“To Start, An Experiential Event Shouldn’t Be Contained To The Event Itself”

WWD Featured – Quynh Mai, Founder & CEO

To start, an experiential event shouldn’t be contained to the event itself; rather, it should include a carefully planned social and content strategy that touches the consumer before, during and after the event in a consistent, thoughtfully orchestrated way. From the beginning, invites before the event should entice consumers with an ephemeral experience. The invites themselves should be Instagram-worthy. Once arrived, every detail that goes into the activation should feel consistent with the brand persona and ethos. > READ ARTICLE

“With The Rise Of Instagram And Snapchat, People Are Searching For Ways To Stand Out And Be Unique”

Adweek Featured – Quynh Mai, Founder & CEO

“With the rise of Instagram and Snapchat, people are searching for ways to stand out and be unique,” Quynh Mai, founder of content agency Moving Image & Content, which works with brands like CoverGirl and Sephora, said. “This yearning has shifted consumer desire from wanting trends to wanting personalized products.”

“Consumers feel that their look, skin and hair is truly unique to who they are,” said Mai.

“It is much easier for a new brand to dive into customization, as they are able to start small with personal consultation services and offer some human level of expertise to help convert the consumer,” said Mai. “Larger corporations are burdened by infrastructure and are having a harder time delivering a bespoke experience.”

“Given The Ability To Now Shop On Social, Consumers Are Less Inclined To Participate In The Black Friday Brick-And-Mortar Battle”

Glossy Featured – Anthony Cospito, Head of Strategy

“Given the rise of mobile and the ability to now shop on social platforms like Instagram, consumers are less inclined than ever to participate in the Black Friday brick-and-mortar battle,” said Anthony Cospito, head of strategy at digital marketing agency Moving Image & Content. > READ ARTICLE

3 reasons you need to rethink your social media strategy

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With ad costs rising for brands to reach their fans and followers across social media, forward thinkers are switching strategy – and going direct.

Organic reach is waning on two of the largest social platforms, Facebook and Instagram. Core to their model, Facebook offers paid options to reach more fans, as does Instagram. We’ve hit the pay to play threshold.

After reaching critical mass with 1 billion DAU (daily active users), it’s no surprise that Facebook is ramping up monetization. The problem is that organic reach on Facebook isn’t just slowing – it’s in free fall, down from 16% in 2012, to 11% in 2015 – and project to dip to 7% in 2016 according to AdWeek.

Instagram growth is also down 93% with engagement plummeting 70% in 2015, according to a study by Locowise.

With the average Instagram user now following 400 to 500 accounts, any kind of interaction is fleeting at best.

The age of “build your social network for free” has transformed to “pay to engage fans at scale” – platform owners win big, brands get squeezed. Understandable in the capitalistic grand scheme of things, you can’t make the rules if you don’t own the room. Unless you do.

One company out to change the game is Mightybell, a SaaS customer community platform, purpose built for direct customer engagement. Led by social networking visionary Gina Bianchini (co-founder of Ning), Mightybell leverages the ubiquity of smartphones to connect brands with 100% of their base, not a declining percentage.

Brands like Intuit QuickBooks and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation took notice and launched their own niche networks on Mightybell in 2013. Intuit, for example, has created OWN IT, the most active social network for small business owners and the self-employed with 100,000 members on the platform. The benefit is that members are building relationships with each other, not just the brand.

This quality of customer engagement at scale can generate network effects that spark innovation and help brands stay relevant – especially true for Millennials and Gen Z.

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Customer communities on Mightybell, Intuit’s OWN IT community shown in center.

These customer platforms aren’t new and have evolved quickly with the rise of mobile. As early as 2002, I worked on CPG customer community projects where participants were extremely high value customers (high spend/high frequency), first in their peer group to try something new, most likely to share new ideas, and would often brainstorm new products. A dream segment for any CMO.

The community approach delivers three key benefits over a standard Facebook or Instagram strategy:

Build vs. Buy – Building a customer community gives brands a chance to own the room and learn from all their customers, anytime needed. It’s a platform that focuses on customer interests, needs and opinions. Without limits on reach, brands can more easily deepen loyalty and engage in an ongoing dialog.

Whitespace vs. Whitenoise – The rise of content marketing and social media as a whole makes it harder for a brand to be heard. Communities offer a way to co-create new products with top-tier customers and tap opportunity gaps before the competition. Deep community engagement drives more ROI than standard social media postings.

Value vs. Vanity – Growing customer lifetime value is critical to long term survival. Brands need to go beyond superficial social media stats and care more about bringing high value customers into the fold, involving them in everything from product development, to packaging, and marketing.

While Facebook and Instagram still have a role in a brand’s social strategy, their roles are changing and the customer community is rising.

 

Anthony Cospito is Managing Director of Popbox Digital 

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