Influencer marketing strategies always indicate that we need to find the most humane aspect of our campaign: to inspire and motivate, to create stories, to engage personally through different channels … all with the goal of engaging our followers. All this is going to happen as the virtual has emerged as influential.
As its name suggests, social networks are conceived as a digital space where we can connect with other people, change attitudes, seek advice, learn more about our culture.
And it is in this ecosystem that some very influential individuals emerge. Especially those people who have been able to attract the attention of thousands or even millions of followers around the world because of their knowledge of certain subjects and charisma. An image that marketing experts know how to “humanize your brands” or how to take advantage of it by still creating a collective campaign.
What is a virtual influencer?
The term “virtual influencer” is only very recent. What does it compare to? Where did this trend come from and how did it spread? We will cover all these points in this article.
“Virtual influencers” refer to entirely fictional characters representing a brand, a company, or others. This consists of filming or photographing a human face and capturing its movements in order to reproduce them on the character in 3D. Perfectly modeled, some of them. They would even be confused with real people.
Virtual influencers could dethrone human influencers
The growing popularity of virtual influencers is bringing great change. These artificially generated models gain a lot of followers on social networks every day, especially on Instagram. But how are these generated? And above all, why do they gain so much acceptance and trust among users?
First, virtual influencers are almost impossible to recognize from their rivals, human influencers. The raw beginnings of human representation in 3D are far behind and some of them have structural cartoon elements but they are apparently quite interesting.
The data published by the social analysis ensures that the performance of virtual influencers can pale any of their human colleagues.
According to the study, ” virtual influencers have almost three times more engagement than” real “influencers. This means that followers are more committed to the content of virtual influencers. “
This is a trend that never comes as a surprise, especially when we consider what it means for the future of influencer marketing. If these searches are correct, and virtual influencers are experiencing such a significant increase, logically more brands will follow this trend.
New influence … new regulations?
In addition, we must consider that virtual influencers are available free of charge, neutral, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. According to this study, they are obviously extremely popular, especially among women aged 18 to 24 years.
As we said before, the characters range from hyper-realistic presentations to cartoons, which does not discourage his followers. In fact, the virtual influential chief is Lilmicella, with 1.7 million followers, followed by a Bratz doll-like character named Nunouri with 332,000 followers. By country, 23% of the audience for virtual influencers is concentrated in the United States. Below are countries like Brazil (9%) or Russia (5%).
So far, many of these profiles have reported that it is a virtual influencer. But it would be interesting to see if these brands would be controlled in the future without identifying them as real.
For now, creating such realistic 3D models is expensive. At least more expensive than the integration of real influencers. But with the advancement of technology, these costs will decrease. And it will open the door for companies looking to use them.
What is influencer marketing and how can it help you to promote your brand?
Influencers marketing is a novel marketing strategy. It is effective to achieve a series of partnerships between brands and companies. And those with high visibility and prominence on the Internet, which is known as ‘influencers’.
The internet and especially social networks have created the presence of a series of people who can be the equivalent of celebrities or celebrities in the conventional media, who have become the reference of a huge number of users.
This influential virtual world is characterized by having many hooks and charisma. Some, like YouTubers, have several thousand (and in some cases even millions) subscribers and followers.
Clearly, these national social networks are fairly real diamonds for brands, either because of their presence to criticize a particular product or simply because of the use of a clothing brand. Or any other item may go above the integer of many of the popular acceptance of a particular brand and it may increase sales like foam.
The advantages of influencer marketing
The main benefits of using influencer marketing techniques in our campaigns are the following:
- They manage to amplify the positive messages of our brand or company.
- Much conversation is generated online about our products or services.
- Traffic to our website or the landing page of our campaign is increased.
- Influencers are perfectly followed by a huge purchasing power and very consumerist: the target audience with thousands of generations.
- If designed well, a campaign with influencers does not have to be very expensive. And a satisfactory and profitable return on investment (ROI) can be achieved.
- The brand gains reputation and prestige.
How to design an influencer marketing campaign?
To design a good influencer marketing strategy to fit into our overall marketing campaign, we must follow these steps:
- All we need to do first is to identify the most relevant influencers. And, above all, the most suitable for our products and the values of our brand or organization.
- Once we have identified the influencers (or influencers) who are interested in our promotion, we need to get a favorable attitude from them towards their products or services.
- We have to get positive reviews of our brand or product from the influencer.
- Another option is to keep the presence (content) of these advertisers more or less hidden.
- We can also invite them to launch our products in order to promote them.
What do marketing professionals think?
Most marketing and advertising professionals (about 70% according to various surveys) are in favor of this type of promotion because they consider it effective. As such, a survey has confirmed that many companies are investing up to 20% of their budget in such effective marketing campaigns and want to increase spending on this item.
The ethical question
The use of influencer marketing sometimes leads to conflicts of ethical nature and professionalism. The bottom line is that many times influencers are dedicated to publicizing certain brands or their products or to talking for a fee or consideration of some kind.
The problem is that many times there is not enough transparency. It goes without saying that the influencer is criticizing a product because it is his real opinion, ignoring that he actually does it in exchange for something. In this case, their followers may be talking about a lack of honesty and a certain kind of deception, whose commercial interests of brands and companies do not need to know that their leader’s opinion is secret.
If you have been interested in this article on influencer marketing, you can read this post to know more about it. Hope you can apply so many tactics with the strategies for your business growth.
Secret Sauce for Creating the Perfect Facebook Ads Funnel
Is your Facebook ads funnel producing the conversions you’re looking for? Are you targeting your end-user audience at the right stages of their buying cycle?
If you can answer these questions in the affirmative, you’ll have a sales funnel that not only creates awareness at the top of the funnel and converts to a sale at the bottom; you’ll have repeat customers as you nurture existing relationships and build interest and engagement for the long haul.
That all sounds pretty tasty doesn’t it? Whether you’re trying to build a Facebook ad funnel for eCommerce or just trying to drive traffic to your storefront, this article will share the secret sauce that will make your social content on this platform much more appetizing, filling, and tasty.
Understanding the Facebook Funnel
If you’re using Facebook to help your sales team capitalize on today’s consumer buying journey, the first thing is to understand how your marketing and sales funnels work in light of today’s consumer buying trends. Facebook typically has four primary stages for the customer buying funnel:
- Awareness of your product
- Consideration of your product
- Purchase, when the conversion happens
- Upselling and maintaining awareness of your brand
If you’re using Facebook in the right way and you have the right mix of products or services, you’ll have a sales funnel that perpetually fills itself as you both grab new customers and nurture existing clients into purchasing more of your products. You can use free and paid content to reach these goals. However, if you’re only selling one product, then your funnel will really end after step three.
Organize Your Account by Funnel Stages
To keep your campaign channels organized, consider structuring your Facebook Ads account by funnel stages. Targeting, optimization, settings, bidding, and your budget should all be different for each campaign, of course. But if you’re following the Facebook funnel stages, your ad campaigns could be segmented like this:
- Campaign 1 – Awareness – Top of funnel
- Campaign 2 – Consideration – Middle of Funnel
- Campaign 3 – Purchase– Bottom of Funnel
- Campaign 4 – Upselling – Sends existing clients back to the top for a repeat or new purchase. This could start a new campaign cycle called Campaign 1a.
Then you can set your Facebook objectives to fit each stage of the funnel.
Each of these campaigns represents a different type of audience and messaging. It will be important to select the right naming conventions to keep your account and KPIs organized. This next section will tell you what advertising techniques are important at all four steps.
Creating a Facebook Sales Funnel
Now we can get to the fun part; creating the copy that drives engagement at each of the funnel stages. Remember that Facebook ads are designed to create awareness and not just passively wait for the customer to find you. Here are some strategies to engage at each funnel stage.
Campaign 1 – Awareness – Top of funnel
This target audience has not made a purchase but has a potential interest in your brand. They are the Look-Alike Audiences that simply aren’t warm enough to buy from you yet.
You can use the Facebook Custom Audiences tool to help you reach people who have previously interacted with your brand but not converted.
You can use several strategies to target these end-users, but the goal of each should introduce your product and why it’s needed:
- One thing to keep in mind: You’re not trying to sell your products just yet. Your top-of-the-funnel audience will turn away from something that tries to get them to buy right out of the gate. At this stage, you should focus on providing content that they’ll find interesting or valuable, even if they never convert.
- You could also do the same thing with a video.
- You can use social proof to validate your expertise. For example, your copy could mention awards you’ve won or a client testimonial.
Remember your goal is awareness, not the conversion, so your CTA should be to “find out more” on your website or with a downloadable.
For example: Consider a problem your audience might have. During the COVID-19 crisis, people who were no longer commuting to work weren’t using their cars for extended periods of time, and they may not know how to care for long-term parked cars. An eCommerce company specializing in car covers put out an infographic / blog post explaining how to care for long-term parked cars.
There’s no hard sell there. Even people who never buy their car covers find value in this post, and might share it, or be primed for a later purchase down the line.
Campaign 2 – Consideration – Middle of Funnel
This target audience has engaged with your brand before. They may have liked a previous Facebook post. This ad should appeal to some sort of pain points and reinforce why the prospect needs your product to solve their problem. In the example we used above, the pain point is related to people who have to store their cars long-term without the benefit of a garage.
At this stage in the funnel, you should list the specific benefits and features of your product or service to tell people why they need to buy it.
Campaign 3 – Purchase – Bottom of Funnel
This is where the rubber meets the road, so go for the close. These customers know your product and its value. This is a good place to leverage Facebook’s dynamic ads to create content tied to the exact product the prospect viewed. To close the deal, offer an immediate incentive to purchase. That nudge toward the close could include:
- Running a discount or special offers such as 15% off or free shipping off your order.
- Create urgency with a countdown to the end of a sale, “Only 24hours left!”
- Target specific use cases for the products they’ve been viewing. Going back to the car cover company, a hypothetical ad could ask if the prospect is worried about street damage from long term quarantine parking and offer a first-timer discount—boom! Done.
Campaign 4 – Upselling
This sends existing clients back to the top for a repeat or new purchase. This could start a new campaign cycle called Campaign 1a. Or, call it what it is—remarketing.
The point here is that the journey shouldn’t be over once the first purchase is made. Everyone knows the acquisition cost of a new customer is greater than keeping old customers—so maintain the relationship at this point by kicking the current just-purchased customer back up into the funnel.
Your goals should be not just for the repeat purchase, but also to capture new customer referrals, and even to drive up the average spending amount per customer.
Even though technically, the customer goes back to the top of the funnel, it’s more like a slide straight to the middle; they already know your company, so from an ad perspective you can skip the awareness stage. (Unless you’re trying to make them aware of a different product in your service line.) Some Facebook ad strategies could include:
- Retargeting with a loyalty perk; thanks for your business, here’s $10 off your next purchase.
- Mention your referral program: “Invite a friend and get free shipping on your next order.”
- Ask them to review your product and offer a thank you bonus incentive.
- This is also a good place to run an ad campaign based on their unique purchase history. You can set up carousel ads to vary the versions of the products they may be interested in, interspersing the ads with products that are a slightly higher price point to drive up their purchasing averages.
If you take the time to create the perfect Facebook ads funnel you will be able to sit back and watch the conversions come in. If you build it, they really will come, but the trick is to match the prospect’s specific buying stage with the exact strategy to increase your conversion rates. When you’re done, the Facebook sales funnel will work like a machine, benefiting your bottom line with new and repeat business.
How Big Brands Use Digital Marketing for Building Customer Relationships
Consumers in the modern digital world have a perception of a brand based on the experiences they have with the brand. These moments are created across multiple channels enabled by the rise of the digital world.
Social media made it possible for brands to connect with their customers on an intimate level which was not possible before. According to Gartner, a decrease in engagement by up to 15% is observed for businesses that fail to respond to messages on social media.
That’s how powerful social media is for companies, especially for big brands.
Crafting meaningful relationships on social media
With the emergence of Facebook and Twitter, social media has boosted like never before. It has impacted the lives of people in more ways than one:
- 91% of people believe in social media’s power to connect communities
- 78% of consumers want brands to help people connect through social media.
- 76% of respondents were more likely to buy from a brand they felt connected to on social media than a competitor.
These numbers speak for themselves.
The times are changing and big brands aren’t ignorant. They understand the importance of engaging with their audience and thus are reaping the sweet results. The better the relationship is between a brand and a consumer, the higher the chances of him/her returning to the same brand.
Not just that, if the consumer feels there’s a connection between the brand and themselves, they’ll gloat about it endlessly – in front of friends, family, coworkers, neighbours and every person who might ask them about the brand.
Do you know what that means? Absolutely free advertising which happens to be genuine as well.
So, how do Big Brands do it?
There 7 ways Big Brands use Social Media for building customer relationships
- Being Responsive
Responding to customer queries or comments is the reason brands are on social media. It’s extremely important for brands to respond to their customers and big brands know that.
This is especially true about Twitter where things can get real messy real soon. It takes minutes for something to go viral on Twitter and big brands make sure that they respond to any tweet that might tarnish their image.
And not only critical comments, praises from consumers should be responded to in a way that the consumer feels valued. Brands like the fast-food outlet Wendy’s have understood Twitter far better and come up with creative tweets for their customers (or haters).
- Offering Promotions
If there’s one thing customers love more than a brand is that brand’s promotions and sales. They look forward to any kind of promotion that might save them some bucks which is why it’s important to share promotions on social media.
Giving the customers what they expect is a sure way to have a healthy following on social media and which sticks around. Big Brands promote their sales, promotions, contests, and other offers extensively on social media, even urging the customers to share them which further accentuates the engagement.
- Providing Educational Content
Educating customers about a brand is one of the most effective ways of building a strong customer relationship. The more a customer knows about a brand, the bigger the chances of them returning now and then.
Some brands take it a notch higher by educating their customers about a cause they stand for or support. It could be something they do as part of their CSR activities or educating customers about something important (the way Brands are regularly posting precautionary recommendations about COVID-19 is a good example.)
- Being Humorous
Make them smile and they like you, make them laugh and they’ll fall in love with you. Being funny or humorous in social situations acts as an ice-breaker and helps people connect which is why big brands use it to tell their customers that there are people behind those names too.
This makes the brand seem more humane and the perception in the customer’s mind softens a little, opening up ample opportunities for building relationships.
However, this takes wit and a great sense of humour which is why only some of the brands are able to pull this off. Frankly, if you aren’t funny, you aren’t – there’s no point in faking, it’ll make things worse.
- Exclusive Content
Sharing exclusive content with your followers on social media is another way a brand tells them how much they are valued. This is the reason those followers stay because the feeling of being part of an exclusive group of people who love the same brand makes them feel good about themselves.
It also tickles the primal desire of a human being – the desire to be accepted and to belong. This sense of belonging to an exclusive group or club makes the relationship with the brand a little intimate – so intimate that it almost feels like cheating when buying from a competitor.
- Behind the Scenes
People have always wondered and have been curious about how things happen. Whether it’s a movie or the construction of the world’s tallest building, people want to know how it’s made.
Big brands stimulate this curiosity by sharing behind the scenes images and videos on how they make the products that their customers love so much. This also helps build trust and connection between the brand and the customers as they realise the people behind the brand.
- Challenging Competitors
Like being funny, this is something not everyone can pull-off. The rivalry between big brands is not a new thing but social media has made it more visible with brands having one-off on Twitter about who’s better.
This is risky because when a brand tries to challenge a competitor on social media and the competitor responds in a much better way, the whole idea falls flat on its face. The brand itself becomes a victim of its mockery.
However, friendly banter between brands can benefit them both.
Why is it important for brands to be on social media
A brand-customer relationship is like any other relationship in the world and the key to all successful relationships is communication. The days of broadcasting advertisements might not be over yet but in the near future, it might.
People aren’t looking for one-way communication from brands anymore. They want a conversation, they want to know they are heard when they post a tweet, write a comment, or give a review. They want to be a part of the ideas that transform the brand from what it is to what it will become.
And this drive to hear has become public with social media where one tweet or post can become easily viral and not responding to it might become rude. It’s not like the victorian era where the sender of a letter was still worried if the letter reached the person it was intended for.
It’s the digital world and anyone anywhere would instantly find something on the internet that’s meant for them. You cannot just ignore what your customer has posted, you have to reply to them.
Moreover, it helps increase your business. As more and more people fall in love with your brand, they’ll not only keep returning but also talk about you to everyone they know and word-of-mouth is hands down the best form of advertisement and absolutely the most genuine which is why it is the most effective.
That’s why big businesses are so keen on making a mark in the social media circles and they are succeeding. But then, is social media only for the big brands? Should a small business use social media to garner attention, especially when they are starting from scratch?
Should small businesses be on social media too?
Big brands have been doing it pretty well but there’s no reason a small business shouldn’t. Even a regional store with a very local audience can have an amazing social media presence where the sense of belonging is even more intimate because of geographical proximity.
Even a startup can become an overnight sensation on social media if they could plan a campaign that resonates well with intended audiences. The story of @worldrecordegg stands as proof that you can instantly become a social media rockstar within days with an interesting idea.
More importantly, there’s not one but enough social media platforms to make space for all kinds of businesses. There’s Facebook for “friendly-stuff”, Instagram for pictorial or visual stuff, YouTube for videos, Twitter for sass and wit, and then LinkedIn for professionalism.
Based on the kind of business you have and the audience that you are targeting, you can choose the platform you want to be on. You could also have different posts on different platforms for showing a more 360-degree view of the brand.
The more engaging your content on social media is, the more likes, shares, and comments you’ll receive after which it’s a snowball rolling. It all boils down to how well you know your audience and how you make them tick with your words. If you manage to do it well, you’ll have an amazing following on social media.
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