tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/online-pr Latest Online PR content from Econsultancy 2016-08-22T11:24:09+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68172 2016-08-22T11:24:09+01:00 2016-08-22T11:24:09+01:00 A day in the life of... a freelance PR & comms consultant Ben Davis <h3>Please describe your job: What does a freelance comms consultant do?</h3> <p>I work primarily with startups who are gearing up for investment or set to launch into market.</p> <p>I work with each client to identify key commercial objectives whether than be sign-ups to a platform, retaining or attracting talent, lowering cost per acquisition or driving revenue and building comms plans to meet those objectives.</p> <p>Contrary to the stereotype, very little of what I do is generating coverage or schmoozing journalists!</p> <p>The brand awareness or “fame” aspect should be a result of the commercial imperatives rather than the focus of them.  </p> <p>That being said I do have one client who is a very successful entrepreneur with various global business interests.</p> <p>He is in the lucky position of not really needing PR to drive his business goals but is keen to establish himself as a business leader and to nurture and develop other young entrepreneurs - so the brief for him focuses on raising his personal profile. </p> <p>I am lucky to be able to call upon a talented global platform of consultants via the <a href="http://hoxbycollective.com/">Hoxby Collective</a> for help on marketing, advertising and copywriting briefs.</p> <p>I also work closely with an old colleague and friend, Coard Henry, on many day-to-day accounts.</p> <p>As Hoxby’s head of PR, I vet all the prospective PR Associates to assess their suitability for the platform and field out work to the appropriate people as briefs come in from clients. </p> <p><em>The Hoxby Collective</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8277/Screen_Shot_2016-08-19_at_10.43.38.png" alt="hoxby collective" width="615" height="339"></p> <h3>Who do you report to?</h3> <p>I report directly to C-suite with clients, which helps with fast decision making but always carries with it a sense of imminent peril.</p> <p>Coard and I also “report” daily to each other on what we’re working on, updates on leads or opportunities from the previous week and ideas for current clients.</p> <p>I’m lucky that he absolutely thrives on the organisational aspect of running a business as he previously ran his own PR agency.</p> <p>Since he came on board he’s taken on a lot of that and I encourage him to “kick my a**” on admin but our complementary skills means we can both work on the areas where our natural abilities and interests lie. </p> <h3>What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?</h3> <p>Organisation and the ability to multi-task, commercial nous and creative flair. And resilience.</p> <p>Being your own boss can be thrilling but you need to be able to take setbacks in your stride and keep momentum going. </p> <h3>Tell us about a typical working day…  </h3> <p>I’m woken up about 6.30am with a toddler standing by my bed with his bunny, a book and an expectant look on his face.</p> <p>I will try and buy myself a few minutes sleep by sticking CBeebies on and having a snuggle but I’ll be downstairs making breakfast by 7am at the latest.</p> <p>While the kettle’s boiling I will check overnight emails from clients - I have one who travels 200 days a year so messages can fly in at any time of the day or night.</p> <p>I also check the news headlines, Google alerts and social media - Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn - in that order.</p> <p>My partner will usually take our son Max into the shower around 7.30am so I fire off any urgent emails and review my to-do list before getting Max dressed and ready for nursery.</p> <p>Once he’s out of the door around 8am my day starts in earnest. </p> <p>Unless there is anything urgent needed for a client I like to spend the first hour or so setting up for the day.</p> <p>As I work from home most of the time I rely on social networks and platforms to act as a working community - the freelance PR groups on Facebook are particularly active and a rich source of support, contacts and general advice.</p> <p>I also use Slack for Hoxby work and comms and will “drop in” on the watercooler channel to say hi to new associates, check the live projects for new and interesting leads and the PR founders and “heads of” chats for any updates.</p> <p><em>Slack</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1493/Screen_Shot_2016-02-08_at_10.24.10.png" alt="slack" width="615"></p> <p>I also filter any new journalist requests in priority order to respond on behalf of clients with comments, op eds or interview pitches. </p> <p>At 10.30am I have a daily call with Coard to check in on activity and discuss any urgent priorities or emerging trends/stories that we need to jump onto. </p> <p>The majority of my working day is split between planning and strategy for clients, proactive pitching of story ideas to trade, national and broadcast press or offering comment/colour to wider industry pieces and reactive press in response to media requests.</p> <p>I may also be liaising with a marketer, editing or approving video or planning a social media strategy.  </p> <p>My partner also works from home and is a media production consultant.</p> <p>If we are both home at lunchtime we’ll sit down together to eat and discuss common projects or new leads. </p> <p>As we only moved back to Manchester in January and I still work in London with clients a lot I’ve been making a conscious effort to build up my Northern network.</p> <p>I aim to get out and meet a new contact - PR, journalist or marketer at least twice a month to get away from my desk and into the fresh air.</p> <p>The other week I went and played pool around 4pm then came home at 6pm, firing out emails on the way.</p> <p>The Metrolink has free, fast WIFI and I can get almost as much done on a “commute” as I do at home. </p> <p>Nursery pick up is 5.30pm and then I will spend time with Max before dinner then do bedtime stories and milk.</p> <p>I’m back at my computer around 7.30pm for another half hour or so to close off the day then my partner and I will start making dinner.</p> <h3>What do you love about your job? What sucks?</h3> <p>When you work for yourself you are in control of your own destiny which can be very empowering.</p> <p>Freelance life is liberating but it can be lonely which is why virtual networks and ensuring I speak to another human at least once during the working day helps keep me sane.</p> <p>I’m also free to work to my own “workstyle” which is a fundamental principle at Hoxby.</p> <p>One of my quirks is that if I’m struggling to find the solution to a tricky work problem I like to whip out the ironing board and do the laundry - I often find the solution coming to me as I’m attacking stubborn creases.</p> <p>That’s quite hard to recreate when you’re in a 9-5 office job but it works for me!</p> <p>I love to work with the entrepreneurial community and build from their inherent energy and passion for their product or service.</p> <p>It also means that decision making is fast which is a real boon after working for a large corporate. </p> <p>I also find the flexibility great with a young child. To be honest, I often find it easier to work than to be “mummy”, so make an effort to carve out family time treating it almost like another client.</p> <p>If you asked me to put together a global comms plan in 48 hours I wouldn’t bat an eyelid, ask me what the second verse of Twinkle Twinkle is I’d be lost...</p> <h3>What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success? </h3> <p>I like it when a prospect comes to me and asks for “help with PR” but I LOVE it when they come with a business problem they need to solve.</p> <p>Most clients are great at their business but don’t really understand PR and comms.</p> <p>They just know, or are told by potential investors/advisers that they need it. By focusing on the commercial outputs we speak the same language.</p> <p>Of course, there is always room for the qualitative brand piece but at its heart a communications programme needs to be rooted in business performance. </p> <h3>What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done? </h3> <p>Despite working with a lot of startups in the tech and associated arenas I can be a bit of a Luddite. Nothing beats pen, paper and ink.</p> <p>I do make use of technology that makes communication and collaboration easier.</p> <p>Slack is a great channel for communicating with remote teams, such as Hoxby, I like SkimIt for sharing content from news sites between teams and creating shared libraries.</p> <p>I use Harvest for time tracking and auto-generating invoices. Skype, Facetime or Google Hangouts are great for catching up “face to face” with people.</p> <p><em>Harvest</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/8279/screen_shot_2016-08-19_at_10.49.00-blog-flyer.png" alt="harvest" width="470" height="234"></p> <h3>How did you get started in the comms industry, and where might you go from here?</h3> <p>I trod the traditional agency career path for a decade then the in-house road for three years before branching out on my own.</p> <p>So far, I’ve enjoyed 100% organic growth with work coming either from existing clients, former colleagues or friends who refer me for business.</p> <p>I’m also starting to build a wider network through the Hoxby Collective, social media groups and LinkedIn which drives an increasing volume of enquiries and prospects.  </p> <h3>Which brands do you think are doing comms well?</h3> <p>Brands that have an authentic and clear <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67268-how-to-achieve-the-right-tone-of-voice-for-your-brand/">tone of voice</a> and personality tend to be the ones that do best.</p> <p>Virgin is one that I’ve always admired as well as heritage brands like John Lewis and Mercedes. </p> <h3>Do you have any advice for people who want to work in the comms industry?</h3> <p>Get business experience or at least read up on it. Learn to speak C-suite language and don’t get caught up in PR <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66631-20-banned-words-from-the-econsultancy-blog-and-their-alternatives/">jargon</a>.</p> <p>Always remember the story and tailor everything to telling it in an authentic and credible way that is platform-agnostic.</p> <p>Accept you can’t be the expert on everything and build a good and trusted network you can call on.</p> <p><em>If you're looking for a new challenge in digital <a href="https://jobs.econsultancy.com/">our jobs board</a> lists hundreds of open positions, and you can benchmark your own digital knowledge using our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-skills-index-lite/">Digital Skills Index</a>.</em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68150 2016-08-16T01:01:00+01:00 2016-08-16T01:01:00+01:00 Social media metrics: Outputs, outtakes, & outcomes Jeff Rajeck <p>To help, here is one approach to organising social media results to help management understand the value of social channels.</p> <p>On one hand,<strong> social media is one of the most transparent marketing activities</strong>. Everyone can see a brand's strategy in one place and, in many cases, can see how well its posts are performing.  </p> <p>Comments, likes, and shares are all public so brands cannot hide a viral success or an idea which has bombed.</p> <p>But on the other hand,<strong> it's surprisingly difficult to know how well social media is performing for a brand</strong>, even to its own management.  </p> <p>The figures, or metrics, used to gauge performance seem to be different from team to team and there is little agreement about what social media success truly looks like.</p> <p>One approach to making social media performance clearer is to have a look at what a similar discipline uses to measure success; public relations (PR).</p> <p>The PR industry categorizes results into what is commonly known as the three O's: <strong>Output, outtakes, and outcomes.</strong></p> <p>The definitions of each are <a href="http://amecorg.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Dictionary-of-Public-Relations-Measurement-and-Research-3rd-Edition-AMEC.pdf">well-documented elsewhere</a>, but for the sake of helping the social media professional to start organising his or her results, they are summarized below with relevant examples. </p> <h3>Outputs</h3> <p>Figures which are used to measure success purely based on a team's activities are called 'output metrics'. They answer a simple question, <strong>did the team do their work on time, within budget, and on message?</strong></p> <p>Though this sounds like a rather basic way of measuring social media success, it is still a major part of the strategy for many brands.</p> <p>Social media teams are routinely tasked with simply producing a certain number of pieces of content per day.</p> <p>For example, look at <a href="https://www.facebook.com/ToyotaMalaysia/">Toyota Malaysia's Facebook posts</a>.  The brand typically has one post per day about its cars and additional posts when there is a special event.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7705/toyota-my.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="364"></p> <p>Though it is, of course, likely that the team has broader strategic goals, it would not be surprising if one of their targets was simply 'post at least once per day'. Achieving this is an output metric.</p> <p>Output metrics can usually be managed by the members of a social media team unless global coordination is required.  </p> <p>In these cases, management of output may be done by using a content marketing platform such as Percolate, Divvy HQ, or Kapost.</p> <p>Output metrics are the easiest to report, yet the least satisfying to management.  </p> <p>Sure, the team is following orders and producing regular content <strong>but the question remains, how does the output benefit the brand?</strong></p> <h3>Outtakes</h3> <p>Instead of just measuring production,<strong> social media teams can also measure the direct results of their efforts</strong>, or the 'outtake metrics'.</p> <p>Outtake metrics will tell you things like: </p> <ul> <li>How many impressions did your post get?</li> <li>How many people watched the video?</li> <li>How much engagement did you get?</li> </ul> <p>Social media platforms typically provide this data. Facebook has reported organic and paid reach for some time and Twitter now offers extensive analytics of tweet performance.  </p> <p>Other platforms are also starting to provide these metrics via dashboards.</p> <p>The reach of a single post, however, is rarely the goal of a social media team. Instead,<strong> it is more interesting to look at outtakes in context.</strong></p> <p>One tool which provides this data is <a href="https://www.socialbakers.com/">Socialbakers</a>. It not only tells you the reach of your posts, but will also give you engagement metrics per number of fans (example: Mini Thailand)...</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/7707/mini-th-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="444"></p> <p>...how well posts are performing against one another (example: Honda Philippines)...</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7712/honda-ph2.png" alt="" width="800" height="457"></p> <p>...and how well posts are performing against other brands in your industry.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7710/comp2.png" alt="" width="720" height="279"></p> <p>Outtake metrics are preferrable to output metrics for a number of reasons.</p> <p>First off, <strong>outtake metrics give management much more information than simple output metrics</strong>.</p> <p>They offer a glimpse at how much of an impression you are making with the brand's market. Outtake metrics with industry context are even better.</p> <p>Also, social media engagement figures encapsulate a lot of other information about your posts which is useful for improving your content.  </p> <p>How many people reacted to your post, without promotion, is a good guide to the overall quality, relevance, and 'shareability' of your team's work.</p> <p>Finally, outtake metrics are typically underrated by social media teams and so using them to improve could give your brand a competitive advantage.</p> <h3>Outcomes</h3> <p>The most important metrics for the lasting success of a social media team, however, are <strong>outcome metrics</strong>. </p> <p>Outcomes are figures which report on the actions people took as a result of your social media posts. That is, <strong>what change did your social media efforts make in the real world?</strong></p> <p>Some people use outtake metrics, such as likes and shares, as a proxy for outcome metrics.  </p> <p>That is, if your fans are sharing your post then you can infer that it has had a positive effect on how they view your brand.</p> <p>But outcomes also go much farther than whether your fans liked your posts or shared it with their friends. </p> <p>Outcomes also ask questions like:</p> <ul> <li>Did customer loyalty for the brand improve?</li> <li>Are your leads more qualified?</li> <li>Did more people buy something after seeing a post?</li> </ul> <p>These questions are much more difficult to answer and, as a result, are much less frequently part of a social media team's KPIs.</p> <p>In order to measure customer loyalty, brands should gather customer experience (CX) metrics such as<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65610-what-is-customer-experience-and-how-do-you-measure-it"> net promoter score (NPS)</a>.</p> <p>Then, following a particular campaign, <strong>if the NPS score has increased you can attribute success to social media</strong>, to some extent.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7711/nps.gif" alt="" width="500" height="233"></p> <p>For lead quality,<strong> social media teams need to agree a 'lead score' metric with sales</strong> and aim to improve that through targeted social media campaigns.</p> <p>And finally, the most controversial topic. Do social media campaigns actually increase sales?</p> <p>To answer this question, <strong>companies need to implement attribution modeling</strong> so that social media views are taken into consideration when giving various media credit for sales.</p> <p>Attribution modeling, however, is still quite difficult to do and accuracy might not meet expectations.  </p> <p>Though it is still worthwhile to try, it may be better to start by targeting campaigns to a specific region or demographic group and look for large bumps in sales for them.  </p> <p>The results and the outcome metrics for a significant result will be more obvious and more meaningful to management.</p> <h3>So...</h3> <p>Social media metrics are important for teams who want to improve performance and report upwards to management. </p> <p>Though many social media teams are still using output metrics, such as successfully completing a post per day, there are other ways to measure success.</p> <p>Outtake metrics will let you know whether your posts are reaching the intended audience and tell you something about the quality of your work as well.  </p> <p>These should be looked at closely by teams as they are an underrated metric.</p> <p>Output metrics, which link social media to business objectives, are the most impressive figures for management, though.  </p> <p>They are typically more difficult to extract but once they become part of your reporting framework, it will be much easier for you to justify the social media team's budget.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68021 2016-07-06T11:07:00+01:00 2016-07-06T11:07:00+01:00 Q&A: Bloodwise on why social data is a vital tool for charities Nikki Gilliland <p>We recently sat down with Insights &amp; Analysis Manager, Owen Bowden, to find out why social data (and a brand new image) has helped turned the charity around.</p> <p>Here’s what he had to say!</p> <h3>What were the main motivations behind changing your name to Bloodwise and how did you prepare for it?</h3> <p>We undertook a two-year research programme into the needs of blood cancer patients, and it soon became clear that our old name – Leukaemia &amp; Lymphoma Research – wasn’t working hard enough for us.</p> <p>While leukaemia and lymphoma are (and remain) hugely important words to us and to our supporters, there are many different types of blood cancer. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">There are 137 types of blood cancer. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WeAreBloodwise?src=hash">#WeAreBloodwise</a> and we're here to beat them all. Please retweet and share!<br> <a href="http://t.co/nURFEmeuPl">http://t.co/nURFEmeuPl</a></p> — Alastair Campbell (@campbellclaret) <a href="https://twitter.com/campbellclaret/status/639054928514797568">2 September 2015</a> </blockquote> <p>Our old name didn’t tell the world that we’re here for every single patient, no matter what type of blood cancer they have. It also didn’t fully reflect all the work we do to beat blood cancer. </p> <p>Our commitment to funding world-class research is as strong as ever, but we also need to tell people affected by blood cancer about our wide portfolio of patient services.</p> <h3>What were the main challenges faced during the rebrand?</h3> <p>Changing our name was always going to be a big decision, but we were sure to involve as many people as possible – including patients, supporters and staff to ensure we were working in everybody’s best interest.  </p> <p>We took time and did a lot of research.</p> <p>There are 137 different types of blood cancer, all with different names, symptoms and challenges.</p> <p>You'll probably recognise two or three, but many might be unfamiliar and some don't even sound like cancers. It makes blood cancer hard to understand and can leave patients feeling isolated. </p> <p>Blood Cancer Awareness Month in September gave us a platform to build an online and offline awareness campaign using our new name.</p> <p>It was developed by an agency but the complementary social media campaign was otherwise developed and administered in-house.</p> <p>We therefore needed a robust <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-strategy-best-practice-guide/">social media strategy</a> supported by insights into the online perception of the new name and tracking the campaign. </p> <p>In order to glean this intelligence, we partnered with social media monitoring platform Crimson Hexagon to analyse the reach of the campaign and the reaction to it. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/g17RZYC28ME?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Why is social data so useful for charities or Bloodwise in particular?</h3> <p>Social channels are crucial for charities for raising money, talking with supporters, campaigning and raising awareness of their cause.</p> <p>In one week we might be talking about policy, promoting our London Bikeathon, answering patient’s questions, thanking celebrities and announcing a research breakthrough. </p> <p>The diversity of topics and activities that charities use social channels for doesn’t exist in many organisations. Understanding our conversations with social data is key for this. </p> <p>It gives us a real understanding of our supporters and what matters most to them.</p> <p>In turn, this allows us to identify specialist audiences such as clinicians, and build more complete profiles to ensure the right people are receiving the right messages.</p> <p>Social data is also priceless for marketing; it can provide a clear window into the impact of awareness campaigns and what works well, which can then influence how charities plan future marketing campaigns.</p> <p>We now leverage our data to track wider conversations about blood cancer in the UK to better understand where and how people are talking about the disease.</p> <h3>As well as social media, what digital channels do you think are most important? </h3> <p>Organic search and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/paid-search-marketing-ppc-best-practice-guide/">PPC</a> are important for us in terms of provision of patient information. Google very generously gives <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67634-how-charities-are-suffering-since-google-removed-right-hand-ppc-ads/">AdWords grants to charities</a>, and optimising this is really key for us. </p> <p>We did our first small test with promoted YouTube ads as part of the campaign and we were impressed at how cost effective it was for the reach we achieved. </p> <h3>The biggest users of social media platforms like Twitter are between the ages 18-35. How do you ensure the message is being spread to all ages?</h3> <p>Our Facebook audience is actually an older demographic, two thirds is 35+ and one fifth is 55+.</p> <p>Data such as this allows us to understand the breakdown of our different social channels far more. We also encourage all of our supporters to sign up to our newsletter to keep up to date with our work. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CharityIs?src=hash">#CharityIs</a> making people's lives better <a href="https://t.co/q7CBczm8rK">https://t.co/q7CBczm8rK</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WeAreBloodwise?src=hash">#WeAreBloodwise</a> <a href="https://t.co/Us0UMIzlFb">pic.twitter.com/Us0UMIzlFb</a></p> — Bloodwise (@bloodwise_uk) <a href="https://twitter.com/bloodwise_uk/status/710775413190971393">March 18, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>We also have a strong presence offline to raise awareness of who we are and what we do. We run our own events and support those who are doing great things to fundraise for the organisation.</p> <p>We also partner with other organisations, like Wickes and Royal London, which helps us promote the campaign to their customers and further raise awareness.</p> <h3>There are so many charities out there to support – how do you use social to appeal to people who might not have been directly affected by blood cancer?</h3> <p>There are so many great causes for people to support and we understand that it can be a very personal decision to get behind a charity.</p> <p>We use social media to support everybody, whether they have been directly affected by blood cancer or not.</p> <p>We run and get involved with a lot of sports events such as the London and Birmingham Bikeathons, the Bloodwise Blenheim Triathlon and our London to Paris cycling event.  </p> <p>Sports events are a great way for us to have conversations with people who may not have been directly affected by blood cancer and social media is a great way to promote the events and to support the fundraisers who are taking part.</p> <p>We also, like many charities, use the power of storytelling to reach out beyond those affected: Everyone feels for the family whose child has been affected by blood cancer.</p> <h3>We’ve seen a lot of charities use hashtags to promote a cause – #nomakeupselfie, #icebucketchallenge etc. – do you think people will become desensitised or bored of this behaviour in future?</h3> <p>Both #nomakeupselfie and #icebucketchallenge were created by social media users and not the organisations they raised money for.</p> <p>It’s nigh on impossible to plan that level of virality but hashtags are still very effective for bringing together a specific community. </p> <p>We used #wearebloodwise to launch our campaign, utilising celebrity support from people like Stephen Fry and Alastair Campbell, and it achieved a reach of 13m.</p> <p>They can also be very effective when used as a campaigning tool: #findmike or #thisgirlcan for example.  </p> <p>Bloodwise is dedicated to those affected by blood cancer and so our social media strategy needs to go beyond planning for a viral campaign.</p> <p>We want to make sure we are supporting everyone involved in the charity the best we can, so we can work together to beat blood cancer.</p> <p><strong><em>July is Data Month at Econsultancy. Go <a href="http://hello.econsultancy.com/datamonth/?utm_source=econsultancy&amp;utm_medium=blog&amp;utm_campaign=econblog">here</a> to see all our related blog posts and reports.</em></strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68005 2016-06-28T09:45:53+01:00 2016-06-28T09:45:53+01:00 How brands tried to get involved in the Brexit debate Andrew Chrysostom <p>I've looked at some examples from the last few days to see which brands tried to do a spot of Brexit newsjacking.</p> <h3>Tinder</h3> <p>The dating app decided to dip its toes into the political pool with the help of party-neutral organisation ‘Bite the Ballot’. </p> <p>It managed to achieve the goal of registering 500,000 users to vote by using an ‘EU true or false’ quiz.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/5567/tindervote-large_trans__qvzuuqpflyliwib6ntmjwfsvwez_ven7c6bhu2jjnt8-blog-flyer.jpg" alt=""></p> <p>Whilst it didn’t automatically match you with fellow ‘Remainiacs’ or other ‘Brexiteers’, as a brand reputation exercise it allowed Tinder to shirk the image of merely being a hook-up app.</p> <h3>Ryanair</h3> <p>Police were called in when the budget airline ran its 'Brexit Special', which offered discount rates to ex-pats who wanted to fly home to vote in favour of remaining in the EU.</p> <p>Ryanair stood accused of trying to illegally influence the outcome of an election, but was eventually found not guilt of this offence.</p> <p>There are many regulations surrounding incentivising an audience to vote a particular way, as shown by ‘Operation Croissant’ which was offering free pastries alongside notes from the French expressing their love for Britain.</p> <p>In the end the order was passed not to provide food. Not all bad as the croissants went to a homeless shelter. Sacre Bleu.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6550/14d91137ff0b11859255902a0a3f6fd93ba8fc0aa2b349db0179a05c5acf59bc.jpg" alt="" width="468" height="280"></p> <p>This wasn’t the only snafu from Ryanair, as minutes after the result was announced it sent an email blast containing the line ‘Celebrate remaining in Europe’.</p> <p>An important lesson in planning around live events, and paying attention to detail.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Just got this email from Ryanair <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/awkward?src=hash">#awkward</a> <a href="https://t.co/0qjx7rjdcj">pic.twitter.com/0qjx7rjdcj</a></p> — Adam (@adam_york) <a href="https://twitter.com/adam_york/status/746253832225759232">June 24, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Wetherspoons </h3> <p>High street pub chain JD Wetherspoons has been very vocal in its support of Brexit.</p> <p>The chairman, Tim Martin, even did a tour of 100 pubs to explain his company’s stance. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6551/JS93014700.jpg" alt="" width="615" height="409"></p> <p>It went as far as to print 500,000 beer mats criticising the current government.</p> <p>I was surprised that a nationwide employer would take such a strong stance on a divisive issue, but brand identity may now be considerably stronger among areas of its core demographic.</p> <h3>Nirvana spa</h3> <p>A less successful application of expressing favour for leaving the EU can be found with ‘Nirvana Spa’ in Reading.</p> <p>Its chairman made the decision to send an unauthorised email to its database which linked to an article on the benefits of voting to leave. </p> <p>Although nothing has been officially investigated, it is a grey area when it comes to data misuse – and certainly raises an interesting point about how much you’ve voted to opt-in when you agree to receive communications.</p> <p>That wasn’t an intentional pun.</p> <h3>Sky News </h3> <p>While technically a media company rather than a retailer or consumer goods brand, I wanted to include this great video from Sky News. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fskynews%2Fvideos%2Fvb.164665060214766%2F1362672097080717%2F%3Ftype%3D3&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>Hopping on the back of YouTube sensations such as ‘Cassette Boy’ (who incidentally has a strong history of political satire), Sky News developed a ‘mashup’ video to promote debates on its show The Pledge.</p> <p>I think the execution and tone is perfect, and the video itself has over 10m views on Facebook alone.</p> <p>Also, it provides an excuse to get Spice Girls songs stuck in your head.</p> <h3>Independence Day</h3> <p>This example wasn't a pre-meditated attempt at newsjacking, but seemed to coincide in a very unique way.</p> <p>Boris Johnson’s speech at the last debate before the referendum finished with the line ‘June 23rd can be our Independence Day!’</p> <p>Spookily, <em>Independence Day: Resurgence</em> was released a day later.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">'June 23rd will go down in history as our independence day' - Nigel Farage <a href="https://t.co/ByojqjW6Be">pic.twitter.com/ByojqjW6Be</a></p> — Robert White (@robertwhitejoke) <a href="https://twitter.com/robertwhitejoke/status/746267509440024576">June 24, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Nando’s</h3> <p>Next up, everyone’s favourite Portuguese chicken shop – Nando’s.</p> <p>The restaurant was forced to take to Twitter after users panicked when rumours circulated that the business would cease to operate in the UK following Brexit.</p> <p>Not a huge deal, but a nice example of a brand listening and monitoring social chatter and getting a simple, neutral message to its customers.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Right, let's put these rumours to bed. We are definitely staying in the UK!</p> — Nando's (@NandosUK) <a href="https://twitter.com/NandosUK/status/746402561113071617">June 24, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Fortnum &amp; Mason</h3> <p>And finally we have the Queen's own grocer, Fortnum &amp; Mason.</p> <p>The fallout from the referendum continues to divide the UK, but as Fortnum points out, we do still have some common ground.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Last chance! Enjoy 25% off our fine Champagnes. Ends tonight. <a href="https://t.co/UQvJ4jI5dp">https://t.co/UQvJ4jI5dp</a> <a href="https://t.co/xYMV4T6BIu">pic.twitter.com/xYMV4T6BIu</a></p> — Fortnum &amp; Mason (@Fortnums) <a href="https://twitter.com/Fortnums/status/747082015543984128">June 26, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p><em>For more on this topic, read:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64911-23-nimble-examples-of-agile-marketing-from-ecommerce-brands/"><em>23 nimble examples of agile marketing from ecommerce brands</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64689-agile-newsjacking-from-alex-and-alexa-and-baby-prince-george/"><em>Agile newsjacking from Alex and Alexa and baby Prince George</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/934 2016-06-21T14:00:00+01:00 2016-06-21T14:00:00+01:00 Digital Marketing Template Files Econsultancy <h3>Overview</h3> <p><strong>Digital Marketing Template Files</strong></p> <p><strong>Authors:</strong></p> <ul> <li>James Gurd, Owner and Lead Consultant, <a title="Digital Juggler" href="http://digitaljuggler.com/">Digital Juggler</a> </li> <li>Ben Matthews, Director, <a title="Montfort" href="http://montfort.io/">Montfort</a> </li> <li>Ger Ashby, Head of Creative Services, <a title="Dotmailer" href="https://www.dotmailer.com/">Dotmailer</a> </li> <li><a title="Starcom Mediavest Group" href="http://smvgroup.com/">Starcom Mediavest Group</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>Files available:</strong> 10 file bundles, 50+ individual template files<br></p> <p><strong>File titles:</strong> See sample document for full breakdown of section and file information.</p> <h3>About these files</h3> <p>Need help with an area of digital marketing and don't know where to start? This pack of downloadable files contains best practice templates that you can use in your digital marketing activities. Feel free to adapt them to suit your needs.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jxKmQGxspc8?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>Contents</h3> <p>In this release we have 10 template bundles containing over 50 individual template files for digital marketing projects.</p> <p><strong>Download separate file bundles below:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Affiliate Marketing</li> <li>Content Marketing</li> <li>Display Advertising *to be published soon*</li> <li>Ecommerce Projects</li> <li>Email Marketing</li> <li>Search Engine Marketing: PPC</li> <li>Search Engine Marketing: SEO</li> <li>Social Media and Online PR</li> <li>Usability and User Experience</li> <li>Web Analytics</li> </ul> <p><strong>The template files bundle also includes a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/small-business-online-resource-manager/">Small Business Online Resource Manager</a> that </strong><strong>can help you effectively manage and own your online assets.</strong></p> <p><strong>There's a free guide which you can download to find out more about exactly what is included.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67806 2016-05-11T11:39:45+01:00 2016-05-11T11:39:45+01:00 Are customer reviews becoming less important to local businesses? Patricio Robles <p><a href="http://seekingalpha.com/article/3970873-love-einhorn-yelp-much">According to</a> Scott Tzu of Orange Peel Investments, some local business owners are starting to doubt Yelp's sway:</p> <blockquote> <p>...many restaurant owners that we have spoken to over the last six months to a year have reiterated their lax attitude on Yelp reviews to us.</p> <p>The potential anonymity of Yelp and its use as a punching bag for hated figures in the media has given owners and customers alike a healthy dose of skepticism when approaching reviews on any particular restaurant.</p> </blockquote> <p>Tzu continues...</p> <blockquote> <p>Formerly, Yelp was in a position of power because restaurants would pay it to be able to manage its page, and restaurateurs were extremely interested in the reviews they got and maintaining high ratings. Yelp was the go-to spot on the web to try and get a heads up on a dining establishment.</p> <p>Now, customers share some of the same doubts that owners share...</p> </blockquote> <h3>As the market matures, consumer behaviors change</h3> <p>While some data <a href="http://www.wiideman.com/blog/local-seo/study-how-important-are-yelp-reviews-really">supports</a> Tzu's argument that "Yelp is beyond its prime years already," that might be due to growing competition in the space from other players, including Google, Facebook and TripAdvisor.</p> <p>On the whole, more consumers are now turning to online reviews more than ever before.</p> <p>But their behavior is also changing. <a href="https://www.brightlocal.com/learn/local-consumer-review-survey/">According to</a> BrightLocal's 2015 Local Consumer Review Survey, "Consumers appear to be forming an opinion faster now than ever before."</p> <p>40% of consumers will trust a local business after reading just one to three reviews, and 90% of consumers are ready to make a decision after reading 10 positive reviews.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4816/how-many-reviews-do-you-need-to-read.png" alt="" width="555" height="323"></p> <p>At the same time, consumers are becoming a tad more skeptical. The vast majority are willing to trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, but only if the reviews are thought to be authentic.</p> <p>This increased skepticism is not surprising given the rise of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/10923-yelp-s-answer-to-fake-reviews-a-badge-of-shame">fake reviews</a>.</p> <h3>Strength in numbers</h3> <p>Also not surprising is the fact that consumers rely more heavily on star ratings than they do on specific reviews. The implication for businesses: unreasonable reviews from disgruntled customers probably don't require the legal calvary.</p> <p>As long as a business is maintaining good ratings on the whole, consumers are probably going to ignore the review by the person who gave a one-star rating because a restaurant didn't provide free bread.</p> <p>Some businesses are even having fun with complaints, incorporating them into marketing campaigns, menus and the like.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/4815/yelpmenu-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="264"></p> <p>Put simply, now that online reviews are ubiquitous, the name of the game for most local businesses is to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67005-four-ways-to-encourage-more-positive-online-customer-reviews/">encourage more positive online feedback</a> and gain a critical mass of reviews (and ratings) so that the negative reviews are just noise.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67822 2016-05-09T14:19:00+01:00 2016-05-09T14:19:00+01:00 Four great examples of marketing to millennials Nikki Gilliland <p>(Top tip: definitely not by shoe-horning in some slang.)</p> <p>From daily vlogs to daredevil stunts, and with such a wealth of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/content-marketing-and-strategy">content marketing</a> possibilities, let’s take a look at the brands who have best captured the millennial’s (increasingly short-spanning) attention.</p> <h3>1. Airbnb - Creating content with substance</h3> <p>Millennials aren’t interested in the hard sell. Young adults crave content that has an inherent purpose, other than being a vehicle for the product itself.</p> <p>Whether it’s a viral video, an infographic or just a great story, content must be able to entertain or inform. Or in an ideal world, both.</p> <p><a href="https://advertising.yahoo.com/Articles/Content-Marketing-PDF/">Research</a> has shown that capturing a specific mood or moment is particularly effective when marketing to young people. With an emphasis on adventure, exploration, and self-discovery, Airbnb has captured the millennial’s desire for travel. </p> <p>The community feel and Instagram-inspired content of its blog helps to align the brand with those who are no longer satisfied with just a gap year.</p> <p>That being said, it is the company’s success with young people that has also helped increase its popularity with <a href="http://fortune.com/2016/02/16/airbnb-hotels-survey/">older generations</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4728/AirBnB2.PNG" alt="" width="730" height="394"></p> <h3>2. Dominos - Utilising new platforms</h3> <p>Most millennials use Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram. As a result, more and more brands are realising that they’ve no choice but to use them too.</p> <p>If done right, tons of consumers will happily pin, retweet and Like otherwise stagnant content into a viral tailspin, making social media not just the obvious choice, but the most valuable one for any campaign.</p> <p>A brand that has recently utilised the potential of Snapchat, the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67257-15-reasons-your-brand-should-be-on-snapchat">hottest platform of the moment</a>, is Dominos.</p> <p>Though it has always made excellent use of social media, the brand recently took the plunge and made its Snapchat debut with a short film, ‘Dough to Door’.</p> <p>Similarly, its latest campaign uses bespoke face swaps to display the unbeatable feeling of joy when the delivery man rings the doorbell. What millennial could fail to relate to that?</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Pizza Lovers! Open up <a href="https://twitter.com/Snapchat">@Snapchat</a> and have a play with our mouth-boggling new Lens. Tweet us your snaps! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Greatness?src=hash">#Greatness</a></p> — Domino's Pizza UK (@Dominos_UK) <a href="https://twitter.com/Dominos_UK/status/726410827616555008">April 30, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>3. Nike - Promoting experiences</h3> <p>Millennials are all about memorable experiences – they are on a constant quest for the next big thing to eat, drink, shop, do, think or feel.</p> <p>From travel experiences to sporting ones, big brands are beginning to capture this need with an all-round epic customer journey.</p> <p>Known for its motivational messaging, Nike is a brand that sells the experience of exercise as much as the product itself. With 45.3m followers, its <a href="https://www.instagram.com/nike/">Instagram</a> page demonstrates the sheer power of inspirational photo.</p> <p>Recently, Nike has also delved into the (largely untapped) world of long-form advertising in the form of a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iggq7fbL6-8">mini-series</a> targeted at female millennials.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Iggq7fbL6-8?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>Margot and Lily – based on the competitive nature of two sisters – conveniently ties into the brand’s ‘Better for It’ campaign. </p> <h3>4. Carlsberg - Being relatable</h3> <p>As soon as there is a label for a particular age group, it’s far too easy to <em>over</em>-generalise.</p> <p>It’s vital to remember that millennials – whilst all born as part of the same generation – can have wildly different experiences, perspectives and opinions. </p> <p>Consequently, any good marketing campaign has to go deeper than what's 'cool'.</p> <p>What kind of person are you targeting? Where are they from and what is important to them? Social groups and life stages all play a vital part in how the audience will respond and engage. </p> <p>A brand that knows its audience well but is still willing to move away from a certain stereotype is Carlsberg. With humour at the core of all its advertising, it has found recent success with reactive content.</p> <p>Jumping on the furore caused by the ‘Are You Beach Body Ready’ campaign, it cleverly placed ads asking commuters if they were ‘Beer Body Ready’.</p> <p>The combination of timely relevance and relatable humour made it one of the most <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67373-carlsberg-probably-the-best-content-strategy-in-2015/">inspired campaigns</a> of the past few years.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">You don’t need <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ProbablyTheBest?src=hash">#ProbablyTheBest</a> body to enjoy a beer on the beach, or in your local pub. Budgie smugglers optional. <a href="http://t.co/HU0w0cHYxt">pic.twitter.com/HU0w0cHYxt</a></p> — Carlsberg UK (@CarlsbergUK) <a href="https://twitter.com/CarlsbergUK/status/593390379728302081">April 29, 2015</a> </blockquote> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67781 2016-04-25T17:08:00+01:00 2016-04-25T17:08:00+01:00 Why do brands continue to make stupid social media decisions? Patricio Robles <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4258/princetweet.jpg" alt="" width="281" height="250"></p> <p>Case in point: last week, Cheerios, the cereal brand owned by General Mills, found itself in hot water after the Minnesota-based company posted a tweet in response to the death of Prince.</p> <p>It contained a "Rest in Peace" graphic in which the dot in the letter <em>i</em> was a Cheerio. Not surprisingly, many in the Twittersphere found the tweet to be in very poor taste.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Can't believe that Cheerios Prince ad. Incredibly poor taste to use his death for self promotion. smh</p> — Harbinger (@veebex) <a href="https://twitter.com/veebex/status/723600959960698884">April 22, 2016</a> </blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Offensive and tasteless aren't always the same thing. Inserting your brand into your memorial is the latter <a href="https://t.co/iQejKtzbRH">https://t.co/iQejKtzbRH</a></p> — Foodmancing® (@Foodmancing) <a href="https://twitter.com/Foodmancing/status/723636799986237440">April 22, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>While numerous other brands paid their respects to Prince on social media, the Cheerios tweet rubbed many people the wrong way because instead of keeping things simple and respectful, it incorporated the brands into the memorial.</p> <h3>When you have a brand, every event is not a cow</h3> <p>Why did Cheerios do such a thing? Welcome to branding in the age of social media.</p> <p>Marketers are more focused than ever on promoting their brands, and social media channels like Twitter provide plenty of opportunities to insert a brand into the conversation without much effort.</p> <p>In some cases, these opportunities are worthwhile.</p> <p>For example - and apologies for harking back to this again - when the power went out during the Super Bowl, Oreo used its <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63140-eight-great-examples-of-agile-marketing-from-oreo">agile marketing savvy to seize the moment with the perfect tweet</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4257/oreotweet.jpg" alt="" width="335" height="472"></p> <p>But obviously, the death of a beloved public figure is <em>not</em> the same as a blackout at a sporting event.</p> <p>The Cheerios tweet demonstrates that too many marketers are so focused on branding anything and everything that they're not using common sense or recognizing that some things just shouldn't have a brand imprint.</p> <h3>Common sense still isn't so common</h3> <p>Unfortunately, common sense still isn't so common in social media. </p> <p>While it is true that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67765-is-there-such-a-thing-as-bad-publicity-on-social-media/">bad publicity frequently doesn't have long lasting effects in social media</a>, brands shouldn't make a habit of tweeting without thinking.</p> <p>That's precisely what Cheerios did when it attempted to turn a death into a branding opportunity.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67765 2016-04-21T14:42:55+01:00 2016-04-21T14:42:55+01:00 Is there such a thing as 'bad publicity' on social media? Patricio Robles <p> It's an interesting question to ask in the wake of a tweet posted by KFC Australia, which generated buzz around the world. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/4127/kfcaustralia-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="384" height="388"></p> <p>Not surprisingly, KFC Australia quickly came under fire for its raunchy, suggestive tweet.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Really <a href="https://twitter.com/KFCAustralia">@KFCAustralia</a>? What secret herbs and spices have your social media team been smoking? <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/KFC?src=hash">#KFC</a> <a href="https://t.co/n4Pgudy80y">pic.twitter.com/n4Pgudy80y</a></p> — Mike Hauser (@Hauser_Mike) <a href="https://twitter.com/Hauser_Mike/status/720769849815764992">April 15, 2016</a> </blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">"Finger Lickin' Good" was gross, but this is absolutely disgusting, <a href="https://twitter.com/KFCAustralia">@KFCAustralia</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/rapeculture?src=hash">#rapeculture</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/boycottKFC?src=hash">#boycottKFC</a> <a href="https://t.co/ZqqBA2rvZh">pic.twitter.com/ZqqBA2rvZh</a></p> — The Radical Feminist (@thirdwavefem) <a href="https://twitter.com/thirdwavefem/status/720790497308991488">April 15, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>The tweet was quickly deleted, the company apologized, and there was speculation that the person responsible for the tweet would soon be looking for a new job.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">We are very sorry for our earlier tweet on H&amp;S - we didn’t mean to offend and removed it when we realised we’d made an error in judgment.</p> — KFC Australia (@KFCAustralia) <a href="https://twitter.com/KFCAustralia/status/720881570710577152">April 15, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>But while KFC Australia was taking incoming, the company found itself trending on Twitter and the subject of numerous articles, this one included.</p> <p>That led some to ask a salient question: despite the furore, was KFC Australia really benefiting overall from its faux pas?</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Whether or not you got offended by <a href="https://twitter.com/KFCAustralia">@KFCAustralia</a>'s tweet, it worked coz it's trending. The hyper-offended are now advertisers' easiest promo</p> — Flight Facilities (@flightfac) <a href="https://twitter.com/flightfac/status/721236208488087553">April 16, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Vocal non-customers, and exceptions to the rule</h3> <p>While KFC Australia's tweet might be considered distasteful by more than just the "hyper-offended," a quick survey of reactions on Twitter finds that more than a few people were willing to write the tweet off as a savvy marketing ploy.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/ajplus">@ajplus</a> ppl these days get offended by evrything. It is funny and clever.</p> — Silent_D (@Asian_Darkness) <a href="https://twitter.com/Asian_Darkness/status/721351903020355584">April 16, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>Additionally, some of the harshest criticism leveled at KFC Australia came from individuals who admitted they weren't customers.</p> <p>This is a useful reminder that sometimes a company's most vocal critics in social channels are not the individuals the company is trying to appeal to in the first place.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">I wish 1) I wasn't vegetarian and 2) I didn't insist on eating real food, so I could boycott <a href="https://twitter.com/KFCAustralia">@KFCAustralia</a> for promoting misogyny.</p> — Casey Phoenix (@caseyphoenix) <a href="https://twitter.com/caseyphoenix/status/720794060386996225">April 15, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>Obviously, there are exceptions to the bad publicity rule.</p> <p>For example, most companies would <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/6119-bp-s-internet-response-the-good-the-bad-the-ugly">not find an environmental disaster to be a productive source of PR</a>.</p> <p>And brands probably shouldn't make a habit of trolling social media lest it leave a permanent imprint on their brand.</p> <p>But when it comes to occassional "error[s] in judgment" like KFC Australia's, for better or worse, it looks like the ill effects of any negative buzz are often quite limited.</p> <p>On the other hand, while the attention garnered is likely to be short-lived, it would seem "there's no such thing as bad publicity" can still hold true in the age of social media.</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>