Why Brands Should Use Twitch for Influencer Marketing

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One of the most promising websites is ripe for brands to seize competitive advantage.

Amazon’s Twitch is a video streaming platform where users can broadcast their gaming to the world. It has been a blossoming site since its launch in 2011, so much so that Amazon spent almost a billion dollars to acquire it in 2014.

With 10 million active daily users and over 2 million unique content creators per month, there is no denying the reach Twitch has as a social network platform. With Twitch’s increasingly popular appeal, brands need to take advantage, especially if they are looking to market to gamers and millennials. It is interactive, uncut, live, and genuine, something that millennials crave from influencers.

In order to help brands connect with these millennials, Amazon launched, Gear, a program in which users who stream through Twitch will be able to feature products they like as a widget on their page and receive a commission from Amazon for sales they refer. Twitch’s Gear is a strong example of how Amazon turns influencers into colleagues and helps with brand recognition amongst millennial consumers.

Beyond Gear, brands can use influencer marketing on Twitch in other ways.

One of the most straightforward ways brands can utilize is to hire a gamer for a sponsored stream. There are plenty of celebrities on Twitch from actors to athletes. Twitch also has plenty of “Twitch famous” gamers with vast and loyal followings.  Gamers love the concept of playing a video game with one of their favorite celebrities. When sponsoring a gamer on Twitch, brands can broaden their audience because they are reaching the gaming community as well as the celebrity’s audience.

Another way to sponsor a stream is to have your brand logo on the stream and in the stream’s title. This option is a great opportunity for product placement in the gamer’s camera throughout the stream.  For example, Jack Link’s sponsored three gamers known to have lively outburst, so it aligned well with their “hangry” campaign. Also, a brand could create a special tag associated with the brand or product that would pop up when certain achievements or frustrating fails occur, such as sponsoring a big play in a game.

Esports are also a unique sponsorship opportunity for brands. Brands can take advantage of the large viewership of this phenomenon by sponsoring these big tournaments.  Twitch hosts these live tournaments on their site where people can watch and play, so brands can get online advertising as well as brand integration and real life advertising at the event.  For example, Totino’s hosted a Call of Duty tournament that averaged 30,000 live viewers and handed out pizza rolls to the fans at the tournament.

With Twitch, there are many opportunities for brands to sponsor celebrities, streams and tournaments in the gaming world. This unique streaming site allows for brands to reach a new audience, specifically gaming millennials. Twitch is also currently working to expand their user demographic, branching out from gaming to include cooking, painting, beauty tutorials and more. This will ultimately provide a variety of opportunities for brands to take advantage of this growing platform and reach millennials in a new and exciting way with influencer marketing.

photo credit: Flickr.com

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Resources for Celebrity Marketing: Part One

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The Burns Celebrity Vault is a one-of-a-kind resource that makes the celebrity selection process simpler, easier and more efficient.

When it comes to picking a celebrity for a marketing campaign, the process is not simple. When finding the right celebrity match, a brand must take into consideration things such as cost, celebrity interest, conflicts and many other factors. In order to find the right celebrity, you need a resource that takes all these factors into consideration, and still provides great celebrity options. That’s where the Celebrity Vault comes in. The Celebrity Vault is a state-of-the-art database that has accumulated information on over 25,000 different celebrities from all ends of the spectrum for over 40 years, which makes for a much easier, faster and better celebrity selection process.

The Celebrity Vault contains celebrities from sports, entertainment, music and more. In this case, a “celebrity” is not just the people you always see or immediately think of, but rather anyone who is well-known or has consistently been in the news. This wide definition of a celebrity allows you to find any type of celebrity you could possibly need or want, not just the most obvious ones. Celebrities are then segmented by type such as actors, athletes, age and gender. The exceptional variety of celebrities in the Celebrity Vault means there are plenty of celebrity options for any campaign or budget.

Celebrities are then further categorized by over 700 lifestyle demographics. These demographics can include any type of interesting fact about a celebrity, not just the information you know off-hand. The Celebrity Vault includes the information you would typically ignore, forget or be unaware of, like whether a celebrity collects classic cars, had colon cancer or owns dogs. Whether it is interests, hobbies, charitable ties or health conditions, these lifestyle demographics allow for a much faster and better selection process.

The Celebrity Vault also includes the likely costs of celebrities for TV appearances, speaking engagements and other endorsement opportunities, which allows you to find celebrity options within your budget. No matter your budget, you will likely be able to find a pool of realistic celebrities for your campaign.

The Celebrity Vault is extremely helpful for brand marketers because it can help find a celebrity for even the most narrowly-defined marketing strategies. It makes the process quicker, easier and better for finding the perfect celebrity match for a brand. The wide variety of celebrity options, segmented by over 700 lifestyle demographics, makes sure not to overlook your options when finding the right celebrity.

Why Brands Should Take Celebrity Marketing to Virtual Reality

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Virtual reality is a must-have for those serious about the next wave of digital video.

Virtual reality (VR) puts fans and audiences at the center of the experience, allowing for more engaging and exciting content. From a brand perspective, VR creates many new opportunities to connect with their audience, play into public interest and pull more attention to their message. Brands ready to get on board with this new trend can do so with celebrity marketing.

VR is a three-dimensional, computer generated environment that allows the user to immerse him or herself into a visual world and interact within the environment. With new innovations such as the Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard headsets and YouTube 360 degree video, virtual reality allows for immersive, digital storytelling that was not possible only a few years ago. There are many different possibilities for virtual reality, and brands have only just begun to take advantage of it.

Augmented and virtual reality is a big trend, gaining a significant amount of media and public attention. Anything having to do with VR seems to get favorable attention, including apps and YouTube videos. YouTube celebrities such as Casey Neistat and Louis Cole have taken advantage of the trend with 360 degree videos at events like the Oscars and places like Sierra Leone, Africa. Even YouTube itself has started live streaming events in 360. Apps such as Pokémon Go have taken the world by storm, earning up to $1.6 million daily. People who have been quick to jump on the trend have seen many favorable results.

A few brands have jumped on the trend as well, looking to the immersive experience as a way to attract attention and create meaningful experiences. The New York Times took advantage of virtual reality by sending over one million Google cardboard headsets to subscribers, and is now working with advertisers to create content to work alongside The Times’ VR videos. Etihad Airways has worked with Nicole Kidman to create a virtual reality experience for anyone on board Etihad’s A380. Both of these brands are creating unique experiences for their customers, and connecting with them in a way that is innovative and unique.

Entertainment and marketing are two natural fits for virtual reality, which makes celebrity marketing perfect for this new trend. A celebrity has the ability to deliver a message uniquely, creating attention and recognition that cuts through the clutter consumers deal with on a daily basis. We will likely start to see brands giving audiences a front-row seat to a Beyoncé concert or the Super Bowl through virtual reality, but the opportunities don’t have to end there. There are many possibilities with virtual reality, and it is a must-have for brands looking to tap into something new and innovative.

photo credit: Photopin.com

Travel Bloggers May Be the Next Big Thing for Celebrity Marketing

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Travel bloggers offer a unique way for brands to reach new consumers.

A travel blogger’s posts provide authentic content and are a good way for brands to integrate themselves into a trip or lifestyle. This way, a brand can advertise an experience rather than just a product, and it can be done in an entertaining and exciting way that is attractive to an audience.

Travel writing has been around for decades, but with technology and social media, travel bloggers have a unique edge that makes them much more desirable for brands. Bloggers are often proven influencers who have access to fans on social media and know how to tell a strategic story on social platforms. When hiring a familiar travel blogger, a brand is able to get in front of a large audience through a storyteller that the audience trusts, in a way that is easily shared and delivers engagement.

But a travel blogger’s audience isn’t the only thing that is attractive to brands. A travel blogger’s content is also unique, uploading posts and photos consistently and in real-time. This type of bite-sized content provides an experiential element to branded content, that when matched with an authentic celebrity partnership creates a personable and fun experience for consumers. Travel blogging is becoming increasingly more popular, with bloggers covering a wide range of niche markets.

For example, Breanne Manz, creator of Stroller in the City, has a demographic that many brands want to reach: moms who travel with kids. Her 19,000 Twitter followers and 27,000 Instagram fans enjoy seeing photos of her and her kids visiting new places and trying new things, all of which she writes about in her blog.

Clint Johnson, also known as Trip Hackr, travels all around the world while working with brands, tourism boards and even airlines to promote products and run contests to his 50,000 Instagram followers, who enjoy reading about his tips and tricks for interesting travel destinations.

Matthew Kepnes goes by Nomadic Matt on his blog, where he often writes about ways to travel on a budget and all the ways you can save money while experiencing the world.

Louis Cole, known as FunForLouis on YouTube, documents his travels with daily video blogs to his 1.8 million subscribers. His engaging personality and desire for adventure make his videos a unique experience for his audience.

Travel blogging is becoming increasingly popular, especially for brands looking for more immediate, widely-shared storytelling.

photo credit: Unsplash.com

Deceased Celebrity Marketing

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Even after death, a celebrity’s brand remains powerful, and potentially becomes even more so.

Because of this, there is often a desire for brands to capitalize on the death of a celebrity in advertising. However, there are some pros and cons. The use of a deceased celebrity’s image and likeness in marketing can be a topic of controversy. While some campaigns perform well, others draw backlash. When considering using a deceased celebrity for a marketing campaign, there are a number of things to think about.

One advantage to using a deceased celebrity is not only that the celebrity will be widely recognized, but celebrities often become romanticized icons in the public eye after their death. Brands using deceased celebrities are able to align themselves with the pedigree of these iconic figures, and have much more positive publicity. A static figure is much more dependable than a current celebrity, and cannot cause problems for the campaign with scandals and sudden negative image. Ultimately, this allows the brand to have more control over the campaign.

Although a brand may want to use a deceased celebrity for a campaign and there are many reasons why it may be a good fit, this is not always the case. Deceased celebrities do not always work with a brand’s target audience. For example, Marilyn Monroe may be a style icon and an appropriate match for a beauty brand, but if the brand’s audience is younger, a relevant celebrity may be a better fit. Plus, getting the rights to a deceased celebrity’s image and likeness is not always easy. Those in charge of the celebrity’s estate may be similarly as challenging to negotiate with as a current celebrity.

Ultimately, if you want to have a successful campaign with a deceased celebrity, be sure the partnership is a strong fit with your target audience. Using a resource such as E-Poll provides piece of mind and a level of certainty. Attributes such as trust, likeability and name recognition can be isolated. You could even commission your own custom poll using great detail. Not only should the celebrity fit with your brand’s image, but you should also make sure the campaign is respectful and fits with the celebrity’s image.

Just like any other celebrity marketing campaign, you must go through all the steps to determine the best celebrity for your brand. The connection between the celebrity, the brand and the creative direction of the campaign must be strong enough for the celebrity to be credible and differentiate your message from the thousands of others we get bombarded with every day.

photo credit: youtube.com (Disclaimer: Mazda is a Burns client)

YouNow Could Be the Next Best Thing for Celebrity Marketing

play-145676_1280Four advantages of using YouNow.

Commercials and magazines are not the only way to target millennials. Social networking sites are proving to be a rich resource to reach Gen Y. With YouNow, viewers can broadcast interactive live stream videos. Think a live YouTube.

YouNow’s founder, Adi Sideman, said that the website has about 100 million user sessions a month and 90% of the consumption happens on mobile devices. The topics cover everything from singing to Truth or Dare.

Some companies, such as Huffington Post, have already discovered how to use YouNow to their advantage. Every week Huffington Post has a live videos series called HuffPost Now, which has over 18,000 fans.

  1. Stay relevant- It can be exhausting trying to keep up with the newest technology to reach millennials. Using the relatively new YouNow program will distinguish you from your competition as a trend spotter. This is a huge advantage because millennials want to use brands that are trendy and appeal to them.
  2. Utilize social media stars- Use social media celebs from sites like YouTube that already have a strong following.  Not only are social media stars usually more affordable than other celebrities, but millennial viewers are more likely to watch them. The connection and trust between viewer and correspondent are already established so millennials are more willing to accept the message.
  3. Directly reach your demographic- According to Sideman, 70% of the members of YouNow are under 24, so if you are trying to reach millennials this is the place to do it. You also have the ability to see exactly how many people are watching your video.
  4. Interact with your audience. YouNow allows its members to interact during the videos. You can see how the audience reacts to your product, answer any questions that they might have, and directly address their concerns or compliments. This is a huge advantage because you can know right away if people are not responding well to your message and/or product. It is also great because you can create relationships with your consumers. People want to buy from brands that they can trust.

YouNow is a great way to build trust, credibility, and awareness with your consumers.

photo credit: https://pixabay.com

YouTube Stars Changing the Faces of Celebrity Marketing

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Five tips to consider before signing a vlogger.

YouTube and video bloggers, or “vloggers,” have become increasingly popular over the last few years. In fact, according to a recent survey by Variety magazine, YouTube stars are more popular among U.S. teens than mainstream celebrities.

Many brands have taken notice to this trend, and have started recruiting these stars to help promote products through their channels. For example, using a beauty vlogger to endorse a cosmetic product can result in a great deal of recognition for a brand.

Similar to big name celebrities, there are various things to consider before hiring a social media star to endorse your brand or product. Keep this advice in mind when considering work with a YouTube star:

  1. It is difficult to get vloggers to post endorsement videos to their own channels vs. the brand’s channel. YouTube celebrities have frequently stated that their fans don’t like to see videos focused on a specific product. Often times, dedicated videos look too similar to advertisements which can result in negative feedback for vloggers and in-turn, the brand.
  1. The bigger names in the industry are incredibly competitive and want to continue being at the top of their game. The vlogger may want approval over everyone and everything that is put in the video, as well as editorial freedom to discuss other brands regardless of paid partnerships. Therefore, it may be beneficial to hire a few smaller name vloggers who are more flexible, than one big name.
  1. In categories such as beauty, it is not likely for a brand to get exclusivity. Vloggers make up to five figures per video, so depending on the category, for them to strictly represent one brand will likely be cost prohibitive. At the same time, many of these star’s popularity stems from their personal creativity and freedom of speech, so they aren’t looking to be under continual contracts.
  1. YouTube celebrities can be very particular about keeping branded content consistent with the other content posted to their channel. For example, if vloggers do not usually post animated content/graphics in their videos, they may be less inclined to participate in the proposed campaign.
  1. Often in high demand, YouTube celebrities and their content calendars book up months in advance. The sooner you are able to carve out a desired shoot, schedule, and launch date, the better chance you have of recruiting them.

photo credit: http://photopin.com