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Inside the World of Influence

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Three Ways Social Influencers Can Start Using Video

[By: Zbigniew Barwicz] [AdWeek] [Read More]

Credit: Instagram.com/bethanynoelm

Credit: Instagram.com/bethanynoelm

It’s no secret that video is a growing medium. In fact, one-third of all online activity is spent watching video. Social feeds are packed with clips of cats, stunts and makeup tutorials. In the next four years, spend on mobile video is set to grow by 700 percent—and it’s making influencers like yourself rethink your content strategy.

With Facebook users watching more than 100 million hours of videos each day, you need a way to step up the game and stay relevant in crowded social feeds. Here are a few ways to get over the intimidation factor and use video to gain more fans and advertising dollars.

Go for a test drive

A camera in video-recording mode is much different than one snapping photos. One of the biggest issues with video that many influencers discover is that they’re camera-shy. If you’re new to the medium, you will need to play around with video to find an onscreen personality that reflects your brand.

Start small with something familiar. For example, grab an old product you’ve previously covered and verbally go through the review as the content for the first video. Because you already know the ins and outs of an old post, it’ll be easier to talk about it on camera.

Given that many applications give users the ability to cut and revise clips, feel free to take as many shots as needed and piece it together afterward, and take comfort that you don’t have to publicly share test videos.

Platforms like YouTube and dubdub allow users to save their videos as private. This gives you the option to share the link directly with a small group of people to get feedback, instead of enabling strangers to search for it with a few keywords.

It can be hard to start, but the key is not to overthink it. Try, learn, try again. You went through the same process honing your craft for writing and shooting photos, so you will also need to do it for video. Don’t let your first efforts sour you. You will get better.

Diversity differentiates you

Some of the most popular YouTube channels feature a talking head. The format usually starts with the online celebrity sharing a funny experience or debating current news onscreen, peppered with scene cuts and ending with a call to action such as, “If you like this video, click here to check out more,” or, “Love this? Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel for more.”

While the format is well-received, it may not work for everyone. Videos on Facebook, Instagram and Vine include diverse styles ranging from Hyperlapse cooking videos to a compilation of the best pet clips. This means you can develop a presentation that works best for you and add in your signature flare.

It is that unique signature that attracts an audience, not following the crowd. Do you really want to compete with a crowd?

Be true to the brand–and your brand

Authenticity is a key benchmark. Your audience can tell when you actually love the brand you’re talking about–and when you don’t. That’s all about authenticity and credibility. Without those, you’ll never grow a following.

Most influencers focus on a specific topic or area they’re comfortable with, like parenting, tech or fashion. Since you’re already doing product reviews or sharing tips with photos and detailed captions, it’s easy to turn a 300-word blog post into a short, digestible 60-second video. The same can be done with fashion shoots, diaries of travel adventures and homemade recipes.

This conversion helps you stay true to your digital persona and doesn’t alienate loyal fans with an unexpected topic. Both advertisers and fans expect a certain level of authenticity from their favorite influencers, so it’s important to remain on brand.

Not only can you say more with video, but video content is typically more engaging and creates a deeper audience connection.

There is also the issue of timely content. Typically, it takes a few days to document travels or create a post. With the right mobile video tools, you can record, edit and publish quality video content across all social channels, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, within minutes of the experience. More immediate and timely content means more fans and followers, which ultimately attracts the eyes of advertisers.

Video is the next frontier. Considering the fact that social video generates 1,200 percent more shares than text and images, it’s a crucial medium for growing bloggers like yourself. By starting with a few test videos, finding your own voice and staying true to the brand, you can catapult your audience reach and attract the attention of key brands and advertisers.

 

 

 

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How to Create a Killer Influencer Marketing RFP

[By: Maria Sipka] [Business 2 Community] [Read More]

Credit: Instagram.com/marianna_hewitt 

Credit: Instagram.com/marianna_hewitt 

Influencer marketing is not a passing fad – According to Gartner Research, 35% of marketers use it today and another 28% plan to launch influencer marketing programs in the next year. As a result, brands and agencies are increasingly looking to partner with influencer marketing vendors that help automate the most time consuming aspects of the practice.

However, a majority of the RFPs sent to influencer marketing vendors are master documents that brands and agencies give to all of their potential media partners. While this is the easiest approach, the influencer marketing partner is left to decipher where and how influencer marketing fits into an RFP that’s asking the wrong questions.

Creating an RFP specifically for influencer marketing helps both the client and provider align on the client’s objectives and tailor their response in a way that is clear, meaningful, and impactful.

While each RFP will differ by brand, the ideal influencer marketing RFP should include the following:

Program Overview – The introduction should provide a quick snapshot into who the brand is – its mission, values, purpose, positioning, voice, tone, look and feel – so potential partners have a clear idea of what their influencers need to embody. Identify why the brand is launching an influencer marketing program and how an influencer marketing partner fits into the overall equation – is the brand looking for a self-service platform to support an existing team’s efforts or a turnkey solution provider to manage the entire process?

Target Audience – Identify the brand’s target audience, but think beyond the traditional demographics and look to include consumer interests, passions, and daily activities. Does the brand want to reach Millennial parents, pet owners, budding chefs, aspiring designers, or adventure seekers? It’s also important to understand the influencers’ communities. Just because an influencer fits your target audience, it doesn’t automatically mean their followers do.

Statement of Purpose/Opportunity – This section should be the meatiest portion of the RFP. First, identify the program’s goals, whether it’s driving sales, increasing conversions, generating traffic, or shifting consumer perceptions. Second, determine the type of influencer the brand wants to work with (power-middle, micro, or celebrity/top-tier) and the influencers’ role in achieving those goals. Will they play the primary role in a standalone influencer program designed to create evergreen content or will they support a larger media strategy? Finally, establish the program’s timeline (seasonal, yearly, or a custom duration) and preferred geography (local, regional, or national).

Scope of Work/Responsibilities – In this section, outline the influencers’ specific deliverables and tasks. Is the brand looking for rich storytelling, DIY videos, product photography, or recipes? Do they want influencers to drive their audiences to landing pages where they can learn more about the product, download coupons, or sign up for giveaways and sweepstakes? Include any specific messaging requirements, but also remember that influencer marketing is most effective when influencers create content in their own words. Aim to create content that reflects unique and authentic experiences with the product.

KPIs/Measurement – How will the brand measure the effectiveness of the program? KPIs will differ depending on the program’s goals, but common influencer marketing metrics include reach, engagement, quality and quantity of content, traffic, and conversions (sales, downloads, or sign-ups). However, beware of the influencers whose follower counts seem too good to be true. In an effort to attract more sponsorship opportunities, many influencers buy fake followers, boosting their follower count with dummy or inactive accounts. An effective influencer marketing program measures how influencers move their audiences through the purchase funnel, tracking program performance by engagement, clicks, and conversions instead of potential reach.

Background – The background section should provide an overview that details the brand’s experience with influencer marketing. Will this program be their first foray into influencer marketing or has the brand participated in influencer marketing programs in the past? If it is not the first influencer marketing program, include what went well or and didn’t go well in previous programs.

Content/Assets Provided – List the content or assets the brand will provide for the program. Common assets include the brand’s logo, promotional images, videos, event details, coupon access codes, giveaway rules, and landing pages.

Submission Requirements – Provide the specific requirements or deliverables needed for submission. In addition to a detailed proposal that addresses the RFP’s requests, you should also request case studies from relevant past programs, sample influencer lists, and pricing.

Timeline – Lay out the evaluation period including the RFP release date, the RFP response due date, and the final vendor selection date.

Evaluation Criteria – Include the evaluation criteria the brand will use to make a final decision.

More than one-fifth of brand activation spend in the US is on influencer marketing. Before beginning a search for the right influencer marketing partner, take the time to develop an RFP that will return a list of vendors primed to make your program a success.

Click here to download a sample influencer marketing RFP.


 

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7 Influencer Marketing Tips for Mobile Games Publishers

[By: Georg Broxtermann] [Pocket Gamer] [Read More]

Popular Gamer Lia  Credit: Instagram.com/sssniperwolf

Popular Gamer Lia  Credit: Instagram.com/sssniperwolf

Influencer marketing seems to be the cure these days with indie devs and major publishers chasing after YouTube personalities, Twitch streamers, Instagrammers and Snapchat celebrities to promote their latest game.

Everybody is talking about the big success stories: what happens when Felix Kjellberg aka PewDiePie does a Let's Play of his latest mobile game and ask his 48 million YouTube subscribers to download the game?

The game skyrockets to the top of the App Store of course. But for every best practice case there are uncountable failed attempts:

  • Stories of a streamer’s audience or the streamer himself mocking the promoted game
  • Influencers not delivering a video in time for a game’s release or backing down from their contract altogether at the very last moment
  • The lack of (relevant) traffic or installs after a supposedly successful campaign.

In order to not have a bad (first) experience with influencer marketing, have a look at this list of things we’ve learned to avoid when spending money on influencer marketing:

1. Don’t just go for the biggest stars

It may seem desirable to attach your brand only to the big names, and you might feel it’s time-saving and thus worthwhile to only work with few big influencers instead of dozens of smaller ones.

Aim for upcoming stars as they are easier to reach out to and probably are more loyal to your cause.

But remember: The bigger the star, the harder the competition for his or her attention. They will most likely be a lot more jaded and more expensive. Aim for upcoming stars as they are easier to reach out to and probably are more loyal to your cause.

Also, the better you hit a niche the better the resulting user quality will be. An additional upside to this approach is that if you do not put all eggs in one basket, it won’t hurt your campaign if a single influencer underperforms.

2. Try to pay performance-based and get video views guaranteed

Most influencer superstars work on a fixed price basis for Let's Plays and other types of integrated advertising. But the more you approach smaller ones or go into your niche, you get guarantees for your money.

One of the more accepted models by influencers are payments on a CPM-basis for Youtube video views, and most influencers are no fans of getting paid on a CPI basis.

3. Take influencers seriously

They may not always answer your emails as readily and in a manner you might be used to - but that doesn’t mean they aren’t professionals.

Always keep in mind, these guys and gals command huge followings, they are the new stars on the web and they want to be treated accordingly.

On the other side, you are looking for a business partner and not to befriend an internet star. Be professional in your approach and your offer and you can demand the same in return.

Influencers act like journalists: You provide information and access to your game but you can’t control what they do with it.

Also keep in mind that premium currency in your game is not a very sexy payment method, so don’t offer it. You want to get in front of their audience, that’s a service with a price.

Be prepared to pay a fair price and offer non-standard extras: Trips to foreign countries, cool events, collector’s stuff, access to development, voicing a character in your game etc.

4. Give up control – at least some

Influencers act like journalists: You provide information and access to your game but you can’t control what they do with it. Of course, you provide proper briefings and materials, but it is the influencer’s creative freedom bringing it to life and making it appealing to their audience.

There are a number of contracts between games companies and influencers that leaked to the public and tarnished the reputations of both sides: Influencers acting like PR and selling out to their fans; companies acting like they had no faith in their game’s quality.

Let the influencers do what they think is best. There’s a reason why they command a million of fans and don’t.

5. Play by the rules

While we’re at it: Make sure the influencer discloses the sponsorship. It’s not only the proper thing to do, it’s the lawful thing to do as both sides can be prosecuted for giving/taking money to produce content and presenting it as independent opinion.

Also note that the disclosure has to be placed directly within the video, either as text overlay or verbally stated by the influencer.

Consumer protection agencies such as the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) stated it is not enough to disclose the video's sponsored status under YouTube's "Show More" section as the disclaimer would not be visible on videos watched through Twitter, Facebook, or other social media sources.

6. Make sure it’s a match

Some influencers are very focused on a specific game or genre. If a channel is known for great League Of Legends tutorials or Minecraft love stories, it is probably not the best pick for your Asia grinder.

Influencer campaigns are not well suited for “trial runs”. You are dealing with humans, not online advertising platforms.

Try to find someone who can convincingly showcase your game and who has a fitting taste.

However, if a channel has never played something within your game’s genre that doesn’t have to be a red flag. Think about yourself: Do you only play one game? Probably not and so do most gamers.

While the channel might be very narrow, the audience will have more diverse taste. In the end it all comes down to: “Is the channel owner believable when he expresses interest in a new game?".

7. Only do it if you mean it

Influencer campaigns are not well suited for “trial runs”. You are dealing with humans, not online advertising platforms.

If you start a campaign it cannot be paused, halted or canceled halfway through because you're not 100% satisfied with the results. It’s also a lot more time consuming than to set up an ad campaign in Facebook’s Power Editor.

Be prepared to invest quite a lot of time and effort to set up an influencer campaign properly, or alternatively work with someone who can handle it for you.

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Top 5 Most Influential Female Saudi Arabia Creators on YouTube

[By: Carla Marshall] [Tubular Insider] [Read More]

Credit: Njoud Al Shammari

Credit: Njoud Al Shammari

Since its launch in 2005, YouTube has truly become a vehicle for creators from all over the world to publish engaging, entertaining, and informative content, express their opinions, and reach an audience that can stretch far beyond national borders. In particular, across the Middle East and North Africa, video content uploaded by female-led channels in the Middle East and North Africa, has seen a year-on-year growth of 50%. Overall, Saudi Arabia has the global highest YouTube watch time per capita, and new data from online video intelligence company Tubular Labs confirms the most influential female YouTube creators in Saudi Arabia in the last 90 days.

The female creators listed below scored the highest on the Tubular Influencer Score (TIS). This measurement takes 10 different metrics into account when generating the rankings, which include audience engagement, creator reach, number of subscribers, and channel activity. Denis Crushell, VP of Europe at Tubular Labs confirmed that the video content created by these top female Saudi YouTubers is 5x more engaging than the average video. Diana Baddar, Head of YouTube Partnerships in the Middle East and North Africa, also stated that:

“I am happy to see these women’s hard work recognized by hard data. Each of these creators continue to make high-quality content that is not only useful but is also an expression of their creativity. They are telling their own stories to their audience and the world, and will continue to utilize YouTube’s reach to more than 1 billion daily users to grow their channels”.

In October, YouTube launched Batala, a dedicated channel which features the top female creators from the Middle East and North Africa, highlighting the work of more than 100 women from across the region. All five channels in the Tubular Labs list are on Batala, along with a wealth of others, and aims to extend the reach of these influential vloggers. Let's take a look at the 5 creators highlighted, along with their most watched video.

Top 5 Female YouTubers: Saudi Arabia

#1 Njoud Al Shammari: Njoud, a 21-year old lifestyle vlogger, has been active on YouTube since June 2015. She has built up a following of over 900K subscribers, and generated over 53M views. She uploads a range of video content, including health and beauty tutorials, and comedy skits. Her most viewed video has attracted 1.6M views to date:

#2 Asrar Arif:  Asrar set up her YouTube channel in 2012, and despite never showing her face on video, she has generated over 45M views, and has a loyal following of over 500K subscribers. She uploads challenges, beauty tips, travel advice, along with recipes and other food-based content. Her most popular video has attracted 3.6M views:
 

#3 Amal Elmziryahi: Amal is based in Morocco, making her the first non-Saudi to make the list. Her YouTube channel revolves around food, with her uploads featuring Middle Eastern and Western recipes. Her channel has generated 45M views, and 260K subscribers, and her most popular video, with 4.2M views, is this walkthrough for delicious crepes:

#4 Hessa Al Awad: Hessa, or MivaFlowers as her YouTube channel is better known as, is a huge fan of Japanese culture. The 24-year old Saudi beauty creator uploads 3 to 4 videos a week around beauty tips and tutorials, as well as lifestyle advice. Like Asrar Arif, Hessa doesn't reveal her face on camera, but has still built up a following of 470K subscribers, and generated nearly 61M views. Her most popular video is a look into her bag, which attracted 3.6M views:

 

#5 Al Juhara Sajer: With over 48M views, and 425K subscribers, Juhara, or JaySajer as she's known on her channel, has been vlogging since 2012. The 25 year old from Saudi uploads videos about travel, challenges, and lifestyle advice, and has also been featured in BuzzFeed as a YouTuber to watch. Her most popular video, generating 3.7M views, is this quick hairstyle tip from 2012:
 

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