The 4th of July long weekend has us falling a little bit behind on our monthly reporting duties. But that just means extra time to put together an awesome and insightful Month in Influencer Marketing report for June! Without further ado (because we’ve made you wait long enough), here are our highlights from the past month.
June 2016 in a Nutshell:
Conversations surrounding the decline of traditional disruption advertising continue, but are now amplified by numerous data sources. These show Internet advertising is not only on the rise, but also changing before our eyes. Further scrutiny into traditional advertising methods beg the question – when are marketers going to ditch traditional methods all-together and identify new ways to get in front of their consumers?
Now is the time to start thinking about alternative marketing channels, especially as we enter into the busiest Back to School shopping timeframe, and inch closer to Holiday 2016.
From the Grapevine Blog:
Back to School: Why You’re Already Late to the Game
Back to School shopping season is here – are you prepared for the 2nd busiest shopping timeframe of the year? As we approach the thick of it [SPOILER ALERT: 51% of BTS shopping happens throughout the next month], we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about Back to School 2016:
- How consumers are shopping this season
- How to reach consumers this Back to School season
- Why you should start ASAP if you haven’t already
- Who you should be working with
YouTube Creators Around the World
The Grapevine Community is up to almost 70,000 creators worldwide (Seriously! We even keep a count on the Grapevine Homepage). While only around 10K are approved for brand sponsorships right now, we have an army of up-and-comers just waiting to get into influencer marketing.
We took a look at where in the world our Grapevine Community lives – as no surprise, our Creators represent 6 continents, hundreds of countries and thousands of cities. See our newest infographic for more information on the Grapevine Community and learn fun facts like where the most booked and highest creators live.
Three Tips For Attracting Content Creators
It typically takes less than 24 hours to receive a proposal to a new campaign. Sometimes, it can feel like the opportunities (and demand) are endless. However, many creators keep a regimented content calendar and can book up weeks, even months in advance. Knowing how to write a great pitch for creators is just as important as creating your campaign brief itself.
We turned to the members of our Community and asked them for their feedback on how to write a great pitch, and how to cultivate an awesome relationship with content creators.
“Quick replies are very appreciated. It makes the process so much easier to be able to get answers fast. It moves the creative process along as well.” –Saammage
4 New Features for Brands: Product Update
We’ve collected feedback to help shape our product roadmap for the rest of the year, and are excited to announce our first Q3 product release. This release includes 4 new product features for brands:
- Rescind Offers functionality
- Minimum Subscriber Count for campaigns
- New and improved Creator Profiles
- Grapevine now supports INSTAGRAM creators and sponsorships
New Grapevine Opportunities:
Startup with Grapevine
Grapevine has successfully completed 2 startup accelerator programs. We understand the importance these programs have in helping young companies grow, scale and define themselves. After graduating from Techstars in May 2016, we want to continue the momentum.
Some of this has been accomplished by sharing our workspace with other Techstars Alumni from our class (shoutout to TapGlue and Navut!). But in an effort to continue the mentorship, learning and growth we experienced with the peers we’ve met along the way, we decided to create a new program called Startup with Grapevine.
Influencer Marketing can help catapult companies into the public eye, and we want to help our fellow startup accelerator partners do just that.
From the Web:
Ad Business Full of Nontransparent Practices, Study Finds
The Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 8 month probe into the common practices being used in the US advertising industry revealed a significant disconnect between brands and the agencies representing them. Nontransparent business practices were identified across most areas of advertising, including digital, print, television, outdoor and other media.
The biggest and most surprising discovery were the fiduciary benefits agencies received from media partners. This compensation was oftentimes directly correlated to the amount of money the agencies were investing into the media partner. Brand partners had no knowledge of these rebates, or visibility into how they were ultimately being used despite footing the bill.
Our Takeaway: Working with a middle-man can create transparency issues. And as the chain gets longer, it becomes more difficult to determine what’s happening on the other end. While working with agencies can help a strained team or limited resources, nothing beats being able to know exactly what’s going on with your marketing campaigns at all times.
That’s why we created the Grapevine platform as a self-service model that allows any brand to take the reigns into their hands, and manage campaigns start to finish. With real-time analytics, and a dashboard to keep you organized, Grapevine has everything a brand needs to get into influencer marketing and have a full 360 degree view of their marketing campaigns.
Four Common Pitfalls of Influencer Marketing and How to Avoid Them
Regardless of what they say, most brands have no idea what they’re doing when it comes to influencer marketing. Get started on the right foot with these 4 pieces of advice:
- It’s not about you – it’s about the creator. Invest in them and develop lasting and meaningful relationships to seamlessly integrate your product into their content.
- Don’t focus on shiny new objects or outdated platforms – invest in influencer marketing like you would a stock portfolio, take chances but have some safer options in your playbook to even things out.
- Look beyond numbers to make sure your brand is a good fit – choose the right creators for your brand, don’t force a fit if it isn’t there.
- Define success early, measure often – you don’t need to have every detail figured out, but have an idea of where you were before your campaign and how you’ll be determining success. Don’t overcomplicate things, simple in this arena is best.
Our Takeaway: There’s a lot of advice out there when it comes to influencer marketing. All of it is good, none of it is necessarily bad. What this article aptly highlights is the fact that influencer marketing is new so there is really no clearly defined right or wrong way to do it. These basic principles will help any marketer to develop a simple campaign that should not only generate success, but some excellent learning opportunities.
Our opinion? Balance your risk and invest in a number of up-and-coming influencers. Working with 10 mid-priced influencers v. a handful of high priced ones will give you a good idea of what works for your brand, and help you get actionable data to scale in the future.
“The only mistake you’ll make is not investing in influencer marketing.”
Internet U.S. Ad Spend Will Top TV In 2017, Says PwC
According to Pricewaterhouse Coopers’ recent report, Internet advertising will beat Television advertising by a nose in 2017, with estimated spends of $75.3B vs. $74.7B respectively. The gap is expected to continue growing in upcoming years, with almost a 15B gap by 2020.
While growth in the entertainment and media sectors between 2015 – 2020 may be slower than other industries, significant changes are still expected to occur, especially in regards to mobile. By 2020, mobile advertising is expected to reach almost 50% of Internet advertising spends, and with other “significant headwinds brewing triggered by challenges such as transparency, ad fraud, and privacy,” the 2020 advertising landscape may look very different than what it is today.
Our Takeaway: In our May Month in Influencer Marketing Report, we mentioned IPG’s decision to move a significant amount of their TV advertising budget to YouTube advertising. Mary Meeker’s report from June also shows an increase in internet advertising, but toward more innovative formats as consumer preferences change. This is the trend moving forward.
Consumers are not only rejecting traditional advertising methods like print and TV, but they’re also rejecting archaic Internet advertising methods like display advertising. As brands continue to search for ways connect with their audience on a personalized level, Internet advertising will continue to rise, as will influencer marketing. This is a conversation that won’t be going away any time soon.
L’Oréal turns to vloggers to beat ad-blocking software
“The whole thing that ad-blocking is pointing to is classical advertising fatigue. We need to reinvent the experience and we need to make it less interruptive, more immersive, more rewarding, more personalised.” – Lubimora Roche, L’Oréal’s Chief Digital Officer
Enjoy Phoenix has over 2.5 million subscribers on her YouTube channel, and is one of many social media creators the cosmetics powerhouse L’Oréal brought onboard to help them maintain a media presence in an increasingly ad-blocked world. Working with these stars allowed L’Oréal to not only reach their target audience, but also promote their brands in a different consumer driven light.
Our Takeaway: The topic of native advertising to get away from ad-blocking isn’t a new one, but now with CPG brands like L’Oréal taking notice and testing these theories, influencer marketing has truly turned a corner. Not only is L’Oréal working with Enjoy Phoenix to promote their products, but they’ve established a long term relationship with her – in fact she appears weekly on their Maybelline YouTube channel, producing over 66 episodes for them thus far.
Influencer marketing is not only a way for brands to establish visibility in a natural and relatable format, but also an opportunity to highlight the brand in a new and different light for their audience. L’Oréal spent 25% of their 7.9B budget on Digital Advertising last year – how much will it be in 2016, and more importantly, how much of it will be going to influencers?
Other Influencer Marketing Highlights:
Welcome to the Community: Connie Talbot
Connie was a finalist on Britain’s Got Talent – do you remember this viral video of her from almost 10 years ago? Along with her amazing voice, she already has a great fan base with over one million subscribers on YouTube and 130K followers on Instagram. Her channel includes covers of songs as well as her original music, AND she just released her debut album! Check out her channel and get started working with her.
Meet Kristin Sarah
Travel the world with Kristin Sarah. Described as an”out-of-the-box and off-the-beaten-path” channel, Kristin Sarah features travel adventures ranging from trip highlights, to how-to’s and other travel guides, to internationally inspired cooking inspiration and much more. Kristin Sarah’s channel is funny, carefree and you never know what to expect next. The 80K+ subscriber base she’s amassed are loyal fans, and you will be too once you get a glimpse into this adventure travel junkie’s life.
One to Watch: Maria Yeager
Coming up on her 1 year anniversary on YouTube, Maria has amassed almost 3K subscribers to her beauty-focussed channel. We expect this number to increase dramatically – some of her most recent videos have received almost as many views as she has channel subscribers, and the video below is up to 14K views. With over 14K followers on Instagram to boot, Maria is a creator we’ll be keeping our eye on. Looking for an up-and-comer beauty guru? Maria is your pick!
Back To School Inspiration
Many YouTube users turn to their favorite creators for Back to School shopping inspiration. With Morgan’s relaxed and relatable demeanor, her videos appeal to a broad audience and make Back to School shopping easy. Her channel features a variety of video styles including lookbooks and hauls, and is growing in popularity.
Alisha offers shoppers a unique perspective on Back to School, featuring DIY organization and study tips on her main YouTube channel, while providing Back to School supply shopping tips on her vlog. Her versatility and creativity is relatable and fun – we can understand why her 2 channels alone reach almost 5M subscribers!
Back to School shopping season isn’t only about shopping for apparel, it’s also about preparing for the up and coming school year. In this unique take on Back to school, Jordan features her school emergency kit, featuring an array of essentials and hacks for students. With thousands of Back to School videos being uploaded every day to YouTube, taking a unique perspective can be a great way to reach your target audience.
June has been a busy one, and July won’t be slowing down anytime soon! We look forward to catching up with you next month for our July recap for The Month in Influencer Marketing.
Think we missed anything, or would like to contribute to future editions of the report? Connect with the team here.
Want to learn more about Grapevine? Our team of influencer marketing pros can help you set up a campaign in less than 15 minutes.