Visual Analytics: Find Your Brand’s Visual Influencers
You should have already heard this statistic: over 1.8 billion pictures are shared online every day. Images and videos play an ever increasing role in the way people interact on social media, as attested by the rise of visual-oriented platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat, and the increasing visual focus of giants such as Twitter and Facebook. And yes, several of these pictures define how entire segments of your audience will perceive your products and your brand as a whole.
Let’s face it: in the digital sphere, this is the era of ad blockers, and potential customers trust the recommendations of their peers a lot more than the content produced by your marketing team. On networks such as Instagram, these users that are able to sway the purchasing behavior of their communities are called “visual influencers“.
With the help of Talkwalker’s visual analytics, we were able to identify these visual influencers for Adidas, even though none of these posts mention the brand in the text (screenshots from @menwithstreetstyle, @the.fashion.empire & @alexenderkenton)
Here are a few numbers that will convince you to step up your visual influencer marketing on social media:
- 47% of millenials are influenced by what they see on social media when it comes to making purchasing decisions (2015, Deloitte)
- The companies with the largest numbers of brand advocates are able to get up to 264% more earned impressions compared to other brands (2012, Whitegate)
- Products presented by visual influencers perform significantly better than others, especially apparel (6.4x more sales), jewelry (2.4x ), footwear (1.7x ) and beauty products (1.6x) (2015, The Shelf)
- For each dollar spent on your influencer program, you will generate an average $6.95 in returns, or even higher if you are in the food, retail or travel industry (2015, The Shelf)
Do you want to see what these influencers are posting about your brand? Better, do you want to play an active role in this visual storytelling? Here is a four-step guide that will help you identify the best visual influencers for your brand and take your influencer marketing to the next level.
1. Search For Visual Mentions of Your Brand with Image Recognition
The first step is to find great user-generated content featuring your products and brand logo. Most basic social media analytics platforms will allow you to search for images based on text queries, which will give you access to a fraction of the content you are looking for. However a key element of visual listening is to identify hidden content: the images that do not mention your brand in the accompanying text.
Using Talkwalker Image Recognition technology, we were able to identify over 2,900 hidden visual mentions of the luxury brand Chanel over the last thirty days (April 26th to May 25th 2016), like the Instagram post below.
A visual tale of a London shopping escapade - note the absence of “Chanel” in the accompanying text. Screenshot from @mrslvoemon
This visual search will also help you determine which platform you will be focusing on for your next campaign. Each visual influencer has their own voice and creativity, which will inspire different strategies. Depending on your content and your intended audience, each social media channel will have a different level of importance.
2. Assess Reach vs. Engagement
When selecting the best influencer for your brand, you have to ask yourself what you are looking for: is it reach, or is it engagement? If it’s reach, your brand channel might do the trick: Adidas for example has over 970,000 followers on YouTube, which guarantees a certain number of views every time they post a brand-generated video. Yet it is when users engage with the content that they show real interest for the product or your brand.
Here’s an example: the vlogger here below specializes in sneakers and managed to rack up over 154,000 views, 7,151 likes and 1943 comments in under five days with this video where he remodels a pair of Adidas Ultra Boost 2.0 (with questionable results when it comes to the end product!).
This was the most engaging video on YouTube related to Adidas over the last seven days. The brand also posted a video within the same time period (and scored almost 300,000 more views than the vlogger) but came short when it came to comments and likes. Studies show that 68% of shoppers prefer user-generated product videos as opposed to the content produced by the brand.
3. Pick Your Target Audience – Bigger
Social data suggests that Dior‘s ambassador Jennifer Lawrence is more popular than her Louis Vuitton and Chanel counterparts
In a previous report on influencer marketing on social media, we identified three different categories. The two more well-known influencer types are traditional celebrities (ex: Kristen Stewart for Chanel) that generate buzz on social media from the red carpet or the tennis court, and the social media stars such as Chiara Ferragni that have millions of followers on social channels and millions in yearly revenues. But there is a third type of influencer that is becoming increasingly important for brands.
In recent years, brands have started to seek out micro influencers. These people have smaller communities (typically just under 10,000 followers, but they can be bigger) but have developed a very focused following that can be swayed by personalized marketing campaigns. This visual influencer for example could be a good contact in the context of a campaign targeted towards women about to get married.
Screen capture from the Instagram account of @detailsjeannie
4. Be Inspired By Brands With Great Visual Influencer Programs
Do you still need a little inspiration to kickstart your influencer marketing strategy? Here are three great campaigns to learn from:
The sunglasses brand Quay Australia decided to create a new collection with Instafamous influencer Chrisspy (3 million followers) earlier this year – you can find out all about it thanks to the hashtag #quayxchrisspy :
- One of my personal favorites back in 2015 was also the #lifewelltraveled campaign led by the airlines Cathay Pacific in partnership with visual influencer Jessica Stein (here are the results):
Cathay Airlines Influencer Marketing Why Visual Analytics Are Crucial For Your Brand
Social media monitoring is fundamentally incomplete if it does not include both text-based listening and visual analytics. Today, almost two-thirds of all content shared on social includes an image. In order to make strategic decisions, brands must have a complete view of their online presence, and with up to 80% of brand images not making a reference to the brand in the text, the limitations of text-based listening are obvious.
With the help of Image Recognition technology, brands can uncover hidden user-generated content and visual influencers that will help them forge stronger connections with their audience.