Moms Rule the web!

A recent article in the Atlantic outlines the power Mom's have in the blogoshpere.

You should read the whole post here, but here is a choice bit of information:

"Women are the major users of Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Pinterest, and every social media site except YouTube. They are engagers. They are sharers. It is natural to a women's personality to say why she buys something and why she like it. Women love to share news about the bargains that they got. They love deals and they love to talk about it."

WOMM is #1 source of local business recommendations

Search Engine land published the third installment of their Local Consumer Review study. Its a great read and offers some interesting insights into WOMM. We highly recommend any marketer reads this study.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • 77% of respondents said they had shared a recommendation through word-of-mouth in the past year
  • men use a greater number of channels for their local business recommendations than women (1.53 vs. 1.33)
  • Women are more likely than men to have shared a recommendation by word-of-mouth (78% vs. 74%)
  • Men are more likely to have shared via Facebook (34% vs. 32%) and Twitter (12% vs. 7%)
  • When citing reasons for recommending businesses, women are more likely than men to hone in on reliability and professionalism (68% vs. 62%), friendliness (50% vs. 39%), the existence of a special offer (46% vs. 27%), and a unique and original experience (44% vs. 25%)
  • Consumers seem to be increasingly influenced by offers. This year, 2 in 3 said they would be more likely to recommend a local business to people they know if the business has a good value offer or discount.
  • Also check out the chart below to see how the genders responded to incentives for receommendations.

Cage Match: Pinterest v. Facebook

As always, Giga Om is on the money with a nice comparison of the two hottest social platforms. The highlights:

  • Pinterest users spend WAY more but dont hang around much after they buy.
  • Facebook users spend much more time on the site

The infographics do all the work:

 

Influence illustrated

The folks over at social media today and Awareness pulled together an infographic from their recent whitepaper.

The whitepaper a great read and worth the time (if you have it). If you don't, the image can serve as your cliff's notes. Happy Reading!:

The other way to boost recommendations: (hint: Steve Jobs made billions with this)

It usually goes without saying that if you build a great product, you'll get your share of word-of-mouth recommendations. Seems pretty obvious, right?

The irony is tht there are a LOT of small and large brands out there who only give this lip servcie and don't live the mantra. If you truly want your product to be your marketing, you need to commit to a grea product and a great product experience.

Recent work by Temkin Group reveals some data to support this:

The most telling quote: 

Satisfied customers are not only more likely to recommend customers, but also more likely to purchase again from them in the future.

You should also check out their self assesment form to see how you are doing. Its a worthwhile excercise to get your team thinking about delivering great customer experiences so you can enjoy the power of word-of-mouth.


Why Moms refer brands to others

Can't start this one without once again tipping the hat to eMarketer. They have their fingers on the pulse of WOMM and cover the trends brilliantly.

In an article posted today on why Moms recommend products they drill into the incentives that drive Mom'suse of word-of-mouth marketing. A very enlightening quote:

..moms love to trade information and engage in online conversations about themselves and their families. But moms say they would be significantly more inclined to refer a brand or product to friends when offered an incentive. Marketers can boost engagement and motivate moms to spread word-of-mouth about products by providing coupons, discounts, deals and other tangible financial rewards. 

Also, some other highlights:

  • if offered an incentive, nearly 66% of moms said they would be more likely to refer a brand or website to others.
  • The mom segment is made up of vocal, tech-savvy, price-conscious consumers who are an important purchase influencer for families and more apt to use incentives than the average consumer.
  • Moms are highly engaged in brand conversations and are keen on finding bargains and additional ways to save. Incentives, including coupons, local deals, discounts and product samples, serve as a powerful marketing tool to drive moms to discuss and pass information about products on to their network of friends.
  • With wide social circles and a high tendency to communicate and share ideas via word-of-mouth marketing, moms are extremely receptive to brand referrals and product recommendations from their peers.

Moms, like any other savvy internet citizen, will reward the brands that reward them. Just as with offline social networking, the network effect of having an influencer make a word-of-mouth recommendation to their networks of friends can have an exponential impact on who sees and buys a product.

Pretty soon we will have some tailor-made updates to the service that focus on this powerful group of Mommy WOMMers, and we look forward to making them successful!

How Consumers Share Content Online

Another good one from emarketer. They outline some recent research about what channels consumers use to share information online. The main highlights are below:

  • For the April 2011 “Content is the Fuel of the Social Web” report, AOLand Nielsen Online analyzed more than 10,000 social media messages to see how consumers share content online. The study found that 93% of internet users turn to email to share content, while 89% use social networks and 82% use blogs.
  • Social networks are the top method for sharing content with friends, as 92% of users do so, while email is the most popular way to share with family (86%) and colleagues (26%). In sharing online content with the general public, consumers prefer to use message boards (51%) or blogs (41%).
  • Paul Adams, global brand experience manager at Facebook, said that the average person has four different friend or influence groups. Each has an average of 10 people and they are based around life stages, experiences or hobbies.
  • the study found that 60% of shares were links to published content, such as a news or media site. Meanwhile, 36% of shares consisted of embedded content, such as branded experiences on a social network, enabling users to share content without leaving the platform or social network.

So what does it all mean for those of you who use word-of-mouth to give and receive recommendations?

  • People choose the word-of-mouth channel that is most contextually relevant to the folks they are sharing with. Mom and Dad probably get and send emails. Younger, more tech savvy folks are more likely using Twitter or Facebook because thats where their friends are.
  • The high level take-away for RevenueNation Advocates is that you should be capable of communicating in many channels, and you should choose which based on the comfort level of the recipient. 
  • You need to be thinking: Where is your recipient most likely to see and take action on your recommendation? What medium do they prefer to receive content? 
  • While you consider the relevance of the actual recommendation, you also need to think about which channels are appropriate to who and what you are passing on via word-of-mouth marketing.

Synopsis: Online Female Influencers 101

When you are talking about folks who influence purchase decisions via word-of-mouth marketing, no conversation is complete without talking about female influencers. These ladies have the power, energy and influence to get people excited about what they recommend and they do it because they genuinely enjoy helping out and being known as an expert.

Once again, emarketer has pushed out some very interesting data from AOL and Bovitz Research Group in an article called "How female influencers communicate online".

Some quick highlights for your skimming pleasure:

  • The smallest groups overall were the most active online and contributed the most to online word-of-mouth.
  • Social expressionistas, which make up just 8% of the online female population, were overwhelmingly the most likely to say that they use the internet as a way to express their views and that they interact online with people like themselves. (According to AOL, the social expressionista “defines herself as using the web to connect with others and to express her views, her art, and her projects.”)
  • Other groups, like shopsessives (7%), businesswireds (15%) and alpha trendsetters (13%) liked spreading the word about brands more, but the research suggested they were somewhat less likely to do so on the web.
  • Social expressionistas' love of spreading the word online translates to a love of social networking sites. Nearly nine in 10 social expressionistas said social networks were their favorite type of site, 13 percentage points above the next group, alpha trendsetters. Social networks are vital to them as the location where they interact with like-minded people and express their views.
  • According to the report, the best way for marketers to encourage buzz among social expressionistas is to make them part of a dialogue and give them the opportunity to play with brand assets and use them to create their own content

 

So what does this mean for marketers and influencers? Pretty simple, actually:

To harness the power of the female influence voice, you need to get them access to your product, give them them means to promote easily and quickly, and to get them over the hump, you should consider giving them some additional incentives for talking product...things like discounts or commissions on sales are always effective.

Marketers, feel free to reach out to us if you want to set up a campaign.

Ladies, you are always welcome as a RevenueNation Brand Advocate. Click here to sign up for the beta...

 

Some Data on Connected Moms

We love smartphone-toting Moms here at RevenueNation.  They are very influential and are very well respected by their peers when it comes to recommendations of products...

The folks at eMarketer have some data about connected Moms from Baby Center that we think the RevenueNation would be interested in seeing:

  • Nearly six in 10 moms have a smartphone, vs. 50% of all internet users. Overall, 62% of mom respondents told BabyCenter they use the mobile internet regularly, up from 22% just two years ago.
  • Mothers were significantly more likely to access games, social media and health information, and somewhat more likely to check the weather, listen to music or shop via mobile.
  • Moms were below average on accessing content like maps, productivity tools, and financial and business information, suggesting they’re sticking to activities to help—or help occupy—their families.
  • Activities like these lead smartphone-owning moms to spend an average of 6.1 hours a day with their phone, compared to 2.5 hours among moms with only a feature phone.
  • smartphone-owning moms considered ads with coupons (55%) or that featured nearby deals (34%) most appealing 

Here is a synopsis of what Moms are up to on their phones:

Data: online vs offline word-of-mouth recommendations

A new article on emarketer today talks about a dip in the amount of word-of-mouth recommendations occurring online. In the article there are some very interesting stats (quoted):

Also of note:

  • "The digital channel used most for product discussions was mobile—when used for conversations, however, not text messages.
  • Only 35% of the overall population, and 56% of the young adult population, talked about products and services on social sites."

 Here also is a nice overview of the methods used in WOMM:

So why would we post about a seeming downturn in online word-of mouth when thats what we do? 

Well, we aim to change the downward trend by making it very easy and rewarding for you to pass recommendations and links to friends online. We maintain that the ease and simplicity that RevenueNation offers will contribute to massive growth in the use of trackable online recommendations over the next few years.

But How?

RevenueNation empowers our Advocates (users) by providing easy tools (our offer catalog, tracking links, and knowledge base) and real incentives (you commissions when your friends buy and you get discounts on the products you recommend). We also provide the tools to send (email links to friends, tweet links, etc) and track your recommendations so you can easily see how much you earn and how often your recs get clicked.

We look forward to helping reverse this trend so advertisers can more confidently use the online word-of-mouth channel and our advocates realize more economic and psychic benefits of using word-of-mouth for profit.

 

Concerns about Facebook Word-of-mouth ads

 

As you all know back in early February, the folks at facebook launched a word of mouth ad unit. Its great verification of the WOMM channel and its efficacy for sure. But we are skeptical for a few reasons:

 

  1. Facebook pushes a recommendation into a feed of friends (not genuine)
  2. Facebook makes all the money and doesn't share it with you!
  3. There is benefit only to the marketer and not the individual in the circle of friends who's profile is being used to serve the promotion

 

While we are big fans of facebook and the platform, we question the privacy concerns here...as does the author of the article:

While the media have been reporting on the new strategy, users so far haven’t been informed of the development, as they were with the recent layout change to profile pages. And some feel that without offering an opt-out option, Facebook still hasn’t learned its privacy lessons.

This move is a great verification for WOMM, but at ReveneuNation, we don't believe they went far enough...

At some point bigger firms will get the message about making sure folks are compensated for their time, recommendations, and attention. Human signals are just too valuable to ignore because they cut through the clutter.

NOTE: Don't get us wrong, we understand that facebook is free and that we pay for it by seeing ads...

2011 Digital Marketing Outlook: Earned media warming up...even more

Lets start off with a stat from the recent emarketer article about earned media:

24% of agencies plan to significantly increase unpaid or earned media investments in 2011

(A quick reminder: Earned media is any media that allows the customer to become the sales channel where the result of the media investment is conversation between consumers and brands. Think Word-of-Mouth-Marketing). See below for clarification:

This is a large number...one quarter of all agencies will spend significantly more on earned media. One quarter of agency spending is a non-trivial amount of revenue coming to our humble channel. This is great news to those involved in the RevenueNation... we are in the earned media business!

The data is just another point of justification that the online word-of-mouth marketing channel is a large part of marketing's future (and that all of the RevenueNation brand advocates are on the bleeding edge of a movement that is reaching full force!)

We look forward to the continued journey!

Social Media More Influential Than Paid Media In Influencing Car and Tech Purchases

 

It's no secret that we believe that recommendations and word-of-mouth are a big influence on purchasing decisions, so we love it when data is published that backs up our thesis.

This little tidbit comes to us from the folks at research firm S. Radoff Associates. This is a direct quote from Sandy Radoff herself:

“While offline word of mouth plays a significant role in large-ticket item purchases, the impact of online word of mouth from consumer reviews, blogs and social networks has consistently increased over the past five years,” remarks Sandy Radoff, President of S. Radoff Associates.

...and some of the numbers:

The study traces a direct relationship between brands’ presence in social media and their sales. Consumers are four times more likely to point to social media sources influencing their car purchases made in the past year than paid media (21 percent vs. 5 percent). Social media has been more influential than paid media for technology purchases as well (26 percent vs. 7 percent).

We applaud the study and the publication of it so more marketers realize the power of online word-of-mouth marketing...and reach out to us when they want to talk!

ATTN Marketers: "most brand-related chatter, both online and offline, is positive"

Thats a direct quote from this emarketer article about how word-of-mouth is viewed favorably by consumers Here are some other great pullouts:

"positive buzz carries more weight with consumers, according to research from Keller Fay Group."

"the firm found about two-thirds of word-of-mouth brand references were “mostly positive.”"

Two-thirds of study respondents thought positive word-of-mouth was credible... Positive information was also more likely to be passed on to others, more than twice as likely to get people to look for more information, and had nearly four times the chance of pushing consumers to make a purchase."

"Children’s products and food brands tended to get the most positive mentions, while net advocacy on behalf of companies in the telecommunications, financial services and healthcare industries was lowest."

"The Keller Fay research supports findings by women-focused marketing and communications firm Harbinger, which reported a greater motivation to share good brand experiences than bad ones among female internet users in North America" 

Safe to say we agree with the above and look forward to the forthcoming interest in this channel. We are here for you, marketers! Also, marketers, click here for a great presentation from the Keller Fay Group regarding the VALUE of word-of-mouth conversations

The power of New Moms!

There is a nice piece out on eMarketer today that breaks down how new Moms connect and use word-of-mouth marketing. A couple key highlights:

 

  • The most important sources for learning about products boiled down to parenting websites and word-of-mouth from other moms.
  • According to research from TRU and Oxygen/NBC Universal, women who are “in transition”—which includes new and expectant moms—are more likely to have a social network profile, have about 43% more social network friends on average, and are more likely to recommend brands and pass on coupons, making them the ideal influencers for marketers to target.

If you are a new Mom, keep in mind that if you make your recommendations using RevenueNation, you'll have some extra cash for formula, diapers, and wipes! Just look on the Offer Catalog and search for MOM category for some of the products that we think fit the bill. As always, be sure to suggest other advertisers you would like to recommend on RevenueNation!

 

 

Cash is King...(big surprise!)

As a follow on to last week's post regarding the use of compensated recommendations, eMarketer also drives home the point that folks want cash the most when they recommend products and services using social media and word-of-mouth.

Given the economy and all the pressures on students and parents alike, the desire for cash is no surprise at all. Check out the data:

Given how valuable extra income is, we'll keep offering cash for all your efforts so you can pay the bills, buy books, or eventually that new flat screen or laptop!

Content Contributors Seek Value in Return for their Recommendations

One of our favorite sources of numbers and analysis about social media and word-of-mouth marketing is eMarketer (you see that from how often we cite them as a source on our posts!). The team over there recently published a piece called: "Twitter Users and Bloggers Open to More Than Earned Media"  

In the article they cite the fact that may bloggers, social media mavens, and tweeters enjoy the opportunity to promote brands, assuming there is some form of remuneration for the mention:

The authenticity of word-of-mouth has been scaled up by social media and other online tools, but it appears many social content publishers are willing to form relationships with marketers that would move their endorsements from the “earned” to the “paid” column.

In fact, most are already monetizing their recommendations:

As most of you already know, your recommendations of brands, products, and services is a very valuable source of purchasing data to your friends. So keep doing it! Soon this highly effective word-of-mouth marketing will dominate online, thanks to you and all of your efforts!

Also, please bear in mind (as our lessons state!), to be safe, all such paid recommendations/advocations should be preceded with some wording that says that the tweet, post, or comment is in fact an endorsement. This way it is very clear that your recommendation is a paid endorsement that you will be compensated for if your friends buy.

Happy Advocating!