Showing posts with label brand marketing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label brand marketing. Show all posts

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Is Influencer Marketing Still a Worthwhile Investment?

 The more widespread a marketing tactic becomes, the lower its subsequent influence on its target market. Consumers these days are savvy to the attempts of businesses to convince them to act on the basis of marketing messages and associated materials.

When any given approach to marketing is more or less done to death, it becomes ineffective and loses its appeal.


In which case, is influencer marketing still a worthwhile investment in 2021? With approximately 80% of companies now investing in influencer marketing, does it still have the same impact and appeal it had in previous years?

The Mechanics of Influencer Marketing

In terms of logistics, the basics of influencer marketing have not changed over the years. It is a simple yet effective strategy that involves hiring (or convincing) an influential individual to speak to a targeted audience on your behalf.

Rather than attempting to sell your products and services directly to customers, you do so via a proxy. One that has significantly more influence over your target audience than you do, and is therefore more likely to be heard.

Increasingly, consumers are expressing near-total distrust for the brands and businesses they come into contact with online. Guilty until proven innocent, you can expect everything you say to be scrutinised or ignored entirely - unless your claims are verified by someone your audience trusts.

This is where the power of influencer marketing lies - more than 90% of all consumers act upon the suggestions and recommendations of those they consider trustworthy.

The Influencer Marketing Landscape in 2021

On one hand, you could argue that yes - consumers are not oblivious to the fact that businesses are using influencers to target them. Nevertheless, this is having no bearing whatsoever on the potential value and impact of an effective influencer marketing strategy.

In fact, the influencer marketing landscape is only set to continue growing and diversifying indefinitely.

For one thing, influencer marketing almost always leverages the reach and popularity of social media. During 2020, estimates suggest that the total number of social network users worldwide once again increased by more than 10%.

This equates to another 375 million people becoming active on social media, on top of the 4 billion already hooked.

As a result, nine out of 10 marketers said that influencers were brought into their marketing strategies and will continue to play an important role in their activities going forwards. More importantly, around two thirds of businesses (65%) have indicated their intention to spend even more on influencer marketing throughout the course of this year.

All of which suggests that not only is influencer marketing still a worthwhile investment in 2021, but that its relevance and appeal are both at an all-time high.


With popularity and appeal at an all-time high, more businesses than ever before are planning to increase their influencer marketing spend in 2021.

But what are the major influencer marketing trends set to dominate the landscape over the next months? If planning a new influencer marketing venture or intending to diversify your existing strategy, where should you be allocating more of your money for the best possible ROI?

Trend 1. Micro Influencers

Increasingly, major influencers with enormous audiences are losing their impact and influence over their followers. The most obvious example of which being a major celebrity, who can most likely be persuaded to say anything and promote anything - if paid the right price.

This is why celebrity endorsements are heavily scrutinised and often interpreted as unrealistic, inauthentic and impossible to take seriously. By contrast, micro influencers with much smaller audiences are far more likely to curate trust among their followers.

The bigger the audience, the lower the overall engagement rate - influencers with fewer than 5,000 often achieve the highest engagement rates of all. As an obvious added bonus, working with micro influencers typically tends to be exponentially less expensive than bringing major influencers or celebrities on board.

Trend 2. Forging and Maintaining Long-Term Partnerships

Joining forces with an influencer for a one-time-only promotional campaign can certainly have the desired effect. However, these one-off promos are nowhere near as effective or lucrative as long-term partnerships.

To develop and maintain long-term relationships with influencers is to effectively boost the appeal of your business with an influential brand ambassador. The longer and deeper the relationship, the less it looks like you are simply paying an influencer to say what you want them to say.

Particularly with smaller-scale influencers, building and maintaining long-term relationships is more about earning their interest and respect than paying them for their services. You’ll undoubtedly still be expected to pay a fair price, but they are only likely to support and represent a brand long-term if they genuinely believe in it.

Trend 3. Short Video Clips

The third biggest trend set to dominate the landscape in 2021 is the use of short video clips to send powerful marketing messages. Video content has been growing in popularity and influence for some time, though has really come into its own in the age of TikTok.

Instant gratification culture has taken over the world, resulting in a new generation of consumers that expect to be entertained and engaged in seconds. Whereas a five-minute product review video would once have done the trick, you now need to pack the same message into a 30-second clip to have the desired effect.

Short, punchy and impactful video clips from relevant influencers can be more appealing and effective than anything you could create and publish in-house. They can also be comparatively cost-effective, given the relative simplicity of producing them.




Friday, 8 January 2021

How to Survive (and Win) the Post-Christmas Lull

 There’s always a sting in the tail with the annual Christmas ecommerce frenzy. Things are just about as peachy and positive as it gets for a couple of months, after which comes the inevitable lull. 




One of the biggest (and most common mistakes) made by smaller businesses is focusing too heavily on leveraging shoppers’ appetite to spend over the festive period. And in doing so, losing sight of the importance of compensating for what happens next.

Consumer spending always dips massively in January and February – a fact and a reality there’s nothing you can do about. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty you can do to survive and even thrive during this post-Christmas lull.

A few suggestions on how to make January and February slightly less painful for your online business:

1. Launch a Sale

It’s a pretty old-fashioned concept in this day and age, but consumers still cannot resist the prospect of the classic ‘January Sale’. They’ve already overspent during November and December, yet are attracted to January discounts like moths to flames. Don’t forget that your closest competitors are probably planning major January sales of their own, so it’s worth doing likewise.

2. Leverage the New Year Attitude

New year, new start, new opportunities etc. – the New Year attitude that temporarily motivates the masses. At the very beginning of the year, people become determined to improve their personal productivity, clean and sanitise their homes, improve their health, do something charitable and generally become ‘better’ people. All of which can and should be leveraged in your sales and marketing strategy for the New Year.

3. Launch Something New

Most businesses time their new product and service debuts for the spring and summer. They instinctively avoid times of diminished spending, for reasons rooted in logic. However, this also means there’s a glaring gap in anything new and interesting hitting the market at the start of the New Year. If you’ve been sitting on something you think your audience will get a kick out of, why not take advantage while your competitors are hibernating?

4. Get Serious with Email Marketing

Ideally, every single sale you made over Christmas will have resulted in another email address making it onto your list. In which case, there’s no better time than right after Christmas to start working on a serious (and appropriately segmented) email marketing strategy. Too soon to start bugging those who only recently shopped with you? Not at all – it’s always best to reach out to satisfied customers while they remember why they shopped with you in the first place!

5. Stay Active and Communicative

Last up, don’t make the mistake of going quiet and temporarily vanishing into thin air. Due to a combination of fatigue and the fact that business is slow, countless brands go dormant and largely inactive after Christmas. In doing so, they overlook (or are oblivious to) the fact that social media use skyrockets during the darker and gloomier months of the year. Hence, there’s really no better time to engage your audience and take your social media marketing strategy a step further.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Using Brand Stories To Connect With Your Customers

How can you ensure that the brand story you tell is one your customers will respond positively to?
The answer…well, there are of course enormous differences from one organisation to the next. Nevertheless, there are a few key strategic guidelines to follow, which can help in all instances.


In fact, proceed in accordance with the following five steps and you may find it difficult to go wrong:

1.  Show your customers, don’t just tell them
First of all, it is not simply enough to tell your customers X, Y and Z about your business. After all, you could just be saying it for the sake of winning them over. Instead, you need to think of appropriate ways and means by which you can show them, rather than tell them. Or in other words, demonstrate what your brand represents, how you do what you say you do and what it is that makes you different. These days, evidence speaks louder than all the words in the world.

2.  Focus on long-term stories
It’s also a good idea to ensure that the brand story you tell is long-term or on-going in nature. The reason being that if it is only relevant and/or convincing for the time being, it may not have little value for your business. As with most marketing, the focus should be on the long-term benefits for your business, as opposed to quick-fixes. What’s more, you should tell the type of story that you can and will continue to tell and update along the way. Think of the kinds of evergreen qualities that sell and the kinds of stories your customers will want to keep up to date with.

3.  Be authentic
Or in other words, don’t think you can get away with faking it. Whatever type of story you decide to tell or persona you choose to assume, it needs to be authentic.  Which is for two reasons – first of which being that most consumers can spot fakes miles away. But even if they don’t, you cannot expect to keep up a voice, attitude and fa├žade that go against who you really are and what you really do. Sooner or later, the whole thing will come crashing down - hence it isn’t worth bothering with in the first place.

4. Grab their attention
You cannot expect your customers to delve too deeply into your story if there isn’t something to hook their attention early on. Attention spans these days are minimal at the best of times. Which means that no matter how deep and compelling your story is, you need to ensure you grab their attention as early on as possible. First get them hooked, then move on to the details.

5. Study their habits
Last but not least, the better you come to understand what makes your customers tick, the easier it will be to create compelling stories. Study their habits, get involved via social media and discover the kinds of subjects, voices and anything else that engages them. Not to mention, the kinds of things that generate discussion, or perhaps send them in entirely the wrong direction. This way, you will have nothing less than a blueprint for the creation of not only a great brand story, but the rest of the content you publish across the board.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Why Is Branding So Important?

Branding is the process of differentiating your company so it can be identified as distinct from your competitors on the market. Sadly, in today’s highly competitive marketplace it is no longer enough just to develop and produce outstanding products. It’s a fact that even more inferior goods can sell well if they are launched together with a slick branding campaign.

For many companies, creating a strong brand is so important that they will hire in a marketing company especially for that purpose. So what is it that makes branding so crucial? One of the main functions of strong branding is to build a trusting relationship with your client base. For example, think about Coca Cola, one of the world’s biggest known brands: Its logo is instantly recognisable so wherever consumers are in the world they will feel this is a product they can rely on. This is a huge power to have, and Coca Cola have achieved it through a careful branding strategy.



Secondly, of course, branding is intended to increase sales. Whilst strong products are important, it is not quite true that ‘a good product sells itself’. What sells a product is a good perception of it. Consumers tend to buy with their eyes, and it’s well known that they will make the majority of their purchasing decisions within around 10 seconds. If you are successful in creating a strong image for your product or service that appeals precisely to the needs of your target customers, good sales results are far more attainable.

So how do you begin to go about creating a strong brand? Firstly, you need to identify what is important to your customer base and what will appeal to them. Your branding message should be based around this. Also, isolate what is unique about your brand and think about how you can communicate this. What are your brand values? A memorable tag line can work wonders and the simpler it is, the better. Something like Gilette’s ‘The Best A Man Can Get’ has worked very well for the brand.
It’s a good idea to hire in some marketing expertise to help you in these initial stages.

Next, come up with a design theme and logo which can tie all products under the brand umbrella together. Not only will this make your brand stronger as a whole, it will also make new product launches easier as they will already be identified with an established name. After this, you should get your brand out there by any means you can – whether it’s television advertising, online, in printed media, attending trade fairs or one-off promotional events. Everything helps.

Finally, don’t just assume your work is done when the brand is launched. It’s essential to get regular feedback from your target market and be prepared to make adjustments if necessary. If your brand doesn’t seem to be building consumer confidence you have to look at where you’re going wrong.