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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.

  5. Pingback: How millennials will drive change in marketing in 2017 - The American Genius

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

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Business Marketing

How Snapchat earns over $1M a day on just one lil’ feature

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Marketers are jumping on the bandwagon, giving Snapchat more and more money – but what little feature rakes in so much cash!?



snapchat 3d filters

Although Snapchat is still struggling to net a profit, they make a million dollars a day with branded AR lenses. If Snapchat can remain crazy popular with its users, this may help the company get out of its revenue slump.

Snapchat’s shares dropped 22 percent since their March IPO, and their Q3 earnings saw a revenue loss of $0.14 per share with the slowest user growth ever. But there’s still growth, and Snap has never really been profit focused anyways.

CEO Evan Spiegel certainly isn’t worried, publicly at least. Spiegel’s product strategies have been mirrored by Facebook and Instagram, and a huge chunk of teens prefer Snapchat over these other social media giants.

Which is why Snapchat can charge upwards of one million dollars a day for augmented reality lenses. Snap’s popularity, especially among teens and young adults with disposable income and social influence, bodes well with media agencies.

AR lenses are one of many features offered on Snapchat, allowing users to superimpose augmented reality images on pictures and videos. If you’ve spent any amount of time on the internet, the dancing hotdog is a testament to how easily an AR lens can turn into a meme.

In September, Snapchat introduced sponsored 3D World Lenses, giving advertisers the opportunity to feature targeted campaigns on the platform. Bladerunner 2049 was the first campaign at the launch, and since then Budweiser, BMW, and McDonalds have jumped on the bandwagon.

Pricing varies depending on when the lens goes live, if it’s a “premium” day like a holiday or anticipated movie release, and the targeting criteria of the agency. If a lens is specific to a region, for example, it’s not going to cost as much as a nationwide campaign.

In a report from Digiday, one NYC-based ad executive stated AR lenses are currently Snap’s most expensive ad product, and for some agencies it’s offered as a standalone purchase. Others reported Snapchat offered a “holistic media-buying plan,” including stickers and filters as well as AR lenses.

James Douglas, SVP and Executive Director of social media for Society explained Snapchat Ads are all about media negotiation, with some of his clients signing annual media contracts, while others may try out shorter stints.

“If it’s a well-known consumer packaged goods company, Snapchat may quote $200,000 for an AR lens, but not on a premium day,” he stated. “Snapchat is very flexible to negotiate media investments with agencies, and I like that.”

According to a Snapchat spokesperson, the base price for a 3D lens running up to 12 months is $300,000. However, the final price depends on if the lens is based on audience impressions or a national takeover on a premium day.

While the AR lenses are not necessarily driving sales for featured brands, users are completely engaged with lenses. Featured lenses are widely shared among users, and screenshots of particularly popular, interesting, or funny lenses end ups shared on other social media platforms.

Even if the lens is being mocked, that still leads to impressions since ultimately the ad is being spread when people send Snaps to friends and feature lenses in Snapchat Stories.

Right now, Snapchat is doing all the engineering for AR lenses. Agencies provide the ad assets and Snapchat creates the lens. Future plans involve opening up creation to select brands, as Spiegel announced in November.

Snapchat is testing a pilot program with Lens Studio, a self-service toolkit allowing advertisers to create their own lenses in as little as an hour. Eventually Snap plans on offering the AR toolkit to advertisers for free, but for now it’s only available to top clients.

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Business Marketing

Pantone’s 2018 color of the year (that you’ll see everywhere now): Ultra Violet

(MARKETING NEWS) Check out the Pantone color choice for 2018, and prepare to see it splashed across the internet and in print.



pantone 2018

Much ado about a hue. Over the past year, Pantone encouraged us to reconnect with nature and once another through the promotion of Greenery, the fresh yellow-green color of 2017. It’s now time to take our personal and business potentials to a whole other level, as inspired by Ultra Violet, PANTONE 18-3838, which is the 2018 Color of the Year.

Now technically, Ultra Violet isn’t a shade of purple as the Pantone color square suggests. In fact, Ultra Violet is a spectrum of light waves that can’t be detected by the human eye in natural circumstances. But that’s kind of the point. Pantone purposefully selected this color to encourage inventiveness and imagination.

The color purple has long represented individuality and artistic expression. Think Prince, David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix. When Ultra Violet was dubbed the iconic color of 2018, this symbolism was not overlooked. They are using Ultra Violet, a blue-based purple, to encourage individuals – and companies – to push boundaries and blaze their own trail.

Ultra Violet can have mystical and spiritual undertones, too. It’s been associated with mindfulness practices such as meditation, which can be a way to detach from today’s non-stop, information overloaded environment.

As a reflection of this new Color of the Year, we will likely see bright nail polishes, funky home décor, and vibrant fashion bring Ultra Violet into the marketplace. However, while material goods and designer’s color schemes are splashed with this dramatic shade of purple, Pantone encourages brands to use this color to inspire consumers to push for a better, and brighter future.

“The Pantone Color of the Year has come to mean so much more than ‘what’s trending’ in the world of design; it’s truly a reflection of what’s needed in our world today,” said Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute.

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Business Marketing

Which social media platform will dominate for marketing in 2018?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Which of the many social media networks will rule as the top social network marketing platform in 2018?



social media sales engagement

If you’re still Tweeting to market your business or product, you’re way behind the curve.

Most social media influencers think Instagram is where it’s at, according to new research from content marketing firm Hashoff. A survey of 414 influencers in the business-to-consumer market found 93 percent of influencers focused a majority of their marketing efforts on Instagram this year and another 82 percent expect that to carry over to 2018.

Facebook is the secondary point of focus, as 16.5 percent of surveyed influencers devoted most of their time to timelines in 2017. However, after that, efforts fall below 5 percent for other major social networks such as Twitter, Snapchat and Pinterest.

So why the fondness for Instagram? Most social media influencers (76 percent) said Instagram has the best tools for creators among all the major platforms. It supports pictures and videos, live video streams, encourages consumer interaction and don’t forget about all the editing tools, rainbow face filters aside.

Some survey respondents (13.7 percent) also said Youtube is the best tool for content creators. While it hasn’t been a top focus for influencers over the past couple of years, use is trending upward. For example, in 2017, only 3.2 percent of influencers said Youtube is their No. 1 social media platform for marketing, but in 2018, that percentage is expected to jump to 12.2 percent.

While social media marketing efforts will always vary based on company type, product and content creation bandwidth, if you are starting to plan for 2018, keep tabs on these statistics. They can be a good indication of where consumers are viewing content, and if you are just starting out, knowing where marketing efforts are most worthwhile can save you time, energy and money.

Overall, consumers continue to be attracted to creative, visual representations of products and services, so take some more photos and save your word-based Tweets for another time.

Just because you have 280 characters to market your business doesn’t mean you have to use them. Give the people what they want.

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