FOMO: Is Your Influencer Marketing Strategy On Par with Competitors?

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One of the most effective ways to get the word out about your brand, products, and services is to use influencer marketing. Teaming up with an influencer in your industry can put you in a position to reach out to a wider audience. However, your competitors might have been using influencer advertising for quite some time – how do you measure up? Here are four influencer marketing tactics you can start using today to ensure you aren’t missing out.

influencer marketing, instagram, influencer advertising

Are you paying for views or actual engagement?

1. Make Sure Your Money is Well-Spent
Time is money, and you can’t afford to waste your budget on an influencer advertising strategy that isn’t paying off. That being said, it may be worth reaching out to a company that offers a pay-per-engagement model. This means that you aren’t just paying to publish ads that may or may not be clicked – you’re only paying for posts that your audiences sees and engages with online.

2. Connect with Invested Influencers
The influencers you work with should be incentivized to help your brand, whether it’s through general interest or passion for your particular industry. In the event that you bring in influencers who aren’t invested in your company, you may not get the amount of exposure or brand recognition that you desire. Influencers may fall off the map in terms of promoting your company over time.

3. Keep Your Influencer Marketing Strategy Targeted
Ideally, your brand should value impact over reach. This means you’re constantly working to create engaging, click-worthy posts, rather than posts that may be overlooked by wide audiences. Trust your influencers when you choose to work with them – they understand what types of posts resonate with their audiences. In turn, they can guide you as you generate engagement-worthy content of your own.

4. Don’t Forget to Strengthen Influencer Relationships
Influencers want to feel appreciated, and doing so can provide them with even more incentive to promote your brand. However, it’s critical to strengthen relationships with influencers to better understand the direction of your marketing campaign as well. Maintaining strong communication with your influencers can ensure that you’re keeping tabs on their audiences, as well as how they are engaging with your promoted content.

To make sure you aren’t missing out on all of the influencer marketing trends your competitors are taking advantage of, contact Fullbottle today. You’ll receive everything you need to launch an influencer advertising campaign that blows away the competition. Additionally, you’ll be able to take advantage of a pay-per-engagement model that ensures your marketing budget is going to good use.

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Instagram Responds to Uproar over News Feed Changes, But is Change All Bad?

instagram, influencer, influencer marketing

On March 15, Instagram announced that it would be adding an algorithm to display news feed posts according to what users “care about most,” rather than streaming posts in chronological order. After receiving a negative response from some Instagram influencers and brands, the social network has replied to the uproar.

instagram, instagram marketing, instagram influencer

Instagram news feed changes are on their way.

“We’re listening and we assure you nothing is changing with your feed right now,” Instagram stated on March 28. “We promise to let you know when changes roll out broadly.”

However, the development of the algorithm hasn’t stopped users from protesting. In fact, a petition has been created on Change.org, titled “Keep Instagram Chronological.” It has a growing list of more than 333,000 supporters, and it encourages users to voice their opposition, assuming Instagram is listening to their feedback.

“After what happened when Facebook switched to algorithm-based feeds, it’s certainly not something that small business’ will want!” writes Sarah Heard, petition creator. “At the very least, shouldn’t the community be able to opt-in, rather than having it mandated that this is how we will now see our feed?”

The algorithm has not been officially recalled, which means that Instagram marketing professionals will need to work a bit harder to ensure that their audience stays engaged. That being said, this is no easy task, but influencer advertising can help.

The Instagram algorithm is making brands rethink the type of content they are putting out — is it engaging? What makes followers want to click and comment? Through influencer advertising, brands can work with individuals who are always creating content catered to their audiences. This inevitably drives engagement, and makes the investment worth it for brands.

In the end, the algorithm change may not negatively impact brands, assuming they adjust their marketing strategies accordingly. Brands also need to take a hard look at how they pay influencers. Performance-based pay models become more important because it incentivizes influencers to maximize creativity and create quality content their followers love.

To learn how you can team up with influencers to create a winning marketing strategy, contact Fullbottle for more information today!

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Mindshare Before Marketshare: 2 Reasons Influencer Marketing Offsets the Rising Costs of Attention

Influencer marketing, instagram, marketing

The average tenure for CMOs has doubled to 48 months in the last ten years. It’s no surprise considering that cost of consumer attention has risen seven-to-nine fold during the same period of time. However, implementing influencer marketing can help CMOs develop a Blue Ocean Strategy with a Lean Advertising Methodology at it’s core.

As the Microsoft Corp study pointed out, “No longer can we (consumers) boast 12 seconds of coherent thought (less than a goldfish).”

We live in a world where turning to our smartphones for tasks is a natural condition – to text a friend, to check Instagram, to find a car, to check a price (consumer funnel is dead).

But CMOs can use this dynamic to their advantage and offset the rising costs to achieve eight seconds of our attention.

CREATE A BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY

For starters, they must shift the paradigm and make marketing a vital operating function within their organization. As CMO Beth Comstok demonstrated at GE, marketing must become a source of innovation whose efforts are as creative and valuable as the products coming out of R&D.

Sadly, most brands (and their CMOs) are stuck in a Red Ocean strategy, racing to beat the competition by building a defensible position within the existing industry order. Few brands like GE have embraced the “blue ocean” opportunity of acquiring non-customers on emerging networks like Instagram. I’m still amazed by the number of executives who don’t have an Instagram account.

CMOs must focus on value innovation, which is the alignment of innovation with utility, price, and cost positions. Influencer marketing helps brands execute this strategy by pursuing a new segment of consumers using media costs (compared to TV, print, and digital display) simultaneously.

LEAN ADVERTISING METHODOLOGY

I often recommend brands of all sizes follow the template that GE or Coke executes with amazing success. But these examples are consistently met with rebuttals, such as, “But we’re not Coke,” and “We don’t have their war chest of resources.” You don’t need their war chest to execute a similar influencer marketing strategy.

For example, a brand can implement the Lean Advertising Methodology using Instagram advertising by influencers to outsource content creation and media distribution. It’s the only media option that allows brands to collapse the cost of content creation and media distribution while scaling and simultaneously market testing their message with potential consumers. Thales S. Teixiera provided an excellent overview of this approach in the Harvard Business Review.

Coke’s Wendy Clark detailed aspects of Coke’s strategy – content, scale, spread in real-time, with or without us. Core to Coke’s strategy is a readily accepted approach called the “70-20-10 rule.” Seventy percent of a brand’s marketing investment focuses on programs that have proven successful. Twenty percent of a brand’s investment targets emerging trends, such as emojis and mobile messaging. The remaining 10 percent gambles on “untested” programs with minimal traction.

INSTAGRAM ADVERTISING: SCALE CONTENT CREATION AND MEDIA DISTRIBUTION
Here’s the rub; many CMOs still consider influencer marketing in the 20 percent bucket (emerging trend), or worse. But this is not the case for brands in the middle-to-lower end of the market.

These brands must adopt lean methods to compete with the Fortune 100 brands. For example, @MarkandEstel recently shared with us that Instagram advertising was quickly becoming the most valuable medium available to them. Why? They are able to remove the cost of marketing agencies or standard media costs e.g. TV :30 inventory and substitute it with an army of influencers that produce content and promote their brand.

All of this is done with a team of two – not the Coke empire.

To learn how you can expand upon your influencer marketing strategy, contact Fullbottle today for more information!

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Instagram Expands Video Length to 60 Seconds for More Storytelling

instagram, instagram marketing, influencer marketing

In February, Instagram began allowing advertisers to roll out 60 second-long videos to users. Now, the social networking platform is making this length available to all of its users, ranging from Instagram influencers to amateur photographers.

Instagram made the announcement on its blog on March 29. The goal is to give users more “flexibility” to tell their stories, and Instagram says it’s one of many changes arriving this year.

instagram, instagram marketing, video, influencer marketing

Now, videos can be up to 60 seconds long.

In addition, iOS users will now have the ability to create videos out of multiple clips from their camera roll. This was an option in the past, but had been phased out.

“We’re excited about the incredible community of video creators who already call Instagram home,” Instagram stated.

Today, more than 25 percent of Fortune 500 companies use Instagram, and for good reason. The platform has 75 million daily users, meaning there’s a wide audience to be reached on Instagram. Brands continue to turn to Instagram to drive publicity through hashtags, exhibit company culture, and market new products.

Influencers use both photos and videos to engage their followers and grow their audiences. However, the ideal content type may depend on the audience of the brand. In short, the success of a video of any length is more dependent on the story being told.

That being said, it’s critical for brands and influencers to test various video lengths as Instagram rolls out its changes. While 60 seconds is an ample amount of time to tell a story, it may not be necessary to use the full minute — content reigns supreme over length. Ideally, brands and Instagram influencers should strive to generate content that engages their specific audience, rather than the general public.

To learn how you can begin working with influencers to improve your marketing strategy, contact Fullbottle for more information!

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4 Signs that You Need to Tap into the Benefits of Influencer Marketing

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Whether you promote a big brand or a small business, influencer marketing can benefit you in many ways. That being said, not everyone is familiar with the advantages associated with this type of marketing. Here are four signs that influencer advertising could be perfect for your brand or business.

…You Want to Reduce the Length of Your Sales Cycle.
If you’re bringing in prospects but the majority of them fail to convert, your sales cycle might be lengthy and ineffective. Working with influencers can ensure that you’re bringing in prospects mid-funnel (or lower) who are more likely to convert. In turn, you’ll shorten your sales cycle.

influencer marketing, influencer advertising, instagram marketing

Working with influencers gives you a wider audience.

…You Want to Authenticate Your Brand.
Ever want to be in a thought leadership position in your industry? Teaming up with well-known influencers can improve your reputation and help you exhibit the knowledge you have of the business world.

…You Want to Increase Awareness.
The biggest benefit of influencer marketing is having the opportunity to raise brand awareness. Because influencers have large audiences, you can increase your business’ notoriety through these individuals and their social networks. Think of influencers as ambassadors who are spreading the good word about your brand.

…You Want a More Focused Marketing Plan.
Instead of beginning marketing initiatives in multiple areas, honing in your efforts on influencer marketing can help you save time and money. Because you’ll be working with influencers who already have an established audience, you can ensure that you’re reaching out to as many prospects as possible. Just be mindful of your target audience prior to choosing an influencer for your marketing efforts. Ideally, you want to work with influencers who are established in your specific industry.

Research has shown that 81 percent of marketers who have executed an influencer marketing campaign believe that they’ve been effective. For more information on how you can launch an own influencer marketing strategy, contact Fullbottle today!

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3 Secrets for Strengthening Your Influencer Marketing Strategy

influencer advertising, influencer, influencer marketing

With Easter just around the corner, brands are gearing up to celebrate the spring holiday. Each year, $14.6 billion is spent on Easter-related goods, and $2.1 billion goes toward candy alone. This means a whole lot of Instagram marketing, Facebook posting, and Twitter updating is necessary for brands to get in on the opportunity to profit from the holiday.

However, influencer marketing is one tactic that many brands overlook as they rush to get timely posts in front of customers and prospects. Here are three tips for strengthening your relationship with influencers as you look to give your marketing strategy an edge this spring.

influencer, influencer marketing, influencer advertising1. Show Appreciation.
Whether you choose to use Instagram or your company blog to praise your influencers, do it sooner rather than later. Influencers love knowing that they’re getting a little in return for their efforts to prop up your brand. Let your customers know that there are some hard-working influencers behind the scenes.

2. Host a Special Event.
If possible, make an effort to connect with your influencers in person. Hosting a cocktail hour or a networking event can help you strengthen your relationships with influencers. If there is too much distance between you, think about hosting an online event, such as a webinar. Introduce interested customers to your influencers to exhibit your working relationship.

3. Ask for Feedback.
While your existing influencer relationships may already be strong, there’s always room for improvement. To keep your influencers happy, take the time to ask for feedback – what could you be doing to make their job a little easier? Together, you can brainstorm new ways to enhance your influencer marketing strategy.

Last year, Americans spent an average of $141 on Easter alone. To make sure that you and your influencers are getting your brand in front of consumers this season, it’s critical to work in tandem. There’s no better time than spring to strengthen your investment in influencer marketing.

How can influencer advertising enhance your existing marketing strategy? Learn more by contacting Fullbottle today!

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No Your City: Instagram Marketing in the Big Apple [Interview]

NYC

When you’re handling the Instagram marketing responsibilities for an account with more than 22,000 followers, you have a big task at hand. It’s even bigger when you’re trying to engage an audience that already sees thousands of photos of New York City every day.

Insert No Your City, the Instagram account dedicated to posting about all things NYC from a unique point of view. We had an opportunity to speak with Gregory Jacobs, who handles the social media for No Your City.

How has your Instagram strategy changed as the social network has evolved?

“Our strategy has evolved in a variety of ways. When we started, you could simply post a photo and mention someone. Today, we are tagging all of our photos with the photographer and the location in which they were taken. We are also experimenting with hashtags and the ‘Explore’ page more than ever. The ‘Explore’ page, in particular, has been very helpful for attracting a new audience specifically as it relates to brand partnerships.

What is the biggest mistake to avoid while marketing on Instagram?

“The biggest mistake to avoid is compromising your brand/image for the sake of money.  We are approached by hundreds of companies that are not on-brand for us. If we were to partner with them, it would throw off our very engaged community and make is more of a ‘sell out.’”

nyc, instagram, instagram marketing, instagram advertisingHow do you keep your followers interested?

“I think our content is the best way we keep our followers engaged. We produce uniquely New York images that are different than any other account out there. In addition, we have a weekly feature where we post a photo that is tagged with #NoYourCity. This has helped us develop a brand voice and identity well beyond our page. We also run contests from time to time as well.”

What goes into making the perfect, audience-engaging Instagram post?

“Again, the content has to be in line with our audience — something that is not your run-of-the-mill photo that makes someone stop their endless scrolling and look at the image. I am a fan of photos that take everyday visuals (Empire State Building, Top of the Rock etc.) and add a unique element that has rarely/never been shot before. It’s one thing to take a picture of Central Park, and it’s a completely different thing to take a shot of Central Park in the middle of a blizzard when there is not a single soul in sight.”

What advice do you have to budding Instagram marketers?

“Budding brands have to stick true to whatever image they are trying to create. Never sacrifice that, ever. I think another thing that helps brands is consistency. Look at your brand as a business you are trying to build. Post regularly, and iterate upon your schedule to see is posting at different times results in more engagement. The last thing you need to remember is to have fun!”

More information on No Your City can be found on the brand’s website, as well as its Instagram page, @NoYourCity. To explore the benefits of an influencer marketing campaign, contact Fullbottle today!

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How Can Your Brand Benefit from Influencer Marketing?

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Brands constantly need to work toward raising awareness of their products and services, and reaching out to a large audience can help. For this reason, social media has become a critical component of many companies’ advertising strategies. However, creating a profile on a network like Facebook or Twitter doesn’t guarantee success. To enhance their efforts, more brands are turning to influencer marketing, and for good reason.

Influencer marketing and advertising can extend a brand’s reach. Because influencers have massive audiences, companies can immediately benefit from the wide exposure. Here is what you need to know about teaming up with an influencer for marketing purposes.

Influencer Marketing Can Increase Engagement.
If you’re struggling with engagement, influencer marketing can help. After a prospect sees your content marketed by an influencer, he or she may be encouraged to go the extra step and engage with one of your posts. Additionally, an existing customer might be influenced to comment or like your posts after seeing you advertised by an influencer. This gives you more opportunities to market your products and services.

It’s an Ideal Way to Break into Your Industry.
By teaming up with an influencer who works within your specific industry, you can access his or her audience, which may subsequently be your own target market.

instagram, influencer marketing, influencer advertisingYou Can Test Your Brand Messaging.
If you want to gauge how responsive a large crowd may be to a new brand message, you can execute it through your influencer marketing strategy.

Influencer Marketing Can Enhance Lead Generation.
Because you can communicate your products and services through influencer advertising, you’ll have new opportunities to generate leads. You may also gain more targeted leads, assuming your influencer’s audience consists of your ideal prospects and customers.

You Can Gain More Credibility in Your Industry.
When you work with an influencer, he or she is vouching for your products, services, and brand messages. This can not only raise awareness of your company, but improve your reputation in the eyes of prospects who already know your business.

Influencer Marketing Can Help You with the Top of the Funnel.
If you’ve been stuck in terms of marketing to the top of your sales funnel, influencer marketing can help. By working with an influencer, you can reach out to prospects through channels they trust most, whether it’s a social network or email.

To learn how influencer marketing can benefit your brand, contact Fullbottle today for more information!

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Promoting a Lifestyle: How Beer and Liquor Companies Master Instagram Marketing

johnnie walker, alcohol, instagram marketing, instagram advertising

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, you might feel inclined to celebrate with a cold one at the end of the day. Beer and liquor brands are already ringing in the holiday on social media, but what does it mean to market alcohol on a platform like Instagram? With approximately 400 million active users, responsibility is just one of the factors that make up the Instagram marketing campaigns of alcohol manufacturers.

Adhering to Marketing Codes
The Federal Trade Commission says that the Beer Institute, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, and the Wine Institute have all voluntarily agreed to a set of marketing codes to avoid advertising underage drinking. These codes consist of the following concepts:

  • Digital marketing with the attention of promoting legal drinking (in reference to age).
  • Confirming the age of an individual before presenting marketing communications.
  • Monitoring user-generated content on brand sites or pages.

It’s worth noting that while brands do not have to adhere to such Instagram marketing practices, many choose to do so for the sake of the safety and health of the public.

alcohol, beer, instagram marketing, instagram advertisingInstagram Marketing with Lifestyle in Mind
Just because brands choose to stay within these type of Instagram advertising boundaries doesn’t mean their social networking strategies are hindered. Johnnie Walker, the whiskey manufacturer, is one example of a company that has seen success on platforms like Instagram.

Much of Johnnie Walker’s social networking achievements can be attributed to its dedication to promoting a lifestyle, rather than just a product. By taking one look at Johnnie Walker’s Instagram page, you’ll notice that many of its posts exhibit individuals participating in events, like the Grand Prix. Johnnie Walker also often shows off celebrities on its page, highlighting a luxurious lifestyle.

More importantly, the brand isn’t just about Instagram marketing its alcohol – the company also wants to show all sides of its target audience, enjoying its product.

Instagram influencers and brands alike know that resonating with an audience that shares their lifestyle qualities and values can generate several benefits. Increased engagement, brand awareness, and marketing ROI are just to name a few.

Are you interested in learning how influencer marketing can help you achieve your business goals? Contact Fullbottle for more information today!

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News Feed Changes Mean New Instagram Marketing for Brands and Influencers

Night photography

Instagram announced on March 15 that it would be making big changes to the way its users see their news feeds, implementing an algorithm to reflect what people “care about the most.” This came after the social network stated that its users generally miss about 70 percent of their feeds. The goal is to ensure that people see posts from friends, Instagram influencers and brands they love every time they log in.

instagram marketing, instagram, advertising“The order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post,” Instagram stated. “As we begin, we’re focusing on optimizing the order — all the posts will still be there, just in a different order.”

Instagram appears to be following in the footsteps of Facebook, as well as Twitter, which began curating posts last month, according to Forbes. Until now, Instagram has been using a reverse chronological order to display its posts.

The Need for More Engagement
In order for Instagram marketing professionals to ensure that their posts don’t get buried, engagement is going to be key. Instagram influencers and brands will need to make sure that their posts are double-tap worthy and viewed as essential to their followers.

According to Instagram, there are more than 40 billion photos shared on the platform every day. How can you create posts that stand out and vie for the attention of your target audience? Furthermore, how can you ensure that you aren’t spending money to promote posts on a reach basis?

A cost-per-like model can ensure that your strategy shows an ROI. It can help you track how much money you are spending to encourage engagement, as well as optimize your plan to drive more likes and comments. Ultimately, this can help you achieve your marketing goals, whether you’re attempting to increase brand awareness or improve lead generation.

For more information on how you can begin utilizing Instagram influencers, contact Fullbottle today!

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