Spotlight: Success Stories

Success is inspiring! While there are certain things that are always in the forefront of our minds, sometimes we forget the greats. Here is a reminder of a few influential campaigns over the past few years that should be an inspiration (or challenge) for others! The below three success stories all took different approaches and achieved their goals. They knew how to target their audience, execute their message and drive results.

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play with your food

“Why Should Cookies Have All The Fun?”

Problem: Sell more Tyson chicken nuggets during the holiday season

Goal: Sell the surplus during an 8-week period and generate 2.6M+ social media impressions

Solution: Instead of taking the traditional route of just marking the product down and getting rid of it, Tyson focused their efforts around two ideas: creativity and influencers. Tyson started created in store demos around their central message “Why Should Cookies Have All The Fun?” They modeled their demos around cookie decorating, switching out the cookies for nuggets and decorations for condiments. Tyson encouraged everyone who participated to share their experience. They asked mommy bloggers Wendy Wright from Choosing Love, Shannon Gosney from The Mommy Files, and Mellisa Swigart from Mom Luck to participate in in-store demos.

Results: Tyson sold its surplus in 4-weeks and achieved 8.8M+ impressions on social media. They also saw and average 42% sales lift during that period

Why It Worked: Tyson understood their demographic and appealing to families was crucial to their success. They were engaging and accessible and created a clear call to action. Tyson’s choice of influencer was also key in driving their success. The community around Mommy Bloggers is large and relies on these influencers as trusted sources of information. By tapping into their larger network, Tyson was able to generate success.

my after

“My After”

Problem: Change the perception that chocolate milk is just a kids drink (target adults)

Goal: Increase sales and audience

Solution: They reached out to Hines Ward of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They created a campaign around “My After” following the athlete through workouts, sports dieticians and at sports medicine conferences. The goal was to educate on the science behind chocolate milk. Weber Shandwick understood that there is a lot of influence in this industry peer to per and word of mouth and utilized that activity. They also provided this network with resources to become knowledge experts in this subject area.

Results: There have been generating year over year sales since the campaign launched

Why It Worked: This campaign really highlighted the benefits and value of the product. Traditional “Got Milk” ads focus on engaging with the current customer base, while this campaign focused on growing and expanding their reach. By going through the athletic network, it taps into a network that is naturally excited by health, fitness and well-being. This influencer partnership on this endeavor would be seen as a perfect match between the product, the influencer and the end user.

may box

“May Box – Instagram Takeover by Emily Schuman”

Problem: Wants to reach more Instagram followers to discover newest beauty products

Goal: Drive sales of their May Box and increase followers and engagement

Solution: Birchbox paired with lifestyle blogger Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere. They collaborated on the May Box and promoted their partnership across both Instagram accounts; Birchbox has 469,000+ followers and Emily Schuman has 260,000+ followers. They shared exactly 5 Instagram photos to promote this partnership in what they call an Instagram takeover.

Results: The Instagram takeover was successful with the five photos reaching more than 550,000 customers and accumulating over 18,000 likes.

Why It Worked:  This was not the first time Birchbox has done an Instagram takeover. Back on Mother’s Day 2014, They had a very successful experience with Christina Zilber. That campaign generated 1,135 user-generated posts and high levels of engagement. These tactics are working for Birchbox because they understand their audience. In beauty and fashion, people typically do not try new products until someone reputable stands behind them. By creating strong partnerships, they are creating a link between the two communities. By doing them for a short period of time it is creating exclusivity of, for example, the May Box products.

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All three companies took slightly different approaches to their influencer strategy. As long as you understand the foundation of your business, the mission of your influencer and the target audience, you should have a successful campaign just like them!

Images Sourced Within

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!

girl power social media

Featured image here

 

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

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.

animated-gifs-waterfalls-23

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.

instagram-ads

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.

3032732-slide-s-1-the-next-big-creative-business-social-photography

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.

IMG_6437 IMG_6438 IMG_6439

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

Spotting Up and Comers

up and comer

There are two main types of people when it comes to being in the spotlight: the timeless, and the easily forgotten. Staying up to date with the latest and greatest can be difficult when things are ever changing. However, there is a third type: the up-and-comers.

How you go about finding the up-and-comers can be approached from a variety of ways:

#1: Google

Google is a plethora of information and has 99% of the answers you are looking for. The only downside is that it is accessible to everyone. If you are looking for a specific industry up-and-comer, this could be a great starting point. Lists of up-and-comers in a variety of industries are popping up all the time, sports, entertainment, fashion and more. With the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic games just around the corner, TeamUSA.org has already created the list 16 Athletes to Watch in 2016. These lists will allow you to find the fresh new faces.

Knowing what to Google is the tricky part. Your search needs to be tailored and effective. Many people type a sentence or question into the search bar and sift through the results until they hopefully come across their answer. Instead, I recommend reading “How to Search on Google” which outlines 31 ways to optimize Google searches. While some of the tips are more useful than others, this article teaches how to search everything from the basics (Step 17: Translate) to less obvious (Step 31: Comparing Food).

How to search on google

#2: Look Behind the Scenes

Everyone remembers when Jennifer Lawrence hit the scene. She broke into the spotlight and was probably on every up-and-comer list that year. Now, if you wanted to go along with everyone else, you would try and reach out to her to be a fresh new face, but instead take it a step further and look behind the scenes.

The lesser known names are the stylists, designers, makeup artists and hair stylists. Although they are lesser know they hold high amounts of credibility.  If Mark Townsend says that chopping your hair is the look of the year, you may not believe him because ‘who is Mark Townsend?’ If Mark Townsend, Jennifer Lawrence’s hair stylist, says chopping your hair is the look of the year, everyone will be rushing to the salon to get the next ‘IT’ look.

Looking to those who support the stars will not only provide you with hyper-focused expertise, but also a very strong list of references!

When It Worked: Check out Tyler Henry who got his own show after appearing on an episode for Keeping Up with the Kardashians! He did an accurate reading for Khloe and instantly became a hit.

  1. Find Your Influencer’s Go-To

With everyone sharing everything these days, it’s no surprise that everyone has their favorite go-to: outfit, style blog, person, etc. Even some of the greatest influencers are influenced by others. Style Icon Gwen Stefani seems to play by her own rules, but while out last February, she rocked bright red sunglasses and a striped shirt inspired by the late Kurt Cobain of Nirvana.

Finding these inspirations might not be as blatantly obvious as Gwen channeling her inner Kurt but there are a few quick tricks to finding them.

  • Scour Social Media

Anyone who uses social media follows things they are interested in. Your favorite people are no different. Check out their Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other social pages to see what they are following, liking and engaging with.

Hint: Celebs usually don’t follow back everyone who follows them, so there is a good chance the people that the follow matter. Check out below to see Gwen Stefani’s Followers v. Following 

tweet stats

  • Watch clips and videos

Even if the interview isn’t about their influences, sometimes the person will mention it passively. Although this takes a bit more work and not always guaranteed to yield results, it could provide information that others might not pick up on

Hint: Behind the Music has some great interviews! 

  • Engage

Some celebrities are very active on social channels, so ask away! The worst they can do is not respond; alternatively they could give you exactly what you are looking for. Ask them who they’re favorite new band is, or whatever peaks your interest. If they respond, you’re in.

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To find an up-and-comer you don’t necessarily need to be with the “in” crowd, you just have to be in the know. Using these three tips, you can bring your influencer portfolio to the next level!

 

 

For Images Sources – Please Select Image

How to Leverage Influencers to Build Trust for your Brand

Is your brand having trouble getting noticed online? There’s no denying that online branding has become increasingly challenging as consumers have become less trusting of any marketing content posted across social media channels.

It used to be that consumers wanted to interact with brands after viewing advertisements they actually enjoyed. Nowadays, consumers don’t even want to communicate with companies anymore. Instead, they want to communicate with real people with strong personalities.

Social media’s constant influx of content is a problem most brands have to sift through in order to reach a target audience authentically. The surefire way to build your brand online is through trust.

For example, Nike conducted a study and found that less than 25% of consumers trust advertisements online. Thus, its evident that the level of success of a brand’s marketing campaign online is centered on its ability to build trust.

While the advertising industry, overall, has been slow to adapt to the changing media landscape, newer opportunities are available for brands to influence their consumers. Welcome, influencer marketing.

Influencers are a great way to connect your audience to the ever-changing media channels. Yet, it’s important to utilise the most relevant influencer specific to your brand and audience in order to produce high-quality content that resonates amongst your followers.

Marketing content cannot reach its intended audience, no matter how creative, without trust, which is why influencer marketing remains a powerful tool for marketers. Influencers are essentially relationship-builders. They genuinely combine brand messages into their personal narratives which effectively leads to building consumer trust.

Why do you need a brand influencer?

It’s fair to state that most brands face an uphill battle in the digital world. A report from The Guardian saw that 69% of customers use the Internet as their main source of information.

Influencer marketing is powerful because your brand has access to a tailored audience. When carried out appropriately, marketing content appears more genuine and authentic. So, it’s time to move away from the banner ads and move towards implementing a strong influencer for your brand.

A study conduct by McKinsey discovered that online word-of-mouth advertising produces twice the number of sales than paid advertising, while also leading to a 37% higher retention rate. The optimal way to drive sales is to clearly identify influencers in your specific industry and leverage their voices to promote and communicate your brand’s message.

 

Benefits of Brand Influencers

1. Grow your brand equity

Influencer marketing does not only increase brand awareness, but also your brand’s true value. In addition, personalised campaigns can grow your follower base and increase overall engagement with your audience.

2. Gain customer trust and loyalty

When there’s an increase in consumer activity on social media, your brand grows. Consumers want to be reached with marketing content at the right time with relevant and applicable messages. Thus, trustworthy influencers can reach this audience and generate genuine engagement that could possibly go viral on the Internet. Moreover, they can also generate customer acquisition and nurture new leads.

3. Influence consumer buying behavior

We all do it. We’re all influenced by other people’s opinions and actions. But it’s important to note that we tend to admire people who we trust. More than 81% of consumers begin their buying journey online and 70% trust and follow the recommendations posted by others.

So, start implementing influencers for your brand today! The authentic messages they create and share on behalf of your brand will only result in a surge of consumer behaviour and an overall increase in your brand equity.

Since consumers are less trusting of marketing content online, branding has become increasingly challenging. Consequently, brands have to work carefully to build the trust needed for their target audience. If your brand takes the time needed to identify a specific influencer to highlight your brand to their audience, then earning that trust is relatively easy.

Does your brand currently work with influencers? Has it worked for your brand and built trust amongst your consumers? Let us know in the comment section below!

Images sourced within.

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.