Categories for Marketing

YouTubers are rewriting the rules of influencer marketing

June 19, 2018 2:59 pm Published by

Influencers can be powerful brand allies, but these collaborations require an entirely new approach to marketing, according to Carat Global Chief Strategy Officer Sanjay Nazerali. The original article can be sourced here, but for your benefit, we’ve captured the highlights.

Together with YouTube and Nielsen, the team from Carat analyzed the results of hundreds of brand and creator videos in the U.S. and the U.K. to understand the impact of influencers for brands. This is what they found:

1. Influencer marketing is not the same as celebrity marketing

YouTube influencers, however vast their reach, are absolutely not “today’s celebrities,” and celebrity marketing and influencer marketing offer fundamentally different benefits for brands.

Typically, celebrities are more effective at driving recall than creators (84% versus 73%). Given that a celebrity’s job is to be famous and memorable, that makes sense.

Where YouTube creators really start to gain the upper hand is in deeper brand involvement. Brand familiarity is a good example. If we want an audience to really understand us, our work, our values, or our products, then collaborations with YouTube creators are 4X more effective at driving lift in brand familiarity than those with celebrities [see the data].2

When it comes to purchase intent, it’s an even match: our research found that influencers were just as likely as celebrities to drive buying decisions [see the data].3

Celebrity marketing and influencer marketing offer fundamentally different benefits for brands.

2. It’s not just a ‘beauty’ thing

Beauty brands were one of the first to team up with influencers and creators have established a huge presence among the YouTube beauty community. About 86% of the top 200 beauty videos on YouTube were made by creators rather than professionals or brands.[see the data]

But what’s interesting about the findings is just how far YouTube influencers stretch beyond the beauty category.

In nine additional categories, including auto, alcohol, snacks, and toys, working with influencers lead to lifts in brand metrics, from familiarity to affinity to recommendation.

 

3. The ‘how’ matters as much as the ‘who’

Celebrity marketing has historically focused on endorsement, sponsorship, and product placement. Influencer marketing has developed far more options, and it’s important to understand which of these work best—and for which marketing goals.

Research found that deep thematic integrations with creators drove the highest results for brands. These are more involved integrations where the influencer plays a role in creating a piece of content—such as a demo—with the brand. They’re far deeper than product placements and they work more effectively.

While there were many consistencies across categories, there are also some nuances, which are important for brands to understand. Simpler brand integrations, like a product endorsement or an ad featuring a creator, also showed positive results for brand affinity in all categories tested.

 

4. Don’t lose sight of why people love YouTubers

We often assume that the right YouTube influencer is either an aspirational version of our target audience or that they’re just like celebrities. Neither of these assumptions is correct, and it’s perhaps here that celebrity and influencer marketing differ the most.

Whereas celebrities need to be trendy and stylish, consumers expect creators to be friendly, funny, and sometimes irreverent.

Irreverence is interesting because it drives credibility. Irreverence strongly suggests independence, and it’s this that builds trust. It can also be incredibly valuable for brands. If a creator usually ridicules things they don’t like, you can be sure that when they praise something, they mean it.

Influencer marketing is more than a bandwagon. It’s a powerful, scaled form of communication.

 

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic. Feel free to share this post with your audience.

Start working with influencers by creating a marketer account here. If you’re an influencer, sign up here or if you are already registered, login here.

 

Murray Legg is an active digital entrepreneur and holds a Ph.D in engineering. He is the strategy lead for Webfluential.

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The Many Dimensions of an Influencer

January 22, 2018 3:28 pm Published by

Influencers all possess multiple dimensions to their content; it’s what makes content unique. For each specific brand or campaign, taking a closer look at an influencers tone, personality, and professionalism will make the difference between mediocre and excellent results. To help understand the dimensions of our influencers, we apply a considerable amount computing power to the various elements that make up an influencer profile. These figures can then be measured and compared between influencers.

These tangible, data driven metrics make the job easier for marketers, helping them find their perfect match. This also rewards influencers with work for creating great content, managing themselves professionally, and delivering value to marketers.

Here are the four key themes that we look at when ranking influencers in our search results, ultimately helping marketers in their identification process:

Persona – The personality, biography, and location of the influencer

Audience – The age, gender, and location of their followers and fans across various media channels

Content – The type, tone, and performance of content, measured by the engagement rate of their audience, relative to similar influencers

Work ethic – The reviews from brands and agencies that have worked with the influencer in the past, together with their profile completeness and typical response time to requests

To get a better picture of this, let’s have a look at what some basic examples of these dimensions would look like and how you can use them.

Persona

Each influencer has their own identity, biography and digital track record. Webfluential aggregates content from all of the influencer’s linked channels, and With Watson, generates a personality sunburst that gives us a visual representation of their best attributes.

It also helps us understand what kind of consumer each influencer is – Are they interested in owning a car? What type of music and movies do they like? It even tells us about other consumer behaviors like shopping online and using a credit card.

 

Audience

The audience that follows, reads and engages with an influencer is important to marketers. Webfluential looks at the age, gender and location of an influencer’s audience. Further, we can understand their behaviors like their engagement, time spent on websites and repeat visits to an influencer’s blog.

This tells us more about the relationship between an influencer and their audience, it gives us an idea of the level of trust that they have built up, which in turn shows us who has the key to a specific audience.

From there we can easily identify those influencers who are in the best position to work with a brand looking to drive awareness and credibility with a particular audience.

 

Content

The passion of an influencer is captured in their content. Their writing, their videos, and their images are all expressions of their opinions and are held in high regard by their followers. Webfluential analyses the impact of content on an audience and compares this to the content of similar audiences, as well as the historical performance of an influencer’s content. This helps us to spot trends over time like the newest rising stars, the most consistent content creators and the latest “trending posts” and helps match them to the brands working with influencers.

 

Work Ethic

Influencers working with brands take their jobs seriously. Webfluential filters out the cream and minimizes time that would be lost trying to engage with influencers who aren’t really into it. To achieve this we look at several dimensions, but the result mainly hinges on the ratings they’ve earned from previous work done. The more good work influencers do, the easier it is for a brand to trust them, so we encourage influencers to do their bookings on Webfluential and gain positive reviews and a track record.

Additionally, we look at their profile completeness, their consistency in keeping their account up to date, and of course, how much time it takes them to reply to a marketer request.

Summary

In the same way that Google manages its search results dynamically through their Page Rank algorithm, which changes over time, we’ll keep adding insights and changing up the weighting so that our search benefits our platform for both influencers, the best of which get surfaced first, and for marketers, so that they can succeed when choosing the right influencers.

*This post was written by Wati Mbewu

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Promoted influencer proposals make their debut today

August 7, 2017 9:45 am Published by

Our core goal at Webfluential is to make the right connections between brands and influencers, so that content can be shared with the right audience. In an effort to add to the marketer experience, we’re introducing promoted influencer proposals into the marketer dashboard feed from some of our seasoned influencers that have worked on a number of campaigns already.

In certain regions in which we operate, we’ll be running this as a trial to improve our learnings about what drives the marketer decision making process. Choosing the right influencers to work with is no easy task, as the audience size, age, location and interest affinity, as well as the influencer’s personality, tone and style of content all play a factor in making this choice. These promoted influencer proposals are a step towards making this process easier.

We have also seen a benefit in showcasing influencer content on the marketer feed that has been generated from brands working on the platform. It’s not only educating brands about how great influencer content is produced, but also helping them make that first move into the space, and see that the water’s actually quite warm.

For influencers, this is also an opportunity for them to showcase some of their best work, and reach out to brands that resonate with them to start collaborating.

To get started simply login to your marketer profile, or register here.

Murray Legg is an active digital entrepreneur and holds a Ph.D in engineering. He is the strategy lead for Webfluential.

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