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Month: March 2017

SME guide to Influencer Marketing

Short and sweet for you guys… small and medium business guide to influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing is a hot topic in business and marketing right now more so in the big brand space though. Big brands have big budgets and can afford the world’s best influencer agencies to bag some exposure via the world’s biggest influencer audiences. But how does this relate to you the SME?

Big brands are using influencers to reach targeted and mass communities and getting results, but how can the smaller businesses use influencers to tap into new audiences, increase brand awareness and get more business, without the big budgets? Who are your influencers? Where do you go to find influencers? And how do you build a relationship with them that is mutually beneficial?. In this post all will be revealed.

Think small and influential

With large influencer posts costing a small fortune, how is it possible for a small business with limited budget able to tap into influencer audiences? The answer is in micro influencers. A micro influencer is a person who has influence within a niche or that has a small but influential audience or community. To define an influencer: It’s someone who influences someone to either take action or to make a purchasing decision and influencing someone to making a purchase decision is what you ultimately want to achieve.

How to find a micro influencer

Micro influencers are everywhere, you’ll find them in the form of bloggers, local papers or journalists, Instagram users, they even host twitter chats and so on. A micro influencer doesn’t have millions or even tens of thousands of followers but a smaller base community. Your influencer will normally vlog or write about their niche and share articles and information through social media that is industry specific. Local bloggers will write about local activities and businesses. You can spot micro influencers easily on social media because they have great engagement. In fact you’ll often see some (so called) influencers with 100k plus twitter followers with no retweets, replies or likes.. These people are not influencers, people are not talking to them. This is a really easy way to spot if someone holds a bit of clout within an area. In fact it’s even easier to spot micro influencers for b2b, this is because you can see if they consistently talk about their industry and you can see if people are listening. Look at their blogs at the shares (if this is available) are their articles getting shared?

Tools for finding influencers

There are many tools you can use to find and connect with new influencers in your niche. including these popular services:

Followerwonk – Twitter specific.. Find, Analyse, and Optimise for Social Growth – free for 1 profile
Buzzsumo – Analyse what content performs best for any topic or competitor. Find the key influencers to promote your content – from $79 per month
Klout – Has had a heap of criticism as it’s easily gamed by so called influencers, but it’s a great starting point. Also you can see if someone really has influence by checking on their engagement. On the flip-side it’s a great way to check on your impact (used with a pinch of salt)
Reaching out to influencers

Once you’ve established who your influencers are you’ll want to connect with them through social media. I would not recommend connecting and then asking for a share, a post about you or an email out to their list right away. This would be considered a bit rude and also remember these influencers have spent years building a solid community or audience, why would they just give you access to something that has been carefully built and nurtured? The key is to build relationships. Start by connecting and sharing their content with your own community. Share the influencers videos or articles and tag them in via twitter, for example: ‘a great insight on _____ by @Tagthemhere linktoarticle.co’ don’t do it everyday to the same person but show you are interested in their content. When they share a post, join the conversation and respond. If you have written a piece of content that may be of interest to your influencer you could reply to one of their posts and say: ‘thank you for the great information once again, I wrote something similar from a different angle, what do you think?’ or ‘great piece, we actually have a solution to the problem you mentioned in your post have you seen it before?’ – I wouldn’t start doing this until you have some relationship established through social media. You could also write a blog or create a video in response to one of their articles or even mentioning them, this is a great technique for getting industry specific influencers attention.

Building a relationship

Influencers are human beings, all different, all complex. So different approaches will be necessary for each. A good way to get to know your influencer would be to invite them for lunch (on you, of course 😉) once you have their full attention DO NOT TALK ABOUT YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS! Have a 2 way conversation about your industry (be careful not to whinge about competitors or the industry) keep it positive and upbeat, discuss how you can collaborate or help each other. Offer them something of value if not monetary, perhaps you have a product you could give them for free. They key is to be targeted with your influencer so that they want to share your product, service or insight with their community, because it is highly relevant and useful.

Nurturing your influencer

Treat your influencer like you would a customer. What can you do for them? What solutions do you have for them or their communities that would add value? Don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s all about you and what you can get from them. Build the relationship, nurture your influencer, this way they’ll begin to respect you and share your thoughts and more with their communities.

Finally, nothing is guaranteed. You can’t make someone do something they don’t want to do. So test the water, do they respond to you? Are they accessible? You have a business to run so don’t invest too heavily in courting your influencer until you see they are open to a dialogue.

Beyond Awareness: Video’s Growing Role in Ecommerce Engagement and Conversion

Beyond Awareness: Video’s Growing Role in E-commerce Engagement and Conversion

Build a superior on-site video experience and reap the rewards as an e-retailer. In the second of a three-part series, Mark Blair, VP of EMEA at Brightcove explains how the right type of video content can sustain shoppers’ interest, increase engagement and turn browsers into buyers.

In the first article in this series we discussed how brands can use video to build awareness amongst their target audiences, but having succeeded in that, what’s the next step? Once you’ve pulled potential shoppers into your website to get to know your brand better, how do you keep their interest so they’ll move on to the consideration stage?

It is here that video’s interactive nature really comes into its own – offering a powerful way to engage, educate and entertain viewers, and ultimately ensuring a higher chance of converting their initial interest into a purchase.

Sustain shoppers’ interest with curated, snackable content
In simple terms, the longer you can keep a potential ‘evaluator’ focused on your brand, the better your chance of securing a sale.

A great way of doing this is linking your marketing campaigns through to a video gallery or portal where you can immerse the viewer in your brand’s message through an engaging video experience. Make use of content such as look-books, style guides and how-to demonstrations to show your products in action, and if possible walk viewers through how they are designed or made – a brilliant way to convey their value. To really maximise time-on-site, you could also consider grouping your content into easy-to-binge categories or creating curated playlists. Add a search function and employ contextual calls-to-action for a truly superior experience.

While it is also important to make use of the huge growth in social video viewing (our research shows that consumers watch an average of six hours of video on social media every week), the brand experience on such sites is much harder to control. With an owned portal, you decide not only the look and feel of your video site and player, but what additional content viewers will see – or be distracted by. In fact, studies show that consumers are twice as likely to purchase goods when videos are searched and viewed on an integrated e-commerce website versus on a branded YouTube channel.

Create content series to showcase your product
Time-on-site aside, videos are the perfect way to provide consumers with comprehensive information about your products and services. Indeed, research shows that 69% of consumers prefer video over text if both are on a product page, and that branded video content wins over sales copy on the page every time because human brains are hardwired to prefer visual stimuli.

In a time-sensitive, distracted world, video also allows you to impart a substantial amount of product information in a relatively short burst (the average time watched per video is 2.7 minutes) – and with little effort required on the part of the consumer. A bite-sized tip series will work well for this reason, however there is equal value in creating longer-form tutorial content for high-cost purchases.

You can also show off your products in a real-life environment via a live video event. Live-streamed product launches, celebrity sponsorships or charitable events can encourage consumers to spend more time with your brand. And they don’t necessarily need to be hosted by you – consider inviting customers to live stream your event on social media, not only helping you to build excitement around your brand in real-time but turning them into brand advocates at the same time.

Turn browsers into buyers at the point of purchase
One of the biggest reasons to use video, of course, is that it can help you convert shoppers into buyers – establishing familiarity and trust with the brand that stands behind the product.

According to Comscore, 64% of consumers are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video. Video shows comprehensively what a product looks like and how it works, but it also illustrates how the product aligns with the prospective buyer’s lifestyle—or the one they aspire to. But how do you capitalise on this affinity and willingness to secure the sale? By asking for it.

Consumers are twice as likely to buy products after watching a video that’s integrated into the purchasing process, and three times as likely to convert if the video has relevant calls to action (CTA). Therefore, to turn product evaluators into product adopters you need to add seamless and convincing CTAs to your enhanced shopping experience. If you want to take CTAs one step further, consider using shoppable videos that allow the purchase to take place right in the video module.

When creating video, think about content strategy as well as the creative asset and where it will be displayed. Develop video content that can be used with or without interactivity, create video playlists to control the audience experience and consider live events or content series to sustain customer engagement.

Stay tuned for part three of series to find out how to push video’s use beyond a single sale by building a loyal customer base, and how to measure the success of your efforts across a multi-device, omnichannel customer journey.

Influencer Marketing – What you need to know

Episode 10 of the Social Day podcast is now live, we talk with Philip Brown, Head of Influencer Marketing at Come Round, a digital marketing agency.

Philip talks us through what his definition of Influencer marketing is, who makes and influencer and how SME’s can use them as part of a digital marketing campaign. We also talk about how you should measure results (some good tips for Instagram marketing and some tools for measuring reach)

We discuss how you should find influencers and approach them, what you should be looking out for during those first conversations with influencers who are working with your brand.

We really enjoyed talking to Philip, we first noticed his posts on LinkedIn, he is worth connecting with or following, he writes some great objective articles which are always balanced and well thought out.

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How to Use Facebook Ads – with a happy ending!

A while ago we ran a survey asking our facebook group members what the topic they most wanted support with and Facebook Ads came out on top of the pile. To help bridge the knowledge gap we have put the full Facebook Ads session from the last Social Day event. Not only does Julia Bramble deliver loads of great actionable advice on how to use Facebook Ads she delivers it in a style that is truly unique and original

Julia took storytelling to a whole new level and turned her Facebook ads workshop into a pantomime, with plenty of audience participation. It’s one of my favourite speaker sessions as it was so engaging on the day and listening bak to it for the podcast it really worked so well. It was full of excellent advice and they way that it was brought to life in a story really helped the key points stick.

Julia will be the keynote speaker for the next event in Birmingham on the 27th April at Edgbaston Cricket Ground with a brand new topic. you can book tickets for Birmingham here

At all of our events we record all the sessions and as part of the ticket price delegates get access to these videos on demand, if you have not already registered for the Social Media training hub then follow this link you will get all of the previous event videos and tonnes of great how-to articles and guides.

Julia also has a course available and if you get in touch with her mentioning Social Day she will be giving a special discount to our delegates and listeners, www.facebook.com/BrambleBuzzSocialMedia/?pnref=lhc

So please listen below or find us on SoundCloud or the apple podcasts and make sure you subscribe!

Unlocking the value of video (Part 1)

 Video is essential to your marketing strategy. In the first of a three part series, Mark Blair, VP of EMEA at Brightcove explains how video can boost sales, enrich the customer experience and accelerate the buying journey.

Video has become a must-have marketing tool due to its proven ability to drive measurable results. The stats are certainly compelling: sites using video experience 41% more web traffic from search than those that don’t, 77% of consumers say they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a video, and consumer audiences spend an average of 81% more time on sites with video than those without.

Video is underutilised. The majority of brands may be using video in some capacity to drive awareness, but few are unlocking the true value of video to deliver an excellent customer experience and advance the buyer’s journey. For those looking to boost sales, accelerate SEO and ultimately attract more shoppers, video content is an ideal solution – and here’s why…

A smarter strategy

76% of consumers say video is their preferred form of branded content and 51.9% of marketers agree that it drives the best ROI – attracting more people to your website, keeping them there for longer, and improving conversion rates.

Last year, Brightcove commissioned a study of consumers’ preferences for online shopping. Key findings identified gaps between the offline and online experience – gaps that video content is in an excellent position to fill.

While online shopping can be convenient, one of its shortcomings from a consumer perspective, is the lack of tactile interaction. The inability to touch and feel an item, to test its quality and see how it works means some consumers are still wary of completing the shopping experience online, and may even take a detour offline – visiting a physical store – before making a purchase.

Using innovative new technologies, such as 360-degree video, allows buyers to truly understand how a product looks, moves, and behaves through an immersive experience. Video enhances the consumer experience by lowering basket abandonment rates, increasing overall basket size, and building customer loyalty. It can also be adapted to fit any point of the buyer’s journey – even post-purchase.

Phase 1: Awareness

Want your business to attract more customers? First things first: you want to make your offerings come up first when potential customers search for products and solutions. Google loves video. If you’re trying to attract buyers to your site, then having video content on key product pages is going to help push those pages up the search rankings where video is a best match for the searcher’s intent.

Think about creating videos that capitalise on the trends that your audience actively searches for. These are called hygiene videos. These types of videos help you take advantage of common search queries and draw in visitors by using SEO-friendly terms that describe each video’s value. To create successful hygiene videos, think carefully about your keyword and video metadata strategies.

By optimising your videos for SEO, they are more discoverable, both on search engines externally and internally. Integrate SEO-friendly videos throughout your e-commerce website and your site’s search function will be able to pull this information, allowing audiences to easily find videos that show how to assemble, use, and maintain your products.

Social video is another big must when it comes to driving brand awareness. Around 62% of consumers discover new video content by scrolling through their news feeds, while 49% discover it when it’s shared by others on their network. To ensure your content doesn’t get lost in a chaotic newsfeed, think about which networks your audience use and the type of content that performs best on each platform. For example, videos using Facebook’s native player will auto-play, typically without sound, so adding subtitles, captions and engaging video lead-ins can help prevent customers from scrolling past your content. Bonus: these all have added SEO benefits.

Top online retailers know e-commerce success is determined by a seamless, enjoyable user experience. Creating an easier and more engaging online shopping experience through video reaps dividends – greater brand awareness is just the beginning…

 

Stay tuned for parts two and three of our video for e-commerce for series, exploring how video can be used for engagement, conversion, retention and advocacy. 

If you want to find out more about video you will also find plenty of sessions at our Birmingham and London events, covering everything from how to record on a mobile all the way to getting you started with livestream, check out the links on the menu and book your ticket.

What content should I write to cut through the noise?

In this episode, we talk about content, more specifically how to cut through the noise, short and sweet this week, but delightfully to the point.

We discuss how to avoid sharing for sharing’s sake, well for a start make sure you have read and viewed the link you’re about to send out to your followers, nothing more embarrassing than blind sharing and it linking back to some absolute dross and incorrect story, think how that reflects on you!

Another key point to remember is to cut through the noise, think about what you have channeled into your newsfeed, if you are using vanity metrics “like for a like” or “follow for a follow” do you have inbound content that is unmanageable and irrelevant to you simply because you were more interested in building follows. Think about the approach and if this is the case have a major cull of who and what you are following, that way you will get to the relevant information in your feed based on your selections.

If you are putting out good quality content over time your audience will build based on a reputation for being insightful and a useful resource in others newsfeeds.

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