A recent survey revealed 84% of marketers plan on executing at least one influencer marketing campaign during the next 12 months.
But what exactly is “influencer marketing”? Well, it’s the grey territory between an official testimonial and a subtle product mention, which is done almost in passing.
The best example is to imagine that you are back in high school. You walk down the hallway, backpack straps pulled tight. And suddenly, you stroll past the “popular crowd” of girls—who, metaphorically speaking, would be Kylie Jenner on Instagram.
You hear Kylie say in passing, “I love my Fashion Nova jeans.” Instantly you feel as though you know something no one else does. You know what she wears, and what she considers to be cool.
This is exactly what has happened. Kylie Jenner partnered up with affordable clothing brand, Fashion Nova, and in one Instagram post made this clear point (the photo gathering a stunning 2.2M likes): you don’t have to buy designer clothes to look like a superstar. You just need Fashion Nova.
The above example is a perfect case-in-point of what brands are now willing to pay big bucks for. It’s not exposure they want. Pure numbers and big promises of “impressions” are only half the value.
The other, more important, half comes from association. It’s happening everywhere, from a-list celebrities all the way down to tiny niche thought leaders. Even small businesses and boutiques will spend a bit of money for a social media influencer with a few thousand followers in their market.
Because what they’ll get in return is targeted exposure to the right kind of consumer, one who is already interested and will likely pay attention.
This is opposite of what’s happening with television right now, on which commercials have officially become background noise. Think on your own life. When was the last time a commercial came on and you didn’t pull out your phone?
The only difference is that now, as you scroll through your Instagram feed, you are still seeing advertisements. You just can’t tell right away. Your favorite influencers, who you already follow, are repping products and promoting brands, all the while still staying true to their unique voice and story.
Social media influencers exist on all the primary social platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. Even the smaller social platforms like Musical.ly have given birth to Internet famous celebrities and influencers down in the single-digit age group.
These are the child stars of the modern day, and they are becoming more and more savvy about how to properly collaborate with brands for their own creative campaigns.
Another interesting stat is that 47% of online consumers use ad blockers, giving brands and businesses even more reason to put their dollars behind influencers instead. Influencers are the ones holding everyone’s attention.
They are the ones people actually spend time watching. And as long as all eyes are on them, more and more brands are going to see value in paying these people to represent their products.
This trend is not limited to mainstream and popular markets such as fashion, athletics, or entertainment. There are influencers in markets centered around everything from bass fishing to hot yoga to mindfulness and spirituality.
In fact, to call it “influencer marketing” is really only the beginning. What’s truly happening is a broader shift, as more and more people are discovering the art of personal branding.
When you have a personal brand, when you have an audience and people see you as a thought leader in your specific niche or market, you have something no one else does: you have people’s attention.
And that, in itself, is highly valuable, not just to brands but to other thought leaders as well. Having a personal brand opens doors of opportunity. Now more than ever we see a rising amount of influencers who are starting to understand their value.
Five years ago, it would have been thought ludicrous for a teenager to have a million followers on Instagram. Now? Those same teenagers are negotiating with big brands and calling the shots, always careful to ensure that they don’t “sell out” and just become a product pusher.
The best influencers work to integrate their branded campaigns into their unique stories without skipping a beat. They know their audiences are fickle and can quickly leave, so they treat each and every post with care.
In 2017, these sorts of collaborations between big brands and influencers are only to increase. So much so, that if influencer marketing is the beginning, then what’s next is the shift from social media to social marketplaces.
Original article on Forbes.com by AJ Agrawal
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Daily fantasy football craze: DraftKings, FanDuel spend combined $27M on advertising this week
by Taylor Soper on September 15, 2015 at 10:59 am
If you watched any football during the first week of NFL action this past Sunday, you surely saw an advertisement for DraftKings or FanDuel.
The two companies, which run daily fantasy sports games and are handing out millions of dollars per week to users, spent a combined $27 million on TV advertising during the past week according to data from Seattle-based iSpot.tv, a real-time analytics service that tracks specific TV advertising campaigns.
On its list of “top 10 spenders in TV advertising this week,” iSpot.tv reported that DraftKings ranked No. 1 with $16.3 million (and counting) spent on 5,363 national airings — it actually was spending even more earlier this month. FanDuel, meanwhile, ranked No. 7 with $10.8 million spent on 2,599 national airings.
Other companies in this list include the likes of Warner Bros., AT&T, Universal Pictures, Verizon, and Geico.
At first glance, DraftKings and FanDuel don’t exactly fit in with these other corporations. But this speaks to the massive growth of the two new companies and the capital they are working with.
In July, FanDuel raised a $275 million round from investors like KKR, Google Capital, and Time Warner that valued it at more than $1 billion. A few weeks later, DraftKings raised a $300 million round led by Fox Sports, which valued the startup at more than $1.2 billion.
DraftKings, founded in 2011, brought in $30 million in revenue last year, the Wall Street Journal reported. FanDuel, founded in 2009 — it spun out of news startup HubDub in 2010 — made $57 million last year. The companies make money by taking a small commission from each entry fee; FanDuel said that it takes about 10 percent from each fee.
Both companies, which also have investments from professional sports leagues and sponsor several pro teams, went on an all-out advertising blitz this weekend as millions around the country watched the inaugural week of the 2015-16 NFL season. It seemed there was an ad for either company multiple times during each televised game, and not just on Sunday. After Michigan State’s win over Oregon on Saturday, my TV was left on ABC after the game and an extended informercial that lasted at least ten minutes was playing for FanDuel.
While fantasy sports have been around for a while, these new daily games are becoming more popular as of late. Rather than a typical season-long fantasy league that forces users to keep the same roster for months, FanDuel and DraftKings let people compile different lineups each week and pick from an array of money pools that have some serious payouts to top finishers. For example, a DraftKings pool for this past NFL weekend featured an entry fee of $20 for each lineup, with a top prize of $2 million.
From FanDuel’s website.
From FanDuel’s website.
As these sites become more popular with NFL fans, they are also drawing scrutiny from both traditional sports betting operators as well as those the legal side. The Washington Post noted on Monday that a ranking member of the Energy and Commerce requested a hearing to discuss “how participation in fantasy sports differs from gambling, as well as the relationship between professional leagues, teams, and players and the fantasy leagues.”
“Anyone who watched a game this weekend was inundated by commercials for fantasy sports websites, and it’s only the first week of the NFL season,” Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. said in a statement. “These sites are enormously popular, arguably central to the fans’ experience, and professional leagues are seeing the enormous profits as a result. Despite how mainstream these sites have become, though, the legal landscape governing these activities remains murky and should be reviewed.”
DraftKings, which inked an exclusive partnership with ESPN in June, calls itself a “U.S.-based skill games company,” and says that its contests are legally operated under U.S. and Canadian law.
“The legality of daily fantasy sports is the same as that of season long fantasy sports,” the company notes. “Federal law and 45 of the 50 U.S. states allow skill-based gaming. Daily fantasy sports is a skill game and is not considered gambling.”
Residents of Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, or Washington cannot participate in DraftKings contests due to state-specific regulations against cash prize awards. The same goes for FanDuel users.
On its FAQ page, FanDuel has a similar answer to the question of “Is FanDuel legal?”:
Yes, Fantasy Sports is considered a game of skill and received a specific exemption from the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). FanDuel uses exactly same rules as season long fantasy sports game, the only difference is that our games last only a day. Thanks to fantasy sports being specifically excluded from laws affecting online sports betting, FanDuel is not illegal in any way. Trust us, our lawyers drive very nice cars so that we can keep it that way. We’re also members of the The Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA).
FanDuel and DraftKings are the top daily fantasy sports sites, but others are also trying to compete. Yahoo entered the daily fantasy sports arena this summer when the tech giant announced it would offer a new daily games platform. There’s also AlphaDraft, which runs daily and weekly contests for eSports and received investment from ex-NBA commissioner David Stern and star player Carmelo Anthony in May.
The New York Times noted that “the business of daily fantasy sports is only a few years old, but it has become a nearly ubiquitous presence.” The Fantasy Sports Trade Association reported 41.5 million fantasy sports players in 2014 who spent an average of $111 on games and league costs.
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