We looked into Influencers’ role on Social Commerce, and how to become a Social Commerce Queen entertaining audiences in lockdown and post pandemic and establishing your own voice.
Data on Social Commerce indicates that while still an abstract idea to many, is has the potential to become a vital feature on social platforms. Already, in countries like China, Social Commerce makes up 11.6% of retail e-commerce sales, worth $186 billion dollars. 1 in 10 transactions are now “live commerce”. By removing the time consuming steps from the buying experience, users show a growing interest in the performance of Influencers who are reviewing and engaging with products and brands on social media, which also attracts an increase in the time of consumers’ engagement. The convenience of completing the purchase experience on the influencer’s platform instead of finding and retailer’s shop, result in higher sales and product endorsement.
As the world has faced restrictions on their normal daily routines, the demand for video content has grown exponentially. 77% of consumers are watching one or more hours of video content during the pandemic. Paying for content is a barrier for some consumers.
The cost of home entertainment is also preventing users from watching the shows they want. In the UK, 26% say they have cancelled because the price was too high and 35% would cancel an existing subscription. This being the case for sport (42%), sci-fi/fantasy (26%), drama (23%) and comedy (19%).
Due to this increased appetite for video content, a surge in consumers streaming video content has registered. With latest technology at your fingertips, it makes it easy for creatives to work with agencies and brands and offer an entertaining advertising experience which drives increased brand awareness.
At the same time, as brands are seeking a real engagement with their consumers, influencers step in to be the client’s real voice, and deliver consumer insights to leading brands and retailers while conducting authentic live shopping extravaganza performances.
Latest GWI report shows that the boom in celebrity influencer posts on social media “gives brands the opportunity to reach consumers in different, exciting and new ways that go beyond traditional advertising”. When it’s used correctly, Influencer marketing can be a very effective strategy. With a fifth of internet users following celebrities, a quarter of Gen Z are choosing social commerce as their main shopping experience.
There are tow major aspects that are worth mentioning: “Brand discovery” and “Celebrity engagement”. Brand discovery is where influencers’ role is key, as they take you “by the hand” into the first step of your buying journey. In fact, 14% of digital consumers discover a new brand when a celebrity endorse their product through expert blog posts and reviews. The real power of Social commerce is the virtual celebrity engagement, and giving the chance to anyone interested to become an influencer. These two facets rank Social Commerce well above traditional influential sources which are outside “next door girl’s” reach, like cinema and radio ads. A good example is Instagram, as the top platform favoured by Influencers and a whole new industry they created: influencer marketing.
According to CreatorIQ, Instagram was part of 93% of all influencer campaigns in 2018, leveraging the platform’s brief videos in the form of Stories, as well as the numerous features like the Countdown Sticker introduced late last year.
1 billion videos a day are generated on TikTok known in China as Douyin, a video-sharing social networking service owned by Chinese company ByteDance. The social media platform is used to make a variety of short-form videos, from genres like dance, comedy, and education, that have a duration from three seconds to one minute.
With the average teenager spending 52 minutes per day using the platform, live commerce becomes very interesting as a business as the conversion rate can be from 20-70% meaning the total number of buying products in the live show can be 70%.
Across China, Huang—a 34 years old millionaire star saleswoman known professionally as Viya—got the reins of the world of live online shopping with a staggering $60 billion. Her live, online shopping extravaganza is now a cocktail of one part variety show, one part infomercial and the best part, group chat. The word goes that “The World’s livestream queen can sell anything!” Since she once sold 15,000 lipsticks in 5 minutes, there are predictions that 1 million people in China will train to become live hosts in the next few years. Being a live host or content creator is an official occupation in China.
This influencer wave is now beyond being just a fashionable trend, creating endless opportunities for emerging direct-to-consumer (D2C) businesses leveraging the power of social media to bypass retailers and wholesalers, and reach consumers directly. According to official reports, “the constraints-free space of social media, it has also allowed for fraud and abuse.” In the Spring edition we discuss the impact of social media for each stage of your buying experience and how Social Commerce has impacted your trust as a consumer.
Living in a world where we all live, dream and shop from our sofas, one question we ask ourselves could be: Is Viya the image of humanity’s future?
“Amazon are so good at what they do. We are targeting cultures, such as wine, toys, handbags – where people have high levels of passion. Where there is a culture, there is a conversation – this is best suited to a platform where there is live chat, interaction, and a chance to watch live video. This is not just a shopping platform – it should be entertainment first. Connecting people to vineyards, toy factories and peoples beauty counters…. all live” Sam Jones, Co-founder OOOOO says.
When Vikki decided to quit her job as a paralegal for Landrover/Jaguar, she made a deliberate decision to change her fortunes. Since Vikki joined the OOOOO app Squad as a content creator, she changed her lifestyle (and the bank balance!). We hope you will feel inspired!
What was different in your life before becoming a Content creator?
Before quitting my 9-5 Paralegal job to become a full-time OOOOO Presenter/Content Creator, my career journey always seemed to feel a little bit “off”. I liked my Paralegal job, and was damn good at it, but it always felt like a square-peg-round-hole situation; I constantly felt like something was missing.
I left school aged 18 telling myself that you couldn’t possibly get paid to do what you love – which, for me, was Presenting & Content Creation. I benched my creative career dreams, and instead went down the “sensible” and academic Legal route. Fast-forward a decade later, I’d done enough soul searching and read enough self-help books on “how to find your purpose” to finally push me to grow some balls, start creating content, and follow my dreams.
Now I’m doing what I love and always dreamed of doing as my full-time job, I no longer feel like there’s a creative hole in my life!
What changed in your daily routine since you started?
Routine? What routine?! Being a Content Creator for a mega fast-paced startup company means that no day is the same. Structure and plans are loose and ever-changing as we have to move quickly and jump on hot opportunities as soon as they arise!
My sleeping routine has also changed. The creative mind never seems to sleep (well, mine definitely doesn’t anyway!), and my brain is constantly waking me up in the middle of the night buzzing with tonnes of content ideas that I have to write down. Sometimes I’ll be up for hours. I wouldn’t have it any other way though – I might be on 4 hours sleep, but now I’m doing what I love every day, I feel more energised than ever.
What does a typical day in your week look like?
As an OOOOO Presenter & Content Creator, my typical day will include presenting a daily live show on the OOOOO app – which could be streamed from our HQ studio in Oxford, or from our supplier warehouses around the UK, or from home. I’ll be on calls with brands that we feature on the app to plan live show collaborations. I’ll be filming, producing and editing promo videos for live shows, creating social media content for the app, managing the YouTube channel and planning ideas for future content with the Team. It’s super diverse and super fun.
What type of content do you produce?
At work, I mostly create video content for the OOOOO app, but I also lend a hand in producing marketing materials and copy for in-house OOOOO creator materials too.
Outside of work, I run a YouTube channel called ‘Bloom With Vikki’, providing career advice for students and graduates. So my free time is spent researching, writing, presenting and editing video content for that too!
Did you have any previous experience before becoming a content creator?
All of my experience before becoming a full-time Content Creator was informal / ‘outside of work’ experience.
I’ve always loved editing and producing videos – I taught myself how to edit in my free time, and would create videos for school/Uni events, friends’ birthdays/weddings/hen dos, and some just for fun. Last year, I set up my YouTube channel as a creative outlet – to produce video content that helps and provides advice for others – all unpaid. At the time, it wasn’t my intention to try and monetise or turn content creation into a full-time role – I just did it because I loved it, and wanted to fill the creative hole in my life!
Before I was offered my full-time job as OOOOO Presenter / Content Creator, every spare minute I had outside of my 9-5 Paralegal role was spent researching and writing content, and filming and editing my videos. I’d be uploading videos to my channel at 6am before work, writing video scripts on my lunch break, editing until midnight. Little did I know that all of this experience was setting me up to learn and practice the skills I needed to become an OOOOO Presenter & Content Creator full-time when the opportunity arose… !
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Other content creators / Pinterest / TV. I want to create content that makes people feel good, and I follow people / Pinterest boards that give me the feel good vibe.
Do you, time to time, get creative blocks? How do you get over it?
Yes! Mostly when I’m overworked or thinking too much into it. Best thing to do is come away from it – relax, have a break – then come back to it with a fresh mind the next day.
What are the most common objections you get about selling a product? How do you answer them?
Because the discounts and deals we offer on OOOOO are so unbelievably good (e.g. a preloved, mint-condition Louis Vuitton selling for under £600), plus we do giveaways and promotions, people initially think it’s too good to be true. We get asked if the products are fake or if the offers are for real. On OOOOO, every product is 100% authentic, and every deal is 100% genuine. We don’t buy ads. We don’t have stores. That’s how we can afford to offer such insane deals!
What would you say is the #1 key to success being a Content creator?
One of my favourite quotes about the key to success in any career is Oprah’s – “Luck is where preparation meets opportunity”. If you want to quit your job and become a content creator full time, you can’t just wish for it and do nothing about it. You’ve essentially got to do the job before you get offered the job. So prepare yourself: Get experience. Create content. Learn, develop and showcase your skills on a platform somewhere. Show the world what you can do. That way, when the opportunity comes along, you’ll already have the experience and skills you need to transfer perfectly into the content creator role. And once you get that job, never stop learning and developing and growing your content creator skills – the industry is constantly adapting, and you’ll need to adapt too if you want to be successful!
What 3 things does anyone starting as a content creator need to know?
1. Not everyone’s gonna love your work. Don’t take it personally – that’s part and parcel of being a Creator! Hey, there’s people out there that hate Beyonce!
2. You’re going to hear people say things like “there’s so many content creators nowadays / the market’s so saturated”. Don’t let that put you off – there’s room for your amazing content too.
3. If you’re terrified of publishing your first piece of content, remember this: no one’s first piece of work is gonna be amazing. I look back at my first YouTube video I did only a year ago and I cringe sooo much! But until you get your first video/blog post out there, you’re never going to make it off the start line. So just bite the bullet, and hit that ‘publish’ button! Then your content creator journey will truly begin. You’ll learn and grow from every previous piece of work you publish. And from there on, the only way is up!
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