How GOP Debates are Shaping Instagram Influencer Advertising
While there may not have been one clear winner of the Republican Presidential Candidate debate on Wednesday night, there was an obvious loser – CNBC. The network, which hosted the event, irked every Republican on stage for its arguably poor moderation. By taking a look at Instagram influencers’ pages, it’s easy to see the story unravel. Furthermore, it isn’t hard to gauge how the 2016 presidential race is impacting influencer advertising.
Donald Trump and Instagram Marketing Love him or hate him, Donald Trump is the show stopper of every Republican Presidential Candidate debate. It was no different on Oct. 28 when the potential candidates took the stage, although he shared some air time (for once) with other attendees. BarkBox, the canine accessory retailer, is one example of an Instagram influencer that is capitalizing on “The Donald.” The company is marketing a Donald Trump dog toy and succeeding at wooing pet owners and conservatives alike.
Mass Media Instagram Advertising CNBC might have had the honor of hosting the debate, but it didn’t stop other publishers and media outlets from discussing the event. In terms of Instagram marketing opportunities, the door was wide open for everyone from FOX News to Women’s Health Magazine. As long as you used the “#GOPDebate” hashtag, you had a chance to get in on the Instagram advertising opportunity.
Instagram Influencers: Beyond CNBC Even if you aren’t a Republican supporter, there were several influencer advertising tactics you could’ve used on Wednesday night generate conversation. Hillary Clinton, for example, mocked her potential opponents with a post of her own, reeling in 18,000 “Likes.” Funny or Die, the satirical pop culture website, drew 4,100 “Likes” for a snarky post on Jeb Bush.
CNBC was quick to promote its own hashtag (#CNBCGOPDebate) and post flashy photos of the candidates, but as Instagram influencers proved, it’s not all about being “official.” As long as you have a point to make and your posts include some relevancy, you can make a splash.
The Weekend Wrap-Up: Halloween Inspires Influencer Advertising Efforts
Everyone is getting into the Halloween spirit now that the big day is less than a week away. Instagram influencers have been all about sharing costume ideas and party tips, but Halloween wasn’t the only topic buzzing on the social network. Many influencer advertising campaigns seemed to be centered around the upcoming World Series as well. Let’s take a look at what popped on Instagram over the weekend of Oct. 23.
Instagram Influencers Embrace the October Classic The World Series may not start until tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean that Instagram influencers couldn’t get excited over the weekend. In this year’s championship series, the New York Mets will face off against the Kansas City Royals. New Era Cap was quick to showcase its new line of hats in honor of the event, raking in more than 6,000 “Likes.” Budweiser went one step further by launching a contest on its Instagram page, promising one fan a trip to the World Series. Needless to say, this won’t be the last of World Series promotion we’ll see in the coming days.
Influencer Marketing Gets Spooky Instagram influencers were celebrating Halloween over the weekend, despite the fact that we’re still a couple days away from Oct. 31. Cotton On, the Australian clothing retailer, posted an image of a “Boo” T-shirt that reeled in 4,000 “Likes.” Reality Star Kourtney Kardashian uploaded a picture of her little ones in super hero costumes. Even Kiko, the cosmetics retailer, shared some of its favorite Halloween nail designs. You don’t have to be a ghoulish ghost to get in on the Instagram advertising action!
Turkey Day is Almost Here It may seem a bit premature, but some Instagram influencers have already turned their attention to Thanksgiving. Take Crate and Barrel, for example. The interior decor retailer posted an image of a Thanksgiving “kids table” on Oct. 25 (well before Halloween) and raked in more than 3,200 “Likes.” The Spoiled Home, an Instagram page dedicated to budget-friendly interior design ideas, received more than 300 “Likes” on a Thanksgiving-inspired post less than an hour after it went live. If you’re already thinking of Turkey Day, don’t fret – evidently you’re not alone.
Whether you were posting about Halloween, Thanksgiving or baseball over the weekend, there were plenty of Instagram marketing tips you could pick up from influencers along the way.
Vine Tips episode 7 is here and this week the importance of engaging with fans is discussed.
But how do you choose the right one for you? Do you pick the one with the most followers? Most active audience? Wackiest videos? Prettiest face?
By taking just 5 elements into consideration, you can guarantee that your money and efforts will be well spent:
1. Relevance Not Rock Stars: While you may love Jenna Marbles and be all up in her YouTube channel, take a moment to analyze whether she’d really be the best person to promote your line of nutrition supplements.
When deciding on an influencer, the #1 element to take into consideration is how deeply specialized they are in your specific topic. For example, if you are in the field of nutrition, do your research on long tail influencers who are specifically geared towards healthy eating and physical wellness. That way, you have the best chance of having them be sincerely interested in your product and want to form a relationship with you.
2. Size Doesn’t Matter: While, of course, you want to partner with an influencer who has a larger following; they don’t have to have millions to be beneficial. As long as their audience is active, that’s what garners a great ROI.
Check out their various social media platforms and see how many likes, comments, and shares their posts get. As the image below shows, a long tail influencer with a smaller dedicated audience is much better than a large one that doesn’t pay much attention.
3. Don’t Fall Off Your Platform: Make sure your influencer is active and engaging on the platform in which you’re launching the next campaign. If your company is investing in a big Vine push, search for influencers in your market who are the strongest on Vine specifically. Never assume since your potential partner is a great Instagrammer, they’ll be equally as popular across the board.
Especially lesser known faces can have a huge following on one platform and be virtually unknown on another. Just because Viner Brittany Furlan would look hot in your latest swimsuit line, that won’t mean much on Twitter.
4. Don’t Rob The Cradle: Let’s face it. The vast majority of people who are heavily involved in social media are part of a younger demographic. Is your product best geared for twenty-somethings? Then you’re golden.
But what if it’s not? You can have equal success in marketing your product or service on social media if you choose the proper influencer. Even though the young’uns do hold a lot of power, there is a HUGE pool of influencers spanning every decade of age. Your forty-something mommy audience probably won’t appreciate the antics of @Nashgrier, but hook up with @WhatsUpMoms and you’ll be on the right track.
5. Still Chugging: With a good decade of social media under our belts, quite a few influencers have come and gone. Someone may still have 100K followers hanging around, but it doesn’t mean they still nurture those relationships. But how do you tell?
Check out all of their channels. Do they blog? If so, when was the last time they did, and how often do they post? Peruse their social networks and check the same criteria. How often do they post and when was the last time they did? Do they respond to comments? In order for a collaboration to be beneficial, your influencer needs to be doing all of these things currently.
Lastly, don’t forget to sift through the audience you already have. You may have an influencer among them that you don’t even know about.
Once you start making these relationships, be sure to track your progress. Does your influencer’s share really increase sales? Did that Vine video you paid for increase your social following?
Relevance.com feels, “Being able to measure your influencer engagement program’s impact on sales, customer life time value or churn reduction is the holy grail of influencer marketing.”
It’s all about trial and error when it comes to finding the right influencer. That’s why the long tail influencers that may not break your bank as much are the right way to go, especially when you’re just starting out. And they’re much more within reach to create relationships with.
“Influencer marketing is about creating meaningful relationships with influencers, and this is a matter in which common sense and intuition can never be replaced. But, as in many other disciplines, measurement is here to fine-tune strategies and tactics, evaluate performance and sharply increase ROI,” states Relevance.com.
Is there a “magic formula” to choosing the right influencer? Of course not. Use your judgment and take the first step in forming good relationships. If you find one that clicks, come up with a plan, and measure your positive results!
More Bang For Your Buck: How To Avoid Influencer Let Down
It’s no secret that major brands have been jumping on the social media bandwagon for years. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have been inundated with ads from products in every industry; big and small.
With the production of these ads comes the rising fame of the influencers that appear in them.
Amongst the sea of platforms, Twitter’s video platform Vine and Facebook’s photo sharing site Instagram have become prime real estate for influencer fueled creative.
However, there is one key challenge facing advertisers moving into the world of influencer advertising. Influencer Selection.
Should an advertiser go with influencers that have HUGE followings (> 1 Million) or assemble teams of influencers with smaller but more engaged audiences?
Earlier this week, [a]ListDaily took a stab at solving this riddle in a well thought-out piece that you can read here.
“Discovery is a critical phase, to identify the key influencers is a mix of art and science,” Younger said. It’s a daunting task when you consider that there are over 400,000 influencers out there with a sizable audience, as Juarez noted.
At FullBottle, we recently looked at two campaigns for a side-by-side comparison. Both campaigns ran only on Vine. Budgets are estimates based on current rates for the influencers included on each program.
Product A produced a paltry engagement rate of <1% while Product B’s engagement rate reached 2.7%.
The key differentiator: long-tail influencers have more engaged audiences.
But one key statistic from this recap might tell an even more compelling story.
Product B not only drove significantly more engagements but also produced more followers for the brand’s official account.
This indicates a more trusting relationship between long-tail influencers and their audiences.
Some advertisers are catching on to this trend.
Long tail influencer Chris Ozer has had an incredibly successful stint with Johnnie Walker sharing posts with his 557K followers. His posts documenting the Johnnie Walker distillery in Scotland helped grow the brand’s following on Instagram to 51.7K. An average post on the company’s account can garner up to 3K likes and 250 comments (6.3% engagement rate).
Meanwhile, Fanta spent a whopping seven-figures for their comedic Vine campaign, which featured several heavy-hitters in the Vine-o-sphere. Entitled, “Fanta For The Funny,” the promotion featured Vine celebs like AlliCattt, Jason Mendez and Mighty Duck. They shared content and encouraged others to do so but the official Fanta Vine account still only has 8.5K followers and a not so impressive 1.6M loops.
So does large scale or small-scale marketing work best on Vine and Instagram? Clearly, in this case, if the following is dedicated enough, size doesn’t matter.
On episode 5 of #vine tips – listen to @GingerWLavender tell us about the importance of being original. Great tips for up and coming creators.
“No industry has been altered by the Internet like the recording industry, “stated Uproxx.com. For over 10 years, the entire format of how music is bought and sold has been forced to change. Gone are the days of driving to the record store to purchase an entire album. Now fans can pick and chose individual tracks from a myriad of websites and the industry has had no choice but to bow to the whim of the consumer.
But they did fight the change for a while. From the moment we gained the ability to stream and download music, it changed everything. At first, no regulations were in place and there was anarchy. Illegal file sharing sites like Napster and LimeWire were popping up everywhere thinking they had unlocked the key to free music forever.
Rightfully so, it sent the entire industry into quite a tizzy. A countless amount of time, money, and talent had been taken to create this art, and it was being robbed from them. Artists spend their lives practicing, performing, and creating for our enjoyment. Why shouldn’t they be compensated?
It wasn’t long before the recording industry got a hold of all the insanity. File sharing quickly became illegal and well-needed regulations were put in place. But still, not everyone was happy about it. You mean, we don’t go to the record store and buy an entire album? We can choose individual tracks for 99 cents?
All was not well on the artist end either. They were painstakingly creating this complete work of art, called an “album” only to have it chopped up in some iTunes store. Tracks were leaked before the artist was ready to have it heard by the public. They felt a huge lack of control.
Even today, we’re still adjusting. But it’s unbelievably better.
Billboard, which is the industry standard for music charts, changed its methodology in 2005 to include paid digital download purchases. And they are soon to include streaming as well. This will greatly impact the results of the Hot 100 and the Billboard 200 charts.
Yet another industry shift is taking place, which is one of the biggest changes in decades. The GLOBAL release date of music is being switched from Tuesdays to Fridays. Why Tuesdays? There are a number of theories. Most say it’s because Billboard releases its charts on Wednesdays, so Tuesday will give you a maximum amount of time over the week.
Having music released on different days in different countries was OK until the Internet came along. Since the Internet is international, piracy had become a big issue. Having music available in one country and not another resulted in major leaks and disgruntled musicians.
Artists like Beyoncé and Drake started preempting the problem by having a digital release before hard copies went into stores. It didn’t seem to harm their careers in the least.
This shift goes well beyond music in the recording industry. Pandora, unofficial “king” of online radio, as labeled by digitaltrends.com, offers their service for free with occasional brief commercial spots by paid advertisers. Larger advertisers have opportunities as well. Auto-giant Toyota has it’s own custom Pandora station called the, “Toyota Sessions” that “features behind-the-scenes artist interviews.” It’s opportunities like these that have opened a whole new world for marketing.
In fact, radio giant iHeartMedia has taken this premise a step further and will begin offering services to marketers that will help pair them “with publishers to fashion ads that blend alongside editorial work.” Some see this as a threat to ad agencies who can be bypassed as brands go directly to the source for effective content. Other contend that ad agencies (media and creative) can help filter through the myriad of content solutions being proposed to their clients.
With this whole new way to reach consumers, the music industry is changing their tactics for how they reach new audiences. One answer, of course, is finding the best performers (influencers) to help introduce their products to the online world. If you mention Now That’s What I Call Music! to your average 30-something they’d probably be surprised that these compilations are still being made. To keep their brand fresh, they’ve made a pretty smart move.
Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, the companies behind the popular brand started in the 90’s have turned to social video marketing to up the ante. Yours truly, FullBottle Group, was hired to find 10influencers for their campaign ranging from comedians to a sassy housewife. “They each created looping 6-second videos that will be posted to the NowThatsMusic Vine account and shared with their followers.”
“The beauty of influencer advertising in this day and age is you have a slew of people on a variety of platforms, like Vine, who really are the experts in that language,” explains Reed Berglund, co-founder and CEO of FullBottle. “So you ask for what an interpretation of the campaign theme is, and each Viner has their own shtick. It could be comedy. Maybe their thing is dancing or singing. And they then interpret that theme in their own voice, which is precisely what their fans want from them. They don’t want something that is forced, heavy-handed or a square-peg, round-hole scenario.”
The recording industry is starting to understand this and continues to evolve how music is released, distributed and promoted. The industry we see today is a far cry from the machine it was 20 years ago or even five years ago. Here’s to change and improvement. Now if you don’t mind, we’re going to logon to Spotify and create today’s “mix-tape”.
Social Platform by Growth
A fantastic look at which social platforms are growing fastest over the previous 6 months.
If you’re thinking about starting a social video campaign on Snapchat, Instagram. Vine, Twitter, etc…but not exactly sure how you get going…we’re more than happy to help and answer any questions you may have.
FullBottle was honored to be considered for the Cynopsis Media Social Good award in the category of “Instagram/Vine Campaign”. When we received the news that we had actually won, we were ecstatic. Thank you to everyone who helped make this campaign a success!
Social influence democratized the age-old “influencer status” by devaluing the idea of influence entirely. It turned everyone into an influencer, and in the process, it turned a strategy likeinfluence into another media metric.
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