10 Seconds or Less — Exploring Snapchat

The future of social media is here…then it’s gone in ten seconds. If you don’t know what social media platform I’m talking about yet, let me introduce you to Snapchat. According to WhatIf.com, Snapchat is defined as “a mobile app that allows users to send and receive “self-destructing” photos and videos.” This essentially means that users can send “snaps” for a period of ten seconds or send a ten second video to their “snap story” where it remains for up to 24 hours.

What does this mean for influence marketing? 

Once again, businesses and influencers are going to have to adjust what they expect of each other as we see more and more influencers turning towards Snapchat as their main social platform.

In order to work successfully with influencers it’s imperative that as marketers we know the top trends and best practices for influence marketing on Snapchat. The top two trends of influence marketing on Snapchat are generally promoting a product by talking about it and “Snapchat takeovers.”

First let’s explore  working with a social influencer as they generally promote a product. Similar to any other social platform, brands work with influencers by offering them four things — cash, travel, access or product. In this case blogger GypsyLovinLight is working with UK cosmetics brand Eye of Horus to promote some of their new product. Posting this on her story, her followers will see that she is working with and is excited to try out new product from this brand. IMG_6816

What does this mean for influencers?

Offer new product to key social influencers and encourage them to post about it on Snapchat. It’s a relatively new platform that is still up and coming so it’s not yet saturated with content, making it easier for a brand to break through.

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The second top used trend among Snapchat social influencers are “Snapchat takeovers.” Top brands and designers such as Tommy Hilfiger, Maybelline and Mui Mui among others have worked with social influencers as they take over the brands Snapchat, telling all of their followers to follow the brands Snapchat for the day to see what they’re up too.

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Above — Supermodel Gigi Hadid works with Tommy Hilfiger as she takes over the brand’s Snapchat as she prepares for the Met Ball. Below — Following Tommy Hilfiger, fans of Gigi will see snaps similar to the ones below capturing her night

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What does this mean for influencers?

Working with an influencer as they take over your brand’s Snapchat is all dependent on what you want and how influential that influencer is. Working with high-profile influencers, such as Gigi, allows for the option to follow her as she prepares for a major event or just follow her around for the day.

Other brands such as Maybelline have teamed up with influencers showcasing how to use the product and how well it stays on throughout their day. Remember to stay true to what your brand is and work with influencers whose daily routine fits in with your product.

 

Picking the Right YouTube Influencer For Your Brand

(via Creative Commons)

It comes as no surprise that people use YouTube as a search engine. Fun fact: YouTube is the second most used search engine in the world. From discovering new products, to tutorials and how-to videos, YouTube is a great platform for your brand to create leads and turn them into loyal customers.

If using YouTube is part of your strategy, then you’re going to want to pay close attention to this: if your brand has got great content, but no one is viewing it then it’s time to turn to YouTube influencers to attract new customers. Here are three tips to help get you started.

Find Genuine YouTubers

The first step to a great influencer strategy on YouTube is finding the right YouTuber for your brand! Make sure to give them creative control in their content so that they can promote your brand organically, which will do far more wonders for your brand. If not, then you’re basically forcing an ad down consumers’ throats. That’s a big no-no.

The point of using a YouTube influencer is to provide a fresh, new position. These potential consumers are looking to their favorite YouTube personalities for quality information. Make it count.

Don’t be seduced by a high number of followers

Using YouTubers with a high number of followers could be detrimental to your brand. Yes, it’s tempting to use YouTube personalities with a great following, but it won’t make sense if the influencer’s audience is not the right fit for your brand. If your content isn’t relevant to the audience, then what sense does it make to use that influencer?

Nowadays, brands are moving to influencers with a smaller number of followers especially when they’re the right fit for the brand. Choosing a YouTuber in their respective niche provides a close community of consumers who are interested in your brand. This drives higher engagement rates and provides an overall greater impact. Besides, it costs less to use YouTubers with smaller followings. Choose wisely.

Use Creative Titles for your videos

Try this: write down the most memorable videos that you can remember, and check their video titles.

Choosing an original and memorable title for your videos can do more for your brand than you can imagine. Work closely with your influencer to craft video titles that fit your brand, as well as the influencer’s simultaneously.

While it makes theoretical sense to place your brand in the title, this may fail and lead to the opposite of what you were hoping for. Consumers see enough commercials on television; think smart and have fun with it.

People are going to listen to someone they trust rather than the advertising they see on any visual platform. The digital space is evolving and we all need to keep up with it.

Potential customers are look to reviews and recommendations from friends and family – not advertisements. Use an authentic YouTube influencer for your campaign and work closely together. Look further than a large following; find someone who is at the top of their respective market with an engaged audience that fits your brand. 

What’s your view on YouTube influencer marketing? Have you run successful YouTube campaigns? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Tips and Tricks to Increase Audience Reach

In order to make your brand’s social media strategy successful, a strong following across various channels is definitely going to be needed to reach your full potential.

Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or the various other social media channels, a high number of fans and followers is needed to make your strategy effective. Consider taking effective steps to increase your reach. It’s really simple: the more number of followers and fans your brand has, the better the reach.

For most brands, the ultimate objective of utilizing social media as a platform is to create leads. The key to a quality social media following is to truly earn and win your fans and followers. This is vital because these consumers will fully engage and interact with your brand online by liking and sharing your photos and videos, clicking on links etc.

It can be challenging to build a following from scratch, but here are some tips and tricks to increase your brand’s reach.

  1. Create profiles on all the major social media channels

It sounds simple enough, right? We recommend that you create and maintain a strong presence on the top social media networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn because it’s highly likely that your target audience spends most of their time on these networks. If not these channels, then it’s especially important to focus your efforts on the channels that they are using.

No matter how big or small your brand is your consumers are constantly talking, and you need to make the effort to be available wherever they may be talking about your products and services. Maintain your presence.

  1. Optimize your social profiles

A survey conducted by eConsultancy reported that 39% of companies agree that a strong social media presence increases search engine optimization. Adapt to the digital environment by choosing a simple, yet catchy username that makes it easy for consumers to recognize you. Try uploading a cool profile photo, like your logo for example. Utilize all tabs in each channel to maximize your reach: include a description about your company and what it stands for. Share a call-to-action to drive engagement. It’s important you follow these rules because you want your audience to find you easily.

  1. Actively promote your social presence whenever possible

Be proactive! Whether its on your company website, blog, or even email marketing campaigns, your social media sites need to be everywhere and easily accessible. Your consumers need to know where you’re located so implement a “follow” button so that consumers can be led directly to your channel. In addition, take advantage of cross promotion. This means your Twitter followers can become your Facebook fans etc.

For example, Nike does a great job in cross promotion by simply showcasing their Instagram account on Facebook by simply giving their Instagram feed its own tab on their Facebook page.

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 8.00.57 PM(Via Facebook)

  1. Share relevant, valued content

Nowadays, a like or share has to be earned. So you need to make sure your content is relevant to consumers. Make your brand worth following. Move away from product oriented content to posting a variety of content, such as, compelling images and videos, to keep your audience continuously engaged with your brand. Your audience is 44% more likely to interact with visually compelling content.

For example, McDonalds regularly shares fun pictures instead of simply sharing repetitive, boring pictures of their burgers.

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 8.12.57 PM(Via Facebook)

  1. Interact and engage with anyone who mentions you

Monitor your social presence on all channels. Interacting with your fans and followers should be at the very core of your strategy. Some ways to do this is to ask your fans interesting questions, respond to their comments (especially when negative), and try implementing hashtags in your responses.

It will take some time for your brand to increase its reach, but if you use the tips above, you’re guaranteed to see results.

Do you have any recommendations on how brands can increase their audience reach? Let us know in the comments below!

Picking Your Platform

social mix

Picking a platform is like picking the perfect outfit. You have to look at the weather, your plans for the day, which you are going to see; all in all it’s about finding the right fit. The same goes for your platform. One of the biggest mistakes a brand can do it utilize the wrong platform. If you wouldn’t wear stilettos to the gym, you probably shouldn’t use Twitter to attract the Baby Boomers.

Stephanie Schwab of Crackerjack Marketing has compiled a variety of charts explaining that not all platforms are a one-size fits all, as well as how much time you need to put into each platform to be effective.

CUSTOMER ACQUISITION:  twitter Instagram-logo-005

CUSTOMER RETENTION:facebook linkedin Instagram-logo-005

SEO: twitter linkedin official-pinterest-logo-tile youtube-logo

CUSTOMER SERVICE: facebook  twitter linkedin Instagram-logo-005

LEAD GENERATION:facebook twitter linkedin official-pinterest-logo-tile youtube-logo

Below I will outline some additional key features you should know before picking your platform.

facebook

FACEBOOK

Time Requirement to be Effective: 2-3 times a day

  • Pros:
    • Users: with 890 million daily active users it has a large network that can be utilized
    • Customization: allows for capturing the users attention
    • Engagement: the platform allows the user to ‘like’, ‘comment’ or ‘share’ which circulates content across a larger network
    • Analytics: internal analytics reporting allows businesses to find strengths and weaknesses
    • Linking: You can link your Facebook page to your website will increase your SEO
  • Cons:
    • Time: setup and maintenance will take time and energy and once the page socializes, a team will be required to handle customer service support
    • Reputation Management: customers typically will express dissatisfaction and you cannot delete their comment so you will need to address it. This requires time and finesse to handle the situation
    • Advertising: if you want your business to be successful on Facebook you will need to invest some form of money into it. Organic reach can only take it so far.

(Check out the full article HERE!)

twitter

TWITTER

Time Requirement to be Effective: 10 times a day

  • Pros:
    • Speed: today everyone wants everything in real time and Twitter allows for that need to be fed
    • Share of Voice: anyone can tweet and this “levels the playing field” between the big and small companies
    • ADD-Friendly: the constantly streaming information and endless accounts to follow is attractive to people who need “constantly changing environments” in order to keep their attention
  • Cons:
    • Clutter: sifting through the feed takes time and energy and makes it difficult for customers to always see your tweets
    • Consistently Inconsistent: since everyone can tweet, there are a lot of junk and mixed messages – most people do not consider it a reliable source of information because of this.
    • Time-Consuming: as stated above, you need to tweet 10 times a day to be effective in reaching your customers, which is a lot of content to create.

(Check out the full article HERE!)

linkedin

LINKEDIN

Time Requirement to be Effective: 1-2 times a day

  • Pros:
    • SEO: it allows businesses to have more exposure while highlighting the important features of your business
    • News: with the option of following certain industries or companies, you can stay up to date and also share with those in your network
    • Expertise: you can establish yourself or your business as credible experts in the fields which boosts overall attractiveness
  • Cons:
    • Time: initial setup takes a lot of time and attention to detail to ensure that everything is accurate and professional
    • Feed: LinkedIn feeds update fairly quickly so if you are looking for something it can occasionally be difficult to find. Status updates are not shared on the main profile page so you will need to know LinkedIn well to know where to look

(Check out the full article HERE!)

Instagram-logo-005

INSTAGRAM

Time Requirement to be Effective: 1-5 times a day

  • Pros:
    • Appealing to Millennials: millennials are ¼ of the US population and are a good target consumer
    • Images and Videos: both mediums are more attractive and encourage more interactions
    • Mobile Enabled: most people utilize phones for than laptops/desktops for social sites; therefore a platform made for mobile is better received.
  • Cons:
    • Links: links don’t work in captions which makes driving purchases more difficult
    • Limited Advertising: small businesses will have to forgo this option as it comes with a hefty price-tag

(Check out the full article HERE!)

official-pinterest-logo-tile

PINTEREST

Time Requirement to be Effective: 5 times a day

  • Pros:
    • Images can be Linked: Pinterest can drive traffic to specific landing pages thus driving sales
    • “Pin It”: allows sharing content from anywhere with ease
  • Cons:
    • Users: 80% of users are women thus missing out on half of the population and posing a problem for businesses who target men
    • Engagement: it is a less conversational platform

(Check out the full article HERE!)

Bonus Tip: Blogging has a time requirement of about 2 times a week

Once you have your platform, you can now move ahead and start picking your influencer. If someone hates being photographed, you may want to steer away from Instagram and if someone is long-winded you may want to steer away from Twitter.

Regardless of the direction you choose, always be sure that your influencer fits within the platform and the business.

 

 

All images sources within image

Top Instagram Marketing Trends

With the growth of Instagram over the past year, it’s no question that the social media platform is one of the best when it comes to reaching a large global audience. The trend of partnering with influencers strictly on social media has increased as well and with that we most constantly track what the current and upcoming trends are on the social platform. This allows us not only to initially appeal to the influencer that we wish to work with but acknowledging top marketing trends on social media serves as a guideline when we are working with an influencer as we explain what we expect of them when working together.

According to Latergramme, the automated Instagram posting application and website, and Media Kix these are the current top five trends that they have observed throughout the beginning of 2016 and where we can hope to see even more growth moving forward.

Using GIFs and an increase of video on Instagram

2016 is the year of the video and we expect Instagram to gain a whole lot more movement over the upcoming year. With new applications such as Apple’s Live Photos, Boomerang by Instagram and DSCO by VSCO, it’s no wonder that the social media platform is turning into somewhat of a live stream, allowing its users th personalize their posts and create a moving “snapshot” to share with their friends.

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But customers aren’t the only users taking advantage of the video trend. Brands can use this as an additional opportunity to showcase how their product or brand actually functions in real time. If you’re running a fashion boutique, for example, having an influencer post a short video clip of a twirling in a dress you sell will help better showcase how lightweight the dress might be better than a picture can.

Even Instagram is a top supporter of this trend already updating the social platform so videos play on loop rather than having users manually start each video.

Advertising on Instagram

In 2015 Instagram launched a variety of new features to increase the ways that brands could advertise through the social platform.

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Although many users aren’t keen to sponsored posts creeping up on their feeds, brands must realize the importance of creating relevant and engaging sponsored content that integrates itself into the users feed rather than scream out that it is an advertisement.

Linking to Content

In order to be successful on Instagram, brands must ensure that what they post is leading customers back to their original content, whether that be a blog, company website or online commerce site.

like-to-know-it-tutorial

Although Instagram currently does not possess the ability to allow brands to post links directly in the caption of an image, we have already seen the increase in features such as Instagram’s “Buy Now” Button and other services such as the popular Like To Know It. These web applications are the closest thing we have to making Instagram “shoppable” and if you are selling a tangible object it is imperative to utilize what is currently available.

Consider working with a top bloggers through these web services. For example if you want to work with a fashion influencer, encourage them to post an image wearing a top from your brand and link it with LikeToKnowIt so viewers can instantly see where to purchase the top.

 

Stock Photography 

As the visual social platform continues to grow, customers expect to see a stream of only high-quality imagery. As customers expect more and more, the idea of “stock photography”, meaning that perfect looking imagery, will continue to grow and brands must ensure that their image quality is at its best.

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Brands have the option to use outside tools such as Stocksy, which offers beautiful stock photography from Instagram-loved photographers, or Flashstock, which pairs brands with localized photographers around the world. These tools allow marketers to have more options to outsource their Instagram content. But high quality isn’t cheap — both of these tools come with a nominal fee based on the image chosen.

When working with influencers consider working out a way to double-check the imagery that they are planning to post. No one wants to see a blurry image on their feed so if the image they have planned is not high-quality enough, you want to have it switched out before it is exposed to the social platform.

Multiple Instagram Accounts 

As Instagram continues to grow, brands need to adapt to the idea that consumers are looking for very specific characteristics when turning to Instagram. Brands need to create multiple account for their different types of customers.

A great example of this is Nike. The brand has multiple accounts based on the type of customer that searches for them. For example, the brand has @nike, @nikewomen, @nikebasketball and many more, all cultivated towards the different types of customers they serve.

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This allows the brand to really hone in on what that specific brand persona of their customer is and how they can better market to the customer based on that. If a female customer is looking up the Nike brand on Instagram, she will be more likely to consider making a purchase if she sees an image of a women exercising in the Nike classic running short she’s interested in, rather than see a post of a man wearing basketball shorts.

When working with social media influencers, having multiple channels allows you to work with a variety of influencers. The more content you have available the more likely you can find an influencer that matches with your brand image.

Featured Image Link Here

The Business Behind Influencer Marketing

Let’s take a step away from the whom and focus on the step-by-step process of how a business works with an influencer.

The first step is reaching out to contact the influencer. Depending on the influencer’s popularity within the social sphere he or she might have a manager ready on standby to negotiate sponsored content. If that’s the case, settle down and make the call. Typically the meetings will be between the business, the influencer and their manager. It’s at this point that  you must be forward in what way you want to work with the influencer . Make sure that you have spent time researching the influencer and what they typically blog or post about. It’s not uncommon that influencers will turn down businesses because they feel that their brand image and the product that you want them to post about to do not align.

If the influencer is still up and coming (which for small businesses are the key influencers to target and work with) they will provide the best way to contact them on their chosen social media platform. Regardless of popularity you must be forward in what you expect from the influencer and what they expect from your brand in return.

Moving forward, you booked your influencer, you know what you expect from them and they expect from you, now let’s talk financials.

YouTube star Vivian V. posts a sponsored post for Kohls Madden reaching her 356K+ followers on Instagram
YouTube star Vivian V. posts a sponsored post for Kohls Madden reaching her 356K+ followers on Instagram

So how does working with influencers turn away from the idea of doing a favor and into an action of business?

According to Harpar’s Baazar and New York based fashion blogger WeWoreWhat it’s all about the numbers. “Right now, Bernstein’s rate card, through Next Models, sets her range for the cost of a single piece of sponsored content (i.e. one Instagram shot) ranging from $5,000 to $15,000.”

The piece goes on to discuss that the rate can be negotiated depending on the terms of the deal, for example of a brand wants a long term commitment or multiple Instagram posts a deal might be able to be cut. But it doesn’t stop there, according to the piece influencers with 1 million or more followers can charge anywhere between $20,000 – $100,000 for a single post on the visual social platform.

Danielle of WeWoreWhat promoting makeup brand Maybelline on Instagram
Danielle of WeWoreWhat promoting makeup brand Maybelline on Instagram

I know what you’re thinking, those prices are a steep amount to pay for a single post and if you’re a start-up or small businesses, paying those prices isn’t plausible. This is where non-financial influencer marketing comes into play. Often times, smaller and lesser (although still relevant and popular) known influencers will offer to post and promote a product simply in exchange for the product itself.

Consider this example; you’re a small business that focuses on selling organic drinks with locally grown ingredients. You would search for health conscious bloggers who have already posted several times about some of their favorite natural beverages. Assuming they do not have a manager, you can reach directly out to them offering a package of top product in exchange for a review on their blog or even a social media post.

Instagram star and model Shannon Barker posts a picture of a Pressed Juicery drink on her Instagram
Instagram star and model Shannon Barker posts a picture of a Pressed Juicery drink on her Instagram

 

If you are working with an influencer on a non-financial partnership you must ensure that your product aligns with their personal image. If the influencer risks the chance that his or her readers will question the validity of the review of the product, they will most likely choose not to promote your product, knowing that their followers might lose trust in them and because they have no financial stake in the deal.

The Power of Visual Social Media Platforms. What’s better for you?

Social-Media-Today

The social media is a new and upcoming form of advertising and marketing. There are various platforms of social media that are now being widely used in the business world as a marketing tool. They all seem to be relatively successful and ,more importantly, very promising for the future. However, it is important to note that people, nowadays, tent to shift from social media to visual social media. When we refer to  visual social media, we are talking about social media that are mainly focused on the visual content that is being shared. In other words, the images and videos that are being posted. This transition is  some of the best news for small business, as it gives companies the opportunity to be more efficient and direct in their marketing. “A picture is worth a thousand words”; an old English idiom that perfectly illustrates the reasoning of the above statement and this transition that we are experiencing today.

What is the best platform for you?social-media-networks-icons-ss-1920

There is big number of visual social media platforms in the market and each one of them has some unique characteristics, advantages and disadvantages.

At the beginning, we all have the same question and that is” which social platform is the right one for my brand?”.  Well, most of the people would say that any brand can be successful with any kind of platform, as long as it is being used correctly.

My opinion is that the only person who knows the answer to that question is YOUR SELF. Yet, don’t panic,  we are here to provide you with the necessary information and guidance, so that you can make a rational decision. The list below contains some of the characteristics that you need to identify for your company in order to help you detect which platform suits your brand the best.

More specifically, you need to identify the demographics of your target group and compare and contrast them with the demographics of the platforms that you are interest in.

One Compelling Example maxresdefault

In this section we will compare Facebook and Instagram with a goal to determine which platform matches better the characteristics of an imaginary company’s target group. There are only 3 steps that we need to follow in order to succeed in this procedure. The first one is to correctly identify OUR audience and target group, the second one is to compare it with the demographics of each of the platforms that we are targeting and the last one is to make the right connections and conclusions.

 Step 1

Let’s  say that the company sells men’s grooming products. Taking this into consideration, we realize that this company’s target group is mainly men of age 20 and older.

Step 2

By using the information from the graphs below, we recognize that Facebook’s audience matches better the characteristics of our company’s audience for the following two reasons:

  1. There is a much larger percentage of people of age 30 and older that use Facebook than Instagram.
  2. And more importantly, 66% of the men use Facebook, while only 22% of the male population uses Instagram

Step 3

In the last step, which is probably the hardest and most important one, we have to make the right conclusions and decisions. To do that, we have to look at every single detail regarding our target group and make sure that we are doing the right research. In other words, the fact the Facebook has, by far, the most users shouldn’t be a reason for us to choose Facebook for our platform. We are looking for more detailed and specific connections in our comparisons.

 

Social-Demographics-facebook

To sum up…

We realize that the social media is definitely the right spot for small businesses to market their brands in. Yet, furthermore, we detect that visual social media platforms are even better and more successful advertising platforms for businesses.  They hide a lot of potential and their future is very encouraging.

Moreover, we discussed about what’s the “best” social media platform for your brand and we came to the agreement that YOU are the right person to make this decision. I promise that if you follow the above formula carefully and also listen to your feelings, then you will be able to make the right decision.

Images sourced within.