Monthly Archives: April 2016

Could you benefit from snapping up the latest trend in content marketing?

In a world where we’re exposed to up to 5,000 marketing messages a day, no longer is it enough to be in the right place at the right time. Instead, a content-led approach which delivers interesting and valuable information, is crucial to cutting through the digital noise and truly engaging audiences.

Brands are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a platform on which to share content. A recent trend in content sharing is to do so using Snapchat. Snapchat is a mobile messaging app that enables its users to share photos, videos and text, all of which last for only a brief amount of time before disappearing forever. It has an estimated 100 million daily active users globally, receives approximately eight billion video views per day, and is the third most-popular social media network today.

Yes, these figures are impressive, and perhaps I’ve just opened your eyes to a pool of potential consumers you knew nothing about but don’t worry, you won’t be the only one. The most important thing to know about Snapchat is that, it’s where you’ll find two of today’s largest target markets; millennials and Gen Z. With 71% of Snapchat users being under the age of 34, it’s an ideal platform to engage a younger demographic of consumers.

This blog details the fundamental elements of effective content marketing as identified by us here at Acceleris, and considers Snapchat’s ability to capitalise on these by looking at examples of its use by a couple of British brands.

Timing

Timing, pro-active and re-active, can significantly impact the effectiveness of content marketing. There is a great amount of added value to content campaigns that are timed to perfection. Snapchat enables both planned and real-time marketing with which audiences can engage and interact.

Cadbury for example, used the mobile app to promote its ever-favourite Cadbury’s Creme Egg during Easter. The company is the first confectionery brand to use Snapchat’s Sponsored Lenses function, which allowed users to decorate their snaps with a specially-designed overlay as part of its award-winning ‘Have a fling with a Creme Egg’ campaign.

cream_egg_snapchat_campaign

Source: Cadbury’s Creme Egg

 

The seasonality of the Snapchat lens gave the campaign immediate context and relevancy. It received an overwhelming reaction and saw great levels of interaction receiving over 11 million views from Snapchat users, including famous blogger and YouTube star Zoella, who shared pictures of herself enjoying the Cadbury filter to her millions of followers.

Exclusivity

We live in an age of excessive personal sharing; sharing of information, experiences, opinions and purchases. This is what’s known throughout marketing as social currency. Social currency is a concept built around the idea that individuals share information that benefits them to do so. Social psychologists identify the main driver of sharing information as a need to feel a sense of personal value. Put simply – we like to show off! Brands are becoming increasingly aware of the value of playing on social currency to promote themselves.

Snapchat as a mobile app excels in utilising FOMO – that’s ‘fear of missing out’ by the way – and making user’s feel like they are part of an inner circle. The ‘Burberry Snapchat Show’ is the perfect example of the use of Snapchat as harnessing the power of FOMO.

 

Social-Currency-White2

Source: Mike Phillips – Eat, Sleep, Social

The luxury fashion house used Snapchat to stream a first look at its spring/summer 2016 collection the day before it hit the runway at London Fashion Week in October last year. The images were only viewable for a period of 24 hours before disappearing forever, creating a sense of urgency among fashionistas who clambered to Snapchat to authentically experience the fashion-first.

The brand’s chief financial officer Carol Fairweather previously revealed that its use of Snapchat to promote a show was the best the brand had had in terms of digital engagement producing approximately 100m impressions.

 

close-ups

Source: Burberry’s Snapchat Show

 

At Acceleris we understand the value of content and work with all of our clients to produce and place content that will penetrate target audiences which are increasingly harder to reach. Our six-stage content marketing process is grounded in brand and consumer insight and is proven to increase brand awareness, foster brand advocates and reach new consumers and audiences.

Check out our online content marketing presentation that explains our process and the expertise that goes into its delivery: https://prezi.com/content-marketing/

By Mollie Robinson, a third year PR and Communications student from Leeds Beckett University, who joined Acceleris for a work placement in April 2016.

PR stunts fit for a Queen?

(Source: Female First)

You would have to be hiding in a very good hiding place with no access to media of any kind to miss the fact that today (21 April) marks the official 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning Monarch. #HappyBirthdayYourMajesty

However, today will not be the main focus of HRH’s celebrations this year. In May there will be a four-day fiesta akin to the pomp and ceremony we saw during the Diamond Jubilee in 2012. And in June the party peaks with the Queen’s Birthday Parade and Britain’s biggest-ever street party The Patron’s Lunch on The Mall which 10,000 people will attend. (The fact that the gig is being organised by the Queen’s grandson Peter Phillips and tickets cost 150 quid a head – even for charities – is another blog topic entirely!)

So, from the sublime to the ridiculous, here’s my round-up of what brands are doing to capitalise on this historic event (so far)…

FMCG super-brand Unilever has introduced limited edition packs across its Stork and Persil brands, while seven of its brands will carry the Royal Arms. Stork margarine tubs bear the Union flag; with the stork wearing a crown alongside a ‘happy 90th birthday’ message and ‘perfect for royal cakes’ strap line.

(Source: Pet Gazette)

(Source: Pet Gazette)

Stork has also released a recipe for Corgi Cake, modelled on Marks & Spencer’s infamous Colin the Caterpillar. Recipe here should you want to give it a go, although whether it is anywhere near as good as old faithful Colin remains to be seen.

As an animal lover, I particularly like this one (right). The Dog Treat Company (DTC) has introduced a new treat called God Save the Corgi. Even better, for every unit sold, DTC will dispatch a donation to Devon-based charity, Animals in Distress.

Heritage brand Lyle’s Golden Syrup has unveiled a limited edition tin featuring a ‘happy birthday your majesty’ message and a royal carriage design. A nice design, especially if you’re the type that collects this kind of stuff.

And an old stunt classic with pub company Marston’s launching a guest beer for the festivities, called ‘One is 90’, hopefully in a bid to make many happy returns… to the bar.

(Source: Kwik Fit)

(Source: Kwik Fit)

Supermarket retailer Asda is, wait for it, selling gnomes of the Queen and her corgis. Yes, that’s right, gnomes with the Queen’s face, dressed in regal attire. You can also get a guard in a bear skin hat.  I won’t post a picture as they really are the stuff of nightmares. Available to purchase from 3 May, I think ‘off with their heads’ might not be such a bad idea.

And so, to my favourite… Drum roll Royal fanfare please…  My favourite so far, and probably the most widely-reported ‘stunt’ because of its visual brilliance is Kwik Fit’s ‘Queen of Parts’(left).

Made entirely from car parts, the 3.5 metre sculpture of the Queen’s face, hair and jewellery will tour Kwik Fit centres around the country. It’s tasteful, original, and unlike the Asda gnome *grimace* bears a striking resemblance to Her Majesty – a woman portrayed so many times, but perhaps never in car parts. The initiative used professional photography and video to produce excellent, highly sharable, and almost majestic, content.

Copywriter/Account Executive, Katie Wadsworth and Senior Account Executive, Lisa McGauley, sampling cake fit for a Queen!

Copywriter/Account Executive, Katie Wadsworth and Senior Account Manager, Lisa McGauley, sampling cake fit for a Queen!

With far grander regal celebrations planned for June, time will tell what other brands will do to make the most of HRH’s 90th year.

As for Acceleris, we held a charity tea party in aid of Yorkshire Cancer Research to celebrate.

– Lisa McGauley

 

Lisa McGauley - Senior Account Manager, Acceleris

Lisa McGauley – Senior Account Manager

Keeping your reputation ship shape

Crucial in any industry – but why especially so for fishing?

The fishing industry has come in for a lot of undue criticism over the last few years, with NGOs, politicians, journalists and campaigners all lining up to take a swipe. Many of these attacks can be characterised as sweeping statements backed by precious little factual evidence. Yet, attacks like these, even when founded on incorrect allegations, can cause serious damage to a company’s, or an entire industry’s, reputation. Therefore it is crucial that reputation management is seen as a necessary element of running your business and keeping it shipshape.

Recent research from BDO LLP and the Quoted Companies Alliance has shown small and medium sized companies attach 28 per cent of their value directly to reputation. With the UK fishing industry valued at more than £860m[1], that’s clearly quite a significant amount. As the fishing industry comes in for constant and heavy scrutiny, far more so than many other industries, one misstep can have severe consequences.

So just how serious an impact can a badly managed crisis have? When thinking about reputation meltdown and its impact on business value, a recent example that comes to mind is that of Volkswagen. The company lost over a third of its value (35 per cent) in just two days following the ‘dieselgate’ crisis where the company was found to be using cheat devices during emissions tests. That’s a hit of approximately €25bn.

The emergence of a crisis is sometimes completely unavoidable. What we remain in control of, however, is the response. Thankfully this is by far the most important aspect of ensuring reputations remain untarnished. It’s not too much to say that a well-crafted response to a crisis can be the difference between a short term nuisance and a permanently damaged reputation.

Our advice would be to ensure you’re first, fast and frank in your response to the issue. By being proactive in taking control of your response to customers, employees, suppliers, wider stakeholders and the media, you can set the tone for how it’s perceived down the line. If you’re seen to be addressing the situation seriously with a joined up plan across all your communications channels you can actually improve rather than damage the perception of your business.

It sounds easy when you put it like that, but to swiftly and effectively manage a crisis you need to have a plan in place long before you can see a potential issue looming on the horizon. By having a procedure clearly laid out for dealing with any problems, you’ll ensure your response is professional and level-headed. This includes identifying all operational responsibilities to communicating your plan of action – with digital media now being at the forefront of any crisis strategy.

However, reputation management is not all about deflecting crises. Proactively promoting a consistent, positive message about a business and its operations can be a brilliant boost to a business’ reputation and pays dividends in ensuring any negative issues are placed in the context of a much wider, positive piece.

The Saucy Fish Company recently won plaudits and a prestigious award for its School of Fish campaign, which saw a team of children prepare, cook and serve Saucy Fish products to a packed central London restaurant. By planning such a creative event, along with the inevitable cuteness factor brought by kids, the company pulled off a great stunt which led to substantial positive feedback – and the approval and increased interest of potential customers.

At Acceleris, we recently ran a proactive campaign of our own to dispel some of the myths surrounding the European fishing industry, communicating a more positive, consumer-friendly face for the sector. Working with Europêche, the European trade body representing 80,000 fishermen and 45,000 vessels from nine EU countries, Acceleris developed the consumer information portal iFish, designed to address the growing consumer appetite for information on the industry. The site provides facts and figures on the industry while boosting its favourability in the eyes of the public. The associated campaign secured almost 200 pieces of press coverage across Europe, reaching an audience of 140 million people. Every piece of coverage contained a positive message about the work of the industry and the campaign beat global brands including BP, BASF and Unilever to the European Excellence Award in Communications in Stockholm last December.

Clearly, the fishing industry has made good headway in recent years on improving its reputation and it’s great to see sympathetic programmes like The Catch and Trawlermen Tales hitting the mainstream. On the back of this, it’s brilliant to see the Fishing News Awards return after an eight year break. The awards, set to be held in Aberdeen on 26 May 2016, will celebrate the best commercial fishermen from across the UK and Ireland. With a fantastic buzz already surrounding the awards, this kind of event is exactly what the industry needs to capitalise, and improve even further, on its recent reputation boost.

Of course, everyday activity is crucial too – managing reputation is a continuing job. Most businesses don’t have the resources to put on a constant stream of events of this scale – likewise, it’s not simply enough to start trying to garner good favour once a crisis is already on your plate. Regularly share good news stories and CSR initiatives so people know the good work your business does. Not only is this good practice generally, it may determine how people react if a crisis does hit your company. It will also help you to develop strong relationships within the media which are useful to promote good news, but could also become handy when you have not-so good news to share.

The UK fishing industry provides over 31,000 jobs[2], almost £1bn to the economy and food security to the nation and abroad. Yet, these positive messages are in danger of becoming drowned out by well financed and well-resourced detractors. It’s time the industry took back the narrative and restored fishermen’s position as the heroes of the seas.

[1] The value of the 756,000 tonnes of sea fish landed by UK vessels into the UK and abroad.

[2] There are 11,800 active fishermen and 19,511 fish processors in the UK as of 2014