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

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

How Travel & Hospitality Brands Are Marketing With Social Media Influencers

How Travel & Hospitality Brands Are Marketing With Social Media Influencers

FYI, for the latest influencer marketing news, resources, and case studies, subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Social Media Influencers Help Travel & Hospitality Brands Reach Untapped Audiences

As more and more brands team up with social media influencers to drive engagement, reach, and newfound awareness towards longstanding brands, the travel and hospitality sector is well-poised to transition from traditional modes of advertising into the best digital marketing practices. Many of the newer and emerging social media publishing channels are visually intensive (focusing on beautifully captured photos and well-shot videos) lending itself well to capturing experiences within the travel and hospitality industries.

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in blog, Bloggers, Branded Content With Influencers, Influencer Marketing, Influencer Marketing Case Studies, Influencer Marketing Examples, Instagram Influencers, Native Advertising With Influencers, Online Video Marketing, Social Media Influencers, YouTube Influencers

Digital Media Taking Billions Away From TV

YouTuber Ingrid Nilsen Miss Glamorazzi as Covergirl Glambassador

Billions Of Ad Dollars Going Towards Digital Media, Online Video In 2014 Alone

While the battle for online video supremacy continues between YouTube and Facebook, both giants are collectively working towards one powerful trend: the billion dollar shift of ad dollars from TV to digital media and online video. Advertising Age recently published new research from Standard Media Index (SMI) illustrating how billions of national TV spend had been repurposed towards digital media equating to a net loss of $1.7 billion. This trend is the latest amongst many that points directly to the growing shift of major marketing and ad dollars towards digital media (specifically online video) and conversely, quickly away from traditional TV advertising.

As companies head into the later half of 2015, here are a few notable industry trends to help marketers and advertisers best plan their digital media spend:

  • In response to YouTube's 60% increased watch time (2015 Q2), analysts at Jefferies & Co. noted "online video ads could be a $17 billion opportunity in USA alone by 2017, and YouTube looks best positioned to benefit" (via Reuters).
  • At VidCon 2015, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki shared that the video publishing platform "reaches more 18-49 year olds than any other cable network in the US" (via Forbes).
  • Wall Street Journal reports on end of 2014 Nielsen TV study: online video jumps 60% whereas TV viewing for 18-24 year olds continues to drop double digits, down 17% in 2015 Q1 (via MediaPost).
  • All from Mary Meeker's digital trend report: Snapchat generates 2 billion video views per day. Single events like Coachella can generate 40 million views to Snapchat Live Stories. Facebook gets 4 billion video views per day. "Watching video games like it's TV is becoming a top entertainment choice."
  • In partnership with Pixability, Google's Agency Blog recently published trends from the Top 100 brands. Standout stats include a doubling of branded content views in last 12 months and a near 50% increase in brand channel subscriptions. According to Google, "brands are now adopting similar content strategies as some of our most successful creators on YouTube."
  • Nielsen data reports traditional TV viewing for 12-17 year olds declined drastically to 18 hours each week (down from 21) just in 2015 Q1. As such, many traditional TV networks are quickly pioneering digital divisions or YouTube influencer strategies (WSJ) in order to stay relevant (via VentureBeat).

Examples Of Major Traditional TV Advertisers Shifting To Digital Media

In light of the aforementioned trends, increasingly more brands are proactively choosing to develop their online video presence via sponsored advertising, branded content, and/or marketing with prominent digital influencers to quickly grow their views and brand awareness.

Here are a few examples of companies who have traditionally advertised on TV but are now venturing into custom content creation on new and emerging social publishing channels and networks:

Dr. Pepper - the soft drink beverage giant recently partnered with several Viners for a multi-platform marketing campaign.

Toyota - running inside Snapchat's localized Live Story feature, Toyota is the first car brand to leverage the online video platform's geo-targeted ad format.

In Ad Age's "Marketer's Playbook" video series, both Macy and Gatorade detail "going all in on digital."

Companies Utilizing Vloggers To Maximize Digital Ad Spend

In a targeted effort to best connect with consumers and build brand affinity, both TV networks and major companies are partnering with top video bloggers ("vloggers"), YouTubers, and other digital influencers. Nike, Mercedes-Benz, and J. Crew have partnered extensively with YouTuber Casey Neistat for several online video campaigns. Major TV advertiser, CoverGirl, was one of the first to team up with beauty vlogger Ingrid Nilsen to expand and augment their brand offerings online. VidCon 2015, the world's premier industry conference for online video, marked the first time where a major TV network (Nickelodeon) held open casting auditions specifically targeting digital influencers. Both Universal and Marvel began promoting their movies by creating short form web content with prominent YouTubers (see Terminator YouTube Chronicles, Ant-Man + Trainwreck)

Also See Our Posts On:

VidCon 2015: Everything You Need To Know

Top Social Media Influencer Series 2015

Facebook Shares Ad Revenue With Video Content Creators 

in blog, Monetization, Native Advertising With Influencers, Online Video Marketing

Lifestyle Blogger Spotlight: The Stripe by Grace Atwood

Lifestyle Blogger Grace Atwood The Stripe

Grace Atwood, the lifestyle blogger behind The Stripe (formerly Stripes & Sequins), is no stranger when it comes to exactly what works in social media. Before she became online jewelry retailer BaubleBar's sixth employee (she currently is their Director of Social Media), Grace worked in the corporate world and started blogging as a creative outlet. What began 5 years ago (2010) as a passion project, grew steadily into a hugely successful blog known for it's well-curated DIY tutorials and has been featured in all the world's top media outlets including Yahoo, AOL, Refinery29, StyleBistro, and PopSugar.

The Stripe showcases Grace's well-curated style, DIY, beauty, home, travel, and wellness posts in addition to beautifully photographed visuals. Ms. Atwood has presented at General Assembly's Social Marketing Summit, been featured in Birchbox's Holiday Gift Series, and has worked with a variety of blog sponsorships including Blue Apron.

Check out Grace's feature interview where she details her breakout moment, how blogging has increasingly more commercial, and how good story telling in an age of visual/video-dominant social media will "become even more important."

How did you get started blogging? I started my blog in 2010 just for fun…I wanted a place to share the things that inspired me. I’d post an image, and some text…my blog was pretty ugly back then!

What was your first blog post? Haha, it was about a Chan Luu Bracelet I’d just bought. Literally just a photo of the bracelet and a paragraph about why I liked her bracelets.

What was your breakout moment? I think it was when some of the DIYs I’d done on my site started to get noticed. A few bigger sites linked to me and put me on lists like “Top Ten DIY Fashion Blogs” and from there, my audience began to grow.

Have you ever written anything that’s gone viral? Yes…a few friendship bracelet tutorials!

How has blogging changed since you got started? It’s gotten a lot more commercial. I think it’s amazing that we, as bloggers, can earn a living from our work…but I also miss the days where everything was all organic, and blogging was about discovery + finding new cool things.

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in blog, Bloggers, Fashion Influencers, Influencer Spotlight

Top Social Media Influencers Series 2015

Top Social Media Influencers Series 2015

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

Top Social Media Influencers For Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, & Blogs

Working with top social media influencers can help brands quickly connect with millions of engaged millennial consumers eager to try new products or attend exciting events hosted by their favorite YouTuber. Recent surveys have shown that more teens in the United States relate to, take advice from, and emulate top social media influencers as opposed to even the most well-known mainstream celebrities. In light of fast-declining TV viewership (based on 2015 Neilsen data) and the rapid ascent of online mobile video, major brands are now developing company-wide influencer strategies (WSJ).

Each social media publishing platform (i.e. YouTube, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat) not only has its own roster of top social media influencers, each also presents its own set of best practices, marketing strengths, and advertising weaknesses. Unless brands are well-equipped to adeptly navigate each platform, partnering with top social media influencers and marketing agencies that understand each medium is the best way to yield maximum returns (ROI), achieve high rates of engagement, and increase brand awareness.

UPDATE: See The Top Social Media Influencers For 2016Read More>>

in blog, Bloggers, Fashion Influencers, Influencer Marketing, Influencer Marketing Guides & How-To’s, Snapchat Influencers, Social Media Influencers, YouTube Influencers

VidCon 2015: Everything You Need To Know

VIDCON 2015 top youtubers entertainment weekly people magazine

From Business Insider To USA Today, Here's What Happened At VidCon 2015:

Now in it's 6th year, VidCon 2015 featured record-breaking attendance, dedicated "industry-only" events, and as expected -- thousands of fanatical subscribers who turned out to see their beloved YouTubers, off-screen and in-person. Started in 2010 by Hank and John Green (The Vlog Brothers), VidCon has grown exponentially from hardly 2,000 attendees into the leading online video industry event with more than 300 top YouTubers and 20,000 in attendance for the three-day conference at Anaheim's Convention Center. VidCon represents the summit for online video connecting community (fans, followers, subscribers), creators (YouTubers, Viners, Snapchatters, and other digital content creators), and industry professionals.

While VidCon 2015 is standout in many respects, here are a few notable turning points:

  • According to Nielsen, TV viewing hours for millennials (age 12 to 17) have drastically declined from 21 hours to 18 just in the first quarter of 2015 (VentureBeat). Additionally, surveys illustrate how teens identify most strongly with YouTubers than mainstream celebrities. In light of these trends, major TV networks are seeking to capitalize on the popularity of top YouTubers and growth of online video by sponsoring several VidCon 2015 events in order to stay relevant to the next generation of consumers. Nickelodeon, who held a casting audition at VidCon 2015, becomes the latest TV network pioneer a YouTube influencer strategy. Many other traditional TV networks including HGTV, PBS, HLN and BroadbandTV were present in this year's VidCon.
  • VidCon 2015 may be the last year in which Google's YouTube is the title sponsor - will VidCon 2016 featured Facebook as a title sponsor in place of YouTube? Facebook, who recently announced it's plans to share video ad revenue with content creators, was a main topic of discussion for everyone in the forthcoming battle for video dominance. Also on the horizon of change: the rise of several live-streaming apps including Periscope, Meerkat, YouNow, and Keek.
  • With the rise of YouTuber and social influencer marketing, VidCon 2015 featured entire tracks of dedicated industry events "for more than 2,000 professionals from over 600 companies building the future of the online video ecosystem" with topics "How to use influencer media to reach millennials," "The Rise of the Vertical and Alternative-MCN," and "Building Brand Campaigns Across Multiple Services." Many other fireside chats and panels addressed pertinent issues including the future of MCNs, effective campaign strategies, and how to make money on YouTube.

Top YouTubers At VidCon 2015

In addition to several brand partnerships featuring LaurDIY, Wong Fu, and Bethany Mota, VidCon 2015 highlighted several top YouTubers including panels from Joey Graceffa (Ask Joey), Miranda Sings (Behind The Scenes with Colleen Ballinger), and multiple in-depth interviews with Alli Speed, iJustine, Sawyer Hartman, Olga Kay, Rebecca Black, Toby Turner (featured in Terminator Genisys YouTube Chronicles), Louis Cole (FunFor Louis), Cassey Ho (Blogilates), Ingrid Nilsen, and many more.

For an exhaustive list, see VidCon 2015's agenda or check out our 2015 Top YouTuber Resource Guide

The Latest Industry News For Vidicon 2015

Need to get up-to-speed about VidCon 2015 and what it means for your brand? Here's the latest industry news:

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in blog, Online Video Marketing, YouTube Influencers

Ant-Man, Trainwreck Marketing Strategy With Top YouTube Stars

Influencer Marketing Strategies With Top YouTube Stars Dude Perfect

Ant-Man's Paul Rudd and top YouTubers Dude Perfect vie for "World's Smallest Trophy" in epic Dizzy Battle Game

Top YouTube Stars Tapped For Major Millennial Movie Marketing

Both Marvel's Ant-Man and Universal's Trainwreck released on July 17th. In addition to traditional forms of movie advertisement and promotion, both companies enlisted the help of top YouTube stars to bolster their reach, engagement, and buzz in hopes of eliciting consumer ticket sales from each YouTuber's massive subscriber fan base. As more and more major brands give precedence to creating branded or sponsored content specifically for YouTube, companies are seeking out top YouTube stars are for both their creative collaboration and social media publishing distribution channels.

As opposed to simply repurposing TV ad content, many companies are becoming increasingly digitally-savvy -- opting to create custom branded content tailored around top YouTuber stars, organically integrating movie themes and characters into existing YouTube storylines, and specifically for YouTube consumption (utilizing short form web-series; i.e. the Terminator Genisys YouTube Chronicles with Lilly Singh and Toby Turner).

For Ant-Man and Trainwreck, movie stars Paul Rudd and Amy Schumer partner with YouTube stars/channels Dude Perfect, The Fine Bros., Rhett and Link, and Flula.

Ant-Man Marketing With YouTubers

The channel Dude Perfect is known for the "trick shot" genre on YouTube. For Ant-Man, main actor Paul Rudd joins the five best friends of Dude Perfect for a second video of "Dizzy Sports Battle." Their first Dizzy Sports Battle garnered over 7.5+M views in two months. Ant-Man's promotion with Dude Perfect organically integrates Rudd into a familiar game format but with an Ant-Man twist: battling for the smallest trophy.

As can be expected from all of Dude Perfect's videos, hilarity ensues:

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in blog, Online Video Marketing, YouTube Influencers

Lifestyle Blogger Spotlight: Carrots N’ Cake

Top Lifestyle Blogger Carrots N Cake Christina Haupert

Lifestyle Blogger Spotlight: Christina Haupert Of Carrots 'N' Cake

Christina Haupert's blog "Carrots 'N' Cake" chronicles her journey of balancing both a love for food and a longstanding penchant for healthy living. From detailed workouts to a fit pregnancy to a variety of everyday delicious recipes, Christina shares her best tips through a spirited mix of photos and a fun conversational writing style. In addition to her blog, Christina is both a certified CrossFit & NASM fitness trainer, published author, and self-professed iced coffee lover. Her blog has been featured in several major media publications including Runner's World and Food Network; Christina herself contributes to Glamour, Women's Health, Shape Magazine, and is a Brooks Running Ambassador.

Originally started as a way for Christina to detail and share her daily eats, Carrots 'N' Cake now partners with some of the largest brands for sponsored blog posts including Blue Apron, BarkBox, Bombas, Oyster, and NatureBox. As she describes in her spotlight feature, bloggers genuinely desire to "create meaningful between themselves and the brand as well as their readers." In addition to her high-traffic blog, Christina is active on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Check out Christina's interview for the best tips on blogging, how it's changed, and experienced advice for brands looking to partner with bloggers:

How did you get started blogging?

I was engaged to be married, so I wanted to shape up and look great on my wedding day, but, at the same time, I knew I didn't want to miss out on all of the "fun" foods in life. My blog is all about finding that balance between the carrots and cake.

What was your first blog post?

It was called "A Sweet Ending," and it documented what I ate that particular day, which, of course, included dessert.

What was your breakout moment?

When I landed a book deal!

Have you ever written anything that’s gone viral?

My post called "Life Advice from Murphy" did really well in the blog world.

How has blogging changed since you got started?

Readers expect a lot more from you with regard to how much of your life you share.

How do you keep up with social media? 

I really enjoy Instagram, so I end up on there a few times a day.

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

Traveling! I love it so much.

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

Be consistent with your posting and do you. What makes you unique as a person will make you appealing to readers. Also, listen to your gut with regard to business decisions.

What’s your advice to brands looking to build a campaign or partner with bloggers?

Establish long-term relationships with bloggers and keep the lines of communication open. Bloggers want to create meaningful relationships between themselves and the brand as well as their readers.

Also See Our Posts On:

20 Top Fashion Bloggers, 2015 Edition

Influencer Marketing Companies: The New MCN?

What Is A Lifestyle Blogger?

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

Top 20 Fashion Bloggers 2015 Edition

Top 20 Fashion Bloggers 2015 Edition

Subscribe to our industry digest for the latest news and trends on top Instagrammers, YouTubers, bloggers, & Snapchatters!

20 Top Fashion Bloggers & Influencers Of 2015

Though newer social media publishing platforms like Snapchat and Instagram have begun to flourish, the traditional blog remains one of the best ways for advertisers to directly connect with engaged consumer audiences. Brands have been partnering with top fashion bloggers for years—recent collaborations include Cupcakes and Cashmere's line at Nordstrom, Atlantic-Pacific's brand sponsored posts for Covergirl, and We Wore What's partnership with Lancome—as a way to leverage the blogger's social influence, build buzz around new product releases, and foster a positive brand reputation among loyal readers.

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in blog, Bloggers, Fashion Influencers, Influencer Marketing Top Lists, Social Media Influencers

Influencer Marketing Companies: The New YouTube MCN?

Influencer Marketing Companies Better Than YouTube MCNs

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

Are Influencer Marketing Companies Replacing The YouTube MCN?

MCNs launched shortly after YouTube influencers started to rise in audience and prominence. The first set of MCNs (Revision3, Next New Networks, Machinima, and Maker Studios) launched around 2010 as the new way of content support and distribution to serve the new wave of audiences on YouTube. Several MCNs (multi-channel networks) have been acquired by major brands, most notably Walt Disney's purchase of Maker Studios for $500M, Fullscreen's $200-$300M acquisition by AT&T/Chernin, Stylehaul's $107M, and most recently Collective Digital Studios. As defined by YouTube's own Creator Hub, MCNs "are entities that affiliate with multiple YouTube channels, often to offer assistance in areas such as product, programming, funding, cross-promotion, partner management, digital rights management, monetization/sales, and/or audience development. These companies are not affiliated with or endorsed by YouTube or Google."
With the meteoric growth of brands, broadcast networks, and major advertisers augmenting their reach on YouTube by aligning with prominent YouTubers to create branded or sponsored content, many of these entities have looked to MCNs for support and guidance. The largest MCNs oversee tens of thousands of YouTubers creating a conflict in trying to provide tailored services for their myriad of smaller channels and creators to monetize and grow while simultaneously collaborating with top brands to orchestrate advertising media campaigns on YouTube. Furthermore, restrictive MCN contracts can limit a YouTuber's abilities to do smaller brand partnerships that best benefit them but may not achieve the scale to interest the broader governing MCN entity.
Oftentimes, brands also look to hand pick the YouTube channels and creators they want to work with, rather than exploring packaged deals through MCNs that may not serve the best direct interests of the advertisers. There are also tools for discovery like Open Slate, Tubular Labs, and Social Blade -- again, all requiring extensive manual digging and inherently built with the "plug-and-play" understanding that brands come to these tools with an intimate knowledge of the space.

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in blog, Influencer Marketing, Online Video Marketing, YouTube Influencers

Top YouTuber Spotlight: Austin Evans

Top YouTuber Spotlight Austin EvansTop YouTuber Austin Evans

In the world of YouTube gaming and technology reviews, few names rank higher with community affinity and influence than self-professed geek, Austin Evans. Though he's been "in the game" for the better part of YouTube's entire history, Austin is quick to advise aspiring YouTubers to "be persistent," recounting the 3 years it took him to get "a handle on what makes a good video and another two years before [he] could actually deliver the content." Along the way, Austin has built a vibrant tech community and highly engaged follower base -- one that pitched in and helped him get back on his feet with a new MacBook Pro when he lost everything due to a house fire in 2014.

Now arguably one of the biggest and most respected names in tech, Austin began his YouTube journey six years ago in 2009. In the years to come, Austin, who's work has been prominently featured by Mashable and is frequently a topic of favorable discussion on reddit, ascribes his massive success to constinual learning-based growth. Earlier this year, Austin was part of tech media network The Verge's CES 2015 roundtable with other top YouTuber friends, Marques Brownlee (MKBHD) and Jonathan Morrison (TLDToday).

Check out Austin's exclusive Mediakix interview feature as he details his humble beginnings to working alongside global brands like Castrol and VIZIO, shares how the YouTube vlogging world has significantly changed, and the kinds of epic projects Austin only imagined working on when starting out.

Mediakix: How did you get started making YouTube videos?

Austin Evans: In 2009 I was just getting into doing written reviews of the first batch of iPhone and iPod touch apps, a friend was starting to make video app reviews and he suggested I give it a try. I made one video on YouTube and never looked back.

What was your first video?

It was Application Review 1. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, I didn’t even own a camera at the time. I took screenshots on my iPod and recorded a voiceover using the microphone from the game Rock Band on the PlayStation. A few people liked the video though and that was all the motivation I needed to keep going.

What was your breakout moment?

You know I don’t think I ever had one big moment where everything just clicked. It’s really been a steady ride the last six years, lots of consistent learning and growth.

Has anything you’ve posted gone viral?

My first big ‘hit’ was a speed test between the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S3. Mashable picked it up and it got 100,000 views the first day which was huge for me. Funnily enough two years later an updated version of that video with the iPhone 6 and Galaxy S5 also blew up with nearly 5 million views so far.

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in blog, Influencer Spotlight, Online Video Marketing, Social Media Influencers, YouTube Influencers

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