The amount of content being produced by brands on a daily basis is exploding, and that content keeps getting better and better. What might have been considered ‘quality’ content a year or two ago may not qualify as such today. There’s so much variety out there now – blog posts, emails, photos, videos, social media posts, etc. – that we’re seeing two things:
1. It’s hard for consumers to keep up with and pay attention to all of the information they receive
2. It’s hard for brands to truly stand out to consumers
As content continues to get better and the amount that is published increases exponentially, brand customers, prospects, and followers are also shifting their content expectations. To get their attention, and even hope to get engagement from them, brands need to connect with them on a more personal level than ever before, all while understanding their interests, passions, and values. Brands must be informing, educating, or entertaining their audience- sometimes all at once.
Virtual Reality Video Immersion
With the current interest in virtual reality technology comes an opportunity for brands to earn the attention of potential consumers through actual video ‘experiences’. Virtual reality technology allows brand followers to become an immersive part of the content rather than merely a spectator, viewer, or reader. They will feel as if they’re actually in the video and part of the story, due to the 360-degree views all around them.
360fly Video by Rob Holland
For brands in certain industries, such as travel/tourism, hospitality, agriculture, and entertainment, 360-degree video has already proven to be helpful in connecting with followers and providing them with authentic, unique experiences. St. Giles Hotel educated their followers about cities where they have hotels by putting 360-degree cameras into guests’ hands and encouraging them to capture the city they were visiting. Authentic Food Quest gave followers an immersive experience of shopping local by walking through the streets of a farmer’s market in Paris with a 360-degree camera.
Today we announced the steps we’re taking at Mattr to help brands take advantage of this trend by training and equipping our influencers to capture creative, inspiring 360-degree video content.
Influencers who create content in innovative ways are more valuable to the brands which hire them, and in turn increases the potential for them to earn money from those paid relationships. By consistently training our influencers on the latest content creation methods and technologies, we’re assuring their content is top of mind for their audience, and helps to improve influencer programs for our brand clients. Currently, we’re training our influencers on how to capture successful 360-degree experiences using interactive guides and videos.
For those brands needing a higher quality, more polished 360-degree video than can be captured on a smartphone, Mattr is purchasing 360fly 360-degree cameras for select influencers. These cameras will allow influencers to more professionally produce a completely immersive 360-degree experience for viewers.
Mattr is the first influencer marketing platform with 360-ready influencers. If you’d like to learn more about working with influencers who can create 360-degree content for your brand, submit your information here.
In our Real Talk series, we’ve guided you through the many stages of working with influencers for a campaign: including analyzing and choosing influencers, creating your campaign, conveying your brand, and making changes during a campaign. In this final installment, we discuss what happens after the campaign ends.
While the campaign is still fresh in your memory, you should document your experience with each influencer. Save the feedback and the results they drove for your brand. It may even be helpful to record a score for each that you keep in your records. If you do a campaign in the future and want to consider using some of the same influencers, you want to have an indication of your experience with them. If you run many paid influencer campaigns, the more documentation you keep, the better.
Next, provide feedback to the influencers you worked with. This is good for you because you may want to work with them again, and it’s beneficial for them because it helps them learn from the experience. This is especially valid if they’re relatively new to being a paid influencer. They may want to work with additional companies in the future as an influencer and your feedback could help them refine their content and approach.
Focus your feedback on three areas:
- The quality of their content (uniqueness, alignment with your brand/campaign, reception by their followers)
- Their efforts to drive more from their content (engagement, sharing, etc.)
- How well they operated within the parameters of the campaign
In each area, tell them what they did well and what they could improve in the future. Make sure you’re constructive. You don’t want them to feel defensive. After all, they just helped you with your campaign. After providing your feedback, ask for their feedback on the campaign and how you ran it as a brand. There may be things you should change about how you run influencer campaigns that you could only learn from these influencers.
After you’ve shared feedback with the influencers and received their feedback for you, make sure you continue to actively follow them to see what they’re doing and saying. Continue to engage with them, when appropriate. You have a chance to turn this relationship into more than a business transaction. If they enjoyed the work they did for your brand, they may share your content from time to time without any prompt, making them a non-paid influencer. Organic sharing from influencers is even better than a paid campaign.
Taking on an influencer campaign isn’t just merely about having someone promote your brand, there are many facets to it and hopefully our Real Talk series giving advice on the stages of an influencer campaign have been helpful. Feel free to use these posts as a blueprint for running your own paid influencer campaign to get as much out of them as you can.
Influencer marketing was once considered manual labor for brands and marketers alike. Now, tools like Mattr can help make the influencer identification and hiring process both smoother and faster. Mattr provides a pool of influencers ready and willing to work with brands, instantly.
Getting access to an awesome influencer marketing tool has become easier, yes– cheers all around for that!! However, choosing the RIGHT influencers can still be a challenge for your brand and marketing team. Here’s a list of items to consider when selecting influencers for a campaign using Mattr:
– Identify your target audience and brand values. This step is marketing 101 but often overlooked. Who are you trying to reach? What type of people are they? What motivates their purchase behavior? Discover who the people are that you’re trying to reach, and you’ll discover their influencers much easier as well. Mattr can help with this step using our social segmentation tool, if you don’t have the resources to do it on your own.
– Identify what type of influencers will resonate best with your target market. Are you looking to hire micro, mid, or macro advocates (or the little guys, semi-celebs, or Taylor Swifts of the world)? Also, which social metric is most important to you when identifying your brand influencers – their reach, relevance, or resonance?
– Use smart hashtags and keywords for your search. Hashtag lists should consist of more than just one term. For example, we’ve found over 100 hashtags for our mommy influencer pool of influencers alone! Get creative with how you search social posts to find the most relevant influencers for your brand.
– Identify influencers with brand-aligned interests, values and personality traits. Your brand and your advocates should mesh well. Influencers might be traditional or non-conformist. Show more positive or negative sentiment. Be cost-conscious or big spenders. Make sure they align with your brand and/ or your campaign goals.
– Further sort influencers, when applicable. Sort by demographics, social channels, location and more. Sorting can be time consuming, but worth the effort in the end.
– Learn who influences your influencers. Where are their eyes and ears on a daily basis? What inspires them to post? The more you know about them, the more comfortable you will feel with them representing your brand. And the more confident you can be that their messages will reach the right audience.
– Review the influencer’s content quality. How often do they post? How much engagement do they have? How does this vary from each social site they own? Are they promoting other brands already? Are they spammy or are they authentic? Content is king for an influencer, so make sure they are doing it right from the beginning.
– Vet. Communicate. Then vet some more. Build relationships with potential advocates through social posts, follows and likes. Let them know you are there. And then vet your list again and again. Find the best of the best for your campaign if you want the best results.
Here’s a quick hypothetical example on how a brand might narrow their search for influencers using the Mattr app:
A new upscale beauty brand is popular amongst working females between the ages of 30- 40 (their current target market). The brand is launching a new ‘on-the-go’ skin care line in London, and their goal is to drive brand awareness. They want to hire mid and micro female Instagram influencers who use skincare and job-related hashtags often in their posts. Further, they should have fast-paced lifestyles and extroverted personalities, and not be too cost-conscious. Their audience should have similar qualities.
Now that you’ve found your favorite brand influencers, the next step is to invite them to partner with you on a campaign. Look for next week’s Real Talk blog post to get started.
(Originally posted in Noobpreneur)
Influencer marketing is like hosting a dinner party. You invite the coolest people you know, bring out your best china, make them feel special, and hope they go home and tell their friends about how tender your scallops were.
Influencers are the people a brand desperately needs to hang out with. They have active followings on social media, and they’re on the front line of their audience’s trends and attitudes. By connecting with these powerful people, you can position your brand on the cutting edge of all things innovative and desirable.
So, why don’t you invite these influencers to connect as soon as possible? Seventy-six percent of marketers are already using influencers when they launch their products, but you can set yourself apart by gaining their expertise and reach in the earlier stages of product development.
However, just like any dinner party, you need to be welcoming, generous, and patient. Above all, you need to know how to communicate with your special guests. Here are six tips for involving your influencers in the product development stage:
1. Use social media to befriend them
Influencers are social media butterflies, so this is often the best way to reach them. Explore LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, and identify influential people who you think would be interested in your new product, including those you already have relationships with.
People with large followings and active profiles will likely be able to provide valuable feedback about your product through their connections. Think about reach, relevance, and resonance. If you can get all three from an influencer relationship, it should be a go.
2. Think mutual
You should never approach influencers without considering what you can offer them in return. Once that mutually beneficial relationship is established, influencers will become excited to be associated with your brand. As a result, they’ll be willing to go the extra mile.
Make sure you’re clear about the rewards they’ll receive. A careful combination of tangible rewards (like free products and financial compensation) and intangible rewards (like the notoriety of being connected to something really cool) will motivate your influencers the most.
3. Clarify your goals
Influencers will get excited about working with you if they understand and appreciate what you’re trying to achieve. Present them with the challenge of your product development process and the effect that your campaign could have on that. On a practical level, knowing your goals for the product will help them produce the right content for their audience and collect the right kind of feedback for your team.
For example, restaurant and retail grocer line Lyfe Kitchen recently teamed up with DKC to build an influencer marketing campaign. The company wanted to expand into new supermarkets and increase word-of-mouth advertising through social media. By communicating its goals to its influencers, the retailer grew its distribution from 400 to 1,400 stores.
4. Be a gracious host
Working with influencers can take a lot of work. They’re usually busy people – often with strong personalities – so remember to be patient, lighthearted, and open. As the gracious host, you want to make your guests feel special. So, create rewards that are tailored to them. Host an event in their honor. Name one of your products after them. Get creative.
5. Create a team
Weber Shandwick’s “Got Chocolate Milk?” campaign initiated a sales increase that just kept snowballing. Why? Because the agency invited influencers like popular athletes and fitness experts to get involved in the fun challenge of turning chocolate milk into a serious sports product. The challenge ignited these influencers’ competitive side, and Weber Shandwick succeeded by involving influencers with a team-like mentality.
6. Build real, ongoing relationships
Product development is just the first era of your product’s life, and there are many stages down the line in which influencer marketing will come in handy. Creating an ongoing and natural relationship is key. Don’t schedule monthly meetings with your influencers. Instead, reach out when you have an exciting moment with the product or have an idea you think they’d love.
By forming genuine relationships and sharing your excitement with your influencers, you can develop your product with a team of the coolest people around and boost your brand immeasurably. Then, anyone who’s anyone will want to come to your brand’s party.
By Jack Holt, Mattr CEO
Sales are a big part of my everyday job, and since my company sells predominantly to marketers, I talk to people that fill many different marketing roles. Of all the different types of marketers, though, PR people have really stood out to me. They have a difficult job. Given their focus on media relations, they have additional audiences that they have to consider every single day beyond the people they’re selling products or services to. While other types of marketers are able to concentrate on only the customer, PR people have to think more broadly when writing a pitch.
The graphic to the left illustrates the three audiences a PR person should consider when writing a pitch. However, as I’ve talked to many PR people, I’ve noticed that not all actually focus on all three of those audiences. In many instances, they spend most of their time focused on a journalist and/or a publication’s readers and largely neglect the customers they’re actually trying to reach through media.
How do you decide who to pitch? Does that decision involve qualitative data about the customers you’re trying to reach? If not, you might be missing something valuable that could improve your pitches – and the stories that ultimately result from those pitches.
How much do you know about the customers of the product or service you’re pitching? Many people in the industry have told me they think they have a solid grasp of the customers because of the years they’ve spent interacting with journalists. But when I ask them more about their customer targets, and especially when I question their personality details, they realize that aside from some anecdotal evidence they hear, many don’t have as good of a grasp of those customers as they thought. When they see a thorough customer segmentation analysis, it can be very revealing. Sometimes they even discover that the publications or blogs they assumed customers were reading aren’t at all what they actually read.
Most in the PR industry that I’ve talked with say that audience targeting and segmentation is something they’ve never thought to do before, but is something that could be very valuable to them. It can tell them not only which publications their customers read, but which publications are over-indexed with their customers. In other words, it reveals those publications their customers read at a disproportionate rate. Very important when deciding who to pitch.
But let’s go a step beyond the the pitch audience and focus on the actual pitch content sent to a reporter. What do those pitches usually contain? Information on the product or service you’re pitching? Maybe something that shows the reporter you know and understand what’s interesting to them?
How often do they accurately reflect the customer you’re trying to reach? I’m not referring only to customer challenges your company can help them solve; I’m talking about who these people really are – their personalities, their interests, and their values.
Think about this process for a pitch:
Look at step two. After determining the appropriate publications to target in step 1 (based on consideration of your customers, the journalist and the publication’s readers) step 2 takes into consideration qualitative information on those people.
Targeting and segmentation can provide signals or indications of the people you’re trying to reach – who they really are as people. That information can help you make subtle changes to a pitch to appeal not just to the reporter, but to tell a story that you know will appeal to the customers and potential customers you’re actually trying to target. If you know your audience is more liberal, more tech savvy or more environmentally conscious than the average person, shouldn’t your pitch content resonate with their motivations and their values? And wouldn’t the reporter you’re pitching be interested in knowing that as well?
Utilizing targeting and segmentation can help PR people become better acquainted with who their customers are as people, and in turn, get more targeted and insightful with their pitching. Remember, when targeting a publication, think about the customer, journalist and readers. And when writing the pitch, consider the personality, values and interests of those groups of people.