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Posted by on Jul 18, 2017 in Conference Recaps

The Digital Content Summit 2017 Recap

London Digital Content Summit(Image Source: Beth Murrell)

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending the annual Digital Content Summit in London. It showcased a range of experts who shared their knowledge of such varied topics as multichannel delivery, content and influencer engagement, measuring impact and different realities.

There was a whole day of speakers, so I wanted to share with you a few of my choice standouts and key takeaways. The day kicked off with a keynote from Patrick Collister, head of design from Google. The main message that resonated from his speech was that augmented reality and virtual reality are the future. This also seemed to be a theme throughout the conference, with so many speakers sharing the same belief.

We’re already starting to see these changes come in with the introduction of Snapchat Spectacles and the recent success of Pokémon Go. People love this mixed and augmented reality, but we’re only really seeing these in apps and games currently. How long will it be before they become part of everyday life?

Pokemon Go(Image Source: Pexels)

Another interesting panel was around managing content-ownership models. These experts championed the use of influencers in campaigns to allow full integration into a brand’s ethos.

So what do they think is holding brands back? They spoke of the fact that many brands are looking at content as a menu rather than the story behind the medium. They also don’t trust the opinion of the influencers, and try to control them too much.

Victoria White from Hearst Magazines UK reiterated that “content is key to any creative campaign” and that Hearst saw seven times more engagement when using influencers. There did seem to be an ongoing theme from companies starting to utilise influencers more; you can read my previous blog post that talks about The Rise of Influencer Marketing.

Going back to basics a bit, we also heard from Daniel Rowles from Target Internet, who implored everyone in the room to really paint a picture with their data and work out end objectives. So many companies run brand campaigns without having steadfast goals, and they don’t analyse the data afterwards to determine the success of campaigns.

We also saw a case study from David Meany of Contiki. He firmly believes that brands should live and die by their content, and that “everyone is a creator and there is a bigger risk sitting on the sidelines.” He showed us Contiki’s evolution over the years, and how they took leaps to create innovative and interesting content by partnering with popular influencers. One of the featured videos was created in partnership with cliff-diving experts, and has now around 5 million views.

My final key takeaway came from the last speaker of the day, Matt Simmonds of The Telegraph, who said, “The only rule is that the old rules don’t apply”. He finished off the day just as it had started: with his firm belief that the future is in 360 videos and virtual reality. He shared this formula for virtual reality, as he believes it encompasses all of the following:

Virtual Reality = 360 + Virtual Reality + Mixed Reality + Augmented Reality

These days, we’re no longer passive observers; we’re active participants. Therefore, the brands we embrace and encourage should feature this type of user-generated content.

So what does this mean for the hotel industry?

In the hotel world, I definitely can see a move into a world where augmented reality is overlaid into the travel experience – with a computer sitting on your nose. Imagine being able to wake up, pop on some glasses and have a mixed-reality overlay where you can select room service or see what time the spa opens. Or fully immersive 360 videos, where you can walk through the hotel, open doors to rooms and see what you’re buying before you click checkout.

If this conference is anything to go by, it won’t be long before these are our reality.

Virtual Reality(Image Source: Pexels)

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Posted by on Aug 2, 2016 in Social Media

The Rise of Influencer Marketing

It’s safe to say that the world of advertising is changing. Consumers are increasingly turned off from traditional marketing, and are looking to their fellow consumers for guidance, quickly heading to social media to begin their buyer journey.

Instead of being influenced by typical advertising, these consumers (and especially those in the Gen Y bracket) are now looking to their favourite personalities online, on social platforms such as YouTube, Twitter and Snapchat to help them make choices on their purchases.

These online influencers (such as vloggers and bloggers) are powerhouses in the world of advertising, selling out tours, having bestselling novels and bringing out products that sell out in a matter of minutes. They have a direct line into the target market of so many brands, and anything they put their name to seems to turn to gold.

So, why is this type of marketing so powerful?

A study by McKinsey found that “marketing-induced consumer-to-consumer word of mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising.”

And of those that were acquired through word-of-mouth, what do you think the retention rate is?

I’ll give you a minute to guess.

If you guessed around the region of 40%, then you’d be correct. There is a 37% higher retention rate for those generated through word-of-mouth. Crazy right?

I recently did a quick Twitter poll, to delve deeper into the way that people would be influenced to buy. Over the hour, 70 people answered the poll, and you can see that 86% of people would be more likely to book a hotel if it was recommended to them by a friend or family member. We trust the opinion of those we care about.

Beth Murrell Twitter Poll

(Source: Beth Murrell’s Twitter)

So, how do influencers fit into this? They’re not friends or family members, we don’t speak to them one on one, how do they have such a large power over their target market? These influencers are crafted to be approachable; they share their life online to millions, meaning that they build a trust with those who watch them. Most full time influencers carefully select relevant partnerships with brands to ensure that they keep that trust with their audience. This then means that they’re able to directly tap into a market and utilise that following to help sell themselves as a brand, and also any products that they endorse.

How can brands build a good relationship with influencers?

So, we know that influencer marketing works, but how do we get it to work for brands? A common mistake that many brands make is thinking that they can just throw money at an influencer and they will instantly gain a large amount more sales. Definitely a big no no. The relationship between brand and influencer is reciprocal, meaning that it has to make sense for both parties. It’s an investment from the brand to the influencer, and if chosen correctly it can work extremely well.

What does the future hold for influencer marketing?

Over the past 10 years, influencer marketing has grown exponentially, as we can see from the Google Trends graph below. From 2004 to present we can see a sharp increase in the amount of people searching for, and talking about influencer marketing, and it shows no sign of slowing down any time soon.

influencermarketing_Google Trends

(Source: Google Trends UK)

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