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The YouTube and Influencer Marketing Blog

The latest news and analysis of YouTube and Influencer Marketing For Top Brands,

YouTubers, Instagramers, Social Media Influencers, & Influencer Marketing Campaigns

Smashbox Studios: How Brands Are Innovating With YouTube Content Creators

YouTubers Content Creators at Smashbox Studios

Top YouTubers, like Cassey Ho of Blogilates and Monica Church, partaking in new digital program "Made at Smashbox."

Smashbox Studios To Collaborate With Top YouTube Content Creators

Smashbox Studios debuted their "Made at Smashbox" digital program specifically for YouTube content creators in conjunction with their recent 25,000 square foot studio facility relaunch. This program epitomizes how established brands like Smashbox and other companies are tactically integrating top YouTubers into their core business operations.

The beauty, fashion, and lifestyle video blog (vlogger) niche is one of the most competitive spaces with hundreds of brands vying for the attention and product promotion for these YouTube content creators. Brands are looking for ingenious ways to connect with content creators and their audiences through YouTube, but outside of strict sponsored videos. Programs, like "Made at Smashbox" offer YouTubers professional services in exchange for massive brand exposure to their consumer audiences, fans, and followers.

How Smashbox's New Digital Program Works

YouTubers are invited to create branded video content at Smashbox's newly redesigned studio. Their new program, in partnership with Collective Digital Studio (CDS), creates value for YouTube content creators by providing a professional studio space to collaborate with MUAs, stylists, and offering a variety of photography and videography services. In turn, the Smashbox brand benefits from the direct value exposure to each YouTuber's channel and contiguous social media networks. Traditionally, beauty and make-up YouTubers film their video tutorials within their bedroom settings. As more and more content creators saturate the space, some of the top YouTubers have sought out professional studios and video services like Smashbox's new digital program in order to differentiate themselves. See our post here on the rise of top fashion bloggers.

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in blog, Bloggers, Branded Content With Influencers, Fashion Influencers, Monetization, Native Advertising With Influencers, Online Video Marketing, Social Media Influencers, YouTube Influencers

Blogger Spotlight: Hungry Runner Girl

Janae Jacobs started her blogging journey five years ago while recovering from a running injury. Being an avid blog reader herself, she yearned to try her hand at something new and today her blog, Hungry Runner Girl, is one of the top lifestyle blogs in the space for running, fitness, food, and family. 
In our exclusive top Lifestyle Blogger Series, Janae shares her first blog post experience (she likens it to an awkward first date scenario), how openly sharing her major life events have greatly shaped her blog, and offers veteran advice to brands on how to work with top lifestyle bloggers for everyone’s best interest. 
In the hunt for a sub-3 marathon (she ran her first one, the Salt Lake Marathon in 2010), Janae posts frequently about her race gear, how she fuels up, eats well, and balances life with her “HRG Baby.” Her sponsored content posts for Blue Apron, Bombas, NatureBox, and other top brands have delivered consistent results and been an integral part of each brand’s integrated marketing strategy.
Top Lifestyle Blogger Hungry Runner Girl

Top Lifestyle Blogger - Janae Jacobs | Hungry Runner Girl

How did you get started blogging?

I started blogging about 5 years ago. I was taking a break from running due to injury and had some free time to invest into something new. I had read blogs for years and decided that I wanted to start my own so that I could track my nutrition and training. When I first started, I thought that just my mom, friends and a few random people would read it. I had no idea that it would turn into a full-time job eventually. I am one of those lucky people that was able to turn their passion into a job!

What was your first blog post?

My first blog post was titled "Awkward." It was one paragraph long and it included one picture. I told a random story about taking an ice bath after a run and then compared my first post to a first date. I didn’t want my first post to feel forced or awkward (like a first date does) and instead I just wanted to be my usual random self and let my readers get to know me over time!

You can find my first post here.

What was your breakout moment?

Anytime I have had a major life change my blog has grown. Whether it be my femoral stress fractures that I got just a few weeks before my goal race, pregnancy, the birth of my little girl, or my divorce. I notice that my blog grows with each of these events. The more open I was in those first beginning months of blogging, the more readers came, and my page views continued to grow.

Top Lifestyle Blogger Hungry Runner Girl HRG Baby

Top Lifestyle Blogger Hungry Runner Girl with "HRG Baby," Brooke.

Has anything you’ve written gone "viral?"

I can’t think of anything specific, but my personal posts seem to get the most attention. I wrote a post about women losing their periods due to working out too much and under eating. I shared my personal experience with that problem and that received a lot of attention. Posts where I talk about the feelings associated with my divorce and being a single mom tend to get shared the most.

How has blogging changed since you got started?

There is a lot more negativity out there than there used to be, but as the negativity has risen my skin has also thickened:)

Another change that I have noticed is that companies are also seeing more and more how beneficial it is to work with bloggers. Each blog has such a specific audience which is great for different companies trying to get their product seen by their target group!  

Where do you see blogging evolving?

I see there being a lot more video posts. I see less writing and more pictures. I think our world is becoming busier and busier and people don’t feel like they have time to read longer articles and so they opt for the short posts full of visuals.

What’s on your list of daily reads?

My favorite blogs include Carrots & Cake, Healthy Tipping Point, Peanut Butter Fingers, Meals and Miles, Run Eat Repeat, Daily Garnish, Fannetastic Food, NYC Running Mama, and Preppy Runner.

How do you keep up with social media?

I set specific work hours each day. I stick to those work hours like glue and a big part of that time is set aside for keeping up with social media. I consider it a part of my job, and make sure to try my best to keep up with it all!

If you had more time, what would you do more of?

This is a fun question:)  I would read, bake, cook, cycle, sleep, and spend more time writing my book. Now can somebody go ahead and add a few more hours to each day?!

What advice would you give to a blogger just getting started?

Be yourself! Blog about what you are passionate about! Your passion will come through your writing, and both you and your audience will be more excited about what you are writing about.

What advice would you have to brands looking to build a campaign or partner with bloggers?

Be open to new ideas!! Each blogger is so different, and they each have their own strengths and weaknesses. Work together to find the perfect fit for your product and their social media resources. For example, some bloggers have a strong Instagram presence, some do not and they are stronger on Facebook or Twitter. Some blogs do really well with giveaways, and some are better with product reviews. Come together to find a plan that works best for everyone involved.

in blog, Bloggers, Influencer Marketing, Influencer Spotlight, Social Media Influencers

Learn How Podcast Advertising Is Used By Top Brands Today

How Podcast Advertising Works

Podcast Advertising Apple WatchOS2

Apple Watch's latest operating system features major podcast technology.

Though podcasts, a digital audio file that's made available for download, do draw their longstanding origins from traditional public radio shows, a recent reveal of the forthcoming Apple Watch operating system "watchOS2" features dedicated podcast support for both listening and recording. A quick glance through iTunes' Podcast offerings yields a variety of enticing show topics including food, personal development, crafts, and top shows from all niches like BuzzFeed, The Late Show, and superstar athlete, Shaq (the podcast is appropriately titled, "The Big Podcast With Shaq"). WSJ reports that close to 50 million Americans listen to podcasts each month.

With podcast developments quickly on the rise (podcasts can be streamed on all Apple products including Apple TV -- read more on Techcrunch's latest article "Apple Watch Is About To Become A Perfect Podcast Machine") and big named brands like MailChimp, Toyota, Geico, and Squarespace taking to the podcast medium for untapped advertising opportunities, it's time to give podcasts a good look, check out some of their specific advantages, and finally, explore the best ways to advertise brands on podcasts.

Core Elements of Podcast Advertising

  • Pre-roll: roughly 15 seconds, the pre-roll is the advertising section that precedes or kicks off a podcast.
  • Mid-roll: runs 30-60 seconds, the mid-roll is the advertising section that's usually found in the middle third of the podcast.
  • Live read: in contrast to a pre-recorded ad read, a live read is performed at the time of the podcast.
  • Outro: the tail end of a podcast where the host can give some sort of call-to-action and direct listeners to take advantage of a brand's advertising campaign promotion (giveaway, limited time offer, promo or discount code).
  • Integration / Customization: podcast advertising sponsorships allow for both specific, high-level brand copy points and more customized organic integrations by the podcaster.
  • Direct-response: in light of podcasts' latest tech developments, CTAs provided by brands can truly propel listeners to click provided links.
  • Branding: Companies can align with influential podcasters (usually bloggers, YouTubers, or other digital influencers) who can create positive and powerful brand associations.
  • Tracking: specific promo code or dedicated landing page URL used by podcast advertisers to track KPIs of the brand's advertising campaign.

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in blog

Instagram’s New Ad Format: Why Instagram Influencers Still Matter

Fashion Lifestyle Blogger Atlantic Pacific for David Yurman

Fashion Blogger Atlantic Pacific for David Yurman

Instagram's New Sponsored Ads Featuring CTA Buttons

In a peculiar and perhaps providential showdown between photo-sharing giants Instagram and Pinterest, both mobile apps debuted their new e-commerce offerings at the onset of this month to many a CMO’s delight and brands’ high hopes for a sales-laden summer. While there’s debate between which platform offers higher purchase intent or whether consumers will respond favorably to CTA buttons brandished amidst their Instagram browsing experience, it’s clear that brands looking to capitalize on Instagram’s millennial consumers will first need to understand a few key concepts before they can conquer the digital playing field. 

The New Instagram Advertising Features:

With Instagram's new advertising features, brands now have the ability to attach and link the following call-to-action buttons to their sponsored posts:
  • Shop Now
  • Book Now
  • Download
  • Learn More
  • Sign Up
New Ads On Instagram

 

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in blog, Bloggers, Branded Content With Influencers, Fashion Influencers, Influencer Marketing, Instagram Influencers, Native Advertising With Influencers, Social Media Influencers

Top YouTube Influencers: A Quick Resource Guide 2015 (Part 1)

Top YouTube Influencers: A Quick Resource Guide 2015 (Part 1)

Subscribe to our industry digest newsletter: the latest authoritative marketing news, trends, and stats on social media stars.

The Top YouTube Influencers: Everything You Need To Know

There are now 1000's of YouTube channels vying for the attention of YouTube's 1 billion active users. As the world's most powerful brands shift from traditional advertising models to online video marketing strategies, top YouTube influencers (called "YouTubers") are being courted by influencer marketing agencies, MCNs, TV broadcast networks, and mega tech companies like Yahoo, all seeking to leverage the relationships between influencers and their followers.

To help marketers identify the best ways to find and work with the industry's most magnetic YouTubers, we've assembled the best resources from around the internet into one comprehensive guide.

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in blog, Branded Content With Influencers, Influencer Marketing, Influencer Marketing Guides & How-To’s, Influencer Marketing Top Lists, Native Advertising With Influencers, Online Video Marketing, Social Media Influencers, YouTube Influencers

Blogger Spotlight: Julie Fagan of Peanut Butter Fingers

pb fingers influencer marketing spotlight photo

Top Lifestyle Blogger Julie Fagan Shares Her Peanut Butter Fingers Blog Journey

Julie Fagan readily admits she did not expect her blog, Peanut Butter Fingers, to reach as large of an audience as it now does. Peanut Butter Fingers now ranks as one of the largest and most influential health, fitness, and lifestyle personal blogs in the space.

Instead of creating perfectly poised, polished, and styled photo shoots, a current trend and common philosophy shared by most lifestyle bloggers, Julie's authentic content focuses more on sharing her experiences in a genuine, conversational matter. Her traditional approach to blogging, and her consistent, relatable content is likely the reason why Peanut Butter Fingers excels as a top destination for readers, and has transitioned into a full-time source of income for Julie.

Not only do brands love working with Julie's congenial personality, but also her style of sponsored posts, such as this giveaway with custom furniture site Interior Define, and this meal prep giveaway with Blue Apron, both of which perform exceptionally well with her audience.

In our exclusive Influencer Spotlight Series, Julie dishes about her most-read blog posts, how she stays up to speed in the fast-evolving digital influencer and social media world, and where she sees the future of blogging and influencer marketing sponsorships:

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in blog, Bloggers, Branded Content With Influencers, Influencer Spotlight, Social Media Influencers

What Is A Lifestyle Blogger?

What Is A Lifestyle Blogger?

For the latest authoritative marketing news, trends, and stats on social media stars and influencer marketing, subscribe to our industry digest newsletter!

What Is A Lifestyle Blogger? Discovering What Elements Define Top Lifestyle Bloggers

"A lifestyle blogger writes, creates, and publishes (multi)media content on various aspects of their daily lives."

A lifestyle blog is best defined as a digital content representation of its author’s everyday life and interests. A lifestyle blogger creates content inspired and curated from their personal interests and daily activities. As such, lifestyle blogs are oftentimes highly personalized to the author's location, life stage and experience. For instance, a former food magazine editor, married, in her mid-30s with a 1-yr old child residing in Nantucket will blog on vastly different categories than a single, 24-yr old lifestyle blogger living in San Diego, who designs bikinis for work. Both are considered lifestyle bloggers, but there will be little if no overlay in their lifestyle blog content.

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in blog, Bloggers, Fashion Influencers, Influencer Marketing Guides & How-To’s, Lifestyle Bloggers

Castrol’s #VirtualDrift Campaign Features YouTube Influencer Strategy

YouTube Influencer Austin Evans Sits Shotgun In Castrol's Virtual Drift Marketing Campaign

A throaty 600 horsepower muscle car, daredevil driver, and loads of next level tech gadgetry. What sounds like a Dom Toretto movie scene from Fast and the Furious, is actually the latest all-digital, YouTube marketing campaign from motor oil giant, Castrol. And instead of a muscle-bound Vin Diesel welding a steel pipe, Castrol’s sponsored influencer marketing video features Austin Evans (a YouTuber star known for his PC and tech reviews) with Oculus’ virtual reality helmet.

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in blog, Branded Content With Influencers, Online Video Marketing, Social Media Influencers, YouTube Influencers

Victorious Launches for YouTube Influencers

YouTube Influencers Get Their Own Content Creation And Distribution App From Victorious

Online digital multimedia has emerged as a booming entertainment field. Many content creators are making sizable income by simply posting creative content relevant to both their lives and those of their fans and followers. The availability of multiple social platforms to follow these digital influencers is advantageous. Fans and followers can experience a variety of content delivery formats and engage in different conversations. However, for the digital influencer, having so many different places to post creative content and check “fan mail” can quickly become a digital content overload. Victorious has seen the opportunity to jump in and is helping creators form a single location for all of their content management.

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in blog, Monetization, Online Video Marketing, Social Media Influencers, YouTube Influencers

YouTube Influencer Spotlight: The LaVigneLife

TheLaVigneLife Title Card

For the latest news and trends on top YouTubers, Instagrammers, bloggers, & Snapchatters, subscribe to our industry digest newsletter!

YouTube Influencer Spotlight Feature: The LaVigne Life

Jerry and Dee, the couple behind growing family YouTube channel, TheLaVigneLife, document their family's daily adventures, focusing on their two kids, Jerry III and Jordan. With fun, engaging content and great personalities, their YouTube channel is making its way up the ranks as one of the top family and lifestyle channels in the space. They artfully integrate branded sponsorships such as one for Blue Apron and another for Audible into their daily vlog videos, proving to be a valuable YouTube influencer and a must-watch for audiences. Read about why they started vlogging, what they filmed that went viral, and how they forsee the future of YouTube.

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in blog, Influencer Spotlight, Social Media Influencers, YouTube Influencers

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