On November 25th, 2016 by Daniel Elmleh

How Donald Trump Has Become the First Influencer President

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Articles

Written by: Daniel Elmaleh

Donald John Trump. Love him or hate him, the man is the president-elect and will be inaugurated on January 20, 2017.

 

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Whether you think he’s a narcissist, racist, sexist, or just outright idiotic, you can’t deny the success of his campaign that was filled with outlandish promises, blatant criticism of his competitors, and the numerous tweets similar to watching a train wreck happen right before your eyes: it’s looks horrible, but you want to watch it until the end.

The shocking election results left people wondering how the American people could let this happen to their country. It was a sure thing, with the polls predicting Hillary the victor by having 3.2% more of the votes than Trump.

No matter how you describe it, some serious backlash resonated with Hillary supporters. I have never seen such a more controversial election, and being a 20-something millennial I’ve seen it all! In all seriousness, a cohort effect has been developed that can only be described for the U.S. as an eye-opener - Donald Trump is your president, and is going to be for 4 years.

When it comes to online reactions, the opinions you’ll see the most are those who have massive followings - influencers. They are no strangers when it comes to politics, with the majority I’ve seen supporting the democrats. Remember, these people have thousands of followers and have a direct interaction with their fans through their social channels.

 

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A surprise to me was when one influencer I chatted with gave her opinion on the election with my table at an Indian restaurant - because that’s where I like to discuss politics. Her enthusiasm for Trump had thrown me for a loop because millennials were all over Hillary and her ‘dabs’ - Google it. Personally, I’m still waiting for the day Kanye West runs for office. #Kanye2020

On the topic of influencers, what if I told you that Trump is the first influencer president of the United States. Crazy, I know, but let me try and break this down.

 

Earned media

Here’s where Trump really shined for the majority of his campaign. Before politics, Trump had established himself as a celebrity mogul, billionaire playboy, and was known from the catchphrase ‘You’re fired!’

Trump was a dominant contender in the election from the start. Looking at a 12-month trailing period, Trump posted a $4.96 billion in earned media --- By comparison, Clinton was at $3.24 billion.

Securing this social space through digital media, you couldn’t surf the internet without seeing a headline about Trump, amassing $295.7 million in online media news in the month of October alone. The point being, Trump’s campaign team did a phenomenal job on generating buzz without spending a dime.

 

Social Media

I think I am in love with Donald Trump’s twitter page. Who else wouldn’t sit and wait for his next tweet about building a wall on the Mexican border? Or reading about ‘crooked Hillary’? The most recent of these was the claim that the cast of Hamilton was ‘harassing’ the VP-elect, Mike Pence.

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Now suspend your judgement a little bit here. There’s a level of authenticity that emanates from these outlandish comments. Here is a man who is soon going to be the president of the United States, but he acts like a human being. Something you can’t argue is that no other candidate made the same connection with the community on social media like Donald Trump did - even if it was for attention.

A YouTube channel has now been created to address the transition and plans for 2017. Donald Trump has personally spoken out his plans to change policies to make America great again, right to the millions of people on YouTube.

It's crazy to think about the president - the honor granted to the person voted in by the majority of the American population - is on his phone at 2 in the morning having a twitter war with Jon Stewart, Alec Baldwin, George Bush, or even a writer from Modern Family. People started following him because they either agreed with what he said, or they wanted to laugh at the next allegation. In the end, he picked up a huge following (or as Trump would say, 'Yuge'), and I genuinely believe this is one of the major reasons Trump picked up the victory.

 

On November 16th, 2016 by Daniel Elmleh

Snapchat is Changing the Media Landscape

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Clients

This article was originally posted on Media In Canada on November 10th 2016. Authored by Jonathan Davids
 

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Snapchat will likely IPO in the next few months and it’s been pitching ad agencies heavily with new ad products at hefty price tags. With over 100 million daily users and 41% of all U.S. teens logging in each day , it’s no surprise the service has minimum spend requirements well into the six-figures.

The social network has also spawned a cast of content creators, with names like Christine Mi (@Miologie) and Damsel in Dior (@damselindior). These influencers are inventing an art form in the way of 10 second video nuggets, ranging from tips, gags, and moments from their life.

As the company makes its mark on different segments of media, the behaviour of Snapchat and its users is amazingly TV-like. For one thing, the company is building its own version of a broadcast platform, complete with cable channels (i.e. Discover), its own standard ad units. Its users are tuning in for 25 to 30 minutes each day — and growing.

But even with a massive population of users, Snapchat still offers few ad products, limited analytics, and a serious lack of engagement/community tools. For all those brand/media executives looking to capitalize on Snapchat today, here are a few ways to get started.

 

Get Creative with Engagement
 

Because Snapchat lacks any built-in reaction tools, such as likes, shares, and comments — you need to think differently about engagement. One tactic is encouraging users to take screenshots, which is a metric that Snapchat does disclose.

Give users a multiple-choice question and tell them to “screenshot their favorite.” One of our beauty clients used this messaging, generating thousands of user responses.

A food client offered quick dinner ideas — featuring their products — with the full recipe appearing at the end. Users were instructed to screenshot the recipe, providing plenty of data on engagement. Furthermore, because the recipe came towards the end of the story, the time-spent was quite high.

And what do people do with screenshots? They share.

 

Focus on Quantity over Quality
 

This one might seem a little counter intuitive, and on any other platform it would be. But Snapchat actually puts a premium on frequency, over anything.

That’s not to say the content should be boring or lack thoughtfulness, but the behaviour of a Snapchat user is quick and raw. If they wanted to browse glossy product shots, they wouldn’t go to Snapchat. They’re looking for quick hits of entertainment — and you’d better give it to them.

Every consumer brand should be building their following on Snapchat right now, for one simple reason: it’s only going to get more crowded. Snapchat users are thirsting for more content, with the average user plowing through over 150 pieces of content daily.

We advise clients to share behind the scenes access, tips and tricks on product usage, and what’s happening around the office. You could even hand control of the account to your most loyal customers for a day at a time.

 

Experiment with Snapchat Influencers

Many campaigns that Influicity runs includes a Snapchat add-on. That could mean having the same YouTube and Instagram influencers, posting their content on Snapchat. It could also mean a devoted Snapchat content offering. Or a hybrid of both.

Aside from the extra eyeballs on your content, getting Snapchatters involved today gives the organization time to fail, learn, and get it right moving forward.

Be sure to request screenshots of the Snapchatter’s analytics in the hours following the post. Intervals of 1 hour, 10 hours, and 24 hours would make sense. Also be sure that you (or whomever is representing the brand) is following the Snapchat influencer, to view and verify the post.

 

On October 19th, 2016 by Daniel Elmleh

What is the Value of a Follower?

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Clients

This column was originally published on MediaInCanada.com, October 2016.

 

ValueofaFollower_Cover

 

Amid the noise surrounding the US presidential campaign, Adweek recently published a story that should catch any marketers’ attention. More than a third of Trump's and Clinton's Twitter followers are reportedly fake, according to a study released by ad-fraud detection company eZanga . The study went on to investigate the accounts of Barack Obama and Sarah Palin, finding a surprisingly high number of bot accounts.

Follower fraud is clearly an issue, but even when the followers are real, assessing their value can be quite difficult. Some people manipulate platforms to give the perception of popularity. Similar to how website operators would intentionally fool search engines in the early 2000’s, new tactics are being adopted by a generation, trying to boost their numbers in a big way.

Brands and media buyers alike have taken notice, and we’ve been hearing a lot questions on this topic. With so many great, authentic influencer channels out there, how can a media buyer ensure they’re getting real quality and not fictional followers?

 

Engagement Matters
 
The rate at which viewers react to a piece of content on social media, such as liking a photo or commenting on a video, is the most telling sign of follower value.

As a baseline, an advertiser can use 2% as a minimum reasonable engagement rate. For every 100 views, at least 2 viewers should be interested enough to react. Anything less should raise a red flag.

According to Daniel Mekinda who runs The Story Lab within Dentsu Aegis, marketers should look beyond the top line numbers and instead focus on something more meaningful.

“Are numbers the sole qualification of an influencer. The answer is definitely no. We’re looking at a mix of their authenticity, depth, and their overall connection with the product,” he says.

Marketers should also be aware that low engagement doesn’t necessarily mean bad quality - it’s only one signal. Certain categories have notoriously low engagement rates, like photography. Technology and gadgets, which attract a tech-savvy viewer, tend to have much higher engagement rates.

 

Beware of Huge Follower Swings
 
When an influencer experiences large swings in their follower numbers, specifically when they gain and then lose followers at an alarming clip, that could be a sign that they’re buying followers.

The reason? Follower farms pay individuals to follow certain accounts, but there is no requirement to remain a follower for very long. After a day or two, the numbers fall off a cliff.

The critical exception here would be an account that is gaining in popularity. For example, the account for iJustine shows an increase of 155,432 followers the last 90 days. For a channel of 3 million subscribers, this number is not surprising.

 

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A Deeper Look at the Numbers
 
While the eZanga study is fairly recent, the problem is not a new one. Last year, a study was commissioned on how many fake Twitter followers exist on the accounts of top music celebs. The results, which shocked many industry observers, indicated a range of 55% - 67% of all Twitter followers on these accounts are actually fake.

“Now that the issue of fraud is coming to light, we are more critical of reported numbers,” says Jodi Brown who heads MediaCom Canada’s Beyond Advertising division.

Marketers should be cautious when approaching influencers with whom they have not worked in the past. Third party verification is essential.

 

On September 14th, 2016 by Daniel Elmleh

Making Sense of Influencer Pricing

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Uncategorized

Outdoor portrait of modern young man with mobile phone in the street.

 

Influencer marketing is one of those buzzwords that has picked up a lot of steam over the last couple years. As with any new ad vehicle, there is a good deal of mystery around metrics, benchmarks and inventory selection. Advertising Standards Canada even announced recently that it would be cracking down on brands that lack proper disclosure alongside influencer promotions.

I wanted to kick off this column with the question that brands ask me most of all: pricing. What are we supposed to pay for these people?

In the words of one anonymous social media exec, “we threw too much money at them and did it too quickly. So in 2014, they were making $500 to show up and take some photos. Then it became $1,500. Now it’s hundreds of thousands of dollars.” This sentiment is shared by many industry observers.

Marketers are now beginning to place rigid, quantitative metrics around influencer ROI. Without any fancy algorithms, there are some basic calculations every marketer should make.

 

Subscriber-to-engagement ratio

Many marketers will look at an influencer’s total subscriber count and make a quick judgement call. In fact, not all subscribers are created equal. The more telling number is average views per video (on YouTube), average likes per post (on Instagram), and average number of comments per post. Furthermore, are the comments timely and relevant? These are critical ratios to investigate, beyond top line numbers. (Tip: Very low subscriber to engagement ratios could point to subscriber fraud.)

 

Established media benchmarks

With decades of knowledge on CPMs for TV, radio, print and digital, any savvy marketer can engineer a reasonable rate card. For a YouTube comparison, simply look at what you would pay for a product placement on TV. Calculate the reach and factor in creative costs (if the influencer is doing their own production). The resulting formula might look like this:

500,000 (subscribers) x $19 (CPM) / 1,000 = $9,500

+ $1,500 (Creative, assuming there is some workload involved)

= $11,000

So in the example above, we might pay that influencer $11,000 for a product placement within a YouTube video. On Instagram, use a glossy magazine as the comparable.

 

Category density

Certain subject categories have a large population of influencers, like beauty or gadgets, while other categories have a much more narrow selection. In Canada, we have found that French-speaking Canadian influencers, with a sizeable reach, demand a premium. Across Europe, we are seeing demand for entertainment and technology. In the US, Influicity is seeing a spike for influencers who reach coastal cities. We see category-specific demand in Australia and various parts of Asia.

 

Offline celebrity

An influencer’s mainstream credibility will certainly affect their price tag. Does the influencer regularly appear on TV? Are they a well-known author? Did they star in a reality show? The lines are blurring between mainstream celebrities and social/digital influencers with some of today’s biggest celebrities having gotten their start on social. Marketers must account for the halo affect of a certain influencer’s endorsement.

 

On August 26th, 2016 by Daniel Elmleh

Scott Lipps Discusses the Importance of Influencers and How they are Shifting the Modelling Industry

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Influicity caught up with Scott Lipps, the founder and CEO of One Management. The NYC-based modelling agency works with stars such as Nicky Minaj, A$AP Rocky, and Steve Aoki. In 2014, One Management launched its One.1K division, linking talented individuals to brands via social media. Today, they continue to assert themselves as an industry leader in digital media.

We talked to Scott about the industry’s evolution, what magazines must do to survive, and why he going all in on influencers.

 

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The following is an excerpt summary of an interview with Scott Lipps as told to Influicity:

 

One Management was founded in 2001. In what way has the modelling industry changed since you first started?

In this day and age, more modelling deals have become strictly digital. To help shift our focus on social media, we created our ONE.1k division to help merge social media with fashion. The digital space is a relatively new platform and still evolving. It’s still the wild west, where everyone is still trying to figure out their structure and engagement strategies.

 

Given your interest in influencer marketing, do you think scouting will start to happen more on social media platforms?

Right now we are really active on social media and scout organically. It’s more convenient to discover models on Instagram instead of travelling to Sweden, let’s say, and finding talent there. Right now, I would say about 5-10% of our talent stems from social media.

 

How important is it for models up and coming today, to have a strong social media audience?

It’s very important nowadays in this fast-paced environment and also goes into my last point. We have 2 schools of thought. First, there’s buying people that have a small following on Instagram, and building up their reputation through the ranks. Then there’s the people that have a massive following, which is more expensive for us but there’s a lot more reach.

 

What do traditional magazines need to do to compete with Instagram and Snapchat?

Right now it’s tough, but I think magazines should adopt a subscription based service similar to Spotify where, for example, if a customer pays $10 a month they have access to all the up-to-date content. It’s a big shift because this was never a factor a few years ago. Some models wouldn’t want to participate in any digital photo shoots and stick to magazines. Now that the digital space is becoming more of a norm, models are doing photo shoots for online space.

 

Where do you see the modelling industry in 10 years? Will it be fundamentally shifted by social media?

I think the modelling industry has already been shifted by social media and it’s continuing to evolve. Magazines are constructing their content more and more for digital sources and, in 10 years, I believe it’ll be more common. A lot of these viral stars you see on Instagram have attracted magazine publishers for photo shoots. We used to see only celebrities being sought out to be on the cover of Vogue, for example. Now these influencers have emerged and have slowly brought out a more competitive nature in the industry.

 

What advice would give today to someone trying to break into the modelling world?

It’s all about the hustle. The ones that hustle are the ones that do well. It’s like anything: if you’re hungry and want to succeed, you will succeed.

 

On August 8th, 2016 by Daniel Elmleh

3 Impressive Facts You Should Know About Influencer Marketing

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I was recently talking to a colleague about clients she’s worked with. She told me she spoke with an agency that was resistant to the idea of collaborating with influencers. They would say things like ‘Why do I need to pay this person? They aren’t a famous star so why should I waste money on them?’ I mean, why would you pay someone money who has over 500,000 followers on Instagram, engages with their community, and brings a higher ROI for you company? But I digress.

According to eMarketer, digital ad spending will surpass TV ad spending by around $5 billion in 2017. With the shift into the digital space, a lot more businesses are turning their attention to various social media platforms. However, the shift has left many companies uneducated in how to properly implement a social media strategy. As a wise person once said, ‘Change is nature, the part we can influence. And it all starts when we decide.’ Actually, that’s a quote from the movie Ratatouille. If there’s anything we can learn from Remy the rat it’s that a little can go a long way, and to build an influencer marketing campaign you should know why it’s the next big shift in marketing.

 

Consumers Trust Influencers on Social Media More Than Ever

Influencers target a niche segment and have an understanding of what the community that they’ve built likes to see, hear and feel. When a YouTuber promotes a product to all their fans, the community will say ‘well since they’re using it, the product must be good!’ According to a joint study by Twitter and analytics firm Annalect, around 40 percent of respondents said they've purchased an item online after seeing it used by an influencer on Instagram, Twitter, Vine or YouTube. Also, 20 percent of respondents said they shared something they saw from an influencer, while one-third of millennials say they follow a creator on Twitter or Vine.

YouTubers engage with their community in both direct and indirect ways. The latter is about content creation. An influencer makes content on social media based on what they want to post. For instance, if an influencer loves to travel they would post their recent trip to Europe on their Instagram. People seek content they can relate to and view this content to comment on how it speaks to them, which brings me to the next point. When an influencer speaks with their community, they break a lingering boundary of being a poster or an influencer. Making content isn’t enough. When they engage with their audience they become more relatable, more appealing, and more active.

 

Companies Receive a Higher ROI From Influencer Marketing

You could pay influencers to promote your product, but how successful was the campaign that you were running? Defining and measuring your ROI is a critical step in evaluating your influencer investment. On average, marketers who implemented an Influencer Marketing program in 2014 received $6.85 in earned media value for every $1.00 of paid media, according to the report, and that number continues to go up. That’s why they have a big presence on social media platforms. Nielsen reports that 84% of people who trust and rely on recommendations from people they know. Influencer marketing generates word-of-mouth, and using influencers can impact the buzz your product receives.

 

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Digital Ads Are Being Ignored

According to a 2013 study by Infolinks, 86% of consumers suffer from banner blindness. This means that consumers, whether they know it or not, are ignoring banner ads that appear on websites such as Facebook. What makes matters worse ads are receiving a lower click-through rate because they are seen as boring, intrusive, and irrelevant. AdBlock Plus, the most popular ad blocking extensions in browsers, has been downloaded over 500 million times.

TrackMaven performed a study that stated while the output of content per brand increased by 78%, content engagement decreased by 60%. Which means content marketing strategies don’t work without proper execution. It doesn’t matter how much money you segment to digital marketing. Advertisements need to be more engaging to be more successful. Building engagement creates loyalty because the need for inclusion for consumers is necessary in building brand loyalty. The beauty about working with micro-influencers is that they promote their product without all the noise. People seek content to entertain them and to distract them. When a company gives their product to a number of influencers, they are cleverly avoiding the traffic of ad space.

 

Engagement is key. Micro-Influencers provide a way to cut through all the noise of digital ads and engage with their community. Markiplier, A gamer on YouTube who has amassed a following of 14 million subscribers, is a good example of how an influencer builds trust with their community. Back in February 2015, Markiplier held a charity livestream on Twitch to help raise money for the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.

His goal was to raise $50,000, but ended up surpassing that mark by raising over $75,000. Today, he continues to raise money for a various number of charities. The way Markiplier is able to build trust with his community is outstanding. Not only does he entertain the community with his commentary, but he shows compassion and instills trust by creating a link between his image and his audience. This YouTuber is a fantastic example of how a community builds trust with the influencer.


 

On July 27th, 2016 by Daniel Elmleh

4 Headlines Every Marketer Should Read

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business-man-1031755_960_720Did this headline catch your eye?

 

There’s a reason why you’re here. Maybe to read some articles you missed. Maybe you are a start-up and want to know crucial information about influencer marketing. Maybe you’re not even reading this and checking the headlines below. Whatever the case, you’re striving for knowledge about the industry and how to improve your internal structuring of influencer marketing.

There are many articles on the internet that deal with the subject. Whether they are discussing current trends of the industry, or contain useful information on the topic, the internet is filled with various pieces of data that can aid you in developing a strategy for this relatively new medium. Here is a list of 4 headlines everyone should glance at.

 

1. What is Influence Marketing?

You may be saying to yourself right now ‘I know what Influencer Marketing is, so why should I read this?’ Even if you think you have a good grasp on the topic, it’s never a bad idea to relearn any information. Many different people have different ways of approaching this relatively new medium, and extracting the points that you feel would add value to your company may be in this article.

This article talks about what Influencer Marketing is and how effective it can be. Forbes provides statistics on how the level of engagement has effectively increased the level of brand awareness, sales leads, and customer loyalty. A quick-start guide is included on how to get started in the industry by talking about budgeting, using online tools, and finding the right influencers for your brand. The most important issue this article addresses is how to engage the right audience based on the influencers you choose.

 

2. How Influencer Marketing Differs from Celebrity Endorsement

The comparison can already be made: both influencers and celebrities can endorse a company to sell a product. In conclusion, Influencer Marketing equals Celebrity Endorsement. That’s it! Problem solved!

Wrong. As much as you think influencer marketing mimics the traits of celebrity endorsement, there are too many differences to classify them in the same category. We need to look at the title of this article: influencer marketing differs from celebrity endorsement. Convince & Convert has created a great compare and contrast article between the two schools of thought. It gives the reader an idea regarding the amount of variety an influencer and how versatile they can be.

 

3. Users Trust Influencers Nearly as Much as Their Friends

Before we purchase a product we want to see reviews about the product. Does it work properly? Is it expensive? How long does it work for? Does it look cool? All these questions can be answered by the power of Google. We type the product name into the search bar and the information we sought out comes to us. Rating systems on websites, such as Amazon, give us a limited view on customer experiences and help validate our purchase decision.

That’s where influencers come in. Someone may be purchasing your product and not your competitor’s because your target market is listening to the key influencer showing off your latest gadget. Your consumers’ purchasing behaviour can come from observing their activity on social media. As this article from AdWeek states, because the amount of viewers on social media has been rising, more influencers are emerging.

 

4. The Internet’s top 100 influencers (and you don’t know half of them)

If you want to market your product within a specific category, like gaming or health, it is important to know who the biggest players are. Knowing these influencers benefits your knowledge on what people are watching and the value these people bring to their platforms.

This list specifically focuses on the influencer engagement levels and how they have impacted their communities. “[Looking at engagement] tells us that there are many more amazing impactful influencers than people may have thought. That’s why the influencer space is different and why tech is needed to make these determinations,” said Dave Rosner, EVP of marketing at Zefr. This list segments influencers into five categories: Digital A-Listers, Gaming, Kids & Toys, Spanish Language, and Best All Around.

 

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