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  Social Media Influencers

The latest news, trends, case studies, how-to guides & resources for popular YouTubers, Instagrammers, top social media influencers, & the brands they work with.

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

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, Social Media Influencers, YouTube Influencers, Online Video Marketing

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

The Streamy Awards 2015: Everything You Need To Know

The Streamy Awards 2015: All The Winners From Last Night, Here's Everything You Missed

Similar to the exponential growth of VidCon, BeautyCon, the genre of online video and its social media influencers, The 5th Annual Streamy Awards 2015 hit a milestone last night when it aired for the first time on VH1 television (see select excerpts of their live stream playlist here). 2015 marks perhaps a year where the mainstream public and traditional forms of entertainment are beginning to recognize the vast scope and potential of these video (vloggers or YouTubers) and social media creators (Snapchatters, Viners) who are far more influential than blockbuster movie stars or chart-topping singers (see Variety's 2nd annual survey of American youth here).

With the meteoric rise of the social media influencer or digital star on user-generated content (UGC) platforms including YouTube, Vine, Snapchat and now Periscope, many broadcast networks are left wondering whether they need a YouTube influencer strategy, traditional Hollywood talent agencies are racing to sign YouTube talent, and traditional global brands are partnering with social media influencers for major marketing campaigns based on the efficacy of influencer marketing (i.e. Apple, Castrol, airlines, travel/hospitality, and automotive).

This year's winners and award categories featured the very best nominated in online video and social media from brand sponsored video campaigns with top YouTubers (Nissan, Purina, DanceOn, Totino's, and Pizza Hut), social good campaigns, music, performance, and much more including performances by Hailee Steinfeld, Sir Mix-a-Lot, and OMI (see all the music performances here).

Hosts Tyler Oakley and Gracie Helbig are joined by presenters Paula Abdul, Mel B., Natasha Bedingfield, Ciara, Philip DeFranco, Ricky Dillon, GloZell Green, Kat Graham, Hannah Hart, Mamrie Hart, Sean Kingston, NeNe Leakes, Jenna Marbles, Brooke Mahan, Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell, Shay Mitchell, Harley Morenstein, Ingrid Nilsen, Pauley Perrette, Michelle Phan, Jillian Rose Reed, Smosh and James Van Der Beek (via Heavy).

Here are the categories and winners for this year's Streamy Awards 2015 along with samples of their best or most popular work:

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in blog, Social Media Influencers, YouTube Influencers, Instagram Influencers, Snapchat Influencers, Vine Influencers, Fashion Influencers, Bloggers, Online Video Marketing

YouTube Influencer Spotlight: Sharzad Kiadeh

Sharzad Kiadeh Interview YouTube Influencer Spotlight

Spotlight Interview With YouTuber, Sharzad Kiadeh

In the world of YouTube, beauty reigns supreme as one of the platform's top categories. Sharzad Kiadeh is a Los Angeles-based YouTuber who produces content on YouTube and on a personal blog. She hosts the YouTube channel The Mom's View which centers around women's issues and parenting. Her personal blog, LuxLyfe, covers everything from beauty, food, travel, and other such lifestyle categories. Recently, Kiadeh has embarked on a new initiative as a co-host on SASS, a brand new beauty series on Mixed Makeup, a YouTube beauty channel. Here she takes on offbeat beauty trends and treatments in the Los Angeles area.

In the following interview, Sharzad shares how she started on YouTube, a wealth of insight on being a YouTuber, and how she transformed her passion for beauty to reach hundreds of thousands of followers.

Read Sharzad Kiadeh's interview to learn her outlook on the YouTube influencer marketing industry, tips and advice for bloggers, and brands looking to partner with influencers for sponsored content campaigns.

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

Best Brands On Instagram Working With Top Influencers

Best Brands On Instagram Marketing With Influencers

image via Ispy Instagram

A Look At The Best Brands On Instagram Working With Influencers

In addition to Instagram's new sponsored ad offerings, many brands are marketing on Instagram with top social media influencers. Marketing with social media influencers provides brands a succinct way to reach targeted audiences on Instagram and elicit engagement with potential consumers ultimately driving up profitable action and brand affinity. With influencer marketing, brands can strategically partner with prominent social media influencers (Instagrammers, YouTubers, bloggers, et. al.) to create aspirational lifestyle sponsored content that resonates with a brand's target audience. To learn more about how brands market with Instagram influencers, see our brand guide here.

Retailer Old Navy, watch brand Daniel Wellington, and beauty subscription box Ipsy are three of the best brands on Instagram marketing with influencers. Many other brands in different industries (including automotive brands, airlines, and hospitality) also market with social media influencers on Instagram.

Here are 3 best brands on Instagram marketing with social media influencers:

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

Instagrammer Spotlight: Josh Ostrovsky, The Fat Jewish

Josh Ostrovsky's sponsored YouTube video campaign with Three Jerks Jerky

Why Josh Ostrovsky "The Fat Jew" Entertains Millennials, Major Brands

Known for his corpulent figure and hairstyle, Josh Ostrovsky is anything but subtle. Ostrovsky, who refers to himself as "a Jew unicorn," launched to fame with his outrageous brand of humor via his Instagram channel, @TheFatJewish. Josh Ostrovsky’s often coarse material has attracted 5.7M followers, and while he has more than his share of detractors, his fan base is both staggering and climbing.

Born and raised in New York City, Ostrovsky attended several universities before ultimately becoming an alumnus of SUNY Albany. After graduation, he used his alter-ego “The Fat Jew” to host parties and various gigs before joining Instagram in 2012. In addition to his own channel, Josh Ostrovsky is also the creator of Instagram accounts @ToastMeetsWorld and @MuppetsRevenge (his pets) both of which have a combined follower count of 337K. 

With his vast reach and highly engaging content, Ostrovsky joins the ranks of other prominent social media influencers who have partnered with major companies for brand-sponsored content and sponsorship opportunities (see our post here on how to create sponsored content with Instagram influencers). Josh Ostrovsky's brand sponsorships include Burger King (detailed below) and Three Jerks Jerky (as seen in video above). 

See our post here on how brands work with social media influencers.

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

Influencer Spotlight: Sweet Tooth Sweet Life

Sweet Tooth Sweet Life InterviewLifestyle Blogger Courtney Horan of Sweet Tooth Sweet Life

Courtney Horan began blogging as a way to keep track of her daily fitness routines and meals. Her blog centers around living a healthy and active lifestyle, all while maintaining a positive outlook (with room for dessert). Courtney’s path was not always easy -- after college, she struggled with relationship issues and allowed bad habits to take over her life. However, she was able to find her drive and ultimately achieve a healthy, balanced life.

In her interview feature, Courtney shares her life's experience in the ever-changing blogging world, and how it has evolved into a veritable business platform connecting audiences with brands. Sweet Tooth Sweet Life "a love of food, fitness, and fashion" shares the latest on her pregnancy journey, recipes, workouts, meal planning, and more.

Read Sweet Tooth Sweet Life's interview to learn her views on the industry, candid advice for bloggers and brands alike, and her viral post, "The Twinkie Diet."

How did you get started blogging?

I had been reading blogs for about a year and always thought, man, that seems really fun! Then while I was away one weekend with my husband, I told him that I wanted to start one of my own and he said, “Ok, then go for it!” So I started right then and there by taking a super dark and grainy picture of our truffle fries.

What was your first blog post?

I actually had to go back and re-read it because I had no idea! My very first post was basically two sentences saying “Hello!” to the world. But my first “real” post was a bit of a recap of that weekend that we were away in Burlington, VT. Sadly, I ended up deleting most of the pictures from my first few posts back in the day, because I had run out of storage space and had no idea what else to do. Rookie mistake…

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in blog, Social Media Influencers, Bloggers, Influencer Spotlight

Influencer Marketing Case Study: Airlines

Influencer Marketing Case Study Airlines Tuula Vintage Jessica Stein

In 2015, Airline companies Cathay Pacific, Air New Zealand, Air France, and Air Nippon collaborated with leading travel and lifestyle influencers including Tuula Vintage and Song of Style to develop rich content while integrating their brand messaging to new audiences online. The influencer marketing campaigns are not solely focused on travel-specific blogs, rather they seek to incorporate the brand within several categories, resulting in an innovative, engaging approach for increased audience exposure.

This case study is part of our ongoing Influencer Marketing Case Study Series.

Influencer Marketing Case Study:

Goals
  • Primary Objective - Build and drive brand awareness by partnering with aspirational lifestyle tastemakers in order to reach affluential audiences
  • Secondary Objective(s) - Leverage top social media influencers' social, creative direction, and audience base to elicit engagement, ultimately driving up profitable action
Approach
  • Partner with top bloggers in multiple lifestyle categories (fashion, travel, food, wedding) including Tuula Vintage, Song of Style, and 100 Layer Cake
  • Authentically develop aspirational campaign messaging
  • Organic, timely, and relevant integration within influencer's storyline
  • Market to new audiences through adjoining blog categories

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in blog, Influencer Marketing, Influencer Marketing Case Studies, Influencer Marketing Examples, Influencer Marketing Statistics, Sponsored Content With Influencers, Branded Content With Influencers, Social Media Influencers, Fashion Influencers, Bloggers, Fashion Bloggers, Lifestyle Bloggers

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