Volume 8 (2020-21)

Each volume of Journal of Digital & Social Media Marketing consists of four 100-page issues in both print and online. Articles scheduled to be published in Volume 8 are available to view on the 'Forthcoming content' page. The articles published in Volume 8 so far are listed below.

Volume 8 Number 2

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett
  • Case studies:
    How understanding audiences can drive organic growth and increased engagement
    Meredith Bausback, Director of Marketing and Audience Development, Golf Digest

    This article describes how analysing audiences effectively can lead to organic growth. It provides an overview of the ever-changing media landscape and offers suggestions as to how brands can combat the uncontrollable algorithm changes in social media and search. The article outlines a five-step process that can be applied to any brand strategy or distribution channel. It will discuss the importance of all users and how audiences are not all created equal. Finally, the article will provide a case study and show how Golf Digest put the five-step process into practice, resulting in double-digit growth online.
    Keywords: audience development, onsite organic growth, engaged audiences

  • The shortest distance between two people is a story: Storytelling best practices in digital and social media marketing
    Jason Carlton, Marketing Manager, Intermountain Healthcare

    A well-told story engages people in experiences that are shared, even if the story is simply being recounted by a third-party. Simply put, stories bring people together. This article draws on the author’s experience of having his heart kick-started to illustrate how, as marketers, the ability to tell meaningful and captivating stories can make the difference between success and failure.
    Keywords: storytelling, marketing, healthcare, people, stories

  • Serena, Inc.: Using Instagram to build brand equity after a crisis
    Frauke Hachtmann, Professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, College of Journalism and Mass Communications

    Serena Williams is one of the most successful athletes of all time. In addition to dominating the professional tennis circuit for decades, she has also built a massive business empire while becoming a first-time mother and wife. During this time of transition, Williams experienced a significant crisis moment during the 2018 US Open. Williams did not publicly acknowledge or apologise for the crisis and instead focused on a new sense of direction after living through the experience, much of which is documented and promoted on her Instagram account. This exploratory case study focuses on Serena Williams’s use of Instagram as a crisis communication strategy to repair her reputation and protect the value of her brand. The study centres on reputation repair in post-crisis communication, in particular on the rhetoric of renewal, which concentrates on the positive view of an organisation’s future instead of ongoing discussions about crisis and responsibility. An analysis of 421 of Williams’s Instagram posts over a two-year time span revealed that Williams used Instagram primarily to share private family moments, remind audiences about her legacy, and to build a business empire. The six themes that emerged suggest useful lessons for practitioners looking to use Instagram not only to mitigate a crisis but to build brand equity at the same time.
    Keywords: Instagram, crisis communication, brand equity, reputation management

  • Practice paper:
    An accessibility primer for digital communications
    Jennifer LoCascio Gauvreau, Director Consulting — Delivery, CGI Federal

    As the world becomes increasingly digital, effective digital marketing and communications must consider the needs of people with diverse abilities and communication needs. Individuals and organisations have a responsibility to make mindful decisions when designing and developing new digital content, including instead of excluding others. This article encourages readers to examine their digital communications through the lens of different user perspectives to develop an understanding of (and ideally an interest in) how people with disabilities use technology to gain access to, use of and contribute to online content and services. Using an introductory set of fictional scenarios, the author explores how inaccessible communications can completely exclude some people from full and independent participation. A reader with little to no prior knowledge of digital accessibility will then begin to acquire a working knowledge of some simple best practices. Through repeated practice and knowledge sharing with colleagues, the author hopes digital marketing professionals can begin to design and craft more accessible personal and professional digital communications.
    Keywords: communication, accessibility, a11y, inclusion, inclusive design

  • Research papers:
    Peculiar or puzzling? How curiosity type influences image and text advert responses
    Nathan M. Parkin, Senior Marketing Manager, Amazon and Steven C. Huff, Associate Professor of Marketing, Utah Valley University

    This research demonstrates the effect of sensory (or perceptual) and intellectual (or epistemic) curiosity on consumer attitudes about products, brands and advertisements and their purchase behaviours in response to text and image-based advertisements. It supports two important findings: (1) those with inherent intellectual curiosity are more likely to experience more favourable attitudes towards a brand, advertisement or product when exposed to image-based advertisements; and (2) those with inherent sensory curiosity are more likely to experience higher attitudes and purchase intentions in general, but this effect may weaken or even reverse when exposed to image rather than text-based advertisements. These findings suggest that advertisers could be more effective if they tailored their use of image and text-based communications (eg text vs image ads, posts and text or image-dominant channels) to the type of curiosity that is most prominent in the segments they target.
    Keywords: epistemic curiosity, perceptual curiosity, verbal and visual processing, text and image advertising, digital advertising

  • Influencer marketing: An exploratory study on the motivations of young adults to follow social media influencers
    Flor Morton, Research Professor of Marketing, Universidad de Monterrey, Mexico

    The advent of social media has changed how businesses engage with their audience. Companies today are identifying key opinion leaders (also known as influencers) to promote their products via social media, leveraging the ability of these people to engage target audiences, generate recommendations via electronic word-of-mouth, and influence their followers to purchase the company’s products. However, little is known about what motivates people to follow these influencers. To address this gap in the literature, the present exploratory study aims to understand the reasons why young adults follow influencers. The findings contribute to the growing literature on influencer marketing by exploring the consumption of influencer content by young adults and their motivations for following influencers. The findings can help both companies and influencers improve their social media marketing strategy.
    Keywords: social electronic word of mouth (eWOM), social influencer marketing, uses and gratifications theory

  • The role of user autonomy in branding on social networking sites: A perspective of self-determination theory
    Yujie Wei, Professor of Marketing, Marketing & Real Estate Department, University of West Georgia, Naveen Donthu, Katherine S. Bernhardt Research Professor of Marketing and Distinguished Chairman of the Department of Marketing, Georgia State University and Chunling Yu, Associate Professor of Marketing, Tsinghua University, China

    Current social networking sites (SNSs) use a top-down or controlled system that does not allow users to choose the brand advertisements that appear on their personal pages. This mode of advertising is likely to be the chief contributor to low advertising effectiveness, low consumer–brand interaction, and low consumer engagement. Drawing on self-determination theory, this research investigates the role of consumer autonomy in branding on SNSs, specifically the influence of an autonomy-supportive platform on SNS satisfaction, advertisement evaluation and consumer attitude toward the brand advertised on the SNS. Two studies test the hypotheses regarding the main effect of the autonomy-supportive approach on the dependent variables, the mediation effects of three motives (perceived SNS autonomy, competence and relatedness), and the moderating effect of autonomy personality. The findings suggest that an autonomy-supportive platform meets consumers’ intrinsic needs for self-determination, leading to satisfaction with the SNS, improved advertisement evaluation and more positive attitudes toward the advertised brand. The results also confirm the mediation effects of the three motives and the moderating effect of consumer autonomy personality. Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.
    Keywords: autonomy-supportive approach, controlling, autonomy, competence, relatedness, personality, SNS satisfaction, ad effectiveness, brand attitudes

  • Marketing to Hispanic digital natives: Leveraging their online reviews and word of mouth
    Katherine Taken Smith, Assistant Professor of Marketing, College of Business, Texas A&M University

    Consumers are paying less attention to traditional advertising and opting out of digital advertising. Here lies the advantage of online reviews: they are not intrusive, and consumers seek them out as a source of information. Hispanic digital natives are active players in online reviews, as both contributors and receivers. Online reviews are a form of word-of-mouth communication, which is another venue for spreading information. This study found several techniques that marketers can use to prompt Hispanic young adults to post product reviews and also tell friends about a company. For example, a company should showcase its corporate social responsibility efforts. Showing concern for society will generate recommendations from this group. Some differences were found among Hispanic and non-Hispanic digital natives; for example, Hispanics are more receptive to companies they have befriended on social media.
    Keywords: online reviews, Hispanic consumer, digital marketing, consumer behaviour, word-of-mouth

Volume 8 Number 1

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett
  • Case study:
    Apollo 50: How one museum celebrated the first Moon landing
    Amy Stamm, Public Affairs Specialist, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

    The 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing in July 2019 was an opportunity for the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum to position itself not just as an inspiring and exciting institution but also a leading resource for aerospace knowledge. This article describes the museum’s Apollo 50 social media campaign, which saw engagement and follower numbers grow at a rate more ten times the museum’s average. It explores the strategies driving the campaign, how the museum wrangled a vast amount of content, activities and information into a strategic and cohesive campaign, and the role of social media in sharing the museum’s site-specific Apollo 50 activities with a global audience.
    Keywords: museum, social media, content marketing, digital campaign, case study

  • Practice papers:
    Data, analytics and creative intuition: An analysis of how to optimise return on social media investment on Instagram
    Ellie McDonald, Social and Content Manager, Bauer Media, Australia

    Instagram is not just a brand-marketing tool. This in-depth analysis highlights the power of Instagram storytelling tactics in driving conversions and website traffic for content marketers, exemplified by the successes of global media brands such as the Guardian and Vice. This article explains how both the Guardian and Vice reformat their on-site content offering for mobile to appeal to their Instagram audiences, and also publish episodic series to attract new and existing audiences into regularly ‘tuning in’ to their content in a bid to boost on-platform engagement and on-site traffic. From these strategies, the Guardian has grown 79 per cent in Instagram followers in 12 months, while Vice’s Instagram Stories now sit at a 50 per cent retention rate. Additionally, this article emphasises the effectiveness of combining content strategies with social media strategies, and why it is imperative to be able to distinguish the differences between the two. The article also further educates content marketers on how to build-out a lucrative Instagram strategy and boost return on investment via data and analytics platforms, and campaign optimisation.
    Keywords: Instagram, social media, social media strategy, content marketing

  • Five considerations for marketers navigating the changing US beverage alcohol e-commerce landscape
    Heather Bergstein, Head of E-Commerce, Remy Cointreau and Bourcard Nesin, Research Analyst, Rabobank

    E-commerce accounts for a growing percentage of total retail sales. Until recently, the highly complex and heavily regulated beverage alcohol category has been struggling to keep pace relative to other food and beverage categories. Recent developments in technology, combined with a renewed interest among fast-digitising retailers, have led many executives in the beverage alcohol industry to reconsider their e-commerce strategy and invest more in the channel. For beverage alcohol marketers developing their e-commerce strategies, however, there is little information to help navigate the fast-changing e-commerce landscape and the profoundly complex regulatory landscape. This article reviews the aspects of the regulatory landscape that are relevant to alcohol e-commerce and digital marketing, identifying emerging technologies that are enabling the growth of online alcohol sales, and offering key considerations for marketers building go-to-market strategies for their products in alcohol’s unique e-commerce ecosystem.
    Keywords: e-commerce, total retail sales, beverage alcohol industry, e-commerce strategy, regulatory landscape, alcohol e-commerce, digital marketing, emerging technologies

  • A journey of digital marketing transformation: From distributed solo players to embedded digital excellence
    Francesco Federico, Executive Director of EMEA Digital Marketing and Global Head of Capital Markets Digital Marketing, Jones Lang LaSalle

    Change is the only constant in today’s life, and its pace is exponential. Industries and business models are being disrupted and challenged by agile newcomers who leverage shifts in customers’ behaviour and expectations. As a result, marketing departments in large organisations must pivot and reinvent themselves, first by embracing digital practices and then embedding them into their standard operating procedures. This article will show how a phased approach that is mindful of both people and business imperatives helps even articulate organisations to align with the times and achieve resilience, ultimately leading to growth.
    Keywords: digital transformation, digital marketing, change management, organisational development, resources planning and budgeting

  • Research papers:
    Reconsidering bounce rate in web analytics
    David Kamerer, Associate Professor of the School of Communication and Program Director in Global Strategic Communication, Loyola University Chicago

    In web analytics, ‘bounce rate’ refers to the percentage of sessions that have only one pageview. Bounce sessions are widely considered to be failures by marketers and web analysts. This article reconsiders bounces by looking at single pageview sessions using a different tool, Hotjar, to make virtual video recordings of such sessions. The results show that while some bounces are indeed failures, many are meaningful, including long visits that simply happen not to include any additional pageviews. The main reason for misunderstanding bounces as failures is that, in analytics, there is no marker to denote the end of the session. As a result, long single pageview sessions are improperly measured and look the same as short sessions through the analytics dashboard. Additionally, single pageview sessions are on the rise due to the increase in mobile browsing, as well as the ability of search engines to put the right content in front of searchers, lessening the need to request another page. Marketers are encouraged to use tools other than clickstream analytics to better understand bounce sessions, and to make the first pageview count for the visitor.
    Keywords: web analytics, Google Analytics, bounce rate, measurement, engagement, digital marketing

  • Retail chatbots: The challenges and opportunities of conversational commerce
    Chi Hong Leung, Teaching Fellow and Winslet Ting Yan Chan, Teaching Fellow, Department of Management and Marketing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

    Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to the ability of machines and/or robots to perform intellectual tasks like humans. AI technologies are widely used to support different activities in retail operations. In particular, retail firms have adopted chatbots to interact with consumers through various communication channels, including social media, live chat, SMS etc. In addition, chatbots have been used to support conversational commerce in which companies automate conversations with consumers about product selection and assist consumers to make informed choices throughout the shopping and decision-making processes. To investigate the state of the art of chatbots in the retail industry, this article qualitatively studies commercial chatbots from 40 retail firms. The study finds that chatbots assist consumers in completing general tasks, such as searching information, purchasing products, making reservations and collecting feedback. Chatbots are good enough to perform such general tasks, although they have limited capability with respect to processing and interpreting natural language. Chatbots also provide menus to address the most predominant issues encountered by consumers while running at a lower operational cost. It is anticipated that chatbots will gain popularity in the retail industry, and consumers would benefit from chatbots with improved features like more accurate predictions and better product recommendations.
    Keywords: artificial intelligence (AI), chatbot, conversational commerce, retailing

  • Measuring the effectiveness of peer-to-peer influencer marketing in an integrated brand campaign
    JoAnn Sciarrino, Isabella Cunningham Endowed Chair in Advertising and Director, The University of Texas at Austin, Gary B. Wilcox, John A. Beck Centennial Professor in Communication, The University of Texas at Austin and Arnold Chung, Data Science Consultant, Accenture Atlanta Innovation Hub

    In response to consumers seeking information from sources other than advertising, brands, particularly those in digital and social media marketing, are increasingly adding both paid and unpaid influencer marketing campaigns into their integrated marketing communications. This paper evaluates both digital advertising and a peer-to-peer influencer strategy within an integrated brand campaign using the social media performance model (SMPM). In a wide range of other settings, the SMPM has identified significant relationships between organic social media variables for both nonprofit and for-profit business-to-consumer and business-to-business brands as well as paid social (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), e-mail spend and Google AdWords spend that have led to a scientific measurement outcome. As new relationships are discovered from the findings here, the SMPM enables data-driven strategies that can be used to influence key performance indicators achieved through a wide range of digital and non-digital marketing efforts.
    Keywords: influencer marketing, return on investment, advertising effectiveness, social media impact