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‘Tis the Season: Come get your Pumpkin Spice Sales Strategy

We’ve been talking about several different topics in our past holiday articles (now’s a good time for you to go to the blog and catch up on some reading ;)), but one word that we have mentioned a lot that they all have in common is strategy.  Are you feeling trendy?  Feeling like your brand could catch up with the holiday buzz? Well, honey, it’s time for us to talk all about strategy. Creating a proper and efficient strategy is not only about sell, sell, sell.  

What we’re looking for is to get creative and finding a neat structure for your strategy, i.e. changing something old with a new concept—Design thinking! Ring any bells? Got your attention?  Let’s continue then.

Now, what is Design Thinking? Because it sounds like something that should be exclusive to graphic artists, right? Wrong. Design Thinking is not an exclusive property of designers—all great innovators in literature, art, music, science, engineering, and business have practiced it. The Design Thinking approach has one single goal: to understand and solve a problem for the consumer. It’s characterized by empathy, customer-centricity and curiosity. Design Thinking as a whole is a complex, in-depth set of principles. When used to address other business problems, only the most relevant and useful principles are pulled out and applied. When it comes to the sales process, the discovery phase is where the Design Thinking principles can make the biggest impact.

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“The Design Thinking approach has one single goal: to understand and solve a problem for the consumer.”

Photo courtesy of Rebecca Stice (@aclotheshorse)

OK, we know you, boo. You might be thinking that Design Thinking cannot be applied to Influencer Marketing. What you don’t know, is that based on your goals, Influencers can become a bridge between a sale and an experience itself. How? By sharing, creating that organic feel and taking that natural momentum to drive and promote your products/services in a very connected way.

An Influencer promoting and amplifying your message and your brand, to their audience means credibility. It means additional reach, and it means you get an outsized modifier to the conversion process.
— Rand Fishkin, Founder of Moz

We’ve been through it before, but we’d like to freshen you up with five of the most important Influencer marketing goals your brand should focus on:

  1. Brand awareness

  2. Traffic

  3. Sales and lead generation

  4. Social media followers and engagement

  5. Reputation

Since the Holiday season is coming up, you can combine your Design Thinking planned for other channels and apply it to any new Influencer strategy that you might be interested in. Your main goal should always be connecting with your users and possible customers. They need to know that someone’s listening to them.  

But don’t get it twisted, know what to listen for. A great piece by Krill Tsernov talks about why you should listen to your customers and why you shouldn’t. It’s about finding a balance and creating a healthy relationship with customer feedback. Do we over or underestimate listening in our business success?

So, to sum things up, balance and structure are key when it comes to strategy. Design Thinking will help you get your strategy on and make Influencers your best allies as powerful weapons to get as many customers as you can.

Are you still thinking that you’re not gonna make it? Is it too late now to say sorry? Don’t worry, we got you! Here at G&B, we assist you with a proper plan and have an incredible family of Influencers that can make that plan happen for you. Check out our roster and reach out to us with any questions, we’ll help you in the best way we can.

Does my Brand Even Need Micro-Influencers for the Holiday Success?

We established in our previous post (get educated!) that the holidays are coming, and as a company and brand you should be in final steps of planning your strategy to maximize sales success.

Consumers use micro and macro influencers to make purchases, they rely on their experience as customers and their connections (organic, of course) between them and the brands they represent. Do you ever read reviews before buying something you’re interested in? Well, influencers are like living reviewers that tell you all you need to know before you make a purchase.

Now, let’s talk about micro-influencers. Now, when it comes to micro-influencers, the first big assumption people make are that they are BIG names or celebrities with big budgets. But we’re here to set the record straight. Micro-influencers give brands specific insights for certain communities. Say, a mother that became insta-famous for the content that she was sharing to other mothers out there. This mom is sharing her knowledge and experiences, so people decided to follow her and be influenced by the content that she puts out. Clearly, she has now turned into a great ally for all baby and child related brands. That is micro-influencing in a nutshell.

Photos courtesy of Marwa Atik (@marwaatik) and Stella Simona (@stellasimona).

So, are the holidays all about finding the best price or the best item/service/experience? Influencers can help supporting brands with special offers and sales strategies that you may be into for this upcoming season. Don’t have any? We gotchu, boo ;)

Micro-influencers are people who have already built the audience a brand is looking for, and they’ve already established trust with them
— Barett Wissman, Forbes

But the question that always arises when it comes to micro-influencers and their strategy is, how small does the niche have to be to be a good micro-influencer? What if that small niche isn’t the community I’m trying to reach? It’s ok to have questions and doubts about them, but keep in mind, that you have to always analyze your candidates. Find the right person who speaks to the community your brand is trying to speak to. Do I need a huge pop celebrity turned into influencer or does my brand need a different approach in order to better connect with my target? Is micro-influencing, then, the real way?

First things first, what qualifies as a micro influencer?

The key metric is influence, not reach. Some will say it is somebody between 5,000–10,000 followers. Others say it is less than 100,000. These numbers are arbitrary divisions, if you are trying to compare them with say, Lady Gaga or the infamous Kardashian empire.

We decided to work with micro-influencers as opposed to larger-scale influencers due to budget as well as due to the fact that micro-influencers, even though they have smaller audiences, have a more engaged and targeted following, leading to better use of money spend.
— Alon Popilskis, who handles marketing for Mom’s Mason Jar Rack, a product developed by a small Los Angeles-area business called Otter Lab.

Still not into this alternative strategy? Let’s bring it down to facts, shall we:

  • Your ideas and brand will be flowing in a natural and very organic way with micro-influencers because their community is more like a friend-fan base. So they can naturally speak directly to them and be confident about anything.

  • We wish our budgets could afford A-lister celebrities, but even if you could get Madonna, is she the right one to speak about your brand and also, will it be believable?

  • Their friend-fan base allows them to have high rates of engagement so the interaction will be higher and more specific than expected.

  • You can easily measure the ROI by directing consumers with user codes or name codes for purchases or even with a simple traffic direction from your website.

We all have the same question. “If they are influencers, why are they micro?” or “if they’re still micro, does that mean they are not that influential to work with my strategy?” Well, our answer will always be, don’t worry! We will always present you with a media kit or a presentation that supports any of your micro-influential business inquiries, so that way you get to know the person behind the brand and also the community that they represent.

If you still have some questions about the process, or you’re ready to go -- let’s talk! God & Beauty + Sociologee is taking on the world of micro-influence with the level of detail that has made G&B itself a success., Let us know what your brand and community is into and we will work with you to create the right strategy. What are your main goals when it comes to working with an influencer and most importantly, what is the message that you and your brand need to communicate to a community? Does your brand have an established community already? Be sure to contact us for any assistance, we’ll represent your brand and take it to the right place.

Brace yourselves, Holiday Season is Coming!

The Holiday Season is coming and your brand better be ready, as sales are expected to surpass the trillion (yeah, we said it, A TRILLION DOLLARS) on holiday shopping. But let us not forget that online shoppers have become more responsible and strategic when buying- they always want to get the best price and the competition is getting harder and harder everyday, which means your holiday sales strategy should begin waaaay before Christmas time.

With the biggest single moments for shopping on the horizon (Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas), you better brace yourself and start doing some research pronto. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, don’t worry. We love numbers and we’re ready to share some knowledge with you.

A study by Collective Bias showed that 70% of millennial consumers are influenced by the recommendations of their peers in buying decisions and 30% of consumers are more likely to buy a product recommended by a non-celebrity blogger.

According to Kim Westwood, Founder and Managing Director of Shopping Links, a recent survey of 2,000 shoppers showed that 31.7% visit social websites more than once a day during the holiday season, specifically to browse for gift ideas. A separate survey showed that 61% of shoppers use Facebook as their first source of holiday inspiration. She also gambles on these 4 strategies for holiday sales using influencers to showcase brands and products for any type of customer:

  • Showcase specific products.

  • Inspire action with time-sensitive sales.

  • Create a story, not an ad.

  • Track your results.

“The upcoming holidays are the best opportunity to open and increase your level of brand awareness.”

Photo courtesy of Noelle Downing (@noelledowning)

But how can your brand measure the ROI other than through the branding strategy with any influencer? Don’t worry, we got you covered. There are many types of strategies you could use with your influencer. You can:

  • Create a promo code per influencer to have control and know how heavy their impact is with their communities and audiences.

  • Have giveaways for brand awareness and combine it with purchase codes.

  • Promote live sessions to create stories and conversations. You know, that organic feeling that any other fake review doesn’t have. Stories matter to customers, because they are certainly expecting lots of advertisement on lots of products.

Still not buying these ideas? We got more research for you. You can see some results from actual previous holiday campaigns. Elliot Moore, from Ad Roll Group, created a really great piece you might want to check out. As you read on the article, you’ll notice that some BIG brands relied heavily on influencers and micro-influencers for their strategies.

But no matter how big or small you’d like to go with your strategy, keep these tips in mind for you to make it a bit easy on creating and planning ahead for the upcoming sales, because like we said, you should already be planning your strategy, if not planned already.

  1. Start with a plan

  2. Outline your promotional dates & platforms

  3. Get creative

  4. Provide a brand experience.

  5. Build a relationship.

The upcoming holidays are the best opportunity to open and increase your level of brand awareness. What better way to expand your business than through happy customer experiences and happy relations and recommendations. Social media is a platform for inspiration, upcoming ideas, product recommendations, product experiences and general opinions.

Overwhelmed? Don’t worry, there’s still time for you to plan. G&B offers advice on planning and getting the right influencer for your brand. Don’t be shy, check out our website and send us some questions if you have them, we’re here to assist you in the most effective way.