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Brand marketing as you know it is dead: why dark social demands a new approach

Marketing is undergoing a transformation in 2019 that is set to be one of the biggest seismic changes we’ve seen since social media first landed. In the last two years, the social landscape has been shifting to people communicating on dark social, directly one-to-one on their private messaging apps.

As more consumers transition to this private networking, brands are waking up to the reality that they can’t continue to run their digital marketing as they have been. At Qubist, we are hearing from more and more businesses as they seek to evolve new engagement strategies that allow them to reach and engage customers and crucially to track conversations and links on these messaging apps.

The stats on messaging app usage is compelling - messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Instagram Direct Message now have more than 5 billion monthly active users worldwide according to HubSpot.

If you want your messaging to be heard on social in the coming year, you have to start to do things differently. At Qubist, we have over 15 years experience as content marketers and social media consultants before we built the Qubist employee advocacy app. Employees are now a powerful influential group and, when empowered with the right advocacy tech tool, will drive personal and relevant engagement with customers that you can measure.

Qubist powers global brands. Get in touch for a demo.

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But how do you best create content for private channels? How do you measure impact? How do you motivate employees to get onboard? Below, we shine a light on dark social and how with Qubist you can run an employee advocacy programme at scale, track activity and drive customer engagement and sales.

Transparent communication

As messaging quickly becomes the new social, with the sharing of links via private messaging channels the norm for individuals and consumers, there is a real danger to brands of a huge data blackspot in their analytics.

Social media referral traffic is happening in the shadows, via millions of small interactions on a one-to-one basis, that are not being tracked or measured by companies. Within companies, brand-relevant conversations that could be discussed openly, to bring clarity across the workforce, are instead fragmented, hidden and lost in silos through messaging apps.

However, there is a way to overcome this risk, unlock the potential of messaging apps, track the new largest traffic source for brands, and bring transparency around business communications.

Qubist allows the workforce to connect their social platforms including Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp to share content to their personal networks. You can adapt the content you would have posted on brand social pages into Qubist, focus on what messaging these networks are interested in, and empower your employees to deliver this content to high value contacts more likely to convert. Links shared by employees help distribution of content but critically can also be followed and measured in Qubist.

Employees can be given clear internal communication about products and services from the top of the business, which can be shared to their individual networks of friends, family and peers on messaging apps, and measured to show numbers of click through and sales. The loop between private messaging apps and consumers can be closed to gain a huge advantage in the marketplace and increase share of wallet.

Qubist Tip: The Qubist employee advocacy platform allows brands to scale, measure, optimise and report accurately and easily on ROI to key shareholders for sustainable results. 

Trust: Empowering employees

Who holds the power of influence is radically changing and where organisations decide to spend their marketing budgets is moving. Dark social is accelerating this trend as brands turn to build more personal and relevant relationships with customers in 2019, as they shift preferences to messenger apps.

At Qubist, we activate employees to be your brand’s best influencers.

Employees offer companies a trusted and authentic way to reach relevant audiences at scale through social media messaging apps for sustainable results. Leading brands are now harnessing the power from within their organisations to gain a competitive edge. 

Trust in employers is very high according to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer. In the report, Richard Edelman, President and CEO, said: “Empower Employees – Go direct to employees with fact-based information about the issues of the day, supplementing the mainstream media, which has been winnowed by a difficult business model. Give employees a voice on your channels; trust in company-owned media rose by seven points this past year.”

Over 20 years, we’ve worked with some of the most well-known brands worldwide and built this new Qubist advocacy tech as a solution to the way the marketing landscape is changing, helping our partners build better relationships with their customers in the long-term and driving sales.

Qubist Tip: The Qubist app is a multi-language employee advocacy platform on Android and IOS as well as desktop, so employees can access localised and personalised content on a global scale.

See 'Employee Advocacy Programmes: What data do we get to measure progress?'

Learn more about Qubist: Request a demo today

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Mark Henshall
Mark Henshall
Mark is our Head of Content. He is an award-winning content strategist, travel writer and editor with more than 15 years’ experience in travel. Mark has a very rounded and integrated approach that combines his expertise in editorial and content (confident handling large and complex ventures) with his experience in online PR, SEO, social, conversion, UX and PPC for headline clients.

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