Creating a killer tone of voice: why it’s important and how to get started
Written by Polly Jacobs and others
Why create a tone of voice?
Tone of voice is your brand’s personality in action. It’s how you translate your company’s principles, ‘big idea’, and vision onto a page (or video, signage, packaging copy, a tiny disclaimer message…) for the world to see.
But these days, few companies actually have a solid tone of voice in place that sets them apart.
Which means a lot of companies aren’t showing their personality properly. Which is a problem, because in a world of highly competitive (and often similar) products and services, it’s not just what your brand says that will make you stand out from the crowd.
It’s how you say it.
Faced with a choice, we tend to go for the products or services that we recognise. And tone of voice is a hugely underutilised way to capture recognition and loyalty.
But, does it really make a difference?
Let’s put it another way – why do we have favourite comedians? Why do we follow AOC on Twitter?
Because we don’t just like the things they say – we like how they say them.
And while it sounds a little touchy-feely, people want to buy from brands that inspire them. Brands that make them think and feel. Brands that tell stories.
Need a little proof? Let’s look at the ‘Significant Objects’ experiment.
In 2009, journalists Rob Walker and Joshua Glenn purchased 100 items of ‘tat’ at a series of thrift stores for the average price of $1.29 per item. The two men then sold these items online for $3612.51 – an increase of 2,799%.
The items weren’t valuable. Rob and Joshua asked contributing writers to tell short stories about each item, which were included in the eBay descriptions. It was the way the products were described and the stories that were told that hugely amplified their objective value online.
It’s the same principle for brands like Oatly. Or Nike. Or Apple.
Each brand has competitors with products just as good, if not better, than theirs. (Android users would certainly say so anyway). But it’s their clearly defined tone of voice and brand identity that allow them to claim the lion’s share of their markets.
Without a tone of voice, your brand is sure to blend in with the beige sameness of your competitors – even if you have a great product.
Want to know how to get started creating your brand’s unique tone of voice? Then read on…
Spend some quality time with your brand
Authenticity is key when developing a tone of voice. For the most part, clients and consumers are smart – they will quickly see through any façade a brand attempts to put up.
So, ask yourself the important questions. How do you, your stakeholders and (most importantly) your consumers perceive your brand?
Take a deep dive into your brand to define its true vision, principles, and personality. Try to summarise your brand’s voice in a few paragraphs about your business. Where does your solution or product meet your consumers’ needs? How should your voice reflect that need?
Run workshops, internal and external, to explore what makes your brand unique alongside the people who experience it every day.
Be uniquely you
The enemy of a standout tone of voice? The companies that try to be all things to all people. (It’s also a good general content tip. Find a niche and own it!).
Decide who your target audience is, decide how you want to speak to them and decide the best way to set yourself apart in their eyes.
Once you’ve distilled these insights, you can use them to inform your brand’s tone of voice.
Too many businesses start with a vision to create a unique tone of voice, only to shy away when they realise it involves doing something that their competitors aren’t. But that’s the whole point! Herd mentality has no place here and sets you on the sure-fire path to boringsville.
So be uniquely you, and have a think about what tonal space you could occupy and make your own.
Avoid cliches ‘like the plague’
Too often, we see companies describe themselves as ‘human’ and ‘honest’. These terms are far from differentiators. They’re the tonal equivalent of adding the minimum legal holiday requirement as a ‘perk’ on a job listing. Don’t do it.
Whether you’re in B2B or B2C, most brands these days aim to sound conversational – even the big banks. So, when you say you want your brand to sound human, it’s important to dig a little deeper. Decide what you mean by that. Cheerful and chatty? Tongue-in-cheek-witty? Daringly outspoken?
Prepare to flex
Tone of voice will vary across your channels. It’ll still be you – just slightly different versions of you. Much like you’ll speak differently around parents than around friends, you’ll need to adapt your tone of voice between a press release and a tweet.
Leaving room for flexibility is key to having a tone of voice that is easily adapted to different audiences and purposes.
That’s why we call tone of voice documents ‘guides’. Because they’re just that.
(Plus, take it from us writers, there’s nothing more dull than a set of uber-rigid guidelines. Let writers add their own sparkle!)
Next steps in Tone of Voice development
These points are merely the warm-up. Once you’ve done the groundwork, you’ll be ready to define your tone of voice traits and create specific writing advice and tips around them.
With the right tone of voice, your clients or consumers will know your writing as soon as they see it.
At Eulogy, we help our clients answer the question: what do you want to be known for?
So, if you want to talk to one of our word nerds about developing your brand’s tone of voice, click here.
And you can check out some of our work here.
Five to Inspire
Written by Sophie Paglierani and others
SCROLL: Art website Colossal is a must site to visit. Full of all the art, design, photography and crafting updates you could ever want, this platform shares details and images of the latest creations from incredibly talented people working across these sectors. The art the website shares is diverse (in content, artists origins and medium), inspiring, wacky, and just incredibly cool. There really is something for everyone on there. If you fancy a more digestible approach to viewing the delights on their site, their IG page is a great follow too. It’s a feast for your eyes so don’t miss out.
FOLLOW: From tasty art, to equally tasty potatoes, Poppy_Cooks, is an IG account to check out. Michelin-trained chef turned food influencer Poppy O’Toole has some great hearty cooking inspo on her channel. She’s recently gone a bit spud mad, posting a new way to cook potatoes on her channel every day, which surprisingly lasted quite a long time. She’s an entertaining watch, as well a good cook (if you like your carbs). Her first cookbook is coming out in September, firmly cementing her status as being one to watch. Enjoy.
EXPLORE: Cannes Lions, the usually rosé filled extravaganza in which the ad industry pats itself on the back under the sunshine of the South of France, went virtual again this year. As with everything Cannes, to explore the winning work requires a subscription. That said, you can head on over to this website to find the shortlists and winners before Googling the campaign name to find out more/watch the case study video which will no doubt be somewhere on Vimeo. Well worth a look. This year’s PR Lions winners was Contract for Change from ABInBev and The Bread Examfrom the Lebanese Breast Cancer Foundation. When it came to Social & Influencer the winners were Superb Owl from Reddit and the Stevenage Challenge from BK.
WATCH: The Olympics are on the horizon. Very much overshadowed so far this summer by the festival of football that was the Euros, the Olympics kick off on 23 July. As usual the main broadcaster is the BBC and they’ve created a suitably grand trailer to get us all in the mood. This article from It’s Nice That explores the trailer in depth, identifying some of the hidden easter eggs within.
APPLY: Well actually, don’t. TikTok has launched TikTok Resumes in the US. This pilot programme gives a select number of companies the chance to recruit for entry level positions via the platform. They’ll simply need to create a TikTok showcasing their relevant skills and tag #TikTokResumes and the brand. One for our next intake of creative interns perhaps?
How influencer marketing unlocked brands’ untapped potential during the pandemic
Written by Kathryn Venediger
Recently, I have not been able to put down Sarah Frier’s book No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram. In it, the award-winning reporter Sarah shares the inside, never-before-told tale of how Instagram defied the odds to become one of the most culturally defining apps of the decade. From the brand’s inception in 2010, to its acquisition by Facebook (an unsurprisingly tricky relationship), it includes the journey of what we know about the 21st century influencer. This got me thinking about the evolution of the paid influencer industry and how the pandemic has accelerated its importance in the marketing mix.
‘Influencing’ from home
Like every other industry worldwide, the pandemic meant that influencer marketing had to adapt. So, despite ‘Lockdown 1’ prompting panic among many content creators (would they be able to produce engaging, fresh content from home?) their concerns were proved wrong. The number of active social media users globally grew 10.5%, to almost four billion, thanks to the ‘stay at home’ directive. And with no access to friends, family, or the pub – and lots of furloughs – it is no surprise we turned to our devices and lived vicariously through our Instagram feed.
Like the rest of us, influencers had to adapt to being at home (although perhaps it’s not directly comparable to my ground floor flat in Brixton!). They had to work out how to create engaging and unique content within the confines of the pandemic – and there are only so many loaves of banana bread one person can bake…
And influencers have been created as a result of the pandemic. Take personal trainers, for example. Normally known only in their local gym by a small group of clients, we’ve seen them take to the internet with filmed workouts as a way to grow their businesses in the face of government restrictions. Joe Wicks, initially known for his ‘Lean in 15’ videos, became the face of pandemic fitness. And that’s not to mention the many beauty, food, gaming influencers and more that blew up online by creating content from home.
Simultaneously, consumer brands were facing challenges of their own. With a total absence of IRL experiences, brands needed to find a direct route into their consumers’ new normal. As a result, we saw the rise of more in-home experiences, with countless fresh food delivery services (I’m looking at you Gousto), live-streamed fitness programmes and alcohol masterclasses. Influencers led the conversation, set the trends and we lived vicariously through their daily content. Even Westminster recognised the opportunity and enlisted the help of influencers to promote the NHS Test and Trace app.
Whether influencers were originally used as a source of distraction, inspiration or aspiration, more brands have recognised a renewed value in influencer relationships. It’s one that many in the past have doubted, me included.
Embracing new technology
An exciting new client of ours – LIKEtoKNOW.it (LTK) – has been a pioneer in creator commerce for the last 10 years. As the e-commerce landscape has evolved, LTK’s approach to innovation has focused on developing best-in-class mobile features and browse capabilities to empower creators to sell better and more effectively. It also enables consumers to easily find and connect with the most relevant influencers, brands, trends, or products – to the tune of $9 billion in retail sales. For brands looking to grow their business through authentic and impactful influencers, LTK is the most successful influence tech platform in the world.
And there are new opportunities and technologies emerging daily for influencers, brands and consumers to explore and take advantage of. From live-streaming commerce to interactive shoppable shows, TikTok, Facebook and many other platforms are jumping on the opportunity to capture consumer attention through influencer commerce. And, research estimates show that social commerce and live shopping could present a $2 trillion market globally by 2024. So, watch this space!
A need for deeper understanding and new metrics
I recently attended a talk by Chester Robinson (Tailify) at The Drum’s Creative Transformation Festival. There, he discussed a new approach to influencer marketing: one that doesn’t focus purely on engagement rates or click-through data. Chester argued that these measurements reduce the value of influencers and we should, instead, approach partnerships in a way that “moves away from a centralised model of brand to consumer, to a centralised model of person to person”.
It’s this desire for a personal touch and genuine connection that allows influencers to build a community out of their followers and turn them into shoppers for a brand. According to Chester, four out of ten millennials claim their favourite influencer understands them better than their friends, which speaks volumes when it comes to trust.
With lockdown fuelling both macro trends across social media and niche community channels, it’s no wonder brands are working with influencers to leverage new, creative ways to engage with followers.
The last 18 months have taught us the versatility and power of influencers as a marketing channel. Beyond simple trust and reach targets, influencer marketing can now, more than ever, demonstrate its commercial muscle. Content creators are establishing themselves as a fundamental and standalone component in a brand’s marketing. And honestly? I’m on board.
Integrating chatbots into your brand marketing strategy
Written by Chris Sykes
Chatbots – Word-of-mouth?
Believe it or not, the very first chatbot, ELIZA, was created by Joseph Weizenbaum all the way back in 1966. ELIZA used pattern matching and substitution methodology to simulate conversations and the program was designed in a way that it mimicked human conversation. It’s fair to say that this technology was not widely embraced and ELIZA, although ground-breaking, took its place in the history books.
In more recent years however, chatbots are on the rise. Mainstream technology vendors such as IBM, Microsoft, and Google (as well as a myriad of emerging chatbot start-ups) are now developing conversational AI solutions and tools that leverage Natural Language Processing, Natural Language Understanding and Natural Language Generation.
These companies aim to address three distinct areas when developing conversational AI:
- Call automation – the ability to offer customer service 24/7, 365 days a year, without the need for human contact centre agents.
- Better, more efficient customer service – to make sure customers aren’t kept waiting or become frustrated by being passed from department to department.
- Gathering data – to allow them insights on their customers that are taken from natural language conversations between humans and machines.
The growing adoption of conversational AI and chatbots
Most of the early adopters of chatbots and conversational AI are in those sectors where the benefits are most immediately apparent. Banking, Financial Services, Utilities, Telecommunications, Healthcare and IT – industries that rely heavily on their contact centres.
Now, we’re seeing a plethora of ‘fast followers’ from other sectors join them, creating a growing global chatbot ecosystem. Chatbots are here to stay. And while some experiences conversing with a machine may not always be the best, can’t the same be said of any technology in its early stages? Think of the first mobile phone you ever owned. Chances are it was a brick of a thing, capable of making calls and, if you were lucky, playing a game of snake. Compare that technology with the far more advanced phone you now can’t be without and consider the potential growth for chatbots once more.
Bringing chatbots into the marketing picture
Automating more inbound calls, delivering on-demand customer service, gaining insights into customers – these are the core drivers for businesses who are investing in chatbots. But at what stage in the not-too-distant future do these new brand touchpoints have a direct impact on the perception of the brand they represent? When do the brand guardians and marketing departments step in to influence the tone of the chatbots and in turn gain brand awareness from their ‘conversations’ with consumers?
I have the contentious view that ‘marketing’ as we know it is a dying discipline. The traditional ‘push’ methodology will be flipped to become a ‘pull’ methodology – putting the customer in control of what they engage with, and when, and also how they consume content. Chatbots will play a pivotal role in the evolution of a brand transitioning from ‘push’ to ‘pull’. They’ll be the first and ongoing touchpoint that many people will have with a brand. During this transition, how does a brand align its traditional marketing channels, campaigns, and communications with the business’ ambition to service more customers with chatbots? And how can a business avoid delivering an experience that negatively impacts its brand?
Right now, there is a clear gap between the chatbot development teams and the brand and marketing departments. It’s a very left-brain, right-brain concept, bringing the developers closer to the content creators and brand influencers. As a marketer for over 20 years turned tech company CEO, I can see where an adopter of conversational AI may not currently get the full value from its potential. Already, we’re working with customers such as Accenture, Emirates, Hulu, Nestle, Nokia, Sky and Vodafone, to help them get the full potential out of their conversational AI.
Bridging the gap between chatbot developers and marketing departments
Volume and Eulogy have come together in an industry first partnership to help bridge this gap and allow these adopters to get the most out of their chatbots. Our partnership supports businesses and brands to prepare and develop their conversational AI strategies, and to determine what skills and roles will start to permeate their marketing departments of the future.
What tools will marketers need to understand the performance of, and data gained from, customers’ conversations? How much alignment can be achieved between a business’s operational gains and its customer experience, conversion and retention?
Five things you need to know about the UK media landscape
Written by Shelley George
Navigating the fast-paced and ever-evolving UK media landscape can be challenging for many brands – particularly to those which are foreign to these shores. It’s crucial that you stay on top of ongoing developments, or have an agency that’s tuned in on your behalf. At Eulogy, we have a proven track record of helping international brands make a name for themselves in the UK – from Halo Top, to Headspace, Noom and RewardStyle. Some might even call it our niche.
But what do you need to know about the UK media landscape for your brand to succeed in PR? Account Director, Shelley George, shares five factors that international brands should bear in mind about the shifting UK media landscape:
1. We’re a nation of cynics and sceptics
That means UK journalists are less likely to believe claims that look to be exaggerated, biased or ‘too good to be true’. Robust evidence and credible sources for your stats, particularly if you’re in the health space, are an essential investment. It might be worth forming an expert advisory board for your brand, to add further weight and validity to your claims, product, or service.
2. We love a bit of red tape
Some UK media, particularly broadcast, follow strict rules when it comes to brand mentions. Sounds ideal, doesn’t it? The BBC, for example, strictly limit explicit brand mentions on air, while commercial stations have slightly more freedom. As such, news interviews are not an opportunity to ‘sell’, but more an opportunity to deliver specific messaging on a theme or topic and exchange knowledge or expertise.
If content appears overly branded and promotional (and reads more like an advert), it will be rejected. So a clever, compelling (read: newsworthy) narrative, with subtle but relevant brand mentions, is needed to help us to skirt around the restrictions. Finding this balance is key to success.
3. Our media pool is smaller and the news agenda is narrower
And in many ways, it’s only getting smaller. Because of these limitations, if a big story breaks in the UK – such as a significant development in a global virus, or the untimely death of a celebrity – this will most-likely override the news agenda, limiting opportunities for brands. So, it’s crucial to monitor the news agenda daily and understand what journalists are writing about and when. Journalists receive thousands of pitches per day, so only the most relevant and compelling stories will get cut-through.
4. UK journalists are time-poor and under increasing pressure
Editorial teams across the industry are shrinking, which means that journalists have less time to take phone calls and meet with PRs. The 24/7 news culture also means that they are busier than ever, sometimes covering content across multiple titles. So, it’s our job to tailor our pitches and packages for them, offering plug-in-and-play quick fixes to fill their pages – clearly outlining what, why, when, who, where and how. But, most importantly, ‘So what?’
5. The UK has a unique sense of humour
Despite sharing the English language with 67 countries across the world, humour does not always translate. Brits don’t take themselves too seriously. Our default humour is self-deprecating, and we love to poke fun at ourselves. We also enjoy sarcasm. For example, ‘I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be’ (hint – we can), as well as irony, deadpan humour, satire, and classic understatements. Basically, we’re a delight.
It’s no coincidence that some of the UK’s most successful brands tap into this sense of humour, creating stories and concepts that resonate with the local audiences.
To find out how we can help you support an international brand in the UK, check out our recent creds and showreel at www.eulogy.co.uk, and contact us at [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you, and we’re happy to share a joke or two.
Eulogy and Volume AI join forces to embed conversational AI into brand marketing strategy
Written by James Steward
New global service will unite marketing and customer interactions via chatbots to drive greater return on investment for brands
Post-pandemic landscape presents new opportunity to engage customers through conversational AI
Independent communications agency, Eulogy, has today announced an industry-first partnership with Volume AI, the global pioneer in Conversational AI and Natural Language Processing, to help brands drive greater impact from their marketing and communications.
Volume and Eulogy will work with new and existing clients to help them maximise the opportunity presented by chatbots and conversational AI, through embedding them within the integrated marketing mix to help drive customer loyalty, affinity, and marketing effectiveness.
Consumer preference for digital self-service has exploded during the pandemic and is set to remain a long-term habit. This innovative service will enable brands to realise the opportunity to integrate chatbots into their long-term marketing plans, aligning them seamlessly with their brand positioning, and utilising them as part of an omnichannel approach, to drive effectiveness and return on investment.
Eulogy brings its 25-year heritage in brand building through its integrated communications offer, matched with Volume’s internationally recognised, leading edge AI services, to provide marketers with a new model that is highly responsive to the needs of a changing world.
“Chatbots have the makings of a marketer’s dream: a future where brands can build authentic relationships with their buyers, and buyers can learn to trust brands again.
“To achieve this, a chatbot needs to not only be an extension of a brand but be a positive representative of it. Companies all over the world invest significant time, resources and money building and protecting their brand but are only at the beginning of developing any kind of ‘conversational strategy’. With the technology developing at pace, it will be down to the brand guardians to take the chatbot to the next level and bring it into the heart of the marketing ecosystem” comments Chris Sykes, CEO at Volume.
Adrian Brady, Chairman at Eulogy, adds: “This service will bridge the gap between the technology and the marketers, future-proofing marketing and communications strategy for the post-pandemic world.
“We want to work with brands to create their conversational strategies and to ensure that chatbots aren’t siloed touchpoints that work against mainstream communication channels. Chatbots needn’t be vanilla nor underwhelm or frustrate.”
Volume is already supporting global brands such as Bell, Siemens, Sky, and Vodafone with their conversational AI implementations and is seeing a large-scale increase in demand following the impact of Covid-19 and the requirement for improved digital services.
So far this year, Eulogy has seen increased demand from clients seeking to integrate customer engagement with brand communications objectives. The new offering responds to the rapid development of AI marketing operations on the back of the pandemic, and feeds into the agency’s wider client growth across the tech sector.
Eulogy and Volume are running an online survey to further investigate current perceptions of the union between conversational AI and marketing communications. Take part here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/8JTGH73
For further information contact:
James Steward, Director at Eulogy: [email protected]
Notes to editors
Eulogy is a full-service PR & communications agency that helps brands and businesses make their mark. Our team of expert consultants deliver services right across the marketing mix from brand development and advertising through digital and media relations. With teams working across business services, consumer and corporate communications, its clients include American Express, Virgin Media Business, Headspace, Epic Games, Kantar Worldpanel, and more. More information is available at www.eulogy.co.uk.
Volume is an award-winning and Gartner-recognised leader in Conversational AI supporting global brands across multiple sectors. With three Conversational AI SaaS products in-market, Volume has a unique capability to help businesses at whatever stage they are in their Conversational AI journey from scoping, implementation through to post deployment optimisation.
Volume is a Microsoft AI Partner and its customers include Accenture, Bell Canada, Emirates, Hulu, Nestle, NetApp, Nokia, Providence Health, Sky & Vodafone.
Influencer marketing for B2B – why it works, and how to get started
Written by Giulietta Avenia
When most people think of influencer marketing, they’re thinking of it as a B2C strategy. Instagram accounts with millions of followers, Youtuber creators whose videos get thousands of views within minutes of going live, these kinds of lifestyle influencers can help raise awareness, increase sales, and lend credibility by association.
Influencer marketing can have the exact same impact when used for B2B.
There is often a long cycle of education and research involved before any purchase in the B2B buyer journey. Thanks to podcasts, mailing lists, webinars, livestreams, and social platforms, B2B decision makers are better informed than ever before. Rather than trying to cut through all that noise, savvy marketers are instead opting to utilise it, putting themselves where they know their audience will see.
Working with influencers is new territory for many B2B brands, but the guiding principles are the same as traditional influencer marketing.
Think of who you follow on LinkedIn, the posts you always read, the newsletters you always check – the people creating that content are likely influencers in your industry. If you’ve ever signed up to a webinar or listened to a business podcast purely for who was speaking, that person is a good candidate to use in B2B influencer marketing.
No matter what industry you work in, there are people making waves and building a following that you could potentially use in your marketing strategy.
Why B2B influencer marketing works
B2B influencer marketing works thanks to the fact that these thought leaders, CEOs, and disruptors have proven they know what they’re talking about by building successful businesses and brands.
But it isn’t the brands people are interested in, it’s the people that built them. More people follow Bill Gates on LinkedIn than Microsoft.
And in this Ceros survey, 95% of respondents said that credible content from industry influencers was their top preference of content.
Prospects respond to B2B influencers because they offer:
- A unique point of view, an original thought leadership angle
- Tried and tested methods of success
- Wide-ranging and valuable networks
The campaigns allow for a wide reach while also leveraging the credibility of the influencer. Influencer marketing of this type provides the audience with insights from a source they already trust, meaning that potential buyers will be more receptive to your messaging.
How to start a B2B influencer marketing strategy
Decide what action you want your influencer strategy to drive
First, consider what outcome you want from any influencer activity. Are you a start-up looking for awareness? Website traffic? Direct sales?
This should help shape the kind of content you and the influencer will create together. A long-form discussion podcast would be great for thought leadership, but might not drive sales.
Similarly, the desired outcome should impact which influencers you go after. An industry leader with half a million followers might not be as useful as someone who works in the exact niche you’re targeting.
Decide which influencers to work with
As with B2C influencer marketing, it’s not always about who has the most followers. Consider why these influencers are followed, who their audience is, and whether they’re the right fit for your brand in terms of style and tone.
Any influencer campaign should be mutually beneficial for both parties, so taking the time to make sure you have the right influencers on your shortlist pays dividends in the long-run.
How do you find these influencers? Begin by immersing yourself in your industry. Search it on YouTube, Spotify, and LinkedIn, see who is posting about it and regularly gets high levels of engagement. Who encourages discussion? Find out whose opinion matters on the big topics that are going on within your industry.
Once you’ve found some potential influencers to work with, it’s time to check them over. See what they post about, how regularly they post, and how much engagement they get. Do they talk about topics that resonate with your brand purpose?
Remember, to work with a good influencer, you’ll need more than money. You’ll need to work in the same industry, to have similar ideas, styles, and tones, and to offer a genuine creative partnership, one that ultimately results in good, useful, and interesting content for both their and your audience. It’s more of a business relationship than a simple transaction.
Analyse and maintain campaigns over the long-term
Once you’ve launched a B2B influencer marketing campaign, it’s important to monitor activity to see exactly what benefits you’re getting from it. If you’re aiming for increased awareness, how many impressions are the posts getting? If you’re aiming for website traffic, how many users are travelling from the posts to your site? There are a variety of social listening and analytics tools that can help you make sure your influencer campaign is driving the right impact.
Only 19% of B2B marketers that utilise influencers are running ongoing campaigns. This is a huge missed opportunity, as B2B purchase decisions can often take months of research and deliberation. You want your brand and content to be top of mind, and ongoing influencer activity is one of the best to achieve that.
On top of this, once you’ve built a good working relationship, both parties can stand to gain from ongoing work. The brand gains the compounding benefit of repeated exposure to the influencer’s audience, and the influencer gains a steady pipeline of content relevant to their followers.
Ditching the one-off campaign model and switching to a more long-term focused approach can help B2B marketers create a consistent drumbeat of content that reliably converts.
However, 60% of B2B marketers say that they don’t have the knowledge in-house to execute a successful B2B influencer campaign. If you’re looking to grow your awareness, bring in more leads, and ultimately drive more businesses, get in touch with us today to launch a B2B influencer campaign.
Read more of our advice on creativity in marketing, or find out how Walmart is turning its own employees into influencers.
Crash course on PR and digital marketing jargon
Written by Kevan Barber
If you’ve started a new business, chances are you’re thinking about your brand’s digital marketing strategy. Maybe you’re thinking about getting the word out through a PR campaign. To comment on ‘hooks’, get seen by potential investors, or build your core audience.
At Eulogy, we do this for our clients every day. But If you’re researching how to do this yourself, or looking at pitch decks and case studies from PR agencies, you might come across a lot of terms you don’t understand, words you thought you understood but seem to mean different things when talking about PR, and a lot of abbreviations and initialisms that could mean anything.
Throughout the PR and comms industry, a new language has emerged to describe the work we do. This can be confusing and alienating if you’ve never set foot in the world of digital marketing. To help you navigate this, we’ve looked at some of the key words flying around our industry (as well as a few here at Eulogy) and offered our own common English translations, in our crash course to PR and marketing jargon.
Guide to PR and marketing Buzzwords
Humaning / Humanising
The process of making something more human, more relatable and more appealing to consumers.
Humaning refers to the process of removing marketing speak from your comms to engage with your audience, and using normal, everyday language that people can immediately understand and relate to.
A blend of real world and digital experiences.
Something we’ve all become far too accustomed to in the past year is technology bridging the physical and digital worlds. In the desire for physical and interactive experiences, we’ve developed a hybrid world that offers us even more touch points with our favourite brands. From digital in-store experiences to online physical experiences, the lines are blurred and there are less boundaries than ever before as to how we can interact with brands and products.
Short, bite-sized videos or articles that can be watched, read or digested, within seconds.
With the rise of TikTok and other social media platforms designed for snackable content, we’re now on a race to grab audience attention. Most content made for social audiences should be between 5 to 15 seconds long.
Shifting a marketing or comms strategy to a new approach.
A particular favourite during the pandemic, retailers pivoted to ecommerce or brands pivoted to purpose-led strategies. Loved and loathed by marketing experts in equal measure, the word ‘pivot’ is all about changing direction, usually quickly and with precision, in order to focus on something that will reduce losses, make more money or enhance the brand perception in comparison to a competitor.
As it says on the tin, multiexperience is a collection of experiences, sometimes in different formats or on different platforms.
This takes us back to phygital experiences where brands are bidding to keep consumers on the hook by hitting them with multiple experiences via multiple touchpoints. Audiences may see an ad from a brand online, then read a PR story in print, and then go to a pop up experience for a free sample.
Mass channel marketing that utilises a variety of platforms to offer a seamless experience for the user, relating to a single message.
While this phrase may sound ominous, it’s really referring to marketing across many different channels. Translating the brand experience from in-store to online, across social platforms, and sometimes even into customers’ DMs, inboxes or text messages. While it might sound tricky to pull off, it’s a genius way for marketers to engage with consumers on their preferred channel to grow a loyal and engaged audience.
We’re all guilty of dipping into the PR lingo from time to time. Here’s a few terms from our own pitch decks and impact reports – and what they really mean.
The potential number of people who saw a piece of coverage or activity.
We should call it ‘potential number of individuals who regularly visit this website or pick up this paper’, but it’s not as catchy. Sometimes referred to as ‘opportunities to be seen’, reach refers to a publication’s digital or print readership.
Reach doesn’t necessarily translate to mass-viewing. For example, the Mail Online has more than 300 million monthly visitors.
Monthly unique users – the number of individuals that visit a digital publication each month.
Again, this does not translate to how many people may have actually read one specific article, but instead gives an idea of how many potential views it may have generated.
Earned vs. owned
Earned reflects coverage generated by engaging journalists from media publications. It’s really the new word for media relations which generates ‘press’ coverage. It’s earned through your relationship (or your agency’s) relationship with journalists and media publications.
Owned content includes blogs, thought leadership, or report collateral, developed to sit on your own company’s website or social channels.
There is huge value in both types of content. A business promoting its own content is much more likely to have a social presence and customer awareness than one that doesn’t. Earned coverage provides a different credibility, putting your business’ voice to a key debate, a theme or subject that journalists are writing on, or generating wider awareness.
Organic vs. paid
Organic is any content that is performing without paid (money) support. Paid refers to any activity that relies on payment, such as digital ads or sponsored content. It’s called ‘organic’ because it – in theory – happens naturally without the need to pay for the attention is attracts.
Organic content is particularly prevalent within influencer marketing, referring to influencers that may have shared a brand or product without being paid to do so. This brings us onto paid partnerships, either with influencers or media publications. Often some investment is necessary to get your brand seen and heard, whether with sponsored articles or social content. However, organic content tends to drive higher brand engagement, as the recommendation or brand mention appears more authentic (genuine) to the viewer.
Organic content created by users.
This is typically social content developed by product or brand users. Acting as a client testimonial, brand fans developing their own content either with or featuring your product helps to convince others to invest. Retailers have excelled at this, adding ‘as seen on’ features to product listings to give prospective buyers the opportunity to see how others have styled a product. Similarly, brands have developed snapchat filters or their own TikTok challenges to drive consumer engagement and awareness of the brand.
Lead generation is the strategy and process of garnering potential leads for a business. These days, lead generation is usually run as a LinkedIn campaign, in the form of sponsoring content (paying for ads, or creative ideas) that are then served (shown) to a specified target group of people.
The result of this lead generation activity will be MQLs and then SQLs. A Marketing Qualified Lead translates to a person who is happy to receive your brand communications and a Sales Qualified Lead is a person who may be interested in becoming a paying client for your services. These campaigns are invaluable for building out your database of contacts, and fuelling that marketing funnel, driving new business and avenues of revenue.
CPL stands for cost per lead, which is how much each lead brought in from a lead gen campaign costs.
The benchmarks for CPLs vary from industry to industry, and from platform to platform, but provide a valuable foundation from which to start judging your lead gen campaigns.
The general level of recognition of a brand, business or product has amongst consumers.
We all want greater awareness of our services and products, but what does an awareness campaign look like and achieve? Typically, an awareness campaign is implemented to warm up an audience before hitting them with a follow up campaign, from which the goal is to drive an action later down the line. This may be downloading a report, providing their personal details for lead generation, or purchasing a product, but first you just need them to know who you are. You can’t have one without the other.
Whenever a post or ad appears on a screen for a user, that’s an impression.
Impressions are most useful when aiming for overall awareness, as they don’t track engagements or clicks, just views.
CPM stands for Cost per mile, and represents the cost of 1,000 impressions on a web page.
If a website charges £1 per CPM, that’s £1 per 1,000 impressions. Again, this metric is useful during awareness campaigns, if you want to get your brand seen by millions of people, you want to ads or sponsored content on platforms that can offer lots of impressions for a low CPM.
CTR stands for Click through rate, which is the ratio of clicks compared to the number of impressions a post or email gets.
If your post has 100 impressions, and 50 clicks on a link that leads to a website, it has a CTR of 50%. The higher your CTR, the better.
While some of these terms may sound confusing at first, the metrics and actions they refer to are important areas to measure, some of which can have a big impact on how your business is performing.
At Eulogy, we’re not big fans of jargon and buzzwords. But we are fans of making things as simple as possible, and helping our clients be known for what matters, and to understand what impact their marketing is having.
Eulogy wins global leader in data science
Global data science consultancy Ekimetrics has appointed independent PR and comms agency Eulogy to support its UK marketing strategy and growth plans.
Eulogy will be working closely with the London Ekimetrics team as it builds out its UK presence, delivering digital marketing services to leverage opportunities during the current uncertainty, while also aiding its longer-term growth strategy.
Ekimetrics is a pioneering data science consultancy, enabling companies to build powerful data and analytics capabilities to drive marketing and business performance. Recently named a strong performer in the 2020 Forrester Wave report for its marketing measurement and optimisation solutions, Ekimetrics helps brands unlock unique audience and market insights to drive efficiencies and return on investment.
With five global offices, 280+ data science consultants and projects in 50+ countries, Ekimetrics’ data and analytics capabilities span multiple industries including automotive, luxury, FMCG and retail.
Eulogy has been brought on board to develop and deliver Ekimetrics’ UK marketing strategy, to broaden awareness of the brand and support its client expansion plans, activated through a series of campaigns targeted at critical growth sectors for the business.
Matt Andrew, UK MD, Ekimetrics, said: “Eulogy has a strong understanding of our market, alongside the results-driven mindset to realise what we need to achieve in the UK. I’m looking forward to working with the very fun and talented team at Eulogy as they help us navigate the challenges ahead. It’s a difficult time for many businesses, but with their expertise I am sure we will see growth for our business.”
Phil Borge-Slavnich, MD, Eulogy, adds: “Our job is to creatively articulate the value Ekimetrics brings to those businesses looking to better understand and engage with their audiences through this COVID-19 crisis and beyond. They’re a super smart bunch of people, and we’re chuffed to be working with them.”
As businesses re-evaluate their communications strategies amidst the current uncertainty, Eulogy has released its latest tech trends report, revealing how tech businesses can manage change and protect their reputation, with fresh insight into the COVID-19 climate from tech industry leaders across the globe, including MIT Tech Review, MINI UK and Tech Nation.
Creativity in marketing and comms in 2021
Brands and marketing agencies had to work harder than ever before in 2020. With more pressure to perform, and less resources with which to deliver, teams had to find a message that resonated, and say it in a way no one else had.
Those that succeeded did so thanks to one reason: creativity. Of course, creativity is an over-used buzzword, ubiquitous in the industry, which everyone talks about but rarely achieves. True creativity means breaking away from playing it safe, and we hope to see more of this in marketing campaigns in 2021.
Why brands should focus on creativity this year:
Marketing is an industry which inherently relies on trends. Marketers rely on them, capitalise on them, and even go to great lengths to create them.
In 2021, creativity will be even more important to marketing, as it will help brands stand out, gain new audiences, and capture our attention when the world begins to bounce back.
But we shouldn’t be slaves to trends. Given how much of our time is spent seeing ads and marketing campaigns, we have no patience for bland copies and rip-offs. Creativity is the best way to capture attention, get people talking, and ultimately convert audiences. Here are some of marketing trends we expect to see in marketing this year, and how brands can engage with them creatively to get noticed.
Marketing trends in 2021:
Brands backing culture
Amazon’s Christmas ad kicked off this trend of brands backing culture in earnest. As the future of venues becomes increasingly grim, it’s time for creative solutions that take long term brand sponsorships of the arts and turn them into opportunities for real action to prevent the destruction of our cultural institutions and icons.
And it’s not just that affinity between creative communications and creative arts that makes this a priority for 2021. Our own work with our client Headspace has highlighted to the team the benefits of being present, grounded in the moment and aware of our thoughts on our mental wellbeing: exactly what cultural events allow us to do. And has there ever been a time when we’ve needed the chance to enjoy music, art, theatre, and film in-person more?
With so much of the sector in need of support, and brands already putting briefs to agencies, it’s going to be interesting to see how brand-first partnerships will truly support the arts for when we can all safely venture out and start enjoying them again.
Brands getting stuck in 2020
It’s common to hear about media fatigue when planning for clients. As marketing professionals, we’re all exposed to the same ideas, the same industry standards, and the same modes of thinking that we often take for granted.
That’s why it’s crucial to review our own ideas through a critical lens. We should all take a second to ask how many times a journalist will have had a similar pitch or message from another brand when it comes to securing media coverage. Applying this to consumers is going to be more important than ever in 2021, as it will be all too easy to rest on tired slogans about 2020, as we’re already seeing.
How many of us looked at this recently launched Pepsi ad and thought ‘give us a break’?
Pepsi of course has a poor track record of engaging with news, for most people their infamous Kendall Jenner advert is the first thing that comes to mind when mentioning the brand. Even though that ad came out years ago, it’s still being referenced: there were tweets calling for her to bring a Pepsi to the recent storming of the US Capitol building.
The real danger, moving into 2021, is that campaigns are tired before they’ve been launched. Pedalling the same lines and ideas that seemed witty in the summer of 2020 isn’t going to cut it. This year will demand that brands are agile, ensuring they keep on top of consumer sentiment, and have a clear and interesting take on what’s happening. Hopefully, we’ll see more nuanced campaigns that engage an audience on a less clichéd level.
In a way it’s a matter of bravery for brands. For some, 2020 will have increased anxiety for getting the tone wrong, and lead to generic and tired jokes. For others it’s an opportunity to rock the boat, connect with your audience whist making light of how others might have tackled a weird year. That doesn’t mean being offensive, it’s just having the bravery to insert some humour and reap the benefits. Here’s to a much funnier year ahead.
Brands go bold
Adversity breeds innovation, and so the looming possibility of a poorly distributed vaccine and economic fallout from Brexit shouldn’t scare creatives into hiding. As the recession of 2008 showed, brands that are brave with bold marketing campaigns can grow rapidly.
Not only that, 2021 might see brands harness the true power of 5G, in turn providing creatives with a platform to create new types of work we’ve yet to see. And, fortunately, fewer 5G bodge jobs – looking at you EE and Rita Ora (click at your own peril).
When it comes to the proliferation of 5G beyond the device manufacturers and networks themselves it could be a big year for brands that are, for example, Olympic sponsors. Big brands with big marketing budgets like Coca-Cola, Airbnb, and Samsung could see 5G and creativity really take the next step.
Earned ideas earn their keep
There’s no doubt that if you want earned media in 2021, you’ll have to get creative. Whether you’re trying to try to increase your audience, improve your SEO, or increase your social following, earned media has multiple benefits, but with more brands than ever trying to get it, it’s harder than ever to actually earn. That means you’re going to have to try harder, aiming higher, and think bigger.
With marketing budgets expected to go further, it’s a wider trend that we’re seeing from all brands and agencies. Earned media is also a chance to bring back the sort of light relief so many of the best PR activations can bring. Take the recent PS5 launch, emulating the 2013 campaign that transformed the OXO Tower by applying the same principle to Oxford Circus Underground Station’s emblems seven years on.
After years of earned ideas moving towards a higher purpose, and helping brands show how they care, we’re set for a smattering of classic PR escapism. That’s not to say that campaigns that battle the climate emergency or continue the drive for diversity will drop away from the agenda, both can live side by side.
2021’s poised to be an exciting year to be working in creative communications, a year that, with any luck, will provide more opportunities than restrictions. Good riddance to you 2020.
Kevan Barber, Creative Lead