Share the Week - October 6, 2017

Jonathan Gardner

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

You Better Work

There’s been endless debate lately over the “right” type of influencer strategy: should you work with micro-influencers, macro-influencers or celebrities. Nearly everyone will agree, however, that regardless, there is general agreement that brands and their partners must do more to get insights and data to make influencer marketing more accountable.

This week, Jill Manoff of Glossy spoke on this very topic with Rhiyen Sharp, of Industry Model Mgmt, who consults brands and retailers on partnerships. He has a fairly strong point of view on what type of influencer engagement brands should be looking for: The smart girls -- the Gigi Hadids, the Kendall Jenners, the Kaia Gerbers -- they’re not posting bikini photos all the time. They’re making sure they have a female audience; if you want to be selling product to a woman, you have to appeal to a woman. Luxury brands are not hiring just any “influencer” with a high follower count.

Girls with a lot of followers are not influencers, they’re advertising platforms. Compare them to a magazine: If the content is a bit cheap, would you want to buy an ad in it? And who’s reading it? Most of the girls’ audiences were 60 percent men. Unless they’re going to be promoting beer, it doesn’t work.

Making Marketing Make Sense

This ain’t no Disney, no CBGB. The marketing world may have descended on Orlando this week, but it wasn’t to hit Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Instead, it was to be taken to the woodshed at the annual Association of National Advertisers (ANA) conference. The group’s president, Bob Liodice, had some choice words for attendees, and laid down a 12-point guide for CMOs to focus on to fix their businesses. As reported by Kristina Monllos in Adweek, the world’s top brands have a major problem: Many of them aren’t growing and that’s due to ineffective marketing leadership, he said. Two hundred and fifty-nine companies on the 2016 Fortune 500 list had declining revenues.

The problem? “It boils down to a lack of effective marketer leadership,” said Liodice. “As leaders, we, as an industry, have refused to make the tough calls -- calls that would take us out of the cesspool of suboptimum growth. For example, we as leaders should not accept this byzantine, non-transparent, super complex digital media supply chain. No one can understand it.”

He continued: “Yet we keep feeding the beast by pouring incredible sums of money into this unproductive, unmanageable abyss. Remarkably, we keep doing so even though we know that only 25 percent of every digital dollar reaches the consumer. … [that] represents more than $20 billion in marketing waste, inefficiency and ineffectiveness.”

Eating the Feed

Everything’s social and it’s been so for a long time. That said, platforms like Pinterest and Instagram are continuing to reach tendrils into new and untapped areas of business and our culture. It’s well-established that photo sharing apps are huge drivers of interest in food, cooking and restaurants. In fact, there’ve been a ton of stories on how restaurants are now being designed with appeal to Instagrammers in mind. How can this be taken further, you might ask? Well, here comes word that the biggest culinary school in the nation is teaching budding chefs, food stylists and other food pros how to design and take pictures for social media. As The New York Times reports, high-quality are as essential to a chef’s success these days as knife skills. The people who teach those knife skills know it -- which is why the venerable Culinary Institute of America will introduce two new elective courses in May, one in food photography and the other in food styling, to help students develop sophisticated skills not only for the plate but also for the app.

With the world becoming a social-media ouroboros, social media engagement and visual content performance will only become more critical for everyone, beyond food brands and restaurants, to every type of designer and retailer. All signs point to competition heating up for marketers, and this week ShareIQ launched a major effort to help manage that future:

This suite of analytics tools for the first time give brands insight about content performance within their industry category. ShareIQ Competitive Analytics features an intuitive dashboard and workflow that lets marketers compare how their visual content performs and how consumers engage with it across Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr and around the web.

The Best of the Rest

AdExchanger - Pinterest Discovers Its Niche In The “Early Planning” Stage

TechCrunch - Can Google’s AI-powered Clips make people care about lifelogging?

Business Insider - AR is now a must-have in retail

Adweek - Brands Are Doing More Experiential Marketing. Here’s How They’re Measuring Whether It’s Working

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.