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The effect may extend to other forms of social promotion that nurture communities.

It is well understood that social media presents opportunities for good penetration with consumers and that online word-of-mouth can not only aid the spread of information about a product, but also influence people’s chances of buying it. This paper looks specifically at “tryvertising” – where a selection of users are given the chance to demo a product and tell others what they think of it - in social media communities and draws some wider conclusions.

The results showed that one such campaign for “high-end” binoculars increased activity on the platform and therefore the reach of the campaign and flow of information. Attitudes towards the product improved, which translated into an uplift in purchase intention and recommendations.

But the impact seems to be indirect. Just being chosen as a product tester didn’t increase a user’s likelihood to buy, but the increased chatter was a by-product of running the campaign. The authors suggest that these initiatives, and social media campaigns in general, are likely to be good ways to improve the success of launches because they create community buy-in.

Read the original article in the Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services:

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jretconser.2018.07.003  

[30 minute read; article may be behind a paywall]

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