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The Brands Killing it in Influencer Marketing This Year

Weight-loss tea anyone? Hair-growth pills? What about at-home teeth whitening kits?

If you’re an active Instagram user, you’ve probably scrolled down your Instagram timeline and caught one of your favorite social media celebrities casually mentioning their love for one of the aforementioned products.

You know this is called influencer marketing, and while you can’t argue with its impact on brand awareness, some brands do it better than others.

Influencer marketing has become such a buzzword in the marketing industry, it’s being used to describe any celebrity’s (D-list or otherwise) involvement in a marketing campaign.

But I think there’s a line between celebrity endorsements and real influencer marketing. The distinction is really about content creation. The best influencer campaigns are those where influencers create their own content in support of the brand’s goals.

From fitness to travel and cosmetics, here’s a look at the brands who’ve generated some of the best influencer marketing content so far this year.

Tarte Cosmetics
In late January, Tarte cosmetics flew a gang of makeup and fitness gurus to Hayman Island, a private island off the coast of Australia, for a few days of sun, fun and beach. They followed this trip up with a jaunt to the Florida Keys and most recently the Maldives. Each time they had a gaggle of influencers in tow.

These trips have been branded #TrippinWithTarte and the social media influencers participate in Snapchat-worthy excursions every day like morning yoga, lunch by the pool, dinner on the beach, hikes and massages.

The influencers all possess huge followings. For example, fitness and makeup guru Tammy Hembrow, who attended Tarte’s Hayman island trip, has more than 6.5 million Instagram followers, more than 700K YouTube subscribers, 34K plus Twitter followers and a successful blog.

In just the last month the #TrippinWithTarte hashtag was mentioned more than 680 times according to social analytics platform Keyhole.

With most influencer marketing targeting women, it was interesting to see Axe Hair enlist 30 top male influencers to promote their styling products.

One influencer tapped by the brand was actor Josh Peck who has more than 4 million Instagram followers. Peck along with the other 29 influencers are referred to by the brand as the AXE Hair Creators. Their goal is to show everyday guys how styling has impacted their success.

Another popular influencer marketing tactic is for influencers to host events sponsored by the brand. At these events the Axe Hair Creators are tasked with showcasing not just why they style everyday but how they achieve their looks. The collective wants to inspire men who want to do more with their hair, but just don’t know where to start.

Fashion Nova
Fashion Nova is a brand that has become successful largely due to it’s ongoing and aggressive influencer marketing efforts.

“We work with 3,000 to 5,000 influencers,” said Fashion Nova’s founder and CEO, Richard Saghian, via a phone interview published by Vice.

Fashion Nova views itself as a “viral store.” The digital storefront relies on the popularity of celebrity and model influencers to spread word-of-mouth advertising to their eager followers.

They count among their influencer ranks it-girl Kylie Jenner, whose sole Instagram post about the brand’s jeans received tons of engagement: 2.7 million likes and 558K comments.

Jenner, to date, has 93.8 million Instagram followers and lands in eighth place for most number of Instagram followers in the world, but Fashion Nova also takes special care to engage micro influencers as well.

Many in the industry categorize micro-influencers as creators with under 100K followers or subscribers, like YouTube beauty vlogger BlissfulBrii who has 93K subscribers. Since the start of the year, BlissfulBrii has posted two videos featuring Fashion Nova clothing. The vlogs reached a combined total of 200K views, 4,300 like and almost 200 comments.

Glossier is a relatively new brand (founded in 2014) that has skyrocketed quickly thanks to strong influencer marketing. The brand doesn’t focus on follower count but prioritizes the engagement rates of potential partners.

For instance they’ve worked with Instagram user Cecilia Gorgon who possesses about 8,500 followers. Gorgon isn’t a content creator or celebrity, in fact she described herself as a student at the University of Michigan living in Ann Arbor and majoring in Fine Arts, in an Into the Gloss article published late last year.

She posted a photo of the brand’s Priming Moisturizer Rich encouraging her followers to purchase it because she’d “been testing it out the past few days and it’s so moisturizing.” Gorgon added that face cream made her “skin feel like a baby’s booty.”

Another example of Glossier’s micro-influencer strategy is their Glossier reps program. Glossier recently flew 13 of their reps to NYC for 48 hours.

One of those reps is YouTube vlogger Amy Serrano. She has a strong following of 47K YouTube subscribers. The beauty vlogger documented the whole excursion and just 2 days after posting, the video boasted more than 5K views, 350 likes and 57 comments.

Serrano also dedicated 4 of her Instagram posts to the trip for a combined total of of more than 2,900 likes and almost 50 comments. With a dozen other reps documenting their trips the reach and engagement was sure to be significant.

For more in-depth lessons on identifying the best influencers for your next influencer marketing campaign, check out the Essential Guide to Influencer Marketing.

The post The Brands Killing it in Influencer Marketing This Year appeared first on Mediabistro.

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Trump’s Family Leave Plan: What Employers Need to Know

It was announced today that President Trump’s budget for 2018 will include paid family leave. Here’s everything HR and employers need to know.

Basically, the proposed plan includes a provision for both mothers and fathers to be granted six weeks of paid leave following the birth—or adoption—of a child.

This is quite a change from the current system of zero weeks of mandated paid leave.

According to The Washington Post, workers currently “can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave after a birth, as long as they’ve worked at a company that employs at least 50 people for a year. A little more than half of American companies already offer the benefit: 58 percent replace at least some wages during maternity leave, and 12 percent cover some leave for dads.”

Trump’s proposal, driven by his daughter and advisor Ivanka during the election campaign, would be a step toward bringing America up to speed with the rest of the world.

Quartz reported that the U.S. is “the only industrialized nation without a national paid parental leave program and only one of eight among all 193 states in the United Nations. The others, as of 2014, are Papua New Guinea, Suriname, and five tiny Pacific Island countries: the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, and Tonga. Currently, the US requires employers to offer only unpaid leave to full-time workers, a policy it shares with New Guinea.”

It would be funded through the existing unemployment insurance system at a cost of approximately $25 billion over the next ten years. Time Magazine said that White House officials estimated 1.3 billion people would benefit from paid family leave, “which would have no income limit, though high earners would have a capped benefit.”

The program would be implemented and run by individual states, not the federal government. Fortune reported that “only three states—New Jersey, Rhode Island, and California—already have such programs in place. New York and Washington, D.C. have approved plans to roll out their own programs next year.”

The administration believes this approach offers flexibility, but it could create state-by-state discrepancies that adversely affect employers and employees.

Debra Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women and Families, told The Guardian that “A paid leave plan that continues the current state-by-state patchwork, only provides six weeks of leave when we have a clearly established 12-week national standard, guarantees leave only for new parents and is not funded responsibly would do more harm than good.”

It’s unlikely that the budget will pass, which could leave paid family leave by the wayside. “Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have suggested the plans will make little headway in Congress,” The Financial Times said.

Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader in the Senate, wrote in a statement: “We should ignore the president’s budget, which would devastate the middle class, and instead work across the aisle to advance reasonable, compromise legislation later this year.”

“This budget is dead before arrival, so he [Trump] might as well be out of town,” agreed David A. Stockman, a former budget director under President Ronald Reagan, in a New York Times article.

Paid family leave is a step in the right direction, but the overall budget will almost certainly be changed as it moves through congress, budget committees, and appropriations subcommittees.

Don’t expect federally mandated, state-funded family leave anytime soon.

The post Trump’s Family Leave Plan: What Employers Need to Know appeared first on Mediabistro.

Reblogged 4 hours ago from

#SproutChat Recap: Incorporating Snark Into Your Social Strategy

In a social-first era, more and more brands are coming out of their shell and becoming a little more brazen in their activity. This brazen behavior often comes with snark and a sense of humor is often referred to as “savage”.

In this week’s #SproutChat, Sprout Social’s Social Media Manager, Darryl Villacorta, shared his thoughts on how brands should converse with their audience and where the future of social media engagement is headed.

Remain Professional & Genuine

Maintaining professionalism on social doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your brand voice. Being funny or entertaining  doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be mean. A good social marketer knows their audience and should be able to connect on social while being genuine.

Consider Your Audience

As n you’re crafting your brand voice, keep your audience front and center. Humor isn’t always universal but friendliness can go a long way. Before you launch into a snarky response, first think about who you’re talking to. Listen to how your audience perceives messages and understand why they’re interacting with your brand.

Always Remain Authentic

Brands that remain authentic and true to their audience are the brands that. Stand out by adding humor and wit without sounding condescending or mean. If your audience is coming to your brand looking for support or help stand out by giving outstanding customer service.

Don’t Feed the Trolls

It’s inevitable that your brand is going to experience a handful of trolls on social. Don’t get caught up in the heat of the moment. Take a step back and weigh the pros and cons of engaging with a troll before you respond.

Everyone in Your Community Is a Potential Customer

Think of any social response as a customer interaction. Publicly shaming your audience should be avoided.

The Future of Social Engagement is Evolving

Marketers know that their industry is always changing and social engagement no different. As our industry evolves, response times may be even faster with the efforts of bots and live-streaming. But one thing that won’t change? Brand consistency.

Join us next Wednesday, May 31 at 2pm CDT for #SproutChat to discuss geolocation on Facebook with Sprout All Star, Jeff Higgins. In the meantime, check out our Facebook community to connect with bright folks in the industry.

This post #SproutChat Recap: Incorporating Snark Into Your Social Strategy originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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FAME: Exploring Facebook’s Ads Manager for Excel

Facebook Ads Manager for Excel, FAME for short, is a tool designed to alleviate data export and reporting by fetching information from multiple Facebook campaigns or accounts. Learn more!


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How to Drive Website Traffic and Convert Visitors into Subscribers

Get your exclusive bonus content up front by downloading this Sign Up Form Checklist + 25 Content Upgrade Ideas bundle now!

What’s the point of a website if no one sees it? And why write emails if no one receives them?

It’s not enough to just create a website. You need to drive traffic to that content to connect with a larger audience. Why? Because more people visiting your website means more potential email subscribers. And when you have more people on your website and signing up to your valuable email list, it becomes easier to sell your product or service.

To help you identify ways to drive website traffic, there are three easy steps every business owner should keep in mind:

1. Get visitors to your website
2. Keep them there
3. Optimize the sign up experience

Let’s get started!

1. Get visitors to your website

There are a lot of ways to drive people to your website. The three I’m going to focus on are social media, partnerships and increased company visibility.

Use social media

Social media helps you reach new audiences in unique ways. By posting articles and supporting media on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and StumbleUpon, you can increase traffic to your website.

But which platform is best? Social media is changing every day. Data from Pew Research Center shows that Facebook remains the most popular social media site, with “nearly eight-in-ten online Americans (79 percent) now using Facebook, more than double the share that uses Twitter (24 percent), Pinterest (31 percent), Instagram (32 percent) or LinkedIn (29 percent).”


Overall though, the best platform to be on is the one that your target audience is already on. Each of these platforms will capture a different audience, so it’s important to identify where your target audience likes to spend their time so you can follow suit.

Use Google Analytics and/or the analytics provided by Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to track engagement and see where your audience is most engaged. Or, check out the social profiles for brands that have similar audiences to you. Where are they most active? Those platforms are probably ones you should have a presence on, too.

How are you getting your share of attention there? You could include links to your company’s social media pages on your website.

Also, include links so that people can share your content on their personal social media pages. Noah Kagan includes a side panel to the left of all of his blog posts so that viewers can share the posts to their personal social media accounts directly:

Noah Kagan

Try this: Move your social media links out of the header where they may blend in and use contrasting colors and large icons to draw the eye. This makes it easier for people to connect with you on various social platforms and spread awareness of your content and brand.

Timing is important

Social media posts tend to get buzz when they’re first published. However, the lifespan of these posts is relatively short; according to Wisemetrics, Facebook posts get 50 percent of their global reach in just 30 minutes.

This means that the timing of your posts is essential. Track your posts to see how they perform in terms of views and engagement, and determine which time is optimal to get the most interactions.

Try this: Post at different times of the day to test engagement. Create a series of posts that are similar in content, and try posting Monday morning, Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday evening. While engagement based on the day of the week may vary a bit, this will give you a good idea of the optimal time to post.

Find people to share your content

Partnerships are key.

Whether it be through social media or email marketing, find customers and people in your field to work with you and share your content. By doing this, you will reach a brand new audience to connect with.

Here at AWeber, for example, we often include quotes in our blog posts from important leaders in the digital marketing industry:

Click to tweet

And to encourage sharing, we include an option for readers to tweet the quote directly from the post.

The hope is that whoever shares your content is connected with others who will also be interested in your content and can continue the sharing… a wonderful, dead-end-proof cycle.

This sharing can lead people to want to learn more about your brand and ultimately, visit your website. Remember, your goal is to increase traffic to help grow your email list, so the more audiences you can meet, the better.

Reply to questions on other websites

People have a lot of questions… so why not answer them? Put your company’s name and voice out there by engaging in conversations happening in the comments of blogs and on Facebook groups.

As you develop brand awareness for your company, you also connect with like-minded people who might be interested in your content – which you can share to send them back to your site. This will ultimately allow you to connect with a larger base of customers and increase your email list too!

You can post in places like Reddit, Facebook groups and Quora. In this Quora example below, an Instagram marketer helps troubleshoot a common account problem:

Quora 1

Quora 2

By answering this question, Matt presents himself as a knowledgeable and helpful source of information related to Instagram.

To drive more traffic back to your site, however, be sure to include links to relevant pieces of content you have on your website.

Try this: Not sure where to start? Type into Google “How to…” and fill in the blank with a problem that your company solves with a product or service that you provide. For example, if you are a music producer, type in “How to begin making music” or “How to find a music producer.” Then, visit the forums that Google retrieves, and answer the questions!

2. Once you’ve got them on your site, keep them there

You did it! You’ve driven people back to your website! But now what?

Keep them there with great content. This will ensure that new visitors to your site hang around so you get a chance to educate them on your product/service, and they can sign up for your email list.

Present amazing content

Take time developing your website content. How do you want to portray your company? Who is your target audience? How will you connect with the right audience? Have you included valuable resources that viewers and customers are interested in? Have you met the customers’ demands?

Emphasize the benefits of your product or service, and include relevant articles that help solve issues common in your industry.

Additionally, create educational, evergreen content that’s relevant to your audience. Evergreen content helps you connect with a larger audience, since the content is applicable at any time. 

Creating great, valuable content shows visitors that you’re a reliable and helpful source. It’s also what’s going to convince them that your email list is worth signing up for.

Make it visually appealing

It doesn’t matter if you have the best content in the world… if your content is unpleasant to look at, people won’t stay on the website long enough to view it.

According to research from Stanford, 75 percent of users admit to making judgments about a company’s credibility based on their website’s design.

Website design

You don’t want to lose a potential email subscriber or customer based on lousy website design.

Vary your font sizes and colors to draw the eye around the page. Keep the colors and elements on your site aligned with your brand. Add pictures to intrigue the viewer. Check out some more design tips/tools.

In the example below, notice how Kind keeps the font and color palette consistent with the brand. The pictures also draw the eye around the page and add to the overall message.

Kind website

Try this: Don’t know how to write code? No problem! Check out these three website platforms that help you build a beautiful website without writing code.

Engage with visitors in comments

Make a space on your website for visitors to leave feedback, comments and ask questions. Interacting with these comments will create a service that is personalized and genuine, making the individual feel valued.

For example, at AWeber, there is a “Chat” section in the bottom right corner for users to communicate with the Customer Solutions Team on demand.
AWeber chat

Making each and every visitor feel great about your product or service improves satisfaction. The better the experience, the more likely they’ll be to sign up for your product or service and recommend it to others. And the more recommendations they make, the more people you can get in front of to sign up for your list and product!

Plus, it also gives you an opportunity to share valuable resources that will give them the information they need to find a solution to their problem. If you have a relevant course or ebook, for example, you can send it along and encourage them to sign up.

3. Optimize the sign up experience

Once you have people on your site, it’s time to present your email list in a way that highlights its value and convinces them to sign up.

Make sure your sign up form stands out on the page and communicates the value to subscribers.

In this example, Toms states exactly what you will get in exchange for your email address. They also use a creative call-to-action button:


To help sweeten the deal for on-the-fence subscribers, offer an incentive in return for their email address, such as a free ebook or course.

Bonus Content: Want to increase conversions on your sign up form? Download this bonus content package to get A Sign Up Form Checklist + 25 Content Upgrade Ideas!

Now it’s your turn!

By driving more traffic to your website, you can also increase the amount of people who sign up to your emails.

You have all the tools you need to succeed. Now go, drive that traffic!

If you are ready to optimize your sign up form with a FREE checklist + 25 Creative Content Upgrade Ideas, download your bonus content here!

The post How to Drive Website Traffic and Convert Visitors into Subscribers appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

Reblogged 8 hours ago from

SearchCap: Search trademark issues & search pictures

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

The post SearchCap: Search trademark issues & search pictures appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Reblogged 13 hours ago from

What Grade Do Marketers Give Their Personalization Efforts?

Are marketers pleased with the level of personalization in their own marketing efforts–and in the email, Web, and mobile channels they use? What grades do they give themselves? Read the full article at MarketingProfs

Reblogged 15 hours ago from

Content Marketing Stats and Trends in 2017 [Infographic]

How are B2B and B2C marketers using content marketing? What’s working, what’s not, and how do marketers feel about it? Check out today’s infographic, which is loaded with B2B and B2C content marketing stats, facts, and tips. Read the full article at MarketingProfs

Reblogged 15 hours ago from

The Content Trap: When Content Becomes a Commodity (and Three Ways to Break Free)

Everyone is publishing content today, at a blinding rate, and your undifferentiated content is getting lost in a sea of equally indistinguishable content. Bad news: Your content has become a commodity. Here’s what you can do about it. Read the full article at MarketingProfs

Reblogged 15 hours ago from

Free Geometric UI Icons With A Fresh And Futuristic Twist (100 Icons, 6 Formats)



How about an icon set that gives your UI designs just that finishing touch they need? One that stands out while keeping the design clear and legible? Vincent Le Moign spent two years on designing such a set, and we are very happy to feature part of it as a freebie today.

Free Geometric UI Icons With A Fresh And Futuristic Twist (100 Icons, 6 Formats)

The EGO icon collection shines with its well-balanced, geometric style — perfect to make a bold statement without being obtrusive. To prepare you for nearly everything that an app or web interface could ask for, EGO covers tech- and office-themed icons, just like commerce, transport, nature, and leisure motifs. 100 icons in total that can be resized and customized to your liking (AI, EPS, SVG, Sketch, Iconjar, and PDF versions are available). Black and duo-tone blue versions are already on board when you download the set.

The post Free Geometric UI Icons With A Fresh And Futuristic Twist (100 Icons, 6 Formats) appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

Reblogged 16 hours ago from