The marketing landscape is becoming more difficult for retailers to traverse every day, with uncertainty growing as social media becomes the most desired platform. Learning how to best use the platform and the influencers involved can be hard for retailers without prior knowledge. Gem, powered by Latitude Financial Services talks about how its services can be utilised to further extend social media engagement.
Social influencer marketing is not a new concept, according to Google statistics, in the last 12 months alone there has been a 325 percent increase in searches for ‘influencer marketing’. 37 percent of brands now dedicate a budget for this type of marketing with a 67 percent chance to increase this budget over the next 12 months. (Sourced from Stoppress)
Alex Stoneham, Latitude Financial Services marketing manager – partners, says finding the right relationship between influencer and retailer is the most crucial part of successful social media content.
“When we work with social media influencers, it is about finding a synergy between who they are and who the retailer wants to connect to… In so many ways, our retailers share a synergy and a target audience to us.”
Gem is involved with influencers, Alex Fulton of Alex Fulton Design, and travel blogger Logan Dodds. The two influencers are managed by Latitude’s marketing team, who take the reigns to generate content for retailers who want to be involved with the individuals extended reach of 850,000. Stoneham says a lot of brands can have issues when using influencers and social media if they have limited knowledge about how to properly interact with the platform.
“The partnership we have with our influencers has enabled us to talk more creatively with our retailers about how we can engage our audience about activities such as store events, and how could we work with these influencers to market a brand. It gives us that opportunity to do something a bit different.”
Gem, powered by Latitude, is already an enabler to help grow retailer profitability through a payment structure that allows customers to buy what they want when they want it. Now through the involvement of these influencers, it can create content for partners while also providing an authentic face to promote your business.
“Consumers are more likely to trust someone relatable on their social media feeds rather than a faceless retailer,” says Stoneham. “So, it’s all authentic, we have never said to our influencers do this, or do that, we actually give them free range to speak in their own voice… We’re lucky because we can provide these influencers that are genuine people who work with our retailers really well.”
Using influencers that have a similar audience is key to getting your social media reach out to the right people, but keeping that authenticity is important to engage with the consumer, says Theola Blaauw marketing manager – cards, for Gem retail finance.
“Influencers really bring in that quality of marketing. A lot of retailers are looking to get into that kind marketing and up their social media game. So, we’re those people that can help them navigate that journey.”
Expert navigation is often needed for any type of social media marketing, and, as Blaauw highlights, “that is what we’re trying to offer.”
“We have a gut feeling that social influencers make up a bigger piece of the puzzle. During a marketing campaign, you’d have your traditional media and your TV, online video and radio, but social media forms an important part of the marketing mix these days. And that is where we can help.”
How does Gem retail finance work?
To become a Gem retail partner, the retailer either applies through the company’s website or calls its helpline.
The Gem retail team learns about the business and develops a tailored offer which suits that business’s needs. Merchant fees are dependent on the scale of the business, the volume of its sales and what length of payment terms it wants to offer, among other factors.
The paperwork is completed, and the retailer is logged into Gem CRM.
A customer has found a product they want to buy and inquired about retail finance.
The retailer provides the customer with a digital application form for a Gem Visa card in the store.
The application is approved then and there. Some applications can be authorized within as little as 15 minutes.
A disclosure statement and terms and conditions are given to the customer. They pay a one-off establishment fee.
The customer makes their purchase using Gem Visa. They get an interest-free loan for a minimum of six months and shopper’s protection insurance on purchases over $250.
A merchant fee is charged. Gem merchant fees are based on transactions completed, and the retailer is not charged unless a retail finance transaction is made.