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Posts tagged “blogging

Influencer Marketing – Where to From Here?

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The popularity of social media sites over the last two decades gave rise to a new and contemporary style of marketing, aka influencer marketing – involving a group of people known as influencers. Influencer marketing is essentially a hybrid of old and new marketing tools, where brands take the age-old concept of celebrity endorsements and turn them into modern-day content-driven campaigns on various social media platforms. In place of traditional celebrities on mainstream media, these “internet celebrities” are referred to as such because of their sizeable number of followers, and who are engaged by brands to endorse and promote their products and services.

Nearly 60% of marketers have been reported to include influencer marketing in their budgets. The strategy, however, has moved on from “What do you think about doing something with influencers?” to “What’s the influencer strategy for this campaign?” That’s how big influencers have become!

Whether we like it or not, influencers are here to stay. Influencer marketing is projected to grow to US$10 billion in 2020, and brands are increasingly using influencers as ambassadors to promote their products with their audience. An influencer can be a popular fashion photographer on Instagram or a food blogger who tweets. There is enough to go around.

The important thing to remember here is that whatever the end goal may be, you need to make sure the influencer you choose will be able to deliver on your message. Here are some points to consider when identifying one:

1. Consumer Trust

Influencer marketing first became popular as a result of scepticism among audiences towards brand advertising. Consumers instinctively turned to influencers, more so than the traditional celebrity spokespeople for the brand, for more ‘authentic’ voices of opinions or reviews. Influencers’ work has typically been dependent on their commitment to put their audience’s interests first. While their role in marketing has increased rapidly, today’s savvy, informed consumers may still be cautious, and are likely to see them as mere conduits for corporate brands, similar to traditional celebrities.

2. Influencers not synonymous with big audiences

Initially, the word ‘influencer’ was an umbrella term for a group of people on social media with more than a million followers. Today, its subcategory that brands have successfully worked with includes micro-influencers – those with 10,000 to 90,000 followers. In time to come, more everyday brand advocates, with as few as 400-600 followers would become their spokespeople, as brands increasingly commit to reaping stronger results among smaller audiences, rather than blow their entire budget on a single influencer.

3. Differentiation

Social media sites today have millions of active users daily. Having to tap into that big of a potential market on your own can be tricky. That’s where influencers come in handy. With the large number of users, you are likely to be swimming in a sea of thousands. The high level of competition with low barriers to entry make it all the harder for brands to identify influencers. It’s worth considering the different levels of influencers and which ones are best suited to your brand/campaign.

4. Fake accounts / followers

Another risk that comes with the exceptionally large user bases on social media is the number of fake accounts or influencers with fake followers that marketers have to spend time weeding out, in order to identify the ones that organically generate quality engagement. A recent study conducted by Points North Group revealed that up to 20% of mid-level influencers’ followers are highly likely to be fraudulent – artificially inflated to increase their asking rates from brands.

5. Costs

As the demand for influencers continue to rise higher than it already is today, marketers have to set aside a huge portion of their budget for influencer marketing alone. To amass a following as large as they have, influencers would have had to put in hundreds of hours to build their personal brand and reputation; so naturally, they expect just as much in terms of remuneration.

With their ability to engage a highly relevant audience, and share content among their followers, influencers are vital to a brand’s marketing mix. Engaging an influencer comes with a unique set of challenges that can impact the results of your campaign. At the end of the day, it’s really about the messaging. What do you want them to share with their audience? How do you want them to present your brand?

 

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Coming To You Live!

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In the ruthless digital storm of today, it is no longer “I am blogging this” but “I am blogging this now” that will keep your readers hooked. Live blogging can actually be an extremely valuable resource to your readers if done right. When information is succinct and posts are thoughtful, useful and focused throughout, they may consider your blog the go-to blog for event coverage.

Quintessentially, live blogging is the posting of regular updates to one’s blog as the respective event is taking place, as opposed to blogging after the event itself. It definitely requires preparation, and the number one rule – never run out of power!

The Must-haves

–       the laptop

–       the digital camera

–       the video camera

–       the digital recorder

–       notepad & pens when your wrists need a break

–       miscellaneous – power cords, batteries, charger, sweets (to stay awake)

Ensuring Effectiveness

  1. Find internet access
    Do contact the staff in advance to ask if there will be wireless internet access available in order to stave off disaster. It wouldn’t be a live blog if you’re not blogging live. If disaster strikes, call a friend and have them put up a notice that you are experiencing difficulties on your live blog.
  2. Schedule/Rank most popular events
    Dedicate your time to blog the portions that you know will be popular. Treat the event like a collection of websites, and hone in on the presentations that you have mentally assigned as the highest ranking page.
  3. Use visuals
    Pictures are unquestionably a great adjunct to any live blog. With the popularity of platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram, there is no question that visuals appeal to audiences. However, make sure you clear the use of digital cameras and other recording devices with the event staff beforehand – recording live video or audio would be ideal. This acts to complement your live blog, not to substitute your content. You can always go back afterward to cut out the more interesting snippets to post on your website. It will also cement you as a professional in the eyes on those viewing your live blog.
  4. Follow-up
    Remember to refer back to your live blog later and use it as research to piece together more cohesive blog posts for your website.

Choosing the Right Platform

On the other hand, depending on the scale and type of event and its following, you need to consider first and foremost if live blogging is your best option. The fact is that while live blogging reflects tech savvy, some events just are not suited to it. For example, if an event is very dry, in-depth or complicated in its content, blogging it live may be inappropriate and counter-productive.

This may be especially so as such events that rely on the accuracy and depth of what you are covering. Thus, it would make more sense to draft a proper blog post.

Depending on the demographics of your readers, one could also take a hybrid approach. That is to live blog interesting snippets of the event itself, especially if something unexpected happens. This can then be supplemented with a full-length post that covers the event proper.

Embracing the Times

There is a host of other mediums one can use to reach out for coverage. Social media networks such as Flickr, Ustream.tv, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram are just some of this growing number. Live blogging can also be done using WordPress, ScribbleLive, and CoverItLive. The key here is not necessarily to be the best live blogger, because then you are limited to your platform. What is more important here is to be a great communicator. This way, as trends and tools change, your readers will always be loyal to your input and voice.

 A live blog will get more hits the day of the event than any other time. We are a society of instant media gratification junkies and this provides the instant fix we crave. While live blogging may not replace traditional blogging anytime soon (or at all), it may encourage it to become lengthier and meatier than it has been in the past. Instead of offering just the quick breakdown that the live blog offers, bloggers will have to inject more qualified statistics and observations in their post-event content to make people want to read their posts in addition to the live blog coverage.

Posted by Yiwen Ng, PR Executive, Corporate Media