Any marketer will tell you – probably as a quiet, whispered aside – that effective word of mouth endorsement of your brand is not only the most highly valued by consumers but also the Holy Grail for brands. McKinsey once claimed that word of mouth was “the most disruptive force in marketing.”
As the majority of brands recognise and ready themselves to increase their presence and investment in social platforms only a relative few have still been able to determine how to quantify the success of their marketing on social platforms, and on offline activities driving consumers online.
This challenge is addressed in a new white paper by marketing analytics expert MarketShare and the Keller Fay Group, called “Quantifying the Role of Social Voice in Marketing Effectiveness”. The paper demonstrates how word of mouth (offline and online) drives sales, has both a direct and an indirect impact on sales and amplifies the impact of marketing as people talk about the marketing or share it via social media.
Let’s consider that amplification for a moment because there is a mood change happening in social media with consumers moving rapidly away from words and towards images. Between Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr, consumers share nearly 5,000 images every second of every day and this doesn’t even factor in Pinterest’s estimated 40 million users and the rise of SnapChat. Brands not only need to think socially to connect with consumers online, they need to think visually. Brands need to harness the fact that a picture – especially if it is one that is personal to the individual – speaks a thousand words and creates emotions and conversations that transform the relationship with the brand from purely transactional to social and emotional ones. And that’s hugely powerful.
We know from the work we have done with brands how you can create an emotional connection with consumers through photography. We know that for every 1000 photographs taken with our system at an event by experiential or field marketing teams, around 550 of those branded photographs will typically be shared on Facebook, which will lead to 115,000 brand impressions on the world’s biggest social platform. This, in turn, will generate around 6500 hits on the client’s web site. And all from 1000 photographs taken at one event; as the saying goes – you do the maths and then ask yourself whether photography is as big a part of the service you deliver for your brands as the figures suggest it should be.