Claire Duiverman

Influencer content: The power of high quality content

Quality of content is critical to achieve success in a sea of information”, said Joe Pulizzi Head of the Content Marketing Institute (CMI). Yet, even though this is what every marketing campaign strives to achieve, the lack of proxies and measurements make quality one of the most complex factors to determine a campaign’s success.

Indeed, producing great content is one of the most difficult challenges marketers face on a daily basis. Still, when looking at influencer marketing, the quality of the content is often disregarded and undervalued. The biggest mistake made in the popular use of influencers is the extensive focus on the distribution of content in terms of reach and impressions rather than the creation of it.

Integrating content marketing and influencer marketing

In order for influencer marketing to be successful and valuable, it has to be engaging, unique, and targeted to the audience you’re trying to reach. All these elements translate into one and only requirement: quality. It is therefore crucial to require and give influencers enough space to not only distribute but also produce creative and high quality content to make your campaign as beneficial as possible.

After all, influencers have already demonstrated and proven the power of their creativity and content creator skills in various successful campaigns (see Wolford and House of Eleonore Case Studies).

Leveraging this expertise becomes a necessity when a brand wants to resonate with its audience and produce authentic and honest content.

Using proxies for quality

However, in order to be able to demand high quality content from influencers, certain measurements need to be set and used in order to be able to assess it.

Measuring quality of content can be based on several basic criteria:

  •  Quality of content

First and most obvious of all, the quality of the content can be assessed in terms of the creativity of the influencer in its approach to produce new content in line with the brand and its own identity.

  •  Quality of audience

Second, the quality of the audience needs to be evaluated. Therefore, audience demographics such as country and city of origin, age, gender and even interests and income to fit the specific target and industry are very insightful informations. This then also determines the quality of the content distribution.

  •  Quality of the influencer

Finally, the quality of the influencer is also an integral part of the overall quality of a campaign. Therefore, measurements such as engagement rates of the influencer with its audience and frequency of posting are relevant measures.

Concluding this attempt to find measurable quality metrics, assessing the quality of influencer content stays a subjective and brand specific judgement. However, referring back to Bill Gates’ essay Content is King, the Influencer Marketing Hub described influencer marketing as being the new « content king », which highlights again the power of quality, over quantity. 

 

 

Non-profit influencer marketing: Pink Ribbon x The Cirqle

Businesses all around the world are familiarizing themselves with influencer marketing. Yet, non-profit organizations have also recently caught on to the wave. They are starting to identify a natural fit for crowd funding and fundraising through the use influencers.

One of them, Pink Ribbon, reached out to us in order to raise awareness for their cause through influencer marketing.

As part of the Dutch Cancer Society, Pink Ribbon finances projects and research in the field of treatment, aftercare and long-term effects of breast cancer. For many years now, Pink Ribbon develops new products such as agendas, bracelets and notebooks in order to raise money and awareness towards breast cancer research.

We advised them to work with 27 female influencers across the Netherlands over 4 different channels (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Blog), in order to reach a relevant audience of potential donators.

The influencers created authentic and honest content that generated highly relevant engagement with their audiences. This created a real awareness of the cause Pink Ribbon is defending as well as the products enabling more and more donations every year. 

Love this! Great way to raise awareness and help for a great cause.
— Sabrina_Melissa

 

By delivering their message to the right people, Pink Ribbon was able to reach more then 1M impressions!

If you want to also help drive change and participate in fighting breast cancer, check out: https://www.pinkribbon.nl/. 

A few examples of the content produced:

 

 

When social becomes profitable: How Instagram is empowering businesses

After reaching more than 800 million monthly active users in 2017, Instagram has turned into the social media El Dorado. This has made a substantial impact on businesses that rapidly understood the power of the platform for advertising. In fact, Instagram recently estimated the business community to represent 2 Million advertisers (up from 1 million back in March).

Here are some of the key elements behind Instagram's marketing success:

1. Instagram traffic VISITS HAVE HIGHER QUALITY

Visitors from Instagram stay on a site for an average of 192 seconds – this is longer than visitors from any other channel, including Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. This also means that traffic from Instagram is the most engaged and represents a more attractive consumer panel (Yotpo 2017).

2. Instagram has high organic and targeted reach

The organic nature of Instagram’s audience increases the word-of-mouth effect. According to a recent Yotpo research, 83% of consumers confirmed that seeing a post about a brand on Instagram influences their decision to look the brand up.

In addition, with the current available tools, businesses are now able to leverage this instagram audience even more by targeting specific segments (by age, country or even interest).

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3. Instagram's hashtags(#) simply work

Not only do hashtags enable categorisation and content discovery, they are also the driving forces behind most of the user-generated advertising campaigns. According to Sproutsocial, "One of the best ways to kick off a UGC campaign on Instagram is with the help of a branded hashtag" in order to optimise exposure. This is also why 7 out of 10 hashtags used are branded (Simply Measured Study).

4. Instagram enables shoppable solutions

Instagram shopping is real. The platform is providing increasingly more links and solutions to connect user generated content to e-commerce websites within the application.

  • Instagram stories

By introducing the swipe up option in Instagram stories, direct product referrals are possible, creating a direct linkto an e-commerce website within the platform.

  • Shoppable third-party solutions

Companies such as Curalate are also providing solutions to turn your Instagram feed into a shoppable feed. Again here, a direct link within the platform makes instagram scrolling and buying a natural consumer path.

  • Shoppable tags

Last but not least, Instagram recently developed it's own shoppable posts, currently only available for businesses in the United States using the Big Commerce platform. The tool is simple: retailers can insert shoppable tags on their Instagram pictures featuring a product to get the Instagram user directly to the store.

This add-on is another proof that Instagram is slowly shifting towards a key selling tool for retailers, something to keep an eye on in Europe as well! 

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What's more, Instagram is estimated to rake in $4 billion in global advertising revenue by the end of 2017, an impressive growth prospect! 

A new way to measure word-of-mouth marketing? How The Cirqle looks at it.

As consumers are increasingly overwhelmed by a variety of product choices, impulse buying seems to become a trend of the past. Consumers look, ask, search, compare, review, and re-think before purchasing advertised products.

The one key element however, that is often forgotten but does fundamentally impact purchase behaviour is a critical one. And that is: Trust.

Through Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C) sharing and awareness, marketers can actually harness the power of opinion
— Forester Research

Word of mouth is entirely based on the fact that 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family over all other forms of advertising (Nielsen, 2012). The real question here is: if consumers value word-of-mouth and marketers believe it is effective, then why aren’t marketers more focused on it? One simple answer is the need for tangible measures of word of mouth marketing.

Measures for w-o-m

McKinsey’s report (2011), “A new way to measure word-of-mouth marketing”, attempted to provide a new formula to measure the impact of WOM, also called “word-of-mouth equity”. Yet, this impact is measured on the basis of black or white qualitative criteria such as influential or not, relevant or irrelevant message content, close or large network etc. This leads to think that McKinsey’s new measurement tool only results in two-sided answers, far from the tangible output needed to change marketers’ decisions or budget allocations. 

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Our Approach

Our objective is to fundamentally understand how and why specific pieces of content perform better in comparison to others. In order to guide our clients towards the right consumers, through the right content and in the right setting, the interpretation of the right data is of critical important. Thus, we make sure brands understand the value of their investment through personalised and substantial feedback on campaign content and through carefully assessing and evaluation the feedback our technology delivers. 

This is why we focus on individual content analytics such as impressions, engagement points, followers and demographic data (gender, city, country, age, income data, amongst others) of each influencer and content allocated to a campaign. Coming back to McKinsey's measurement tool, this enables us to look at both volume and impact sides of a campaign. 

Restrictions

However, the actual impact of a campaign does not limit itself to the above. The Cirqle, calibrates the impact of a campaign throughout the entire campaign management process, moving away from McKinsey’s 4 impact criteria.

This process moves from the deliberate recruitment and selection of influencers towards the audience the influencer is actually targeting; to the campaign content and channel selection (beyond the continuous communication b/w brand- and influencer). All these factors are taken into account in in the final impact assessment of a campaign. 

Concluding

Despite of these efforts to employ different impact measurements, capturing the campaign's relation to actual customer conversion remains the ultimate goal. A goal which we'll continue to relentlessly pursue and will hope to present our findings for in the next weeks to come. 

We're announcing a partnership in the next week which we'll hopefully lay the groundworks for helping us to achieve this mission.

Nederland helpt Sint Maarten

The Cirqle has partnered with the Red Cross and NOS to help launch the #NederlandhelptSintMaarten campaign. 

On the 6th of September, the devastating Hurricane Irma ripped through the Caribbean and caused unimaginable damage, particularly on Sint Maarten. Up to 70% of the houses are badly damaged or destroyed, food and water is extremely limited, and despair is spreading. In order to help the victims, the Red Cross needs funds and has consequently organised together with NOS a national action-day on Friday 15th of September.  

The Red Cross has invited us to further increase awareness for the event, and to help amplify its impact. Naturally we offered to put all our resources to help this cause, and encouraged our entire community of Dutch influencers to share information about the event and mobilise their followers to take ACTION. In addition, some of our influencers will be showing their support on-site by visiting the event in Hilversum. 

The event will be broadcasted on radio and television and will take place at the Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid in Hilversum. It's aim is to inform Dutch citizens about the urgency of the situation and raise as much money as possible via Giro 5125.

We hope that this cause is as important to you as it is to us and we encourage you to take action in any way that you can.  

Foto: Rode Kruis/Arie Kievit

Foto: Rode Kruis/Arie Kievit

Does influencer marketing have an impact on actual sales?

Does influencer marketing have an impact on actual sales?

The current state of the market has proven several determining factors of influencer marketing. However, the impact on actual sales, one of the most important metrics for almost all retailers (predominantly, in the fashion space), remains an untouched and blurry topic.