Part I: 6 Digital Celebrities That Can Boost Your Brand Quickly Via Celebrity Marketing

With the niche approach that digital influencers bring to their global platform, it is clear that the definition of “mainstream celebrity” has changed.

Especially for millennials and Gen Zers.

Variety Magazine conducted a side by side study that compared the positive Q-scores of top traditional and digital stars, a score that utilizes celebrity familiarity to further show respondent’s “favorite personalities”. Unfortunately, among all respondents, digital influencers still continue to be no match in the awareness category to upper echelon Hollywood starlets.

For digital influencers, overall awareness does not have to be an immediate goal. What matters most is the segment that they resonate with the most: age groups 6-12, 9-14, and 13-24 year olds. The non-traditional content that digital influencers produce attracts these young media message skeptics, plain and simple.

This group had an appeal to their youngest viewers that their overall Q-score doesn’t exactly reflect. What is clear by the Q-scores, is that those that are familiar with these digital influencers also consider them to be their favorite personalities and for many of these top influencers, they are equal to some well-known traditional celebrities. There are several digital celebrities that are finally reaching the same positive feedback as critically acclaimed actors such as Brie Larson and Jeremy Renner.

Unfortunately, a truly precise way to measure the effectiveness of digital influencer brand interaction is still in its infancy. As the industry climate shifted away from a traditional approach, we took a deeper look at the influencers that paved the way as a new breed of celebrity.

Based on the Variety Magazine study, here is a current list of 2016’s top six digital influencers who continue to use YouTube to leverage their brand image across multiple channels:

  • Pentatonix: This five-member a cappella got their break on NBC’s The Sing-Off, which awarded them a recording deal with Sony Music. The group has amassed 12.8 million YouTube subscribers by covering iconic songs and adding their own unique flare that appeals to a younger audience. Riding off their victory at this year’s Grammys, Pentatonix is one of the most desired influencer groups for brands that want to portray youth and vibrance.
  • Ryan Higa: This 26 year old comedian began his career as lip-synching YouTuber in high school. After experiencing difficulty with copyright issues, Higa has been able to transform his brand, owning an impressive 19 million YouTube subscribers. Now Higa spends most of his time in the parody K-pop band Boys Generally Asian, a group headlined by YouTube’s five most influential Asian YouTubers. 
  • Bethany Mota: This lifestyle vlogger loves to show off her fashion purchases and has been doing so via YouTube since she was just 19. Since then, Mota has started her own perfume and clothing line at Aeropostale, essentially saving the brand from extinction. Recently Mota broke the coveted 10 million subscriber threshold, unconventionally positioning her as a dominant force in the fashion market.

Please stay tuned for influencers 4-6, as these three have a knack for comedy that allows users to feel heightened connection to the content they create.

photo credit: www.marketingland.com

Why Brands Should Use Twitch for Influencer Marketing

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One of the most up-and-coming websites is ripe for brands to seize competitive advantage.

Twitch is a video streaming platform where users can broadcast their gaming to the world, and is currently fourth in U.S. internet traffic, only trailing Netflix, Google and Apple. 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 9.7 million active daily users and over 2 million unique streamers per month, there is no denying the reach Twitch has as a social network platform. Twitch has a huge growing audience and brands should take advantage of it, especially if they are looking to market to gamers and millennials.  It is interactive, uncut, live, and genuine, something that millennials crave from influencers.

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.

E-Sports are also a unique sponsorship opportunity for brands. E-Sports is like a professional league of tournaments for gamers, and has really taken off in recent years.  Brands can take advantage of the large viewership of this new 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 male 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 allows for 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

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

Celebrity Marketing: Changes for Pages on Facebook Offers New Opportunities for Businesses

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Facebook has been improving its site to make it easier for marketers to reach their consumers.

Since 2007 Facebook has allowed marketers to create their own profiles and over 45 million businesses have them, according to Facebook. But since 2012, Facebook has not made any major updates to marketer’s profiles.

Creating a Facebook page can be very beneficial to companies. According to Facebook, over 1 billion people look at least one Facebook page a month, while the number of people writing to businesses through their pages nearly doubles every year.

One way to attract consumers to business’s page is with the use of celebrities. Facebook has a huge celebrity presence. Many celebrities have fan pages that users can “like”. A celebrity’s pages are a way they can communicate with their fans, talk about upcoming projects, and post pictures. Because of a celebrity’s impact on Facebook, pages that feature celebrities are more likely to be looked at. It is a good idea for businesses to have a celebrity post the link to the business page on their own page. That way businesses can reach new consumers through the celebrities fan base.

One thing businesses need to be wary about before investing time into Facebook pages is the demographic they are trying to reach. A recent study by Business Insider Intelligence showed that teens still use Facebook but they no longer see it as “the most important social network“.  Instead,Instagram has taken this spot. So, if consumers are younger, Instagram might be the better choice for businesses.

5 things you need to know about the Facebook updates:

  1. Facebook is handing out “very responsive badges” for companies that respond to 90% of the messages they receive within 5 minutes. This will help consumers know which companies will respond to their comments and it also shows what businesses really care about your consumers.
  2. Pages can set up e-Commerce shops through Shopify software so that companies can sell directly from their page. Facebook will not take a cut of the profit or limit how many products can be included.
  3. Pages can list the specific services the business provides.
  4. There will be the option to have links on top of the pages that allow consumers to call or message the business.
  5. To make pages more mobile user friendly, there will be tabs on the top of pages where people can go to specific sections instead of having to scroll through the entire page.

photo credit: https://pixabay.com

The Top 6 Digital Celebrities That Can Boost Your Brand Quickly Via Celebrity Marketing

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Study shows that the most influential celebrities are on YouTube, not the big screen.

Step aside Taylor Swift; YouTube personalities are making more impact on millennials than you.

Variety Magazine conducted a study that asked participants ages 13-17 about 20 well-known personalities’ approachability, authenticity, and other characteristics that rank their overall influence. While they may not be as “mainstream”, YouTube personalities proved their influence by claiming the top 6 spots on the list.

In regards to celebrity marketing, YouTubers scored significantly higher than traditional celebrities in both emotional attachment to teens and engagement levels.

Meet the 6 YouTube stars that beat out Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, and Jonny Depp in millennial influence:

  • KSI: Olajide Olatunji, better known as KSIOlajidebt (or KSI for short), is known for his YouTube channel where he does play-throughs of videogames.  Currently at 10 million subscribers, he has a large viewer base.  KSI mainly focuses on reviewing the games themselves or the equipment used to record his gameplay. Olatunji is someone who gaming companies look at as a top YouTube celebrity.
  • PewDiePie: Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, or PewDiePie, is a Swedish YouTube videogame vlogger. He is known for his ‘Let’s Play’ videos where he records himself playing video games while providing ridiculous and unfiltered commentary. Acting like the goofball friend, PewDiePie creates entertaining videos that give viewers the sense that they are hanging with a buddy; he even calls his fans the “bro army” and “bros”. PewDiePie keeps endorsements to a minimum but did an online interactive campaign with Mountain Dew earlier this year.
  • VanossGaming: Evan Fong is also a videogame commenter. His videos include “funny moments” of him and his friends playing videogames while laughing and joking around. Another set of videos are of him completing difficult game modes and challenges. His channel shares authentic and relatable content, which has attracted his 13 million subscribers.
  • Nigahiga: The fourth influencer, Ryan Higa, is a comedian. He began his career while in high school creating a lip-synching and comedy YouTube channel with a friend. After his videos kept being taken down due to copywriting laws, he began to create the music himself. Popular music videos include “Nice Guys”, “Bromance” and “Coffee Shop Love”. The channel includes other original comedy skits as well. Ryan has created 1 full length and 2 short comedy films.
  • Smosh: Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla are the guys behind the comedy YouTube channel Smosh. Smosh posts new videos every Friday that include skits such as “If Board Games Were Real” and an original music video titled “We Rule High School”. The comedy-duo has 21 million subscribers on their main channel and an additional 4 million subscribers on Smosh 2nd Channel. Smosh premiered their first feature-length film, Smosh: The Movie, on July 23, 2015, which featured fellow YouTube stars and actor Michael Ian Black.
  • Markiplier: Mark Edward Fischbach is a YouTube videogame commentator who posts videos to his channel, MarkiplierGAME. He shares his comedic “Let’s Play” videogame commentary with his 9 million followers. Markiplier goes beyond most YouTube videogame channels by also posting original comedy sketches and original animated parodies.

photo credit: www.pexels.com

How to Incorporate Celebrity Marketing in your Brand’s Mobile App

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Three clever ways celebrities can increase an app’s popularity and credibility.

In 2015, people were spending 51 percent of their digital media time on mobile devices compared to 42 percent on desktops/laptops, according to KPCB’s Mary Meeker’s 2015 Internet Trends report.  There is no hiding that using mobile applications has become a typical part of our daily routine.

Mobile applications can build brand awareness and consumer engagement if it is professionally built and practical to use. As another form of marketing, mobile apps pose an opportunity for celebrity endorsements.

Below are three strategies to creatively incorporate celebrities in a brand’s mobile app.

Celebrity voice overs: Voice overs are a classic tactic for traditional commercials that could also be successful on mobile apps. Celebrity voice overs are a less expensive option for celebrity marketing and if done with a recognizable person they can be just as effective as video or pictures.

The mobile app navigation system Waze has been using celebrity voice overs to provide an entertaining way to give directions since 2013. The first celebrity was actor Kevin Hart, who used his character voice to promote his movie Ride Along. Just this past June, Waze hired another famous actor to give navigational directions in character: Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator.

Celebrity branded apps or contribution: For many celebrity marketing campaigns, a company will be looking for a specific “type” of celebrity that fits with the product. For example, if a celebrity who suffers from diabetes is the spokesperson for diabetic medicine, it gives the endorsement more credibility.

This strategic partnership can work well for apps too. By having a celebrity pair with your app it will not only draw their fans in, but also convince skeptics that experts support your company. This past January, Nike partnered with singer/songwriter and 5-time half-marathon runner Ellie Goulding to promote one of their apps. Goulding designed her own exercise routine for Nike’s N+TC app. The application gives users both a useful product to work with and a trustworthy celebrity to listen to.

Celebrities using the brand’s application: In a way, this is almost similar to celebrity gifting. If the public sees a celebrity wearing a new shoe brand then the celebrity is influencing their fans to go out and buy those new shoes. If a celebrity is seen using a mobile application then their fans will be prompted to go try out the application.

Smirnoff Vodka created the app Mixhibit that combines moments captured on users’ various social media platforms to make one unique video. The brand then worked with renowned DJ Paul van Dyk and had him use the app to create original videos of his performance at Ultra Music Festival and his 42 birthday celebration.

photo credit: www.flickr.com