Tag Archive for digital

NaNoWriMo – what’s the world of publishing coming to?

Abbie H

Abbie Hettle, Account Executive at Acceleris

As November draws to a close so does the annual National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as NaNoWriMo. The challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel over the course of 30 days – not a challenge we would all readily accept! Its popularity begs some reflection on what this says about traditional publishing in the technologically advanced 21st century.

We can all write a blog post. We can all write a 140 280 character tweet. Can we all write a compelling and challenging novel which responds to various literary genres? ‘No’ is the simple answer, but it certainly doesn’t stop the empowerment of the internet from encouraging us to try. What a great example of digital and traditional publishing tools working hand in hand!

There’s no denying that traditional periodical print publishing is massively in decline. Magazines print issues have been ruthlessly axed across the spectrum over the past few months alone. Glamour, for example, announced in October it is focusing on digital publishing at the expense of its monthly glossy magazine, now printing special issues just twice a year. Teen Vogue swiftly followed with the demise of Vogue’s young oriented magazine and the cutting of 80 jobs. All of this signals a sharp shift in young people and their reading alliances.

Meanwhile outside of magazines the novel is seeing something of a resurgence into popular culture. It wasn’t too long ago that the trend for e-readers and e-books seemed to cast the 200+ page bound tome into the trash. Yet the novel seems to be holding steadfast to its print publishing roots. With the re-invention of Waterstones and a growth in book bloggers, #instareads, and monthly book subscription services it seems that, even though publishing seems averse to the onset of digital dominance, there will always be a place for the printed word.

A campaign to renew the relevance of the novel on such a multicultural digital platform such as Twitter instils us editorial folk with new confidence. Weekly magazines and their conveyor belts of predictable and temporarily relevant content don’t hold our attention for too long. We are increasingly turning towards more traditional print like the classic novel as well as digital versions of newspapers, magazines and brochures whose presence both physical and digital seems fixed.

Take a look at our work with The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society. To celebrate its milestone of 150 years we produced a commemorative book detailing the Society’s roots, objectives and achievements across its long history of caring for former seafarers. This project appealed to the Society’s older audience who are invested in their charitable status and its objective of providing top quality care facilities. The hardback book worked for this client whose existence is steeped in history and tradition. We complemented this publication with content that could be utilised in a digital version and on the website. The timeline which ran across the top of each page in the printed book is now a feature on the Society’s brand new website. Tying these two forms together has extended the charity’s appeal and relevance to a great variety of audiences who utilise different media. It has even won a CIPR award for Best Publication

The lesson here is there’s a suitable online or offline print publication for everyone; whether that’s a commemorative book, a graphic novel or brochure. NaNoWriMo’s repeated success is testament to the power of the word and for recent graduates like me and fellow bookworms everywhere, it is proof the book isn’t going anywhere.

Let’s place the printed word back where it belongs. Why not give Acceleris’ Writers Inc department a call to find out how we can help you achieve this? Find us here

Which retailers are #winning Christmas?

Dan Stead – Senior Digital Account Executive

Christmas is coming!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. With the retailers selling and everyone telling you get on the beer. Yes, it truly is the happiest season of all and it seems to get earlier each year. The start of November ushers in a frantic scramble for retailers to hide away the Halloween horrors and to deck the shelves with boughs of holly (and the latest must have goods).

Yet we only truly know Christmas is coming when we see that first TV department store advert. We all have our opinions on which is the best, and there are many other blogs which will have their say, but which is actually performing the best for the retailers themselves?

The John Lewis ad is arguably the most eagerly awaited all year and it’s seen as the seminal moment for festive feelings to fall upon us. With the BBC reporting record Christmas ad spends for 2017 with a staggering £6bn spent by brands in 2017, everyone has upped their game to get a slice of the (mince) pie.

But ad big budgets aren’t enough! Even if John Lewis has hired an Oscar winning director, Elbow and thrown £7m at its Christmas crusade. Every festive campaign hitting our screens this year needs to incorporate a sound digital strategy as well as a captivating and often emotional Christmas message. We’ve looked at four of the nation’s largest department stores to see which campaign is delivering the best results so far.

Before we dive straight in, you can view all the ads discussed here:

12 Graphs of Christmas

Google       

Processing over 40,000 search queries per second, Google is obviously the best place to start. When comparing searches for the four department stores it’s clear one comes out on top. And it’s no coincidence there is a spike in traffic after Moz the Monster was born on 10 November. John Lewis jingles all the way to the top of Google rankings based on its Christmas campaign this year.

Frequency of search terms of the big four retailer since 1 November

Social media shouting match

With most Christmas ads now appearing on everything from billboards to buses and TV to Twitter, it’s interesting to look at which retailer is making the most noise online.

YouTube

It’s all well and good shelling out millions for TV ad space but which brands are making the most of the free, online opportunities? YouTube is the obvious place to start and there are two clear frontrunners for the festive ad crown this year. John Lewis leads the way with over 8,000,000 views and Marks and Spencer is keeping close with almost 6,000,000 of its own. Debenhams has clocked up over 1,000,000 views while House of Fraser is languishing in fourth place with a measly 60,000 views.

Twitter

We all know that one platform is not enough however and brands need to be producing engaging content across a range of channels. Twitter tells us more.

John Lewis

 

 John Lewis has attempted to generate interest through the creation of two hashtags for its campaign this year #MozTheMonster and #UnderTheBed. With almost 1,500 posts reaching an audience of nearly 11,000,000 since the 1 November alone, it’s clear the campaign is not just working on TV.

While there have been some mixed reactions to its ‘under the bed’ theme with many citing scared children as one concern, John Lewis’ loveable monster Moz has proved more popular with over 70% of people reacting positively to him.

Source: @KieranRhys Twitter

Debenhams

Debenhams has aimed to create an empowering Christmas message in 2017, #YouShall. The retailer has recruited added firepower this year with the Hollywood A-lister Ewan McGregor drafted in as its celebrity influencer to boost brand awareness through a fairy tale cameo with a modern social media twist. With almost 2,000,000 people reached so far and almost two thirds reacting positively, Debenhams is doing well.

 

Source: @Gail_AT Twitter

House of Fraser

House of Fraser’s Christmas campaign for 2017 takes a trip down memory lane and aims to evoke feelings of nostalgia with its hope to #BringMerryBack. However, with only 58 posts utilising the hashtag in over two weeks (and how many of these are employees?) it hasn’t done as well as the others. With just over half of posts having a positive sentiment, House of Fraser will have hoped for more.

 

Source: @sara00012345 Twitter

Marks and Spencer

Marks and Spencer, last but not least, has teamed up with ‘the nation’s favourite marmalade lover’ to make us #LoveTheBear enough to visit its stores or website. A clever campaigning building upon the star’s readymade fanbase to influence our Christmas spending. It’s clearly resonated with many, achieving an online reach of nearly 4,000,000 people already! However, it seems not everyone is a fan of poor old Paddington with just half of users reacting positively to his glad tidings.

 

Source: @FactDeJour Twitter

 

And the #winner is…

So there is a clear winner as to which retailer’s Christmas ad is performing best.

  1. John Lewis

Unsurprisingly the John Lewis ad has become THE Christmas event of the year after consistent production of engaging and emotional content both on screen and online. This year, driving traffic and searches online has clearly worked and it sold out of the portable LED night light featured in the ad in mere minutes! Well played #MozTheMonster – gold medal performance.

  1. Marks and Spencer

Silver goes to Marks and Spencer’s #LoveTheBear campaign. A creative ad featuring the friendliest, furry legend from fiction, Paddington Bear. Although not all reactions online have been positive, views and searches have shot through the store roof. All publicity is good publicity, right?

  1. Debenhams

It was a close race but the bronze medal goes to Debenhams for its’ #YouShall campaign to have a Cinderella inspired, fairy tale Christmas. This campaign has had a positive reaction online so comes out on top if it’s quality leads you’re after. However, as the ad has been viewed less than its rivals, it just hasn’t created that same buzz as the big spenders.

  1. House of Fraser

Last but not least, it’s House of Fraser’s #BringMerryBack. A nice idea to add a sprinkling of nostalgia to its campaign this year but with only around 500,000 people reached by the campaign so far, it looks like it’ll be playing catch-up for the festive run in.

Although the big four department stores have been the focus here, it’s unforgiveable to examine retailers’ Christmas campaigns without paying homage to the nation’s most heroic carrot. Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot is back with a bang this year and it’s another example of how retailers are maximising revenue over the festive period through championing a brand mascot. Such is the demand for Kevin and his love interest Katie, Aldi has had to restrict sales to two per customer this year!

Lessons to be learned

So the lesson is, don’t just rely on one platform. It’s not just retailers that can capitalise on Christmas this year through creating as many opportunities to expose consumers to their brand as possible. TV ads and video content should be posted on dedicated web pages, YouTube channels, Twitter accounts and we haven’t even touched upon Facebook or LinkedIn etc.

But don’t just take our word for it – have your say on which retailer’s Christmas ad is best via our Twitter poll here.

And although there’s still a month until the day itself, all that’s left from Acceleris is to wish all of our clients, suppliers and partners a very merry Christmas!

All data featured in this blog has been obtained between 1-17 November through research conducted by Acceleris’ Digital Insights division which tracks trends and monitors online behaviour to stay ahead of the curve, and to help inform client PR campaigns. Find out more about our specialist retail team here.

Getting Too Big for their Gucci Boots… Is Influencer Marketing Still “On Point”?

Jake Setterfield – Account Manager

Influencer marketing, loosely described as a form of digital marketing that brands adopt to identify, target and form partnerships with those with online influence, has experienced rapid growth in popularity over the past couple of years.

It is the practice of getting people who are popular on social networks (particularly Instagram) to talk candidly about a brand’s product (such as a pair of free Gucci boots) in a hope their amassed audiences would buy it.

And it’s big business, with 400 million active daily users alone on Instagram, their potential audience shouldn’t be sniffed at…

It’s certainly filled a gap for digital marketeers online too, where people are now moving away from “click-bait” content and banner ads. In-fact, it’s estimated audiences are far more likely to win the lottery than click a banner ad! Whilst this is possibly a little exaggerated, it just goes to show the gap influencer marketing has filled online.

However, consumers are also becoming ever savvier to the tricks of the trade, and apparently there is such a thing as being too popular. Research last year by Markerly found a ‘sweet spot’ brands should look for when it comes to influencers’ clout and how bigger isn’t always better…

They found follower numbers of influencers on Instagram should be between 10k and 100k. Any smaller than this, and your product won’t make a splash, but any bigger, and engagement drops off. Mega social celebs with over 10 million followers had a like rate of 1.7% compared to 2.4% of those with 10-100k followers.

For example, if a DIY brand partnered with a celebrity in that field, they would reach a huge audience, but a lot of them wouldn’t be interested in the subject. Instead, it would be better to spread the content across a number of smaller influencers that have followers engaged in that topic.

The high level of trust between these influencers and their audiences is really making the trend live up to the hype. Rather than brands scattering their message to a wide consumer audience, the targeted approach of influencer engagement really does help them achieve the marketing dream of true consumer engagement.

This is made all the more pertinent when influencers are selective about their affiliations, placing their fans’ trust for what they endorse above the commercial partnership with the brand. This is where the distinction between celebrities and influencers comes into play. Whereas celebs can spread a message widely across the population based on how likeable they are, we should be more concerned with the interests of the influencer’s audience and their affiliation to the influencer’s “brand”.

However, a recent study by marketeer Nik Speller found the extent to which some influencers are using “bots” to over-inflate their clout. These bots will interact with their social channels automatically liking, commenting and following people, thereby over-exaggerating their influence.

He finds this so called “Instagram fraud” has become really quite prolific, resulting in the misrepresentation of influencers’ popularity so they can mislead brands to command more profitable partnerships.

For cautious brands, it ultimately comes down to engagement and story telling. Don’t just go for big follower numbers when looking for influencers. Micro-influencers can tell a meaningful story to their engaged audiences at a fraction of the cost for what you’d pay for a mega celeb. Brands need to work with the right influencers with the right audiences, telling the right stories.

However, perhaps more interestingly, Instagram does very little to call out this phenomenon as an issue. This artificial engagement is still just that, engagement… regardless of how genuine it is. This is what Instagram uses to justify and command its advertising fees, so the more engagement, the bigger the market value and ultimately ad revenue.

Just goes to show that their shoes might not be big enough to fill those free Gucci boots after all….

Whilst the examples above quite evidently apply mainly to consumer clients, corporate clients should also take note too. Our client Vantage Motor Group recently worked with Instagram influencer Em Talks around London Fashion Week, letting her test drive a brand new Toyota to travel in style to the show. 

With over 70k followers on Instagram and nearly 30k on Twitter, the activity promoted the release of Toyota’s brand-new C-HR. The content was engaging and relevant to her audience who are dedicated followers. If they had gone for an influencer with an inflated follower number, the engagement wouldn’t have been as impressive.

If you need advice or support with digital marketing, get in touch with info@acceleris-mc.com

Are you local?

  The future of local journalism is a topic that occupies minds far brighter than my own. Publishers large and small are still struggling to monetise their digital content and respond to a changing media landscape. But despite all the gloomy headlines forecasting the end of local newspapers as we know it, one trend does…