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TikTok’s pitch comes as the app faces a possible closure of its US business. TikTok has been in talks with Oracle, Microsoft and Walmart after President Trump’s administration threatened to ban the app.
“Brands are more aware of the returns of investment on Instagram,” said an influencer who used both Instagram and TikTok, and asked not to be identified to speak more freely about brand deals. “It’s very easy to convince a brand to do a Reel in addition to another package.”
65% of marketers consider traffic and lead generation their most important task. The importance of standing out in your field and finding new leads is doubly important as we move into 2020. Here are a few ways to adapt to this approach.
How do you define a valuable lead? Some companies operate on close professional networks where hot leads can be easier to find. Others invest heavily in cold calling to narrow down an ocean of prospects into a steady sales stream.
Lead generation strategies are business-dependent. There’s no single method or list of steps a company can take that will work in every instance. This is, in fact, the major advantage of both sales and marketing – companies that think creatively and reassess their approaches end up with the strongest base of customers.
65% of marketers consider traffic and lead generation their most important task. The importance of standing out in your field and finding new leads is doubly important as we move into 2020. Here are a few ways to adapt to this approach.
1) Co-Create Exclusive Content
While you don’t want to indirectly support your competitors, there are likely numerous other industries related to yours that have similar customer bases without overlapping with your business. It’s time to reach out to the companies that target demographics similar to your own to start discussing what type of lead-generating content you can collaborate on.
There are several benefits to co-creating content. For one thing, you create a new business relationship that could pay off greatly in the future. Your online reach is at least double, as you and your collaborator spread the content simultaneously across channels. Better yet, the time it takes you to create this content – be it an eBook, video sales letter (VSL), whitepaper, or otherwise – is half of what you’d put in by yourself.
Make sure the content is gated in some way that allows you to collect email addresses and phone numbers of interested prospects. As long as your industries don’t overlap, these potential customers won’t mind receiving marketing messages from you both, and the size of your leads list will grow exponentially compared to a solo venture.
2) Influencer Reach Outs
Influencer marketing isn’t just for B2Cs. The rise of micro- and nano-influencers has created valuable marketing opportunities on Instagram and elsewhere for a wider range of industries. Forbes recently declared influencer marketing the next big thing in B2B. If you’re not working with influencers in your industry, you’re missing out. In fact, it’s likely that your competitors are already looking for partnerships to dominate this lucrative social channel.
You don’t have to outspend your marketing budget to work with a celebrity influencer. In fact, partnering with an influencer in the 5k-10k follower’s range, or even a nano-influencer with as few as 1000 followers, can be much more effective in gaining valuable leads.
These smaller influencers typically have more active fan bases that will appreciate your content more than a wider audience. There are tools you can use to find influencers in your demographic, but a simple hashtag search and a review of your own followers can bring you to some valuable leads.
3) Share Your Content Across Channels
The competition for the top spot on Google and high-conversion Facebook ads never ceases. It’s likely that you already have a strong strategy in place for your top online marketing channels. If not, it’s time to reevaluate what’s working and what’s not, with an eye toward expanding your reach.
An omnichannel approach to your marketing keeps you up-to-date with the latest shifts in consumer tastes, potentially giving you an advantage when a particular website or media outlet takes off. Reddit, for example, is one of the most visited sites in the world, yet its ad revenue is comparatively small at just $100 million in 2019.
These sorts of gaps between audience numbers and advertising spending are common across the web and could signal an opportunity for you to engage with an entirely new audience on a growing platform. Be sure to keep a wide scope, and consider options you may have previously overlooked.
Streaming apps like Twitch and Periscope were once considered pure entertainment, but even LinkedIn has its own streaming service now. Where else might your potential prospects be spending their time online?
4) Focus On The Phone
A Salesforce study found that 92% of customer interactions happen on the phone. No matter the impact of digital media, people still want that human connection when they think about spending money. Short of meeting them in-person, the telephone is your best bet for connecting with new leads.
Getting a warm or hot lead on the phone can be the decision point for whether they become a life-long customer or take their business elsewhere. Having a great over-the-phone experience makes the former much more likely.
There are a number of ways to facilitate this success, starting with optimizing your organization. This might include having a separate number or phone line for particularly hot leads, or by directing some of your online marketing toward a phone call with a sales rep. Whichever methods you choose, make sure you’re ready to handle questions and concerns in real-time. Working on your phone voice never hurts either!
5) Reach Out For Referrals
2020 has been a year of social distancing and quarantine, all of which have led to a mood of solitude and isolation. Now might be the time to reach out to those you’ve not spoken to in a while, particularly when it comes to your professional network.
We all have acquaintances we’ve spoken to a few times, perhaps at an industry conference or social function. With social media, it’s easier than ever to keep in touch, yet those budding professional relationships can easily fall by the wayside when we’re busy with work. Luckily, reconnecting is as easy as making a phone call or sending a LinkedIn message.
Don’t just reach out to people who may be interested in what you’re selling. Sometimes a simple check-in can lead to better business relationships for you both later on down the road – particularly if they keep you in mind when they come across a potential lead.
Nurturing the right connections and generating leads takes time. It’s a consistent effort that you’ll come back to time and again, constantly reoptimizing and tweaking to see what causes real improvement. It’s this kind of strategy – the one that’s ever-evolving – that works best. As long as you keep change at the front of your mind, you’ll be poised to make your future sales with the utmost confidence.
Seasoned marketing executives’ advice to those seeking to advance their careers. Free Book Preview Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing This book takes readers through a 360-degree perspective of social media marketing in businesses. September 15, 2020 10 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. When I graduated from college, the best…
Seasoned marketing executives’ advice to those seeking to advance their careers.
Free Book Preview Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing
This book takes readers through a 360-degree perspective of social media marketing in businesses.
10 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
When I graduated from college, the best career advice I never followed was to build my professional network. As an introvert with a borderline avoidant-personality-disorder, I preferred the mellow illumination of my computer screen, and the sound of a keyboard clicking like rain on a tin roof, over actually meeting people. In retrospect, my understanding of business and sales was naïve.
Now I know that networking is the key to success. Fifteen years of working with other professionals taught me that. More recently, interviews with over a dozen marketing professionals in the health and wellness industry drove the point home.
As part of EMPATH’s giving-back efforts, we donate time to local non-profits, schools, and other community organizations that need support. We found a common thread during engagements at our local colleges: what should students expect when they enter the workforce? A straightforward enough question.
My team and I developed our own take on the matter – through our prism of experiences, biases and inexperiences. It got us thinking. We’re a boutique brand and marketing consultancy. Many of these students aspire to work in large agencies or with exemplar brands. In the spirit of our mission to develop a deep understanding of our clients’ customer’s wants and needs, we decided to apply our own methodology to discovering what eager students can expect and plan for in their new careers. After speaking with many leading marketing professionals, we found that the advice shared, while valuable for students, would also be valuable for those in leadership positions (or those aspiring to become leaders).
We invested hours in interviewing leading marketing professionals in our network, and even more time doing secondary source research (listening to speeches, following social media comments and posts, synthesizing other sources). We found three central themes: be a generalist, know your customers (really know them), and pursue lifelong learning.
Of course, speaking with over a dozen specialists with the highest pedigrees elicited more than three takeaways. The conversations were so rich, it was a challenge to winnow the ideas down to just three.
A hearty thanks to all those who donated their time to satiate our curiosity as to what it’s like on the other side of the screen. Now, back to our three themes.
“It’s not a bad thing to be a generalist.”
Jann Parish, named as Forbes CMO NEXT 2019, is an experienced CMO/executive level marketer with brands such as Victoria’s Secret, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, and L’Oreal. She described how being a generalist can make you a better leader. Early in her marketing career, she said she had an insatiable drive to learn as much as she could. That meant “never having the loudest voice,” but always developing the deepest level of understanding through asking thoughtful questions. “I didn’t want to be viewed as someone who would take over, but as someone who would contribute.” Especially when she was a young woman seated in a room full of men who had more experience and felt strongly that they knew best. She says that becoming a great leader is about developing a range of skills and being an active listener. But it’s also about “putting the ego aside and hiring the best talent.” When you’re a generalist, you’re good at a lot of things, but you rely on your team to be great in their own domains.
Erin Fitzgerald, CMO at Sermo, agrees. “It’s not a bad thing to be a generalist.” She explains how, for executive positions, “you don’t want to pigeonhole yourself into being an email marketing or social media guru.” A big challenge for all brands is understating the polar opposites of creative and technical marketing. From automation to the emotions that your marketing elicits, being a generalist gives you the ability to understand both extremes. She says that myopic views in marketing are dangerous: when you are too focused on technical and esoteric skills, you miss out on knowing why data is important, how to operationalize it, and how to figure out which KPIs matter.
Having spanned various roles at Carl Zeiss Vision over the last 16 years, Pamela Andrews corroborates this take on skillsets. She says that good project management skills are founded on having a broad range of professional experiences: they’re quintessential to overseeing the kinds of disparate projects a marketing professional has to juggle. “Literally, every day, I’m working on something different. One day might be a product launch that has many different elements that need to be pulled together, another day might be a promotion campaign.” The ability to manage all the different aspects of her role reinforces the value of a generalist point of view.
Greg Barntsen, a former P&G Exec, sums it up nicely: “A brand manager is the hub of the wheel of the cross-functional team.” The hub is only as strong as its spokes. And in life, you can’t be both hub and spoke. If your aspirations are to become a manager, to lead others, become a generalist. Your team will love you for it.
“External resources are good fodder. But…”
One of our key questions was to ask what resources these executives use most often to learn, evolve, and improve their skills and knowledge. Perhaps one of the most challenging responses came from Kristin Harper, previous Global Vice President at Cardinal Health: “external resources are good fodder and good food for thought, but the most important thing is to know your customer intimately.” She went on to explain how she doesn’t invest a significant amount of time to reading books and blogs and listening to podcasts. Instead, she invests the majority of her time in deeply understanding her customers. While every other interviewee listed multiple resources, Kristin became an outlier by expressing the importance of focus groups, tradeshows, qualitative data, customized surveys, and secondary source customer research. This was music to our ears because we beat that drum all the time to our prospects, clients, and team. Kristin expressed her love of reading customer behavior reports, looking at sales data, and using her access to PEW and IRI (among others), to learn about her customers’ motivations, interests, and aspirations
A key takeaway from our interview with Kristin is that “salespeople are a good source for getting to know your customer.” She mentioned the need to work closely with salespeople, but cautioned against drawing conclusions on one-off conversations. Like the rivalry between circus clowns and party clowns, sales and marketing folks are often in strife overvalues and approaches. You need to break down that barrier. Our next interviewee explains how.
Sarah Mayer, having held senior marketing roles at fledgling brands and stalwarts alike, had this to say about getting to know people: “everyone is busy these days, full days, jobs, family, bills to pay. Take a step back. Rather than being purely transactional, be down to earth, personal, and call out the fact that you know they are busy. Ask them to coffee. Tell them it’s just a conversation.” She says having coffee with people has been a key factor in her success.
Matthew Polk has similar insights. Having been a Marketing Director & General Manager at Foster Farms, he said, “I’m likely not the market for what my company sells. Being over-educated, overpaid, and having lived in too many different areas, I’m not the target customer.” What he said next surprised me. “Understanding consumer insights is quintessential, but It’s not an advantage to be one of your own customers. It puts blinders on you.” For those of you who are worried you can’t relate to your market: don’t be. According to Matthew, it’s an advantage, if you leverage it properly. He says you should develop a “method of thinking about consumer insight, target market, and what the consumers’ attitudes are. How your brand or product fits into, or needs to evolve to fit into their lifestyles. What’s the benefit proposition, relevance, what are their beliefs?” As Harper Lee wrote in To Kill a Mockingbird, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view . . . until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
If you haven’t learned this already, or are still fighting the urge to live behind a screen, take some advice from Bob Hurley, former Executive Advisor at eHealth. “Relationships are often—usually— the key to all success in life. Both your business and personal lives. The most successful business people are often excellent relationship people. The key to effective relationships in business is to create win-win partnerships that in the end serve all partners and constituents by adding value for everyone involved.”
“The journey is about learning.”
Beyond learning about your customers, Matthew Polk also advised to always be learning, period. Learn by getting involved, being curious and inquisitive. Each executive we interviewed either explicitly expressed their interest in learning or conveyed it by example. Like the way Haystack LLC Marketing Manager, Maria LaTour, started practicing meditation and yoga to inspire calmness. Or Jessica Yarmey, Chief Marketing Officer at Club Pilates, who says, “time in the seat is vital: you’ll make mistakes and learn from them.”
Erin Fasano, seasoned Marketing Director and Brand Manager, shared a resource that provides advanced brand strategy courses, Planning Dirty.
On the subject of strategy, Vice President of Integrated Marketing at Sambazon, Sebastien Marcq, explained how the Prof G podcast is continually improving his critical reasoning abilities.
The leading resources these marketing executives use to discover and distill insights was social media networks (no surprise). LinkedIn led the pack (biased because that’s how we sought out the interviews) with 80% acknowledging it. Instagram was second at 73%, with Twitter and Facebook tied at 26%. Podcasts were mentioned by 26% of the executives. Adweek and CMO Moves were cited by 20%, and Adage, Food Business News Daily, and HBR lagged behind at 13% each.
If you want to be successful in marketing, it’s essential to acquire a deep understanding of your customers. Beyond personas and reviews. Meet them where they’re at: at work, in their homes, or in the field as they use your products.
If you want to become a successful executive, strive for four things. Be a generalist. Develop a focus on relationships. And become an amazing listener, because it’s never about who shouts the loudest, but who listens the longest. And always keep learning.
While some industries are suffering right now, the digital economy is booming. Many people are taking this opportunity to earn some extra income or switch careers entirely. If you would like to follow suit, the Online Income 101 bundle provides 15 courses on the subject for just $59.99. From creative freelancing to eCommerce, there are countless ways to…
While some industries are suffering right now, the digital economy is booming. Many people are taking this opportunity to earn some extra income or switch careers entirely. If you would like to follow suit, the Online Income 101 bundle provides 15 courses on the subject for just $59.99.
From creative freelancing to eCommerce, there are countless ways to make money online. To help you get started sooner, this bundle delivers hours of expert tips and tricks.
Through concise video tutorials, you discover how to make big money completing gigs on Fiverr, and selling on Amazon. The training also explains how to build a personal brand, which you can then use to generate income through influencer marketing.
Other courses look at affiliate marketing, selling online courses, and key SEO techniques.
Your instructor is Alex Genadinik, a serial entrepreneur who has taught over 252,000 business-minded students. All the courses have great reviews.
Credit: Annie Spratt/Unsplash TLDR: Whether it’s freelancing, influencer or affiliate marketing, ecommerce or something else, the Online Income 101 course can help you build the passive income business you need today. The hustle is real. Even if you aren’t one of the millions of Americans who lost a job or suffered a huge financial impact…
Credit: Annie Spratt/Unsplash
TLDR: Whether it’s freelancing, influencer or affiliate marketing, ecommerce or something else, the Online Income 101 course can help you build the passive income business you need today.
The hustle is real. Even if you aren’t one of the millions of Americans who lost a job or suffered a huge financial impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, you are definitely thinking about your professional and financial future like never before.
The reality is that most of us can’t trust our current employers to be there and have our backs through a crisis. You can’t put all your professional eggs in one company’s basket. Instead, you’ve got to have several irons in the fire and create legitimate revenue streams that can augment or possibly even one day eclipse that day job.
This 13-course mega-package starts with brainstorming — and the 10 Passive Income Ideas and 22 Lifestyle Business Ideas to Make Money Online from Home courses can help you zero in on what type of business could work for you as a plausible and lucrative revenue source.
If you have marketable skills you can utilize as a freelancer, the Fiverr Freelancing 2020: Sell Fiverr Gigs Like The Top 1 Percent training can help you use the power of services like Fiverr and Upwork to build work for yourself. Meanwhile, the Max-Profit Pricing Strategy and Negotiation to Make Money course offers ideas of pricing strategies if you want to build a client base on your own.
If you’ve got an eye on becoming an YouTube or Instagram personality, you can get in on the influencer game with courses like Personal Branding Path to Top 1 Percent Influencer Personal Brand and Influencer Marketing: Hire Right Influencers and Track Results.
Maybe influencing isn’t your thing, but if you’d still like to create content around products or services, you might want to think about affiliate marketing. Three separate courses here explore that world, including how to use affiliate sites like ClickBank, Amazon Associates, Shareasale, JVzoo and more to make cash steering customers to other people’s products.
There’s even eLearning Business, a course that can show you might be able to turn your expertise into an actual online course with its own tidy revenue stream.
This wide-ranging path to bolstering your professional future includes $2,600 worth of training, but with this deal, it’s all available now for just $59.99.
Products featured here are selected by our partners at StackCommerce.If you buy something through links on our site, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission. The Online Income 101 bundle includes 13 courses on personal income and branding. Image: pexels By StackCommerceMashable Shopping2020-09-02 09:00:00 UTC TL;DR: From affiliate marketing to freelancing gigs, learn how to make money…
Products featured here are selected by our partners at StackCommerce.If you buy something through links on our site, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.
By StackCommerceMashable Shopping
TL;DR: From affiliate marketing to freelancing gigs, learn how to make money online and become your own boss with the Online Income 101 course for $59.99 as of Sept. 2.
Nothing beats being your own boss and working for yourself, and there are more ways to go about it than ever before. We’re talking about starting an online business, which can mean anything from freelance writing to selling goods on Amazon to becoming an influencer.
If you’re not sure how to get started with any of the above, don’t sweat it because this Online Income 101 Bundle covers all the mentioned side hustles (and more) over the course of 13 different classes and 22 hours of instruction.
All the coursework is taught by Alex Genadinik, a passionate instructor, best-selling Amazon author, and online entrepreneur in his own right. He’s been in the trenches running his own business while also operating a successful marketing channel on YouTube with over 30 thousand subscribers, so he’s got a ton of first-hand experience to share.
The bundle begins with a course on freelancing via Fiverr, ultimately giving you a blueprint for boosting your sales on the freelance platform by 1,000%. Whether you’re a designer, writer, animator, or musician, this will be a great way to get your side hustle started. Next, you’ll learn how to grow and develop your personal brand with courses on self-branding, financial independence, and getting recognized as a thought leader in your space.
If you’ve got your sights set on influencer marketing, there’s a course for that, too. It’ll throw you into the world of influencer marketing with tips on navigating it properly to generate traffic and sales. You’ll want to dive into the next course on price negotiations and strategies, so you’ll know your worth from the get-go.
Ecommerce, search engine optimization (SEO), and affiliate marketing are the focuses of a number of lectures on deck, including a course specifically focused on selling on Amazon, and another on affiliate marketing techniques.
There’s even a class on creating and selling your own online tutorial just like the ones you’ve just taken. Because once you’re a pro, why not share the love? Yes, it’s a lot to take in (and we didn’t even cover all the courses), but the results could be more than worth it. You can grab the entire bundle for only $59.99, which is a huge discount on its original value of $2,600.
New data from Socialbakers, a social-media marketing company, breaks down which industries have had the most efficient influencer-marketing campaigns during the pandemic.Healthcare came out on top, followed by packaged foods and household goods. Airlines had the lowest efficiency.Socialbakers defined “efficiency” as the engagements from an influencer’s sponsored Instagram post compared to the average engagements a…
New data from Socialbakers, a social-media marketing company, breaks down which industries have had the most efficient influencer-marketing campaigns during the pandemic.
Healthcare came out on top, followed by packaged foods and household goods. Airlines had the lowest efficiency.
Socialbakers defined “efficiency” as the engagements from an influencer’s sponsored Instagram post compared to the average engagements a brand receives on its own accounts.
But in the last few months, some brands have begun to hire influencers for sponsored posts and campaigns, even in the travel and tourism industries. That doesn’t, however, mean all these partnerships have been successful or efficient.
New data from Socialbakers, a social-media marketing company, looked at data from over 8,000 brands to track the efficiency of partnerships on Instagram between April and July of 2020. Socialbakers defined “efficiency” as the difference between the engagement on an influencer’s branded post and the average engagement of that brand’s Instagram content. In other words: Did the influencer’s posts work to drive eyeballs to the brand?
Socialbakers found that healthcare, as a category, had the highest efficiency, with an efficiency index of 4.99. Airlines had the lowest efficiency during this time period, with an index of 0.08. Socialbakers said it considers any efficiency index of 1.00 or greater as the sign of a successful brand partnership.
In April, Socialbakers’ data showed a decline in influencer marketing efficiency across all industries. But by July, the overall influencer marketing efficiency rate had started rebounding.
Here are the industries with the highest influencer-marketing efficiency between April and July 2020:
Healthcare: 4.99 efficiency index
FMCG (fast-moving consumers goods) food: 2.55
Household goods: 2.46
Home and living: 1.67
FMCG corporate: 1.60
Here are the industries with the lowest influencer-marketing efficiency between April and July 2020:
Airlines (lowest): 0.08 efficiency index
Sporting goods: 0.43
Retail food: 0.59
For more stories on the influencer industry, check out these Business Insider articles:
Image: cardi b / twitter By Anna Iovine2020-08-19 19:47:41 UTC Nothing — not even Ben Shapiro’s nightmarish lyric reading — could stop powerhouses Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s song “WAP” from debuting at number one on the Billboard charts. It didn’t just top the charts, either. The song received a record-breaking 93 million streams…
As a way to thank their fans, the rappers collaborated with Cash App and Twitter to give away $1 million to women in $500 increments:
y’all made #WAP amazing!! we’re partnering with Twitter and Cash App to give away a total of $1 million dollars to celebrate all you powerful women out there. tell us why you or a woman you know can use a piece of the $.
Gone are the simple days when we fought off armies of clunky and clearly fake bots trying to sway our votes. Now we face sophisticated and organic-seeming campaigns driven by people with an even more keen understanding of how to manipulate the flow of information. Check your feed: Partisan, paid nanoinfluencers may be your friends…
Gone are the simple days when we fought off armies of clunky and clearly fake bots trying to sway our votes. Now we face sophisticated and organic-seeming campaigns driven by people with an even more keen understanding of how to manipulate the flow of information. Check your feed: Partisan, paid nanoinfluencers may be your friends or people you follow.
This new culture of the partisan influencer, unsurprisingly coming to fruition in the US during the 2020 presidential election, underscores the challenges social media firms face in dealing with the sheer amount of propaganda flowing on their platforms. Concerns about how the actions of these users—and those who pay and organize them—might affect both public health and public opinion are all the more heightened as Instagram rolls out its TikTok competitor, Instagram Reels. Partisan influencers have told our research team that they’re eyeing this new space because it appears to have a more laissez-faire approach to content restriction than TikTok.
Katie Joseff is a senior researcher on the propaganda research team at the Center for Media Engagement (CME) at UT Austin. Prior to joining CME she was the research manager of the Digital Intelligence Lab at the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, California. Anastasia Goodwin is a research assistant with the propaganda team at CME. Samuel Woolley (@samuelwoolley) is an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and program director of propaganda research at the Center for Media Engagement, both at UT Austin. His new book, The Reality Game: How the Next Wave of Technology Will Break the Truth, discusses how we can prevent emergent technology from being used for manipulation.
Over the past year, we’ve been studying the ways in which social media influencers are being leveraged by political actors across the political spectrum. Quantifying their scale and engagement rates on Instagram is difficult, for several reasons: (1) There’s lax enforcement of influencers noting when they post advertisements. (2) The “paid partnership” disclosure is itself opaque—clicking the label takes one to the company’s or campaign’s page, but doesn’t show other posts from the same campaign. And (3) the Instagram ad library is frustratingly glitchy and difficult to navigate, and, more concerningly, it doesn’t include sponsored posts from influencers unless the platforms were paid to “promote” the content artificially beyond the influencers’ followers—which is rare, since influencers already have audiences.
Our interviews with political strategists, regulators, and leaders of influencer-centric marketing firms have been more enlightening. They’ve revealed, in particular, the growing use of nanoinfluencers in online US political conversation. One interviewee, who manages such campaigns, summed up the political marketing industry’s perspective on this shift to nanoinfluencer-based political messaging: “We’re obsessed.” The sentiment is bipartisan.
A few strategists that we spoke to were more reserved, however, admitting that they are still working out the “efficiency” of orchestrating nanoinfluencers for large-scale effect. This is, in part, due to the manpower required to assemble large numbers of nanoinfluencers, which are not commonly on the advertising platforms used to coordinate influencers. The political mobilization of nanoinfluencers teeters between authentic grassroots organizing and manipulative exploitation of intimate (or seemingly intimate) relationships. With this in mind, there are serious ethical quandaries when it comes to political campaigns and other groups leveraging nanoinfluencers during elections. How are influencers being recruited and coordinated? Are the influencers transparent about being paid by political organizations? Are they abiding by campaign finance regulations as well as laws related to electioneering and similar activities?
The use of nanoinfluencers, in US politics at least, is still in its infancy. Those hoping to prevent the spread of potentially harmful propaganda and political disinformation have the rare opportunity to mitigate a nascent manipulation technique. Let us act, rather than resign ourselves to postmortem laments about what could have been done.
What Are Nanoinfluencers?
The relatively small fan bases of nanoinfluencers—accounts with fewer than 5,000 followers—are largely why they’re so powerful as a political tool. These small-scale influencers are composed of everyday people who are active on a community level: the baker, the PTA member, the local religious leader, the small business owner, etc. Unlike celebrity influencers, they can offer political campaigns “friend to friend” outreach. This strategy is further bolstered by political marketers’ ability to automate outreach and micro-target highly engaged audiences for a relatively cheap price. Nanoinfluencers have significantly higher engagement with their followers than other influencers, often taking time to interact with every comment and query on their posts. This enables them to build close relationships and garner high degrees of trust. Unlike celebrities, nanoinfluencers’ followers commonly share specific traits, such as location, age, or a niche interest: a tailored audience. When using advanced technologies such as CRMs, marketing analytics tools, and social listening software, in conjunction with nanoinfluencers, marketers gain the ability to coordinate flocks of “digital door knockers” on a scale that traditional canvassing could never hope to achieve, all while infiltrating close relational networks that would otherwise be off-limits.
Political marketers told us they believe that other social media users—and, most importantly, other voters—see nanoinfluencers as more trustworthy than a given celebrity account because, well, they usually know the person. “To me, it doesn’t matter how many followers they have, it’s about how many people would find them credible,” said one political strategist when describing what they looked for when recruiting potential influencers for political social-media campaigns.
Partisan nanoinfluencers are on the rise just as we’re spending more time on social media due to Covid-19. Instagram users alone are spending a reported 30 more minutes a day on the app. Twitter banned the paid promotion of political advertisements, and Google limited audience-targeting capabilities for political ads (although there are loopholes), so political marketers are looking to influencers as an unconstrained alternative. Finally, the protests following the death of George Floyd have shifted the norms around political discourse on Instagram and other platforms. Political organizations and special interest groups, including campaigns, have taken note, however, and are working to co-opt organic democratic conversations by inserting posts from paid proponents.
According to the experts we’ve spoken with, these shifts have caused an uptick in demand for political influencer marketing among partisan groups and political campaigns alike. Traditional campaigning strategies, like voter outreach and informational events, have moved online. There’s also been a shift in the expectations of influencers, particularly on Instagram: “It’s become a place where influencers are expected to say something, and they are expected to be on the right side of history if they want to continue to operate their businesses,” said one influencer firm executive. Their firm and others have seized upon this expectation and have converted the use of paid nanoinfluencers—well documented in selling commercial products—to sell politics.
What Makes Nanoinfluencers Uniquely Concerning?
Beyond potential cost for the influencers and campaigns themselves, there are broader concerns for digital transparency, accountability, and informational quality. Nanoinfluencers can be used to skirt the advertising policies surrounding political messaging on platforms. Although Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have imposed stricter requirements for political ads, influencer ads float in the quagmire of murky guidelines and lax enforcement concerning the behavior of “regular” people involved in political speech. Should statements made by influencers on behalf of politicians be labeled as “ads”? We think so, but social-media-platform regulations are less clear.
Lack of disclosure is a threat to election integrity and, potentially, national security. Dark money from anonymous corporations, interest groups, and foreign actors continues to fund online operations seeking to influence public opinion without the public’s knowledge. Foreign interference in the 2020 election, particularly from Russia, China, and Iran, is a top concern of US intelligence agencies—how will they deal with nanoinfluencers? Russia, for instance, has been pivoting from using fake accounts to influence voters to using real, local people in regions like Africa, and are likely to attempt the same techniques in the United States. Given that Russian influence operations in the US have prioritized Instagram over other platforms in recent years, it seems likely that influencers, particularly nanoinfluencers, could be leveraged by foreign actors.
To further complicate matters, the Federal Elections Commission—which could change the rules surrounding the use of digital political influencers (and digital political communication in general) during elections in order to hold campaigns more accountable—once again finds itself powerless to act without a quorum. The commission has also suffered from increased polarization in recent years, resulting in commissioners voting along partisan lines when it comes to disclosures. This has left rules surrounding online political ads at a standstill since 2006, with no updates to account for changes in the way the Internet has evolved in the last two decades, especially with regard to social media. Current rules are “technology-neutral and platform-agnostic,” leaving much of the interpretation and enforcement of social media advertising policies to the campaigns and platforms themselves, with little to no consequences for bad actors. One former commissioner told us, “In the last year, there hasn’t been a quorum, and so they couldn’t do anything anyway. And so people know they can just act with impunity, and there’s never going to be any enforcement.”
Until there is adequate regulation of payment disclosure on paid political speech, public opinion will continue to be swayed by puppeteers manipulating small-scale nanoinfluencers.
The authors would like to gratefully acknowledge the Beneficial Technology Team at the Omidyar Network for supporting their research. The views herein, however, do not necessarily reflect those of the funder.
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The firm said that it plans to add more BIPOC influencers to its influencer platform, sponsor BIPOC influencers to attend a six-week class called The Influencer League, improve its search results to promote diverse talent, and work with the Influencer League on a study examining the pay gap between BIPOC and white influencers.
The changes stem from influencers of color speaking out about not being paid fairly. In some cases, BIPOC influencers feel like they’re being taken advantage of when they accept a free product instead of being paid, said D’Anthony Jackson, senior account executive for the digital and influencer strategy team at MSL.
Hulu is betting big on the return of live sports with a new ad campaign that promotes its live TV service and stars athletes like the NBA’s Damian Lillard, MLB’s Aaron Judge, and WNBA’s Skylar Diggins, Tanya Dua reported.
Ryan Crosby, VP of marketing at Hulu, said that Hulu and Live TV subscribers have doubled, with a 139% year-over-year growth in the number of hours watched when it came to the NFL since the company started promoting the service with athletes last year.
Between June 1 and August 10, Quibi uploaded 92 YouTube videos, averaging 1.39 per day, according to data from Tubular Labs. To compare, the company uploaded 51 videos between April 1 through the end of May, equivalent to an average of 0.84 videos per day.
From July 1 to August 5, Quibi aired TV ads worth an estimated $10 million, and generated 469 million impressions, according to iSpot.tv.
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Whether you work for the man or you’re building a personal brand, you want to make sure your company/wellness vlog/Etsy account ranks somewhere near the very top of the page when people search for you on Google.
But what if you only appear on the second page of results, like some sort of dormant Twitter account or obscure Urban Dictionary entry? Should you pack in your influencer dreams? Or tell the CEO to liquify company assets and declare bankruptcy? The answer is no.
Instead, get on top of your Search Engine Optimisation. If you’ve heard the term SEO but have no idea what it actually means, or think it amounts to hyper-linking random words on your website to other, even less relevant pages on your website, then you should check out the Pro Google SEO and SERP Certification bundle.
Across 10 courses and 407 lessons, the bundle will teach you how to show up on Google and Amazon searches, educate you on effective backlinks, and empower you to speak confidently on ecommerce PPC advertising. The bundle comes with lots of teaching (almost 30 hours’ worth), but as it’s a lifetime subscription, you won’t need to rush through it. And by the time you’ve completed all of the courses, your brilliant business idea — or even your incredibly mediocre one, for that matter — should fly to the top of the Google rankings when people search for it.
The Pro Google SEO and SERP Certification bundle includes 10 courses that you typically would have to buy individually (which adds up), but you can get all of them together for just £22.02 when you take advantage of this bundle deal.
If you’re part of the 20% of marketers not using influencer marketing, I believe you’re missing out. Here are five reasons to invest in influencer marketing today.
By Josh Kohlbach, CEO and founder of Rymera Web Co, the makers of Wholesale Suite, the No. 1 WooCommerce wholesale solution.
Influencer marketing has been around for decades, though we might not have called it that until recently. It’s a powerful way to get leads, make sales and increase brand awareness, even for business-to-business (B2B) companies. Industry surveys say that 80% of marketers use influencer marketing today, and spending is estimated to reach $8 billion this year.
If you’re part of the 20% of marketers not using influencer marketing, I believe you’re missing out. Here are five reasons to invest in influencer marketing today.
1. It Has An Extremely High ROI
TapInfluence, an influencer marketing software company, found that the return on investment (ROI) doubles after three months with no extra investment in the influencer campaign. A single piece of influencer content showed a four times ROI after four months and an eye-popping 11 times sales lift over 12 months.
Usually, it’s expensive to create and publish new content, but an influencer marketing campaign is inexpensive in comparison, mainly because the influencers typically pay all the creative costs of content production.
Finally, you’ll get a high ROI on your influencer content because the influencer knows what kind of content works best for their audience. You eliminate the discussion around what type of content needs to be created for the campaign or the marketing channel. The influencer has already done the market research in their earlier posts, and your brand can enjoy the prework without having to pay for it.
2. It Reduces Overall Marketing Costs
Influencer marketing is a cost-saver for marketers because it provides you with a new library from which you can repurpose content for future use. You’ll have access to all the influencer-created content from your campaign, and you can turn it into several other marketing assets reasonably easily.
This is especially valuable for B2B marketers because they’re creating content for an average of four different audiences and need as much content in their pipelines as possible. By repurposing influencer-generated content, they’ll save time, effort and money.
3. Influencer-Generated Content Lasts Longer
Content marketing is a long-term strategy, as is B2B influencer marketing. (Consumer influencer marketing often operates under a shorter timeline and can have a significant impact during that time.) B2B marketing takes longer to take effect because B2B purchase decisions are more nuanced and comprehensive.
Influencer-generated content can have a significant long-tail effect on B2B campaigns because it continues to be picked up by organic search engine optimization (SEO) searches.
4. It Boosts Audience Engagement
Influencers have highly engaged audiences that are used to connecting and engaging with the content the influencers publish. Partnering with influencers will give you access to that audience and desire to engage with products and brands. More specifically, influencers give brands access to some people, both business-to-consumer (B2C) and B2B, who normally block ads and do not see your content.
One reason that influencers have such devoted and engaged audiences is that they’re perceived as authentic and trustworthy. As we’ve transitioned into a more informed and transparent age of influencer marketing, audiences are more willing to trust the brand someone mentions as long as it’s appropriately disclosed. People are then more likely to share the branded content with their social circles, increasing the engagement even more.
5. It Offers Deeper Storytelling Opportunities
People listen to influencers in part because they’re usually very good at telling stories. Many have naturally developed this skill and use it to great effect online. As humans, we love stories and are innately drawn to storytellers. If your brand wants to create a deeper relationship with its audience, it makes sense to partner with an influencer.
An influencer can help show their audience how your product helped solve a problem they faced. And because their audience is likely made up of similar people to them, the audience relates to the same problem and solution, in both B2C and B2B markets. B2B prospects are people, too, and they often relate to the story just as deeply because they have the same wants and needs as B2C consumers. They may just have to consult with others to put your brand on their shortlist.
I believe influencers are the best content marketers because they have no vested interest in your brand. They’re creating customer-focused content that meets and solves the needs of their audience, which is precisely what content marketing should do. They’ll do it in a more authentic and trusted way, which is important because 85% of people think user-generated content is more influential than branded content. Consider adding influencer marketing to your marketing strategy today.
In an ever-evolving practice, these dozen standouts have aced their game. Free Book Preview No BS Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing The ultimate guide to – producing measurable, monetizable results with social media marketing. August 5, 2020 9 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Marketing is all about innovation.…
In an ever-evolving practice, these dozen standouts have aced their game.
9 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Marketing is all about innovation. Marketers must innately understand and adapt to the ever-changing world around them to meet incredible demands and aggressive goals. I strongly feel the best marketers often realize that innovation is crucial, and remaining stagnant is a financial death sentence. By changing the game through their unique perspectives and innovative tactics, entrepreneurs and organizations look to the world’s top marketers for guidance during these turbulent times. Notably, these 12 marketers, in no particular order of preference, are making waves and names for themselves as they pave the way for their clients to succeed.
Known for being a “tough love” mentor, Derek Moneyberg doesn’t mince words and expects his clients to win or he won’t take them on. “My clients know that they won’t be coddled,” says Moneyberg. “I give my clients real, actionable advice, even if it is not exactly what they want to hear.” Moneyberg stands out as an influencer who doesn’t offer up cheap soft, sugar-coated advice and has built an incredible business with his brass tacks approach. “I set my clients up for success,” he states. “They don’t walk away with ideas. They get results.”
Dr. Denise McDermott, M.D.
Ascension Media’s CEO, Dr. Denise McDermott, M.D., brings a valuable perspective to marketing by producing intentional content surrounding conscious products, influencer engagements, marketing, inspirational shows and mindful messaging. “I believe in paradigm progression thinking, which combines eastern and western philosophies encouraging people to embrace their neurostyle and unique talents,” states Dr. McDermott. “My success in media and marketing is multidimensional.
She has created a system inspired by self-love, allowing people to stabilize the energy within them and live up to their fullest potential. Unifying the individual and group mindset, Ascension Media has created a win-win outcome for all by integrating capitalism with altruism.
A world-renowned yogi and entrepreneur, Brett Larkin has revolutionized the world of online yoga with her platform and yoga-teacher training that she has wholly shifted online of late. “It’s a really weird time not just for yoga but for all businesses in general,” concedes Larkin. “What we’ve seen is an influx of people wanting to study yoga online, so we quickly optimized our digital channels to accommodate them.”
Brett’s YouTube channel views are up 127 percent, with a 102 percent increase in watch time. Brett has been perfecting the art of virtual teaching since 2015, and her business is a shining example that, with the right mindset, there is an audience for you in any virtual space.
Best-selling author and entrepreneur Vance Fundora aims to hand over his marketing expertise to every small business and help them keep up with the latest in digital marketing. “While massive organizations run multi-million-dollar tests and campaigns all the time, small businesses can’t afford to test and make mistakes, so they stay away from digital marketing altogether,” explains Vance.
Through his guide, Keeping Up, an Amazon best-seller, Vance helps emerging entrepreneurs and existing organizations transition into the digital space.
Driven by curiosity and a passion for showing the world his perspective, Michael Escobedo uses photography to tell stories. “Using my artistic ability as a photographer, I craft stories through collaborations, as well as of my own travels and endeavors,” shares Escobedo. He’s worked with brands such as MVMT, Zanerobe, Movado, as well as global icons such as Ludacris, Nipsey Hussle and A Boogie wit da Hoodie, and reveals that “a finely honed skill of photography and deep familiarity with social media tools and trends helps me create highly successful content. The photography I produce delivers great value to brands and public figures, while still connecting with my viewers.”
After a 10-year career in marketing for some of the top tech and FMCG companies, Zhenya Globazh co-founded Shiba500, a New York-based agency that develops branding and marketing strategies for B2B tech companies looking to launch their products in the U.S. and Europe. Citing empathy and determination as her main strengths, Globazh makes it a point to surround herself with diverse, driven and talented people.
“Working with top brands and agencies such as WPP, Danone & Yandex has certainly diversified my experience and strengthened my expertise, but what drives me is people,” she says. “I enjoy working with passionate and dedicated individuals who share my desire to create amazing products and help people in changing the world for the better.”
As founder of his eponymous Chris Diaz Agency, Diaz has become a leading marketing consultant who always puts his clients first. One of his key strengths is strategic partnerships. “Our team has developed a near-perfect digital marketing strategy for entrepreneurs to consistently start, grow and scale their business online beyond six and seven figures,” he explains. “We deploy automated marketing campaigns that speed our clients’ sales cycle by connecting them with their desired customers.”
Diaz believes that though he and his team have decades of combined experience in the digital marketing space, they make decisions based on data, not opinions. “We have one goal,” he insists. “And that is to help business owners, brands and entrepreneurs generate more revenue online, immediately. We understand that a business survives off making money, so we use marketing techniques that speed up success for our clients and get them closer to our revenue goals.”
Fueled by his resilience, Instagram marketer turned entrepreneur Colton Bollinger is at the helm of Jumper Media, a startup changing the way brands leverage Instagram marketing and growth. As he shares, “When algorithm updates toppled our IG business, I thought maybe we could replicate the same kind of Instagram growth and engagement for clients by hand with people doing it from phones.” The rest is history.
Bollinger not only managed to keep Jumper Media in business, but he also scaled a team of approximately 1,000 people in another country within six months. While Jumper started as a software company, it has emerged as the largest organic Instagram growth agency catering to more thsan 1,500 clients.
As the head of MMYCOM, which owns multiple ecommerce brands, Farhan Munshi doubles down in the face of adversity. “The pandemic forced me to look at things from a resourceful perspective rather quickly,” he says. Faced with a massive production delay in China, Farhan only had what was in his North American warehouses.
“What we did was focus on what we could fulfill while limiting our ad spend until things got back on track,” he explains. “That proved more than worthwhile because now we’ve increased our revenue projections by 300 person.” Munshi believes in staying laser-focused during challenging times makes all the difference.
Ryan White scaled his company Social Revelation Marketing into a seven-figure business in a record 18 months. With his exceptional marketing and communication skills, he has built a network of more than four million professionals across the globe. Talking about marketing in the age of social media, he shares, “The best storytellers get the most attention and money follows those with the most attention.”
White is seen as a thought leader in not just marketing but networking too, stating, “My key strength lies in my ability to network well and communicate effectively. I have always seen myself through the lens of a leader to help encourage and serve others, and therefore, I work hard daily to consistently develop into the best version of myself so that I can do this at the highest level.”
In his role as founder and Head of Growth for Maybach Media, Kendall Shaw combines direct-response marketing tactics with data-based media buying strategies to help brands grow exponentially. “The results you can get from digital marketing become much more powerful when you can understand why people buy your products and the core desires that they have,” he offers. “This methodology is what has allowed us to consistently have success for our clients as well as our own DTC brands.”
Shaw and his team help ecommerce stores to scale up by leveraging ROI-driven ad strategies, email marketing and copywriting. And to test and share the best learning outcomes with his clients, Shaw owns and runs several ecommerce stores of his own.
With an exceptional career that spans more than 20 years, Bozoma Saint John, currently the Chief Marketing Officer at Netflix, has an incredible talent for bringing people together through stories. “Storytelling is critical to our global, societal well-being,” says Saint John. “I feel honored to contribute my experience to an already dynamic legacy and to continue driving engagement in the future.”
Saint John understands how stories drive engagement, and that engagement is critical to brand awareness. Her approach is all about adapting tried and true human storytelling elements, making them work in our modern digital landscape.
All these individuals serve as a reminder that business is all about having the confidence to branch out and put your faith in an idea. Change is inevitable, but what these marketers prove is that the best talent knows how to adapt, teaching us that strategy can set us apart.
Recently we published the 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing report after surveying hundreds of B2B marketers about their experiences, best practices, tools, budgets and plans for the future. In an environment where B2B marketing is decidedly digital and marketers are hard pressed to squeeze more productivity out of fewer resources, credible information about marketing…
In an environment where B2B marketing is decidedly digital and marketers are hard pressed to squeeze more productivity out of fewer resources, credible information about marketing best practices, operations and trends for the future are in high demand. Judging by the response we’ve had to The State of B2B Influencer Marketing Report so far, we’re definitely meeting a need.
There is both optimism and an unrealized opportunity with influencer marketing for B2B companies. For evidence, check out these stats from the report:
78% of B2B marketers believe prospects rely on advice from influencers
74% believe that Influencer Marketing improves customer and prospect experiences
63% agree that marketing would have better results if it included an Influencer Marketing program
60% of marketers who use always on Influencer Marketing programs are very successful vs. 5% who do periodic campaigns
Only 19% of B2B marketers are running ongoing influencer marketing programs
Only half include a plan for influencer activation in their influencer marketing strategy
Only 35% of marketers use software to identify potential influencers
60% say they don’t have the knowledge to execute or have the right skills in house to implement ongoing Influencer Marketing programs
Influencer Marketing is a significant opportunity for B2B Marketers to connect with trusted and credible experts that have the attention of audiences that are probably overwhelmed with information and ignoring most of the ads that do get to them. At the same time B2B brands that build relationships to co-create content with these industry voices can integrate influence with thought leadership to build the authority and influence of brand employees.
It is very satisfying to have spent the past 8 years focusing on such a niche aspect of B2B marketing to see it now start to grow in acceptance, adoption and maturity amongst some of the top B2B brands in the world. Where there were previously no positions outside of PR with “influencer” in the title, now it is much more common to find marketers with titles like, Head of Global Influencer Marketing, VP Influencer Marketing and Communications, or B2B Influencer Engagement Strategist.
Many B2B marketing professionals with these titles have earned hard won insights into what makes influencer marketing truly work for B2B, especially during a time when brand marketers are highly motivated to focus on strategies and tactics that will help them survive and thrive during the pandemic.
To help you connect with the collective wisdom of the B2B influencer marketing crowd, here are 20 B2B Influencer Marketing Professionals to follow (in no particular order):
Social and Influencer Communications Lead Global Markets at IBM
Of course there are many B2B influencer marketing practitioners from the consulting and agency world that could be on a list like this, including some of my team at TopRank Marketing. Maybe we’ll publish such a list in the future, but for now this resource is focused on people working at B2B brands.
If you know of other B2B brand influencer marketing practitioners, who would you add to this list?
A time-lapse video of Adam Salisbury painting a picture of Captain Tom Moore went viral on TikTok. Adam Salisbury People who struggled to find an audience on platforms like Instagram have found viral success on TikTok, the video app beloved by Gen Z. Many have started to master the short-video app’s elusive algorithm.Now, the most…
People who struggled to find an audience on platforms like Instagram have found viral success on TikTok, the video app beloved by Gen Z. Many have started to master the short-video app’s elusive algorithm.
Now, the most popular creators are being snapped up by talent agencies, and businesses are sizing up how they work with influencers to sell to TikTok’s 800 million users.
We spoke to the influencers and brands who have found success on the platform about what they’re doing right — and where TikTok could go next.
Adam Salisbury had no clue what his colleague was talking about when she suggested he join TikTok in November 2018. “She was telling me I’d do really well on it, but I was just laughing and asking if it was something to do with clocks,” the artist says.
A month later, Salisbury was TikTok famous. Videos of his painting have more than 9.7 million likes and have earned him more than half a million followers. He has even collaborated with Disney on Mickey Mouse and Frozen murals.
New “TikTokers” like Salisbury can go viral much quicker and bigger there than on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Other users can recirculate videos they like, including to other platforms. Salisbury’s time-lapse video of himself painting Captain Tom Moore, the 100-year-old veteran who raised tens of millions of pounds for the UK’s health service, had only 13,000 views on Instagram — but more than 300,000 on TikTok.
“[On Instagram] you have to have a following first and it’s hard to get a following unless you’ve got a lot of money put aside and you’re a big business who can start throwing out sponsored adverts,” Salisbury says. “With TikTok you can literally just upload a video and have a million followers the next day.”
In other words, on TikTok, anyone can go viral. That means it can feel chaotic, and its algorithm remains elusive. It’s making would-be influencers, as well as brands, rethink everything they know about social media, and there are signs that both groups are beginning to adapt. Some users are consistently seeing their videos take off and talent agencies have come calling; businesses are learning to promote their products to millions of people — without having to pay for a single ad.
More than other platforms, TikTok pushes people to discover something new.
When you open Instagram you see pictures and videos from people you’ve already chosen to follow, and have to click to another page to “explore” other users. On TikTok, you open the app to a “For You” feed which recommends new videos based on your viewing habits. Only then can you click off to see the people you follow.
TikTok makes it easy for novices to circulate their videos worldwide by getting them promoted on this page. Unlike Instagram, which explains how it ranks users’ content, TikTok keeps its algorithm a closely guarded secret. This hasn’t stopped TikTokers trying to work it out.
“We’ve put some videos out and then deleted them because people don’t like them,” says 42-year-old Jenny Mcloughlin, who became an overnight sensation after starring in her daughters’ hit videos of their dance challenges and Kardashian impressions. “There’s a lot to learn about how TikTok actually works because one can be a hit and one can be a miss — it just depends on the algorithm”.
During “trending hashtag challenges,” users try to reach bigger audiences by mimicking past viral videos. Others repurpose existing soundbites, such as the comedian Sarah Cooper, who got famous in lockdown for her videos mocking Donald Trump’s incoherence.
“When we do the challenges we all have our own opinions and just put our own little twist on it,” Mcloughlin says. “We’ve had quite a lot that’s gone viral … I think it’s because we’re just a family and we’re a bit different.”
While people polish content to perfection before posting it on Instagram, TikTok rewards originality and at least the impression of spontaneity. For now, those rewards are likes and views — but soon, creators will be able to earn money directly from the platform. On July 23, TikTok announced a $200 million “Creator Fund” to help eligible video-makers in the US make money on the app, and it will begin accepting applications in August. It has also launched a similar $300 million European fund.
Some are already making a living on the app through paid promotions. Talent agencies have snapped up popular TikTok influencers, too. Big & Bright represents Joel M, a magician who has 4.1 million fans on the platform; Bytesized Talent represents Mermaid Grace (1.2 million TikTok fans), a party entertainer who free dives while dressed as a mermaid; and Influentially represents Hussein Yoga, a contortionist (1.3 million fans).
According to Sam Hoffman, who works with brands to develop their TikTok marketing campaigns, any brand or influencer with unique videos is more likely to make it big on TikTok, because it is still new enough for them to be “first to market.”
As with older social media platforms, the more popular TikTok becomes, the more cluttered it will get, but Hoffman says that “there’s still lots and lots of opportunity to be the first in your category either as a brand or as a person.”
Businesses are getting involved — and they’re doing more than buying ads
Last month, TikTok launched “TikTok For Business”, a dedicated platform for brands wondering how to sell to its 800 million users. Adverts are not the only way for them to make their mark.
Alessandro Bogliari, co-founder and chief executive of The Influencer Marketing Factory, says his agency focuses on working with creators, rather than taking out ads (although ads can still boost viewing figures, he says). The idea is that the brand in questions contracts a few key influencers to make videos promoting a campaign, in the hope that their followers will mimic the videos and go viral.
One example is the agency’s promotion of Shakira and Anuel AA’s song “Me Gusta.” It contracted six TikTok influencers to create videos where they recreated Shakira’s eye makeup. The campaign eventuallly generated 19,100 user videos, 6,900,000 video views, and 1,170,000 likes.
And whether it’s organic campaigns or adverts, Bogliari believes TikTok is still the most cost-effective platform for social media marketing.
“The organic reach of Instagram … it’s really limited,” he says. “You don’t really get in front of enough people anymore. For the same price you can get millions and millions of people on TikTok.”
The US government is considering a ban on the video-sharing app because it is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, raising concerns about China’s influence on our digital lives. Will it be around to dominate the marketing landscape for much longer?
Social media consultant Matt Navarra thinks so. “My suspicion is the US will try and impose some sanctions or put increased pressure on TikTok and ByteDance,” he says. “But a ban seems like another Trump thing that will talk the talk … it probably won’t get that far.”
Navarra thinks the UK will be less gung-ho about banning one of the world’s most popular apps. “There are plenty of other steps they could take in terms of requesting … [TikTok proves] its safety and its trustworthiness,” he says. “That would possibly address some of the concerns without requiring a ban.”
For now, the app looks set to continue to shoot novice video makers and savvy brands to overnight fame, tearing up the influencer rulebook — one viral video at a time.
Image: Larry French, image altered from color (Getty Images)Back in the 20th century, novelist C. S. Forester described an 18th century sailor entertaining his crew members by killing rats with his teeth, his hands tied behind his back. I think of this story often during my daily drift through the endless seas of social media.…
Back in the 20th century, novelist C. S. Forester described an 18th century sailor entertaining his crew members by killing rats with his teeth, his hands tied behind his back. I think of this story often during my daily drift through the endless seas of social media. With no wind in the sails and no destination on the horizon, each day online might have its excitements, but is ultimately the same as yesterday and the next day. I sometimes wish for a rat pit, if for no other reason than to feel alive.
Instead, we have challenges, customarily a task that must be completed within 24 hours before we forget about it entirely. In keeping with the disorienting nature of the internet, challenges can’t actually be challenging, or else we wouldn’t do them. (We can post a reading list of dense texts, for instance, but only if no one checks that we read them.) And so we have #challengeaccepted: the ultimate challenge which you can repeat ad infinitum in the name of uplifting women.
The trending Twitter topic, which spread throughout celebrity Instagram over the weekend, makes for content as bland as it sounds: nominate a woman to post a photo of herself in black-and-white—this is key, differentiating #challengeaccepted selfies from apolitical GPOY—and she tags the post #challengeaccepted as well as #WomenSupportingWomen.
An influencer marketing manager told the New York Times that the challenge may have been spurred on by the wave of woman-positive messaging that followed Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez boldly quoting, on the House floor, Florida Congressman Ted Yoho calling her a “fucking bitch.” The challenge, however, feels more like pulling out a photo you already had on deck for Insta. A few #challengeaccepted posters mention Breonna Taylor in their captions, but celebrities have primarily devoted their images to all women everywhere. Most of them simply urged us to lift each other up. The stakes for taking a stand have never been lower.
Like most internet challenges, anyone can rise to it, even Ivanka Trump, a woman whose silence was deafening when her father tore children awayfrom their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, only publicly denouncing the policy when he decided to end it. Here she is #acceptingthechallenge while pregnant in a saintly robe, celebrating “ALL mothers.”
For many, the challenge has morphed into a generic hot photo contest. One seemingly confused (male) actor simply posted a sepia headshot on Twitter.
“This is what sisterhood is all about,” Reese Witherspoon’s own entry declared. Maybe she’s right. This is the internet, where a #challenge isn’t actually a “challenge,” sisterhood is all about ourselves, and nobody’s beholden to the bygone laws of the l
My team and I at TopRank Marketing are happy to announce the 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Report! Influencer Marketing has fast accelerated as a topic over the past few years with B2C influencers and brands getting the majority of attention. While consumer focused influencers have been impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic, B2B is…
Influencer Marketing has fast accelerated as a topic over the past few years with B2C influencers and brands getting the majority of attention. While consumer focused influencers have been impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic, B2B is a different story.
Whether in times of crisis or in competitive markets, B2B marketers are challenged to reach distracted buyers and create meaningful experiences that inspire trust, confidence and action.
As B2B marketers search for solid insight and leadership around marketing strategies to survive and thrive during this time of uncertainty, Influencer Marketing offers businesses a welcome dose of optimism.
With much of the research and media attention focused on B2C influencer marketing, we believe the 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Report to be the first ever research report dedicated to B2B.
B2B Marketers are hungry for effective marketing strategies but don’t always have the resources or confidence to implement. To help close the gap of knowledge and skills around working with influencers to impact marketing and business goals, this new report focuses exclusively on how businesses are engaging influencers for marketing to other businesses.
For this research, hundreds of B2B marketers shared their insights including many of the top B2B brands in the world on all things B2B influencer marketing including strategy, tactics, operations, software, integration, measurement, budgeting and the future.
We’ve combined the findings from our research with insights from top B2B marketers from brands, case studies and some of the most respected B2B influencers in the industry to give you direction, confidence and inspiration for the best that influencer marketing has to offer.
Some of the key findings from the 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Report:
B2B Influencer Marketing is Valuable for B2B Brands:
78% believe their prospects rely on advice from industry influencers
74% agree that influencer marketing improves customer and prospect experience with the brand
63% agree that marketing would have better results if it included a B2B influencer marketing program
90% expect their budget to increase or stay the same
Top Challenges B2B Marketers Have with Influencer Marketing:
Only 35% use software to find influencers – most ask for recommendations from personal connections or other influencers (no data validation)
Only half include a plan for influencer activation in their strategy
41% are not using any technology for their IM program
Only 19% of B2B marketers are running ongoing influencer marketing programs
60% say they don’t have the knowledge to execute or have the right skills in house to implement ongoing IM programs
Characteristics of the Most Successful B2B Brands at Influencer Marketing:
Always On: 60% of marketers who use always on IM programs are very successful vs. 5% who do periodic campaigns
Use industry experts and analysts
Use blogs as platforms
Use software to identify and qualify influencers
Create interactive content with influencers
Have a centralized IM program
Integrate with corporate communications department
Have a documented strategy for B2B IM
This 45+ page report is rich with insights from the survey of hundreds of B2B marketers, featured case studies from B2B brands of all sizes and insights from 15 of the top B2B marketing experts and influencers about Influencer Marketing. We also included a list of 20 top Influencer Marketing practitioners from B2B brands. To give you an idea of what’s inside, here’s the report Table of Contents:
The Influence Advantage: From thought leadership to customer acquisition, B2B brands are optimistic about the competitive advantages of influencer marketing. Find out why.
The Engine of Influence is Always-On: B2B brands are evolving from short term influencer campaigns to relationship driven, Always-On programs that build trust, engagement and advocacy..
Influencer Marketing Integration: To create a better customer experience, B2B brands are integrating influencer content across marketing channels from content marketing to PR.
Influencer Marketing Operations: To scale influencer marketing while maintaining quality, processes and software are essential for influencer identification, communications and performance reporting. .
10 Predictions on the Future of B2B Influence: What will B2B influencer marketing look like in 2021 and beyond? Get answers from 10 top influencer marketing professionals.
And here are a few insights from some of the respected B2B Marketers and Business Influencers who contributed:
“Engaging with influencers provides a myriad of competitive advantages. There’s nothing more comforting than to have trusted voices defend your brand or correct misperceptions.”
“The operations behind Influencer Marketing is the less glamorous yet essential side of relational business. You need to come up with a strategy, plan of action, and a process.” Ursula Ringham@ursularingham
Head of Global Influencer Marketing at SAP
“Being ‘always-on’ has allowed our team to build meaningful relationships with influencers. B2B brands would be wise to adopt this approach as they look to build true brand advocates.”
“Customers know authenticity when they see it & naturally trust humans more than brands. Working with credible B2B influencers helps to build brand authority through real, human conversations & interactions.”
“Working with the right influencers builds credibility with the audience you are trying to reach. Influencers can help you deliver content that solves problems, educates & inspires your intended audience.”
“Partnering with well-matched influencers is a handy way to infuse your brand with creative energy and inspiration. It’s a direct line to building trust and customer confidence.” Ann Handley@MarketingProfs
Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs
“We will see the rise of the customers as influencers given their ability to share stories that help target buyers navigate the increasingly complex B2B buying journey. ”
“Traditional marketing channels are drying up and even trade shows are imperiled in 2021. The influence marketing trend will be amplified as businesses seek trusted voices to join industry conversations.”
Influence plays an essential role in marketing whether B2B brands run influencer programs or not. The question is, will influence be random or will it be nurtured, amplified and targeted to produce brand awareness and lead generation outcomes B2B marketers are after?
The research supports optimism for B2B Influencer Marketing for a few key reasons:
Brand trust is in question but buyers trust experts
Influence optimizes performance of content and other marketing
Influence differentiates B2B brand experiences
The B2B marketing world is at the cusp of change but also opportunity. The influence advantage is available for marketers who can adopt the best practices of the most successful B2B influencer marketers outlined in this report from an Always-On strategy to qualitative influencer engagement to effective operations with process and software.
A BIG THANKS goes to Michele from Mantis Research for all her help with research design and analytics. HUGE APPRECIATION to Ashley from TopRank Marketing for project and content management as well as a MASSIVE PROPS to Jake from TopRank Marketing for a stellar design! Thank you to our other team members from Lane to Alexis for pitching in as well.
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