personality

‘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.

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.

Is my Influencer Keeping it 100?

Where did the organic feel go?

‘Instafamous’ feeds have shifted from giving me life envy to constantly promoting lifestyle products that I’ve always been skeptical about.
— Lucy Slater, PR Account Executive

What's sponsored and what isn't?

Brands are feeling like they are engaging more with their audience by using famous influencers, but often now users tend to feel a little bit of a fake vibe when it comes to promoting a certain item or service.  Why does this happen? Because there’s a fine line between strategically mentioning a product, and getting paid for you to “fake it ‘til you make it” with any brand that comes your way to say that you support them and are with them 100%. Let’s call it the Dark Side of the Moon of Influencers. 

In the end, it all comes down to the way a brand perceives an influencer and if they feel like they can add some value to their investment. If you go to YouTube right now, there are TONS of videos with theories on how X or Y influencer sold their soul out for X or Y brand. And even if you think things like “any advertising is good advertising”, TRUST AND BELIEVE that that is not the case and it won’t add anything of VALUE to your strategy.

So what’s real? What’s organic?  What’s an honest recommendation?

If we flip a coin on saying that any influencer is an actual influencer because of their community, then we first need to evaluate if their community is real or if there’s even an actual fan base hearing and seeing all of their sponsored content. 

There’s an article by Tom Ward on Forbes that actually gives you a higher perspective on micro and large influencers. He gives us some good points on how to consider an influencer real or not. Here are our top 4:

How can you spot the fakes?

  • Sudden Spike In Followers: There are really only two reasons for a sudden spike in Instagram followers: They were named a suggested user or they bought followers. If a user randomly had a massive spike, you should be suspicious.
  • Heavy Overseas Follower Count: An influencer with a large percentage of foreign followers should be audited. I’ve found that most of the sites that sell fake followers get them from accounts in Eastern Europe or South America.
  • Shady Followers: Scroll through their followers. Are there a large number who’ve never posted, or don’t have a profile pic? That’s a giant red flag.
  • Read The Comments: Are they real or are they generic statements, like “Great pic!” If there isn't actual commentary, you should be wary. Also look at the languages used. Are they in the influencer's native language or a foreign one?

The most important lesson to learn here is to never believe what other people tell you is successful. The key is to check for yourself. Use reporting and social media management software to help you find, form and deepen real connections with the people who love your brand. Sprout Social is one of our favorites because it has a holistic approach to social media by not only assisting you with reporting and monitoring your engagement but also helping you understand where you go wrong or where you can improve your strategy. Here are a few features you can find useful if you sign up:

  • Analytics and social listening: Data analysis, measurement and reporting, and qualitative insights.
  • Social management: Content planning and publishing (mapping themes against brand initiatives), campaign and conversation management (create and track campaigns and their engagement) and measurement and optimization (access rich and detailed date to measure and drive your performance).
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“If you think your strategy has lost the organic feel or if you even consider that it’s starting to take the fake promoting road with any influencer, be open and express your thoughts and concerns.  Yes, an influencer may know how to work but sometimes a lil’ push to calibrate never hurt nobody.”

Photo courtesy of Rachel Iwanyszyn (@jaglever)

#GNBFamily likes to stay in sync with our clients, following up and integrating you into our team. From helping you choose the right influencer that suits your brand the best, to the strategy and communication that this will entail. We always make sure that we keep it 100 with our clients, to reinforce trust. 
 
Ready to start trusting again?