It’s easy to jump online and read about influencer marketing wins. They’re literally everywhere, which makes it tremendously convenient to see what strategies work on which platforms, and how you can apply those strategies to your business. And that’s great … … but what about the losses? What about those influencer marketing efforts that didn’t just fall flat, but flat-out missed? What about those campaigns? Well, here at Influencer.co, we’ve done the hard work for you, so you don’t have to spend your precious time digging-up the best examples of the worst-influencer campaigns. We know which brands paid for them, which influencers executed them, and—most importantly—why they crashed and burned. So, take a look at these famous flubs to ensure you don’t make the same mistakes when orchestrating your next influencer campaign.

Scott Disick’s Influencer Idiocy – A Look at the Risks of Influencer Incompetence

[caption id="attachment_9914" align="aligncenter" width="806"] Photo Credit: Bit Bag[/caption] Influencers aren’t robots, they’re people. And people make mistakes — really, really, really dumb mistakes — all the time. Case and point, look at the decision-making of reality TV star Scott Disick, who accidentally posted (to his nearly 20-million Instagram followers) a private message between him and Bootea, the company paying him to be an influencer. No, Bootea never intended to be discreet about paying for endorsements from influencers, but “Disick made it embarrassingly transparent how celebrity Instagram endorsements work.” (Read the Full Story Here.)

Kim Kardashian vs the FDA – A Look at How Missing Details Come with Consequences

A few years ago, when model and reality TV-icon Kim Kardashian was pregnant, she posted a picture of herself on Instagram holding a bottle of Diclegis — a prescription anti-nausea drug manufactured by the Canadian pharmaceutical company Duchesnay. By paying Kim to be an influencer and share Diclegis with her tens of millions of followers, Duchesnay unwittingly created an illegal advertisement for a prescription drug — a big no-no in the eyes of the FDA. (Read the full story here.)

Volvo Fails to Veil their Paid Influence – A Look at Matching Market with Message

[caption id="attachment_9916" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Photo Credit: Cloud Front[/caption] Part of the effectiveness of Influencer marketing is in the perceived “naturalness” of the partnerships. A guitar player with a massive number of YouTube subscribers? — a great way for Fender to get their new six-string out in front of the masses. A make-up artist with thousands and thousands of Instagram followers? — not a bad idea for Maybelline to kick that artist a few bucks to demo their latest eyeliner. The point is, the brand, the product, and the influencer all need to flow together naturally. If they don’t, the backlash can be pretty severe. Just ask Chriselle Lim who took a beating from her followers for not-so-subtly plugging Volvo in a series of Instagram posts. (Read the full story here.)

Lord & Taylor Fought the Law and the Law Won – A Look at the Danger of Deceptive Influence

Influencer-driven marketing, when properly executed, doesn’t come across as an overt push for a brand, product, or service. However, that doesn’t mean social media influencers, and the companies paying them can overlook the law as it pertains to marketing and advertising. Fashion designer Lord & Taylor learned that lesson the hard way when Federal Trade Commission forced them to pay princely sums to settle charges of using paid-influencers to create “deceptive advertising.” (Read the full story here.)

E.A.rning Really Embarrassing Press – A Look at Wooing the Wrong Influencer

[caption id="attachment_9918" align="aligncenter" width="802"] Photo Credit: Instagram[/caption] As mentioned in the previous story about Chriselle Lim and Volvo, finding the perfect influencer to partner with is really, really important. However, partnering with the ideal influencer is far less important than partnering with the completely wrong one. And partnering with the wrong influencer is exactly what video-game maker Electronic Arts did when attempting to work with Breaking Benjamin front-man, Benjamin Burnley, who was — ummm — less than polite in his highly-candid critique of the new E.A. game Star Wars: Battlefront. (Read the full story here.)

The Roof is on Fyre – A Look at When Influencers Deliver and Brands Don’t

By now, the much-maligned Fyre Festival 2017 has been well covered by major media outlets across the globe, but the sheer size and scope of its failure highlight an important lesson every brand should be cognizant of:

If you’re going to tap social media influencers to push your product, event, or brand, you MUST deliver on your message.

When planners of the Fyre Festival recruited Instagram superstars like Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid to express ‘genuine’ excitement for the festival all over social media, they created the kind of Pavlovian excitement event marketers dreams of. Unfortunately, those same planners never took any action to actually deliver on the lofty expectations their highly successful influencer marketing campaigns set with festival goers. And the backlash was merciless. (Read the full study here.)

When Duchesnay Didn’t Learn – A Look at Making the Same Influencer Mistake Twice

[caption id="attachment_9919" align="aligncenter" width="805"] Photo Credit: HRA[/caption] Remember earlier when we were talking about Kim Kardashian, the Canadian pharmaceutical company, Duchesnay, and the prescription drug, Diclegis? Well, lightning strikes twice! After their first partnership with Kim and her Instagram account, you’d think Duchnesay would stay away from the star, her account, and her followers. But they didn’t. In fact, Duchnesay kicked the hornet’s nest by hiring Kim to do another paid post, this time with the side-effects clearly listed so … at least the FDA was happy? (Read the full story here.)

PewDiePie Wades Across the Invisible Line – A Look at Wreckless Influencers

An important lesson for every brand to learn early-on is this: A brand can never fully govern what the influencers they’re sponsoring are going to upload to the internet at any given moment. And that lack of control could mean having your brand suddenly associated with some highly-unfavorable social media content. To understand what this can look like, examine the social media firestorm surrounding the highly-controversial, highly-unexpected anti-Semitic statements made by YouTube personality PewDiePie (Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg). The significant media blowback sparked by PewDiePie’s comments forced big brands — including Maker Studios (Disney) and YouTube (Google) — to rapidly distance themselves from one of their most profitable social media influencers. (Read the full story here.)

Snickers Pins a Confusing Message – A Look at How Influence Needs Clarity

[caption id="attachment_9921" align="aligncenter" width="797"] Photo Credit: Honeypot[/caption] There is a certain level of tact required to orchestrate a successful social media influencer campaign, but there’s a certain level of directness required as well. When British pin-up girl Katie Price, a.k.a. Jordan started blasting Tweets about economic theory, it left her more than 2 million Twitter followers understandably confused. For a woman who spends most of her time talking about fashion and beauty, short quips about GDP felt decidedly out of place. Turns out they were out of place on-purpose, much to the annoyance of her followers. The campaign hinged on the 'you're not you when you're hungry' theme Snickers had previously established. Unfortunately, most of Jordan's fans were unfamiliar or unimpressed with the message. (Read the full story here.)
We’ve got a question for you: Are you using social media influence to expand the strength and reach of your brand? If you’re not, you should be. According to data from Pew Research, “around seven-in-ten Americans (that’s 225 MILLION people) use social media to connect with one another” here in the United States. That’s a 1400% usage jump in just over a decade (Pew began tracking usage in 2005)! And “connect” covers more than just saying hey, how are you? Connecting is about sharing news, entertainment, and — here’s the part you want to pay attention to — their favorite brands, products, and services. [caption id="attachment_9887" align="aligncenter" width="804"] Photo Credit: Unplash[/caption] That means Americans of all shapes, all sizes, all interests, and all ages have some social media presence, and many (more than 40%) are checking in with that presence every day. With usage statistics like that, your company would be wise to look at social media as THE place for spending on native ads, brand-focused content, and social media influencers. It’s that last marketing medium — the influencer one — that’s buzzing right now. To help you better understand how you can deploy social media influencer marketing with tremendous efficacy, we’re going to introduce you to some fascinating case studies. These are studies from brands big and small that are using the power of social media influencers to drive incredibly positive results. So, whether you’re just getting started or a seasoned pro, our training series can help you as an influencer, manager, or brand to capture and monetize your social media audience. To illustrate how today's most significant global brands are leveraging the reach and engagement of the Facebook-owned photo-sharing app, we've compiled a list of over 20 Instagram case studies, including each campaign's creative strategy, examples of how companies created their brand-sponsored content (with and without digital influencers), and the results for each marketing initiative.

Southwest Takes on Bloody Sunday – A Look at Staying Responsive and Engaged

[caption id="attachment_9889" align="aligncenter" width="801"] Photo Credit: Media Leaders[/caption] “**it” hit the proverbial fan on Sunday, October 11th, 2015, when an unexpected software glitch forced Southwest Airlines to ground more than 800 flights (approximately 25% of its daily traffic). As Southwest Airlines ground crews and ticket agents locked eyes with tens of thousands of passengers ranging from annoyed to angry, the company’s nascent “social business” team took to Twitter’s to connect with every single passenger they could find. Seriously — every one. By employing the power of the Twittersphere, Southwest side-stepped a brand disaster and made a lot of life-long customers out of an event that would have left less socially engaged airlines reeling. (Read the full study here.)

Bringing Bonobos’ New Line to Life – A Look at using Instagram’s Influence to Unveil

When Bonobos looked to launch a new line of athletic men’s wear, they didn’t turn to antiquated means of marketing — they turned to social media influencers like stuntman, motorcyclist, and Instagrammer, Riley Harper. Adored by his 100k+ followers “for his cool West Coast lifestyle and photography,” Riley was the perfect fit for both the brand and the campaign. (Read the full story here.)

Kimberly-Clark & #HolidayNecessities – A Look at Creating Holiday Relevance

Toilet paper. Kleenex. Paper towels. Diapers. Tampons. Not really items that scream “buy me!” when it’s time to do the holiday shopping. But Kimberly-Clark—the massive, multi-national corporation with an array of goods in the personal-care space — didn’t want to miss out on the seasonal flood of consumers to Costco’s, Safeway’s, Walmart’s, and other big-name stores that carry Kimberly-Clark products. So, the corporation partnered with an influencer marketing agency (Clever) to contact “thousands of influencers-moms who love to host during the holidays,” asking them to use their presence on Twitter and Instagram to broadcast the importance of being prepared with #HolidayNecessities. (Read the full story here.)

Meghan Joins the Old Navy – A Look at Tapping Social Media Super-Users

[caption id="attachment_9897" align="aligncenter" width="802"] Photo Credit: i.ytimg[/caption] When you’ve crossed the threshold of 1-million followers on Instagram, and 2-million followers on YouTube, there can be little doubt about your super-user status. These individuals have more than massive reach, and they have massive pull over the audiences that follow them. So, it was no surprise the marketing team at Old Navy asked social media super-user Meghan Rienks to adorn some of their threads and create content (like this) capable of promoting the brand on YouTube. (Read the full story here.)

Mini Makes a Micro Move – A Look at Channeling Instagram Micro-Influencers to Win

Making the average consumer pay attention to the release of a new car isn’t easy, even for a brand with as much curbside appeal as MINI. Knowing this, MINI Australia recruited five Instagram micro-influencers to get behind the wheel of a new MINI Convertible, and showcase the brand, the car, and their adventures while driving with the top-down. (Read the full story here.)

Red Bull’s InstaInspiration – A Look at Creating Searing Identity Influence

[caption id="attachment_9900" align="aligncenter" width="805"] Photo Credit: Rohan Chambers[/caption] More than any other social media medium, Red Bull is using Instagram to sear its brand identity into the minds of its 7-million+ followers. The company is capitalizing on the natural thirst for awe, wonder, and sheer amazement to permanently affix its brand with “awesome.” Part of Red Bull’s Instagram success comes from its ability to piggyback off the success of established social media influencers through regrams. (Read the full story here.)

Wear WEARHAUS This Valentines’ Day – A Look at Making Something Out of Nothing

When you think of Valentine’s Day, you think of brands like FTD, See’s, and Hallmark. You don’t think of consumer technology brands, like WEARHAUS, purveyors of world-class wireless headphones. But WEARHAUS didn’t let their unconventional industry niche prevent them from appealing to the wallets of consumers on this otherwise conventional holiday. WEARHAUS — in conjunction with their influencer marketing agency, Clever — reached out to seven, Instagram-power-using couples to demonstrate the surprisingly romantic appeal of a pair of headphones. The results? — nearly 100,000 views, and 20,000-plus engagements. Proof that social media can help brands make something out of a whole lot of nothing. (Read the full study here.)

Making McDonald’s Cool – A Look at Seasonal Persuasion Via Facebook and Twitter

[caption id="attachment_9903" align="aligncenter" width="499"] Photo Credit: Refinery29[/caption] Adding degrees of “cool” to a brand as established (and stigmatized) as McDonald’s requires appealing to audiences in a subdued way. Tapping into the power of lesser-known social media influencers like Lily Melrose and Sam King was a way for McDonald’s to not only generate a half-million visitors to their mobile website, but it was also a way for them tie their McCafe line of products to chic personalities with favorable appeal amongst younger audiences. (Read the full story here.)

HP Uses Influencers to Prepare for Launch – A Look a Building Hype

Laptops aren’t thought of as young and hip—at least HP laptops aren’t. A fact which the Palo Alto-based corporation was all too aware. So, before the launch of their new Spectre laptop in Australia, HP enlisted the assistance of various fashion-forward Instagram influencers to “increase product awareness among a young target market who appreciate stylish design when it comes to technology.” For a full week, these influencers posted carefully curated photos of themselves with the product to build launch momentum, reaching more than 900,000 followers, and generating more than 60,000 direct engagements in the process. (Read the full story here.)

Conclusion

Use these fantastic Case Studies to increase your knowledge of social media. You don't have to go out there and re-invent the wheel. There are incredible companies making big moves already. Moves that you can make your own. Implementing some of the ideas above will make you a more well-rounded Influencer. Or, you can take parts and pieces of the Case Studies listed above and create your campaigns. Whatever you choose to do, make it your own. Put your spin on it, so your fans and followers will see your personality shining through!
The garbage fire that was (or wasn’t) the Fyre Festival has media pundits clutching their pearls and warning the populace against the grave dangers of influencer marketing. And now that a major lawsuit has been brought against some of the influencers themselves, you may be feeling nervous about the state of your own business and considering hiding under the covers permanently (surely the FTC can’t find you there!). While the Fyre Festival brought greater attention to the use of influencer marketing, and not much of it positive, things aren’t as black as they look. Influencer marketing isn’t going anywhere, with 92% of consumers saying they trust recommendations from other people (even strangers) over branded content. That said, a closer look at the Fyre Festival disaster reveals where these influencers made huge mistakes and how you can protect yourself from following in their footsteps.

1) They didn’t vet the product

[caption id="attachment_9876" align="aligncenter" width="802"] Photo Credit: Vanity Fair[/caption] According to the New Statesman, anybody without stars in their eyes could have figured out that the Fyre Festival wasn’t going to be the next Coachella like its organizers promised. “There were hundreds of warning signs about the event,” Amelia Tait writes. Vanity Fair’s Nick Bilton called the Fyre Festival’s leaked pitch deck “one of the most preposterous invitations for outside capital that I have ever seen.” In other words, these celebrity influencers should have seen it coming. It’s precisely this lack of vetting that so many in the media are using to disparage influencer marketing. “These people will say or do anything for a quick buck” is the general sentiment among the angry mob of journalists. How can you ensure the pitchforks and torches aren’t directed at you next? The fix for this is simple: do your homework. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If a potential brand partner is approaching you with the most preposterous business plan you’ve ever seen, it’s a good idea to back away slowly, no matter what they’re offering you in exchange. If you’re still feeling anxious, it’s time to ask for outside help. You started out doing what you do because you love making content and connecting with your followers (more on this later). Turning your passion into a business is a great move, but it might be unexplored territory for you. Let Influencer.co be your guide. We’ve personally vetted 70,000 merchants and over half a million products for you that won’t come back to bite you in the derriere. In other words, we’re the smart kid that will let you cheat off our homework so you can get back to doing what you do best.

2) They didn’t follow the rules

[caption id="attachment_9877" align="aligncenter" width="804"] Photo Credit: New York Times[/caption] I know, I know—being a goody-two-shoes rule-follower sounds laaaaame. Less lame? A $40,000 fine from the FTC, which, according to Wired, is what you could end up paying for not being sufficiently transparent with your marketing posts. This issue was one of the major sticking points in the Fyre Festival debacle. According to several articles, Emily Ratajkowski was the only one of the so-called Fyre Starters to appropriately tag her her Fyre Festival-promoting post with #ad. Whether true or not, many festival attendees claimed they would have been deterred from buying tickets had they known the celebrities involved had been paid for their endorsements. As noted above, there were obvious signs that the festival was not going to be the life-changing experience it was billed as. Savvy consumers could have made a smarter decision, regardless of how many influencers attached their seal of approval. That said, smart influencers should protect themselves (and their relationship with followers) from any potential backlash over a lousy product. The upside is that the solution is simple: make like a window and get transparent. Engadget notes that influencers only have to make the small concession of including #ad, or the words “sponsored,” “promotion,” or “paid ad” to be compliant with the FTC. True, openly addressing that some of your content is paid might turn off some followers, or discourage them from checking out a promoted product. Remember though that your sales will be hurt significantly more by an FTC fine. Even if you are making big bucks, influencers should expect the FTC to get more serious about enforcement following Fyre Festival. Worse than that, a product endorsement gone wrong can do severe damage to your brand’s reputation if you haven’t done enough to protect yourself. Your followers respond to your authenticity and plugging any old product that comes your way won’t be a successful strategy. Tagging a post as paid content will sting less if it’s balanced by real enthusiasm on your part. Influencer.co’s aggregate service makes it so much easier to find products you love than surfing for affiliate programs at random or waiting for companies (whose market may not match your audience) to come knocking at your door. Find your niche and your promotions will fit in seamlessly. Influencer.co also offers piles of educational material (I promise it’s way more interesting than it sounds!) that will not only help you stay on top of industry standards but also give you tons of tips and tricks to run your influencer business more effectively.

3) They didn’t apologize

[caption id="attachment_9879" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Photo Credit: Vice[/caption] A good influencer knows that the bottom line of their business is not just about the dollars and cents—it’s about relationships and engagement. Sure, with their massive followings, most of the Fyre Starters won’t see irreparable damage to their brands, but you can bet those of their followers who did attend the “festival” will think again before trusting whatever influencer led them down that path of doom. And rather than try to repair the relationship with those followers, the celebrities in question responded with … silence (insert crickets chirping here). The majority of Fyre Starters scrubbed any mention of the festival from their social media accounts. One can almost imagine a group text going around: “We must never speak of this again.” A couple of those involved did speak up, but mostly to deflect responsibility. Co-organizer Ja Rule made a heartfelt-ish apology, in which he simultaneously takes responsibility while also calling the disaster “NOT MY FAULT.” Bella Hadid issued a pseudo-apology on Twitter that has since been taken down, claiming that “This was not my project what so ever, nor was I informed about the production or process of the festival in any shape or form.” While better than silence, these non-apology apologies aren’t exactly reassuring to loyal followers. Suppose you don’t have Influencer.co in your corner yet, and you’ve already made mistakes 1 and 2. What’s an influencer to do? Apologize, apologize, apologize. As Josh Dickey says in his Mashable article, “With great influence comes great accountability.” Unlike the merchants you might be promoting, your money-making ventures operate at the intersection between your business and you, a real-live person. Your first loyalty should be to your base, not your branded partnerships—without your base, those partnerships will disappear anyway. You might be worried about openly acknowledging that you made a bad move or were taken advantage of. But your followers will respond to your authenticity, and anyone who was hurt by a bad purchase is more likely to forgive you if they’re reminded that you’re a real person who makes mistakes but still has their back. The Fyre Festival has undoubtedly drawn negative attention to influencer marketing, but it can be a positive opportunity for influencers. Use the mistakes made by other influencers to clean up sloppy practices in your own business, and take a minute to educate your followers on what makes you as an influencer a force for good. Your followers love your content, and they’re hungry for trustworthy recommendations in the face of overwhelming advertising. Vet your products, be transparent, be accountable, and you can let the blowback from Fyre Festival propel you forward.  
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: the key to successful content marketing is creating content that is actionable. As Jolie Miller, content manager for LinkedIn, so eloquently put it: As an influencer, you don’t want to get a reputation for just creating more internet noise. Your content marketing strategy must consist of elements that are useful, engaging, and, most importantly, inspire your audience to do something. So how do you do that? Let’s talk about the four fundamentals of creating actionable content. Fundamental #1: Answer the Questions Your Ideal Customer is Asking [caption id="attachment_9867" align="aligncenter" width="801"] Photo Credit: Unsplash[/caption] Your content can’t inspire action if your readers don’t read it. “But I’m totally awesome!” you might be saying. “Why wouldn’t they read it??” Nobody will read your content if it isn’t relevant to them. Therefore, the first step in creating actionable content is to answer those questions your ideal customer is asking. They want something, and you should provide it. You should try to mirror the language your prospect will use and write with the keywords they will search for. Don’t lose your own style – you’re an influencer because people like YOU – but using the right keywords written in the right way will help readers find your content when they search. (Not sure about keywords? Here’s a guide from the great minds at HubSpot to get you started.) Fundamental #2: Be Where Your Audience Is Ok, so now you have some ideas on content that your audience will want to read. The next step is making sure they will actually see it. You need to promote your content in the places that your ideal customer spends his or her time. For example, if you are an influencer in the fashion industry catering to young 20-somethings interested in the latest trends, you probably aren’t going to get much traction on Linked IN. You may have better luck on Pinterest, Instagram, or Reddit. However, if your focus is on young, professional 20-somethings interested in career growth, Linked IN would be a perfect place for your killer post about how to dress for a job interview. This is where research is critical. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools to help with this. Fundamental #3: The Power of Good Writing [caption id="attachment_9869" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Photo Credit: Unsplash[/caption] Bottom line: nobody wants to read content that sucks. It’s a fact. Even the most relevant piece on the perfect platform, isn’t going to inspire action if it’s not written well. Bad grammar, sentences that ramble on, and ideas that are hard to follow are going to make readers walk away. (Not a great writer? Here are 12 tips from the pros.) Your content should also be tailored to the platform it will be posted on. Good writing is good writing, but know what holds the interest of audiences on each network you’ll be utilizing. Fundamental #4: Personalize the Experience Everyone likes to feel special. In fact, the Custom Content Council says that 61% of consumers feel better about brands that deliver custom content. The more your reader sees themselves in your content, the more likely they are to take action. Creating custom content touches on a critical point when trying to get readers to take action: don’t forget about the audience you have! Many influencers make the mistake of focusing on new leads while neglecting to nurture the ones they have. New leads are cool, but loyalty and trust are what give you your…well... influence! That is something that must be built over time. Creating custom content helps your readers believe you know who they are and are speaking right to them. This will make them more likely to do what you are asking them to do. You can personalize content by creating email sequences for particular types of customers, tagging and categorizing content effectively for readers, and using tools such as tokens, bundles, and APIs to customize your website experience. (Here’s a helpful piece of advice though: don’t get TOO personal. It’s going to creep your readers out if they think you’re spying on them…) Let’s Get Influencing! Ok, now that we’ve got the fundamentals down, let’s discuss what types of things we can get readers to do. Some common actions you might focus on are driving traffic to your website, getting readers to sign up for your newsletter, or getting them to download a lead magnet. Let’s take a look. Using Content Marketing to Drive Traffic [caption id="attachment_9870" align="aligncenter" width="799"] Photo Credit: Unsplash[/caption] A basic goal of content marketing is to drive traffic to your website. Here’s how it works: you create a piece of content that answers a question your customer is asking, your customer searches for the answer to that question and finds that content and that content leads them to your website. Simple, right? Yeah … kind of. In order for this to work, you need to focus on creating quality content. One well-planned and properly executed blog post can do more to drive traffic than a hundred hastily written ones. Here’s some advice on how to do this right:
  • Do your research! Know what your target audience is interested in.
  • Make proper use of primary and secondary keywords to ensure your posts rank higher for SEO.
  • See what your competition is doing and do it better.
  • Create content that is visually appealing for readers that might just want to skim (and don’t forget your image alt-text – it’s a big help for SEO).
  • Use relevant, helpful, and authoritative links – this is part of an off-site SEO strategy.
  • Look for opportunities to write guest posts for other sites.
Grow That Mailing List! Your mailing list and newsletter content are exceptionally powerful for increasing your influence. After all, these people are agreeing to regularly consume your content. There’s obviously something they like about you. This is a relationship you should not take for granted. Content marking is a great way to continue to nurture and grow that list. Here’s how: Create relevant, engaging, and entertaining content your current subscribers will want to share with their friends and family. Encourage sharing by including social media and “email to a friend” buttons in your newsletters. Promote an online contest that requires entrants to input their email address. Create lead magnets or offers that readers have to provide their email address to receive. Make sure you are sharing the links to sign up on your social media pages and posts. Run a campaign, promotion, or partnership with another influencer or brands and provide their audience with the info to sign up. Think outside the box! Content isn’t just words – host a webinar, a Facebook chat, create a video, and more! Ask for an email address to register and point participants towards your newsletter at the end. Magnets, Magnets Everywhere but not a Lead to … Drink?
  • Ok, that doesn’t really make sense, but you get the pun…
  • We mentioned creating lead magnets to boost your email list, but one of the actions you want to encourage your readers to take is to actually download the lead magnets you create.
  • Here are some ways you can use content marketing to accomplish that goal:
  • Create a quality lead magnet relevant to your customer’s problem (man, I can’t help but think we’ve said that before….).
  • Promote your lead magnet in your content – link to it in your blog posts, discuss it in your emails, and share it on your social media pages.
  • Make sure you are promoting your lead magnets on the right channels – know which segment of your audience spends their online time where.
  • Ask other influencers to share your lead magnet in their content (and make sure you do the same for them!).
The Bottom Line [caption id="attachment_9871" align="aligncenter" width="801"] Photo Credit: Unsplash[/caption] Influence must drive action or it isn't really influencing. Content marketing is an effective way to let your readers know what you want them to do and encourage them to do it. It can be used to get readers to do things like visiting your website, sign up for your email newsletter, or download a lead magnet you’ve created. However, in order to be effective, you need a well-planned and well-executed content marketing strategy that is made up of high-quality content. Know what your readers are interested in and deliver relevant content. Put that content in the right place, personalize their experience as much as possible, and don’t neglect the basics of good writing! With these fundamentals in mind, you will quickly establish yourself as a key influencer in your industry. If you like our advice and want more of it, you can visit our website or contact us. (See what we did there? Our advice is so good, even we take it!) So go create some content, put yourself out there, and grow your influence!  
Clear your schedule, grab your passport, and book your flight. Influencer.co’s list of the top 10 events you can’t afford to miss is here. Influencer, content, and marketing conferences are an ideal way to take your influence to the next level. Give your fans a thrill by meeting them in person. Get your face in front of top brands. Network with other influencers in your space. And record the whole thing via social media so your audience can see you investing in your work. Influencer.co has already gathered a complete list of all the best conferences of the upcoming year, but if you want to know which influencer events are actually worth your time, look no further than our hand-selected list.

For Everybody

Playlist Live September 1–3 2017 / Washington, D.C. [caption id="attachment_9836" align="aligncenter" width="801"] Photo Credit: Orlando Sentinel[/caption]   Playlist Live is *the* biggest event for online creators. The full event is three days of non-stop interactive activities. Friday is “Business Day,” for creators to attend panels and other programs covering the online video industry. Saturday and Sunday are for the main event. Check out performances, discussions, and live Q&A’s with other creators, or attend a scheduled meetup to meet your favorite creators in person (or have your supporters meet you!). Network with brands and try other interactive activities in the expo hall. There’s also an Insight track with unique panels and workshops for up-and-coming creators looking to maximize their influence. Playlist Live is held twice a year and was in Orlando in May. Dates and locations for spring 2018 are still TBD. VidCon June 21–24 2017 / Anaheim, CA [caption id="attachment_9839" align="aligncenter" width="801"] Photo Credit: VidCon[/caption]   Started by John and Hank Green in 2010, VidCon is now entering its eighth year. VidCon is one of the biggest conferences out there for YouTube creators. Featured creators—some of the top influencers and content creators on the internet—host Q&A’s, interviews, and meet and greets. There are three tracks, for Community (supporters and fans), Creators, and Industry. Influencers in the creator track have the opportunity to attend informative panels and workshops on growing an audience, managing a brand, and finding a unique voice, and can network with other creators. Most community events are also open to creators—visit the expo hall, attend discussions, and get access to exclusive concerts and parties. Social Media Week June 12–16 2017 / Los Angeles, CA [caption id="attachment_9841" align="aligncenter" width="799"] Photo Credit: Social Media Week[/caption]   Social Media Week is an entire multifaceted platform. Not just a series of conferences held multiple times a year all over the world. Social Media Week is also a news organization, branded content creator, and publisher of research on social media’s impact. While the conferences are attended primarily by business professionals and marketing teams, there’s still space for influencers to make an impact. Top influencers can apply to be conference speakers. Attendees can expect to learn about all things social media, including new and evolving effects on business, society, and culture. Expect less of a party than Playlist Live or VidCon, but plenty of opportunities to learn trade secrets from some of the most successful digital marketers working today. INBOUND September 25–28 2017 / Boston, MA [caption id="attachment_9845" align="aligncenter" width="799"] Photo Credit: TechConfs[/caption]   INBOUND is one of the hugest conferences of any stripe in the world. 2016’s conference had nearly 20,000 attendees, and you can bet this year will be just as big. INBOUND is broadly interested in the intersection between humans and business and covers a myriad of topics. While social media and influencer marketing aren’t primary focuses, attendees can still learn plenty about growing their presence. The size of the conference also makes it a fantastic networking opportunity. If nothing else, come for the keynotes. INBOUND attracts some of the world’s biggest names as speakers (Michelle Obama, anyone?), so prepare to be inspired. Influencer Marketing Hub Conference September 28, 2017 / London, UK [caption id="attachment_9846" align="aligncenter" width="799"] Photo Credit: Influence Marketing Hub[/caption]   Influencer.co’s wild card pick for 2017. The Influencer Marketing Hub Conference is hosting its inaugural event this year. Unlike the other events on this list, the conference has only one focus, and that is influencer marketing. The organizers are hoping to attract attendees from all sides of the business, whether social media stars, talent agencies, brand campaign managers, or up-and-coming influencers. Expect lots of hands-on educational workshops and in-depth Q&A’s. This conference is also a pure networking opportunity, designed to get influencers in front of brands and brands in front of influencers. Influencer.co is expecting it to be one of the best business conferences of the year, but either way, you’ll still get a fantastic trip in London. It’s a can’t-lose proposition.

Niche

For Women: BlogHer June 22–24 2017 / Orlando, FL [caption id="attachment_9847" align="aligncenter" width="798"] Photo Credit: BlogHer[/caption]   BlogHer is the premier conference for women in the digital space. Content creators, social media stars, online entrepreneurs, activists, and fans will all get to come together for keynotes, educational workshops, and networking. BlogHer is all about the sisterhood, with lots of opportunities to connect with other influencers, meet fans, and do quality networking with brands. The conference attracts big-name keynote speakers who are all about empowering women and also includes entertainment events and concerts. While the primary audience and the vast majority of attendees are women, there’s no need to get jealous, guys—you can attend, too. For the Fashionista: BeautyCon August 12–13 2017 / Los Angeles, CA [caption id="attachment_9850" align="aligncenter" width="816"] Photo Credit: BeautyCon[/caption]   The BeautyCon Festival has been around for a few years, but the organizers behind it have now grown into a full-fledged platform. BeautyCon Media puts out a host of digital content on all things beauty and offers an epic annual subscription box, but the festivals are still a major focal point. Makeup artists, stylists, and influencers in the fashion and beauty fields, as well as representatives from top brands, will all be in attendance. Influencers can listen to panels, take part in tutorials, and meet and greet their favorite creators. BeautyCon’s mission is all about bringing diversity to the world of makeup and beauty, so this is a conference for everyone. Festivals are held in Los Angeles, New York, and London, so keep an eye out for more upcoming dates. For the Gamer: TwitchCon October 20–22 2017 / Long Beach, CA [caption id="attachment_9851" align="aligncenter" width="799"] Photo Credit: ReedPop[/caption]   TwitchCon is the official conference for the Twitch community. Like Playlist Live and VidCon, TwitchCon is more about the community coming together IRL than anything. Fans and viewers, casual gamers, partnered streamers, and the biggest brands in gaming alike will get to engage in a variety of activities, from a talent show to a cosplay contest, to Saturday’s raging party. Influencers looking to grow their stream will also be able to attend workshops and panel sessions. Top influencers will get the opportunity to live stream right from the conference. The most prominent draw, though, will be the chance for streamers and viewers to meet in person, solidifying fan loyalty and brand authenticity. For the Geek: San Diego Comic-Con July 20–23 2017 / San Diego, CA [caption id="attachment_9852" align="aligncenter" width="804"] Photo Credit: Knowledge Wharton[/caption]   Comic-Con truly needs no introduction. The most significant comics convention in the world has grown into a massive event attended by everyone from casual fans to the biggest Hollywood celebrities. Comic-Con is an excellent event for content creators in the fandom space to meet other creators, mutual fans, and their favorite idols. Attend a full slate of panels, programs, and preview showings, or just wander the exhibit hall. Whether you’re a top-notch cos-player or an indie video creator, you won’t want to miss it. For the Mom: Mom 2.0 Summit May 2–4 2018 / Pasadena, CA [caption id="attachment_9853" align="aligncenter" width="799"] Photo Credit: Mom2[/caption]   The Mom 2.0 Summit is *the* place for “Mommy Bloggers” to connect. The summit brings together influencers and content creators along with marketers and media professionals. Don’t let the name fool you—this isn’t just a conference for bloggers writing about toilet training and packing school lunches. It’s a professional meetup for content creators in any field, from parenting to entertainment to food to politics to business to tech to travel. They just happen to be parents, too. Educational and networking sessions abound, but don’t forget to take a break and enjoy a variety of fun events as well, including morning yoga, evening parties, and celebrity keynote addresses. All these events are well worth the investment when it comes to growing your influence. When you get home, let Influencer.co make the rest easy. Our simple sign-up and gorgeous interface let you quickly monetize your growing following. Connect with over 70,000 merchants and effortlessly search over 500 million products to find the right promotions to match your brand. Our tracking and reporting tools make it simple to keep an eye on your earning success, freeing you to continue creating stellar content so you can enjoy your next conference.

Sign Up as an Influencer

Welcome to Influencer.co. This tutorial and video will teach you how to Apply to Join as an Influencer.

Tutorial Topics:

1) Apply to Join Now as an Influencer 2) Verify your social media accounts 3) Help us understand your audience 4) Invite a Manager 5) Invite other Influencers and Friends Watch the General System Overview screencast to find out more about Applying to Join as an Influencer.
1) Click the Apply to Join Now button on the Home Page (or anywhere else it appears)  Apply to join Influencer 2) Click Influencer if you’re the one with the social following. If you have a Manager or Assistant, or you ARE a Manager or Assistant to an Influencer, refer instead to Apply to Join as a Manager and the Manager Tutorial. Sign up as Influencer or Manager 3) Complete Step 1 of the Account Registration Process, as shown in the example below (only with your info!), reading and agreeing to the Terms of Service. If you have received an e-mail from a Manager asking you to join, it’s possible they will have pre-filled some of this information for you, but make sure to check it! Apply to Join Influencer Step 1
4) On Step 2, start by Verifying your social accounts. For instance, if you fill in the rest of the page, then click Verify Facebook, you’ll open up the Facebook site and wipe any info you’ve loaded into Step 2! Apply to join as influencer step 2 5) You’ll be taken to the Facebook site where you’ll sign in, if you aren’t already. Influencer FaceBook Sign in 6) Facebook’s Approval Modal pops up. Click Continue As … to allow us to authorize you, and lets us know you are who you say you are! Influencer FaceBook Verify 7) Finish completing Step 2 with each of the social networks you use to reach your audience. You previously authorized Profile Name should now have a green checkbox by it, meaning you’ve done the previous step correctly. Then, click Next to move on to Step 3. Apply to join Influencer step 2 finish
8) As before, fill out Step 3 to let us better understand your audience. Click Submit My Application Now when you’re done. Apply to join influencer step 3
9) Once that’s done, all that’s left is to Invite Your Manager (if you have one) and Invite Friends (assuming you want to “share the love”), and then wait for us to review your finished application. These final steps are optional but encouraged! You’ll see them stacked in the image below but you can do one or both separately and at any time: Invite manager to join influencer
Don't forget to invite other influencers! Invite other influencers to join influencer (Optional For Those With Managers, Agents, or an Assistant that you want to access your account – please note you can only have one!) Fill out the Invite Your Manager to Join section of the confirmation/success page, and click Send Invite Now. Invite Manager to join influencer filled Once you hit Send, the form will clear and you’ll see the green success box. They will receive an e-mail to allow them to easily connect to you. You may want to take the opportunity to get in touch with them just to let them know the email is coming at your request! You can now move on to invite any Influencer friends you have to the platform. Invite manager to join influencer complete (Optional For Those With Friends You Want to Invite to Influencer.co) Fill out the Invite Other Influencers to Join section of the confirmation/success page, and click Send Invite Now. Invite Other Influencers to join influencer Now, look for that email confirmation that you’ve been approved and start using the Search feature to find the products you really care about promoting! Finished: Part I – Sign Up as an Influencer On to: Part II – Sign Up as a Manager

Sign Up as a Manager

This tutorial and video will teach you how to Apply to Join as a Manager.

Tutorial Topics

1) Apply to Join as a Manager 2) Verify Social Media Accounts 3) Invite Influencers
1) Click the Apply to Join Now button on the Home Page (or anywhere else it appears) 2) Click Manager if you either manage or assist an Influencer (or Influencers) with their social promotion efforts. If you’re the one with the social following, refer instead to the Influencer Tutorial. 3) Complete Step 1 of the Account Registration Process, as shown in the example below (only with your info!), reading and agreeing to the Terms of Service.
4) On Step 2, before you type in too much, Verify Facebook. If you fill in the rest of the page, then click Verify Facebook, you’ll open up the Facebook site and wipe any info you’ve loaded into Step 2! 5) You’ll be taken to the Facebook site where you’ll sign in, if you haven’t already. Influencer FaceBook Sign in 6) Facebook’s Approval Modal pops up. Click Continue as… to allow us to authorize you, and lets us know you are who you say you are! 7) Finish completing Step 2 with each of the social networks you use to reach your audience. Your Facebook Profile Name should now have a green checkbox by it, meaning you’ve done the previous step correctly. Then, click Next to move on to Step 3.
8) Once that’s done, all that’s left is to Invite Your Influencers to Join and then wait for us to review your finished application. As you’ll see below, Following or Liking us on your social networks will help us expedite the approval process, since we can resolve any discrepancies on our end. 9) Once you’ve hit Send, the form will clear and you’ll see the green success box. Your Influencer will receive an e-mail to allow them to easily connect to you. You may want to take the opportunity to get in touch with them just to let them know the email is coming at your request! You can now continue to invite the rest of the Influencers you manage! Now, look for that email confirmation that you’ve been approved and start using the Search feature to find the products you really care about promoting! Finished: Part II – Sign Up as a Manager On to: Part III – Managing Your Influencers and Their Links

Managing Your Influencers and Their Links

This tutorial and supplementary video teach you about Manager accounts, managing Influencers, and their links, as well as advanced Search features.

Tutorial Topics

1) Your Manager's Account 2) Managing Your Influencers’ Accounts 3) Accessing Your Influencer’s Performance Report 4) Generate Custom Product Links As a Manager, you’re likely to spend most of your time at Influencer.co checking on progress, adding new Influencers, dropping others, and creating links for products on which you or your agency would like Influencers to focus. Watch the Manager screencast for more information about Managing your Influencers.

I - Your Manager’s Account (and What Everything Does)

1) You’ll start by logging in as yourself at https://influencer.co/login. Presumably, you’ve already done that. 2) Once you’ve logged in, you’ll find yourself on your Influencers page. Here you’ll find all of the Influencers currently attached to you under My Influencers, as well as those you’ve already invited but who have not yet been accepted. While they are in Account Pending status, you’ll have limited ability to manage their account. Once they’ve submitted the rest of their information, verified their account, and approved you as their Manager, you’ll have enhanced privileges, though what you’re able to do will depend on the level of permissions they’ve granted you over their account. Note: You can also get back to your Influencers page by clicking on the Manager’s name (your name), in the upper right-hand corner of the site navigation, as you’ll see in the next step. 3) Dropping down the Manager’s Name (your name) drop-down allows you to Manage your own account, so let’s briefly talk about that:
  • Profile - your personal information you registered with
  • Social - your (or your company’s) web site URL and social accounts
  • Account - verification, tax/W9 info (if necessary), payment info (us to you), and password reset
  • Payments - existing payments that have been made to you due to your Influencers’ efforts
  • Influencers - current Influencer status and log-in screen (more on that in a minute)
  • Invite - for adding more Influencers to your team
  • Support - a simple contact form if you run into problems with your account, or have a suggestion
  • Logout - it, uh… logs you out!
By and large, these are pretty self-explanatory, but let’s go back to the Influencers’ page because that changes things a bit.

II - Managing Your Influencers’ Accounts

1) Log into Your Account or use your Manager’s Drop-down to get to your Influencer’s Page where you see your list of Active and Pending Influencers. 2) Clicking the blue Log In As button to the right of an Influencer’s name will log you into their account. Log In As will change to green and read Logged In and you’ll see a notification above that indicates that, “you are currently logged in as...” What’s particularly important is that you now have an additional drop-down in the upper right-hand corner of the page, which is that Influencer’s Name. 3) Dropping down the Influencer’s Name drop-down allows you to Manage their account. We’ll go over that in more detail, but here’s the short version:
  • Reporting - used for seeing their Product Links and Performance
  • Payments - existing payments that have been made to them
  • Profile - their personal information they registered with
  • Social - their website URL and social accounts
  • Influence - their purported audience and monetization info
  • Logout - this time, this logs you out of their account, but not your own.
4a) Reporting takes you to that Influencer’s Performance Report, showing their Product Link activity. 4b) Clicking on each link takes you to that particular Product’s Details Page. You’ll notice that as a Manager you can even leave Product- and Influencer-specific Notes at the bottom: 4c) As you create Links for more and more items, you may want to Filter to see things differently, whether it’s your most recent links, or which Products generated how much revenue over a certain period of time for you. 4d) Under the Filters header, you can click the Date Range to set start and end dates: 4d) ...or click the Columns dropdown to change the information that’s displayed: 1b) You’ll be taken to the Search Page. 2a) From there, you can click the All Categories dropdown to the right of the pink Search button to Browse by Category. 2b) ...or type a product into the Search field for a General Search. 2c) ...or click Advanced Search for more options, including Country, Merchant, Brand, and Cost. 3a) Clicking on any Product brings up its Create Product Link Modal. 3b) Clicking on the Generate Link button will create a Custom Short Tracking Link for this Product that is specific to YOUR account, and automatically save it for you. You can get to it later by going to PRODUCTS > Links in the Top Navigation… 3c) ...or click the Copy to Clipboard link now before you even close the Modal if you’re ready to use it now. The following popup will appear, letting you know it’s ready for Pasting (Command-V on a Mac, Control-V on a PC) into your next social post: 3d) You can also click Copy Image URL to grab the graphic for posting. 4a) As stated earlier, you can get back to your links anytime (even if you’ve logged out and back in) by going to PRODUCTS > YOUR LINKS & REPORTS in the Top Navigation… That’s all there is to it! As we add new features, we will revise these tutorials to make it as easy as possible for you to take advantage of your social influence. Thank you for being a part of Influencer.co. Finished: Part III – Managing Your Influencers and Their Links On to: Part IV – Linking and Reporting

Searching for Products and Creating Links 

This tutorial and video teach you how to search our database for products to promote. Follow these simple steps and you'll be on your way to monetizing as an Influencer in no time!

Tutorial Topics

1) Search for Products to Promote 2) Creating Product Link Modals 3) Monetizing Product Links 4) Watch the Product Search and Monetize Link Screencast
Start by thinking about the products you feel strongly about, ones that you’ve either used or have a genuine interest in, that fit your Influencer persona and you feel will spark your Followers’ interest. Your searches can be really specific or start more broadly to find new things you like. Not every product you use will be in the database, of course, because not every company utilizes Influencer Marketing or approaches it the same way, but with more than half a million products in the database, you’re bound to find things that resonate with you!

Searching Our Database for Products to Promote

1a) To start searching for Products, Log In to the account you’ve previously created, then click the PRODUCTS dropdown in the top navigation. 1b) Then click SEARCH PRODUCTS TO LINK and you’ll be taken to the Product Search Page. 2a) From there, you can click the All Categories dropdown to the right of the magenta Search button to Browse by Category. 2b) ... or type a product into the Search field for a General Search. 2c) ... or use Advanced Search for more options, including Country, Merchant, Brand, and Cost. 3a) Clicking on any Product brings up its Create Product Link Modal. 3b) Clicking on the Generate Link button will create a Custom Short Tracking Link for this Product that is specific to YOUR account, and automatically save it for you. You can get to it later by going to PRODUCTS > YOUR LINKS & REPORTS in the Top Navigation… 3c) ... or click the Copy to Clipboard link now before you even close the Modal if you’re ready to use it now. The following popup will appear, letting you know it’s ready for Pasting (Command-V on a Mac, Control-V on a PC) into your next social post: 3d) You can also click Copy Image URL to grab the graphic for posting.

Monetize (Most) Product Links [Bring Your Own]

4a) You can search our product database for other products you’ve found. First, Log In and click Products in the header, then click Monetize Links (B.Y.O.) in the dropdown: 4b) You’ll be taken to the Product URL Search Feature, where you can input the URL for the page where you found the product: 4c) We’ll search our database and tell you if we carry that specific product. If we do have the product, you’ll get a result like this: If we don’t have it in our product database, you’ll get a notification like this: Don’t worry if you get a Link Not Monetizable notification, we’ve got thousands and thousands of other products to choose from, so you’re sure to find something that just right for you and your followers. 4d) From here, you can click on Generate Link to create a link for sharing with your followers (**If you’re logged in as a Manager, you need to log yourself into the Influencer account you will be sharing the product on): 4e) From here, you can copy the link to your clipboard (as shown in step 3d), or copy it directly for use on your social channels. You can also copy the image to share. It’s that easy!
Watch the Product Search and Monetize Link screencast for more detailed information.   Finished: Part IV – Linking and Reporting On to: Part V – Creating and Viewing Reports

Create and View Custom Link Reports

This tutorial and video will teach you how to create and view your Link Performance Reports.

Tutorial Topics

1) Accessing Performance Reports 2) Video Screencast: Link Performance Reports
1a) You can view your links anytime (even if you’ve logged out and back in) by going to PRODUCTS > YOUR LINKS & REPORTS in the Top Navigation… 1b) Which will take you to your Performance Report, showing each of your Links. 1c) As you create Links for more and more items, you may want to Filter to see things differently, whether it’s your most recent links, or which Products generated how much revenue over a certain period for you. 1d) Under the Filters header, you can click the Date Range to set start and end dates: 1e) ... or click the Columns dropdown to change the information that’s displayed: Watch this informative Link Performance Report screencast for more information on Link Reporting. It's that easy to create and view reports! Go ahead and give it a try for yourself and you'll see how simple it is to track and report your Influencer.co earnings. Finished: Part V – Creating and Viewing Reports On to: Part VI – Advanced Merchant Search
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