Why influencer marketing beats celebrity endorsements every time!

Instead of writing a definition as I usually would, I am going to do the more tech savvy way through a video…

Influencer Marketing

So as you saw in the video above, influencer marketing is the use of another person, who doesn’t have to be a celebrity, but who has a large audience or community. They then use that audience to show off a product or brand, while giving THEIR OWN opinion of it.

A great example of this is Conan O’Brian’s ‘Clueless Gamer’ reviews: where American talk show host Conan O’Brian reviews video games with very honest opinions. He even once started a review by saying that he hates video games! This honest opinion from the ‘influencer’ is what makes influencer marketing so authentic and trusting!

Celebrity Endorsement

On the other hand, celebrity endorsement is when a celebrity memorises a script, that the company has written, for them to say for advertising. A classic example is a TV ad. Below is a picture of Mila Kunis in a very recent TV ad for Jim Beam. It was an interesting and engaging ad, but you can also tell that she was just saying the words she had memorised.

mila kunis tv ad

The Verdict

Consumers want honest and authentic information! Statistics from Influencer Orchestration Network and TapInfluence showed that:

  • 92% of consumers trust random individuals over brands
  • 81% of marketers who used influencer marketing found it to be successful
  • Emotional attachment to YouTube stars are 7 times greater than traditional celebrities like Seth Rogan or even Mila Kunis!

What Digital Marketers Need to Know

In this digital age that we live in, more and more influential people are starting online. Youtubers, bloggers, and social media stars are growing in numbers: making them a better choice than traditional celebrity endorsement. The best website to search for influencers is tapinfluence. This platform allows you to connect with the most relevant influencer with the most amount of reach, or audience to be suit your company’s marketing needs.

Did any of these stats surprise you? Leave your comments, and let me know!

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Owned, paid, and earned media

Marketing communication channels are the ways in which a company sends a message to the existing and/or potential customers. There are many different way in how you can do this such as TV, loyalty programs, search engine, magazines etc but in this blog I will show you the three categories of media or channels.

media pic

Owned Media

Owned media are the channels that the company actually has control over. Examples include:

  • Company website
  • Company mobile app
  • Their Facebook page
  • Email marketing
  • And so on…

Brandwatch added that promoting content through social media is key here as it provides the brand exposure that you want. A blog by Forrester also mentioned that owned media is cost efficient, and is versatile.

Paid Media

Paid media is when a company pays to leverage a communication channel.Traditional examples include:

  • TV advertisements
  • Newspaper advertising

More modern, online examples are:

  • Paid search engine
  • Display ads on websites
  • Sponsorships

The same blog by Forrester mentions that paid media is in demand, has scale, and some degree of control.

I would like to highlight the effect of event sponsorships as I think it is a very under-rated form of media. As an AFL fan, I always hear the word Toyota being used as a ‘proud sponsor’ of the AFL. As a result, I have developed a big appreciation towards Toyota even though I don’t really like their cars! Just shows how effective a secondary brand association can make when using paid media.

toyota banner

Earned Media

Definitely the type of media that marketers are trying to achieve is earned media. This is a consumer generated channel where they listen and then respond to either an owned or paid media message. Examples are:

  • Word of mouth
  • Viral marketing

Brandwatch stated that company or product reviews, social media ‘shares’ from customers, and blogs written from people outside of the company are just some real life examples of earned media.

In terms of viral marketing, this video below is of Carlton Draught, who had many people to perform the image of a person drinking a beer…check it out!

Earned media is great because consumers trust the content. It is also very credible unlike company generated content. The downside is that the consumers can share negative information about the campaign, which can ruin a company’s image.

What does this mean for digital marketers?

The whole point of these three media channels of owned, paid, and earned media is to understand that the company should aim for a converge of all three. Put more simply, below is a diagram from Titan SEO:

convergence

A company should aim to include communication channels from all three elements of owned, paid, and earned media to thrive in today’s environment.

Can you think of any more examples in these channels? Please leave a comment and tell me!

 

The rise of online videos

Only a few years ago, I would scroll through my Facebook news feed, and it was mostly written content and pictures. Nowadays, when I scroll through my news feed, almost every post is a video and it is rare for me to see a written post. How things have changed!

Marketers are now starting to realise that consumers want to see video, as they are more rich and engaging. In addition Youtube started to thrive as a way of content or video marketing. As a result, a website from fortunelords stated that there are now 1.3 billion users on Youtube, 300 hours of videos are uploaded per minute, and almost 5 billion video are viewed everyday!

youtube logo
This can definitely affect communication channels. Instead of the traditional way of TV advertising, people are now saying that they prefer to watch online videos instead of live TV. A study by Defy Media found that younger viewers watch 2.5 times more online videos than live TV.

online videos

What does this for digital marketers?

Statistics show that more than half of Youtube views come from mobile devices. And this continues to grow. So making sure that videos are designed and supported for mobiles is important. In addition, due to the simplicity to switch form video to video, it is important to make the first couple of sounds of the video interesting! AdvertisingAge revealed that at least 20% of your viewers will leave within the first 10 seconds of your video. So perhaps it’s a good idea to have a weird intro!

Here is a good recap on the rise of online videos:

Please leave a comment and let know know your thoughts!

Robots will take over our jobs…or will they?

With AI (artificial intelligence) getting smarter and smarter every year, people have come to the realisation that robots will eventually take ever our jobs as they become ‘better’ than human beings.

An article from The Guardian stated that by 2018 one-third of all robots will be smarter, more efficient, and able to collaborate with other robots. By 2019, it’s estimated that 30% or more of the world’s leading companies will employ a chief robotics officer, and the government will make public legislation regarding robots.

robots

Meet Hadrian X. A robot that can lay 1,000 bricks in one hour. Something that requires two human bricklayers to complete in a day. Or you have Tally: a robot that is designed to move around a store monitoring audits, price errors, stock inventory and so on…These are just two examples of where jobs have been automated to increase efficiency and reduce costs.

Are we really doomed? 

Well, luckily for us we do have some things that robots do not have…

robots performance

This above graph, from Business Insider in early 2017, shows the performance of robots. The red represents robots having worser performance than humans, yellow being as good as humans, and green being better than humans.

So, the social and emotional capabilities is where we definitely am better than robots. Emotions and feeling are things that robots are not good at yet…but maybe this will be the opposite! Remember ‘Sonny’ from the movie iRobot…

irobot

What do digital marketers need to do?

Digital marketers must acknowledge this issue of humans keeping their jobs, and must think ethically and morally instead of cost efficiency. Keeping a good positive brand image is important as consumers are increasingly becoming more aware of what companies are doing. So this means, sometimes choosing humans over robots!

Marketing of the Future

It is human nature to be fascinated by what will happen in the future. So let’s look at how digital marketing will change over the near future, and discover what we can expect as consumers.

AI – Artificial intelligence (AI) has sprung into vast development into recent years, and it is a fact that one day, AI will become smarter than humans. This is achieved through ‘machine learning’ which is basically trial and error. A great example of this machine learning is Google’s DeepMind project which you can see here. As you can see in the video below, AI is able to defeat humans in games, and can even self teach!

 

Robotics – Very similar to AI is robotics. This is simply AI but in a physical format that is able to move. Even though it is already happening, robotics can be seen in the assembly line of many productions such as car manufacturing, or even McDonald’s! Below is a machine that can make maccas burgers from scratch. Goodbye human workers…

burger maker

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality – Now to my favourite part of future digital marketing. Think Tony Stark from Iron Man, Pokemon Go and so on…these are examples of AR and VR. So let’s firstly distinguish between the two…VR is the use of a headset to go into a different reality, whereas AR is the use of transferring virtual objects and information into the real world: usually through a mobile or tablet screen. AR tony stark

We have already seen some exciting AR marketing campaigns such as Pokemon Go, and Dutch Lady Milk. So Dutch Lady Milk named the campaign ‘the flying farm’ and consumers scanned the barcode of the milk carton and then using the app, they were transferred into a farm where they could use their camera to see themselves with cows, cowboy hats, and other virtual objects are incorporated into reality. Here you can read more about the campaign.

3-D Printing – Something that you might not have heard of is 3-D Printing. Although technology is still not very advanced in this field yet, 3D printing has started to blossom in various industries like the shoe industry. According to 3dprinting.com, 3D printing is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file using a 3D printer. One benefit of 3D printing is that sometime in the future, companies will be able to personalise an item for you on the spot instead of having to order it in from another store. During the process of making a shoe it looks like this…

shoe maker

What does this mean for digital markets? Digital marketers must keep upto date with these future changes in marketing as well as others such as blockchains and drones. Making sure that your changes are relevant to your company or industry is also important, and then monitoring the effects of these futuristics digital trends is also encouraged.

 

Why are we afraid of smartphone online purchases?

Since the evolution of the iPhone which exploded the smartphone market, we have seen mobile phone or smartphone users increase in size. In fact, we can see in the Trend Report here that ever since late 2014 Australians are using smartphones more often than desktops or laptops.

With this knowledge, you would think there would naturally be an increase in online purchases for smartphones right? Well…

online purchase graph

In the above graph, Apac has shown that in 2015 the majority of consumers still use computers to purchase things online instead of smartphones. Personally, when I reflect on my purchasing recently, such as Ubereats, I would go to my room to get my laptop to purchase instead of using the app on my smartphone. So why do we do it?

The main reason why we tend to choose laptops over smartphones is because of security. A website that got data from Bankrate stated that almost half of consumers (41%) don’t purchase on smartphones because they feel like it is not as safe as a desktop. They feel like they will lose their security information, or that it will be misused.

The second most common reason is because it is easier to use. Going back to my Ubereats example, I can view many restaurants on one page compared to the small screen on my iPhone. There are also more options on a desktop screen compared to a limited phone capability of a website, or simply an app.

From that same website, they also formed a nice diagram to summarise the main reasons…

pie graph

So what does this mean for digital marketers?

Instead of purchasing through smartphones, consumers tend to use those devices to look up recommendations, look up reviews, compare prices and so on. So, during this pre-purchase stage, this is where digital marketers need to focus on smartphone mobile marketing.

What is better: Paid or non-paid search engine marketing?

First of all, paid online marketing is known as PPC or pay-per-click, whereas non-paid online marketing is known as SEO or search engine optimisation.

Although it may be tempting to try and get ahead from your competitors by investing in paid search engine advertising, statistics from Smart Insights show that only 6% of customers click on paid ads compared to the non-paid ‘organic’ results from Google in the search engine results page (SERP).

click distribution

Clearly, we can now see that consumers do not trust ads, and that the organic results from google will almost always be clicked instead of paid ads.

So now that we know that SEO (free online marketing) is much more useful than PPC marketing, let’s look at how companies can achieve this. SEO is about optimising your website so that it can be ranked above everyone else’s in the search engine results page. Google’s algorithm determines how to rank websites in a search, and can be summarised well with this video below.

So after having watched the video, you might start to think well how do I improve my ranking of my website? Well the answer is you can’t. Rather, it is about satisfying your customers needs which naturally results in more clicks and other favourable consequences to your website.

A great example of this is the tour guide industry. They rely heavily on getting the best rankings on Google’s SERP and other websites such as TripAdvisor, so that they can attract more customers. In order to satisfy customers needs, tour guide companies are more commonly introducing ‘free’ tours. This of course will result in more popularity and clicks on the website as customers like things that are free. By far, the best tour guide agency in Melbourne that represents free tours is ‘I’m Free Tours.’

 

Screen Shot 2017-04-12 at 3.06.20 pm

This company is ranked 4th on the TripAdvisor Melbourne tours results page, and when typed ‘melbourne walking tours’ in Google it came up as the 1st on the organic or SEO results page as you can see in the picture above. Another big benefit this organisation has is its reputation. The free tours has resulted in perfect reviews around many different platforms, and so this SEO technique largely contributes to the top ranking SERP that it has, and is something that other tour guide companies aim to achieve.

Digital marketers of tours guide companies can continue to introduce free tours to try and improve their SEO. Receiving perfect reviews on TripAdvisor will help reputation, and having links from other ‘trusted’ websites to their website will also boost their rankings on Google and other platforms. Perhaps in the future we might see other creative ways other than a ‘free tour’ to appeal to customers needs?

Is my news feed different to yours?

Have you ever looked at someone’s Facebook news feed and thought why are theirs so different to mine? Well apart from the obvious such as what you search for on the web, what you buy etc. people are actually characterised into one of the four groups or segments that digital marketers target.

segmentation matrix

Hodis, M. A., Sriramachandramurthy, R. & Sashittal, H. C. (2015). Interact with me on my terms: a four segment Facebook engagement framework for marketers. Journal of Marketing Management, 31(11-12), 1255-1284, p. 10)

So if you’re someone like me, you would be classified as an ‘entertainment chaser.’ This segment are for the customers who go on Facebook for the thrill: to be entertained when bored. These customers have low consumption and low creation levels when on Facebook, so marketers respond to this by only providing them with quick, fun content such as polls and interactive games.

And then you have the connection seekers. These groups of customers go on Facebook to truely connect with their friends. They want to retain and improve their friendships, so they use Facebook to enhance their connections. They are characterised as having low levels of creation and high levels of consumption, so marketers will direct content such as groups and events to them.

Attention seekers love all the attention they get from their friends on Facebook. This segment is characterised as having high levels of creation and low levels of consumption. Unlike the segment devotees, attention seekers couldn’t care less about if someone wants to see their post, so they share many status updates and pictures all the time! So these type of people will most likely see celebrity endorsement advertising on their news feed. A great example of attention seekers would be…

Kim Kardashian Fragrance Launch           KIM KARDASHIAN!

Lastly, we have the devotees. This segment of users are labelled addicted to Facebook. They typically go on Facebook to run away from their worries and troubles in life, and are characterised as having high levels for both consumption and creation. They regularly post updates, reply to their friend’s updates, and as a result digital marketers like to advertise good role models such as CEO’s on these type of customers.

So this is a great example of displaying segmentation of consumers in a digital environment. These buyer personas that I have listed allow digital marketers to put out the right content to the right customers.

Let me know your thoughts about this by clicking on leave a comment!

 

 

Brand building through digital games

These days, thanks to the internet, marketing can be done in more creative and interactive ways. Specifically, firms are starting to conduct marketing that creates an experience for the customer which is exciting, fun, enjoyable, and highly addictive. This ‘experience’ can be in the form of digital games.

A great example of this is the app Pokemon Go!

pokemon go.jpg

Pokemon Go is a mobile game that you can play on your smartphones. It uses the phone’s GPS to use real world locations, and your avatar is placed on your screen representing you. You then walk around real life locations trying to catch Pokemon.

The main benefit of making digital games for marketing is that it builds brand awareness, and improves the brand image. For example, there are many groups and pages on Facebook about Pokemon Go, several of which that have millions of likes. Through social media platforms and word of mouth, Pokemon Go took only 19 days to cross 50 million downloads worldwide!

I’m sure most of you have heard of Pokemon Go, and its outstanding success, but I would like to show you another similar digital marketing campaign. It’s called the ‘Find Red‘ campaign by M&M’s. Find Red was a digital treasure hunt, where red M&M’s were hidden in Google Maps Street Views. Consumers participated by trying to locate these missing M&M’s by scrolling through the area of Canada, Toronto. Of course, that is a huge area, so the campaign included various ways to find clues. On their Facebook and Twitter pages, consumers could find clues that would help them find the M&M’s. One example of a Facebook clue can be found here. To make things sound even more similar to Pokemon Go, Find Red also gave clues by putting QR codes on street posters: so consumers were walking everywhere trying to find these big posters of M&M’s pictures on them. Overall it was a huge success, with over 225,000 twitter impressions, and in 30 days there was 8.4 million PR impressions.

What makes digital games so successful as a form of marketing, is that there are a lot of interaction from their customers. Instead of traditional forms of marketing such as TV ads and radio, digital games allows consumers to participate in the marketing: making it more fun for them. In addition, when they like the game they post about it on social media: initiating consumer generated marketing.

Can you think of any more viral digital marketing games? Please comment below and let me know!

Social media has done it again

I am someone who loves to travel.

And if you do travel often, you will try to avoid seeking travel advice from big travel agencies like Flight Centre. This company is great example where you cannot purely trust their recommendations: maybe they have been paid by another company to recommend a particular place, maybe they are choosing places at random so that they do not have to do so much work. In other words, they purely operate for a profit.

Travellers want recommendations from individuals who have travelled simply for leisure. That way, there is no ‘company’ to manipulate their advise and recommendations of where to go. Luckily I recently found exactly that…

As I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed not long ago, I came across a post saying that a girl travelled by herself around the world. 197 countries in 18 months, at 27 years old, and her name is Cassie De Pecol. What’s even better is she mentioned her favourite countries to visit from her amazing worldwide expedition.

cassie de pecol

 

Us travellers can now sleep easily at night, as this is exactly the kind of travel advise that we want. Thanks to social media, I was able to find out about this girl and her experiences from travelling around the world.

Do you prefer seeking advise from large corporations like Flight Centre? Or are you like me and prefer advise from sole individuals? Please leave a comment below.