Don’t Ignore Influencer Marketing for Your Pet Products

Don’t knock influencer marketing when building your strategy for pet products. Influencer marketing amplifies word-of-mouth marketing through social media.

Do you trust a random TV actor pitching a product?

What about a celebrity pitch person — someone you’re familiar with? Would you trust this person more?

How about a close personal friend whose opinions you respect? Does their product recommendation carry even greater weight?

In most cases, the answer to these questions are all in the affirmative. There is a definite spectrum in terms of whom we trust — that’s one reason why word-of-mouth marketing has historically been so effective. People trust friends, family members and people they respect more than faceless corporations.

Influencer marketing offers many of the same benefits associated with word-of-mouth marketing, and amplifies those benefits by including the reach of social media. Let’s take a closer look at the current state of influencer marketing, how it can specifically be used to sell pet products more effectively, and the benefits of working with an influencer marketing agency.

Influencer marketing: a maturing market

The growth of influencer marketing has been nothing short of astonishing over the last few years. Just consider these statistics from Influencer Marketing Hub’s “The State of Influencer Marketing in 2020” report:

  • The influencer marketing industry is worth nearly $10 billion, growing from $1.6 billion in 2016.
  • Average earned media value per $1 spent has jumped to more than $5.
  • The number of micro-influencers used by large companies has tripled in three years.
  • 80% of respondents plan to have a dedicated influencer marketing budget in 2020.
  • 91% of respondents believe influencer marketing is an effective tactic for growing a customer base.

2020 trends for the influencer marketing space

As those statistics show, influencer marketing is on a rapid growth trajectory. Yet to get the most out of your influencer marketing campaigns, it’s essential to have your finger on the pulse of evolving trends. eMarketer’s recently published “2018 Influencer Marketing Report” cites the following trends for 2020:

  • 48% of businesses plan on using celebrity (or “macro”) influencers, while 45% will use micro influencers.
  • Instagram is the preferred platform for influencer marketing, with 100% of report respondents using it. 85% use Facebook, 67% reported using YouTube, Snapchat 44% and Twitter 33%.
  • TikTok, which is seeing some of the fastest growth among social platforms, is expected to be a major player in influencer campaigns in 2020.
  • Influencers will continue to cross-over from having niche social media followings to being full-fledged celebrities. While this will give the most prominent macro influencers more leverage with businesses seeking to work with them, it also greatly expands their potential orbit of influence.

How can this be applied to pet products?

The pet industry is a natural home for influencer marketing. People are devoted to their animals and love to consume and share pet-related content over social media. It’s estimated that one-quarter of all social content is pet-related and that one-fifth of pet owners have created a social media account specifically for their animal. The #dogsofinstagram hashtag alone is closing in on 200 million posts. Social media influencer marketing agencies that are solely dedicated to working with famous animal accounts have sprung up in the last couple of years, attesting to the power of this phenomenon.

Companies seeking to sell pet products therefore have a powerful advantage relative to businesses in other industries: An army of potential influencers waiting to be leveraged. Pet bloggers and owners of pet social media accounts number in the millions, which means that the pool of available influencer talent is vast. Given that the ability to source influencers is perennially ranked as one of the most difficult challenges for firms engaged in influencer marketing, this is a considerable advantage.

There is an obvious parallel to be drawn here: Mommy bloggers. Brands, over the last ten years, profited enormously from their partnership with high-profile mommy bloggers, who were able to build vast and deeply engaged audiences across various social platforms and websites. Parent-focused social media marketing become a core strategy for countless brands, and helped generate billions in new revenue.

Pet industry brands have a similar opportunity to leverage pet bloggers in the same way, given their sizable numbers and considerable reach. Pairing this approach with some of the trends we’ve cited above is a winning strategy for 2020 (we especially encourage brands to focus on integrating TikTok into their influencer marketing strategy, as that platform is poised to become perhaps only second to Instagram in terms of cultural cachet and reach).

Finding the right influencer marketing agency

At Bigeye, we are experts at crafting compelling influencer marketing campaigns rooted in a deep understanding of the latest trends and technologies. If your pet product campaign needs a boost, we encourage you to reach out to us today — and learn what the right influencer marketing campaign can do for your brand.

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Is Influencer Marketing Finally Out of Its Infancy?

Influencer marketing continues to grow at an extraordinary rate. Yet the field is on the verge of an even greater transformation. Here’s why.

Influencer marketing as a general concept stretches back to early 20th century consumer advertising, when athletes, actors and astronauts were turned into pitchmen extraordinaire. Yet influencer marketing in the modern sense has been around for little more than a decade. Despite its relative youth, influencer marketing has proven remarkably popular — and successful.

Total spend on Influencer marketing grew to $6.5 billion in 2019, a significant hike over the $1.6 billion spent in 2016. The industry is expected to crest $10 billion within the next two years, as roughly 70% of marketers expect to increase their spending in this category in 2020.

To earn a competitive advantage, however, you can’t just throw money at influencers — you need to ensure resources are deployed wisely. This means divesting yourself of older influencer techniques that have lost their ability to engage and convert, and deploying new strategies that earn instant attention and cultivate meaningful brand loyalty.

Understanding the evolution of the influencer market

To help you develop a winning influencer marketing strategy, let’s take a look at a few techniques that have lost their relevance:

  • Not giving your influencer the latitude to be creative. At one time, giving an influencer a fairly restrictive project brief made sense: Influencer marketing was new, and brands were taking a gamble by allowing non-traditional advocates to speak for their enterprises. Influencers, most of whom are used to engaging with audiences in an intimate and interactive setting, weren’t always shining examples of brand safety or caution, so it made sense to stick to a tight creative script. Today, however, most leading influencers are old pros and more than capable of adding value by stretching the creative bounds of a campaign.
  • Focusing too much on size. In the early days, the size of an influencer’s following was the most important metric. Today, however, we understand that engagement is just as critical (if no more so). Audience engagement also tends to drop as size grows, so it makes sense for brands to try to hit the sweet spot that pairs wide reach with active engagement. Brands are also increasingly targeting the micro-influencer space. Even an account with a few thousand followers can deliver an exceptional ROI if those are the right few thousand people.
  • Only using influencers within your niche. Again, this may have been entirely logical at one time, but you’re going to activate the Law of Diminishing Returns very quickly. To maximize the power of your influencer marketing strategy, reach beyond your niche or your industry and you can vastly widen the talent pool at your disposal. Great brand ambassadors can be found in the most unlikely places.

I’ve retired my obsolete techniques…tell me what’s next?

If you’re ready to refresh and recalibrate your influencer marketing approach, we think the following ideas are worth pursuing.

  • Drop the one-off engagements and build long-term relationships. Finding great talent is the eternal battle for any business. You should view influencers through the same prism. People with engaged followings who can sell your brand in a compelling way that’s consistent with its values…those people are not easy to replace. If you want your influencer marketing efforts to be a sustainable driver of marketing ROI, it’s important to cultivate long-lasting links.
  • Don’t get hung up on celebrities. Influencers sometimes get a bad name for being vapid or transactional. Brands that can avoid this and create influencer campaigns that deliver real value will have a great differentiator. Avoid shallow, celebrity-driven engagements and create something with more organic appeal and real value.
  • Insist that your influencers use every tool at their disposal. The best influencers stay ahead of the curve on the formats they use (whether video or AR) and the creative approaches they take. Your influencers should be as eager to push the envelope as you are — it’s the only way to remain relevant in a saturated market.

Finding the right influencer marketing agency

At Bigeye, we’ve been harnessing the power of creatively inspired influencer marketing since the earliest days of the form. If you’re looking for an influencer marketing agency that can help you create the kind of campaigns that engage and convert, reach out to Bigeye today.

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Want Effective Property Management Marketing? Mind your P’s & C’s

Didn’t grandma ever tell you to mind your own business? Now it’s time to shift focus to the P’s & C’s of property management social media marketing.

Social media moves fast — so it’s critical to stay up to date with the most innovative new ideas. The recent Multifamily Social Media Summit gave property management professionals the perfect opportunity to exchange such ideas and ruminate on the state of property management social media marketing.
If you weren’t able to travel to Napa Valley to attend the conference, don’t worry — we’ll take a seep dive to highlight all the most intriguing ideas.

Avoiding the “deadly four Ps”

Have you ever noticed that brands within some industries handle their social media with much more skill than brands in others? Part of this has to do with the nature of the business — it’s hard to make industrial supplies compelling, for example.

Property management falls somewhere in the middle of this spectrum. Yet this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For property management firms that get social media right, it’s a chance to become highly differentiated within their market.

One of the easiest ways to get it right is to prioritize storytelling. Let’s face it: Most people don’t care about the “deadly four P’s,” as marketer Steve Crescenzo refers to them: Policies, programs, products and procedures. What do they care about? According to Crescenzo, the “four Cs” — compelling, creative, concise and conversational content.

Partner with a property management social media marketing firm to present your content in the form of a narrative, rather than a dry report where you’re simply pushing out information, and you’ll keep your audience from tuning out.

Higher impact on a lower budget

Every marketer has heard it repeated ad nauseam: Video is critical to your success. More video content is now being uploaded every 30 days than all the content the broadcast TV networks have ever created. Additionally, audiences report deeper engagement with video content.

Unfortunately, video does present challenges. Many brands don’t have the time or the budget to create high-level video content on a consistent basis. However, there is a simple solution — the use of short animated videos. These videos are high impact and relatively inexpensive to produce.

By partnering with the right property management social media-marketing agency, multifamily businesses can reap the benefits of video marketing within their social efforts without deploying excessive resources.

An influential marketing approach

Influencer marketing isn’t new or novel, but it’s just now gaining traction within the multifamily space. By joining forces with an influencer, brands gain access to highly engaged users and receive an endorsement that carries more weight than traditional online marketing messages. The best influencers combine the weight and value of a word of mouth recommendation with the reach of digital.

Some multifamily properties are taking this strategy to the next level by offering free or discounted living space to partnered influencers. These influencers agree to share their living experiences within the community on social media in exchange for this consideration.

While partnering with influencers does require some due diligence and careful guidelines in terms of how content is presented, it’s a strategy that makes sense for multifamilies seeking to improve engagement and grow their social media audience.

The takeaway

If you’re seeking help with property management social media marketing, don’t wait to call our property team today. We’ve got the multifamily expertise, creative talent, and digital skills to help you creative a marketing campaign that creates interest, generates revenue, and increases occupancy.

3 Things to Unlearn About Video Game Marketing for Your Brand

Gaming is a 2.3 billion global person market, not tapping into this video game marketing arena is a huge loss of opportunity.

There are a lot of things that people think they know about marketing to gamers. Forget all of it. The gaming world is a lot more like the mainstream world than most would think. There is a large amount of both men and women, as well as many different interests and categories. This can make for an incredibly diverse, yet niche audience. The complexity that comes with a melting pot like gaming is hard to fully grasp. So here are some common misconceptions you should unlearn.

1.Stereotypes

There are many ideas out there about the gamer demographic that are flat out wrong. Let’s go through a few and get to the truth of it.

There is one singular gamer demographic: As previously mentioned, there are currently 2.3 billion people that make up the video gaming marketing audience. There is no one profile that can encompass many people. It’s important to understand that there are even more game genres as there are book genres. Books have sci-fi, fantasy, historical fiction, murder mystery and more. Games have role-playing, first-person shooters, platformers, scrollers, racing, puzzles, etc; then added on top of that are stories of all shapes and sizes that justify each action and these two levels are combined in every possible way in gaming.

  • Gamers are children: According to Statista  most gamers are 18-35 years old. In fact, 23% of gamers are 50 years of age and older. This isn’t to say that children do not play video games. They do. Here is the 2018 Statista gamer distribution:
  • Gamers are men: Almost half of the gamers in the US are women and the statistic seems to only be growing. Here is a gender distribution from Statista showing 2006-2018.
  • Gamers are secluded introverts: According to Yahoo! Small Business, gamers are intricately interwoven and over 60% play together both in-person and digitally. With live chats, streamers, game commentators, the ever-growing world of esports, and plain old multiplayer games the idea of the loner gamer has passed its expiration date.
  • Games are played on consoles: Consoles are gaming devices that either plug-into TVs or are their own handheld device. However, there is also PC gaming which is done online through PC computers, as well as mobile gaming which are just as popular—in fact, they’re more popular. Check out this gaming platform distribution for 2019 from Statista.

Plus, most gamers play on any and every platform they can get their hands on.

2. Chameleon-ing

When getting into video game marketing, you have to be genuine. While brands need to be genuine to achieve their goals in all areas, in gaming it works a little differently. Andy Fairclough and Rhian Mason of The Drum said it best, “Gamers can smell bullshit a mile off” don’t just try to tack on a gaming audience. Gamers are used to interactive, engaging media on a level that can’t even be matched by social users. You have to earn their attention genuinely—and here’s the catch—that’s genuine to who you are rather than who you think consumers will listen to.

If there’s one thing Gamers value it’s being absolutely yourself, whoever that is, whether or not you think that’s who they want you to be. If you have an established brand you should stay true to it when marketing to gamers. They do their research; they’ll see right through pandering and they like to talk. The moment your voice is “debunked” by a gamer it will be all over every forum, your campaign will be dead in the water. Do not change who you are to appeal to gamers, use the same message—your message—in a different way on the right channel. How and where is integral as well. Unless your product is a game do not base your campaign on game marketing. Gamers don’t like being tricked or yanked on. They’ll hate this tactic just as much as personality falsities.

3. One-sided advertising

Be in the conversation, not just near it. Gamers are all about interactive media, speaking at them rather than with them is a huge oversight. When entering the conversation, remember the advice above, be genuine. If you’re not sure your branding is the right fit, then influencers can make all the difference. Gamers love live streamers on YouTube and Twitch or the expert teams leading the esports charts. Find the type of gamers you are looking to reach out to then reach out to their influencers. If you want your video game marketing communications to be more direct there’s Reddit where you can find existing game threads and join them as well as gaming platforms with plenty of opportunities to interact with gamers such as mobile game apps and Steam for PC players.

The takeaway

If you’re looking to market your products or services to gamers, find advertising experts that understand video game marketing, that know the stereotypes are outdated, falsities will get you nowhere, and that all brand communications should be customized, grassroots, interacted, or a combination thereof. The gaming world is multi-faceted and takes a lot of research and expertise to excel in.

Get a video game marketing agency that understands each market segment within the gaming industry to effectively promote your product or services. Our team knows the minutiae of the gaming world like the back of their hands. Reach out when you’re ready to plug-in.

Want to Maximize Your Influencer Relationships? Then Go Long

Fine-tune your influencer relationships with expert brand messaging services to bring your brand voice to a whole new level!

Brand messaging services have long evangelized about the power of influencer marketing. Yet in order to maximize the returns brands see on influencer campaigns, it’s important to optimize these relationships.
One key factor that many brands overlook in this process is longevity. By finding the right influencer partners and developing a sustained relationship, brands can build more interesting and complex content — and ultimately save money doing it.

Unlocking the key to longevity

Influencer marketing campaigns have evolved over time. A few years ago it was common for influencers and brands to partner for a single campaign and then move on.

Today, however, the trend is shifting toward sustained collaboration, and there are several reasons for this change.

First, brands are beginning to understand that sourcing influencers can be time-consuming. Today, the number of would-be influencers has grown significantly, so it takes more time to discern the pretenders from those with real market sway.

Brands also understand that longer relationships with influencers unlock greater creative potential. Once you grasp an influencer’s strengths, abilities, and the preferences of the influencer’s audience, you can use this information to develop highly targeted marketing content that’s more relevant and more engaging. There’s no feeling out process, which means less time and money is wasted trying to get creative sensibilities in alignment.

Long-term relationships also play well with audiences. If an influencer’s audience sees that a featured brand is one half of a supportive, long-term partnership, this will register as authentic, and earn brands goodwill.

Influencers, too, benefit from a sustained partnership. High-level product partnerships help establish influencers as credible and increase their standing in the eyes of their followers, brands, and other influencers competing for the same market.

Setting the table for longevity

So how do brands lay the groundwork for long and mutually profitable relationships with influencers? It starts with identifying the right people. Success as an influencer isn’t only about reach or pure numbers — it’s also about engagement. An influencer with 10,000 deeply passionate fans or followers may have more value than an influencer with 100,000 mildly-engaged fans or followers.

It’s also critical to target the appropriate niche. This doesn’t necessarily mean that a partner influencer needs to be situated in the exact same space as a brand’s products or brand messaging services. There may be crossover opportunities with influencers in adjacent niches. Or, established influencers may seek to grow their followings into new yet still somewhat related categories — a beauty blogger transitioning into fashion, for example.

Brands should carefully weigh variables such as the size of an audience, its growth rate, overall engagement, how long an influencer has been operating, the platforms they use, the kind of content they create and the values they possess.

It’s also important to consider personal attributes as well. Influencers are like anyone else — their interests, desires, ambitions, and life circumstances evolve over time. It’s possible that today’s fashion influencer may become tomorrow’s parenting vlogger.

If all of these elements are aligned with the strategic needs of the brand, the stage is set for a long — and mutually beneficial — relationship.

The takeaway

We understand the immense value that can be unleashed by establishing the right influencer marketing partnership. Brands can work with influencers to create more authentic connections with their audiences through brand messaging services and reach highly motivated consumers within new lucrative channels.

If you’d like to hear more about the value of long-term influencer relationships, we urge you to contact BIGEYE today.

Politics Affect Sales According to Influencer Marketing Agencies

Brands and influencers have long exercised great caution when dealing with anything falling into the categories of sex, politics, and religion. Yet times are quickly changing. This election season saw public figures such as Oprah and Taylor Swift engage in unprecedented political activity. Brands, too, were eager to join the electoral fray, often under the direction of an influencer marketing strategy agency.
So what does this mean for the future of brands, politicians and these newly emboldened influencers with dedicated followings?

Quite a bit, it seems.

Why “politics” is no longer forbidden for influencers

The high-profile political activity displayed by A-list celebrities like Oprah and Taylor Swift didn’t occur in a vacuum. Influencers as a whole have never been as deeply involved in electoral politics.

Fohr, an influencer marketing agency, ran a campaign called “Influence the Election” during the midterms. The campaign asked influencers to connect their Instagram accounts to the company’s website in order to receive story templates to help identify highly engaged political content and encourage tagging and sharing. In a recent interview in AdWeek, James Nord, CEO of Fohr, claimed the campaign reached nearly 100 million people.

Nord said he was inspired to start the campaign after he noticed that influencers were largely ignoring news about the Trump Administration’s ongoing attempts to institute a travel ban. Nord said this lack of engagement prompted him to wonder about the power influencers wield and how they choose (or choose not) to use it. Many influencers, Nord believed, failed to post about political issues because they felt it was simply out of their niche.

That, however, may soon be changing.

How influencers are creating a new kind of politics

The “Influence the Election” campaign was designed to be a digital election yard sign of sorts. Just a decade or two ago, candidates fought bitterly to secure the endorsement of newspapers. These endorsements were exceptionally valuable because of the gatekeeper role that newspapers filled. Many people had their political views shaped by the work of a relatively small number of reporters and editors.

Today, that gatekeeper role has been greatly diminished. The Internet allowed thousands of websites to blossom, democratizing coverage of news and politics. Even more importantly, social media gifted every person a megaphone. Now, instead of relying on one newspaper to deliver an endorsement, politicians could receive endorsements from individual influencers with highly devoted and motivated followings.

Many influencers are staying fairly neutral in terms of content, encouraging followers to vote and support widely popular causes. Yet as the space matures, we could soon see influencers working on behalf of candidates much in the way they work for brands. Candidates can identify influencers who have followings that match their demographic priorities — and who have political views in alignment with their own — and ask the influencers to use their platform to promote their campaigns.

While this is a tricky road to tread (especially given the past problems Facebook and other platforms have faced with more nefarious targeted influence campaigns), it’s not difficult to envision a future where politics and commerce are largely indistinguishable in the way that they interact with influencer marketing.

The right influencer marketing partner

At BIGEYE, our team helps develop the kind of influencer marketing campaigns that can drive sales – or even win an election. Reach out to us to learn more about what a world-class influencer marketing strategy agency can do for you.