Tag: influencers

5 Creative Ways Brands Are Using Influencers

Most people tend to associate influencers with social media. However, influencers have been around for a lot longer than most people might think and can be dated as far back as the middle ages with royalty, popes, knights, earls, and artists. 

In recent years, influencers have exploded in popularity on social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Snap, Pinterest, and TikTok. This has resulted in the emergence of 4 distinct influencer types: nano, micro, macro, and celebrity influencers.

Image courtesy of Tribe

Brands, both large and small are tapping into the influencer space at an ever-increasing rate. That’s why it may not come as a surprise to hear that the market has been forecasted to be worth more than $15 billion by 2022. Here’s a fresh look at some creative ways brands are using influencers plus key stats and tips to bookmark.

Product discovery

The beauty of the internet is that it is now easier than ever to discover new products and services. Brands are aware of this and they are also aware that influencers are one of the top ways by which people discover new products and services, far more than with traditional means. 

Recent statistics show that “71%  of consumers prefer to discover brands themselves via channels such as friend’s recommendations, browsing in-store or online searches, than from traditional forms of push advertising, with endorsements acting as a valuable tool to spark discovery.” 

Nowadays, one of the quickest ways to raise awareness about a new product is to have many influencers simultaneously talking about it. Take the Ivy Park X Adidas launch in January of this year. Ahead of the sports apparel launch, a number of influencers and celebrities received boxes of clothes from the brands and posted to social media, amplifying the publicity around it. The result was that the line sold out within an hour of being released, showing the impact of such efforts. 

Shatter stereotypes through sensitivity

Many notable artists like Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, and Alice Cooper, at some point in time, called Detriot home. Despite Detroit’s celebrity status in pop culture as a place that starts new trends, it has had issues ‘shaking off’ its Bronx-like image, and in 2018 it was dubbed the worst city in America to live in.

In order to debunk the Detroit stereotype, Bedrock Real Estate launched an influencer campaign via film to show the positive aspects of the city and make local residents feel to be from Detroit. The video acquired over 150,000 views and was endorsed by local influencers like Big Sean who narrated the video showing his sensitive side, Shinola, and Detroit Bikes.

Leverage the ‘new normal’

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we work. Ultimately, working from home has become the new normal. To take advantage of ‘our new’ work from home (WFH) routines, Canadian clothing brand Henri Vézina launched an ad campaign displaying male models wearing half-suits.

Image courtesy of Henri Vézina

Whilst, the campaign did not directly use influencers; however, it did manage to generate a lot of chatter over social media by tying in our new unfound reality that a lot of us are working from home and using Zoom to hold workplace meetings. The creative ad campaign resulted in 100s of influencers organically sharing the campaign. 

Image curation and branding

A brand is only ever as powerful as the willingness of the public to purchase from it and the public is more likely to financially support a brand if they respond positively to its branding and public image. This is why brands invest massive resources in building a specific image and perception among the public. 

Take Victoria’s Secret, for example, that was once the top lingerie brand in the world that has since lost sizable market share amid accusations of body shaming, transphobia, and a lack of diversity. When FentyXSavage, a newer lingerie line, came out with the intention of taking over Victoria’s Secret, they made sure to brand themselves as the ‘antithesis to Victoria’s Secret,’ and this was partially done with influencer marketing. They collaborated with plus-size, transgender, and influencers of color so define themselves as distinct and inclusive.

Drive ‘hidden’ public demand

The power of influencers to drive public demand for specific goods and services is difficult to overstate as has been proven many times in the past. Take beauty blenders; soft sponges that are used for the application of makeup. They were first created in 2009 but it was not until the mid-2010s that beauty influencers began touting them in makeup tutorials and review videos. 

The then-unknown beauty tool was deemed a necessary item for everyone’s makeup kit and exploded in popularity. According to an article by WhoWhatWear, 17 beauty blenders are sold every minute. What this means is that the power of influencer marketing can drive public interest for new products that they were otherwise unaware of.

Campaign tips and tools

If you are thinking about running a micro-influencer campaign, then here are some useful tools that you may want to consider using:

  • Influencer discovery platforms: There are a variety of influencer platforms you can use, such as Upfluence, Influence, Tribe, AspireIQ, and Post For Rent.
  • Analyze your connections: You can use the Chrome extension Discover.ly to analyze your email, LinkedIn, and Facebook connections to discover if you or your friends have existing relationships with influencers.
  • Auditing influencer profiles: There are a number of tools that enable you to analyze an influencer profile including engagement rate, follower authenticity, and so on. These tools include Upfluence, Klear, Hypeauditor, and Analisa. Infactica can also be used to analyze banned TikTok user accounts. 
  • Web scraping: Octoparse can be used to extract both tweets and Instagram posts, and other tools with similar functions include Parsehub and Scrapinghub.

Key stats

The impact of influencer marketing not just on purchasing decisions but on popular culture cannot be overstated and this is reflected in the increased influencer marketing budgets in the last few years. Here are some key statistics you need to know:

  • Influencers are on track to replace celebrities as the go-to gatekeepers of consumer trust as 6 in 10 teenagers trust influencers over celebrities. 
  • Influencer marketing campaigns earn a 650% return for every dollar spent
  • The influencer marketing industry is expected to hit $10 billion by 2020

Google searches for “influencer marketing” have grown a whopping 1500% and it is clear that influencer marketing is here to stay. Influencer marketing has been able to snatch a sizable chunk of business and power from traditional marketing because it does something the latter could not do; form genuine connections.

For most people, their favorite influencer is not necessarily a celebrity that they idolize but a fellow civilian who is relatable to them and makes content that is relevant to them. Essentially, influencers act as trusted friends to their followers which means that they are more likely to buy whatever the influencer recommends to this.

This has, in turn, manifested in influencer marketing providing a greater return on investment for those who leverage it as well as relevant product and service recommendations for consumers who benefit from it.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

The post 5 Creative Ways Brands Are Using Influencers appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/11/5-creative-ways-brands-are-using-influencers/

5 Best Practices for Finding the Right Influencer for Your Brand

Think you can get away without dipping into the world of influencer marketing? Think ahain. According to The State of Influencer Marketing 2020: Benchmark Report, which surveyed 4,000 brands, marketing agencies, and industry professionals, earned media value, which is publicity that comes from promotions, not paid advertising, is $5.78 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing.

That means while ROI is notoriously difficult to track when it comes to influencer marketing, the publicity gained from influencer marketing is nearly six times as much as is spent. While direct sales may be difficult to track for some companies, it seems that exposure is exponentially increased thanks to influencer marketing.

Here are the best practices to keep in mind when you’re searching for the right influencer for your brand.

Select the Most Important Platform

Choosing the platforms where you want influencer marketing to have an impact isn’t as cut and dry as you may think. On the one hand, the platform where your business is already performing well is a great place to capitalize on that popularity and help it grow via an influencer campaign. On the other hand, a platform where you don’t have a strong presence but where an influencer who’s a great match for your brand and does have a strong presence is also beneficial because you can break into a platform you’ve been wanting to add to your strategy.

You may want to focus on one type of platform over another, or you could try to do both at the same time, assuming the influencer you choose has a solid following on both platforms. What’s most important is that you choose influencers who are doing their best work on the platforms you’ve decided are most important for your business. More on selecting the right platform next.

Approximately 90% of influencer campaigns include Instagram, so whether you only want to promote your business on Instagram or it’s part of a larger campaign, Instagram should absolutely be included. This is especially true if your customer base is under the age of 35 since the largest concentration of Instagram users are ages 25 to 34, followed by 18 to 24.

Make Sure the Influencer Is Relevant to Your Brand

There’s a lot more to think about than just the influencer’s Instagram following and the average age of their fans. Even if they’re in the exact same niche as you are, their content and messaging have to be consistent with or complementary to your brand, too. If the aesthetics or voice of the influencer’s content is way off compared to your own branding, you’re not going to reach the right audience, no matter how engaged their following is. And you could even harm, or at least muddle, your own reputation, too. 

A good way to find the influencers who are relevant to your brand is to discover which ones are already talking about you. Influencers are experts at knowing their audience and what will connect with them, and if they’re interested in what you sell, chances are they know it’ll be a great match for their audience.

Select Influencers According to Your Budget

When it comes to influencers, you should care more about the quality of their following than the number of followers they have. But, in general, a smaller influencer is going to charge less than a larger-scale influencer. If your budget is meager when starting out, aim for a micro-influencer with a dedicated fan base. What you don’t want to do is try to talk to well-known and well-established influencers into accepting a lower rate than they deserve. You could ruin your relationship with an influencer who you’d love to work with in the future when you have a bigger budget to dedicate to the campaign.

Search the Old Fashioned Way

While you can Google something like “top influencers in organic cooking,” you may be disappointed with the results. Lists of top influencers are often repetitive, only featuring the same ones, and you’ll miss out on a bunch of influencers you don’t even know exist. Instead, go about your search the old fashioned way. If you’re on Instagram, for example, search by hashtag. If you use #ad or #sponsored to search, you can skim the results to see if any post looks like it matches your brand’s industry and look. This process may take a while, but it’ll be worth it, and you’ll come across a lot of high-performing smaller influencers who you’d never know about otherwise.

Spot a Fake Influencer Before You Get Too Far

Many influencers are in it for the money they’re paid, and it’s clear why just about anyone would love that opportunity, even without working for it. Fake influencers quickly gather a massive following by buying followers and engagement, which can make their accounts look popular, even if it’s all smoke and mirrors. There are a few strategies you can use to determine if an influencer is the real deal or not, but the most telling one will be their engagement ratio. If they have a ton of followers and their posts have a bunch of likes, but nobody is actually commenting on their posts in a meaningful way, it could be that all of those “fans” are actually bots.

Narrowing down your list of influencers is just one step toward getting a compelling influencer campaign up and running. You also have to pitch the influencer to encourage them to work with you, and then you have to figure out how they work with clients, what type of campaign you want to run, how to track the effectiveness of it, etc. All in all, though, it will be worth it, and with more businesses planning to increase their budget for influencer marketing, you’ll not just only reach more members of your core customer base, but you’ll also compete with others in your industry.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

The post 5 Best Practices for Finding the Right Influencer for Your Brand appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/10/5-best-practices-for-finding-the-right-influencer-for-your-brand/

How Google’s ‘Fundo’ is Reimagining the World of Virtual Events

With COVID-19 restrictions still in place around the world, the need for virtual events is more apparent than ever. Numerous platforms have stepped up in an effort to fill the void with a variety of features from Facebook’s paid online events and Instagram’s announcement of monetization in IGTV to LinkedIn’s introduction of virtual events into pages. One thing is clear from this flurry of updates — these options are here to stay and will likely be utilized long after the pandemic is behind us.

Today, Google is getting involved and providing more tools in this space through an expanded launch of its Fundo virtual events platform aimed to help creators and brands seamlessly schedule and host events through simplified organization and promotional tools.

Creating meaningful experiences online

Originally developed in 2018 by Google’s Area 120 incubator, Fundo began as a tool to allow YouTube creators a way to organize host paid, ticketed virtual meet-and-greet events. Following a beta launch last summer for several hundred testers including fitness instructors, business and lifestyle consultants, Fundo is now available for anyone to use and can be leveraged for a variety of cases including workout and cooking classes and workshops.

“Over the past year, many parts of life had to move online and become virtual. While we didn’t build Fundo specifically because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the mission of creating meaningful experiences online is even more important today,” shared John Gregg, General Manager at Fundo in the official announcement.

The one-on-one focus is an important way for creators to host an intimate event with a single individual or small group while workshops are an important feature during a time when small businesses including are facing substantial obstacles. Outside of presenting more ways to spread the word and share content, the option adds greater flexibility in which creators can schedule an event in advance, or let fans request a time and have the option to bring in co-hosts or special guests.


Source

“In 2020, a lot of things are online,” Gregg said in a separate statement to Variety. “We’re not exclusive for YouTube creators. We think it provides value to any kind of creator… There are lots of different ways it can be used.”

Taking the complexity out of virtual events

A primary goal of Fundo is to take the headache out of hosting a virtual event, especially when you’re dealing with a ticketed experience. Through a single end-to-end platform, creators and businesses can schedule their event, manage sign-up and payment processes, communicate details about the livestream, and more.

There are no apps for external software necessary for Fundo: Event hosts and their guests access everything on the site through a special-purpose video-chat system separate from YouTube. A fan favorite feature? The built-in “photo booth” feature, in which each attendee gets a photo with a creator-customized frame.

Hosts are in control of the price to sign up and any discounts and whether they want a given event to be free, though Google takes a 20 percent cut of revenue generated per Gregg. Furthermore, some creators using YouTube Channel Memberships are able to offer Fundo Meet & Greets exclusively to channel members as a premium perk. To help fuel cross-channel promotion, Fundo users are able to create an account including their other social media profile details, as well as a personalized URL for easier access.

Safety and discoverability

Fans are able to find events happening on Fundo through the home page, or through links that their creators share. Once they’ve chosen an event iall they simply have to do is answer a few basic questions, and complete a ticket purchase. Fundo manages everything else including generating the event link and sending reminders leading up to the event. The platform also provides technical support if it is needed.

While Fundo prides itself on putting creators in control of their event, safety is also a top priority. To support in this regard, Fundo checks every event guest’s ticket and monitors for reporting and flagging of potentially harmful or abusive content

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

The post How Google’s ‘Fundo’ is Reimagining the World of Virtual Events appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/09/how-googles-fundo-is-reimagining-the-world-of-virtual-events/

Empower Your Cause Marketing with Influencers

How effective is influencer marketing? Just by its nature alone, we can assume the answer is “very.” Major brands spend millions a year to get influencers on their side to promote their products. Non-profits and movements have also found mainstream support thanks to the visibility from influencers and celebrities standing behind their values.

Admittedly, this industry has taken a hit in 2020. Many influencers who were once paid to engage in the community, travel and create content outside of the home are losing contracts due to their inability to meet that end of the bargain. It has led some to wonder if the era of influencer marketing could be dying in the face of a changing economic landscape due to the pandemic.

At the end of 2019 and into the beginning of the year, many believed that influencer marketing budgets and campaigns would be skyrocketing, not declining. What was once relevant has taken a sharp turn and we are forced to look not at numbers but at anecdotal evidence.

This kind of data is still valuable. Using COVID as an example, you can see that the outpouring of support for hospitals, people’s campaigns, homeless shelters and more has grown across the globe, even as many have faced economic hardships themselves. Why? It is due to the kindness we share with one another in times of trouble. But it could also be in part to influencers who are using their muscles to share these messages and bring in donations where they are needed most.

Utilize Influencer Marketing For Your Own Cause

According to a Cone Cause Evolution Survey, 87% of the participants who were asked said they were not only willing but would absolutely switch to another brand if they found out they were supporting a cause in which the customer believed. This shows that the desire to support causes through brand awareness is already there — your job is to get the message out.

Here is where influencers come in. An influencer already has a strong audience that is loyal to them as their own brand. They enjoy their content and have largely stuck with them even as formats have changed to meet the demands of quarantine. The first part of the process is already done for you: visibility.

In fact, influencers are becoming a real marketing powerhouse across an array of industries including cosmetics and beauty, fashion, education and nonprofits. Influencers can drive traffic and exposure to just about any project, even if it is brand new and has no traffic of its own.

Next, we want to be targeting those influencers. This is also easier when we are looking at causes versus products because we are narrowing in on something about which the influencer feels strongly. We can assume their audience also falls into that demographic and are more likely to also care about that cause–it may even be why they are following that influencer in the first place.

Approach with The Cause In Mind

Influencers get plenty of offers for campaigns, so you need to stand out. Come out with a strong message about the cause and how you think they would specifically be useful in promoting the message. Let them know what specific characteristics they have that make them uniquely suited to work with you, like their passion, content, or aesthetic.

Share what it is you hope to accomplish and how they can be a part of it. Have a specific task you have in mind for them–don’t just tell them that they will be sharing posts. Remember that influencer marketing is more than just connecting with those influencers. It is about getting them directly involved with a campaign tailored to their talents and their audience.

One tool to help you here is Text Optimizer that allows you to better research context around your target keyword and create a more optimized content and social media strategy when working with an influencer:

Text Optimizer

Don’t Target a Single Influencer

The more channels you have promoting your cause, the better. Lady Gaga managed to raise $35 million for Coronavirus efforts early on in the US stages of the pandemic. It was an amazing feat, but we can’t all get Lady Gaga signed onto a cause, especially when she is already associated with so many top notch brands.

In contrast, YouTuber Vaush managed to raise $19,000 for the Black Lives Matter movement through streaming his Minecraft videos. Mr Beast raised $20 million to plant trees around the world in an effort to correct environmental damage done through deforestation and climate change.

Influencers come in all different sizes of viewership, ability and passions. Can you imagine what having two on your side would do? Three? Thirty? There is no limit to how many influencers you can get on board, particularly for a good cause. It is all about finding the ones who most represent what you are hoping to accomplish.

Have Your Creatives Ready

While most influencers will prefer to create their own assets to be in-line with their styles and aesthetic, having branded content ready is always helpful. Creating your own branded kit and sharing it with influencers is a great idea–include your logo in different dimensions, screenshots or visuals available for reuse, and color palettes. Both Visme and Venngage are good resources.

At the very least, create some visuals featuring your logo and message for influencers and publishers to reuse (and even take offline in the form of branded merchandise) easily. Here are plenty of free templates on Placeit to help you.

Create branded visuals

Whichever social media channels you decide to use, make sure you have your own site set up to promote your cause and consolidate your whole marketing strategy around your site. Make sure to publicize your story and reuse your visuals on your own site to build consistent visibility that doesn’t rely on any single third-party platform.

Cause marketing is tough but the right influencers are able to make a real difference.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

The post Empower Your Cause Marketing with Influencers appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/08/empower-your-cause-marketing-with-influencers/

How Data Science and Predictive Modeling Can Scale Your Influencer Efforts

In an industry where there are many points of friction for influencer marketers and algorithms, artificial intelligence, and machine learning solutions seem to penetrate every sector and business category, how can businesses establish strategies to scale ROI? How can they scale the identification of their creator partners? How can they increase confidence in content?

During #SMWONE, CreatorIQ’s Head of Customer Success, Brooke Hennon joined by Bhavin Desai, VP of Product Strategy, addressed these questions breaking down how the platform is using advanced data science to create intuitive influencer marketing solutions. Through a holistic, outcomes-based recommendation engine, CreatorIQ is combining multiple data science models spanning influencer identification, content attribution prediction, and audience targeting.

Here are the primary insights and takeaways:

  • Any person with a social presence can be an influencer
  • To scale the reach and frequency of your campaigns, lean on lookalike audience-powered media
  • To scale the reach and frequency of your campaigns, lean on lookalike audience-powered media

Finding the best creators for your campaigns

A common paint point amongst marketers if finding the right influencers to partner with. The vast majority put a significant amount of time against searching for more influencers that match the aspirational collaborations or already in-flight relationships and desire efficiency. According to Hennon and Desai, right now this process is an art form without guidance and data science is a key solution to helping it become less subjective and more efficient so desired results can be achieved.

“We’re leaving millions of data points across performance, creator approvals, brand affinity, and industry alignment to build a recommendation engine trained to identify the best creators for any campaign.” By constantly evaluating performance data, additional creators can be added on-demand to the engineer based on current high-performing creators. This system can also be leveraged by lookalike creators but specific to a certain demographic (e.g. I want 10 more influencers like this but based in London for this next campaign). Beyond location, gender and interests are other elements that can be used to help identify best fit creators. This can all be combined with the core campaign and brand goals to help identify the best fit creators for any campaign.

“As influencer marketing grows, it needs to scale to go to toe-to-toe with other marketing methods. We have to do it more efficiently,” said Hennon. This starts with finding and collaborating with the right influencers with strong performing content that aligns with your brand.

Increase content confidence with content attribute prediction

Once you’ve honed your identification strategy, the second step focuses on scaling content performance. When thinking of content direction to use to brief influencers, marketers often use little science and, again, rely on subjectivity much like when they set out to look for influencers at the onset of a campaign. To address this, CreatorIQ leverages several approaches to identify and drive the delivery of high-performing content.

“What resonates on TikTok is very different from what resonates on Facebook,” Desai claimed. To remove some of the guesswork, the company is leaning into visual insights to build data science models focused on the identification and recommendation of high-performing content. This is in partnership with some of the leading virtual recognition engines like Google Vision to analyze tens of millions of pieces of content. From this information, custom models are built that can correlate to specific visual and performance attributes detected within the content and provide recommendations around what has the highest likelihood to perform well. This is particularly informative when devising paid campaigns.

A key takeaway: content attribution prediction is not only useful in driving content confidence in the present but can be a useful mechanism to future-proofing briefs in additional campaigns. Frequently influencer marketers lack the bandwidth to build data-driven briefs and this is a solution that takes the headache out of this equation.

“Another key outcome of the visual insights model is the ability to leverage data from the content to not just recommendation campaign content but also deliver refined creator requirements to drive the creation of high-performing content,” explained Desai.

Scaling audience targeting and reach

Marketers want to maximize the reach of the influencers’ best performing content — beyond the fans and followers of partner influencers There are several variables to consider in the influencer space from content to people to different audiences and knowing which levers to pull is a recurring problem. How can there be a more elegant and effective way to amplify content?

CreatorIQ is addressing this question heads on with a model that leverages influencer data like demographics, organic and paid performance to drive the creation of lookalike audience seed segments that are used as inputs to social platform audience targeting

“We have seen significant improvements in conversion data when compared to standalone audience targeting available within the platforms directly, for example, Facebook’s Ads Manager,” Desai explained. What this boils down to is brands having the ability to take a subset of influencers correlated with high performance within a designated campaign and then identify additional lookalike influencers based on those performing well. These can be leveraged to create a “seed segment” that drives lookalike audience targeting. The immediate result to note: improvements on ad spend.

“Any person with a social presence can be an influencer,” said Hennon closing out the session. Build your army of brand ambassadors by recruiting employees or super fans of your product.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

The post How Data Science and Predictive Modeling Can Scale Your Influencer Efforts appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/06/how-data-science-and-predictive-modeling-can-scale-your-influencer-efforts/

How to Prepare Your Brand for the Not So Distant Future: 2.22.22

Where will the world be on February 2, 2022? What can we expect the business landscape to look like? What brands will see success and which ones won’t? What will be important to consumers?

All of these are important questions that are top of mind for marketers and will continue to be in the months and years ahead. During #SMWONE Suzy CEO Matt Britton tapped into up to the minute research from his team to play the role of futurist and paint a broad picture of the world we will be living in on the other side of COVID-19.

Here are the primary insights and takeaways:

  • Consumers want variety; not quantity when it comes to their purchases
  • Secondary and tertiary cities are on the path to become the new “hot spots”
  • People are ultimately more fascinating than brands and influencers will be behind the brands that take off

Living: the “accordion effect”

According to Britton, the global pandemic will result in an “accordion effect” in which people will gravitate away from the big cities like New York or San Francisco. Meanwhile, secondary and tertiary cities like Columbus, Ohio, Denver, Colorado, and Denton, Texas are on the path to become the new “hot spots.” “Suburban sprawl simply is not that appealing to the millennial generation,” he added.

What are the tangential effects of this transition? Appreciation is these lower-tiered markets and home prices in areas like New York or San Francisco leveling off. With this, we may see a trickle-down effect whereby there is a resurgence in automobile purchases. This potential increase in demand for consumers buying cars, however, could result in reduced demand in the long-term, for ride-sharing companies like Lyft and Uber preferred for their ubiquity.

Buying: consumers want variety

Consumers want variety; not quantity when it comes to apparel. One may assume this would open the window of opportunity for retailers but in a down market, this isn’t the case. Britton elaborated with several examples including J.Crew recently filing for bankruptcy and Gap claiming some of its stories will never reopen.

“These companies surely lean too heavily into a brick and mortar layout and did not pivot nearly fast enough to an e-commerce model,” Britton explained.

He pointed to Rent the Runway (RTR) and Ipsy, recently announcing it surpassed $5M in revenue, as prime examples of business models that will continue to be sustainable because the trends of consumers wearing garments less and less or wanting the convenience of beauty products sent to their home is not going to reverse.

Another important retail trend: companies will increasingly look to take over control of their own consumer experience. Nike, for instance, pulled its products off of Amazon this past November. This also holds for the CPG space. In a world of Amazon Prime, companies including Million Dollar Shave Clubface increased pressure to establish a more scalable e-commerce strategy.

“If I’m the CPGs, I’m trying to form a coalition where there are prime benefits where Costco, with traditional CPGs, can compete against Amazon, and maybe P&G one day will make the same decision that Nike made,” explained Britton.

The growing role of influencers

Surfacing headlines are posing the common question: could the coronavirus kill the influencer culture? Per Britton, “influencer culture is just begging and it is here to stay.”

Something Navy fashion blogger cracked a deal with Nordstrom and started to sell her own clothing. In this wavelength, he also mentioned Danielle Berstein who with her “We Wore What” blog is building a bigger audience through socially responsible posts across content and supporting small businesses with her efforts. IN turn, she’s seeing tremendous success via launching new products with numerous retailers.

“People are ultimately more fascinating than brands and influencers will be behind the brands that take off.”

Look no further than the TV space for prime examples of this idea, specifically the story of Oprah Winfrey’s rise to fame as she became a brand in her own right. The same trend will likely take form within the fashion space, per Britton. Influential people who have the right audiences and are built from the ground up will be able to create sustainable, digitally-native businesses that evolve into the new Gaps and the new Nordstroms of the future.

Brands as “ingredient” or “helping” brands

Years ago Home Depot coined the tagline “You can do it. We can help.” As consumers realize they can no longer rely on the services that they once did in a pre-crisis environment, they are now resorting to their own devices. 43 percent of dog owners, for instance, claim they will switch to DIY grooming.

Mattel Playroom, as another example, is using this time to encourage families and children to come up with their own toys in its “Play is Never Cancelled” — this concept of taking what you bought from us and make it bigger and better. Finally, Eva Longoria shocked the Internet when she took to dying her own hair in a L’Oreal ad she filmed herself from her house.

Whether these new habits actually take hold post-COVID, there is a powerful meaning behind brands taking an uncertain time and empowering consumers by giving them the raw ingredients to push forward — a role Britton referred to as “helping brands.”

This is also the case for the food and beverage industry as food preparation has come back into the home. Seventy-five percent of consumers believe they’re more skilled in the kitchen now and over 50 percent believe they will continue to cook more after the crisis. “This will create a substantial shift where these companies who have relied on their packaging and merchandise for years now have to reinvent themselves in a world where their products will be bought digitally, and more consumers are cooking at home on a regular basis,” said Britton.

Entertainment: redefining fun

In the absence of live events, platforms like TikTok and Houseparty are allowing the ability for brands and influencers to collaborate in meaningful and compelling ways. Houseparty specifically saw 17.2M total downloads in March with users carrying out virtual dinner parties, celebrating birthdays, and playing trivia and Pictionary to pass the time at home.

Gaming is also taking off with users engaging with one another on Animal Crossing esports and newcomer apps like Squad. In terms of music, platforms Fortnite and Instagram have become central and taken over the role of “concert venue.” Travis Scott did an entire performance in the form of an avatar on the Fortnite platform that drew in over 12M concurrent viewers. DJs too are using this moment of time to redefine their personal brands, DJ DNice rising to the top for his daily quarantine sets performed on Instagram that draw celebrities like Jennifer Lopez to the crowd.

Work and travel: a slow return

Britton believes travel will come back in full force much like the hospitality space, but it won’t be immediate. As companies struggle with budget cuts and want to avoid the liability of returning to work at the office too quickly, many are taking it upon themselves to postpone major events and issue work from home mandates into 2021.

Similarly to dining out, however, there is an inherent desire to travel and it will return. What is likely to be more apparent in the near future is people opting to travel by car when they’re not as ready to jump on a plane right away. Enter the C2C models of businesses like Airbnb who, despite recently laying off thousands of employees, have a likelihood of finding success for cash strapped homeowners looking for more income and individuals who want quick getaways that are safer than returning to air travel.

Regarding the future of the workplace, businesses are taking serious consideration that not every person across every department needs to be working from the office in order to collaborate and giving employees flexibility as to where they live can boost morale. In short, Britton believes companies will reevaluate their spaces.

Learning

While many workers thrive from home, students are struggling to prosper in a remote learning environment, according to Britton.

For younger generations, school is a place for building friendships, escaping from the house, learning responsibility, and seeing their friends and building core communication and interpersonal skills. 54 percent of parents with students engaged in a remote learning situation due to COVID-19 say it’s a daily struggle to support career and parenting during the day per recent findings from Suzy.

When assessing the 20 skills most in demand today, they are very trade and skill-based including items such as cloud computing, SEO, UX design, and video production, all of which aren’t traditionally taught in a liberal arts environment. The major takeaway: the technology companies are where the jobs are, where GDP is expanding and this is not likely to change. For this reason, it’s unlikely students not want to incur debt for a system that doesn’t prepare them to succeed in this capacity. “There are so many skills in demand that aren’t skills where you’re a jack of all trade or a master of none. I expect us to see a reverberation of demand for skills-based learning and skills-based schools versus generalist schools,” said Britton.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

The post How to Prepare Your Brand for the Not So Distant Future: 2.22.22 appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/06/how-to-prepare-your-brand-for-the-not-so-distant-future-2-22-22/

How to Build a Multi-Layered Influencer Strategy with Empathy

Over the last few months, millions of influencers have openly shared their experiences related to COVID-19 — good and bad. Marketers must also take this moment to reflect and find ways to bring empathy as they look to meet each of their partners where they are by asking questions and leverage digital platforms to communicate in more timely and authentic ways. During #SMWONE CreatorIQ’s Director of Partnerships, Jenny Risch was joined by Jennifer Powell, CEO and Founder of JP Inc. and influencer guest, Mary Lawless Lee, to explore this topic in depth and hear their expert insights as to what’s working or not and why.

Here are the primary insights and takeaways:

  • Being creative can be as simple as resetting at the ground level
  • Don’t overlook the power of the gentle touch of outreach
  • Influencers are as cognizant of their voice in the market right now as you are as a brand

Choosing a partner

Different influencers are likely to be impacted by this crisis in different ways — Rish stressed — so take this time to truly get to know the various types of influencers and how their goals may be shifting. For instance, mega and macro-influencers make a majority of their income from being an influencer. With this in mind, coming to them with an upfront agreement mapping our several months or more of work is essential to create a trusted long-term relationship. Looking at a micro-influencer, on the other hand, that likely treats this work as a side hustle, would more likely be interested in hearing about discounts, product exchanges, and other promotions to maintain work with brands.

A few basics practices Rish offered to incorporate into your approach:

  • Do reach out with empathy. Ask both existing and prospective partners how they’re doing even if you don’t have the budget to work with them at the moment.
  • Do be open-minded when it comes to your brief — your influencers may have fresh ideas that translate into big opportunities
  • Don’t assume business is usual just because they haven’t posted any pandemic-related content
  • Don’t engage with a partner before understanding their personal and family’s well being.

“Now more than ever influencers are as cognizant of their voice in the market right now as you are as a brand,” said Rish. As a marketer you have the unique opportunity to shape briefs and creative strategies now with your partners based on the experiences influencers are having and the new things they’re trying out from a content standpoint that may resonate and that they can organically bring to life for you.

Establishing trust amidst uncertainty

“The beauty of working with an influencer is that they are their audience’s friend — and that relationship is special and has a lot of trust. As brands reach out and re-engage during this time, trusting that influencer and their leadership to deliver the best message and leaning into what that influencer advises is important,” shared Lee on the topic of what establishing trust looks like today and how to set the right tone for a partnership out of the gate. Powell chimed in adding that constantly having a finger on the pulse of readers has been key for major players like Lee and Danielle Berstein. Specifically, this practice of social listening translates into a key data resource and helps inform constructive feedback when discussing with brands what types of content works and what doesn’t.

This isn’t to say brands shouldn’t be involved in these conversations and the gentle touch of outreach shouldn’t be overlooked especially now. “It’s so important for the brand to get to know the talent whether that turns into a compensated relationship off the bat or just to meet and to hopefully partner down the road…for me that’s always been an important part of what I do especially when considering a mega or macro influencer like Mary.”

Pointing to her own story of transitioning her brick and mortar business online, Lee added that it’s a two-way street. “The name of the game right now is supporting one another and meeting each other in the middle. We reached out to every brand we’ve ever worked with and asked how they could be supported through messaging and content as a whole. Many came back to us with gifting and we were able to take that and support them through stories via stories and posts.”

Resetting at the ground level to fuel creativity

Eighty-five percent of Lee’s readers have been with her for six years or more. Powell articulated that these stats are a direct result of her impact as a brand partner and a healthy community. “Her blog was always a passion project — never a job. From having a baby to opening the store and building a house it’s been an opportunity to bring brands along her life journey and share her experiences at different stages of her life.” This is equally if not more relevant in the context of COVID-19.

“We didn’t realize how many moms we had following us so lately we’re doing a lot more cooking, baby, and fitness content and it brings a smile to my face. I’m excited to take deeper dives into these topics because I genuinely love doing these things,” added Lee.

While not to downplay the crisis, both agreed there’s a silver lining and for Powell and Lee this means using the situation productively to experiment and go back to the beginning of why influencer marketing works and its role in the industry. They plan to continue leveraging new platforms and content approaches across Instagram Lives, TikTok, and LinkedIn to navigate the outcomes of the pandemic today and in the year ahead.

“Have a layered strategy with the inclusion of all of these different levels of influencers,” Powell shared in a final thought.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

The post How to Build a Multi-Layered Influencer Strategy with Empathy appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/06/how-to-build-a-multi-layered-influencer-strategy-with-empathy/

How Warfare Tactics Can Help Personalize Your Virtual Recruitment Efforts

The U.S. Army has been recruiting for a long time with its legacy systems, but today they acknowledge that this is a new world and strategies must shift. Their traditional approaches include walking in the mall, cold calls, billboards but they are now focused on two-way conversations and listening more, using social media to do so. It’s important to make sure that their recruits are given the information that’s right for them, and as they are now 100% virtual they are finding that they’re better at targeting conversations than ever before.

During #SMWONE last week, the U.S Army Recruiting Command’s marketing team — including Shauna Clark and Xeriqua Garfinkel — and an enterprise consultant at Digimind joined forces to outline the strategies they’re using to recruit and how you can apply it to your brand.

Here are the primary insights and takeaways:

  • Preparation and not forcing your agenda will foster authenticity and deeper understanding of your audience
  • Social listening is key to blending messages and creating loyalty
  • The battlefield is always changing so it’s important to adapt.

Understanding what is key to your audience

With Digimind,the global leader in AI-Powered social listening platforms and market intelligence software, they understand the pivot that needs to take place. With everything revolving around COVID-19, it’s important that their team turns out dashboard solutions, outreach programs, and ways to best connect to COVD-19 information from a customer perspective.

Digimind’s platform has given the U.S Army the ability to slice and dice the information out there and help them recruit. In terms of specific adjustments as a result of COVID-19, there’s best practices now put in place around COVID-19 needs, and a new product that is a dashboard-solution only. The team is being reactive to help clients connect to this new normal in any way possible, as Tony Calega of Digimind explained.

How the U.S Army is using data and applying it to their overall strategy and tactics

Shauna says they use The Art of War by Sun Tzu to explain the reasoning behind why they are successful, using the strategies outlined in that book in their day to day work.

  • A wise general makes a point of foraging on the enemy: embrace your fan’s content. Recruiters can create their own content so their voice can be heard and allow their virtual community to engage
  • Let the object be victory, not lengthy campaigns: build your strategy with intention. Know where you want to go first so that you are managing your time well, and you have a measurable deliverable and the benchmarks in place to get you there.
  • Know the enemy and know thyself: understand your target market by using resources to understand what triggers a users response and use a social listening tool to dig down to a user’s sentiment.
  • The first to the battlefield is fresh, the second will be harried and exhausted: it’s important to be prepared first. Readiness and understanding the market is important so you can pivot without having to play too much catch-up.
  • Impose your will on the enemy and do not let you enemy’s will be imposed on you: Have a concrete plan and use a platform that you’re already familiar with.
  • Water shapes its course according to nature’s ground as does a soldier working out his victory in relation to the foe he faces: adapt your tactics to your platform. Don’t force your agenda and have a two-way conversation and don’t treat every social media account the same.
  • Gongs and drums banners and flags are a means to focus on a particular point: conversations are easier to listen to when their intention is focused on a single point.
  • The enemy may not be coming but be ready if he does: social listening plays a key role in understanding your target audience, and the influencers of your target audience.
  • Rapidity is the essence of war: stay current and respond to trends or market changes. It’s important to adapt without losing your strategy.

Adapt, adapt, adapt

The most important tip? The battlefield always changes and it’s important to adapt. It’s also important to use social media as a listening tool to inform your strategies and know where to go next.

The large takeaway: these strategies are applicable to any business and any market that is trying to navigate how they should approach social media. more specifically, how they should approach social listening and a general process for gathering and gaining different insights. Themes of rapidity, flexibility, having intention in your strategy, being prepared are all prescient, relevant, and timely considering where we are today but can undoubtedly be melded to fit the future.

“As long as we are agile and can stay focused on what our overall strategy will be, that’s where we see our success,” Garfinkel said.

Beyond agility, Clark articulated the power of social listening. “Our target market is a very small group. We go after a certain age group, some college, no college, you name it — and we use social media and social listening to blend our message and create loyalty not only in our market and also in influencers. It’s really about understanding what works best and who is there, who is present, and how they’re responding and using that information to inform decisions on where you go next.”

There’s still time to register for #SMWONE at smwone.com. Save 20% throughout the rest of the month!

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

The post How Warfare Tactics Can Help Personalize Your Virtual Recruitment Efforts appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/05/how-warfare-tactics-can-help-personalize-your-virtual-recruitment-efforts/

How Consumer Faith and Social Media Saved Lives: The Story of the #DistanceDance Campaign

If you think TikTok dances are just another form of social media posturing, think again.

During #SMWONE the companies behind the viral #DistanceDance campaign shared the story behind the success and the major learning lessons from the experience. Primarily, how consumer faith in brands and social media have the powerful ability, and responsibility, to directly make a positive impact. The fundraising campaign, which launched late March, is still turning heads all over the world due to the incredible social media following of TikToker Charli D’Amelio who took to the platform with an important mission: save lives by encouraging people to adhere to government and health official regulations to stay home.

Here are the primary insights and takeaways:

  • Brand propose is not marketing
  • The days of slapping #spon on content is over
  • Don’t negate the power of implicit trust and intuition

The 96-Hour Hustle

The campaign started with a string of phone calls on a Friday night, the first from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine to Procter & Gamble CEO David Taylor with a problem: the state’s younger demographics weren’t practicing social distancing. DeWine was eager to see how the CPG giant could help spread the word about the importance of staying at home to flatten the curve and stop the spread of COVID-19.

Taylor then called P&G chief brand officer Marc Pritchard, who reached out to Debby Reiner, president of global brands at longtime agency partner Grey and the ideas began. Within 24 hours after that, the Grey team, including Gold, came up with the #DistanceDance concept and partnered with TikTok to get D’Amelio signed on. The following morning P&G called Grey with the formal pitch and that rest was Internet history.

Within four days, by the following Tuesday evening, Grey and Tiktok had tapped D’Amelio to create the video. To date, the video has earned the top title of most-watched video on the platform and the most viewed challenge. The challenge has attracted 15 billion views while the video itself has garnered over 191 million views and over 2 billion impressions. As far as original videos are concerned, more than 4 million have been made by celebrities such as Jason Derulo, Ne-Yo, Migos, Ashley Tisdale, and many more.

Picking a platform and influencer

Kenny Gold, Director of Social Media at Grey explained that when Pritchard reached out for help, they needed to navigate to fundamental obstacles. First, find a platform with inventory that could deliver the message in a new way that was right for this audience. And second was time, because every day mattered and Grey and P&G knew time was of the essence. Partnering with TikTok and Charli helped us solve both.

Barbara Jones, Founder and CEO, Outshine Talent, articulated this notion of a true collaboration by explaining, “Charlie and her family really understood the importance of this message from the beginning. They walked the walk and they knew this was important. Because she has such an impact on her fans and her audience…she really had the mentality of having fun and had confidence could spread positivity and do good with this. She was all in.”

TikTok‘s Lauren Birnbaum added, “This was the first branded PSA activation that TikTok funded from a media perspective. We felt so strongly about the cause and that our platform could take this message to the masses with a huge impact.”

The confluence of reach, speed agility

When asked about the nuances of how they worked together and how success would be measured, Gold, Jones, and Birnbaum were unanimous in that it was agility and having trust behind their shared goal of spreading this important message. TikTok delivered the ease of production and serving as the largest megaphone.

“We needed it to be a place of extreme reach and we needed it to be a place that would be breakthrough in the truest sense of the term. If it was anywhere else, we wouldn’t have cut through as deeply. It was the right medium, right time, and the right level of production. Then we asked, who has the voice of Gen Z in her mouth? That’s Charlie. It was truly lightning in a bottle.”

Jones added, “I think for TikTok specifically too, it is a benefit to the platform to not overthink the creative; not to dot the I’s and cross T’s that you may think you have to do for others. The beauty with TikTok is its natural ease. Sometimes when you have big brands and agencies and long lead time it can hurt you.

“At TikTok we say we love to run and in this case, we were sprinting as fast as we could,” echoed Birnbaum.

With the notion of one team, one dream when asked about how success was measured the group collectively shared that reach and awareness were most critical as their overarching goal was to get a specific and unifying message out to the intended audience.

Influencer marketing and brand purpose dos and don’ts

If you’re going to entrust your brand and its purpose in the voice of someone else and into the community of someone else you have to work together, explained Gold, “it has to be a true, co-creation partnership. The days of slapping #spon on a piece content is over.”

There is a difference between social good marketing and brand purpose, Jones echoed. “Brands and agencies need to get ahead of the curve, actually talk to their creators versus go out to them as sheer amplifiers, pull some little focus groups together, and start crowdsourcing about what really works.”

Birnbaum added that from a branding perspective in more cases than not it’s more efficient and cost-effective to let go of the reins and lean on the creator to convey the message as natively as possible. “Instead of a huge video shoot you can give that credit and autonomy to the talent,” she shared.

On the topic of brand purpose, the group underscored themes of loyalty, genuity, and making mission the boss.

Gold shared, “Brand purpose is only as good as its ability to permeate through times like this. Brand purpose is not marketing. Marketing is the opportunity to live your DNA in a way that resonates with your audience.” P&G is a prime example of a brand on the front lines standing by its mission to get essential products into the hands of those who need it.

Brands need to put the cause above them now more than ever Birnbaum added. You take P&G in this case, their branding and logos were almost absent.”

The group closed summarizing their brand ethos of the campaign in one word. The outcome: “Inspiring, teamwork, blooming, and helpful.”

There’s still time to register for #SMWONE at smwone.com. Save 20% throughout the rest of the month!

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

The post How Consumer Faith and Social Media Saved Lives: The Story of the #DistanceDance Campaign appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/05/how-consumer-faith-and-social-media-saved-lives-the-story-of-the-distancedance-campaign/

Capturing the “Older Cousin” Effect of Influencer Marketing with Outloud Group

Long before we had influencer marketing, we had older siblings and cousins who showed us what we wanted to do, be, and try. They were the original influencers. For Outloud Group’s Bradley Hoos, it was his cousins in particular. We followed them, he says, because they had our trust. And today, successful influencers are the ones who have gained similar trust from their followers.

Trust isn’t the only thing that makes influencers powerful. The other reason that reputable brands partner with these individuals is because they can tell a story. They can tell a story in a compelling and relatable way, particularly as consumers are increasingly wary of being “sold to.” The key to a successful influencer relationship, then, is allowing them the space and the autonomy to tell that story in the way they do best.

During #SMWONE, Hoos elaborated on this subject outlining the major barriers to influencer marketing and best practices for success, ways to better understand and scale your organization’s influencer efforts, and his predictions for the future of influencer measurement and what you can do to prepare.

Here are the primary insights and takeaways:

  • Influencers don’t need our scripts or guidance on brand voice
  • We all need to be able to do more when it comes to measurement
  • Consider influencer marketing as “the Magic Johnson” of your marketing mix

Static = Safe, Live = Legendary

If we select influencers for their ability to tell an engaging story, Hoos says, then we should allow them to do so in a format that captures that quality. Static posts on Instagram, which were at one time the standard for influencer content, have given way to video content. While this has raised the heart rates of more than a few brands who see the potential loss of control that video could offer, Hoos argues that it’s worth the risk. “We screen for good partnership prospects […] and really get to know them,” and believes that any brand working with an influencer should do the same. After all, their followers have made them valuable to us because of their trust; shouldn’t we offer the same?

Hoos thinks that video-on-demand (such as that in an Instagram video post) is one way of doing this, but there’s considerably more power in letting influencers take their talents to live or streaming video. Case in point: the burgeoning world of esports. No longer a “niche” interest, it’s the place to be for males in Generation Z as well as younger millennials. For reference: the League of Legends final streams garnered more viewers than the NBA Finals, finals of the World Series, or the Stanley Cup Finals. “If you are a brand trying to reach a Gen Z male, this is how and the time is now,” he affirmed.

Full-Funnel Growth for Grubhub

Joining the session via pre-recorded video was Grubhub’s Director of Content Marketing Mandy Cudahy. The challenge for her team as they incorporated influencer marketing into their strategy was finding ways to let them engage prospects all through the funnel. By allowing their chosen influencers to authentically share their “Why Grubhub?” story through the content they shared on Twitch live streams, they reached the lowest cost per click and lowest cost per acquisition the company had ever seen.

Hoos was happy to share this as affirmation for the idea that influencers don’t need our scripts or guidance on brand voice. They’re considerably more powerful as brand advocates, able to use their authentic voices – the voices that their followers know and appreciate about them – to sing the praises of your product or service.

The Meaning – and Magic of Measurement

“It’s 2020 and we all need to be able to do more when it comes to measurement,” Hoos says of the impact that influencer marketing can have on company bottom lines. While he acknowledges that it can be harder to do than more straightforward forms of marketing, he also isn’t naïve about the reach that it can have. Referring to “atrributable” and “unattributable” purchases, he cites a study The Outloud Group conducted that revealed for every attributable purchase driven by an affiliate link or from an influencer post, there were between three and four that were deemed “unattributable,” but actually could be traced back to the influencer’s…well, influence.

For this reason, he sees influencer marketing as “the Magic Johnson” of your marketing mix. Not only is it powerful in its own right, but it makes everyone around it – email marketing, paid social, blog, TV spots, etc. – stronger. And if you have Magic Johnson on your team, why wouldn’t you start him?

There’s still time to register for #SMWONE at smwone.com. Save 20% throughout the rest of the month!

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

The post Capturing the “Older Cousin” Effect of Influencer Marketing with Outloud Group appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/05/capturing-the-older-cousin-effect-of-influencer-marketing-with-outloud-group/

Tips for Staying Brand-Safe During a Pandemic

With the COVID-19 pandemic, tons of influencers and brands are trying to “influence for good.” In last week’s #SMWONE session, CreatorIQ’s COO, Tim Sovay was joined by Lena Renzina who manages talent partnerships at Ad Council to discuss how to reevaluate brand safety policies during this unprecedented time and how content creators can mindfully manage their channels and influence.

Here are the primary insights and takeaways:

  • Influencers are leading impact-oriented campaigns
  • Creators have a responsibility with the platforms they have to share positivity and keep people informed
  • The key to brand safety is vetting and testing

Overall, creators have been using their influence for good

“Creators today are delivering millions of posts to their audiences around their interest and involvement in COVID-19,” Sovay states. Specifically, the content and campaigns being pushed out during this time show that there’s a shift from “broader pandemic content to more cause and impact-oriented campaigns,” especially with topics that are centered around thanking heroes and staying at home, plus supporting small businesses. In fact, overall engagement on influencer has surpassed 4.6 billion, and Sovay says this is because of the efforts of influencers, brands, government agencies, and efforts from AdCouncil to rally around this important cause and get people to engage.

Mobilizing the industry for good

During this time, Renzina’s team at AdCouncil had to rally their clients to quickly respond to the crisis and push out messages around critical news. They focused on five issue areas: social distancing messages, hygiene such as washing hands, stay at home orders, mental health, and parenting. The team wanted to hit different markets yet still push out the “general messaging that the public needed to hear, in a quick time period” Renzina points out.

With their talent partners, Renzina really wanted to make sure that the influencers were using their voices for good around the issues that each influencer was most passionate about. Sharing critical and time-sensitive information needed to be fully vetted so that their platforms don’t seem outdated or fake, and should continue to be vetted on an ongoing basis.

The challenges to ‘create’ during this time

Now more than ever “creators have a responsibility with the platform they have, ” Renzina points out, and it’s important that they send out the right message. Her tips during the session included always finding the source before influencers post anything (so making sure the source is credible and they double-check the info) and gut-checking a post with a friend or team before sharing it widely. She also warns that influencers should not shy away from sharing resources at this time that might be helpful to their audience. While influencers are trying to strike a balance between staying positive yet away of what’s going on globally, it’s important to remember that good information should be shared so that it can possibly help others during this time.

How to stay brand-safe

Savoy notes that some areas brands can takeaway are:

  • While individual companies guidelines and risk tolerances are unique, brands and legal teams should think to adjust guidelines for COVID-19 content. This is an entirely new subject matter, so content needs to be revisited for both “subject and tone”.
  • As these are fast evolving topics, content that might be brand-safe today can be super risky tomorrow, so staying nimble and adaptable is key too
  • To respond to some of these challenges, Creator IQ can screen influencers for brand safety keywords so that brands remain careful in who they choose to partner up with

How future and current content creators can stay on top

Vetting talent is really important, according to Ranzina. With so much uncertainty, she shared her screening test “the good, the bad and the ugly” to vet influencers. The good means the creator is uplifting or brand-safe for a specific campaign or organization, the bad can be a red flag like posting something that might be tone-deaf in the past, and the ugly is a deal-breaker that you don’t want to align your brand with. So, it’s important for brands to really look at the content creators channels. Brand safety is especially key during these times.

There’s still time to register for #SMWONE at smwone.com. Save 20% throughout the rest of the month!

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

The post Tips for Staying Brand-Safe During a Pandemic appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/05/tips-for-staying-brand-safe-during-a-pandemic/

Here’s Where Influencers Belong in Your COVID-19 Marketing Strategy

In a pandemic that seems to suck the productivity and optimism out of the country, there are some individuals and some companies that are seeing creativity in ways that may be here to last. Two of those individuals — Harvey Schwartz, SVP Talent, ViacomCBS — and Miki Rai, a registered nurse with 1.2 million followers on Tik Tok sat down during #SMWONE to discuss how they’ve managed to navigate these difficult times.

Here are the primary insights and takeaways:

  • Influencers offering a sense of positivity and normlacy are winning
  • Choosing trusted partners ise essential, especially for healthcare influencers
  • Be true to what you preach or don’t bother

Miki Rai didn’t follow the path of  your typical “influencer.”  She was born in Japan, moved to the U.S. when she was three years old and decided she wanted to choose a life-changing profession as a nurse when she was in high school. She was a natural, always had a love for posting videos, and when she was in nursing school she would post what she was learning. But who knew sharing a photo of her and a few friends in scrubs out front of a hospital at 6AM before their shift would go viral.

How does a nurse — or any non-celebrity — manage to build 1.2 million TikTok followers? Schwartz has an idea. “Influence has always been kind of a buy product of someone delivering and entertaining a useful connection to an audience whether it is a musician delivering an emotional performance, a yoga instructor teaching spirituality, a nurse tik-toking,” he said. During a pandemic that has serious global implications, the typical ways for building good content have to shift.

COVID-19 changes to the world

This has been an unprecedented time in history where no one is sure what the future holds, and days are blending together. Influencers are unknowingly finding organic opportunities to connect with their followers without a roadmap. On the other hand, followers are looking to influencers for a sense of positivity and normalcy.

Miki Rai couldn’t be a better example of this type of influencer. Rai’s reputation went from 0-100 on all of her social media platforms. By posting content that seemed so simple to her, her engagement levels went through the roof, and she’s so pivotal and useful to a growing list of followers on every channel during the pandemic. Even her handwashing videos are getting close to 15,000 likes on Instagram, all while it not being her main channel. Connecting her knowledge of nursing to social media during a crucial time, was the perfect recipe for her fame.

Choosing Trusted Brand Partners is Essential for Healthcare Influencers

Every content creator, ambassador, brand, and/or sponsor are all trying to figure out the right way to tell stories. Being a licensed professional, Rai is already held to a higher standard. Specifically, she cannot promote unhealthy habits because it would be a recipe for disaster for one’s health and essentially a double standard. In terms of content Rai believes, “when working with healthcare professionals it’s important that when choosing a brand/sponsorships to be careful of brands putting words in your mouth.” In other words, content creators need to stay true to their personal goals when agreeing to partnerships and be sure not to lose control of their own brand.

Practice what you preach

Being open and honest builds trust. Brands need to remember that if they are not true to what they preach, they are going to lose trust from their consumers. This works both ways for the influencer as well.

If the brand doesn’t match the influencer’s mission statement, influencers should not partner with brands. Influencers should not risk losing their credibility for just any brand/partnership opportunity. It is not worth losing your followers to distrust.

“When every content creator starts out, it is really important to outline what your mission is,” explains Rai. From the very beginning, before the coronavirus pandemic, her mission was to educate/inform. Post coronavirus, her goal is still the same. Harvey went on to ask if there would ever be a ‘fork in the road’, splitting two lanes one becoming a full-time influencer and the other continuing to be a telemedicine nurse. All in all, Rai explained that she would never give up nursing, this is her main priority no matter where social media takes her.

“Influence is an undercurrent and is deep-rooted in our culture, in the last 10 years it has been amplified by our social feeds,” said Harvey Schwartz.

The big takeaway: People want relatable exchanges so they can connect on a different level. Sometimes all they need is a light-hearted distraction that speaks the truth through entertaining content during these difficult times. While this pandemic reaches new places, it’s equally as important for credible influencers with significant audiences to make useful information go viral.

There’s still time to register for #SMWONE at smwone.com. Save 20% throughout the rest of the month!

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

The post Here’s Where Influencers Belong in Your COVID-19 Marketing Strategy appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/05/heres-where-influencers-belong-in-your-covid-19-marketing-strategy/

What You Need to Know About Facebook’s New Creator Studio App

This year there will be close to 1 million minutes of video crossing the internet per second. By 2022, online videos will account for over 82 percent of all internet traffic — a 15x increase compared to 2017.

Audiences find videos more engaging and more memorable than any other type of content

Video continues to stake its claim in the digital space, carving more territory for itself and cementing its role as one of the most effective elements in a digital marketing strategy. As we roll into 2020, there is a lot more for us to understand about video content, but one this is clear — it is no longer a nice to have but a necessity if your storytelling efforts are to be deemed engaging and memorable and drive conversions and exposure.

To help publishers and creators hone their approaches and cater to the demands of a mobile-first world, Facebook unveiled an iOS and Android application companion to its Creator Studio. At a glance, the tool is targeted to allow enhanced management of uploads, performance tracking, and convenient ways to stay in touch with audiences in real-time.

The journey to a creator-centric app

For those unfamiliar with the background, Creator Studio initially launched on desktop last September and served as a replacement for the ‘Creator’ app launch in 2017 (originally released until the title of ‘Mentions’ in 2014). With the history lesson out of the way, let’s take a peek at what the mobile companion has to offer.

Per the announcement — written by the platform’s Head of Creator and Publisher Experience Jeff Birkeland — you can expect the exact same insights and engagement metrics as the desktop hub with a number of added benefits helping manage and edit Page posts, view and make sense of performance analytics, and engage with your audience.

Let’s break these down some more:

Measured metrics and improved multi-account management

A huge priority with the app is to guide creators and publishers as they look to evolve their strategies with rich insights. In the mobile version of Creator Studio, you can seamlessly trace how your videos are performing including one-minute views and average minutes viewed. You can also keep tabs on your advertising earnings, the number of users who commented or shared a video, and how people watched your video for at least 3 seconds.

To take the headache out of hovering from one account to another, the app comes with the functionality to Manage several Facebook Pages and toggle between them without having to go through the added step of logging in and out each time.

“It’s a desktop-mobile ecosystem where you’re getting the benefits across the board,” Birkeland reiterated in a statement to Business Insider. In other words, the app isn’t intended to replace your management process but enhance its feasibility and flexibility.

Creating sustainable audiences and refining your content on-the-go

One of the primary reasons Facebook decided to create a mobile version of Creator Studio was upon receiving feedback that its users wanted to be able to edit video headlines and descriptions and respond to comments from their phones. In this vein, the app comes equipped with the capability of customizing video titles and descriptions, deleting and expiring posts, published drafted posts, and rescheduling scheduled posts.

Consumer intelligence is rising in the ranks as valuable as a form of data that translates into deeper audience relationships and improved decision making. In a nod to this, the Creator Studio app makes it easier to connect with audiences in real-time. Specifically, messages and comments can be responded to directly through the app’s inbox. To help you track your progress over time, the apps come with a setting to schedule notifications when you’ve hit a key milestone.

Being present with your brand continues to be one of the leading ways to secure meaningful engagement. Facebook’s update gives publishers and creators a more streamlined and cohesive way of achieving this in a format that the majority of viewers opt to use. With easier ways of producing and measuring the performance content as well as staying on top of useful feedback, this capability will be integral in bringing a human element to your marketing efforts.

In this vein, marketers should certainly take note that aside from having a human voice, diversifying sources of income continues to be a growing priority for creators as they look to repurpose their content, reach broader audiences at scale, and rise above the noise.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

WATCH THE SMWNYC 2019 RECAP

The post What You Need to Know About Facebook’s New Creator Studio App appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/02/what-you-need-to-know-about-facebooks-new-creator-studio-app/

4 Best Ways to Measure Influencer Marketing Campaigns

Five years ago, it seemed that “influencer marketing” was just a business buzzword. And it was difficult to imagine that in 2019, the influencer marketing industry would be worth $8 billion.

But it has happened. Today, big and small companies consider influencer marketing as a primary advertising channel. And the experts suggest that the influencer marketing industry will keep growing and will be worth $15 billion by 2022.

If you are reading this article, it means one of two things. Either you have already invested in influencer marketing and want to know whether it was the right decision. Or, you haven’t collaborated with influencers yet, because you have no idea how to measure the results of the advertising campaign.

In any case, we got you covered. Here are four practical ways to measure influencer marketing campaigns.

Measure reach

Let’s start with the basics. If you want to know whether your influencer marketing campaign works well, you should calculate your campaign reach.

Reach is a metric that shows how far your brand message has traveled and how many prospective buyers it has reached. To calculate influencer reach, you should take into account the following key performance indicators (KPIs):

Influencer Follower Count

Since some of the followers are brands and bots, influencer follower count can’t be considered as a reliable reach indicator. But still, it can give you an idea of the proximate number of users your sponsored post can reach.

This indicator shows a number of times your sponsored post gets in front of your target audience. For instance, if your post got 1,000 impressions, it means that your post was seen 1,000 times.

Traffic data

It’s the most reliable indicator. It shows the precise amount of traffic that comes to your website from the link in the influencer’s profile or account.

Measure engagement and calculate CPE

The next step you should take is to measure the engagement of your influencer marketing campaign. To do that, you should analyze the statistics of every sponsored post and every sponsored Story. You should pay attention to the following indicators.

  • Clicks
  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Reactions
  • Shares
  • Brand mentions
  • The number of saved posts (applicable to Instagram)

There are two simple ways to get this data. If you partner with an Instagram influencer, you can ask him to provide you with the post insights.

That’s simple. It will take an influencer just a few seconds to make a screenshot of the post insights and send it to you.

If you collaborate with bloggers and Facebook influencers, you can use a specialized marketing tool such as BuzzSumo. The tool will give you a comprehensive overview of how well your sponsored posts are performing.

All you need to do is to enter the URL of a specific blog post or Facebook post in a search bar and click the search button. In a second, you will see how many reactions, likes, comments, and shares your post has generated.

Once you know the number of engagements, you can calculate the cost per engagement (CPE). The formula is simple. You just need to divide your total ad spend by the number of engagements.

Let’s imagine that $4,000 is the total amount of money you have spent on your influencer marketing campaign. The influencer has posted four posts that generated 15,000 likes, 4,000 comments, and 1,000 shares in total. If we divide $4,000 by 20,000 engagements, we find out that CPE of your influencer marketing campaign is $0.2.

Use coupon codes and affiliate links

If you want to track which influencer gets which transactions, you should use coupons, affiliate links, and UTM parameters. It’s the simplest, yet the most effective way to measure the results of your marketing campaign and to find out which of influencers brings you more money.

All you need to do is to add UTM parameters to URLs using the Google Analytics Campaign URL Builder. If you do everything right, the system will allow you to track your influencer campaign in Google Analytics.

By using designate promo codes, you will be able to track not only initial sales but also repeated purchases. By generating affiliate, you will get access to such insights as click-through rate (CTR) to your site, the number of sales, and the average value of each purchase.

Let’s imagine you’ve collaborated with three influencers and used coupon codes. To find out how much money each influencer brought you, you should divide total sales generated by coupon by the amount of money you paid to the influencer. For instance, if you paid $1,000 and made $5,000 in sales, it means that one dollar invested in the influencer marketing campaign brought you five dollars in sales.

Calculate target audience growth

When it comes to influencer marketing, demographics always matters. “If you want to achieve high results, you should check whether your sponsored posts are reaching the right target audience. You should use Google Analytics Demographics report to analyze whether influencer delivers your brand message in the right way,” says Nicole Prescott, a digital marketer and reviewer of the world’s leading translation service at TheWordPoint.

Let’s say your brand sells lipsticks and mascaras for teenagers. To boost sales, you need to reach parents who are interested in buying specialized cosmetics for their teenage children. There is no sense to target teenagers because they don’t have money to pay for your products. If you check Google Analytics Demographics report and see that most of your website visitors are 13-15 years old girls, then you will understand that it’s necessary to incorporate some changes to your influencer marketing campaign.

Be patient

Keep in mind that you need to give it a 30- to 60-day window after the campaign start to measure the results.

As a rule, sponsored posts generate the most sales within the first few days after the start of the campaign. But sometimes it happens that customers start checking affiliate links and using promo codes weeks after the initial publication. So if you want to get the precise results, you should wait.

Wrapping up

Now you know how to measure the results of the influencer marketing campaign. So go ahead and check how effectively your current campaign is performing. Apply the tips given, and you will see that everything is not half as tricky as it seems.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

WATCH THE SMWNYC 2019 RECAP

The post 4 Best Ways to Measure Influencer Marketing Campaigns appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/01/4-best-ways-to-measure-influencer-marketing-campaigns/

4 Revenue-Generating Platforms to Find Your Next Impactful Influencer

More and more companies are relying on the relatability and star power of influencers to lift their brand. In seeking out “social proof” of their ability to create impact, we may have a few go-to metrics: followers across social media, perhaps quality of interactions. But we can also look to their influencer status all across the internet.

Today, that proving ground extends far beyond YouTube ad revenue. Here, we’re providing an overview of all the places your current or prospective influencers may have a presence—along with the benefits and drawbacks of each platform.

The Original Proving Ground: YouTube

“YouTube creators are living proof that an open and responsible internet can change the world for the better […] we’re going to continue to give them the tools they need to do that,” said Chief Product Office for YouTube Neal Moran in a recent blog post. In many ways, YouTube was the original proving ground for influencers and rising internet stars. Famous beneficiaries of their model include impending late night host Lilly Singh, Epic Rap Battle stars Lloyd Ahlquist and Peter Shukoff, and countless others across the entertainment, beauty, and comedy landscape.

However, in recent years the platform has waned in its stability, and creators are looking to other opportunities to maintain steady income—including influencer posts with brands and organizations. “The algorithm can change, your channel could get hacked, a million things could happen,” said YouTube star Samery Moras to CNN. “Never rely on YouTube ad revenue if you want to make a living.” The company has responded to the hesitance of creators with a host of additional revenue streams, including SuperChat (where fans can pay for their question or comment to be moved to the front of an online queue), merchandise partnerships, and multiple tiers of fan support (likely mimicking virtual support rival Patreon).

Benefits: stable infrastructure, and ever-increasing revenue streams
Drawbacks: a changed algorithm or update to Terms of Service could threaten livelihood without warning

The Rising Star: Facebook

At this year’s VidCon, Facebook unveiled a host of utilities for creators that are clearly designed to take on YouTube’s dominance in the influencer space. Facebook Creators can join the program if they have 10,000 followers and 30,000 minutes of video watched from videos that are at least three minutes long, according to USA Today. Once they reach that threshhold, they’ll have access to strong analytics, a new digital “tip jap” called Fan Subscriptions, and the opportunity to earn Stars during Live Streams, each amounting to $0.01 of revenue.

Facebook has a number of spaces in which creators can earn revenue, including Facebook, Instagram, and IGTV. The Monetization Overview tool that’s newly been made available to creators allows them to see their earnings aggregated in one place. The accompanying Brand Collabs Manager “lets creators better manage audience engagement and improve ad targeting.” In total, Facebook sees an opportunity to expand its already massive influence into creator support, and has a built-in rapt audience that may make it worth the while of a number of makers.

Benefits: a massive existing user base already using the associated platforms
Drawbacks: the user agreement includes a lifetime license to use content developed as a creator, even if the user leaves the program

The Newcomer: Snapchat

Earlier this week, Snapchat unveiled its Creator Shows initiative, an opportunity for celebrities and high-level influencers to develop and produce shows that would be “aired” alongside Snap’s 80+ original shows. It’s an opportunity to take content that these creators are already sharing on their Stories, and put it under a marquee of sorts. After a dip in usership and popularity, the company is on its way back to prominence—in large part because of its focus on original programming—with 4 million new users in 2019, and an estimated reach to 90% of all 13-24-year-olds.

The lineup, when it debuts later this summer, will feature outings from celebrities like Serena Williams, Kevin Hart, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, but will also highlight the work of social influencers like Emma Chamberlain, Maddie Ziegler, Loren Gray, and Rickey Thompson. Given the growing popularity of Snapchat’s programming, the ability to participate in this program could do wonders for an influencer’s visibility.

Benefits: Snapchat’s considerable investment in programming means that influencers in this program will be well supported, and their talent properly fostered.
Drawbacks: the threshold to participate in the program is quite high, so only influencers in an upper echelon can take part.

Moving Toward Mainstream: Twitch

Frequently thought of as a platform primarily for gamers, Twitch is rapidly outgrowing its niche reputation. “Nowadays,” says Powerspike, “you can watch ‘streamers’ (the influencers who stream on Twitch) do anything—painting, cooking, podcasting, camping, and more—and if you like their content, you can follow them to receive updates any time they go live.” And viewers are taking advantage of that opportunity; where the platform saw 590,000 daily concurrent views in 2016, 2019 saw 1.2 million at the press time of this article…23 days into the year.

The average Twitch user spends 1.5 hours watching their favorite Twitch streamers, eager to communicate with them via online chat and listen for shout-outs, giveaways, and other engagement strategies. More to the point, users are open and ready for the monetization of the site. 80% are reportedly open to sponsorship of their favorite streamers and esports teams, and companies like KFC, Mobil1, and Gillette are taking advantage of this audience readiness.

Benefits: rapid growth of the platform and diversification of its users means more opportunities to get in on a ground floor of sorts.
Drawbacks: it is still generally perceived as a niche avenue, and may take some time to more fully emerge as a safe bet.

Influencer marketing will only continue to grow, as brands and companies seek new ways to make their wares feel familiar and relatable. And the opportunity to find new faces that match your brand will only grow…if you know where to look. These platforms are only the start, and yet they could yield a great new connection when explored thoughtfully.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

WATCH THE SMWLDN 2019 PROMO

The post 4 Revenue-Generating Platforms to Find Your Next Impactful Influencer appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/07/4-revenue-generating-platforms-to-find-your-next-impactful-influencer/

Inside the Influencer-Marketer Partnership: Tips from Julius

Influencer marketing has become much sought after, but as the field grows, it is important to explore and understand the priorities within an influencer and marketer partnership.

Join SMW Insider to watch this #SMWLA session

Subscribe

During #SMWLA, Karin Swanson, Head of Strategic Partnerships at Julius, a company that specializes in influencer vetting, spoke with several influencers to break down what marketers should be asking themselves when working alongside them and in order to execute a better campaign.

What do influencers want from their marketing partners?

Swanson touched on this need with a slide that advised, “Be informed and know as much about the influencer as you would like them to know about your brand.”

There are often strict standards which require influencers to know the brand’s mission, aesthetic and team structure, to name a few things, prior to working with it. Yet the brand itself is does not meet those same standards when working with an influencer, according to Swanson.

It’s about authenticity and building trust.

To prove the point, Swanson shared statistics that showed that 66% of influencers polled said they are motivated by the opportunity to share a passion and expertise with a marketing partner. So it should not be simply the other way around.

What can solidify a partnership?

While influencers care about compensation for their work, experiences and creativity are sometimes valued over money.

Matthew Nadu, an actor, host and producer, relayed that when brands offer things (products, dinners, experiences) as part of the compensation, they stand out to him because he is gaining an access that is not typically available.

“It’s things that you wouldn’t normally get to do…You can authentically enjoy it,” Nadu said.

In addition, there can be value to the brand in providing these things to an influencer: Nadu talked about working with Australian brand Traveller’s Autobarn, whom was converting Ford vans into camper vans, and receiving access for two-weeks to drive around in one.

“We basically just took this thing, ran it 3,000 miles, all over the west coast, and we hit every national park that we love. That was awesome because they were like, ‘Here, we trust you guys. Just make whatever the content is that you want to make. Just make our van look cool.’”

For a company that was having trouble connecting to the American audience, that worked. And it also worked for the influencer, adding truth to Swanson’s stat. that 74%  of influencers polled were motivated by the ability to be more creative.

How can advertisers build better relationships with influencers?

It is important that influencers feel like they can still be themselves while working with a brand, Swanson has found.

Tyler Grove, who has the podcast and website We Traveled Where, advised brands to build organic relationships, as she experienced with COOLA Suncare, which she described as her favorite partnership to this day.

Because she feels there is an honesty in their relationship, she also feels free to test and tell them her true opinion about their new products.

In addition, she reminded brands to capitalize on people that are excited and loyal to the brand from the start.

“Don’t forget about those nano-influencers, or people that you might be seeing on social media, posting about your brand, that might have two or 3,000 followers because in three to five years from now, they might be the people with 100,000 followers,” she said.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

WATCH OUR 2019 PROMO

 

The post Inside the Influencer-Marketer Partnership: Tips from Julius appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/06/inside-the-influencer-marketer-partnership-tips-from-julius/

Inside the Influencer-Marketer Partnership: Tips from Julius

Influencer marketing has become much sought after, but as the field grows, it is important to explore and understand the priorities within an influencer and marketer partnership.

Join SMW Insider to watch this #SMWLA session

Subscribe

During #SMWLA, Karin Swanson, Head of Strategic Partnerships at Julius, a company that specializes in influencer vetting, spoke with several influencers to break down what marketers should be asking themselves when working alongside them and in order to execute a better campaign.

What do influencers want from their marketing partners?

Swanson touched on this need with a slide that advised, “Be informed and know as much about the influencer as you would like them to know about your brand.”

There are often strict standards which require influencers to know the brand’s mission, aesthetic and team structure, to name a few things, prior to working with it. Yet the brand itself is does not meet those same standards when working with an influencer, according to Swanson.

It’s about authenticity and building trust.

To prove the point, Swanson shared statistics that showed that 66% of influencers polled said they are motivated by the opportunity to share a passion and expertise with a marketing partner. So it should not be simply the other way around.

What can solidify a partnership?

While influencers care about compensation for their work, experiences and creativity are sometimes valued over money.

Matthew Nadu, an actor, host and producer, relayed that when brands offer things (products, dinners, experiences) as part of the compensation, they stand out to him because he is gaining an access that is not typically available.

“It’s things that you wouldn’t normally get to do…You can authentically enjoy it,” Nadu said.

In addition, there can be value to the brand in providing these things to an influencer: Nadu talked about working with Australian brand Traveller’s Autobarn, whom was converting Ford vans into camper vans, and receiving access for two-weeks to drive around in one.

“We basically just took this thing, ran it 3,000 miles, all over the west coast, and we hit every national park that we love. That was awesome because they were like, ‘Here, we trust you guys. Just make whatever the content is that you want to make. Just make our van look cool.’”

For a company that was having trouble connecting to the American audience, that worked. And it also worked for the influencer, adding truth to Swanson’s stat. that 74%  of influencers polled were motivated by the ability to be more creative.

How can advertisers build better relationships with influencers?

It is important that influencers feel like they can still be themselves while working with a brand, Swanson has found.

Tyler Grove, who has the podcast and website We Traveled Where, advised brands to build organic relationships, as she experienced with COOLA Suncare, which she described as her favorite partnership to this day.

Because she feels there is an honesty in their relationship, she also feels free to test and tell them her true opinion about their new products.

In addition, she reminded brands to capitalize on people that are excited and loyal to the brand from the start.

“Don’t forget about those nano-influencers, or people that you might be seeing on social media, posting about your brand, that might have two or 3,000 followers because in three to five years from now, they might be the people with 100,000 followers,” she said.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

WATCH OUR 2019 PROMO

 

The post Inside the Influencer-Marketer Partnership: Tips from Julius appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/06/inside-the-influencer-marketer-partnership-tips-from-julius/

How to Optimize and Drive the Influencer Marketing Bubble: Advice from Social Chain

Influencers should be a cornerstone of every tool kit spend in marketing and advertising. They have the potential to boost business awareness and engagement when used effectively.

Audiences want to see the world through other people’s eyes so that’s why they follow them. Yet, if the influencer doesn’t stand by and remain true to their own vision, audiences catch on fast and they lose engagement via lack of trust and authenticity.

During #SMWLA Oliver Yonchev, the USA Managing Director of Social Chain offered his insights on the topic sharing the five most important lessons marketers should know to navigate the IM climate.

Join SMW Insider to watch this #SMWLA session

Subscribe

Trust is the biggest issue in influencer marketing today: Consumer trust in what influencers have to say sits at just 4 percent and, according to Edelman’s trust barometer, advertising is now in last place of all industries measured with a trust level of 37 percent, behind banking, energy, and telecommunications.

Nobody cares as much about you as you so you need to capture attention.

Human beings have a notoriously short attention span. Mindless scrolling is an easy habit to fall into so you want to make sure the social media content you’re producing is invigorating. This doesn’t have to only concern the aesthetic of it but the context of the content as well as the definition, too. The honest truth is that a lot of users will be prioritizing their own wants and needs when on Instagram – in order for them to make your content a priority, they have to feel like there’s a takeaway from it, whether it be emotive or inspiring, for example.

Great influencers are honest and authentic.

Yonchev highlighted this point by describing the difference between black box companies – those we know little about other than what the leadership tells us – and glass box companies – those who let us see everything they do inside. The latter is the preferred model for marketing. Yonchev proved this through a social experiment carried out by Social Chain that revealed 64 percent of users online responded positively to Elon Musk as opposed to a small 7 percent to Mark Zuckerberg.

Context is what makes good social stories great; create depth.

Depth can be created by understanding cultural moments (in sport, entertainment, political, etc.), emotional sentiment and current reactions, social first distribution, and by understanding people. A person’s own influences and actions are influenced by the actions of the majority of the group.

Don’t conflate follower size with influence.

Work with people who represent your brand’s values and do it consistently. Between five and ten billion dollars is expected to be spent on influencer marketing next year, so it’s essential to note that direct ROI spend doesn’t necessarily equate to bigger returns. Nano followers and micro-influencers are the way forward and you should pay attention to the correlation between engagement and revenue and not following and revenue.

When receiving a cost you need to determine what you’re buying: you’re buying an endorsement, their word, their audience and you’re asking them to create something. What’s their actual audience reach? Engagement rate? Supply and demand? Industry averages? Most importantly, is what you’re asking them to create risky?

Know what you’re buying, develop robust processes, and invest in the right tools to protect yourself.

Don’t fall victim to fraud. Yonchev left attendees with a description of the tool Social Chain is developing, using AI technology, which is able to predict an influencer’s engagement curve over the long-term so you’re can assess whether their growth is organic or fed by bot farms.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

WATCH OUR SMWLDN 2019 PROMO

The post How to Optimize and Drive the Influencer Marketing Bubble: Advice from Social Chain appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/06/how-to-optimize-and-drive-the-influencer-marketing-bubble-advice-from-social-chain/

How to Optimize and Drive the Influencer Marketing Bubble: Advice from Social Chain

Influencers should be a cornerstone of every tool kit spend in marketing and advertising. They have the potential to boost business awareness and engagement when used effectively.

Audiences want to see the world through other people’s eyes so that’s why they follow them. Yet, if the influencer doesn’t stand by and remain true to their own vision, audiences catch on fast and they lose engagement via lack of trust and authenticity.

During #SMWLA Oliver Yonchev, the USA Managing Director of Social Chain offered his insights on the topic sharing the five most important lessons marketers should know to navigate the IM climate.

Join SMW Insider to watch this #SMWLA session

Subscribe

Trust is the biggest issue in influencer marketing today: Consumer trust in what influencers have to say sits at just 4 percent and, according to Edelman’s trust barometer, advertising is now in last place of all industries measured with a trust level of 37 percent, behind banking, energy, and telecommunications.

Nobody cares as much about you as you so you need to capture attention.

Human beings have a notoriously short attention span. Mindless scrolling is an easy habit to fall into so you want to make sure the social media content you’re producing is invigorating. This doesn’t have to only concern the aesthetic of it but the context of the content as well as the definition, too. The honest truth is that a lot of users will be prioritizing their own wants and needs when on Instagram – in order for them to make your content a priority, they have to feel like there’s a takeaway from it, whether it be emotive or inspiring, for example.

Great influencers are honest and authentic.

Yonchev highlighted this point by describing the difference between black box companies – those we know little about other than what the leadership tells us – and glass box companies – those who let us see everything they do inside. The latter is the preferred model for marketing. Yonchev proved this through a social experiment carried out by Social Chain that revealed 64 percent of users online responded positively to Elon Musk as opposed to a small 7 percent to Mark Zuckerberg.

Context is what makes good social stories great; create depth.

Depth can be created by understanding cultural moments (in sport, entertainment, political, etc.), emotional sentiment and current reactions, social first distribution, and by understanding people. A person’s own influences and actions are influenced by the actions of the majority of the group.

Don’t conflate follower size with influence.

Work with people who represent your brand’s values and do it consistently. Between five and ten billion dollars is expected to be spent on influencer marketing next year, so it’s essential to note that direct ROI spend doesn’t necessarily equate to bigger returns. Nano followers and micro-influencers are the way forward and you should pay attention to the correlation between engagement and revenue and not following and revenue.

When receiving a cost you need to determine what you’re buying: you’re buying an endorsement, their word, their audience and you’re asking them to create something. What’s their actual audience reach? Engagement rate? Supply and demand? Industry averages? Most importantly, is what you’re asking them to create risky?

Know what you’re buying, develop robust processes, and invest in the right tools to protect yourself.

Don’t fall victim to fraud. Yonchev left attendees with a description of the tool Social Chain is developing, using AI technology, which is able to predict an influencer’s engagement curve over the long-term so you’re can assess whether their growth is organic or fed by bot farms.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

WATCH OUR SMWLDN 2019 PROMO

The post How to Optimize and Drive the Influencer Marketing Bubble: Advice from Social Chain appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/06/how-to-optimize-and-drive-the-influencer-marketing-bubble-advice-from-social-chain/

What’s the Key to Keeping it Real? Treat Your Customers Relationships like Friendships, says ELA Advertising

It’s no secret that in today’s digital landscape social media carries tremendous storytelling power. What this means for brands and agencies is wielding a critical responsibility to influence how people think and act in an environment inundated with noise. It’s no small feat, but it’s now more important than ever to identify opportunities to develop truly authentic and meaningful content worthy of our time and attention.

During #SMWLA, Andre Filip, CEO & Founder, ELA Advertising, Max Brabant, Agent, Digital Talent and Packaging, CAA and Jesse Margolis, Founder, Overheard came together to offer their unique perspectives on this topic.

Join SMW Insider to watch this #SMWLA session

Subscribe

Keeping it real & ensuring strategic alignment

“Alignment is so critical when it comes to messaging on social media,” said Filip when discussing the creation of authentic content.

Originally, the old model, for agencies in particular, was to view the consumer and their life in a straight path, and to sell directly to them based on their ethos or way of living. This approach, however, has become antiquated and no longer relevant.

“Our new model, on the brand side, is to start understanding and speaking their stories and find similarities and that parallel gap is where social falls in and we have this rhythmic balance of messaging,” he added. “It’s like starting a friendship.”

Weighing on how authenticity between a brand and a celebrity or influencer can do a better job of keeping it real, Brabant explained, that a more holistic approach and identifying overlaps with core values is important. “More often brands approach us for one-off social posts and it isn’t appealing to us as reps. It does very little for our clients. We look to long-term organic partnerships that are more authentic to them and to their audience.”

For OverheardLA, staying true to the idea that you can’t fake being real is an integral part of who they are. To achieve this, posts are purposely unpolished so that they feel raw and more relatable. “We figure out how to monetize without destroying the thing,” Margolis said.

Ultimately, there is a fundamental responsibility on both sides. On the one hand, a brand has to ask itself, does this person truly match us. On the other hand, influencers must also ask themselves, does this brand map to the kind of person I am and my personality?

Choose influencers for their talent, not their followers

On the topic of discerning how to determine what brands to partner with based on your personal brand and why, Andre turned to a recent April Fools campaign ELA completed in partnership with Tik Tok and DJ Khaled. Not only was it critical to understand Tik Tok’s brand values and what they stood for, but selecting the one person that would exemplify this overall spirit.

“It was important that we let Khaled be Khaled. If we would’ve given him a script, he would’ve felt very closed off,” Filip added, underscoring the relationship worked because he was provided loose direction and allowed to express himself how he wished as opposed to feeling as though he had to fit into a certain box.

Leveraging her own experiences, Brabant reiterated the idea that micromanaging is typically not favored by clients and in most cases, results in CAA offering an ultimatum. “There have been cases where we’ve closed a deal and whoever is on the other side has come to us and said, ‘we need it to look exactly like this,’ and I’ve had to go back and tell them that they can either deal with it or if it’s a deal breaker then let’s just not do this partnership.”

Awareness will lead to acquisition, but it’s the long-game that paves the way to a more meaningful, sustainable story to share with your audience. It boils down to patience and long-term commitment to assess each and every part of the communication funnel to identify moments of relevance where you can say, “We are like you and we live like you and think like you.”

Using tone of voice as a filter

Tone of voice is hyper-critical to the success of a brand not getting ‘heckled’ and ensuring the alignment sought after between brands and audiences yet this often gets convoluted when a brand and influencer have two different ways of communicating.

“How you combine this is art and we need to make sure we do that,” stressed Filip.

When discussing OverheardLA’s tone of voice, Margolis used the phrase “elevated curation.” 80 to 90 percent of their social posts are real overheard quotes that are submitted, with very few being written by the team.

“We are a brand of words and nothing we do should not be expressed with the written word,” he added. However, there are guardrails in place that determine which content is allowed or not. No religion, no politics, and no gossip for example.

It’s easy to decide there are no rules or there are rules but once you make these decisions you should stick with them, Margolis emphasized. The same applies to brands — those who have the most success know what they want and have certain red lines they’d prefer not to be crossed but then give the agency freedom to do the translating.

The alternative? Your audience will likely pick up that the message has been heavily filtered. “As much as people are okay with you monetizing, they aren’t ok with scrolling to something that has been sold out or taken over.”

Going beyond social

Born social-first, recently Overheard has stepped outside of the confines of Instagram to build its recognition through the launch of a free print newspaper called the Overheard Post. The paper includes horoscopes, comics, vegan food reviews, and is currently available at roughly 30 cafes and coffee shops throughout Los Angeles.

Serving as a physical manifestation of the social culture Overheard has built, Jesse described the paper as a business card that depicts “who we are and what we can do beyond posts and Stories…The fact that we have social allows us to play in new spaces with our content,” said  Margolis. He then rallied off examples spanning ad campaigns, billboards, merch, and coffee sleeves.

The key takeaway – by being disruptive outside of the platform, you can identify more opportunities to translate into other areas that ironically will feed back into your platform’s growth.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

WATCH OUR SMWLDN 2019 PROMO

The post What’s the Key to Keeping it Real? Treat Your Customers Relationships like Friendships, says ELA Advertising appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/06/whats-the-key-to-keeping-it-real-treat-your-customers-relationships-like-friendships-says-ela-advertising/

Mastering Social Media the Spectacular Way

A critical part of advertising, social media facilitates the ability for a brand to reach millions of customers globally if it is done right.

After nine years of building social media accounts from zero to millions of followers, for over 100 celebrity clients, Entertainer and Adwizar CEO, Spectacular Smith, knows a thing or two about the steps and tools necessary to perform well with social media.

Join SMW Insider to watch this #SMWNYC session

Subscribe

He discussed the strategies he tested with different accounts, how he found a system for monetizing a following, and why he believes they can be useful to anyone looking to do the same.

Not a traditional Marketer

Adwizar was a spinoff project for Spectacular, starting off on Twitter while he was on tour in 2009. He essentially discovered that he could make money from tweeting and that he was good at it.

Spectacular began selling advertising that could garner high social media traffic by first building a large following. “Building a massive following, you’re able to post a link and [people] click on it and advertising will be on the website, and you actually make money off of that,” Spectacular explained.

Though this may sound like common practice in the present day, what is different for this marketer that he was not just tweeting about a specific product.

Instead, Spectacular was using a strategy in which he figured what the sentiment behind a given account was and what the audience would be like, as a result.

Figuring out what type of content strikes the emotion of an actual person who is following [your account]. If it makes somebody cry, if it makes somebody laugh, it will make somebody want to re-share what you have. I focused on content like that,” he said.

Once he mastered that, he explained, he was able to make pages go viral, earning him the moniker “The Godfather of Influence” and eventually allowing him to work on celebrities’ social media presence.

Momentum is still important

Although Spectacular has finessed modern-day marketing strategies, he touched on things that are still beneficial within marketing, albeit traditional.

When he began selling tangible product, he still used social media as an element of the marketing.

Spectacular said he started off with relatively well-known influencers and asked (and paid) them to hype a product up.

But after time, people were wearing it and he no longer had to pay them as they wanted to keep up with the trend.

“Start from smaller tiers,” he said, noting that word of mouth still helps.

It was that technique that has allowed Spectacular to sell over 1.2 million within the first 30 days of launching a given product from scratch.

In the present day, Adwizar is a service-based company that can set a client up with a social media team to break down content, analyze it, report back, and set up a personalized strategy “from 90 days out” to help replicate Spectacular’s past results.

What are the requirements to work with Adwizar?

“Believe in your product. We have to know that we mesh as a team. It has to be a win win win for everybody,” he said.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

WATCH OUR SMWLA 2019 PROMO

The post Mastering Social Media the Spectacular Way appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/05/mastering-social-media-the-spectacular-way/

Marketers and the Rest of the World: Tips for Remaining Culturally Nuanced from GroupM’s Kieley Taylor

Automobile company Chevrolet forgot about their Spanish-speaking audience when they came out with their Chevy Nova. How so, you ask? “No va” translates to “doesn’t go” in Spanish.

United States-based brands have to remember the rest of the world, GroupM‘s Managing Partner and Global Head of Social, Kieley Taylor advised, as well as the diversity within their own countries.

Join SMW Insider to watch this #SMWNYC session

Subscribe

In order to remain culturally nuanced, Taylor shared several key and easy points to consider.

Do your homework

Taylor brought up tools like WARC and e-Marketer that allow brands to research markets, regionally and on a global basis.

Researching trends and insights create the possibility to connect to people’s passions across borders. And brands should be paying attention to the varying aspects of people’s day-to-day around the world and how different cultures integrate social media into their life to better relate to them.

Different platforms in different regions

Whatsapp, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, WeChat and other social applications are networks we may know, but may not all be using them as much or in the same way as the rest of the world, Taylor reminded us.

According to Taylor’s findings, the future of messaging lies in messaging powered by augmented reality, gaming, and chatbots. With that, messaging will continue to develop into a tool for brands as mobile phones continue to evolve.

A Venn diagram of interests

Be aware that while markets can be very different, there is still room to reach a wide audience with a shared interest.

Taylor pointed to influencers, for instance.

“Think about the Venn diagram of people that are influenced by [a particular] person,” she said, emphasizing that there needs to be a balance between the voice of the brand with the authenticity of the influencer in order to reach the audience.

Taylor also suggested that brands to consider communicating with images and/or video in markets with foreign language as visuals are more universally understood.

The future of the rest of the world

Through some research of her own via Kantar, a leading data, insights and consulting company, Taylor found that the future retail world is gearing toward some eye-opening changes and statistics.

These include that eCommerce will be the largest, single organized trade format around the world, owning the distribution of 27 percent of global organized retail and 20% of personal care products.

Additionally, Latin American countries like Brazil and Colombia are poised to override the current retail giants that are the United Kingdom and Sweden, respectively. India will be almost equal to China. The U.S., China, India and Indonesia combined will represent 50 percent of retail growth within the globe.

“There is tremendous opportunity to learn about ourselves in the world,” Taylor said, even if we cannot be in all those places at once, or in the same way.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

WATCH OUR SMWLA 2019 PROMO

The post Marketers and the Rest of the World: Tips for Remaining Culturally Nuanced from GroupM’s Kieley Taylor appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/05/marketers-and-the-rest-of-the-world-tips-for-remaining-culturally-nuanced-from-groupms-kieley-taylor/

Keeping up with FTC in the Influencer Era: Insights from Frankfurt Kurnit

Influencer marketing is evolving. As it dominates the advertising industry, it faces a dirty name proposed by some on occasion whereas others see it as a democratized creation opportunity. Consumers look for somebody to inspire them and influencers do just that.

Because of its rapid growth, the industry appears to grapple nowadays with the notion of inauthenticity and therefore not abiding full disclosure guidelines and more seriously, the Federal Trade Commission.

“If you see that there’s a real need, from a marketplace perspective, to have influencers drive people to make a connection and purchase, then that is something that the law considers important,” Hannah Taylor, Partner, Frankfurt Kurnit, explained during a #SMWNYC panel.

This isn’t a new law, it’s been in effect since the 1920s and Section 5 of the FTC act basically says you can’t lie and you can’t be unfair,” she continued.

In the influencer community, the FTC has interpreted what is to lie in this area is a piece of content that looks organic but there’s actually something going on behind the scenes.

Influencers and transparency

Influencers with an affiliation or any degree of partnership with a brand or product must be completely transparent with the terms of their relationship to said brand in the content they create and post.

“The FTC believes that if there is a relationship, not just financial but any type of connection like brother, wife and a free product exchange – between a person and a brand then it has to be disclosed,” said Taylor. This is where tools such as #ad have come in to play, as well as Paid Partnership. “In the influencer space so far, we haven’t seen monetary penalties at the outset as much as we’ve seen very long audits for a brand.”

Africa feels this can be disconcerting to personalities such as herself, but Taylor reassures that there is a 2017 updated guideline by The FTC online. “It’s written for the average consumer and talks about what to do if you get a free product.”

It’s essential for influencers to actually be bonafide users of what they’re advertising, too. From a legal perspective, it’s the law that you have to use it and not be partaking in the advertisement on the basis of authenticity.

Reesa Lake, Partner, Executive Vice President, Digital Brand Architects, noted, “there’s a huge amount of trust between influencers and their audiences, so why would you tarnish it?”

Mutual non-disparagement agreements in contracts are important, however, Taylor says that brands can have problems with these when they invest heavily in a campaign and the influencer leaves.

“Termination clauses are a hard no for us,” Lake explained. “Brands sometimes want to terminate for convenience and we never want to do that.”

Finding a balance

There’s a balance to master between being authentic and abiding regulations. The format of people’s phones can alter perceptions in regards to disclosure – some people’s devices and versions of apps only allow them to see the first three lines of a caption, whereas others can see it’s entirety. This blurs the lines as to where the disclosure needs to be stated and should be specified within contracts.

The FTC is cracking down on regulatory law. It recently sent 90 letters to brands and influencers saying that for a variety of reasons their disclosure was insufficient. Whilst it’s becoming even more clear how to post correctly, it’s simultaneously becoming more complex.

The post Keeping up with FTC in the Influencer Era: Insights from Frankfurt Kurnit appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/05/keeping-up-with-ftc-in-the-influencer-era-insights-from-frankfurt-kurnit/

Turn URL into IRL with BuzzFeed’s Creator Program

The influencer model isn’t a new one and it’s evolved.

There are now new niches to explore and micro-influencers, along with micro-audiences, have dug their feet firmly in the community, making authentic content more important than ever. “They have a direct connection and trust with their audience already,” explained BuzzFeed‘s Supervising Video Producer, Erin Phraner during a #SMWNYC panel. She was joined by Augusta Falletta, Director of Partnerships, and Essence Gant, Beauty Director.

What is the BuzzFeed Creator Program?

The BuzzFeed’s Creator program helps create content using their team of editors and influencers that is both high quality and feels incredibly representative to the company or product being advertised. It then uses its platform, as a media outlet, to promote and showcase the content to raise both the client and the creator’s profile.

It differs from how influencers are using online platforms right now in terms of the reach it provides combined with its equipment and team resources – the program can generate mutually beneficial, customized material. It is also a massive discovery opportunity for both creator and client.

Join SMW Insider to watch this #SMWNYC session

Subscribe

Gant was fortunate enough to create content for L’Oreal Paris for the Golden Globes. She and Sir John —  famously Beyoncé’s makeup artist — filmed a video where the two conversed in a familiar chat show format and predicted the looks they expected to see on the red carpet. Buzzfeed helped promote it and on Facebook, it became the second most watched video of all the Golden Globes content, with a video posted by Golden Globes themselves outnumbering it, naturally.

Maintaining authenticity

Authenticity is a key theme and it’s difficult to stay true to your own personal brand when your platform expands.

Phraner understands audiences to have a watchdog mentality and how audiences are quick to call an influencer out if what they are advertising doesn’t make sense to them. Gant agrees, “I don’t want to risk longevity taking on a brand that doesn’t make sense to me.”

As Phraner wants to limit the number of opportunities turned down, at BuzzFeed, they editorialize. “We see things that aren’t direct connections but make them make sense for us.”

Measuring impact

Impact is measured with mature tools and data teams pull information that supports each client’s main KPI’s, however, Phraner and Gant really enjoy utilizing their comment sections and private messages to see what their audiences connect with and don’t. “Sometimes I will purposely leave off shopping details sometimes to see how many people ask where something’s from,” said Phraner.

Turning URL into IRL

Carefully curated content, turning URL into IRL, is the way forward. Brands want action. If influencers can replicate that on content that isn’t branded, then they’re deemed as even more appealing to work with. BuzzFeed’s program enables that action with a wider sphere of influence.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

WATCH OUR SMWLA 2019 PROMO

The post Turn URL into IRL with BuzzFeed’s Creator Program appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/05/turn-url-into-irl-with-buzzfeeds-creator-program/

Here’s How Collective Bias Chooses Influencer Partners: Balancing Demographics with Data

There are a lot of factors to consider when selecting an influencer to work with on a marketing campaign.

Demographic, geographic, following and engagement, that it can be hard to identify the most important element.

Join SMW Insider to watch this #SMWNYC session

Subscribe

In a session hosted by Collective Bias: An Inmar Platform, Susan Borst, Vice President of Mobile at the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), joined industry experts from Campbell Snacks, Dollar Shave Club, Wunderman, and Micah Jesse Media to discuss a number of topics surrounding the industry including choosing the right influencer for your campaign, restructuring the current influencer payment model, and changing the way we evaluate an influencer’s performance.

Choosing an influencer

Morgan Kaye, Director in Influencing Marketing at Dollar Shave Club says that, as conversion information isn’t available, they like to test, evaluate and optimize influencers and “lock them in” if they’re successful. “KPI’s are important but don’t just look at likes,” she advised, noting that community is more important than ever seeing as Instagram are considering removing the ‘like’ button.

Anna Ritchie, Head of Social Media at Campbell Snacks agreed with Kaye’s testing and learning incentive. “Really see if their content resonates with their audience. Influencers can create anything but it doesn’t mean they should,” she said.

Leah Logan, VP Media Products Strategy and Marketing at Collective Bias, noted that they see “almost 40 percent higher engagement when looking at performance metrics using an algorithm to predict performance. What’s missing is the ability to decipher whether the campaign is native to the persons handle.”

Micah Jesse, Founder of Micah Jesse Media has a following of 60,000 across the board and believes storytelling using the influencers unique voice is the most effective way to approach a campaign. He prefers to work with brands on a long-term basis and form partnerships. Global Head of Content at Wunderman, Tara Marsh, agreed. “It’s an eco-system and one thing leads to another. Try to avoid one click attribution.”

The next step

After selecting an influencer to work with, negotiating payment provides its own separate challenges when there is no set of explicit guidelines or a one-size-fits-all payment model.

Marsh stressed the importance of deciding whether to use an influencer like a publisher or an agency. “As an agency, you pay for time. As a publisher, you pay for an entire distribution platform,” she said.

Kaye mentioned it’s important to remember that when working with YouTubers, production cost must be considered. Dollar Shave Club pays flat rates and as the influencing industry evolves, this is something Kaye hopes to see more of, as opposed to basing fees on CPI.

Logan recognizes that environmental and social factors have drastic effects on post-performance, as well as timing, “We’ve spoken to a couple of influencers about paper models and they feel discouraged for this reason.” Kaye nodded in agreement, “a hybrid model would be best. A flat rate with a CPA.”

Determining whether an influence is worth their fee

Determining whether an influencer is worth their fee comes down to impact, value, and contextual significance.

Facebook considers major influencers to be those with more than 500,000 followers. However, these pose more as ambassadors than influencers; celebrities and a brand themselves, which may not bode well for specific products.

Micro and nano influencers are on the rise, specializing in niche areas and only working with brands they feel passionate about. That way, authentic content is created and audiences subscribe organically.

Marsh explained how influencers work on principles of persuasion: like, authority and reciprocity, as well as the exposure effect. “The more we are exposed to something, the more we like it. Like a song on the radio.”

Looking forward, they hope to see influencer marketing grow as a core part of marketing media plans and for brands to loosen the reins on creative briefs and adopt a more professional nature when it comes to pitching proposals.

There’s not a decent set of obvious tools to move influencer marketing into CRM yet, so this is yet to be seen, too.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

WATCH OUR SMWLA 2019 PROMO

The post Here’s How Collective Bias Chooses Influencer Partners: Balancing Demographics with Data appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/05/heres-how-collective-bias-chooses-influencer-partners-balancing-demographics-with-data/