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  Native Advertising With Influencers

The rise of top YouTubers & Instagrammers with vast engaged audiences has changed how brands advertise. Check out best native advertising examples with top social media influencers here:

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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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 Though they remain the quintessential online influencer, in some respects top bloggers are quickly being superseded by popular YouTubers, Instagrammers, Viners, and Snapchatters.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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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

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5 Ways To Drive Ecommerce Marketing ROI

Ecommerce Marketing ROI How To

Drive Ecommerce Marketing ROI With These 5 Best Practices & Strategies

Ecommerce has become one of the most competitive spaces for brands. More brands are turning to ecommerce versus traditional brick-and-mortar retail in order to cut down overhead costs and reach a wider customer base. With U.S. adults spending on average 11 hours a day on digital media, and websites being accessible 24 hours every day, brands have a wide potential reach and customer base at all times.

For most brands, ad dollars are routinely spent on the most well-known tactics and media regardless of effectiveness; these rote methods include display ads, press releases, and celebrity gifting. However, with an online based business, advertising efforts yield the best ecommerce marketing ROI (return on investment) when consumer audiences are precisely targeted through appropriate social channels.

Advertising and driving ecommerce marketing ROI to brand sites can easily be accomplished when utilizing these five steps and best practices.

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Influencer Marketing: 5 Steps To Picking The Right Influencers

Influencer Marketing: 5 Steps To Picking The Right Influencers

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

Influencer Marketing Strategy: How To Pick The Right Influencers

Whether you're building an influencer marketing campaign with YouTubers, bloggers, Instagram influencers, or an emerging social channel like Vine ("Viners") or Snapchat ("Snappers"), the first step to getting started is picking the right influencers who are the best match for both your brand and campaign goals. The concept of finding an influencer to drive more traffic and sales to your brand may seem secondary, but in many ways it's tantamount to the success of the campaign (also see our post on 5 questions to ask yourself when choosing an influencer).

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YouTube Influencer Spotlight: Cassey Ho of Blogilates

Top YouTube Influencers Cassey Ho Blogilates Instagram

YouTube Influencer Spotlight: Meet Cassey Ho of Blogilates

Top YouTube Influencer, Cassey Ho, is a certified Pilates and fitness instructor, and the creator of POP Pilates, an instructional Pilates workout system with a big focus on music in her energizing instructional videos. She is also the founder of both oGorgeous, a line of fitness and yoga accessories for the fashion-conscious, and BODYPOP, a brand new line of affordable activewear. Cassey's videos seek to help women work towards improving their bodies through clean eating and working out. As a top YouTube influencer, Cassey demonstrates the power of both a healthy perspective and healthy relationship with yourself.

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Five Ways to Collaborate with YouTube Content Creators

YouTube Content Creators Product Placement Influencers

The 5 Best Ways To Collaborate With Top YouTube Content Creators:

Just in the last month, over 186 million people in the US watched an online video. Google dominated this audience with over 150M viewers on YouTube alone. Online video clearly has a huge presence with viewers.

How can you leverage this massive audience and built in engagement of online video to build your brand? Brands are increasingly working with YouTube content creators to build brand content, drive brand awareness and engage with audiences in new and innovative ways (see our blog post on the top 5 branded YouTube videos and brands that do YouTube well). How can you collaborate with popular YouTube content creators to get the word out about your product? Here are our best practices:

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YouTube Advertising Bests Facebook For Top Brands

YouTube Advertising Facebook vs YouTube

YouTube Advertising: Infographic Shows YouTube Outperforming Facebook 20X For Engagement

Do you remember how excessively you used Myspace in 2006? Then, do you remember switching over to Facebook and never looking back in 2008 because it was suddenly cooler? Well, if you are looking for the social platform with the most engagement for your brand, it looks like YouTube is the new Facebook.

Brendan Gahan found that YouTube subscriptions are 20 times more valuable and drive more engagement to your brand than Facebook after two weeks of research. Ironically, you'll notice most companies have more likes on Facebook then subscriptions to their channel. There was a time when Facebook's page was an advertiser's dream. Facebook brand pages seem to have no limit to growth and engagement. Every brand had to be on Facebook, but then something happened. The algorithm changed and engagement plummeted. Facebook was guilty of it's own success: recent posts show that the average user has over 1,500 individual items running through their news feed. Furthermore, many brands have reported huge drops in engagement.

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The 5 Best YouTube Sponsored Videos

YouTube Sponsored Videos YouTubers Influencers

YouTube For Brands: 5 Best YouTube Sponsored Videos With Top Influencers

Branded content is as much art as science. It can be even more so when working with YouTubers. Brands have taken a variety of approaches from working directly with YouTubers to engaging with YouTube influencer agencies. YouTube creators are fiercely independent and conscientiously protective of doing anything at all to avoid alienating their audience by "selling out." YouTube audiences with a high component of millennials have a low tolerance for branded content that doesn't match the authenticity of the YouTuber. Included in the lexicon of describing sponsorships are terms such as branded content, YouTube sponsored videos, native advertising, native sponsorships, and more. Regardless of the terms, the goals of engaging the audience are the same (see our post on top YouTube channels to work with).

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Native Advertising: The Downfall of Display Ads

Native Advertising Display Ads Sponsored Content

Native Advertising Solves Display Ad Problems

Ad Age published a post stating that close to 50% of online ads aren't ever seen. The post was vague about precisly which ads it was referring to (display, instream, search, etc.), but we can make some guesses at what's going on here, what's not working, and why native advertising is taking over:

  1. Display ads are commoditized, cheap and easy. No one's really checked if they work -- if display ads are amounting to real, branded engagement, awareness, and bottom-line boosting conversions. Everyone stares at their click through rate (CTR) and prays it's at least above average. When it is, the customer is happy but this prompts more ads.
  2. Most advertisers don't really know what they're doing. Many brands put out a massive amount of re-targeting ads at a PPC price, proceed to let them run amok on low quality sites, and at below-the-fold placements.
  3. Visitors have trained themselves to ignore display ads. We consume so much online content these days that everyone is trained to look in the usual places for the content and avoid the places where display ads lie (side rail).
  4. Visitors have trained themselves to multi-task. It used to be that an instream ad guaranteed a view. Now, a visitor can open a new tab or window, write an email, text a friend, and check back in 30 seconds later to watch their original video.

What's The Solution?

  1. Work Every Channel. Create great advertising with a multifaceted plan through multiple media channels including video, Twitter, Facebook, native advertising, and branded content. The Old Spice Campaign hit every aspect of this and blew it out of the water.
  2. Go Native. Whatever you want to call it, native advertising is taking off. Mashable debates whether the term is just another way to describe good advertising. For some channels and publishers, it means a native format that's templated. Buzzfeed consistently creates some of the best native advertising (which in this case is also branded content). Buzzfeed is now scaling up with a full-blown native advertising network.
  3. Market Through Influencers. Inherently native, influencer marketing is nothing new, but the space and scale have changed dramatically now that marketers can reach massive audiences through Twitter influencers, YouTubers, bloggers, Tumblrs, Instagramers, and every other social channel. Influencers have a profound impact on their audience because their audiences turn directly to them as lifestyle informants, trend setters, and tastemakers.

If you want your ad to be seen, build a native advertising strategy and marketing campaign that ensures premium visibility and ultimately, work with the right channels and brand influencers that will drive maximum viewer engagement.

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