Volume 10 (2022-23)

Each volume of Journal of Digital & Social Media Marketing consists of four 100-page issues in both print and online. Articles scheduled for Volume 10 are available to view on the 'Forthcoming content' page.

The articles published in Volume 10 are listed below.

Volume 10 Number 2

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett, Publisher, Journal of Digital Social Media Marketing
  • How to unlock the maximum return on social content
    Michelle Dougenik, Content Strategy and Development Manager, Ocean Spray Cranberries

    In today’s digital world, brands require timely ingenuity in order to thrive. Consumers demand continuous content, entertainment and information, when and where they want it. They rule the social media landscape and dictate how brands conform to it. This paper examines how consumers’ behaviours have changed over the years and in turn, driven changes in the social space and how brands must play within it. It also shares the story behind how one consumer packaged goods brand — Ocean Spray Cranberries — unlocked the key to efficient and effective social media content.
    Keywords: social content, social media marketing, social media strategy, creative development, effective social media content, efficient social media content, channel differentiation, maximising content lifespan

  • App-usage data and geo-tracking: How to address consumers at the right moment based on behaviour and geo-location
    Joerg Schudrowitz, Social Media Lead — Central Europe, BSH Hausgeräte

    This paper describes a novel approach for predicting customer needs based on consumer behaviour patterns. The process entails the creation of lookalike audiences based on a combination of consumer data obtained from digital prospect-reading apps and geo-data from smartphones to inform the placement of advertisements across diverse marketing platforms. Advertisement campaigns based on actual behaviour allow targeted customer groups to be reached at the start of the consumer journey — and sometimes even earlier. Data can thus be used to drive consumers to the nearest relevant store and to obtain precise measurements of campaign impact. While this study uses the example of a campaign advertising domestic appliances, the method provides a basis for the precise targeting of customers that can be used in any marketing campaign that aims to drive specific consumers into stores.
    Keywords: Keywords: consumer journey, customer targeting, digital media, app-usage data, digital marketing, geo-data

  • Optimising content beyond the checklist: Leveraging Google’s expertise–authoritativeness trustworthiness principle for search engine optimisation
    Lisa Fellinger, SEO Team Lead and Despina Fronimaki, Senior SEO Manager, The Boutique Agency

    Since 2019, Google’s algorithm has increasingly focused on content. For some websites, this has resulted in fluctuations in organic visibility following algorithm updates, with some reportedly losing as much as 80 per cent of their organic visibility. This serves to underscore the fundamental importance of content quality. This paper examines the importance of Google’s ‘expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness’ principle, and presents some of the levers for optimising according to it.
    Keywords: SEO content, content optimisation, content creation, page quality rating, E-A-T, YMYL, core updates

  • Time for marketing to embrace reinforcement learning
    Laura Murphy, Chief Executive Officer, Amplify Analytix, et al.

    Since COVID-19 upended the world, marketers can no longer rely on historical data to inform their decisions. Channel splits have changed and online conversations have exploded. Marketing budgets have decreased as a percentage of revenue, meaning marketing funds must be used more effectively and efficiently than ever. Fortunately, the relatively new application of reinforcement learning — a data science approach — in marketing offers additional opportunities to gain competitive advantage using artificial intelligence. Unlike other types of machine learning, reinforcement learning uses algorithms that do not typically rely only on historical data sets, to learn to make predictions. Rather, these algorithms learn as humans often do, through trial and error, adjusting their ‘behaviour’ based on the outcomes of their actions. While the algorithms and computations behind reinforcement learning can be complex and sophisticated, its ability to deal with real-time decision making makes it an attractive option for marketers. This paper shows that with the right ‘business translator’ — that is, a person or team operating as the ‘glue’ between data science and business performance — sophisticated data science becomes accessible to commercial teams looking to drive performance improvements.
    Keywords: reinforcement learning, data science, marketing analytics, change management, artificial intelligence, digital marketing

  • Adapting Hollywood acting techniques to engage audiences
    Kevin Doherty, Manager, Marketing Communications, Vyond

    This paper shows how the principles of storytelling that actors use to craft compelling, believable performances lend themselves perfectly to the discipline of marketing. Drawing on the scene study exercise — an activity common to acting conservatories the world over — the paper shows how marketers can deepen their understanding of human behaviour and motivation. With this enriched sense of empathy, they can then go out in the world to craft more meaningful stories that drive action. This paper sets a framework for developing the skills necessary for human-centred storytelling. It starts by examining theories of human cognition to explain why storytelling is so effective. It then provides a vocabulary for human-centred stories, borrowed from the author’s work as an actor in Hollywood. Throughout, the paper makes direct and practical connections between the crafts of acting and marketing, highlighting concepts that marketers of all disciplines can consider for their content and campaigns.
    Keywords: content creation, acting, film, television, video marketing, psychology, storytelling

  • The how and why of executive social media activation
    Patrick Casey Hall, President and Chief Consultant, Lumberjack Social Media

    Social media platforms provide a unique opportunity for modern executives to lead conversations in their industries, improve employee engagement and support the marketing and communications goals of their companies. Unfortunately, this opportunity goes unrealised when executives and the communications teams that support them are not prepared to engage in these channels. Within most companies, technical social media expertise tends to be localised within marketing teams that may not have the capacity to fully support executive social media activation. Executive communications teams are better prepared to develop executive messaging but often lack sufficient experience with enterprise social media to support executive social media messaging effectively. This paper shows that once an executive and their communications team understand the basic functions and cultures of social media platforms, developing a strategy for executive social media communications can be an integrated part of their overall executive communications plan.
    Keywords: social media, executive social media communications, employee advocacy, social media marketing

  • ‘Scandal’, wine and shopping: The social customer journey for the Camille 23-oz. wine glass
    Morgan Bryant Reeder, Assistant Professor of Marketing, Ervian K. Haub School of Business, Saint Joseph’s University, Janée N. Burkhalter, Associate Provost for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Saint Joseph’s University and Natalie T. Wood, Associate Dean, Ervian K. Haub School of Business, Saint Joseph’s University

    This paper explores social commerce and the customer journey within an entertainment-based brand community. With a focus on the television programme ‘Scandal’, the study refers to Twitter posts and product reviews to explore the sensation surrounding Crate & Barrel’s Camille 23-oz. long-stem wine glass. Using social identity theory as a lens, the study finds that customers are influenced by ‘travelling companions’ who are also part of the same brand community as they move through the consumer journey. Positive community associations, reinforced by a key aspirational programme character, stay with consumers’ product perception throughout their journey, and may help mitigate negative product experiences and increase consumer post-purchase satisfaction.
    Keywords: brand community, television, social media, social commerce, social customer journey, social identity theory

  • The cultivation of brand knowledge and purchase intention among brand followers on social media
    Yujie Wei, Professor of Marketing, Richard College of Business, University of West Georgia

    Social media marketers use various narrative methods to attract and engage followers. Unfortunately, however, the extent to which such marketing impacts on consumer brand perception and behaviour is difficult to measure, and the social media marketing literature offers little in the way of guidance. This study draws on the cultivation theory to investigate how following a brand on social media (specifically, Twitter) for three months can increase brand knowledge and influence purchase intentions. The findings indicate that brand followers can learn brand knowledge from stable, pervasive and regular tweets on Twitter, and this in turn has a positive impact on purchase intentions. The impact on purchase intentions, however, is moderated by brand type (hedonic or utilitarian) and consumer age. Thus, when formulating social media marketing campaigns to optimise purchase intentions among consumers of both hedonic and utilitarian brands, marketers must adapt their content strategies in line with their followers’ needs for brand knowledge, and tailor the experience to meet the needs of different age groups.
    Keywords: cultivation theory, brand following, brand knowledge, purchase intentions, Twitter

Volume 10 Number 1

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett, Publisher, Journal of Digital Social Media Marketing
  • Practice paper
    Why COVID-19 disruptions to shopping behaviours underscore the need for a coordinated, cross-functional conversion rate optimisation strategy
    Sarah Bond, Vice President of Marketing, Lucky Orange

    As consumers shifted consumption patterns to online avenues in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses increasingly looked for ways to grab their attention and convert traffic into sales and leads. This paper analyses how studying website visitor behaviour through the practice of conversion rate optimisation (CRO) and its associated tools allows teams to find opportunities to optimise user experience to grow conversions. Although traditionally an initiative led by marketing teams, the practice of CRO can help teams from user experience, sales, customer service, product and development improve their understanding of target audiences and how to connect with them online.
    Keywords: martech; marketing technology; conversion rate optimisation; CRO; marketing analytics; website optimisation; website analytics; website heatmaps

  • Case study
    How Bang & Olufsen moved from the darkness to the light with influencer marketing
    Alexei Edwards, Senior Manager of Global Brand and Editorial Marketing, Bang & Olufsen

    Bang & Olufsen has been working with influencers for a relatively long time, although it is only in recent years that this has been done with any degree of maturity. The journey toward change commenced in mid-2019 when the company scrutinised how influencer marketing was being approached across the business. One of the initial observations was that the data trail was very limited, which made it impossible to quantify the value, if any, it was having on the business. In response to this discovery, the organisation formalised a workflow to tighten its influencer marketing efforts. Since then, Bang & Olufsen has taken a far more effective approach to working with influencers across local markets, developing guidelines as well as more stringent review and reporting processes. This has been designed with the intention to test, learn and evolve. This paper discusses this journey, outlining some of the key learnings acquired along the way.
    Keywords: Keywords: influencer marketing; social media; best practices; case studies; operations; global management; content marketing

  • Practice paper
    The role of brands in online safety: Don’t trust Google to sort it out for you
    Imran Ahmed, Chief Executive Officer, Marlene Obst, Research Officer and Rachel Rose, Digital Marketing Executive, Center for Countering Digital Hate

    Programmatic advertising revenue is one of the main sources of funding for misinformation and hate actors online. It is also one of the key reasons why big tech platforms often fail to act on misinformation. Programmatic advertising, however, is invisible to the consumer, and mistakes in the placement of advertising can have a lasting impact on a brand’s reputation. As it is already becoming increasingly difficult for brands to convince consumers that they are unaware of participating in a system that enables the funding of online misinformation and hate, this paper argues that brands must take more responsibility for the placement of their advertising to ensure that they do not inadvertently fund — and thus become associated with — malicious content.
    Keywords: brand safety; programmatic advertising; online safety; ethical advertising; misinformation; algorithm transparency; content monetisation

  • Case Studies
    Beautiful failure: A case study on #EqualityActJapan and a lesson in failing well on social media
    Amanda Alampi, Acting Director/Deputy Director of Campaigns and Public Engagement and Ziva Luddy Juneja, Digital Campaigner, Human Rights Watch

    Together with Athlete Ally, All Out and over 100 LGBT organisations in the Japan Alliance for LGBT Legislation, Human Rights Watch created the #EqualityActJapan campaign, calling for the first LGBT equality bill in Japan. Sadly, although this global digital campaign was impeccably delivered, exceeding key performance indicators such as cost efficiency, engagement, reach and total petitions delivered to political targets, the bill was never introduced. This paper discusses what happens when a campaign meets all of its digital campaigning key performance indicators but not its policy or legislative objective, providing a case study in how to fail well on social media. The lessons learned from this experience are crucial to apply to future digital campaigns.
    Keywords: advertising; social media; nonprofit; digital marketing; campaigns; LGBT

  • The elusive omni-channel advantage: How to make the complex simple using scalable technology
    Christopher Cummings, Principal Product Manager, Precisely

    Omni-channel customer experience is re-emerging as a top business priority. With consumers now using so many different digital channels, businesses are struggling to keep pace with their customers’ demands to engage on their preferred channels. This paper details how Security First Insurance uses scalable technology to differentiate itself in the market and communicate with customers in a timely, relevant manner. The paper defines a typical customer journey, outlines where and why businesses may lose customers, and explains how to harness the power of data, describing the technology required to transform the customer experience.
    Keywords: omni-channel; martech; customer experience; scalable technology; insurance

  • Practice papers
    How to pivot to a first-party data marketing strategy
    Jascha Kaykas-Wolff, President, Lytics

    In June 2021, Google sent shockwaves through the marketing and paid digital advertising world when it announced its plans to protect user privacy and consumer data by removing third-party cookies from its Chrome web browser by 2023. This paper describes what the road to a first-party data marketing strategy looks like: where to start, what your priorities should be, what you will need to know to succeed, and what success will look like when you get there.
    Keywords: first-party data; third-party cookies; consumer privacy; GDPR; Google Topics; martech; customer data platform (CDP)

  • How behavioural science can improve influencer marketing campaigns
    Alan Gray, Senior Research Psychologist, Tailify

    Businesses are set to invest unprecedented sums in influencer marketing, but the problem of which influencers to select remains front and centre. Successful influencer marketing relies on the strength of the relationship between the viewer and the influencer. Behavioural science can provide insight into how these relationships are developed and maintained, and marketers can apply this knowledge to appreciate better which influencers to select and how to run their campaigns. This paper draws on the psychological literature of relationship development to suggest two key ways influencers can drive trust to achieve high performance. The paper stresses the importance of contextual factors when deploying each driver of influence and provides examples of how behavioural science may be used to conduct campaigns that deliver a positive return on investment.
    Keywords: psychology; influencer marketing; social media marketing; persuasion; trust

  • Revealing consumer insights through visual analysis of social media images
    Alina Hura, Marketing Manager, YouScan

    By analysing visual content on social media, marketing professionals can gain a deeper understanding of their audience than via traditional methods of market research, such as surveys. This paper outlines the unique advantages of visual analysis of online images and highlights eight case studies from the social media listening platform that demonstrate these benefits. It concludes with a forecast of possible future directions for visual analysis in marketing.
    Keywords: social media; visual analysis; social media images; consumer insights; marketing strategy; social media monitoring

  • Feel-good marketing: Understanding autonomous sensory meridian response and its online audience
    Arianne Adams, Lecturer, College of Business, Clayton State University

    With autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) technologies being increasingly adopted to target audiences aged 18–25 years old — consumers with significant current and future buying power — there is an opportunity for marketers to incorporate such technology into their marketing strategies in order to showcase their brands and products from a sensory perspective, and evoke pleasurable sensory responses among their customers. By utilising ASMR in this manner, marketers can create stimuli that induce pleasant feelings, build brand favourability and subconsciously embed brand messages in the minds of potential customers. This paper identifies useful strategies for incorporating ASMR technologies in a relatively simple and cost-effective manner. It explores tactics such as non-disruptive advertising on popular ASMR channels, partnerships with popular ASMR influencers, providing products for video shoots, and embedding ASMR triggers in commercial advertisements to impact audiences at a subconscious level.
    Keywords: autonomous sensory meridian response; ASMR; Generation Z; video advertising; YouTube; Instagram

  • Research paper
    How Portuguese adolescents relate to influencers and brands on TikTok
    Patrícia Dias, Assistant Professor, Universidade Católica Portuguesa and Alexandre Duarte, Professor, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa

    This paper explores the dynamics between influencers, brands and followers on TikTok, with a focus on the Portuguese context. The paper draws on data obtained from an online survey of 347 TikTok users and in-depth interviews with five Portuguese TikTok influencers. With respect to the survey, most of the respondents admitted to following influencers and being influenced by them, but only about half of the sample identified as content producers. The paper finds that TikTok influencers strive to benefit brands by providing visibility and trust, and in turn boosting sales, while being good role models to their followers, with whom they form a reciprocal parasocial relationship. For this reason, they endeavour to be transparent about their partnerships with brands.
    Keywords: TikTok; influencers; user-generated content; UGC; brands; digital practices; advertising literacy