Social media provides unique value to retailers’ marketing campaigns, allowing them to promote branded content and images that align with the brand but still reach a large pool of consumers. With numerous networks to choose from, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, retailers can interact directly with consumers through messaging, photo sharing and video sharing and gather opinions that can help shape their brand.
Smith Optics, a retailer of eyewear and outdoor gear, leveraged the Pulse Marketing Suite from social content marketing platform provider ReadyPulse to curate user-generated content (UGC) and link it with relevant products. The retailer had initially partnered with ReadyPulse to reduce the time necessary to track its sponsored athletes’ social activities, and measure the ROI of each athlete to determine their most valuable sponsorships.
With the Pulse Marketing Suite, Smith Optics can gather detailed reports to understand which sponsored athletes promote the brand the most frequently. The reports include metrics such as number of brand mentions, reach, engagement rates, influenced revenue, best photos and videos, and stack rank using ReadyPulse’s patented scoring algorithm, Pulse Score. Pulse Score determines which content and content creators will drive the most engagement and revenue for a brand.
Since implementing Pulse Score, Smith Optics has been able to spend less time managing athletes and more time using the Pulse Marketing Suite to create an effective content marketing strategy. A major portion of the UGC involved in the marketing strategy comes via Instagram photos. Through the network, the brand can display high-quality product photos and action shots to potential consumers to grow excitement around specific products.
“There’s probably more than 100,000 companies that are using Instagram on their web site,” said Dennis O’Malley, Co-Founder and CEO of ReadyPulse. “99% of them struggle with getting the content they want from the type of content creator that is ‘on brand.’ What we do besides displaying the content on a web site and making it shoppable, is getting retailers the relevant content that they want at the time that they want it in a manner that they choose.”
Smith Optics ran an incentivized, social promotion designed to collect engaging UGC from Facebook users, as well. Participants submitted their photos and videos in hopes of being awarded the best photo. Smith Optics collected 526 pieces of authorized UGC that could be repurposes in future marketing campaigns and promoted across social channels.
“Social media’s residual value is the high-quality content that you can actually reuse and place on your web site,” O’Malley said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “The key driver for a lot of our customers is that they generate more brand impressions from their best brand ambassadors. When you look at that high-quality product, campaign or relevant content piece across social media, we’re finding that the earned media brand impressions are not only equal to some of the paid media impressions, but they’re actually better drivers of referral traffic to the web site.”
Smith Optics is in the process of building its brand ambassador program, which is designed to create on-demand campaigns that manage, recruit and elevate ambassadors in specific regions.
“Normal social campaigns usually involve normal people who post, and normal people don’t necessarily drive extraordinary results,” O’Malley stated. “We look at inspirational marketing coming from people who have the ability to inspire others. That comes from great content creators and our technology has patents around finding who those great content creators are based on affinity groups.”