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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.



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.


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.


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.


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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  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

    Many thanks

  2. Benjamin Uhlmann

    March 18, 2016 at 4:48 am

    Nice website but where are the advantages to other platforms like klout or 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,
    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

5 ways voice is changing the SEO game

(TECH NEWS) As voice assistants take over our lives, you may worry how your SEO fares in this new, uncharted territory. Let’s discuss.



voice and SEO

SEO is a moving target. The standards change constantly so, despite years of experience, many web designers struggle to meet all the optimization guidelines. How, then, can any business confidently approach the web design process? It starts with recognizing those evolving norms, the newest of which is voice search.

Why Voice Search Matters

For years, the dominant SEO rule has been mobile first. The introduction of voice recognition systems, like Siri and Alexa, to smartphones has dramatically changed how we interact with devices. In fact, 20% of Google searches are voice searches with that number expected to grow rapidly over the next few months. Businesses and web designers, then, need to make sure their sites are voice ready if they want to stay relevant. Though the sites may stay the same visually, they need to gain a new edge functionally.

From The Ground Up

Modifying your website to support voice search isn’t as simple as many other SEO transitions, but if you take a ground up approach to the process, you’ll be able to reshape your website around those changes. Still, you’ll need help to do this correctly. When adapting your website for voice, SEO consultant Aaron Rains recommends hiring an expert for a full site audit and analysis to maintain your page ranking. You don’t want your page to take a rankings hit because you’re trying to keep up with the trends.

Expanding Your Device Options

In addition to its advantages from a mobile perspective, making the move to voice search also means expanding your site’s horizons by making it more accessible to new devices, particularly the smart home speakers that are gaining in popularity. Users are particularly comfortable with these devices because they rely on natural speech patterns rather than half-formed search terms. Children growing up with these smart speakers in their homes seem to view them as part of the family and will be native voice search users as they grow.

Snippets For Search

Part of updating your website for speech is optimizing the content to match changing search patterns. One of the key ways to do this is through the use of featured snippets.

Featured snippets are designed to help put your website in the #0 spot – the top ranking. To do that, you’ll want to put the answers to your most popular queries in the first few sentences on your page. This is especially for purchasing and local search since people frequently use voice search to find local businesses. If you can optimize for the most important snippets early on, you’ll be way ahead on the competition and have a greater ROI.

Rebuild and Reassess

After modifying your website for voice, you may find your rankings initially drop. That’s because you need to request your site be re-indexed. Otherwise, search engines won’t be able to match queries with your new site content. Re-indexing will put all of your new information into effect and make it possible for users to search using the featured snippets. Re-indexing your site will also help you ensure that you haven’t interfered with the crawl-ability of your site.

Experts expect half of all searches to be voice-driven by 2020, but since 50% of users with voice search access already use it at least occasionally, now is the time to act. Even if many users are still wary of voice search, you can’t afford to fall behind. Those users will still be able to rely on traditional text search mechanisms, but that won’t help voice enthusiasts. If you lose those early adopters now, they might not come back when you’ve caught up with the voice search revolution.

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Business Marketing

How to use offline marketing to your advantage in a digital world

(BUSINESS) We often become obsessed with new marketing strategies, favoring the internet over some traditional methods that continue to drive traffic timelessly.



offline marketing open sign for small business

Everywhere you look, people want to talk about digital marketing. In fact, if you don’t have a digital marketing strategy in today’s business world, you’re not going to last long. But just because digital marketing is popular, don’t assume that offline marketing no longer yields value.

When used together, these strategies can produce significant returns.

“Some people will argue that traditional marketing is dead, but there are several benefits to including offline advertising in your overall marketing campaign,” sales expert Larry Myler admits. “Combining both offline and online campaigns can help boost your brand’s visibility, and help it stand out amongst competitors who may be busy flooding the digital space.”

How do you use offline marketing in a manner that’s both cost-effective and high in exposure? While your business will dictate how you should proceed, here are a few offline marketing methods that still return considerable value in today’s marketplace.

1. Yard signs

When most people think about yard signs, their minds immediately go to political signs that you see posted everywhere during campaign season. However, yard signs have a lot more utility and value beyond campaigning. They’re actually an extremely cost-effective form of offline advertising.

The great thing about yard signs is that you can print your own custom designs for just dollars and, when properly stored, they last for years. They’re also free to place, assuming you have access to property where it’s legal to advertise. This makes them a practical addition to a low-budget marketing campaign.

2. Billboards

The fact that you notice billboards when driving down an interstate or highway is a testament to the reality that other people are also being exposed to these valuable advertisements. If you’ve never considered implementing billboards into your marketing strategy, now’s a good time to think about it.

With billboard advertising, you have to be really careful with design, structure, and execution. “Considering we’re on the move when we read billboards, we don’t have a lot of time to take them in. Six seconds has been touted as the industry average for reading a billboard,” copywriter Paul Suggett explains. “So, around six words is all you should use to get the message across.”

3. Promotional giveaways

It’s the tangible nature of physical marketing that makes it so valuable. Yard signs and billboards are great, but make sure you’re also taking advantage of promotional giveaways as a way of getting something into the hands of your customers.

Promotional giveaways, no matter how simple, generally produce a healthy return on investment. They increase brand awareness and recall, while giving customers positive associations with your brand. (Who doesn’t love getting something for free?)

4. Local event sponsorships

One aspect of offline marketing businesses frequently forget about is local event sponsorships. These sponsorships are usually cost-effective and tend to offer great returns in terms of audience engagement.

Local event sponsorships can usually be found simply by checking the calendar of events in your city. Any time there’s a public event, farmer’s market, parade, sporting event, concert, or fundraiser, there’s an opportunity for you to get your name out there. Look for events where you feel like your target audience is most likely to attend.

Offline marketing is anything but dead.

If your goal is to stand out in a crowded marketplace where all your competitors are investing heavily in social media, SEO, PPC advertising, and blogging, then it’s certainly worth supplementing your existing digital strategy with traditional offline marketing methods that reach your audience at multiple touchpoints.

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Business Marketing

The science behind using pictures of people in marketing to convert more leads

(MARKETING) People fear using their picture in social networking profiles, but we make the case not only for using pictures of yourself, but of scrapping stock graphics for photos of people that studies show improve conversion rates in marketing.



photos-of-people in marketing

To avatar or not to avatar?

After all of these years of people using the web, the debate continues about whether or not people should use their headshots as their profile pictures and avatars on their blogs and their social networks. Many people are uncomfortable with the way they look in photos, and some are never satisfied with their picture, so they settle for their company logo, a cartoon image, or a random photo to share something about who they are. While some believe the argument is subjective, we would argue otherwise.

It is advisable to use a photo of yourself as your profile picture wherever you go, no matter how unsatisfied you are and how uncomfortable. There are many reasons from making it easier to connect with people offline after talking online, to giving people a better way to connect with you, but a personal side has become expected on social networks and blogs, making a profile picture culturally mandatory.

Throw culture out of the window

So let’s say you’re still uncomfortable advertising your face. I personally hate every picture of me taken since I was 11 and had a bad perm, I get it. Profile pictures can send some people into full fledged panic, and at that point, who cares if web culture dictates a photo?

You should, and here’s why… science.

Science? Yep. Any parent knows intuitively, and scientists have studied for years that babies love pictures of other babies, and part of socializing a child is giving them books with pictures of other babies to connect with, learn from, and see other ethnicities. Babies love looking at other babies, it helps them connect and learn, and believe it or not, many studies show that we don’t evolve past that point in our lives, so, adults love looking at other adults.

More science

If that isn’t enough to convince you to use a profile picture, a recent study shows that a website’s conversion rate can be skyrocketed by using human faces. According to, using human faces “get your prospects to focus more and this causes them to draw towards a common point of interest. It doesn’t get more real than that.”

The company cites an A/B test on, an online art shop, which presented paintings from artists on their homepage, and during testing, they swapped out the photos of the paintings with photos of the artists hoping to increase user engagement. KISSmetrics said, “Making this small but relevant change sent their conversion rate through the roof – something they didn’t expect. Their site experienced a whopping 95% increase in conversions!.”

Reading between the lines

Using a photo in your profile pictures is important, it allows people to connect with you, just like babies connect with other babies through photos, and website viewers are converted by human photos. But, read between the lines here – using photos of people in marketing is a concept as old as the idea of marketing, and your using people in your blog photos and marketing can improve your conversion over outdated stock graphics. There are legal ways to obtain photos of people (through creative commons), and using photos of your own can have the most meaningful impact.

Whether you’re nervous to share your face with the world or not, web culture dictates that you should and studies show that a percentage of people distrust social networkers without a face shot. Independent of all of that, conversion rates improve when people see other people, as it is easier to connect with over stock graphics or abstract images, so take a leap of faith and put your picture out there, and while you’re at it, try to find ways of using photos of humans in your marketing and blogs.

Just remember – babies love looking at pictures of babies, and we’re all just babies when you boil it down.

This story originally ran here on March 6, 2012.

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