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So influencer marketing is a thing, but HOW do you find an influencer?

Successfully targeting an audience of likeminded people that follow an influencer because they trust their opinion, share similar interests and often, are inspired by their posts.

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Word gets around: The impact of digital influencers

The challenge of every entrepreneur is to get their product or service noticed. Just who notices and who is the challenge. The benefit of social media – in theory anyway – is that we have an enormous cyber-community of millions and millions of people that can be reached with just the click of a mouse or a swipe of an app. It doesn’t always happen that way and, besides, what we really want is for our next best thing to be noticed by people that count. That’s where Whalar comes in.

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But first…

Whalar, by its own design, was created with the idea of collaborating with digital influencers. In this case the digital platform is Instagram. So what does that mean? According to Whalar, Instagram influencer marketing is “when a brand utilizes the audience of an online influencer that best matches the brand and the message it wants to spread.” The brand can then engage with their target audience through a personal recommendation from the trusted influencer. What’s an “influencer?” It’s someone with enough clout that the public accepts their advice/recommendation/idea without hesitation. That’s what Instagram influencer marketing is: Targeting an audience of likeminded people that follow an influencer because they trust their opinion, share similar interests and often, are inspired by their posts.

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By choosing to work with an influencer a brand can have unprecedented success with the right person and their respective audience. Working with influencers not only spreads the word about a brand but it will also grow the brand’s social channels through the implementation of tags and hashtags. Influencer marketing is consequently fast becoming the most effective medium for online brand expansion, advertisement and marketing.

Not just about followers

Whalar points out that it’s not just be the number of followers that makes for a successful campaign. Think about it: While a large number of followers mean a large audience, the audience may not be engaged with the content. A focus of the Whalar platform is to calculate the engagement level of every Instagram influencer’s audience that is registered to the site. That way they can showcase to brands which influencers would be the best to work with on a successful campaign.

Takes money to make money

The potential for Whalar to take your product to the next level is vast but it comes with a price. Potential clients need to have a budget of at least $25,000 for an influencer marketing campaign.

Whalar explains that “bychoosing to work with an influencer a brand can have unprecedented success with the right person and their respective audience. Working with influencers not only spreads the word about a brand but it will also grow the brand’s social channels through the implementation of tags and hashtags. Influencer marketing is consequently fast becoming the most effective medium for online brand expansion, advertisement and marketing.”

I’m sold on the fact that Digital Influencers are the key to marketing success. That said, I think it’s less about the ‘celebrity’ status of an influencer and the amount of followers they have, but all about creating amazing quality content and storytelling. Whalar just happens to feel the same way which is why this is a startup in particular and a phenomenon I general that is worth keeping an eye on.

#Whalar

Nearly three decades living and working all over the world as a radio and television broadcast journalist in the United States Air Force, Staff Writer, Gary Picariello is now retired from the military and is focused on his writing career.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Niko Croskery

    March 17, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    Hi Gary

    Niko Croskery (COO of Whalar) here. Thanks for featuring us! I just wanted to clear one thing up – while there is a $25,000 minimum budget for a managed campaign, brands are able to use Whalar as a self service platform with no minimum budget whatsoever.

    I also wanted to let you know that we’ve recently released a free tool which allows you to find and compare your engagement rate, average likes per photo and other stats on Instagram. It’s available at https://whalar.com/labs

    Many thanks
    Niko

  2. Benjamin Uhlmann

    March 18, 2016 at 4:48 am

    Nice website but where are the advantages to other platforms like klout or influencerdb.net? How many influencers are listed in whaler?

  3. Dominique

    March 22, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    Hi Benjamin,

    Thanks for your comment.

    With regards to the difference between us and the other platforms you’ve mentioned, our platform is structured using a campaign work flow structure, which means you can create, execute and report on an entire social campaign from start to finish. Klout simply suggests sharable content and gives you a number out of 100 that represents how influential you are on social media. Influencer DB is an insight-driven platform which is able to provide with monitoring and analysis of your content.

    In comparison, Whalar is a digital platform where you can create a campaign, invite influencers to collaborate on it, negotiate a cost with them, make payments, approve their work and finally, track the results of the campaign, to include the likes, shares and engagement. All of the influencers on our platform are signed up to be there, and have been carefully selected for their exceptional quality of content. Currently, we have 400-500 influencers on our platform, with over 2,000 subscribed and held in a database, ready to be moved onto the platform when the number of brands using our platform increases even further. We purposefully scale the amount of influencers to the amount of brands on the platform, to ensure that influencers are getting a reasonable amount of work.

    I think you’ll agree that we are a very user-friendly and straightforward platform for executing social campaigns.

    Many thanks,
    Dominique
    Head of Biz Development for Whalar

    • Lani Rosales

      March 23, 2016 at 10:52 am

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Dominique 🙂

  4. Amy

    May 17, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    This is brilliant. I love seeing the new business models that come out of the wood work as social media and content marketing mature. Out with the old, and in with the new!

    Our small start-up has just begun looking into our marketing and advertising avenues, moving away from the idea of much printed advertising and leaning towards influencers; it’s how I came across this article. I love that Whalar is free to sign up, and works on a contract basis between the brands and influencers. I look forward to trying the service.

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  6. Pingback: Niche Media News: New Platforms, Markets and Strategies for Success! - Niche Media

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Business Marketing

Google Chrome will no longer allow premium extensions

(MARKETING) In banning extension payments through their own platform, Google addresses a compelling, if self-created, issue on Chrome.

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Google Chrome open on a laptop on a organized desk.

Google has cracked down on various practices over the past couple of years, but their most recent target—the Google Chrome extensions store—has a few folks scratching their heads.
Over the span of the next few months, Google will phase out paid extensions completely, thus ending a bizarre and relatively negligible corner of internet economy.

This decision comes on the heels of a “temporary” ban on the publication of new premium extensions back in March. According to Engadget, all aspects of paid extension use—including free trials and in-app purchases—will be gone come February 2021.

To be clear, Google’s decision won’t prohibit extension developers from charging customers to use their products; instead, extension developers will be required to find alternative methods of requesting payment. We’ve seen this model work on a donation basis with extensions like AdBlock. But shifting to something similar on a comprehensive scale will be something else entirely.

Interestingly, Google’s angle appears to be in increasing user safety. The Verge reports that their initial suspension of paid extensions was put into place as a response to products that included “fraudulent transactions”, and Google’s subsequent responses since then have comprised more user-facing actions such as removing extensions published by different parties that accomplish replica tasks.

Review manipulation, use of hefty notifications as a part of an extension’s operation, and generally spammy techniques were also eyeballed by Google as problem points in their ongoing suspension leading up to the ban.

In banning extension payments through their own platform, Google addresses a compelling, if self-created, issue. The extension store was a relatively free market in a sense—something that, given the number of parameters being enforced as of now, is less true for the time being.

Similarly, one can only wonder about which avenues vendors will choose when seeking payment for their services in the future. It’s entirely possible that, after Google Chrome shuts down payments in February, the paid section of the extension market will crumble into oblivion, the side effects of which we can’t necessarily picture.

For now, it’s probably best to hold off on buying any premium extensions; after all, there’s at least a fighting chance that they’ll all be free come February—if we make it that far.

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Business Marketing

Bite-sized retail: Macy’s plans to move out of malls

(BUSINESS MARKETING) While Macy’s shares have recently climbed, the department store chain is making a change in regards to big retail shopping malls.

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Macy's retail storefront, which may look different as they scale to smaller stores.

I was recently listening to a podcast on Barstool Sports, and was surprised to hear that their presenting sponsor was Macy’s. This struck me as odd considering the demographic for the show is women in their twenties to thirties, and Macy’s typically doesn’t cater to that crowd. Furthermore, department retail stores are becoming a bit antiquated as is.

The sponsorship made more sense once I learned that Macy’s is restructuring their operation, and now allowing their brand to go the way of the ghost. They feel that while malls will remain in operation, only the best (AKA the malls with the most foot traffic) will stand the test of changes in the shopping experience.

As we’ve seen a gigantic rise this year in online shopping, stores like Macy’s and JC Penney are working hard to keep themselves afloat. There is so much changing in brick and mortar retail that major shifts need to be made.

So, what is Macy’s proposing to do?

The upscale department store chain is going to be testing smaller stores in locations outside of major shopping malls. Bloomingdale’s stores will be doing the same. “We continue to believe that the best malls in the country will thrive,” CEO Jeff Gennette told CNBC analysts. “However, we also know that Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s have high potential [off]-mall and in smaller formats.”

While the pandemic assuredly plays a role in this, the need for change came even before the hit in March. Macy’s had announced in February their plans to close 125 stores in the next three years. This is in conjunction with Macy’s expansion of Macy’s Backstage, which offers more affordable options.

Gennette also stated that while those original plans are still in place, Macy’s has been closely monitoring the competition in the event that they need to adjust the store closure timeline. At the end of the second quarter, Macy’s had 771 stores, including Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury.

Last week, Macy’s shares climbed 3 percent, after the retailer reported a more narrow loss than originally expected, along with stronger sales due to an uptick in their online business. So they’re already doing well in that regard. But will smaller stores be the change they need to survive?

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Business Marketing

Why you must nix MLM experience from your resume

(BUSINESS MARKETING) MLMs prey on people without much choice, but once you try to switch to something more stable, don’t use the MLM as experience.

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Discussing including MLM experience on a resume.

MLM experience… Is it worth keeping on your resume?

Are you or someone you know looking for a job after a stint in an MLM? Well, first off, congratulations for pursuing a real job that will provide a steady salary! But I also know that transition can be hard. The job market is already tight and if you don’t have much other work experience on your resume, is it worth trying to leverage your MLM experience?

The short answer? Heck no.

As Ask the Manager puts it, there’s a “strong stigma against [MLMs],” meaning your work experience might very well put a bad taste in the mouth of anyone looking through resumes. And looking past the sketchy products many offer, when nearly half of people in MLMs lose money and another quarter barely break even, it sure doesn’t paint you in a good light to be involved.

(Not to mention, many who do turn a profit only do so by recruiting more people, not actually by selling many products.)

“But I wouldn’t say I worked for an MLM,” you or your friend might say, “I was a small business owner!”

It’s a common selling point for MLMs, that often throw around pseudo-feminist feel good slang like “Boss Babe” or a “Momtrepreneur,” to tell women joining that they’re now business women! Except, as you might have guessed, that’s not actually the case, unless by “Boss Babe” you mean “Babe Who Goes Bankrupt or Tries to Bankrupt Her Friends.”

A more accurate title for the job you did at an MLM would be Sales Rep, because you have no stake in the creation of the product, or setting the prices, or any of the myriad of tasks that a real entrepreneur has to face.

Okay, that doesn’t sound nearly as impressive as “small business owner.” And I know it’s tempting to talk up your experience on a resume, but that can fall apart pretty quickly if you can’t actually speak to actual entrepreneur experience. It makes you look like you don’t know what you’re talking about…which is also not a good look for the job hunt.

That said… Depending on your situation, it might be difficult to leave any potential work experience off your resume. I get it. MLMs often target people who don’t have options for other work opportunities – and it’s possible you’re one of the unlucky ones who doesn’t have much else to put on paper.

In this case, you’ll want to do it carefully. Use the sales representative title (or something similar) and, if you’re like the roughly 50% of people who lose money from MLMs, highlight your soft skills. Did you do cold calls? Tailor events to the people who would be attending? Get creative, just make sure to do it within reason.

It’s not ideal to use your MLM experience on a resume, but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. Still, congratulations to you, or anyone you know, who has decided to pursue something that will actually help pay the bills.

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