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How to Use Influence.co to Maximize Your Revenue

With a 2016 eMarketer survey showing that 84% of marketers were planning to launch at least one influencer campaign in the following twelve months, influencer marketing is now at the heart of how businesses conduct their campaigns.

Influencer marketing is creating partnerships with personalities who have significant following and influence in a particular consumer segment.

Social media Influencers can be bloggers, speakers, authors, or experts with an established online presence and a loyal audience in a particular niche.

With over 40,000 influencers and over 1,000 brands enrolled with us, and having reached over a billion people in over 65 countries, influence.co is the world’s biggest platform where influencers, brands, marketers, and agencies connect.

In this article, we analyze how influencers and brands can make use of the tools available in influence.co to grow their ventures and boost their revenue.

BRANDS

Brands often use influencers to grow awareness, affinity, and loyalty.

Because influencers have a broad online presence, they can expose your brand to receptive audiences through the content they create.

At influence.co, we have developed custom tools to help you to recruit and retain the most impactful influencers in order to take your business to the next frontier of growth.

We place at your disposal a database of over 40,000 influencers with a cumulative following of over 1billion followers in all the social media platforms.

We have built a comprehensive search facility to enable you to interrogate this extensive database using various criteria such as age, follower count, previous collaborations and so on.

In addition, we have tools which enable you to analyze and organize the potential influencers you have identified.

These tools allow you to have a 360-degrees view of the influencers across all the social platforms making it easy for you to make comparisons between influencers using several vital statistics.

Moreover, influence.co allows you to create campaign pages where you can display details of your influencer marketing campaigns.

Setup campaign

Through this page, you are able to open applications and simplify the process of recruiting influencers.

Influence.co have easy-to-use communication tools to help you contact influencers and to track the ones you have already reached out to.

Through influence.co, business can easily mobilize effective influencer marketing in any of the following circumstances;

  • Launching a new product: when products are new, it is extremely difficult to make use of product champions to market the products. In such instances, the social influencers who have access to a certain target segment can be used to create a buzz around the new products.
  • Improve brand awareness for existing products: Influencers are content creators who have the trust of their follows and can be used to amplify existing products on visual platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, or YouTube.

Influencers

Are you a social media user with a huge following in any of the social media platforms?

Influence.co has something for you too.Influence.co is the world’s largest marketplace for influencers; a place where they come to showcase their work and grow income.

The platform allows you to create profiles of your best work and connects you with potential brands and digital agencies.

We work with over 1,000 leading brands and agencies helping them to recruit the most appropriate influencers for their marketing campaigns.

By joining influence.co, proactive influencers are able to directly connect with your preferred brands and agencies.

Additionally, influence.io has tools which influencers can use to create compelling media kits to marketing their potential.

The media kits can be shared through social media platforms, emails, or sent directly to potential businesses and agencies.

Media kit

Further, influencers are able to view the details of the entities who have viewed their influence.co profiles.

Equipped with such knowledge, you can make informed decisions about the businesses and agents whose campaigns you would like to join.

And that’s not all.

Influence.co provides embedded cards which are updated dynamically.

Consequently, influencers are able to easily access their updated profiles on whichever social media platform they log into.

Bottom Line

Influence.co presents enormous potential for both the social influencers and the businesses grow their income.

Through this platform, the business of social influence has become easier, faster, and more productive for everyone.

By connecting the influencers and the business, the former, on behalf of the latter, are able to create content at the volume and pace that consumers want in the format they want it.

How to Make Money on Social Media

According to the Global Digital Snapshot report by Global Web Index (GWI), as at January 2017, the total number of active social media users were 2.789 Billion. This was a 21% growth since January 2016.

This shows how social we are. The 2.7 Billion people represent a significant section of the world population with whom we can do business. And the good news is that this number is growing each day.

The social media platforms have introduced new ways through which their users can make money.

The latest sensation is influencer marketing. Social media influencers mostly refer to people who have a substantial following in the social media platforms including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat among others.

Influencers are the people who are holding everyone’s attention; they are actually the ones who are followed and watched by the other social media users. They are the beloved personalities and thought leaders in the social media platforms.

Social media engagement

Influencer marketing is based on the knowledge that social media influencers have a significant or authoritative effect on the behavior or opinion of their followers and thus may affect their purchase decision.

Consequently, businesses are making use of these personalities to influence their fans and followers on what to buy and when. The social influencers are repping products and promoting brands in an ingenious way all the while staying true and unique to their voice and story.

According to Linqia’s “The State of Influencer Marketing 2017” report, 86% of marketers used influencer marketing in 2016 and 94% of those who used influencer marketing believe that the tactic is effective.

Brands, big and small, are willing to pay in order to engage influencers and access their numerous followers and to have big promises of impressions. This guarantees them targeted exposure to the right consumer for their products.

One reason why brands have found influencer marketing a better channel than ordinary electronic ads in TV or radio is because consumers don’t want ads and cannot stand them anymore.

In fact, most modern consumers ignore ads; they skip them, ignore them or just let them run in the background as they turn their attention to their phones.

Additionally, a study by marketingland.com shows that 40 percent of desktop users and 22 percent of mobile consumers in the U.S. use blockers to remove ads from publishers’ websites.

Block ads

Therefore, it has become increasingly important for brands to incorporate their products, services, and offerings in the content that is being consumed.

In order to leverage on the opportunities presented by this new marketing approach, the influencers and the brands must engage only in the most beneficial partnerships. And that is where influence.co comes in.

Influence.co presents the social influence marketplace, so to speak. It’s the place where influencers, marketers, and brands meet. It is the largest platform for influencers to showcase their best work and for businesses and agencies to recruit influencers.

So what do we offer?

 

Influencers and Creators

Once you have created a profile with us, we provide you with tools to create a beautiful media kit which you can use to promote yourself by sharing through your social networks or emailing to businesses and agencies.

Further, we grant you access to our rich database of brands and agencies so that you can select and apply directly to the ones you would want to work with.

In addition, you are able to see who has viewed your profile and to follow up with the ones who might want to work with you.

The influence.co platform helps influencers to highlight their work by allowing them to advertise their posts about products and brands they have already worked with. It also allows them to feature press they have received.

Influence.co enables you to consolidate your social network information in one place such that you are able to promote your blog or website as well as summarize your YouTube channel in the same platform.

Moreover, influence.co provides influencers with a platform where businesses and brands can easily find and connect with them.

 

Businesses and digital agencies

Influence.co provides the following functionality to the businesses and digital agencies;

  • An extensive collection of influencers from all major social media platforms. The website has a comprehensive search facility to allow you to search for influencers based on several parameters including location, age, and follower counts.
  • Ability to analyze influencers to understand their engagements rates and previous collaborations. Moreover, there is a tool to compare your favorite influencers’ most vital statistics.
  • Ease of contacting influencers either individually or in bulk using a list.
  • Business pages. Create a page for your business and open applications and allow influencers to apply to you.

As a conclusion, influence.co is the best partner for businesses and influencers who want to excel in making modern using social media.

We have over 40,000 influencers and over 1,000 brands enrolled with us. Furthermore, we have reached over a billion people in over 65 countries.

Create your profile with influence.co today and start in join make a difference in your career or business.

How to Become a Successful Fitness Influencer

The fitness industry is worth trillions of dollars and for some successful influencers, the lucrative opportunities are endless.

Fitness influencers promote an active and healthy lifestyle by offering their followers advice and support, or just by being motivational figures to look up to.

Being a fitness influencer is not only about having the perfect body or well-chiseled abs, the message you put out and the people and brands that trust your expertise is also important for success.

If you have been hard at work as a fitness professional and want to be a social influencer, you must have a definitive voice and a passion for fitness, health, and wellness-related topics.

The below guide will help get you started on this amazing journey.

 

How to Become a Successful Fitness Influencer

To become an influencer in the fitness industry you must maintain a certain level of professionalism when running your social accounts and must work with brands to promote their products and services.

There are so many factors to consider, but below are 6 key considerations:

 

1. Choose a niche

You must choose a niche in the fitness industry.

Why do you need a niche?

To be an expert at anything, people need experience and some level of specialism.

If you are an expert at marathons, you would have run a few and will provide content that will be valuable to those who follow you.

Remember, to be successful, people will trust your content and the only way this can happen is if you add value to their lives.

Choosing a specialty as a fitness influencer is the easiest way to become an expert at what you do.

You can choose aerobics, yoga, body building, or simply provide information on your personal journey to becoming fit.

Once you’ve chosen a niche, keep posting regularly so that your audience will expect regular posts.

This will give you a chance to build credibility while testing your style.

The more content you post in your niche, the more people will start to see you as an authority.

As you get comfortable, your reputation will begin to grow and people will find you easily.

 

2. Find your tone

Now that you’ve chosen a niche, the next step is to decide how you want to get your message across to your followers.

You can come across as sympathetic, motivational, or even a tough nut.

Whatever works for your readers and followers is what you should aim for.

Fitness personalities are in the business of helping others be the best they can.

Your job is to help people push through their fitness difficulties, so your tone and mindset should communicate the right message to your readers.

Above all, you must help your followers achieve their goals.

Having a mindset of providing value, offering guidance and trusted support will go a long way in ensuring that brands and followers value your input.

 

tips for becoming a fitness influencer

 

3. Tell your story

When people visit your social profile for the first time, what do they think of you as a fitness influencer?

Do they get the whole story just by looking at your posts?

Your profile should naturally be a storyboard of your fitness life.

People will respond well because they can relate.

Your followers will appreciate your openness and willingness to give them a peek into your life.

It helps to show them that you are not just connecting with them to increase your numbers, but that there is a real human being behind the influencer account.

Sharing your story is also another way of promoting brands.

You can show pictures, videos and share stories of your real life experiences while including certain elements in the story that will help promote your brands.

For example, going on your account and saying “XYZ amino acid is great…” is not the trustworthy way to promote products.

Instead, try using a personal story like “before hitting the gym this morning, I took XYZ amino acids…”

Continue to tell your story irrespective of the brands that you promote and people will continue to trust that your opinions are independent of any promotional fees.

 

4. Engagement vs followers

As a fitness expert you must decide what kind of influencer you want to be.

Influencer marketing is not only for big names like the Kardashians, even with fewer numbers, you can still be a successful and reliable social force.

According to statistics, influencers with fewer followers have a higher rate of engagement than influencers with millions of followers.

Of course if you have 1 million followers you will earn 11 times more from brand sponsorship, but your engagement rate may suffer.

If you’re working on growing your numbers, you must maintain a competitive edge and ensure that your audience is engaged as your numbers grow.

Make sure your main appeal does not suffer.

 

5. Build your audience

Without an audience, you will not get any sponsorship.

So the first thing you must do is to build a follower base that will help you grow your credibility and income.

A great way to start is by contacting other influencers in your niche and building a rapport with them.

Show them support, share their content, mention them in your posts and network with them to gain visibility.

Your audience will grow when you market yourself effectively.

 how to be a fitness influencer

 

6. Use influence.co

You need to use innovative resources like influence.co to showcase yourself.

Brands are always looking to build new relationships, and influencers are all looking for sponsorship opportunities.

This is how the industry works!

Influence.co is a platform for influencers as well as brands.

It is a great place to show others the kind of work you have been doing, what you’re currently engaged in and what you are capable of bringing to the table.

It is also the easiest way to get brands to notice you, saving you a lot of time and effort that you will otherwise have spent marketing your services.

Becoming a successful fitness influencer my sound simple, but in reality it will require hard work and dedication.

But once you get started, influence.co will provide all the tools you need to grow your profile and business.

AMA with Rainier Jonn

Influencers drive the influencer marketing industry. They have interesting stories about how they came to be influencers and why they choose to live their lives via social media.

Their first-hand experience working with brands and expertise in other areas is extremely valuable to other influencers. Our influencer AMA series is where top influencers share their stories, successes and learnings with their peers and aspiring influencers.

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— I always like to start by asking, how did The Dressed Chest come about? And how have you grown your following?

I liked creating outfits by mixing and matching patterns and colors since before I started my Instagram. Originally I would put my pictures onto my personal feed so that I could keep track of the things that I have already worn. It was at the insistence of my sister that I decided to put all of my outfits into their own IG. How I have grown my following is largely a mystery (even to me), but I think it has largely to do with hashtags and the consistency of my images.

— What was your first brand collaboration? How is it similar to, or different from partnerships you participate in now?

I think it was with an Australian knit tie company called Geezer. The vast majority of my pictures are of my chest, so I attract lots of brands that sell shirts and ties. This holds true now. I get partnership requests from larger companies now than before, but I try my best to work with brands that I like, regardless of size.

— I love to hear that! And speaking of brands you’ve worked with, what is the coolest brand you’ve partnered with?

Indochino was really cool to work with. The giveaway we did together brought in incredible engagement. It was also great to work with The Hill-Side and Todd Snyder. I was a big fan of these brands before I got into Instagram, so to be able to partner up with them was an honor for me.

— I’m dying know, who takes the photos of you and how long does it take to put together the look and get the right shot of it for Instagram?

I take all photos myself, using the rear-facing camera on my Galaxy S7 Edge. In most cases putting together the right look doesn’t take too much time for me, and neither does taking the photo (I take most of my shots right at my front door, literally on my way to the car to go to work). What is the most time-consuming for me is post-processing and coming up with a good caption. There are only so many puns you can make out of the words “blue” and “knit tie”, after all.

— I do love your captions, the puns always make me laugh. And speaking of writing, tell us about the Book “Read This if You Want to be Instagram Famous” and how you got involved.

The editor for the book reached out to me via email and asked me if I wanted to be a part of an upcoming book. Honestly I can’t say how he found my Instagram out (my email address is readily available on my IG feed, though how they reach my IG feed I’m not sure), but when I found out the person making the book was Henry Carroll, author of “Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs”, I couldn’t say no.

— That’s really amazing and so cool to be a part of something like that. At a time when everyone is trying to be Insta-Famous, I’m curious to know what’s the biggest challenge you face as an influencer today?

As an Instagrammer it’s been tough getting a good feel for the new photos feed. Since the photos are no longer arranged by latest posted, I need to rethink what and when I post my shots. Also, finding a good balance between staying true to your style and the requirements from brands can be a challenge at times, depending on the brand. While I try my best to accommodate the needs of a brand, I’ve had to turn down many potential partnerships because their requirements didn’t align with what I do on my Instagram.

— Influencer Marketing seems to be changing everyday and the shifting algorithms from Instagram is just one example. Do you have any predictions for Influencer Marketing in 2017 and beyond?

I’m seeing lots of Influencers diversifying their social media reach to other platforms, such as YouTube and Snapchat. I’ve also seen Influencers becoming more engaged with their audience, interacting with them through live feeds. This helps make us more authentic, and less like a walking billboard. The more real and authentic we can make ourselves, the more our followers can trust us and the brands with which we partner.

— Thank you so much for taking the time to connect with us and be a part of our AMA series. It was so great to hear your thoughts and experiences!

AMA with Loki the Wolf Dog

Influencers drive the influencer marketing industry. They have interesting stories about how they came to be influencers and why they choose to live their lives via social media.

Their first-hand experience working with brands and expertise in other areas is extremely valuable to other influencers. Our influencer AMA series is where top influencers share their stories, successes and learnings with their peers and aspiring influencers.

===

— Let’s start with something I think most influencers are curious about. How did you grow the following of Loki_the_wolfdog to over 1M?

The growth came from several outside articles across the web. In the fall of 2015, many different online sites like Buzzfeed, The Daily Mail, the Weather Channel, and others wrote articles about us, featuring our photos. That was totally out of our control, what was in our control was to keep things light and fun and to be free to think of silly fun photos like the hammock photos that we have taken. I try to focus on that and keep things internal rather than focusing on outward things like growth strategies.

— That is one of my favorite things about following you, the fun you have is apparent and it makes it fun to follow along. What was your first brand collaboration?

Hmm. I posted a shot for a T-shirt brand called Timber Threads in exchange for a T shirt years ago. I was stoked. It was fun. Maybe the first real partnership I had was with a small local dog food brand that we still represent today. The company is called IandLoveandYou. We just signed to be with them for another year.

— I love to hear about long term brand relationships, especially with brands that are such a natural fit. What are some of the biggest obstacles you face in creating sponsored content or in brand collaborations?

I would say trying to educate brands that see social media marketing through the same lens as traditional marketing. When people want something that looks like an ad with strong product imagery and copy in the caption. I’m not stoked to work with those folks and after a brief conversation I often move on.

— I couldn’t agree with you more and think that brands need to give more creative control to the influencers. Particularly when they are working with someone like you. Your photographs are stunning and one of the things that really sets you apart. How many hours per week do you spend on building photo content?

No idea. Including driving, hiking, editing, thinking of a copy, sometimes up to 90 hours a week.

— Wow, that’s a lot of hours and I think something many brands don’t realize when working with influencers. Getting the perfect shot takes time. Do you have any predictions for Influencer Marketing in 2017 and beyond?

I’m hopeful it will continue to grow as brands start to realize how blind the public has become to banner ads, billboards, commercials, print ads, etc. It’s fun to see folks who might not be active on social start to understand it. It’s up to the influencers to protect how commercial the collaborations get, I’m hopeful most will find the value in keeping it organic as possible.

— Thank you so much for taking the time to connect with us and share your insights! One last question, what is the most unique collaboration you’ve worked on?

I just finished up a weekend at the Long Beach Grand Prix. We partnered with a race sponsorship/scholarship program called Rising Star Racing. We brought light to the IndyCar team through social media. Loki was on the side of the the race car. Totally out of the norm for us, but I love getting outside the box. And thanks for the opportunity to chat!

Learn more about Kelly and Loki by visiting their influence.co profile.

AMA with Jessica of Cheat Day Eats

Influencers drive the influencer marketing industry. They have interesting stories about how they came to be influencers and why they choose to live their lives via social media.

Their first-hand experience working with brands and expertise in other areas is extremely valuable to other influencers. Our influencer AMA series is where top influencers share their stories, successes and learnings with their peers and aspiring influencers.

===

— Let’s start at the beginning. How did Cheat Day Eats come about? And how have you grown your following?

Two and a half years ago I started CheatDayEats as a hobby that allowed me to express my passion over what I was going to eat on my cheat day. I always loved photography and taking pictures of my food, so when I saw that there was a food community on Instagram, I knew I had to be part of it. My account picked up a lot of traction and I was excited to see people were curious about where I was eating next! Today, my account has evolved to be an extension of my life and I love sharing it with my audience. I have grown my following by staying true to myself and posting experiences, brands, and food that I want to share with my followers because I think they would love them too.

— What was your first brand collaboration? How is it similar to, or different from partnerships you participate in now?

My first brand collaboration was with Bai. Some level of creative control is what I prioritize highly throughout all the partnerships I’ve been part of. That’s something very important to me because it helps keep the bond between myself and my audience tight and authentic, which in return is part of the reason I have such strong engagement with my account and what helps my brand stick out.

As my account has evolved from just food and beverage postings and I now include more lifestyle and travel content, that’s where I would say the biggest differences are from my earlier campaigns.

— Speaking of food and beverage posting, what is the best meal you have eaten in New York?

This is probably one of the hardest questions that I get asked often. My favorite meal recently was 4 Charles Prime Rib. The burger, carbonara, prime rib, and ice cream sundae were all amazing!

It was also a very intimate and classy restaurant which was what I was looking for that evening since I had just gotten engaged earlier in the day!

— Congratulations! Now you have a honeymoon (and wedding!) to plan, tell us your favorite place to travel – both for the food and other experiences?

Italy! I have visited a few times and every time I go I fall in love again. The food there is so simple, yet remarkably stunning and delicious Even the complimentary bread and olive oil in the beginning blows me away. As far as the desserts go, I could eat gelato and Nutella every day and be the happiest girl in the world. When not hunting down my next food experience, I love to just enjoy strolling through the cobblestone roads and being part of all the great history and décor that Italy has to offer.

— You have partnered with a number of impressive brands like American Express, Budweiser and Shake Shack. What is the coolest brand you’ve partnered with and why?

The coolest brand I have partnered with is Cosmopolitan. Ever since I was a little girl and had ripped out pages from their magazine and put them on the walls and ceiling of my bedroom, it was always my favorite magazine. So naturally, I was nostalgic over the opportunity to work with them. I did an account takeover of their instagram to showcase the most indulgent foods in NYC and am proud to say that I’ve formed an ongoing relationship with the brand and continue to do collaborations with them. One of which was this article that they published earlier this year and featured me in.

— That is such a cool story! And I love to see traditional media cross over to work with influencers in such a cool and authentic way. I’m curious, do you have another job or are you a full time influencer? If you are a full time influencer, how long did it take to get to that point?

I have been a high school math teacher for the last 5 years. It is with great excitement that I announce I am leaving to be an influencer full time!! If you can’t feel my joy, I am jumping up and down. It is the biggest career move I have ever made but I am confident in myself and the brand I have built. This is my childhood dream to travel the world and experience great food and there is no way I can pass that up. I think this is just the beginning of influencer marketing and I think it will continue to grow and I am excited to be a part of it.

I couldn’t agree with you more that this is just the beginning for influencer marketing and the next few years are going to be very exciting. What’s the biggest challenge you and other influencers face today?

There are fake accounts that are saturating the market and diluting the perception of value of genuine engagement and real accounts.

— That is a really insightful and honest observation. Do you have any predictions for Influencer Marketing in 2017 and beyond?

I think Influencer Marketing will continue to expand overseas and pick up more steam in other countries and will continue to grow rapidly in USA. Advertisers are going to continue to see the value in marketing online through influencers and gradually shift their budgets from more traditional media outlets such as television, radio, and print ads.

— Thanks for being a part of our AMA series and sharing your thoughts and experiences with us!

Learn more about Jessica by visiting her influence.co profile.

2018 Influencer Marketing Predictions Roundup (as well as some of our own)

 

Tis the season for 2018 predictions and it’s no surprise that the Internet is bubbling with ones about influencer marketing. 2017 was the year where influencer marketing went mainstream.

In 2018 we’ll see a surge in companies using influencer marketing and the amounts being spent on campaigns appears to be bubbling as much as the predictions.

In the spirit of influence.co being an inclusive and open platform, we decided to do a roundup of the most common predictions we heard from bloggers, news outlets, and individuals. We’ve added some of our own color of course to hopefully make them worth a (second) review.

Prediction: Data will dominate the conversation

The most common prediction for 2018 is that brands will start to demand more data. The most common demand will be data about influencer audiences and campaign performance. Fair enough – for any marketing channel to mature, marketers need to understand (and justify) how their money is being spent.

We believe that data focused on the true reach of an influencer and thus any spend made with them will become more common.

This will include basic demographics like location (is the influencers audience where the marketer needs it to be?), engagement rates for different content types (e.g. does their sponsored content fly or fail?), and deeper analysis of fraudulent audiences.

However, we believe that measurement of campaign success will still lag in 2018. This is mostly due to challenges with core platforms like Instagram making tracking and measurement hard. You still can’t put a clickable and trackable URL into an Instagram post. That said, we think brands will massively increase budgets anyway.

Our take: Yes and no

Prediction: Enforcement by the FTC will increase

Many 2018 predictions expect increased sword rattling and guideline enforcement by the FTC. While there will likely be a few more public admonishments, we think the average influencer and brand won’t be affected by this.

Instagram and Facebook’s new Paid Partnership feature (see it in the wild here: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bc5Yw-8hihX/?taken-by=newdarlings) will give brands and influencers an easy out and the FTC will likely have limits to how much they want to poke the bear.

Product placement in Hollywood and television runs more rampant than ever and this likely isn’t territory they want to enter. We have seen this regulatory pageant play itself out before in the blogging world.

After the hand slapping was finished, most everyone settled into some commonly understood, promoted and comfortably used guidelines.

Our take: Meh

Prediction: Influencer campaigns move to always-on

We definitely agree with this from what we see on influence.co. While many new companies will still have project-based influencer marketing campaigns as they experiment with the channel for the first time, many companies will constantly recruit and use influencers regularly.

We see this with companies like Bond-Eye Swimwear and the 5TH who include new influencers constantly in their marketing messages.

In addition, more companies will move their best influencers to formal brand ambassador relationships and a whole new discussion around how those relationships should be structured will emerge.

We will likely see a number of power middle influencers declare ambassador relationships with power middle brands.

Our take: Yup

Prediction: Some influencer marketing companies will go away

We track over 200 companies that generally say they provide software and services to the influencer marketing industry. This was 50 at the end of 2015, 100 at the end of last year and it’s now 200.

But being a “complete” influencer marketing services and software company is hard (which is why we don’t try to be).

To be a “complete” influencer marketing company you need to have software to manage campaign workflow (it’s still expensive to build software), recruit brands (have a sales team), recruit influencers (and keep them busy with work), manage and run campaigns (have an account team who can ship and track products to 100s of influencers a week), and build and maintain APIs to the major networks.

Not surprisingly, no one has really accomplished this.

Most influencer marketing companies are what the industry calls “technology enabled services business” which means they are agencies with a bit of custom built technology that helps them handle more clients than normal.

In 2017 we saw the first maturing of the market where companies started to focus on only one or two parts of the “complete” influencer marketing stack. In 2018 we’ll see clearly defined categories of companies (e.g. influencer CRM systems, data providers, etc..)

Without a real advantage in any one of these areas, some of companies will buckle under the commitments they have made to their software customers while still trying to service other clients.

In addition, influencers will start to get “platform fatigue”, choosing to only build and maintain a presence on a limited number of platforms especially as more agencies consolidate their influencer recruitment into a few places.

We predict that half of the current companies that offer influencer marketing software will either fall off or convert themselves into influencer focused agencies that use other companies software.

Our take: Sadly, yes

Prediction: Influencer content becomes as big as influencer audiences (influencers become creators)

We see a large trend recently of influencer marketing companies promoting content creation as the core benefit of an influencer (as opposed to their audience). This highlights the emerging naming battle between “influencers” and “creators”.

While we think that YouTube creators will continue to produce amazing content that threatens traditional media outlets, we suspect the opportunity for influencer created content (without their audience) is inflated.

While many large digital agencies will feel the pressure of not being able to charge $2M for video production when an influencer can do it for $200K, this will be a small phenomenon with limited impact.

Companies like Victors and Spoils exposed this soft underbelly of agencies a long time ago through crowdsourcing. While they found some success, they did not topple the industry (Havas eventually bought V&S).

By and large companies have figured out how to create content well before influencers existed and new options like selfmade.co are emerging to make their own content look professionally produced.

What is still hard is building an audience. That will continue to be the true value of influencers.

Our take: Meh

Those are the most common predictions we hear. Some great posts that include them are here:

Our Turn : influence.co Predictions for 2018

While many of the following have probably been said in one way or another, we wanted to chime in on a predictions of our own that we thought have a high likelihood of coming true. We’ll even give our expectation they happen.

Prediction: Boosting become part of most campaign budgets

Brands will start to look across all influencer content produced for a campaign and selectively boost the best posts. For small additional money, the best working parts of a campaign can be amplified. Having more audience data will only increase this practice.

The best influencers and agencies have been doing this quietly in the background already.

Likelihood: 40%

Prediction: Everyone becomes and influencer marketing company

In 2018 we’re going to stop tracking influencer marketing companies. While we think a number of specialist companies will fall off, we think the 200 we track will become 2000 in 2018.

We looked at 65 PR company websites recently and found that over 80% of them state influencer marketing as a core competency (or even their whole business). In 2018 we’ll see every digital agency, public relations firm, content creation company, and talent agency officially be in the influencer marketing game.

Part of why we think half the existing companies will fall off in 2018 is that the number of companies calling a brand and offering influencer marketing services will spike. This will drive up acquisition costs and crater margins for those who make their money only off of influencer campaigns.

Existing agencies have small incremental costs to push their existing customers into trialing influencer marketing with them and they’ll use this advantage to edge out specialized players.

Likelihood: 97%

Prediction: Bloggers and YouTube surge

Instagram has always been an easy way to experiment with influencer marketing. The supply is easy to find, the costs are low, and the content is quick to create. Its lack of measurability will drive brands who want to spend bigger budgets back to bloggers.

Larger brands will circle their wagons around YouTube due to the combination of scale, boostability, OOT advertising, and measurability.

Likelihood: 75%

Prediction: Big marketing players buy their way into the game

BuzzSumo was the opening salvo in the acquisition game. 2018 will see the first purchase of an influencer marketing software company by one of the traditional mar-tech players (Oracle, Adobe, Salesforce, HootSuite, HubSpot, etc..).

Once someone declares they are in the game, there will be a flurry of activity (likely spilling into 2019) so that everyone can say they have a story. This is what happened in the social media software space once Buddy Media was bought by Salesforce.com.

Likelihood: 60%

Prediction: Micro influencer aggregation

Discovering, reaching out to, negotiating with, tracking, and paying 25 micro influencers on a campaign is still way to hard. Solutions will emerge to help brands (and influencers) run scale collaborations with less effort. We have some ideas here so stay tuned.

Likelihood: 50%

Prediction:  A name brand VC will take a position in an influencer marketing company

To date the industry (with limited exception) has been funded by angels, microfunds and non-valley funds. In 2018 one or two players will break out far enough to warrant the attention of a traditional Silicon Valley venture investor.

Likelihood: 30%

Conclusion

Any way you slice it, 2018 is shaping up to be an amazing, tumultuous, progressive and important year for influencer marketing. We’re happy to be playing a part in the ecosystem. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to write to us!

The influence.co Team

AMA with Lauren Bath

Influencers drive the influencer marketing industry. They have interesting stories about how they came to be influencers and why they choose to live their lives via social media.

Their first-hand experience working with brands and expertise in other areas is extremely valuable to other influencers. Our influencer AMA series is where top influencers share their stories, successes and learnings with their peers and aspiring influencers.

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— Tell us about your journey from chef to photographer.

I was a chef for 15 years, a career that I loved, when I started using Instagram as a hobby. Because I was working in a job that was relatively low pressure I finally had the time for a new interest and photography became that interest. I was instantly hooked on using the app and within a few months I had my first 5,000 followers.

From there I bought a camera and started to take my photography more seriously. I was still working as a chef throughout a period of massive growth on Instagram and was fortunate to grow from 5,000 followers to 200,000 followers during this time, within 18 months of first downloading the app. From here I made the decision to quit my job to dedicate more time to my photography and have the time to take the travel opportunities that were coming my way. The rest is history!

— That is an amazing and inspiring story and it’s truly impressive how quickly you experienced that growth! Tell us more about your photography philosophy and how you incorporate that when working with brands.

My entire photography philosophy comes down to the fact that I love to shoot my surroundings and I don’t like to limit myself to a niche, luckily that philosophy works incredibly well in the travel industry. I approach each job as an opportunity to capture a variety of subjects and to tell the story of my travels through a series of images, rather than a single image. Instagram is the perfect platform for me in that way.

— Your philosophy definitely pays off, your photographs are truly stunning. What are your favorite tools to use? Camera, accessories, editing software, etc.

Thank you! I’m using the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II camera and a full range of professional lenses. I use Lee filters, a Gitzo tripod and an f-stop camera bag. All of my editing is done in Photoshop but I take roughly 3 minutes to edit a shot, all the hard work is done in camera.

— What was your first brand collaboration? In what way is that similar to what you’re doing now?

Like so many others my first opportunity was with Daniel Wellington watches. Haha. This was way, way back before anyone had heard of them. I must have been one of the first influencers to ever work with them, it was 2012. I was paid with a watch and I did a branded post.

My methods since then have changed a LOT! For a start I only work with tourism boards and a handful of travel related brands that are very closely aligned with my own brand. I also charge fair rates depending on the job; sponsored posts cost more than travel-based campaigns. I am very conscious of only posting content that is of value to my audience and creating the same work that I would create if this wasn’t my job.

— I love your commitment to quality content and staying authentic to your voice! What is the most unique campaign/ collaboration you’ve worked on?

I’ve worked on a lot of unique jobs but one of the most exciting was when I was the campaign manager for an Australian influencer campaign in Dubai. I hand picked 22 Australian Instagrammers to come on the trip plus facilitated a competition to select two winners to join us. With the gang of 24, plus me, we hit Dubai in a big way and to this day I think it’s still the biggest instagrammer campaign for a tourism board in the world.

— Wow, that sounds amazing! Tell us about some of the biggest obstacles you face in creating sponsored content or in brand collaborations?

Definitely educating the client on what works and what doesn’t work. There’s too many brands trying to use influencers as an advertising platform without taking into account the fact that they know their own audience better than anyone else. I flatly refuse work for a variety of reasons on a daily basis. A big piece of advice for anyone looking to work with influencers is to take the time to listen to them and respect their creative judgement.

— I really could not agree with you more and I am constantly advocating that marketers should bring influencers into the creative process and let them help to create the campaigns. Let’s switch gears a little bit. You started a conference! Tell us about how you decided on that undertaking and what it’s been like so far.

I’ve actually started TWO conferences! The initial idea came from Georgia Rickard; she came to me and said “We should start a conference where a travel writer, a travel instagrammer and a travel blogger get together to teach other people how to get paid to travel.” I thought it was a great idea and suggested Elizabeth Carlson as our blogger and the Travel Bootcamp was born! Each of us are so successful in our respective industries and so passionate about protecting these industries that we looked at it as an opportunity to help mold the next generation of travel influencers and writers.

From here the obvious next step was to branch out into industry and teach them the best practices on how to work with people like us; how to choose influencers, how to write new media itineraries, how to combine new and traditional media in the best ways possible and many more of the questions we are asked by clients regularly. The new event debuts in September and is called the “Modern Travel Media Summit” and we have secured TravMedia as our major sponsor.

On both sides of the table we want to help others, help strengthen the industry and give both aspiring influencers and brands a platform to learn and share.

— That is wonderful to hear, I think we are in a unique position to help shape how the industry will evolve and I love to see trailblazers like you getting involved! Now for one last question and I am really intrigued to hear your answer. Do you have any predictions for Influencer Marketing in 2017 and beyond?

As traditional marketing and advertising continue to change I predict seeing more interest in influencer marketing but I think this will reach a tipping point as brands start to realize the importance of choosing the right influencers and doing their due diligence in recruiting people that are truly influential.

In the coming years I also expect to see an increase in the amount of brands dedicating resources to detecting when a potential influencer has cheated. I predict that these people will be held accountable if they have grown their accounts using unfair methods, for example buying likes and followers and enlisting pod mentality to increase their engagement. These numbers contribute nothing to the campaigns they are hired to work on and I believe fraud cases will eventually ensue in court.

Influencer marketing will only remain a viable marketing option if influencers maintain professionalism and integrity in their endeavors.

— Very insightful! Thank you again so much for taking the time to share your story and thoughts with us!

Learn more about Lauren by visiting her influence.co profile.

Announcing : Our Influencer Agency Platform Release

Today we are proud to introduce our second generation agency feature set.

We launched our first version a few months ago and have learned quickly what we got right and what we missed the mark on.

 

With the new feature set you can:

  • Share which type of agency you are (e.g. talent management vs digital agency)
  • More easily invite and reinvite your clients or talent roster to be managed by your page
  • Create campaigns that are run directly by your agency without needing a brand page
  • Have unique campaign URLs so that brands and agencies can market their open campaigns on their own channels

 

The last item is really the one that warrants the most attention.

When we launched agency pages, if you wanted to run an influencer marketing campaign for your client, you’d need to get them to sign up as a brand page then have them verify your agency managed them.

That worked for some agencies but others had valid situations where that approach didn’t work.

First, some agencies with bigger brand clients found it was not always possible to have the social media manager of the brand just “sign up for that platform we need to use”.

The influencer marketing team may be a totally different part of the marketing department or the agency might be contracted by a part of the team that doesn’t have access to the brand’s socials.

It makes sense as an influencer marketing campaign could be run totally outside of interactions with a brand’s social channels.

We don’t think this is the best approach always (as there should be a good content and feedback loop between off-channel mentions and on-channel follow up) but we don’t make the rules.

Team work

 

Second, some agencies want to (or are required) to market campaigns without the brand behind the campaign being public.

For example, an agency might need to find influencers for a campaign for a major peanut butter brand in the USA but not be able to say “Jiffy” anywhere public.

Some agencies actually see this restriction being written into their contracts more often than not sooooo.. as our goal is always to help any way we can , we set out to accommodate these scenarios.

The new agency features are very functional.

One of the first things we did was set turn our own page from a brand to an agency and set up a campaign for ourselves.

If you want to apply to our SELECT program, take a look at our campaign.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our brands team at sales@influence.co.

The Top Mistakes You’re Making in Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is becoming more common than ever in the online marketing sphere.

Almost three-quarters of all marketers have spent some of their budgets on reaching out to and working with social media influencers and digital content creators.

And that’s no surprise!

It’s been estimated that utilizing the power of influencers can bring eleven times the average ROI that’s produced by using traditional marketing methods.

The way of the past is using flyers and other physical marketing methods to bring more customers to your business.

If your marketing team isn’t focusing most of their efforts on digital marketing (including social media marketing), then that’s something to change.

However, even if you have made the switch to working with influencers, your marketing team might be making a few common mistakes that are lessening your potential marketing impact.

The Top Mistakes You’re Making in Influencer Marketing

Keep reading to learn about these mistakes and learn more about why your influencer marketing matters!

Focusing too much on the product and too little on the experience

Whenever a business starts out with a new influencer branding strategy for the first time, they might think that it’s all about getting their product in front of more eyes.

And yes, your end goal might be to sell more of your products and make a more substantial profit (as it should be!).

However, there’s so much more than just your product when you’re working with influencers.

One of the first mistakes that companies make is putting influencers in a box when it comes to their product or products.

Make sure to give your influencers enough space to be creative and let their own experiences shine through their content.

Their personality might be a bit different from your overall branding campaign, and that’s entirely OK!

Having the wrong expectations based on sheer follower numbers

Many marketers will go through various influencers and merely choose those influencers for their campaign who have the most significant followers on Instagram or Twitter.

In today’s social media world, it’s entirely possible for someone to have 100K followers on Instagram, but in reality, a majority of those “followers’’ were bought online.

That’s why it is crucial for influencer marketers to do further research into these numbers and look at engagement on content, rather than just follower numbers.

If an influencer has 100K followers, but only receives around 1K comments and likes per photo, then that’s a red flag.

Setting short deadlines for influencers to submit content

Many marketers don’t think hard enough about the content creation process when working with influencers.

They believe that you can just get influencers on board with a campaign that works overnight.

Content creators need enough time to do their work correctly.

When you give influencers enough time to work, the content they create will be even more stunning than it would have been if you had rushed them.

Not knowing how to measure success in campaigns

What do you think is the best method to use when you measure the success in influencer campaigns?

How do you know when things have gone well? Could they have been a bit better?

This is a big mistake that many marketers make after influencer campaigns – they didn’t set up proper measurements of success for their campaigns ahead of time.

One of the best ways to measure success is to have your influencers send over their “insights’’ for their content after posting.

These insights (like Instagram Insights or Google Analytics) will show you exactly how many people were reached by the content and whether they followed through on the action steps or not.

Of course, you will also be able to check out your product sales and see if there are any visible differences over the months after your influencer marketing campaign.

Not learning the latest influencer marketing strategies and using them

So many marketers have forgotten that education is one of the most critical parts of the process.

Without keeping up with the latest trends in digital marketing and influencer marketing, marketing teams are not going to be prepared to keep up with the tide.

This is because this new field of marketing is changing faster than ever before.

Social media networks are always coming up with new features and ways for content creators to do their work.

New trends are popping up that everyone goes crazy over.

Without knowing about these latest updates and trends, your marketing team can’t be as efficient as they could be.

Failing to take the time to research influencers before speaking with them.

As mentioned in prior points, many marketers just look at follower numbers when choosing their influencers for their next campaign.

Not researching influencers properly before emailing them is one of the biggest mistakes that are made in this field.

Your marketing team should be going through an influencer’s content, checking out what their engagement looks like, what brands they have worked in the past, what they have been doing lately, and how they engage with their audience.

This will give you the best idea of how to approach influencers with your proposal and increase the chance that they will hop on board.

Being reluctant to adequately compensate creators.

Looking at your marketing budget, you might be wondering how much money you should be spending on content creators.

Your influencer campaigns are super important for your company, but you might be wary to pay tons of money to influencers.

This is the wrong mindset to have.

Digital content creators and influencers are just like anybody else in the world – they want to earn money according to the work that they do.

Contrary to popular opinion, digital influencers put a lot of work and investment into their content.

When you properly compensate influencers based on their rate and what content they’re producing, then you will not only get better content for your business, but you’ll gain loyalty from these influencers for future campaigns.

Not putting enough trust into influencers and their content creation skills.

Lastly, many marketers just don’t trust influencers.

Many still see them as young kids with a simple hobby of taking photos, streaming videos or putting up fun things on Twitter.

However, today’s influencers are business people.

They are creating content because they love the work that they do and no matter their age, are going to be professional when doing it.

Bottom Line

If you put trust in your influencers, you are going to have a much easier time generating great content and bringing more customers to buy your products.

If you’ve noticed that you or your marketing team are making these top mistakes in influencer marketing, then it’s time to take charge and change things for the better.

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