Kendall Jenner

Kendall Jenner And The Top 2% of Social Media Influencers Earn As Much As $230 Per Post

American fashion model and television personality Kendall Jenner and other social media influencers can earn as much as $230,000 per branded post on social media sites.

Social media analytics company D’Marie told Adweek that the top two per cent of influencers could earn almost a quarter of a million dollars per branded post appearing either on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, or a combination of the three.

Stars such as Kendall Jenner, Taylor Swift, Cara Delevigne and Selena Gomez, appear across all the platforms but D’Marie notes that 89 per cent of the top 8,000 social influencers use Instagram, 20 percent on Twitter and 14 per cent bother with a verified Facebook account.

Kendal Jenner, who boasts the most-liked ever selfie on Instagram, was recently listed as the most wanted celebrity ambassador in research from engagement tool Celebrity Intelligence.

Similarly, D’Marie ranks Jenner as the number one influencer with Forever 21 the top brand, followed by Victoria’s Secret, Gucci, Burberry and Dolce and Gabbana.

[BY JOHN MCCARTHY] [READ MORE]

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Instagram Power In The Hands Of Influencers

Instagram is the playground of many brands and people, known for food, fitness and fashion. The platform has exploded with users sharing just about everything on the little sister of Facebook. Instagram has more than 400 million users globally and approximately six million registered users in Australia. Australian digital agency Online Circle Digital has just released an Instagram Performance Report. The agency looked at 12 industries and over 300 Australian brands and social media influencers’ accounts. Lead strategist Lucio Ribeiro said the most surprising finding from the report was the power of ‘influencers’ on Instagram in Australia.

Fitness gurus like Kayla Itsines and Hanna Polites and fashion bloggers Jessica Stein and Nicole Warne wielded a powerful Instagram following and influence. “The main reason I would say for these followings is because they are authentic and they really build emotional connections with their followers,” Ribeiro said. “Kayla really nails it, she is the benchmark,” he said.

Out of the 300 analysed brands and influencers the latter surged as the biggest and most engaging category. Kayla topped both the most followers and most engaging lists. You can view the entire report here.

[By Rashelle Habib] [Read More] [From News.com.au] [First Image From Stylecaster.com]

Influencer Marketing

4 Emerging Influencer Marketing Trends

Influencer marketing has become an essential part of any digital marketing strategy. Bloggers have catapulted over the last decade from obscurity to near-celebrity status, using agents in many cases to broker sponsorship deals that can reach tens of thousands of dollars for a single Instagram post. As a result of these hefty price tags, brands have begun to look more closely at the potential value of each collaboration to build loyalty, awareness and, ultimately, sales.Although Instagram followers has become the ‘influence standard’ for many brand marketers, there is increasing importance placed on conversions and hence more emphasis is being placed on direct blog traffic, time spent on the site, and other factors that indicate strong engagement. Some emerging digital platforms that connect bloggers with brands for collaborations have gone as far as providing access to bloggers’ Google Analytics, which has become a game-changer for brands when assessing potential conversion and relevance of an influencer for a particular campaign. (It’s important to note that not all platforms offer this level of transparency. Before signing up with any service that coordinates blogger collaborations, brands should always check if this data is available.)Given the growing trend toward transparency between brands and bloggers, here are four influencer marketing trends we expect to see over the next year:

Brands and Bloggers Will Communicate More Directly

With digital platforms making it much easier for brands and bloggers to communicate and negotiate more efficiently, the traditional role of a blogger talent agency will change. Brands will realize many benefits of this direct engagement including more creative collaborations that generate greater levels of genuine brand messaging to a more deliberate and targeted audience. We will see greater levels of  enthusiasm for a wider variety of brands, as bloggers have increased visibility of all opportunities available and will be able to make more informed choices about those that are suitable to their audience and style. They will have greater control over their messaging, partnerships and in turn their success.

Brands Will Utilize a Greater Variety of Bloggers

With blogger research and outreach so time-consuming, collaboration opportunities have often gone to the same handful of top influencers. With the rise of digital platforms, one of the rising influencer marketing trends that expect to see is a wider variety of bloggers involved in influencer marketing campaigns and an increase in collaborations with niche bloggers whose small, yet loyal audiences have high conversion rates.

Brands Will Use Influencers to Grow Their Own Social Media

In a trend that walks the line between influencer marketing and content strategy, we expect that brands will engage influencers to help build their own social media networks and audiences through Instagram takeovers, guest posts and partner events. We also expect that brands will start to publish more of their own content on their blogs, Tumblr accounts and other mediums, engaging influencers to catch their attention and spark relationships.

Bloggers Will Embrace Traditional Blogging

Many top ‘bloggers’ have diverted their attention away from traditional ‘blogging’, opting to express themselves through Instagram and Snapchat – but the emerging value of strong Google Analytics and clear conversion data may in fact inspire bloggers to strengthen their own domain names. As brands start to evaluate key metrics including audience demographics, time spent on the blog and overall digital influence, we expect bloggers to respond by balancing their efforts more evenly across their own web assets and social networks. Having a strong owned presence rather than relying on the platform du jour will help bloggers expand their brand presence and retain their longevity regardless of which social media platform is most popular today…or tomorrow.

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Blogs Don’t Just Aid Business, They Become One

Putting on a show: Dennis Littley presenting his kitchen studio at his Kissimmee, Florida, home where he hosts a weekly, live cooking show online. Littley, a retired professional chef, is one of the many bloggers who are making it big for blogging about things they are passionate about. — Orlando Sentinel/TNS

Dennis Littley doesn’t exactly like to prepare elaborate meals for himself. He’ll usually get by on a sandwich or some eggs. But when the camera rolls in his makeshift home studio, the veteran chef – who has prepared food in executive suites, upscale restaurants and lunchroom cafeterias – comes alive.

“Chefs are definitely egotists and we perform for people,” said Littley, 61. “We love to make people happy. It’s where I get my joy from.”

Littley shoots the video footage at his Kissimmee home and posts them to a blog, Ask Chef Dennis, that attracts up to 150,000 page views in a month. He has become part of a growing number of Central Florida residents who have turned blogging into a paying gig. Littley said the Web has created an avenue for more people than ever to get noticed.

“More are getting published that we would never have seen before,” he said. “There is a lot of talent out there. For just about every topic, there are people sharing things.”

In Central Florida, that has meant bloggers who cover topics as wide-ranging as Disney, food, fashion and travel, along with many others. FLBlogCon organiser Bess Auer, who trains bloggers through her website Gotta Get Blogging, has watched the conference grow modestly from a 100-seat gathering in its first year to now selling 350 tickets. An English teacher for 17 years, Auer started the conference, held at Full Sail University, when she failed to find any nearby blogging conferences. She said her transition from educating students to educating bloggers has been a natural one.

“Most who start blogging do so because they are passionate about what they blog about,” said Auer, who also runs the Florida Swim Network blog, which highlights swim programs across Florida. “They find some enjoyment out of it. They quickly find out that it’s a small world.”

But it can also be a lucrative one.

Jeanette Johnson, 32, has been at the helm of J’s Everyday Fashion, a fashion blog that features clothing and fashion every day. Her work has attracted enough visits to draw advertising from some high-profile fashion companies and department stores. The former marketer says she has earned US$700,000 (RM3.03mil) in revenue since the start of 2013, with about half coming from advertising and sponsorships. She said she wanted to make fashion journalism more realistic, so she started J’s Everyday Fashion in 2010.

“People can tell when a blogger is in it for the money, and I think people read my blog and think, ‘No, that’s not why she shows up every day,'” she said. “I keep it authentic and I think that cuts through in my blog.”

Johnson, who considers herself a “baby entrepreneur” because she does not have to reinvest her earnings, said she incurs very few costs because of her blog. She admits she had to adjust to becoming a full-time blogger, just as family and friends needed to come around to believing it was a worthwhile job. But as she learned more about the business side of blogging, she realised she had become an entrepreneur.

“In the beginning, it was strange that I was literally taking pictures of outfits and posting them on the Internet,” she said. “It was an evolution even for myself from being a silly thing to, ‘I’m an entrepreneur and this is a legitimate business.'”

Her transition in blogging, like many, was part hobby and part necessity after she lost her job in 2012.

“I had nowhere else to go and some of my friends suggested I turn it into a business,” she said. “Within a year I was making four to five times more than I was making as a marketing manager.”

Her popularity on social media has grown along with her blog. Johnson has 13,000 followers on Twitter and her Facebook page has been liked 86,000 times. Recently, JC Penney mentioned Johnson to its 389,000 Twitter followers.

As for Littley, the chef, he’s attracted more than 14,000 followers on Twitter. He first got serious about blogging in early 2010, when he joined a blog group and started researching the hobby. It wasn’t until he started to receive feedback from people outside of his family that he believed he could grow the blog.

“I went from being local to being national; then on Google+, I went worldwide,” he said. “I have friends all over the world that I know intimately but I have never actually met them in person.”

But as he does watch his blog grow, he says he intends to continue writing it for himself, as he has tried to do from the start.

“Food is like this international bond that brings everyone together, whether virtually or sitting at the same table,” he said.

“But I write for myself, it’s for me. I’m not trying to make it my living and be dependent on it. I share what I share and, if it’s not what you want, pass it by.” — Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service

[BY MARCO SANTANA] [Read More]

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5 Inspiring Fashion Bloggers Who Are Changing the World

Fashion bloggers are everywhere these days! However, few have surpassed the noise and made it to the top. We’ve gathered five women who inspire us well beyond their sartorial choices and Instagram feeds. These women are changing the face of the fashion-blogging world for good, from Chiara Ferragni’s powerful entrepreneurial skills, to Aimee Song’s second job and two fashion lines, to Gabi Gregg’s positive body-image mantra.

[By ] [Read More]

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Why Global Advertisers Are Ditching Celebs For Little-Known Instagram Artists

It was all about selfies for Christine Adelina, until May 1, 2014. That’s when the 22-year-old student and obsessive Instagram poster from London learned her large following on the photo-sharing app could translate to some decent income. After attending a meetup for Instagram “influencers,” she switched from bedroom and bathroom selfies to artistic portrayals of the world around her, now spending at least three hours a day on the app.

And brands are gawking — handing over ad dollars to Adelina and other so-called influencers, anywhere from $300 to thousands of dollars depending on the deal, to join their marketing campaigns. While some sponsorship deals simply reward users with gifts for sending out company-related Instagram posts, others are contracted.

Take Nabisco’s #PuttingOnTheRitz campaign, for example. That marketing strategy to promote new Ritz Crisp and Thin crackers — to which Adelina and a handful of other contracted influencers submitted two photos for this June  — reached 7.5 million people. One post from British blogger Tanya Burr, who boasts 2 million Instagram followers, drew 110,000 likes.

It’s the latest sign that Madison Avenue and its counterparts worldwide are recognizing the pitch power of organically born social media stars like Adelina and Burr. They can be just as influential, or even moreso, as celebs like the Kardashians. Consumers, the thinking goes, may connect more readily with individuals who lead lives like their own. “For ‘Putting on the Ritz,’ we were very interested in getting people involved. The campaign seemed more real,” said Jana Soosova, social media campaign manager at London-based PHD Media.

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While Instagram influencer Christine Adelina’s post was not the highest traffic-driver for the #PuttingOnTheRitz campaign, Nabisco paid for and endorsed the submission as part of its marketing strategy.  Instagram Screenshot

Earlier this month, Instagram introduced its first ad product for businesses. The system allows companies to quickly create standard ads, target them to selected users and include direct-response buttons (like “Buy Now” as seen on Facebook, Twitter and Google). The move will spur more ads on the Facebook-owned photo-sharing app — and fuel Instagram’s predicted rise to $2.8 billion in revenue by 2017.

But there have always been ads on Instagram, some of which have been embraced by the over 300 million-person active community and have enthralled some forward-thinking brands with big budgets like Coca-Cola, L’Oreal and Asos. Rather than sign contract after contract with celebrities, who boast the biggest follower counts on Instagram, some companies have latched onto the artists that have helped build up the young, but fast-growing network.

“Usually the campaigns are more creative, more advanced than you would see on other networks. Whoever is creating the ads puts more effort into the process,” said Soosova.

A New Network

Unlike YouTube’s Partner program or Twitter-owned Niche, Instagram does not have direct ties to a professional network of creators. But entrepreneurs have stepped in — since Instagram’s early days — to fill the role of connecting eager brands to power influencers and help sign, seal and deliver on contracts and campaign expectations.

“We see plenty of agencies pop up. Anyone can scrape Instagram and get 20,000 names together, but having the relationships and knowing how to run a campaign is a different story,” said Francis Trapp, founder and CEO of Brandnew IO, an Instagram-focused marketing company based in Berlin.

Trapp, who did time in banking, consulting and finance and boasts a passion for photography and advertising, started building a network in 2013. He dug through the app, then only a recent acquisition of Facebook, for interesting accounts and reached out. He now oversees a network of 1,500 influencers across 60 countries and has coordinated 130 campaigns. Trapp projects $2.2 million in revenue this year.

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Brandnew IO is a marketing company focused on Instagram campaigns. The team has worked with international companies, such as Spotify and L’Oreal, to run long-term campaigns with influencers rather than celebrities.  Brandnew IO

Marketing teams, such as PHD London, have come to Trapp for help finding influencers. Trapp’s list does not include the biggest names on Instagram, like Justin Bieber (23.8 million followers), Kim Kardashian (23.5 million) or Beyonce (22.2 million). Some companies, such as teeth whitener Cocowhite, target those celebrity endorsements, Jezebel reports. But when marketers come to Trapp, that’s not what they are after.

Adelina is not shy to admit her labor can come cheaper, and more easily negotiated. Not only that, she brings her own photography skills and artistic influence, which she describes as vintage-inspired, into each post.

“Instagram influencers are not the people who are just taking their products and snapping a quick photo. I think companies see the potential in the photography enthusiasts who took the time to create a picture,” Adelina said.

Treading Lightly

Facebook has been moving slowly to develop Instagram into an advertising powerhouse, like its main site has become. “We’re very, very cautious. Instagram remains small relative to Facebook, and it’s really going to take time,” Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said during the company’s earnings call in July. Facebook does not break out revenues for the site.

Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012 — two years after its launch — for $1 billion. At the time, there were about 30 million accounts on the app. That has since jumped to 300 million monthly active users who share 70 million photos a day.

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Facebook does not breakdown the revenue by its assets, including WhatsApp, Instagram and Oculus. The company has generated $7.5 billion in ad revenue, so far, this year, as shown in the above investor’s chart. Marketing firm eMarketer predicts Instagram could fuel $600 million in total for 2015.  Facebook

Influencers have emphasized that the company should be careful not to frustrate the power users and consumers. How Trapp views an Instagram post: “It’s a beautifully taken shot in your everyday life.”

“I think this community thrives on creativity,” Adelina said.

“My Instagram style is very minimalistic and whimsical,” said Kerstin Hiestermann, a mother of three who boasts 278,000 followers.

With Instagram’s new system, marketers can generate ads with a click, and the formalized system is just starting. For now, not all sponsorship campaigns need to be approved by Instagram, as long as they fit the terms of service.

That’s not the case for YouTube, where creators must inform the site of product placement and these can only be done by official partners. Google can remove a video if it does not meet standards or if pre-roll ads, from which YouTube takes a 45 percent cut, conflict.

Instagram is now tapping into its own ad cut for revenue, and eMarketer has predicted that the app could generate $600 million in sales this year.

[By ] [Read More]

 

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How Influencers Are Helping Capital One Reach Millennials on Instagram

Dive Brief:

  • Marketers are finding Instagram an enticing platform to reach the millennial audience.
  • Capital One took advantage of social media advertising by utilizing three influencers from among the platform’s users for its “What’s in your wallet?” campaign.
  • This approach also provided Capital One with inroads into the Gen X and Baby Boomer audience.

Dive Insight:

From among the social media landscape, Instagram and Snapchat have millennial-heavy audiences — and marketers are taking advantage of the platforms’ reach.

“[Instagram is] a rich place to reach [millennials]. Instagram is more compelling than Pinterest or Tumblr — just given the audience sizes and growth,” Noha Abdalla, Capital One’s senior director of digital brand strategy and social media, told Adweek.

The three Instagram influencers were given access to Capital One’s account to post images and videos based on the ongoing “What’s in your wallet?” campaign. Nine pictures were turned into Instagram ads, and according to Capital One, ad recall among all consumers rose to 16%. (It jumped higher for Baby Boomers to 25%.) Specifically among millennials, Capital One’s brand favorability increased 3%.

About the effort, Abdalla said, “Many people carry around a wallet that has something sentimental in it other than what’s functional. Oftentimes, that memory is an indicator of something in the future.”

Beyond reaching the millennial audience, Capital One found the campaign achieved impressive recall from Gen Xers and Baby Boomers as well. Because of the success of this effort Capital One intends to utilize user-generated content in multi-channel campaigns, including Instagram’s carousel ad units.

[By ] [Read More]

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The Crazy Response Fashion Bloggers Get When They Take a Break

Aussie fashion blogger Nicole Warne, known by her 1.3 million Instagram followers and 29.4K Twitter followers as @garypeppergirl, caused a bit of a scare for her loyal fanbase recently. Warne went off the grid for nearly two weeks — and people freaked out.

Warne’s last post before her unintentional hiatus garnered over 800 comments, ranging from curious (“Where did she go”), to concerned (“You have been missed!” and “Where have you been? Is everything okay?” and “I hope you have a well deserved break love, and get well soon, we all miss you!”), to a little confrontational (“She is killlllin me.” and “Why aren’t you posting on Instagram anymore?”).

“WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? IS EVERYTHING OKAY?”

– FASHIONISTA_TRAVELER

Wrote Warne on her “Hi, I’m alive” Instagram post on Monday, “This is easily the first time in my life I’ve ever taken such a long break from Instagram and I didn’t realize it would have so many of my friends, family, and all of you concerned. It was not intentional, so please know there’s nothing to worry about.”

The reason for Warne’s brief social media break was a gig as “creative director for a covetable commercial campaign.” “It’s consuming all of my focus and energy, so despite the stress/pressure, I’m incredibly excited to have had the work I do behind closed doors lead me to an opportunity like this,” Warne wrote. We think a vacation not spent jockeying for the perfect ‘gram shot would (or should) have also been a perfectly acceptable reason to be disconnected for a bit.

“Having to be constantly present is literally the worst thing about working in social media. I don’t really dare to research into it — ignorance is bliss! — but I’m sure it’s bad for my mental health,” blogger Zanita Whittington says. “Lately, I’ve been posting less and less on Instagram and more on the newer forms, like Snapchat and Facebook Live. I’d absolutely love to have a week or two away.”

Being a blogger has segued from the frivolous vanity project of a wannabe street style star to a viable career path. Case in point: Whittington and Warne were featured, along with The Blonde Salad’s Chiara Ferragni, on the cover of Lucky (RIP) back in February. Putting bloggers on a glossy cover was a big deal — that’s coveted real estate usually reserved for Tinseltown’s biggest stars, music heavyweights, and the occasional model. A pop star has albums to make, tours to perform, and press junkets to promote themselves; Hollywood notables have similar to-do lists, swapping in screen time for hours in the studio. Bloggers are expected to create content and interact with followers, to be continually “active” and “available” to a degree that more traditionally famous folks are not. They’re also expected to turn quiet, personal, private moments into shareable content.

For some big fashion bloggers, the omnipresence factor exists, but it’s not a problem. “WeWoreWhat is a 24/7 job, so of course there is pressure to always be ‘on’ — loving what I do definitely makes it a whole lot easier,” WeWoreWhat’s Danielle Bernstein says.

Perhaps it’s a sign that we’re entirely too tethered to our technology — and we want our must-follow social media superstars to be equally, if not more, on. Or maybe being constantly reachable, like-able, and re-‘gram-able a necessary evil of the (quite plummy) job of being a successful fashion blogger. There are much worse gripes one could have about a gig.

“When life and work gets busy, or you lose momentum and/or inspiration and can’t meet [readers’] expectations, it can feel like you’re failing…on top of that, hundreds of thousands of people are waiting for your next post — and there’s pressure that whatever you put up next better be amazing. Or at least you need a good reason for the hiatus to prove that you’re ‘really busy’ with ‘lots of meetings,’ ‘collaborations,’ and just being a goal-kicking, high-achieving entrepreneur,” says Sara Donaldson of Harper & Harley. “Sometimes, it’s just a simple fact that you would rather not be on your phone and instead, live your life in the present.” Amen to that.

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The Most Popular Beauty Brands on Instagram—and What They’re Doing Right

Instagram has created fitness stars, become an advertising home base for bloggers, and is critical to models’ careers. Now, it’s boosting business for certain beauty brands. As reported by WWD, a new study by Engagement Labs Inc. has revealed the top makeup brands on Instagram and the results may surprise you.

So who’s killing it on the photo sharing app? Anastasia of Beverly HillsBenefit, and Tarte, which each have more than 1 million followers. The former company takes the top spot with 5.7 million followers, and Engagement Labs said that it connects with its audience by reposting images of influencers using its products, which overall might be the winning strategy for success.

Scroll through ABH’s feed and you’ll see a variety of pics featuring perfect makeup looks for inspiration. Anastasia was actually one of the first beauty brands to work with Instagram “influencers” the way that others have worked with bloggers or vloggers in the past. The company has already partnered with some of the most influential makeup artists on Instagram such as @Amrezy and @DressYourFace on product collaborations as well—being the first of its kind to do so.

Both Tarte and Benefit also work very closely with influencers—bloggers and vloggers alike—by reposting looks that include their products and providing shout-outs to them. Benefit happens to be ranked highly across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and the brand follows a similar strategy across all three, constantly asking for consumers’ opinion on makeup looks, products and more. Plus, they work to provide witty quotes and useful tutorials across all of the platforms as well.

Considering how much time we spend scrolling through pictures every day, it’s at least nice to know that we might discover a new makeup hack in the process.

[BY ] [Read More]

 

 

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Instagram Ads vs. Influencer Marketing: Deciding What’s Best for Your Brand

As the largest and fastest growing social network, Instagram is a hotbed for advertising; however, it’s also been somewhat of a battleground for marketers who are eager to tap into its pool of savvy consumers, but were met with resistance by way of Instagram’s limited ad capabilities.

That all changed when Instagram announced that they will now offer an improved ad solution that enables brands to make use of direct response buttons such as, “Shop Now,” “Install Now,” and “Sign up.” Instagram will also enable interest and demographic targeting and allow brands to use Instagram’s API for managing large campaigns.

Furthermore, these offerings will be accessible to more brands as Instagram previously was more selective with the brands it enabled to advertise. Plus, with recent reports that Instagram ad revenue will reach more than $2 billion worldwide by 2017, the ad-route is becoming more and more attractive to brands.

However, prior to Instagram’s announcement, many brands relied on influencer marketing to target potential new customers and reach fragmented audiences. So now, for many brands, the question becomes: how do we decide what’s best for our brand’s marketing: ads or influencers?

The first question to ask yourself is what do you want to achieve? Brand awareness? Customer engagement? More followers of a certain type? Drive traffic to points of purchase? The answer to this question ultimately drives your marketing decision. Here are a few considerations to make:

Brand Awareness vs. Affinity

Ads are great for increasing brand awareness. You can push ads to a desired target group and immediately see results. The very first Instagram ad from Michael Kors received four times the usual number of likes compared to non-promoted posts; and it also reached a global audience of 6.15 million. The company also received 33,000 new followers, 16 times more than usual. Furthermore,Instagram’s business tools captured the progress showing exactly how each brand is performing with each ad and each objective (e.g. brand awareness), measuring impressions and reach to show how each target group responds to ads.

However, while ads are great for increasing brand awareness, brand affinity is a different goal that speaks more to a user’s sentiment when engaging with brand content on social media; and capturing brand affinity through ads is not done easily.

While the Michael Kors ads produced the numerical results necessary to prove ROI for marketers, the sentiment didn’t fair as well as many people in the Instagram community weren’t happy to see the ads and some saying they were “super annoying” and others demanding that they “JUST STOP.”

The idea that Instagram will soon be opening its ad platform to accommodate more brands, sends red flags to users who don’t want to be bombarded with ads any more frequently than they already are, particularly when there’s a chance those ads will have no relevance to them.

One of the strong suits of influencer marketing is its perceived authenticity. Users following influencers have a different outlook than many users who follow brands on Instagram because influencers are not always pushing out ad content; therefore, when influencers do share promotional posts, it comes off more genuine and organic. This is the difference between awareness and affinity. Awareness can be instant but affinity speaks to a positive sentiment and longer-term relationship between consumer and brand.

So the question becomes what’s more of value to achieve your brand’s desired outcome: raising brand awareness to see immediate results for a specific campaign, or building long term relationships and affinity through influencer marketing?

Cost of Ads vs. Finding the right influencers

Instagram maintains that ads will be open to more small to medium businesses, but the cost is still somewhat of a mystery. Instagram has always remained mum on exactly how much a direct ad campaign costs.

One post from Quora claims that figures between $350,000 and $1 million per month have been mentioned by executives. Whether this is true or not, a figure anywhere in that ballpark is probably not cost efficient for the average small business.

Influencer marketing can be much more cost efficient and in some cases, cost nothing as was the case with fashion brand Zara, which built their Instagram presence to over five million without the ad spend. However, finding the right fit of influencers to work with is an ongoing challenge for many brands.

Understanding what qualifies an influencer and how to effectively leverage their audience takes time and research along with negotiating contracts and scheduling time to analyze results and return; although, influencer networks have helped brands bypass these issues by developing a network of pre-vetted influencers and brands that are matched through a central network that manages everything from campaign goals and initiatives to legal contracts, compensation and results.

A Winning Strategy:

It’s clear that developing a winning Instagram strategy is not black and white. Determining whether to use ads or influencers should be addressed on a case-by-case basis as there are pros and cons to each solution; and in many cases, an ad-approach coupled with an influencer-approach to Instagram marketing can achieve desired results. Ads are great for getting eyeballs on your brand content at a fast and far-reaching pace while influencers help boost engagement, bridging the relationship and affinity between consumers and brands.

Brands can benefit greatly from adopting Instagram’s new ad offering into their current strategies; however, with 84 percent of consumers noting that they trust people they know over direct advertising, according to a Nielsen study, it’s clear that influencer marketing on Instagram still has it’s rightful place. The best strategy would be to use the best of both worlds to maximize results.

For example, brands can use content from influencer marketing campaigns and select the best performing images to create an Instagram sponsored post campaign. Incorporating authentic experiences into promotional content can add a flair of authenticity to your Instagram ads.

Brands can also try running ad and influencer campaigns in parallel to combine Facebook data-driven targeting with consolidation from the trusted source of influencers. Instagram’s new trending tags and places features also have potential to increase ad opportunities for marketers allowing them to build content and campaigns around what’s trending.

Instagram’s new ad offering opens a lot of doors for marketers, but nothing will replace the authenticity that makes Instagram Instagram. The platform is defined by the generation that dictates what’s cool and authentic; therefore it’s core users can easily sniff out anything that’s contrary. To thrive in this space, your brand must skillfully balance the ability to tell its story in the most authentic way while also leveraging all of its capabilities to drive customer conversions.

[By Francis Trapp] [Read More]