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10 Up and Coming Influencers to Have Your Eye On in 2019

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There are different categories of influencers and each brings something to the table. There are the influencers who have hundreds of thousands of followers. Although some may be expensive, they’re fantastic because working with them gives your brand a tremendous reach.

There are also influencers who have smaller audiences (micro-influencers), but their audiences are passionate and dedicated, and working with them can cost you less money. Let’s take a look at 10 up and coming influencers to keep your eye on.

#1 Simply Quinoa

Alyssa Rimmer is an influencer in the food and cooking niche. She shows her audience how to eat well and stay healthy and represented several companies, including Blendtec.

#2 Olivia Jeanette

Olivia Jeanette is a fashion influencer and embraces the “fashion-forward” mom look. She shares beauty and lifestyle posts and has worked with brands like American Express and Lenscrafters.

#3 Chachi Gonzales

Chachi is a fashion and lifestyle influencer. She’s also a dancer turned actress with a lot of authenticity and credibility with her audience.  She has partnered with M&Ms, Almay, and Arctic Zero Ice Cream.

#4 Jacklyn Sweet

Fitness influencer, Jacklyn shares content on how to get your workout done, as well as content on her athleisure brand.

#5 Everything Technology

Up and coming technology influencer Victor Kamanga reviews speakers and smartphones and is a trusted resource for tech gear on a budget. He’s most noted for his tests on the sustainability of the product by creating fun experiments.

#6 Emkwan Reviews

Emkwan, winner of Esquire Magazine’s Digital Influencer Award, produces high-quality product reviews on tech products and high end lifestyle items. He’s reviewed items sent to him, including the iPhone X and the Huawei Mate smartphone.

#7 Family Fun Pack

This family and lifestyle influencer posts about fun with their family. Two parents and six kids post content on road trips, toys, food and more.

#8 SweetPotatoSoul

Jenne Claiborne shares quality lifestyle and food content. She offers vegan recipes and discusses topics like ethical fashion and natural beauty.

#9 Coding Blonde

Masha, a former Google employee from Denver, makes tech more accessible, empowers women, and teaches others how to code. She’s partnered with Netgear and eBay in the past.

#10 Canine Life

Three retrievers share content that feature their fun adventures. Among their daily activities, they go camping, to the beach, and to the dog park. They have partnered with Kurgo, Barkbox, and Target.

Social Media Marketing

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Social media marketing is an essential skill for any modern small business to master. With billions of people using the top social media sites in the world, it can be an ideal opportunity to extend the reach of any brand.

What are the top social media sites?

The top social media sites are:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Pinterest
  • Snapchat
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr
  • YouTube

Each has their own “rules of the road” and types of followers. Depending on which niche or industry the business is related to, some will be better than others.

Facebook

Facebook is by far the most successful, with nearly 2 billion registered accounts and 1 billion regular users per month. It might have the reputation of being old-fashioned compared with Instagram and Snapchat, both very popular with the 18 to 30 market, but it is still very active and even the younger demographic will usually have an account to connect with family.

Facebook has a well-developed advertising program which allows users to create ads in different formats, such as for traffic, or for lead generation to get subscribers. Compared with Google Ads, it is easy to use, more affordable and very targeted. The ads are also native, looking like content, rather than an ad.

Twitter

Twitter has similar free and paid marketing opportunities. All you have to do is tweet up to 280 characters. It’s a good way to tell keep your followers updated in your business.

Google+

Google+ is popular with foodies, techies and photographers, so any business with a highly visual product line related to those niches could market well here.

Pinterest

Pinterest is completely image-driven, and dominated by women. These women are also shoppers, with more than 50% buying items they see there. Pinterest pins also last a great deal longer than other social media posts.

Instagram and Snapchat

Instagram and Snapchat are also image-driven. In this case, the image or video stays as a story for 24 hours after your follower sees it, unless you pin it to the top of your account. Instagram is owned by Facebook, and you can cross-post your ads in both systems, which can save time and money. Instagram and Snapchat allow companies to create stores right at the site, so if you sell things of interest to 18 to 30 year olds, you need to set up stores.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is following Facebook’s lead in many respects. The functionality is similar, but the audience is different. LinkedIn is the only major business to business social network, targeting professionals and allowing you to make connections with people in your current job, and past jobs and schools. You can also forge connections based on mutual interests, such as a niche or industry.

Tumblr

Tumblr is similar to Facebook in terms of the different kinds of posts you are allowed to publish, such as images and video. Thus far, it does not run ads. Around one-third of its users are international, so this is a good network to focus on if you want to connect with potential customers overseas.

YouTube

YouTube is the largest video sharing site in the world, and a search engine in its own right. Starting a YouTube channel with useful content related to a specific niche can secure subscribers, sales, and connections with one’s target audience.

How to Grow Your Business Using Instagram Stories

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Some people like to criticize Instagram Stories because they are a direct imitation of Snapchat, but for smart marketers, it is always going to be a case of, “If you can’t beat them, join them.” Instagram Stories has led to phenomenal growth for marketers using them, so if you have not started yet, it’s time to get organized.

What are Instagram Stories?

Instagram Stories are a little content area separate to your Instagram feed. The stories only last 24 hours unless you pin them to your account. They are a way to highlight interesting content, showcase new products, and give more information about who you are as a company and what you are all about.

As the name suggests, they are also perfect for storytelling marketing, which has become a hot new trend in the last 2 years or so. Every good story has a beginning, middle and end. As children, we love storybooks with pictures. We also love TV shows/videos. Instagram allows you to incorporate all of these elements as you tell your target audience more about how your business got started, or all your new product can do for them.

Instagram Stories are a more immersive experience than just a series of unrelated posts. They have changed the way many people use the Instagram app. Instead of swiping down to see their news feed first, many go to any new story in their interface first. The app will keep showing stories until the user clicks out, so your story can be highly visible compared to a single post on the feed.

1. Behind the scenes

The whole point of social media is to get to know your audience, and for them to feel they know you. Behind the scenes about your company or product creations shows who you are and what your values are.

2. Less formal and curated content

With most news feeds and grids, marketers aim for beauty, even perfection. With stories, the content can be more off the cuff and on the fly, showing a less formal side. You can make your content even more fun with Instagram stickers.

3. Create polls

Get to know your audience better and let them have fun by creating polls. They are not anonymous, so you won’t get a huge response, but it is worth a try so you can test your ideas for new products and more. Note that it will disappear within 24 hours, and Instagram does not save any report about it, so check back before the poll is ending to see your results and note them down in a spreadsheet or other convenient place. Re-use the best ones in the future, as you add more followers to your account.

4. Going live

Going live over the phone or via video can seem pretty daunting at first, but the more you do it, the more natural it starts to feel, and the better you become at it.

5. Sharing your best content from your camera roll

You can now save your images and combine them into a story.

6. Video content and recommendations

You can film people talking about your product, using it, or discussing the problem it solves. How-to videos are hugely popular on YouTube, making up about 75% of the content searched for. Create similar content and post it as stories.

7. Time-sensitive content

Have a time-sensitive announcement like a flash sale that has just started? The story will last for only 24 hours unless you pin it. The fact that it is so prominent on the page, though, will help all your followers see it quickly.

8. Announcements

Have you posted a new article at your blog? Launched a new product? Won an award? Stories are a great place to showcase your news and announcements.

Marketing on Instagram – Best Practices for Growth

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Instagram’s daily user base is reaching 500 million per day, so if you are not already marketing on this social network, it could be a great opportunity for growing your business. However, as with all social media sites, they have their own way of doing things, which you need to master.

Optimize your account

Optimize your account so your target audience can see who you are and why they should follow you. You should write a great biography and use a striking profile picture. Use appropriate emojis as well-they are searchable and can help grow your followers quickly.

Look for top influencers in your niche or industry

Follow top influencers and see what they are posting, and post similar content if you can. Interact with that content so you will be more visible. If you think you are a good fit and they tend to post content about products, you can then ask if they would be willing to give you a mention. Some influencers will charge money, but it will often be cheaper than a pay per click ad.

Post consistently

Steadily post once or twice a day.

Post shareable content

Post the kind of content your niche will love, such as images, memes, video, and stories. If they are shared, their connections will see them and might like them so much, they start to follow you.

Use popular hashtags related to your niche

These will help people find and follow your content. Make a list of hashtags the influencers use and rotate using them to get wide coverage in your niche.

Use hashtags in the comments sections, as well

This will make you more visible. It also makes your caption look better than a long laundry list of hashtags.

Host a contest

This will create buzz and gain you new followers. Have the winners post images of themselves with their prizes.

Ask for the follow

Don’t forget to ask people to follow you. It’s a way of reminding them they can get great content about the niche from you automatically.

Engage with others

Encourage a 2-way conversation. Don’t just keep posting and ignoring your followers or they will soon unfollow.

Create great stories

Stories can be text, images and video. Create interesting stories for your audience. Pin your best stories to your account as an introduction to your company.

Paid methods

Instagram offers ads through the site itself, and as part of the Facebook ad network. If you create an ad in Facebook Ads Manager, you can cross-post it to Instagram and see reports on its performance.

For an ad, you need to start with a high-quality image that is representative of your business and is less than 20% text. Next, you need an attention-grabbing headline.

Then you will need a description, something that will make them click the ad to learn more. When they click, they will be taken to a particular URL. If you make the URL a Facebook or Instagram page, you will get more prominence in the ad network than an ad that takes them off the site.

Once you have created the ad at Facebook or Instagram, select your audience. Who are you targeting? It should be 18-30 year olds, the lion’s share of the users at the site, and a particular niche like dogs or fashion. Audience selection will be key to your success, so track and test your results and adjust your ad as needed.

Organic vs Paid Engagement

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Social media is one of the best ways to grow your sphere of influence. There are different methods to grow your number of followers, but the two most important are organic (free) versus paid.

Organic

Organic, or natural followers, connect with you as a result of your activities on the network. However, it does take time to execute to see the results of your efforts. The number of followers you can get using these methods can deliver slow but steady growth.

Paid

Paid engagement costs money, but you can see instant results. Set up your ad once, and it will keep on running until the stop date, or when you manually pause it. You can gather hundreds of followers in one day, as compared with growing your following organically over weeks, months or even years. The drawback is that it will cost money. However, social media ads are usually highly targeted, and cheaper than Google Ads. The systems are also easier to use than Google, and there is less of a steep learning curve.

Organic methods

Organic methods are easy to implement once you have built a page on the social network of your choice and optimized it to make it look as attractive as possible.

Shareable content

Produce a range of content that will be of interest to your target audience. The content should include:

  • Brief written content
  • Images
  • Memes
  • Infographics
  • Video
  • Free ebooks
  • Free handouts

The free items can serve as an incentive to get people to sign up for your email marketing list.

Remind to share. Tell your audience to feel free to pass the information along to others who might be interested.

Brand each piece of content you would like to share by including your URL. In this way, those who receive it from others online will know to go to you for more information.

Hashtags

Hashtags (#) are a useful way to join in trending conversations and encourage people to interact with you. If they click on the hashtag, they will be able to see all content published about that topic.

Paid methods

Most social media site ad systems are similar to one another, and will allow a few basic ads.

Page promote

Promote your page in order to get people to like it, so you will get more followers.

Post promote

Promote a popular post to get even more people to see it and, hopefully, like your page as well and begin to follow it.

Ads from scratch

You can create an ad from scratch using an image, interesting headline, useful content and a URL to send them to for more information.

Goal-based ads

On Facebook, you can create an ad from scratch in Ads Manager using one of the goals they have set. It will then give you a template to help you create an ad that will meet your marketing goal.

If you have a budget, start with Page promote and goal based ads and see what a difference it makes to your traffic.

Why Market Your Business on Instagram?

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Instagram has over 800 million registered users. Around 500 million visit the application every day, with the largest demographic being 18 to 30-year olds, then 31 to 45-year olds.

Having been bought by Facebook, it has been growing even more rapidly than before. Now that the founders of Instagram have resigned, some big changes have occurred with some even bigger changes for the near future.

If you are not already on Instagram, now is the time to start marketing there. 

Some Key Factors:

  1. More than 33% of users buy products through Instagram – Instagram allows you to create a store so you can sell directly to the people who see your content; an excellent way to connect with your target audience.
  1. Around 75% of Instagram users take action – for each post that has a call to action, 75% of Instagram users follow it via visiting a website, clicking through to subscribe, and so on.
  1. Instagram is part of the Facebook Ads system – these ads can be cross-promoted to Instagram, cutting your work in half. Facebook targeting is much more precise than Google Ads and other PPC ads. Their ads are also cheaper, giving you a greater conversion rate for your investment.
  1. Different ad formats – Facebook offers different ad formats based on your own campaign goals. When you click to create an ad from scratch, Facebook Ads Manager will ask you what your goal is.
  1. Re-targeting – different pages you visit drop cookies on your browser to track what you do. If you purchase a product the cookie turns off at the order confirmation page. If you navigate away from the page the cookie will remain and each time you are on a site that is in an ad network, the cookie will trigger a re-targeting ad. This stay active until you buy, or until 30 days have passed. Re-targeting is successful about 75% of the time.
  1. Market using stories – stories can be a combination of images, video and text. They last 24 hours from the time it is posted, unless highlighted to your profile. A story can be a great way to keep your account fresh and interesting, and showcase all you have to offer. 

Top Influencer Marketing Campaigns to Date

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There are constantly tons of influencer marketing campaigns being launched. A number of campaigns have stood out in 2018, so far, both for their originality in terms of content and the high profile of the influencers. Here are a few worth looking at.

Fiji Water

Fiji partnered with Instagram fashionista Danielle Bernstein for a #weworewhat campaign. In addition to Bernstein’s fashion related posts, the campaign also offered quick and easy 8-minute workout videos to get into great shape. It never once mentions water specifically, but of course, water is essential for hydration, especially when working out. The campaign aligns nicely with health, fitness, fashion, and doing your best for your body.

H&M fashion

H&M is one of the most influential fashion brands online as lots of influencers share their looks. H&M launched their new catalog in September 2017, and sales soared thanks to influencers like fashion blogger Julie Sariñana and model Ela Velden. The campaign had almost 25 million followers by the end of 2017 and it is still growing. Check It Out – the clothes aren’t to everyone’s taste or size, but great photography helps their content go viral.

Lagavulin Whisky

The My Tales of Whisky Yule Log won the Shorty Award for Best Influencer Campaign due to its attractive presentation just in time for the holiday season. The campaign had more than 2 million views in the first day and increased channel subscribers by nearly 20,000. The video was widely shared not just by individuals, but corporations as well.

Stride Gum

Stride partnered with DJ Khaled, a popular hip-hop artist and the “King of Snapchat,” to promote their content. Most of his videos get 3 million views, so he was the perfect choice for a Snapchat take over to announce a new line of flavors. See it here.

Subaru’s #MeetAnOwner 

This campaign used three top influencers in varying fields to put together a campaign that shows what it’s like to own a Subaru. The emphasis was on adventure and got nearly 2 million likes and 9 thousand comments

Walmart’s #FightHunger Social Good Campaign

Walmart partnered with seven top influencers and the charity Feeding America to highlight the problem of hunger in the United States. Most people see America as the land of plenty, but millions go hungry every day; many of them children. The Walmart Foundation announced it would donate $0.90 to Feeding America, enough to provide 10 meals to people in need, for every like, share, or #FightHunger comment on their post. They hoped to raise $1.5 million within 30 days of the campaign starting. The campaign was such a hit, they raised that in only 1 day.

Stella Artois Beer

Stella Artois teamed up with influencers to help with their fundraising for water.org, a charity which aims to provide fresh drinking water to the millions on the planet who currently have to do without. They tied into the Oscars as well to get the campaign to create even more of an impact. See the campaign here. 

Statistics to Help You Choose Which Social Media Platform to Use for Your Next Campaign

 

There is a famous quote about leadership that goes as follows:

Envision a group of producers cutting their way through the jungle with machetes. They’re the producers, the problem solvers. They’re cutting through the undergrowth, clearing it out.

The managers are behind them, sharpening their machetes, writing policy and procedure manuals, holding muscle development programs, bringing in improved technologies, and setting up working schedules and compensation programs for machete wielders.
The leader is the one who climbs the tallest tree, surveys the entire situation, and yells, ‘Wrong jungle!’”

In a previous article we have already discussed the most popular social media platforms that can be utilized for an advertising campaign. However, it is important to ensure your next campaign isn’t in the ‘wrong jungle’ or it may fall flat. I’m going to outline the best uses for some of the most popular social media platforms.

Facebook: Facebook is by far the most popular of the social media platforms. As of 2016 80% of internet users are on Facebook. With the average age of Facebook user being in their 40s, it may be a better choice for a brand targeting an older audience. Facebook also has a very high character limit on posts (63,206 characters) which makes it useful for the long form.

Instagram: According to a recent PiperJaffrey study, teens described Instagram as their second most important social media, second only to Snapchat. Instagram definitely takes the cake with ‘trendier’ audiences, especially those ages 18 – 29. Instagram additionally has one of the largest presences of influencers among the different social media sites. Hashtags and the explore page make it easy for content to be seen.

Twitter: Twitter differs from Facebook and Instagram in the sense that it is primarily text-based posts, although photos and videos can be posted. Twitter is popular not only for light-hearted content, but also for more serious subjects such as politics. Young people make up a greater number than older people on twitter, which is important to understand for campaigns. Twitter is still very useful for campaigns regarding more serious subjects such as politics or business.

Snapchat: Snapchat is extremely popular among young people with 71% of their users being under the age of 34. The Snapchat Stories feature is very useful for advertising and product placement with influencers. Additionally, 70% of Snapchat users are female.

Each social media platform has its own strengths and weaknesses which are important to consider for any type of campaign involving influencers.

 

 

8 Tips to Improve Your Social Media Profile as an Influencer

 

Almost everybody has at least one social media account in 2017. Not everyone has the profile quality required to be an influencer. However there are simple things you can do to improve your account in terms of influence.

  1. Post consistent content. It may seem obvious but if you don’t post frequently you may lose followers.
  2. Make sure your photos are high quality. It is important to be posting high quality, clear images. It will make your feed more appealing. Photos taken with a digital camera can greatly improve a profile.
  3. Have your email readily listed on your profile. Can you imagine anything worse than having an advertiser interested in working with you, but having them be unable to contact you?
  4. Create a website. Having a personal website can help establish your brand and make your profile appear more presentable.
  5. Create an email on your website.  Simply put, an advertiser is more likely to contact [email protected] than [email protected].
  6. Keep your content relatively appropriate. Agencies  and advertisers are less likely to work with you if you have vulgar or offensive content.
  7. Have a presence on multiple platforms. It is important to have a presence on other social media such in addition to your primary account to help establish your personal brand.
  8. Keep your ‘following’ count limited. The relative influence of your account seems less legitimate if you follow more than 1500 people.