What exactly is influencer marketing? How does it differ from other forms of advertising? And why should marketers care?
Influencer marketing has become a powerful tool for businesses looking to reach new audiences.
Marketers use various strategies to identify influential individuals and gain access to their followers.
In this article, we’ll discuss what influencer marketing is and the variable for incorporating influencer marketing into a brand’s strategy.
Influencer marketing uses celebrities, athletes, bloggers, and other influential figures to market brands.
Influencers are those who have large social media followings and have the ability to influence their audience.
Brands use influencers to promote their product or service through paid advertisements, free giveaways, and endorsements. In addition, they can generate significant brand awareness and loyalty through paid or unpaid posts.
The goal is to get them to share valuable information and create excitement around a particular topic, product, or service. The key benefit for brands is that they reach a larger audience at a lower cost than traditional advertising methods.
However, this opportunity comes with some responsibility on the part of the brand.
Brands must be careful when choosing an influencer because it’s easy for them to fall in love with the idea of working with someone influential.
Unfortunately, without thorough background research, this can lead to a situation where a potentially ideal influencer promotes products that aren’t aligned with a brand’s values. Therefore, it’s important to ensure the influencer you want to work with aligns with your brand’s goals and values.
Influencer marketing also requires brands to pay influencers fairly. If you don’t pay your influencers what they deserve, they won’t promote your brand in the vision you want them to. Additionally, you can risk a potentially fruitful relationship.
When collaborating with an influencer, it’s essential to not just think of the total cost but the project’s goals and establish what you would like accomplished in the front end.
This can include a discovery call to plan out potential posts or how-to videos. Will you provide the content and supporting information, or will they? Of course, all this will affect the cost and time involved in creating the posts.
Influencer marketing has become one of the most effective ways to get people talking about your business online. It’s essential to know how to find the right influencers for your niche to ensure your message gets across.
A study showed that in 2022 influencer marketing is set to reach $16.4 billion and 75% of brand marketers plan to include influencer marketing in this year’s strategy. This type of marketing is growing fast and doing well.
And this isn’t just for B2C brands, since 86% of B2B brands find influencer marketing a valuable strategy. That’s a considerable return on investment if you have the right approach.
If you’re only using traditional digital marketing (SEO, PPC, social media, etc.), you’re clearly missing out on a huge opportunity to increase your ROI.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an agency, brand, or business – everyone can benefit from trying influencer marketing.
Don’t believe me? You should. Influencer marketing is not “out of your league.” Here’s why.
How many clients does your agency have? That’s how many new influencing opportunities your agency has at its fingertips.
Agencies can use their clients, the ones they like and like them, to help promote their agency for them.
Think of it like receiving a referral or customer review.
If someone enjoys working with you and the business next door asks how they got so successful so quickly, they’re going to tell the next-door business all about your agency and how you helped them.
Case Studies & New Content
Capitalize on this process and ask your clients for video testimonials to become a part of your referral program (create one) and if you can use their results for case studies.
If you’ve been able to impact a client positively, they’re highly likely to approve you sharing the story of how you took them from one to 10.
Gather a dozen different case studies from your past and current clients to publish on your website, social pages, email newsletters, and ads. This isn’t only additional content but content your existing and new clients will appreciate.
You can also make the case study an appealing PDF and share it with the case study client for them to share among their peers.
If you help them reach their goals, they’ll love the PDF filled with graphics, charts, and impressive numbers to share with other business owners.
Trial By Error
Another way to utilize your clients for influencer marketing is to ask your clients to test out a new product.
If they’re a big client of yours, it’s appropriate to let them know that your agency is trying to innovate with all of the tech advances, and you want to try a new strategy or product with them as a test.
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If things work out with the test, woohoo! You’ve added another section to the contract. And you have a new service or product to charge for in the future.
If things don’t work out, you get insightful and honest feedback from the client and know how to fix the product or plan.
One of the most significant ways I see brands utilize influencer marketing is by partnering up with other brands.
Before I get too deep into this, I want to clarify that there are prominent corporate players like Sprint and Blue Apron. And they’re also individual brands like famous Instagram users and YouTube celebrities.
A brand can be an individual brand, like you trying to grow your role as a digital marketer in the industry. However, it can also represent a larger entity for cosmetics and skincare like Maybelline.
Now, back to the brands and the whole influencer marketing idea. Brands will partner together in campaigns to help widen their audience with influencer marketing.
They can use relevant brands in the same industry or reach out of the spectrum and partner with entirely different brands to increase their exposure to a new audience.
When you work with an influencer in a different industry, you get a level of influencer where you can capitalize on the new audience. Be strategic in who you reach out to and ask to partner up in a new influencing campaign.
Partnering with the wrong brand will profoundly impact your brand’s reputation and possibly ruin it.
Red Bull partnering with Coca-Cola for a new content campaign also wouldn’t be the best of ideas. On the one hand, Red Bull is heavily involved in extreme sports. But, they’ve chosen that angle due to their real product, an energy drink named Red Bull that essentially “gives you wings,” to be extreme.
Sure, the Red Bull athletes could do an incredible stunt riding a mountain bike down the ledge of the mountain holding both a Coca-Cola and a Red Bull can, but what would be the point?
It wouldn’t make sense because, technically, the two can be seen as competitors. They both are on-the-go drink manufacturers.
Instead, Red Bull could partner with Nike and do a content campaign featuring Nike’s new apparel line, Red Bull’s energy drink, and summer sports.
Just because your brand is in the same industry as another doesn’t mean a collab will work. It’s important to research how your consumers will react to the ad.
We can most commonly recognize influencer marketing when businesses do it.
If your business makes pipes for the plumbing industry, head to that list of the most famous plumbers and start reaching out.
Doing outreach is a huge part of influencer marketing. It almost feels like putting on a public relations or journalist hat for a second as you try and narrow down your influencers.
Once you’ve found an influencer who has agreed to help promote your product, don’t just stop there. The more influencers you have, the more brand exposure you get, as well as trust.
The word will get around if one of the most famous plumbers uses your pipes for repairs. Other plumbers will trust the renowned plumber and follow in their footsteps to purchase and use only your pipes.
Sometimes, you don’t need to pay an influencer. Instead, samples of the product you’re asking them to promote, discounts, or free services usually suffice.
It changes and becomes a more costly strategy when you pick who the influencer is and depends on the type of content you want.
The bigger the influencer, the more they’ll want.
If you’re aiming for that Kardashian type of exposure, you will need to break out the wallet. And the credit card. And possibly your mortgage.
If you’re a brand, business, or agency with goals like a Kardashian type of exposure and the budget to match. Then, by all means, reach out to your lawyers and start preparing contracts for when you lock in those influencers.
Make sure your contracts clearly state the expectations of the influencer. For example, if you want them to run the content by you before they publish it, specify that in the contract.
If you want the influencer to only be able to promote your plumbing pipes and not work with any other pipe companies, state it in the contract.
For the rest of us, focus on the more affordable influencers. These people may already invest much of their time promoting your brand because they love your product or what you do.
Death Wish Coffee is an excellent example of this.
People love their product, the ridiculously strong coffee that comes with a side of sarcasm. The brand speaks its customer’s language, making it fun for customers to engage and promote the product themselves.
This coffee company can monitor its hashtag mentions and unlock hundreds of potential influencers that would love to receive a free month of coffee for posting more about their brand.
Look at what kind of mentions your brand, business, or agency is attracting online and follow the conversation. You’ll quickly discover who’s talking about you the most.
Then, look at their followers if they have a healthy following reach out and see if they’d be interested in partnering up with you on an influencer campaign.
Don’t stop reading. I know those of you who are rolling your eyes yelling, “NO ONE MENTIONS MY BRAND!”
Don’t worry. I’ve got a solution for you, too. Look at your big competitors. Think of the Red Bulls and Coca-Colas of your industry.
See what kind of mentions they’re getting and from who. Then, reach out to those influencers and pitch away.
You never know who will say yes unless you ask.
Plus, they may not want as much as you think or even be willing to promote for free after getting to know more about you and your business.
Nowadays, there are numerous influencer marketing tools out there that can help connect you with the right people and brands. So, if you’re having trouble finding people you want to work with, it can be beneficial to give one of the tools a try.
Influencer marketing has become much more than just a buzzword.
Marketers have been using influencers to promote their products for years, but brands are now using influencers to build customer relationships and create new revenue streams.
By leveraging the power of social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, marketers can connect directly with consumers through influencers.
This can help to increase brand awareness and drive sales. It can also open your brand, business, or agency to new audiences.
As we get closer to the end of this year, try strategizing the influencer marketing opportunities you have out there.
Featured Image: Anton Vierietin/Shutterstock
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A PROFESSIONAL bra fitter has revealed the reason you may be able to see your bra outline through your shirt.
Kimmay, who is from the US, took to TikTok and shared an informative video which she captioned: "Some reasons you’re seeing your bra outline through your shirt! This problem is SO common, but here are some solutions that can help."
In the clip, the bra guru begins: "Usually seeing the outline of your bra means it doesn't fit properly.
"Either it's gapping because the cup is a little bit too big or more likely, the band is too loose so it's riding up and then causing your cups to fall forward and for that shape to be seen.
It can also be too small, so if it's too tight and you're spilling out, you're going to see that bubble as well."
Kimmay goes on to say that another reason could be that it's just worn out.
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"If you have a moulded contour cup like this ans you've been folding one cup into another, then this one will actually start to roll a little bit," she says.
"It could also be losing its elasticity in the band…
"It might not also be the right style for your bust so if you have really soft tissue or tend to spill out no matter what, don't opt for something that's too much of a plunge."
She adds: "Instead get something that's full coverage like this, or have some coverage and some stretch or flexibility to it.
"If you're looking for a super smooth look underneath something, maybe opt for a smooth cup and don't go for lace or a seamed cup."
The post has since garnered a whopping 51,000 views and been flooded with comments from grateful women up and down the country.
"Great info!" enthused one.
A second commented: "Awesome post! Thank you!"
A third penned: "Mine is always showing under, like the wire under the cup and I don’t know what I’m doing wrong!"
Meanwhile, another added: "Oh my gosh the band thing makes so much sense!"
FedEx outlined plans to park planes, suspend some Sunday deliveries, and shut corporate offices after falling demand impacted its first-quarter profits and prompted the company to withdraw its forecast last week.
FedEx also said it plans to raise shipping rates by an average of 6.9% across most of its services starting in January to cope with the global slowdown. The average number of packages FedEx handled daily for the quarter fell 11% from a year ago. Fuel surcharges helped offset the lower package volume, however operating expenses weighed on profit margins.
The company reported that its earnings per share (EPS) fell 21% for the quarter. It blamed the rapidly deteriorating global economy. The company said it expects the steps it is taking will boost cost savings by between $2.2 billion and $2.7 billion in fiscal 2023.
FedEx (FDX) shares are down 3% in pre-market trading, and have lost 40% of their value so far this year.
Activision has released a trailer (opens in new tab) outlining the PC features of the upcoming Modern Warfare 2 (opens in new tab), releasing on October 28. This game is not to be confused with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which was released on November 12, 2009.
It all looks pretty good, if to be expected for a AAA PC release in 2022. In between snippets of gameplay, the trailer promises features like 4k graphics and ultrawide support. The first one, ok, sure, everyone and their mother is doing 4k (or at least 4k reconstructions), but ultrawide isn't always a given, so it's nice to have the assurance from Activision.
The second big highlight of the trailer is "Ricochet Anti-Cheat," which I guess at least doesn't have the reputation of Denuvo (opens in new tab), as far as bullet point features go. Ricochet's been in use on Warzone and Vanguard for the past year, and it seems to work well enough. A quick perusal of the Warzone subreddit shows some players sporadically complaining about its implementation, but almost exclusively for it letting suspected cheaters slip through the cracks—I didn't see any performance or privacy dings against it.
The trailer concludes by highlighting "Over 500+ customization options." Going over the subsequent shots of MW2's graphics menus, there are some impressive options like custom frame rate limits and targets, image reconstruction tech like FidelityFX, and separate FOV sliders for vehicle, third person, and first person modes. All pretty granular stuff, and I definitely appreciate a good graphics menu.
Modern Warfare 2 also has some generous minimum system specs (opens in new tab): just a GTX 960 and a ten-year-old i5-3570 and you're good to go. Of course, the money you might save there would get eaten up by the series' constantly ballooning storage demands: previous configurations of Warzone have gotten dangerously close to 200GB.
On Wednesday, staff at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) released a long-anticipated white paper titled, “Licensing and Regulating Fusion Energy Systems.” The paper lays out various options to commissioners for regulating fusion energy devices. Establishing a clear legal framework to accommodate the industry will be critical to enable the fledgling American nuclear fusion industry to thrive in the years ahead. The release of the white paper represents an important early step in this process.
In 2019, Congress passed the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act, which directs the NRC to craft regulations establishing a framework for new license applications for advanced nuclear reactors. Complicating matters somewhat is that the law’s definition of an “advanced nuclear reactor” includes both fission and fusion technologies. Given the very different risk profiles associated with these two technologies, regulating them together under the same framework may not make sense.
The differences between fission and fusion are myriad: Nuclear fusion involves the fusing together of atomic nuclei, while fission involves splitting atoms. All commercial nuclear power plants operating across the globe today are fission ones, while fusion is not yet a commercially viable or proven technology. Unlike fission, fusion doesn’t require fissile materials, like plutonium or uranium-233 or -235, which can be used in the production of nuclear weapons. A meltdown scenario is also not possible at a fusion plant. If power is cut, the reaction simply stops, whereas at a fission plant, it can be self-sustaining, potentially leading to catastrophe.
Concerns raised about fusion energy tend to relate to containing the radioactivity that is emitted during operations. There may also be some radioactive materials produced at fusion plants, such as tritium. However, the NRC notes in its white paper that, “Radioactive releases and risk levels … are generally agreed to be lower for fusion devices than current generation fission-based power stations” and that, “the majority of the waste output from a fusion facility should consist of low-level radioactive waste.”
Within the fusion industry, a diversity of approaches exist. Reactors can rely on magnets or lasers, and can be large or small or utilize a variety of different design schemes. This may complicate matters from a regulatory standpoint. As there is no single tried and proven approach, a one-size-fits-all approach may not work for the industry.
The white paper presents two possible options from which fusion devices could be licensed. The first is to treat them as “utilization facilities,” the legal definition of which means that an equipment or device produces enough nuclear material to be a concern from the standpoint of national defense and security, or more generally a concern for public health and safety.
The NRC only names one item on the “pro” side of the ledger for this option, which is that the agency is already in the process of updating regulations for utilization facilities. Including fusion in this framework would therefore mean less work for the agency, but that’s hardly evidence it’s what’s best for the industry, or, for that matter, the country as it transitions to a cleaner energy system. The NRC staff also acknowledges that, “Potential hazards of current fusion energy systems appear lower than typical utilization facilities,” suggesting that relying solely on this framework may not make much sense for the industry.
A second, slightly less onerous, option would be to regulate fusion devices under “byproduct material facilities” standards. According to this framework, NRC could classify fusion devices as “particle accelerators,” which share some common features with fusion devices.
A third option would be some combination of the other two. This approach might end up more tailored to the industry, but it could also end up getting complicated. A danger is that it would favor some technologies or methods over others, regardless of their potential to be commercially or technologically viable.
What’s clear memorizing the white paper is that fusion doesn’t fit neatly within the current regulatory paradigm for nuclear devices, which was established decades ago with fission technology in mind. Currently, there is no clear legal path to bringing a commercial fusion plant online, and trying to fit the revolutionary technology into an older-style regulatory regime is already looking highly imperfect.
Technology expert Adam Thierer notes that some technologies are “born in captivity” in the sense that upon inception, they find themselves regulated under old regimes that were intended for different purposes. Other technologies, meanwhile, are “born free” of any regulation. Thus, a new regulatory framework has to be created to accommodate them.
Cryptocurrencies might be an example of a “free” technology today, while fusion energy is a classic example of a “captive” one. If some innovator were to stumble upon a major breakthrough in this area, it could take years for the regulatory regime to catch up. In the meantime, competitors would catch up too, and the first mover advantage—some of the motivation to innovate in the first place—is lost.
The NRC is making steady progress to reduce regulatory uncertainty affecting the fusion industry. While the agency has until the end of 2027 to issue its regulations, given the urgency of climate change, the faster progress happens the better. Even with a clear regulatory framework established, however, it will ultimately fall on the industry to prove its technology has a future.
Infinity Ward has touched on some of the feedback it has received from the first beta of Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and although it plans to change certain features, others will remain the way they are at launch.
As a result, the studio will be patching out some exploits, lighting issues, bugs and crashes before next week’s beta. However, Infinity Ward has also touched on some longer-term issues – including complaints surrounding Modern Warfare 2 not revealing where players are on the mini-map when they fire.
“Currently in the MW2 Beta, we only show enemy player dots when a UAV is active,” explained Infinity Ward. “The design reason for this is that we do not want to punish players for firing their weapons. We also want players to actively search out the origin of a gunshot versus just traveling directly to where the dot is on the mini-map.”
However, there are certain issues that Infinity Ward does plan to address. This includes “reducing the range of footstep audio” after beta players noticed they were particularly loud.
An improved user interface is also at Infinity Ward’s “top of mind ahead of launch,” and it also plans to make it easier to see players while shooting.
On the subject of Modern Warfare 2‘s perk system, Infinity Ward has acknowledged “varied feedback” on the shooter’s Perk Package feature. While some players “love” it, others see it as an “unnecessary departure” and as a result, Infinity Ward will be “drastically accelerating” the earn rate of these perks in the next Modern Warfare 2 beta to gather more feedback.
The crossplay beta for Modern Warfare 2 begins tomorrow (September 22) – if you’re looking to play, here’s how to get a code.
Last week, Infinity Ward shared three new multiplayer game modes that will appear at launch, and confirmed the return of third-person matches.
The White House Friday unveiled a new framework on regulating digital assets including cryptocurrencies, which includes increased oversight and exploring the creation of a potential digital U.S. dollar, marking the Biden administration’s most significant effort yet to establish a policy to regulate crypto assets.
Acknowledging the risks faced by crypto consumers, the framework urges the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to “aggressively pursue” probes into unlawful practices.
The framework also asks the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to redouble efforts to deal with consumer complaints against deceptive practices by crypto companies.
In order to prevent the use of crypto for money laundering and financing terror, President Joe Biden may propose a potential expansion of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) to include cryptocurrencies and non fungible tokens (NFTs).
The Treasury department is conducting an “illicit finance risk assessment” on decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms and a separate one on NFTs—those are expected to be completed by February 2023 and July 2023, respectively.
One of the framework’s most significant proposals is assessing the creation of a U.S. Central Bank Digital Currency or a digital U.S. Dollar—an area in which China has made significant progress—that may enable faster and simpler cross-border transactions.
In an effort to make the digital economy more equitable, the framework calls for the expanded adoption of “instant payment services” and the establishing regulatory policies for “non bank” payment platforms.
In a statement issued by the White House, National Economic Council Director Brian Deese and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said the framework intends to position the U.S. to play a “leading role in the innovation and governance of the digital assets ecosystem at home and abroad and in a way that protects consumers, is consistent with our democratic values, and advances U.S. global competitiveness.” They added that the White House is seeking “continued engagement with allies and partners on these issues, which will reinforce U.S. technological and financial leadership globally.”
The Treasury will work closely with financial institutions to “identify and mitigate cyber vulnerabilities” while other federal agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy will be tasked with examining the environmental impact of digital assets like cryptocurrencies.
Friday’s announcement comes after Biden issued an executive order in March asking multiple federal agencies to examine the risks and opportunities of digital assets like cryptocurrencies and prepare reports based on their findings. After explosive growth in the last two years, 2022 has been a volatile year for cryptocurrencies, with the values of popular tokens plummeting to less than a third of their all-time highs. The collapse of the algorithmic stable coin TerraUSD in May caused a marketwide crypto crash. The value of Bitcoin currently stands at $19,864, down more than 1.5% in the past 24 hours and more than 70% from an all-time high of $68,990 last year.
Ethereum, one of the world’s largest blockchain that powers Ether (ETH)—the second largest cryptocurrency in the world—completed an update to its system on Thursday. The update known as the “Merge” switches the blockchain and the token to a more environmentally friendly mode of operation called “proof-of-stake” where token holders can stake a portion of their ETH to validate transactions in exchange for a reward. Ethereum previously relied on a “proof-of-work” model where crypto miners could use their computers to perform complex calculations and validate transactions and earn ETH tokens. Ethereum argues, proof-of-stake will be far more environmentally friendly compared to the energy-hogging proof-of-work method which faces opposition from environment groups and lawmakers. However, hours after the “Merge” SEC Chairman Gary Gensler warned that staking ETH for returns could bring the transactions under U.S. security laws.
Biden’s Executive Order Produces Few Answers in Crypto Reports From US Treasury (Coindesk)
Biden White House just put out a framework on regulating crypto — here’s what’s in it (CNBC)
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is gearing up to place the same type of stringent protections it places on credit card companies on the "Buy Now, Pay Later" (BNPL) industry, following the release of a latest study on the practice. Officials said their findings revealed an exploding industry that not only had few consumer guardrails and helped normalize debt, but had also begun data harvesting and monetization efforts with little oversight.
“Buy Now, Pay Later is a rapidly growing type of loan that serves as a close substitute for credit cards,” CFPB Director Rohit Chopra said last Thursday. “We will be working to ensure that borrowers have similar protections, regardless of whether they use a credit card or a Buy Now, Pay Later loan.”
With such a huge focus placed on online retail in latest years, some companies and lenders began pushing their BNPL products. Whether called "pay-in-four," "split pay," or BNPL, the concept is the same — these were interest-free point of sale installment loans that let consumers pay for purchases over time. In most instances, down payment is required with plans typically capped around $1,000. Any late or missing payments would result in an additional charge.
According to the CFPB report, BNPL grew so quickly in popularity that the top five lenders, Affirm, Afterpay, Klarna, PayPal and Zip, were responsible for 180 million loan originations totaling $24.2 billion in 2021. Those figures dwarfed data from 2019, which saw those same lenders originating 16.8 million loans valued at $2 billion in 2019.
While the lack of interest payments and staggered repayment plans may be attractive to most consumers, CFPB researchers found that BNPL loans were associated with some potentially harmful risks.
Even though BNPL providers fall under the purview of some state and federal oversight, the CFPB is using its power over credit providers and "has authority to supervise any non-depository covered persons, such as a Buy Now, Pay Later provider, in certain circumstances."
To that end, the CFPB said it will begin identifying areas that it can provide guidance and establish rules to ensure BNPL lenders "adhere to many of the baseline protections that Congress has already established for credit cards" and will be subject to regular inspections. When it comes to the risk of borrowers taking out too much in BNPL loans, the bureau will look into how lenders can begin following accurate credit reporting practices. As for the data harvesting issue, the CFPB will find and call out the data collection practices that lenders should avoid.