The Power of Celebrities and Bloggers

March 31st, 2016 by Charley Downey

Instagram influencers

We see them all over our newsfeeds day in, day out – usually propped ever-so-glamorously next to Protein World’s Weight Loss Collection, or taking a selfie holding up some Cocowhite strips. Perhaps they’re sipping some Fit Tea whilst sitting in their waist trainer? The list goes on.

We’re all fully aware of the impact and influence celebrities, make-up artists and bloggers have on consumers – particularly young adults – but when you put their power into perspective, it’s actually pretty mind-blowing.

Falling into the ‘young adults’ category myself, I’m an average 19-year-old girl who obsesses over anything make up, beauty, tan or use-this-to-get-the-perfect-figure related. Teas, oils, and shakes… I’ve probably tried it – and I’m seriously a sucker for jumping on a bandwagon, particularly if I see someone from TOWIE backing it. Do I know that they’re most likely getting paid as part of an agreement to promote the product? Yes. Does this have any significant impact on my choice to buy the product in question? Nope. It doesn’t.

I think, for me at least, it’s the case of ‘what if’. The thought of missing out on a product that could be my new holy grail seems to overpower the voice in my head telling me ‘it might not work you know’. When I scroll down my Instagram feed and see that Kylie Jenner uses a particular moisturiser to retain her lovely glow, I instantly feel like I need to try it. And I don’t think I’m the only one out there who’s guilty of regularly being so easily influenced by celebs on social media. Am I?

Although it’s slightly worrying for consumers (as we’re pretty quick to spend cash we don’t necessarily have on a cream that’ll supposedly change our lives) it’s a revelation that is incredibly exciting for advertisers. Celebrities and bloggers are now an advertising platform in their own entity, much like a newspaper or a radio station. Their fans are loyal, trusting and will jump at the chance to try a new product because their favourite celebrity uses it. They can speak to consumers – particularly teens and young adults – in a way that other platforms can’t.

Am I stating the obvious somewhat? Maybe so. Let’s actually put it into perspective with some numbers:

Love her or hate her, Kim Kardashian is arguably the biggest celebrity influence at the moment – particularly amongst those interested in anything beauty-related. At present, she has a total of 65.3million followers on Instagram. That’s approx. 5 million more people than the population of Australia and Canada combined.

Another scary stat is that top models, Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid and Cara Delevingne are expected to pull in between $125,000 – $300,000 for a single promotional post on any of their social media accounts.

Talk about being in the wrong job, right?

Another example; I previously read an article on well-known make up brand Anastasia Beverly Hills. The founder of the brand, Anastasia Soare, is an inspiration to me – so, naturally, I follow her activity and have followed the brand itself for several years. It’s pretty incredible to see how much of an effect bloggers have had on the brand.

After her daughter (now brand ambassador) convinced her to join Instagram three years ago, the brand’s earned media value now sits at £46.5million, versus MAC’s £26.4 million – a business that’s been established for much longer. Four of the top make up bloggers that work closely with the brand (Samantha Ravndahl, aka @ssssamanthaa, Desi Perkins, aka @desimakeup, and Christina Cagle, aka @chrisspy) collectively accounted for £11,178,882 in earned media value in the second quarter of 2015.

In the first half of 2015, ABH was the 14th ranked brand in prestige colour cosmetics, and 6th in the eye category. In 2012, the brand was ranked 25th and 12th, respectively. The figures saw a significant increase, directly relating to when the company joined Instagram. Although this may have been one of many factors contributing towards the brand’s success, it’s definitely a pivotal one – and is by no means a coincidence.

The impact that celebrities have on the advertising landscape is unbelievable and this will more than likely continue to grow. And although we consumers are a bit savvier than we used to be when it comes to spotting paid promos, the promise of achieving our dream body and perfect skin will always convince us to buy the latest lotions.

Oh, and maybe even some sickness tablets…

Kim Kardashian Instagram

RAR Awards 2016 – We’ve been nominated!

March 17th, 2016 by Simon Bollon

RAR Awards 2016

The team at Boutique are pretty stoked to share news of another award nomination! We’ve been nominated in the Media Buying category of the RAR Awards 2016.

It’s been an exciting year for us thanks to our growing, thriving team and a blossoming client roster. You’ve heard it before but we’re proud of our ambition to be the most famous agency in the UK, so we hope our latest nomination is testament to the hardworking collective of our most prized possession: our Boutiquers!

Everything crossed for a win on 28th April, where we’ll be on the edge of our seats…


Newbies say cheese!

March 16th, 2016 by Sarah Bartlett


March has been a busy month for Boutique as we say “G’Day” to three new team members!

Glenn (the taller of the two blue-shirted chaps) has joined us from an in-house role at a home furnishings company where he led the team as E-Commerce Marketing Director. After a digital career that has spanned almost a decade, Glenn is looking forward to making a big difference in a growing team here at Boutique and excelling our digital clients into online success. We’re delighted to have him on board and even more delighted to learn of his VW Beetle obsession – of his own proud confession!

If you hadn’t already noticed Steph’s glowing tan, this is a result of a 12 month stint at Intermarketing Sydney and Melbourne where she helped launch the agency down under. Now firmly back on Yorkshire soil having swapped her backpack for a laptop, Steph can’t wait to get involved bolstering Boutique’s broadcast media offering and maintaining our top notch client services reputation. She’s also pretty nifty on the netball court…

Steve knows a thing or two about digital careers, having spent 8 years on the other side at Fish4jobs. He understands just what it takes to integrate digital clients into the agency and is already waxing lyrical about the virtues of working with Boutique. Hailing from Bradford he’s a big football fan and is no stranger to Call Lane on a weekend, making the most of Leeds city life.

CTR Vs Conversion Rate in PPC Campaigns

March 14th, 2016 by Rory Dunlop

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Two important metrics for measuring the success of any paid search campaign is undoubtedly CTR and Conversion Rate. As stated by Google CTR is the number of clicks that your ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown expressed as a percentage. A higher CTR suggests that the audience (i.e. the keyword you’re targeting) with an ad is relevant, and is engaging well with your choice of ad copy.

Conversion Rate is very simply the percentage of people that have clicked, landed on site and then converted. A higher Conversion Rate suggests that the people that landed on site found what they were looking for and were happy to take it a step further.

When you’re optimising a paid search campaign, which of the two metrics should you be keeping a closer eye on? Does a high CTR but low Conversion Rate mean that the quality of traffic you’re sending through on site isn’t good enough? Or is it the fact that the website you’re sending the traffic through to isn’t strong enough? The answer to these two questions will help the success of any paid search campaign, as it will let you know whether you have to;

• Change the keywords you’re targeting
• Make your ad copy more engaging and compelling
• Update your landing page to make it more keyword-focused
• Include more call-to-actions (CTAs) on your website
• Or maybe the layout of the landing page needs to be tweaked to make it more keyword-focused and user-friendly.

The only way you’d really be able to find out is by continually testing. But there are a couple of useful metrics that will help shed some light on whether your keyword/ad copy is actually causing your campaign harm, or whether it’s your landing page/website that’s ultimately responsible.

Below are a few things to consider:

The keyword itself

The paid search journey all starts with the keyword, so before you start tweaking ad copy to try and boost CTR, or playing around with landing pages to try and improve Conversion Rates, it’s important the keywords you choose are as relevant as possible to your products or service. There’s no point in improving your ad copy to generate more clicks, if the clicks are ultimately going to turn in to little or no conversions.

Once you’re happy with your keyword list then test away!

The landing page

Let’s say you have a website that sells Adidas trainers and you think the best landing page to send the keyword ‘Adidas trainers’ to is a generic page that contains Adidas trainers, but in fact it also contains Nike, Reebok, Umbro and New Balance trainers on the same page. This is an interesting strategy because you’re presenting the searcher with a range of options, but could you have increased your chances of conversion if you’d sent that generic keyword to an ‘Adidas trainers’ specific landing page?

Negative keywords

If you have a comprehensive list of phrase- and broad-match keywords living in your account it’s worth having regular check-ups on which search terms they’re picking up. You might find one of your broad match keywords is picking up highly irrelevant search terms, and because of this, the ad copy you’ve chosen to show for that particular keyword is no longer relevant – which could have a negative effect on CTR.

Bounce rate

By looking at the bounce rate it will tell you whether people are instantly engaging with what they are seeing, and deciding to browse further. A high bounce rate suggests that they’re not, so it’s a case of figuring out whether it’s the keyword or landing page that’s responsible.

E.g. you might have a keyword that’s ad copy relevant and generating a high CTR, but once the clicks land on site the bounce rate is really high. Equally you may have a piece of ad copy that has a low CTR, but once somebody lands on site the Conversion Rate is really high – suggesting the ad copy might need to be revisited.

Time on site/pages viewed

The time a person spends on site/amount of pages they view also gives you a clearer understanding of how people are engaging with your website after they’ve clicked on an ad. If the CTR is high and the site is generating a lot of traffic, you ultimately want to know if the quality of traffic you’re sending through is good quality.

So if you tend to find that engagement levels are fairly low for a particular keyword, then it might be a good idea to revisit the keyword you’re targeting, or perhaps the landing page you’re sending them too.

To put it another way…

Let’s say you owned a high street shop, and you’ve dressed one of the manikins in the window in a vintage leather jacket – claiming to sell vintage leather jackets in-store. Somebody walks by and is interested in viewing your collection of vintage leather jackets and enters (clicks) the store. If your collection just isn’t their cup of tea and they decide not to purchase anything then that’s fine, it happens! However, because you’re advertising vintage leather jackets in your shop window (ad copy) and that’s exactly what you offer in-store (or your website), the chances of somebody purchasing a vintage leather jacket is still very high.

However, in the same sort of scenario, if somebody enters the store and finds that you sell leather jackets but not vintage ones, then you might find the store ‘bounce rate’ to be quite high. Reason probably being that they didn’t come in to the store to find a run-of-the-mill leather jacket, they came in-store to find a vintage one. In this very example you may also find that the ‘time in store’ is high, but ultimately the people who’ve walked in looking for a vintage leather jacket won’t find what they’re looking for, and leave without buying something.


There’s no point in having a high CTR if the traffic you’re sending through to your site ultimately doesn’t convert. You can spend all the time in the world essentially ‘tricking’ people into clicking on your ad and landing on site, but once they’re there you want them to convert or buy something.

Like any successful paid search campaign, a strong quality score will help to give you that balance between high CTRs and strong Conversion Rates – and is one key area we focus on improving on a day-to-day basis, across all of our paid search accounts.

paid search campaign testing

Ensuring all three stages of the above process are as relevant to one another as they can be, through continuous testing and refinement.


March 11th, 2016 by Emily Holgate

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As the Independent announced the closure of its print proposition, a mere 10 days later Trinity Mirror launched their new title, New Day, the first national newspaper launched in the UK in over 30 years. As a print planner and buyer, ever-conscious of the slow, but inevitable, decline in print readership – I was pleasantly surprised to read (online – obviously) about the launch of the new print title.

Both the death and birth of these publications are reactions to the same problem – how can publishers best monetise their journalism? Journalism is already a pretty tough gig – one that is guaranteed bad press (the irony), sometimes with just cause, such as the News of the World phone hacking scandal. However on the other side of the coin, we can’t underestimate the value and power of independent journalism in a democratic society. Did you know it was a regional correspondent at the Times that brought the Rotherham Enquiry to the attention of both the public and the Houses of Parliament?

With a questionable long-term future for print journalism, this begs the question, is there a place for a new newspaper, that will engage the digitally-inclined millennials, or will journalism inevitably succumb to the digital age, and live solely online?

Digital migration of journalism raises another issue, with a hot (and unavoidable) topic in the media press being the proliferation of ad-blockers across both desktop and mobile devices – stopping ads from appearing on publisher websites. The scale of this issue, according to an IAB study, estimates 20% of UK web browsers are using ad-blockers. This is most prevalent amongst young males, following Apple’s iOS9 update in September of last year, authorising the use of ad-blockers on their handsets. On the contrary, the same IAB study says 61% of UK web users prefer to view ads than pay for content. So, web browsers want up-to-date content from the industry’s top journalists, for free, but don’t want to see ads… Seems sustainable…

In recent months we’ve seen the publishers fighting back, with the New York Times this week trialling an ad-blocker blocker (ad-blocker inception), where the site detects ad-blocker app extensions present in the user’s browser and blocks the content, in its place leaving the following polite nod to the cost of journalism:

The best things aren’t free. You currently have an ad-blocker installed. Advertising helps us fund our journalism. To continue to enjoy the Times, please support us in one of the following ways.

This isn’t the first publisher we’ve seen fighting blocker with blocker – City AM trialled a similar format back in October, inviting users to switch off their ad-blocker to view City AM content. 21% of those users with ad-blockers activated, switched them off to view City AM content – bringing overall ad-blocker activated traffic to the City AM website from 22% to 15%.

In an age of ever-evolving technology, it’s important and reassuring to see news brands moving with the times, honing their digital propositions, and fighting back against threats such as ad-blockers. Whilst the long-term future of print may be in question, it’s not going to budge any time soon.