Now Is The Ideal Time To Invest In Influencers

Coronavirus has thrown the ad industry in disarray.

Offices are closed and staff working from home. Productions are being postponed or canceled. Marketing budgets are being slashed. The traditional way of doing things is over. 

Despite a few bad apples, this is the perfect time to be investing in influencer marketing. Influencers are effective, efficient, nimble, and drive results. 

Influencers drive measurable ROI. Influencer engagement is multiples higher than most brand content. Brand videos on Facebook have an average watch time of 4.57 seconds, while influencers get 10’s of minutes. According to recent studies influencers are more trusted than celebrities or athletes among Gen Z and Millennials (not to mention far cheaper). Under normal circumstances these are great reasons to work with influencers.

Given today’s landscape, here are a few more reasons to work with influencers:

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The Live-Streaming Boom In China Is Massive

QVC, but with influencers.

It doesn’t sound like a big deal… but it is.

$135 billion dollars (to be exact). That’s how much revenue is expected to be generated in e-commerce sales via livestreams in China this year.

Last year live-streaming was 1 of the top 3 most used tactics used by marketers in China. With Covid19 audiences, competition, and uses have increased.

Alibaba owned ‘Taobao Live’ increased 7X in first-time customers. Pinduoduo’s live-streaming views grew 5x in March (month over month).

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Brands Don’t Dictate The Health Of The Influencer Economy

Wired’s article ‘The Influencer Economy Hurtles Toward Its First Recession’ gets a lot right.

However, it has one major blindspot. 

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YouTube Has Been Building A TikTok Competitor For Some Time

YouTube is working on a TikTok Competitor.

First reported by The Information, the YouTube version of TikTok has been dubbed ‘Shorts’. The TikTok competitor is rumored to live within the existing YouTube app and take advantage of YouTube’s music licensing deals.

This doesn’t come as a total shock. YouTube has been quietly incorporating TikTok style features for some time now. Over the last month or so YouTube’s app has changed features that mirror TikTok in three big ways:

1) Emphasizing categories vs search
2) Curating content experiences
3) Providing content prompts

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Micro-Influencers Are Overrated

When it comes to influencer marketing bigger isn’t better. 

Micro isn’t better. Better is better.

Touted as having higher engagement rates, lower pricing, and more credibility than their ‘macro’ counterparts micro influencers are the hottest category of creator to hire.

This is silly. 

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How Covid-19 Impacted Influencer Marketing In China

China has been the canary in the coal mine for Covid-19.

The impact that the virus outbreak has had on digital and social media behavior in China, likely provides a look into the future of what we can expect here in the states.

People have changed their behaviors worldwide with more time being spent online as people are forced indoors.

Some trends that we’ve seen emerge in China include the following:

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Influencers Say No

Over the last month there have been a flurry of stories denouncing influencers as everything from amoral, ineffective, overrated, and even responsible for one company’s disastrous IPO’s.

Headlines like ‘The Dishonest and Wasteful Practice of Influencer Marketing’ paint influences with a broad brush as money grubbing and eager to take any brand deal coming their way and sell out their audiences along the way.

That’s just not true and doesn’t accurately reflect the majority of my experiences in nearly 15 years of influencer marketing.

Influencers say no and fight for work they believe in.

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The Original Hype House

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Collaboration is, and will always be, a tool to drive growth and build an audience online…  rising tides lifts all boats.

The Hype House is an LA mansion TikTok stars formed in December of last year to live and collaborate. 

These TikTokers are co-creating content, featuring and promoting one another in an effort to cross-promote one another and collectively grow their audiences. The ideal outcome is an ever expanding audience.

Influencer A has X audience and Influencer B has Y audience. The two promote one another to capture both X & Y audiences and (ideally) capture additional followers in the process.

If history is any indication, the Hype House could be the start of a massive business that may change the course of media.

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How The Influencer Ecosystem Evolved in 2019

I recently took a look back at my 2019 predictions for the influencer space.

My thoughts boiled down to two key predictions, They were that creators would:
1) Invest far more in their own brands (beyond outside of ad revenue)
2) Look to build communities independent of social platforms (ie email, etc)

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TWITCH: OVERVIEW OF THE ADVERTISING & INFLUENCER MARKETING BASICS

Twitch, is a massive streaming video platform best known for video game broadcasts. It’s also one of the most buzzed about social networks. 

In this article I plan to provide a ‘Twitch 101’ – covering why Twitch is important for advertisers, how it works, and the advertising opportunities on the platform.

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