GET CREATIVE: STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD WITH YOUR INFLUENCER MARKETING CAMPAIGN

Stand out from the crowd with your influencer marketing campaign.

We’ve spoken a lot about influencer marketing on the O Blog, whether it’s around how to make the most of your influencer marketing campaign or how influencers can boost brands’ Stories. Having worked with social media influencers over the years, we know how effective they are for brand communications and it hasn’t gone unnoticed by everyone else.

Despite issues of transparency with some influencers/celebrities not using appropriate hashtags such as #ad or #spon, this marketing trend continues to grow in popularity and doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.

Due to the increased number of brands using influencers and the number of individuals growing their following to reach influencer status, it’s now pretty common to get lost in a never-ending sea of content. We’re even seeing some influencers promoting things that they don’t particularly like, which often results in a basic photo of a product without any form of creativity or authenticity,

For the final part of our GET CREATIVE series, we’re looking at how you can ensure your influencer marketing campaigns are creating a buzz and how you can stand out from the crowd.

Host an exclusive event

So this isn’t a new one but hosting an exclusive event for influencers can be a great way to build noise around your brand. We discussed how to integrate social media with your event in a previous blog post to ensure that you are organising something that will make everyone want to attend and of course, share across their social media platforms.

Creating a unique experience for influencers is a great way to allow them to engage with your brand, touch, taste and feel your products or understand your brand story by meeting the founders. It allows them to interpret your brand for their followers and share it by being part of it.

Encourage influencer creativity

One of the best reasons to work with an influencer is that they’ll bring their own style to your brand – but nowadays this can get lost. Choose an influencer with bags of creativity and willing to take your product and create something unique – this will create much more conversation than someone simply posting a product shot.

Choose life(style)

Is the influencer already a fan of your brand, or do they lead the lifestyle that ‘fits’ with your customers? Choosing for number of followers is the most common mistake we see – we believe that you should always take time to choose influencers that are right for your brand, and ideally are already fans so you can nurture them into ambassadors and work together for mutual benefit.

Social media takeovers

A great way to engage an audience with your brand is to ask an influencer to take over your social media platforms entirely. This could be posting a weekly blog, uploading some snaps from their daily life or using Instagram Stories to share a day in their life (or yours) – the opportunities are endless. The influencer will bring their own audience along to follow on the Stories as well – creating more opportunities for your brand to be seen.

O Communications is a creative agency in Newcastle. If you need some help with your next influencer marketing campaign – why not drop us a message on letstalk@opr.co.uk.

Influencer relations for WhiteWash Laboratories wins gold award

O struck gold at the CIPR awards recently for its influencer campaign with WhiteWash Laboratories, an oral care brand that launched a new range of teeth whitening dental cosmetics.

Competing in an already crowded marketplace, our brief was to introduce Nano as a premium yet high-street brand that would entice high street customers and attract retailers to stock the product.

Targeting a predominantly female audience aged 18-35 and identifying Instagram as a key platform, we  implemented a mix of media and blogger outreach, celebrity and social media personality endorsements and paid social media advertising to raise awareness of the product.

The hashtag #NanoSmile was used through all communications, aligning with the key messages of health over the Hollywood smile.

O
 worked with Instagram influencers and high profile celebrities from popular programmes such as Celebrity Love Island, Big Brother, Made in Chelsea and Geordie Shore, to endorse the Nano range through Instagram posts via their own profiles.

We also targeted beauty bloggers and journalists relevant to the 18-35 age bracket to trial and review the Nano range, securing coverage on hyperlocal blogs and in key publications.

From the launch of the campaign, the WhiteWash Laboratories Instagram following increased by 93%, while social media endorsements and blogger product reviews equated to an increase of 200% in digital sales.

Media and influencer coverage resulted in a reach of 17,763,030 people including coverage in titles such as The Sunday Times magazine, Huffington Post, The Daily Mirror and Grazia Magazine.

The campaign won the gold award in the CIPR North East Pride Awards 2017 for Best Consumer Relations Campaign and was featured in Campaign magazine when WhiteWash Laboratories launched Nano.

O Communications is a creative agency in Newcastle. To see more of our work, including exclusive behind-the-scenes videos, follow us on Instagram and like our Facebook page.

SOCIAL MEDIA PREDICTIONS FOR 2018

Do you remember what Facebook used to look like when it first came out? It’s come a long way from ‘thefacebook’ days. Social media has been around in one form or another for almost 20 years now and it’s constantly evolving.

Whether it’s how we use social media in our everyday lives or how technology advances its capabilities, from one year to the next the social media landscape never stands still.

As we now come to the end of 2017, a year when Instagram made a mockery of Snapchat, Facebook hit 2bn monthly users, Twitter expanded its character limit and, well, Donald Trump happened, we can look ahead to what is likely to happen in 2018…

  1. Shopping on Social

The theory of paid social to drive purchases has now been well and truly proven. The next phase is to take this further and truly streamline the purchasing process. This won’t be limited to online purchases either as there are already tools in place to measure offline impact. This will only improve in the coming year.

  1. The Battle for GenZ

The oldest members of Generation Z will be starting to enter the workforce in 2018. This means they will hold more significance than ever before as a result of their new-found buying power. Brands and social networks are already adapting their strategies to advertise to this audience – look at the changes made on Snapchat and Instagram throughout 2017. Because of this, we expect to see marketers begin to make a play for the GenZ consumer.

  1. Further Squeeze on Organic Content

There has been a measured decline in the reach and engagement from organic content in 2017 as platforms try to find new ways to monetize.  This is likely to continue in 2018. The exciting challenge is that brands and agencies will need to be more creative to get their messages across. There are still only 3.5 degrees of separation across every Facebook user in the world, so ‘going viral’ will always be possible. Video content will be more important than ever to get brand messages across so brands will need to make this a major focus.

  1. Expansion of Live Streaming

Live video used to be just a fun feature but now it has become a huge immovable force in the world of social media. 100 million users watch online video daily and live streams are a key part of this. The prevalence of this in 2018 is simply because it works. Statistics show that users are more likely to watch a video for longer if the video is live.

  1. Rise of Chatbots and Automation

This may be a tricky avenue to go down however, in 2018 brands will need to take a very serious look at chatbots on messenger apps. More users use social messaging than actually the social media itself – especially younger millennials. Bots can be tricky to put together but can save a lot of time with customer service and productivity. It can also allow users to purchase products through Messenger.

  1. Increased Influencer Investments

Bloggers, celebrities and social influencers are already a key part of the marketing mix. However, now their endorsements are increasingly transparent (consumers get used to seeing endorsements on social media and regulations are tighter around transparency) they are expected to work harder for their endorsement fees. Whether that is co-creating content or acting as a channel, their borrowed influence will mean more partnerships and collaborations (and less about simply sharing a photo of a product on their platforms).

  1. Increase in Personalisation

More users would now favour seeing adverts and offers that are more relevant to them and reject the one-size-fits-all blanket approach. This means the tracking that goes along with this is becoming accepted more and more. What this means is relevancy and personalised marketing will become the key to successful marketing efforts. In a world where advertising is everywhere, time is seen as more valuable than ever. Users, therefore, will only stop scrolling for what is relevant to them.

  1. Shifting Definitions of “Target Audiences”

The targeting capabilities available to social media marketers are expanding at an incredible rate. This means, now more than ever, the importance of reaching the right customers is at an all time high. Local brands now no longer rely on local audiences to provide their revenue. Likewise, companies that already focus nationally can improve ROI by looking much more local. As users are now looking for greater personalisation, getting the audience right will be very important.

  1. Increase in Brand Protection

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the need for greater brand safety and stronger governance will be required for 2018. Whether this takes the form of additional staff or as new AI software we will have to see however it wouldn’t be surprising if the major platforms incorporated new codes of conduct. YouTube especially will need to ensure they have processes in place so brands are protected when advertising on the platform after the recent boycotting of from major brands.

  1. Twitter Reimagined

This one is a bold prediction however Twitter has been struggling recently in comparison to the big hitters. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and WhatsApp all comfortably have more users than the micro-blogging platform and have been growing at much faster rates. Twitter has also been struggling to gain access to some TV shows; they no longer have access to streaming NFL matches. Negative perceptions as a result of political reasons like Donald Trump, cyber-bullying and fake news may trigger a shift in how the platform may work. Watch this space….

To follow the latest news and views on all things social be sure to sign up to our #OSoSocial weekly newsletter and stay in the conversation.

THE RISE OF THE HYPERLOCAL INFLUENCER IN MARKETING

Capture

Micro-influencers are the latest buzzword in marketing, and their rise is all down to the higher levels of engagement they get from their followers.

We recently surveyed our UK network of hyperlocal influencers, those living in towns and cities across the UK, and found they tend to stay loyal to their local patch but also are keen to work with big brands and can be better value for money for marketers.

The survey discovered 63% of influencers said they loved working with local brands and companies, yet 100% stated they felt bigger brands should be working with regional bloggers more.

Showcasing their local influence for multi-site operators, UK regional bloggers are generally only prepared to travel between five to 10 miles of their home to eat out (46%), with 40% travelling less than five miles to go to the gym.

However when it comes to holidays, the opportunity to attract local bloggers to experience the best the UK has to offer is clear, as most UK regional bloggers are currently travelling abroad. Survey recipients said they normally travel more than four hours by aeroplane on holiday over shorter flights or driving.

So what are you waiting for? Here’s our five top tips to finding and working with hyperlocal influencers in your PR or marketing campaign.

5 top tips to working with hyperlocal influencers

  1. Know exactly what you are looking for

Micro-influencers can be harder to find, so you need a clear idea of the location, lifestyle and general outlook of the influencer you want to represent your brand.

When we came to launching DM’s LITE for Dr. Martens, we looked for hyperlocal influencers with the right ‘attitude’ and people who had a visual aesthetic on and we ended up working with DJs, stylists, BMXers and musicians to generate something unique in terms of content.

  1. Read the comments

The quickest way to check out an influencer’s engagement other than their blog traffic is to read their comments – look out for how they interact and respond to their followers, they should be swift and personal in their replies. Post likes are also a good indicator they have a highly engaged audience.

  1. Set them a challenge

The best influencers have a unique take on life, and on Instagram will have a clear aesthetic and prowess for photography. Don’t dictate how they should post your product or service, give them some freedom to put their own stamp on it to create some really unique and authentic content.

You are choosing an influencer for their personality, and their followers want to see that shine through. By all means give them your handle and hashtag, but don’t write their captions – just make sure they disclaim if it is a sponsored post, but let them do the rest.

  1. Make it personal

Of course you have a brand to promote, but how can you make it more authentic to your influencer? By grouping it with other products or experiences you know they enjoy, personalising it with their initials or making it relevant to something they have posted about recently – as a personal touch always goes a long way.

  1. Small doesn’t always mean free

Although we’d always advocate that good content creators are paid for their involvement, many hyperlocal influencers are prepared to work with a brand in return for gifting or experiences. However when they do charge, they are often less expensive so overall will be providing much better bang for your buck – when coupled with their engagement rates it’s a no brainer for a marketing campaign.