The gaming industry is both crowded and competitive, so finding the right influencers that actually create engaged discussions and boost sales is not an easy task. AeroCool, a company that offers a diverse range of performance products for gamers, began using social media intelligence software to bring their marketing activities to the next level.
We talked to Eric Canzano, the Public Relations manager at AeroCool, about the benefits and the results of social media intelligence that he and his team have experienced after just 6 months with YouScan.
YS: What business challenges made you consider using a social media intelligence system?
Firstly, the transition from traditional web media to new media, social media and influencer marketing that we have been going through for the past few years. The traditional approach required a lot of resources: working with local PR agencies, signing up for subscriptions with massive PR databases. We have looked into these options, but the problem was that they were expensive. Or there is the option of cold search via Google and social media, but it takes incredible amounts of time. This is what we used to do before using YouScan, and it was truly painful.
Secondly, the need to stop being a strictly B2B business which was the case for AeroCool. We sell in over 50 countries, and the majority of our marketing goes through regional distributors. They buy our products and they do marketing for us, so we are heavily localised and dependent on our distributors and their knowledge of the market and their channels. YouScan is the bridge that helps us go from business to consumer. We are finally building direct communication with our customers.
YS: What tasks do you perform with the help of a social media intelligence system?
Our first big goal was to discover a community of influencers, establish relationships with them and eventually build a platform to manage them. I have been in the industry for a few years, so I had my own contact database, but if you want to go really big, you cannot rely on the network of one person.
YouScan helped us dig deeper and reach a bunch of new influencers very quickly. We did it simply by using filters and thanks to the deep history feature which was essential for us.
It allowed us to get enough data to work through and find out who was talking about AeroCool. Once we had that big pile of raw data, we were able to slice it and go deeper.
YS: Did you have any particular markets in mind while searching?
Yes, definitely. We had key markets where we wanted to develop our influencer bases, and the UK was one of them. I started by looking for any UK-based YouTubers who had posted anything about AeroCool within the past year. I have never been able to do it before because obviously you cannot filter YouTube videos by countries, so I had to go through hundreds of channels hoping to find what I was looking for.
We needed 10 people and we got them. YouScan allowed me to come up with a relevant list in just 3 or 4 hours. People that showed up in the results were already organic consumers of AeroCool. So, my further communication with them was very successful. I got a 100% response rate which is extremely impressive considering how many hundreds of emails I must have sent before, hoping that people would reply. People were genuinely excited about hearing from AeroCool and being able to partner with us. 6 months later, we are still working with around 80% of those content creators.
YS: How did the system help you after you got your list of relevant influencers?
In the past, we relied on traditional instruments, such as management services, regional PR agencies and manual monitoring. All of them were also extremely demanding in terms of finances, time, and effort.
Before YouScan, I would spend my mornings by opening 30 different tabs with pages of the influencers that we were working with.
I would open each of them to see what they have posted every other day. I had to do that on YouTube, Instagram and streaming platforms. This is not the case anymore thanks to YouScan. This process is much more manageable.
We needed an affordable tool that gave us enough data and control for keeping an eye on our growing number of influencers without wasting time. I still have to use Google Sheets, but YouScan has made my life easier in that regard. I use reports and smart tags.
YS: What exactly did you do with reports and tags?
I went through the deep history and tagged every single influencer that we have worked with using the rules. Whenever a new post comes out from anyone with whom we have an established relationship, it automatically gets tagged as sponsored, and I see it right away. And I do it in just a few clicks instead of spending a whole morning on this kind of search, but that is just the beginning.
You can take that tag and get a year's worth of all the sponsored posts that you have had across all platforms. I download this data in a form of reports. Then I work with these spreadsheets to compare one influencer with another, or their content featuring AeroCool versus other brands. We could not do it without data that YouScan collects and provides. Also, it helps us when it comes to figuring out the monetary value of engagement which is immensely helpful.
Influencer marketing still feels like the wild wild West of media to me. It is very hard to know whether a certain influencer is worth the price tag they request. And vice versa, if they are a new content creator, they might have no idea how much they want to be paid.
YouScan provides us with statistics that help us figure out the potential value of influencers.
Once we have that number, we can then accumulate different options and come up with an approximate cost for various platforms, such as YouTube and Instagram. Going forward, we can use this data to evaluate new influencers to figure out whether their pricing is fair.
YS: Have you had any major business revelations thanks to social media intelligence software?
Yes, for sure. Our marketing team used YouScan to analyze which AeroCool products have been selling better than others, and whether marketing and communication have helped. The results that the system has provided surprised everyone. Moreover, this research has allowed us to see that our products were as widely talked about as the products of much bigger companies that had been around for much longer. This was a huge revelation in terms of product analysis.
There was a product that we all thought was at the end of its life cycle. However, data collected by YouScan has shown us that it was an extremely strong product.
There was a product that we all thought was at the end of its life cycle, and we were not planning to include it in our marketing activities anymore. However, data that was collected by YouScan has shown us that it was an extremely strong product. We were just planning to continue selling it and then replace it with another product. it turned out that it made a lot of sense for us to pay more attention to it instead.
All in all, we were able to get more budget from the sales reps to invest more in our marketing activities. This is what we have been doing in 2020 so far.
YS: Have you experienced any other positive results in terms of marketing while working with YouScan?
We have been able to collect feedback about different features of different products. This is not a quick process, so do not expect immediate results, but do keep in mind that this is extremely valuable information. And using tools like YouScan definitely makes it more efficient. We were able to analyze comments on various platforms and turn them into one report which changed the overall design strategy of our products. We have already made some design changes since then.
Overall, I can say that having enough data and being able to speak the language of data has been a big deal for us as a mid-size company in a traditional industry, trying to transition marketing from something that is new and unfamiliar for some teams to marketing being an essential part of the company's strategy.
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