You would have to have been hiding under a rock not to notice the extent to which video and live streaming is coming into play in marketing. “Going live” on whichever platform; Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Meerkat or Periscope to name a few; can seem really daunting, but with thorough planning, this experience can be fun both for you and your audience.
To help you plan for your live streaming, here are our top tips for “going live”:
Promote prior to the event: You’ve made the decision to go live, so tell your audience prior to the event so they can tune in and set aside the time slot. Don’t leave it to chance that your crowd will be online at the time of broadcast.
Introductions: Always start the broadcast with who and where you are, and what you are doing. This gets you and your brand’s name out there even if the viewer doesn’t tune in for the whole broadcast.
Concise takeaways: After the introduction, be concise in what your audience is going to see in this video, and what their takeaway will be. In other words, what information you are going to bestow on the watcher.
Be professional, but with personality: Nobody likes the person who takes everything too seriously, including themselves. Deliver your messages professionally, but don’t be afraid to share your humour (people, particularly us Brits, like this) and let your personality shine through. Be opinionated where relevant, and don’t be afraid to get your point across. Your audience will respect you all the more for this.
Be natural: Never read from a script – there is nothing more dull to watch than someone looking down at a piece of paper and reading word for word in a monotonous tone. You can’t let your true personality show through if it’s on a piece of paper. If you’re worried you’ll run out of things to say, or forget your train of thought, utilise flash cards with 3-5 bullet points positioned underneath the camera. Practice these bullet points prior to going live, repeat them several times so that you have them instilled in your mind to fall back on. If you’re really nervous about how it will go and look on the screen, practice beforehand utilising Facebook’s privacy settings so that only you can see the end result!
Think about the length of your stream and your content: How long a live stream should be is a hotly debated topic. Facebook recommend you stream at least 10 minutes, in order to get viewers on board and watching. We, however, think 5 minutes is probably closer to what people will tune in to watch. Anything longer than this will have to be engaging to make people stay.
No interruptions: Make sure you forward calls on your mobile to ensure no interruptions whilst streaming. If there are any other people in your immediate vicinity ensure they are aware of your going live so that either 1) they don’t disturb you or 2) they are prepared when they join the livestream!
Engage with your audience: Your audience can leave comments whilst you are streaming. To help with that personal touch, always address your viewers by name when answering their comments. To find out more about how personalisation can help you win customer loyalty click here.
Be regular: It can be a good idea to get a regular slot at the same time each week to encourage your viewers and fans to return each week. This will then become part of your marketing strategy and you will remember to promote the activity on a weekly basis. This doesn’t mean that you can’t go live on other occasions that call for it, such as events and special occasions.
Use quality gear for sound and vision: Whilst you’ve probably thought about the device you are using in terms of video quality output, there are some other steps you can take to improve your final end production. Firstly, take any necessary steps to minimise background and ambient noise. Next, think about the position of your phone before you go live. You might wish to use a selfie stick, a tripod, hold it yourself or call upon a team member to be your camera crew. Finally, always ensure you are in a place with a strong broadband connection.
Don’t just use as a live video: Be sure to capture your live stream and host on a platform post-event, such as YouTube or Vimeo. Once uploaded to the web, be sure to promote through social to generate more views. If your live stream is longer than 5 minutes, we would highly recommend editing down the original version to ensure viewers see it through to the end.
Don’t be afraid to experiment: Once you have gone live, think of different scenarios you can use for future live streams. Here are some ideas for you to consider:
- Interviews – with your team, clients, customers or thought leaders in your industry.
- Launches – let your audience be the first to learn about new products from your brand.
- Special promotions and competitions – a way to get people to stay till the very end of your video.
- Live events – in stores, blogger events, consumer shows, conferences, team building activities. This is where you can really show all the personalities behind the scenes, and not just the face of the brand!
Are you ready to go live? For any advice please email email@example.com
“If I had one dollar left, I’d spend it on PR.” –Bill Gates
PR here, and in fact anywhere, doesn’t just include issuing press releases and securing coverage. PR is about management reputation, it’s an attitude, a process. It’s a way of behaving positively as much as it is about employing a PR resource. It’s a display of positive reinforcement.
But PR is not cheap, and it takes time. The UK media is also known to be one of the most difficult to secure coverage in. Placement also doesn’t guarantee overnight success. Whilst a small number of publications, such as The Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Metro, are considered to be the ones that will generate demand, traffic and spike interest, coverage on any of these sites is not a guarantee.
On the whole, PR placements are in the consumer’s eyes a more credible touchpoint, because they are not paid for opportunities. These can happen both in print or online. Whilst traditional print media is considered the holy grail for many of our clients, there’s no click-through button on a magazine or newspaper page, whereas online consumers are just one button away from your product.
Where you are employing an agency or DIY-ing your PR, here are our top tips:
- Be targeted. So many companies use a scattergun approach and if not careful, can end up chasing their tails in a bid to secure coverage. Dependent upon your resources, come up with a top 5-10-20 list of target media. Sure, you can send your press release out to more contacts than this, but these are the publications you actively go after and diligently follow up on.
- Don’t let being targeted ruin the buzz. I’ve seen so many companies fall prey to this. They only want to work with the big boys and so ignore the requests our agency sends over from smaller publications and blogs. Firstly, everyone has to start somewhere, on both sides – the publications/blogs and the brands. Secondly, as a brand if someone has shown interest in you products, no matter how big or small they are, if they are doing a decent job of publishing their work you should accept the gesture with gratitude and work with them.
- Once you have your coverage, shout about it! PR is not just about securing the coverage, a lot comes down to what you do we it after it is published, such as sharing on social media, promoting to your mailing list, featuring on your website.
- If using an agency, communication is key. We’ve had first hand experience of this, clients simply not having the time to provide us with the ammunition to carry out our work. Whilst we don’t need or expect to be spoon fed, there are occasions where we need quotes or experience told first hand to achieve full insight and the correct tonality. We’ve even struggled for high res images on occasion from clients!
- If you are DIY-ing, use a directory service. There are a few of these on the market, including Diary, Fashion & Beauty Insight and Fashion & Beauty Monitor. This will save you heaps of time in researching the most up-to-date contacts, and will also send you journalist alerts to follow up on.
Have you any PR success stories to tell? Need some PR strategy advice? We’d love to hear from you on firstname.lastname@example.org
First came Google Adwords. Next, Facebook ads. Then Google made Product Listings Ads (Google Shopping) and Google Display Network. Now there are ads and promotions on Twitter, Pinterest,Instagram and Facebook Messenger. We can now even remarket to our customers if they were disturbed in their purchasing process.
So, the million dollar question, which one do you choose? Well, just like allocating your marketing budget, there is no one right way to spend. What’s most important is that you measure your return on investment.
To help you on your way to digital marketing success, here are our top tips:
- Use your time wisely. The advertising platform that is easiest to manage (which is important if it is just you running your business and wearing lots of hats) is the Product Listing Ads on Google, which show up in Google Shopping. To create these, you download a spreadsheet, complete all the required fields and upload, sharing via Google Drive. Google then pulls from this spreadsheet as often as you cite it should, so keep your stock levels and NPD up to date in this spreadsheet.
- Google Adwords. Easy to learn, difficult to master. There are loads of tricks to help you excel, and the best place to learn them is with the masters at Google themselves. They hold regular training sessions, and best of all they are free. (Rebecca has actually attended twice to brush up her Adwords skills!)
- Have a clear understanding of what the purpose of your ads is? Google Adwords and PLAs are great for helping you get more sales, when used correctly. However, there are other purposes to advertising, particularly on social:
- Brand awareness – look for low cost high volume search terms for this option.
- Getting consumers to enter your sales funnel – such as email signup CTAs
- Increase likes on social media
- Increase engagement on social media
Social media advertising interfaces have greatly improved in recent years, and it’s very easy to see results of your campaigns and check against your own set targets and KPIs.
- Experiment. It takes time but if you don’t try you will never know. We highly recommend split testing on your ads. Try different formats on the same platform and campaign to see what really works for your brand and your customer. Also, do not be afraid to work outside your comfort zone: try the new options on your preferred platform as well as experimenting with different platforms.
Have you experimented with digital? Need some help with your strategy? Email us email@example.com – we’d love to hear from you.
Back in October last year, I was invited to the Diversified headquarters in Brighton. Diversified are the publishers of Natural Products News and Natural Beauty News, amongst other titles, and organisers of several trade events including Natural & Organic Products Europe.
The panel was chaired by Julia Zaltzman, editor of Natural Beauty News, and also sitting were Jayn Sterland, managing director of Weleda, Kirstie & Luke Sherriff co-founders of Pinks Boutique and Stockport health store Amaranth’s owner, Joanne Hill.
Four questions were posed, and I thought it would be interesting to share my musings on all of them with you. Here is the third question:
- Future Proofing – We continue to see growth in the natural beauty industry – the Soil Association’s 2015 Organic Market Report showed sales of its certified organic beauty products jumped 20% in 2014, to reach just over £44m. The number of applicants it received grew 51% – but can we keep the integrity of organic intact whilst still being able to scale it up?
I believe that yes, the natural products industry can maintain its integrity and scale its growth, however in order to do this we need to unify on messaging to consumers. The Soil Association’s #campaignforclarity and #lookforthelabel messages are fabulous for both businesses and consumers alike.
I believe for continued growth, the natural products industry needs to go back to its roots and jump on board the slow movement. Storytelling remains an important element for natural products brands, and sustainability and traceability ethics are only going to become more important for consumers as they become more aware of and engaged with environmental issues.
At the Organic Beauty Week briefing for 2016, David from Herbfarmacy raised a very valid point: “less of the free from, more of the “from”.” In other words, brands need to focus more on the benefits of natural and organic, and not just bad mouth mainstream ingredients. Natural brands have an ongoing responsibility to continue the education of consumers when it comes to ingredients and benefits.
There is also education to be done with pushing the message that organic is not more expensive. Yes, it may be more expensive that the cheap mainstream products, but when compared to a product of similar quality and brand positioning, one will find time and time again that natural and/or organic are not necessarily the more expensive options. Particularly when you look at the cost of ingredients inside.
Greenwashing must be fought, but not in a radicalised extremist way. Again, this all comes down to how you convey the message, and always make sure your points are backed up with hard scientific facts. Give your statements credibility, don’t leave yourself open to criticism for having a weak argument.
For brands, when they think about scaling up, they must understand that different channels have different roles and functions within their growth:
- Independents: the trusted companion. These stores have an incredibly loyal customer base and are going to be around forever. Compare them to London corner shops, which I am sure everyone thought would close down as supermarkets and “local” supermarkets came into existence. The corner shops are still going strong, and some of them are even stocking natural product basics now!
- Multis: the threat for the independents. However, these stores are undoubtedly selling products at a higher price point than the indies. The multis are destinations for natural health and beauty newbies, tourists, or a day’s outing as a special treat for those passionate about organic.
- Supermarkets: the convenience. Who doesn’t want to be able to pick up a body wash or soap because they’ve run out, whilst doing their weekly shop? The shop can be in store or online. The best thing for the industry about natural and organic being in supermarkets is the massive exposure to millions of consumers. It has certainly aided progress of natural and organic into the mainstream.
- Department stores and concept stores: the shopping window. These listings are not always lucrative for brands, but they still serve a purpose. They give brands kudos, and like supermarkets, they act as a window to raise brand awareness due to the large footfall within such stores.
How do you feel about the progression of natural and organic into the mainstream? Do you think we can future-proof the industry? We’d love to hear from you! firstname.lastname@example.org
Personal service is nothing new. From the waiter at your favourite restaurant knowing your name to the tailor knowing your inside leg length and preferred colours and cloth.
When digital marketing first came to be, personalisation consisted of addressing the email to the recipient. Believe it or not, this is still a very powerful tool which not every brand is making use of. Even on a mass email, those which use the recipient’s name receive 29% more opens and a 41% higher click through rate (CTR) than an email which does not. Easy, right? However, it’s estimated that 70% of businesses do not employ this simple tactic.
Personalisation doesn’t end there however, and in the future brands are going to have to harness their data to create meaningful customer journeys. This will not always be easy. Consumers have so many different devices they plug in with, and across so many channels, that it is difficult for marketers to establish just who is on the other side of the screen.
But consumers expect this personal touch, particularly when it comes to customer service. Social media and digital media has become a way not just for brands to communicate with their customers, but for consumers to engage with brands, and they expect answers almost instantly. This has led to the development of automated communications systems, such as chat bots and “we’ve received your enquiry” automated messages.
Technology has made us lazy shoppers. Consumers want to be more or less spoon fed. Through the use of data insights, we can build a relationship with customers through reacting to their buying habits, making helpful suggestions be it “time to reorder” messages, a favourites/wish list feature with an alert for promotions on their desired items, or recommended products to go with already purchased or in basket products.
In their white paper, Customer Engagement from the Consumer’s Perspective, Rosetta Consulting reveals that loyal customers buy 90% more frequently, spend 60% more per transaction and are five times as likely to stick with your brand.
Birthday messages with a gift discount code can be another effective touch. Data insights from Experian suggest that personalised messages, such as birthdays and anniversaries, can result in 300% higher click-rate and a 250% higher revenue rate. Reason being is that 78% of customers equate brands who create personalised content for them with brands who value their business and want to build a relationship with them.
It’s important that you get it right though. When surveyed, 67% of people said they would immediately leave a web page which asked them to donate to a hated political party, 57% said they would do the same if they were married and shown adverts for a dating website, and 50% would quit on a site that recommended to them the wrong gender’s underwear.
Personalisation can be used to provide a seamless experience to your customer. Get it right, win over the customer and they will become your biggest brand advocate and keep on coming back. The time is coming when personalisation will need to have a strategy within every business in order to win over a loyal audience.
Are you ready to get personal? For any advice please email email@example.com
Print advertising still has a valid place in a marketing strategy, and it still has that prestige in the eyes of your competitor. There’s no denying, seeing an ad that you have worked on in print is so satisfying!
If we’re thinking about marketing touchpoints and advertising in magazines, it makes sense to engage with the publication’s audience elsewhere: events, social media and emails for instance.
When it comes to print advertising, here are our top 3 tips:
- Never book one-off inserts. Identify a core range of magazines that you would like to work with and arrange a meeting with each of them. Think about the magazine’s target audience, how you will market your product to them, why your product is relevant to them and why they need your product.
- Negotiate. Find out what these titles can offer you in terms of not just the best price but also added value. Make it clear that you are looking to build a long-standing relationship with them and if you sign up front for the year they will be more flexible with both price and that added value. Added value can look like editorial mentions, interviews, reviews, competition slots, reader offers, social media, email mentions and discount on event spaces.
- Create the best ad you can. When it comes to your masterpiece, if you can’t afford the input of an agency or a freelancer, look back to our guidelines of how to be a better marketer and go forth and create along these lines. Don’t be afraid to ask family, friends or even your consumers what they think of your concepts prior to finalising and placing. Even ask people you respect in the industry for their advice, we’re a friendly bunch on the whole!
And one thing to never do: don’t go for the classifieds sections in the glossies. Ever. Regardless of how good a deal it seems. I’ve never heard of one natural beauty or health brand having any success from these, even in the mags with hundreds of thousands of readers. Even with a very appealing CTA. No just don’t do it as to conclude, it would seem nobody reads the classifieds!
Have you run a print advertising campaign with great success? Do you need some advice on your latest advertisement? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for our support.
Hopefully, you read part 1 of this series and understand that we are all marketers. Next, we need to understand our consumer, their habits and how to create touchpoints.
Before the digital age, a marketers jobs was much simpler. There were less:
- Communication channels
Technology has changed everything! We’re bombarded with information 24/7 (or as long as our waking hours) across so many channels.
We’re “always on” but our attention span as a race is shorter than ever: a study by Microsoft Corp shows that the average human loses attention after 8 seconds!
Many people starting out with a brand or company to promote think they will place an ad (yep, that’s one ad) and see instant results.
Or that one piece of PR will bring home the bacon.
The truth is, on the whole. consumers don’t buy after the first or second interaction with a brand or product, but more like the 7th time.
But knowing where to focus your budget creating these touchpoints is a mystery to many, and in almost every instance there is no right answer. However, with planning and forethought you can map out where you are going to reach your target consumers, and how much it is going to cost.
Always think first about who your consumer is. Age, sex, location. Then, you can start to map out your marketing activity. Want to know how to get the most out of each platform? Read on! In Part 3, we look at Print Advertising
Back in October last year, I was invited to the Diversified headquarters in Brighton. Diversified are the publishers of Natural Products News and Natural Beauty News, amongst other titles, and organisers of several trade events including Natural & Organic Products Europe.
The panel was chaired by Julia Zaltzman, editor of Natural Beauty News, and also sitting were Sonia White, founder of Love Lula, Donna Ashcroft, buyer at www.biggreensmile.com and Lorraine Dallmeier from Formula Botanica.
Four questions were posed, and I thought it would be interesting to share my musings on all of them with you. Here is the second question:
The K-Beauty Trend – Asian, in particular Korean, beauty trends are driving innovation in the beauty field, from BB creams to serums, brightening creams, dark spot correctors, face masks and anti-aging products – but can/will they deliver innovations in natural beauty? And what developments are coming out Asia that we think will really impact our sector?
To this question, I posed the question that there are so many crossovers between natural beauty and K-beauty that it is difficult to know who is copying who. K-beauty formulas, although not completely natural, utilise natural ingredients within their formulas.
I suspect there is probably a bit of poaching ideas from both sides, Asian beauty brands looking out for the latest innovative natural ingredients and natural formulators looking east for formulation inspiration. In 2016, quinoa was reported as a big ingredient trend in K-Beauty, however Green People launched their quinoa hair care in 2015.
Think about the waterless beauty trend we discussed in the first part of this series, this movement came out of Asia undoubtedly, however, think of all the gorgeous beauty balms and body whips we have in the natural products industry. These products have been around for years, before we even heard the term K-beauty. One might argue that waterless beauty has been around for years, but it is the Asia beauty movement that has created a trend around this kind of product.
Next comes the BB-CC cream trend, which has undoubtedly grown over the past few years in the UK. I was shocked to learn that Korean women have been using BB cream for over thirty years! One brand in the natural products industry that showed innovation and a certain marketing quirk in this field was Green People. They created a DD cream – that’s a Daily Defence cream with a tint for even coverage, beauty beneficials and an SPF (hence the daily defence name).
Hydrating essences, pH-balancing toners, and serums are other products utilised in the K-beauty 7 step regime, but again these are nothing new in the natural products industry. It is just that the K-beauty craze has brought these products into the limelight and perhaps made natural marketers think about what messages are used to promote their products.
Cleansing is undoubtedly one of the most important phases of any beauty regimen, but in K-beauty they are serious about their double cleansing, sometimes utilising two products, an oil cleanser followed by a foaming cleanser; and sometimes utilising a one product two-phase cleanser.
I don’t think of oil cleansers as anything particularly new in the natural beauty world, but I do think the K-beauty trend has helped spur the growth of oil cleanser aficionados. Two phase cleansers are the recent big thing in K-beauty cleansing, however, I remember Evolve Beauty’s Gentle Cleansing Melt, which must have been around for at least 7 years if not longer, which has two phases. It goes on a balm and upon contact with water turns into a creamy milk to rinse away leaving no residue behind.
I think western marketers may well look towards Asian beauty trends for inspiration. Think about the current trend of anti-pollution skincare; off the top of my head I can think of FOM London, Alba Botanica Volcanic Clay and Avalon Organics Intense Defense. This is a huge trend in the UK at the moment but has been around on the K-beauty scene for several years.
Last but not least, harder working makeup was another trend reported in 2016, i.e. makeup with skincare benefits. If you are choosing to use natural makeup however you are already opting for makeup that not only offers coverage and/or colour but is also full of ingredients your skin loves.
What are your thoughts on Asian beauty trends? Do you look to the east for inspiration for your brand? We’d love to hear from you email@example.com
In a survey conducted by eMarketer, 84% of marketers said that they would activate at least one influencer campaign in the next twelve months, and with good reason it would appear: a poll by influencer marketplace Tomoson showed that businesses are generating $6.50 for every $1 spent. This poll also discovered that influencer marketing is the fastest-growing online marketing channel, surpassing affiliate marketing, paid search and display ads.
But is this the right direction for natural products businesses to take? In order to answer this question, we must first define what the influencer(s) we are going to work with look(s) like. By and large, the term “influencer” is used to describe an online persona with a large, engaged and active following. More often than not, this persona will have come to fame via social media and/or blogging, but most importantly they have the undivided attention of their audience and as a result, can influence their behaviour.
Think of influencer marketing as the modern day endorsement, only these days you don’t have to be a sports personality or movie star to be an influencer, thanks to the power of technology connecting us all.
Coming back to the question we posed: “is influencer marketing the right direction for natural products businesses to take?”. When seeking out your influencers, be thorough. Take a look at their blog, social media channels and vlogs and see:
- if they have worked with any natural or organic brands previously.
- how the influencer conveys the natural and organic message, after all, if this is one of your brand or product’s main messages delivery of it is key.
- if and how their audience engaged with the content. By this we don’t just mean likes and retweets, but conversations. It’s important that we remember that although natural and organic is moving more towards mainstream and available in more mass market environments than ever before, there’s still a long way to go in educating mass consumers.
Even if the influencer ticks all of the above boxes, there is then the question of budget. Unless by some miracle the influencer is already your biggest fan, the activity is going to come at a price. Whilst this is swallowable for some of the bigger brands we work with, for newly launched and niche brands this kind of spend would swallow pretty much all their marketing budget for the year. And as with every spend, there is no guarantee of ROI. Something about eggs and one basket springs to mind.
One plan of action we recommend for smaller natural products brands we work with is to search out the influencers within our niche. The bloggers and vloggers who are passionate about natural and organic. The published slow foodie, clean eating sensations who became hits and launched their careers on Instagram. We still consider these people to be influencers, and for our industry they represent a more cost-effective option as well as being more targeted towards the type of consumers we are looking to engage with.
Have you experimented with influencer marketing? What does an influencer look like to you? For any advice please email firstname.lastname@example.org
I have spoken at unarguably the biggest and best natural products show of the year, Natural & Organic Products Europe, for several years now.
Previously, I have spoken about ingredients trends and beauty predictions, however this year we thought we’d give attendees something a little different.
So, I imparted some of my top marketing secrets and tips to help businesses big and small get more bank for their marketing buck.
The lovely Joanna from Mallow & White was gutted she couldn’t make the talk and asked if I might transcribe the talk into a blog. Which is why you are reading this today! This is part one of a ten part series based around my how to get more bang for your marketing buck talk given at Natural & Organic Products Europe.
It’s a funny phrase “bang for your buck”, and it fact it is derived from “more bounce to the ounce”, an advertising slogan used in 1950 to market the carbonated soft drink Pepsi.
The phrase “bigger bang for the buck” was notably used by U.S. President Eisenhower’s Secretary of Defense, Charles Erwin Wilson, in 1954. He used it to describe the New Look policy of depending on nuclear weapons, rather than a large regular army, to keep the Soviet Union in check.
Today, the phrase is used to mean a greater worth for the money used. Many of you reading this will most likely be the marketers, along with many other roles, in your business.
But what does being a marketer really mean? What is the role of the marketer? Marketing, by and large, is communication. To be the best marketer you can possibly be, we recommend following these guiding points:
- Be compelling – use empathy, be objective and never be afraid to be different. You have to tell consumers what your product is, how it is going to help them, but without being salesy from the outset.
- Intention – fail to plan and you plan to fail. It’s one of my favourite sayings, and it’s so true. You need to make sure your strategy is joined up, across multiple channels to create meaningful touchpoints, something we’ll come to in the next post.
- Creativity – create memorable campaigns, don’t be afraid to stand out. You need something catchy to reel your consumers in, and to stay in their minds.
- Intensity – your campaign needs to be dense enough, across a variety of channels, to create an impact.
- Measure – always measure the results of your campaign compared to performance in an off-campaign period. Look at uplift, sales volume and profitability to find the full effect of your campaign.
Click here for part 2.