Why Influencer Marketing is Important to Your Brand

Posted by The ShopandShout Team on Mar 28, 2018 6:00:00 AM
  

The age of social media is an incredibly exciting time for all of us. But for marketers, this revolution has also set in motion a demand for more authentic marketing with consumers who are harder to win over and more empowered by their choices.

Brands are now dealing with customers who have become increasingly aware of traditional marketing strategies and have developed an immunity to celebrity endorsements. They’ve even learned how to block paid ads! So, while the modern-day customer is now more technologically savvy and informed, they are also more demanding and skeptical as a result.

In fact, according to a Nielsen Global survey, only 33% of people trust ads. However, a whopping 90% of consumers say they trust peer recommendations. For these reasons, Influencers have begun to dominate as the new power players for having an impact similar to peer-to-peer marketing, making Influencer marketing the strategy every marketer should be leveraging.

Here’s why:

Influencers Keep It Real

Forbes revealed that 92% of consumers trust an Influencer over a paid advertisement or traditional celebrity endorsement.

Influencers are loved for their authenticity. They often choose not to work with Brands that don’t align with their own personal Brand and want to operate in their own style. You don’t see Influencers changing their voice or risking their aesthetics to fit the Brands; rather, you see Brands finding ways to blend into the Influencer’s world.

Because Influencers know that their power is only as potent as the trust that their followers have in them, they’re less likely to over-promote or use their platform to mislead. Instead, they offer authentic content, storytelling tailored to their audiences, and unique points of view that they truly believe and endorse.

Improve Brand Image, Drive Engagement and Create Awareness

Your reputation matters. And when an Influencer aligns with your Brand and is willing to collaborate with you on a marketing campaign, or simply post a ShoutOut of your latest product launch or event, they’re vouching for you to their audience.

The mico-Influencer (also known as everyday or earned) has an advantage, their audiences are very active and highly involved. So, when a micro-Influencer promotes your Brand, you can expect there to be high levels of engagement- which means an increase in Brand awareness. All this attention means traffic is being funneled your way, giving your Brand direct visibility from the tight-knit and loyal following of the Influencer.

New Influencers are on the rise every day. There’s an Influencer for every industry and niche, with many Brands experiencing big success within the current social media darling, the micro-Influencer (also known as the everyday or earned Influencer). These Influencers have smaller followings but extremely loyal followings because they are looked at as peers.

Ultimately, to not leverage Influencer marketing would be a miss because it’s proven to work. They drive substantially higher rates of engagement and are more cost-effective. Fortunately Brands looking for marketing success have a whole new realm in which they can gain exposure, leveraging the micro-Influencer. Their conversations with an engaged audience, long-lasting relationships built on trust, and authenticity don’t demand multi-million dollar endorsement deals and yet prove to be more effective than those that do.

 
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Tags: marketing, startup, media

Everyday Influencers vs Celebrity Status Influencers: Who Wins?

Posted by The ShopandShout Team on Mar 27, 2018 6:00:00 AM
  

When you recognize the fact that 86% of women turn to social networksbefore making a purchase, you realize what an enormous opportunity you have to attract your target demographics’ attention by developing a strategic social media marketing plan.

For many marketers, this strategy involves partnering with Influencers who have proven to foster strong ties with their audience. However, not all Influencers are created equal. In fact, there are at least 5 main types of Influencers, and they range from mega-Influencers who have millions of followers to your everyday consumers or micro-Influencers.

In the battle between mega-Influencers who have celebrity status and micro-Influencers who have smaller followings; who wins? Who resonates with their networks the most and drives the most action? Which one should you collaborate with and include in your social media marketing strategy?

It really depends on what your goals are. Influencers with celebrity-type status can put your brand on the map. They may help increase your fan base numbers and improve brand awareness. But will they necessarily give you the boost in engagement that will ultimately result in leads and sales?

On the other hand, if your priority is to drive-in store purchases, then you should know that studies show that non-celebrity Influencers are 10 times more likely to make that happen for your brand.

Everyday Influencers promote the most powerful type of marketing — word-of-mouth marketing. The truth behind the multi-million dollar deals that celebrities receive to endorse products has long been exposed. This reality check has forced consumers to evolve and crave authenticity. They no longer want to buy products they know their favorite celebrities were only paid to be seen wearing or enjoying.

To quote Tyler Durden from the movie Fight Club, “We buy things we don’t need, to impress people we don’t like.” While you may not agree with this entirely, we do buy things with others’ opinions factored in. And we are more likely to purchase something we know has already received the sign of approval from someone within our circle.

Ultimately, everyday Influencers are more relatable than celebrities. They’re able to foster stronger ties with their audiences which invites more engagement. Superstars are there to give us a glimpse of the life that we aspire for, but it’s the everyday Influencers that we identify with most.

If you’re planning to leverage the ability of an Influencer to improve your Brand’s reach, resonance, and relevance, it’s crucial to know your audience. When you consider that 72% of women consumers often share their own opinions and advice via social media and how 96% of women admit to seeking out recommendations before making a purchase, it’s clear that word-of-mouth marketing carries far more weight and influence than celebrity endorsements.

And its everyday Influencers that give Brands that credibility, authenticity, and a human face that celebrity status Influencers lack. Sure, they have faces — but again, thanks to the transparency of the web, audiences know that face is the product of a skilled glam squad that was further enhanced by Photoshop.

There’s no doubt that Influencer marketing works. A Twitter study revealed that users now trust Influencers nearly as much as their friends with 40% admitting to purchasing an item online after seeing it used by an Influencer on Instagram, Twitter, Vine, or YouTube.

However, because digital marketing is constantly evolving, so has Influencer marketing. And the trick in successfully leveraging it is actively listening to your target demographic and collaborating with an Influencer who they relate most to on a genuine level.

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Tags: marketing, startup, media

How Influencer Marketing Has Evolved In The Digital Age

Posted by Vinod Varma on Mar 14, 2018 7:18:00 AM
 

How Influencer Marketing Has Evolved in the Digital Age

influencer marketing marketplace

It took about 3 years after Facebook was first created for it to turn into every marketer’s dream. What started as a social network intended to connect people with family and friends changed in 2013 when it became a marketplace that supported ads from Brands.

The addiction to social media has been undeniable and it’s ability to influence society has only gotten stronger — surprising when you consider that Facebook and Twitter were introduced only about a decade ago with Instagram following a few years later.

The success of these platforms in capturing and retaining society’s attention had everything to do with the fact that they were real time, easily accessible, and evolved as quickly as the users did. For brands, this sparked a shift in power. The everyday consumer was on the rise, and they continued to build influence along the purchase path, forcing brands to pay more attention to social media.

Soon, digital marketing started to replace traditional marketing with the majority of the focus on social media strategies. Brands soon realized that social media was a force to be reckoned with. And with that emerged social media users whom we’ve come to know as Influencers. They proved their abilities by being a trusted voice for their following, creating unique and engaging content, and essentially humanizing the purchase path — empowering brands to become more human at the same time.

Influencer marketing started out simple — go for the BIG FISH. Marketers once believed that those with the largest followings were the most influential. But once performance reports rolled in after a few short years of Brands dabbling in Influencer marketing, it was evident that a large following didn’t necessarily equate to an increase in engagement or a boost in sales.

The surface metrics of an Influencer weren’t enough to guarantee marketers that partnering with them on a campaign would deliver results. This prompted marketers to re-evaluate what made Influencers truly influential, and soon, Influencers started to fit into categories that ranged from celebrities to niche Influencers, to micro-Influencers. Brands now have the ability to identify the Influencer that makes the most sense to their campaign and objectives.

The Influencer marketing game has changed significantly since it all began. Today, consumers are desperate for authenticity, not so easily buying into what celebrities are selling through their posts.

Niche markets were probably the first to realize that celebrity Influencers, despite their multi-million fan base, had virtually no impact on them. Their audiences trusted those who “belonged” to their inner circle. Fortunately for marketers, Influencer marketing had branched out into so many different streams that Influencers now come in all different shapes and sizes, each with their own ability to reach, resonate, and engage specific demographics.

Time will tell how Influencer marketing will continue to progress as new data on the real impact of Influencers comes in. For now, its effectiveness across all channels spanning all industries is enough to give this marketing strategy the credit it is due.

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Tags: marketing, startup, media

Shop and Shout —  Automating Influencer Marketing

Posted by Vinod Varma on Mar 13, 2018 12:41:59 AM
 

Vancouver, British Columbia

 Shop And Shout — a digital marketplace where Everyday Influencers can experience products and services based on their social media following, and publish promotional “ShoutOuts” in return — is making it easier for homegrown brands to carry out authentic, scalable, Influencer campaigns.

Founded by social entrepreneurs Vinod Varma and Laura Wensley — the company is passionate about helping local businesses and communities thrive through positive collaboration, and empower brands and Influencers with a transparent platform that makes exposure simple yet creative, and effective.

“We know most companies don’t have the appetite for expensive, time consuming marketing. And frankly — neither do we” said Varma. “So we simplified things by scaling back what an Influencer really is: a person that truly represents their community, connects with their audience, and creates resonance with their experiences.”

With these guidelines in mind, Shop And Shout has created an online marketplace that takes away tedious communication and dragged negotiations — making it easy for Influencers to shop and experience products and services for $0, and in return they share that experience with thousands more via ShoutOut.

To start using Shop And Shout,

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Tags: marketing, startup, media

We're Revolutionizing Influencer Marketing

Welcome to the first automated, campaign driven, platform built with Everyday Influencers in mind. 

Naturally, we're all consumers. We review, contemplate, and purchase products and services almost everyday. Now - when you're making a decision to buy something, who do you lean on? It ain't the TV, radio, or newspaper (what's that?!)

We empower real people to experience new brands, and share that with their friends and followers to create authentic consumer + brand relationships. 

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