Random is the right way to describe Facebook’s attempted invasion of Amazon’s turf. With skimpy product selection, no reviews and limited browsing options, Facebook’s dedicated feed of products is not a great way to shop. At least not yet. But this is only Facebook’s first attempt. It brings with it a ton of knowledge about you and its position as where people spend… Read More
Basin for flush-mounted installation in 30mm counter tops, rectangular, 600 x 420mm, divided into two levels, mould 594 x 294mm, mould depth 160mm and tap ledge behind mould, 594 x 120mm, depth 40mm, glazed inside and outside, with tap hole and overflow, including overflow set.
When we first met the team building the LucidCam, they aimed to raise $100,000 on Indiegogo. They found their 264 backers to get them there. Their goal is to bring the ability to shoot immersive virtual reality content with a camera that fits in your pocket. And at a reasonable price ($299). I caught up with Lucid’s CEO, Han Jin, to see what’s next. TC: You hit your goal. Any… Read More
The main goal of online marketing, and any marketing for that matter, is to drive people to take action. Whether it’s buying a product, sharing content, attending an event or any other action, companies are always striving to get consumers to interact.
You can do that through great copywriting, clever advertising and plenty of other proven strategies. But one of most effective ways to get an audience to take action is through influencer marketing.
What is Influencer Marketing?
An influencer is someone who has an active following and can move their followers to take action. This could be through their blog, social media, a YouTube account, email list or any other platform that gives them the ability to reach people.
Influencer marketing involves connecting with influencers to build a mutually beneficial relationship.
Some of the benefits companies get from influencers are:
- More credibility
- Access to a larger audience
- User generated content
- Social influence
- New leads and customers
Instead of having to sell your brand to consumers, influencers become the friend that introduces you to their inner circle.
The benefits influencers get depends on the relationship, but theyÂ could include:
- Free products or services
- Free products or services to give away to their audience
- Monetary compensation
- A sponsorship
- Exposure to your brand’s audience
All parties benefit from influencer marketing, which is what makes it so powerful.
Why Influencer Marketing?
Tomoson conducted a study to see the potential value of influencer marketing. Some of the key findings included:
- Businesses make $6.50 for every dollar spent on influencer marketing.
- Influencer marketing is the fastest-growing method to acquire new customers.
- Influencer marketing is the most cost-effective customer acquisition method.
- 51% of marketers acquire better customers through influencer marketing.
- 50% of marketers use influencer marketing to generate leads and sales.
- Blogging is the top platform for influencer marketing.
- 59% of marketers plan to increase their budgets for influencer marketing.
As you can see, not only is influencer marketing effective, but it’s on the rise. The question is, how do you get started?
What Makes A GoodÂ Influencer?
The first step is identifying your influencers. Just because someone has a following doesn’t mean that it’s the right fit for your brand. Look beyond the number of followers on Twitter or likes on their Facebook page. You want to know who their followers are and match that against your target demographic. You’ll also have to consider the influencer themselves. Is he or she the type of person you want to be associated with your brand?
Here are some of the key traits of a good influencer:
- Authentic: GoodÂ influencers genuinely believe in your brand and what you stand for.Â That authenticity shines through when they mention you in blog posts or Tweets, which connects with their audience.
- Active:Â How often do they publish content on social media or on their website? The best influencers are constantly putting out content so they stay fresh in their audience’s mind.
- Engaging: When people mention them on social media, do they reply? When an influencer frequently has conversations with their audience, it shows that people are interested in what they’re saying, which will benefitÂ your brand.
- Expertise: Getting a recommendation from Dr. OzÂ carries a lot more weight than a recommendation from someone with no experience in the health field. Part of the makeup of an influencer is being an authority figure. You want to work with influencers that people within your industry respect and look up to.
- Leadership: A lot of social media users tend to jump on bandwagons and follow trends. A good influencer is someone that can get topics trending instead ofÂ just following what everyone does.
It can be helpful to look for niche influencers. These are people within a subgroup of your industry. For instance, if your company sells toys designed to stimulate children’s minds, your first thought might be to find mommy bloggers that have influence. However, you could drill down even deeper to look for mommy bloggers who have children with learning disabilities. The more targeted your influencers are, the higher quality your leads will be.
Where toÂ Find Influencers
Now that you know what to look for, the next question is where should you look? There are blogs, networking events and plenty of other ways to find influencers. But social media is your best bet.
Influencers gravitate to social media because it allows them to connect with their audience and is generally the “hub” they conduct most of their activities from. There are a few different ways you can find influencers on social media and ensure you have the best outreach as possible.
A great way to find influencers is through Buzzsumo. Within this, you can start a search for keywords relevant to your industry or company. The tool will then show you content that has been highly shared on social media containing the keywords you enter. Alternatively, you could do a search for a popular blog post from one of your competitors. For our demo purposes, we did a search for “children learning disabilities” and found this post that seems relevant.
Then, click on View Sharers. This will show you the people who have shared the post on Twitter.
There are a few different people on this list that could be influencers. Once you’ve narrowed your list, start going through each individual Twitter page. Some of the things you want to look for are:
- How often they Tweet
- What they Tweet about
- How much engagement their Tweets receive
Also look for the key influencer traits we discussed earlier.
Another method you can use to find influencers is by looking at your current followers. By using Sprout Social’s Trends Report, you can find out which Twitter users are engaging with you the most. If they’re already advocates for your brand, then taking the step to acknowledge them and work together will be much easier. There’s a chance that influencers have been right under your nose the entire time, but you just didn’t notice.
Last but not least, you can also do manual searches within different social networks. With this approach, look within groups instead of the entire social network. For instance, you might look at popular Facebook Groups or Google+ Communities. See who the top contributors are within these smaller niche groups toÂ spot influencers.
Use a spreadsheet or CRM software to keep track of everyone you’ve found. For each person, you should record their:
- Social media profiles
- Contact information (email works best)
- A brief bio of who they are
After you’ve put your list together, the next step is to start the outreach step of influencer marketing.
Reaching out to influencers is one of the most important steps of this process. One poorlyÂ worded email and you could completely miss out on a big opportunity.
First, you’ll want to define a specific reason for working with influencers. Here are some of the most common ways that brands work with influencers:
- Guest blogging
- Content collaboration
Once you know what type of relationship you want to build, you can start cultivating it. There are two main approaches you can use:
- The Direct Approach: Directly ask to work with influencers.
- The Slow and Steady Approach: Develop a relationship first, and progress into working together.
A lot of experts recommend option number two. However, the first option can be just as effective and provides quicker results.
The Direct Approach
The first strategyÂ is contacting influencers and offering them the opportunity to be an affiliate, collaborate on content or work together on any other project you have in mind.
Create an email template to use to contact people. The template should describe a little bit about your company, why you’re emailing the potential influencer and how partnering with your brand will benefit them as well. End the email with a call to action so they know what to do next. If you’re offering them an opportunity to guest post for instance, you could finish the email by asking them to submit some potential topics they’d like to write about.
The template is going to function as a general guideline for your emails, and you should customize it for each person. Explain why you’re interested in working with the person and what you’re looking for them to bring to the table.
Advantages of the direct approach:
- You get results quicker.
- There is less back and forth between your company and the influencer.
- The process is much easier to manage.
Disadvantages of the direct approach:
- Your emails can be perceivedÂ as spam since they’re unsolicited.
- You’ll have a lower success rate.
The Â Slow and Steady Approach
The first technique is quicker, but your success rate will likely be lower. Remember, influencers are contacted all the time by people who want to market to their audience, so they’re selective about who they workÂ with. That’s why the slow and steady approach may be better for certain brands.
Instead of directly emailing influencersÂ with your ideas, start by engaging with them on social media or through their website first. Reply to some of their Tweets or leave comments on their latest blog posts. This way they’ll start to become more familiar with your company. It will also show influencers that you follow them and appreciate what they do.
After a couple of weeks of engaging, open up the doors to start working with them. This could be as simple as sending out an email expressing interest in working together or even offering to send them some free products to get exposure for your brand.
Advantages of the slow and steady approach:
- You’ll have a higher success rate.
- It’s a more organic approach.
- You can get natural exposure, even if you don’t officially work with the influencer.
- Influencers will be more excited to work with you becauseÂ they’re familiar with your brand.
Disadvantages of the slow and steady approach:
- It takes longer to get influencers on board.
- Your efforts could go unnoticed.
You can try a combination of both techniques to see which gives you the best results. Focus on building long-term relationships instead of being transactional.
The best part about influencer marketing is it’s easy to get the ball rolling. To refresh, here’s a simple rundown of the process:
- Define what you want to accomplish through influencer marketing
- Decide how you want to work with influencers (guest blogging, review, content collaboration etc.)
- Identify influencers that fit your brand
- Reach out to influencers through the Direct or Slow and Steady approach
Tap into the strategy that’s being used by top brands and start getting more exposure for your company!
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This post Build Social Relationships With Influencer Marketing originally appeared on Sprout Social.
Great things come to those who take superhero-like leaps. / Had too much fun spending an afternoon in search of Asian grandmas, sturdy lampposts, and creepy exits with the one and only @_j.wong. (at Toronto, Ontario)
Cyber MondayÂ is officially upon usâ€”arriving with ever greater importance. In fact, already this past weekend, an estimatedÂ 103 million AmericansÂ shopped online, edgingÂ out the 102 millionÂ peopleÂ who stuckÂ toÂ the stores.Â Analysts predict that when all is said and done, social mediaÂ aloneÂ will account forÂ a staggeringÂ $15 billionÂ worth of sales in 2015.
So, as people continue to clamorÂ to find the best deals online, we at Sprout Social wanted to take a closer look at how retailers are responding. We started with a list from the National Retail Federation’s Top 100 RetailersÂ (which, it’s important to note, includes several grocers, restaurants and fast food chains as well as clothing companiesÂ and big-box stores). We then plugged these retailers’ handles into our proprietary Twitter Comparison ReportÂ to get a score that reflects how often brands are pumping out promotional messages relative to how often they are actually responding to customers’ concerns.
While our most recent Sprout Social Index found that most retailers are ignoringÂ customers on social 83% of the time, the 22 retailers highlighted belowÂ are prioritizingÂ customer care on Twitter, earning themselves a Sprout Social Engagement Score of 98 or above.
We’ve also called out a few other facts about how America’s top retailers are approaching Twitterâ€”from how many use a separate handle for customer service to howÂ many aren’t even on this important platformÂ at all.
From Wal-Mart to Wendy’s, Social Standouts on Twitter
So what accounts for these retailers’ exceptional Engagement Scores? In reviewing their Twitter feeds, a few moments stood out.
Wal-Mart: Responding to the Outcry for Pie
After the enthusiastic endorsement from a fan on YouTube, singer Patti LaBelle’s signature sweet potato pies started flying off Wal-Mart shelves. The retail giant couldn’t keep pace with the demand leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday but was quick to issue aÂ response to its Twitter followers, directly from Senior Buyer forÂ Cakes and Pies Kinna Thomas, who promised thatÂ the popularÂ product would soon be back in stores.
â€” Walmart (@Walmart) November 17, 2015
Nordstrom: Dazzling Audiences With Interactive Products & Promotions
If your product or service requires a bit ofÂ explanation, itÂ can be difficult to encapsulate all that needs to be said in a short Tweet. Nordstrom, however, recently stepped up to the challenge. By integrating a VineÂ video into a DIY featureÂ onÂ Tevas, the retailer piqued its followers’ interestÂ while sparking a livelyÂ conversation. At each stage in the lengthy Twitter thread that unfurled, @Nordstrom reps piped in with promptÂ feedback, providing more context aboutÂ how the product works as well asÂ where it canÂ be found for purchase.
â€” Nordstrom (@Nordstrom) November 3, 2015
Target: Welcoming Customer Creativity
The world is abuzz overÂ Adele’s latest album, which justÂ broke the single-week sales recordÂ held by NSnyc. Target hasÂ played an integral role in driving a bulkÂ of these salesâ€”but it isn’t just promoting the album itself. Through some artful social media monitoring, the retailer recently discovered and then Retweeted an in-store photo of a welcome mat taken by one of its creative shoppers. This promotion ofÂ user-generated contentÂ invites otherÂ Target fans to interact with the brand in a more fun and meaningful way.
Wendy’s: Playing It Cool WithÂ a Brand-Adjacent Conversation
There are more “national days” than any level-headed social media manager can keep track of throughout the year. Of course, not every trending day requiresÂ a responseÂ fromÂ your brand, so it’s important to establish guidelines of whatÂ alignsÂ with your core product offerings. Wendy’s provides a good example of how to coollyÂ join the conversation without hashjacking a moment that’s totally out of step.
The Gift of Gab:Â Reaping the Rewards of RicherÂ Engagement
If you want to earn a Twitter Engagement Score of 98 or above like the retailers on our list, it’s time to get talkingâ€”and gain a competitive advantage. ConsiderÂ theÂ following advice:
- Listen for more than @mentions. Track keywords that alert your team of brand, product or service mentionsâ€”time is often of the essence this time of year.
- Set clear customer expectations. State in your bio when your support team is activeâ€”whether thatâ€™s 9â€“5 CST or 24/7â€”as well as expected response times.
- Establish short-term benchmarks. Determine reasonable (and unacceptable) response times; measure performance, and adjust staffing throughout the holidays.
- Rise to specific occasions. Beyond Black Friday and Cyber Monday, milestones like last day for promotional pricing and free shipping may result in increased chatter.
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This post Cyber Monday: The Top Retailers Ready to Help Customers on Twitter originally appeared on Sprout Social.
As an online retailer you may know a customer’s name and address, but what do you really know about them? According to an Oracle poll from earlier this year, 86% of respondents currently have access to foundational data, or basic information with simple segmentation and personalization.
This is a good starting point, but there are many other types of data that will give you a greater insight into your customers, which will help you market to them more efficiently and effectively. This post will take a look at the top three characteristics that will give you a well-rounded view of who your customers really are, and offer some tips for how to use this data in your email marketing.
1. Customer Lifetime Value
One of the biggest predictors of retail success is Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), which is defined as the total dollars flowing from a customer over their entire relationship with a business. Many retailers know their average CLV, but to truly create personalized marketing campaigns, you need to know much more than this.
For example, you can determine CLV for various segments and personas based on purchase history, which will provide you with a wealth of information for creating targeted email messages. There will likely be an overlap between your customers with a high CLV and your best customers who are the small group that are most valuable to you over time based on frequent purchases with a high order values. Since these are your most loyal customers, you should not treat them the same as your one-time buyers or churning customers.
To calculate CLV, multiply the number of purchases a customer has made per year by their Average Order Value, and then add together that number for each year that they have been a customer. For instance, if a customer makes two purchases a year averaging $50 each for a period of three years, then their CLV would be $300.
Email Tip: You can set up email campaigns with exclusive rewards just for customers with a high CLV. There are many ways to reward these customers, such as special discounts, VIP experiences, and exclusive events. You should also be strategic in offering discounts to save higher markdowns and related promotions for only your high value customers, which can yield great results.
2. Average Order Value
Average Order Value (AOV) describes the typical dollar amounts spent per order by each customer. For many retailers, AOV goes up on each customer’s subsequent purchase. This may be because repeat customers trust your brand more, spend more as they get comfortable with you, and discover more of your inventory that they are interested in. To calculate AOV, divide the total amount the customer has spent by the number of orders they’ve made.
Through this metric you can segment customers by high, medium, and low spenders, and then create optimized email marketing campaigns that deliver different content and promotions to each group.
Email Tip: If you see a specific day or time when AOV is significantly higher, you should act on it immediately. If it is a specific segment of your customers spending more during this period, you can craft targeted, exclusive messaging to this group. If it's something else, like a type of product that sells better at that time, you can segment everyone who has bought the product in the past, and test an email to them with cross/upsell messaging. Hopefully, you can replicate the trend.
3. Customer Latency
Latency is the average number of days between each purchase a customer makes. Once you figure out the phases of a customer's lifecycle, then you can determine what types of messaging to offer at various points in their relationship with your brand, in order to reach customers when they are most likely to buy again.
For example, if you have a post-purchase email series, you can match the cadence to different points in the customer’s lifecycle, with corresponding messaging that will appeal to customers at 30, 60, 90, or 120 days post purchase.
Email Tip: If the average customer takes 120 days to make a second purchase, then hitting them with sales messaging immediately after their purchase probably doesn't make sense. What makes more sense is to use the "honeymoon" period immediately following the purchase to reinforce your brand, and then as customers enter a point where statistically they are more likely to make a purchase, start stepping up direct offers.
These are just a few of the data points you can use to gain insights about your customers. By knowing what, when, why and how often they’re buying, you not only get to know who your customers are, but can also predict their future purchase behavior. This information allows you create personalized, data-driven email campaigns that will be able to drive customer engagement, revenue and retention.
As you get to know your customers, you can create consistent experiences both online and off-line by downloading the Modern Marketing Essentials Guide to Cross Channel Marketing.
Author's Bio: Andrew Pearson is Vice-President of Marketing at Windsor Circle, a predictive lifecycle and retention marketing platform that helps retailers grow customer lifetime value and increase customer retention. Andrew is a serial entrepreneur with over 15 years experience in technology start-ups, management and digital and email marketing.
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For any individual with a serious health condition, the problem with wearable medical tech is feeling “marked” with a problem. The Embrace smartwatch aims to combat stigma with style. The minimalist design was created for epileptic patients and is used to alert both the person and others of oncoming attacks. The straightforward design keeps things uncomplicated – simply touch it to see the time and enjoy it on your wrist. When it needs to alert you, it will. You can access other health data via your smartphone.
Designers: Denis Olenik, Mladen Barbaric, Den Brooks, Olga Pechanko for Pearl Studios
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