In the past five years there has been a marketing reset in the marketing industry. Marketing is evolving into a digitally focused entity, where it is becoming as much of a science as it is an art. While emotion can still be an asset to a marketing campaign, the results can be hard to track.
In a client meeting last week, we had an interesting discussion with the Senior Vice President of a Fortune 100 company. He explained that he was looking for a new marketing solution for their company that would address their need to identify their brand influencers in order to increase sales. They also have a client network list that they would like to connect to their social media accounts (millions of names long). As a result of the extensive changes in marketing in the past five years, he said that their company did not know how to market in the digital age. They wanted to find a way to increase their client network list, as well as identify the influencers within this network, thus encouraging brand sharing to increase sales.
In the Past – the Bowling Ball Effect:
Marketing success depended on the size of your ball, your strength, and how far you could throw it. Marketing was not about precision analytics; it was about having the biggest ball to throw into the crowd of unidentified potential customers, hoping for the best. There was no way to track who influenced people to buy the product or service. The assumption was that if a campaign had taken place during the same time period there was a spike in sales, it “must” have had “something” to do with it – thus making the campaign a “success”.
measuring the effectiveness of every dollar spent on a campaign. Using WhiteFire, we see the Social Lift (free traffic to a campaign) to a campaign increase anywhere from 100 to 500% (check out our Canadian Tire case study).
In the age of social media marketing, companies need to have a strategy that is based on precision. Marketing is becoming a targeted pursuit of customers, as opposed the Bowling Ball Effect of mass marketing. The SVP of the Fortune 100 company we spoke to explained that they did not have a precision strike on marketing anymore. As a result of their lack of digital marketing strategy, they came to us for an answer that could help them identify their brand influencers. Marketing has gone digital, and is now scalable and measurable – does your company know how to navigate these new social media waters?
Check out our case study on Girls Night Out Wines to learn more about how MavenSocial identifies brand influencers.
There is new data out from the TNS Digital Life Survey that shows a thorough view of online life for 72,000 consumers across 60 countries, and produces surprising results about the effectiveness of business’ social media marketing campaigns; people may not be listening as closely as we thought.
In Luxembourg, and Germany, 12% of residents are more resistant to brands than invigorated by it, and in Denmark resistance is as high as 16%.
In China though, 26% of residents are more open to brands than opposed to it, and Russia follows them with 17%
Residents in the United States are 9% more likely to be open to brands, while Canada touts only a 6% likelihood.
With companies trying to mark their social media territory and stake their claim in their brand’s social media niche, some are worried that we are heading towards an inability to properly market online campaigns.
Stephen Yap, Group Director of Technology at TNS UK, thinks so. “Winning and keeping customers is harder than ever,” he says. “The online world undoubtedly presents massive opportunities for brands, however it is only through deploying precisely tailored marketing strategies that they will be able to realise this potential. Choosing the wrong channel, or simply adding to the cacophony of online noise, risks alienating potential customers and impacting business growth.”
How do companies create a loud and clear message that attracts and holds the attention of social media participants?
It’s about creating a streamlined, targeted social media strategy.
Social media campaigns should not be a passing thought in a company’s marketing budget or strategy; real time and money invested into a proper online strategy. Most times it is best to outsource your social media campaigns. Social media campaigns are reinforced by an efficient blogging and social media community presence. With almost 44% of online sharing occurring in Facebook, it is important for brands to have a streamlined presence on social media outlets, and many times this is best managed
by “professionals”. Why? Because this is what they do everyday, it’s their bread and butter. If you need open heart surgery, do you try and perform the surgery yourself?
Brands need to engage with their niche market. Community Managers should have the freedom to allow their personality to shine through their interactions with others (within reason…no expletives, please). People want to know they are interacting with…people!
Identify Brand Influencers
It is crucial that a company determines their social media influencers. These “Mavens” drive conversations about your brand, and share with others. Identifying a brand’s social media influencers allows them to connect with the larger community – powerful stuff!
MavenSocial determines company’s brand influencers, which is a powerful asset since 83% of people trust the advice of someone they know, as opposed to 13% of advertisers! We are able to determine what influencer has the most impact (the top social maven).
While there is a lot of chatter out there about the effectiveness of social media campaigns, their effectiveness is only as loud as the strength of their marketing strategy. Silence the chatter and allow your brand message to engage your market with a clean and professional social media strategy that identifies social media influencers and engages the community.
Ever wondered how to extend your business’ sales cycle? Once people buy your product or service, it can be a one-time deal, and you are left sending emails, or direct mail reminders to entice people to reconnect. While this strategy is well and good, there are betters ways to connect with people and keep your name on the tip of their tongue.
Community engagement is key to creating a longer sales cycle, and disseminating brand awareness. While one person has a certain amount of disposable income to spend on your product or service, a family can bring in more revenue, while connecting with the community-at-large has even greater revenue potential. It comes down to basic sociology, humans are social beings, and like to be part of a group of like-minded individuals. This group influences a person’s dietary choices, form of dress, past-times, and interests, etc.
Brand Influencers – The Sweet Spot:
Brand Influencers are crucial to reaching the community because they drive interactions. Connecting with these people is paramount, because behind them is an uncle, aunt, mother, sister, daughter, brother, fifth cousin – twice removed….you get the point!
When you want to buy a car, a house, or the latest tech gadget, is there someone that automatically comes to mind? Well, this person is a brand influencer – they influence your purchasing decisions on certain products.
These brand influencers, or as we like to call them, “Mavens”, create a word-of-mouth sensation, because 83% of consumers trust the opinion of a family member or friend over a brand, or advertisement. These Mavens have already formed a relationship of trust and loyalty with you (or you wouldn’t be asking for their opinion), making them very powerful allies.
The Game Plan:
Why not offer coupons or deals on products or services related to your niche market? If you are in the landscaping business, team up with a nursery and provide coupons on Spring flowers, or mulch (every garden needs fresh mulch!). It’s all about creating a lasting experience for your consumers; plus, everyone likes a quality deal!
Or, if you are in the concert business, talk to local shop owners, pubs, and restaurants. Create deals for your concertgoers, where they can receive 20% off their meal, or a free dessert. After the concert, attendees can extend the experience by receiving deals on concert “swag”, or head to the nearest pub for a group deal on drinks for the whole gang.
Overall, connect with a community’s influencers, and the rest will follow. It’s about creating an experience that can be shared with others.
There are endless ways to extend your businesses lifecycle. We’d love to hear how your strategy worked for you!