The Men of Influencer Marketing: Brian Morr

This is part two of an ongoing series where we will come to know more about the men of influencer marketing. 

At Find Your Influence (FYI), we have more than 100,000 influencers who have opted in to our network to be discovered by brands around the world. Taking a closer look at the FYI network, 84 percent are female. That leaves 16 percent of the network led by men.

Who are these men? What makes them so successful? How have they built their personal brands?

On Wednesday, September 26, I spoke with Brian Morr, a menswear and lifestyle influencer based in New York City. Brian’s blog, Sink the Sun, chronicles his life and brand experiences in the Big Apple. What follows is our conversation:

It’s great to meet you, Brian. Tell me more about you. How did you get started in the world of influencer marketing?

“I currently work at a hotel in SoHo, in New York City. I’ve been working there for five years now. I’m originally from Long Island. Right after college I went back to live back home with my parents close to the beach so I started taking photos of the beach, myself at the beach and then myself in the city when I got my job in SoHo. It kind of just took off from there. There wasn’t  a point in time when I gained a lot of followers, it just happened organically over time, which was pretty cool. I’m often asked for tips or tricks of how it happened but it just happened on it’s own. I guess people liked the things I was posting, so I thought, ‘Okay, I’ll run with this.”

How has Instagram worked for you? Are you using other social channels too?

I mainly use Instagram for collaborations, ads and things like that. I do have a blog too. I created the blog after the Instagram following took off because I wondered if Instagram may only be a fad that I would still have everything available on my blog. It’s a great outlet to get all of my thoughts out. I was an English major in college so I use that to my advantage in creating content like blog posts.”

I’ve spoken to a few influencers and a common thread is that many of you seem to have earned your degrees in English or Communications. This has proven helpful when creating unique content.

“That content, that message, It’s what we want to say to our audience and it’s very important how we word everything. It’s been really helpful to me to have that background.”

Let’s talk about your followers. Do they all fit into the same general category or different categories? How would you describe them?

“The majority of my followers, I think 80 percent, are male. I do a lot of men’s fashion and promote a lot of men’s brands on Instagram. I’ve done a lot of collaborations with alcohol brands too, which may be more appealing to guys. The demographic of my followers is somewhat similar to myself, although I do have 20 percent female following, but I’m geared more generally to men. My following is more New York-based than anything. It’s cool because I see a lot of people in the city that have recognized me. It’s pretty cool how this whole platform came to be and came to be something great for me.”

You mentioned engaging with your followers. Aside from them recognizing you on the street, what does your engagement with your followers look like?

“I do get emails here and there about style tips and questions. They are really few and far between. I do get a ton of direct messages, which I think is a lot more than other influencer friends who I’ve spoken to. Most of the  stories I put on Instagram are pretty relatable. I do get comments on my photos but more often direct messages about my stories or my style or where I’ve gotten something. I usually wake up each morning with 30-35 new direct messages. And I do answer all of them. I think this helps my engagement grow.”

You mentioned that you also work in a hotel. Is your role as in influencer your side hustle or are you looking to make that your primary hustle?

“It’s definitely something I’m thinking of doing soon. My current job at the hotel doesn’t interfere with the influencer side of my life. They’re very helpful when it comes to needing days off and they even let me take photos in the hotel. Right now I work 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the hotel and then have the rest of my day available to dedicate to shooting. I have the weekends off so I spend much of my weekend taking photos and creating content. It is pretty crazy, it’s two full-time jobs at this point. It’s awesome that I could take a hobby and turn it into something greater, turning it into something I love.”

You’ve worked with many different brands. What brands have been your favorites and why?

“I did a campaign with Heineken. With them I went Ultra in Miami and Coachella. It was like a yearly campaign which was really cool. That was more geared toward male influencers, all about Heineken, all about beer.

I did a few things with Timex and they were really cool to work with. I love watches and enjoy the opportunities I’ve had to work with different watch brands.”

What brand has resonated the most, or had the most engagement with your followers?

“I did a cool campaign with Reebok over the summer that got a lot of comments and messages. It was a new shoe line made from renewable material. Those pictures came out great and it was an all around awesome campaign. I heard from the agency that the brand itself did well from it.”

What, or whom, inspires you?

“Moving to New York City a few years ago has inspired me to get up and go and do this for a living. Living the New York City life has inspired pretty much all of my work. Everyday I see people hustling and doing everything they can to survive and thrive here. That’s really inspiring to me.”

In the world of influencer marketing, it appears to be heavily female. As a male influencer, tell me about the community of influencers you engage with. How would you describe that community?

“I definitely think women have the upper hand at this, which is not a bad thing at all. Women have started this influencer marketing revolution and that’s awesome. Male influencing is a whole different ball game. We have our own little group. When I go to events, I’m often asked if I know many women influencers. I really don’t because every event I go to for a brand is primarily a male event. There are a ton of new influencers popping up every week which is awesome. More competition is more incentive to work harder. For every one male influencer there is probably ten female influencers fighting for jobs. I think it’s pretty cool that guys have caught on to it and are now able to do it for a living.”

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The Men of Influencer Marketing: Parker York Smith

This is part one of an ongoing series where we will come to know more about the men of influencer marketing. 

It’s not often you find an industry where women have a commanding position over men. At Find Your Influence (FYI), we have more than 100,000 influencers who have opted in to our network to be discovered by brands around the world. Taking a closer look at the FYI network, 84 percent are female. That leaves 16 percent of the network led by men.

Who are these men? What makes them so successful? How have they built their personal brands?

This is part one of an ongoing series where we will come to know more about the men of influencer marketing.

On Monday, September 24, I spoke with Parker York Smith, a fashion and lifestyle influencer known as The LookSmith. What follows is our conversation:

Hey Parker! Tell me a little about yourself. How did you get started as an influencer?

“I started out a little over three years ago, it was like mid-2015. I was living in Los Angeles. My now wife, then girlfriend, saw me struggling trying to become an actor. I wasn’t enjoying it that much. She knew that I had gone to school for journalism and that I loved fashion. She suggested that I start taking photos of my outfits and putting them on the internet with my thought process about why I put it together the way I did. I had always been a style person even when it wasn’t my career. I started a website, went on to Instagram and started posting photos. There were a few people who were doing it already but not a good amount. My wife had met someone who was doing it full time who inspired her to even realize it was a career path. She encouraged me to start doing it and I did and little by little it turned into something. I’m fortunate being in Los Angeles because there are a lot of brands. It felt easy to me when I started to partner with some smaller brands early on and develop their content catalogue while also allowing me the opportunity to learn the ropes of fashion branding and the content creation side which is what I’ve grown to love. From three years ago to now it’s been a steady grind of lots of content, lots of partnerships, lots of ups and downs with social media. It’s provided me with incredible opportunities that I will always love and appreciate. I’m willing to admit that it can be a bit of a grind at times. I got my foot in the door at the right time when it wasn’t something that was super saturated.”

Tell me about the platforms you use today. Do you focus on just one platform or multiple?

“I originally started with Instagram and a website, cooperatively. I wanted to write a blog because I enjoy writing – my background and my degree is in journalism. Instagram became so essential and it was such an easy opportunity to showcase the visual side of everything. About a year ago, I started doing video because it really allows me to share my personality and my knowledge and hopefully inspire people to start to take themselves more seriously in terms of their style and confidence. I’ve been really loving video and am realizing that is where I want to end up in the future.”

Do you have any plans to expand across other social platforms?

“I have a Twitter page that I love but it’s just a way for me to push content from other channels. It’s really there as another outlet but not really a focus. I love shoes and Twitter is where I do a lot of research about upcoming releases or collaborations. Snapchat is on my phone but I don’t really use it. With the introduction of Instagram stories it made more sense for me to create videos where my audience already was as opposed to cultivating an entirely new audience.”

Tell me a little about your followers.

“My followers are 80 percent male. Mainly 24-34. Mostly American but a big chunk in London too. I’m starting to build a decent audience in other parts of the world too, thanks to YouTube, which is really exciting. Guys like me who enjoy style but aren’t trying to be wearing the most crisp suit and tie everyday. It’s more about expressing yourself through different style genres.”

Having followers is great but engagement is what really matters. How do your followers engage with you?

“As it relates to engagement, my biggest focus is to have a group of truly engaged, highly interested followers. It doesn’t have to be a gigantic number but engagement is important, I want my content seen because it makes it more exciting for me to create more when I know that it’s out there being seen by the most people. At the same time, I’m a strong believer in interacting with my followers. I answer all of my DM’s about my content or questions related to style in general. One of my favorite things is that I’ll have guys send me photos of them getting ready and they’ll show two different types of shoes with their outfit and ask me which one works better. It’s so cool to be able to have that direct connection with someone who may be thousands of miles away. I’m definitely more focused on being available, being approachable and being someone who people feel comfortable reaching out to, knowing that I’m going to provide solid, honest feedback. I’m not about making people feel that fashion is unattainable or that I’m living some lavish lifestyle that is out of their reach.”

Now let’s talk campaigns. What are some of your favorite brands that you’ve worked with?

“I have an ongoing partnership with a brand called Greats, a Brooklyn-based sneaker company that is one of my favorite brands in general. They are awesome. I love what they do. I love their product. Their whole business model is great. They give me and my wife the freedom to really create some amazing content for them. We work together on a lot of stuff which is fun.”

Is there a brand you aspire to work with?

“In thinking about a brand that I would aspire to work with, as someone who loves sneakers, I would love to be able to collaborate with a shoe brand either on an existing product line or get involved from the ground up in the design process. I don’t look at it like, ‘I need to work with this brand,’ or ‘I need to work with that brand,’ it’s more of trying to be excited about the brands I am working with. Helping them while also being true to my brand and my values.”

What inspires you?

“The thing that inspires me most is being able to have an honest impact on people. Whether that’s giving them on idea on what they can be wearing or giving them more confidence to try a new hairstyle, whatever it is, I’ve been where they are before. Having an impact and helping people be the best version of themselves is what inspires me more than anything.”

Let’s talk about your peers, other male fashion influencers. Help me understand the relationship you have with them.

“Within the male fashion influencer space, it’s a pretty collaborative scene.  It’s not competitive, in my experience. Because I feel strongly that I want to provide as much value as possible, if it’s realistic to think someone else is going to provide more value for a specific style or brand, so be it. I would obviously love to get every job and work with everybody but that’s just not realistic. I don’t feel competitive but instead I feel inspired because many of the other influencers are just killing it. Many of them produce content that I follow that inspire me and give me ideas to tweak my content. I choose to look at it as a much more a motivational factor and to be excited for these guys and their success.  There have been opportunities where brands have come to other influencers and say ‘We actually need three more guys, can you recommend anyone?’ and because we have good relationships and they trust my ability, they offer my name to the brand. I’ve gotten several jobs because of this. I like to be up front and honest with my peers that we’re all in this together. This isn’t something we need to be fighting against one another.”

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Fasten Your Seat Belt: Influencer Marketing Will Dominate Ad Budgets by 2020

“Ladies and gentlemen, the Captain has turned on the fasten seat belt sign. If you haven’t already done so, please return to your seat and fasten your seat belt.” 

For those of us working in digital marketing, it’s time we consider buckling up too.Since 2013, influencer marketing has hit the runway with many of the top brands in the U.S. relying on this marketing tactic to create word-of-mouth awareness around hundreds of thousands of products and services.

Welcome to IMS flight 2020 

In 2013, I managed an influencer marketing program for a publicly traded company in Arizona. Back then, most advertising budgets were newly focused on display advertising while influencer marketing was new and unproven. My colleague, Cristine Vieira, and I had some early success with influencer marketing campaigns, primarily with bloggers, and wanted to scale by leveraging technology. Unfortunately, we couldn’t identify an existing technology to meet our needs. So, we decided to build our own.

We launched Find Your Influence in 2013 and were quickly able to create a network of influencers who were looking to connect with brands appealing directly to their followers. Today our influencer platform includes a community of influencers exceeding 100,000, an attractive quality to some of the largest household brands.

Over the past five years, we’ve been fortunate to be a part of the takeoff of successful influencer marketing solutions (IMS). However, this industry has not yet reached its cruising altitude. What’s coming in the next two years will, however, allow brands to scale and reach greater heights. 

In 2017, ChiefMarketer.comcited a study by ANA and PQ Media showing that brand spending on influencer marketing is expected to reach $101 billion by 2020, a 25 percent increase over 2016. While advertising budgets themselves aren’t growing, the influx of dollars toward influencer marketing will be shifting from traditional media advertising: television, radio and print to influencer-driven campaigns. 

It’s also interesting to note how advertisers are responding to this relatively new tactic. According to findings from a 2018 survey by the Association of National Advertisers, “Advertisers love influencer marketing.” The report further explains “…a full 75 percent of their companies currently employ the discipline and 43 percent are planning to increase spending over the course of the next 12 months.” Seeing this type of growth already planned proves that we are on the edge of something special. 

Your life vest is located under your seat  

As brands begin investing more dollars into this marketing channel, the influencer community will begin to look like the TSA line at an international airport – – countless people trying to make their way through the process. The number of influencers available to brands has not reached its full potential either. Everyday there are hundreds of fresh voices trying to become the newest large-scale influencers.  

Influencer reach is the first-class ticket for a brand. Everyone thinks that being an influencer is an easy gig, when in reality, it’s really quite hard. These influencers must focus a significant amount of time on establishing their brand, keeping up with relevant content and building a follower base. As far as engagement, they either have it or they don’t. 

I’m often asked what brands are really looking for from influencer marketing. The answer is simple: brands today are trying to target the 12-35 age range. They can do this through many advertising channels, but most efficiently through influencer marketing. Influencers will be getting younger as brands demand to reach these younger audiences. 

With the shift in ad dollars leaning more heavily on influencer marketing, how do you know if your brand is ready for influencer marketing? Start with these five questions. 

  • What is the level of brand awareness for your product or service? 
  • Are you reaching your target audience four or five times with the same campaign? 
  • Which marketing channels are underperforming for your brand? 
  • Are you ready to amplify your message across social media? 
  • With a low cost to entry, isn’t word-of-mouth advertising (influencer marketing) worth beta testing to start? 

Please take a few moments to locate your nearest exit

A recent Forbes piece opened with, “Influencer marketing is having a moment right now.” Sure, you could call it a moment. However, it could be more aptly described by flight control that influencer marketing has been cleared for takeoff.  

A recent report by Forrester, “New Tech: Influencer Marketing Solutions, Q3 2018” looked closely at 34 influencer marketing solutions, yet noted that there are nearly 100 vendors in the space.  A market so large can’t thrive but will begin to consolidate in a similar fashion to how digital technology solutions have consolidated over the last decade. Display advertising was the perfect example of there being 100 different companies and over time, they all began consolidating and becoming larger media companies together.  

Consolidation is the next destination on the IMS journey when you look at the global financing history. CB Insights shows funding peaked in 2015 with 45 deals netting $169 million. While the number of individual deals peaked in 2016, funding has continued to decline year over year, proving success with those solutions that continue to meet the needs of large brands. 

Sit back, relax and enjoy the flight

If we look to 2020 as the point we reach cruising altitude with greater demand and a larger community of influencers, we will then shift our focus to the horizon. To avoid turbulence for your brand or to avoid getting lost in the inevitable jet stream of your competitors, request a demo of the Find Your Influence platform today. 

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The BFF Illusion: Influencers & Consumers

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By Courtney Moser

 

“Did we just become best friends?

That Step Brothers movie quote accurately (and hilariously) describes our search for instantaneous connections in modern society. We are so in tune with internet life that we start to feel like we actually know the people behind the blogs and social media accounts.

Influencers have become “friends” to all of us online – even though we’ve never actually met them. There’s something about following someone’s blog or Instagram, and gaining peeks into their daily life, that cultivates a sense of intimacy; a bond. It’s only natural, then, that we turn to these influencers when doing online product or service research.

According to Adweek, 49 percent of people say that they rely on influencers’ recommendations when making a purchase decision. And 71 percent of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on a social media reference. Influencer marketing harnesses the bond between influencers and consumers to accelerate a brand’s mission – without compromising credibility.

How? Influencer marketing connects brands with relevant, high-quality influencers who reach their target audience. This cuts out the random one-size-fits-all problem with advertising, and ensures that companies can hone in on consumers who care about what they have to offer – increasing brand affinity and overall ROI.

“47 percent of online customers use ad blocking technology. The way to reach them is to provide content they want from people they trust,” Digital News Report explains.

 

Influencers are among the trusted inner circle for many consumers today because of honest product reviews, no filter images, “day in the life” type posts, and more. Blogs and social media have created a new type of friendship built on likes, comments and shares. Brands who capitalize on this by creating an influencer marketing strategy can expect to see at least some of the following benefits:

  • Improved ROI: An average $6.5 return on investment for every dollar spent
  • Increased credibility:92 percent of consumers say they trust word-of-mouth recommendations over advertising http://www.adweek.com/digital/why-influencer-marketing-is-the-new-content-king-infographic/
  • Consumer loyalty: Word-of-mouth marketing results in a 37 percent higher retention rate

Influencer marketing can help you make the most of relationships between influencers and consumers online today to drive results. Contact the Find Your Influence team with any questions about getting started!

P.S. Are your influencers “friends” with the right target audience? Learn more about demographics and psychographics here.

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In Tune: Influencer Marketing & Taylor Swift

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By Courtney Moser

 

“Did you hear her song about John Mayer? I can’t believe he did that!”

We tend to feel like we know pop stars from their music. This is certainly true when it comes to Taylor Swift – the queen of using her own life as song material. Any time she releases a new album, the buzz is all about who’s who in her songs, from break ups to love interests to spurned friends. There’s a vulnerability in the way she shares her stories that makes listeners feel a connection with her – just as influencers build trust with consumers online.

So, if Taylor Swift was a friend of the Find Your Influence team, this is the wise influencer marketing advice we imagine she’d dole out (in song, of course):

Fill your blank space wisely: Taylor Swift may be referring to the next name on her dating list here, but it also applies when it comes to your list of influencers. Which influential bloggers will fill your blank space? This is a pivotal decision for your campaign – the influencers you choose to work with will shape your strategy and reflect on your brand. No company wants to look back and think “I knew you were trouble.”

You belong with me: “I’ve been here all along so why can’t you see, you belong with me.” Not to get too intense with your influencers right off the bat, but it’s important to let them know why they belong with you. Why is this partnership a good fit? What value can you provide? We can all learn something from this bold Taylor Swift song: be up front about what you want and what you have to offer.

Let those sparks fly: Once you’ve set your campaign in motion, watch the sparks fly. Let your influencers do what they do best: create quality content and connect with consumers. Marketing guru Jay Baer said: “True influence drives action, not just awareness,” and so we’re looking for powerful results in the form of engagement—whether that’s likes, comments, shares, clicks or buys.

Shake it off: If one method doesn’t work, shake it off! There are copious ways to make the most of influencer marketing tactics. Don’t be afraid to change your strategy if an influencer isn’t the right fit or your content isn’t resonating with consumers. These teaching moments can lead to greater success in the future – like a $6.5 return on investment for every dollar spent – if you’re open to growing from them.

Inspiration is everywhere! And if you want to avoid bad blood when it comes to your influencer relationships, we advise listening to the best practices above. Of course, if you have any specific questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts at Find Your Influence for strategy and campaign guidance.

Which other popular songs unintentionally offer influencer marketing advice?

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Summer Loving: How to Turn an Influencer Fling into the Real Deal

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By Courtney Moser

 

Sunset walks on the beach, pina coladas, sponsored blog posts…

Is it more than just a summer fling? When it comes to building a successful influencer marketing strategy, your seasonal partnership should last far past September – and continue to drive results all year long.

Influencer marketing is at its most effective when centered around relationships. Together, a brand and an influencer can increase product awareness, brand affinity, website traffic, intent to purchase and more. How? When you partner with an influencer, make sure their content and audience align with your brand mission and campaign goals – and then offer value in return. We dive further into how to turn an influencer fling into the real deal below.

Tips for creating influencer relationships that can go the distance:

Build on a foundation of mutual respect: So you like an influencer – but is your admiration reciprocated? As Forbes says: “Effective partnerships start with identifying influencers who already love your brand or have engaged social followings that align with your company and offering them some data-driven creative guidance.”

Commit for the long haul: Your attitude going into a brand-influencer partnership is crucial. You should start out the relationship with commitment in mind – this sets you both up to work together for the common goal of educating consumers, reaching new audiences, sharing product features, and so on.

Prioritize communication: Clear expectations and feedback are important when you’re building a partnership – this sets the tone for future projects and opens the door for effective communication and successful results. Don’t turn to the silent treatment when something doesn’t go as planned!

When you take the time to build a long-term relationship with your influencers, they can move from one-time associates to brand ambassadors who increase authenticity and trust among consumers. As said in this blog post, “The best influencers drive action – they spur their readers and followers to do something, rather than just listen.”

Looking forward, 83 percent of brand marketers say that “identifying and building one-on-one relationships with industry key influencers” is a top priority this year. Are you ready to take your influencer relationships to the next level? To learn more about establishing successful influencer relationships, contact the experts at Find Your Influence today.

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The Gold Standard in Influencer Marketing

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By Courtney Moser

 

“Any brand knows that having a product in a consumer’s hands or creating an authentic interaction with a consumer is worth its weight in gold.”

The above quote from Forbes explains why influencer marketing offers a return on investment (ROI) that’s 11 times higher than traditional advertising. This modern, word-of-mouth tactic works with both brands and consumers to elevate the typical marketing experience. Instead of a one-sided banner ad or promotional pop-up, influencer marketing hones in on target audiences through influential individuals and custom content.

Authenticity is key because influencer marketing is all about trust. In fact, 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from individuals (even if they don’t know them) over brands or ads. By partnering with blog and social media influencers, brands can benefit from the trust they’ve built with their followers and readers to increase awareness, affinity and intent to purchase. This means offering value to influencers in order to be more genuine – whether that’s free products, new recipes, creative ideas, a factory tour, a trip, or something else.

In return, influencers offer great value for brands as well – in the form of authentic content and interactions. They share their product or service experience on their blog or social networks and greatly increase brand visibility with new audience groups. This exposure is valuable both now and in the future, which is why influencer marketing is known for its long-term relationship building.

What else is important when it comes to creating an influencer community? Let’s dive into a few more best practices that are worth their weight in gold for successful influencer marketing:

o   Integrate your influencer marketing efforts with your larger marketing strategy: Before focusing on authenticity and connecting with consumers, you have to ensure that all of your marketing efforts are integrated. Your future success hinges on a streamlined campaign.

o   Pick the right influencers and social platforms: Depending on your brand goals and campaign type, the “right” influencer and platforms will vary. Choose based on who/which reaches your target audience most effectively.

o   Prioritize engagement:Quality over quantity – although a high reach can be impressive, engagement metrics prove consumers are actually listening; that they care and will take action.

Cultivating authentic connections with your target consumers – through engaged, relevant influencers – is a win-win for everyone. The definition of a successful campaign can change, but ultimately it includes increased awareness, brand affinity and a higher intent to purchase. Plus, converting brand ambassadors and increasing consumer relationships are an important part of a long-term influencer marketing strategy.

Are you ready to go for the gold with your influencer marketing efforts? Contact the Find Your Influence team today to get started.

 

 

 

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Why Engagement Is The Most Important Metric… Ever.

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By Courtney Moser

 

Is it better to reach 10,000 or 50,000 potential consumers?

Trick question: Neither one matters if there isn’t engagement. You can reach as many people as possible, but if nothing comes out of those impressions, there is no value in them. As shocking as that may seem at first, engagement is what proves people are listening; that they care about what you’re saying or appreciate what you’re offering. Without that feedback, you may as well be sending your message into outer space.

The real impact of influencer marketing surpasses celebrities and increased awareness – ultimately, it can turn passive browsers into active customers and paid influencers into long-term brand advocates. How? It all goes back to engagement.

Marketing guru Jay Baer once said: “True influence drives action, not just awareness.” If a campaign is powerful enough, it will make consumers want to engage – whether by way of likes, comments, shares, clicks or buys. Those goals will be different, depending on your strategy, but the ultimate measure of value remains the same.

When you focus on engagement in your influencer marketing campaign, you’re prioritizing quality over quantity. The benefits of this strategy include:

  • More meaningful connections
  • Increased credibility
  • Higher intent to purchase

Influencers who have higher engagement on their blog or social networks are likely closer to their followers. And a higher engagement doesn’t mean a large reach. It can be more valuable to partner with a small, niche influencer who specifically speaks to your target audience than a random famous figure. In fact, this study found that we are “50 times more likely to trust a recommendation from a friend than a celebrity or internet personality.”

Smaller influencers often become friends to their followers, and that trust is critical when it comes to influencing digital communities. By working with these influencers, you can build on their credibility to cultivate relationships and encourage brand loyalty. And once you’re in with them, celebrate! It’s been proven that word-of-mouth marketing results in a 37 percent higher retention rate.

“Once your social media foundation has been laid, you should forget the big names and focus on those influencers with the highest engagement… It’s important to remember that an engaged audience will grow itself, but an unengaged audience will not grow much at all,” this Entrepreneurarticle says.

For all of the above reasons – and many more – prioritizing engagement is the key to success in your influencer marketing efforts. Contact the Find Your Influence team today to start driving engagement and turning influence into action.

 

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Video Games & Influencer Marketing

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By Courtney Moser

 

Total revenue for the U.S. video game industry in 2015 was $23.5 billion – up 7 percent from the previous year. And as we dive deeper into 2017, this number continues to rise. Clearly, the market is huge, so the real question is: How can video games stand out from the copious competition today?

Many games are turning to influencer marketing to increase launch awareness, product buzz, digital fans and sales. These game brands partner with influencers who have a large gaming following online, and ask them to promote their game, review it or play it live. YouTube has emerged as the social platform of choice for these gamers because of the ability to share stories and authentic content through video.

Ann Hamilton, brand representative at video game publishing company Ubisoft, said of their YouTube-focused marketing strategy: “YouTube is an amazing channel for the video game industry. It allows us to share our video content with our consumers directly… It has been a great tool at building communities for each of our games.”

In fact, a recent study found that “90 percent of gamers turn to YouTube at least weekly for a gaming advice, while 64 percent of gamers download games after seeing them on YouTube.” Video game brands can reach their target audience on the platform more effectively with the help of YouTube influencers.

At the height of YouTube gaming influencer fame is “PewDiePie.” Known for his “Let’s Play” commentary and video game experiences, PewDiePie (Felix Kjellberg) has more than 42 million YouTube followers. What began as a simple YouTube channel featuring commentary while playing video games is now a full-fledged influencer business raking in millions. Along with writing a book and starring in a video game, Kjellberg has worked with major brands such as the Walt Disney Co.

The success story of PewDiePie, however, also comes with a cautionary tale. He was recently at the center of controversy when he posted videos with anti-Semitic messages. Situations such as this are troublesome because they often reflect back on brands the influencers work with – reinforcing the importance of guidelines and trust in influencer marketing partnerships. It’s vital to apply these best practices to your gaming campaigns for the best results.

Along with video game brands, every company in every industry should use caution when choosing to align with a celebrity or high-profile individual. Influencer marketing is always evolving, and brands have to stay on top of industry content and digital media in order to make an authentic splash and impact future success.

To learn more about different influencer marketing strategies for video game brands, contact the Find Your Influence team today.

 

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How Influencer Marketing Is Changing The TV Landscape

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By Courtney Moser

 

Consumers ages 13-24 are 2.5 times more likely to watch internet videos than TV.

Video-streaming services have overtaken live programming as the viewing method of choice.

Do we need to keep citing alarming statistics or is the picture clear enough? The TV industry is changing – from trending topics and viewers to advertising methods. Traditional ads and commercials just aren’t as effective as they used to be in the midst of the digital era.

That’s where influencer marketing comes in. To better promote TV shows and networks today, it makes sense to meet your consumers where they are – online. In 2016, 78 percent of Americans had a social media profile, and in 2018, the number of worldwide social media users is expected to pass two billion. There are millions of blogs on the internet, and even more blog readers.

Influencer marketing makes the most of this extraordinary digital age to reach consumers on blogs and social media through advanced word-of-mouth marketing. Brands partner with specific influencers – who have an engaged following that aligns with their target audience – to share cultivated messages, branded content or product promotions. Trust in traditional advertising is down, but up when it comes to influencer marketing: 92 percent of consumers say they trust earned media and recommendations over all other forms of ads. TV shows can take advantage of this influencer credibility to increase awareness, buzz and viewership.

Comedy TV show Kevin Can Wait, for example, turned to influencer marketing to promote awareness for its time slot change and drive new viewers. They identified lifestyle bloggers who had seen the family-focused comedy before, and asked each of them to write one original blog post about why they’re fans and how they relate to the show or characters. A few of the creative blog topics that resulted include:

o   My favorite TV snack and Kevin Can Wait

o   Sometimes it’s just good to laugh #KevinCanWaitAt8

o   Relate to the dreaded motherhood + balance dilemma?

The blogging influencers then shared their content across social media channels using the campaign hashtag #KevinCanWaitAt8. As a second follow-up to this campaign, the show asked a larger number of social media influencers to post three times on their social networks about the show. Ten targeted blog posts and hundreds of social posts achieved more than 252 million impressions, with a total campaign value of $3 million. These combined efforts led to 57,169 clicks to the Kevin Can Wait website – increasing awareness and interest.

Although influencer marketing may not be the go-to advertising method for TV shows yet, Kevin Can Wait’s success demonstrates that it has the power to be. Using influencer marketing, shows can reach their current audience along with a wide range of potential viewers to truly make a lasting impact.

Curious about how to get started? Contact the Find Your Influence team today to learn more.

 

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