The Power Of Social Media To Capture Todays Consumer
(Monday 29 June 2020)
As a new marketplace emerges, businesses across industries are faced with uncertainty. But one thing remains clear: A robust social strategy is critical. Social media channels have quickly become the backbone of business strategies and are key to building meaningful connections with consumers to drive long-term brand loyalty. Not to mention, when done well, they can boost online sales.
Social media channels are a place for brands to gain real-time insights into their audience's tastes and test new visuals to optimize photos and videos across marketing and e-commerce touchpoints. The way I see it, the smartest companies will continue to invest in channels like Instagram and Pinterest to inform their visual strategy — and ultimately maximize online revenue and long-term business growth.
The fluid nature of social media makes it the perfect launchpad for storytelling, product launches and new initiatives. As we move further toward a new era of e-commerce, it's clear that social media marketing isn't just an option anymore, it's a business-critical operation.
Visuals are at the heart of building a brand and maximizing return on investment (ROI) on any channel. Brands need to ensure that every visual they put in front of their audience inspires action. At Dash Hudson, we help some of the world's leading brands create and share photos and videos that people care about. Backed with visual intelligence technology, our software learns with brands in real-time to predict which photos will resonate with a brand's unique audience the most.
Whether it's choosing an image for organic social, paid advertising or your native e-commerce website, data-driven insights are necessary to optimize for conversions and create meaningful relationships with consumers. This means brands need to know who their audience is as it evolves, starting with social.
Content That Converts
Many brands have been incorporating user-generated content (UGC) and influencer partnerships into their strategies for years, and they understand how to repurpose and repackage content across marketing channels and e-commerce platforms. But for others, this is a new concept. To keep a flow of fresh content across digital touchpoints, innovative brands are leveraging influencers and community-created visuals.
Even better, when UGC is done right, it often outperforms brands' average engagement and converts followers into customers. Seventy-nine per cent of consumers say that UGC influences their purchase decisions, and over 44% of consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 have made a purchase based on a recommendation from an influencer. The impact of UGC and influencer photos and videos on online revenue is undeniable.
To understand which visual styles — UGC, influencer imagery, campaign creative and product shots — will perform with your unique audience, brands need to keep a pulse on the key performance indicator (KPI) that matters most on social: engagement.
Tracking and measuring engagement in real-time is critical to success in today's saturated social space. The styles of photos and videos that performed with your audience last month likely won't garner the same engagement the next. Brands need to know what styles of visuals, narratives and campaigns their communities care about in the moment. The ability to quickly pivot strategies to keep up with consumers' evolving tastes and preferences and craft timely content is more important than ever.
Sharing meaningful UGC and influencer content can deepen the connection between your community and your brand. Finding a balance between your audience's preferences and what your brand stands for is key. The content you select needs to speak to your brand story and visual DNA. Authentically weaving your community into your brand story is an art, and it is how brands can set themselves apart in today's digital landscape.
How To Curate Content That Leads To Brand Loyalty
Brand loyalty and top-of-mind awareness are long-term growth metrics that separate the industry leaders from the rest of the pack. Especially right now, brands need to double down on social to reach consumers through authentic storytelling.
If your audience doesn't feel connected with your brand beyond a transaction, they are more likely than ever to switch to the next best option. To foster a community that connects with your brand, authenticity and trust should be your top priorities online. This is especially evident through shifts in the marketplace. The brands that show up and are there for their communities through thick and thin are the ones that will see long-term growth in return.
Take a stance and share what your brand cares about and educate your community with long-form content through IGTV, Instagram Stories and YouTube. These tools and mediums empower brands to offer a closer glimpse into their team, products and roots with behind-the-scenes content.
Understanding what resonates with your target audience is paramount to fostering an engaged community on social media. Measuring metrics like engagement, follower growth and organic reach over time will help you nail down your key content pillars and craft a strategy that will drive brand loyalty.
To take your social media strategy a step further, you can compare your performance against the industry standard. While it's important to know how you're improving your brand's performance over time, it's crucial to know how your performance stacks up against the competitive landscape. This provides insight into your strategy's strengths and weaknesses, and where you need to focus your efforts to stand out among your biggest competitors.
Why Social Media Is Business Critical
The brands that have put social at the top of their priority list understand the value these platforms can offer. Organic social media channels present a powerful engagement and conversion opportunity for brands. Your visuals are key to creating meaningful connections online, and ultimately power revenue for brands across the board.
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