SM Influencers

Partnering With Influencers Means Meeting Them Halfway

According to YouTube enterprise rights and marketing firm Zefr, 60% of marketers will increase spend on influencer marketing in the coming year, and 22% say it is a top-ranked customer acquisition tool. The firm’s EVP and global media solutions chief, Rick Song, moderated an Advertising Week “crash course” on influencer marketing on Wednesday.

The event kicked off with a slide demonstrating an interesting data point on social influencers: You may not know their names, but their fans do and their levels of engagement are immense. Digital celeb Connor Franta has way less reach than Jimmy Fallon (12.5 million versus 38.4 million, respectively), but way more engagement — 2 million on average with every social post, versus 1.2 million for Fallon. What’s more valuable to a marketer? Fallon’s 200 million reach, or Frampton’s 2 million engagements with every post. It might be Frampton’s engagement levels. After all, reach just means visibility.

Kimberly Yarnell, VP of digital media at Macy’s, said use of digital celebs has become very important for the brand, “especially as we hope to build affinity for millennials and the multi-cultural.” For instance, Macy’s uses YouTube style vlogger Teni Panosian to reach woman 18 to 34 who are looking to be on trend, but not trend forward. “We are data driven, and defined influencer strategy up front. When we started, we fell into the same trap as others: how many fans, and followers. We have tried to refine our approach and find influencers who like our brand. Up the ante in terms of collaborating with talent.” She says Macy’s keeps an influencer “score card” and tries to craft long-term relationships with influencers rather one-offs. “Crafting relationships over time helps both influencer and brand feel more comfortable in the relationship.”

On the panel was one of those influencers, Shonduras (Shaun McBride), a visual-media social celeb who uses a channel that is particularly popular with younger millennials and Gen Z: Snapchat. He makes a critical point: from the influencer perspective, dealing with a brand can go one of two ways, depending on how the brand treats him or her, especially around how much control the brand wants to wield. The analogy he uses here is a teenager’s bedroom: mom or dad asks the kid to clean it, and the teen either actually cleans it, or kicks his mess under the bed so it looks clean. Except in the case of a marketing negotiation, he says, the responsibility is on the marketer.

“We can check all the boxes in a bad way or good way. If a brand isn’t working with me; if it is telling me what to do, well, my fans know its a ‘job.’ But if I’m passionate about something, and believe it, if I actually love that brand, I’ll build a long-term relationship and when I do social pushes, I don’t hide the fact; I don’t hide the brand under the bed.”

As far as what his fans think about his endorsing a brand, he said, “People say that the brand is cool for letting me do my thing. They embrace the brand. It’s not like I’m doing cool stuff and hiding the brand behind it.”

Jeff Wolfe, VP of content at brand content firm and Starcom Mediavest unit Liquid Thread, points out that, at end of day, people want to be entertained and that the client and influencer need to meet in the middle. “The brand is being well, and the influencer is being true to their voice and tone; it’s not an ad-like object.”

[By Karl Greenberg] [Read More] [Image from Stylecaster]


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.

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Ask a Blogger: How Exactly Do Fashion Bloggers Make Money?

Instagram via @Marianna_Hewitt

Our new column, Ask A Blogger, with Marianna Hewitt of, will explore the fascinating world of fashion bloggers—from behind-the-scenes of picture-perfect Instagrams to how to successfully grow your social media following. This week, Marianna shares the most common ways that bloggers make money.

We’ve officially entered the age where bloggers have really crossed over from simply running their own personal sites to starring in campaigns, commercials and even on magazine covers. Now all forms of social and digital media are allowing bloggers to really succeed in running their own business.

Earlier this year the New York Times ran an article revealing bloggers success at getting brands more sales, “When it comes to the sales, the digital girls are making those…We see higher conversions”—marketing jargon for converting web visits into sales— “off those girls than we do with celebrity placement that we might have paid money for,” Tracey Manner​, a PR spokesperson for Botkier revealed.

Now that companies see digital influencers and bloggers starting to drive more sales than celebrities, brands are building more campaigns for influencers into their marketing budget. Ultimately, this means that bloggers have much more room to earn a profit through various different mediums. Here are some of the typical ways that a blogger can make money:

1) Affiliate links: Sites like RewardStyle and ShopStyle use affiliate links on blogs to link directly to products that the blogger is wearing or buying in photos and posts. In turn, bloggers will then get paid based on either clicks or a percentage of total sales made from their posts.

2) Sponsored content: This is paid for by the brand through blog posts, Instagram, Youtube videos, Pinterest collaborations—whatever medium they choose and usually is a combination of all these outlets together. Lately it has become more transparent in blog posts by using the hashtags #ad #sponsored or “in collaboration with” to indicate that the content is sponsored by a brand.

3) Collaborations: Bloggers often do collaborations with brands that have similar style aesthetic or audiences. This year I collaborated with House of CB for a collection that was seen on Jennifer Lopez, Gigi Hadid and Kate Hudson. Because of the success of the first collection, the company and I are working on another collection for Spring/Summer 2016.

4) Marketing campaigns: These are different than sponsored content, instead of giving a blogger something to create on their personal site, it’s done by a company’s marketing team and lives on the company’s site, is promoted by them but also shared on a blogger’s platform. A good example of this is Clinique’s current Face Forward campaign with Tavi Gevinson, Margaret Zhang and Hannah Bronfman.

5) Classes: If an influencer or blogger has a niche, they can teach it to others through seminars, paid online classes or one-on-one sessions. The Fashion & Beauty Blogger Conference Simply Stylists hosts both small panels and large conferences around the country allowing bloggers to partake in speaking opportunities. Individual bloggers host these panels and classes to teach Instagram skills, DIY projects or photography.

6) Photography & other creative services: Because so many of us take photos of ourselves, some get really good at taking and editing pictures which leads to the point where other companies and fashion brands now hire bloggers for their photo skills.



Master the Art of Social Media in Just Seven Days

A study by the European commission found that 61% of European SMEs use social media (pdf) and those that do appear to be better off financially than those that don’t. Another survey by Hiscox reported that 27% of SMEs using social media to support marketing efforts said they did so to increase brand awareness and a further 15% use social media to boost sales.

There’s no denying that in order to reach your audience on a more personal level and to stay competitive in the market, social media is key for most small firms. Here’s how to master social media in just seven days:

Day 1: choose a channel

Research where your audience hangs out online. It is a common mistake, and extremely time consuming, for brands to set up accounts on an array of platforms – deciding where your brand will perform best can save time and resources. Colour expert Pantone, for example, performs really well on Pinterest by carefully considering its visual nature and the types of people and creative industries that would follow it.

Day 2: know your audience

Awareness of what your audience wants to talk about, what interests them and what will encourage them to share will form the basis for your online conversation. Find out who they are, what they expect from brands across channels and speak to them on their level. Your consumers may be more engaged with competitions over Facebook rather than Twitter, for example, so adjust your strategy accordingly.

Day 3: start a two-way conversation

The beauty of social media is that it makes brands appear human by the way they can interact online. But like any human conversation, it can’t all be about one party. Responding to comments, answering questions and joining in the conversation will give people a more personalised experience of your brand.

Innocent drinks’ Facebook page is a great example of a brand that knows its audience, and what this audience wants to see. The brand doesn’t take itself too seriously, using humour in its social media posts and even sometimes its customers’ comments.

Day 4: draw up guidelines

The teams in charge of your social media, whether it is managed in-house or outsourced, should be given guidelines on the tone and content of conversations online. Guidelines will differ between brands. Some will allow their social media team to adapt to the most natural style of conversation, while some will define and enforce a more specific voice. The way you want your brand to be portrayed – friendly and chatty or assertive, informative and persuasive – should determine how you approach the development of these guidelines.

Day 5: match your brand

As well as adhering to your followers’ personalities, it’s also important to keep in-line with your brand’s personality. Our business sells thousands of gifts under the categories ‘LOL’, ‘OMG’ and ‘WTF’ and so content online is built to match this, often including humour and shock tactics which resonate with both the company and its consumers

Day 6: find some influencers

People with an influential presence on social media and that hold importance with your target market can be a golden ticket for your brand. Identify people online with a contextual fit, quality content and a high reach, and form a strategy of how to work with them.

For instance, this may be a celebrity you can send products to, or someone you can form an ongoing brand ambassador relationship with.

Day 7: testing

When your social media strategy is up and running, analysing how things are working can help develop your plan. Observe what time of day your posts get the most engagement – this will vary between industries and between B2B and B2C companies, so it’s important to see what works for you. Consider the types of posts that are encouraging the most engagement. You may find you’re losing or gaining followers after certain types of posts. Gathering all of this information and adjusting your strategy will bolster your performance online and will help you gain some valuable insight.

[By Matthew Rogers] [Read More]

5 Traits of a succesful Youtuber

5 Traits of a Successful Youtuber

5 Traits of a succesful Youtuber


Twenty-five year old Yousef Saleh Erakat, also known by his stage name FouseyTube, is a Palestinian American entertainer who produces parodies, vlogs, comedy sketches and pranks on YouTube to an audience of more than 6 million subscribers.

What makes him so successful on Youtube? What’s the secret sauce? Here’s what I learned when I went Behind the Brand with fouseyTube.

Trait #1
There’s a familiar theme among the most successful Youtuber’s and it has to do with being yourself. The audience can see right thru someone who isn’t being genuine and we’ve seen several young creators with massive audiences fall hard lately because it was discovered that they were not who they pretended to be.

Trait #2
There is a steady flow of content that airs on a certain day once per week. The magic combo seems to be publishing videos weekly but it’s also about knowing what your people want. For other social platforms like Twitter or Pinterest, more frequent posts might be appropriate. Best practices are all about following the etiquette of that particular network. Do your homework, observe and listen, then jump in the game.

Trait #3
They don’t risk it all at first. Fousey described how he got started. He was working at Chili’s putting money in the bank while making videos on the side for cheap. Once one of his videos hit it big, he quit his day job and never looked back but still spends very little on production costs. He does all of the work which includes the writing and editing.

Trait #4
They don’t give up. Sometimes Fousey’s videos don’t go viral and that’s okay with him. He creates what he thinks is entertaining content and keeps trying to please his audience. You’re only as good as your last video so you have to keep on going.

Trait #5
They care. Author Gary Vaynerchuk wrote in his book, The Thank You Economy, “The person who cares the most wins.” Fousey listens to feedback and tries his best to react to what he thinks will be entertaining for his community. That could include pulling horrible pranks on some of his best friends but it’s always fun to watch.

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