Tips

1024 682 Carl Eden

10 Tips from Speaking to a Journalist

Recently, I had the opportunity to head to London to meet with Simon Neville, City Editor at the Press Association. As many PRs are in the dark when it comes to the inner workings of the newsroom, any opportunity for gaining inside insight is always welcome. Simon was there to answer the pressing questions we have when it comes to press – is there a perfect time of day to pitch? And what do journalists think of follow-ups?

Follow these quick tips when it comes to working with journalists.

1. Add Value

How does your story add value to the journalist or their readers? Many companies are happy to offer an opinion but tend to regurgitate what’s already been said. Some datasets have very little to say. Is the data you’re offering actually interesting, or is it only interesting to your client? Ask why – why would a journalist want this?

2. Journalists are Busy 

Your average journalist will get around three hundred new pitches a day. Simon described his role as spinning plates ten plates at once. Because of this, it’s easy for your pitch to get buried. Make sure you stand out with an engaging subject line.

3. Pitch Early 

Press Association have two people in from 7am checking for unusual pitches, and these days, newsrooms are opening earlier and earlier to get a head-start on the competition. It can help to get your story in before 9am. Mornings are key for coverage too, as many journalists are out or in meetings during the afternoon.

4. Get to the Point

Journalists are in a rush. Your subject line needs to be snappy, and they need to know what your pitch is about almost instantly. Keep things brief.

5. Speed Counts

You have to be available, because journalists work fast. If a journalist follows up asking for clarification on your data, a slow response could mean losing the story. If you don’t reply in time they’ll just move back down their pitches until they find someone who will.

6. Do THEIR Research 

With so many pitches and plates in the air, most journalists don’t have the time to do research. This can be a good opportunity for getting coverage. So for example, if you have a property client and the government releases data on new home builds by region, can you read the research on behalf of your client and pull out some key findings for the press? They’ll welcome someone doing the legwork for them.

7. Pictures Are Important 

Spend enough time reading retail stories and you’ll see the same header image on all of them. Journalists are hungry for imagery and often rely on the same handful of stock-photos to get by. If your client has a bank of original images, it might be worth sending them on – an image credit can still provide a link.

8. Comparisons are Key

One data set can be boring – compare two and you’re more likely to get a journalist’s attention.

9. Go Regional 

An extension of ‘Comparisons are Key,’ go even broader by breaking your data down by region. Gives you more journalists to contact too!

10. Always, Apply the Pub Test

Test your ideas with something called ‘the pub test.’ How do you do it? Easy – if the subject is something you’d happily discuss in the pub with your mates, it’s probably got legs for a story. If you wouldn’t, then maybe it’s not interesting enough?

Of course, not all journalists are the same. What are your pro-tips for working with press? 

1024 682 Carl Eden

Reddit, Get Set, Go!

When it comes to ideation, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Before you brainstorm with your team, you’re going to need to pool together a bank of potential ideas. This can be pretty daunting; even the most creative digital marketer will struggle to magic ideas out of the air.

Luckily, there’s Reddit. The self-proclaimed ‘front page of the internet,’ Reddit is a fantastic resource to mine when you’re getting started, and can be an invaluable tool when it comes to generating creative ideas.

What is Reddit?

For those who haven’t used it before, Reddit is an American news discussion site. Registered members submit content to the site in the form of links, text posts and images, which are then up or down voted by other members. The more upvotes, the more popular the content, and the more likely it is to be seen.

Reddit is organised into boards known as subreddits, which cover just about everything – news, movies, health, fitness, books, games, music – and get more and more niche the deeper you go.

Essentially replacing the online forums of the 2000s, Reddit is a now a vast melting point of content, creativity, and idea sharing, and essentially, the river source for the sea of the entire internet. If you’re reading about something on a news site or Facebook, you can probably bet that it started in some form on Reddit.

The World’s Biggest Focus Group

Reddit is also huge – the 19th most popular website in the world, with around 330 million active users talking in 138,000 subreddits – but don’t let this overwhelm you. Reddit’s size is a positive. Think of the site as the world’s biggest focus group.

Reddit’s diverse user base makes it a useful tool for mining ideas in just about any subject. It’s just about knowing where to look.

Mining Reddit

First thing to do is download Reddit Enhancement Suite – this is a handy Chrome extension which allows you to keep scrolling indefinitely down Reddit without having to click through pages.

Next, in the search bar, start playing around with a few keywords which relate to your client.

The trick is to look at broader subjects which relate to your client without being too focused or ‘salesy.’ Start out wide, and then chop down as you go.

So for example, for a banking client, look broadly at keywords such as:

  • ‘Finance’
  • ‘Insurance’
  • ‘Homes’
  • ‘Property’
  • ‘Mortgages’
  • ‘Money advice.’

Set the toggles below the search bar to ‘Top’ and ‘All Time’ – which will bring up the most popular posts on the site.


As you go, make a note of the most popular posts – those with the most upvotes, or those with the most comments. This suggests the topic being discussed is one a large amount of people are interested in, and which might therefore be a good avenue to start mining for ideas. Don’t be afraid to make a note of posts with less upvotes but which are so weird, or so unique they stand out to you. The most original ideas can be found this way! Make notes as you go – jot down any common themes or anything that inspires you, and don’t worry about what you’ll do with it at this stage. 

Have a look at relevant subreddits too – i.e. r/finance – and make a note of posts there with the most upvotes.

In 5 minutes, you’ll end up with something like this:

So for our hypothetical banking client, we’ve got a few stems of ideas to build on here:

  • Unusual or non-traditional paths to financial success
  • Budgeting advice
  • Milestones of life
  • Debt regrets
  • Debts of the world
  • What we spend in a week
  • Regrets of homeowners
  • Unexpected deal-breakers when it comes to homes – i.e. neighbours, pets
  • Income vs house price
  • How far money goes in different countries
  • What size home you can get in different countries
  • Renting vs mortgages

All of which you can take into your team brainstorming sessions and begin to build out into some great ideas together.

1024 682 Rebecca Moss

How to Write a Cracking Headline For Your Digital PR Campaign

The key to writing a cracking headline isn’t just down to having a knack for it. There are so many factors that come into the mix and help you decide what will grab that person’s attention. 

Sometimes, you will look at a campaign and headlines will ping into your mind left-right-and-center, but other times, writer’s block can hit. Whether it is for your digital campaign or an article, here is a straightforward guide to eye-catching headlines, every time.

How to Research Headlines

Search for your hook on Google to spark ideas. Once you see what journalists are using, you can get a better idea of what you need to focus on in your headlines. 

For example, if your campaign is about Instagram’s most popular food, you can search “Instagrammable food news” to see what magazines and top tier news websites are using for their headlines.

Top Tip: Take a look at the top headlines featured on the homepage of your favourite newspapers and try to copy the wording, phrasing and commonly used words.  

Digital PR’s Get Writer’s Block Too…

There are lots of avenues that you can go down when your mind can’t process an eye-catching angle. When writer’s block hits, you should read articles about your subject matter, which may help to spark some interesting headlines. 

Also, Twitter can be useful for battling writer’s block (even if common misconceptions say otherwise). Finding out what is trending around your subject matter allows you to see your subject in a different light. More importantly, it shows you what your audience is discussing, so you can mould your headlines to what they want to see.

Look Back at Your Campaign and Data

Repeatedly, read through your data points to gain some perspective on what you are trying to say. What is the campaign accomplishing and what questions could it be answering. Do you have any main data points that could be worked into headlines? Consider what sums up your campaign or narrative in one sentence.

Use your Statistics as Headlines

If you have any interesting or shocking statistics, use them as a headline. Although some may consider this to be ‘click-bait’, it is the perfect strategy for developing an intriguing headline, as long as you have the evidence to back up your claim. This can be helpful when promoting or outreaching your campaign, too.

Top Tip: If your statistic can be expressed in different ways, try it. For example, 30% can be expressed as ‘a third’ or ‘one in three’. Try it and see what has the most impact. 

When You Feel Like You’ve Used Every Possible Headline…

Get a fresh outlook from a colleague or anyone for that matter. Sometimes when you have been so involved in a campaign, it can be difficult to see any other possible angles. Ask them what they think stands out instantly as the most interesting piece of information in your campaign or narrative. This fresh outlook could put you onto a whole new angle completely, meaning lots of new headlines. 

If in Doubt – here is your failsafe guide to writing a cracking headline:

  • Ask a rhetorical question (only if your campaign can answer that question)
  • Practice writing headlines in the style of your favourite publications
  • Use your data as headlines
  • A cheeky pun is useful for any off the cuff magazines/ newspapers. 
  • Aim for shock factor but not click-baity (only if you have the facts to back it up)
  • increase click through rate on social media
    904 667 Perri Robinson

    10 Tips to Increase Link Click-Throughs on Social Media

    Social media is the perfect vehicle to leverage and positively impact website traffic, that is, when social platforms are used correctly.

    The golden rule in marketing is getting the right message, to the right person, at the right time. Although many of us comms pros usually live by this notion, we also sometimes forget that while the core message remains the same, how it’s communicated needs to be tweaked depending on the channel it’s distributed on. Sure a one size fits all approach makes our life easier when it comes to content creation, but the same can’t be said when it comes to improving results.

    Radio content doesn’t work for TV. TV content doesn’t work for social media. Social content doesn’t work for print. You need to create content for social media in order to see ROI from social posts and stop trying to fit the content you already have on channels they’ve not been created for.

    “At Meltwater, we’re seeing an increase in clients adopting social-first content strategies in order to drive website traffic. A social-first content strategy considers social media during the ideation and brainstorm phase of planning content, rather than as an afterthought to amplify content reach. This has proved to be a successful method for those wanting to increase link click-throughs on social media”

    With this in mind, here are 10 tips to remember when sharing content on social media. Follow them and increase link click-throughs in no time!

     

    1.Follow your audience

    Don’t fall into the trap of trying to create and share web content across all social channels. You’re not going to increase link click-throughs via social media if you’re audience aren’t present on the channel. Use a social listening tool to understand where your audience hangs out as this will aid channel prioritisation and focus. You can do this by analysing social conversations about your brand per channel.

     

    Follow your audience

     

    Social listening insights will stop you from leaning towards a channel you want to be present on and more towards the channel you should be present on.

    “Conduct social listening of conversations developing around your industry/ competitors too. You may find a difference in social network usage, suggesting where your brand’s audience may be to heading to next! Untapped social media channels offer a chance to reach new audiences and increase click-throughs from unique website visitors.”

     

    2. Create platform specific web content

    Although we’re seeing social networks mimic their rival’s technologies (like Instagram rolling out Snap’s Stories), each social network is still fundamentally different from one another. The unique characteristics must be respected when sharing web content on social media if you have any chance of driving web traffic.

    The image below from AddThis offers a high-level overview of the differences between social network content and tone of voice.

     

    Social sites explained donut infographic

     

    Let’s take Twitter vs Instagram as an example.

    Twitter defines itself as “what’s happening in the world and what people are talking about right now.” It’s a platform for real-time commentary, sparking global conversations. Instagram, on the other hand, defines itself as “a simple, fun & creative way to capture, edit & share photos, videos & messages with friends & family”.

    One channel relies on imagery and the other relies on text.

    If you’re aiming to increase click-throughs on Twitter, consider the ‘chatter factor’. Will your content spark debate? How can you take the conversation from Twitter onto your web page? For example, prompting people to continue the conversation in the comment section of your webpage works nicely.

    When creating content for Insta, consider the ‘shopability factor’. Is the photo attractive enough to not just generate likes, but get people to click on your microsite and explore?

    Due to the real-time nature of Twitter, it’s best to post timely content. Newsjacking, moment marketing, company announcements, customer service campaigns and crisis control responses are forms of content that work well for Twitter and will most likely increase link click-throughs compared to other forms of content. On the contrary, evergreen content, that always remains relevant, works better on Facebook.

     

    3. Play on emotions

    If you want somebody to explore your post beyond the caption your need to spark audience emotion. The best way to do this is through storytelling. This can be tricky with limited characters, so get creative and look at what others are doing in your industry. Most companies find evoking the below emotions significantly impact engagement and increase link click-through.

    • Humour
    • Sadness
    • Fear
    • Surprised
    • Angry

     

    4. Use subtitles for video

    85 % of Facebook video is watched without sound, yet in a recent Facebook study, 76% of rated video adverts required sound to be understood. When creating video content to be distributed on social media, ensure the narrative can be followed through imagery, without sound. Add subtitles to increase link click-throughs and post engagement. Check out Facebook’s handy closed-captioning tool which allows you to upload your own captions or generate captions automatically.


    5. A/B test

    When creating content for social media, professionals are in a unique position to arm themselves with more informed engagement insights. For example, they’re able to understand when people click a link, the pages they explore next or when they drop off their site. Social listening to conversations developing around competitors can also give you an insight scoop into the strengths and weaknesses of their strategies. Such insights should be used to A/B test content with optimisation in mind.

    The majority of social networks offer native analytics for business accounts within the app, but if you’re interested in more advanced insights, such as trending themes, consider investing in a third party social media analytics tool to help increase link click-throughs.

     

    6. Size matters

    Don’t forget that image sizing differs by channel. Nothing will detract your audience from clicking a link to your site than an accompanying image that has been cut off as this signifies content that has been poorly put together. You can find the 2018 guide to social media image dimensions here. If you think the content will resonate on other social networks (keeping in mind their unique characteristics) you can easily adjust content sizing using free tools like Canva.

     

    Keep mobile in mind

    7. Keep mobile in mind

    It’s also important to optimise content for mobile users, especially since 80% of social media usage is consumed via mobile. Increase link click-throughs by considering the user experience of engaging with content via a smaller screen vertically, but also the behavioural differences of mobile vs desktop users.

     

    8. Rethink the call to action

    No comms message is complete without a strong call to action (CTA). CTAs are crucial when trying to increase link click-throughs.

    “Every piece of content, regardless of what channel it’s distributed on, should have a goal it wants the audience to complete. However, CTAs should be adapted depending on the channel and its characteristics.”

    If the aim of the campaign is to double marketing database subscribers, you may want to push this through a timely competition for Twitter. On the contrary, since Facebook supports evergreen content quite nicely, its better database sign-ups through whitepaper downloads for this particular channel.

     

    9. Watch your timings

    We often have clients ask “When is the best time to post on social media?” Unfortunately, the answer isn’t as simple as Sunday at 6 pm (despite what people may think).

     

    “The best time to post on social media and increase link click-throughs depends on the time your audience is online on a given social network. This means the best time to post on differs by channel and communities.”

     

    Work out when the best time to post on social media is by looking at what times and days you get the most engagement on social media currently.

    For Twitter, go into ‘Twitter Analytics’ and sort by ‘Top Tweets’, you can then look at your top tweets. Analyse which time and day get the most engagement.

    For Facebook, go into ‘Insights’ of your page, to look at what days you get the most reach and likes.

    On Instagram, if you have a business profile, you can look at Instagram’s analytics feature.

    You can also choose the best time to post on social media through Meltwater’s social engagement tool.  ViralPost is a feature within Meltwater Engage that looks at your most active & influential followers on social media, and when they are engaging the most. It then recommends the best time to post based on this.

     

    10. Follow an integrated approach

    Rolling out a social-first content strategy doesn’t mean creating content for social media only. Marketing campaigns that produce high website traffic tend to be created with integration across all marcomm channels in mind. Customer experiences should be seamless, no matter where the message is viewed. With so many people multi-screening, the chances of your audience coming across the message on different channels (not just social media) is high. An integrated approach ensures consistency and maximum message impact.

     

    Coffee shop workspace
    1024 683 Jane Hunt

    Tired of the office? 10 of the best alternative workspaces

    In order to instil a greater sense of happiness and productivity, several modern workspaces give precedence to natural light, wide open spaces, and plenty of greenery.

    But even the most aesthetically pleasing, impeccably designed office can’t escape 3pm syndrome – a condition that saps motivation levels, encourages clock-watching, and prolongs tomorrow’s workload.

    Thankfully, there is a cure…

    In a recent blog, Trello’s Kat Boogaard discussed the ‘Coffee Shop Effect’, and why changing your work location can restore self-stimulus because:

    • The human brain has been proven to constantly seek something new, exciting, or novel.
    • The human brain is excellent at connecting an environment with specific situations, i.e. not working after lunch in the office.
    • You’re intentionally going there to work.

    But why stop at the coffee shop? Where else could you go for a PM pick-me-up? Here are four alternative workspaces to consider.

     

    The coffee shop

    The long-established favourite of students, freelancers, and telecommuters everywhere, the humble coffee shop has an endless supply of your favourite energy-boosting beverages and sugary snacks.

    Just remember that coffee shops rely on a constant stream of customers to survive, so try not to overstay your welcome, take up an entire table, or buy only one drink during a long stint.

    Examples:

    TY Seven Dials – London

    This coffee shop/workspace hybrid not only features a range of food and drink options from local artisans, but also a relaxed environment where you can stay for as long as you like.

     Coffee workspace - TY Seven Dials

     

    Workshop Café – San Francisco

    Another space that blurs the lines between placid and productive, the Workshop Café places an emphasis on creativity, innovation, and networking.

    Coffee Workspace - Workshop Cafe

     

    The Wren – London 

    Coffee with a difference. Located inside St Nicholas Cole Abbey, the Wren’s stunning architecture is guaranteed to inspire and influence your work.

    Coffee workspace - The Wren

     

    A co-working space 

    If coffee shops feel a little unprofessional but you still want to escape the office for a few hours, look into local co-working spaces. Although you’ll have to pay for the privilege, co-working spaces afford a number of advantages.

    More often than not, you’ll benefit from an environment specifically designed for productivity, fast and reliable internet, meeting rooms, print, scan, and presentation facilities, as well as the opportunity to network with like-minded individuals.

    Examples: 

    Duke Studios – Leeds

    From architects and interior designers to film makers and SEO gurus, Duke Studios is home to all manner of creatives. There’s even a resident dog to make the working day that bit less stressful. 

    Co-working space - Duke Studios 

     

    Patchwork – Paris

    Situated in the heart of Paris’ city centre, Patchwork provides individual entrepreneurs and small enterprises with a colourful, conceptual working environment.

    Co-working space - Patchwork 

     

    Soho Works – London (also LA)

    Various membership options, lots of additional perks, and the sheer beauty of the rooms within Shoreditch’s iconic East London Tea Building makes Soho Works a truly exceptional co-working space.

    Co-working space - Soho Works 

     

    The library

    To tick off your to-do list in double-quick time, head to your nearest public library for the ultimate in quietness and concentration. You may even find yourself reaching for the ample resources on the bookshelves behind you.

    There’s usually no need to pay for anything thanks to free entry and free WiFi. University libraries are also an option, especially if you need to work outside of office hours, but double-check you’re allowed to enter and whether a student login is required for the internet.

    Examples: 

    Boston Public Library – Massachusetts, USA

    Murals by John Singer Sargent, an Italianate courtyard, and no fewer than 23 million books – Boston Public Library takes some beating.

    Library workspace - Boston 

     

    Stuttgart City Library – Stuttgart, Germany

    While controversial for not fitting in with the city’s greenery and red-roofed houses, Stuttgart City Library is still an awe-inspiring sight.

    Library workspace - Stuttgart 

     

    At home

    Okay, so heading home early for the purposes of work doesn’t sound like a particularly productive idea. But the whole point of the ‘Coffee Shop Effect’ is to mix up your surroundings and change your attitude.

    So, if your employer is flexible enough, ask to work at home one morning per week before commuting to the office. Alternatively, thanks to platforms like Vrumi, you could go to somebody else’s home for a welcome change of scenery yet still retain those necessary creature comforts.

    Examples:

    Loft Conversion – Manchester

    This American-style loft conversion in Manchester’s vibrant Northern Quarter has sofas for laid-back brainstorming and tables for non-stop typing.

    Home workspace - Loft 

     

    Houseboat – London

    For something truly unique, consider working from this romantically retro houseboat in the heart of central London.

    Home workspace - Houseboat 

     

    Next time you find yourself out of the office on a productivity binge, be sure to try some of our top content ideation tools too.

    1024 683 Jane Hunt

    7 Pre-Event Content Tips to Get Prospects Excited

    FOMO is a powerful thing. If your brand or agency is investing time, money and people in an event, you’ll want to ensure a) you fill it and b) people are psyched to be attending. Events are valuable because they allow you to gather a group of people with the same interests together in one place for a progressive conversation. Why not start that conversation early with some inspiring pre-event content?

    According to Laura Forer of UBM, “96% of attendees look for information prior to attending an event and 90% continue that search post-event. Effective content before, during and after an event is vital to the overall experience.”

    Pre-Event Content

    JBH recently joined forces with some social influencers and the ASA to host an influencer marketing event. The idea was to challenge some of the objections brands might have about working with influencers.

    This was our first time hosting an event and it was a success; not just because of how it went on the day but because it was a learning curve for us as an agency. We learned that creating great pre-event content involves more than just dishing out a time and address. Here we give you our top content tips and some ideas to make sure both you and your audience get the most out of your event.

     

    1. Make sure you are reaching out to people in your industry with your pre-event content

    Pre-Event Content

    It’s important that you fill your event with people who will benefit from it. While there’s always the option of sticking fifty quid behind a Facebook ad, even with targeting options it’s unlikely to reach the right people in your industry. Start with your own email list, then hit LinkedIn to reach a much wider audience. LinkedIn Pulse channels are great for event marketing. While the algorithm is a closely guarded secret, looking at other posts on your chosen Pulse channel will give you clues on how to put content together in a way that the platform deems ‘relevant and interesting’.

     

    2. Create video content

    Influencer Marketing Event

    Lighthearted video content is one of the best ways to pique prospects’ interest before, during and after your event. Videos resonate with audiences like no other content and can be put together whatever your limitations. Give prospects a sneak peek of the event, define topics and goals and/or help audiences better understand your subject matter through an educational mini series. Share your videos on your blog, promote them on social, signpost to them in your emails and whack them on YouTube. Above all, keep them short, light and focused.

     

    3. Tweet, tweet

    Influencer Marketing Event

    Social media is quick, cheap and easy – use it to underpin every stage of your event marketing. If you’re feeling adventurous you could create your own Snapchat filter or encourage attendees to share their photos, although it’s worth mentioning that user-generated campaigns can be tricky to get off the ground. Social media is overloaded – getting people to care about any post for more than three seconds is near impossible. The flipside of this is that your makes it that much more meaningful and sincere when they do.

     

    4. Make the most of your guests of honour  

    Influencer Marketing Event

    Your guest speakers are the lifeblood of your event. What reach do they have? Is it worth getting them to promote your event by creating their own pre-event content? Having guests tweet about the event on the morning of is great but by then it’s usually too late. If they are able to post on their platforms once or twice in the run-up to the event this could help get your message seen by people with the same interests. Better yet, they could write a blog post, mention your brand in their vlog or go live on social media. In our case Em and Junior had far greater reach than us, so it was exciting to see them talking about our event on social media. Your event speakers are what make your event educational and inspiring. Make sure you celebrate them.

     

    5. Give your landing page the attention it deserves

    Influencer Marketing Event

    There’s no better way to create a sense of urgency than to send prospects to a persuasive event landing page. Your landing page should be central to your event marketing campaign – before, during and after the event itself. Unique value proposition showing what attendees will get that they won’t get anywhere else, benefits,  beautiful imagery that fits the event. Our event was about Instagram influencers, therefore it was important that we used Instagram-style images featuring beautiful people and lots of white space. If relevant include a range of testimonials aimed at various personas who might benefit from attending. Finally, make sure your CTAs really stand out and are worded in a way that makes sense.

     

    6. Commission some original research

    Influencer Marketing Event

    Original research is an important part of any content marketing strategy. It gives you the chance to demonstrate insight, innovation and thought leadership – the things people want to see from you if they are going to take the time to come to your event. Commission a study or survey as part of your pre-event content, share your findings with prospects, attendees and speakers and use your findings to inform your session.

    And finally …

     

    7. Step. Away. From. The. Slides.

    Influencer Marketing Event

    Slides are a great way what to illustrate what you’re talking about but people tend to rely on them too heavily in an event. A good speaker should be able to present their topic should anything go wrong with the technology. Because Em is genuinely passionate about influencer marketing and educating brands about the right and wrong ways to work with influencers, she referred to her slides for a few images and stats but focused on speaking to the audience easily and naturally.

    Events are a key channel for direct engagement with your audience. Creative, valuable pre-event content is a good indicator that your event will be a worthwhile use of your prospects’ time. Your event might be weeks or even months from now, but there’s no reason the experience can’t start today.

    Find the Perfect Influencer
    1024 683 Jane Hunt

    Bagging the Perfect Influencer in 5 Easy Steps

    The perfect influencer is a bit like a unicorn – hard to find but guaranteed to add a touch of magic to anything he or she touches.

    According to Entrepreneur, influencer marketing:

    • Has an extremely high ROI ($6.50 for every $1 spent according to a recent Tomoson study)
    • Is growing faster than any other marketing channel
    • Provides quality customers likely to spend money with your brand over time

    Despite report after glowing report listing its benefits, some marketers still have reservations about dipping a toe in the influencer marketing pool.

    Those new to the idea might worry that influencer campaigns are expensive or difficult to manage. Factors like these are particularly relevant when you’re a new brand, small business or nonprofit. In fact, influencer campaigns can get great results with next-to-no budget – provided you do your homework.

    Why do some influencer campaigns fail?

    While there’s the occasional Kendall Jenner for Pepsi-style car crash, the most common reasons influencer marketing campaigns fail include:

    • Heavy-handed sales tactics (e.g. too many posts about the product)
    • Poor targeting (reaching out to people who are unlikely to be interested)
    • Disingenuousness (when the posts sit awkwardly on the influencer’s social feed and it is clear they aren’t genuinely interested in the product)

    Posts and campaigns that snag on any of the above ultimately lead to the brand and the influencer losing credibility with the audience. This is why good influencers are choosy about who they work with.

    For the right influencer, money and/or gifts will probably not be the deciding factor. They might already be a customer, or be on the lookout for a product like yours to solve a problem. They might be interested simply because they think their audience will benefit from hearing about your brand.

    The best branded content or promotional posts blend seamlessly into the influencer’s social feed. People won’t think, “Zoella must be getting paid a lot to advertise those bedsheets” – they’ll think “Her bedroom looks so cute, I wonder where that bedding is from?”

    You might think that this is all well and good for brands selling fun or Instagram-friendly products but what about my charity/ software/ event?

    We promise that there are unicorns out there for virtually every niche. Here are a few steps you can take to help you find yours.

     

    1. Think Objective-ly

    What are your objectives for the campaign? What are your overall business objectives? Chances are a good influencer strategy can help you meet all of them. It’s cost effective, raises brand awareness and boosts SEO value – to name a few benefits.

    Points to consider:

    • Context: Zoella won’t help you sell software. Jack Dorsey probably will – but remember that you can make waves with even the tiniest budget.
    • Reach: Millions of followers aren’t everything but make sure you’re satisfied that the budget is in line with the number of people who are likely to see the content
    • Action: Is the fit so spot on that the influencer’s audience is likely to take action and buy?

    2. Does Size Matter?

    Not always. According to Jay Baer: “True influence drives action, not just awareness.”

    We’re starting to learn that the level of actual influence an influencer has is not necessarily relative to the size of his or her following.

    Interestingly, according to a recent study, once an account grows past a certain point – the percentage of people engaging with influencer content actually takes a dip.

    Lots of brands are realising the value of working with micro influencers – namely the potential for lower costs, more effective targeting and better results in the long-term.

    That said, you will want to have a good grasp of their key metrics: reach, engagement, post frequency. These will help you make an informed decision about who you work with and how. Don’t just look at unique visitors and blog DA – followings on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Pinterest vary wildly from influencer to influencer. The most important thing is that they are creating high-quality content in your niche – and delivering it to people likely to be interested.

    3. Create Influencer Personas

    Creating influencer personas is a great way to get a concrete idea of who you’re looking for. You could even draw them to help you visualise.

    The perfect influencer for a new vegan meal box delivery service

    Note down everything about who you’re looking for. Think about their age, their following, where they shop, how they use the internet and anything else you think is relevant. All this information will help you when it comes to tracking down ‘The One’.

    4. Do your hashtag homework

    Once you know who you’re looking for, it’s time to find someone who fits the bill. Spend your time searching platforms like YouTube to get an idea of who is leading in your niche but don’t discount those with smaller followings. A search on Gethashtags.com for “vegan” reveals that popular hashtags include #vegan #vegansofig #veganism #veganfoodporn #plantbased #veganlife #crueltyfree and so on.

    Google your desired hashtag e.g. #plantbased and you’ll see who’s talking about your niche. A good cheat tactic is to look at what accounts the really big influencers are following. Best of Vegan has 1.3million followers but only follows 893 accounts. Look through those and you’ll see accounts with more manageable followings in the same niche.

    Searching #plantbased on Instagram brings up millions of posts. Hovering over the posts shows the number of likes and comments per post – helpful if you’re looking to find someone with a particular level of engagement.

    5.Meeting your match 

    Alternatively, you could Google “British vegan blogs” to get an idea of your options. Always consider your desired influencer in terms of how aligned they are with your messaging. Read their archived blog posts to get an idea of the kind of consumer they are. They might post vegan recipes but are they likely to be interested in a vegan meal delivery service? It might be that the nature of your service technically makes you a competitor. Don’t ignore tone of voice either. Some bloggers and brands are edgier than others – to some extent you need to match.

    Don’t try and slide into their DMs either . Collaborating on a professional project warrants a phone call or at least a well-written email clearly outlining the terms of your proposal.

    Lastly, make sure you’re well aware of the legal requirements of working with influencers – every platform has its own rules. To find out more, check out our definitive guide to working with influencers.

    1000 523 Jane Hunt

    5 Timeless Content Marketing Wins

    We love to hear the new stuff, but you can’t beat the hits.

    In the wise words of former Google CEO and current Executive Chairman of Alphabet, Eric Schmidt:

    “The internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn’t understand, the largest experiment in anarchy we’ve ever had.”

    In other words, it’s every man for himself. If the internet is one big experiment, is experimentation what is needed? Yes and no. Tweak, revise and update your strategy constantly, but in mind that the simplest ideas tend to be the ones that stand the test of time. Here are five of the best and most timeless content marketing wins.

    Sell stories or products but NEVER both at the same time

     Great content tends to focus EITHER on the product OR on wider storytelling. It would be unfair to say that you should never create content based on your brand’s products and services. Just don’t try and do everything at once. If you have something new, educational or totally unexpected to say about your product then feel free to share it with audiences. Unfortunately for you, your customers and potential customers don’t care about your sales. They probably don’t really care about your product. Talk about the things they do care about. Teach, engage and inspire.

    Encourage participation

    Why not get your audience to generate the content for you? User-generated content is a tried and tested way of forging a meaningful connection between brand and customer and can increase the potential ‘virality’ of your campaigns. Something as simple as designing the user’s next Facebook cover photo can get fans and their friends excited about contributing to a brand’s marketing footprint. One of the oldest tricks in the book but it works.

     Personalise

    Inbound marketing gets your message in front of appropriate audiences without being too intrusive. It can be argued that SEO and social media targeting kind of do the same thing – by delivering relatively personalised content in an unobtrusive way.

    It works in the real world too. One great example, Google placed interactive posters around the San Francisco Bay community, giving passers-by the opportunity to choose the charities worthiest of a donation.

    Leverage brand ambassadors

     Some brands find it difficult to convey a personable tone of voice with their marketing activity. Thankfully brand ambassadors are an easy and effective way of bridging the gap.

    Unlike sponsorships and paid influencers rand ambassadors don’t necessarily need to be approached or employed by the company itself. In fact, the most influential ambassadors will be your customers themselves, which will require greater engagement and inclusion.

    Use emerging technologies

    With nearly every experiment, you’re bound to get something wrong at least once. But you might as well try to utilise an emerging technology just in case it turns out to be the next big thing.

    Recent developments like virtual and augmented reality haven’t fully found their feet yet, but as reported on previously, brands including Jeep and Cancer Research are still capitalising on its capabilities. Other opportunities such as wearable technology are slowly but surely gaining traction too, but they could soon be classified as ordinary rather than experimental.

    614 323 Jane Hunt

    Influencer Marketing Win: YESldn X The Wall of Comedy

    Back in the spring we collaborated with The Wall of Comedy for youth employability specialists YESldn. As coverage starts to come in, we reflect on one of our favourite campaigns of the year so far and reveal our top tips on how to get the absolute best out of your influencers.

    Influencer marketing is here to stay. With 84% of marketers rating influencer marketing as effective and 67% planning to increase budgets, we can expect great things from this new and exciting channel. Influencer marketing helps you connect not only with your own audience, but with untapped audiences in your target demographic who might not otherwise be aware of your brand.

    The Campaign

    YESldn (Youth Employment Services London) are a London based branch of Reed In Partnership, a not-for-profit committed to helping young urban minorities get into work through skills workshops and apprenticeships. For its spring campaign, the brand commissioned us to develop a series of humorous videos to help get its target audience interested in the brand. We agreed fairly quickly that influencer marketing was the right way to go.

    Finding the right influencers is absolutely key in influencer marketing. Influencers are reaching out to people like them. If it’s mummy bloggers, they’re reaching out to young women who may be daunted by the experience of motherhood. If it’s a makeup artist, she might want to share her expertise and connect with others in the same world.

    The right influencer doesn’t just know your target audience – they are them.

    After reviewing a number of options, we started to get excited about popular YouTubers The Wall of Comedy.

    The Wall of Comedy

    Founded by creators of YouTube series Mandem On The Wall and stars of E4’s Youngers (Joivan Wade, Dee Kartier and Percelle Ascott), The Wall of Comedy are dedicated to creating and sharing video content. As Mandem on the Wall, the three discuss everything from serious social issues to youth culture and their daily antics, using humour to bring these stories to life and resonate with their audience.

    We identified that they had a real connection with the people we were looking to attract, namely young urban people aged 18-24. The trust, love and mutual respect the boys at WoC have with this demographic is the kind of connection that no amount of money can buy – and no amount of marketing expertise can authentically replicate.

    Brands using video is nothing unique – what made this campaign relatively unique was the approach. From ideation to production, we entrusted the entire scope of the content to the experts – our influencers. Passionate about helping young people get into work, the boys were confident they could create some really strong content, appealing to their audience and encouraging them to sign up to the service.

    Don’t get too involved

    Letting influencers reach their audience in their own way is undoubtedly the way to get the most value out of them – and will probably make them actually more receptive to the idea of working with you in the first place. 

    Of the campaign, Emma Rider, Marketing and Communications Manager at YESldn said: 

    “We know that we’re trying to engage a hard to reach demographic. Our audience isn’t easily fooled; they don’t want to listen to messages from marketers who presume to know them and their interests. That’s why influencer campaigns are so effective – you stay out of the way and allow an authentic conversation to happen.”

    Someone else coming up with your entire campaign for you and sharing it with their big, engaged audience? It seems too good to be true. There is a huge catch. Finding the right influencer(s) and getting them on board is a lot harder than it looks. 

    There’s often a lot of fantasy and ego-tripping involved in how brands see themselves. Influencer campaigns get rid of all that. Resist the urge to pay someone to advertise your product – more often than not it looks staged and false, audiences are wise to it.

    With more than 6,000 post engagements, a combined reach of nearly 2.5 million and a 140% boost to service sign-ups, it’s fair to say the campaign has been a success. We’re just starting to see the coverage coming in, here’s a screen grab of our handiwork in print in the Evening Standard.

    With more than 6,000 post engagements, a combined reach of nearly 2.5 million and a 140% boost to service sign-ups, the success of the campaign is clear to see for all involved.  Jane Hunt, our marketing director said:

    “Working on this campaign has been a dream. From the off, we knew the audience were tough to reach and influence. Joivan, Dee and Percelle were so passionate about the objectives of the Yes London campaign and really wanted to do it justice. The boys challenged our thinking every step of the way – their professionalism and creativity took the campaign further than we could ever have hoped.”

    But what did the ‘mandem’ themselves have to say about the campaign? In Joivan’s words:

    “We really enjoyed collaborating with JBH and Reed in Partnership to create the sketches and raise awareness of an important issue currently affecting young people. The content sparked much needed discussions.”


     

    To find out more about influencer marketing, take a look at our comprehensive guide.

    If you would like some exclusive content to feature the campaign on your site or would simply like to find out more about what we can do for you, please contact Rob John rob@jbh.co.uk

    860 450 Jane Hunt

    Build Your Own Brand Community

    Help your people find their people.

    Send a James Bay fan into a mosh pit and you’ll probably kill him (or at least give him a fat dose of PTSD). Send in a metalhead and he’ll be overcome with a warm, fuzzy sense of belonging.

    We all belong in different places, with different people.

    Consumers want to have meaningful relationships with the brands they buy from. Establishing a genuine connection with your target market means giving them a space where they can come together around shared values.

    The past couple of years have seen plenty of brands experimenting with communities with varying degrees of success. Brands who do manage to build communities where their customers can enjoy exclusivity and engagement are reaping the rewards.

     

    1

    Brand communities embrace a certain ethos or ideology shared by each and every member. Think carefully about what unites your audience. Here are some key points to consider.

    – Who are they? Think age, gender and geography.

    – What industries do they work in?

    – What do they care about? For obvious reasons this is the most important one. What is their political stance? Their ethical position?

    – How do they speak? What language do they use?

    Don’t be afraid to generalise – you want to tap into the beating heart of your audience.

    2

    A brand community is built on the collective desire for a great product and/or a sincere service. This means you will need to put your finger on the best way for the experience of your product to be supported in a brand community environment.

    Do you want your customers to share photos of the product in action? Do you want to give them a forum to discuss possible improvements? Whatever you go for, be creative, but put the wants and needs of your customers first.

    3

    Even the best brands receive complaints and condemnation from all sides on social media. While it can be difficult to keep ahead of criticism, a brand community should encourage criticism and deal with it with patience and good grace; consumers will be more likely to get involved if their opinion has an actual impact or influence. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and let the people in your community shape your strategy.

    4

    Even though brand communities can generate impressive exposure and contribute to a glowing online reputation, you should let your efforts grow organically. Don’t be tempted to build your community according to a fixed plan or idea; chances are it won’t succeed. Your customers know best. Allow for new ways of thinking and allow your community to take shape in its own way.

    5

     It might sound obvious, but putting your community before your brand will lead to the most rewarding results. Consumers are smarter than you think and don’t need to see content dripping with your branding to realise it’s the work of your brand. This approach will go a long way towards convincing people of your credibility.


    6

    LEGO Ideas –

    LEGO is offering its devoted following another opportunity to get creative. LEGO Ideas is a community where members can design and submit their own concepts for new sets. Projects that receive over 10,000 votes from members will be reviewed and possibly picked by LEGO to be created and sold worldwide. The creator gets final product approval, a percentage of sales revenue and is recognised on all packaging and marketing material.

     

    Spotify –

    By its own admission, Spotify has a lot of amazing, undiscovered artists that “need a push into the spotlight.” To increase exposure and give unknown talent that all-important break, the music streaming service constantly seeks the opinions of its customers to promote exciting new acts. Most recently, subscribers were asked to recommend their favourite artists with less than 500 followers. This simple move demonstrates that Spotify is interested in making a worthwhile contribution to the music industry, going some way to combat the negative way music streaming services are portrayed in the press.

     

    Manchester City FC –

    Nothing says community like standing alongside thousands of other fans in support of your favourite team. Manchester City recognised this when it made the move to overhaul its desktop and mobile websites with co-creation in mind. With the help of focus groups, user tests, prototype designs, and surveys, it knew that supporters would appreciate a mobile first, video rich experience featuring trending and relevant content. The message for fans and followers of Manchester City is that the club has its best interest at heart, both on and off the pitch.