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FYI, influencer marketing dates back hundreds of years

(MARKETING) You may roll your eyes at sexy strangers hawking snake oil on social media, but influencer marketing is nothing new…

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Influencers is now one of those buzz words that you can’t go a few days without hearing. In fact, it’s become such a popular term that it was officially added to the English Dictionary this year.

While this is a recent change, the concept of an influencer is nothing new. For years, people have looked to friends and family (as well as high-profile people like celebrities) to be influenced (intentionally or unintentionally) about what to buy, what to do, and where to go.

Social Media Today notes that influencers date back centuries.

“One of the first “influencer” collaborations dates back to 1760, when a potter by the name Wedgwood made a tea set for the Queen of England,” writes Brooks. “Since the monarchy were the influencers of their time, his forward-thinking decision to market his brand as Royal-approved afforded it the luxury status the brand still enjoys today.”

Now, influencers are known as people blowing up your Instagram feed with recommendations of what to wear and stomach flattening teas to buy. Influencers are basically anyone who has the ability to cultivate a following and, from there, give advice on how followers should spend their money.

After the 1760 tea set influencer, influencers were found in the forms of fashion icons (like Coco Chanel in the 1920s, and Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s), celebrity endorsements (for example, all of the money Nike made in the ‘80s after signing Michael Jordan to be their spokesperson – I wonder if Hanes is raking in the same bucks as Nike…), TV stars endorsing products (like Jennifer Aniston when she was at the height of “The Rachel” cut and became the face of L’Oreal Elvive; now she’s the face of Aveeno).

Then in the mid-2000s, blogs became a space where “everyday” people could use their voice with influence. This trend has continued and has shifted into social media, usually with a blog counterpart.

Now, blogging and influencing is an industry in and of itself with influencer marketing being a key form of comms. According to Vamp Brands, the influencer industry will be worth $5-10 billion by 2020. Where can I sign up?

Taylor is a Staff Writer at The American Genius and has a bachelor's degree in communication studies from Illinois State University. She is currently pursuing freelance writing and hopes to one day write for film and television.

Real Estate Marketing

This AI robot wants to find leads for you

(MARKETING NEWS) It comes as no surprise that companies are figuring out ways to use AI for marketing. Let us introduce you to Albert, the AI marketer sure to help business boom.

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the making its way into every sector, including marketing campaigns. One tool in particular has found a way to simplify modern marketing by taking over menial tasks to run completely autonomous and successful campaigns.

Just ask one of their major clients, Harley Davidson, who raised their sales leads by over 2000% after switching to AI marketing.

Albert is the self-described first ever AI marketing platform and enterprise. Albert learns as a company grows, and autonomously analyzes data and optimizes campaigns to gain new leads.

Although many other platforms like Google and Facebook offer their own autonomous marketing systems, our pal, Al, can work across all channels. That means no more checking every separate channel to get an overview of marketing insights.

Not only does this save time, but it also saves money.

In the present digital age, it makes sense to let AI do the heavy lifting. When it comes to marketing, AI software is able to use online interactions to determine possible leads. For Harley Davidson, Albert generated leads from a large pool of potential customers that made purchases in the past, added items to their cart through the online shop and spent a significant amount of time on the site.

From this larger group, Albert developed smaller groups of “lookalikes,” or potential buyers, and tested out campaigns before implementing them.

This allowed Albert to predict appealing headlines and visuals, while also making adjustments to language that had tested better.

For example, Albert replaced the word “buy” to “call” as a call to action sent in emails and newsletters for customers to find out more about Harley Davidson’s top products.

As Harley Davidson experienced, AI marketing like Albert have the ability to make more accurate decisions that increase revenue and save time. Unlike traditional marketing tactics, Albert can make decisions based on actual data versus just guesswork. Without the ability to analyze online behavior, companies end up underestimating their potential buyer demographics.

Our pal, Al, is able to widen that figure, finding leads that were not even considered, and thus generate more business. The best part is that it is all done autonomously.

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Real Estate Marketing

Ramp up your Twitter by letting Narrow take the reigns

(MARKETING NEWS) Let Narrow manage and moderate your Twitter. Using analytics and algorithms your only job will be telling Narrow what you like and the app will do the rest.

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Reaching your target demographic on social media can be difficult even when you know exactly who you’re looking for, to say nothing of when you can only approximate.

While this still isn’t an exact science, one app—Narrow, by a company of the same name—may be the solution to your Twitter campaign’s shortcomings.

At first glance, Narrow looks like another Twitter analytics tool; however, what sets Narrow apart from its competitors is its automation. In addition to finding and tracking your target demographic through a combination of location, keywords, and hashtags, Narrow will like and retweet posts from users that fit into your established demographic in order to redirect them to your profile.

If that isn’t enough to pique your interest, you can also use keywords to find relevant users’ bios and follow their profiles, which is a proven growth technique.

Naturally, Narrow keeps you up to date with built-in analytics that show which hashtags and keywords net the highest success, all while continuing to interact with users based on your informed input. The ostensible result is a higher level of engagement with your target audience, more followers for your brand, and a better understanding of your brand’s target audience.

After choosing a monthly payment plan—which come in flavors of $19/month for one Twitter account, $49/month for three accounts, and $99/month for 10 accounts—all you have to do is link your Twitter account(s), plug in the keywords and hashtags you want the app to interact with, and—no, wait, that’s all you have to do.

As one might reasonably expect, you can look into your progress on Narrow’s dashboard at any time, allowing you to drop unsuccessful keywords, prioritize the more successful ones, and view your overall conversion rates for each Twitter profile you manage.

It’s worth noting Narrow’s to-date involvement: according to the developers’ website, Narrow is used by companies like Forbes, MSNBC, and Entrepreneur. Given the bevy of useful resources this app boasts, you might want to consider adding your site to that list.

Narrow starts out at 19.99/month for one Twitter account. Even if you aren’t looking for a growth resource right now, do yourself a favor and head over to the site to check it out.

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Real Estate Marketing

Sentiment analysis has become unreliable, but you can get around that

(MARKETING) Gathering sentiment analysis on your brand is a standard marketing practice, but new studies reveal the data is increasingly unreliable – here’s how to combat this trend.

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Turns out it isn’t just the average Joe who should be worried about misleading information online. Brands should be equally concerned about the accuracy of consumer perception. The basics of sentiment analysis are as old as the pandora’s box of asking for someone’s opinion. However, a study by the Harvard Business Review has shown that online vs. offline consumer reactions should be treated differently.

Sentiment analysis is the computational process of categorizing a person’s attitude towards a product, brand, topic, or campaign as “positive”, “negative”, or “neutral” by digesting their linguistic patterns in their posts and comments.

It’s essentially the uphill battle of turning subjective feelings into actionable or useful data. The problem is finding accurate trends when 60 percent of sentiment analysis studies yield overall “neutral” attitudes. Not all that helpful…

Essentially, online reactions are rooted in extremes. We all have been or have that friend who posts about finding “this amazing product/brand” and must let all passing scrollers know about this new obsession.

Alternatively, some try to perform a civic duty by warning others about a poor experience to save their social media friends from the same grief. Whatever said in that comment or post is likely filled with intense emotion, equivalent to someone running out into the road to yell their feelings to anyone who’ll listen.

Secondly, the spectrum of consumer reactions can be too wide. With the rise of fake accounts and bots, accepting feedback wholesale can lead to too much noise or misleading sentiments. Specificity is key, especially when A.I. and algorithms still have trouble recognizing irony, hyperbole, and humor. (Memes, anyone?) Feedback can be more accurate by targeting phrases such as “will buy” or “won’t buy”. For bigger brands, random, sentiment sampling can also help narrow the focus.

Finally, the sentiment analysis tools should vary. There are a growing number of resources with Hootsuite Insight, Rapidminer, and Social Mention just to name a few. Different tools can help create a better picture of consumer reactions — just follow the trail of hashtags!

The minefield of online interaction hasn’t gotten any safer despite a public awareness for fake news. Context is still a tricky thing. But subjectivity still makes the world go ’round (in my opinion), and we can see the value in feedback even though it may require playing with fire.

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