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Marketing to a Male Audience: How Beauty Brands Can Advertise to Men

It’s no secret that the beauty industry has traditionally targeted a more feminine audience. However, this is changing, as is the relationship between beauty and gender.

As we discuss in our newest white paper Mind The Beauty Gap: Male Beauty and Beyond the male beauty market is growing faster than in the female world. Although gender fluidity is becoming more common and gender-oriented interests or habits are fewer by the day, masculinity is still a big social identifier for a lot of men.

The beauty-conscious metrosexual male (defined as a heterosexual, urban man who enjoys shopping, fashion, and personal upkeep), for example, has become more relevant than ever within masculine identification – and by extension beauty marketing.

Male Beauty on the Rise

In the West, men have traditionally been under less pressure than women to maintain their image. For many, looking after their appearance – especially if it takes a lot of time or money – isn’t high on the priority list.

The below series of tweets concisely summarises the societal viewpoint and its knock-on effect until now.

However, image-oriented social media like Snapchat, Instagram and BeReal are making spur-of-the-moment selfies more common than ever, with a hand-in-hand effect of keeping people being on top of their personal appearance. BeReal has been around since 2019, but has ballooned in popularity this year. Today, 36.7% and 23.3% of men and women with an interest in beauty have heard of BeReal respectively, according to Global Web Index.

It’s these Social-first Gen Z and Millennial audiences that are behind the growth in male beauty. As we see in our piece about Male Beauty Audiences, men who regularly buy skincare, makeup and cosmetics products are more likely to skew younger – and also spend more.

How to Advertise to Men

As is so often the case in the beauty industry, Korean cosmetics are paving the way in the male marketplace. Rather than dramatized glamour as has been the image of beauty in the past, however, the Korean market focuses on a day-to-day youthful, healthy look.

As this look makes its way over to the west, brands framing beauty products for men as hygiene or health-related is more likely to gain a response than by framing them as a luxury, or do with ‘beauty’. Rather, skin and hair care should be framed akin to eating healthily or exercising, selling it as a necessity rather than an indulgent addition.

Targeting to men doesn’t have to always be as aggressively masculine as war paint for men. It works for their brand due to their specialising in makeup for men, rather than generalised beauty. Therefore, they choose to advertise with hypermasculine imagery and text to overcompensate for the traditional femininity of the makeup market.

However, when it comes to more general beauty, a gentler approach can also be taken to target men.

Going for Neutrality

Some great male-targeted advertising examples connect with their male audience via the umbrella of gender neutrality. Tom Ford opts for unisex packaging that looks timeless, sleek and glamorous with clean-cut shapes and neutral colours.

Aesop’s approach is to categorise their products by body part (hair, skin, body) rather than ‘for men’ or ‘for women’. All in all, you don’t need to directly go for the manly-man strategies for men to be a part of your audience.

Marketing to a male audience can be achieved simply by moving away from the hyperfeminine to a more neutral approach. You don’t necessarily need to go all out with the black and edgy sandalwood effect of War Paint, but Soap and Glory’s full-on pink probably isn’t the way to go, either.

The neutral approach allows brands to seem approachable to new audiences, and not intimidating or daunting in any way. Many men are already stepping out of traditional masculinity by considering the world of beauty – so make it an easy one for them.

Alternatively, if you’re a brand that appeals to more than one gender, having a ‘for men’ section could put you in good stead with this audience. A lot of men are afraid to tap into beauty products because of the way that they’ve been marketed and socially considered for so long. Men should be made aware that beauty does not equal makeup, and even when it does, they needn’t be put off.

Update Your Messaging

Does it clean out your pores? Will it reduce dandruff? Men like to know specifically what a product will do for them. For example, the success of brands like Lynx and Gillette hinge on smelling more attractive and providing a smooth finish for your shave respectively. What’s more, your results will improve further if you can provide the numbers.

Male audiences typically are swayed less by emotional messaging, and respond well to statistics, so will be more likely to buy a product if you can prove its effectiveness.

In fact, advertising all-around is key for a male audience. Not only do men respond more to adverts than women, but they’re four times as likely to respond to an advert with men in it than one with women.

Furthermore, the idea that ‘sex sells’ has been ingrained into marketers for decades now. In some ways, this is now a very outdated notion. However, in other ways, it’s merely shifted gears. The image of women fawning over a man is starting to die out, but body confidence and self-love is a better strategy than ever.

Sex alone doesn’t sell any more, but the confidence behind sexiness does. It’s no longer the concept of attracting the opposite sex that’s selling – it’s the concept of feeling comfortable and sexy in your own skin, for yourself.

Focus on Your Online Stores

While being online is a necessity now regardless, it becomes even more important when targeting beauty to men. A male audience is likely to research longer, and less keen to be seen buying beauty products, therefore they’re likely to prefer the discrepancy of buying online.

By optimising your online presence, you’re creating a safe space for men to explore their interest without having to sift through products in person.

Furthermore, your online store can provide extra features that are unattainable in their physical counterparts. For example, Sephora have a range of quizzes on their website that are designed to help customers find the right product for them if they don’t know where to start. This is another great way of minimising the intimidation of the beauty-sphere for men who perhaps aren’t used to it.

Specialise Your Paid Advertising

If you’re a male beauty brand, getting your products out there using offline channels comes with one core problem: how do you ensure you’re reaching men, and not wasting spend on female audiences?

The targeting that marketers are offered within digital ads solves that problem immediately, giving a greater granularity and predictability, and ensuring only men are seeing your ads.

Within most of the main paid media platforms, whether that’s Google, Facebook, TikTok or Twitter, you can use demographic targeting to specify where and when adverts appear – and to whom.

In Google Search, you can show up in hyper-specialised shopping contexts, by bidding on keywords such as ‘male moisturiser’ or ‘perfumes for men’.

Then, by combining your gendered audience filters and targeted keywords, you can really specialise who your adverts appear to and be visible for searches which are traditionally made by women. For instance, you can ensure you’re appearing when a man is searching “moisturiser” – maximising spend and standing out within your marketplace.

You can even use your paid ads to choose where your ads are being shown online. GQ.com, for example, displays this kind of targeted advertising, so by advertising here you could be sure that your adverts were reaching the right audience.

Digital Marketing with a Focus on Beauty and Wellness

As with anything, it’s important to remember that this guide is ultimately a generalisation of male audiences. No two men will shop in exactly the same way, so keep this in mind when finding the best way to market to your particular audience.

At Foundation, we specialise in  marketing for beauty and wellness brands. We can help you find the perfect voice and drive revenue within your desired audience – whoever that might be.

Get in touch with our team to find out more.

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Beauty Marketing Audience Data: How Male and Female Personas Differ

In our white paper around Male Beauty, we discuss how the market for men’s skincare and beauty products has ballooned in the last 20 years.

In this piece, I’d like to dive a little deeper into the audiences who are behind this growth.

Using the audience research platform Global Web Index, I’ve created an audience which is male, based in the UK and has purchased skincare, makeup or cosmetics products in the last month.

In this piece I’m comparing the audience against one identical to the above, but which identifies as female rather than male.

N.B. there are options within GWI for people who’ve bought other products such as shampoo, grooming products or sun cream, but I want to purely compare skincare and cosmetics buyers across these two genders.

Demographics

First let’s start with demographics. Comparing income levels of typical male beauty buyers shows they’re more likely to be better off than their female counterparts.

Nearly half of all male beauty buyers belong to the high or highest income subset, compared to less than a third of women.

When it comes to geography, men who buy beauty products tend to live in urban areas, while female beauty buyers are more likely to live in towns and villages.

Male beauty buyers don’t just skew urban and rich, they’re also pretty young too. More than half of all male beauty buyers are younger than 34 – although 48% of our female beauty audience were, too.

Fewer than 10% of the male beauty buyers we’ve profiled are aged 55-64.

These demographics represent good news for the male beauty market: it’s young people driving revenue, and it’s likely these buyers will continue to shop as they get older while new younger shoppers enter the market too.

Values

Comparing values is when things start to get interesting. Male beauty audiences’ big differentiators are around standing out from the crowd and being successful, while female values arc towards acceptance, positivity, helping others and enjoying a family life.

It’s worth noting as well than environmental concerns are much more pressing for female beauty buyers than male: in broad brush strokes, prominent male values are more about personal growth and recognition, while many women’s values are more societal and focused on others.

Product Discovery and Conversion Motivations

When it comes to product discovery, search engines are the biggest way that both genders find out about brands, but the two differ wildly aside from that. Men veer towards expert-led research areas such as review sites and video research, while women trust consumer reviews more.

Then, when it comes to driving consumers towards conversion, the two have different motivations too.

We saw earlier that male beauty buyers tend to have higher income and also be less concerned with being financially secure, so it stands to reason that they prefer premium products and be less swayed by loyalty programs and discount codes. They are more likely to be swayed by the community around a brand and influenced by online reviews.

Black Friday

Finally, with Black Friday just around the corner, I wanted to see how the two groups were approaching the biggest retail day of the year.

Again, the higher income levels of male beauty buyers explains in part how they’re likely to be less affected by the rising cost of living, and how they’re less inclined to value being financially secure. As a result, they’re planning to splash more cash this November than our female audience.

If you want data insights into who your ideal customers are, and how you can reach them without wasting budget, talk to our team today.

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The Latest Look: Why Is User Generated Content So Important?

In recent years, experiential marketing has surged in adoption. Gone are the days of there simply being products, prices and margins, and in comes a wave of external factors that all culminate to result in customer acquisition. One major part of this new movement has been the acknowledgement of community engagement, specifically using user generated content (UGC).

As of the mid-late 2010s, consumers are now actively choosing to engage with and buy from brands that they can depend on, with 35% of UK beauty buyers saying that they trust what online reviews say about the products they buy, and 38% of them claiming to seek out expert opinions before buying expensive products.  

Source: Global Web Index

Join us as we dive into the importance of UGC in beauty marketing, and why you should consider making it a part of your content marketing strategy.

What Is User Generated Content?

User generated content, as its name implies, revolves around marketing content that can be derived from reviews, photos, or videos created by customers. Most UGC is delivered on social media, with consumers always being keen to show off their latest purchases to the masses.

We all know how pivotal influencers are in marketing, which itself feeds into the importance of UGC as a whole. Essentially, UGC allows you to turn your customers into micro-influencers, signalling to prospective customers that your brand is more dependable and worth paying attention to.

User Generated Content Benefits In Beauty

When looking at the beauty industry in particular, there are a few key reasons why UGC matters to brands old and new.

Providing Evidence

When showcasing a product on your website, you’re going to undoubtedly paint it in the best light possible. It’s one thing to list the benefits of a product, it’s another to show those benefits in action. User generated content is an excellent means of capturing your product in the wild, while proving its effectiveness in real-world conditions.

Settling Safety Concerns

Anything that promises to alter our appearance often comes with safety concerns. Allergic reactions, skin irritations and sometimes even fire hazards are all valid points of worry for consumers. If you can show your customers that your product is both effective and safe to use, then you’re on track to convincing them into making a purchase for themselves.

Boosting Representation

As a much wider topic, representation is a complex area of concern in the beauty industry. When we see people that look like us wearing clothes or makeup, we’re more psychologically inclined to picture ourselves using it.

User generated content is a real winner for representation, as it allows for people of all sorts of complexions, skin types and body shapes to have their say on fittings, styles and appearances.

Beauty Brands Leading the Way

There are a few beauty brands that we’ve seen killing it in the UGC space. Let’s look at our favourites:

Example 1: Revolution

With a bio that reads “YOU are the Revolution”, Revolution has given its audience the spotlight on its Instagram. Interspersed with influencer reels and image posts, there’s a clear dedication to customer representation across Revolution’s social media strategy.

There’s an array of content being offered, from product trials to buyer hauls. All of which showcases Revolution as a brand that cares.

Example 2: Drunk Elephant

“Suddenly, what started as a philosophy became a movement.”

Focused on sustainability, Drunk Elephant has taken a more empowerment-focused approach to its marketing outputs. The brand has developed a branded hashtag (#barewithus), with a quick search on Instagram showing over 5,000 posts from Drunk Elephant users.

These pictures are then used on Drunk Elephant’s website, to showcase real people using its products.

Example 3: Hair Burst

Hair Burst is all about evidence. From the scientific research section on its website, to the sheer level of audience-created content posted on its Instagram, the brand has some hefty claims to back up.

It does this brilliantly via video-based testimonials, and through encouraging customer feedback through a verified buyer scheme on its website. We counted over 3,500 reviews across all its products, with an average rating coming in at a perfect five stars. If there is a review less than five stars, the brand is sure to step in and respond.

Example 4: Never Fully Dressed

“Our customer is our influencer”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Never Fully Dressed is quite possibly one of the most customer-focused brands we’ve ever come across. Yes, there are posts from influencers, but in between these posts are some genuinely strong trust signals from actual customers.

Front and centre on its Instagram sits a collection of stories titled “CUSTOMER LOVE” in which Never Fully Dressed talks exclusively about the impact the brand has had on the lives of its customers.

All in all, Never Fully Dressed captures the very essence of user generated content, with a tagline that shows a dedication like no other.

How To Use User Generated Content In Beauty

So, what can we learn from these brands? Throughout reviewing posts and following their progress, a few themes have been identified:

Re-Posts

Having your brand be tagged in a post is a true sign of trust. Not only has your customer decided to purchase your product, but they have then decided to show their friends and family where they bought it from. Posts like these are invaluable to any UGC strategy, so make sure you get them posted on to your brand’s timeline.

Use plenty of adoration and remember to always ask for permission.

Review Hosting

Hosting reviews is a fairly common practice in the world of ecommerce. Although it may not seem like it, reviews can even form part of your wider strategy with UGC. If you’re consistently getting five-star reviews on websites like Trustpilot, you should absolutely be shouting about them on your website and social media channels.

While hosting these reviews is a good measure, it’s also just as important to engage with the customers leaving them, good or bad.

Curate Heavily

While it can be tempting to just pick the first positive post you see and re-upload it, sometimes, mistakes happen. This is why you should always curate the content you post before engaging in any UGC activity. You never know when a customer has slipped in something overtly negative or problematic into their post, for it to then make its way to your brand’s official marketing outputs.

Save the embarrassment and double, triple, quadruple check anything before re-posting.

Incentivise Engagement

Of course, UGC relies heavily on your customer base. So, what do you do if there’s not much material to work with? Getting customers to take part in branded hashtag competitions, using engagement-focused copy in your posts, and really resonating with their personal struggles are just a few of the ways you can begin to build a back-and-forth, online dialogue with your audience.

Beauty-Focused Content Marketing Expertise

Utilising user generated content opens up plenty of directions that you can take with your content marketing efforts. If you’re struggling to keep up, we can help. At Foundation, we specialise in content marketing for beauty brands. With years of combined experience, we can level up your UGC game and give your beauty brand the exposure it deserves.

Contact us today to see how we can help.

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What Does GA4 Mean for Beauty Brands?

By 2023, Google is rolling out its new version of Google Analytics, Google Analytics 4. Not only that, but its creation means the death of Universal Analytics that so many of us have relied on up until this point.

Universal Analytics will be completely retired on July 1st, 2023, so you have until then to make the switch; but you can do so right now if you’re already prepared to change over.

The reason for this change is primarily down to new data privacy and protection laws, as well as users being individually more aware of their online privacy. This is, of course, a step in the right direction in terms of data and consent, but it does make it harder and harder for businesses to track customer journeys, user behaviour, and the constant switching between devices.

For an industry like makeup and beauty, cross-platform data monitoring is an essential in understanding the customer journey, from social media interactions to paid ad influence and mobile vs. desktop website layouts.

GA4 is being introduced to improve this experience for both businesses and users. Companies will be able to gather data more efficiently, and users’ data will only be held for a fraction of the current length of time.

So, let’s break down some of the individual features of GA4, and what they could mean for the beauty industry.

Google Analytics 4 vs. Universal Analytics

Universal Analytics

Google Analytics 4

The main difference that you’ll find is in the way that GA4 presents its data, focusing on machine learning and data visualisation. This means predictive analytics, more graphs and charts, and a nice new streamlined way of analysing cross-platform data. All round, it’s going to make for an easier method of evaluating the effect of your online presence as a business.

For the most part, GA4 will still be able to do everything that Universal Analytics has done up until now. Rather than starting from scratch, it aims to improve upon some of these existing features, as well as implementing new ones.

Bounce Rates

An example of a built-upon feature, for example, is bounce rates. GA4 changes the way that data is read, using a set-up of events and parameters rather than the previous system of acquisition, behaviour and conversion.

This means that the new focus is on what a user does on any given site page, rather than a simple bounce rate, if a user only clicks on and off a webpage. Instead, bounce rate is being paired up with an additional engagement rate, which will consider actions like viewing a page for longer than ten seconds.

By doing so, GA4 focuses on the events that took place during a visit rather than the visit itself, and will therefore be able to provide a more in depth analysis of user behaviour.

Cross-Device Tracking

Perhaps the most widely anticipated element of GA4, however, is the new cross-device tracking and conversion modelling. By combining app and web data, new cross-platform and cross-device tracking capabilities mean that mapping customer journeys should be much easier and smoother in the future.

Purchase Forecasting

New predictive metrics also mean that GA4 will be able to provide information regarding purchase probability and revenue prediction, which brands in turn can use to inspire and influence campaigns that will further increase their conversion chances.

GA4 aims to provide businesses with a much more complete view of user behaviour and should support a positive spiral of clearer information and better targeting.

Why is this Relevant for the Beauty Industry?

The Impact of Social Media

Although cross-platform user tracking will benefit all industries, there’s one factor that makes this a particularly useful feature within the beauty industry: social media.

63% of people claim they have more trust in beauty brands that are on social media (Khoros), and fortunately, 96% of them already are. Not only this, but 60% of teenagers state they follow their favourite beauty brands’ socials, meaning that a dramatic portion of beauty brands’ revenue is likely to stem from their social media accounts. The reason this is so important, however, is that 91% of all social media users access these channels on mobile devices, which in turn accounts for 80% of the total time spent on social media (lyfemarketing).

This means about half of a beauty brand’s audience could be seeing their social media on mobile, which is nothing to sneeze at when 77% of consumers tend to stay loyal to brands they like for over a decade.

Google Analytics 4 benefits businesses by helping them properly track this data to find out once and for all how much of their audience is beginning its user journey on sites other than their own, and how this progresses from initially seeing a product or post to a final purchase.

A Continuously Expanding Industry

The cosmetics industry has had an annual growth rate of 4.75% since 2020, and is expected to continue to increase by about 5% each year. With ever-changing and ever-increasing brands and trends, the beauty industry is in a self-fulfilling spiral of growth.

For example, a whole new market has been unlocked during recent years and is now being expanded upon, with makeup and skincare becoming more appealing to men than ever despite its traditionally feminine history.

Approximately 84% of men aged between 18 and 44 in the US claim to use some form of facial skincare, and the pace at which male beauty and fashion has increased since 2010 has been faster than the same industries for women.

With this in mind, it’s worth noting that men and women do tend to use apps, websites, and particularly social media in different ways. For example, men tend to be savvier shoppers, with 56% of them responding to ads with coupons compared to 39% of women.

With the beauty industry expanding the way that it is into different genders and demographics, Google Analytics 4 will make it easier to understand the way in which these new audiences are discovering and interacting with your brand.

With its new predictive measures, GA4 can help predict purchase probability of a user active within the last 28 days.

The Future with GA4

So, what does GA4 mean for beauty brands? It’s clear that Google Analytics 4 will make the data collection experience much clearer both for businesses and users online, as well as providing improved analysis capabilities, access to more custom metrics, more accurate built-in roll-up reporting, and more.

The change to having everything labelled as an event or parameter within GA4 should simplify the data collection process, and the all-round experience of gathering user information will be streamlined and cleaner.

For the beauty industry, this means a more comprehensive understanding of how new audiences are interacting with individual brands and platforms, which GA4 can then provide predictions based upon.

Universal Analytics will be completely retired by July 1st 2023, so be sure to transfer to Google Analytics 4, already available now, to adjust to the new system and see what it could do for your business.

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6 Tips For a Top-Performing Influencer Marketing Strategy

Brands everywhere are expanding their social media strategies to include the latest trend of influencer marketing, but what exactly is influencer marketing and why has it become such a powerful- and popular- tool?
Before you invest your marketing budget into influencer marketing, there are a few things to consider to make the most of this potentially powerful channel.
We explore 6 top tips for beauty and skincare brands to consider before creating a top-performing influencer marketing strategy.

Why more beauty brands are investing in their social media strategy

As an industry in 2021, skincare advertising costs-per-click (CPC) grew by nearly 4% during 2020 and has continued to grow thanks to increasing competition. With more competition online within the industry, it means brands have to get more creative with their marketing strategies to help those all-important conversions.

Influencer marketing has fast become one of the more natural ways for brands to communicate directly with their audiences within channels they’re familiar with. This directly impacts the ROI from campaigns and as more social channels make it easier to create sponsored posts, it’s no surprise influencer marketing has become popular. 

In fact, stats indicate nearly 90% of businesses who have used influencer marketing in 2020 reported their ROI outperforming other marketing channels they’ve previously tried. 84% of businesses said influencer marketing had a better return than any other channel. 

Social platforms have also recognised this change in marketing approach, adapting the way brands can advertise on their channels. TikTok and Instagram have recently introduced e-commerce and affiliate links directly on posts and in stories and Amazon is creating online shops with influencer-recommended products.

In addition to increased revenue, influencer marketing also helps brands:

  • Build deeper connections with audiences as brands know and recognise what they want and who they like/follow/engage with
  • Increases product consideration- influencers are typically respected and ‘influential’ in their consumer habits, helping to actively encourage their own audiences
  • Drive sales as the follower network are influenced by people they follow/ interact with

Whether your brand has never tried influencer marketing, or you want to improve the performance of your existing campaign, we’ve got 6 tips to help make the most of your marketing budgets.

#1 Evaluate your audiences- and influencers- before partnering up

If you’re considering investing in influencer marketing it’s important to evaluate your own audiences and the current activities on your own social channels so you can pair up with a popular influencer on the same platform. You’ll probably already know which channel performs best for your brand and what your audiences are most likely to interact with, so find an influencer who has a strong presence on your preferred channel.

Once you’ve found an influencer that would compliment your brand, look at their following on the channel- are they regularly interacting and engaging with audiences that are similar to yours?

With 8- 10 million fake accounts being challenged every week on YouTube alone, fake profiles are a very real threat to brands and their budgets. As you’re investing budget into this activity, it’s really important to check their audience is authentic and you’re likely to get a solid ROI. 

Some key points to consider before investing in influencer marketing is:

Are their audiences authentic? Do the number of followers they have match up with the general engagement they receive

Do they get a lot of engagement on certain types of posts- if so, what format works best? 

Does it align with your content format or will it be an experiment for your brand to try Instagram reels, for example?

#2 Choose the right influencer advertising strategy for your brand for a seamless campaign experience

Once you’ve decided on the right social channel, you’ll need to choose the right influencer strategy for your campaign as this will shape the message you want to be communicated. From the format of your ads to the copy you use, combining the right messaging with the right format will have a significant impact on the outcome of your marketing.

When it comes to choosing the format of posts on social channels, brands have a few options including:

Paid posts– A quick and easy post that can be tracked easily directly within the platform you’re using such as Facebook and Instagram. Paid posts are labeled as such on the channel so consumers are aware the influencer is in a paid agreement and will typically have a link to the product to help users click through. Tracking that URL is imperative for understanding the overall performance of your campaign so make sure your brand shares the right URL with the influencer.

Ambassadors- Who is in a long-term paid agreement to collaborate and share with brands when they feel. This fits in well with beauty and skincare brands as there are a lot of influencers within this space already, meaning audiences will be quicker to trust an influencer. Ambassadors typically commit to several posts or product sharing over a period of time so their audiences don’t tire of seeing the same messages.

Affiliate posts- When influencers share a product or post and get a % of sales when their followers click through or buy products. Affiliate posts are another good way for brands to directly measure how many sales come in as a result of influencer marketing. Influencers typically use customised discount codes to help brands recognise how many new customers they’ve brought through their adverts which helps build ongoing relationships between brands and influencers too.

Organic posting or promotion- When influencers share their experience with a brand organically. This is one of the most lucrative forms of influencer marketing as it doesn’t cost brands anything initially but they potentially benefit from the exposure amongst new audiences. Brands that can gain this level of promotion should also look to track or measure engagement from the influencers post as there could be further potential for collaborating.

#3 Think about the type of content you create and where to publish based on how your audience engages with your brand

The crux of a top-performing campaign is how well the content performs, so it’s best to collaborate with the influencer you’re working with. If they’re confident in their video editing and the evidence is there on their feed, let them get creative.

Marketing stats from 2020 show the most popular content format for sponsored influencer marketing posts was on Instagram, with 85% of paid influencer posts being on Instagram stories. 

It’s important to recognise the right kind of post that resonates most with your potential customers as well as being led by the stats. Instagram has been ranked #1 for the most important channel for influencer marketing, followed by YouTube, so if you’re using either of these channels make sure your content meets their guidelines. 

Do your research- do your audiences respond better to Insta-stories, Facebook posts, reels or TikTok videos? If you’ve never tried reels, for example, it might be best to leave them out of the campaign or take the lead from the influencer as they’re likely to have a preferred format.

#4 Choose influencers that compliment your brand and speak directly to your audiences (and set your brands boundaries)

According to the American discount site, Save my Cents, 61% of businesses admit to having issues finding relevant influencers for their brand but choosing the right representative on social media is really important to the success of your campaign. 

Think about your audiences and what they’re likely to be interested in outside of your product or brand. Consider their demographics and research the types of influencers they’re likely to already follow as it’s easier to market to people who already trust the person you’ve chosen to represent your brand.

If budgets are tight, bear in mind micro-influencers with around 10,000 followers or less charge between £100-£1000 for a post so if the influencer you’ve reached out to is charging more consider finding someone who can meet your budget expectations. According to market research, businesses typically spent 25% of their annual marketing budgets on influencer marketing in 2020, so if you’re thinking about how to divide your budgets, this is a good base to use.

#5 Use incentives such as offers or discounts for cost-savvy consumers

We all love a bargain and as search for terms like ‘discount codes’ and ‘sales’ grew in 2020 by 39% consistently across the quarters, it’s clear consumers are shopping smarter than before. 

Offering discounts or perks like free delivery is a great way to introduce your brand to new customers which is part of the strategy when using influencer marketing, as consumers are more likely to convert if they feel there is a deal to be had!

Combining a great influencer with a discount code or offer will not only help your audiences convert but your brand will be able to directly track just how many users convert via the influencer’s posts. Tailored hashtags and discount codes are a great way to measure your campaign accurately, as well as using campaign trackers on the URLs that are shared- which leads us to tracking your campaign.

[H3] #6 Track your campaign closely and cleverly [/H3]

One of the most important parts of any marketing campaign is the reporting which is as valuable as the data you collect. Accurate data collection is one of the main weak points for many brands who are either unaware or don’t have the right KPI’s, data tracking or simply haven’t set measurable goals.

Set some tangible goals before your campaign goes live so you can measure the performance of using influencer marketing. Some general KPI’s to use when your campaign is running could be:

The engagement– how many views, likes, shares and comments your sponsored posts get- how does this perform to your normal engagement levels? Brand awareness is generally measured through impressions, reach and engagement metrics and they’re key for any marketing campaign. Make note of the typical engagement vs. your sponsored posts and make comparisons. 

The social reach– has your audience grown in following since the campaign started? Have your impressions or subscribers increased too? Make a note of these figures before your campaign starts so you can measure the performance of your campaign from a more holistic view too

The lead generation/ sales– how many direct sales or leads came directly from their sponsored posts, measured accurately using campaign builders like Google’s free tool.

By setting out some good key performance indicators for your brand before the campaign kicks off, you’ll stand a better chance of understanding its true success. 

Become familiar with analytics platforms too like Google Analytics which is a free data tracking tool. Social platforms will also have in-platform analytics you can use from a business account to help understand your performance within the channel.

If you’re looking for support in creating a social media strategy, we can help. Our team of content marketers are confident running all types of marketing campaigns and with a strategic approach to building, executing and evaluating campaigns, we’ve got the experience to bring your brands ideas to life.
Get in touch with our team today and find out more about how we could help breathe life into your influencer marketing campaign.
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UX for Frictionless Shopping: A Guide for Retailers

We’ve broken down Google’s Playbook for Retail detailing its featured UX best practices into digestible steps in readiness for the holiday season. It’s said that better UX design can increase conversions by up to 400%, so what are you waiting for?

What is UX?

User experience (UX) and user interface have emerged as increasingly important to modern online audiences. As people grow more used to online environments and businesses continually provide more sophisticated online experiences, standards get raised for your own website.

UX optimisation mainly focuses on turning a website into a seamless and branded experience that meets modern user expectations, putting emphasis on the overall enjoyment someone may have when visiting a website.

Improvements to UX can raise your brand sentiment, enhance customer loyalty, and make website visitors more likely to convert.

What is Google’s Playbook for Retail?

After looking at several hundred retail sites, Google realised that there are universal UX elements that help create a frictionless shopping experience. Its playbook aims to expand on the 25 Retail Principles and provide a checklist for improving your mobile site experience across 6 key site areas…

1. Homepage/Landing Pages

Easy to implement:

  • Clear CTA above the fold
  • Clear benefit-orientated value proposition above the fold
  • Don’t use full page interstitials 
  • Remove automatic carousels
  • Use legible font sizes (16+)

A little more difficult to implement:

  • Display top categories on Homepage

Easy to implement:

  • Have descriptive CTAs
  • Use social proof i.e. reviews, testimonials, press/partner badges

2. Menu and Navigation

Easy to implement:

  • If calls are important, include click to call at the top of every page
  • If foot traffic is important, include a store locator button in the menu

A little more difficult to implement:

  • Show a consolidated menu; a hamburger menu for example

Easy to implement:

  • For main product categories, order by traffic volume
  • If using sub-categories, organise alphabetically
  • Include post sales activities in the menu

A little more difficult to implement:

  • Keep menu options on one page

3. Search Function

Easy to implement:

  • Make the search function visible

A little more difficult to implement:

  • Use auto-suggestions

Difficult to implement:

  • Include a search function

A little difficult to implement:

  • Implement spelling correction
  • Always return results
  • Include previous or top searches

4. Product Pages

Easy to implement:

  • Have a value prop at every point in the funnel, including category and product pages
  • Display price info above the fold
  • Make sure product descriptions are readable

A little more difficult to implement:

  • Allow users to sort/filter a large number of products easily

Difficult to implement:

  • Make sure filtering is useful
  • Add urgency elements
  • If you have a large number of products, add reviews

5. Conversion Optimisation

A little difficult to implement:

  • Don’t redirect into checkout after adding to cart
  • Limit your exit points during the conversion flow
  • Allow checkout as guest. Google says 35% of users will abandon the checkout if a retailer does not offer guest checkout
  • Use pagination or a progress bar if there’s more than 2 steps in the conversion flow

Difficult to implement:

  • Allow users to continue on another device by emailing or saving for later

Easy to implement:

  • Re-iterate value proposition in the cart – especially free shipping!
  • Add value prop around why someone should create an account

A little difficult to implement:

  • Let users sign up or sign in with social

Easy to implement:

  • Have descriptive CTAs

A little more difficult to implement:

  • Allow users to update their carts, i.e. update quantities

6. Form Optimisation

A little difficult to implement:

  • Use inline validation and autofill
  • Reduce number of fields; remove optional fields/use full name instead of first and last/check billing address as shipping address by default etc

Easy to implement:

  • Don’t use dropdowns for inputs with less than 4 options, instead opt for buttons
  • Use steppers, sliders or open field input for numerical entry rather than large dropdowns
  • Use correct keypads

We absolutely recommend A/B testing any changes implemented.

A/B testing will prove the value of the change, be it negative or positive, to support your decision to keep or dismiss the UX optimisation.

For example, Mango implemented an algorithm to correct typos in their search bar and always show results for searches onsite, this led to a 4.5% uplift in mobile conversion rate.

This increase in conversions can be directly attributed to the search bar because of A/B testing.

If you need support to set up testing facilities or would like a guiding hand when it comes to your digital strategy, we’re here to help. Contact us today.

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