebook-ads-drive-60-increase-in-sales-revenue">Facebook ads have been seen to drive significant sales increases</a>, and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62772-organic-posts-are-most-popular-social-tactic-but-paid-ads-are-more-successful-report">for years</a> marketers have found paid ads on popular social platforms <a href="http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Ad-Execs-Give-Facebook-Highest-Grades-Social-Ad-Effectiveness/1013123">to be quite effective</a>.</p> <p>The world's largest social network, Facebook, has the most mature ad offerings of any of these platforms, and propelled by a growing billion-plus member userbase and higher revenue-per-user, it grew its ad sales by a whopping 57% in the first quarter of 2016.</p> <p>If younger users, which still make up a considerable portion of Facebook's member ranks, were <em>really</em> alienated by ads and cutting back usage of the service as a result, such gains would be unlikely.</p> <h3>So what gives?</h3> <p>For one, ads that target social feeds, although marked as such, aren't always recognized as ads by users.</p> <p>And even when they are, because marketers are increasingly upping their <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66951-seven-golden-rules-for-content-marketing">content marketing</a> games, there's a chance that the content they're promoting will actually be of interest to users.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wolfgangdigital.com/blog/facebook-ad-ctr-study-newsfeed-v-display-from-the-wolfgang-lab">Higher CTRs for News Feed ads versus display ads on Facebook</a> are evidence of this.</p> <p>But there's also another dynamic at work here. Thanks to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67443-eight-influencer-marketing-stats-for-fashion-beauty-brands">influencer marketing</a>, companies are targeting users through their social feeds, and in many cases users don't even know it.</p> <p>What's more: ironically, the very users who say they don't want to be targeted appear to be more receptive to influencer marketing. </p> <p>According to the Harris Poll survey, younger generations are far more likely to trust people they follow online and celebrity endorsers than members of Gen X and Baby Boomers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/4854/harris_poll_press_release_table-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="349"></p> <p>While influencer marketing campaigns frequently don't use official ad offerings, it's worth considering that when it comes to their social feeds, users simply can't escape being targeted by marketers, whether they like it or not.</p> <p>And now that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67656-instagram-is-shaking-up-its-feed-with-an-algorithm-what-brands-need-to-know">algorithms are taking over</a>, there will be fewer and fewer feeds that are free from ads.</p> <p>So while millennials and members of Gen Z don't want to feel that they're being bombarded with ads on social platforms, the reality is that social ads in all their forms are here to stay and many marketers are finding them to be increasingly effective.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67807 2016-05-05T14:57:29+01:00 2016-05-05T14:57:29+01:00 Is micro-influencer marketing viable? Patricio Robles <p>As <a href="http://digiday.com/agencies/micro-influencers/">detailed by</a> Digiday's Yuyu Chen, a growing number of brands are looking to micro-influencers, social media users without massive followings but who might be able to deliver better results with the right strategy.</p> <p>According to Markerly, provider of an influencer management platform, Instagram users with fewer followers have a higher Like and comment rate than those with a greater number of followers.</p> <p>The company suggests that Instagram users with 10,000 to 100,000 followers – users Chen dubs "micro-influencers" – frequently offer the best balance between reach, engagement and conversions.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4627/markerlystats.jpg" alt="" width="529" height="288"></p> <p>Markerly describes how a campaign involving a few dozen micro-influencers can deliver better results than a campaign that relies on some of the most prominent social media influencers:</p> <blockquote> <p>Sarah Ware, CEO and co-founder of Markerly, said that when her company engaged with the Jenner and Kardashian sisters on Instagram on behalf of a weight-loss tea company, the celebrities helped bring hundreds of conversions. Which was nice.</p> <p>But by activating 30 to 40 “micro-influencers,” the brand was able to convert at an even higher level.</p> </blockquote> <p>Part of the reason for this, Ware suggests, is that it's easier for brands to target the right users by tapping microinfluencers.</p> <p>After all, the most popular influencers may offer alluring reach, but brands targeting specific <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67756-influencer-marketing-it-s-all-about-the-audience">audiences</a> are likely to find that a significant number of their followers aren't members of those target groups.</p> <p>This means their increasingly costly campaigns come with a lot of wasted influence.</p> <p>So will influencer marketing evolve to propel the fortunes of micro-influencers?</p> <p>There are several reasons brands probably won't completely abandon the Kardashians of social media just yet.</p> <h3>The long-term value of association</h3> <p>The first is that influence comes from association, and association can create long-term value.</p> <p>When brands associate themselves with social media stars, the benefits aren't always short-lived and can't be measured solely by immediate conversions.</p> <p>This is particularly true when brands <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67400-three-youtube-influencers-give-their-views-on-brand-partnerships">forge true partnerships with influencers</a> and develop <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/influencing-the-influencers-the-magic-of-co-created-content">co-created content</a>.</p> <p>While <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66238-note-to-brands-social-media-stars-are-probably-not-the-new-celebrity-endorsers">not all social media stars have real celebrity sway</a>, close, long-term relationships with the most powerful of influencers have the potential to create associations that pay dividends beyond a short-term campaign. </p> <h3>The effect of algorithms</h3> <p>Another challenge for brands looking to use micro-influencers is the rise of algorithms.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67656-instagram-is-shaking-up-its-feed-with-an-algorithm-what-brands-need-to-know">Instagram recently shook up its feed with an algorithm</a> and while it remains to be seen just how much of an impact this will have and how it will evolve over time, it's logical to expect that the most popular users might come out ahead more often than not.</p> <p>But even if they don't, campaigns spanning dozens of micro-influencers could see uneven results, as some of the micro-influencers might deliver higher reaches than others.</p> <p>For obvious reasons, this complicates matters for marketers as they track and manage their campaigns.</p> <h3>The logistical challenges</h3> <p>Finally, perhaps the biggest challenges micro-influencers present are logisitical.</p> <p>After all, even if a campaign that utilizes 40 micro-influencers can outperform a campaign that utilizes one or two stars, marketers must consider the effort and resources required to plan and execute campaigns that involve so many influencers.</p> <p>Even so, that doesn't mean that micro-influencers are the future of influencer marketing.</p> <p>Given the value of real partnerships, the impact of algorithms and the power of compelling co-created content, there will probably be a place for a variety of different kinds of influencer campaigns in future.</p> <p>And savvy marketers will take advantage of them all as and where appropriate.</p> <p><em>For more on this, read: <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67785-why-restaurants-need-a-hyper-local-influencer-marketing-strategy/">Why restaurants need a hyper-local influencer marketing strategy</a>.</em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67785 2016-04-26T11:56:00+01:00 2016-04-26T11:56:00+01:00 Why restaurants need a hyper-local influencer marketing strategy David Moth <p>Co-founder James Elliot shared some insights into the company’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67647-nine-incredibly-helpful-influencer-marketing-tools/">influencer strategy</a> at a recent AdWeek event hosted by Time Out.</p> <p>He strongly advocated a hyper-local strategy, which I've handily summarised below...</p> <h3>Go hyper-local</h3> <p>Pizza Pilgrims was founded by two brothers who set out to traverse Italy to learn how to make authentic pizza.</p> <p>Their journey was documented on a dedicated <a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/pizzapilgrims">YouTube channel</a>, so they actually began building an online audience before they’d even setup business in their first pizza van.</p> <p>This focus on digital has continued as the business has grown. According to James:</p> <blockquote> <p>We got food bloggers involved very early on. It's been much more effective than print advertising or any other more traditional channels.</p> </blockquote> <p>James said he quickly learned that influencer marketing yielded the best results when it involved people local to the Pizza Pilgrims van in London’s Soho.</p> <p>And by local, James means “like, within one mile.”</p> <p>This is because in order to be profitable Pizza Pilgrims has to get a large number of customers through the door every day.</p> <p>Therefore it needs to attract repeat visits from people who live and work nearby. </p> <p><a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BBpd6BThRqS/?taken-by=pizzapilgrims"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4297/Pizza_Pilgrims_van.png" alt="" width="934" height="601"></a></p> <p>James cited Meat Liquor - another small, trendy restaurant brand – as a company with a great hyper-local digital strategy.</p> <p>Each of <a href="http://meatliquor.com/">Meat Liquor’s London outlets</a> has a different name and its own social channels.</p> <p>James believes this works better as it enables restaurants to appeal to local markets and communities, rather than having one generic account for the whole brand.</p> <h3>Get ‘em involved</h3> <p>James discussed how to build strong relationships with influencers. Apparently it’s all about making them feel valued. </p> <p>He said that rather than just randomly sending out freebies, brands need to make bloggers feel involved with a project or campaign.</p> <blockquote> <p>Bloggers love feeling like they’re involved in a decision. For example, we might get people in to do a taste test of different types of mozzarella and let them choose which one we’re going to use.</p> </blockquote> <p>This is far more effective than simply sending out a product and asking for a review, and it means you hopefully won't be <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67645-google-s-got-it-right-instead-of-bribing-bloggers-sort-out-your-website/">penalised by Google for bribing bloggers</a>.</p> <h3>Find authentic partners</h3> <p>Brand partnerships are very common in the food &amp; drink industry. </p> <p>See Jamie Oliver and Sainsbury’s or Heston Blumenthal and Waitrose for two very obvious examples.</p> <p>Though these are obviously major corporate brands, these types of partnerships can also work for small businesses.</p> <p>James recommends collaborations as a good way for two brands to gain mutually beneficial outcomes, but it relies on working with people who have authenticity.</p> <p>Pizza Pilgrims recently worked with Chase Vodka to create Sohocello, a limoncello brand that was ‘grown in Amalfi, distilled in Herefordshire, born in Soho.’</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qAUWzyM_UiQ?wmode=transparent" width="615" height="346"></iframe></p> <p>Both brands have placed their company story at the centre of their marketing, so the collaboration is a natural fit.</p> <p>It’s a good reminder that the search for influencers need not be limited to bloggers.</p> <h3>Horses for courses</h3> <p>The hyper-local influencer strategy that James advocated isn’t a viable option for all brands.</p> <p>In fact, it’s probably only suited to restaurants that operate a small number of outlets.</p> <p>Major food brands, such as McDonald’s or Starbucks, are better off working with influencers or celebrities with mass market appeal that give them national or international coverage. Such as Beyoncé.</p> <p>In contrast, Pizza Pilgrims’ business model relies on attracting a high volume of customers within a small geographic area.</p> <p>In this instance, it doesn’t make sense to pay a lot of money for someone with national appeal when most people aren’t able to visit one of Pizza Pilgrims' restaurants.</p> <h3>Time Out’s influencer research</h3> <p>To finish it's only polite to give a nod to some <a href="http://www.timeout.com/about/time-out-group/latest-news/time-out-reveals-new-study-from-influence-to-action-insights-from-the-new-influence-economy">influencer marketing research that Time Out revealed</a> at the AdWeek event. </p> <p>The survey of 799 respondents identifies two different influencer groups: Shakers and Makers.</p> <p>Shakers are defined as those with very large social networks (upwards of 3,500) who might be useful for driving broad awareness of a product or marketing campaign.</p> <p>However Makers are actually more likely to drive a particular action despite having a slightly smaller social following (average of 1,700).</p> <p>This is because Makers tend to be more passionate and knowledgable about a certain topic, so their followers place greater trust in them when it comes to recommendations.</p> <p>And for more on this topic, download Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/">Rise of Influencers study</a> which assesses how brands are approaching influencer marketing.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67756 2016-04-19T12:45:40+01:00 2016-04-19T12:45:40+01:00 Influencer Marketing: It’s all about the audience Chris Lee <p>The answer lies in understanding their audience, without whom there <em>is</em> no ‘influence’, and working back from there. </p> <p>The Google Trends data speaks for itself. Influencer marketing is going through the roof, probably due to Google’s focus on diverse and authoritative links, and the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67076-the-rise-and-rise-of-ad-blockers-stats/">rise of ad blocking</a>.</p> <p>What used to be one area of public relations – media and blogger outreach – has now forced its way onto the remit of content marketers keen to build links and attention.</p> <p><em>'Influencer Marketing' in the UK (Google Trends, April 2016)</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4071/Google_Trends_Influencer_Marketing.png" alt="" width="399" height="259"></p> <p>For all the positives for influencers – more press trips, freebies and paid gigs – there is also the inevitable rise in spam.</p> <p>If you are a content marketer finding yourself doing more and more influencer outreach, the below steps should help.</p> <p>And to find out more about this topic, download Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/">Rise of Influencers Study</a>.</p> <h3>Influencer marketing from both sides</h3> <p>Having been in UK tech PR and media since 1998, I've seen media relations evolve from press releases being faxed and posted to print, radio and TV, to modern social media pitches linking to rich, embeddable media to bloggers and vloggers. </p> <p>As a tech journalist, my audience was IT managers. I spoke with them regularly to understand their challenges, and what kept them awake at night: security breaches, down time, capacity etc.</p> <p>Without understanding my audience, I couldn’t talk to them effectively.</p> <p>As a <a href="http://www.outsidewrite.co.uk" target="_blank">football travel blogger</a>, I can tell immediately the pitch from a PR – whose chief objective is often ‘coverage’ and opportunities-to-see (OTS) – and an <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/seo-training/">SEO</a>, who wants a backlink to a target URL.</p> <p>It’s clear that I write about football travel from the ‘About us’ page, and yet that means I have ended up on a few generic ‘lifestyle blogger’ lists and been invited to the launch of new restaurants and cocktail bars.</p> <p>This breaks the first rule of influencer marketing: personalisation.</p> <p>If you don’t understand the blogger – their motivation for blogging, the way they work and their audience – then you cannot tailor the unique content you need to in order to gain traction.</p> <p>You’re aiming to build a long-term relationship with influencers. Today’s upstart with a few thousand hits per month might be tomorrow’s Zoella or Jim Chapman.</p> <p>Way before approaching them, follow them on social media. Get on their radar somehow (a Like, a relevant retweet). </p> <h3>How to pitch to influencers</h3> <p>After the homework stage, you’re ready to pitch. You already know the blogger is relevant and who their audience is. You’ve seen if they’ve covered your brand or competition before.</p> <p>You’re clear on what unique experience or content you are ready to offer. Don’t forget to check on social media to see that they’re actually around and not on a boating trip in the Adriatic or on their way to a photo shoot.</p> <p>You’ll be most likely pitching by email and they – or the people paid to filter out the bad emails - will receive potentially hundreds each day, so you really need to stand out. </p> <p>The key to successful pitching includes:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Subject line:</strong> Keep this to less than eight words. Get to the point, make it click-worthy, and don’t use caps, it looks like shouting. A <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64878-45-words-to-avoid-in-your-email-marketing-subject-lines/">catchy subject line</a> is the difference between earning a click and being deleted instantly.</li> <li> <strong>Personalise approach:</strong> Address the influencer by name. Never say ‘hi there’ or ‘Dear Blogger’, absolute no-nos! Also, is there a polite and relevant segue you can add, such as ‘I saw your recent piece on X and our recent research on Y could build to the story…’ </li> <li> <strong>Offer something unique</strong>: Is there something exclusive that you can offer to help that influencer stand out, like unique content, an experience, an interview? </li> <li> <strong>Keep it brief</strong>: The influencer has got plenty of other emails to check. Get to the point quickly and leave a call to action. Manage expectations.</li> </ul> <p>The key thing is not to hassle the influencer. If they’re not interested, so be it. One of journalists’ key complaints is the “did you get my email?” PR follow-up call.</p> <p>If they are interested in your pitch, follow up quickly and manage it all the way through, thank them when the piece appears and share on your social networks.</p> <p>Don’t ever ask them if you can proof their copy first! </p> <p>Always remember that both parties need to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67645-google-s-got-it-right-instead-of-bribing-bloggers-sort-out-your-website/">disclose their interest</a> in online content and social media.</p> <p>Now you need to build a database with relevant information to capture all the data you need on your influencer outreach.</p> <p>This should include contact information (email, social feeds etc.) and influence markers, such as domain authority (DA), estimated traffic, community size etc., and a history of your contact with them.</p> <p>Capture other data that might help ease a conversation with them and show you’ve actually researched them – where do they live, which football team do they support etc. </p> <p>Nothing beats meeting influencers face-to-face, so try to do that when you can.</p> <p>Influencers and those organisations hoping to work with them can create successful, symbiotic relationships, but many approaches can go horribly wrong – with some irate bloggers and journalists taking to social media to ‘out’ bad agencies.</p> <p>If you’re new to influencer relations, aim to be helpful and put yourself in the influencer’s shoes. It could be the start of a beautiful relationship.</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, see:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66560-what-are-influencers-and-how-do-you-find-them/"><em>What are influencers and how do you find them?</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67443-eight-influencer-marketing-stats-for-fashion-beauty-brands/"><em>Eight influencer marketing stats for fashion &amp; beauty brands</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66092-six-ways-to-woo-influencers-to-support-your-cause/"><em>Six ways to woo influencers to support your cause</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67712 2016-04-13T11:35:52+01:00 2016-04-13T11:35:52+01:00 Seven helpful tips for livestreaming success Patricio Robles <h3>1. Pick the right platform</h3> <p>There are a number of popular livestreaming platforms. Celebrities like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66297-madonna-s-meerkat-fail-shows-the-risks-of-early-adoption">Madonna embraced Meerkat</a>, which has since <a href="http://recode.net/2016/03/04/meerkat-is-ditching-the-livestream-and-chasing-a-video-social-network-instead/">pivoted away from</a> livestreaming.</p> <p>Twitter's Periscope has been employed by <em>The Late Show with Stephen Colbert</em>.</p> <p>And with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67603-what-marketers-need-to-know-about-facebook-s-livestreaming-push">Facebook's livestreaming push</a>, many brands will no doubt be considering the world's largest social network for their next livestream.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2696/Facebook_livestream.png" alt="" width="441" height="178"></p> <p>Already, there is growing differentiation between platforms.</p> <p>Periscope, for example, doesn't officially support archiving, and Facebook, which does, is incentivizing use of Facebook Live by ranking live streams higher in user News Feeds.</p> <p>This means brands will want to be thoughtful about which platforms they adopt.</p> <h3>2. Recognize that personality matters</h3> <p>Livestreaming isn't television, and authenticity is probably a more attractive attribute in the medium than polish is.</p> <p>That means brands don't necessarily want or need established personalities; they may well find success with virtual unknowns.</p> <p>But whoever they put in front of viewers needs to be able to connect with the target audience.</p> <h3>3. Ideas are key</h3> <p>Last week, BuzzFeed broke the record for concurrent viewers on a Facebook livestream.</p> <p><a href="http://www.tubefilter.com/2016/04/08/buzzfeed-live-facebook-video-watermelon/">More than 800,000 viewers</a> accepted the popular digital publisher's call to action: "Watch us explode this watermelon one rubber band at a time!"</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/3818/buzzfeed-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="330" height="330"></p> <p>Replicating BuzzFeed's success won't be easy for brands.</p> <p>After all, most of them will find it hard to relate similar stunts to their wares.</p> <p>But BuzzFeed's record-breaking livestream is a reminder that individuals willing to tune in to a live event are far more likely to do so when lured by the promise of content that's unique, fascinating, engaging or enlightening.</p> <h3>4. Understand that scripting isn't necessary, but preparation is</h3> <p>Livestreamimg doesn't require fully scripted content – in fact, in many cases that will even be undesirable – but brands shouldn't expect to achieve livestreaming success without some preparation to ensure events flow smoothly and keep viewers engaged.</p> <p>Without structure, livestreaming events can quickly become boring, or worse, very quickly, reducing the likelihood a viewer will tune in again.</p> <h3>5. Look for co-creation opportunities</h3> <p>Livestreaming is a great medium for brands to take advantage of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/influencing-the-influencers-the-magic-of-co-created-content">the magic of co-created content</a>.</p> <p>There are numerous opportunities for brands to involve <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/">influencers</a> in their livestreaming content.</p> <p>For example, Amazon is inviting high-profile guests to co-host episodes of its daily digital fashion show, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67627-is-amazon-s-style-code-live-this-generation-s-answer-to-the-tv-shopping-channel/">Style Code Live</a>.</p> <h3>6. Get the setup right</h3> <p>While brands using third-party platforms to livestream lack a good deal of control, they should do everything they can to ensure that they're not the source of a technical failure.</p> <p>From selecting the right equipment to ensuring that they have adequate connectivity, nothing should be left to chance and Plans B and C should be established and ready to implement before an important stream begins. </p> <h3>7. Take full advantage of the medium</h3> <p>To fully exploit the livestreaming opportunity, brands should look for ways they can tap the unique attributes of the medium.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2790/stylecode2.jpg" alt="" width="615" height="105"></p> <p>Once again, Amazon's Style Code Live provides a good example, as the retail giant allows viewers to interact with guests via live chat.</p> <p>It also created a custom video player that highlights products that are being featured on the show.</p>