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How to Pick the Right Brand Ambassador

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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.

 

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10 Ways to Boost Your YouTube Subscribers Today

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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.

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

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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.

 

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Influencer marketing examples: What makes for a successful campaign?

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Influencer marketing is a buzzword that is used to refer to a type of marketing that uses the power of social media to harness and attract new and returning customers. Many previously unknown people -- and brands -- have found themselves enjoying a surge of popularity -- and, in turn, sales -- as a result of influencer marketing. But not every type of influencer marketing is successful for brands -- so what makes for a good influencer marketing campaign? In this blog post, we're going to discuss some of the most successful influencer marketing campaigns, and what made them so successful.

 

Birchbox and Instagram: A Successful Partnership with Beauty Bloggers

Birchbox is a NYC-based subscription box company that sends their subscribers about four or five samples of beauty products -- usually makeup and perfume -- each month. The company was started in 2010 by two graduates of Harvard Business School, and currently has over a million monthly subscribers.

But, of course, it wasn't always this way. In order for Birchbox to be the successful company that it is today, it had to engage in influencer marketing, and they did this in a few ways. First, the company engages in "Instagram takeovers," which is where popular beauty bloggers take control of the Birchbox Instagram, with the idea that the blogger's Instagram followers will subsequently follow Birchbox's Instagram (more followers, as any marketer will tell you, translates to more opportunities for more customers). Second, in October 2014, they partnered with the popular app Soldsie to create the first-ever Instagram shop, which gave the company the opportunity to turn all commenters into instant buyers with an appropriate hashtag.

The example of Birchbox's success illustrates how important it is for companies to immediately find their niche, and subsequently partner with influencers that are able to push the company's brand to the dedicated audience.

 

Boxed Water and Instagram: Banding Together for A Common Cause

One of the best ways to get people behind your brand is to band together for a cause. The cause, of course, has to be in line with your brand as well, but if you can find something to get behind, and you can find people to get behind them, they'll rally together, not only to get behind your cause, but to show loyalty to your brand.

Let's take the example of the Boxed Water company: they have partnered with several Instagram influencers to spread the word about their product, but also to spread the word about their preferred charity, The Retree Project. Thanks to their partnership with these several influencers, more than 2000 photos with the hashtag #TheRetreeProject emerged.

This is yet another example of how partnering with the best influencers can lead to your brand's continued exposure. If you partner with an appropriate charity, in fact, many influencers will post about your product either for free, or for a reduced fee, or for a tax-exempt receipt.

Madewell and Instagram: Encourage User Partnership

Finally, but certainly no less importantly, one of the most important things to remember about influencers is that they got to where they are today because they encourage user participation. If you use your influencers as partners, rather than as paid participants in your program, you'll be able to encourage other users to do the same with your partnership.

Take, for example, the case of Madewell, who used Instagram to "regram" (that is, repost with a link back to the influencer's Instagram) some pictures that showed appropriate influencers wearing their goods.

This is just a few of the many examples of brands who have used the power of influencer marketing for the great success of their brands. For more information about us and our services, contact us today to see what we can do for you.

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5 Influencer Marketing Statistics You Can’t Afford to Ignore

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These days, media channels inundate consumers with more paid advertisements than ever before. Not surprisingly, the impact of this is that people trust paid advertising less and less. Anyone with a computer knows that advertisements are literally everywhere on the web -- and consumers are more resistant and critical than ever when it comes to paid marketing.

 

Likewise, social media and online communities are growing larger and more active every day. Word-of-mouth and earned marketing are incredibly powerful because consumers trust that the promoters have nothing to gain from product sales. Influencer marketing harnesses this power through systematically partnering with influential groups and individuals to review, discuss, and promote brands and products.

 

While influencer marketing can be paid -- similar to a sponsorship -- it's most effective when the influencer is unpaid, speaking freely and candidly, and without bias. This aspect is exactly what makes influencer marketing trustable to consumers.

 

If you're someone interested in optimizing your marketing to reach and convert the most people at the least cost, influencer marketing is a growing channel you can't afford to ignore. Check out these 5 influencer marketing stats that will show you why influencer marketing is on the rise and projected to stay there.

 

  1. Increase consumer trust. Consumer trust and confidence in paid advertising has declined by over 20% since 2007 (Nielsen). Conversely, consumer confidence in word-of-mouth advertising is growing -- 92% of consumers trust recommendations from peers or trusted authorities. Likewise, 72% of people rely on social media to inform their purchasing decisions (SimplyMeasured). These are staggering statistics, and they suggest a huge change in the way we think about marketing. Starting communities and conversations is now a more powerful tool for building brand trust and recognition than almost anything else.

 

  1. Stop wasting money and boost your ROI in marketing dollars. Influencer marketing averages a better ROI than any other online marketing channel. Businesses make an average of $6.50 for every dollar invested in influencer marketing -- and the top 13% of businesses make $20 or more for ever dollar spent (Tomoson). This is a higher ROI than paid search, affiliate marketing, and SEO optimization for organic search. Marketers rated influencer marketing as the most cost-effective marketing channel (along with e-mail marketing).

 

  1. Join the majority of who invest in what works. Businesses rated influencer marketing as their fastest growing online conversion channel, ranking higher than email marketing and search engines. (Tomoson) 59% of marketing departments are expanding their influencer marketing budgets this year (Tomoson).

 

  1. Convert better customers. Customers acquired through influencer marketing tend to be more loyal with a higher lifetime value. Customers converted this way are more likely to be active on social media, youtube, and product reviews. This means they're also more likely to promote your product via their own word-of-mouth channels, adding to their life-time value. Customers acquired through word-of-mouth have a 37% higher retention rate. (Deloitte) Because it's cheaper to retain customers than convert new ones, this strategy pays on multiple levels.

 

  1. Drive brand lift. Earned media drives 4 times the brand lift as paid media (Bazaar Voice). This means that people who interact with the earned media are way more likely to be impressed than they would be if they heard the same information through a paid channel -- and way more likely to buy from you or promote your brand. Again, this is about trust. Consumers know that someone who doesn't directly stand to profit from converting them is probably more worthy of trust.

Want to learn more about developing or beginning your influencer marketing campaign? Interested in best practices for identifying influencers, developing influencer relationships, and implementing new strategies in the most effective way? 

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What Ad Blockers Tell Us About the Value of Influencer Marketing

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Programs and plugins that block ads on desktop and mobile web browsers have been around for a few years. But they hadn't led to worries or even panic among marketers until last year, when Apple announced that it would include ad-blocking capabilities for its Safari browser in the release of iOS 9. Just like that, a formerly niche tool went mainstream.

 

The months since have seen a rapid rise of ad blocking apps, which now dominate Apple and Android download charts. As millions of consumers are blocking ads, marketers have begun to panic: how are they supposed to spread the word about their brand if they're being shut out? The answer is deceptively simple: influencer marketing. Here are 3 conclusions we can draw from the rise of ad blocking.

 

1) Consumers are Tired of Ads

Above all, the rapid rise of ad blocking capability stems from one major underlying current: consumers are simply getting tired of ads. No less than 45 million U.S. internet users now regular use ad blocking software for a more organic content experience, and that number is expected to continue rising.

 

By the millions, American consumers have decided that getting exposed to more than 360 individual advertisements is simply too much. When they search on Google or log into Facebook, they want to get relevant results and hear from friends rather than being bombarded by promotional messages. And given the ubiquity of digital advertisements, who could blame them?

 

2) Revenue Will Be Lost

For marketers relying on digital ads to spread their message, the consequences of this development are undoubtedly troubling. As much as half of your target audience may simply be unreachable via digital ads, staying in the dark about your brand as a result.

 

According to one projection, advertisers will lose an astonishing $41 billion in 2016 advertising revenue as a result of ad blocking. Unsurprisingly, marketers relying on digital ads for brand exposure and revenue generation are panicking. Some went so far as to calling it the "Ad-Blocking Apocalypse."

 

3) Alternative Outreach is Needed

In reality, though, the rise of ad blockers is no need to panic. User are undoubtedly tired of ads, which is why they're starting to take action and control of their digital content exposure. But the one thing they're not doing is cutting their digital time as a result. In fact, the average consumer continues to spend more time online every single year.

 

Digital media consumption is not decreasing; the way in which we consume digital media is. Consumers don't want to hear promotional messages from brands, preferring authentic messages from their peers instead. For marketers, this insight offers an invaluable opportunity.

 

Enter influencer marketing. What if, rather than spending your time and resources trying to reach an audience that does not want to hear from you, you would spend it on engaging the influencers to whom your audience does want to listen? Naturally, your efforts will be much more successful.

 

Influencer marketing does not just offer theoretical benefits in an ad blocking age. Businesses who engage in this philosophy experience significant ROI. One study suggested an ROI that is 11 times as high as traditional banner ads, while another showed peer-focused marketing to generate $6.50 for every dollar spent.

 

In short, influencer marketing offers an ideal opportunity for marketers to circumvent ad blocking technology and get their message straight to their target audience. It's a marketing method specifically designed for an age in which consumers are able to decide who they want to listen to, seeking authenticity rather than promotions. So if you're worried that ad blocking may negatively influence your marketing strategy, consider influencer marketing as a more authentic, organic and beneficial alternative.

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A Day in the Life of a YouTuber: Three Reasons Why YouTubers Want to Work With Your Brand

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Popular YouTubers field brand requests daily, but very few brands make the cut in this competitive influencer market. What can you do to seal a partnership with a YouTuber? Which products do they choose and which brands do they trust?

 

YouTubers value authenticity above all else. They want the brands they use to be a true reflection of their lifestyles. This authenticity benefits brands as well. When real people, in the real world, value your real brand then you have the potential to acquire a loyal customer base.

 

How do you approach a YouTuber and what do you emphasize about your product and plans?

 

1) You foster creative expression and value real experiences. Irfan Kahn, CEO of Blogmint, predicts an influencer marketing trend built around free expression. He writes on  iamwire:

 

Experiencing the product and sharing personal stories around this would drive influencer marketing in 2016. Businesses will give additional creative freedom to influencers so that they can create personalized content for their followers instead of bland product / service reviews.

 

Most YouTubers speak to their audience as they would a friend. Outsiders might not understand all the nuances within the private conversation, but should trust that the YouTuber is reaching out to their demographic in a way that the demographic understands and values. Essentially, brands that encourage the influencer to take creative liberties with the product are likely to make a positive connection with the influencer.

 

2) Your pitch is as authentic as your product. Know your YouTuber. Watch their channel. Understand how your product adds value to the YouTuber's channel and how it will add value to their demographic's lives. And be prepared to send some swag. Nikkie Phillippi, a beauty guru from Santa Clarita prefers to work with brands she already uses, likes and knows well. According to her video, and Hubspot, when an unknown brand seeks her approval "she requests that the brand send her a product to try and then makes a determination about working with the brand. She says she turns down about 90% of the brand integration deals that make it to her inbox."

 

You might send your product to multiple YouTubers without positive results. You also might find yourself wading through a sea of potential YouTubers who would benefit from your product or brand. This is where influencer marketing platforms become important. Influencer marketplaces aren't manipulative or pushy. Placing your product or brand out there for influencers to freely choose and connect with makes for an authentic relationship going forward.

 

 

3) Your brand integrates with the channel's vision, now and in the long-term.  Tyler Oakley, a YouTube personality with eight million subscribers and a strong multi-channel presence, chose a long-term partnership with Audible, where he integrates the service into his popular videos. The keyword here is long-term. Oakley explained during an interview with PBS's Frontline, that he and most members of the YouTube community spend years building their respective channels.

 

Each YouTuber earns their followers by maintaining a consistent philosophy and personality that has evolved organically alongside their channel's growth. Their followers are loyal and YouTubers are trusted. Over and over, in interview after interview, YouTubers explain that they must maintain their sincerity. Sincerity is what made them popular. They aren't fly by night and don't expect their brands to be either. As a brand, be prepared to become an organic part of the YouTuber's channel.

 

If nothing else, remember that YouTube is all about authenticity. Inauthentic product placement “could take away the one thing that makes YouTube stars so appealing,” Jeetendr Sehdev, celebrity brand strategist says. He sums it up like this:

 

If YouTube stars are swallowed by Hollywood, they are in danger of becoming less authentic versions of themselves, and teenagers will be able to pick up on that.

 

YouTubers like Oakley and Phillippi are acutely aware of their audience's predilections and most YouTubers prefer to work with brands that understand and respect their audiences and the channels they have created.

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Why Brands are Spending Piles of Money on Influencer Marketing

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A recent study found through a survey that 65% of brands have plans to raise their influencer marketing budget in 2016. They also found that influencer marketing is receiving greater investments than display advertising and affiliate marketing. Influencer marketing is becoming more important for businesses for the following reasons:

 

  1. Consumers Use Their Phones to Search for Product Reviews

Many consumers check product reviews online before buying a product. Even if they're in the physical store, they can use their mobile phones to read product reviews. According to Stacy DeBroff, the CEO and founder of Influence Central, one of their studies found that 70% of consumers sometimes check reviews on their phones while shopping. Even when they are ready to make a purchase, they want the best deal, so they check their smartphones for potential better deals before buying.

 

  1. Reading Product Reviews is Part of the Research Process

Customers read reviews as part of the research process before committing to a purchase. They think that it helps them make the right decision. Your brand will naturally have an advantage if a well-respected individual in your niche recommends your product through a review. Many people who come across the review will recognize the influencer as an expert in that niche and will therefore be more likely to trust his opinions.

 

  1. Not Only Millennials Care About Reading Online Reviews

The importance of online reviews extends to older generations as well, not just millennials read reviews before buying a product. In a study conducted by Influence Central and Vibrant Nation, they discovered that 95% of female consumers over the age of 45 searched for online product reviews and first-person recommendations before buying a product. 77% of the women surveyed follow brands on Facebook, and 74% admitted that they're more likely to purchase a product after reading a positive first-person review.

 

  1. Influencer Marketing Expands Their Reach

Another reason brands are investing in influencer marketing is it expands their reach. Influencers have large followings of people whom care about what they say. By connecting with an influencer in your field, you have access to his readerbase. Some of their readers will follow you because you have similar interests and are connected to the influencer they already trust. It will be easier for you to earn their trust as well.

 

  1. Boost Business Credibility

Influencer marketing is an easy way to boost your business's credibility. Once you've built a relationship with an influencer and he shares your products with his followers, your credibility increases rapidly. It will, however, take time and effort to initially connect with the influencer. Remember that no one will talk about your business just because you send an email asking. Think about how many emails influencers must receive every day from people wanting their products promoted by them.

 

  1. Increase Brand Awareness

You could have the best product, but if no one knows your business exists, you're not going to make many sales. Increasing brand awareness is important, especially for startups and small businesses that wish to grow. Influencer marketing is an efficient way to increase brand awareness because influencers already have large audiences that trust them.

 

Conclusion

Businesses are spending more money on influencer marketing this year because of how important influencers have become in the buying process for customers. Many people look to influencers for advice on what to buy and product recommendations. They trust the influencers that they have come to like. To speed up the process of earning trust from customers, clever businesses reach out to these social media stars. The benefits of an influencer posting about your business are worth the initial investment needed to build a relationship with that person.

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Pros and Cons of Instagram’s New Algorithm Update

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Algorithmic or chronological filtering, that is the question. And for today’s legions of Instagram users it represents an existential crisis as potent as Hamlet’s. That’s because the popular photo-sharing platform recently announced plans to sort posts according to user behavior as opposed to the established chronological order. Not surprisingly, upon learning this news many fans of the site got their pitchforks out. The move will also have very real implications for those marketers and businesses that have learned to leverage Instagram’s popularity the old way.                                                                         

 

But, as in life, there are positives and negatives to change. So in the interests of finishing on an upbeat note we’ll list the cons followed by the pros, and hopefully shed some light on Instagram’s latest “Instaupdate”.

 

Cons

 

Content will be missed

 

It’s inevitable. By definition curated content means selected content. And if a robot algorithm is in charge of that selection it’s bound to miss some posts that Instagram users genuinely want to see. With the old chronological system, users could at least count on receiving all posts from those friends and businesses they followed—even it resulted in untold amounts of digital clutter.

 

Businesses could experience a (short-term) loss of engagement

 

This new update will hit some businesses hard, particularly the smaller operations. Those without huge marketing budgets who relied on constant updates to keep eyeballs on their profile can and likely will feel some negative impact by switching to an algorithm model. The silver lining in this dark cloud is that the switch will create a level playing field allowing small businesses to compete directly on Instagram with the giant brands: whoever has the most engaging content will win the game.

 

To succeed, analytics will be required

 

In order to ensure that their posts show up in a newsfeed, businesses are going to need to think in terms of optimization. The problem with this new reality is that Instagram doesn’t have its own native analytics tool. Therefore folks are going to have to go searching for third-party solutions to measure engagement. Luckily there are some good Instagram analytics tools out there, and many of them are free.

 

Pros

 

It’s nothing new

 

Scroll through the newsfeed on your Facebook account and you’ll see sponsored and curated content. Posts on these platforms are algorithmically sorted by relevance and have been for some time. Regardless of whether Facebook users think this is a perfect system or not, one thing is clear: the world hasn’t stopped spinning on its axis. By and large people have accepted the change, and the smart money (as well as the history of social media) says Instagram users will as well.

 

A smaller target means higher engagement

 

Until recently, businesses with a foothold in social media could craft a generalized marketing campaign in the hopes it reached the largest possible audience, buyer segments be damned. And while it may be painful for marketers to tear down the old and start from scratch, they might just find benefits they didn’t know existed. For example, Instagram’s entire reason for adopting this change is their finding that users miss, on average, 70% of all content on their feed. To offset this shortfall they want to ensure the posts that do pop up are relevant to the user.

 

And this cuts right to the heart of marketing in 2016. Businesses will now be forced to deliver relevant, high-quality content to a targeted demographic. In turn this will help cultivate the relationship between brand and consumer, fostering awareness, engagement and loyalty.

 

There’s an easy compromise

 

Even the most obstinate Instagram user has recourse to maintain the status quo and see posts in chronological order—and they barely have to lift a finger to do it. All that’s required is to turn on post notifications. Users won’t soon forget about this feature, either, since everyone from celebrities to global brands are now prodding their followers to turn on post notifications in a bid to stay relevant in the face of this sea change. It’s a simple solution—even if the trade-off is receiving an irritating alert every time someone you follow posts something.

 

To recap, it’s not difficult to see that Instagram traditionalists are going to hate this algorithm rollout if and when it occurs. What history tells us, though, is that they will likely learn to accept it. And by focusing on the pros on this list, folks can keep their chin up and stay positive in the face of the inevitable march of progress.  

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Six Tips to Kick Off Your Influencer Marketing Strategy

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The colorful American WWII General, George S. Patton, once said, “A good solution applied with vigor now is better than a perfect solution applied 10 minutes later.” This can certainly be said of advertising in 2016. With influencer marketing all the rage, companies who don’t strike while the iron is hot risk losing momentum as well as leaving money on the table. And since influencer marketing is only predicted to grow, here are six “good solutions” businesses big and small can implement to take advantage of this, the most effective new advertising trend of the digital revolution.

 

Target the audience

 

Brands need to identify which type of customer they want and reach out to the right influencer with the right audience. When a business connects with an influencer who enjoys mass audience appeal in the appropriate niche, then everything falls into place; the message directly impacts the buyer’s decision-making process. Also, satisfied converts are more likely to spread the news of their positive experience across various social-media channels.

 

Focus on the secondary market

 

By its very definition, influencer advertising produces big results by appealing to smaller niche demos outside the primary market. By building relationships with these secondary buyers, they in turn influence peers, driving sales and revenue. Those businesses that have properly defined the type of individual their product serves can then feel free to approach influencers who reach these “future primary buyers.”

 

Cultivate a relationship with influencers

 

It’s not enough to view the outsourcing of influencers as just another line item on a balance sheet. It’s crucial to build solid relationships because this will pay dividends in the form of a successful campaign and increased brand loyalty. Marketing pros recommend incentivizing influencers depending on their preferred form of compensation. For those who charge for their time, implementing a commission-based rewards program for top influencers is a good idea. For those who don’t, sneak peaks of new products or services should suffice.

 

Don’t’ just focus on the big fish

 

Every business wants the biggest influencer to endorse their brand. They want those stars of YouTube and social media to turn their legions of followers into brand ambassadors and drive sales into the stratosphere. A noble goal, but it misses the bigger picture. Another way to go involves organizing a list of prospective influencers into tiers, meaning that tier one represents the biggest of influencer fish while tiers two and three would represent those with smaller, more niche followings. As mentioned above, due to the sheer power that influencer marketing wields, focusing on these ancillary markets helps build a genuine interest in the brand.

 

Bring the customers into the mix


There’s no need to limit the generosity to your influencers—reward customers as well. Giveaways, promos and coupon codes should be commonplace. Ensure that each of these offerings has a shareable quality that makes customers want to snap photos, create hashtags and share it all with their peers on social media. Taco bell, of all brands, found success with a unique influencer campaign that involved sending rings that spelled “Taco Bell” in cursive to a handful of “special ladies” along with an accompanying handwritten note. Those who were a part of this “put a ring on it” influencer campaign shared photos of their ring and letter on Instagram, thus disseminating Taco Bell’s branded message to an even wider audience.

 

Keep tabs on the results

 

Influencer marketing has the capability to produce a staggering return on investment. In fact, official stats put the averages at $6.50 for every marketing dollar spent. That’s why it’s imperative to properly track results in order to see exactly where the campaign is working. The good news is that identifying KPIs is easier than ever due to just how much influencers resonate with their audience. Businesses can look at which influencer is producing the most amount of buys, event visits, social media shares, introductions, mentions, etc. and adjust their tactics accordingly.

 

Ultimately businesses are eager to work with influencers because of their reach and resonance. But successful influencers didn’t earn their status by ignoring the interests of their audience—they directly appealed to those interests. And brands who help influencers to serve these loyal audiences will find just the type of success they’re searching for.

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