Share the Week - November 10, 2017

Jonathan Gardner

A weekly wrap-up of valuable insights from the world of visual content, social media, and influencer marketing.

Pop Up Goes the Retailer

As we’ve noted (here and here, among other places) there’s a retail revolution afoot led by shifts in shopping behavior, moves to ecommerce and a sea change in how consumers interact with brands. Necessity is the mother of invention and former big box players and department stores are trying to shake things up with experiential, immersive retail experiences that provide something shoppers can’t get online.

This reinvention couldn’t happen at a better time, as noted by Bloomberg this week, “America’s ‘Retail Apocalypse’ Is Really Just Beginning.” The reason isn’t as simple as Amazon taking market share or twenty-somethings spending more on experiences than things. The root cause is that many of these long-standing chains are overloaded with debt -- often from leveraged buyouts led by private equity firms. There are billions in borrowings on the balance sheets of troubled retailers, and sustaining that load is only going to become harder -- even for healthy chains.

This will force a leveling and rethinking of traditional retail, with some brands sticking around, challenger brands flourishing, and outmoded stores going the way of the Dodo. A reinvention in trying times leads to interesting experimentation, as companies test out new ways to build foot traffic and drive in-person brand interaction. It’s a sure bet we’ll see -- starting this holiday season -- more and more indie and established brands dangling their feet with pop-up shops.

According to Lauren Thomas of CNBC: There is a "burst" of pop-ups expected to round out the year, an annual holiday survey from commercial real estate firm CBRE found.

The holiday season offers companies a sliver of time to test new features, experiment where there is heavier foot traffic, or bring their online operations offline — as companies such as Warby Parker, Bonobos and Allbirds have done.

More importantly, "landlords have an appetite for pop-ups that they didn't have in the past," Melina Cordero, head of CBRE Americas' retail research division, told CNBC. "Given customers are increasingly bored with the copy-paste mall model, [pop-ups] can be a pretty effective traffic driver."

Pop-ups are not only a great way to build brand buzz, they “bring to life” brands with which consumers may have a sentimental affinity. They can also be smart marketing platforms to build online engagement as well as offline footfalls: Kellogg, the maker of Frosted Flakes and Rice Krispies, is opening its new cereal cafe on Dec. 7 in Manhattan. Kellogg’s Union Square Cafe was decorated with social media enthusiasts in mind. The company reports cereal and Kellogg characters will "come to life" in an engaging way that is ideal for selfie and Instagram users. As Erika Kincaid wrote in Marketing Dive:

It will be interesting to see if this new concept has any impact on grocery sales of cereal. Consumers may be inspired by their recipes, particularly for ice cream cereal sundaes, and try to recreate them at home. Even if sales don’t budge, it will still be a PR success for the company with the initial press they’ll receive with the opening and continued exposure from consumers posting on social media when they visit.

Influencers Don’t Snap

The media seems to shift with the wind on whether Snapchat is a valuable platform for marketers. Whether it’s falling CPMs for its ad products or the ephemeral nature of its content, there is a lot to debate about advertising ROI. For any social media platform, much the value for marketers is dependent on how useful it is for getting brand content shared and discovered -- and the key influencer marketing component in seeding that content. This week, Eileen Brown reported on a study in ZDNet that top influencers posted twice as many Instagram Stories compared to Snapchat Stories. Instagram Stories use had grown by 14 percent while Snapchat use had declined by a third.

Influencers posted an average of 7.6 Stories per day on Instagram compared to 3.6 per day on Snapchat. Influencers who earn a living from social media sponsorships, will post on the platforms which give best opportunities for visibility and engagement. They want to extend their reach and audience. Audiences will go to the platforms that have the best available content -- usually posted by social media influencers.

The report showed that influencers did not want to "sell out." In fact 64 percent surveyed said they would not promote a brand they did not believe in, even if it came with a big paycheck. Over a third of influencers -- 35 percent -- have a model that takes into account reach and engagement rates, 18 percent ask their peers, and 22 percent rely on the brands to suggest a price. Worryingly 17 percent of influencers say they just "Ask for as much as I can get."

Major brands work with ShareIQ because they want to understand of how, where and by whom their visual content is being shared across social networks and the web. Our platform gives the deepest level of data and analytics about the value they are getting from their earned media programs, and what role influencers are playing in those campaigns. We believe in making influencer marketing more accountable: brands need to work with the right partners, on the right platforms. Have a look at a recent article on the value of a platform like Pinterest to help brands get their content discovered and their products purchased.

The Best of the Rest

Marketing Dive - H&M teases fantasy-themed holiday short film starring Nicki Minaj

Social Media Today - Pinterest Adds New Board 'Sections' to Help Better Organize Pin Presentation

Business Insider - Amazon goes omnichannel for the holidays

MediaPost - Marketers Are Opening Their Eyes To Visual Search

Marketing Dive - L2: Luxury fashion brands increase Instagram followers by 53%

A weekly wrap-up of valuable insights from the world of visual content, social media, and influencer marketing
Jonathan Gardner

Jonathan is vice president of marketing for ShareIQ, based in New York City.