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Social Media

And The Most Popular Apps Of 2017 Are…

Social Media Week

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Tech

As 2017 draws to a close, Apple is recounting the top apps of the year and highlighting four key trends that dominated “app culture.”

Here are the top 20 apps in order of popularity:

  1. Bitmoji
  2. YouTube
  3. Instagram
  4. Google
  5. Spotify
  6. Gmail
  7. Amazon
  8. Wish
  9. SoundCloud
  10. Waze
  11. Snapchat
  12. Messenger
  13. Facebook
  14. Netflix
  15. Uber
  16. Pandora
  17. Whatsapp
  18. Twitter
  19. Google Chrome
  20. Lyft

Per App Store editors, the trends to watch are augmented reality, real-time gaming (HQ Trivia, anyone?), mental health and mindfulness apps, and apps that transform reading and storytelling.

The importance of tuning into themes and overwhelming preferences when it comes to apps was also echoed in the the 2017 U.S. Mobile App Report recently published by comScore, which found that despite apps being responsible for 57 percent of all digital media usage, more than half of those surveyed claimed they download zero new apps per month.

Why? Because there just isn’t enough time or space (both in terms of smartphone storage and mental bandwidth). That being said, one of the key takeaways from the findings included that a growing number of consumers, particularly millennials, are favoring utility apps that they can employ to make their day-to-day lives smoother and void of hassle.

What do you think of the 2017 list? What are your projections if you had to create your own list for 2018? Let us know in the comments!

Learn the latest trends, insights and best practices from the brightest minds in media and technology. Sign up for SMW Insider to watch full-length sessions from official Social Media Week conferences live and on-demand.

Social Media Week is a leading news platform and worldwide conference that curates and shares the best ideas, innovations and insights into how social media and technology are changing business, society and culture around the world.

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Business

How to Incorporate Influencers into Your Social Content Strategy

Social Media Week

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There are many marketing tactics available at your disposal that it can be incredibly difficult to know where to begin. Especially, when it comes to deciding the best one for your business. However, at the core of marketing, you’ll always find social media. And it should be your first stop when you’re looking for ways to share your content with the world.

On the other side, creating shareable content is easier to say than do. But, one of the more up and coming ways to market on social media is by hiring and using an influencer on your profiles.

This has and is being proven time and time again to one of the most effective ways to market your business. It can amount to hundreds, if not thousands of social shares. Sounds like something your business wants or need? Allow me to explain.

What is an Influencer?

An influencer is somebody that has already built their way up in the upper atmosphere of social media credibility. Think Gordon Ramsey when it comes to cooking. Also, think Lonely Planet when it comes to travel. And any blogger, writer, photographer or media-based individual that has thousands of followers that they could introduce your brand to.

Statistically, influencers are a proven and successful marketing method. BuzzSumo conducted a survey of over 100 million articles and found and direct link between influencer-related content and the number of shares that that piece of content received.

Averagely, the figures show that an influencer post has a 31.8% higher chance to get shares that a regular post. Likewise, if three influencers shared a brand’s content, the shares doubled. Five influencers and posts were receiving a 400% increase in social shares. As you can see, it’s a marketing practice worth looking into.

However, many businesses can ask ‘how do you even get an influencer to market your brand, let alone five?’

Hold your horses; we’re getting there. To help you get started, here are three ways you can incorporate an influencer into your marketing strategy.

Building Up Your Online Presence

Using an influencer in marketing strategy can have dramatic effects on your SEO ranking. One of the most important aspects of SEO to consider is the links that you use on your website. This includes both your internal page links and your external backlinks.

One study that was carried out by search engine giant, Moz, discovered that the quality of these links is also essential when it comes to your ranking. This means you can’t simply fill up your pages with poor quality links or receive backlinks from low-quality spam websites. You need to find leading and authoritative websites to link to and to link back to you.

As you’d expect, getting backlinks on these high-authority websites is no easy feat. But, this is where influencers come in. Working with an influencer in this way has two main benefits.

Firstly, the chances are that the influencer you chose is already has a large following and could already be considered an authority site. This means when the influencer links to and from your website, your website is getting a boost in its SEO ranking.

Secondly, an influencer who shares your website means that you’ve increased your chances that other users and other high authority websites will share your content. In short, using an influencer can dramatically boost your quality backlink database.

Influencers Creating Content for You

As you already know, creating successful content is never an easy feat. It can take years to master the art of content creation and a tonne of finetuning to make sure that each piece is perfect. Hand in hand with the consideration above, Google will also examine your content to make sure that it provides real value to your readers, as well as the keywords used and the overall readability of the content.

So, in short, you need fantastic content that makes a real impact on your users. However, why not use an influencer to create this content for you? An influencer’s primary job is to create content that engages with users. They’ve obviously done a good job in the past because they wouldn’t have got to where they are now.

All you need to do is to get in contact with your influencer and chat through what sort of content they would be happy creating for you and their terms and conditions. This content is then hosted on your website with links to and from your influencers website, again boosting your SEO ranking and your levels of user engagement.

One company used influencers in their strategy which was then analyzed by TopRank Marketing. In just two weeks, the company boosted their website and page traffic by 609%, according to figure.

Mary Fowles, a content marketer for Big Assignments, states, “There are two ways you can approach an influencer for content. Firstly, you can work together to provide content and the sort of content that you want. You may want to create a template or a guideline for the influencer to work from.

However, the other way is by letting the influencer have full creative control over the content. Of course, as a partnership, you’ll be able to decide on a topic or subject. But when it comes to actually writing the piece, always let the influencer take control, it’s what they’re best at.”

Using Influencers to Share Your Content

As a marketer, one of the most overwhelming challenges you’ll face is getting your existing, and any future, content seen by your audience. After all, the lifespan of an Instagram post is only a few minutes before it’s lost forever in the ocean of uploaded content.

When it comes down to it, it’s all about engagement with your posts. The more engagement you get, the higher your traffic will be, and that’s where an influencer comes in. A joint survey discovered that internet users actually trust influencers online as much as they trust their friends which you need to use to your advantage.

Consider this. Influencers already have thousands, if not millions, of people that hang off every word that they say, type or share. If you can get an influencer to share your content, it will then be in front of all followers. And this will massively boost your online visibility.

This is a great tactic to use if you’re raising awareness about your business, product or a service. This entire method works based on the credibility of your influencer. People trust what the influencer says so them. Sharing your business means they trust you, and therefore their thousands of followers you should trust you as well.

Tips for Securing an Influencer

As you’d expect, an influencer isn’t going to put their credibility on the line for any business or organisation just like that. They’re going to want high-quality websites and businesses that have a purpose and run legitimately. This means your content needs to be perfect. Here are a few tips and tools to guarantee this quality.

Provide Valuable Content

As mentioned above, you need to provide content that’s informative and holds value. These pieces of content need to be professionally formatted and read well. You can use the writing guides at Via WritingOx Essays and State of Writing to get you started. You can also use online tools to create remarkable, high-quality content. But be sure to check it for errors and grammar mistakes.

When adding references and quotes to your content, which you should do when providing valuable information in your articles, add them professionally using free tools like Cite It In.

Consider the Length of Your Content

The length of your articles and content is vital to its success when providing valuable information and for your SEO ranking. To start with, you’re should aim for around 2,000 words as Google states this is the optimal length. You can easily track and monitor your word count using tools like Easy Word Count.

Guarantee Accuracy

If an influencer is considering working with your business, they’re going to read through your existing content first, obviously. If you have a poor-quality content full of mistakes and doesn’t grab their attention, they’re going to decline your offer.

This means proofreading all your content now and any future content you post, especially the piece you want them to share. Also, don’t forget about plagiarism. You can plagiarise content without noticing it. You can always enlist the help of plagiarism checkers such as Plagium and Academized if you’ve got a lot of content or want to ensure it is unique and you don’t steal someone else’s work.

Conclusion

These are the most notable ways you can use influencers in your content marketing campaign. As you can see, there are many benefits to using them for boosting your SEO ranking to getting hundreds of social shares on your content posts.

Using an influencer is by far one of the most exciting, affordable and effective marketing methods, so what are you waiting for?!

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4 Essential Tips for Brand Safety in Digital Marketing

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When the largest advertiser in the U.S. dropped the hammer on YouTube for placing its ads next to objectionable content, the world took notice. Brand safety became the topic of conversation among CMO’s across the industry. As P&G began allowing media buys on the platform five days ago, its ripple effect continues to raise concerns.

Telecoms, in particular, understood the importance of taking a closer look. John Nitti, Chief Media Officer at Verizon, sat down with Social Media Week’s Toby Daniels at the Times Square Sheraton in New York to discuss the wireless giant’s concerns with brand safety.  How will consistency, transparency, and effectiveness deliver on a brand safety promise?

Addressing the problematic in programmatic

Programmatic ad buys continue to surge, and so does the need for brand stewardship and vendor transparency. It’s critical when you’re in a role like Nitti’s—overseeing a massive omnichannel media budget along with social, community management, advocacy, social selling, sponsors, and ad technology.

“It’s the age-old issue of content and context,” Nitti explained. “Magazines knew that content adjacency was always important to advertising.”

The rise of fraud in the digital space and programmatic buying is a huge concern for brands. A greater need for transparency will be expected from media sales teams, as well as a seat at the table for brands themselves.

Everybody is responsible for making sure buys are transparent.

Keeping pace with the platforms

Next, brands face a challenge with different ways to measure each platform. Different social networks have different definitions for their metrics.

“The TV industry was based on consistency and measured the same way,” Nitti explained to the audience. For Verizon, that means implementing a “Verizon Standard” to help social platforms understand how they count measurements like impressions and engagements across the digital ecosystem.

“We’re getting away from using five different rulers to measure the same thing,” he clarified.

Balancing standards with agility

Verizon is a major corporation that has a wealth of data, and there will always be friction when their owned metrics are combined with the standards of social platforms. The good news, Nitti notes, is that walled gardens are starting to come down a bit. Third-party measurement is beginning to move to the forefront—a welcome change for brands.

One solution he proposes is building metrics into new technologies rather than retrofitting them later on. While marketers may not be able to measure with 100 percent accuracy, processes can be tweaked to improve the quality of data.

Proactive partners for problem-solving

One of Nitti’s final thoughts was on the platforms themselves. Social networks are experiencing their own growing pains. Whether it be Reddit’s attempts to stamp out hate groups, Twitter’s systemic issue with bots, or Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica security fallout, these problems move beyond their organic audiences. Brands see this as a security risk.

Nitti and Verizon consider this as an opportunity to be good partners. “Our approach with the platforms and all these issues is ‘How can we [play] a part collaborate on the solution’ vs. just saying ‘I’m gonna pull my million dollars.’”

Social networks and their advertisers have a win-win relationship and Nitti sees Verizon (and his role) as being a proactive partner.

“If I wait for them to figure it out, then my needs aren’t going to be taken into account and we won’t have a seat at the table in helping solve for that.”

Verizon’s proactive partnerships could do more than secure a seat. For emerging brands across industries, it may even open more doors.

Learn the latest trends, insights and best practices from the brightest minds in media and technology. Sign up for SMW Insider to watch full-length sessions from official Social Media Week conferences live and on-demand.

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Social Media

Platforms for Finding, Connecting and Managing Social Media Influencers

Entrepreneur

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There are a variety of tools at your disposal for engaging with influencers and creating campaigns.

4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

With the rise in popularity and effectiveness of social media influencer marketing, it’s easier now than ever to jump right in and find the tools for your needs.

But, with the increasing number of businesses getting into influencer marketing, comes an increasing number of influencer platforms that will help you manage your campaigns.

If you’re reading this post, then you’re probably already aware of the power of tapping into influencers to promote your brand and products. But, in case you aren’t and need some “influential” data to convince you, check these stats out:

  • 61 percent of buyers have been influenced by suggestions found on Twitter (Source)
  • 63 percent of surveyed marketers plan on increasing their budgets for influencer marketing (Source)
  • The number of people using ad blockers online jumped 30 percent in 2016 (Source)

That last stat is important because it means that traditional display advertising is losing its effectiveness and reach. Social influencer marketing bypasses ad blockers because it appears as an organic, social post from accounts, rather than a banner on the side of a site.

Before we get into the different platforms you can use for your next influencer campaign, be aware that there are a variety of cost structures. Many platforms today use a SaaS (software as a service) model, which bundles together account services, influencer management and search, campaign tools, etc. Some may let you use their software for free, but will take a percentage of whatever you pay the influencers. Influencers manage their own cost and normally charge per engagement. If you’re looking for pay-per-click or transaction, then your best bet will be affiliate marketing, which some may call another version of influencer marketing. Most platforms use some combination of these different pricing methods in order to meet the needs and demands of their clients.

Check out some of the tools we’ve researched to help you determine the right one for your social influencer marketing needs.

Related: 5 Social Media Rules Every Entrepreneur Should Know

Related: 10 Laws of Social Media Marketing

Related: 12 Social Media Mistakes That Entrepreneurs Make

Related: This Instagrammer With More Than 2 Million Followers Literally Cooks Her Content

Related: 10 Proven Ways to Make Millions on Social Media

Pay-per-post

IZEA is a feature-packed tool that is popular with both brands and influencers and can scale with you as your business expands.

  • A-la-carte service caters to small and large businesses.
  • Marketplace where businesses can set their own prices and where influencers can find business.
  • Can use influencer network to create custom content for your own brand’s use.
  • SaaS available.

Free access; pay for what you approve

Tribe is a sleek tool with a user-friendly experience and straightforward campaign management.

  • Influencers create content for you to approve before you pay.
  • You set the price (cost-per-engagement) you’re willing to pay with each influencer.
  • User-generated content becomes yours to use on other advertisements, social posts, etc.
  • An influencer network of over 31,000 accounts to choose from.

Influenz is simple yet effective, Influenz is great for new marketers looking to get started.

  • A straightforward, Instagram-only marketplace.
  • Brands create a listing with campaign assets, parameters and available budget.
  • Influencers search through available listings and choose which ones to participate.
  • You set your own budget so the listing will be adjusted based on total spent

 

SaaS

NeoReach starts at $399 per month, but if you’re serious about influencer marketing and succeeding at it, this tool is the one for you.

  • Search database of influencers using over 40 filters, i.e. gender, location, brand affinity and more.
  • Automation tools to help you manage and onboard your own influencers efficiently.
  • Sophisticated, visual and in-depth reporting to measure campaigns.
  • 24/7 help desk.

Assembly, which starts at $199 per month, can help if you’ve got your own set of influencers and need a tool to manage them through.

  • Search through their network of influencers and request them for your campaigns or onboard your own.
  • Basic package allows you onboard unlimited number of influencers, have up to five team members and up to five different brands.
  • Different campaign objectives allow you to pay for what you want: reach, engagement, original content.
  • White labeling available.

Tomoson starts at $49 per month, but if you don’t have a large budget but need a lot of options, consider this simple tool.

  • Crawls internet to find existing content related to your brand.
  • Can schedule social media posts.
  • Leverage a variety of incentives to attract a diverse set of influencers: free product, large discounts, etc.
  • Deep insights into an influencer’s social media engagement and activity.

Keep in mind that this is just a small percentage of the available tools out there for influencer management. If you’re an influencer, you could also sign up for these services and join their network.

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Blockchain

What Do CMOs Need To Know About Blockchain? ‘It Could Put You Out Of Business’

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If you’re like the majority of Americans, you’ve probably heard of the blockchain, but have no idea what it really “is.”

That’s okay: Even the experts sometimes sound like they’re making it up as they go along. At one point during a Social Media Week New York panel discussion on “What CMOs Need To Know About Blockchain,” Kiip CEO Brian Wong described it as “a chain of blocks.” Thanks for the help. (He was kidding.)

Blockchain has captured massive attention due to the perplexing yet up-and-down value of virtual currency Bitcoin. Blockchain is a decentralized ledger and database where Bitcoin transactions can take place with more security and transparency than with traditional third-party middlemen like banks.

Because of a lack of widespread, concrete understanding of what blockchain technology is, many of us assume that it still isn’t relevant for the vast majority of businesses. Not true, according to Wong and his panel partner, Kochava founder and CEO Charles Manning.

“You stand to greatly benefit by being the first-mover, and greatly disadvantaged if you wait,” Manning said.

What should any good CMO, or business leader in general, know about blockchain? The main takeaway is that blockchain is here, now, and ready to be utilized. Here’s what else was discussed.

Blockchain technology is a lot like cloud computing

Not to confuse you further, but blockchain is a bit like another bit of technology that you’ll have a hard time explaining to your grandmother. Blockchain isn’t cloud computing, but the analogy is solid.

“Just because your company uses the cloud doesn’t mean you’re a cloud company. Same with blockchain. If you use it, you’re not a blockchain company,” said Wong.

Meaning: You don’t have to necessarily be a tech company or startup to benefit from using blockchain, even at this (relatively early) stage. Whether you use Amazon or Google for your cloud, you still probably use it to communicate and collaborate with peers and employees. Today, there are many private blockchains you could similarly tap into.

There’s no turning back now

Trust is huge. That’s true in life. It’s also true with blockchain.

One of the biggest selling points of the technology is that it’s impossible to have two of the same coin. When something happens, there’s no way to change the data that’s been there, which is the problem with the more opaque business models we have today, where ad partners need to duplicate and verify impressions with every transaction. There’s little trust there, and it’s costly.

“We’re not saying this is a solve-all, but if implemented it will make a ton of value, and we should accept its inevitability,” said Wong. “Blockchain and advertising together is an inevitability.”

Not moving on this could be deadly

Kochava builds measurement and attribution technology for advertisers. Kiip is a rewards platform for mobile apps. Neither of these companies, to reiterate the point above, are “blockchain” companies. What inspired their CEOs to become blockchain experts in their space?

There are already many live projects, private blockchains, where people are leveraging this technology within their companies today to implement this,” said Wong. “It could put you out of business. We realize that if we don’t get ahead of this, we could be out of business. If we can disintermediate ourselves and grow that ecosystem and gain from growing that system, we can grow ourselves for the future.”

Don’t get blinded by a flashy ICO

People seem to mix up blockchain with Bitcoin, Ethereum, and the wealth of other coins, particularly those that have a flashy initial coin offering, or ICO. When asked if there was a canonical list of blockchains that businesses could investigate, Manning issued a warning.

“The challenge is, most in the industry that so many are excited about these technologies that they won’t assess what’s real and what’s concept. If you looked at the history of the source of ICO drops, the challenge is that people are using ICOs as a funding exercise with little ability to execute. They get funded, and over the next year they raise so money that there’s no compelling event that will make them go out of business right away.”

To get more clarity, clear out the people who talk about concepts or tokens that aren’t yet real. There are ways to glean value from blockchain technology without a token, from being able to clearly track your assets on a supply chain to no longer duplicating your ledger when dealing with third parties.

You should probably get somebody young and passionate on this one

No offense: You’re probably young at heart if you’re not young on paper. But according to Wong, you probably have people at your company already who have put a lot of thought into this.

“There are most likely folks in your company that are younger that are really into this stuff, that have already thought this to smithereens. Because they’ve been living and breathing this for the last few years, bring them in,” he said.

If this seems like a dire warning call that you’re not ready to heed, don’t worry. Everything in this space resets “every month or so.” But if you’re wondering whether to look into what blockchain can do for you, stop wondering. It’s time for doing.

Learn the latest trends, insights and best practices from the brightest minds in media and technology. Sign up for SMW Insider to watch full-length sessions from official Social Media Week conferences live and on-demand.

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