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DDF: ‘Micro-communities are the next big thing’

“Everyone will become an influencer and you are starting to see smaller markets being created,” said Dane Stanley, global head of digital marketing and CRM (customer relationship management) at Missguided, on the next chapter for content and social media marketing.

Panel on engagement through content and social media at Drapers Digital Festival

Panel on engagement through content and social media at Drapers Digital Festival

Panel on engagement through content and social media at Drapers Digital Festival: Lysa Hardy from Joules; Jordan Parker from Hype; José de Cabo from Olapic; Kirsty McGregor from Drapers; Steve Byrne from Magnafi; and Dane Stanley from Missguided

He told delegates at the Drapers Digital Festival in London that the industry is starting to look to micro-communities and smaller, more targeted markets following the rise of the influencer.

Stanley said influencers do still offer good conversion rates if you work with the right ones that have an authentic relationship to your brand, but added that it is getting harder to find those people.

“We’re trying to build stronger relationships with the right people,” he said.

Jordan Parker, vice-president of ecommerce at Hype, said that Instagram is the biggest social channel for the men’s streetwear brand.

Lysa Hardy, chief customer officer at Joules, said Instagram and Facebook are both strong for the lifestyle label thanks to its strong community approach.

José de Cabo, co-founder of visual marketing technology firm Olapic, said there is no one size fits all approach for brands, while Steve Byrne, founder of film content agency Magnifi emphasised that it is all about context.

“We see best results from content created specifically for channels,” said Byrne.

The retailers had mixed views on the role of user-generated content: Missguided uses images from its audience to further advocate products and create a new level of authenticity, while Joules uses it for internal understand and Hype does not really use it at all.

They also had different opinions on whether social can and should act as a sales channel.

Hardy said: “We’ve historically not looked at social as a sales channel and we’re just on that journey to start to look at it. That’s not to say that sales will become the number one priority – it’s about engaging, educating and entertaining but making it easy if someone does want to buy through that channel.”

Parker believed social is mainly an engagement platform to show more about the brand.

Stanley, however, said that Missguided definitely views social media as a revenue driver and emphasised how much importance the business places on that channel.

“We have a social audience of 4 million, but I think we only have one person in the organisation with social in their job title,” he said. “It’s part of everyone’s job every day.”



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