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In this week’s Influencer marketing roundup, we explore how social media marketing is expanding and evolving with livestreaming networks like Steve Chen’s Nom, a major collaboration between toymaker Nerf and top YouTubers Dude Perfect to launch a new line of sports toys, and new influencer marketing platforms and tools like Gnack. The biggest traditional media companies continue making forays into influencer marketing with the New York Times’ acquisition of influencer agency HelloSociety, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces the newest native advertising labeling laws.
At Mediakix, we shared how brands and advertisers can optimize their marketing efforts in light of Instagram’s impending newsfeed algorithm, the best branded Instagram videos of 2016 (so far), and detailed the differences between content marketing and marketing with social media influencers. Lastly, for a St. Patrick’s Day special, we took a look at how some of the most recognizable names in the spirit and alcohol advertising space are messaging new and untapped audiences on Instagram with creative social and lifestyle campaigns.
Foodies rejoice! Steve Chen (one of YouTube’s co-founders) has launched Nom, a live video streaming food network that allows broadcasters to set up streams from their kitchens and encourages audiences to interact with the platform’s “chefs” in real time. Dubbed the “Twitch of food” for its similarities to the livestreaming gaming platform Twitch, Nom reflects a gradual shift toward live, interactive digital programming and opens up new doors for advertisers and influencer marketing opportunities (Tubefilter). “If you’ve ever snapped a picture of your dinner,” Chen said in a press release, “Nom is for you.”
Traditional media outlets continue to make forays into the influencer marketing arena with the New York Times’ acquisition of HelloSociety, an influencer agency. According to a press release cited by AdAge’s Jeremy Barr, the sale will help expand the capacity ofthe Times’ native content agency, T Brand Studio. HelloSociety CEO Kyla Brennan said that the acquisition “will make it easier for The New York Times’ advertisers to create customized campaigns and content to resonate across any social channel” (TechCrunch). Prior to the prevalent growth of social media and its top YouTubers, Instagrammers, Viners, Snapchatters, and bloggers, advertisers and publishers worked primarily with creative agencies, ad agencies, PR agencies, and more recent, digital marketing agencies. Now, many brands realizing the importance and effectiveness of marketing with social media influencers are working with influencer marketing agencies. Unlike purchasing display ads and/or running TV commercials, marketing with social and digital influencers is an entirely different space and as such, many advertisers are recognizing that its success truly requires a thorough understanding of how best to concept, execute, manage, and optimize these new social influencer campaigns.
The latest in a long line of tech startups hoping to capitalize on the growth and viability of influencer marketing, Austin-based Gnack is attempting to automate the process by which brands find influencers (and vice versa). By asking influencers to integrate their social media accounts with the platform, Gnack says it will also be able to provide Snapchat measurements. “Marketers can spend 200 hours vetting influencers,” Gnack’s CRO Chico Tirado was quoted as saying in a recent Adweek article. “We wanted a way to automize the entire process.” With influencer marketing platforms, automation can be helpful in certain respects however, properly using these types of software and marketplaces does require the user to comprehend influencer marketing strategy, and how to best market with social media influencers.
The marketability of top YouTubers is growing, and Dude Perfect’s partnership with Nerf is a perfect example of how big brands are teaming up with social media stars to reach millions of engaged consumers. Though Dude Perfect’s videos have often featured Nerf products—the channel’s most-watched video, a Nerf blaster competition, has garnered almost 50 million views—this collaboration marks the first time Nerf’s parent company, Hasbro, has joined forces with social media influencers to create an entirely new product line. “Releasing our own line of toys is a dream come true for Dude Perfect,” channel founder Coby Cotton said in a recent Tubefilter article. Like Hasbro, many companies have successfully launched new brands with the viewability, reach, and engagement of top YouTube influencers.
While brands are often eager to launch marketing campaigns on the most popular social media platforms of the day, companies should consider a platform’s audience, format, and how well the social media influencers represent the brand identity and/or resonate with the company’s intended audience before investing too heavily in a particular network or social media channel. To illustrate this point, luxury brand founder Thomas Serrano shares with Adweek’s Lauren Johnson how, “Right now, most brands are engaging with Snapchat, and most of the luxury brands are not. They’re like, ‘What can I do in eight seconds? My story and my brand is much more complex than that.'” While the salient points presented in Johnson’s article “Why YouTube Is A More Important Than Snapchat For Luxury Brands,” may not be applicable for all luxury brands, it does draw notice to why matching a brand and its initiatives to the right social media channels are critical for marketing campaign success.
To prove the viability of Instagram as a marketing platform for musicians and music brands, the photo-sharing app commissioned Nielsen, a global ratings and measurement authority, to conduct a study regarding the relationship between Instagram users and music. According to Forbes, the study found that Instagram users spend 42% more money on music-related items than non-Instagram users and 30% more time listening to music than the rest of the population. What’s more, five of the 10 most-followed accounts are musicians, with pop star Selena Gomez recently claiming the title of “Most Followed Person” on Instagram. The findings show that music is a priority to the platform’s 400 million users, and marketers looking to connect with audiences need to find a way to translate their passion for music into higher levels of engagement and conversion.
According to the Wall Street Journal, clothing retailer and fashion brand Lord & Taylor has reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over charges that the company failed to properly identify sponsored content in both print native advertising (articles in Nylon Magazine were made to look like editorial pieces) and collaborations with 50 fashion influencers (who were paid to post an Instagram photo of themselves wearing a Lord & Taylor dress but not required by the company to stipulate that the posts were ads). The Lord & Taylor dispute marks the first native advertising-related case brought forward since the FTC released the newest guidelines in December, 2015.
For more information on the FTC’s guidelines regarding advertising on social media with influencers, see our post here.