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3 Benefits of Working with Influencers

Posted on February 21, 2017 by Linda Edirisuriya

influencer marketing

Influencer Marketing is a growing industry trend and brands are looking to work with them more than ever. It is quickly becoming one of the most efficient and effective ways for businesses to reach potential buyers of their goods and services. Whether you are looking to raise brand awareness for your business, create a buzz around your new launch or invite them to an exciting event, partnering with micro- influencers helps bring maximum brand awareness, conversions, and ROI to targeted social media campaigns.

Here are some ways influencers can help boost your digital marketing campaign:

Improve Your Search Ranking

If you partner with influential bloggers for features and reviews of your products or services, it will help you build high-quality links to drive traffic and improve your search engine ranking. Micro-influencer bloggers have a large enough following to have a significant impact, and because they’re so influential, they often have a good domain authority.

Generate High-quality Leads

Micro-influencers specialize in specific niches. When you target the right influencers, you’ll boost your brand’s visibility and raise awareness within a relevant market. This will help increase the quality of leads you generate, which also means a higher ROI.

It’s important to work with influencers who are both relevant to your niche and will appreciate your products. Get in touch with them and send them some free samples so they can try your products. Make sure you let them know the benefits of the products so they can share that information with their followers.

When choosing micro-influencers for your digital marketing campaign, don’t make the mistake of focusing on reach alone. Influencers with high follower counts may help you reach a larger audience, but only a small percentage of those consumers will be genuinely interested in your product.

As a small business or startup, you need to make sure that every penny you spend on marketing yields the highest possible ROI. When you target the right micro-influencers, you ensure that your message will reach a relevant audience of consumers who are much more likely to be genuinely interested in what you offer. This will result in higher-quality leads and an increase in ROI.

Engage New Target Audiences

Giveaways and contests are excellent ways to engage your audience. They can also help you reach new audiences relevant to your business.

Giveaway contests are a great way to engage those followers and encourage them to try out what your business has to offer. If you require people to follow your social media account to enter the contest, you can grow your own following as well. Before you launch any social media promotion or contest, make sure you check out the platform’s rules and regulations and follow them.

Influencer marketing works best when the influencer matches the brand, is in tune with the message, has control of the format, loves the content and knows whom he or she is working with. By choosing the right influencers for your brand, you will certainly be able to amplify your digital marketing efforts and disrupt the market.

Getting you Valentine’s Day Act right

Posted on February 14, 2017 by Lovelyn Rodrigues

VALENTINE’S DAY – one of the beautiful days to cherish your love. According to Valentine’s day statistics and trends,  the  Greeting Card Association calls this day as the second most popular greeting card giving occasion after Christmas.  In the US alone 19.7 billion dollars was spent by Americans on Valentine’s Day 2016, with the average person spending $147 on their loved one. It comes as no surprise that every brand tries to leverage this day and why not -It is love that everyone’s loves to have and feel. Online searches related to Valentine’s Day start increasing at the beginning of the year and peak in volume on the day itself, according to recent research from Bing Ads.

The most important thing for a brand is to be authentic while being creative and trendy. This day is actually considered a gold mine for brands to seduce their customers to increase the romance not just between couples but also between the brand and the customer. From competitions to sales and promotions, the month of February calls for a number of actions for marketers especially the digital marketers in this current age. From hearts flying around to cupid shooting arrows, these common ads and videos continue to be the standard valentine’s day campaign beginners.

From the Bing Ads research “Etsy” and “flowers” were the most searched for Valentine’s Day gift terms last year via desktop computers. “Jewelry” and “engagement rings” were the most search for terms via mobile devices. Also as I have been personally looking out on what I can gift my better half this Valentine’s Day, the most popular contest that popped up were “Win an exciting getaway this Valentine’s Day at …”, “ Win dinner at the amazing …..”, “ Limited-edition, heart-shaped product…”,  “ Get there ins Style with ….”etc. Till at least a couple of years ago, the most common and only Valentine’s adds or promotions seen were “Win a bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolates from ….”. Though this idea continues to charm the ladies, but we see how the evolution has taken place and we now see brands getting more into the feeling and touch of the day.

So to the Romeo’s out there as well as the Juliet’s. Though today is Valentine’s Day, you can still have an extended Valentine’s Day celebration over the weekend. Don’t forget to get on the internet and grab some cheesy ideas to woo your loved ones with just not flowers but also some videos to showcase your love to “him” or “her”. And to the companies who missed out on doing something different this time, wait till 2018 and see what app or technology will be trending then, to get your brand out there. Until then….

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AI: The New Way to Market Intelligently

Posted on February 7, 2017 by Tarek Hakim

Lego dude

Artificial Intelligence – say those two words and everyone in the room turns their head to you. It’s a term that has been lurking around ever since Arnold Schwarzenegger went back in time to neutralize Sarah Connor. Of course, we soon learned that Artificial Intelligence isn’t simply a robot that will replace humans (or try to destroy them), and is actually applied when a machine mimics “cognitive” functions that humans associate with other human minds, such as “learning” and “problem solving”.

Artificial Intelligence is a broad term and involves several capabilities within the marketing field. It combines machine learning technology with marketing automation, which in turn enhances data collection and analysis so campaigns are optimized at scale. Campaign timing, content and channel distribution become a breeze.

Imagine getting a briefing from a prospect B2C client and hear that they are expanding into a new market. As a communications professional you jump to the usual platforms, social media and other media outlets, and start searching for the relevant topics. You are now faced with thousands, if not tens of thousands of different opinions with no way to pre-classify them and no way to make it easier, you will have to manually read and classify these “posts” or “articles” into different categories and sentiments to be able to analyze and compare them. Enter, AI. Think of all the time you have invested in going through thousands of customer profiles, analyzing their behavior and preferences, trying to guess what triggers the purchase decision. This becomes a thing of the past. Other areas expected to benefit from AI are predictive lead scoring, content recommendations, and email acquisition.

There are some who speculate that AI is coming to take our place and simply automate every aspect of communication, from translating data science into powerful execution, to ensuring that each customer gets the right message, delivered where and when they are most likely to respond. Gartner even predicts that a full 20% of business content will be written by machines starting in 2018. But you shouldn’t tap into that retirement yet, thankfully these abilities mean nothing without a person’s creative touch, extensive experience and strategic adaptable thinking. In fact, the more machines are used, the more humans are needed to interpret their output.

Since emotion plays a major role in today’s purchasing decisions, marketers are required to push the sale over the line. While AI will place the product in front of the consumer via a PDA, based on the big data analytics and knowledge of the consumer’s preferences, the campaign’s creativity will need to connect emotionally with the customer to close the deal, making it the perfect blend of art and science.

For most organizations AI is still in its infancy; however, embracing AI will become increasingly crucial to future marketing efforts. Do not fear the acronym. Instead, use AI to become a superstar marketer creating a positive image for your brand, engaging customers in a meaningful way, and driving sales and business growth.

#DeleteUber – Successful brands with bad reputation

Posted on February 2, 2017 by Stanislava Burianek

Uber_Stasia

The hashtag #DeleteUber has been trending for a few days now on Facebook and Twitter after many accused Uber of profiting in the wake of President Donald Trump’s immigration ban. The New York Taxi Workers Alliance went on a strike against Trump’s new legislation to protest the fact that citizens from seven countries were being detained at the airport. During the taxi strike, Uber lifted its surge pricing and continued to drive passengers to the airport.

In an attempts to contain the damage, Travis Kalanick sent an email to all the Uber employees on Saturday and also posted it on his Facebook page. This is not the only crisis situation Uber is facing, but the latest one. Did it do any damage to the brand? It certainly did. Is Uber still one of the most successful transportation technology companies worth nearly $51 billion? Yes, it is. Will this last forever? No, I don’t think so.

It was all fun and frolics for many brands that thought their bad reputation won’t damage their successful legacy, they felt untouchable! It happened up until brands like BP, Volkswagen, FIFA and HSBC proved otherwise.  Some names will recover, some never will, but does it mean that their reputation will not impact their business sooner or later?

In a digital era it is becoming more and more difficult to safeguard a brand’s reputation, especially when things go terribly wrong. Social media has made scandals and issues more transparent and brands like Samsung can’t take their sweet time before taking the action to recall dangerous devices. In today’s digital environment, news spreads very fast and brands need to understand that once things go pear-shaped, they need to make their first important call immediately: no, not to the head of legal department, but to their PR team.

Almost any reputation crisis is reversible and damage can be contained. It will take time and a team of strong crisis communications professionals, but it can be managed. The big questions is, are companies ready to “Do the right thing”? The easiest way out for brands like Uber is simply providing their services to other customers who are far away from either US or politics. If Uber services were horrible and multiple app errors would strip people of their money, there would have been a totally different spin to this story.

Big or small, crisis communications need to be handled by professionals. Don’t look at big brands that survived damaging behavior and didn’t get massacred by the public and media, remember even the BPs of this world go down. Stay prepared and make sure to have your crisis comms manual in check!

The insight led era

Posted on January 24, 2017 by Sawsan Ghanem

Communications professionals now have access to more information than ever before, across all industries. Today’s technological progress has helped to change the way we gather insights and with the help of tools such as Google Trend Data, YouGov’s Profiler Tool or SocialBakers, we’re now able to analyze an audience’s behaviour towards a particular brand or understand what their preferences are in great detail. No communications effort should even be started without first looking at the insights.

However, readership, views and even engagement statistics will no longer be the most important evaluation criteria for communications programmes, as the end result that really matters is what emotion the campaign generates. Emotive and behavioural technological advances will help to feed that information back to brands. The key is to ensure that there is a blend between machine and man and that the human factor is considered along with the data.

We can expect to see more micro-campaigns launched by brands looking to trigger specific emotive responses to their content. Short, sharp bursts of creative activity in response to changes in mood and behaviour will become the norm. Campaigns that launched without the necessary grounding in audience understanding will not be successful, as brands will have to work much harder to truly understand the audience they’re communicating with if they want to succeed.

On the other hand, we can also expect to see campaigns that fail due to the overreliance on automated research. Brands forgetting to blend the human touch with the automated insight will sometimes find that the results of their campaigns will not turn out as predicted or anticipated.

At the same time, communications teams will become much more comfortable with insight as a whole, and even though there will still be experts to turn to, communications professionals will have a far greater understanding and appreciation of insight, irrespective of whether gathering it is your day job or not.

Finally, we’ll see costs continue to drop for automated insight as technology continues to advance and big data becomes the norm. In contrast, real human-to-human qualitative research will rise in price and complexity as the ‘grunt’ work will already have been done.

There’s no doubt that we are living in an insight led era of communications, the question is whether the next 12 months will bring more investment in the technology or in the human side of insights and research. Our advice is to do a bit of both.

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