BLOG

YouTube

Viewing posts from the YouTube category

How to Pick the Right Brand Ambassador

FacebookLinkedInTwitter

influencer-700x467

With the rise in popularity of social media, influencers and third party content, brands are clamoring to figure out a marketing strategy that intuitively incorporates these new marketing formats in order to obtain a competitive edge.  One of the most popular ways brands are aligning with influencers is through brand ambassadorships.

 

With so many influencers showcasing large followings and a steady stream of content, it can be confusing as to which influencer would best represent your brand. Here are four simple tips on how to pick the right influencer for your brand:

 

  1. Profile - A good brand ambassador is an influencer with a decent following who has been creating content for at least a few years. A decent following ranges from 5,000 to over a 1 million subscribers. The key thing you're seeking is an influencer with experience. You want to be sure this person is consistently posting content and that there are no large gaps of time between the posts. Influencers with good sized followings treat their platforms with a sense of professionalism which ensures they will treat your brand ambassadorship with the same respect and attention.
  2. Personality - When seeking a good brand ambassador, you will want to seek someone who fits the identity of your brand. For example, if your brand manufactures healthy skin care products, your best brand ambassadors will be women and men who are health conscious, have great skin and who speak about healthy alternatives when it comes to beauty, food and wellness. The key is to seek those who are already in alignment with your brand vision.
  3. Credibility - A good brand ambassador has the trust and validation of his/her audience because of the consistent and trustworthy content he/she has churned out over the years. Take the time to sift through some videos or blog posts and see how they handle product reviews and hauls. Are they honest about the products or do they blindly endorse any and everything they receive. A good influencer will not sell themselves to the highest bidder - they will only promote and highlight products they believe in, use and stand by. Their credibility translates into brand awareness, loyalty and recognition for the products they endorse on their channels.
  4. Professionalism - In order to foster a healthy and successful relationship with an influencer, it's highly important that he/she is professional. Being that this individual will be an extension of your brand to the public, its best to pick an influencer who converses with his/her followers in a professional manner. In addition, the influencer should be open to feedback from you in regards to campaigns and content so that both parties are happy with the arrangement. You can gather a lot about an influencer just by seeing how they conduct themselves via their social media channels. Do an audit of their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram platforms.

Signing up with a great brand ambassador can be the difference your company has been seeking. From increased consumer exposure to increased revenue, there are a myriad of benefits that come from working with an experienced influencer.

 

FacebookLinkedInTwitter

10 Ways to Boost Your YouTube Subscribers Today

FacebookLinkedInTwitter

 

subscribebuttonpillow1

In the world of influencer marketing, it's all about followers. Every day, you're seeking ways to increase your subscribers or followers so that you can garner attention from top brands and begin to make some revenue from your channels and/or platforms.

Well, here at Content Blvd, we're all about helping you create the platform of your dreams with compelling content that engages your audience and helps identify you as a thought leader and content creator.

Here are the top 10 ways to increase your YouTube followers today!

 

  1. Write out your scripts.

Preparation is the key to success. Before sitting down to film a video about your latest shopping haul or a product review, you will want to jot down a script. You may be wondering why you need a script? It will keep you organized, on task and help you describe the product and/or brand with more clarity and accuracy which equals better content and higher audience satisfaction.  

 

  1. Create evergreen content.

Evergreen content is the content that you will become known for. It's the foundation of your channel. For instance, if you're a technology influencer, your evergreen content may consist of gadget hauls, app reviews and trend reports. This is what your audience comes to you for. It's your bread and butter and surefire way to increase followers.

 

  1. Consistently post on a weekly basis.

The more often you post, the more followers you will acquire. Audiences love to see consistent posting as they feel confident you will deliver high quality content on a weekly basis. Many influencers have become one of the top sources of information for consumers when shopping.

 

  1. Personalize your video thumbnails.

Make sure your thumbnails are customized so that audiences can clearly see what the video is about before even clicking on it. You will find that your click through rate increases significantly when you start using customized thumbnails.

 

  1. Produce a channel trailer.

Giving your channel a trailer is a highly creative and effective way to showcase your channel to new followers. Make it short, to the point and a good representation of you, your content and your channel. Just like at the movies when a trailer wets your appetite, a good trailer will have followers hitting the subscribe button.

 

  1. Incorporate compelling call to action buttons.

There's nothing more compelling than including a sign up now or subscribe today button in your videos. Many potential followers will be quick to sign up when given the chance.

 

  1. Keep videos under 5 minutes.

Audiences have short attention spans so you will want to make sure your content is concise, well-thought out and under five minutes. The longer the videos, the more apt the audience will be to move on. The most highly converted videos were under five minutes according to Comscore.

 

  1. Invest in a good intro and outro.

Just like a great trailer, you will want to create a personalized intro and outro that lives at the beginning and end of your videos. This intro and outro are branding bookends that help identify your channel and lend a more professional feel to your content.

 

  1. Edit. Edit. Edit.

Great editing is the key to great content. Cut out any unnecessary footage or content that doesn't push your overall content forward. Be sure to include some interesting angles and cuts so that your videos are entertaining and  informative.

 

  1. Meta tags are your BFF.

Audiences seek out videos and content via keywords searches in major search engines like Google’s. Search engines rely upon the words you use to describe your videos, as well as the video’s titles and meta tags. Be sure to be as descriptive as possible to ensure the search engines have what they need to serve up your videos when they match a user’s search criteria.

FacebookLinkedInTwitter

Influencer Marketing Examples: Will Independent Restaurants Start Hiring Local Influencers?

FacebookLinkedInTwitter

You'll find many influencer marketing examples that work on a national and corporate scale, though what about local businesses? For local restaurants, especially, the chance to become successful through influencers is one we haven't yet seen hit full stride. But through one local story in London, England, you can see the possibilities in how local influencers could change the way restaurants in small communities market themselves.

In the above example, it's a London pizza restaurant called Pizza Pilgrims. Located in the Soho district of London, their goal was to bring authentic Italian pizza by visiting real locations in Italy.

 

When they documented their entire trip on YouTube, it brought an early bevy of fans into their marketing fray. It was the perfect way to set up the path toward hiring influencers to get word out about their restaurant.

Their influencer tactics, however, worked on a more local basis through a relatively simple process.

 

Hiring Bloggers for Hyper-Local Influencing

Pizza Pilgrims used its own YouTube Channel to attract people who were within the geographic region where the restaurant is. The next goal was to hire influencer bloggers who lived within just a mile from the restaurant.

 

This was a smart technique since it gave a chance for those in the district to market to others in the same area.

Blogging, though, can become an overly generalized concept. The restaurant's owners gave more of a purpose to blogging so it wasn't just asking them to give reviews.

 

At the heart of this was getting local people involved in projects and campaigns. As a result, it made those influencers feel valued while they wrote about Pizza Pilgrims. It ultimately brought a new twist to the influencer marketing idea that could easily get used here in the United States.

The question is, would it work here, and what other steps could lead to good influencer outcomes?

 

Local Marketing in the United States

Google has taken local marketing to a new level by giving businesses better tools to get themselves found easier online. Review sites like Yelp also bring a localized "make or break" path for many local businesses. Yet, the blogging concept from Pizza Pilgrims above is one you could see become bigger here in the states.

 

While Instagram and social media still matters in the influencer mix, blogs are still very influential when they have loyal audiences. The key is to work closely with influencers and give them the proper keywords to use so their blogs get found easier online.

 

Of course, the goal for all influencers is to go after those who already have successful blogs. In that regard, it's sometimes just as effective to link up with other local businesses to create an authentic partnership.

 

Partnering for More Localized Influence

When you partner with other another local restaurant that's perhaps related to what you do, it can bring symbiotic influencer marketing for better results. You can also do double duty in hiring influencers to save you time finding them on your own.

 

Regardless, you can act as influencers to each other for mutual success. As a hyper-local marketing campaign, it can work much like bloggers who curate content. When you share content from another business, they're more apt to share your content on their channels.

 

With all this in mind, it's worth remembering influencers don't have to strictly be notable people. Seeking a high volume of customers in a small geographic area can mean finding successful bloggers who wouldn't mind teaming up with fellow local bloggers to create a more powerful influencer force.

 

FacebookLinkedInTwitter

How an Authentic Social Media Strategy Can Strengthen Brand Positioning

FacebookLinkedInTwitter

In the seven-step brand-positioning process, step one on the list involves determining how your brand is currently positioning itself in the marketplace. And if a social media element isn’t part of that strategy, context will be lost in the mind of today’s ever-connected, techno-savvy consumer. In fact, implementing a solid social-media strategy is crucial to leveraging step number seven on the list: testing the efficacy of your brand-positioning statement. So if your brand’s statement of purpose falls flat on social media, it’s safe to say it won’t gain a foothold anywhere.

With that in mind, here’s some reasoning, as well as a few concrete examples, that prove how utilizing social media the right way can position your brand ahead of the pack.

 

 maxresdefault     


The earned media factor
Increasingly, earned media is overshadowing owned media and paid promotion as the more effective of this marketing-strategy trifecta. That’s because a new generation of consumers exists that places a premium on authenticity above all else. They trust people over brands, they look to peers for product recommendations, and they eschew celebrity endorsements. Brands who create a successful earned-media campaign in this endeavor will not only enjoy more conversions, they will effectively turn customers into brand advocates who spread positive word of mouth across their various social-media profiles. That’s brand positioning at its most artful.

3_0_Seen_Influencers_03

The influencers
Now that marketers are realizing the value inherent in generating positive word-of-mouth authentically, the question then becomes how best to accomplish this? Any earned-media campaign should utilize influencers. These are social-media personalities, regular folks, who can be enlisted to review a product or service on their medium of choice. But influencers come in two categories: those who charge for their reviews and those who request only product samples. And while it’s not an automatic deal-breaker to pay an influencer, doing so eliminates all earned-media credibility. Therefore, facilitating trust in the minds of consumers via various social-media platforms is the best way to achieve authenticity and earned-media.

 

The rise of Instagram
As a photo-sharing site, Instagram is tailor-made for any visually appealing product—especially those manufactured by beauty and fashion companies. Take this jaw-dropping statistic for example: of the 13 million social-media interactions that took place during the fall 2016 New York Fashion Week, 97% occurred on Instagram. This trend wasn’t lost on beauty powerhouse Chanel, who invited top Instagram influencers to their production facility in the South of France for a retreat that just happened to feature the company’s upcoming No. 5 L’Eau fragrance. And mass Instagramming ensued.

60332a9c20ce5e5f6fc02a3b4ce60834

Another point: there are newer businesses out there who aren’t merely saying that social-media is an important factor, but that Instagram itself is their most important touch point. Brands who can leverage the visual potential of their product and marry it with a successful Instagram strategy have the potential to draw millions of eyeballs to a single campaign.

 

The YouTube case studies: GoPro and Activision
GoPro could have been like many other consumer electronics manufacturers and relied on traditional “push” advertising to get the message out. But they had loftier goals, and achieving them meant harnessing the power of social media—YouTube to be precise. By creating a channel and allowing users to upload their own videos, they effectively turned their audience into branded content producers. This allowed them to rise above their status as a simple electronics product and become social-media powerhouse. The result is that GoPro is now synonymous with travel and adventure sports. Every indication is that it will be a while before a competing product supplants them in this realm.

This undated product image released by GoPro shows the GoPro digital camera mounted on a ski helmet, a hot item on ski slopes and other settings. Brian Stacey, director of new product development for Tauck, the cruise and tour company, likes the camera because it attaches “to pretty much anything _ your helmet, arm, leg, canoe” and can shoot images while you’re moving. (AP Photo/GoPro)

This undated product image released by GoPro shows the GoPro digital camera mounted on a ski helmet, a hot item on ski slopes and other settings. Brian Stacey, director of new product development for Tauck, the cruise and tour company, likes the camera because it attaches “to pretty much anything _ your helmet, arm, leg, canoe” and can shoot images while you’re moving. (AP Photo/GoPro)

But YouTube isn’t just for brands whose wheelhouse is the great outdoors. There is a major gaming market too. Activision is a video-game company probably most famous for its “Call of Duty” series, which is one of the most successful franchises in the history of console gaming. Not one to rest on their laurels, Activision took the then-risky move of focusing the brunt of their marketing on YouTube influencers. The strategy paid off, and their influencer videos were viewed almost 10 billion times, which is more than 20 times the views they received on the game’s own website. The result is that Activision positioned their brand front and center in the minds of gamers everywhere. And by utilizing honest reviews from respected YouTube personalities, the company achieved their monumental success the best way possible: authentically.

 

call of duty


So how will your brand position itself at the forefront of social-media influence? Will you go all in on YouTube and Instagram? Will you find your niche in newer platforms like SnapChat, the way
Burberry did to great success? Or maybe you’ll innovate beyond the rest and create a heretofore unheard of social strategy that boldly goes where no brand has gone before. The sky’s the limit.

FacebookLinkedInTwitter

Why Influencer Marketing Succeeds at Driving Traffic

FacebookLinkedInTwitter

influencer marketing image

Everyone wants in. 59% of marketers are throwing money at it, even more plan on throwing money at it, and 60% of all fashion brands are already utilizing it. So what is this new tactic that an overwhelmingly large segment of businesses are fixated on? It’s influencer marketing, and its success turns on the ability of social-media personalities to reach a target audience. Its appeal can be summed up in one attractive acronym: ROI. The facts on the ground say that brands that invest in an influencer-marketing strategy see an average $6.85 return on investment for every dollar spent. And as long as social media remains the dominant form of modern communication, the potential for grand returns will always be there.

 

But what makes it possible? Where, exactly, does influencer marketing derive its power, and what drives its success? The answers to these and many more questions are outlined below.

 

It’s authentic

 

First and foremost, influencer marketing works because it’s authentic. According to other statistics, modern teens trust YouTube personalities more than celebrities. This is part of a larger generational trend that sees a great majority of people (92%) trusting word-of-mouth advertising over traditional “push” marketing. It’s this pushiness that has turned off a modern consumer base with its own voice. They no longer want to be “talked at” by brands—they want to have a conversation with peers in the form of product reviews, social-media shares, and “likes.”

 

And that’s what the typical person sees when they follow an influencer on social media—a peer, a regular person who, like them, wants practical info and an honest recommendation. Businesses who adhere to an earned-media influencer strategy can leverage this authenticity to greater returns.

 

Its social

 

To buttress the introductory statement that social-media is today’s dominant form of communication, you only have to look at the numbers. Over two billion people from around the world are active social-media users. Facebook alone has 1.44 billion visitors, and YouTube runs a close second with a billion. And with nearly two billion of the global populous accessing social-media from their mobile devices, influencers have a direct conduit to a target audience any time of day or night via two major touch points. As far as reach is concerned, print advertising and commercials simply can’t compete.

 

It delivers the information an audience is already looking for

 

This notion has been wrapped up in a new marketing term called “Me2B” consumerism. The gist is that today the customer reaches out to the business—or in this case the influencer on their social-media channel. It’s why traditional advertising has little use in today’s world. Sure, display ads have managed to keep up (and will likely be a part of any brand’s strategy for the foreseeable future), but the statistics aren’t encouraging. Click-through rates across all platforms are an anemic 0.06%. Ad blocking grew by 41% over 2015, and that number will only continue to rise. The problem is that it’s a B2C tactic in a Me2B world. Influencer marketing is the strategy of today.

 

It blurs the line between advertising and content

 

Another reason influencer marketing drives traffic is because oftentimes folks don’t even know they’re looking at sponsored or branded content. Even with disclosure hashtags, such as #ad and #sponsored, it’s still possible to craft an influencer campaign that creates an authentic viewing experience. And businesses don’t need to focus merely on individuals. A successful example of this is when Friskies partnered with digital publisher Buzzfeed to create their “Deer Kitten,” campaign. Many found the video entertaining, but, more than that, most folks didn’t even know they were viewing what is essentially a commercial until halfway through. It proves that successful brand positioning can be a product of stealth.

 

It turns individuals into brand ambassadors

 

Even before the digital revolution, positive word-of-mouth was the ideal endgame for marketers. Indeed, according to McKinsey, word-of-mouth is responsible for twice the sales of paid advertising. And those folks who listen to recommendations by their favorite online influencers not only convert to customers, but if the product quality is as advertised they then carry the torch and tell their peers. This effectively exceeds positive word mouth, and turns the customer into a loyal brand advocate.

 

It’s time for businesses to stop doing all the heavy lifting themselves. By partnering with an influencer it’s possible to reach an individual target directly, eliminating the need for market segmentation and other superfluous noise. And if brands can deliver on their promises, they have the potential to convert millions of viewers in a single campaign.

FacebookLinkedInTwitter

The Most Popular Influencer Marketing Platforms Reviewed

FacebookLinkedInTwitter

Out of all the stats that illustrate the virtues of influencer marketing, this one from Expertcity speaks volumes: Influencer recommendations carry 22 times more weight than those from average customers. That’s a stark finding. And when you consider that popular social-media personalities now wield even more influence than the Kardashians and Taylor Swifts of the world, you have a trend that speaks directly to today’s authenticity-craving Millennial generation.

It’s no wonder, then, that marketing pros are going all in on this tactic. So in the interest of uncovering the brand-influencer conduit right for you, here are 14 of the most popular influencer marketing platforms in existence today, sorted alphabetically.

1. BrandBacker

Screenshot 2016-05-19 21.32.46

Paid media, earned media

 

This is one of the more established influencer-marketing platforms around, as it was founded in 2001. In that time BrandBacker has amassed a reported network of 10,000 influencers in multiple countries producing content in various languages. The website is streamlined, which makes signup a simple process of selecting whether you’re a brand or influencer and then requesting a video tutorial that includes pricing plans. Regarding compensation, BrandBacker influencers receive payment, discounts, or free samples, depending on the campaign.

 

One feature unique to BrandBacker is their Content Showcase. Businesses who utilize this tool can collect all brand-relevant content from across the web via a search algorithm. It then curates and organizes the content so clients can see exactly who is talking about them and when. The Showcase then allows brands to publish this curated content straight to their website.

 

Platforms supported: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram

 

Pros

 

  • Team Manager feature helps businesses to build a team of influencers around their brand and monitor progress and efficacy
  • Features like the Content Showcase are a welcome bit of marketing ingenuity

 

Cons

 

  • Despite offering influencer incentives other than monetary compensation, little of what BrandBacker offers meets the definition of “earned media”

2. Content BLVD

CB

 

 

Earned media

 

Content BLVD is a marketing and review platform that adheres to the fundamentals. Their leadership believes that true influence cannot be bought, so in the spirit of authenticity they offer good ol’ fashioned product reviews free of monetary influence. Those targeted influencers who do receive free products in exchange for YouTube vlog opinions are obligated to disclose it. Regarding service, companies pay Content BLVD a monthly subscription fee based on the number of authentic earned mentions they want each month. Content BLVD handles influencer targeting, outreach, shipping, and reporting.

 

Content BLVD caters to businesses with physical consumer products rather than, say, software or general services. This strategy has allowed them to carve out a niche of over 6,000 YouTube product experts and 3,000 product companies. Content BLVD’s influencer program has driven more than 40 million views for their customers since its beta launch in the spring of 2015.

 

Platforms supported: YouTube

 

Pros

 

  • The focus on consumer product companies enables streamlined fulfillment of ongoing campaigns.
  • Simple “Set it and forget it” model is a huge time-saver for product companies.

 

  • The elimination of sponsorship fees brings brand awareness campaigns within reach of smaller product companies. Plans start at just $200 per month.

 

Cons

 

  • Only YouTube influencers at the moment.

3. FameBit

famebit

 

Paid media

 

If FameBit’s goal was ease of use, then their platform is a runaway success. Businesses new to the site will find a simple homepage with two tabs: one for content creators and one for brands. Then it’s a straightforward sign-up process and on to the creation of a branded or sponsored campaign. Brands choose from a variety of social media platforms, the type of content they’d like to create, and finally the campaign details. This includes a drop-down menu listing price-range options starting at $100 all the way up to $10,000+.

 

After clicking the tab to create the campaign, the advertisement goes live and is open for bidding from FameBit’s network of freelance content creators. Brands can see profiles of interested creators as well as featured influencers segmented by category. FameBit earns a service fee of 20% per transaction for accepted bids.

 

Platforms supported: YouTube, Instagram

 

Pros

 

  • Easy sign-up process for both brands and creators
  • Straightforward user interface
  • Self-service client dashboard allows businesses to create an entire influencer campaign in four steps

 

Cons

 

  • Impersonal despite a strong messaging system; it’s a fast-food method to creating an influencer campaign
  • The strict “business transaction” nature of FameBit’s platform robs influencer marketing of its authenticity
  • The hefty sponsorship fees price most small companies out of the market.
  • Many influencers complain about the time it takes to repeatedly “pitch” brands, and the low acceptance rate from companies.

4. Revfluence

Screenshot 2016-05-19 21.45.08

 

 

Paid media

 

Like FameBit, Revfluence has a straightforward homepage with sign-up options for brands and creators. Where Revfluence diverges from its competitor is in its expansive network and highly detailed analytics dashboard. It offers an ability to connect with some 200,000 influencers filtered by industry, location, demographics, content quality and niche keywords. They also tout a customized CRM collaboration tool that puts brands in direct contact with dozens or even hundreds of influencers at once. Businesses can then track each individual campaign’s performance and measure ROI via the same dashboard.

 

And for those brands who still have cold feet about influencer marketing, the website offers case studies highlighting specific examples of Revfluence’s success.

 

Platforms Supported: YouTube, Instagram

 

Pros

 

  • Large database of influencers from which to choose
  • Detailed analytics dashboard tracks all relevant metrics

 

Cons

 

  • Not great for first timers; brands need to be well versed in the finer points of influencer marketing before signing up

5. Influenster

Screenshot 2016-05-19 21.57.52

 

Earned media

 

Around since 2010, Influenster is a marketing and review platform that aims for earned-media credibility with product opinions offered in vlog, blog or simple review form. They also operate under the same disclosure rules as Content BLVD. On the surface Influenster appears to be doing something right, as the platform has a user base of some 1.5 million “influensters” who share their likes and dislikes across social media.

 

To further enhance the user experience, Influenster supplements their reviews and recommendations with coupons, giveaways and rewards programs.

 

Platforms supported: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+

 

Pros

 

  • Rates “Influensters” by hundreds of data points, including social connections
  • Mobile app allows Influensters to post reviews in real time and reach audiences at the moment of purchase.

 

Cons

 

  • Brands have no control over messaging
  • Some product “reviews” can be light on substance. This is a result of members increasing their social media activity in order to earn “badges,” which in turn help them receive free products.
  • Reports of some members being disgruntled after not receiving free product packages

6. Izea

Screenshot 2016-05-19 21.57.14

 

 

Paid media

 

In Izea’s world, bigger most definitely means better. In their quest to become the largest marketplace platform around they’ve absorbed other content websites, such as Ebyline. These tactics have allowed them to amass a database of over 250,000 influencers operating across multiple social platforms and filtered by reach, quality and other metrics. That’s more than enough content producers to satisfy the needs of the some 50,000 businesses and brands already signed up with Izea.

 

Those who create an account have the option of three payment plans ranging from $0 to $299, all of which offer various services such as ShareMonitor URLs and SocialSearch Groups. These are analytics tools that keep track of, among other things, URL shares and hashtag popularity.

 

Platforms Supported: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, Snapchat

 

Pros

 

  • No shortage of content producers
  • Comprehensive website features everything from marketing research reports to investor information

 

Cons

 

  • Has so many affiliates and subsidiary companies that some brands Izea lists as their clients don’t even know they’re doing business with them
  • Since its inception in 2006, Izea has embraced pay-per-post marketing, effectively eliminating any and all earned media credibility

7. TapInfluence

Screenshot 2016-05-19 21.56.29

 

Paid media

 

TapInfluence’s mantra is “Content created by consumers for consumers.” With a database of 30,000 opt-in influencers, they seem primed to deliver on that promise. But what sets them apart from many of the marketplace options is that they focus primarily on the software, touting speedy workflow automation, precise influencer identification, audience targeting and multi-channel analytics tracking. They offer three pricing plans: standard, enterprise, and agency. The plans for enterprise and agency offer unique features such as onboarding, account managers, influencer strategists, pitch meetings and partnerships. TapInfluence’s website also features successful case studies.

 

Platforms supported: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine

 

Pros

 

  • Comprehensive software featuring a number of resources and tools
  • Tap Library offers eBooks, videos and webinars

 

Cons

 

  • TapInfluence’s standard price plan starts at $1,999 per month, which makes it cost-prohibitive for many smaller businesses.
  • Boasts of a “200% ROI” are difficult (if not impossible) to verify

8. Traackr

Screenshot 2016-05-19 21.55.54

 

Paid media, earned media

 

Traackr operates primarily as a marketing campaign manager with a focus on brand-influencer communication. The site facilitates dialogue, so businesses can glean insight directly from influencers and sculpt their social-media campaigns accordingly. This is a good thing, since Traackr works with influencers on all major social-media platforms as well as a number of blogging sites. Besides offering robust influencer profiles, Traackr has an equally detailed analytics engine that automatically keeps tabs on brand mentions, daily post updates and trending content.

 

In keeping with the communication theme, the site allows businesses to track conversations in real-time with multiple contacts. This also applies to email and Twitter feeds between influencers and brands. Traackr also provides supplementary marketing reports and data services.

 

Platforms Supported: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+

 

Pros

 

  • Built-in communication tools facilitate communication between influencers and brands
  • Detailed online profiles of Traacker’s influencers

 

Cons

 

  • Poorly organized website contains too much text and too little direction
  • Some users have reported the platform as being “buggy” and prone to glitches

9. InstaBrand

Screenshot 2016-05-19 21.55.19

 

Paid media

 

Instabrand holds its own with the other players on this list regarding features and functionality. It offers the “greatest hits,” like a large database of influencers operating on all major social platforms. And signup is a simple one-click process right from the homepage. According to InstaBrand they have an extensive client list of some of the biggest names, including Universal, Colgate, Pepsi and H&M.

 

One way in which InstaBrand is looking to capitalize on new social trends is through their Snapchat Labs feature. This tool allows brands to utilize Instabrand’s pool of some 12,000 Snapchat influencers to reach that coveted 18-29 Millennial demographic.

 

Platforms Supported: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, Snapchat,

 

Pros

 

  • Advanced search engine lets brands filter influencer results by a number of criteria including demographics and post relevance
  • Assigns campaign managers to offer personalized attention

 

Cons

 

  • Website is heavy on content but light on substance and detail of Instabrand’s platform

 

10. Instafluence

Screenshot 2016-05-19 21.54.40

Paid media

 

Instafluence has carved out a unique niche for itself by offering influencer services to clients looking to promote their mobile app. The platform leverages the popularity of social-media celebrities to boost downloads of the apps in question. Another selling point is that they offer to build a loyal Instagram following for the brand and then hand over the reigns so they can continue promoting on their own. Their client list includes heavyweights such as Viacom and Dos Equis, and many of their celebrity influencers enjoy millions of subscribers.

 

One interesting turn of events is that Instafluence was acquired by Disney’s Maker Studios in 2015. The platform can now utilize that production company’s some 55,000 YouTube channels and roster of celebrity vloggers to help promote client apps.

 

Platforms Supported: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube Instagram, Vine, Snapchat

 

Pros

 

  • The purchase by Disney means Instafluence can deliver a massive rolodex of genuine social-media celebrities
  • The only platform on the list that focuses solely on apps

 

Cons

 

  • Focuses solely on apps

 

11. Niche.co

Screenshot 2016-05-19 21.53.49

Paid media

 

Niche is an influencer platform with quite the social-media pedigree. One co-founder, Rob Fishman, worked the social beat at Huffington Post, and the company hired Vine celebrity Cody Johns as its creative director. Starting in 2013, Niche found early success with Vine campaigns in the world of film and retail. Now they’ve opened up their platform to all the major social networks and, according to their website, work with over 30,000 content creators.

 

For the benefit of everyone involved, Niche creates a single profile for their creators that aggregates all content from their various social profiles. Then they display these profiles in a leaderboard, complete with full analytics tracking, so brands can see which influencers are moving the needle the most.

 

Platforms Supported: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Vine, Tumblr

 

Pros

 

  • Leaderboard helps brands decide which influencers will deliver the most engagement to their campaign
  • Comprehensive profile helps creators see which of their content is hitting the mark
  • Niche takes a hands on approach, being involved in most aspects of the campaign creation

 

Cons

 

  • Website doesn’t make it easy to engage with content creators; brands who want free reign to create campaigns and communicate with influencers directly may feel stifled

12. Octoly

Screenshot 2016-05-19 21.52.52

 

Earned media

 

Octoloy is a French platform that has also gone all in on YouTube. Billing themselves as the “first Free Store dedicated to creators,” the site is an automated marketplace that connects brands with vlog personalities. In just a few steps, brands can search a database of influencers and create a campaign by offering nothing more than free products. Most of the influencers on Octoloy are beauty YouTubers, and the site claims to monitor some 800,000 channels.

 

Like Content BLVD, Octoly places a premium on authenticity and honest reviews. They charge a fee for brands to access their database.

 

Platforms Supported: YouTube

 

Pros

 

  • Doesn’t pay influencers; focuses on authentic product reviews

 

Cons

 

  • Octoly is limited by focusing predominantly on beauty items—although they are branching out into video games
  • Only YouTube influencers
  • Lack of practical info (or even a demo or tutorial) on the homepage means businesses that sign up with Octoloy are doing so without knowing very much about how it works

13. Grapevine Logic

Screenshot 2016-05-19 21.49.41

 

 

Paid media, earned media

 

The last YouTube-only option on the list, Grapevine works with over 200 brands. Like Content BLVD and Octoly, the site offers influencers product packages in exchange for reviews. Unlike the two other sites, Grapevine also deals in paid sponsorships. Like some of the best options, the homepage is in simple WordPress format, and they offer their own analytics engine to help brands and agencies find the most visible influencers.

 

Platforms Supported: YouTube

 

Pros

 

  • A database of over 60,000 influencers
  • Pairs brands with a dedicated account manager to facilitate the process

 

Cons

 

  • Only YouTube influencers
  • The option for influencers to receive monetary compensation diminishes earned-media potential

14. Popular Pays

Screenshot 2016-05-19 21.48.26

 

Paid media

 

This website offers speed and ease of use to help businesses leverage the power of Instagram to promote their brand. On the speed end, Popular Pays promises that visitors can list a campaign in six minutes, receive proposals from Instagrammers 24 hours later, and have the campaign up within a week. By focusing almost exclusively on Instagram (they have dabbled in Pinterest and Snapchat, too), Popular Pays can keep their website streamlined and simple.

 

Popular Pays boasts a network of over 25,000 Instagrammers who have created sponsored campaigns for top brands including Nike, Target and Glenlivet. As for the bread and butter of Instagram—the photos—the site offers brands the option to use original photos from the content creators themselves, or full-rights pics from Popular Pays’ database.

 

Platforms Supported: Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest

 

Pros

 

  • Straightforward website free of visual noise
  • Popular Pays stays out of the pairing process, letting brands and Instagrammers find each other organically
  • Great for sponsored content on Instagram

 

Cons

 

  • Caters primarily to just one social-media platform
  • It’s a bid marketplace, meaning Instagrammers get paid for their services, thus eliminating any earned media

 

While there is no single winner on this list, certain sites might be a better fit than others. For example, those who want an established option dealing in multiple social platforms may opt for BrandBacker. On the other hand, those who want to create an earned-media video advertising campaign could be better off with Content Blvd. And businesses without previous influencer knowledge looking to setup quick campaigns with minimal hassle might prefer FameBit or, or Grapevine Logic, or Popular Pays. It all depends on the brand.

If you represent an influencer marketing platform that you feel I should have included, just say so in the comments.

 

FacebookLinkedInTwitter

Influencer Marketing in 2016: Go Big, or Go Home

FacebookLinkedInTwitter

millennials

Ask any savvy advertiser when the tectonic shift in marketing occurred, and they might pinpoint the rise of digital content, or the ubiquity of social media, or the intersection of the two. But looking at it through a wider lens, it’s easy to see that the dwindling efficacy of traditional ads coincided with the rise of the millennial generation. This group (those born after 1980) grew up immersed in technology, and many have been tethered to social media since they were old enough to manipulate a keypad. These consumers can sense the hard sell a mile away, and they value authenticity above all else. Forward-thinking brands have appealed to this new demo by focusing on peer recommendations, usually via social media. Thus, influencer marketing was born. Here are five reasons brands and advertisers will want to go all in on it this year.

 

Influencer marketing beats all other strategies
Where it concerns customer acquisition channels, influencer marketing leaves the competition in the dust. Looking at the trend closer, it’s not difficult to see why this is occurring. The popularity of influencer marketing is increasing in relation to the popularity and expansion of social media. Where once influencers relied primarily on vlogs and blogs, they can now be found on almost every social platform under the sun, from Snapchat and Vine to Youtube and Instagram.  The proliferation of new mobile-optimized social media platforms gives influencers access to increasingly larger audiences who can be reached anytime, anywhere via their smartphones. You simply can’t get the same reach or engagement with ads.

 

No one blocks an influencer
With almost 50% of all Internet surfers utilizing some form of ad-block technology, it’s no wonder pop-ups aren’t having the desired effect. With influencer marketing you’re not paying for the possibility of reaching a target demo—you’re buying a direct path to conversion, provided the brand in question has sound market research on their end. That’s because trust has already been established, and the long reach of the influencers paves the way.

 

It’s as cost effective as they come
Influencer marketing yields $6.50 for every $1 invested. (2)

Brands operating with limited budgets might still think traditional email marketing campaigns are good bang for the advertising dollar—and they’d be right. After all, how much does it cost to disseminate an email blast? However, not only is influencer marketing a cost-effective advertising strategy, it’s actually tied with email marketing as the most cost-effective channel out there. Want an even more savory statistic? Businesses are averaging a whopping $6.50 per every dollar they spend on influencer marketing. It’s hard to argue with such an attractive ROI.


Content isn’t as effective without influencer marketing
Many businesses have rightly upped their content output to keep brand awareness at a fever pitch. But since 2014 engagement has been decreasing. It’s not that the public is no longer hungry for content—far from it. But they now prefer to receive their messaging via a trustworthy entity. Enter the influencer. Brands who supplement their original content with influencer marketing will not only see greater engagement, but they’ll be able to track KPIs more effectively.


Influencer marketing yields more engaged customers
Many businesses are realizing that influencer marketing delivers far more valuable customers than other tactics for one simple reason: word of mouth. There’s no clearer path to conversion than strong buzz, and influencers with loyal audiences have no problem creating generating meaningful buzz for products and brands they like. So not only does strong word of mouth lead to conversions, but consumers often times become brand advocates, sharing their positive experience across their own social media channels, feeding the cycle and increasing average order sizes.
These are a few of the reasons influencer marketing is primed to explode, and why all marketers need to make this a big part of their strategy in 2016. But one other crucial stat is this: 59% of marketers plan to up their influencer marketing budgets this year. Will your brand be left out in the cold?

FacebookLinkedInTwitter

Consumer Product Companies – Here are 4 Influencer Marketing Stats to Help Prioritize Your Efforts

FacebookLinkedInTwitter

Influencer marketing works. That much is clear, given countless examples around the web pointing toward the fact that earned media outperforms its paid alternative. And yet, because of the lack of control they perceive to have over influencers, many marketers still shy away from the concept as an effective marketing strategy. If you have been hesitant to prioritize it in the past, here are 4 influencer marketing stats to convince you of its success.


Influencer Marketing, Defined.

First, let's clarify a few things. Influencer marketing is a broad concept, so you may be using a different working definition than your peers. To ensure we're on the same page, here is how we define the concept:

Influencer marketing means priming a target audience to speak enthusiastically about a product or service.

The idea is simple. Because they are perceived to have little incentive to be dishonest, your target audience's word carries more weight and credibility among their peers than your promoted message ever could. Everyone knows you are just trying to sell a product. But if your audience starts raving about it, other members of the same audience group will be much more likely to believe its merits.

And that's not just common sense. Consider these 5 stats that prove the same point:


1) Word of Mouth Brings Customers

As mentioned above, the basic concept behind influencer marketing is the idea that customers, not brands, spread organic ("earned") promotional messages. And this basic concept is also the reason for its success; according to a McKinsey study, word of mouth generates more than twice the sales of its promoted counterparts, and customer gained through word of mouth marketing have a 37% higher retention rate.

These statistics emphasize that brands should prioritize influencer marketing. Not only is it more successful than paid media in increasing your customer base, but it also attracts higher-quality customers that will ultimately drive your revenue more substantially.


2) Word of Mouth Adds Credibility

Make no mistake: the reason word of mouth plays such a significant role in attracting quality customers is because of added credibility compared to traditional advertising. In the digital age, most consumers have become wary of banner ads and other type of paid media; look no further than the recent ad blocking trend for evidence.

Word of mouth, however, remains immune from the increasing cynicism surrounding digital ads. 88% of customers trust online reviews by strangers as much as they would recommendations from friends. Meanwhile, 84% of consumers trust online reviewsmore than any other type of marketing initiative. Adding word of mouth strategies to your marketing means improving your credibility significantly.


3) Influencer Marketing Provides Impressive ROI

Because of the power of word of mouth, and the low expense of leveraging influencers, this marketing concept provides a higher return on investment than most (if not all) of its paid counterparts. One survey found that on average, businesses who engage in influencer marketing earn $6,50 for every marketing dollar spent.

The survey's findings may be surprising at first, but make perfect sense upon further analysis. 'Traditional' paid advertising means having to pay money each time a potential customer sees your ad. While influencer marketing does require some investment, marketers don't have to pay money to increase the reach. The result is lower spend for better results.


4) Your Competitors Do It

According to a May 2015 study, 84% of marketers said they would launch at least one influencer campaign within the next twelve months. The reason for the method's popularity is simple: the same study also found that 81% marketers who had already engaged in influencer marketing found it to be successful.

In other words, the success of influencer marketing has led to widespread use of the concept. Not engaging your audience to spread the word for you can mean being left behind by your competition.

All of these statistics come back to a simple truth: influencer marketing works. That's why it's both the fastest-growing and most effective digital channel available today. Is your company leveraging word of mouth from members of your target audience? If not, it may be time to start.

FacebookLinkedInTwitter

5 Reasons YouTube Trumps Facebook in Digital Marketing

FacebookLinkedInTwitter

facebook-youtube2-fade-1920

 

On paper it shouldn’t even be a contest. In 2007, when Facebook reached 100 million users, a new and relatively obscure video clip site called YouTube was just starting to experiment with pre-roll ads. In 2012, when Facebook boasted 618 billion daily visitors, YouTube was only just beginning to evolve from clip site to social-media platform and search engine. And in 2013, while Facebook took in a staggering $1.8 billion in ad revenue with the help of mobile ads, YouTube was still trying to decide if it was TV or Internet.

 

So what changed? Why are advertisers now focusing on branded digital-video content the same way they went after Facebook “likes” in 2011? Because YouTube achieved the one thing that is out of the control of every innovator, analyst, consultant and brain trust in the world—it became a cultural phenomenon. Does that mean it has now surpassed Facebook as the go-to platform for marketing dollars? Here are five arguments that say this is the case.

 

YouTube’s power is in the hands of the user, not an algorithm

 

YouTube has become the second-largest search engine in the world because it gives people the power to find the videos they want when they want. This is opposed to Facebook, which uses algorithms to determine what a user might like and then displays something similar on their feed. There are those bloggers who claim that neither YouTube nor Facebook has the edge in how videos are viewed—that there’s room for both search and curated videos. But this writer says that he’s almost never seen a curated video pop up in his FB feed that he’s wanted to see. And until Facebook can actually read people’s minds—instead of using algorithms to attempt the feat—that will remain the case. Marketers would do well to put their dollars in branded content people willfully engage with.  

 

YouTube viewers stay longer

 

That’s right. As a whole, YouTube viewers have longer attention spans than Facebook users. Part of this has to do with the nature of both platforms and how visitors engage with them. Whereas Facebook users tend to watch a video clip for between 20-40 seconds, the typical length of a YouTube video is around three minutes. That means those that visit YouTube do so automatically primed to experience longer content. Marketing pros say that brands can and should take advantage of this extra time to develop more in-depth content that reaches a wider audience.

 

Mobile favors YouTube as well

 

One area where Facebook still holds sway is mobile devices. After all, everyone’s always checking their FB feed on their smartphone. But this overlooks a staggering trend among YouTube visitors—that one billion of them watch videos on their mobile devices every day. Not only that, the typical YouTube session viewed on a smartphone or tablet lasts around 40 minutes. That means while today’s generation is constantly on the go, they somehow manage to take the time to watch the equivalent of an hour-long network TV show on their handheld. Hardly an inconsequential stat. Moreover, this audience is the target demo marketers crave. According to statistics, YouTube’s mobile app reaches more 18-49 year olds than any cable channel.

 

YouTube is search

 

As mentioned above, YouTube evolved from clip site to social media platform and then ultimately to search engine. In fact, it is now the second-largest search engine in the world. That’s a lot for Facebook to compete with, since they fundamentally do not operate in the way Google operates. For marketers, this means greater power of optimization through YouTube and this will only increase over time.

 

YouTube has the views


To bastardize Bill Clinton’s old line, it’s the views, stupid. And YouTube’s got ‘em. By 2015 YouTube had achieved a whopping 40 billion views of branded content. Oh, and 18 billion of those views occurred in 2014 alone. This has led to certain brands, such as GoPro, successfully turning their business operation into a media juggernaut.  
The intent of this piece isn’t to suggest that Facebook is now irrelevant. Indeed, they are already putting up a robust fight against YouTube in the battle for digital-video supremacy. Now users who find that perfect Facebook video can upload it to their blog without including the supporting FB post. Also, folks can sync comments from publisher’s posts to their page and vice versa. But is this enough to stop the meteoric ascension of YouTube and its quest to deliver digital-video content to an audience voracious for imagery? Only time will tell.

FacebookLinkedInTwitter

Don’t Miss the Holiday Rush! Get Your Products on YouTube Now

FacebookLinkedInTwitter

While the largest brands and big box stores have been planning for the holidays since last spring, smaller more nimble brands still have time to make a holiday push... but only just barely.

 

YouTube product placement can still play a key role in getting your products found and in consideration during the holiday shopping season. But you have to give it enough time and start now.

 

First, YouTubers need time to receive your products, evaluate them and produce their videos. That process can take 3-4 weeks or longer, depending on their current editorial calendar.

 

Second, once the videos are live, you'll want to maximize their effect by sharing them wherever you can from Facebook and Twitter to your own website, even the product page itself.

 

To help you get your YouTube marketing rolling we're offering free credits through the end of the year!

 

Wouldn't those YouTubers look good with your products in their hands?

 

 

Create a product listing in minutes. No cost. No catch.

 

START NOW

FacebookLinkedInTwitter