The concept of influencer marketing is nothing new, we have always looked to other people for shopping inspiration, however, with our increasing devotion to social media the idea has taken on new life. In this blog, I will be looking at what influencer marketing is and how you can make it work for you.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Social influence has been around for as long as we have had a society, we look to our peers and our idols for ideas on how to dress, how to eat and how to live our lives. What influencer marketing does is capitalise on this innate aspect of human nature, by using influential people to market a product rather than all out advertising.
The most obvious influencers today are of course celebrities, we see what they are wearing and immediately want to emulate it. I once worked in a department store, and after Cheryl Cole wore a particular pair of tights we sold out immediately the next day and were inundated with requests for several weeks after that! However, not all influencers are famous, at least not in the traditional sense, there is a new brand of influencers out there, the social media IT crowd. Followers alone, however, don’t make an influencer, influencers need to be:
Influencers can be sorted into different categories depending on how many people of within their reach.
Surprisingly micro-influencers are the most effective regarding influencer marketing as they are able to carry out more social interaction with their followers and therefore have higher engagement.
How Influencer Marketing Works?
Influencer marketing essentially works by using the reach of your chosen influential person to promote your brand and products. This, of course, can simply be done by paying influential people like celebrities to wear your brand of clothing, however, this is more celebrity endorsement than influencer marketing and the public have become more sceptical toward it as we all know they are getting paid. While social media influencers can be paid to promote products the best form of influencer marketing is free.
Influencers want to be recognised, they want to be seen to have the latest products and be privy to new information if your products are good enough and your story exciting enough influencers will be more than happy to promote in exchange for freebies. Authenticity and honesty are vital, desire for it has been the driving force behind the rise in influencer marketing and without it, influencers and their audiences will see right through your brand.
Why use it?
The younger generation is craving ‘real’, they no longer want to be spoken down to by big brands, they want access to real people with real opinions. By allowing your products to be unbiasedly reviewed you are winning customers and are tapping into this new younger market that has unbelievable future spending potential. By using influencers, you are also avoiding using adverts in the traditional sense, and therefore ad blockers cease to be a problem.
Influencer marketing makes a lot of sense and is clearly here to stay. It has appeal for all kinds of brands of all different sizes, plus who doesn’t want a bit more authenticity in advertising!
Whilst Pinterest may not yet be as popular as Facebook or Instagram, it is a rapidly growing platform that boasts nearly 200 million monthly users. Pinterest is a network where people go to be inspired, a huge part of this is looking for the perfect product that will help them achieve their desired lifestyle. By using aspirational pins to promote your products you expose your website links to a wide and eager audience. In this blog, we will be outlining 5 simple steps to building the perfect Pinterest page for your business.
Step One. Build Your Profile
One of the most important aspects of setting up Pinterest for your business is adding that all important Pinterest SAVE button to your website, this will allow your customers to Pin products they love and boost your Pinterest popularity. Once you have added a SAVE button and created your Pinterest business page you will need to customise your profile. This is like any other social network profile, it needs to stand out and represent your brand’s personality. Achieve this by using custom images, colour schemes and your company logo. It’s not only the visual branding, use your company bio to attract your target audience, not forgetting those all important SEO words.
Step Two. Get Pinning
Now your profile is ready to go it’s time for the fun stuff, pinning. Before you start we recommend you install a Pinterest browser button, this will enable you to pin images quickly from your website. When creating your boards, think carefully about the title, it will need to both explain what your board is about as well as grabbing your pinners attention and if you want to avoid being cut off it will need to do it in 20 characters or less! Pinterest is a visual platform so think carefully about you board cover picture, is it the most eye catching image you have? If not, it should be!
Step Three. Be Visual
Pinterest is designed to inspire people through pictures, so your images need to be flawless! They should be clear, well lit and in focus as well as the correct size, any taller than 1560 pixels and it will be cut off, spoiling the effect. In order to stand out from the crowd and get your pins circulating, you will need to showcase your products creatively, remembering that lifestyle shots outperform product images with 30 percent more click throughs. Don’t forget to make the most of the descriptive field, including important keywords so you are hitting all the right searches.
Step Four. Analysis is Key
Pinterest analytics are your best friend! They will tell you:
Step Five. Don’t Forget to Socialise
Pinterest is still a social network, you need to engage to get results! Follow other boards and profiles within your industry (non-competitive of course) as well as liking and engaging with related pins. By doing this you create an audience around your brand like you would any other social network, with other brands following you in reciprocity. You could also create a group board, inviting employees and brand evangelist to contribute.
By following these 5 simple steps you can create a successful Pinterest page that will grow your business and place your products on everybody’s wish list.
Augmented reality has been pegged as ‘the next big thing’ but the question is does it really hold enough weight to become the next level of marketing, or is it just a gimmick?
Augmented reality (AR) uses technology to superimpose a computer-generated alternative reality onto a user’s view of the real world, you are most likely to have experienced it when messing about with Snapchat filters or perhaps you were an enthusiastic participant of the 2016 Pokémon Go craze. It’s certainly great fun and a very cool tech gimmick but can it have any other, more practical applications? With the rate the tech world constantly spits out new programmes and innovation, it’s unsurprising to learn that AR technology is getting better by the minute. With these innovations, AR is leaving it’s gimmick status behind and holds real value in terms of marketing potential.
Just a Social Media Gimmick?
In terms of social media Snapchat has been leading the pack, in 2015 they launched lenses successfully bringing AR to it’s user base. Since then it’s really taken off with lenses being its most popular feature, bringing with it potential revenue streams. Brands, like Taco Bell, can sponsor lenses, targeting specific demographics such as age and gender. However, Facebook and Instagram are close behind, with the rise of Instagram’s stories feature, and it’s popular rainbow sun-through-the-glass filter and Facebook’s Camera effects platform where you use your camera to interact with digital items laid over the real world (adding steam to a cup of coffee for example). Whilst you can argue AR filters are mainly gimmick Facebook messenger’s AR has some real marketing applications. For example, Sephora uses AR in messenger to allow customers to virtually try on makeup, generating serious sales.
Allowing customers to virtually experience products through AR has huge potential that is slowly being exploited by leading brands. As previously mentioned Sephora is leading the way for the beauty industry allowing people to try out different makeup looks on their both through messenger and their App. Ikea has also joined the trend, with their app that allows customers to place Ikea furniture in their own homes using AR and share videos and photos with friends. However, for brands to avoid this simply becoming a gimmick they need to ensure they go past the wow factor and use AR to add value to customer experience. Companies like Sephora use AR to provide product and lifestyle advice which allow their campaigns to have a real impact, great campaigns can lead to dwell times of over 85 seconds, interaction rates of up to 20% and click-through rates to purchase of 33% – numbers unseen across other advertising platforms.
The Future of AR
The future of AR is looking bright with more and more companies finding ways to incorporate it into their products and marketing campaigns. Forward thinking brands will be using map APIs to make geo-located AR experiences that will be a huge asset in terms of overlaying entertaining or useful promotional information on to the real world. Meanwhile, Facebook’s developing it’s AR target tracker which will enable your phone camera to track an object then create an immersive experience, allowing brands to create content that’s contextually tied to images, logos, signs and pictures in the real world. These innovations have a huge marketing potential as they enable companies to promote their products in an engaging and all-consuming way.
AR has come a long way in recent years moving away from tech gimmick towards marketing must have! This doesn’t mean there aren’t still a few challenges to overcome, for example, lenses are not only costly to develop and promote but have limited analytics making it harder to measure success. However, Facebook and Snapchat are making strides in fixing these little problems and AR’s other applications are clearly very effective.
In Part One we looked at the reasons why the right images are so important for your social media profile. In Part Two we will be looking at what factors make up the perfect social media image from making an impact to size specifications. The ideal social media image will be:
As we mentioned in Part One audiences today are skimming through their social media feeds more and more rapidly, so a well-placed and striking image will help to break up your news feed grabbing their attention. Important points to remember are:
Think about your target audience and who they are? Whether it’s your current customer base or people you are trying to entice over to your brand, you need to make sure you are posting images that are relevant to them and their interests. For example, if your target audience is teenagers you will want to avoid images of families with young children and focus more on current trends.
Part of creating a successful brand identity online is ensuring consistency across your social media platforms. Your images need to be recognisable across the board and portray the same brand message, this recognition over different platforms will give your brand more staying power. When ensuring consistency, you will need to remember to use the same:
The Right Size
Now you have the perfect image there is one last thing to think about, size! The one size fits all approach won’t cut it here, you will need to tailor your images to each social media platform. We view Facebook and Twitter in a column with the pictures set beneath the text, therefore ideally you want a landscape image to make the most of the space. This is in stark contrast to Google+ and Pinterest which are viewed as a sort of grid with longer vertical images. Instagram is also viewed as a grid, but the images are a trademark square. Most importantly make sure your customers can see ALL the image!
Remember image is king! By ensuring your images are striking, relevant, consistent and to the right scale, you will be able to stand out and place yourself ahead of the competition by attracting the right customers attention, inspiring loyalty by building your brand and looking slick and professional.
As the proud owner of a thriving restaurant business, you’ll be aware that how you come across to your potential customers is half the battle of getting them through the door – getting people to enjoy good food is all about good communication, after all! Nothing encourages visitors like word of mouth, a great public front, and some seriously enticing behind the scenes work, so here are some of our top tips for utilising social media to improve your hospitality business.
Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest, use your social platform to let people know what you’re offering them. Whether it’s great décor, delicious food, a fun cocktail menu, the best offers in town, or the world’s best-trained staff, shout about it. The competition is stiff and people like to find out quickly and easily what they can enjoy, so keep it short and use pictures to really sell your story.
Creating a friendly image is great to attract new customers, so show yourselves as human. Social media is a great way to introduce your staff and show off what they’re doing that day. Let people know what they can expect and when – for example, if your head chef is trying out some inventive starters, let your customer base know what they can have and from who.
A successful way to attract customers is to offer them something for nothing – everyone loves a freebie, after all! Running a simple competition like ‘caption this photo for a free iced coffee’ will make you seem generous, fun, and will get people sharing your brand. Free marketing is surprisingly easy to acquire just by giving a small something away! The most popular time to post on sites such as Facebook is at the weekend, around midday, so factor this is when generating interest.
Have a think about who you think you’re trying to get involved with your hospitality business, and how you can benefit them using social media. If the majority of your customers are 18-25s, what would they like to see? This also works the other way round too – who don’t you see coming in as much and how can you try and get them involved? By sharing information that’s relevant to a specific group of people you can largely expand your following. For example, perhaps the over 40s crowd might like to know that you’re holding a jazz night, or your 18-25s may be keen to find out you are trialling a new milkshake flavour.
Having a seamless online presence throughout social media and your main sight is integral in the modern day to creating a solid brand, and it also allows you to interact one-on-one with your customers which is a great business tool. Contact us today to find out how we can help you handle your online persona and generate new business with a few simple steps forward.
Normally choosing a domain name for a business and the business name go hand in hand. You should always try to choose a domain name having the same name as the business to make it easy for people to find your business online. However, for a trading company that has multiple business interests (and hence multiple websites), your company can own multiple domain names, one for each of your business areas.
What’s in a name?
What do Google, Apple, Starbucks, Tesco have in common? They are businesses with names you are unlikely to forget in a hurry and which in some way convey the uniqueness of the product or service they have developed.
Web technologies are growing and changing very rapidly. Nowadays it is hard to imagine to run a successful business without a website. Having well-built and professional Website has become essential part of a successful business. I believe we are going into an era where not only having website but also having responsive website is becoming vital. The mobile devices sale and internet usage has overtaken desktop sales and internet usage. Which means that mobile devices has become very important part of our lives.