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Bethany Mota Takes Stake in BeautyCon

Bethany Mota beautycon
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Bethany Mota Takes Stake in BeautyCon

Since 2009, Bethany Mota, a beauty and lifestyle YouTube ingenue and sensation, has been uploading videos to her channel MacBarbie07. Six years later, Bethany has amassed over 650 million video views and over 8 million subscribers, making her the most subscribed to beauty channel on YouTube. Now, with a presidential interview and countless conference talks on her resume, Bethany has invested an undisclosed stake in BeautyCon.

BeautyCon is a live conference and symposium where fans have the opportunity to meet their favorite YouTube beauty gurus and see them give talks and participate on panels. Bethany has partaken on panels at BeautyCon since it's inception in 2012, and has said she loves the comaraderie she finds in the BeautyCon space. “I’ve seen up close that the BeautyCon team puts the fans first and creates the sense of home for me, a place where I can feel comfortable to be myself and talk to the fans in a truly authentic way,” Mota said in a statement (also see our spotlight on Bethany Moto).

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

How Vessel is Poaching YouTube’s Stars

vessel video

What is Vessel Video?

Vessel, a video platform subscription-based site started by Jason Kilar formerly of Hulu, is looking to position itself as YouTube's first real competitor by signing over a dozen premium YouTube stars as launch partners. Vessel's strategy also includes other premium content such as Project Runway and traditional publishers including "Time Inc. and A&E for such brands as Sports Illustrated and the History Channel. It's also gotten Warner Music and other labels on board, representing a total of 3,000 musicians" (cnbc.com). Vessel videos officially launched its beta to an invite-only preview on January 21 of this year. For $2.99 a month, Vessel subscribers get exclusive access to new videos from dozens of content providers including some of YouTube's stars like the Fine Bros, Miss Glamorazzi, Shane Dawson, Good Mythical Morning and more (also see our post on Vessel vs. YouTube).

Vessel's hope is that the loyal and devoted fans of current YouTube stars will follow them to the new video platform, paying for exclusive early access to their content. It's a big bet (worth $75M in their Series A venture capital funding) that audiences, who are used to not paying to view their favorite content, will now subscribe to Vessel videos at  $2.99/month. Vessel's contract would require YouTube influencers to publish first to Vessel's video platform for three days of exclusivity before publishing to their YouTube channel.

Vessel's founder, Jason Kilar, believes video and channel enthusiasts will pay for early access to premium content. “That’s the kind of person we’re going after, someone who cares deeply about a creator or a brand,” the Vessel founder said. "We believe that they’re passionate about just good content, and it’s our job to deliver it to them early.” (Tubefilter)

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

Instagram Promotion Brand Spotlight: Converse

converse instagram promotion made by you

Instagram Promotion Spotlight: Converse

This spring, Converse launched their largest, most expansive and prescient campaign to date, titled, "Made By You." This campaign was created to feature both celebrity and consumer worn converse. The final result is a curated collection of Chuck Taylor All Star portraits from a myriad collection of wearers. In addition to this campaign and exhibit, Converse took to Instagram to utilize Instagram promotion. By pinpointing influencers who double as loyal Converse customers, Converse was able to beget organic, rich content, that also reached a massive audience in the millions beyond their own social breadth (also see our post on influencer marketing).

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

WTF is Vine and How are Brands Using it

What is Vine?

In the past few years countless new social media outlets have exploded in usage or come onto the scene such as, Instagram, SnapChat, Keek, YouTube, and Vine (see our post on YouTube channels you should be working with). With Instagram and SnapChat in the media forefront, many are left wondering, what is Vine? Vine allows you to see and share life in motion. You can create short, beautiful, looping videos (maximum of 6 seconds in length) in a simple and fun way for friends, family, and even large brand audiences to see. Vine has over 400 million users and over 1 billion Vine loops are played daily (Vine statistics). Today, brands are utilizing Vine to engage their audiences through short, imaginative and at time ingenious clips and videos. Below are 5 brands employing Vine as a marketing strategy (also see our spotlight on how Dermablend utilized YouTube for it's marketing strategy).

 

Disney

Disney uses Vine to engage its audience through nostalgic Disney clips, classic shots like its castle and fireworks, and by asking its audience to communicate back through contests such as the Halloween contest above. Disney has over 112.9k followers on Vine and almost 8 million loops played.  

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in blog, Monetization, Social Media Influencers

How Do Bloggers Make Money?

how to bloggers make money sponsored post atlantic pacific bergdorf goodman new balance

How Do Bloggers Make Money?

Since 2004, bloggers have been sharing their favorite topics across the internet with like minded people. Bloggers were the original digital influencer. Though they remain the quintessential online influencer, in some respects top bloggers are quickly being superseded by popular YouTubers, Instagrammers, Viners, and Snapchatters. Some of the best bloggers have transcended the shakeup in the influencer space, while others have evolved and migrated to new social publishing platforms. Incredibly, some of the top fashion bloggers, are among the most followed top Instagram accounts.

Originally, blogging was a hobby and avocation. The most widely recognized bloggers devote themselves full-time to their efforts; however they began their blogging journey part-time until they secured enough sustainable income from their blog to make it their primary endeavor. Now, top bloggers and influencers (like Danielle Bernstein of fashion blog, We Wore What and Emily Schuman of Cupcakes & Cashmere) can command six figure partnership and sponsorship deals.

Read more here to see how bloggers make money:

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

Top 5 YouTube Channels You Should Be Working With

Best YouTubers to Create Branded Content

With the extraordinary ascent of YouTube users, hundreds of millions of hours of video are consumed by users daily, advertisers and brands are catalyzing branded content with the most popular YouTube influencers in the space. The number of viewers watching YouTube is increasing 40% year after year, and watch time of YouTube content is increasing 50% year after year (YouTube stats). Below are YouTubers that have worked with large brands like Coca Cola, HP, and Audible to generate branded content that engages their audiences well beyond your average commercial.

Connor Franta

Connor Franta is a YouTube vlogger who talks to his camera and posts the final product every Monday. With over 4.2 million subscribers and almost 200 million video views, his audience is engaged and enthralled by his latest videos. Connor recently worked with Nature Box (above) to create a healthy branded content video for his subscribers. His ability to flawlessly integrate a brand into a video without giving off commercial vibes is a talent surmounted by few (see our post on three ways to create great sponsored content).

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

3 Questions To Ask When Marketing With Top Bloggers

Marketing With Top Bloggers Social Media Influencers

Be Sure To Ask These Three Questions When Marketing With Top Bloggers

In a world where top bloggers oftentimes have the final say over a consumer's purchasing patterns, the question of paying for blogger promotion comes up quite frequently. Before influencer marketing with top social media influencers, businesses primarily had two press options: 1) either hoping for a story regarding the brand to be covered in the news, or 2) pay for an advertising spot that may or may not be reaching your target audience.

With the advent and massive proliferation of niche blogs in every industry vertical, businesses now have a more realistic and authentic way to reach their target market. When considering whether to pay top bloggers for sponsored blog posts, there are three primary questions to consider:

1. How Big Is The Top Blogger's Audience?

A blogger's reach determines how large of an audience they have, as well as their influence over that audience. Make sure you choose a blogger whose audience is on par with who you imagine your buying (consumer) audience is. Further, make sure their audience and followers engage with the influencer on multiple levels. Cost for blogger promotion is greatly determined by reach, so a small blogger with a smaller audience would cost less to promote your brand than a top blogger with a huge reach (also see our post on Four Steps to Picking the Right Influencers For Your Brand). Reach is a big determination in what it's worth paying a top blogger.

2. What Type of Coverage Are You Looking For?

Though brands have successfully worked with top bloggers to promote their products, services, and/or launch events without compensation in the past, this type of unpaid promotion is infrequent today due to competition and demand for top bloggers. Top bloggers are consistently sent products for review from a myriad of brands, but when they are not receiving compensation for promotion, it is up to them whether they like the product enough to feature it on their blog and spend time promoting it to their audience. Compensation for a review guarantees the promotion will happen, usually with higher quality, and allows for a more collaborative approach between the brand and blogger. Although it's best to leave creative control to the blogger, brands will have more control when it comes to messaging points, links, imagery, and social promotion, if the brand pays for a sponsored blog post. (Also see our post on Three Things to Remember When When Making Branded Content).

3. What Would A Sponsored Blog Post Look Like?

Before collaborating with a blogger, decide what you'd like for them to include and how you'd like for them to promote your brand. Research and evaluate other sponsored posts on a variety of blogs to get an idea of how bloggers integrate the brand, what they talk about, and how they engage with their readers. That way you can specify exactly what you'd like for the blogger to do, and the blogger will let you know exactly what they're willing to do.

Researching each social influencer's blog or working with an established intermediary will eliminate the likelihood of miscommunications or a poorly executed post, and will result in a beneficial working relationship for both parties. Unpaid promotion is usually not full coverage, and is likely just a singular link to your website with a shout-out among the rest of their own content. It's best practice to discuss a paid opportunity with bloggers especially if you're expecting custom photos, long text dedicated to explaining your brand, explanations on why they recommend it, and links to where readers can purchase the product or browse your site and your social media channels.

If you're willing to allocate time, product, and budget to working with proven successful influencers, and expect a thorough review and promotion of your brand, influencer marketing can be one of the highest driving ROI channels amongst advertising spends.

Also See Our Posts On:

20 Top Fashion Bloggers For 2015

Top 10 Celebrity Bloggers, 2015 Edition

How Travel And Hospitality Brands Are Working With Social Media Influencers

in blog, Bloggers, Monetization, Native Advertising With Influencers, Social Media Influencers

YouTube Influencers Move Beyond Sponsorship Problems

YouTube Influencers Sponsorships Partner

YouTube Influencers Confront Sponsorships, Partner Progam Issues

Several YouTube influencers have recently called out YouTube's monetization problem (i.e. very low CPMs for partners), most prominently Jason Calacanis (we've written our own response to Jason's post). Calacanis brings up several good points around channel monetization. Calacanis shares that with a mere $1.50 CPM rev share standard for most channels no one, save the few Jenna Marbles of the world, can make enough money getting paid directly by YouTube to sustain production costs and produce great content. Some YouTube influencers do get an unspecified higher CPM and large networks are able to sell some of their inventory directly to advertisers at a higher CPM (usually coupled with branded content ad buys or integrated YouTube sponsorships).

Paid Content in the meantime suggests that YouTube influencers may be able to sufficiently monetize via affiliate style tools (something bloggers have been doing for years). And for the top YouTubers, they're able to easily monetize off of merchandising, affiliate commissions, and branded content deals. However, the overwhelming majority of YouTube influencers do not have brands approaching them on a regular basis for paid YouTube sponsorships, and don't get enough views to monetize well from affiliate-style commissions. Affiliate-style deals work well only in specific categories like fashion and beauty when YouTube influencers has a sizable following and publishes frequently. They don't work as well for general audiences. 

Getting YouTube Influencers Paid: How YouTube Can Fix Their Partner Program Problem

  1. Build An Affiliate Network. YouTube builds their own affiliate network that allows YouTube influencers and channels to link out via in-video product links. Though it was shut down earlier this year, Google already has built their own Affiliate Network. They already know the space, have the framework, and have engineered the product. Google is missing out on millions of affiliate commissions when YouTuber channels post their own links in description boxes. This would all work much better if viewers could click on the video. Brands sell their products and services, Google takes a cut, and the YouTube influencers get paid.
  2. Allow Channel Advertiser Skins. These are commonly used by publishers all over the web. Google/YouTube would probably argue that it gives the site a more MySpace-y feel, but they're everywhere already. Create a marketplace for channel/video skins that sets the specs, approves the advertisers and creatives, and let them have at it. YouTube channels would get bids from the advertisers (or put their own stats and price out in the market place). Running an advertiser would be as simple as clicking a button.
  3. Create Category Curation. Who really follows their news feed with all the likes and comments that goes on? This isn't Facebook. Entertainment necessitates curation. YouTube can't expect audiences to go and find The Best of YouTube via search and playlists. Create Pinterest-style curation pages and have category level pages where YouTube editors pick the best (yes, YouTube used to previously do this). With category curation, there would be a fashion home page, a humor page, a tech home page, etc. and no need for those pesky algorithms. And yes, with this model, influencers wouldn't be paid directly, but it would enormously help discovery, and make new/upcoming channels easier to find.

How YouTube Influencers & Channels Will Benefit

  1. Creates an easier path to monetization for channels. YouTube influencers talk about how much money they're now making. Jason Calacanis stops writing bad PR for YouTube.
  2. Google/YouTube makes more money. There are $10's of millions of dollars or more on the table in affiliate commissions. It's even better than the rest of the web because YouTube can dictate that they're the only vendor/provider. It's surprising that they haven't done anything here yet.
  3. Advertisers are happy. Advertisers want high impact ads. We all skip the pre-roll. Or open another tab when it's running. It's not to say that audiences won't avoid the site skins, but when they're done right and coupled with instream, skins will be a great combination for advertisers.
  4. Smaller channels getting the exposure they need. With greater exposure, YouTube enjoys more breakthrough success stories. In turn, more clever, funny, interesting, attractive, and innovative influencers create content for YouTube = no more cable.

in blog, Monetization, Online Video Marketing, YouTube Influencers

Jason Calacanis Rants On YouTube Partner Pay, MCNs

Jason Calacanis How YouTubers Make Money MCNs Partnery Pay

YouTube Partner Pay: Will You Make Money? 

Jason Calacanis wrote a great article about YouTube Partner pay, producing online video content as a YouTube Partner, and  MCNs (multi-channel networks) as a threat to YouTube's current model. He points out the current, fundamental problem with YouTube: making money as a YouTube partner.

There are currently three ways to make money as a YouTube partner:

  1. YouTube Grant Program - as part of YouTube's grant program, the creator is paid directly by YouTube to produce content.
  2. Adsense Payout - payout is based on a revenue share. For most YouTube partners, the payout works out to be around $1.50 CPM (not the best Cost Per Impression in the world of online video).
  3. Advertisers - custom, branded content sold directly to advertisers and published on your channel.

As a participant in YouTube's grant program, Calacanis realized that YouTube will not pay him indefinitely to produce content. By analyzing his video views and search traffic, Calacanis came to the realization that his video content won't pay out enough (via Adsense) to support production if YouTube isn't paying. Many YouTube partners who were paid by YouTube to produce content have also come to the same realization.

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in blog, Monetization, Online Video Marketing, YouTube Influencers

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