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Influencer Marketing

Teri’s Take: Morphe’s In-Store Engagement Strategy & Sunday Riley’s Fake Reviews

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The Article: Morphe launches in-store YouTube studios to drive foot traffic

The summary

Amidst declining sales of color cosmetics in the US, Cosmetics brand Morphe is ramping up its brick-and-mortar presence and driving more foot traffic by leveraging in-store video content studios.

Previously, these spaces have offered free services, such as a 20-minute makeup application with a makeup artist and makeup-related masterclasses. Now, the brand also provides the opportunity for influencers to book the studio to film videos with no expectations. Morphe will implement this high-quality, user-generated video content in their strategy to develop better relationships with up-and-coming influencers in the space.

Emine ErSelcuk, VP of global retail, explained, “The services, for us, are a point of difference. And we believe the mid-tier influencers want a more public space to activate their community.”

Our take

At a time when online sales are at an all-time high, we’ve seen many brick and mortar retailers adjust their strategies in order to activate and engage customers in real life. What’s the winning strategy? The marriage between authenticity and personalized experiences.

A survey found that 71 percent of U.S. adults were frustrated with impersonal shopping experiences. On the other hand, 75 percent of shoppers agree that content customized around their interests influenced their decision to purchase.

To activate your community, hone into the interests of your audience and create tailored experiences. By giving shoppers a reason to come in and stay in your store, you’re not only providing value, but you’re increasing brand affinity, and ultimately, purchase intent.

In Morphe’s case, as a brand literally built on YouTube and social media, creating a sharing content is a common interest of a huge portion of their audience, making us believe their new in-store studios will be a profitable decision.

The Article: The FTC Said Sunday Riley Faked Sephora Reviews For Almost Two Years To Boost Sales

The summary

In October 2018, the FTC began to investigate skincare brand Sunday Riley after a whistleblower posted on Reddit saying that the brand was faking reviews while they were an employee there. In the complaint filed against the company, the FTC alleges that between November 2015 and August 2017, Sunday Riley employees posted fake reviews on Sephora’s website using fake accounts to try to boost sales.

Not only does this hurt companies that are following the law, it also sends a message to consumers that reviews can not be trusted.

Our take

Employees can and should be brand evangelists for the companies they work for. That said, businesses requiring customers to leave reviews, especially when they are falsified, is never a good look.

This is truly an unfortunate situation for all parties involved. As a long-time Sunday Riley user myself, I can attest to the fact that the products really do work. However, as a shopper who looks to online reviews before making a purchase, it leaves an unsettling feeling knowing it probably isn’t the only brand who has at some point faked their way to a 5-star rating.

As a community how can we fix this problem? It really is a team effort to eliminate inauthentic interactions online. So brands, encourage – don’t force – your employees to leave honest reviews. They are some of your biggest fans. And consumers, make your voice heard by sharing your own reviews — for better or for worse. Not only are you helping other consumers by giving them access to truthful opinions, but you’re sharing invaluable feedback that brands need.

The Article: What I Learned from Surveying Over 400 Influencers

The summary

This article summarizes findings from a new survey of over 400 mid-tier influencers, who shared their take on the current state of the industry. 95% of the influencers surveyed reported that they think their audience still trusts their brand recommendations, even when a post is marked as sponsored. Additionally, 75% of influencers are members of an influencer network.

Our take

AspireIQ recently released our State of the Industry 2019 report, which compiled internal data as well as a survey of brand marketers. If you haven’t downloaded it yet, you definitely should.

Yet this report by eAccountable provides insight into the influencer marketing industry from a different perspective. It argues that influencers will always remain an important part of a brand’s community. In fact, they lead the charge because they have established expertise in a topic and their audiences trust their recommendations. By promoting the products and services they love, they transfer trust to the brand itself.A few interesting findings from the full report that the article did not cover include:

  • More than 80% of influencers find that blogs are the most successful way they partner with brands followed by Instagram (around 60%).
  • Around 70% of influencer find that their long-term partnerships are more successful than one-off campaigns. However, 50% are open to doing either one.
  • Influencers find over 80% of the brands they partner with base campaign success on the amount of impressions.
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