With sensitivity at an all-time high, consumer and market intelligence is more important than ever to crafting successful campaigns. During a recent webcast sponsored by NetBase Quid, Turning Social Conversations Into Strong Campaigns, comms pros from Hunter addressed how they are using these tools to help identify campaign goals, pinpoint a target audience, pivot when necessary and even establish the right KPIs.
“This year taught us to be flexible and sensitive to the environment when it comes to our campaigns,” says Vanessa Amigh, senior media and influencer strategist at Hunter. “People have a lot of feelings this year, very valid feelings. We're making sure that we're sensitive to our partners, sensitive to our clients and that we're really listening to the world around us.”
Mike Baglietto, global director of product marketing, NetBase Quid, explained that in a rapidly changing landscape, marketers need to identify insights quickly to have maximum impact on the market. Social analytics can provide contextual insights that reveal trends, provide a deeper understanding of consumer motivations and a more complete view of competitors and the market as a whole.
Keeping up with the competition
Conducting a strong situational analysis should be the first step in building a strong 360-degree initiative.
“Before we begin building the communications campaign, we analyze the macro environment and category to understand the larger trends at play within the industry,” shares Hannah Gray, PR and media relations specialist at Hunter. “Once we have an understanding of our category, we analyze the competitive landscape to see where and how our competitors are reaching consumers.”
Gray explains that analytics tools can be used to qualitatively understand what the media is interested in as it pertains to the larger themes at play within a category.
“Social trends can shape the media outreach program quite a bit,” notes Baglietto. “Things like summer travel, what's happening with the pandemic, cultural and in-the-moment issues help get that conversation started with media outreach.”
Marketers also need to factor in how a brand is perceived by consumers and how it compares to similar brands in the category.
“We're able to quantitatively understand what brands are getting coverage or even which topics are making it through that editorial filter, as well as where we stand in relation to other notable names within our category,” explains Gray.
As underscored during the webcast, understanding how competitors are reaching consumers is a key factor in a brand's ability to turn social conversations into successful campaigns.
While clients often provide the agency with audience data in advance of a campaign, Amigh says media analytics help identify the authors and outlets reaching that target audience, a process that allows the agency to fine tune campaign tactics.
“No one size fits all,” notes Heddy Demaria, chief insights and strategy officer at Hunter. “We understand consumers want to be engaged, so it’s much more important to determine the exact strategy we want to employ to achieve our objectives.”
Media analytics allow an agency to learn more about their target consumer, who they are and who's influencing them. “It can even potentially help us identify influencers we would want to enlist for our campaigns later down the line,” adds Amigh.
As the world of influencers becomes more varied and celebrity influencers share the space with micro- and nano-influencers, it can help to create a “hierarchy” to identify influencers best suited for specific campaign objectives.
“If you're looking to go far and wide, then you'd want to enlist a celebrity or someone with a larger platform,” says Amigh. On the other hand, nano influencers are “talking to consumers about things they love and are recommending the product very genuinely to their fan base, which is something that can lead to purchase because people are constantly engaging with them, having a two-way conversation.”
Hunter also enlists the help of experts, such as nutritionists or personal trainers, to influence.
Amigh notes that a more robust understanding of the target audience can also help a campaign establish a tone most likely to resonate with a particular audience.
“If we're seeing that people in an age range are talking about themselves as a wife and as a mom, that can help us reach them in a relevant way,” she advises.
Are you reaching your goals?
Setting suitable campaign KPIs is also a crucial component of any successful initiative, and artificial intelligence-driven tools can help marketers more fully assess how a campaign has met its objectives.
“Monitoring our performance allows us to understand if we are attaining the goals we set out to attain,” says Demaria. “It also allows us to have continuous improvement, sometimes in real time. If we're finding certain tactics perform better than others, we can adjust investment levels and really optimize what we’re doing.”
Post-campaign, social AI allows an agency to assess how consumers feel about the brand.
“Understanding what's being said about your brand or your category on each of the channels is really important,” counsels Baglietto. “When you set up alerts in the system, you can identify sudden changes in sentiment or conversation volume. When your brand is trending either positively or negatively, you’ll know. You want to make sure that your message gets out clearly and hits the right tone.”
The above is a taste of the counsel provided during the webcast. Click here to view it in its entirety on-demand.