The Power of Influencers: Maximize Your Marketing Mileage

Part 1 – Targeting Travel Influencers Segment: Habits, Interests, and Conversation

Travel website image With summer just around the corner, Americans are ready and planning their summer vacations. According to a survey conducted by Forbes Advisory, an astounding 49% of Americans plan to travel more in 2023. Now is a prime time for travel marketers to find ways to engage consumers and get their brands and destinations to the forefront of their minds. According to research from the International Trade Administration, the U.S. travel and tourism industry generated $1.9 trillion in economic output. As travel restrictions ease, consumers are increasingly embracing the chance to reconnect with distant family and friends by ramping up their travel plans. This begs the question: how do you get the most mileage out of your marketing? For one, reaching the right audience is key. According to Engagement Labs research, the average adult engages in 3 travel-oriented brand conversations each week. This figure grows 50% higher when you isolate affluent adults – a common targeting criteria for travel marketers. What if we go a step further and isolate those everyday influencers who are fully engaged in the travel industry and sought out by others for their advice? These everyday travel influencers report engaging in 9 travel brand-related conversations each week – triple the average adult! Slide1-May-04-2023-07-33-35-6820-PM Due to our partnership with Dstillery, marketers can directly target these travel influencers and many other influencer/advocate segments. But we can offer more than just targeting these segments, there is a lot more to explore about these powerful audiences. Leveraging the latest TotalSocial Profiler data, we can start to build out an image of travel influencers. While they generally align with the general population in terms of age and gender, they are more educated. Travel influencers are also extremely heavy media users.  For instance, travel influencers are avid audiobook/podcast listeners with Audible usage being 2.8x higher than the average adult. This segment also frequents music platforms such as Apple Music (2.2x), Sirius XM (1.9x), Amazon Music (1.8x), and iHeart Radio (1.7x). Marketers understand that access to audience segments with data about issues, demographic and behavior that matter most to travel influencers can help their campaign goals. Exploration of the most impactful conversations among travel influencers show us that in addition to travel/vacations, the economy and inflation are also at the forefront in their daily lives. Our data reveals that travel influencers are 64% more likely than the average adult to engage in daily conversations about the overall state of the economy. This is important to keep in mind when designing messaging to reach travel influencers.

Most Impactful Daily Conversation Among Travel Influencers

Slide2-May-04-2023-07-35-44-3207-PM   Marketers can leverage Dstillery, our digital activation partner, to reach powerful audience segments and make media buying more efficient and impactful. Additionally, Engagement Labs offers influencer segments, including Travel Influencers, that can be accessed through Dstillery and major platforms such as LiveRamp and Adobe Audience Manager.

Tips for Travel Marketing Success 

Here are five tips to help you elevate your travel marketing game and make your brand stand out in a crowded space.
  1. Target travel influencers: Identifying and targeting travel influencers, who engage in 9 travel brand-related conversations each week, can help travel marketers reach an influential audience and increase brand awareness.
  2. Consider media consumption habits: Travel influencers are heavy media users, with podcast and music streaming services being popular among them. Travel marketers can create more effective campaigns by considering these media consumption habits.
  3. Focus on economic topics: In addition to travel and vacations, the economy and inflation are important topics for travel influencers. Travel marketers should consider these topics when designing messaging to reach this influential audience.
  4. Tap into digital word-of-mouth audiences at scale: Digital activation data segments such as the TotalSocial Profiler data, can help travel marketers directly target influential travel segments, including travel influencers. This can make media buying more efficient and impactful.
  5. Leverage influencer and brand advocate segments: Engagement Labs offers a variety of influencer and brand advocate segments that travel marketers can leverage to increase brand awareness and engagement.
In conclusion, targeting travel influencers can be a powerful strategy for travel marketers looking to increase brand awareness and engagement. By leveraging data on their habits, interests, and conversations, marketers can design more effective campaigns that resonate with this influential audience. With the help of digital activation partners like Dstillery and influencer segments from Engagement Labs, travel marketers can reach these powerful audience segments and make their media buying more efficient and impactful. We invite you to contact Engagement Labs to learn more about our many influencer and brand advocate segments as well as our partnership with Dstillery. 

Maximizing Marketing ROI with Social Influence Data

How Social Data Can Drive Business Outcomes and Optimize Marketing Strategies

Maximizing Marketing ROI with Social Influence Data The advertising industry has evolved significantly over the years, with the emergence of new technologies and trends. While social influence and word-of-mouth marketing continue to play a significant role in the industry, influencing consumer decision-making and driving sales. AdAge reported that the US ad industry grew by 7.5% in 2021, with total ad spending reaching $259 billion. The report also notes that digital ad spending now accounts for more than half of all ad spending in the US. To keep up with ever changing landscape, brands and agencies continually look to improve the accuracy of advertising models by incorporating data such as social data to further understand, attribute and correlate consumer conversations to predict business results by leveraging analytics and machine learning to derive actionable insights. Incorporating social influence data into these models can be crucial, especially as we know social conversations can directly and indirectly impact consumer purchases.

What is Social Influence?

Social influence is unique in two ways: the data sets available to us and our experience in incorporating social data into marketing models. Engagement Labs has the most extensive ongoing measures of word-of-mouth (WOM) about brands dating back more than a decade. Our offline data is a key component of our TotalSocial data and analytics platform, which is crucial for modelers. We have developed a data transformation and scoring method that applies to our WOM data and to social listening data from social media, blogs, forums, and other sources. These methods allow brands to distill wide-ranging data into eight distinct metrics that are highly predictive of brand outcomes. Social data can directly drive consumer purchases, but it can also work indirectly in combination with other marketing activities. Understanding this two-step process is vital to successfully incorporating social influence data into models. We have learned that a substantial part of the impact of paid media is a result of WOM.  

The Current State of Social Influence

According to McKinsey, consumer conversations about brands have a significant impact on the purchase decisions of other consumers. McKinsey estimates that word-of-mouth is the primary factor behind 20% to 50% of all purchasing decisions. This shows the immense power of social influence in driving sales and improving marketing ROI. IDC, on the other hand, predicts that by 2025, worldwide spending on AI systems will reach $97.9 billion, up from $37.5 billion in 2019. This shows the increasing adoption of AI technologies in various industries, including advertising.  

Impact of Social Influence on Consumer Decision Making

Extensive research shows that both real-life and social media conversations are critical pathways for consumers in their purchase journey. Our research, as we have reported in the MIT Sloan Management Review, reveals that conversations on average drive about 20% of sales. Social influence, both offline and online, is very substantial and should not be overlooked by brands. While this is the average, our research shows that each brand has its social DNA. The way social influence works for one brand can be quite different from the way it works for another, even for brands in the same category. Understanding what drives a brand and how big the opportunity to drive incremental sales is key to maximize performance. Doing so can potentially unlock and demonstrate tens of millions of dollars in incremental sales. How to Incorporate Social Influence Data into Predictive Modeling

How to Incorporate Social Influence Data into Predictive Modeling

Discovering and obtaining streams of quality data and know-how for incorporating social data into both new and pre-existing models is key. Experience to integrate it with brand and/or media data that reflects and best represents the most important KPIs to reveal the metrics that drive business outcomes. Then, for brands who have their analytics programs, Engagement Labs can work alongside their modeling team to help them incorporate social influence data (online and offline) to strengthen the predictive power of their models. Here are a few recommendations for brands and businesses on how social influence data can impact their marketing and sales strategies: Integrate word-of-mouth to predict sales.Integrate word-of-mouth to predict sales. Social influence is a crucial component to test when constructing forecasting models. By incorporating offline and online conversations about brands into predictive models, businesses can gain insights into how social influence impacts their sales. Gain insight into the mechanisms driving sales improvement.Gain insight into the mechanisms driving sales improvement. Quantifying marketing’s amplification via social influence is essential for calculating marketing’s full ROI. Businesses can identify the marketing activities that drive the most word-of-mouth conversations and optimize their marketing strategies accordingly. Pinpoint the consumers most likely to talk about and recommend your brand.Pinpoint the consumers most likely to talk about and recommend your brand. By identifying the groups most prone to talk about and recommend a brand, businesses can prioritize target market and audience segments to optimize their marketing strategies. Gain new insights into competitors.Gain new insights into competitors. TotalSocial reveals the extent to which positive or negative conversations about other brands in the marketplace impact your brand sales. Businesses can gain valuable insights into their competitors and optimize their marketing strategies to stay ahead of the competition.   Social influence and word-of-mouth marketing continue to play a significant role in the marketing and advertising industries. By leveraging emerging technologies like generative AI and combining it with Engagement Labs’ TotalSocial data and analytics platform, brands and businesses can gain a better understanding of social influence and how it impacts their marketing and sales strategies. This, in turn, can help businesses optimize their marketing strategies, improve marketing ROI, and drive business outcomes.

Consumer Conversations and Social Influence for Brand Success

The potency of consumer conversations and word of mouth in shaping product performance has been a long-recognized fact by marketers. In the current digital age and managing through a downturn, marketers and business leaders face new challenges due to the constantly evolving landscape. The emergence of new tools such as ChatGPT and alike that utilizes artificial intelligence to engage in natural language conversations, and the increasing significance of digital advertising make it crucial to comprehend the power of consumer conversations. Engagement Labs recently conducted a study on the Most Loved Brands in America, which underlines the importance of engaging with customers and providing a positive brand experience. To succeed in today’s cutthroat environment, brands need to prioritize establishing strong relationships with their customers and consistently delivering positive experiences. This entails investing in unique marketing strategies that cater to both social media and real-world conversations.  

The Most Loved Brands in America

One example of the power of consumer conversations is the success of the most loved brand in America. Engagement Labs most recent study found that Trader Joe’s and American Family Insurance are the most loved brands in America in offline and online respectively. These brands have consistently shown their ability to engage with their audience and deliver a positive brand experience. They have successfully managed to cultivate loyal customer bases that continue to support them through their purchases and recommendations. Happy customers are more likely to recommend the brand to their friends and family, which can lead to more sales through word of mouth. Engagement Labs TotalSocial Most Loved Brands 2023 - Offline and Online Winners Our findings have profound implications for marketing strategy. Consumer conversations, both in social media and in real life, drive nearly one-fifth of all sales. Even more importantly, offline and online word-of-mouth leads sales by up to 4 weeks. Social performance is a reliable predictor of sales, and a critical data point for marketers as they plan how to stage their marketing for product launches and promotions. Engagement Labs emphasizes the importance of understanding and leveraging these conversations to drive business growth, “Brands that can deliver a consistently positive experience and build deep relationships with their customers will succeed in today’s competitive landscape.” The Most Loved Brand Award is given to brands with the highest net sentiment scores online and offline. Offline data collected and analyzed from more than 37,000 surveyed and demographically balanced to US Census for ages 13 to 69 through the use of sample quotas and weighting for age, gender, educational attainment, race, ethnicity, and geography. While online conversations are measured using social listening.  

Real-Life Conversations vs. Social Media Conversations

Graph_Iceberg 5-01Marketers devote ever larger portions of their efforts in social media, but real-life conversations matter as much as and often more than those on social media. Face-to-face and voice-to-voice drive half of the impact consumer conversations have on consumer purchases. Social media influences the other half. However, social media and real-life conversations are very different, and one is a poor predictor of the other. Social media conversations are the visible tip of an iceberg of total conversation but provide almost no indication of the size and shape of the often hidden offline conversation that exists below the surface. It’s also important to note that social media conversations are often just the visible tip of an iceberg of total conversation. Offline conversations, which can be more difficult to track, can have a significant impact on consumer behavior. Therefore, while it’s tempting to think a strong marketing performance on social media will create similar results with real-world conversations, marketers must invest in and plan unique marketing strategies for each.  

The Amplifying Effect of Word of Mouth

Consumer conversations are a key factor in the success of advertising. A quarter of the impact of advertising on sales “passes through” word of mouth, both online and offline. In other words, advertising prompts or reminds people to talk about brands, and those conversations often lead to purchase. Word-of-mouth does the tough work of persuasion in a way that a paid message cannot. As expected, our data show the main driver of consumer talk, both offline and online, is TV. But radio is also a surprisingly strong driver of conversations. And while media drive both offline and online conversations, online is more responsive to media efforts. To get more out of their marketing budgets, advertisers must plan for the amplification of advertising through WOM.  

The Risk of Ignoring Word of Mouth and Under-Valuing Social Influence

Ignoring the impact of word of mouth can have adverse consequences for brands. Underestimating or overlooking the impact of social influence can negatively impact a brand’s bottom line. Marketers need to understand that all marketing should be designed to encourage conversations and recommendations, as a way to amplify the impact of marketing expenditures and drive purchases. Consumers are making purchasing decisions while talking with other consumers, whether that’s at the water cooler, at social events, or while chatting with friends on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat. Brands that prioritize customer service and experience are more likely to see positive word of mouth, which can lead to increased sales and brand loyalty. It’s important for marketers to encourage and incentivize happy customers to share their positive experiences with friends and family.  

Consumer Conversations: A Powerful Tool for Brand Success

Every day, consumers are faced with countless choices when it comes to purchasing products and services. With so many options available, how can a brand stand out and gain the attention and loyalty of consumers? One answer lies in the power of consumer conversations. According to Engagement Labs’ data and analytics, these consumer conversations drive 19% of all purchases. This has been evidenced in Engagement Labs articles published in the Journal of Advertising Research and the MIT Sloan Management Review written with Dr. Koen Pauwels. So, what does this mean for marketers and businesses? It means that word of mouth should not be ignored in the marketing mix – it should be a key component of any marketing strategy. In conclusion, word of mouth is a powerful tool for brand success. By focusing on customer service and experience, advertising, and encouraging positive conversations, brands can harness the power of consumer conversations to drive sales and gain.

Maximizing Positive Brand Sentiment: 4 Data-Driven Tips for Marketers

heart-ss-1920 In today’s fast-paced and highly competitive business environment, making data-driven decisions is essential for marketers and business leaders. The current economy is highly dynamic, with rapid technological advancements and changes in consumer behavior, making it increasingly challenging to predict market trends accurately. With data-driven insights, marketers and leaders can make informed decisions that drive growth, increase profitability, and stay ahead of the competition. Engagement Labs research and data have debunked a common myth that a brand’s online popularity among fans correlates with positive real-life conversations. Across a list of nearly 600 brands we measure continuously in the US, we find that net sentiment—positive conversations minus negative ones—are barely correlated to each other on a week-to-week basis. The trend correlation is about zero, on average, as we have reported in the MIT Sloan Management Review.  At the same time, these two data streams both matter, because together they drive 19% of consumer purchases, on average. With this in mind, brands need to invest in data and strategies that drive positive sentiment in both spheres. Data-driven decision-making is not only important for managing risk and staying ahead of the competition but also for driving positive sentiment towards a brand. Here are four tips for using data-driven insights to drive positive sentiment:

number1Think TotalSocial®

Brands need to focus on both real-life and social media conversations to capture the whole marketing picture. Real-life conversations or offline WOM drives 10% of sales while online social media drives 9% – ignoring either one is a missed opportunity. Listening to both spheres helps identify brewing issues and signals that indicate a shift in strategies.

number2Aim High

Brands need to deliver an exceptional brand experience to motivate consumers to talk positively. Upwards of 25% of all offline conversations now include people talking about what they see in digital media, and a brand’s website is the number one digital driver of conversation. Just as consumers move seamlessly between their offline and online worlds, brands must do so as well.

number3Pay attention to key audiences

Brands should focus on their two most important audiences: customers and employees. Hiring employees who embody the brand’s values and engage with them leads to dedicated and committed employees, who, in turn, provide exceptional service. “Brands need to understand the value that connecting with consumers have. It’s not just a one-off conversation. When building a relationship with people and consumers, you want to hear what they have to say, because what they have to say will impact how they feel about your brand, which will impact whether they’re engaging and sing your brand,” PepsiCo’s Kevin Moeller has said it best in Kantar’s Future Proof podcast.

number4Learn from competitors’ crises

Brands can learn from their competitors’ mistakes and take steps to avoid similar outcomes. Take steps to avoid negative outcomes and conversations. As a marketer and business leader, avoid over-relying on popular social media listening tools for verdicts on marketing campaigns and public relations crises. While these tools can enable important two-way dialogs between brands and consumers, they don’t necessarily reflect mainstream opinion. Track and check your online and offline sentiment and holistically other key metrics and performance indicators such as volume, brand sharing and influence that can indicate the need for investing in strategies that generate positive consumer conversations in both spheres.   Marketers have a significant influence over consumer sentiment by listening to both real-life and social media conversations and developing strategies that spark positive talk about their brands. Engagement Labs’ TotalSocial platform combines four types of metrics to calculate brand success in both online and offline conversations. Those metrics are the volume of conversation, the net sentiment (positive versus negative direction), the extent to which the brand is being talked about by the most socially connected people, and whether the brand’s advertising, marketing and social content is being shared and discussed. That’s why we recommend a holistic measurement approach that is available in TotalSocial. In closing, data-driven decision-making is critical for driving positive sentiment towards a brand. By thinking TotalSocial®, aiming high, paying attention to key audiences, and learning from competitors’ crises, brands can use data-driven insights to create positive consumer conversations and build a sustainable business for the future.

Top Super Bowl 2023 Advertisers That Dominated the Buzz: Who Made the Cut?

SuperBowlLVII Super Bowl LVII was the third most watched television program in history with 113 million viewers, according to Nielsen. Advertisers all want to score a touchdown, but many will just settle for field goals. In other words, these advertisers may enjoy a surge in buzz on social media or a bump in YouTube views, but they will not be able to reach a level of performance that outweighs the cost of their investment.  So, the question is: How do advertisers score a touchdown? In marketing, brands must drive multiple metrics to be successful. Research shows that online and offline conversation, together, drive about 19% of purchases. Online conversations alone drive less than half of those purchases, essentially a field goal. This means that offline conversations are key to scoring a touchdown. Which brands enjoyed not only a surge in online buzz, but also a lift in offline conversation? One of the biggest winners in 2023 was E-Trade with +350% lift in both offline and online conversations.  E-Trade’s advertisement featured the return of the iconic talking babies as adult investors, which drove discussion of this humorous content both in person and on social media. WHICH SUPER BOWL ADVERTISERS SCORED A TOUCHDOWN - ENGAGEMENT LABS Pepsi Zero Sugar had huge success generating conversation, especially online.  Pepsi Zero Sugar’s advertisements featured Steve Martin and Ben Stiller and asked consumers to engage with Pepsi and determine if the actors were “real or acting.”  This clear call to action led to Pepsi Zero Sugar’s online social buzz lifting +3,000%, coupled with an equally impressive offline lift of 300%. Another big winner was Heineken with around a 300% lift both offline and online conversation.  The importance of this win is two-fold — Heineken made its mark airing the first national commercial in the Super Bowl for a non alcoholic beer, plus 2023 marks the first time in decades that Anheuser-Busch competitors could advertise nationally during the Super Bowl. Avocados From Mexico, Coors Light, Intuit’s TurboTax, Michelob Ultra, NFL, Planters and Tubi round out the top 10 list of brands making their mark in offline and online conversation. While we just explored brands winning in both the offline and online sense, there are other brands that were highly successful at driving online buzz through their Super Bowl ad, with a lower level of performance offline.  These advertisers include Crown Royal, Bud Light, Doritos, Rakuten, T-Mobile, Dunkin’ and WeatherTech.  For these Super Bowl advertisers who excelled at creating buzz online, there is an opportunity to evaluate marketing to give the brand a better chance at earning additional offline conversation. Our research shows that there are levers marketers can pull to improve performance across both channels. These include ensuring the advertising is strongly branded and includes a ‘buzzworthy’ message that is easy to remember and talk about and has a call to action. WHICH SUPER BOWL ADVERTISERS SCORED A FIELD GOAL - ENGAGEMENT LABS Contact us to learn more on how other Super Bowl advertisers performed and about Engagement Labs’ TotalSocial data, insights and how it can help you evaluate the full value of your sports sponsorship and marketing ROI. SIGN ME UP Super Bowl Report & Briefing  

Sports Fans Spotlight: FIFA Men’s World Cup Viewers Talk Far More About Advertisers and Sponsors

shutterstock_2187078117 With the FIFA Men’s World Cup finals coming up this Sunday, MediaPost recently reported that “through the quarterfinals round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, an estimated $213.6 million in national TV advertising was placed on the Fox TV networks and NBCUniversal’s Telemundo channels” that resulted in a collective 8.4 billion impressions. As we’ve seen and evidenced, leveraging advertising and marketing to drive talkability is important because conversations among consumers drive about 19 percent of purchases, including conversations that are triggered by paid advertising—we find that one-quarter of the impact of advertising on sales occurs by causing consumers to talk about the brand. Engagement Labs data are shedding light on the importance of a special group of consumers: World Cup viewers. Around one-third of American consumers ages 13 to 69 reported watching any of the FIFA World Cup games through Sunday, December 4th. While over half of viewers report following the USA closely, around one-in-five Americans are closely following Argentina and Brazil, while just shy of 15% are behind England and Mexico. Slide1-Dec-15-2022-08-42-19-3680-PM As seen in our analysis prior to the World Cup, soccer fans are a lucrative group of consumers for brand marketers. So, it isn’t surprising that World Cup viewers:
  • Engage in 95 category conversations each week (33% more than non-viewers), with the biggest gaps seen in travel, sports, children’s products, technology, household products and personal care and beauty
  • Are 2.7x more likely to be everyday consumer influencers versus non-viewers
During the past couple weeks, these more prolific viewers have been exposed to World Cup advertisers and sponsors. In turn, we are seeing 40% of World Cup viewers engaging in conversation about at least one advertiser – a big +36% lift from non-viewers. World Cup sponsors also get a boost with 26% of viewers talking about a sponsor which is 25% higher than non-viewers. Slide2-Dec-15-2022-08-42-43-6870-PM Which advertisers and sponsors are the biggest winners in terms of conversation? There are a number of ways Engagement Labs can explore this. For one, we ask World Cup viewers to tell us which brands they recall seeing advertised during the World Cup. During the past couple weeks, Coke, Qatar Airways, Nike, McDonald’s, and Adidas top the list. Slide3-4 Another way to explore which brands are benefitting from the World Cup is to uncover which brands have the most conversation lift among viewers. During the first two weeks of the World Cup, New Balance,, Google Pixel, Gillette, Puma, Nike, Adidas and Doritos are seeing 50% or higher percentage difference between those watching as compared to the general public. Verizon, McDonald’s and Coke also have a strong increase, especially considering just how big these brands are in terms of conversation. Slide4-Dec-15-2022-08-43-52-6354-PM As the World Cup progresses during the next couple weeks, it will be interesting to see the shift in teams being followed and supported, as well as sponsors/advertisers discussed.  

Insights for Brands and Media: Sports Sponsorships, Super Bowl, NBA

As a marketer looking to grow and maximize your 2023, Engagement Labs has the data and insights to help you drive advocacy that will amplify your messages and accelerate sales. With sports top of mind, understanding the impact of consumer conversations on brands and advertising, here are some meaningful data and insights on sports sponsorships, sports fans and viewers and leagues. Each year, Engagement Labs studies the social media buzz and word of mouth lift associated with the Super Bowl. As we declared in Marketing Dive, that USA Today’s Ad Meter — the most widely used indicator of advertising success in the big game — “doesn’t work, and it is destined to fail again.” We based this on an extensive analysis of Super Bowl ad study published in the peer reviewed Journal of Advertising Research. In 2023, we foresee Super Bowl ads that drive the most offline and online social engagement – engagement that leads to proven business outcomes – are not the ones highly rated on the popularity charts. And similarly, the most popular ads measured by USA Today are often not achieving the highly important goal of creating the buzz that drives consumer behavior. For media and entertainment executives looking for insights and data sets to demonstrate the value of their audience and ads, Engagement Labs is able to analyze and provide data valuable for ad sales stories and influencer marketing across a range of advertiser categories. In 2018, AdAge featured Turner Sports collaboration with Engagement Labs to measure the value of out-of-home audiences for advertisers during NBA on TNT’s coverage. Out-of-home viewership produces an extra “social” value to advertisers. Some of our findings include:
  • Out-of-home NBA viewers delivered a 100% lift in purchase consideration of 9 sponsor brands over non-NBA viewers, compared to an 85% lift for in-home NBA viewers.
  • There was an increase of +125% in word-of-mouth volume about those same nine advertisers by out-of-home NBA viewers, compared to a 75% volume lift by in-home viewers over non-viewers.
  • In addition, NBA out-of-home viewers exhibited a 51% lift in ad recall over non-viewers, similar to the 49% lift achieved by in-home viewers.
  • According to Nielsen’s National Out-of-Home Reporting Service, during the 2018 NBA on TNT Western Conference Finals, out-of-home audiences delivered a +10.9% lift in adult 18-49 viewership (above and beyond in-home viewership), while adults 25-54 achieved a 10.1% lift. By measuring out-of-home viewing, advertisers are provided valuable incremental audiences beyond standard in-home viewing.
  If you’re in sports leagues, media measurement, ad sales, brand advertiser/sponsor, partner or executing campaigns around major sporting and tentpole events such as the Super Bowl, March Madness, NBA Playoffs, etc., Engagement Labs can provide unique data, influencer marketing and/or ad performance measurement. If you wish to learn more about your brand’s advertising and sponsorship investments are having on your brand consumer conversations or explore more about sports fans or other audience segments, we invite you to reach out to us.

Score a Goal by Leveraging Soccer Fans for Marketing and Brand Engagement

shutterstock_1087434206 The fall is ripe with marketing opportunities: holiday shopping, MLB playoffs, NFL season kicking off and NBA and NHL seasons underway. But this fall, a big opportunity is falling into marketers’ laps – the highly anticipated FIFA Men’s World Cup. This 64-game soccer tournament kicks off on Sunday, November 20th from Qatar and presents big opportunities for brand marketers and advertisers alike. Recently, Adweek touts that “This Year’s World Cup Is a Key Performance Marketing Opportunity for US Brands,” and reported that NBCUniversal has “already sold approximately 90% of its advertising inventory” for the 2022 World Cup within 100 days before the tournament. World Cup advertisers will surely evaluate countless measures to affirm their decision to advertise. One key indicator that all marketers should measure is the impact on a brand’s offline and online conversation. Engagement Labs research shows that talk matters. In fact, Engagement Labs research shows that online and offline conversation, together, drive about 19% of purchases, but online conversation by itself drives less than half as much. Our analytics study contribution to the Journal of Advertising Research“How Measuring Consumer Conversations Can Reveal Advertising Performance” confirms that there is a close and valuable relationship between word-of-mouth and advertising success – from major sporting events, sponsorships or tentpole events. The analytics estimated that, on average, 25 percent of advertising’s impact involves the stimulation of conversations. As a marketer looking to maximize your 2022 results, Engagement Labs has the data and insights to help you drive advocacy that will amplify your messages and accelerate sales. With the World Cup and sports top of mind, here are some meaningful data and insights on the powerful audience of soccer fans.  

Soccer Fans Are Natural Conversationalists

Soccer Fans engage in 90 offline brand conversations each week – 15% more than the average person (78). Soccer Fans Weekly Consumer Conversations Across All Categories - Engagement Labs Not surprisingly, sports is a big topic of conversation for Soccer Fans – they engage in 7.4 conversations a week on average (+28% from the average person). What is surprising is that they are conversationalists in a wide variety of categories, even more so than the average person. In particular, Soccer Fans have about 50% more travel conversations each week, in addition to many more conversations about:
  • Tech (+27%)
  • Personal care/beauty (+29%)
  • Children’s products (+41%)
  • Household products (+26%)
  • Telecom (+28%)
Soccer Fans Average Weekly Conversations by Category - Engagement Labs A wide assortment of brands index high among Soccer Fans, this includes the more obvious brands like MLS and Adidas, coupled with the not so obvious brands, like Trivago, Nivea, Audi, BMW,, Bank of America, Allstate and Coca-Cola Energy. Top Indexing Brands Discussed Among Soccer Fans - Engagement Labs

Soccer Fans are Everyday Influencers

According to Insider Intelligence’s forecast, US influencer marketing spending will reach $4.14 billion in 2022. At Engagement Labs we have long believed in the power of everyday influencers to drive business results. Everyday influencers – by which we mean the 1 in 10 consumers who are sought out for their advice and whose recommendations are heeded – have 131 brand-related conversations every week versus the national average of 73. Further, they regularly seek out information, including that put out by brands, that helps them keep up with what’s new and worth talking about. By reaching these influencers, marketers enjoy almost twice the word-of-mouth reach than average consumers provide, and the impact of their recommendations is four times as great due to their credibility and perceived expertise. Thus, the degree of influence matters to marketers – and Soccer Fans are wired to be influential. Soccer Fans are nearly 2x more likely to be identified as overall Consumer Influencers. Beyond being just dubbed general influencers, Soccer Fans are also far more likely to be influential in specific categories, especially telecom, travel, children’s products, finance, wine & spirits and gaming. % of Soccer Fans Identified as Influencers Indexed to Total Public - Engagement Labs Sports and entertainment are two of the most popular sectors. Rain or shine, win or lose, even during a pandemic, fans are always there – talking about and standing by their teams. Sports marketers, media companies and brands are looking to our data to analyze and understand how people are talking about them, both on and offline. If your brand is a sponsor, partner or executing campaigns around the World Cup or other major sporting event, Engagement Labs can provide unique data (offline as well as online social intelligence), influencer marketing and/or ad performance measurement. If you wish to measure the impact World Cup is having on your brand conversations or explore more about soccer fans or other audience segments, we invite you to reach out to us.   SIGN ME UP TotalSocial Briefing  

Top 20 TotalSocial Movers and Shakers

Data Reveals Technology, Auto, Beauty & Personal Care, and Beverages are Most Improved in Consumer Conversations the Past Year Top 20 TotalSocial Movers and Shakers

The TotalSocial “Movers and Shakers” are consumer brands that showed the most improvement over the past year in driving the quantity and quality of consumer conversation – offline and online. The brands on our “Movers and Shakers” lists are very diverse. The top 20 is comprised of brands from technology, dining, beauty and personal carehousehold products, beverages, retail, automotive, financial, travel and health such as OxiClean, TGI Fridays, ASUS, Toshiba, Orbitz, Acura, LEGO, Motrin, Herbal Essences and Wegmans. The rankings are based on Engagement Labs’ patented proprietary TotalSocial® data, which continuously measures the most important drivers of brand performance with respect to social media and offline word of mouth conversations. They were identified by brands that had the biggest point increase in their TotalSocial scores from the twelve months ending June 2022 to the twelve months ending June 2021. Top 20 TotalSocial Movers and Shakers Brands OVERALL Overall Most Improved: OxiClean, TGI Fridays, Asus, Motrin, Toshiba, Herbal Essences, Lego, AMD, Xbox, Clinique, Mist TWST, Halo, Acura, Charmin, Subaru, AAA, Comet, Wegmans, Lamborghini, and Advil

Secret to Social Influence: Talkability

As different as the Movers & Shakers brands are, they have a key factor in common, and it’s why they’ve all earned a top spot in our rankings. That factor is talkability, which is the ability to motivate consumers to discuss and share news, marketing and other information about your brand. The way marketers earn talkability varies by category and brand. For instance, unlocking influencers is a key source of momentum for the three auto brands on the list. Subaru’s Offline Influence score rose 22 points since the year prior, while Online Influence increased by an impressive 58 points. A similar story was also seen for Acura (+16 offline & +55 online) and Lamborghini (+10 & +53) whose influencer scores jumped dramatically since a year ago. These auto brands know who their influencers are and keep them engaged with their brand. They understand that by reaching influencers, marketers enjoy almost twice the conversation reach than average consumers provide, and the impact of their recommendations is four times as great due to their credibility and perceived expertise. Meanwhile, CPG brands like Charmin moved up the list because marketing proved to be an effective driver of conversations about their brands, both offline and online. Charmin’s Offline Brand Sharing score rose 14 points since a year ago, while Online Brand Sharing increased 9 points. Leveraging marketing to drive talkability is important because conversations among consumers drive about 19 percent of purchases, including conversations that are triggered by paid advertising—we find that one-quarter of the impact of advertising on sales occurs by causing consumers to talk about the brand. Top 20 TotalSocial Movers and Shakers Brands OFFLINETop 20 TotalSocial Movers and Shakers Brands ONLINE Offline Most Improved: TGI Fridays, Toshiba, Orbitz, Sling TV, Abercrombie & Fitch, Mist TWST, HTC, Blue Moon, Progressive, Wegmans, Motrin, AAA, Always, Frigidaire, Hormel, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Coors Light, TLC, Miller Lite, and Graco Online Most Improved: Lego, Asus, OxiClean, Nintendo Wii, GameStop, Lamborghini, PlayStation, Minecraft, Citi – Cards, Grand Theft Auto, Vaseline, Ferrari, Costco, Pokémon, Xbox, Trader Joe’s, TRESemmé, Lenovo, eBay, and AMD So, what can brand marketers learn from these “Movers and Shakers?” Here are three best practices they follow to create talkability:
  • They measure the conversations about their brand in both social media and real life. These conversations are important because they predict brand performance and provide insights that enable brands to optimize their marketing strategies in both spheres.
  • They develop talk-worthy campaigns. They may use humor, or appeal to a specific emotion that resonates with their audience. Or they might have a unique product, campaign or launch that is newsworthy.
  • They take risks. They create campaigns that align with their brand but are also innovative and sometimes controversial

It’s Time to Act to Assure a Strong 2022 Outcome

Now is the time for brands that have WOM momentum to keep building buzz, and for those that are lagging to work overtime to get things turned around. At Engagement Labs we have demonstrated that for most brands, there is little to no correlation between what gets talked about online in social media and what gets talked about offline, so strategies to activate both are key. To be successful, brands should develop a holistic social strategy. Start by understanding what consumers are saying about your brand both online and offline, what is driving those conversations and how they are different. As a marketer looking to maximize your Holiday 2022 results, there is no better group of consumers than those who are already talking about your brand and category – connect with them and let them share their stories. Engagement Labs has the data and insights to help you drive advocacy that will amplify your messages and accelerate sales. Schedule a briefing and we will provide you with a complimentary social influence scorecard and use cases with Fortune 500 companies in your industry sector.

6 Ways Consumer Buzz Impacts Revenue and Brand Performance

“A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is,” Scott Cook, co-founder of Intuit once famously said. Before consumers make buying decisions, they talk. Online AND Offline – through social media, product reviews, face-to-face or via Zoom, FaceTime, by text or IM, or via whatever channel – we all seek recommendations, feedback and validation in our choices of products, entertainment and services. These conversations, reviews and the counsel of our peers have enormous impact on consumer choices and thus on brands in terms of sales, brand health, and other KPIs. As a brand or marketing leader and professional, do you have confidence to back up and support that consumer conversations drive revenue? Research by Engagement Labs published in the MIT Sloan Management Review shows that both online and offline conversations are important drivers of purchase. On average, 19% of all purchases are driven by conversations, including 10% driven by offline conversations and 9% by online ones. The online and offline conversation channels are not at all correlated in most instances, so strategies to activate both are key. In addition, we find that one-quarter of the impact of advertising on sales occurs by causing consumers to talk about the brand. The takeaway: it’s imperative that brands who seek to drive revenue with social influence don’t rely on social media alone. You need a holistic social strategy—measure BOTH offline and online conversation data. Social media alone will get you part way there, but only an integrated strategy will allow you maximize the power of social influence.  

6 Ways to Drive Brand Conversation

Start With a “Talkworthy” Story.Start With a “Talkworthy” Story.

Do you have a story that’s worth sharing, and easy to share? Make sure your marketing, whether on broadcast or OTT, digital, in-store, OOH or wherever you are communicating gives content that people will be eager to share. Make this something you test for and measure.

Target the Talkers.Target the Talkers.

It’s one thing to focus on marketing to new prospects, but it’s the people sharing positive word of mouth that will have the greatest impact on your sales. Many of them are already customers who possess considerable “social value” in terms of their ability to drive trial across their personal social networks. Identify your advocates and make them a central part of your marketing activity, giving them new reasons to recommend you.

Change Your Perspective on Influencers.Change Your Perspective on Influencers.

When you think influencers, think of everyday peer influence and micro influencers. Celebrities with the large followings on Instagram and TikTok are seductive to many marketers who want to pay them to get their message out. But far more influence comes from the “everyday influencers,” the friend we all know keeps up with what’s new and becomes our go-to-source for advice before we buy. Make sure you know where your brand stands among these real-world influencers and focus on sparking them to spread the word.

Reach People When They are in a Social Context.Reach People When They are in a Social Context.

When people consume media, watch a football game, attend an event or in general are gathering together they are far more likely to talk about, not only at the time they are consuming it but in the days that follow. If you want to amplify your paid and owned media, then media planning for consumer conversation is a critical priority.

Convert URL to IRL, and Vice-Versa.Convert URL to IRL, and Vice-Versa.

Upwards of 25% of all offline conversations now include people talking about what they see in digital media. It’s a clear reflection that consumers move seamlessly between their offline and their online worlds. Brands must do so as well. Break down silos. The #1 digital driver of conversation is the brand’s own website. Make sure it’s full of good content worth talking about and sharing.

Retain Current Customers with WOM.Retain Current Customers with WOM.

It’s expensive to acquire a new customer. In addition to the role of WOM in influencing new buyers, we have also learned that WOM has an important role to play in reducing churn. When a customer is looking around for a good deal and wondering if the competitor’s offer is worth considering, they check in with their friends to see what they think. Another important reason to make sure your passionate advocates are armed with the latest news and talkable content to share with others. Consumer conversation data and analytics are vital brand assets. Like any other asset, if you nurture and manage it well, and actively, it will provide great returns on investment. As a marketer, what are you doing to maximize your brand’s social value?

3 Tips to Step Up Your Influencer Marketing by Unlocking Everyday and Micro Influencers

When you search for “influencer marketing,” Google easily shows about 210,000,000 results in 0.55 seconds. Culling through what are the most effective strategies, forecasts and key trends that will dominate, the current state of influencer marketing, the most impactful KPIs and metrics, and distinguish which strategies you should execute to ensure they achieve success can be overwhelming and intimidating. According to Insider Intelligence’s forecast, US influencer marketing spending will reach $4.14 billion in 2022. At Engagement Labs we have long believed in the power of everyday influencers to drive business results. Everyday influencers – by which we mean the 1 in 10 consumers who are sought out for their advice and whose recommendations are heeded – have 131 brand-related conversations every week versus the national average of 73. Further, they regularly seek out information, including that put out by brands, that helps them keep up with what’s new and worth talking about. By reaching these influencers, marketers enjoy almost twice the word-of-mouth reach than average consumers provide, and the impact of their recommendations is four times as great due to their credibility and perceived expertise. 019-12 EL08 INFLUENCER BLOG AFTER SETH v3-01Leading academics have evaluated a variety of influencer marketing methods and settled on everyday influencers as highly valuable. Focusing on the impact of influencers on new production introductions, they find the power of influencers comes in two forms: 1) by expanding the market reached by a new product and 2) by accelerating the pace of product adoption, which confers major competitive advantages over rival products.  

Managing Your Influencer Strategy with #HASHOFF

Our sister company #HASHOFF has a front row seat to the changing influencer marketing ecosystem. #HASHOFF helps brands and agencies source content creators through their owned search platform to identify and activate the right creators to share brand messages organically and across your omni-channel marketing strategy – and measure the results. Influencers present a unique opportunity for brands to be first to the party and get credit for helping beloved creators monetize their passions. Far from fearing being seen as “sell-outs,” creators are eager to work with brands that authentically reflect their personalities, affinities, and lifestyles in transparent ways. For them, sharing on behalf of brands is an extension of their lifestyles, and something they are glad to promote. By utilizing these highly authentic voices within target demographics, #HASHOFF enables brands to develop content strategies quickly, effectively and efficiently to be utilized within the confines of social and for omni-channel distribution applications – content ownership, website creative, marketing materials, programmatic display ads, connected TV, OTT, and digital out of home. According to Adweek, “Micro-influencers have built loyal and dedicated communities of followers without the help of teams of marketing professionals, and their followers respect them for it.” In order for brand managers and agents to benefit from the organic, authentic and independent content that comes naturally with influencers, the use of technology democratizes the influencer market, acting as a fair and informed “agent” for all sides. This suggests brands cannot expect the same people who advocate the brand online to do so offline – and vice versa. How can brands best activate influencers online and offline, everyday and micro?  

3 Ways to Drive Conversations About Your Brand

number1Measure consumer conversations about your brand

Before developing your next campaign strategy, be sure you understand the big picture. Be sure to measure consumer conversations to learn which influencers are talking about your brand and what they’re saying – both on social media and in real life. Doing so will enable you to focus on the channels that provide the greatest ROI.

number2Evaluate the competition

Measure what consumers are saying about competing brands. This will help you understand competitors’ strategies and their strengths and weaknesses. It will also reveal areas of opportunities and help you sharpen your messages and positioning.

number3Create a holistic marketing strategy

Strategies that work well in social media aren’t likely to have the same effect on offline everyday influencers. By truly understanding the dynamics of your brand conversations, you can create separate and distinct marketing strategies that optimize consumer conversations both online and off.   With the right marketing mix, brands can unleash the full power of consumer influencers. Social media and influencer marketing is a tremendous opportunity for brands to reach vast audiences, and that everyday and micro-influencers both drive sales that brands can’t afford to ignore. By enlisting strategy incorporating both #HASHOFF and Engagement Labs elements, brands are able to improve content performance while reducing overall costs with the ability to track the efficacy in both online and offline contexts.