Q1 2021 in Review: Site Trends and News Brands
In this post, we’ll share how brands, partners and experts have been helping people make better buying decisions through the power of authentic and honest expert recommendations.
First Quarter 2021 Highlights
The new year kicked off with more than 25 experts nominating their favorite organizations to be considered to win a $2,021 grant as part of the Raise Your Voice video contest. Experts submitted videos explaining why their organization should win, and then the expert community voted and narrowed the list of 18 finalists down to two. Our winners for 2021 were Heroes on the Water and the Oak Ridge Military Academy. You can watch their video submissions here.
Another exciting Q1 update for experts is the ability to find and follow other experts to keep up with their latest product recommendations and experiences. These new features provide experts a more personal on-platform experience and opportunities to be inspired by others who share similar passions.
In other buzzworthy news, another expert gear guide hit the web, this time featuring top product recommendations for crafting the perfect cup of coffee. Leave No Trace member Michaela Degenaro of Nevada, was one of the experts who shared a recommendation and wrote, “This (Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee & Espresso Grinder from The Bean Yard) is a fantastic grinder for someone who is beginning their specialty coffee journey and who really wants to work on dialing-in their coffee at home. You can calibrate it enough to grind fine enough for espresso and extremely coarse for French Press."
For updates on expert membership growth and engagement last quarter, read below.
experts joined and affiliated on ExpertVoice
submitted responses to brands' custom surveys and NPS surveys
product recommendations published by experts on ExpertVoice
photos (expert-generated content) were published to expert profiles
Crankbrothers and Coalatree shared their experiences about implementing the Expert Recommendation Display on their e-commerce platforms and how they optimized the position of expert reviews to increase revenue. You can watch the full webinar here to see how expert reviews increased conversion rates and average order value.
Next, new features were released for brands that do not host their store on ExpertVoice. Previously their products could not collect digital recommendations and they did not appear in search results on the ExpertVoice platform. The new ability to create and host a product catalog for any brand with a redirect store makes this possible. Early adopters include LEKI, Osprey, and Cotopaxi amongst others. For more information, click here.
Finally, beta programs for Communities and Product Launch Campaigns entered their final phase this quarter. Our program participants have helped us learn so much as we plan for a broader launch of both products later this year. Perhaps more exciting though, is that they are telling us they see the tremendous value too:
- Beta Communities: Nine brands including Federal, Superfeet, and The Honest Kitchen continued to manage their expert community. Drake Adams, a beta brand participant and the Sales Manager at Athlon Optics shared, “My experience with the beta program has been phenomenal! I made connections with so many types of folks in the industry and even acquired new dealers from this program.”
- Beta Product Launch Campaigns: Four brands continued to manage their beta product seeding program -- from shipping their products to collecting expert-generated content. While two brands are still in the midst of their campaigns, Klymit has already reached about the ability to run another campaign as soon as it's available.
Here's a closer look at more brand highlights from last quarter:
brands joined ExpertVoice to reach their target expert audience and strengthen their recommendations
brands signed up for a self-service program on ExpertVoice, allowing them to create their own educational content
Earlier this year, Honey Stinger connected us with the Colorado Mountain School, Colorado’s largest mountain guide company and the country’s #1 AIARE avalanche course provider. Honey Stinger recognized the exciting opportunity to personally invite their members onto our platform to learn about their brand and unlock rewards. Since Honey Stinger's personal invitation, 100+ guides have signed up for ExpertVoice.
Other highlights from the First Quarter of 2021 include a renewed partnership with the Diplomatic Special Service Agent Association, a non-profit organization with 3,000+ active members of the U.S. Foreign Service and Law Enforcement and Security professionals. Their members received an email reminding them of their ExpertVoice benefits.
Finally, the Delta Waterfowl Foundation, a non-profit conservation group that works to produce ducks and secure the future of waterfowl hunting, emailed 2,900+ chapter leaders about their exclusive access to ExpertVoice.
Looking ahead to Second Quarter 2021
More and more experts, brands, and professional partner organizations are turning to ExpertVoice every day to connect. We're excited about our product roadmap for 2021 which will create new and meaningful ways to build community, strengthen expert recommendations, and scale your advocacy marketing program.
Here's a look at what's coming soon:
- Expanded offerings to the E-commerce Advocacy Solution: Including syndicating recommendations through Bazaarvoice and other third-party review platforms.
- Product Launch Campaigns: New tools to collect expert-generated content (photos and expert reviews) for specific products.
- Brand Communities: A new way for brands and experts to connect on a deeper level, such as an ambassador program.
- Partner Resources: More helpful resources that explain the value of ExpertVoice, such as partner success stories, webinars, and more.