influencer marketing blog

Why Hashtags are important in Influencer Marketing?

hashtags in marketing

Why Hashtags are important in Influencer Marketing?

The hashtag turned 11 years old this year. The concept of tagging social media groups or topics with a hashtag was developed in 2007 by Chris Messina, a product designer who had been working in the Silicon Valley for years and had the idea when running an internet consulting company. It was Messina’s way of developing a group organising framework for the then little-known social network Twitter.

Today, hashtags are everywhere, and they are truly powerful. In 2009, Twitter added an option for users to search for hashtags, Instagram adopted them in 2010, and Facebook did the same three years later. From simply tagging a lipstick used in creating a makeover look or a new pair of cool trainers to helping oil the wheels of social movements, hashtagging has evolved into a symbol of the digital era and has even transcended the online world and significantly impacted upon real life, with campaigns such as #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter reverberating around the world with the promise of real change. For any brand, regardless how big or small, hashtags are a way of improving their social media campaigns, and this is no different when it comes to a successful influencer marketing campaign.

First of all, hashtags can help improve your audience reach. In this sense, they are an extremely helpful tool that will boost a post’s engagement and make an influencer marketing campaign more successful. Furthermore, as an important means of organising content, hashtags help targeted audiences to find content relevant to them. The majority of brands use hashtags in their social media posts, and it’s not surprising considering the impact they have. It was also found that a post with at least one hashtag results in approximately 12.6% more engagement, so it’s no wonder we see so many brand endorsements popping up.

Take the shoe and clothing brand Dr. Martens, which chose a mix of influencers, from the fashion designer Dilara Findikoglu to the punk-rap duo Ho9909, for its 2017 ‘Worn Differently’ campaign, highlighting the brand’s beautiful sense of style and the ‘rebellious spirit’ that links the brand with all its influencers. The campaign is both inclusive and aspirational, with the hashtag #WornDifferent attracting more than 20, 000 mentions on Instagram, demonstrating that selected influencers resonate well with Dr. Marten’s audience, which, in turn, builds trust and helps boost sales.

Another example is the jewellery brand Swarowski, which ran the #BrillianceForAll campaign on Valentine’s Day, partnering with several gay and straight couples to celebrate diversity. The campaign included the top fashion influencer Chiara Ferragni, the model Karlie Kloss, and creative director Kim Willecke, and it has since been used over 17,000 times.

If you were wondering how to get the hashtag game right, then read on. When choosing a hashtag for your brand or influencer partnerships, always take the time to make sure it’s the right fit, as it should perfectly sum up the message you want to get across. In addition, check if another brand isn’t already using your chosen hashtag; if so, it’s better to come up with something else, otherwise no one will see your content in a sea of posts. To put it briefly, a good hashtag should be short, relevant, and unique.

why are hashtags important in marketing

From Intern to Account Manager - A Socially Powerful Story....

socially powerful careers story

Meet the Team: From Intern to Account Manager

At Socially Powerful we look to source and develop the most innovative and creative minds. Situated in a rapidly changing and evolving landscape, we firmly believe fresh and innovative perspectives are key to driving growth and developing as a business. We asked one of our former interns to share their experience of starting in a start-up.

Coralie, one of our first interns, started in July 2017 after graduating from the University of Essex with a degree in Language and Linguistics. Now an Account Manager, Coralie is one of our driving forces in business development and plays a vital role in mentoring our new talent.

What initially attracted you to Socially Powerful?

The week after graduation I received an invitation to come for an interview. I had always wanted to be involved with digital marketing, my friend had previously undertaken an internship with Google and then moved to a smaller agency. She told me that the industry was great and the work environment supportive. I researched the company through their vlog and social media and found it looked like a fun place to work and was drawn to the varied workload. One moment they were off travelling, pitching to new clients and the next minute out managing influencers.

What have you learnt from your time with Socially Powerful and what has been your most valuable lesson?

A hell of a lot. I had never studied any form of marketing at University so had limited knowledge on the industry and especially influencer marketing, it’s such a new space. Skill wise I have learnt how to organise and prioritise. Our workload varies and at times can be quite substantial so these capabilities have been necessary to avoid running out of hours. One of my most valuable lessons would be confidence; if you believe in what you are saying so will others. The way in which you put things across can be so important.

What ways do you think working in a start-up differs from larger companies?

First of all, you get the unique opportunity to see every aspect of the business; be it contract negotiation to pitching to clients. It’s a great platform to build confidence and become an all-rounder. We also have a lot more input when it comes to creatives than  we would in larger companies, it doesn’t matter if you are the director or the intern the best and most inventive idea will win and be put forward to the client. In a start-up you are going to have to work make a difference, but this is what makes it so rewarding.

Any advice for people looking to go into influencer marketing?


Have patience. You need to remember that influencers are just people, some of whom who have other priorities and may make mistakes. Learning to prepare for any issues before they arise is vital. As the main point of contact between the client and influencer, you need to communicate to the client that the influencers are not actors but creators themselves. This authenticity is what makes influencer marketing so great and is what gives the brand a unique platform.

If you were an influencer, what would your name and passion be?

My name would be Cheesy Pits and I would be a food influencer. All I eat in the office is cheese and pitta bread, so it makes sense to dedicate my internet presence to the cause.

If you are interested in kicking off a career with us and feel that you would be a good fit for our team please do not hesitate to get in contact: georgia@sociallypowerfulmedia.com

 

Love Island and Influencer Marketing, does it work?!

Love Island.jpg

Love Island; the marmite of British Television. Love or hate it, there is no denying its digital and social success. In its fourth consecutive series, and with 3.6 million viewers tuning in for the 2018 opening episode, an increase on the previous year’s 2.1 million, ITV Digital Studios have succeeded in channeling their following into a brand and infiltrating current culture. So what exactly are ITV doing differently to not only recapture the attention of an age who have tuned out but ensure contestants instantaneous social media fame?  

From memes on Facebook, teasers on Twitter and exclusive content on Instagram, ITV incorporates all strands of social media to engage and promote the programme. Their digital team strategically posts content across an array of platforms prior to the evening’s broadcast, which in turn ignites conversation and creates a space where viewers can discuss proceedings in real time.

Another reason Love Island bagged The 2017 Drum’s Best Use of Content on Social Platforms lies in the producers’ ability to depict reality TV as exactly that. Despite the artificial premise of the relationships, ITV succeeds in portraying the contestants vulnerabilities and emotions as authentic. In the same way that brands partner with YouTube stars for their seemed authenticity, the producers seamlessly and carefully integrate brand partnerships to boost subsequent sales. For example, the female contestants regularly style out Missguided looks which viewers can then purchase on their e-commerce platform to achieve the ‘love island look’. The clothing is selected to align with the girls’ style and viewers are not pushed to visit the site.

Brands should learn from the producers ability to integrate brand partnerships naturally into the Love Island narrative when affiliating with contestants once they exit the villa. With viewers cottoning onto the blatant artificiality of contestants’ promotion of that ‘charcoal teeth whitening stuff’ they are going to have to become savvier with how they incorporate influencer marketing into their campaigns. The fashion brand, In The Style, is a good example of a brand evolving their strategy. Over 86,000 people engaged with their recent tweet, where they told followers that Megan would not be getting a discount code. In acknowledging the inauthenticity of brands using love island contestants, In The Style actually increased engagement. However, they have also sparked mixed reactions and were compelled to release an explanatory statement for their tweet promoting the discount code #wehatejosh. Indirectly engaging with the show, poking fun at influencer marketing, the contestants and themselves, In The Style risk leaving themselves open to criticism.

With contestants leaving the villa with thousands of Instagram followers - Dani Dyer already has 1.3 million - and in some cases Chris and Kem from last years series secured a record deal (Little Bit Leave It), it is undeniable that there is an opportunity to profit from partnerships with the contestants. However, brands must be more selective with which contestants promote their products as the public become more aware of the premise of influencer marketing.

Ex-contestant Hayley Hughes has recently received major backlash for staged and inauthentic product promotion. The combination of Hayley’s status as one of the less popular contestants, coupled with an incredibly staged and poorly integrated deployment of content, led to her followers mocking and disregarding her as feed as illegitimate. For example, she received comments such as, ‘You know Hayley didn’t write it when she doesn’t even know how to spell half the words’ and ‘I’m unsubbing ur sooooo annoying’. Whilst the public view these collaborations as indisputably inauthentic, it remains uncertain how much longer brands are going to continue to partner with Love Island contestants.

 

How to measure sentiment in Influencer Marketing?

how to measure sentiment with influencer marketing

In the past few posts we have highlighted the power of influencer marketing in this new social media age and how you can measure its effectiveness. When negotiating with agencies specialised in social, you’ll undoubtedly hear terms such as reach, engagement or sentiment analysis – all three holy grails to qualm nerves and measure branding success (if you’re unfamiliar with these, check out our post below!).

The latter, sentiment analysis, is a buzzword that has taken the online marketing scene by storm. Here we break it down for you by explaining what is meant by sentiment analysis, why it’s important, how it can be measured, and how we at Socially Powerful use it to inform our campaigns.

What is sentiment analysis?

Social media platforms have drastically changed the relationship between producer and consumer. The top-down one-way channel of communication common to traditional media has been torn down by UGC, opening up dynamic spaces for consumers to collectively and individually voice their opinions on brands. This, in turn, has made it far easier to understand how your target audience feel about your product and/or your marketing strategy, whether that be through the like/dislike ratio, influencer story polls or (and this is the most fruitful) the comment section. While engagement is a useful metric to gauge a post’s relative popularity or the amount of interest it peaked, sentiment analysis allows you to further refine and optimise your content strategies to effectively maximise ROI.

So why doesn’t everyone carry out sentiment analysis?

They do. Sentiment analysis is featured as a metric on many social media insight tools used by agencies – hence its buzz on the marketing scene. However, often these metrics are used without fully understanding how they work. Some rely on the like/dislike ratio mentioned above. Other more specialised analyses will examine the language used in the comment section, and here is where the problems arise.

Sentiment and opinions are highly subjective and open to interpretation. As such, the grammatical and syntactical conventions used to express positive or negative emotions are hard to generalise with precision.  To circumvent this, some tools such as LIWC use sentiment lexica, i.e. list of words organised by their bipolar semantic orientation (positive/negative). However, this offers only a crude interpretation of language, which ignores the intensity of a certain sentiment or the contextuality in which words are used – a feature particularly crucial as words often have multiple meanings. Even tools that incorporate valence scores for intensity (e.g. VADER) ignore the lexical features native and ubiquitous in UGC like acronyms, emojis and slang.

Other more recent attempts at sentiment analysis (e.g. Naïve Bayers classifier, Support Vector Machines, etc.) have made use of growing expertise in machine learning and natural language processing to learn and identify sentiment-relevant features of text. However, the issue with such tools and UGC is that they require large sets of validated training data which represents as many of the lexical features as possible. Such data sets of UGC are hard to acquire due to the spare and short nature of text on social media.

How then does Socially Powerful analyse sentiment?

Here at Socially Powerful we understand why sentiment analysis is hard and we, therefore, like to do everything in-house to ensure the highest degree of quality and certainty for our clients. We carry out our own comprehensive sentiment analysis, integrating easily identifiable metrics such as like/dislikes and influencer polls, validated sentiment analysis tools and analyses of multiple samples in comment sections, carried out by different expert analysts. This way ensures we cover the drawbacks of each method. It also means we can be more creative and offer a more fine-grained bespoke analysis for each piece of content.

Why is this important?

Thinking back to last year’s Pepsi-Kendall Jenner advert provides a perfect example of the importance of sentiment analysis. Viewing it on the basis of engagement, the advert was a huge success. However, as everyone knows by now, it drew widespread criticism from around the globe for its insensitive and farcical content.

Kendall Jenner Pepsi influencer marketing.jpg

In influencer marketing, for example, an influencer may post to Instagram holding the product in hand so that it gains exposure to their followers. Any of the sentiment analysis tools mentioned above will then analyse the language in the comment section to get a rough picture of how it has been received. However, going the extra step allows us to fully understand whether the positive or negative sentiment recorded is actually directed towards the product or just other features of the post (i.e. outifts, quality of photo, background, etc.) – if the latter is the case then it is classified as neutral. In other words, it allows us to fully understand the context in which views are expressed, because ultimately it is that context that shapes our opinions.

 

 

 

 

 

Measuring the effectiveness of Influencer Marketing - Socially Powerful

How do you measure the ROI and effectiveness of your Influencer Marketing campaign?!

how to measure the roi in influencer marketing.jpg

It’s safe to say that Influencer Marketing has found its place within the marketing mix, it’s not going anywhere soon and has become a powerful tool for brands in today’s age of social media. Many of the most iconic brands in recent times have come to the fore with an all-in approach to Influencer Marketing, e.g. Gymshark, which is now one of the fastest growing businesses globally.

However, with anything new making its way in the world, there are questions and scepticism around it, especially if you’re doing it wrong. So, how do you measure the effectiveness and the ROI of Influencer Marketing, what metrics should you be looking at? Today, we will answer your question and show you all!

Firstly, when any brand is looking to commit to spending even $1 in any form of marketing, we need to look at the goals of the campaign and the potential returns. We always ask our clients three key questions - What are you trying to achieve? Who are you trying to target? And, what are your campaign objectives? We reverse engineer from the agreed outcome to make informed decisions about which influencers and platforms best capture the target audience’s attention to develop long-lasting engagement and business impact.

Now, let’s talk about the goals and how you can measure them.

Brand awareness

Many will see brand awareness as a given with any marketing activity, let alone influencer marketing. However, to be seen and wanted by your target audience is one of the main goals of brands. Even if you’re working with just one micro-influencer with a few thousand followers, you’ll want to know how many eyeballs have seen your brand or been exposed to your brand. The metrics to look at here, cover total reach and impressions. How many times a post has appeared on people’s timelines and how many unique impressions there was.

Engagement

Engagement goes one step further than brand awareness, here we look at the audience that how they have actively engaged (link clicks, left a like, a comment, dislike, shares, followed your brand etc) on the content for the particular campaign. To look at the effectiveness of the engagement, you need to look at the influencers previous engagement rate and how the campaign compares. Higher engagement rate (likes, comments, shares, link clicks etc) indicates the audience enjoyed the content and appreciated the campaign. The next logical step would be to work with the influencer(s) again to continue building your relationship with them and their audience.

Lower engagement rate (low likes, high dislikes, low views etc) will indicate that there was something wrong with the campaign. Perhaps the wrong influencer was selected, the content was poorly put together or there wasn’t a particularly good audience fit.

Sentiment

Whether you’re trying to shift perception, provoke a reaction or test the waters, influencer marketing is a great way to understand audience’s sentiment towards your brand, products or campaign. There are numerous ways to look at the sentiment, either through comments in videos or pictures (what people are saying positive, negative, neutral?), the like to dislike ratio, amount of web traffic or another way is through polls on influencers stories on Instagram for example.

If you’re a watch brand and you have a dilemma about which colour watch to produce, you could simply run a poll on a few influencers stories that hit your target audience demographics, you’ll see results almost instantly. Through analysing the sentiment you’ll be able to see which social platforms react best to certain pieces of content, enabling you as a brand to prioritise your marketing spend towards those platforms.

Sales

Everyone wants to sell more, let’s face it, when you market your brand or service, the hope is that the audience will buy or use it. Influencer Marketing is a great way to increase sales or conversions and there are many ways to track the success. However, before beginning the campaign understand your sales figures for a few months previous and benchmark against these figures. Are you selling more with or without the chosen influencers?

If you’re a beauty brand, partnering with influencers to increase sales of a product, you can track sales through tracking links and discount codes, unique to each influencer you’re working with. By ensuring each link and code is unique, not only can you see day to day analysis and whether certain offers work best on certain days, but you can figure out influencer conversions. Which influencers are performing best and converting more of their audience to sales vs ones that aren’t performing well and have very little actual influence over their audience.

If you’re a mobile gaming company and your goal is to increase downloads using influencers, you can then track this through clicks on trackable links and then downloads of the game. Through this data, you can see the conversion metrics as before and you’ll be able to prioritise your top performing influencers for further marketing.

Influencer marketing is an incredibly powerful marketing tool if you have a concrete strategy in place (please see our previous blog for tips on this) and you know what you’re looking to achieve or measure. The above metrics will allow you to put together an Influencer Marketing campaign with confidence and understand the true power of the campaign performance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Influencer Marketing will just keep on THRIVING! - Luke Williams

We caught up today with Luke Williams a fashion and lifestyle influencer from the U.K. Luke had some awesome things to say about Influencer Marketing and where he sees the industry going in the coming years.

luke clifton williams influencer marketing blog
 

Could you tell us a little bit about your background and how you started to build a following?

I always wanted to focus on my health, nearly two years ago I set about aiming for a six pack and posting my progress along the way, motivating myself and helping my followers achieve their gym goals too, that’s what kick-started my following! Originally, I used Instagram for my photography and selfies really didn’t come into it- then that changed, selfies became a daily occurrence & I posted more about my life (fashion/gym/adventures) & then people seemed more interested in my profile!

Is this something you do full-time?

I own a business and I work for another company full time, 5 days a week, influencing is something I do in my spare time- the dream would be to do it full time, I love working with brands and creating fun, interesting content that creates interest, I’d class it as a hobby at the moment!

What sort of content do you create and what content works best with your audience?

I focus on health & beauty more often, taking pictures of the results & the products I use. My audience prefers to see me using the products rather than flat lays, so I try and incorporate a carousel image that encompasses both types of photography that appeal to my followers & a wider audience.

What would you define Influencer Marketing as?

Influencer Marketing is a way for people to interact with the people they follow, they can see what they do day to day, in their posts and stories, if those people admire and enjoy the content they follow, they will more than likely want to eat, drink, wear and do the same things as the person they follow, so it’s the perfect way for brands to interact with audiences at a granular level, you are the influence & as long as you are true to yourself and remain honest to your followers then your winning!

What brands have you worked with so far? How was it?

I’ve worked with Slendertone, San Miguel, Harry’s, Next Gen U, Absolute Collagen, Active Iron, Tincture London, Maille, Goodwin Smith & Harvey James watches to name a few, its been really exciting & I’ve been lucky that the brands really like me to use my own ‘tone of voice’, instead of telling me what to do every step of the way, this approach has allowed me to be more creative & it makes the whole process  so much fun!

How do you think Influencer Marketing will evolve over the next 12 months?

Its just going to get bigger and bigger- we no longer look up to billboards and adverts on massive boards in the cities, we scroll through facebook and look at social media for influence- we’re looking at our phones more than ever, so whilst we enjoy social media and being one click away from the people we admire, influencer marketing will just keep on thriving!

How has the Influencer world evolved since you began?

Its changed a lot, I didn’t really know it existed or noticed influencers promote through social media, its been a steady growth, but businesses have obviously seen the power in its success, which is why it seems to have catapulted to the current important marketing platform is currently is!

How do you feel brands are working with Influencers?

I feel brands understand the importance of choosing good influencers, they will understand the influencers they choose by looking at their social feeds initially, so they are already happy with the content & content style prior to working, I think it’s a more hands-on creative approach, allowing the brands to get exactly what they want & in turn allowing the influencers to translate that to their followers in an interesting & eye-catching way!

Have you seen any brands that you feel are doing great work with Influencers?

I think @gentlemenschuckaboo do very well, they give out beautiful products and choose really relevant influencers to talk about their brand- they create a great relationship with their influencers, which makes you want to create great content for them! @absolutecollagen are amazing and will really look after you, it’s a lovely way of working to achieve the same end goal which is success, whether it more sales or whether you become a more sought-after influencer, its beneficial to both the brand and the influencer to reap the success of a good partnership.

Do you use any software to help create content?

I’ve always used Snapseed, a photo editing app, it’s the easiest app to crop, centre, adjust and filter your photo’s, I couldn’t be without it!

How do you balance your online life with offline?

I don’t want to be on my phone constantly, so I do try to come offline as much as possible, but part of the role is to keep everyone updated with an insight of your day to day, taking a quick picture or updating a story is so second nature, it doesn’t even feel intrusive anymore, online life and offline life have merged somehow over the years.

Which influencers inspire you and look up to?

I think the @blogger_boyfriend has a beautiful feed, his pictures are stunning- I’d love to travel to some of the beautiful places he gets to experience

If you could work with any brand, who would that be?

I love fashion, so a dream would be to work with a luxury fashion brand, even if was to model Louis Vuitton socks, I’d do it!

Tell us something about you that people might not know? 

That my actual name is Luke, Stanley Dru was created from my childhood, a mixture of a town I lived in, in the Falkland Islands (Port Stanley) and the street I grew up on (Drury Street)

 What’s your favourite social platform and why?

My favourite has to be Instagram, it's so easy to use and simple to connect. Saying hello to someone thousands of miles away has never been easier and its allowed to connect to some wonderful brands and people who I wouldn’t normally get the chance to meet- Instagram has helped me work in Influencer Marketing, so for that, I’m forever grateful!

Where do you want to take your career as an Influencer?

I would love to work with huge brands and even work more in travel if I was paid to travel and enjoy some of the most gorgeous hotels out there in the most fascinating countries, I’d be on cloud nine!

 

 

Influencer Marketing Strategy - DOING IT RIGHT!

influencer marketing strategy

Influencer marketing is here to stay. More than half of marketers within brands have had experience with Influencer Marketing and these figures are only going to keep rising. It’s not enough to just simply “do” Influencer Marketing, you need to have a strategy in place that’s going to deliver an ROI for your brand or business. Aimlessly partnering with Influencers and having a scattergun approach will not work, it’ll fail, and it won’t be an effective use of your marketing budget. However, do Influencer Marketing right and the stats back up the ROI “On average, businesses generate $6.50 in revenue for each $1 invested in influencer marketing”

We’re here today, to talk about the right way to do Influencer Marketing and how to implement a fool-proof strategy for your brand, moving forward.

Understand your objectives.

First and foremost, before you do anything else, you need to understand what your objectives are, what are you looking to achieve and what will Influencer Marketing deliver? You need a measurable goal. Whether that’s awareness, engagements, sentiment, views on content or sales, figure out what you want to do. Once you have the goal, you’ll be in a better position to understand what types of influencers you want to work with, as certain influencers will deliver different returns.

Understand your audience.

From here, you now look into understanding your audience. What are they interested in? What do they care about? What do they want from your brand? Who do they follow? What social platforms are they active on? Once you have figured this out, you’ll understand what influences your audience’s behaviour and you’ll know why they buy your product or at least have an interest!

Finding the right influencers.

Now, here comes the key element to any successful influencer campaign. Finding the right influencers. To find the right influencers is tricky, especially if you don’t know where to look and the industry is completely alien to you. You can either do this yourself, or you can contact us (if you haven’t already for the previous stages) and we will add our special sauce into the mix, removing the arduous process and headaches of finding the right influencers for the campaign.

Understand the influencers audience and brand.

Once you’ve found the right influencers, then comes the due diligence of understanding their brand. Influencers have an individual style, some have strong opinions and they have built their following from 0, they know what’ll work, so respect their input. As a brand, you need to understand the type of content they produce, what their audience engage with best and what they can deliver for you in terms of ROI. The key is to keep the content authentic, don’t force it, then you’ll bring value to the influencer and their audience, resulting in a better campaign performance.

Look for long-term relationships.

You’ll see many influencers endorsing different products and categories every day. Those that do this, lose credibility and the influencer's audience will start to call them out as they are constantly being fed mixed messages. A strong partnership is formed with an influencer when they really believe about the product and the brand. Brands should always look for long-term relationships over one-off posts or collaborations. With long-term partnership where you grow together, the campaigns are authentic, the audience feels the value of the brand and the brand fits with the influencers life.

Track the success.

From here, you can then start to pull together the campaign creative, the KPI’s and the content that’s going to work for the influencer, as well as your brand. Once the campaign goes live, track the content and performance relentlessly against your KPI’s, understand what works and quickly change things that aren’t. Once you’ve collected all the campaign data, see if it’s met your expectations and measure the ROI.

Remember, the best influencers are the ones who already consume, use and talk about your brand.

influencer marketing strategy blog