Day Two: Session Two
SOCIAL MEDIA: Influencing the Consumer Path to Purchase
Katy Lynch, SocialKaty/Manifest Digital
Engaging the Consumer through Social Media Marketing
You’ve heard the term “social media marketing” a million times. Your business probably already uses Twitter and Facebook. But how do you really use these sites, as well as other outlets, to their full potential? How do you engage with your target audience to create deep, meaningful relationships? This advanced, high-level session explored how.
Katy Lynch, founder of Social Katy (recently acquired by Manifest Digital) outlined the complex, layered and dynamic social media landscape. She posed the key question: How does consumer engagement affect purchases? Consumers who engage with a brand on a daily basis are twice as likely to make a purchase as someone who engages monthly. Facebook and Twitter fans are most likely to recommend brands to people in their network and are more likely to purchase.
So how to engage these consumers?
- Understand your audience, what their interests are and what they respond to.
- Plan a strategy to build, grow and engage your community.
- Nurture lead user relationships, identify potential brand ambassadors and evoke a vocal response.
- Engage your community to love your brand.
- Direct your community to filter emotional response into desired action.
- Analyze the alignment between your current audience and what it should be.
Lynch then explained the many commerce, publishing, sharing and networking channels along with the tracking services available. She peppered her commentary with dizzying statistics on usage and characteristics of the most popular platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn, along with lesser known specialty channels related to cooking, home maintenance/DIY and home décor.
She also educated the audience on the financial commitment required and rewards, including ad rates and sponsored content as well as subscription services for analytics services. She summarized how to identify and spread your message with influencers in your industry (celebrities, bloggers, experts and consumers) and explained how her agency conceived campaigns that created product or brand personalities/identities and user experiences that generate important data. Gathering and analyzing this data allows companies to measure their channel performance, their brand’s health and competitor positions and to forecast consumer behavior by specific demographics. Data analysis for social media traffic delivers much more detailed information on consumer impressions than traditional media can do, and makes ROI calculations much more meaningful.
Oren Katzeff, Tastemade
Reaching the Consumer through YouTube
Who are the digital influencers of today? They are the Tastemakers who have built a sizable viewership through prevalent content that reaches engaged consumers. Understanding how to leverage these creators and their organic social relationships with their audience will allow you to connect consumers to your products.
Tastemade is a digital global food network that connects the world through 400 food channels. A generation ago the cable industry launched category-defining brands in food and lifestyle and Tastemade believes the same opportunity exists for today’s global, digital and mobile platforms. Tastemade features ordinary people who are the stars of tomorrow with a network that includes 400 influential video creators, each with its own fan base and following. Katzeff said the key is to understand your brand message, create stories and weave the message into an episodic series with positive sentiment. Their audience doesn’t watch TV or commercials and understands this way to integrate brands into stories.
Each month, six billion hours are watched on YouTube. One hundred hours of video are uploaded each month and 40% of viewers watch on mobile devices. Most videos are just a few minutes long. Using examples sponsored by well-known food and beverage brands such as Kraft Philadelphia Cream Cheese and Grey Goose Vodka, Katzeff showed short episodes that told fun, bite-sized stories that integrated recipes or other information and did not look like advertising. Viewers shared these clips on Facebook and other social platforms to multiply the viewership exponentially.
Three Tips for Developing Video Content for Social Platforms
- Aim for creative quality. It’s hard to develop engaging content, but work with a partner who can help you create and promote your story.
- Make sure you fully understand the power of talent and their social platforms. When leveraged properly, they can be a huge asset. There is a lot of young talent out there. Learn about what platforms they roam in.
- Embrace technology. Consumers have never been closer to the content creation process than they are today.
The Tastemade app makes it much easier. Your audience wants to be involved in your message. Figure out how to deliver that to them. Take it step by step and ask the right questions to plan.
Kathleen Henson, Henson Consulting
Developing a Consumer Marketing Strategy—What IHA is Doing to Support the Housewares Industry
As consumers are increasingly using social media and seeking out useful content online, it’s vitally important for companies to pay attention to this important shift in behavior and to identify ways to align their marketing efforts. Now is the perfect time for IHA to engage and interact with consumers in exciting new ways to influence their housewares purchases. Kathleen Henson, who leads IHA’s social media public relations agency, discussed the creation of Inspired Home, a new industry-led consumer engagement strategy that will drive product visibility, industry credibility and, ultimately, sales for IHA members.
Public relations is not advertising, but earned media. Public relations organizes media relations, strategic partnerships, events, branding and design, celebrities, social and digital reach, influencer engagement and content creation. PR encourages news outlets and influencers to talk about your products with editorial coverage that is not paid. PR builds credibility, generates tension and buzz. Campaigns dispense relevant and accurate information.
Working with IHA, Henson Consulting created Inspired Home to tell the story of why consumers should turn to IHA for information on products and services. Beginning with the website, www.IHAinspiredhome.org, which launches Oct. 16, IHA’s B2C communication effort increases consumer awareness of members’ products and the innovations that bring so much value to consumers’ lives. Henson said the goal is to establish IHA as THE resource for consumers to find the information they need to make informed choices.
The task is based on a four- part strategy:
- Digital resources for consumers
- Deliver engaging and inspirational content to envelope the user in information
- Partner with the best writers, bloggers and videographers
- Create buzz via traditional social media
Much like a magazine, Inspired Home plans its editorial calendar months in advance, with opportunities for IHA members to promote their brands. Contributors will write about home organization, entertaining, cooking and baking. Videos and slideshows will provide seasonal interest. All features and articles will include members’ products. Inspired Home will be searchable by company and product and will offer information on where to purchase products.
Learn more about IHA partners Katy Lynch, Oren Katzeff and Kathleen Henson here: