tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/strategy Latest Strategy content from Econsultancy 2018-04-24T08:55:07+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69967 2018-04-24T08:55:07+01:00 2018-04-24T08:55:07+01:00 How ASOS is delighting shoppers with diversity Nikki Gilliland <p>Recently, I’ve noticed that ASOS has been receiving even more praise on social media than usual, largely due to shoppers cottoning on to the brand’s increasingly diverse and inclusive attitude. </p> <p>So, here’s more on what ASOS has been doing, and why it’s helping to boost the retailer’s reputation and build better relationships with consumers.</p> <h3>Promoting different body types </h3> <p>There seems to have been a surge in brands shouting about their stance on inclusivity of late. From L’Oréal to Dove, we’ve also seen many deliberately put diversity at the heart of their campaigns, featuring models of all sizes, genders, and ages. </p> <p>However, as a result of this sudden push for inclusivity, some brands have been accused of jumping on the bandwagon – using diversity purely for marketing purposes rather than incorporating it into each and every part of their business.</p> <p>Take L’Oréal featuring older women in big marketing campaigns, for example, but only if they’re prominent celebrities of course. There’s also Barbie, which introduced ‘curvy’ and ‘petite’ toys in response to accusations of gender stereotyping – arguably a case of damage-control rather than moving with the times.</p> <p>Instead of merely championing diversity (or claiming to), however, ASOS has been subtly taking steps to genuinely challenge norms within the fashion industry. </p> <p>Recently, a number of Twitter users started noticing ASOS using different-sized models to showcase how items might look on different body types.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">omg i love <a href="https://twitter.com/ASOS?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@asos</a> even more!!! finally showing the same item on girls with different body types <a href="https://t.co/fU6pcbb6wt">pic.twitter.com/fU6pcbb6wt</a></p> — eleanor (@ejhc13) <a href="https://twitter.com/ejhc13/status/974695727107538945?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 16, 2018</a> </blockquote> <p>While ASOS didn’t make a big deal about the initiative, it did release a statement <a href="https://www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/fashion/style/a19559661/asos-same-clothes-on-different-size-models/">to Cosmopolitan</a> confirming that it was rolling out this feature in its app, as well as using AR technology “so customers can get a better sense of how something might fit their body shape”.</p> <p>There are a number of reasons why consumers are delighted at the news. First and foremost, many have applauded ASOS for breaking down stereotypes, and portraying the reality of different body types (rather than the ideal often perpetuated by the fashion industry). </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Excuse me how stunning is this model that’s on the first page of the <a href="https://twitter.com/ASOS?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ASOS</a> app? <a href="https://t.co/uVa9RJA6Xv">pic.twitter.com/uVa9RJA6Xv</a></p> — Hilly Bear (@ClaireHillyBear) <a href="https://twitter.com/ClaireHillyBear/status/988372075424428032?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 23, 2018</a> </blockquote> <p>Secondly, the AR tech provides real value for shoppers, helping them to gain a better idea of how items will actually look instead of guessing based on a standard size eight model.</p> <p>It’s worth noting that the technology superimposes items using AR - meaning that there could be real-life differences in fit) - however, it still provides shoppers with increased reassurance, as well as potentially helping to reduce the amount of returns for the retailer.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">This helps massively, as I often wonder how clothes would look on me, when I'm clearly 5 sizes bigger than the model. Great move forward</p> — MysticMoon (@sirenmoonbee) <a href="https://twitter.com/sirenmoonbee/status/976513403752714240?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 21, 2018</a> </blockquote> <h3>Championing genderless beauty</h3> <p>In 2016, L’Oréal’s included a male blogger and make-up artist in its #YoursTruly campaign, while Maybelline New York featured Manny Gutierrez as its first male ambassador. </p> <p>Although this shows that beauty brands are keen to acknowledge different genders in campaigns, women are still very much top-of-mind when it comes to how products are created, promoted, and sold. You’ve only got to look at Maybelline’s Instagram feed to see this.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3775/Maybelline_Instagram.JPG" alt="Maybelline Instagram" width="760" height="501"></p> <p><em>(Maybelline's Instagram)</em></p> <p>In contrast, ASOS’s new make-up line (part of its newly launched Face &amp; Body beauty sections), is deliberately designed to be gender-neutral. Its marketing campaign - which used the tagline ‘go play’ – featured models of different genders and ethnicities wearing make-up in creative ways. </p> <p>The emphasis is on self-expression rather than unattainable standards, with the idea being that make-up can and should be used by anyone for whatever reason they see fit.</p> <p>ASOS’s Instagram feed reflects this notion, with the retailer often depicting diversity regardless of the type of product it is promoting. This even extends to decisions on design and layout of the website, such as a having a dedicated make-up category on the men’s section as well as the women’s. It’s a subtle decision, but something certainly not seen on most ecommerce websites (where ‘men’s grooming’ is the standard). </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3776/ASOS_Instagram.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="507"></p> <p><em>(ASOS Instagram)</em></p> <p>Similarly, ASOS has a firm stance against airbrushing, instead promising that it “does not artificially adjust photographs of models to change their appearance”. This means that it often uses images of women with stretch marks, cellulite, and other so-called ‘imperfections’. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">so proud of <a href="https://twitter.com/ASOS?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ASOS</a> for using this beEAUTIFUL curvy model u can see her stretch marks she looks natural &amp; amazing <a href="https://t.co/hbbq6ePksj">pic.twitter.com/hbbq6ePksj</a></p> — eves (@whatevieedid) <a href="https://twitter.com/whatevieedid/status/697882389259886592?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 11, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Defining the new normal</h3> <p>ASOS’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity stands out among brands with a similar mind-set.</p> <p>One of the main reasons is that it does not shout about it. There’s no sense of it doing it to make a splash or even be different. Instead, it showcases reality – people of all shapes, sizes, sexualities, backgrounds, and genders – in a natural and understated way. </p> <p>Earlier this year, ASOS also featured a disabled model in the campaign for its Activewear sports range. Again, it didn’t make a song and dance of it, even refusing to comment on the decision when it was picked up by the media. This exemplifies ASOS’s attitude on the matter, i.e. that it is perfectly normal, therefore doesn't require an explanation.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rk12WZ-Co58?ecver=1&amp;wmode=transparent" width="630" height="354"></iframe></p> <p>Of course, people <em>have</em> noticed these subtle changes in the retailer’s promotions, leading to an increased appreciation and respect for the brand.</p> <p>From general sentiment on Twitter, it also seems as though this attitude is encouraging more people to buy, with shoppers delighting in being able to see people who look like they do online. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/THANKYOU?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#THANKYOU</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/ASOS?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ASOS</a> FOR NOT EDITING YOUR PHOTOS. I can now shop with a realistic expectation of what it will ACTUALLY look like on me! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/yes?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#yes</a> <a href="https://t.co/wmrLoPNnZX">pic.twitter.com/wmrLoPNnZX</a></p> — Sophie Reeves (@sophie_reeves92) <a href="https://twitter.com/sophie_reeves92/status/986504037402054657?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 18, 2018</a> </blockquote> <p>Finally, there’s the sense that ASOS is setting the bar for inclusivity in the fashion industry, as well as for brands in general.</p> <p>In comparison to the likes of Topshop and Zara – where a six-foot, size six model sets the standard for ‘normality’ – it’s no surprise that more people than ever are happy to conform to ASOS’s relatable brand of ‘weird’.</p> <p><strong>More on ASOS:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69358-asos-visual-search-is-it-any-good" target="_blank">ASOS visual search: Is it any good?</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69151-a-day-in-the-life-of-senior-data-scientist-at-asos" target="_blank">A day in the life of... senior data scientist at ASOS</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3537 2018-04-18T17:21:14+01:00 2018-04-18T17:21:14+01:00 GDPR Essentials for Marketers - Online <p>This online course will help you learn everything you need to know about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) before it comes into force in May 2018, and crucially: what to do about it.</p> <h4>In association with:</h4> <p><img src="http://image.mail.centaurmedia.com/lib/fe9612747465007c7d/m/2/logo_RGB_web.png" alt="" width="250" height="150">       </p> <p> <img src="https://cdn.frontify.com/api/screen/thumbnail/EAzkFg3Qo4YvWC4ph_8yDMC_6Ml5rGzx333b8HZkq4KJx64s6xyk9RzcSAvrX2PW9ftJln_n7gjA8HJCDP8ZQg/800" alt="" width="300" height="100"> </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3536 2018-04-18T17:12:20+01:00 2018-04-18T17:12:20+01:00 GDPR Essentials for Marketers - Online <p>This online course will help you learn everything you need to know about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) before it comes into force in May 2018, and crucially: what to do about it.</p> <h4>In association with:</h4> <p><img src="http://image.mail.centaurmedia.com/lib/fe9612747465007c7d/m/2/logo_RGB_web.png" alt="" width="250" height="150">       </p> <p> <img src="https://cdn.frontify.com/api/screen/thumbnail/EAzkFg3Qo4YvWC4ph_8yDMC_6Ml5rGzx333b8HZkq4KJx64s6xyk9RzcSAvrX2PW9ftJln_n7gjA8HJCDP8ZQg/800" alt="" width="300" height="100"> </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3532 2018-04-13T12:14:22+01:00 2018-04-13T12:14:22+01:00 GDPR Essentials for Marketers - Online <p>This online course will help you learn everything you need to know about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) before it comes into force in May 2018, and crucially: what to do about it.</p> <h4>In association with:</h4> <p><img src="http://image.mail.centaurmedia.com/lib/fe9612747465007c7d/m/2/logo_RGB_web.png" alt="" width="250" height="150">       </p> <p> <img src="https://cdn.frontify.com/api/screen/thumbnail/EAzkFg3Qo4YvWC4ph_8yDMC_6Ml5rGzx333b8HZkq4KJx64s6xyk9RzcSAvrX2PW9ftJln_n7gjA8HJCDP8ZQg/800" alt="" width="300" height="100"> </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69875 2018-03-21T12:00:00+00:00 2018-03-21T12:00:00+00:00 10 brands with hilariously funny product page copy Nikki Gilliland <p>So, who does it well, and why does it work? Here’s 10 great examples.</p> <p><em>(Before we start, remember to check out Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/online-copywriting" target="_blank">Online Copywriting training</a> course)</em></p> <h3>1. ASOS</h3> <p>Well-known for selling a huge variety of clothing, ASOS has also become famous for its sometimes bizarre and quirky own-brand clothing. </p> <p>Can’t choose between a beanie to keep you warm or, um, a veil? ASOS has <a href="http://www.asos.com/asos/asos-beanie-with-pearl-veil/prd/4341385" target="_blank">got you covered</a>. Luckily, ASOS manages to ‘justify’ its oddest items with a self-aware and sarcastic tone of voice.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2966/no_snorkel_required.JPG" alt="" width="370" height="405"></p> <p>The quirkiest copy is usually found in the ‘About Me’ sections, where the brand cheekily injects random and funny info. Copy is also clearly targeted at its millennial audience, often referencing relatable topics such as money or adulthood.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2967/Bodysuit.JPG" alt="" width="360" height="404"></p> <h3>2. Palace Skateboards</h3> <p>Product copy doesn’t often have a cult following, but fans of skate brand Palace can’t get enough of its infamous descriptions.</p> <p>Putting a unique spin on the traditional bullet-point format, each one makes up a sentence or train of thought rather than separate points. They usually have nothing to do with the product or brand either.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2958/Palace.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="482"></p> <p>The product copy is reportedly the brainchild of founder Lev Tanju, whose childlike and infectious nature has helped make the brand a success. </p> <p>Should others use this rather random formula? Most probably not, but it’s a great example of how product copy can be used to differentiate a brand or make it memorable.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2959/Pocket_3.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="522"></p> <h3>3. Dollar Shave Club</h3> <p>Dollar Shave Club is known for its overtly-humorous ads, but its sense of fun extends to its website too (albeit in a subtler and more understated way).</p> <p>Its product descriptions aren’t solely based on humour – they’re actually very informative, and largely designed to convey benefits – but there’s still a light-hearted tone which helps to engage consumers. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2961/Dollar_Shave_copy_2.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="435"></p> <p>Humour can also make brands sound like they’re trying too hard, so its restrained sense of fun works well.</p> <p>Its usual tactic is to include a funny bullet-point at the very end, which ensures consumers are left with a smile (and hopefully more of an incentive to purchase).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2960/Dollar_Shave_Club_copy.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="234"></p> <h3>4. Firebox</h3> <p>Firebox is arguably the most creative brand in this list, taking any opportunity it can to inject funny storytelling alongside its products.</p> <p>The reason why the brand’s tone of voice works so well is that its products are usually off-the-wall – so why not include product copy that’s equally eccentric?</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2980/Firebox_1.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="315"></p> <p>Unsurprisingly, the more bizarre the product, the more creative its copywriters tend to get, even extending wit and humour into the finite details or ‘specifications’. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2979/Firebox_2.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="339"></p> <h3>5. Kallo</h3> <p>Kallo – a dutch brand best known for making stock cubes – takes a surprising approach to product copy on its website.</p> <p>Instead of listing ingredients or talking about how delicious its organic low fat rice cakes are (said no one ever), it treats visitors to a poem on each page. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2981/Kallo.JPG" alt="" width="540" height="592"></p> <p>It’s all a bit random, but somehow contributes to a delightful and warm tone of voice.</p> <p>The fact that the website is purely for promotional purposes – with no option to buy its products – means it does not need to rely on actionable copy to prompt purchases. So, poems it is then.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2963/Kallo_2.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="262"></p> <h3>6. Old Spice</h3> <p>Old Spice has shed its uncool, outdated image to become a relevant and powerful brand name – especially in marketing circles.</p> <p>Humour is the main reason, with the deodorant brand taking on a distinctive and original tone of voice, ironically designed to promote its ‘manly’ characteristics.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2972/Old_Spice.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="366"></p> <p>Its online product descriptions are no different, perfectly conveying its unique sense of humour.</p> <p>What are the benefits of staying fresh for 48 hours? Well, in the opinion of Old Spice – “that's long enough to build a small house or navigate an especially large lake.” As you do.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2973/Old_Spice_2.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="245"></p> <h3>7. Soap &amp; Glory</h3> <p>Beauty and skincare brands are usually a bit more limited when it comes to product descriptions, often required to inform consumers about ingredients or benefits (backed up by scientific proof). </p> <p>Soap &amp; Glory strikes a good balance, with the brand injecting fun and gently-sarcastic wit into its product copy where possible. Its main product descriptions are reserved for singing the product’s praises (with a pun or two).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2971/soap_and_glory.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="378"></p> <p>Meanwhile, it uses instructions as an opportunity to speak directly to consumers, and inject a bit of self-aware humour into what can often be patronising microcopy (e.g “Don’t eat this”).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2970/Soap_and_glory_2.JPG" alt="" width="452" height="381"></p> <h3>8. Think Geek</h3> <p>Think Geek is a brand that sells unusual and quirky gifts, sort of like a nerdier Firebox. However, unlike its rival brand, it is much more succinct and to-the-point in its main product copy (as well as being funny).</p> <p>It’s difficult to convey the benefits of a product in such a short amount of words, but Think Geek surprisingly adept at it, often doing so in just three bullet points.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2975/Think_Geek_2.JPG" alt="" width="680" height="489"></p> <p>With more space further down the page, it also lets loose with creative and more in-depth copy.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2976/Think_Geek_3.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="220"></p> <h3>9. Fab.com</h3> <p>Fab.com isn’t very consistent with its product descriptions – there are a lot of products on its site that contain minimal and less creative copy. However, it does come up trumps on the odd occasion, infusing warm and gentle humour into its descriptions. </p> <p>This example for a cat-themed wall decoration is one of the best, and proves why the brand should be more focused on creating consistency in its tone.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2974/Fab.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="390"></p> <h3>10. Cards Against Humanity</h3> <p>The game Cards Against Humanity isn’t for everyone and neither is the brand’s copy.</p> <p>That’s exactly the point, however, as it is a shining example of how to create a tone of voice that delights a core audience. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2968/Cards_Against_Humanity_2.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="320"></p> <p>The descriptions for each game are brilliantly dark, sarcastic, and give new players an insight into what they can expect from the game – great for nudging potential consumers into making a purchase.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2969/Cards_Against_Humanity.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="292"></p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69621-four-simple-tips-to-make-boring-copy-more-exciting" target="_blank">Four simple tips to make boring copy more exciting</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69833-eight-time-honoured-tips-for-writing-awesome-email-copy" target="_blank">Eight time-honoured tips for writing awesome email copy</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69600-four-examples-of-persuasive-packaging-copy" target="_blank">Four examples of persuasive packaging copy</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3433 2018-03-08T12:18:10+00:00 2018-03-08T12:18:10+00:00 Content Strategy & Editorial Planning <p>Great content sells! It will help build your brand and boost your business.  </p> <p>Our 1-day training course on Content Strategy &amp; Editorial Planning will support you in producing content that attracts, engages and converts your audience.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3426 2018-02-14T12:43:01+00:00 2018-02-14T12:43:01+00:00 GDPR Essentials for Marketers - Online <p>This online course will help you learn everything you need to know about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) before it comes into force in May 2018, and crucially: what to do about it.</p> <h4>In association with:</h4> <p><img src="http://image.mail.centaurmedia.com/lib/fe9612747465007c7d/m/2/logo_RGB_web.png" alt="" width="250" height="150">       </p> <p> <img src="https://cdn.frontify.com/api/screen/thumbnail/EAzkFg3Qo4YvWC4ph_8yDMC_6Ml5rGzx333b8HZkq4KJx64s6xyk9RzcSAvrX2PW9ftJln_n7gjA8HJCDP8ZQg/800" alt="" width="300" height="100"> </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4716 2018-02-13T12:35:00+00:00 2018-02-13T12:35:00+00:00 Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2018 Digital Trends <p>The <strong>2018 Digital Trends</strong> report, published by Econsultancy in association with <strong><a title="Adobe" href="https://www.adobe.com/uk/experience-cloud.html">Adobe</a></strong>, looks at the most significant trends that will impact companies in the short to medium term.</p> <p>The report is based on a global survey of nearly 13,000 marketing, creative and technology professionals in the digital industry across EMEA, North America and Asia Pacific.</p> <p>As part of this year’s study, we have also identified a number of <strong>top-performing companies</strong> in order to<strong> assess how they are focusing their activities and investments differently compared to their peers</strong>.</p> <p>High-performing companies are those organisations that exceeded their top 2017 business goal by a significant margin, and who have also significantly outperformed their competitors.</p> <p><strong>Key insights</strong> from the research include:</p> <ul> <li>Companies continue to focus on the customer experience (CX), as well as the content required to facilitate this. Organisations committed to CX are shown to outperform their peers.</li> <li>We are entering a ‘design and creativity renaissance’, with top-performing companies recognising the importance of these capabilities to complement data and technology excellence.</li> <li>Investment in technology and related skills is paying dividends, with integrated platforms fast-becoming a prerequisite for success.</li> <li>AI is set to play a growing role in helping marketers to deliver more compelling real-time experiences.</li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69781 2018-02-07T12:20:00+00:00 2018-02-07T12:20:00+00:00 Five things all marketers should know about China in 2018 Jeff Rajeck <p>But along with increasing interest has come a flurry of blog posts and reports advising marketers on what to do in this new, exciting digital market. With so much new material out there, how can someone find the best advice?</p> <p>At a recent event in Singapore, Econsultancy decided to call in an expert. Ashley Dudarenok, fluent in Mandarin and a 12-year resident of China and Hong Kong, has been advising brands for years about how to break into China through her company ChoZan - and is considered one of the top influencers in the field (check out her <a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/AshleyLinaAlexandra">YouTube channel</a> for a full introduction).</p> <p>Over an hour, Ms. Dudarenok spoke about all things China, including five things all marketers should know about China in 2018.</p> <h3>1) China is #1 in everything online</h3> <p>Ms. Dudarenok started her talk by educating the audience about where China ranks in the online world</p> <p>First off, China has the world's largest internet user base. With 731 million people online, it dwarves the US online population (287 million) and is far greater than the online population of the whole European Union (433 million).</p> <p>With this online population comes the next number one, China has the largest number of online shoppers in the world. With more than 480 million people buying things online, there are almost as many online consumers in China than there are people in Europe (506 million).</p> <p>But most importantly for brand marketers, China has the number one online retail market in the world, with $770 billion in online sales in 2016. In comparison, Europe had around $600 billion and the US had just under $400 billion in ecommerce sales the same year.</p> <p>So, as China is the biggest in everything which matters digitally, any brand who has global ambitions and hasn't taken a close look at China should do so straight away.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2121/2018-china-trends-1.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="600"></p> <h3>2) Chinese consumers do not have the same buying habits as Western consumers</h3> <p>While considering how to launch in China, brands are encouraged to spend time researching Chinese consumer preferences as they often differ from the West's.</p> <p>As an example, Ms. Dudarenok pointed out that between 2016 and 2017, Chinese consumers shifted from more Western buying habits to more health-conscious ones.</p> <p>Out are 'unhealthy' products such as beer (-2.6%), juice (-7.6%), candy (-9.6%), and chewing gum (-17.0%) and in are skin care products(+13.6%), yoghurt (+15.1%), and bottled water (+17.3%).</p> <p>Brands who are thought of as a treat in the West may, therefore, want to find a healthier option of their product for the consumer in China.</p> <h3>3) Social commerce has taken off in China</h3> <p>Just looking at social media usage times (around two hours per day) may lead marketers to think that China has a similar level of interest in social platforms as Western markets.</p> <p>According to Ms. Dudarenok, nothing could be further from the truth.</p> <p>Whereas Western consumers use social media mainly for connecting with friends, instant messaging, and news, Chinese consumers use social media as a part of their everyday life.</p> <p>In China, noted Ms. Dudarenok, social media platforms have integrated payment systems which are used widely by everyone. Social media in China has become the place to not only share updates but also to make purchases. </p> <p>And while Facebook does have integrated payments, most Westerners would struggle to pay a local grocer, dentist, or friend via Facebook. In China, social media is used for all sorts of transactions every day.</p> <p>And since items can be purchased through social platforms, Chinese consumers frequently use social media to discover brands, research purchases and ask for product recommendations from friends.</p> <p>Finally, with new 'mini-apps', appearing on social media, the social platforms are in process to circumvent Apple and Google by providing app-like functionality within a social setting.</p> <p>The takeaway? Brands should become familiar with the myriad of possibilities offered by Chinese social media platforms before deciding on promotional tactics.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2123/2018-china-trends-2.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>4) China has completely different digital platforms from the West</h3> <p>While doing the research on what is possible on social media, brand marketers will quickly realize that China also has completely different digital platforms than the West.</p> <p>For example, social media is dominated by WeChat and Weibo, search by Baidu, and video by Youku (see image below).</p> <p>(NB. Econsultancy subscribers can download our new report, <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/reports/understanding-wechat-an-overview-of-china-s-social-payment-and-messaging-giant">Understanding WeChat: An Overview of China’s Social, Payment and Messaging Giant</a>)</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2124/2018-china-trends.png" alt="" width="800" height="277"></p> <p>This alternative infrastructure exists, in part, because the Chinese government has long-since banned sites like Google, Facebook, and Youtube. Now, however, with the integrated payments it could easily be argued that China is ahead of the West and more likely to export their own platforms than import the ones from Silicon Valley.</p> <p>Regardless, brand marketers have little choice in the country. Become familiar with what the locals use or miss out on the market completely.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2125/2018-china-trends-4.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>5) Just starting out? Aim for 'second tier' cities</h3> <p>Finally, Ms. Dudarenok gave some helpful advice for brands just starting out in China</p> <p>For those who didn't know, she explained that China has official city 'tiers'.  The megacities, such as Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Chongqing, are considered 'first tier' and other cities, though very large, fall into a 'second tier' category.</p> <p>Counter-intuitively, brands without a presence in China already should aim to serve the second-tier cities first, for a number of reasons.</p> <p>First off, the first-tier cities are already very well served by local and global brands, and the competition is ferocious.</p> <p>But equally as important, second-tier cities have a number of characteristics which make them more attractive to marketers: </p> <ol> <li>As a whole, second-tier cities have more people than the first tier, with 45.8% of the population</li> <li>People living in second-tier cities have nearly as much as income as those from first-tier cities </li> <li>Those in second-tier cities typically have  fewer resources and options for shopping</li> <li>Second-tier consumers are more likely to shop online to meet their needs - and have more free time for online shopping </li> </ol> <p>And before anyone can object to having to work in puny markets, marketers should note that <strong>many second-tier cities have a greater population than well-known Western cities</strong>. Second-tier cities include: </p> <ul> <li>Fuzhou (7.5 million)</li> <li>Guiyang (4.6 million), and</li> <li>Urumqi (3.5 million)</li> </ul> <p> Each of which offers enormous potential for brands looking to get their 'feet wet' in China.</p> <h3>A word of thanks</h3> <p>Econsultancy would like to thank Ashley Dudarenok, founder of ChoZan and expert in all things China, for her enlightening talk about what marketers really need to know about the world's largest digital market.</p> <p>We'd also like to thank each of our presenters and all of the 400+ marketers who came to Digital Outlook 2018 - and hope to see you at all future Econsultancy events!</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2127/2018-china-trends-5.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69756 2018-01-30T10:08:00+00:00 2018-01-30T10:08:00+00:00 Eight tips for a killer YouTube strategy Nikki Gilliland <p>So, with this in mind, here’s a few tips for brand YouTube strategy in 2018, with reasons why the platform should still be top of mind for social media marketers (and remember to check out our video strategy <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/online-video-best-practice-guide">reports</a> and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/video-marketing-strategies/">training</a>).</p> <h3>1. Create lean-back content</h3> <p>One of the biggest misconceptions about YouTube is that success only happens if a video goes viral. It’s often thought that if you can’t deliver cats getting up to mischief or show a prank going wrong – it’s not for you. </p> <p>This is widely off the mark, of course, especially considering the changing ways in which users are now consuming video content. </p> <p>While it’s true that a lot of people are watching YouTube on their mobiles, this doesn’t necessarily mean they want extremely short, or purely entertaining videos. Google suggests that when it comes to video viewing, mobile is a lot like TV, meaning that people are in fact watching in the evening, at home, and to relax.</p> <p>As a result, brands must no longer think of YouTube in the context of ‘on-the-go’ entertainment. Instead, there is scope for lean-back content, i.e. longer videos of more variety – whether informative, educational, or indeed entertaining. </p> <h3>2. Be consistent</h3> <p>One characteristic that the most successful YouTube channels share is consistency. The most obvious way being how often videos are posted, with big brands typically posting every couple of days or even every day.</p> <p>However, consistency does not necessarily mean having a highly populated channel. Instead, brands can create consistency in terms of format, meaning that they post the same style of content. This can also come through featuring the same people or coming back to a recurring theme or topic. The overarching benefit is that viewers get to know what to expect from a channel, with familiarity helping to build loyalty over time. </p> <p>In order to achieve consistency, it is vital that brands build a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69665-how-to-start-planning-a-successful-content-strategy" target="_blank">content plan or strategy</a>, mapping out when and what videos will be created and posted. </p> <h3>3. Build a community</h3> <p>While ephemeral video can be effective for capturing the attention, it tends to create a passive user experience (where the viewer is simply watching rather than interacting). </p> <p>In contrast, the beauty of YouTube is that it creates a sense of community for brands, with each channel having the potential to build a loyal and highly engaged audience. </p> <p>There is the common understanding (from both creators and viewers) that comments are expected and appreciated. Brands should therefore be ready and willing to respond in order to build a relationship with the audience alongside a cycle of communication and interaction.</p> <h3>4. Encourage action</h3> <p>Again, it is important for brands to prompt users to leave comments, but there are also a number of other ways brands can help to build an audience and promote loyalty. YouTube cards are one simple tool – they are pre-programmed notifications that pop up in videos to point viewers elsewhere (in a shoppable video, for example, a card might link to a featured product).</p> <p>End screens are also a valuable tool. These allow brands or creators to promote up to four elements at the end of a video, such as another video, playlist, or an external website. This lets the viewer know that they can take further action, which could help to keep them within the channel walls rather than clicking away elsewhere.</p> <h3>5. Optimise for search</h3> <p>While success on YouTube is bolstered by features like quality content and consistency, it’s still important for brands to ensure that videos are getting the maximum exposure possible. So, how can you get your video to rank highly? There are a number of simple things you can do to help your content, such as including a major keyword in the title, using relevant tags, and a lengthy and well-crafted description. </p> <p>Customised thumbnails can also be effective for generating views, with branded design again helping to create consistency and familiarity for viewers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1921/Lowes_YouTube.JPG" alt="" width="550" height="389"></p> <h3>6. Think mobile</h3> <p>Google suggests that three in four adults report watching YouTube at home on their mobile device. </p> <p>Not only is it clear that more people are accessing video content on their smartphones, but it seems this might also prove to be an automatic positive for brands, as YouTube mobile users are also reported to be twice as likely to pay close attention while watching compared to TV viewers.</p> <p>This is because the act of watching video on mobile offers less distraction. In comparison, while watching traditional television, viewers might be more likely to partake in another activity at the same time, such as cooking, cleaning, or using another device. </p> <p>So, how can brands capitalise on this? Again, it is about thinking of the user need, with a mobile-first strategy helping to deliver content that’s relevant and engaging in a real-time context.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1922/adult-youtube-home-consumption.jpg" alt="" width="500" height="312"></p> <h3>7. Think about micro-moments</h3> <p>So, what kind of content should you be creating? According to Google, it's helpful for brands to consider the ‘micro-moments’ your audience might be experiencing, in order to come up with relevant content.</p> <p>In other words, to consider why a person might be turning to the internet to look for help, information, or entertainment – and how a brand might be able to create content to intercept and deliver on this need. </p> <p>Beauty brands tend to be particularly adept at this, conveniently capitalising on the demand for tips, tricks, and make-up tutorials. It doesn’t always have to be educational, however. Cosmetics brand <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69754-how-lush-is-raising-the-bar-for-in-store-experience/" target="_blank">Lush</a> often posts videos relating to its stance on ethics and sustainability, which is likely to appeal to those of a similar mindset.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/B10rNsMUsck?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>8. Be wise with influencers</h3> <p>YouTube and influencer marketing has enjoyed a fruitful relationship over the past few years, with brand partnerships typically leading to increased exposure and reach. In recent times, however, we’ve witnessed the likes of PewDiePie and <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69709-will-influencer-marketing-take-a-hit-after-the-logan-paul-firestorm" target="_blank">Logan Paul getting themselves in hot water,</a> leading to many brands perhaps reconsidering their involvement with influencers.</p> <p>Meanwhile, with some adverts being shown alongside extremist content – it’s unsurprising that a few brands have removed themselves from the platform entirely.</p> <p>But do brands need to be overly cautious? YouTube’s decision to crack down on problematic videos is (hopefully) going to lead to fewer issues for advertisers. So then, in terms of influencers, it is perhaps wise for brands to tread even more carefully when partnering with big name creators, or indeed those whose content has the potential to be controversial or inflammatory.</p> <p>While this might sound like an obvious statement, it didn’t stop the likes of Nike and Pepsi previously working with Logan Paul – a regrettable decision in retrospect. That being said, as long as brands exercise caution - and partner with influencers that match their own brand values - there's no reason why the 'YouTuber' trend won't continue to flourish.</p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68871-how-travel-brands-are-capitalising-on-youtube-adventure-search-trend" target="_blank">How travel brands are capitalising on YouTube adventure search trend</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68340-seven-kids-baby-ecommerce-brands-using-youtube-to-reach-parents" target="_blank">Seven kids &amp; baby ecommerce brands using YouTube to reach parents</a></em></li> </ul>