The Growing Trend Of Influencer Events

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By now we’re familiar with many of the most common techniques employed by brands in influencer marketing. Whether it’s a long-term partnership with an influencer or a push on a special day, competitors are always looking for campaigns with variety to stand out in a crowded space.

What Are Influencer Events?: How Brands Dedicate Events To Influencers

With budgets for influencer marketing increasing year-over-year, brands and marketers are wondering what the next big type of campaign is for the industry.

This brings us to influencer events; an increasingly popular type of campaign in which influencers are invited to exclusive gatherings, getaways, or mainstream events in order to promote products and services for brands.

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The primary appeal of these campaigns lies in the influencer A-listers which power them, brought together by brands looking to maximize potential reach by getting big-hitters on social media in the same room. Why this trend has picked up more recently and the different kinds of influencer marketing events you can expect to see is what we investigate below.

Types Of Influencer Events By Category

Beauty Influencer Events

These are the types of influencer events that are among the more established in the industry. Makeup brands are keen to get influencers in the same posts for extra bang for their buck. They often have the means to bring together mega influencers to feature in sponsored posts.

Influencer marketing events can be extravagant. Tarte Cosmetics, for example, are well known for gifting their sponsored influencers elaborate all-expenses-paid trips to Bangkok or Hawaii, to name a couple. Naturally, these trips lend themselves well to video formats beyond Instagram, with YouTube beauty vloggers enjoying the benefits too.

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Aloha🌺 #trippinwithtarte

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Fashion Influencer Events

Similarly, influencer events in fashion is a common occurrence, as you might expect. You’ve got the usual suspects, such as Revolve Festival at Coachella—an event organized by the online retailer which attracts some of the biggest names in the industry.

Such was the popularity of this year’s event, Revolve rented out an entire hotel, hosting 140 influencers. Chief Brand Officer Raissa Gerona refers to it as their “Super Bowl”, with co-founder Michael Mente noting it’s a bigger event for the brand than Cyber Monday. Revolve’s influencer marketing events don’t end there either, with the brand noted for flying influencers all over the world for fashion shoots.

Other brands are getting in on the act too. Outdoor clothing company Backcountry recently hosted a 4-day influencer event in Moab, Utah, for sponsored creators. From climbing to yoga, some of the biggest influencers of the outdoors and travel scenes were invited to the event, giving Backcountry a ton of exposure.

Fitness Influencer Events

Fitness brands have been comfortable with influencer marketing as long as any fashion or cosmetic retailer. Companies like GymShark lead the way with gathering the industry’s biggest stars to act as their ambassadors.

As opposed to other industries, GymShark’s gatherings, as with other well-known fitness brands like Myprotein, often involve meet-ups or challenges, mixing influencers with the public for exposure.

This strategy is evident with other brands too, such as Lululemon and their large-scale events promoted on Instagram. Their ambassadors can typically be found heading up smaller events like hosted classes. There is certainly an emphasis across fitness brands on more interaction with the public than aforementioned beauty or fashion brands.

Gaming Influencer Events

Gaming lends itself perfectly to influencer events. Large mainstream events, like TwitchCon, provide the perfect opportunity for brands to pair up star influencers of the gaming industry for big promotions.

It’s worth noting that many of the brands who engage with gaming events are non-gaming brands, like Hershey’s and Doritos—an indication of the mainstream appeal of gaming influencers.

In a sense opposite to fashion influencer events, fans flock to massive stadiums to watch their favorite gamers streaming at events.

Larger mainstream brands are keen to make influencers, particularly top streamers, the main attractions at expos. Expect to see this trend continuing at gaming conventions by partnering top pro gamers and brands for events like the upcoming Evo 2019 and BlizzCon 2019.

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Blogger Influencer Events

Aside from influencers who distinctly fall into categories, there are also campaigns launched by brands not necessarily seeking to target a very specific audience. These will typically involve bloggers who don’t fall so readily into one industry or another. Lifestyle influencers are a good example of this and are popular with brands for their wide appeal across a range of sought-after demographics.

For example, Macy’s, in a recent launch of limited edition watches, sponsored influencers from a variety of backgrounds to help promote the line. Models; shoe designers; software designers—diverse disciplines brought together by a brand to promote a product typically outside of their field.

Other Influencer Events

There are some influencer events that don’t really fit into any of the established events that we might be used to seeing. Instagram’s Kindness Prom, for example, invited influencers to an event in Venice, California to raise awareness of cyberbullying. It also follows the company’s enhanced bullying feature, a new algorithm which aims to combat bad behavior on the platform.

How To Throw An Influencer Event

There are several considerations to make before organizing an influencer marketing event. The elephant in the room is the cost. This, of course, depends on the industry and the type of event needed. Those Tarte getaways, for example, were estimated to set them back a cool $300,000. Be prepared to set aside an appropriate budget to pull off an influencer event.

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Tips For Hosting An Influencer Event

  • WiFi – Get off on the right foot by having a reliable wifi connection for your influencers. At the end of the day, the whole point of them being there is to create content and upload to social media, typically at specific times. Don’t rely on their unlimited data plans!
  • Agenda – Have a clear and detailed plan for when and where you need your influencers during your event. As you can see, despite flying its ambassadors halfway around the world, Tarte still has a clear and specific itinerary for its influencers. Don’t be too constrictive, though, they’re not going to want to feel like their on the job 24/7, so allocate downtime.
  • Giveaways – If you’re familiar with the sight of influencers having giveaway competitions for their fans, it’ll be because a brand is keen to have a longer-lasting campaign than could reasonably be expected with an event. Events are short, but influencers can continue to do giveaways long after its ended, meaning more exposure for the brand.
  • Location – This can be make or break for an event. And it doesn’t necessarily mean flying your stars to a tropical island. It just means having a finger on the pulse of what your audience wants to see. There’s a good reason cosmetic brands fly beauty influencers to Tahiti and gamers have just as much impact in-front of a computer monitor.

How To Plan An Influencer Event

  • Have the audience in mind: It’s no good planning an incredible event for your influencers if your target audience is not interested in it. As we just touched on, location is everything; there would be little point in flying a gaming influencer to Hawaii for a shoot.
  • Make it stand out: Influencers are spoiled for choice, with invites to events left and right. Make your event interesting and shareable. Remember; they’re content creators—if they haven’t got their phones out and engaging with the event then it’s not interesting enough for them.
  • The hashtag: Give your event a specific hashtag for influencers to use and be clear about what your expectations for it are during the campaign.

How To Get Influencers To Come To Your Event

You likely know the answer to this one already, but if you want to attract influencers to your event you’re going to have to pay up to get them to attend. Don’t rule out inviting smaller influencers to your event (especially if they’re local), as they often provide great ROI and are eager to get involved.

Once attendance is sorted, be prepared to foot the bill for other expenses too—hotels, flights, activities, food and drink. Be prepared to have swag bags on standby to keep them interested and engaged.

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What To Expect With Influencer Events In 2019 & Beyond

It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that the biggest influencer events and meet-ups are led by the biggest brands. They are typically invite-only for influencers and can be very exclusive even in those spheres.

These events will likely continue to be headed by big brands; particularly the more extravagant ones, but events of all sizes are likely to increase in popularity. Expect to see this trend increase in popularity as brands look to improve their strategies and look for new avenues to expand their influencer marketing output.

Exclusive Interview With Julius CEO, Steve Oriola

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Industry Spotlight: Julius CEO Steve Oriola Discusses The Future & Trends Of Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing, albeit a young and ever-changing landscape, has started to reveal industry titans across influencers, social media channels, and influencer marketing companies. From agencies to influencer marketing platforms, and amidst fierce competition, a select handful of companies are rising to the top.

Julius—a leading influencer marketing software solution—is a company whose expertise in the space has enabled brands to execute influencer searches, activate campaigns, track deliverables, and analyze campaign results with great efficiency. Julius prioritizes brand safety by carefully vetting each influencer profile with the aid of human review.

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In an industry where best practices seem to be overshadowed by misconceptions and challenges, Julius brings clarity and ease. Leading the charge are Julius’ experienced executives, including CEO, Steve Oriola.

As a B2B veteran and SaaS expert, Oriola’s resume is impressive. He’s earned various leadership roles at successful businesses, including two as CEO before Julius. Now, he brings his skills to the influencer marketing table.

We sat down with Oriola at this table, and invite you to pull up a chair to discover unique insights into the rapidly evolving industry as he discusses where influencer marketing is headed, the common challenges, and what’s in store for Julius in 2019 and beyond.

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1. Tell us a bit about yourself and how you became interested in influencer marketing.

I’ve been in the B2B SaaS space since 2001—a long time—working entirely on marketing and sales applications.

My understanding of influencer marketing was admittedly limited, until I met Julius founder, Mark Gerson, in 2017. I spent the subsequent year getting a deeper understanding and realized what an important new tactic this is for marketers. It became clear to me that traditional marketing tactics were diminishing in effectiveness as media consumption has shifted.

If you want to reach younger demographics—like my own kids—this is the way to do it.”

I grew increasingly excited about the business and joined as CEO in August 2018.

2. When did Julius get started? Give us the background on your company’s history.

Julius was founded by Mark Gerson, who first started the sports company, Thuzio, in 2012 with former NFL player, Tiki Barber. They thought influencer marketing was an interesting space and decided to turn it into a business, which they spun out of Thuzio. Julius garnered significant funding in 2017.

3. How has Julius changed and evolved since its start?

We established brand equity pretty quickly, and since my joining, have built an entirely new leadership team. We realize we can’t do everything on our own, so we need to establish complementary partnerships—like the one we have with you at Mediakix. Julius is known for the human vetting of our influencer database, which will continue, but we are also employing machine learning to grow our database without losing the depth and quality of human review.

4. What do you get most excited about in the influencer marketing industry?

Great brands can develop large followings, but they’ll never have the level of intimacy with an audience that an influencer has.

The most successful influencers are open, honest, and authentic in genuine ways.”

I firmly believe that people trust people far more than they trust brands. If a brand can align themselves and some of their attributes with that sort of authenticity and trust, they’ll achieve something they could never achieve on their own.

5. What do you find most challenging about influencer marketing?

It’s more about what our customers find most challenging, which is the discovery of the right influencers, and the friction of working with those influencers to execute great campaigns. It’s difficult managing the workflow from beginning to end as a purely manual process with lots of opportunities for error.

Influencer marketing can be more labor intensive than people realize before they dive into it. Reducing this pain and friction is why we’re in business.”

6. In your opinion, where is influencer marketing headed?

First, we expect to see longer-term partnerships between brands and influencers across both macro- and micro-influencers. Right now, talent agencies and creative agencies manage rosters of influencers, but we see brands doing more of that and achieving greater depth of knowledge about their preferred influencers.

Second, influencers are starting to understand the value of being discovered, and in order to win business, they need to be easy for brands to find. How they’re presented on a platform like Julius will become increasingly important to them.

7. What are some common misconceptions marketers have about influencer marketing?

One of the misconceptions of influencer marketing is that it can’t be measured.”

But data can be captured directly from social media platforms to show how effective it is. There’s also research on how influenced consumers are by influencers.

State-of-Influencers Report-Julius-2019

Another misconception is that influencers are just 20-something narcissists who are only in it for the money.”

That may be true of some, but I’ve seen that a clear majority are motivated by true passion and creative expression. We conducted a survey of influencers earlier this year and financial motivations is the #4 reason they do influencer marketing, after being creative, sharing a passion or expertise, and building a personal brand. So, most influencers have pretty pure intentions. And the vast majority (84%) are diligent about following FTC regulations and making sure they’re not perceived as fraudulent.

8. Do you think the influencer marketing bubble is about to burst?

I don’t think influencer marketing is a bubble industry. Beyond reaching an audience, marketers are also using this tactic to significantly increase their creative production capacity. Getting multiple influencers to create branded content enables marketers to repurpose that content through existing channels, without the expense of expanding creative teams in-house.

Combining an intimate connection with audiences and increased production capacity, the tactic becomes too compelling to ignore.

9. What existing or emerging social media channels do you think will have the largest impact on influencer marketing in the next few years? Why?

Instagram has led the social media pack in the last few years, and with IGTV and Stories, it has evolved into more of a storytelling platform. YouTube’s longer format attracted some great storytelling influencers and continues to do so, but it seems like Instagram makes it easier to share a developing narrative with a community of followers. I see both platforms continuing to be major players in influencer marketing in the next few years.

TikTok—a user of the Julius platform—is tapping into youth culture globally in a unique way, and offers users a fun way of sharing their creative talents with the world, while building a following. Although still new for influencer marketing, we believe TikTok could have a significant impact on the market.

We’re also intrigued by the potential of Pinterest as an influencer marketing platform—so much so that we recently formed a partnership with them. Pinterest is unique in that it’s less personality-driven, far more content-driven, and that content has an exponentially longer shelf life than on other platforms. And people are on Pinterest for ideas, often with the intent to buy, shortening the gap between inspiration and purchase.

10. How do you foresee the relationship between brands and influencers transforming in 2019 and beyond?

It goes beyond just a long-term partnership.

There will be a heavier reliance on influencers for strategy, and we’ll see influencers pulled into the virtual team.”

Brands will use them not just to promote and produce content but actually pick their brains and ask for input, sometimes through formal consulting arrangements.

11. What brands exemplify influencer marketing well?

Foot Locker does a great job organically. Its customers care about their influencer strategy. A good example is their #ThatSneakerHasLife campaign which came straight from their audience. The campaign had influencers describe what their sneakers meant to them and was hugely successful.

BJ’s Wholesale Club takes an always-on approach to influencer marketing. They have a core group of micro- and macro-influencers who they work with repeatedly, and fully integrate influencer campaign content into their social media, PR, and other marketing tactics.

12. Do you have a favorite influencer marketing campaign?

My favorite influencer marketing campaign featured Dining with Skyler. I started following her and saw the Emirates campaign of her and her boyfriend chronicling the entire experience. They documented their time in Dubai, which was a promotion of the Emirates airline but also the destination. Skyler got a tour of the food prep on her flight back and continued to thoroughly chronicle the full experience.

It’s probably the most interesting, colorful, and inspiring campaign I’ve seen.”

FDA & FTC Warning Letters: How Influencers Should Promote E-Liquids

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It’s no secret that the influencer marketing industry has a tricky relationship with the FTC with regards to guideline compliance. There have been numerous instances of run-ins between influencers and the FTC, almost all of them caused by sponsored parties failing to disclose the nature of their endorsements in their material.

Estimates suggest that 93% of top celebrities neglect to appropriately signal their relationships with brands during social media campaigns. In 2017, FTC warning letters were sent to over 90 celebs, influencers, and brands who violated endorsement guidelines. In a market where the primary bargaining chip is trust between the influencer and the audience, it’s imperative to not take its effectiveness for granted.

As the industry continues to expand dramatically towards the end of this decade, the importance of brands, influencers, and agencies to play by the rules will become a primary consideration. You only have to look at the debacle Kim Kardashian found herself in with the FDA back in 2015 by failing to adhere to the correct standards.

FTC Warns Vaping Influencers

The vaping industry is the latest industry to have run into issues with FTC and FDA compliance this year. Whether that is because influencers have been callous or because they haven’t been given a structured program for best sponsorship practices is what we’re going to discuss today.

Either way, it’s vital that marketers and influencers learn how to execute a bulletproof campaign without running into compliance issues.

FTC Warning Letters Aim to Evaporate Misleading Influencer Sponsored Posts By Including Health Warnings

Vape products are in an interesting position as far as influencer marketing goes. Typically, brands and influencers fall foul of either FTC or FDA guidelines. E-liquid promotions run the risk of failing both, meaning sponsored posts need to be extra careful in their social media campaigns.

Not only do posts have to disclose the sponsor behind the campaign, but they also have to abide by the correct disclosures required and outlined by the FDA concerning health risks and concerns applicable to consumers.

In light of this, the FTC and FDA have jointly sent warnings to four companies:

  • Solace Vapor
  • Hype City Vapors
  • Humble Juice
  • Artist Liquids Laboratories

The FTC warning letters highlighted that influencer campaigns pushed by the brands ‘fail[ed] to disclose material health or safety risks in advertising.’ The FDA stated that their posts failed to include a required federal warning that the item promoted included nicotine.

Let’s have a look at some examples of e-liquid posts that get it right; and those that get it wrong.

Vaping Influencers

Deceptive Influencer Marketing Of Vape Products

Shontel Anestasia is a nano-influencer based in New York City. Her post is an endorsement of e-liquid brand, Humble Juice, and features a short caption with no disclosure tags and a @humblejuiceco reference. The engagement for the post was an impressive 7.7%—an indication of the power of utilizing smaller influencers in campaigns.

Andrew Reed is another nano-influencer nearing 3,000 followers, collaborating with Hype City Vapors. He features a short, personalized caption with an ‘advertisement’ disclosure at the end. He does fall short of FDA regulations, however, by failing to disclose the health concerns of the endorsed product.

Elissa Lynn is an ambassador for Artist Liquids Laboratories. Her post is excellent from a pure social media marketing standpoint, with an artful image, great caption, good tag use, and a compelling call-to-action. From a compliance standpoint, it fails to explicitly disclose that it’s sponsored and does not abide by FDA guidelines.

This New Jersey-based micro-influencer maintains endorsements from several brands; this post featuring an Artist Liquid Lab product. The post doesn’t acknowledge the partnership and fails FTC regulations in that regard, while also lacking FDA compliance.

It’s worth noting, however, that the image shows the health warnings on the product packaging, and the influencer consistently abides by FDA regulations in his other posts with the use of banners. It doesn’t feature the now-popular banner across the top of the image. Just to stay on the safe side, exercise caution and state in the caption or with an image banner.

Proper Disclosure Of Vape Product Health Risks

Vapingkamea is a mid-tier influencer with 60,000 followers endorsed by Solace Vapor. Her post features an image with a warning banner and a short caption with a nicotine warning along with the appropriate #ad within the tags. This is a typical example of a post that adheres to both FTC and FDA regulations.

DeLia is a beauty and fashion blogger with 20,000 Instagram followers, another mid-tier influencer endorsing Artist Liquids. Like the previous post, the image features a banner with an FDA-compliant health warning. She does, however, fail to disclose the brand partnership with a #ad or #sponsored tag.

Clarissa Martel is a nano-influencer nearing 2K followers. Her post is short and bears similarities to DeLia’s post, with a deluge of tags and an FDA-compliant banner on the image but no #ad or #sponsored tag.

Farrah is by far the biggest influencer on our list. With 235K followers. She is comfortably in the mid-tier of social media influencers and has a large audience, styling herself as a ‘vape promoter’ after quitting from 15 years of smoking.

Her post has a short caption with the FTC-compliant #ad and #sponsored tags, in addition to the familiar banner that we will become more accustomed to with smoking- and vaping-related promotions.

Will The FTC Regulate Soon Regulate The Promotion Of Detox Teas, Too?

As we’ve seen in these examples, correct disclosure by influencers can be difficult. As marketers and brands continue to use strategies of sponsoring smaller influencers, it’s almost a certainty that non-compliance with guidelines will occur and some will slip through the cracks.

Unlike larger influencers, nano- or micro-influencers may lack the knowledge or direction to appropriately comply with regulations.

It’s not just vaping brands that will have run-ins with federal agencies over influencer marketing. The latest concern regards the promotion of detox teas which claim weight-loss benefits for consumers.

This post, for example, is FTC-compliant, with a clear indication that the post is sponsored by Flat Tummy Co., but there is a gray area with the promotion.

The brand is careful not to express specific medical or health benefits of their tea, but a significant number of posts clearly position the tea as a supplement to weight-loss for women.

None of the sponsored posts outline any direct health benefits or adverse effects from consuming their product, raising concerns of transparency from brands using influencer marketing to reach out to audiences.

When pharmaceutical brands ran into similar issues, they were quick to navigate the FDA and FTC obstacles by instead opting to partner with influencers without promoting individual products. They often form partnerships to promote a cause, avoiding directly endorsing consumer products—more importantly, they can also avoid those off-putting health warnings required by the FDA.

E-Liquid Product Companies Are Responsible For Ensuring Influencers Disclose Health Warnings To Protect Consumers

As an industry, influencer marketing is only as strong as the trust that influencers can enjoy from their audiences. That trust is principally maintained through openness and transparency.

It’s vital that brands and influencers do not take advantage of the relationships built with audiences. It’s generally the case that online audiences are pretty switched-on when it comes to perceptions of influencer marketing, and are good at separating a poorly considered campaign from a successful one.

There is, however, a unique determination to be made regarding the social media marketing of products that can have direct effects on a consumer’s health (positive or adverse)—something that predominantly concerns certain industries such as medicine.

With regards to e-liquids, the FDA and FTC warning letters are clear indications that they will be willing to step in if they feel that certain products are being marketed without the correct compliance.

Like pharmaceutical brands, e-liquid or nutrition brands may conclude that complying by FDA rules is too much of a turn-off for their consumers, in which case they may seek to try different approaches that don’t directly advertise specific products to get around them.

It will be up to the governing bodies to ensure that the playing field is level for brands of all industries, and it’s up to marketers and influencers to maintain transparency and continue building strong relationships with their audiences.

Revolve Influencer Marketing Propels Brand To $1.2 Billion Valuation

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If you’re unfamiliar with the online fashion retailing giant Revolve, now is a good time to get to grips with it. For years, Revolve influencer marketing has been an effective, watertight blueprint for other brands and now possesses an extensive network of thousands of social media stars bigging up the brand. In anticipation of its recent IPO, the company was given a market capitalization value of nearly $1.5 billion.

Revolve Influencers Drummed Up Interest From Investors & Set The Trend For Influencer Marketing

Revolve’s rise to become one of the major fashion retailers in the country since its early days in 2003 is in large part due to its pioneering influencer marketing strategy, which has been in operation since the fledgling days of the industry. It has a substantial Instagram following of 3 million and hires everyone from Kendall Jenner and her 112 million followers to smaller micro-influencers in the thousands to promote their brand.

It should come as no surprise that Revolve shaped up well for its IPO. It has a history of having a finger on the pulse for tapping into the crucial Millennial and Gen Z markets, utilizing every influencer tier to drive engagement. As our very own Evan Asano says,

Revolve was a very early player in influencer marketing and is still one of the most prominent names in the space.”

At present, the social media marketing of Revolve is a business unto itself. It has poured (and continues to pour) money into the influencer marketing budget, accruing an enormous roster of 3,500 influencers who collectively drive an estimated 70% of sales for the company, despite only making up a very reasonable 25% of the annual marketing budget.

Needless to say, it’s the company that sets the trend in the influencer marketing industry.

Revolve’s Influencer Marketing Strategy

Revolve was quick to get ahead of the game early on, using fashion bloggers for promotion in the late 2000s and early- to mid-2010s by sending them free clothes in the hopes they would talk them up. Popular bloggers like Aimee Song (Song of Style) and Shea Marie (Peace Love Shea) became regular fixtures of the strategy, using their online profiles to reach out to key audiences.

Whether it was a New Year trip to Mexico or a packing list for a visit to the Hamptons, Revolve was beginning to grasp opportunities to engage with the Millennial demographic by getting their product noticed by trendsetters online.

Instagram’s rapid rise in the last few years has meant it is now the preeminent force in influencer marketing, with businesses spending $1.7 billion on marketing on the platform. Revolve’s strategy remains much the same as it did 10 years ago, flying their stars to exclusive locations and throwing lavish parties at Coachella. Only now Instagram is undoubtedly the most important factor for them.

Revolve doubled down by curating a strategy that didn’t market at their audience, but instead positioned itself as an indispensable fashion partner for influencers. As Revolve has become an important status symbol for so many, stars want to be seen as part of its brand and want to be engaged in its extravagant activations.

In return, Revolve requires its influencers during events to post twice a day using pre-designated hashtags to promote the brand. A small price to pay for most.

Revolve In-House Influencer Collection

Revolve has more recently sought to establish its own brand of in-house clothing, curating an array of collections to sell directly to consumers. This is including a collection from the aforementioned Song, who is the first influencer to engage in a long-term in-house partnership for Revolve.

Having in-house collections is the start of a new strategy for Revolve. With an established brand and large online following among the key Millennial and Gen Z demographics, it is well-placed to start introducing its own product lines with support from its influencers. They have their audience locked-in, now they want to take full advantage and be a major fashion producer in their own right.

In addition to the obvious monetary value in cutting out the middleman and building in-house brands, Revolve is quick to note that designing and manufacturing its own products allows the company to stay sure-footed in an industry that can change direction in an instant.

Having their own brands offers them the opportunity to quickly release a new piece of clothing if they feel it will perform well. It is, after all, a brand built on data, not fashion. Its founders, Michael Mente and Mike Karanikolas, have no background in fashion but instead have expertise in data and business.

Analytics is the key driver of the brand and the primary reason for their great successes over the last 15 years. If their audience responds well to something: make more. If it doesn’t: cut it. An in-house assortment of brands and collections is seen as the natural next step forward for Revolve.

Revolve Influencer Events

Much of Revolve’s success can be attributed to its events, which function as one of the core pillars of its marketing efforts. Revolve’s calendar of exotic trips and parties is spectacular, and its influencers would likely agree—given Revolve foots the bill for all of them.

#RevolveInTheHamptons

The Hamptons trip is exclusive for Revolve’s most-followed influencers. They invite 20 of their latest and greatest stars to stay at a $37,500-per-month home—along with $2,000 dollars clothing credit, and an appearance fee to boot.

#RevolveSummer

A two-week activation in Bermuda for a line-up of 75 top influencers, starting in 2018 and created to replace the Hamptons trip. Dining, pools, beach parties, yachts—you name it, it’s there.

#RevolveFestival

The annual #RevolveFestival at Coachella, which has become an event unto itself in many ways, even to the point of overshadowing the main event. It is one of the most exclusive parties and returned in 2019 for its fourth year, featuring the likes of SZA and 2 Chainz.

Why Revolve Influencer Marketing Is Successful

Revolve might spend much of its time presenting an exclusive brand for the most exclusive influencers in the industry, but the fact is that it is a company that is enormously successful at appealing to its key demographic of young women.

Its top influencers may be in the stratosphere of the social media world, but many hundreds of its huge network of thousands of influencers command far more modest followings. Their influencer strategy relies just as strongly on micro- and mid-tier influencers as it does on its stars.

With the help of influencers, Revolve has successfully bridged the gap between fashion and influencers in a way that few others have been able to replicate. Helped no less by the brand hashtag of choice, #RevolveAroundTheWorld, used by almost every influencer around the world to promote its products.

It’s one of the primary reasons for their success: an ability to use social media reach out to as large an audience as possible. With 3,500 brand ambassadors; you’re casting a very wide net. In this way, they’ve been able to present themselves as a relatable brand offering affordable, yet high end, clothing to younger audiences.

How Revolve Influencer Marketing Will Continue To Evolve

In the wake of its huge IPO, Revolve is unlikely to slam the brakes on its strategy. With the rest of the fashion retail world making efforts to catch-up, expect Revolve to keep moving forward.

It has already broken the mold in what you can do by merging retail and technology together on social media, and considering the success, its roster of influencers is likely to continue to grow in size.

The Revolve Awards gives influencers the chance to walk the red carpet and pick up a gong, while influencer clothing lines can be expected to grow in number if Song’s proves to be a success. Events and activations organized by the company have so far proved to be worth the expense to provide mainstream buzz with big stars, and its partnerships with thousands of smaller influencers boost engagement from across the board.

As we go forward, we can expect Revolve to kick on and expand its existing influencer marketing strategy while everyone else scrambles to keep up.

Mediakix Launches New Influencer Marketing Site 2019

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Introducing Mediakix’s Redesigned Influencer Marketing Agency Site

The day has finally come. After several years operating on the same outdated site, Mediakix is extremely proud to unveil an all-new look. We’re beyond excited to share it with the influencer marketing community and the rest of the world, and we hope you take the liberty of giving it a look-see.

If you’re reading this blog post, you’re already getting a fresh glance of the result of our highly anticipated makeover. We don’t mean to gloat, but if there were a beauty pageant for influencer marketing websites, surely we’d be crowned the beauty queen…okay, so maybe that’s a stretch, but still, look how far we’ve come (please excuse the obligatory before and after pics):

Before:

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After:mediakix-new-homepage-after

The difference is more obvious if you’ve been a frequent visitor of our site over the years (thank you for your patience and continued trust). As you can see, the new version is much better-looking than the old one. The new site draws inspiration from the original with a black background but transforms the overall user experience with stunning imagery, clean lines, and intuitive navigation.

Take it from our very own founder and CEO, Evan Asano:

“It’s been an amazing journey these last 8 years seeing not just Mediakix grow but influencer marketing as a whole become its own industry. When I started Mediakix in 2011, there were only a handful of companies that worked in the space. Compare that now to hundreds of companies.

Our goal with the Mediakix website has always been to inform and educate on influencer marketing and we’ve gone well and beyond that. Our blog has received over 4.5 million visitors.

We’ve helped inform and educate an entire industry and look forward to doing more!”

Vice President and General Manager of Mediakix, Zoë Marans, reflects on this transformative experience:

“It’s incredible to see how far this new site has come from our original website. We bought the original website template for $40 and customized it with our developers in India. I think the whole project cost about $200. It’s incredible to think that the original, basic $200 website carried us for over 7 years! It doesn’t even compare to the new site that we pored over each and every detail.

For as outdated as our old site was, it’s an important piece to the Mediakix history and carries all the work and memories from our formative years.

We learned a lot from our old site—what worked, what was important to advertisers—and made sure to address all of that in our new site. We’re so excited for our partners to check it out and see all the awesome work we’ve accomplished together!”

mediakix site redesign evan asano zoe marans

No doubt, Evan and Zoe have everything to do with how much Mediakix has accomplished in a span of 8 years. What better way to reward their dedication and love for the company than with a fabulous site redesign? Let’s get down to business!

Mediakix New Site Features & Functionalities

It’s been a long time coming, but our newly refreshed site now features more extensive information, smoother navigation, quicker load time, better search functionality, and an overall more visually appealing aesthetic. Nobody likes an overabundance of web copy and scattered messaging—we all look at screens too long as it is. So, we cleaned things up a bit.

Below are key highlights of the updated site design:

Homepage

mediakix new site

First and foremost, our homepage has undergone a necessary facelift. From gorgeous photography, to a more comprehensive review of our managed services, to a snapshot of our wonderful clients, to a sneak peek of our most popular blog posts, the digital storefront to our business is well-organized, polished, and professional.

YouTube & Instagram Influencer Marketing Services Pages

Our brand new services pages offer a glimpse into the Mediakix team’s capabilities and experience on our two primary influencer channels: YouTube influencer marketing and Instagram influencer marketing.

Looking to learn about and get started on an Instagram or YouTube influencer marketing program for your brand? This is a great place to start.

Each services page has a rundown on how our talented account managers help brands plan, execute, and measure influencer marketing campaigns. We also feature testimonials from our clients, while our new FAQ section answers common questions about Mediakix’s managed services.

Our Work Page

mediakix new site

A page that’s received a remarkable remodeling, Our Work lists 35 brands that Mediakix has partnered with to launch successful influencer marketing campaigns.

mediakix new site

Ranging from 13 different industries and categories, including auto, beauty, gaming, tech, and travel, visitors can click through to view goals, results, and campaign highlights from our clients’ top-performing influencer content.

Resources Section

mediakix new site

Our new Resources section is looking spick and span with a layout that lets users filter by type of resource content. Parse through our resource stockpile—some of Mediakix’s most popular hits—and bookmark these so you always know where to find them. We’ll be publishing plenty of new resources in the upcoming months, so be on the lookout for some exciting assets to add to your research repertoire.

Blog Section

In many ways, the Mediakix influencer marketing blog is our baby. With the first post dating back to 2013, we’ve written more than a thousand posts since, all of which have helped shape the influencer marketing industry. In fact, our blog is the most frequented stop on our site. Thousands of avid readers in the influencer marketing community are subscribed to our weekly blog newsletter, which is chock full of original research, industry insights, trends, statistics, case studies, how-tos, and more.blog-mediakix-after

The blog has been reformatted to show off all our beloved blog articles except now the content hub displays cleaner snippets of our blogroll with dates. When you click into individual blog posts, the posts will load faster and the user experience should be on par with the amazing influencer collaborations we help activate.

mediakix new site

Further, users can now easily filter through various blog categories to view the content most relevant to their needs. Only interested in finding blog posts about Instagram influencers? Curious what influencers disclose in our exclusive interview spotlights? Keen on keeping up with the ever-changing influencer marketing news stories? Quickly click between the categories suited to your interests.

Have you subscribed to our industry-leading newsletter? If you haven’t, you’re missing out on your weekly dose of influencer marketing magic. Go on, sign up here.

About Page

mediakix new site

To learn more about Mediakix, check out our About page. Giving site entrants an overview of our company’s origin and mission, the About page introduces you to the amazing and talented folk who make up our team. We even added in an interactive timeline to guide you through some of the company’s big wins. If you’re looking to join the Mediakix team, the funny group shot captures our free-spirited yet hard-working culture.

Top Navigation Bar & Footer Menus

mediakix new site

The menu navigation bar atop our site isn’t profoundly different, but it’s sleeker and offers a clearer entry point into the rest of our site’s pillar pages. The dropdown menu for the Services tab leads directly to our primary influencer marketing service pages for YouTube and Instagram channels.

mediakix new site

The footer menu is also now nested more prominently at the bottom of each site page, giving site users another chance to reroute to our central pages. Our contact information, links to social media channels, and newsletter subscription signup form are overall less overwhelming for visitors who scroll to the bottom.

New Site, New Era, Same Us

Our site may have undergone a much-needed transformation, but our team still embodies the same awesomeness it always has. In the spirit of refreshing our site, we’ll be helping ourselves to some refreshments to celebrate this momentous occasion.

mediakix new site

Well, we’ve given you a brief tour and we invite you to explore the rest of the site on your own. Please poke around, traverse the mountains of influencer marketing resources and blog posts, report any bugs, fill out a few forms to download industry-leading content, and let us know if you have any questions or feedback.

Don’t forget to give us a share to spread the word about Mediakix’s fresh, new look!

Is Influencer Marketing Automation The Way To Go?

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What Is Influencer Marketing Automation?

Influencer marketing automation refers to the use of software or artificial intelligence (AI) to “automate” the manual work behind influencer selection, outreach, communication, campaign optimization, and eventually even the creative strategy behind sponsored influencer content.

The promise of influencer marketing automation is to not only make influencer marketing easier but to improve both the performance and scale of influencer promotions. However, influencer marketing has a unique set of challenges when it comes to being fully automated, as the method relies heavily on the human touch.

To better understand the implications of influencer marketing automation, we consider other applications of marketing automation.

What Is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation involves the use of technology to “automate” various aspects of marketing, including workflows, email sends, social media posts, and programmatic advertising. Automation is what enables marketers to email thousands of people with personalized messages, set up auto-responders and lead nurture campaigns, and schedule social media posts in advance.

In order to “automate” a task, marketers input specific parameters, data points, or triggers, which enable the software to interpret and execute a marketing process automatically (without human judgment or action needed). In other words, the human element occurs when the marketer makes these decisions at scale to be later executed automatically without human supervision.

A Basic Marketing Automation Example

influencer marketing automation

A simple example of marketing automation: when a user fills out a web form to subscribe to an email newsletter. Using a marketing automation platform, a marketer would set up a workflow that prescribes the following logic: if a user submits their email address in a form on the newsletter subscription landing page, then the weekly newsletter will be sent to that user’s email address each week.

Marketing Automation In Advertising

When it comes to automation in advertising, data is used to improve click-through and conversions. In Google Ads, for example, marketers set a budget, target keywords, and several versions of ad copy. From there, Google optimizes the performance of the campaign by running a series of tests. The more data the algorithm gathers, the better it can serve the right ads, to the right person, at the right time.

The Rise And Fall Of Programmatic

This type of automation was incredibly successful in the ad tech industry starting around 2008. Automation runs through ad exchanges enabled advertisers to serve programmatic banner advertisements on a one-to-one level (meaning advertisers could set audience targets to individual users as opposed to groups of users). When it was done well, programmatic advertising fed data into complex algorithms to serve display advertisements at the right time, with the right product, to the right person. As the algorithms improved, marketers could scale up personalized advertisements at an incredible rate.

However, as more consumers installed ad blockers and grew weary of “creepy” banner ads, the programmatic industry struggled to remain afloat. In spite of the promise of automation, it turns out near-perfect personalization wasn’t exactly what consumers wanted.

How Does Automation Apply To Influencer Marketing?

The Challenges Of Influencer Marketing Automation

As with most marketing processes, marketers hope to automate some of the more time-consuming processes behind influencer marketing that bog down the execution, learnings, and optimization of entire influencer marketing strategies. While 80% of marketers find influencer marketing effective, it remains challenging to scale due to the very “human” nature of launching an influencer campaign.

influencer marketing automation

Can you imagine letting an AI software program take control of your brand’s intricately designed influencer marketing campaign with full assurance that it will stand out in a crowded space without any hiccups? Marketers have a hard time letting go of ownership when it comes to influencer marketing because so many moving parts need to be addressed by human eyes.

Influencer marketing involves vetting hundreds or thousands of influencers, reaching out to them, setting up contracts, collaborating on a creative strategy, and in some cases, dealing with talent management. Compared to the “set it and forget it” nature of Google Ads, email nurture campaigns, and display advertising, launching a single sponsored post requires a ton of hands-on labor from both the sponsoring brand and the influencer.

Influencer Platforms Introduced To The Market

influencer marketing automation

These challenges led to the rise of influencer marketing platforms, which rose to prominence around 2015 to streamline the process of influencer identification, outreach, communication, and payments.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the promise of platforms was to be “ad tech for influencer deals”—but many industry experts feared that this plug-and-play approach would lead to bad user experience and negative perceptions towards influencers and influencer marketing overall.

Does Automation Cut It For Influencer Marketing?

While it’s safe to say that platforms haven’t ruined influencer marketing, there is no question that paying for a one-off brand mention or random influencer shoutout is unlikely to bring as much success as a thoughtful, strategic partnership. Brands who invest in strong creative collaboration and sponsored content that connects spot-on with the influencer’s audience will almost always win outright compared to artificially devised campaigns.

influencer marketing automation 

AI simply lacks the strategic resources that humans have access to through years of experience and lessons learned. Influencer marketing’s inner workings have yet to be comprehensively unraveled by automation, so AI can only be used when the stakes aren’t high with contextual judgment. Mediakix ran an influencer experiment in which we secured brand sponsorships on an influencer marketing platform using a fake influencer, proving the real possibility of critical decisions being botched by automated software.

Already, users can quickly detect fake followers, inflated engagement, and inauthentic sponsorships that don’t align with the influencer’s true interests, so imagine how users would react when robotic influencer marketing campaigns simply miss the mark? Automated influencer activations will lead to poor user experiences and threaten the entire ethos of influencer marketing.

Overall, the significance of the human component doesn’t bode well for influencer marketing automation. Automating actions that are normally performed with human discretion can’t seamlessly be reassigned to AI. And if brands and marketers become too reliant on automation, they’ll inevitably grow out of touch with the root of influencer marketing—real human connections.

Influencer Marketing Platforms Vs. Influencer Marketing Agencies

When brands launch influencer marketing campaigns, they can employ the help of influencer marketing platforms or influencer marketing agencies. Influencer marketing platforms are generally two-sided digital marketplaces where marketers can find influencers to collaborate with on an influencer campaign. Influencer marketing agencies offer managed services to help brands partner with influencers to execute influencer sponsorships. Between the two options, there are pros and cons that marketers should factor into their strategy.

Influencer Marketing Platforms: Positive Growth, Negative Results

On the one hand, platforms have seen tremendous growth in the era of automation. A flurry of influencer marketing platforms cropped up to provide ad tech for influencer deals, but this plug-and-play approach ran into issues (i.e. poor user experience, no quality assurance, surprisingly time intensive), unlike traditional advertising. As brands turned their attention to the shiny new automated software capabilities, human elements fell to the wayside.

The irony here is that influencer marketing is based upon the premise that influencers are successful because they’re real humans, with real connections to other humans. Platforms remove an important human portion of influencer marketing, sometimes resulting in campaigns falling short of user expectations.

That said, influencer marketing platforms aren’t completely inept. In fact, they often succeed in improving campaign efficiency so that marketers can dedicate more resources to the overall strategy. This suggests that platforms are best used in conjunction with relationship-based influencer marketing.

Influencer Marketing Agencies: More Time, More Human

Agencies specialize in managing influencer marketing campaigns end-to-end from research to negotiation to communication to deployment to measurement and beyond. Due to their unique position within the influencer marketing industry as true experts, agencies offer more proficiency and sophistication that are unmatched by their platform counterparts.

As the influencer marketing industry landscape continues to evolve, agencies will also grow to support the needs and expectations of brands, influencers, and consumers. At their core, influencer marketing agencies will utilize human expertise to ensure campaigns are in line with their human audience, which inevitably takes more time. With high effort, marketers can expect high output.

Growth Potential Of Platforms & Agencies

Agency potential will increase over time with the caveat that the more time marketers spend performing tedious tasks, the less time they can dedicate to their larger influencer marketing strategy. By strictly relying on agency services, the human elements ring true while the ability to streamline time-consuming tasks falters.

Influencer marketing platforms also have the potential to grow with the industry, but it depends on platforms’ abilities to emulate and emphasize the human ingredients required for impactful influencer marketing campaigns: transparency and communication. With automation, performance is only as good as what you put into it. If it’s purely automated, the results may very well come across as such—humanless.

So, Can Influencer Marketing Be Fully Automated?

The burning question remains: will full-fledged influencer marketing automation prevail?

influencer marketing automation

The answer is not absolute in either direction. Rather, it lies in implementing the right amount of influencer marketing automation without losing human insights—a happy medium, if you will.

5 Challenges Of Influencer Marketing & Platform Automation

To strike a balance that works for your brand’s purposes, it’s important to consider some of the challenges of influencer marketing and platform automation:

  1. Personalized Communication – Initial and ongoing communication with influencers should be personal, and without the back-and-forth between human parties, influencer brand relationships will feel rigid. Influencers are less likely to sign on to your campaign if they don’t feel like your brand identifies with them or aligns with their personal brand. A custom introduction email is most effective in expressing and determining common interests.
  2. Long-Term Partnerships – More brands and influencers are opting for long-term partnerships, or always-on strategies, that require constant nurturing from both parties. Automated platforms may position campaigns as a quick-hit approach as opposed to a thoughtful strategy with endurance in mind, leaving brands and influencers without a proven track record of maintaining long-term professional relationships.influencer marketing automation
  3. Fake Followers & Engagement – Influencers sometimes use fake followers and feign engagement that unsophisticated automated platforms can be unable to detect. The human eye has a knack for uncovering phonies and ensuring influencer partners are legitimate.
  4. Influencer Niche Limitations – All influencers have their own niche and personal brand. This places and, therefore, natural restrictions on the types of content they’ll produce or brands they’ll work with. Without upfront human judgment, influencers and brands are more likely to misalign when it comes to finding a natural fit.
  5. Rising Influencer Costs – Influencer costs will fluctuate and likely rise because influencers have the power to charge more as their reach expands and the industry grows more sophisticated. Automated platforms remove the middleman in negotiating costs, leaving it up to set parameters to pair influencers and brands based on predefined cost requirements. This transactional matchmaking eliminates the possibility of negotiating mutually beneficial activations that go beyond a bottom line influencer fee. For example, an influencer might enthusiastically discount their fee for the opportunity to endorse an eco-friendly start-up brand; a platform doesn’t allow for outside-of-the-box agreements.

Do Marketers Think Influencer Marketing Can Be Automated?

influencer marketing automation

We surveyed marketing professionals to find out if they think influencer marketing can be automated. A whopping 96% answered that they don’t think influencer marketing can be fully automated, leaving a negligible 4% saying influencer marketing can be completely managed through automated platforms.

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A separate survey shows that two-thirds of U.S. marketing professionals are comfortable with AI technology automating their campaigns compared to only 23% being comfortable with fully automated campaign execution at all stages.

While these answers aren’t the be-all and end-all, influencer marketing experts provide a solid stance within an industry that has undergone a constant transformation and will continue to reshape as technologies and strategies evolve. It’s safe to say that influencer marketing will remain human to its core.

What Is The Future of Automation?

Find A Happy Medium Between Human-Based Influencer Marketing & Platform Automation

Ultimately, marketers can launch a robust influencer marketing campaign by finding a healthy balance between efficient influencer marketing automation and strategic human judgment.

After all, influencer content succeeds because it rings true to their loyal audience. An influencer’s unique personality, voice, and style is what makes fans love them—how could something like that be captured solely by an algorithm or automated at scale?

influencer marketing automation

Influencer marketing automation has its place in the marketing ecosystem, but it’s highly unlikely that any single brand will convert their influencer marketing strategy to be fully automated. Not to mention, influencers will likely never entirely embrace automation to the point that they set cruise control and let automated platforms execute what should be highly personalized and authentic campaigns.

The power of technology is real, no doubt, but in order to elicit a meaningful response from humans, human insights and decisions must form the backbone of an impactful influencer marketing strategy.