S3 EP21: HOW TO FIND INFLUENCERS WITH CEO OF SOCIAL PUBLI, ISMAEL ED-QUDSI

Ismael El-Qudsi is the founder and CEO of Influencer marketing platform Social Publi. Like many PR agencies in the early days of influencer marketing they realised having huge excel files kept updated with influencer data was a huge challenge. In addition to that Ismael says not everyone has a PayPal account. Social Publi works in 35 countries and many of the campaigns running are between 50-200 influencers at the same time so having a proper management tool is essential. Social Publi have over 300,000 influencers signed up to their platform and therefore the data is being driven by the recipients. Ismael shares more of his insights on this great podcast.

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Produced by Neil Whiteside at freedom:ONE

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S3 EP20: HOW TO WORK WITH MICRO-INFLUENCERS, DAVID MORNEAU EXPLAINS ALL

David Morneau is the CEO of US based Inbeat agency – specialising in micro-influencers. Micro-influencers can create great value for your investment, they often don’t have agents. The brand fit with the influencer relationship is so important. David talks about how to budget for campaigns. Could you run a pilot to see how they engage with perhaps a free product. Understanding how to create an effective ROI is still a challenge for some. Phoneloops is a brand who have 1,000 ambassadors in place, they can ‘ship’ them because it’s a low cost product. It would be different if it was a higher value product.

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Produced by Neil Whiteside at freedom:ONE

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Social Media Trends 2022

Use of social media has been growing exponentially of late, and the changes forced by the Covid-19 pandemic have accelerated that growth, as consumer habits and demands have adjusted in response.

A recent report by Hubspot and Talkwalker ‘Social Media Trends in 2022’ has highlighted 10 key trends in social marketing that you need to know about, and consider their relevance as part of your digital strategy.

The common denominator in all these trends is the consumer. Consumer power has grown, and they are now effectively in charge of your brand. What’s important to them needs to be important to you – so your market intelligence is going to become even more crucial.

The report is packed full of insights, and is well worth a read, But for busy readers who don’t have time to dive into the full thing, I’ve summarised the main take-outs for you here.

1. The domination of TikTok

Remember when TikTok was a playground for kids doing lip-synch videos? There’s still plenty of that going on, but savvy brands have been exploring its potential for a while, and the platform has been developing new tools for marketers, with an e-commerce and monetisation model rumoured to be in the pipeline.

During 2021, TikTok became the first non-Facebook platform to exceed 3 billion global downloads, its meteoric rise largely driven by users turning to it during successive lockdowns.

TikTok’s popularity lies mainly with the younger age-groups, and successful brands are those which are able to capitalise on the move from simple ads to more direct communication with consumers.

One of these is live-stream marketing, which has already taken off in Asia. Read about live-stream here.

The essential message here is that if your customers are on TikTok, you should be too. More than that, you need to be part of their conversations and willing to embrace user-generated content.

2. As cookies are phased out, social media ads will grow in importance

Social media continues to develop as a tool for reaching out to bigger audiences than ever before, and to engage with them in a more personal way. The customer journey is changing (and shortening) and successful brands on social media know how to engage directly and positively with their audience. That relationship might also be fragmented across various channels, so your data strategy will become more critical.

3. Social selling will simplify the customer journey

Social media platforms have recognised the importance of social selling and started to provide new shopping features, making it easier for brands to engage with, and sell to, social media users without them needing to leave the platform. Instagram is just one platform that has introduced these new shopping features. Combining the power of a strong influencer strategy with these new e-commerce possibilities is one way that brands are simplifying the customer journey and making it easier for social media consumers to become customers.

But it’s important to recognise that the brands doing this successfully are those willing to get creative with their customer engagement. It’s not just about well-placed ads. Livestreams and other engagements with consumer-led content are creating more positive engagements – shoppertainment is a growth area.

4. Consumer needs will shape content

The pandemic drastically increased our use of and reliance on social media. As a result content trends have moved on and brands need to adapt their marketing accordingly. Social media users increasingly expect that, since companies have their data, they tailor their content more accurately – so brands need to get more granular in terms of how they create content for specific locations, age groups, interest areas or gender.

The key take-out from this is that consumer insights are vital to enable you to create content that’s targeted to specific audiences.

Lifestyle and working habits having shifted during lockdown, consumers are acutely aware of the types of content that suit them – whether in terms of platform or duration. Bitesize formats are popular.Interestingly, too, although video and livestream content is still on the up, audio only content – including podcasts – is also very popular.

Think about your customer experience and whether it needs improving to make buying from you as simple as it can be. How easy is it to make a buying decision without seeing or touching an actual product? VR features are being added by many successful brands, allowing customers to explore, test and try out online.

5. Onmi-channel engagement is changing the way customers use social media

According to the Hubspot report, 64% of users now receive their news from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and Snapchat, instead of traditional media. This rise in social media consumption gives brands many opportunities to expand their audiences and increase the number of connections with you – as long as you are providing the content that your consumers actually want. Beware of fake news and misleading content!

As the table below shows, media is the largest source of misinformation, so to gain and keep the trust of your audiences you need to ensure you are providing trustworthy content, and challenging sources of fake news.

Although social media platforms are beginning to take more responsibility for fact-checking (Twitter, for example, has a partnership with Reuters to help combat misinformation), consumers themselves play a significant part in spreading misinformation. So brands who want to remain trusted need to be keeping an eye on not just their own content, but the content their online community is reading and sharing, and take a proactive role in sharing factually correct information to build trust.

6. Influencer marketing will come into its own

Influencer marketing has been growing up over the last few years, and is fast evolving into a sophisticated and more regulated version of itself. Combined with brand advocacy, where ‘real’ consumers become influencers in their own right, it’s a powerful tool for switched-on brands. Since the onset of the pandemic, we’ve become more conscious that a consumerist outlook isn’t good for the planet, so many brands are choosing to work with influencers with a social conscience that reflects their own vision.

A 2021 report by the Influencer Marketing Hub revealed that 67% of respondents were using Instagram for influencer marketing as part of their strategy.

This article explores developments in influencer marketing in more detail: https://gordonglenister.com/brand-advocacy/

7. Brands will take more control over social, with their own platforms

Social media used has exploded through the pandemic precisely because it enables the connections, socialising and relationship maintenance that Covid-19 impacted. The lesson brands need to learn from that is that they need to ensure that their digital platforms, apps and channels include social aspects.

The other side to this is that the ability to create communities is no longer limited to the big social media platforms. It’s now possible to build effective in-house social networks –enabling brands to take back control of their audiences from the global giants and, crucially, maintain more control of their content – or put more control in the hands of their audiences.

Stronger interactions mean greater engagement. As consumers become more able to interact direct with a brand, we’ll see how engagement and retention increase.

One brand that has been doing this very successfully is Venmo, which keeps its users engaged through conversations and connections on its social media channels, resulting in a higher level of trust and appreciation.

8. The rise of the metaverse

So what’s a metaverse? A good question, as the word didn’t really exist until recently. It refers to the amalgamation of the physical world, the augmented and the virtual. It was led, unsurprisingly, by the gaming industry, but even before Covid-19 hit, many brands were experimenting with virtual reality. The need for increased online social interactions and more immersive experiences during lockdowns has accelerated developments. Across industries and sectors, brands have realised that features like virtual dressing rooms, digital meet-ups and more personalised digital customer service can help them to stay relevant and create deeper connections, especially with younger audiences.
As Tania Tal, MD at DIA Brand Consultants says in the Hubspot report, “The metaverse is becoming the future playground for brands, where real and virtual worlds converge.”

Expect to see exciting new developments over the coming year.

9. Sustainability and inclusivity will become key

Covid-19 forced people to make drastic changes to how they live and work, and they now demand more from the brands they buy from. People are increasingly valuing sustainability – and they expect it to be authentic. The re-evaluation is also impacting on employment, with employees giving more importance to a company’s purpose than ever before.

Brands are no longer able to simply produce products or provide services and ignore the topics that matter to their audiences. Customers expect them to engage with issues of sustainability, inclusivity – everything from environmental concerns to social justice and mental health.

Lego is an interesting example. Their ‘Everyone is Awesome’ set, launch to coincide with 2021 Pride Month garnered 64% positive conversations, with over 20K people heading to social media to express their excitement.

Some of the most important take-outs here are that whatever you say needs to be genuine and authentic. It’s no good saying one thing, but acting differently. Your customers will notice! Listen to your customers and come up with ways to include as many of them as possible.

10. Communities are becoming the driving force

Given the previous trend, it should come as no surprise to hear that the community is taking charge. Whilst the onus is on brands to establish communities of consumers through strategic content shaped around their needs, they can’t always control what they say and do. With social media, these communities are able to form outside the brand’s owned spaces, which can have interesting outcomes. Social communities and movements can form, grow and gain power very quickly (witness the BLM and #MeToo movements) and brands with the right messages will be able to tap into them. On the flip side, get it wrong, and the disruptive power of the community can have catastrophic effects.

Again, transparency is important here – your social media presence needs to be as genuine as possible, with the ability for your audience to interact as much as possible. Communities also need nurturing, so be prepared to put the commitment in when it comes to maintaining them, and the pay-off will be brand engagement, exposure and even brand love.

There’s so much valuable information in the full report that I’ve only been able to give you a digest of the key points here. If you want to explore the case studies and examples in more detail, you can download the full report here ↓

If you’d like to explore how to tap into these emerging trends and build an effective social media marketing programme for your brand, let’s talk.

Gordon Glenister is the author of a new book, Influencer Marketing Strategy. Learn:

  • how to build an influencer strategy
  • what makes a great influencer
  • about the rise of Clubhouse and TikTok
  • about future digital trends for connecting with a digital customer

Order your copy from Kogan or Amazon

Find out more at: https://gordonglenister.com/

EPISODE 11: WHY PURPOSE SHOULD BE AT THE CENTRE OF YOUR MEMBERSHIP MESSAGE – ADAM DONNAN CEO OF IES

In this episode, host Gordon Glenister talks with Adam Donnan, the CEO of the Institution of Environmental Science.

The IES represents individual consultants, academia, those working for Natural England, The Environment Agency and local government. This gives them the opportunities and the tools to create real system change, by having a strong purpose at the core of what they do. Adam says membership bodies need to have a sense of purpose at the heart of the organisation.

CEOs want to grow their membership, they want an engaged and active membership, alongside staff that know they are doing and why they are doing it. Purpose can fulfil all those aims.

Growing your membership is broken into two areas, Adam says. The first is a transactional one based on a range of services offered that meets the needs of the member; but the other is a more altruistic one. The altruist is more about the well being of the sector and a sense of wanting to give back; and in many instances this can be a deeper relationship than the transactional one.

Find out more at what Adam has to say on this.

This show is kindly sponsored by RD mobilewww.rdmobile.com

EPISODE 10: HOW APPS CAN IMPROVE MEMBER ENGAGEMENT

In this episode James Thorne CEO of the Institute of Quarrying is joined by head of membership and marketing Sarah Fry, to talk about how the introduction of an app has made a huge difference in member engagement.

Whilst it was always part of a longterm strategy to encourage members to use the app, Sarah commented on their goals have been reached in their first phase. As more content is shared on the app, so adoption is growing.

Find out how they did it.

This show is kindly sponsored by RD mobilewww.rdmobile.com

EPISODE 09: THE SOCIAL CEO – DAMIAN CORBET & ALICIA RUSSELL

In this episode Gordon Glenister talks with the author of “The Social CEO”, Damian Corbet and the vice president of global marketing at Onalytica, Alicia Russell.

A recent survey conducted by Membership World and influencer marketing platform Onalytica looked at the social profiles of over 50 CEOs of membership bodies and trade associations.

Original content performed so much better than shared or branded content on Linkedin. ‘Don’t create content for content’s sake and know what your audience care about’, says Alicia. And leaders of trade associations that are sharing from their personal content is when the real value comes. Chris Skeith from the Association of Event Organisers is an example of a CEO using social media well during a challenging time for the sector. Having a leader like this lobby for the sector they can see this person is working hard for us says Damian.

Most people are seeing what you’re posting but not necessarily commenting.

Craig Bennet CEO of the Wildlife Trust leads one of the categories in the report and he shares pictures of nature on his linkedin and Twitter. ‘It feels personal and you feel like you are going on a journey with him’, says Alicia . She also praises Sophie Devonshire for doing a great job at the Marketing Society.

This show is kindly sponsored by RD mobilewww.rdmobile.com

S3 EP19: GAUTAM GANGLANI, INFLUENCER, THOUGHT LEADER AND GLOBAL EVENTS ORGANISER

How does a global event organiser and speaker management service run events in a challenging 18 month period? Gautam Ganglani ran 100 webinars last year just to stay connected to his global audience and to build value with no commercial return he says. Traditionally he represented authors and not all of these make great online speakers so it was a big learning experience. The skill set required for trainers is very different for speakers with 1,000 people. Gautam talks about some amazing events he managed with Stephen Covey. Diversity and inclusion have been major topics. Technology, strategy, gaining trust and anything in the communication space. Strategy in particular has been a major topic, hear more from Gautam in this enlightening episode. Thought leaders are providing content online. One of the best examples is Marshall Goldsmith where he provided all of his slides that can be copied and shared. He was the highest paid and most booked speaker by Right Selection.

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Presented by @gordonglenister

Produced by Neil Whiteside at freedom:ONE

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S3 EP18: FASHION AND FITNESS CONTENT CREATOR ROWAN ROW WITH 1.4M FOLLOWERS ON INSTAGRAM SHARES HIS STORY

Fashion and fitness content creator Rowan Row shares his story from when he came over from Romania not being able to speak the language but now works with global brands like Sony and Aston Martin. Rowan even had his Instagram account hacked and nearly lost everything, yet he has been resilient, consistent and smart with the way in which he has grown his brand into a full time career. Now he has over 1.4m followers on Instagram and a further 1.5m on YouTube. Moving to other platforms like Tiktok would require even more time he says. He has lots of advice for people starting out and for those developing content. Check out his content on Instagram @rowanrow

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Presented by @gordonglenister

Produced by Neil Whiteside at freedom:ONE

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S3 EP17: GLOBAL AMBASSADOR, AUTHOR AND SPEAKER MADELEINE BLACK TALKS ABOUT CHANGING BEHAVIOUR FOR SENSITIVE SUBJECTS

In this episode, I am joined by global ambassador, speaker and author, the amazing Madeleine Black who shares her own horrific story when she was gang raped at the age of 13 and suffered unimaginable trauma. It took years of personal healing to be able to know when the time was right to decide to talk openly about this. Madeleine refers to herself as the Courage Cultivator and is an inpsiration to millions of women all over the world. After growing up with a burden no teenager should ever have to shoulder, she had the heart to carry out the best revenge plan of all; leading a fulfilling and happy life. For Madeleine, forgiveness was the key. True forgiveness takes genuine effort. It takes a real desire to understand those who have done us so much harm. It is the ultimate act of courage. Listen to this amazing heartfelt interview.

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Produced by Neil Whiteside at freedom:ONE

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S3 EP16: WHAT IS THE VALUE OF HUMAN TO HUMAN CONNECTION – FOUNDER OF WARM WELCOME SHARES HIS STORY

In this episode we hear from the serial entrepreneur and founder of Warm Welcome, David Jay. David is one of the top photo journalists in the world, has been featured in the top 100 tech and innovation influencers by Intercon and an international speaker. We discuss community and human-to-human connection through the power of personalised video. David talks about your network being your NETWORTH. Take a listen to this highly engaging episode.

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