“Brands building in-house influencer marketing teams is probably the No. 1 trend in the industry right now,” said Gil Eyal, CEO of influencer analytics platform Hypr. Check out the latest article from Social Jack! #GotInfluence



In less than five years, influencer marketing has gone from a trendy method of marketing amplification to a serious sales driver. Check out the latest article from Social Jack! #GotInfluence



The use of influencer marketing is on the rise, particularly on Instagram. Check out the latest article from Social Jack! #InfluencerMarketing #GotInfluence




The Facebook algorithm change that has publishers panicking may be good news for a certain group inside the industry: influencers and their followers. Check out the latest article from Social Jack! #InfluencerMarketing #GotInfluence


Influencer talent agencies are using social-amplification practices to pump up results, creating erroneously successful campaigns or potentially causing safety issues for brands. Check out the latest article from Social Jack! #InfluencerMarketing #GotInfluence


Financial services institutions are known to shy away from social media due to strict industry regulations. But a growing number of consumer-facing banks, insurance companies and personal finance apps are looking to create promotional content with individuals with large followings on social media, in order to add personality to their brands and cater to the 18- to 34-year-old cohort, according to agency executives.

“Financial services is a tough category, but one I think would be of interest to millennials and women,” said Holly Pavlika, svp of marketing and content for influencer agency Collective Bias, which is pitching several banks. “Education is a huge need in the category around investing and getting a mortgage, et cetera, and having real people tell real stories helps make the category less intimidating.”

Kerry Perse, director of social media for agency OMD, said that when her team ran its first influencer campaign in the financial services vertical around two years ago, the client needed to be educated on what influencer marketing was and convinced that the content would be compliant with the Federal Trade Commission and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority regulations. Now, companies in financial services have a much better understanding of influencer marketing and feel more comfortable with this marketing approach, she said.

“We’ve already done influencer marketing for a couple of financial clients this year, and we are also planning for next year,” said Perse.

influencer marketingMeanwhile, Kamiu Lee, vp of strategy and business development for influencer platform Bloglovin’, has seen a growing interest from financial clients in working with influencers since last year, especially later in 2017, as those companies want to humanize the brand and reach young people, she said. “This is also because as influencer marketing matures, industries outside food, fashion and beauty are also catching up,” said Lee. “Marketers now understand what influencer marketing means — it’s not just about product placement.”

Rob Gregory, president of influencer agency Whosay, also said there’s a growing demand for influencer marketing from clients like Bank of America, Cigna and Principal Financial.

But it’s not easy to run influencer marketing in financial services because of FTC and FINRA regulations. In some cases, financial products may require more disclosures than what the FTC requires. For instance, influencers may need to include a line like “past performance doesn’t guarantee future performance” in their financial product endorsements, in addition to the #ad hashtag, according Pavlika. Meanwhile, individuals are not allowed to endorse a specific stock or investment idea under FINRA, so influencers can’t post or share that type of messaging, said Lee.

“All the legal [regulations] have the potential to take away from authenticity and interrupt the influencer’s ability to tell a story in a human way,” said Pavlika.

Given the strict industry regulations, Perse and Lee both think a good way for financial companies to approach influencer marketing is developing content that relates to an individual’s personal experience, especially life milestones like buying a house or starting a business, where the influencer promotes a financial product in general terms. For instance, a financial-planning app can work with a recently engaged influencer who may talk about how the app helps her save money while planning her wedding, according to Lee.

Another example: If a campaign is about an individual retirement account rollover, the brand can use lifestyle social influencers to talk about how they used one to easily consolidate their multiple retirement accounts from previous employers, said Perse. “They talk about specific products in the context of life stage or a current challenge,” she added.

Lee believes that since financial companies typically have ongoing philanthropic initiatives, they can also work with influencers on that front. “Influencers can help humanize the story instead of just saying bank XYZ donates this much money,” she said.

While financial institutions could benefit from influencer marketing, the decision to work with social stars comes down to the product. For instance, investment products are not a right fit for influencer marketing, while digital wallet products, apps and functional bank offerings are ideal, said Pavlika.

The post Financial institutions have a growing interest in influencer marketing appeared first on Digiday.

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For the upcoming Social Media Strategies Summit in Chicago, I’m at work putting together a full speaker line-up of brand marketers coming to share their stories of how they’re packing a real punch with their social media and content strategy. One of these speakers is Stacie Grissom, the head of content at BarkBox: the company creating a next-generation brand for dogs and dog people through their monthly subscription of dog goodies. She let me pick her brain about what it’s like working at BarkBox and how her team sets themselves up for success in video.

Tell us a little bit about your journey at BarkBox. You were employee #3 in 2012. BarkBox has seen tremendous growth since then. How has your role changed over the years as the company has expanded?

The company is 350 employees now with an office in NYC as well as Columbus, Ohio! When I joined the company we all fit into a tiny windowless room in Chinatown, NYC. My role back then included everything from running to the post office to answering customer support emails while I got the beginnings of our content and social media plans off the ground. Today I run the content team that produces our social, video, and copy content for BarkBox. It’s been such a fun challenge for me to try and keep up with the growth of the company as it’s evolved over the years, the pace definitely pushed me beyond what I ever thought I was capable of over 5 years ago.

Engaging content is at the forefront of the BarkBox marketing strategy. Can you tell us about the structure of your marketing team, and how that has enabled your content initiatives to thrive?

At BarkBox we have a bit of a unique approach to the structure of our content and marketing teams. The content team is a completely separate group from marketing that reports up to the founder, Henrik Werdelin, who is responsible for all things creative.

From the beginning, we’ve operated under the philosophy that for people to be interested in our message or products, our strategy must focus on entertainment over selling. If you look at the entire landscape of content that we put out in the world, it’s around 80% content completely unrelated to BarkBox and 20% content involving our product. We rarely post promotions on our organic channels and reserve that for paid channels that the marketing team runs. I believe this is a huge part of our success because we’ve been able to create a party atmosphere where an audience wants to hang. The content team is the DJ, the marketing team is the party promoters.

Your team produced the catchy Dog Mom Rap in May of last year, Dog Dad love song in June, followed by the Holiday Anthem in December. BarkBox clearly has a good grasp on their target audience. How does the BarkBox team work to leverage customer insights to produce video ideas like these?

A huge part of our success in our more viral content is that I’ve always prioritized hiring dog-obsessed comedians over more traditional writers or folks with a marketing background. Humor is such a difficult yet powerful tool to connect with an audience and since I think dogs are the funniest creatures on the planet it was a natural direction to pursue in our content from the beginning.

When we set out to write something like our musical comedy pieces, we pull insights and successes from the 100+ pieces of micro-content that we put up each week. (Micro-content includes things like pictures, user-generated community videos, and dog stories that we produce.) If a piece of content performs well and connects with folks as a small moment, we will produce something higher lift around that insight and it usually pays off.

What are your top 5 social media tools, marketing blogs or resources that you couldn’t imagine living without?

What is one of the biggest challenges BarkBox is tackling right now in terms of content strategy?

I’d say that our biggest challenge at the moment is definitely being at the mercy of social media platforms all the time. I’m not sure what Facebook’s latest algorithm announcement means for us but it’s just another moment that shows how important it is that my team stays nimble and able to change strategies quickly and efficiently. As a team, we must stay curious and catch ourselves the moment we get set in our ways because our jobs can change in one algorithm update.

staciegrissom-blog-600x315.jpgWhat are some of the most exciting shifts you’ve seen over the years in how consumers interact with your content?

One of the most exciting things to me is watching the performance of our original content start to pick up some traction and make an impact for our engagement and overall reach. While telling dog stories from our community and network will always be our bread and butter with things like subscriber features and uplifting dog moments, it’s always been a challenge to get our produced stuff to work as well as a video of a beagle stealing chicken nuggets from a toaster. I feel like we are starting to understand our larger audience of dog people and their tastes for humor and silliness and that is so exciting to me.

Don’t miss Stacie’s presentation in Chicago, where she’ll share the story of how BarkBox uses video to engage with a passionate community of dog people. Check out details here.

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With the rise in the adoption, brands are increasingly turning to influencers to help get their message across with more passion, creativity, and authenticity. Consumers trust word of mouth over all forms of marketing, and Influencer Marketing in 2018 gauges shall rise higher.

Influencers may range from superstars and internet celebrities who appeal to a broad and widely ranging audience such as Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and Katrina Kaif to the micro influencers and bloggers on social media, who interact with a smaller but highly engaged section of their audience, such as Technical Guruji and Geeky Ranjit for Tech, or @masterchefmom or @thefinelychopped for Food. Influencer Marketing in 2018 will evolve, and reach greater heights to accomplish even more wonderful things.

Speaking to a number of brand custodians, CMOs, Agency Heads, Bloggers and Influencers, the Influencer Marketing Outlook 2018 from Buzzoka analyzes and tries to ascertain the changing face Influencer Marketing in 2018 and where it headed.

Some of the key findings from the report include:

“In today’s evolved and crowded world, the traditional sentiment of hearing the voice of people who matter hasn’t still changed. Even with the rapid changing technology across spectrum of life, the importance of resting the belief on influencer’s words on a topic especially new technology things is ever growing and is certainly a new form of “word-of-mouth” (now digitally).” says Amit Gujral, CMO, LG India.

“Influencer Marketing has huge potential and we are seeing an upward trend in the influencer space as there is a tremendous scope for brands to initiate conversations in a thought through environment, with rising Platforms like Snapchat, Quora etc. I am sure we are seeing an amazing year ahead.” Gursharan Mishra Media Buying Head at Isobar Delhi.

“Influencer Marketing is a rising game and it has huge potenal to lead the marketing mix. Metrics and creativity will be a differentiator in 2018.” Yogin Vora, Partner, Digital, DDB Mudra.

Influencer Marketing is the future of marketing across the globe. With platforms
like YouTube evolving, we are sure the world will be revolving around the tonnes of content created. YouTube from a YouTubers perspective is the game changer and will rule the coming
days too.” Rahul Vora from iRahul Vora

“Influencer Marketing has been on a soaring high and I see the numbers increasing this year as well. But final surviving agencies will always be those that consider the ratio of authentic content with organic reach as opposed to personal relations and low remunerations.” Shifa Merchant from Sassy Shifa Says.

Influencer Marketing in 2018These are some of the findings from this survey, the complete report – Influencer Marketing Outlook 2018 from Buzzoka can be downloaded here.

This survey was conducted with over 500 Marketers and Influencers.

Note: Buzzoka launched its DIY Influencer Marketing Platform with this report. The report intends to cover the length and breadth of Influencer Marketing Ecosystem in India from Brands and Influencers perspective

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How to Rock Your Personal Brand – The Start of Your Influence

If you have ever received a referral for a job or new business, you know how critical your online personal brand can be. People are only one click away from choosing you or moving on, and many times you will never even know. In our Social Jack Influencer Development Classes we teach the fundamentals to make that shift to be found and chosen first by your network. Let’s cover some of the core principals.

In our 8 step process, we start with a core story to build your personal brand. We first want to make sure we understand the desired outcome of our professional. Everything should drive to that destination or outcome.

Know or Define Your Authentic Self (Your Story)

We want to know the “what” our professional subject is going for and “why” being known is so important. We want this information as part of their story and to begin the creation of their persona and personal brand. Sometimes we have professionals and executives who are working on their career, so they may want to get to a certain level of career advancement or promotion. Some are looking for executive presence and thought leadership. Whatever goals you are wanting to accomplish, it is important to know this before you begin to work on yourself or with someone like us.

Knowing your story is critical, but it is perfectly okay to start with a draft and adjust along the way.  Some people wait years to even begin writing their story; the key is to pick a point and simply begin. Find trusted allies that will provide feedback, and even some subject matter, and experts to help you as well. Generally speaking, people are very willing to help. You may also have colleagues you work with that might have gone before you. Ask yourself this question: “What do you want to be known for?” Use your answer to craft a short narrative, typically 300-500 words. Catch yourself: you will want to tack things on as you go, which is fine, but make sure they are relevant. Stay targeted. Keep your focus.

Watch our latest class on establishing your personal brand HERE

When writing and building profiles and bios we look at the story as a whole, analyze the target audience, and determine which words people will use to find you on the internet and how you want to be found. Sometimes the keywords are not always what you would choose, however, they are what people would use to find you. Keywords and phrases are typically made up of 1 to 3 words and the ideal profile has 10 keyword phrases. If that seems like a lot right now, start small- itt is okay to start with 5 and add from there. Once you have your keywords, weave them into your story. You should do this AFTER you draft your story so you can flow with your ideas before worrying about keywords. If you need more help with keywords, we have a whole course you can reference in our Basic Social Jack Account.

Know Your Ideal Target

Think about your ideal audience: these are the people you want to attract and who you ideally want to do business with. You should be able to identify your ideal target at a very specific level: industry, title, type of company, geographic locations, size of organization, years in business, whatever matters most to you. Narrowing it down can be tough for many of us as we sometimes want to keep adding, however, the tighter you make your ideal target the better your story will be.  Plus, it will take less effort to generate new business or advance your career when your story is concrete and your target is narrow.

Even if you do not go into social selling, you should do this next step at least once a month for your own protection. First, Google your name and any variations. This could look like your name + your company name, your job title, etc. When you Google your name, you are looking for things that you are NOT aware of and making sure that all your Social Media profiles, websites and content are in alignment with your new brand (story). Look over at least the first two pages of your search results. The first things that should appear are any Social Network accounts, websites and high-traction videos. You can simply replace your old profiles with your newest profiles or update the information across platforms, but you absolutely want to delete any old, invalid profiles.

Next, set up Google Alerts with your name, brand names, company names, etc. With this free tool, you can have Google alert you at the frequency you desire (we recommend daily) any time your name pops up on the internet. I actually do this for my entire family! You will need a Gmail account to set this up, but that is also free.

Engage In Relevant Online Conversations

Anywhere online — blogs, video, pod casts, Social Media sites, online news articles, etc. — make sure you get your name and your brand attached to the content that’s most relevant to your story and that fits the keywords you want to be known for. This will take some practice. You can also engage (like, comment, share, retweet, etc.) with the content of other thought leaders. This will give you reach and visibility into their Social network, which can only be good for you. See the 7 likes and 3 comments on the post below. On average, this would reach thousands of views in news feeds as people keep engaging. Keep playing with this and have fun; it’s networking right from your smartphone.

It might seem like you have a long way to go, but remember you can start right now with these first few steps. It only takes a few hours to make basic changes and get out of the gate. If you don’t like where you’re starting from, you can make simple adjustments as you grow.  Just remember any time you make changes to one profile you should make the same changes across your other profiles, too. Also, remember to do this with others! Our goal is that you take what you have learned and someone else; you are never alone- nor should you be! If you need further resources, check out our Free Resource Center at Social Jack. You can access our Free Resource Center by signing up for a Basic Social Jack Account plus browse the worksheets and classes currently available.

We will see you (and your story) online!

We hope to see you in one of our next classes!

Join us for our next Online Flash Class: Personal Branding and Storytelling – How to Rock Your Digital Presence

Register HERE