Facebook For Creators Is Here: What Does This Mean For Influencer Marketing?

influencers

Great news for the influencer marketing world! 

Facebook is making big moves that will benefit creators around the world. 

The platform announced two initiatives to help content creators get to understand their community, talk directly with their audience and monetize their hard work. 

"We understand that creators have specific needs, and we’re committed to helping them on their journey as they grow and find their community," wrote Chris Hatfield, Product Manager, Video on the official announcement. 

As Facebook keeps developing the social and creative infrastructure for the community, users will continue to feel empowered to produce content we all crave for. 

The Features 

facebook for creators

Facebook Creator App

  • Live Creative Kit: Access to exclusive tools to easily make live broadcasts. Tools will include fun graphics and stickers to personalize them and create a consistent brand image. 
     
  • Community Tab: Read and respond Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger messages in a unified place. 
     
  • Camera & Stories: Access to fun effects and frames and the possibility to easily crosspost content to other platforms like Instagram and Twitter. 
     
  • Insights: Access metrics to inform content creation. 

A New Website for Creators

  • Learn content creation skills and techniques  
  • Find answers to content creation FAQs. 
  • Join the community to be considered for early access to new features and tools.

Read full announcement here

Spark Summit: Brand Like a Boss

In our mission to create value and empower the influencer community, this month we hosted, in our LA offices, the “Spark summit: Brand Like a Boss,” an event for women bloggers, influencers, and entrepreneurs. 

spark .jpg

Attendees had the opportunity to meet and connect with influencers, agency execs, and branding experts. 

The full-day workshop intensive featuring co-founder Felix LaHaye, included a photo lab, hands-on training, expert panels and a networking session. 

influencers

Guide to Spot Fake Influencers 

Fake Influencers?

Yes, we all know they exist.

Recently, Mediakix published a very interesting article about how easy it is to create a fake influencer account and dupe brands into paying for sponsored posts.

Even though this might be true, spotting a fake influencer is just as easy as becoming one as long as you have the right tools.

[Read related article: Combatting the social media black market with core technology]

We put together this quick guide to help you easily weed out the bad apples. Here are the top 3 warning signs to look out for:

  1. Sudden changes in the number of followers an account has.

    The path to organic growth is usually gradual. Social Blade is a great tool to track this. If you see random spikes in an account’s audience, take note. This might mean they are buying followers.  

    For example, let's analyze Mediakix's fake influencer: @calibeachgirl310

fake influencers
fake influencers

If we look at this graphic, it is evident that, as reported in the article, this account bought followers.

2. Be aware of the follow-unfollow method.

If you are an Instagram user you have probably been part of (albeit involuntarily) the follow-unfollow game. This is when people randomly mass follow accounts and then unfollow them to get other users’ attention.

If you go to your activity page and select the ‘Following’ tab at the top, it's easy to see if someone you follow is using this trick. If a user is logged into an automated system, you’ll see what they’re liking in real time. It is very easy to identify bot activity!  

Source: Petapixel.com 

Source: Petapixel.com 

These bad practices have long violated Instagram's policies. The company has tried to crack down on fake activity on the platform by going after those who facilitate it. For example, in April of this year Instagram shut down Instagress, one of the most popular botting sites. While that is a step in the right direction, it’s important to be aware this is not the only one on the market, so you must remain diligent.

bots

3. Fake engagement

Metrics are crucial when measuring the success of an influencer marketing campaign. Engagement rates (likes, reactions, comments, shares) are extremely valuable. Users are becoming more aware of this, but instead of focusing on creating value for their audiences, many are implementing fraudulent practices.  

  • Instagram comment pods: If you dive deep and analyze the comments under an influencer's posts, you might notice they are all written but the same group of people. The reason why is they more likely belong to a private group of Instagrammers users who help each other to create "fake" interactions. 
     
  • Hashtags and comments spammer: We often see hashtags like #F4F or #L4L. Hashtags that have been created to trade engagement. The problem with that engagement is that it is not necessarily coming from your target audience. 

Influencers Start Complaining of Centralized Control on Social Media

This image is being circulated via Influencers on social media. 

Since we are always on the lookout for what's going on in the space we couldn't ignore these complaints. 

It's no secret that gone are the days when everyone had an equal chance to be seen on the Internet, but now it seems like the algorithm is even affecting content creation itself.

Here is an example:
An Influencer wrote a blog post called "INSTAGRAM CREATED A MONSTER - A no bullshit guide to what's really going on!" where she explains how influencers try to trick the Instagram algorithm. 

Influencers

Content creators have fallen into a conundrum. Since they lost individual control over what they post, either they let their creativity flow and risk not getting the engagement they need or they follow the trends that are ruling the space, even if that means not being true to themselves.

To many it feels like these changes are not empowering the creative community.

As influencers talk about the impact of the new algorithm, some may start focusing their attention elsewhere. Other platforms like Snapchat and Amazon Spark are moving fast and steady to facilitate influencer systems. 

Watch the following video to see how social commerce is starting to play a very important role in the process. 

 

 

 

Focus On Value, Not Just Reach

influencer

When most people think about Influencer Marketing, big names like Kim Kardashian or online stars like Chiara Ferragni, immediately come to mind; celebrities with enormous social media fan bases partnering with brands that want to access their +million followers.

Realistically, most brands cannot afford to pay these big names. At least not on a regular basis. Does that mean you shouldn't consider Influencer Marketing strategies for your marketing mix?

We think not. Influencer Marketing is not just about scale.

Influencer Marketing pioneers have refined the industry with core technology, making it increasingly easier to identify content creators with highly engaged audiences, across various topic categories (Read a related article HERE). Influencers have been identified by many as the kings of content. They adapt to platforms as they evolve and use their talent to tell their stories in innovative ways. The result: Authentic content users crave for!

It's time to think Micro, not just Macro.

Snapchat recently stated "There is an undeniable, powerful bond between close friends. We trust their advice more than almost anyone, and in turn, they inspire many of the choices we make," in a recent study. This personal connection that micro-influencers have with their audiences, makes them very powerful.

"It is easy to mistake a wide audience with a relevant audience, “ said Felix LaHaye co-founder of Open Influence. “It is often essential, for successful marketing, to trade a larger audience for more pertinent content with higher engagement."

If you think about it, even if you don't always have huge scale, these efforts will have an optimal ROI. Compared to ad blocking and poor ad targeting, this is heaven.
 

Influencer Marketing = Holiday Success

Let's be honest. When we think about the holidays we think about SHOPPING! 

Even if it seems a little early to talk about the holidays, it is not. People start their shopping EARLY, so it's time to start working on your holiday marketing. 

PWC released a 2017 Holiday Outlook and there's one main takeaway:

Influencer Marketing = Holiday Success! 

Here are some numbers and figures to show you why. 

1. Consumers will spend 6% more this holiday. Here are the top categories. With influencer marketing you can mix it up; many Influencers cross over into different verticals.

holiday

2. Today's omnichannel environment is a community of commerce. Influencers are the kings of online media. 

influencer marketing
influencer marketing

3. Social networks dominate peer influence: Consumers are always seeking confirmation that their trust in a brand is well-placed.

influencer marketing

4. Consumers find visual inspiration on social media. Influencers are visual content creators! 

influencer marketing

In their words...

"Goodbye advertising, hello influencers. 
For consumers under age 35, who've always had easy access to peer reviews online, brand loyalty matters less than it does to older consumers. They trust friends and family the most - and have little use for traditional advertising as a source of product information They are looking for traditional advertising as a source of product information. They are looking for real insights about products: they have no patience for stories that don't speak directly to them." 

 

Gen Z: 2017 Stats You Need To Know

The Internet is a great place for any brand looking to reach an engaged audience. Millions of people are hungry for content and of course, this represents incredible opportunities for marketers and content creators.

In this oversaturated environment, understanding audience segments is key.  We must constantly ask questions to see if we are creating the right kind of content and pushing it onto the right screens.

These statements might not be new for you.

What's new is that the spotlight seems to be moving to Gen Z (1996-2011). Why? Because according to Digiday it's a group set to reach 2.6 billion by 2020 and has $44 billion in annual purchasing power. 

We've put together some stats you need to know about an audience you can't ignore. 

DIGITAL NATIVES

Gen Z’s consume much of their media on smartphones and we've seen how content itself is adapting accordingly. This explains the increasing popularity of vertical video. 

Source: Awesomeness 

Source: Awesomeness 

SOCIAL MEDIA NATIVES

We know for a fact Gen Z's are on their phones not just for entertainment. It's part of their lifestyles. But the options we get on a smartphone seem to be infinite. Let's see where they spend most of their time... 

Source: Business Insider 

Source: Business Insider 

As the social media landscape continues to evolve, so does their behavior. Generation Z tends to skew more toward newer social media platforms, like Snapchat. The platform is still a favorite among American teens. 

New Kings of Media 

YouTubers, Instagrammers, Snapchatters and other social media content creators are more influential than traditional celebrities. Here's why: 

Gen z

Combatting the social media black market with core technology

AdWeek stated recently that Influencer Marketing is one of the fastest growing channels in advertising, with their research estimating that $1 billion was spent on Instagram influencers alone in 2017. 

As Influencer Marketing continues to grow, so does the potential for fraud. 

The web is full of articles talking about deceptive practices like: Instagram's algorithm "pods", bots, the black market for verification badges and others. 

Of course, this is something we can't ignore. Not only because we work on behalf of our clients, but also because we have a commitment to the Influencer Marketing ecosystem. One we believe will be healthier, if we have informed social media users. 

Here's a video about the importance of trust in influencer marketing. 

Over time and as the influencer space evolves, we have developed tools and tactics that let us be up-to-date with the opportunities and challenges of the industry. With our core technology, it's possible to analyze influencers before working with them. We evaluate follower growth, engagement rates, segment follower accounts and other metrics that help us identify any suspicious activities.

If you want to learn more, contact us!

influencer marketing

Context Cards: Huge Step Forward for Snapchat

In our last online video revolution series [Watch HERE] we talked about "The Battle of the Stories."  It's a fact that Snapchat innovated the space with its ephemeral video feature. Adopting successful innovations is a common trend in the tech industry, so it was just a matter of time before its competitors tried joining the game, using a format it was evident people love. 

We live in changing and exciting times. It's interesting to see what platforms do to keep up.

Snapchat started to make positive steps by extending the Snapchat Official Stories to its more influential users. This helps Snapchatters to discover and identify interesting stories.

That's a huge step forward in the influencer marketing world, but something Instagram is pretty good at.  

We've been waiting for the "NEXT BIG THING!" and Snapchat's last announcement could be it.

The Context Cards feature transforms the user experiences in fundamental ways. 

context cards

First, give it a look: 

Pretty cool! Huh? 

As they described it in their official announcement, "Snaps have become the visual starting point for learning more about the world, empowering the community to get more information about anything that catches their eye." 

By providing access to things like contact information, restaurant reviews or even Uber and Lyft rides, it takes the user to the ultimate marketing goal: Transfering the online engagement to the real world. 

This game changer feature opens interesting opportunities for influencers and advertisers. 

Understanding the Value of Micro-influencers

Let's start from the beginning. 

Who are these micro-influencers everyone seems to be talking about? 

They are everyday consumers who have a more modest number of followers, typically 10,000 to 50,000. But let's not forget that these numbers can vary depending on different factors. For example: 1. If you are looking into a specific geographic area. 2. The industry market size. 3. If they lie within very specific categories. 

Here's an example: 

Micro-influencers: Local brand advocates

We partnered with Anthropologie to work on their #50StatesofDenim campaign (Watch related video: Here.) A campaign highlighting how women all over the country styled their denim. How did we help? Sourcing 50 on brand influencers from all 50 of the United States! We searched far and wide to find them. In was easier in states like CA or NY, but very difficult in states like Nebraska or Iowa. 

micro-influencer
micro-influencer

8K might not look like a big number, but for this specific segment of the Iowa's population (total population 3.385M) it has high relevancy. 

The value of micro-influencers

At the risk of stating the obvious, let's look into the increasing value of the so-called long-tail influencers. 

Authenticity rules the influencer marketing space. We could say micro-influencers are the kings. They are people who live relatable lives and like to share their passions and interests. For this reason, people tend to trust them and follow their recommendations. 

Trust is an absolutely essential part of marketing. Micro-influencers are known for winning the hearts of their niche and highly-engaged audiences through genuine interaction. This can result in a surge in conversions and sales. 

Source: Here

Source: Here

To learn more about how your brand can build a micro-influencer marketing strategy, contact us! 

 

Twitter: From 140 to 280 Characters!

The only constant in the technology industry is change. And that's what makes it so exciting! 

We have a new update for you.

Twitter announced it has started testing 280-character tweets, doubling the previous character limit, in an effort to help users be more expressive world-wide.

Since its conception in 2006, the platform limited users to Tweet in 140 characters. Why? The reason for such specific limitation is grounded in the company's DNA. Twitter was originally designed as a SMS mobile phone-based platform.

Over the years, the company has reinvented itself and innovated with new tools: RT's, Hashtags, Visuals (photo, video, GIFs), Polls etc. This is the first time it's testing on its iconic 140-character limit. 

Globalization (We love everything global. Watch related video here: Going Global) is at the heart of this change. Here's an example of how  the Twitter experience isn't quite the same in English, Spanish and or Japanese. 

twitter

The Pinterest Taste Graph: Enhanced Interest Targeting

pinterest

Psychographics are just as important for marketers as demographics. 

For years (since its launch in 2010), Pinterest has been getting unique insights that help having a better understanding of people and their tastes. As reported in their website, each month, 200 million people go to the platform looking for content. 

But more important than having data is using it! 

The company recently announced that it’s unlocking more than 5,000 interests that advertisers can now target against using what they called "The Pinterest Taste Graph." 

For the visionary marketer, this might create a world of possibilities.

Instagram Stories: 1 Year Later, a lot has Changed!

The impact of Instagram Stories on Influencer Marketing has been huge.

This feature that enables users to create ephemeral content has helped increase the amount of time its 250 million daily users spend on Instagram. This means more opportunities for marketers to reach their respective audiences. 

[Watch related video: Snapchat, Instagram Stories, and Ephemeral Content]

In the last year, a lot has changed in the platform. From Locations Tags to Boomerangs, the social media platform has rolled out more than 20 new tools to the Instagram stories feature. 

We'll give you a list of the latest Instagram updates. They're game changers.

1. Share stories with your friends in Direct.

When you discover a story, you can tap the direct icon in the bottom right corner, select a friend or group to share it with and tap send. 

Instagram stories

2. Express yourself with filters. 

Instagram rolled out a fun way to express your mood with weather-inspired face filters. Share how you feel through a happy sun, a sad raincloud, an angry thunderstorm or a laid-back sun.

Instagram stories

3. You can watch stories on www.instagram.com.  

Instagram brought stories to the web. You can find them at the top of the feed, and you can tap to watch them. To skip or go back, tap the right and left arrows.

Instagram stories

4. Live Video Chat with friends

With this feature, now it’s easy to add a guest while you’re broadcasting live. Tap on the new icon on the bottom right and tap “Add” to invite anyone who’s currently watching. Once they join, you’ll see the screen split into two. This feature is great for influencer collabs! 

instagram stories

 

 

 

FTC: The Do's and Don'ts for Social Media Influencers

FTC sends warning letters to social media influencers

Following on the more than 90 educational letters sent in April this year, the FTC Staff announced today they sent 21 warning letters reminding prominent social media influencers to clearly disclose brand relationships. 

They also issued an updated version of The FTC’s Endorsement Guides: What People are Asking, a document that answers frequently asked questions. Previously revised in 2015, the newly updated version includes more than 20 additional questions. 

FTC social media influencers

YouTube Announces New Look

Little changes in social media can mean big changes for influencer marketing.

This is why we are always up to date with the evolution of the platforms. 

Today we got big news from YouTube, the king of online video. The evolution speaks to the old "less is more" trick. With an updated look and new features, the platform wants to let the content shine. 

youtube influencer marketing

 

Read HERE the official announcement. 

Press Release: Open Influence Expands Core Offerings with Launch of its OpenWorks Platform

Open Influence, a data-driven global influencer marketing company, today announced the launch of its OpenWorks platform, which offers a suite of tools designed to accommodate the needs of smaller brands and those new to influencer marketing. 

The new offering allows users to access Open Influence's proprietary technology stack that leverages Amazon Rekognition and other artificial intelligence tools to analyze more than 70 million pieces of content from over 300,000 influencers. With more than 15 million unique search terms, Open Influence's self-serve platform enables brands to identify new influencers, and build their own influencer community around their specific needs. 

Expanding upon Open Influence's client base of large brands including Bose, Coca-Cola, Disney, Nestle, Puma, Toyota, Verizon and more, the OpenWorks platform was created to meet the growing demand from brands with limited budget and influencer marketing experience.

"We've received so much interest from small and mid-sized advertisers that don't have the resources or otherwise aren't a fit for our full-service offering, and launching a self-serve platform seemed like the best way to make influencer marketing accessible to those companies." said Eric Dahan, co-founder and chief executive officer of Open Influence."We look at it as a community building tool that allows brands to build and manage their key influencer relationships directly." 

Open Influence is headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Milan and London, and plans to open offices in Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates in the coming months. 

For more information on Open Influence and its portfolio of services please visit www.openinfluence.com.  

 

5 Things to Consider When Identifying Talent for Your Influencer Marketing Campaign

influencer marketing

When it comes to developing and executing a successful influencer marketing campaign, identifying the best possible talent is of utmost importance.

Not all influencers are created equal, and it’s important to look beyond the number of followers.

Here are five things to keep in mind when selecting talent for an influencer marketing campaign:

Avoid big names unless you’re looking for a long-term brand ambassadorship

Flashy personalities are nice, but clout comes with a cost. Top, short-tail, influencers are in high demand, which means they can command a premium. They also often work with an army of agents and managers, making it challenging to engage with them quickly or for smaller activations.

If you’re looking for a true brand ambassador for the long term, it makes sense to go with a top influencer, but if not, you can get substantially more value working with mid-tail and long-tail influencers.

Mid-tail influencers are much easier to work with from an operational and costing standpoint than their top-tier counterparts and tend to have substantially higher engagement rates, thus generating more value on a cost per thousand impressions (CPM) and cost per engagement basis. They’re ideal for campaigns focused on reach, views and engagement, while still producing an excellent quality of content.

Long-tail influencers, also referred to as micro-influencers, are a great option for smaller brands with limited budgets looking to dip their toes into the pool of influencer marketing. While this group, by nature of being smaller, has less demand than its short-tail and mid-tail counterparts, it actually tends to have the highest CPMs and CPEs due to a high cost to engage in proportion to their reach.

However, micro-influencers are more likely to sign off on usage rights for little or no additional compensation, making them ideal for initiatives that require creating and owning the usage rights to a large amount of content.

Make sure you pick influencers who sincerely align with your brand

Without a strong cohesion between the influencer and the brand, you risk having your message come across as inauthentic and possibly also disingenuous. It’s important that the influencer creates content and messaging that will resonate with your audience.

Reaching the right audience with the wrong message is useless. For example, if you have a fitness brand looking to enter the CrossFit space, you have to ask yourself if you want a fitness influencer who actually focuses on training and CrossFit techniques or one that just takes selfies at the gym.

Psychographics are more important than demographics

Your audience’s attitudes, interests and aspirations are much more important than its age, gender or ethnicity. When you segment your audience based on psychographic characteristic rather than traditional demographics, you can tailor your content and messaging more appropriately.

For example, let’s say a bicycle manufacturer is promoting a new outdoor bike. Targeting by age or gender isn’t nearly enough or that helpful. You want to reach consumers that are interested in bicycle riding, enjoy outdoor activities and are willing to pay a relatively large amount for the product.

Focus on engagement first and foremost, as engagement is what validates reach

If an influencer has millions of followers but inconsistent engagement, that’s probably not the best influencer for your campaign. You can reach 40 million people, but if no one engages with your content or the engagement rate is below what the average should be, it means you reached the wrong audience.

Pay attention to contextual engagement

Contextual engagement is key, and only the most-savvy advertisers really focus on it. The absolute most important thing to you as a brand when selecting talent for an influencer marketing campaign should be how each influencer’s audience will receive your brand’s message.

For example, let’s say an organic skincare brand decides to work with a wellness influencer because her average engagement rate is 4 percent. That might sound like a good number, but if her engagement rate drops to 1 percent when she talks about the importance of maintaining a consistent skincare routine, she is probably not the right influencer for a skincare brand.

When done correctly, influencer marketing can yield tremendous results in terms of growing and engaging with a brand’s target audience—and it all starts with identifying the right talent. Keep the aforementioned points in mind, and you’ll be well on your way to implementing a successful influencer marketing campaign.

Source: http://www.adweek.com/digital/eric-dahan-open-influence-guest-post-identifying-talent-influencer-marketing/

Influencer Marketing: Beyond the Dashboard

Influencer marketing dashboards aren’t very dynamic.  

Most, at best, provide advertisers with a recap of the influencers’ posts only after they’re published.  But successful a influencer marketing strategy takes more than just a slick dashboard.


At Open Influence, we understand the importance of keeping our clients involved in the process.  This is why we are rolling out a new dashboard with features designed to power collaboration and enable quality control, giving them transparency and control over their branding through influencer partnerships.

These features include:

Influencer selection:

We’re giving you more control when it comes to selecting influencers. Until now we’ve selected influencers based on your criteria, and with great success. However, with our update dashboard, you can choose from a list of possible influencers, and prioritize your favorites before we move forward with the campaign.

influencer marketing

Content Approval:

We’re putting the power of quality control back into your hands and turning influencer campaigns into a creative collaboration between you -- the brand -- and social influencers. Now you can work across multiple teams to provide feedback, make comments, and have final approval of all content before the it goes live.

influencer marketing

Improved Reporting: 

Our updated reporting provides powerful analytics with actionable data including social metrics by platform and performance; great for A/B testing and campaign optimization on the fly. You’ll also get a breakdown of results against guaranteed deliverables, so you can see exactly how well your campaign did compared to the expectation.

influencer marketing

With these tools, we are able to augment the value we get from utilizing big data, by putting the human element back into influencer marketing. We’re trusting the wisdom of what we’ve learned as a leader in the influencer marketing space: Campaigns yield the best performance and engagement when the content is authentic and the brand story is well integrated.