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ARE YOU THE NEXT INFLUENCER MESSAGE US ON OUR WHATSAPP

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A decade ago, the influencer marketing arena was limited only to celebrities and a few dedicated bloggers. Now, it seems like we’ve seen social media influencers rise, saturate the market and even get caught up in fraud.

If you’ve started researched on influencer marketing before, you may have found conflicting information, with recommendations that range from you should absolutely be using social influencers or that they’re not necessary for growth.

Influencer marketing strategies are more difficult to navigate than ever as a brand, but we’re here with a guide to making sense of it all.

Read on for our tips to determine if influencer marketing is for you.

What is influencer marketing?

At a fundamental level, influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing that uses endorsements and product mentions from influencers–individuals who have a dedicated social following and are viewed as experts within their niche. Influencer marketing works because of the high amount of trust that social influencers have built up with their following, and recommendations from them serve as a form of social proof to your brand’s potential customers.

The current state of the influencer marketing landscape

Standing out in 2014 on Instagram was easier than today. If you were lucky enough to be featured on Instagram’s featured page or your look was just distinctive enough, then your chances of being tapped as an influencer were high. After enough brand partnerships, some have turned social media influencer marketing into a full-time career.https:

Rosie Clayton’s Instagram feed is filled with colorful dresses and outfits against colorful walls. During a time when VSCO’s muted tone filters were becoming popular, Rosie’s highly saturated photos jumped out. She works with brands around the world, fitting them into her aesthetic.

But things change, right?

We’re influenced by what we see and aesthetics are no different. Bright images are more common now as well as carefully propped up food against interesting backgrounds. When the ‘typical look’ of influencer marketing no longer becomes unique, what comes next?

Taylor Lorenz’s article in The Atlantic forecasts a more ‘authentic’ trend driven by the network’s youngest users that strives to return to what Instagram used to look like when your feed was just friends. Lorenz wrote, “While Millennial influencers hauled DSLR cameras to the beach and mastered photo editing to get the perfect shot, the generation younger than they are largely post directly from their mobile phones.

To be a fashion influencer among this younger demographic, you may no longer need to rely solely on perfectly shot photos. Instead, casual poses and limited editing are now becoming more welcome on the feed.

Keep in mind that the article covered only a subset of influencers: young, Instagram users. If anything, this shift over the last five years should show how influencer marketing’s only constant is change.

Manage influencer campaigns with Sprout Social

From reporting on campaigns and partnerships to managing incoming messages, Sprout can help you manage social influencer campaigns from start to finish.

Use Sprout’s features to identify influencers in your niche, manage outreach, and track the impact of your efforts.

Find out how Sprout Social can help your brand’s influencer marketing efforts with a free 30-day trial.

The value of influencer marketing

While Instagram influencer marketing is a well-known strategy, there are many other networks that are growing for influencers. According to Adweek, the industry is set to reach $10 billion in worth by 2020. Other networks like Snapchat, YouTube and TikTok have their own set of influencers with different demographics.

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Influencer marketing agency Mediakix surveyed marketers at the end of 2018 to see what their feelings on influencers were for the new year.

Of those surveyed, 89% said ROI from influencer marketing was comparable to or better than other networks. The same survey noted that 65% of marketers plan on increasing their budgets for 2019.

And now that you know where we’re at in the industry, let’s examine how to create an influencer strategy.

How to create an influencer marketing strategy

Like any marketing tactic, an influencer program takes deliberate targeting and planning. You won’t find strategic success just by sending free things out to everyone who asks or to your existing friends and acquaintances

1. How to find influencers and what to pay them

Much like any strategy, research is the first step. Choose the network you want to focus on first. You can always expand to other networks later but if you’re just starting out, stick with one. Ideally, your brand should already have a presence on this network or be looking to expand into it. Demographics vary on each network. If you’re unsure of where to begin, our article on social media demographics is a good starting point.

The industry you’re in also matters when you’re planning to implement an influencer marketing strategy. Beauty and fashion brands shine on Instagram and YouTube. The video game industry dominates on Twitch.

During your research phase, look into the type of influencers you’re interested in. Are you going for celebrities with massive followings? Or microinfluencers with less than 2000 followers? Perhaps something in between in the 5–10k follower range is more your preference. Whatever you decide to focus on will determine your budget.

Compensation varies wildly, too, so be sure to look at common rates for those influencer types. Microinfluencers tend to be focused on a few topics and accept products. Some microinfluencers work independently while others may be represented by an agency or network. Whereas, larger accounts and celebrities will need compensation and might even go through a talent agency.

You’ll need to think about the expected ROI of your social influencer marketing campaign: how will you gauge the contributions of influencer posts to your overall marketing goals? One approach might be to compare your expectations for influencers to other firms – look at how you might gauge the budget for a video production firm’s work in creating an ad for you versus an influencer creating a video. It may initially seem like judging the value of influencers is unpredictable, but this type of approach will give you a familiar point of comparison and contrast.

In 2017, Influence.co published the results of their research into Instagram influencer payment. They looked at the average cost per Instagram post and found:

  • The overall average price was $271 per post.
  • The average price for micro-influencers with fewer than 1,000 followers was $83 per post.
  • The average price for influencers with more than 100,000 followers was $763 per post.

Research is key and you’ll find yourself returning to this step often in the process.

2. Set a budget and management strategy

Now that you have some idea of what to pay influencers, you need to create your budget. Be sure to also factor in time for planning, executing and reviewing your influencer program. Running a successful influencer marketing campaign is not a set-it-and-go type of strategy. It’ll involve careful monitoring and follow up.

Unlike a more automated ad strategy, influencers are human and frequently balancing multiple partnerships, so some may fall behind in their commitments to post on time or make errors in your requested tags or calls to action. You’ll need to have the time to be more hands-on with these relationships to cultivate them, and refine your approach through experience about what works and what doesn’t in your niche.https://www.instagram.com/p/BwCwwz4nUS5/embed/captioned/?cr=1&v=12&wp=1142&rd=https%3A%2F%2Fsproutsocial.com&rp=%2Finsights%2Finfluencer-marketing%2F#%7B%22ci%22%3A2%2C%22os%22%3A1640.8950000004552%2C%22ls%22%3A1277.0049999999173%2C%22le%22%3A1429.04499999986%7D

If you have the time and money, consider setting up a formal ambassador program. Fujifilm utilizes its ambassadors in new product launches and in supplementing their content. With a variety of photographers and videographers at their disposal, the company’s able to diversify their feed to showcase what their equipment can do.

For brands that need a wider pool of influencers, hiring an influencer marketing agency who will do the research and coordination for you is a good bet.

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How Basketball Prodigy Khaleel Abdullah leveraged Social Media in His Career

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Who would’ve thought 10 years ago that social media would be such an integral part of the everyday life of a person? Who knew that these platforms would be able to help us order food faster, sell more stuff easier and even connect to people on the other side of the world with just one tap? Such is the reality now in the digital era where everyone is using their social media accounts to gain as much leverage in life. 

For Khaleel Abdullah, being connected to people through social media platforms is an integral part to the success that he is building.

How it all started

Khaleel Abdullah is a 17 year old basketball prodigy that is playing for Flint Hill School with a position of point guard. He was born in Haymarket, VA and has been always active not just academically but also in his community. He has always been a good student putting premium on achieving high grades while still being able to help others by volunteering at his local food bank. His dream has always been to play pro basketball in the future to which he also trains younger kids to learn the game.

Khaleel has always been the kind of person that connects with people around him. And when social media platforms began to rise, he saw the opportunity to be able to connect to more people. He started by making an Instagram account that he would post content regularly. Through consistency and dedication, his personal IG now has gained a total of 66,000 followers while his IG that is focused on his basketball career is currently close to 5,000 followers. Khaleel may have been known first as a basketball player but his popularity came from a different source.

The Platform that made Him famous

From starting his social media journey through Instagram, Khaleel managed to get into a new social media powerhouse which is Tiktok. His fame in that platform all started in March of 2020. He started blowing up when he did a series of videos on body count trend on TV characters. This kind of content was received by the public as something that is funny and amusing at the same time as he guessed how many times that character has slept with someone. During his body count videos, he was able to amass an average of 2 to 4 million views per video. That is not an easy feat as there are alot of trends in Titkok that take a share in the competition but Khaleel was able to pull it off and make it famous. 

He also made a sound go viral which was “Hey Lol”. It is a sound that someone plays to see if their family or friends know the starting sound of a Pornhub video. This tricks them to look where the sound came from which exposes them. This sound was so popular that even Charli D’amelio used it in one of her tiktok videos adding more popularity and traffic to Khaleel’s page. Other news sites like Insider also took notice and made a specific article to explain what Hey Lol is to the public. The sound basically became GLOBAL all thanks to Khaleel’s ingenuity and ability to produce content that connects to people. All of this contributed to the gain of followers that he experienced. Currently he has 1.6million followers on Tiktok and it’s been on a steady increase since he started. 

Right now, Khaleel seeks to expand his platform by starting a youtube account that would enable him to be more creative than before. He has also started selling merch named Infinite Smiles Clothing which sells shirts and hoodies with great designs. His goal this year is to gain more followers and get scholarships for his basketball career. 

Lessons He learned so far

Being a 17 year old with a bright future in basketball and a huge following comes with different responsibilities. Even though Khaleel has been blessed with such a position in life, he still wants to be perceived as a cool and funny guy. A very laid back person that is always working hard on his craft whether it’s on Basketball or on Tiktok.

He also became smarter in his journey to success. He noted that it’s important not to trust everyone you see. You will meet plenty of people in the social media game and many of them will be nice and friendly with you until you are no longer on their level. People should always watch out for themselves and always get their money up.

To learn more about Khaleel Abdullah, head over to his personal Instagram, basketball Instagram account, Snapchat or his Tiktok account. Check also his merch Website: Infinite Smile Clothing

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Get to know upcoming producer “Cash Counta”

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17 year old upcoming producer out of Memphis, TN Corban Reynolds known as “Cash Counta” has been making a lot of noise as of lately. While spending most his life in Memphis he ended up moving to Nashville, TN at 12 years old when his mother tragically passed away. Now a senior in high school “Cash Counta” has been making beats professionally now for 2 years. I got to connect with Cash to ask him a few questions about his career process so far.

What influenced you to jump into producing?

“My whole life I been in church and music has always been apart of me, from playing drums or the piano. I didn’t even know what producing was until my freshman year in highschool. I was in class and my boy “Chris The Six” (producer) was making beats in class, & taught me how to do it, ever since then been doing it at a consitent rate.”

What are some accomplishments you’ve achieved since you’ve started?

“Personally, my name has grown all over Tennessee, not just Nashville. I’ve taught myself how to do everything from engineering to producing. I’ve collabed with some talented artists in Nashville like (Ganz & Lil Queze, Pressure 1K, 4100icy) Memphis rapper, Lil Migo, also reached out to me about beats I also started a clothing line that relates to my music as well”.

If 3 major artists were to hear your beat right now which 3 artists would hop on instantly & why?

 “I love the detroit scene so if anybody were to hear my beats & love them it would be EST Gee. I also like that Atlanta sound, Future would definitely love my beats, and Lil Durk because my favorite beats to make are soothing, melodic beats with depth.”

Who are 3 producers you look up to in the game?

“I look up to Southside for his ethnic and Orchestral type beats, I look up to Wheezy for his versatility in his drum patterns and crazy melodies, and he thinks outside the box. Last but not least most importantly Tay Keith, we from the same place and I see how far he’s came from just being himself and being genuine. If he can do it I know I can make it.”

What are some things you have coming up here in the near future?

 “I got some placements coming soon with a lot of Atlanta rappers, and my new mini-documentary about my process with making beats is dropping next month.”

The best has yet to come for “Cash Counta” we are excited to see all the upcoming accomplishments coming here in the near future. If you want to keep up with all his upcoming moves follow his Instagram & Twitter all linked below.

http://www.instagram.com/cashcounta_/

http://www.twitter.com/cashcounta_

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How Rawalty Is Making Waves In The Dancehall Music Space

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Dancehall music is one type of genre that captures listeners’ attention through the smooth rhythm and soul vibe that comes along with the sound. According to the Reggae/ Dancehall legend Bob Marley, “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain”. This has been inspiring artists to make music that people will love and appreciate.

Over the years, Rawalty has been playing his part in making beautiful dancehall music. The superstar has penetrated the music space despite the competition, and he has continued to make waves around the scene.

He said:

My journey into Dancehall has been a blessed one. I was able to reinvent my image and create music that impacts the way I see things around me. This has helped me shed light on the day to day struggles of the people in general.”

Rawalty made his presence felt in the Reggae world because he evolved with the dancehall sound. He realized that the music space was changing and growing because of the caliber of new talents. He capitalized on that by making dancehall music in a new type of way.

To me, Dancehall has evolved. Thanks to the new talents added to the roster over the years, I would say it has reached a greater height than before. Dancehall has managed to expand its sound to reach all areas of music,” Rawalty says.

Although, the superstar’s success did not come easily. He showed prowess and dedication to make unique music continually. When he started, Rawalty did not have the luxury that most artists had. 

He faced challenges of not having any music producer, lacking quality studios to record his songs, even the time to concentrate on making the music was an issue because there was something always popping up to stop him from giving his full attention to music.

Rawalty overcame these obstacles because he believed in the talent he had, and he took the necessary steps to promote it to the world. When asked about how he got his breakthrough, he shared his experience.

One day, I just made a decision to take my dreams more seriously. If I didn’t have time to create music, I would make the extra time I needed to push and promote my sound. This helped me to put more pieces together and it blended well.”

The Dancehall star plans to keep making music that people will love and vibe to. He plans on promoting more songs that will usher in the new wave for dancehall music. This unique sound will continue to bring fresh sounds to dancehall music lovers.

I plan on giving the fans more music with substance and meaning. I feel I could continue to usher in the new wave for Dancehall while continuing to base my fundamental views on the legends before me as well. I am here to take the bar to a next level,” Rawalty says.     

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