Case study: Asda and Gleam Futures YouTube Influencer Programme/Mum's Eye View

Asda and Gleam Futures

Mum's Eye View

Category: Power of Partnership

Social media has changed the way that brands communicate with customers. To be successful, brands must meaningfully engage with customers. They need to find a way to tell a story without overtly pushing a message.

Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm epitomised this growing trend in the way that it actively discriminated against posts from brands that users don’t engage with. Asda’s Facebook strategy has always been focused on driving genuine customer engagement. The fan base grew organically and is now paying dividends at a time when brands are seeing organic reach of less than 2% per post.

Asda’s army of genuine advocates, 1.5m strong, means that Asda has a magic formula that has been carefully replicated in other platforms. The mission was to discover what the latest trend was, where customers are viewing content and how Asda can enter their world, and not force customers to engage with us. After much research, it became apparent that Asda customers were using YouTube almost as much as Facebook, and twice as much as Twitter on a daily basis.

It was time to change and lead the way.

Like every other brand, Asda had a YouTube channel. However, it had fallen into the trap of hiding all its corporate videos, along with TV commercials, and using it as a dumping ground. It’s no surprise that the channel acquired only 2500 subscribers in 10 years.

As a huge corporate organisation, in an incredibly tough economic environment, Asda’s biggest challenge was to let go and take a risk in a new way of working. This is where the key partnership with Gleam Futures began - bringing a new thinking to how Asda operates, chooses content, and connects to its consumers.

Gleam Futures is the leader in its field, managing the UK’s top vlogging community, coined 'the new celebrity’. Taking Asda’s marketer's hat off, and trusting a new agency to lead the influencer programme for the UK arm of the world’s biggest company (Walmart), was a big ask. However, for Asda to be fit for the future, it needed to put its trust in Gleam.

Gleam Futures brought a new wave of thinking into Asda, especially the media partnerships team, which led the programme.

Taking this platform away from the core marketing function, allowed Asda to dedicate time and resource to an opportunity that had yet to be probed by competitors. It was also an untouched area for Asda, with little knowledge on the subject. The partnership started by creating a shared vision – to provide viewers with inspiration and ‘me time’.

Expectations were set and soon Mum's Eye View was created, with Gleam taking full ownership of content uploads, sourcing talent and leading on industry trends. Asda and Gleam set one goal for the channel, which was to reach 75,000 subscribers in eight months. The number of subscribers by the end of 2014 was 123,000, 165% of the original target.

Mum's Eye View was born in March 2015, with one weekly video upload by a top-tier YouTube vlogger on ‘How to’ content.

This was as formal as the brief got, and has driven our approach to how the channel is managed, and our relationship with Gleam.

Asda is the retail expert driving the content strategy and Gleam is the influencer expert, advising and managing one of the fastest-growing brand channels of 2014.

The client and agency each has a clear role in the partnership, utilising each other’s strengths, and taking key learnings of their partner's industries.

The on-going strength of the Asda and Gleam partnership has developed a media platform into a high-visibility media space across the industry, receiving interest from the world's top global brands. This has led to collaborations with suppliers such as Arla, Procter & Gamble and Betty Crocker, with particular product lines seeing phenomenal uplift of 89% average daily sales, post video.

Within the first 16 months since launching, the channel has received 7.6m views, with each video having an average of 105,000 views, and a cost per view of 13p. According to Social Bakers, if Mum's Eye View were listed as a brand channel (it is currently listed in the entertainment category), it would be in the top 100 channels ranked by total views.

The inspiration from Gleam has led to a magical mix of content and was the brainchild of the Mum's Eye View Baking Series – an additional weekly video upload and partnership with Gleam’s top Saccone Joly talent. Not only has this created an industry-leading partnership, it has introduced a new way of thinking for the retailer's suppliers, and how media is monetised to reach a new generation of audiences.

By partnering Gleam Futures, we are able to put key Asda products into the hands of influencers on YouTube who have a following the size of some small countries, generating an average video-retention rate of 59%, and 2.8% average.

The genuine collaboration and openness with Gleam has helped us develop long-lasting relationships with a community of influencers who envision our core brand values and drive incredible sales uplift. This symbiotic relationship has driven a collaborative approach to introducing the channel to Asda’s suppliers, building a monetisation platform to rival competition.

The customer-centric, two-way approach has provided an avenue of escapism for mums, an engagement level to compete with the world’s largest brands and the inspiration to help everyone 'Save Money, Live Better'.