The YouTube and Influencer Marketing Blog

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

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

YouTube’s New Shopping Ads: What You Need To Know

YouTubes New Shopping Ads

image via ThatsHeart 

YouTube Debuts New Shopping Ads For Video Creators, Et Al.

On September 29, 2015, YouTube announced its latest advent: YouTube Shopping Ads. Leading up to their announcement at IAB's (Interactive Advertising Bureau) 2015 MIXX Conference, YouTube had previously begun offering mobile-optimized "Cards," replacing video annotations designed to boost viewer engagement, and subsequently Trueview for shopping. Now with their new YouTube Shopping Ads, YouTube offers what it believes will be a home run hit for viewers, advertisers, and creators alike.


YouTube's announcement comes at a particularly interesting time for brands, advertisers, publishers, and video content creators (YouTubers, vloggers, social media influencers) -- while the vast majority of publishers who derive revenue from display advertising are reeling from the uptick in ad blocking usage, YouTube content creators, YouTubers, and other prominent social media influencers are enjoying new added revenue streams as brands cultivate deeper collaborations for sponsored and branded content on influencer channels. Brands including Apple, Castrol, Hallmark, Mercedes-Benz, and Blue Apron are all marketing with top YouTubers. This year's 5th annual Streamy Awards featured brand campaign nominations from Pizza Hut, Nissan, Purina, and more.

With YouTube's new Shopping Ads, YouTube joins both Pinterest and Instagram in an effort to provide shoppable ad options for brands and advertisers. Furthermore

especially YouTubers who vlog extensively on products, reviews, DIYs, demos, and produce "unboxing," "haul" style videos.

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in blog, Influencer Marketing News, Monetization, Native Advertising With Influencers, Online Video Marketing, YouTube Influencers

6 Top Lifestyle Bloggers

Top Lifestyle Bloggers A Beautiful Mess

image via A Beautiful Mess

6 Top Lifestyle Bloggers You Should Know

Lifestyle blogs cover categories that portray a blogger's everyday life; often including style, travel, food, and decor. A lifestyle influencer curates and produces content that is specific to their own interests, as defined by Kissmetrics, "Influencers are people who are active on social media and blogs. They also are brand advocates and niche promoters."

Top social media influencers can have a reach of hundreds of thousands to over a million followers. Total audience reach coupled with high levels of social media engagement (see our post here on "Why Social Media Engagement Matters For Sponsored Content") makes top influencers and digital content creators especially attractive to companies seeking to brand and message to their dedicated audiences.

In order to elicit the maximum levels of engagement and brand affinity in a successful influencer marketing campaign (see our post here on "How To Measure Influencer Marketing Campaigns" and access our checklist), brands allow influencers to retain creative control in order to maintain authenticity. Brands must also understand the top lifestyle blogger, their audience, and how they interact with their audience in order to ensure the proper brand message integration.

For a quick overview of how brands should not interact with social media influencers, check out this vlogger's video.

Here are our top lifestyle bloggers:

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

Instagram Marketing Strategy With Social Media Stars

Instagram Marketing Strategy With Social Media Stars

Today's post is part of our ongoing Instagram influencer marketing series -- check out the rest of the series here.

Developing An Instagram Marketing Strategy

Ever since first released to the public in October of 2010, Instagram has been poised for real success. The app’s acquisition by Facebook in 2012 gave it the kickstart it needed to reach mass market appeal, growing 20% more than its parent company Facebook that year. According to Forbes, Instagram now boasts over 400 million monthly active users as of this week, and, “this year, eMarketer forecasts Instagram’s global ad revenue will be $600 million.” Yes -- Instagram is surpassing most other social media channels in popularity, and the trend isn’t likely to slow down.

As brands and advertisers, heading into 2015 Q4, strategize on the best ways to leverage Instagram marketing, it is helpful to reflect on the successes of last year's top Q4 campaigns. In Adweek's article "Brands' Next Big Celebrity Deals May Be With Social Media Stars," the advertising site details how Dick's Sporting Goods partnered with several social media stars to create branded and sponsored content generating "more than 130,000 clicks to Dick's website, 6.2 million engagements, 27.5 million impressions, and 4,000 new Twitter followers."

As told to Adweek, Jay Basnight director of digital at Dick's notes the following with regards to executing multiple year-long influencer marketing campaigns,

"It's not just one and done -- it is a relationship that we've developed with social media influencers."

Clearly, there’s never been a better time than now for today’s top brands to focus on developing an airtight Instagram marketing strategy, and partnering with social media stars can be the key for seeing measurable success.

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

Marketing On Instagram With Top Influencers

Marketing On Instagram Guide With Instagram Influencers

image via Hapa Time's Instagram

Brand Guide For Marketing On Instagram With Top Influencers

For easy access, here are all our related resources for marketing on Instagram with social media influencers:

Instagram is among the top 3 fastest growing social networks -- the photo-sharing app recently gained over 100 million users in 9 months and now sits at 400 million monthly active users with a social media engagement rate that is also extremely high. After studying over 3 million interactions with 2,500 posts on 7 social networks, independent market reserach firm Forrester found that engagement rate was less than 0.1% on 6 of them.

Best Tips for Marketing On Instagram With Top Influencers

As illustrated by Forrester's research above, Instagram was the only network that fared well with an engagement rate of 4.21%, 58 and 120 times more than Facebook and Twitter, respectively. In order to capture Instagram's high rate of engagement among its now 400 million monthly active user base, brands of all industries are taking to the social sharing app to market their brand and latest product/service offerings with top Instagrammers and social media influencers.

For more influencer marketing tips, read our free guide 10 Things to Know About Influencer Marketing.

Also See Our Posts On:

How To Use Instagram For Business: Influencers Edition

How To Create Sponsored Content With Instagrammers

The Best Brands On Instagram Working With Influencers

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

What Is Sponsored Content, And Why Should Brands Invest In It?

What Is Sponsored Content, And Why Should Brands Invest In It?

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

Sponsored Content: Varying Industry Definitions

UPDATE December 10, 2018 — Many marketers today struggle to differentiate sponsored content from native advertising, branded content, and advertising content—terms that are frequently used interchangeably. The wide range of industry definitions can lead marketers down a confusing path. For instance, the American Press Institute (API) prefaces its definition of sponsored content with the following:

"Sponsored content/native advertising appears in many ways. There is no single form, but rather a continuum from banner ads to social media content to large microsites with articles and videos. It is better to define sponsored content by what it does than by what it looks like."

On the other hand, the Interactive Advertising Bureau's (IAB) "Native Advertising Playbook” breaks down native advertising into six categories (in-feed units, paid search units, recommendation widgets, promoted listings, in-ad with native element units, and custom). According to Moz, sponsored content or sponsored articles are categorized under IAB's in-feed category. Moz author Chad Pollitt illustrates how "banner blindness" has forced marketers, brands, and advertisers to seek out new effective content promotion methods from influencer marketing to native advertising:

"Sponsored articles amount to advertising on a media outlet in the form of editorial content that looks like it's supposed to be there. Brands value this because association with a publication and exposure to its audience can drive awareness, traffic, conversions, and leads."

Better yet, Digiday's article "Time To Define Native Advertising," differentiates sponsored content from native advertising, advertising content, brand content, and content marketing:

  • Native Advertising - Instagram sponsored posts, YouTube in-video shopping ads. Ad units that can only be bought and displayed on one platform.
  • Sponsored Content - Denoted with phrases including, "brought to you by," "presented by," or "sponsored by." Content that is not produced by the brand.
  • Advertising Content - BuzzFeed listicles, Forbes BrandVoice. Advertising in the form of content but not display advertising. Often labeled as sponsored content.
  • Brand Content - Red Bull YouTube channel. Content brands produce on their own and run through their own distribution channels. Brands functioning as publishers.
  • Content Marketing - "The catchall phrase that encompasses all of the above."

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

Influencer Spotlight Feature: Nadia Aboulhosn

Nadia Aboulhosn Fashion Blogger Model Influencer Feature

image via nadiaaboulosn.com

Nadia Aboulhosn, The Fashion Blogger Turned "It" Influencer For Brands Worldwide

Nadia Aboulhosn is the industry’s newest darling who believes that fashion should be accessible to people of all body types. Ms. Aboulhosn has been featured in prominent media outlets such as Refinery 29, Lucky Magazine, Teen Vogue, StyleCaster, StylistBuzzFeed, and has modeled for brands including American ApparelBoohoo, and Addition Elle

Nadia began her blog as a creative outlet to express herself and share her passion for style. Her steadily growing fan base (302K Instagram followers, 238K Facebook fans, and 24.4K Twitter followers) consists mainly of young women who value her content for its candid and realistic appeal (see BuzzFeed's "27 Times Nadia Aboulhosn Was Right About Everything"). In an interview with Business Insidershe shares her messaging to fans: “I’m human just like my followers, I have emotions just like them. I want people to come to my page and be inspired with whatever journey I’m on. I want them to laugh and fully be themselves just like I try to do.” 

Currently, Ms. Aboulhosn has been exploring partnerships with fashion brands such as Boohoo and Addition Elle. As evinced by Boohoo's partnership with Aboulhosn (an influecner marketing campaign that resulted in a massive 27% growth in revenue), more brands are quickly realizing that they can work alongside top social media influencers to leverage and reach their highly dedicated audiences ultimately driving up brand lift, ad recall, and profitable action. See our post here on how to measure social media influencer campaigns.  

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in blog

Best YouTube Channels For Learning

Best YouTube Channels For Learning With YouTubers

image via Vsauce YouTube Channel 

The Best YouTube Channels For Learning With Leading YouTubers

Millennials, fashionistas, gamers, and lifelong learners who stream DIY or educational content from YouTube may be at the precipice of a much larger trend. In a Boston Globe article published earlier this week, Harvard Medical School announces its new revamped curriculum geared towards "the smartphone generation of students, who take for granted the ability to find information quickly and are less apt to read dense textbooks." The top medical school's digitally revamped curriculum features brand new YouTube videos from Harvard's medical professors.

The Boston Globe reports that Professor Richard M. Schwartzstein, who aided in revamping Harvard's new medical learning, "developed his own YouTube videos to describe biological processes students need to learn, which they are expected to watch outside the classroom. The videos are between five and eight minutes, he said, because students’ attention spans don’t last much longer."

YouTube is arguably one of the world's largest search engines, second only to its owner, Google. With over a billion users, there are hundreds of millions of hours being watched, and videos that are generating billions of views collectively. Just a few months earlier, the Associated Press made headlines when the news organization uploaded 550,000 video clips (over 17,000 hours) on their YouTube channel "AP Archive" with content dating back to 1895. YouTube reaches more Millennials than any cable network in the United States today.

Though YouTube is known for its plethora of fashion, beauty, and gaming tutorials, these 7 top YouTubers (YouTube video bloggers) are paving the way for a digital education of tomorrow with these best YouTube channels for learning:

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in blog, Influencer Marketing Top Lists, Online Video Marketing, Social Media Influencers, YouTube Influencers

5 Best Advertising Campaigns For YouTube 2015

Best Advertising Campaigns For YouTube 2015

image credit: Streamy's Instagram channel 

The 2015 Best Advertising Campaigns On YouTube Featured Brands Nissan, Purina, Pizza Hut, & More 

With over a billion users (half on mobile) watching hundreds of millions of hours each day, video publishing platform YouTube has grown 50% year upon year for the number of hours viewers consume each month. In Nielsen's Total Audience Report Q1 2015, the global information measurement company notes that between 2011 and 2015, traditional TV viewing for audiences 18-24 dropped close to 32%. MarketingCharts remarks, "in other words, in a span of 4 years, almost one-third of this age group's traditional TV viewing time has migrated to other activities."

As a result, many traditional advertisers and brands (including most of those featured here) have taken their marketing efforts online to social media and publishing platforms including YouTube to reach audiences where they are now consuming the most content consistently each day.

The 5th annual Streamy Awardspresented by Dick Clark Productions and Tubefilter, is an annual event celebrating the best in online video content and their creators. Awards are presented to influencers and content creators who produce video content on platforms such as YouTube, Vine, and Snapchat.

Brands including Nissan and Pizza Hut are partnering with top YouTubers to create content that resonates with online consumers and market to YouTube's massive audience base. Brands are able to target specific audiences through influencers who have immediate reach to dedicated followers (many top YouTube influencers have hundreds of thousands to millions of subscribers).

Here are the frontrunners for 2015 best advertising campaigns on YouTube as nominated by the Streamy Awards:

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

How To Use Instagram For Business: Influencers

Watch this video featuring the latest Instagram research: 2015 Intelligence Report from digital benchmarking firm L2 to see why brands are enamored by Instagram and using Instagram for business growth.  

View their entire second annual Instagram study featuring insights from over 250 brands here.

How To Use Instagram For Business: Marketing With Top Instagram Influencers

What makes Instagram great for business? How can businesses grow their presence quickly on Instagram while driving engagement that ultimately results in profitable action?

With one of the highest engagement rates for any social media platform today, market research firm Forrester names Instagram the "king of social media" -- a photo-sharing mobile app complete with entire generation(s) of consumers. Although there are a variety of ways for business to grow on Instagram (from discovering the right hashtags to using the right filters to posting on prime times), some the best and top brands on Instagram market with influential content creators and social media influencers in order to drive profitable business growth and use Instagram for business.

How To Use Instagram For Business

See our post here on the top "3 Best Brands On Instagram Marketing With Influencers." 

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in blog, Branded Content With Influencers, Instagram Influencers, Native Advertising With Influencers, Social Media Influencers

Adblocking Wars: Advertiser Alternatives To Ads

Adblocking Alternatives To Ads Influencer Marketing

image via top fashion blogger and Instagrammer, Atlantic Pacific.

Influencer Marketing Offers Advertisers An Adblocking Solution

Apple's new operating system, iOS9, launched last Wednesday with adblocking tech capabilities. On Thursday, adblocking apps top Apple's app store leaderboard. Although speculation continues to mount on the exact extent of advertising revenue fallout (a recent Pagefair and Adobe joint study currently estimates a 2015 loss of $21.8 billion with close to double that figure, $41.4 billion, for 2016), initial results are indicative of an impending ad block war between brands, publishers, and readers.

Ad Blocking Before And After Dean Murphy Apps

image via "An Hour With Safari Content Blocker In iOS9"

The adblocking crisis will undoubtedly hit online publishers the hardest. Some, including the Washington Post (see BuzzFeed's post "Washington Post Declares War On Ad Blockers"), have begun blocking or restricting access to content for readers who have ad blockers installed while others (CBS, Hulu) shut down user functionality when detecting ad block software. Like the common display ad, fancier online video ads are also not exempt from ad blockers -- SecretMedia's recent study illustrates how more than a quarter to two-thirds of video ads are not monetized due to ad blockers. Both CBS's video player and Hulu won't work for viewers with ad blockers on (Ad Age).

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

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