Pop Quiz: When influencer marketing is done right, who wins?
a) Your brand
b) The influencers
c) Your audience
d) All of the above
In case you missed the last few classes, the answer is D. In the ideal influencer marketing engagement, your brand gets a boost in credibility, authority, and exposure to a new audience. The influencer gets a cool content asset to promote, association with other thought leaders, and is able to grow their influence in their niche. And the audience gets awesome content neither the influencer nor the brand could have produced on their own.
Getting to that “everyone wins” stage requires strategic planning and execution, though. You can’t just throw money at someone with a big Instagram following and expect results.
Our agency was a pioneer in B2B influencer marketing, and we’re invested in taking it to the next level. Our approach has seen amazing results for Fortune 500 companies and small businesses alike.
To help you reach the next level of influencer marketing — what we call Influence 2.0 — this post combines our experience with original research from other thought leaders in the industry:
- Influencer Marketing: Science, Strategy & Success (Zine)
- An Evaluation of Brand Influencer Partnerships (Onalytica and Smart Insights)
- Two Sides of the Same Coin: Exploring the Brand and Influencer Relationship in Influencer Marketing (Activate)
- State of Influence 2.0 2018 (Traackr & Altimeter Group)
- Influence 2.0: The Future of Influencer Marketing (TopRank & Altimeter & Traackr)
- The State of Influencer Marketing 2017 (Linqia)
- Sponsored Spenders Survey (Collective Bias)
Read on to upgrade your influencer marketing and get ready for what comes next.
30 Essential Influencer Marketing Statistics
Influencer Marketing Works
- Over half of brands say influencer content outperforms brand-created content. Only 6% said it underperformed brand content. 6
- 78% of consumers will buy when recommended by someone they feel they know and trust. 1
- 67% of consumers have no negative reaction to sponsored content. 7
- 58% of brands have seen improved brand awareness and perception from influencer marketing campaigns. 2
- 54% saw an increase in leads and revenue. 2
Influencer marketing works because the message comes from people your audience already trusts. It also works for awareness and brand positioning, but also for driving revenue.
As our CEO Lee Odden defines it: “Influencer marketing activates internal and industry experts with engaged networks to co-create content of mutual value and achieve measurable business goals.”
[bctt tweet=”#InfluencerMarketing activates internal and industry experts with engaged networks to co-create #content of mutual value and achieve measurable business goals. – @leeodden” username=”toprank”]
Very Few Influencer Marketing Programs are Fully Mature
- Only 10% of organizations are fully mature with influencer marketing; that is, running a cross-functional program. 4
- 46% are using influencer marketing tactically, but have not integrated it across marketing. 4
- 57% of marketers say influencer marketing will be integrated in all marketing activities by 2020. 5
- 62% are going to spend more on influencer marketing in the year to come. Only 4% will spend less. 4
Marketers have a ways to go with influencer marketing sophistication. Investing more time and budget is a good start, but sophistication really comes from integrating influencers across your marketing initiatives on an ongoing basis, from strategy to content to promotion and beyond.
[bctt tweet=”#B2B #influencermarketing is still in its infancy—which means there are plenty of opportunities to begin implementing it today. @azeckman” username=”toprank”]
Sophisticated Influencer Marketing Involves Deeper Relationships
- Nearly half of marketers are working on long-term campaigns w/influencers. 2
- 40% of influencers say they’re in long-term partnerships. 2
- 48% of B2C influencer programs are ongoing, but only 11% of B2B are. 5
- Only 29% of influencers are asked for their opinion on content direction. 1
- 55% of marketers say content strategy and direction are decided well before influencers are added. 1
- Only 25% of influencers said brands shared engagement goals with them. 1
Building long-term relationships with influencers is crucial for sustainable influencer marketing. The relationship-building should include working with the influencers on content strategy, direction, and engagement goals.
As Rani Mani, Adobe’s Head of Social Influence Enablement, recently told us in an interview: “We at Adobe pride ourselves on cultivating and nurturing long term relationships with our influencers. We look at it as dating with an eye towards long term commitment which means we are always looking to establish a ‘give to get’ exchange where all parties come out ahead.”
[bctt tweet=”We look at #influencermarketing as dating with an eye towards long term commitment, which means we are always looking to establish a ‘give to get’ exchange where all parties come out ahead. – @ranimani0707″ username=”toprank”]
Influence Is More than Follower Count
- Only 25% of consumers are more likely to buy a product when someone with over 1 million followers recommends it. 1
- As reach grows, engagement tends to drop. 1,ooo-10,000 is the sweet spot for engagement. 1
It’s time to rethink what makes a good influencer, especially for B2B brands. Reach is only one part of the equation; resonance and relevance are even more important than size of audience.
Not long ago, our own Ashley Zeckman, Senior Director of Digital Strategy, wrote: “Social reach should be a consideration for your B2B influencer marketing program, but not the only one. Sometimes the influencers with the largest reach may not be engaging their audience in a meaningful way that leads to more users connecting with your content.”
Look for people who are actively engaging with their audience, and are talking about topics relevant to your brand.
[bctt tweet=”#Social reach should be a consideration for your #B2B #influencermarketing program, but not the only one. @azeckman” username=”toprank”]
Aim for Content Co-Creation, Not Sponsorship
- 73% of influencers said they put more effort into content when they’re passionate about the brand/product. 1
- Only 27% said they put in more effort when the campaign involves financial compensation. 1
- Only 34% expect financial compensation. 1
- However, 65% expect some form of reward. 1
- Only 14% said being paid well was the most important reason to work with a brand. 2
- 52% say building their influence on key topics is most important reason to be an influencer. 2
- Top criteria for influencers choosing brands? Most important is “I love the brand and already post about them organically.” 3
While financial compensation can be part of your influencer marketing strategy, it shouldn’t be the whole strategy. Money can’t buy genuine enthusiasm and emotional investment. Look for influencers who are already excited about your brand, are eager to share their thoughts and expertise on a relevant topic, and work with them to create content you both can be proud of.
[bctt tweet=”While financial compensation can be part of your #influencermarketing strategy, it shouldn’t be the whole strategy. Money can’t buy genuine enthusiasm and emotional investment. @NiteWrites” username=”toprank”]
Level Up Your Measurement
- 78% of marketers surveyed use influencers to build brand awareness. 3
- 45% cite sales conversion as their primary goal. 3
- 5% of marketers surveyed are tracking engagement rate, while only 45.92% track sales conversion. 3
- 37% of influencers cite brand awareness as their goal, while 22% cite sales conversion. 3
- 74% of marketers surveyed said sales conversion was one of their top goals for influencer marketing. 5
- 76% of marketers surveyed said determining ROI was their top concern. 6
Influencer marketing isn’t just for brand awareness. Like every other marketing tactic, your influencer efforts can contribute to revenue and that impact should be properly attributed. It’s important to make revenue measurement part of your initial planning and goal-setting.
[bctt tweet=”#InfluencerMarketing focuses on the entire customer journey, driving demand, leads and to help with nurture. @AmishaGandhi @SAPAriba” username=”toprank”]
The Next Evolution of Influence
As these statistics show, it’s time to rethink what influencer marketing is and what it can do. It’s more than one-off sponsorship deals with celebrity contributors to boost brand awareness.
Influence 2.0 means finding the true influencers for your audience. It means developing long-term relationships to co-create valuable content worth getting excited about. And it means setting goals throughout the marketing funnel and being equipped to measure them, from engagement down to revenue. When you can do all of that, everybody wins.
Is your B2B organization just getting started with influencer marketing? There are six things you absolutely need to know.
The post The Next Level of Influence: 30 Essential Influencer Marketing Statistics appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.
With pressure mounting on more and more brands to grow via international expansion, the demand for and importance of localized websites continues to grow. Countless hours of work will go into the planning, implementation, and localization of content for each language- or region-specific website — there’s simply no getting around that. And when it comes to localizing your website with WordPress there are really only two viable solutions. Importantly, those approaches for localization in WordPress are fundamentally different.
This article will walk through features and advantages for both WordPress localization options, and give you a basic framework to evaluate which solution is best for your company or your client.
WPML vs Multi-site
Option 1 – WPML or WordPress Multilingual Plugin
WordPress Multilingual Plugin (WPML) is by far the most popular and widely supported project for a multi-language-specific solution. It’s a WordPress plugin that offers a lot of powerful features including:
- One install
- Support for languages served as sub-directories, sub-domains, or unique domains
- Workflow management for translated content
- E-commerce support
- Translation services
Option 2 – WordPress Multi-Site
WordPress multi-site is what it sounds like. It’s a WordPress instance that allows for multiple sites on a single web app.
The Big Difference Between WPML and Multi-site
The fundamental difference between WPML and Multi-site is that WPML is a content-swapping solution. What this means is that the look-and-feel of the site does not change across languages. Meaning the layout of your English, Spanish, German, or any other site would all look the same, other than the content itself.
While WPML will allow for the main body of content to be different with unique imagery and HTML, the foundational elements of a theme will all be the same.
With the WordPress multi-site solution, you are not constrained in the same way. Every language-specific site can be unique, because it’s not drawing from the same style or code as some original or master version. In the extreme, you could have a completely different theme for each language.
Using multi-site and don’t want the slideshow on the homepage for English site to show up in Spain? Nix it. Want to use a different forms plugin that is more geared towards the specific language? Easy.
You start to see that while there’s potentially more overhead with WordPress Multi-site, there is a lot more flexibility.
Which WordPress Localization Solution is Best For My Site?
Part experience, part exaggeration, here are some scenarios that illustrate the different conditions which would influence your decision to use a plugin or multiple sites, and the reasoning.
Example One: Every language is unique – A multi-site client scenario
Your client is an international food brand. They have 5 WordPress sites in different languages. Globally they have teams supporting each site with content, but would like to bring all of their sites together in a single managed environment.
All themes were developed solely for that region with little to no consideration for localization. Each region has distinct needs for branding. Additionally, the catalog of products is different to account for differing tastes by region. Finally, one of the 5 sites is an acquired company running autonomously from the main corporation.
Multi-site is a stronger option in this case.
The core of this scenario focuses on infrastructure and server environment over content and workflow. It assumes that all sites need to be in the same place but remain different entities. Another assumption is that each site brings with it a support staff. Copy writers and developers working on their themes and content in their language with little to no need for translation.
This scenario outlines a large client with enough resources and talent to staff multiple teams in multiple regions. This process could be burdensome for a smaller content team. Effectively this is managing 5 different sites in 5 different languages.
Is multi-site right for me? TLDR; bulleted list edition:
- The site content is not simply localized clones.
- Each site has some distinct difference in information architecture, user experience, thematic branding elements, or content.
- You have a staff of polyglots and/or enough support staff to manage each localized site in the network?
A little something extra
If you have copy writers or admins working across localized sites where they are not comfortable with the default language… as of WP 4.7 users are able to select the language for the admin dashboard when editing their profile.
Example Two: We are all one – A translation plugin client scenario
Your client brings to you a WordPress site made up of solely English content. The client has just started doing business in France and now needs a French version of their site. All of the content and functionality will be the same. They have a small staff and will be contracting translators. There is a guy in accounting who took French in high school and might be able to review the translated content.
Without question, translation management plugins like WPML or Polylang are the right approach for this type of project.
The scenario assumes the client has a single site. Aside from a few adjustments the content will be localized clones based off the original English version. Your client has little to no staff that can assist with the actual localization and will likely rely on a translation services to (hopefully) fully localize content they will enter themselves.
Again, WPML or Polylang create localized versions of posts or pages in WordPress that are linked together. This is the big difference between tackling translation with multi-site vs. plugins.
In this example we assume that the blog post ‘Top 10 trapeze cats in the world and where to buy them’ is exactly the same as the blog post ‘Les 10 meilleurs trapèzes au monde et où les acheter’. In the earlier multi-site example only the US based audience would care about trapeze cats while the French site might not even have a blog.
Are plugins right for me? TLDR; bulleted list edition:
- Site content is generally localized clones of content.
- A single site that needs to be accessible in multiple languages.
- Limited support or localization staff. Just enough bandwidth for 1 maybe 2 sites.
- Client will rely heavily on translation services with next to no in house localization support.
Example Three: United in our differences – A scenario for both
Your client is an international company with three corporate sites. This client would like to bring all three of their WordPress sites together into a single network. Each site is built using the same theme and generally the same plugins. Every site needs to have its contents available in English, Spanish, and Japanese. Oh and their drone-delivered-muffin-startup site needs to be in German as well. (I’ve named it “Mufflr”)
I wanted to throw this last scenario in to illustrate that the two approaches are not mutually exclusive.
In this case your client has three distinct sites and would benefit from multi-site features in WordPress. Additionally each site will consist of localized copies of the origin language’s content and will not be unique in regards to branding. Each site can have a different language set if need be, so that extra German translation for Mufflr is just an additional set of content, and not a new site.
As far as scale and effort, this project will be somewhere in the middle. It will likely come down to one central team large enough to manage the three sites in their various languages.
Still heavy, but as light as possible
In this case having a true separate site for each language (multi-site by itself) causes the network to grow exponentially, and unnecessarily. Here plugin and multi-site meet in the middle.
Why would I need both WordPress Multi-site and WPML? TLDR;
- Multiple WordPress sites that need to exist within a single network.
- Each site is distinct but also requires a full set of localized content.
- The citizenry of Deutschland is in desperate need of dense, air dropped, cran-apple baked goods.
While we won’t get into incredible detail about all the SEO considerations surrounding multi-lingual sites, we’ll touch on a few we deem most important. Warning: this section goes into deeper technical guidance, and may not be suitable for small children or non-technical marketers.
As an alternative, we’ve written more about international SEO strategy in previous posts, and will release an international SEO ebook later this year.
Enough stalling: let’s get nerdy.
SEO Consideration One: HTML lang, Meta content-language, and Link rel alternate
There are three tags that should be defined on all localization installs. These tags tell search engines and browsers what language they should expect on the page. And if applicable, what other language(s) this piece of content has been translated into, as well as the corresponding URL.
The main opening html tag should define what language the page is in using the
In WordPress, this will automatically populate via the main settings:
Additionally, we want to define the content-language meta tag inside the
head of the page:
<meta http-equiv="content-language" content="en">
In the above example, the page has defined English as its language.
Next, we want to define a link rel alternate tag for every language-version of this piece of content.
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="en" href="https://www.example.com/" />
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="es" href="https://www.example.com/es/" />
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="de" href="https://www.example.com/de/" />
In this example the page also has versions in Spanish (es) and German (de). Each of those pages would further need to define these link rel alternate tags, as well as properly defining their HTML lang and meta content-lang tags as explained above. (Everybody got that?)
The meta content-language and link rel alternate tags are included in the functionality of WPML. It’s one of those nice features that you don’t have to worry about. In a multi-site setup, however, it’ll have to be addressed.
SEO Consideration Two: Multi-site solutions for meta content-language and link rel alternate
The solution for handling this will more than likely be custom. Something like tapping into a hook of a multi-site relationship plugin or perhaps writing functionality based on Advanced Custom Fields (ACF).
The Portent dev team recently implemented a solution utilizing ACF across a multi-site localization setup, and I can vouch for the effectiveness of this approach. We’ll walk through some of the technical setup and benefits here in hopes that others can use this to make handling localized sites a little more efficient.
Leveraging ACF across a multi-site localization setup
In this scenario, we created an ACF field for each alternate language, representing that language’s hreflang URL. So, for example, if we have 3 total localizations in English, Spanish, and German, the English site has 2 ACF fields that represent the Spanish and German hreflang URLs respectively. On the Spanish for example, there are 2 ACF fields that represent the English and German hreflang URLs, and vice versa.
Extremely useful if your client or your business needs to be able to scale up to other languages without a lot of future hands-on developer or SEO practitioner help.
The logic is built out using the following rules:
- If a page has defined a specific hreflang URL for each additional language, it will show that equivalent hreflang tag to the defined URL
- If a specific hreflang URL has NOT been defined, the system:
- Tries to query the corresponding language’s database to see if the current page has been defined as an hreflang tag on a different site. If so, we know that the URL that defined the current page as the hreflang is a cross-match — this rule allows us to only define hreflang URLs on one site as our main source.
- If it can’t find in step a, it tries to look up by the slug, which is unlikely ever going to be a match because we’re changing slugs to match the language.
SEO Consideration Three: Sub-directory vs sub-domain vs unique domain
Our general recommendation here is sub-directory as it’s our belief that there is more link authority from quality content, housed under a singular domain. We’ve also written about the pros and cons of subdomains as far back as 2010. With few exceptions, we consistently encourage our clients to work within a single domain, whether that is for blogs, shops, or localizations.
For more great depth on SEO considerations on multi-lingual sites, you can also check out this article by Search Engine Land.
WordPress offers some solid localization solutions when it’s time to expand internationally. We’ve outlined two that we feel are currently the strongest options, and a few reasons we’d pick one over the other. In the end, much of this still comes down to available resources from initial development to ongoing content support.
As always, we’d love to hear from you in the comments if you’ve tried either of these solutions and want to build on or refine anything we’ve shared.
The post How to Build International Websites With WordPress appeared first on Portent.
By Ashley Rosa
Every website is unique in its own way. Ecommerce websites are more diverse and offer a range of features to their clients. With businesses booming in the industry, we have noticed major trends that come and go to an online store. Features like animation, 360-degree photos and videos make an ecommerce store owner feel like a kid in a candy shop. There is so much you can do!
However, sometimes these features don’t get you the mileage you hoped for. Turns out, trends don’t guarantee growth or more conversions. You have a wonderful product range, professional logo and branding, a solid business model for your e-commerce business, and a website to be your online business store. Your marketing model is in check, and offline advertising is also running vigorously, but why are you still experiencing fewer conversions?
Seems like you have got everything right? You haven’t; unless you have paid attention to these key features that have to be in every ecommerce website because your customer will end up asking for them:
Your website has to be easy to navigate, intuitive, and responsive to the online buyer’s expectations. The customers want to be able to easily find what they are looking for – at least 76% of them are. Put yourself in place of your customers, get your friends to try out your website and ask them how easy or difficult it was to get around. Users like simple websites that deliver the required details in an uncluttered manner. If your website contains unnecessary details or unnecessary heavy visuals, chances are many of your customers will move on in search of another web store. A website that is not user-friendly will not only lead to potential customers leaving your website without purchase, it will also mean that they probably will not return again.
Every e-commerce business must have product photos. Yes, photos, not a photo. Online customers today want to be able to take a good look at the products they are looking to buy. Having bad quality or no images is a guaranteed way to send them away. Make sure all products have high-quality photos showing the product from several angles. If possible, also show the product in use. Invest in professional photography, let the users zoom in and out of your high-quality photos and see all the fine details. Since this is the only visual input customers have when making their purchase decision, make sure you make it as close to real life shopping as possible.
Customers buy the products they can trust. And there is spokesperson better than someone who has already used the product. Make sure you ask customers to review your products once they buy from you. Incorporating star based reviews is a great way to build trust with potential customers, 92% people say stars are the number one rating factor they look at. Do not filter out negative feedback. Having positive-only reviews on all your products makes it evident you are filtering out bad reviews. Reviews are also a great way for you to receive customer feedback and work on your weak areas.
In 2018, 40% of all Black Friday online purchases were made on mobile devices. If you are not paying attention to this shift, you are losing out. Online shoppers are making more transactions to mobile devices every year. This means you must optimize your website for smartphone and tablet screens. A smooth, user-friendly experience on mobile devices is a sure strategy to convert more visits to successful sales. Not having a mobile optimized e-commerce website has bad SEO consequences which are too important for any serious business to ignore.
More and more customers are using newer methods to pay for their online purchases. Allowing customers to shop with debit and credit cards alone is not sufficient anymore, and e-commerce businesses need to keep an eye on the rapidly evolving Fintech industry. For example, this online leather jacket store has multiple payment options which are clearly displayed on the home page to guide the user:
You do not want a last-minute glitch to become a deal breaker. Therefore it is important that the required APIs are seamlessly integrated into the website for a fast and convenient checkout experience. You should have a multitude of payment gateways on your site. Otherwise, the customer will not do business with you. Combine this with the smoother checkout process, and you have a great ecommerce experience.
Every e-commerce store needs good search functionality. The customers should be able to find what they are looking for. Make sure you put in place useful filters like product type, price, size, color, etc. The more convenient the process is, the more likely people are to buy from you. Users leave websites that do not make it easy to find the right products. Search queries also tell you what your customers are looking for; you can use this information to modify your product mix and better meet your customers’ needs.
Contact form and FAQs:
Your website can not provide all the information a customer might be looking for. It will also not resolve customers’ problems. Show the customers you are just a click away through your chat box. Having the knowledge that your customer service is readily available gives the customer the confidence to trust you and count on you if and when they need your assistance. It also helps to display your helpline phone number clearly for customers who prefer to talk in person. If customers feel you are inaccessible for their preferred mode of communication, they will simply move on to one of your competitors.
Having an e-commerce website is just the start. Having a website with the right features is what it takes to be successful in today’s online marketplace. You can create fantastic shopping experiences to turn your visitors into customers and your customers into repeat customers. Keep making fine tweaks, make the user experience your priority and stay updated with your analytics to evaluate what is working and what is not. Regularly evaluate your strategies and be open to making changes that your customers need.
Ashley Rosa is a freelance writer and blogger. As writing is her passion that why she loves to write articles related to the latest trends in technology and sometimes on health-tech as well. She is crazy about chocolates. You can find her at twitter: @Ashrosa2.
The post 7 Features Your Ecommerce Website Must Have to Make It a Success appeared first on SmBizDaily.