Influencers-The New Celebrities

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It seems like you guys are still a little hesitant about whether influencers or celebrities are a better tool to market your brand. So, we thought that we should use this post to analyze and clarify the reasons that an influencer would be the better deal for you! But before we get to the main point, it is important to note that over the past five years advertising and marketing  in general have transformed . The emergence of social media platforms and the popularity they have gained, initiated the new age of marketing we are in now. This advancement, however, has also provoked many little, but important, differences in marketing strategies.

The Transition of Marketing and The Emergence of Influencers  social-media-influencers-02

As we mentioned above marketing has changed; it has transitioned from interruption marketing to inbound marketing. In other words, instead of using your money to get Michael Jordan and Beyonce to promote your product you need to use your brains and the suitable people around you to do so. As we all know, the goal of interruption marketing is to “interrupt” you and grab your attention! The only way to do that than is by using the image of a celebrity. On the other hand, the goal of inbound marketing is to gain your trust with their content and expertise, and by using the influence of the “right” people. That being said, we can move on to the next step and analyze who are the right people for you!

So…Who Are The Right People? shutterstock_170194253

It’s true that social media influencers and celebrities share some common elements, yet one big difference. They both have large audiences but the difference lands within the reasons that these people follow them. Specifically, an influencer’s audience is there mainly because they trust him/her and want to know his/hers opinion on his/hers field of expertise. On the other hand, the audience of a celebrity follows them mostly because they admire their work on the field that made them famous. This leads us to the argument of trust. As we mentioned in one of our previous posts “How and Why to Use Influencers in Your Marketing Campaigns”, 85% of the consumers trust and buy according to what their friends and/or family members recommend to them. Social media influencers have some benefits that can “satisfy” the above statement. First of all, in contrast to celebrities who are distant and impersonal, influencers are considered to be regular people who are intimate and close to their audience. Furthermore, the fact that they are focused on one subject and they have developed noticeable expertise is a huge aspect that builds great trust between them and their audience. Last but not least, people tend to view the reports and promotes of influencers as authentic, targeted and unbiased whereas the ads with celebrities always are seen as “directed” and not original.

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To Conclude…I will ask you a question, for which, YOU have to give the answer. I hope that our posts  have been helpful and that we provided you with the appropriate information so you can answer this question with confidence and certainty. ” Would you trust an influencer, who is an expert in the field and you trust, to buy a skateboard for example OR a celebrity, who you love but you know that he/she has being paid to advertise that and is not necessarily familiar in that field?”

Feel free to forward us your thoughts!!

Images Sourced Within.

THINK LIKE AN INFLUENCER

 

So you recognized that in order for your brand to become successful and well known, thus generating conversation, engagement and profit, you might need to work with a social influencer, now what?

Using social influencers can be a powerful way to market your brand to consumers, however, like any marketing strategy you walk a fine line between producing quality content and saturating the market with essentially social media garbage.

The first mistake that any brand (or influencer) can make is assuming that the relationship is strictly a one-way street. The influencer should choose the brand or product just as much as we as marketers try and choose a specific influencer that aligns with us.

According to TapInfluence, after a recent survey conducted among 5,000 content creators and social media influencers these are the top five concerns that influencers have when determining whether to partner with a brand.

  1. Poor Organization

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This one seems self explanatory however the truth remains behind any campaign that communication is key. It is not unlikely that brands will choose to work with multiple influencers at the same time marketing the same product. Marketers must have their strategies clearly outlined for each influencer, explaining exactly what is expected from both parties, when it is expected to happen and what platform will be used. Most influencers want to create successful post that increases both their interaction and interaction with the brand. It is up to both parties to ensure that the goals and objectives of each campaign and each post are outlined from the beginning to help ensure that success.

2. Product Fit 

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One of the top reasons that brands work with influencers to to get their new or existing products in the hands of new customers. As influence marketing is rapidly increasing, influencers find themselves over saturated withbrands wanting to work with them and must often make choices based on what they see best fits with their personal brand. If an influencer were to turn down your product, however, this isn’t time to turn your back on that relationship meaning more than likely there will be a better chance for you to work with that influencer on another product that better aligns further down the line.

Erika Sevigny from AllThingseBlog said is best stating, “Don’t pitch me if I’ve never written about anything even close to being in your product’s category.”

3. Compensation

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No one is going to do anything for free, period. Although social influencers have become a powerful part of the paid media economy, the gap between what brands can offer them and the amount they believe they are worth continues to widen. Social influencers can earn anywhere from $50 to thousands of dollars based on how many followers and the engagement they have. Brands can avoid the awkward “money talk” by researching what similar brands offered for their campaigns and financially modeling off them.

4. Amount of Work 

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The top reason for negative business between influencers and marketers is poorly planned programs. Influencers often feel as if what is expected of them is unfair meaning unclear deadlines, extra requests outside the contract and unresponsive brand representatives as reasons campaigns required more attention than expected. As mentioned above, keep organized and outline everything that you need done early and clearly.

5. Audience Feedback 

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Despite careful planning and organization behind a campaign, sometimes a campaign doesn’t quiet reach the audience and ultimately fails, leaving both the brand and the influencer in the wake of its dust. The best way for brands to avoid a failed campaign is to listen and know their influencer and what exactly their personal branded voice is.

Alexandra Azara from NoshOn. It speaks from an influencer perspective saying, “Let influencers promote your brand in the way that works best for them and their audience rather than trying to enforce specific statements (in a blog post, for example). I think sponsored content is most successful when it doesn’t come across as sounding sponsored.”

What does this all mean? 

At the end of the day a social media influencer is an individual whose career is their personal image. They do not have to partner with you as a brand so if you want to work with them, sometimes putting yourself in their shoes really is the best option.

Gender and Social Media Marketing

The conversation of gender inequality in the professional space has recently risen to the top of conversation over the past decade, arguing that women are generally doing less and as a result making less than their male counterparts. These results may still remain true in most fields, however young women are taking over the social media marketing space as  leaders of change in styles of storytelling in the new digital economy.

According to  a study done by social media expert Dr Ruth Page, of the Department of English, University of Leicester, women are biologically more expressive, willing to share and reveal more about their personal lives. They primarily use social media to connect and and form relationships with those they follow.

Men, by contrast, use social media specifically to gain influence and expertise over competition. They primarily perform research and interact only with those that can help the individual better himself and his career.

So what does this mean? In terms of social media marketing, women are naturally the main target and the ones leading the social media revolution.

This study commissioned by American Express found that 6% more women than men use at least one social networking site for their small businesses, while 8% more women than men make products available for sale online. Women recognize that their target audience (other women) are the ones that actively use social media and to succeed as a business, they know they must market primarily through those outlets.

According to Page, “The role of young women as leaders of the changes in the styles of storytelling in social media is significant as it is at odds with other statistics that show that they are under-represented as the developers of social media sites and software.”

A solid strategy for any social media business effort is to be as human as possible in your interactions with fans and followers. Does that mean a woman should be running your social media presence especially when working with influencers? Not necessarily but it might be worth a try for you as a small business to try and help promote your brand image as being relatable and naturally conversational.

This could mean feeding into notoriously female cliches as a means of building community and boosting fan loyalty. Examples: Posting more personal information and content relevant to your brand, or engaging more frequently and readily in online conversations by teaming up with female power influencers.

Sometimes girl power is the way to go, especially when it comes to social media.

Check out these info graphics for more information about how women are dominating the digital marketing space!

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THE BENEFITS AND IMPORTANCE OF BLOGGING

Why-Blog

Is Blogging outdated? Well, that’ s a question that has created a lot of controversy and many dilemmas in the marketing world. While it might be  true that blogging is an old and not as “cool” tactic, I believe that it possess some unique advantages; and these advantages are what make this form of content marketing essential for both B2B and B2C marketers.

The Benefits/ Advantages of Blogging

As I mentioned above, I believe that blogging is necessary for businesses and especially for small businesses.  The benefits are numerous, however, the following five are the ones that initiate the greatest productivity and bring better results in terms of sales, leads and search visibility.

  1.  It helps drive traffic to your website.                                                                       Why? Because every time that someone from your business shares a blog post, it creates more indexed pages on your website and as a result your business shows up in more search engines–> more traffic. Furthermore, you automatically become available/ noticeable in other social media platforms. If your audience likes and finds your post informative and helpful, he will share it on other social media platforms( Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook) and thus, you will be seen by a new audience.
  2. It helps convert that traffic into leads.                                                                    Now you have the new audience and you have generated more traffic. It’s on your hand to translate this traffic into leads. Of course, do not expect 100% of the visitors to becomes leads; it’s impossible. If you manage to turn just 5% into leads that is something to be happy for. But, in order to do that, you need to include “call to action” buttons for people to share their information. The following video, will help you get a better understanding of how “call to action” buttons work and actually how to create one on your website.
  3. It helps establish authority.                                                                                          You want to show your clients and your new audience the expertise you have on your field? Blogging is the way to go! A blog provides you with the necessary size and format to share your feedback and valuable information regarding issues and topics of your industry. While you are sharing reliable content and building on your professional image, at the same time your audience becomes more familiar with your company. Eventually, this will result to  great trust and authority between you and your clients, which will naturally be followed by the next benefit…
  4. Long Tail Effect.                                                                                           blogging_compounding_returns-1-1  The next very important and unique benefit of blogging is what we call the “long tail effect”. What do we mean? Well, when we refer to a “long tail effect” is when an action that we took in the past is able to effect the present and the future in a positive and steady way. More specifically, lets imagine that this post that you are reading right now  hasn’t really created any significant traffic as of today, but in two months from now will contribute for 30% of the total traffic on my site and most probably this traffic will later translate into leads.
  5. It humanizes your brand.                                                                                               Humanizing your brand means creating emotional connections with your customers and initiating dialogue with them that gives you valuable feedback and information that helps you meet their needs and concerns. And all the following will lead to increase in sales and customer satisfaction. Blogging is one very efficient and easy tactic to humanize your brand. Why? Because, it gives your readers the opportunity to see that you are current, informed and educated, which builds trust and credibility.

To Sum up…

It’s logical for all of us to be hesitant about whether blogging is an outdated marketing tactic or not. However, as you saw there are a handful of benefits and advantages that blogging can bring to your company. It is an option that can only bring positive results to you and your brand. So, stop worrying and start blogging!!!

 

Images Sourced Within.

 

 

 

 

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.

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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.

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The Art of Using Humor to Impact and Influence

It’s not secret that any form of content containing some kind of emotion is beneficial to your brand, but if you can make your consumers laugh then you’ve got a great chance of being an unquestionably successful.

As we live in a very serious world, most brands needlessly ignore humor. Wait, but why? Humor provides us with a break from the seriousness surrounding us. Incorporating humor with your social media strategy is a fantastic way to grab your audience’s attention. Do you know someone that can resist a funny tweet, or a clever Facebook post?

Humor is an art and must be honed. While social media can be a fantastic tool to create a witty persona, there is an extremely thin line between comedy and tragedy, which is often dangerous for your brand to thread if used negligently. Here are some funny examples of brands that failed to make their consumers laugh.

IHOP

Although known for their dicey tweets, IHOP crossed the line when they posted this sexist tweet to all of their followers.

Fans immediately responded to the inappropriate tweet by calling IHOP out for being misogynistic. Stray away from profoundly offensive messages, especially when linking your product or service to human body parts.

The Home Depot

That’s a great idea: don’t be racist!

Now, lets take a look at brands that successfully implemented humor across social media channels.

Old Spice

When thinking of brands that have a funny social media presence, Old Spice comes to mind. With ridiculous, yet original, content, the brand successfully created a comedy character that appears consistently over all of the brand’s media channels, including an Instagram video.

Taco Bell

Taco Bell’s social media accounts are no different. Witty one-liners and crafty photo updates sure make its audience chuckle.

So what makes these brands successful and funny?

While humor is subjective (please don’t expect it to please everyone), here are some keys to being funny and receiving a positive response from your consumers.

  1. Understand your target audience

The most important factor to being humorous is to understand your target audience and what would be funny to them. By doing so, your consumers will certainly remember you and freely share your content.

  1. Keep your overall image in mind

Don’t be funny just for the sake of being funny. You need to make sure the humor fits within the context of your brand; otherwise it just won’t make any sense.

  1. Be consistent

Your brand does not need to be funny across all your social media channels. But, don’t go around trying to make fun of politicians, especially when you’re in the food industry. Be smart in picking things to poke fun at.

  1. Be tasteful

Steer clear of controversial topics and jokes in bad taste. For example, a tweet from male fashion brand, Kenneth Cole, compared their new clothing collection to civil unrest in Cairo, Egypt. This is a complete no-no.

5. Keep it simple

The best humor comes naturally. You don’t need to have a standup routine just to get a laugh from your consumers. Keep your posts short and sweet.

Humor is undeniably a risky path to travel, but if done right, it could separate your brand from your competition, who solely blast their social media channels with product and business information.

You have an incredible power to influence, and even change, brand perception. So your content must do more than just educate consumers about your product; try having fun with your content. Entertain and captivate your audience, and then watch the number of your followers rise!

What’s your perspective on brands using humor on social media? If you’ve got some great examples (or fails), comment and share the links below!

Images sourced within.