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Tag: Social Media Marketing

26
Jul

What is influencer marketing?

You’ve worked with agencies from over time and heard the term “influencer marketing” dropped in a meeting or presentation (and thought – “huh?”). Perhaps you’ve come across stories about them in the media. Either way, it’s perfectly understandable to be asking, what is an influencer anyway and why are agencies like Circul8 so often talking about them?

So what is an influencer?

An influencer is an established social media user who in most cases will have a large following of other users who will fall within your target demographic. Engaging an influencer is to leverage their popularity in their sharing your brand or product, and to leverage on the trust of a peer review.

Are they effective?

“Peer-reviewed” is no longer an idea that’s exclusive to academia – it’s now a part of the consumer every day. Today, as consumers, we give ratings to those who quite literally drive the “gig” economy (ride-sharing, room sharing, and food delivery dominate) and receive ratings in-kind. As apps have changed over time, we have changed with them. We now place a higher value than ever on how others rate their experience with a brand.

Consumers trust ratings and reviews shared online more than traditional forms of advertising. This is especially true with younger audiences for whom digital advertising comes as second nature. We have come to trust what we say to each other beyond what a brand says about itself – this is where influencers come in.

What are the outcomes?

Like an endorsement, an influencer can be paid (or offered product) to share their positive thoughts or information about a brand. Unlike the traditional celebrity endorsement, however, the key offering of an influencer is their authenticity. The influencer is not a celebrity as such – while Beyonce may have millions of followers, influencers may only have thousands. Influencers are seen as down-to-earth members of a community whose enthusiasm for a product or service is sincere and aligned with their values. Authenticity is the unique selling point of the influencer.

For younger demographics (ages 36 and under), the incentives for engaging influencers can be profound. To make the most of a paid engagement you’ll want your target demographic to be invested in social media: they use Instagram and Facebook throughout the day and are likely to engage friends and family while active. This style of brand advocacy makes influencer marketing a close relative to “seed” marketing, or word-of-mouth marketing as it is commonly known.

How do they work?

There are many ways influencers can help businesses endorse their brand and they do not have to be as simple as putting a face to a product. Over the last decade, Circul8 has specialised in combining great ideas with tactical execution and people power. Our projects for Tourism Fiji and Japan National Tourism (JNTO) which both took influencer marketing to a new level, are great examples.

Tourism Fiji – #fijinow

In 2016 Fiji was tragically hit by the biggest storm in the country’s history, Cyclone Winston. In the weeks that followed, an influx of negative media coverage showed the worst of the damage and the impacts on Fiji’s tourism were immediately devastating. Given tourism is the country’s biggest foreign exchange earner this came as a second wave of devastation. To tackle this problem our client Tourism Fiji approached us to help restore visitor arrivals to their original numbers as quickly as possible.

To make an immediate impact,  Circul8 recruited a small group of influencers – Instagrammers with a collective global following of over 1.3 million – with the brief to launch the #Fijinow hashtag. To demonstrate that the Fiji was still open for business, this was the most authentic way to show that not all of Fiji had been affected by the storm.

Along with the spread of the influencers’ Instagram followings, Circul8 implemented our bespoke product Aggreg8 to the Tourism Fiji website which aggregates all posts tagged with the #FijiNow hashtag. The two activities combined had outstanding results: the hashtag has continued to gain traction long past the duration of this campaign, clocking up over 39,000 posts becoming a valuable stand alone marketing asset for Fiji.

Taveuni Island - Fiji by jewelszee

Campaign outcomes

  • The #FijiNow campaign restored consumer confidence in Fiji as a holiday destination
  • Fiji visitor arrivals achieved record levels in 2016 with a 5% increase.
  • Peak visitor arrivals were achieved as early as July, just 4 months after Winston
  • Video content received over 627,000 views
  • 1.16 million engagements on social media
  • 25 million campaign impressions
  • Tourism Fiji social channels grew by 19,330
  • 39,000+ uses of the #FijiNow hashtag
  • Circul8 also won a Communicator Award of Distinction for Marketing Effectiveness – Content Marketing for this campaign.

Japan National Tourism (JNTO)

In January 2017, Circul8 launched a Content Marketing Campaign for JNTO aimed at increasing destination awareness and inbound visitors from Australia to regional Japan. The campaign featured strong emotive content and a strategic approach to drive traffic to the website and increase engagement on social media.

To give these areas coverage, we sent influencers to Hokkaido, Kyushu, Setouchi and Tohoku, and built a bespoke website named Unseen Japan, where an interactive map of Japan displayed influencer content. By clicking on each content piece, it led back to the Instagram post / channel it came from.

Users were invited to create their Unseen Japan bucket list by adding ‘Add to #myunseenjapan’ on our influencers campaign posts. This engagement also entered them into a competition to win 2  return flights to Japan with our campaign partner Japan Airlines (JAL).

Jigokudani Snow Monkey Hotspring taken by tysontravel

Jigokudani Snow Monkey Hotspring taken by tysontravel

Campaign outcomes

  • Campaign impressions: 17,696,551
  • Unique visitors to the site: 70,740
  • Increase Instagram fans: 116% (+20,850)
  • Increase in Facebook fans: 17.5% (+16,500)
  • 9,100 entries generating 28,632 comments
  • Average session duration on the website increased by 26.6%.. People spent on average 6 minutes looking through the content

Is influencer marketing right for my brand?

Over and above the short-term results, influencer marketing is most effective in its building of relationships between brand and consumer. In considering influencer marketing as an option, it’s important to get your agency to propose an effective strategy for your brand’s objectives and do the necessary due diligence on the chosen influencers.

Looking to discuss influencer marketing as an option? Get in touch with us.

26
Jul

Facebook’s Algorithm is changing… again

Facebook’s notorious algorithm undergoes another transformation to return to what it first promised: to connect you with friends.

When you hear the word ‘algorithm’, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with imagery of numbers, algebra and the cast of The Big Bang Theory. Sure the first two are correct, but these days you don’t see too many nerd stereotypes from the 1980s walking around Palo Alto, do you?

Facebook’s algorithm is one of the most famous mathematical processes in popular culture. Many of us imagine it as a faceless figure, laughing maniacally as it plucks the dog selfies out of your timeline and casts them into oblivion. While we can confirm it is faceless (it’s just code guys, not a demigod) it actually is trying to show you puppers rather than your ex-boyfriend’s new baby.

one-does-not-simply-see-facebook-updates

First launched in 2006 to create a central News Feed (which is now a pinnacle of the platform), the algorithm has been updated numerous times since Facebook exploded to over one billion users.

Back in 2006, Facebook users shared EVERYTHING. From what they were eating for lunch to how they felt after their latest break-up (life hack: DON’T be that person), oversharing was commonplace on the platform.

Fast forward to 2014 and people were well and truly over seeing everyone’s dirty laundry. So much so that the majority of users were no longer using Facebook as a place to share personal updates.

Diary

In order to keep information circulating, Facebook updated the algorithm to prioritise Pages. This made the News Feed show more content from companies, news sources and brands that people liked, rather than the latest photo album from your co-worker’s boring family holiday in Geelong.

From here, the algorithm was updated again with new calculations to reduce clickbait, monitor how long you were spending hovering over an update and to prioritise video content over other mediums, such as photos or text status updates.

Time hop to 2016 and we’re back to square one (but with a better smartphone). The News Feed is, once again, going to do what Facebook always claimed to do: connect you with your pals. This is great news for users, but what about advertisers?

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The bad news is if you manage, or are trying to grow, a page with limited engagement and reach then this new update is going to affect your performance. Even Facebook’s VP of Product Management for News Feed, Adam Mosseri, admitted that “I’d expect reach for publishers to go down a small amount but a noticeable amount”.

To combat this problem, brands will have to turn to less sales-focused and click-driven content and think outside the box. Increasing discussion on your page, through methods such as engaging directly with your audience or word-of-mouth influencer marketing campaigns, are two ways to continue to improve reach and engagement without relying on the algorithm.

If you happen to manage a page that’s in the minority and enjoys high organic reach and engagement, then you should expect to see minimal disruptions.

What do you think the new algorithm has in store for your brand? Are you concerned? Share your thoughts in the comments below.