Article | April 10, 2020
Artificial intelligence (AI) is currently one of the fastest evolving technologies in the world. In 2016, the AI market was valued at $4.06 billion. By 2025, this sector will have a market capitalization value of $164.41 billion, signaling a 55.6% rise in compound annual growth rates. Today AI is everywhere you turn. You will find it in the auto, healthcare, finance, manufacturing, education, legal, retail, and marketing industries. The technology now runs self-driving vehicles, crucial medical equipment, and various programs and platforms online. Businesses such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and IBM are heavily invested in AI development. These platforms are also continuously making this technology more accessible to users. You can, for instance, access Google’s AI via its RankBrain search engine algorithm. This AI interprets search queries to provide Google’s users with the most relevant results.
Article | March 2, 2020
In the age of influencer marketing where brands and marketers feel somewhat new to the idea, it’s becoming clear that Public Relations professionals aren’t getting the credit they deserve. PR pros are the original influencers. I’ve been working under the public relations umbrella for *cough* two decades now. I describe PR as an umbrella because it covers so many different communications functions. From media relations and community relations to investor relations and crisis communications, PR practitioners know the brand story better than anyone and often serve to give a voice to the story.
Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to work with a series of professional sports franchises as well as my fair share of technology startups. In each role, I’ve led and impacted every function of Public Relations. Whether it’s using athletes or CEO’s as spokespeople or finding industry “thought leaders” whose ideas are established and trusted, public relations has been influencing since, well, forever. And the most exciting part of all of my roles has been in the relationship building.
Article | February 12, 2021
The past year has transformed a number of industries, and although the influencer marketing industry has continued to flourish, it hasn’t been without its changes and adaptations.
And over the last year, one thing that has become even more apparent is the need to create the perfect match between brands and influencers.
Brand love is pivotal to creating a successful influencer marketing campaign, as is building trust and creating an honest and organic relationship between everyone involved.
And to help brands find the perfect match, Amelia Neate, senior manager at Influencer Matchmaker, explains how to do exactly that.
Finding the right influencer to collaborate with can be a pretty daunting task. It isn’t quite as simple as choosing somebody with a large following. Gathering data, conducting research and developing a relationship with an influencer is all part of the task in hand.
Unless, as a brand, you have access to industry insights and invaluable data, it can be difficult to find your dream match. However, by working with an influencer marketing agency, all of the hard work is done for you.
Here at Influencer Matchmaker, we have access to industry data and insights which can help aid your search in finding the right influencer. Rest assured that everything will be taken into consideration – from social media platforms, engagement rates and niche to helping form trusting relationships, an influencer marketing agency can do it all.
Brand love is pivotal
When working with a social media influencer, it is important to decide on your main goals and objectives and what it is you hope to achieve by working with an online creator.
The aim of the game is to build brand love, right? And the best, most organic way to do so, is by teaming up with somebody who already knows and loves your brand.
Influencers spend their time engaging with their audience, garnering all-important trust and respect.
If an influencer has previously spoken about your brand organically, then their audience are much more likely to positively reciprocate paid-for campaigns and collaborations.
Explaining that influencer marketing is more effective than the blanket approach of traditional advertising, Liam Chilvers, founder and managing director of OP Talent also says, “They [influencers] have to be relatable. The people watching them largely share the same interests, and if people are watching a YouTube channel, they are there for the creator.”
And so, by utilising the power of influencers and their loyal following, brands and business are able to build brand love and more importantly, trust.
How to utilise influencers and their content
It is no longer viable to simply send an influencer a product in return for free press and content creation.
Time, effort and expertise goes into delivering such high-quality content and brands must begin to decipher where they’d like this content to sit.
Content can be created and shared across an influencer’s social media platforms in order to raise brand awareness, but it can also be utilised on the brand’s channels, too. In this way, influencers can act as a brand advocate as well as allowing the brand to offer their audiences a friendly and relatable human element, as opposed to using social media as a hard sales tool.
When it comes to working on collaborative content, it is crucial to ensure you are not only working with the right influencer, but with the right platforms, too.
Just because a social media platform is proving to be particularly popular, doesn’t mean that it will generate positive results for your brand.
It is important to ensure that your niche, goals, audience and social media platforms all align in order to achieve the best results. Find out what works for you and if you don’t know, then an influencer marketing agency will be able to do so for you.
And not only that, but influencers have wider ties to all aspects of media, too. They are innovative creators, storytellers, advice givers and as 2020 has shown, an influencer’s genuine personality and interests are what sets them apart from the rest.
Think outside of the box
In the early days of influencer marketing, it was all about promoting a new product and its launch. But today, it is so much more than that.
Influencers can be used to raise brand awareness, generate sales, attend events and create an honest and authentic relationship between brands and potential consumers.
For example, we recently partnered Celebs Go Dating with a number of popular influencers including Mark Ferris and Rachel Leary. The objective of the campaign was to raise awareness of the TV show ahead of the new series.
This is a fine example of combining the efforts of modern and digital media with its more traditional forms, too.
It must also be said, that just because an influencer specialises in a certain industry or has a particular niche, it doesn’t mean that that’s all they are capable of.
Former SAS: Who Dares Wins Star Ollie Ollerton, for example, is renowned for his efforts within the health and fitness industry. However, he also has a passion for motorcycles, which is another area in which he is able to create interesting and compelling content for brands.
Consider influencers who not only share the same interests, but the same values, ethos and end-goals, too.
This will make all the difference.
So, are you ready to find the perfect match?
Article | January 27, 2021
As we enter 2021 with a fresh and positive mindset, we are also entering the New Year with a brand-new set of tactics to help reach new consumers by placing brands, products and services at the forefront of desired audiences.
When it comes to brand marketing, storytelling is pivotal when trying to create relationships with consumers. By utilising emotion and taking a humanistic approach in this, brands are able to provide consumers with reasons as to why they should buy into their products, without a pushy, non-emotive hard-sell.
And with that in mind, Matthew Hayes, Managing Director at brand agency Champions (UK) plc, explains why storytelling is a must-have tactic for the year ahead.
The art of storytelling
Now more than ever before, resonating with the audience on a personal level is key, and what better way to do that than through storytelling.
Marketing doesn’t always have to be about a direct sales pitch, but rather a connection and relationship that has been built up over time. And with that, comes brand loyalty and customer retention.
When done effectively, storytelling is truly an art within itself. Sales should equate to product education rather than direct instruction. And it is this, that makes people subconsciously realise their need or want for a product or service.
Storytelling takes the customer on an educational journey, allowing them to understand the brand, what it stands for, what the benefits are to them and why its products are good value for money. This then leads customers to build strong feelings of want and desire, rather than just need.
This is all part of creating a brand. Customers begin to feel something about it, which is want warrants a business or product the status of a brand. And it’s this emotional connection that differentiates you from being just a commodity seller based on price, and positions you as a recognisable ‘brand’ that people engage with on a deeper level.
And research demonstrates that messages delivered as stories can be up to 22 times more memorable and effective than facts, which is why brand storytelling is a must-have tactic for 2021.
How to tell a story
Creating a compelling narrative requires a carefully devised long-term strategy. But, while this is an important element, what is perhaps the defining factor in commercial success is its ability to resonate with us, as humans.
Storytelling should be powerful and filled with emotion, in whatever capacity that may be. From laughter and happiness to sadness and grief, emotion can come in a plethora of varieties.
Emotion is what captures the consumer and when a story is both personable and relatable, it builds brand love and deepens the connection between the brand and the consumer.
Not only that, but emotion also impacts the purchasing decisions of consumers and without it, businesses are much less likely to make that all-important sale.
And if brands combine emotion with consumer needs, then they have the recipe for success.
With the rapid onset of digitisation across all industry sectors fuelled by the COVID-19 crisis, the way in which a brand tells their story is having to change in order to keep up with the times and meet the newfound needs of consumers and channels.
With the plethora of channels and shortening attention span of the consumers, video content is the best way to evoke emotion. Put simply, videos are more engaging and because of that, will continue to play an increasingly important role in the marketing mix throughout 2021.
They are easy to understand, digest and share and typically create a deeper connection between the brand and consumer, meaning that people will resonate with it much more.
Storytelling done right
No one is better at brand storytelling and investing in emotions than the world-famous Disney. From its theme parks and hotels to its films, merchandise and staff, the entire brand has been built from the ability to tell a story, and consistency of delivery.
For consumers to truly connect with a brand, they must implement consistency across their strategy, messaging and storytelling. And while there may be creativity in the way these messages are conveyed, the underlying messages and ethos must remain to be consistent.
The Disney experience plays a pivotal role in the brand’s story. It’s narrative and essence completely come to life when consumers interact with its offerings, taking on a role within the storyline. In doing so, deeper emotional bonds are created, bringing the brand to the forefront of both people’s minds and memories.
Similarly, gym-wear brand Sweaty Betty have also become well recognised thanks to its ability to tell a story. What began as a normal brand selling high-quality gym-wear that sat outside of the norm, became known worldwide for changing its narrative by becoming so much more than just a provider of gym-wear.
Sweaty Betty is not only a brand for women, created by women, but a brand that listens to its consumers. It’s messaging such as ‘respect your sweat’ and ‘empowering women through fitness and beyond’ is reflective of inclusivity, body positivity and raises awareness of diversity, using its brand, products and people to continue to tell that very story.
A must-have tactic for 2021
In order to keep up and remain at the forefront of consumers’ minds, brands need to focus their strategies on telling a story.
Storytelling is as old as mankind, dating back to cave paintings and the bible. And modern-day storytelling allows brands to use the full extent of multi-channel media, applying to all of the five senses. It allows the brand to educate, taking the consumer on an educational journey rather than advertising, which can only convey one message at a time.
It can build in sub plots, ethos, ethics and values, bringing the full personality of the brand as well as the people behind these brands to life, while also highlighting how these ‘personality traits’ mirror those of the consumer.
It is through this 'bonding' that the consumer can feel for the brand, rather than simply seeing or knowing about it. Feeling is a pivotal part of branding, and without it, the brand and its products, are just a commodity, based on nothing more than consumer needs and cost.
Brands are consumed based on a want or desire, with price being far less prevalent. Therefore, brands offer businesses far greater profit margins and a more loyal consumer base - the holy grail.
And when executed effectively, the story helps build brand love through evoking a deeper, more authentic connection with its consumers.
As a result, brand storytelling is priceless, and quite simply a must-have tactic for 2021 and beyond.