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Happy Earth Day everyone! This week our influencer marketing industry blog featured articles about how brands are using Instagram, Snapchat, and partnering with social media influencers to market to Coachella’s massive, engaged audiences. We also created an informative infographic to illustrate which social media platform teens now prefer and examined the rise of the Instagram meme publisher (and how brands are partnering with this new kind of digital star).
Among the influencer marketing news and trends we were following this week include: National Geographic’s stunning portrayals of nature have generated massive levels of engagement; fitness Instagrammer breaks into mainstream advertising with her new commercial for the Apple watch; a touching YouTube video that captures the shift in gaming culture; and more.
To commemorate Earth Day, we take a look at how one of the most nature-focused brands, National Geographic, is generating staggeringly high levels of engagement by leveraging the world’s best photographers to showcase iconic cities, sublime landscapes, and interesting people. Adweek recently reported that “NatGeo” actually bested all other brands (in terms of engagement) during the first quarter (Q1), earning over 330 million likes and social shares among its 102.7 million followers across all its social media channels.
Photograph by Michael Yamashita. @yamashitaphoto – Earth Day, on April 22, celebrates our planet’s environment and the life that’s on it. The Kuril Islands support a wide range and high abundance of marine life. A laboratory for hardy scientists, the crater bay on uninhabited Yankicha teems with such life, the product of an unusual environment in which cold ocean tides mingle with superheated waters from volcanic vents. #NatgeoEarthDay #earthday #Yankicha #kurilislands #island #Russia #Japan @natgeocreative @thephotosociety Want to have your #EarthDay photo published on NatGeo.com? Add #NatgeoEarthDay to your images, then check NatGeo.com on Earth Day, April 22nd.
The latest in a long line of social media stars to be embraced by mainstream media and global brand advertisers, top fitness Instagrammer Kayla Itsines recently partnered with tech behemoth Apple to promote the brand’s Apple Watch to her fitness-minded audiences. Similar ads for the Apple Watch feature Nick Jonas, Alice Cooper, and Jon Batiste, and the inclusion of Itsines among these traditional celebrities serves to reinforce the assertion that social media stars now hold the power to reach and influence millions of consumers (Adnews)—possibly even more than movie stars and pop singers.
An annual EConsultancy survey of nearly 500 companies and marketers found that 72% will increase spending on digital marketing in 2016, and 54% of those surveyed said they plan to increase the size of their digital marketing teams in the year ahead.
An article published by Convince & Convert detailed how research film Nielsen Catalina Solutions placed a special tracking pixel to determine which consumers had been exposed to banner ads and compared the ROI of monitored banners with data from an influencer marketing firm. The results of the study: influencer marketing yields 11 times higher ROIs than banner ads over a period of 12 months. This should come as no surprise to brands considering the prevalence of ad-blocking software and the reach/influential nature of today’s social media stars.
According to Digital Trends, a study conducted by Informate Mobile Intelligence discovered that people in the United States check their Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and other social media accounts 17 times each day, on average. Furthermore, the average consumer now has five social media accounts and spends almost 2 hours on social media platforms, apps, and networks every day (Telegraph). For marketers, these figures suggest that resources should be increasingly diverted to social media marketing and influencer marketing strategies to leverage the attention of socially-savvy audiences.
Traditional television network The Food Network is attempting to expand to social audiences, and it’s doing so by partnering with digital influencers like Hannah Bronfman for a new video series entitled “Feel Good with Hannah.” “We’re looking to work more with influencers and fresh faces that can introduce our brand to new fans,” Deb Puchalla, vice president of content development for the project’s developer, Scripps Lifestyle Studios, told Digiday. “It allows us to stretch the definition of the Food Network family and do more in food-adjacent categories.”
The rise of livestreaming gaming sites like Twitch and the million-strong audiences now attracted by top YouTube gamers are just a few indicators of how gaming culture is evolving and expanding. Recently, Tubefilter reported on a viral video that further illustrates how gaming’s social aspect has resulted in massive game sales and a re-imagining of traditional gaming culture. To see what we mean, watch the video below.