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Leanne JohnsonHead of SocialGoPro
The past year has been a big one for social media marketing, thanks to the continued growth of influencers’ presence on social channels and the debut of new features such as Facebook Live. As marketers find their stride with these tools, 2017 will likely be a big year as well. Leanne Johnson, head of social at camera company GoPro, spoke with eMarketer’s Maria Minsker about how the brand is preparing for what’s ahead.
eMarketer: Live streaming emerged as a big trend in 2016. How do you think this trend will evolve next year?
Leanne Johnson: Snapchat has been the leader in live video, but with Instagram Stories and other platforms that are emerging internationally, it’s about developing a strategy for determining what to do live. Brands have to figure out how live content complements their existing program and publishing strategy. Live social video is definitely a big trend for us and we’re testing it across events, product launches and other content.
eMarketer: Influencer marketing was another big trend in 2016. How will GoPro approach influencer marketing in 2017?
Johnson: GoPro has a program built around influencer marketing. We have sponsored athletes, but we also have our advocacy program, which includes the entire GoPro family.
These influencers are camera users and online influencers that are advocates for the brand. They have authenticity and they’re effective in the space. People follow people more than they follow brands—that’s why it’s people that have the bigger following and better engagement. That’s also why [we’ll continue to] allow influencers to take the reins of our channels through takeovers and other projects.
eMarketer: Do you expect messaging apps to gain more prominence in 2017?
Johnson: We’re seeing the rise of messaging apps on an international level. WeChat is a good example because it’s a beautiful blend of commerce, content and communication.
A lot of the other platforms are not there yet. They’re either a communication platform, like Facebook Messenger, or they’re a content platform like Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. In 2017, we’ll look at how to best play in the messaging space, especially when it comes to Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp, which we know is huge in markets like EMEA [Europe, the Middle East and Africa] and Latin America.
eMarketer: As some of these newer tactics including live video, influencer marketing and messaging apps gain traction, it can be tough to measure ROI [return on investment]. How can brands experiment with these strategies without risking too much?
Johnson: Sometimes there is a leap of faith involved because brands are being asked to invest money into new tactics and new ad units without numbers to drive back to ROI. Platforms have limitations on measurement.
There are standard vanity metrics including views, likes, comments or engagements—these are important, but for GoPro, it’s more about correlating those to business metrics and asking ourselves, “Why is this important? How will this drive the business?”
eMarketer: Is attribution on social media as effective as it needs to be?
Johnson: Brands want a model that attributes across every offline and online touchpoint, but the tools are not there. Tools such as Visual IQ, Adometry and Convertro have their strengths and weaknesses. But GoPro cameras are sold online and via retail, so if someone buys our product at Best Buy, we don’t know that customer unless they register their device.
Unless that happens, we can’t attribute [them] back to social media marketing, especially because retailers are not always handing data back. There are still huge challenges ahead for attribution.
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