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Marketing to online audiences can be tricky. Between Facebook and Twitter going pay-to-play and the increased use of ad blocking software, it would seem that the era of organic digital marketing is over. However, there are still ways to reach online audiences without having to launch a million dollar ad campaign.

With influencer marketing, businesses can take advantage of the influence of popular digital creatives. But this strategy is not without its challenges. Many brands struggle to identify the right influencers for their campaigns, while others hesitate to relinquish creative control, which undermines the organic nature of influencer marketing.

To wit, The Shelf, a marketplace that connects brands with influential bloggers, asked 40 marketersfor their insights into running effective influencer campaigns. The advice ranges from immersing your brand into the communities you want to reach and understand the bloggers you want to work with, to making use of effective strategies like profile takeovers on Snapchat and Instagram.

One of the most important questions The Shelf asked was about tracking the success of influencer campaigns. Shannon Funk from XPose PR noted:

I look for boost in three main areas: social media following, traffic driven to the brand’s website, and the resulting e-commerce sales.

Check out the infographic below (or click here for the full version) to for more expert advice on how to run an effective and successful influencer campaign.

[By Kimberlee Morrison] [Read More]

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Your influencer campaign is so close to the official kickoff. You’ve built your strategy and, thanks to some influencer research, your targets have been acquired. Get ready, because it’s finally time to make your move.

Time to send some outreach emails! This is where it starts to get really fun.

This is where planning comes to a close and you’re getting closer to launch. It’s time to go down the list you made after reading last week’s post, and start reaching out to the people on it.

It seems simple, but you quickly realize it’s not. At least one target will have an email address you can’t find anywhere. Another will respond immediately, super excited to get started – never to be heard from again.

Things can get hectic really quickly.

That’s why it’s so important to have a great arsenal of tools to turn to. Some will do heavy lifting for you, while others just keep you organized. And others will be crazy simple yet save you hours of time.

Have I sufficiently hyped these tools yet? Yes? Great – now that you’re curious, let’s move on to the list!

Part 1: Finding influencers’ contact information

Influencer research frequently leaves you with a list of names, websites, Twitter handles, etc. But actual email addresses can be hard to find. These tools will be a lifesaver, I promise you.

EmailHunter.co

emailhunter_co-1024x391

If you know the company or website of someone you’re reaching out to, just type it into EmailHunter.co. It will look around online for all the emails associated with that domain. Once it’s done, it’ll spit out a nice little (or big) list, and you just look for the name or department you need to contact!

I like EmailHunter because you don’t need to know much about a company to use it. For example, say you want a quote from a company’s marketing department – but don’t have names. Search for the company and you’ll probably find a group email like marketing@company.com. You can use that instead of a name, if need be.

Rapportive

Rapportive isn’t technically for finding emails, but it’s still really easy to do so. It’s a plugin that brings up a panel in Gmail showing you information on the person you’re communicating with. Things like their interests, job, LinkedIn profile, and any shared connections.

If you can find the email address of anyone at the company (through a press release, LinkedIn profile, etc.), then you already know the structure. If not, try some of the common formats, like:

  • First name (i.e. barney@GNB.com)
  • First name + last name (barneystinson@GNB.com)
  • First initial + last name (bstinson@GNB.com).

You’ll know you’ve found the right address when Rapportive can pull in profile data. And it will be legendary. (Okay, that might be exaggerating. But we are emailing Barney Stinson here).

LinkedIn Groups

At one point, if you can’t find someone’s email, it becomes counterproductive to keep looking. Yes, you’ll finally be able to reach them. But how many other people would you have been able to contact in the amount of time it took to find their email?

With a very quick trick, you can send them a LinkedIn message instead. You can send a message to any member of a LinkedIn group you’re also a member of. So head over to their profile. If you’re in the same industry, you might have groups in common already. If so, you’re good to go and should be able to message them from their profile. If not, look for a group they’re a part of that sounds interesting (you shouldn’t just join, send the message, and leave), and wait for your membership to be approved.

Once you’re a group member, you’ll be able to message them – either to pitch them there or briefly introduce yourself and ask for a better way to reach them (such as email).

Part 2: Contacting influencers

Email addresses: acquired. Sweet! Now it’s time to start sending some messages. But if you’re planning on writing new pitches, tasks, and follow-ups from scratch for every influencer, I hope you’re ready to give up sleep. Instead, use some of these tools.

sidekick-by-hubspot-1024x471

I had trouble deciding where to put Sidekick – it can do so much that it would work in any section of this post. An email plugin from the folks at HubSpot, it both tracks email engagement (clicks and opens) and shows you a brief profile of who you’re emailing.

Because of that profile showing you the background info and social profiles connected to an address, it makes guessing emails really easy. You would use it the same way as Rapportive. But aside from that, it tells you which influencers have opened your email and clicked on any links inside.

How does this help you? It can help shape how you’re going to follow up. If someone’s opened an email a few times, clicked every link twice, and still hasn’t responded, they might not be interested. Don’t have that stop you from sending a second email, but you might want to follow-up less aggressively than with someone who hasn’t seemed to see your email at all.

Gmail’s Canned Responses

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While I’m not a fan of completely canned emails, this underrated Gmail feature is the simplest way to build outreach email templates.

The meat of your outreach emails is going to be the same from influencer to influencer. That’s the part where you give them all the information they need to make a decision. The rest – your intro and signoff, personalization throughout, and things like that – you can use a fill-in-the-blank format for.

Sure, you can copy and paste from a word document, but wouldn’t it be easier to keep everything right in Gmail? This way, to insert a template, just click the down arrow in the bottom right corner of the “Compose” window, hover over “Canned Responses,” and select the template name from the “Insert” menu. It literally takes two clicks.

Influencer pitches can be long, but templates make it so that each one takes just a few seconds to customize.

Dropbox / Google Drive

Throwing a bunch of large attachments in an email for the influencer to download isn’t the best way to start off your campaign.

A lot of people are wary of attachments from people they’ve never heard from before. Plus, we’re livin’ in the future, baby. Time to embrace the cloud!

Instead of attaching documents and images to each individual email, create a shared folder in Dropbox or Google Drive, and include a link to it in your email template. This way is more polite, plus if you need to make any updates to the documents you won’t need to send a new copy. Cloud magic!

FollowUpThen

Hate when you can’t get to inbox zero? Ever have a hard time remembering to follow up on the emails you sent last week? Me too, for both counts. ButFollowUpThen helps. You can use it to “snooze” emails in your inbox, as well as remind you to follow up on messages.

Here’s how it works: let’s say you wanted to send someone your initial pitch, then follow up one week later. In the first email, you could BCC “1week@followupthen.com” and receive a reminder a week later.

You can also get a lot more complicated than that, with reminders only if the person hasn’t responded, sending reminders to other people in the email thread, and recurring reminders. But FollowUpThen can also be as simple as you’d like it to be, which I love.

Part 3: Staying organized

Now that things have really kicked off, you’re going to start getting responses, participants, and lots of questions. Make sure you have a way to keep track of it all.

Google Sheets

It’s 2015, so spreadsheet-based campaign management isn’t ideal for large campaigns or long-term efforts. But if you’re still testing the waters of influencer marketing or don’t have the budget for a CRM, Google Sheets is perfect.

Plus, there’s something to be said for simplicity and familiarity.

For example, a quick, one-off campaign with 10 contacts definitely isn’t worth shelling out dough for a monthly subscription to something. In that case, a Google Sheet shared between your team will do the trick just fine.

Your team won’t have to learn how to use another tool, remember another set of login credentials, or more your older contact lists over to a new platform.

BuzzStream

buzzstream

BuzzStream is a CRM for PR and marketing, and our contact database of choice at Mention. It lets you keep track of anyone your team might be working with. You can create projects for different campaigns, but easily copy contacts from one to another for people you have ongoing partnerships with.

View your contacts by project, by website, or alphabetical order. Build outreach templates, track their performance, keep track of all emails sent / received, and set reminders to follow up.

Once an influencer has mentioned you in something, you can even attach the link to the appropriate contact and website, and you also have a place to track coverage and performance!

There’s also a Chrome plugin and Gmail integration that makes it easy to add to your database while browsing.

Pitchbox

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Pitchbox is an all-in-one influencer platform that looks great for larger-scale campaigns and projects. I love that there are so great many tools to help you get away from spreadsheet-based campaign management.

It’s definitely a heavy-duty CRM for influencer campaign management, with some pretty unique features. For example, it’ll chart emails sent vs. responses received to help you measure the impact of your emails and different templates you’re using. You can also automate outreach and follow-up through personalization fields in the email templates.

Instapage

When I talk about staying organized, I don’t just mean for yourself. Make it easy for the influencers as well. Imagine how impressed they would be by a landing page that housed all of the information and assets that they would need to participate.

Later on when they’re ready to go, they won’t need to search through their old emails or Downloads folder – they can simply visit their bookmarks or head straight to the page’s URL.

With a landing page builder (one example is Instapage), you can create one in a few minutes and update it as the campaign changes, use it to accept participant applications, or feature the influencers participating with you.

Conclusion

I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t believe me when I said outreach can get complicated. We might have different definitions of complicated. But can you really that these tools wouldn’t save you time on your next influencer campaign?

[by BRITTANY BERGER]

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As much as I love retro fashion and plus size women, it seems like the time of body positive beauty bloggers being confined to vintage styles is finally over. With a new wave of fat positive bloggers coming into popularity, alternative plus size fashion is finally getting its time to shine. Cue Stacey of Hantise de l'oubliBeing trendy while plus size is a task that can take up a lot of one's time and attention as we constantly have to hunt for bargains and beautiful pieces. Sometimes your own style can get lost in the bid to look fat and fashionable for less. That's why bloggers like Stacey are so worth celebrating.

Don't get me wrong: Plus size shopping has definitely seen a turnaround these past few years, leading to much more variety in many fat women's wardrobes. High fashion plus size options even coexist peacefully alongside vintage pinup threads, meaning more and more individual styles are coming forward. But there's still a serious dearth of plus options that tap into alternative looks and lifestyles.

On Hantise de l'oubli, Stacey showcases her spooky style while promoting size acceptance and body positivity. Her well-worded blog posts often explore issues like fat shaming and sizeism, but alongside all the important debates, her killer style, well, kills it. She began her blog only two months ago and the four outfit posts that Stacey has shared already nail the type of alternative pride we need in the body positive community.

However, Stacey's style isn't solely limited to her love of all things Halloween. It also utilizes kitschy pieces and bright colors to give her looks a more diverse edge. A solely goth style, especially for a plus size blogger, is impressive and rare, but the more personal touches make Stacey's outfits really stand out.

Although only a few posts deep into the worlds of body positivity and plus size blogging, Stacey has really made a name for herself in the community and I shiver with anticipation wondering what her next blog post will bring. Despite being new to the scene, her professional website, on point style, and body positive world views make it impossible to tell that this is only the beginning.

Images: Courtesy hantisedeloubli/Instagram

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It was all about selfies for Christine Adelina, until May 1, 2014. That's when the 22-year-old student and obsessive Instagram poster from London learned her large following on the photo-sharing app could translate to some decent income. After attending a meetup for Instagram "influencers," she switched from bedroom and bathroom selfies to artistic portrayals of the world around her, now spending at least three hours a day on the app.

And brands are gawking -- handing over ad dollars to Adelina and other so-called influencers, anywhere from $300 to thousands of dollars depending on the deal, to join their marketing campaigns. While some sponsorship deals simply reward users with gifts for sending out company-related Instagram posts, others are contracted.

Take Nabisco’s #PuttingOnTheRitz campaign, for example. That marketing strategy to promote new Ritz Crisp and Thin crackers -- to which Adelina and a handful of other contracted influencers submitted two photos for this June  -- reached 7.5 million people. One post from British blogger Tanya Burr, who boasts 2 million Instagram followers, drew 110,000 likes.

It's the latest sign that Madison Avenue and its counterparts worldwide are recognizing the pitch power of organically born social media stars like Adelina and Burr. They can be just as influential, or even moreso, as celebs like the Kardashians. Consumers, the thinking goes, may connect more readily with individuals who lead lives like their own. “For 'Putting on the Ritz,' we were very interested in getting people involved. The campaign seemed more real,” said Jana Soosova, social media campaign manager at London-based PHD Media.

instagram ritzWhile Instagram influencer Christine Adelina's post was not the highest traffic-driver for the #PuttingOnTheRitz campaign, Nabisco paid for and endorsed the submission as part of its marketing strategy.  Instagram Screenshot

Earlier this month, Instagram introduced its first ad product for businesses. The system allows companies to quickly create standard ads, target them to selected users and include direct-response buttons (like “Buy Now” as seen on Facebook, Twitter and Google). The move will spur more ads on the Facebook-owned photo-sharing app -- and fuel Instagram’s predicted rise to $2.8 billion in revenue by 2017.

But there have always been ads on Instagram, some of which have been embraced by the over 300 million-person active community and have enthralled some forward-thinking brands with big budgets like Coca-Cola, L’Oreal and Asos. Rather than sign contract after contract with celebrities, who boast the biggest follower counts on Instagram, some companies have latched onto the artists that have helped build up the young, but fast-growing network.  

“Usually the campaigns are more creative, more advanced than you would see on other networks. Whoever is creating the ads puts more effort into the process,” said Soosova.

A New Network

Unlike YouTube’s Partner program or Twitter-owned Niche, Instagram does not have direct ties to a professional network of creators. But entrepreneurs have stepped in -- since Instagram’s early days -- to fill the role of connecting eager brands to power influencers and help sign, seal and deliver on contracts and campaign expectations.

“We see plenty of agencies pop up. Anyone can scrape Instagram and get 20,000 names together, but having the relationships and knowing how to run a campaign is a different story,” said Francis Trapp, founder and CEO of Brandnew IO, an Instagram-focused marketing company based in Berlin.

Trapp, who did time in banking, consulting and finance and boasts a passion for photography and advertising, started building a network in 2013. He dug through the app, then only a recent acquisition of Facebook, for interesting accounts and reached out. He now oversees a network of 1,500 influencers across 60 countries and has coordinated 130 campaigns. Trapp projects $2.2 million in revenue this year.

brandnew instagramBrandnew IO is a marketing company focused on Instagram campaigns. The team has worked with international companies, such as Spotify and L'Oreal, to run long-term campaigns with influencers rather than celebrities.  Brandnew IO

Marketing teams, such as PHD London, have come to Trapp for help finding influencers. Trapp’s list does not include the biggest names on Instagram, like Justin Bieber (23.8 million followers), Kim Kardashian (23.5 million) or Beyonce (22.2 million). Some companies, such as teeth whitener Cocowhite, target those celebrity endorsements, Jezebel reports. But when marketers come to Trapp, that’s not what they are after.

Adelina is not shy to admit her labor can come cheaper, and more easily negotiated. Not only that, she brings her own photography skills and artistic influence, which she describes as vintage-inspired, into each post.

“Instagram influencers are not the people who are just taking their products and snapping a quick photo. I think companies see the potential in the photography enthusiasts who took the time to create a picture,” Adelina said.

Treading Lightly

Facebook has been moving slowly to develop Instagram into an advertising powerhouse, like its main site has become. "We're very, very cautious. Instagram remains small relative to Facebook, and it’s really going to take time,” Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said during the company’s earnings call in July. Facebook does not break out revenues for the site.

Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012 -- two years after its launch -- for $1 billion. At the time, there were about 30 million accounts on the app. That has since jumped to 300 million monthly active users who share 70 million photos a day.

facebook revenueFacebook does not breakdown the revenue by its assets, including WhatsApp, Instagram and Oculus. The company has generated $7.5 billion in ad revenue, so far, this year, as shown in the above investor's chart. Marketing firm eMarketer predicts Instagram could fuel $600 million in total for 2015.  Facebook

Influencers have emphasized that the company should be careful not to frustrate the power users and consumers. How Trapp views an Instagram post: “It's a beautifully taken shot in your everyday life."

“I think this community thrives on creativity,” Adelina said.

“My Instagram style is very minimalistic and whimsical,” said Kerstin Hiestermann, a mother of three who boasts 278,000 followers.

With Instagram’s new system, marketers can generate ads with a click, and the formalized system is just starting. For now, not all sponsorship campaigns need to be approved by Instagram, as long as they fit the terms of service.

That’s not the case for YouTube, where creators must inform the site of product placement and these can only be done by official partners. Google can remove a video if it does not meet standards or if pre-roll ads, from which YouTube takes a 45 percent cut, conflict.

Instagram is now tapping into its own ad cut for revenue, and eMarketer has predicted that the app could generate $600 million in sales this year.

[By 

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In an effort to burnish the Microsoft Surface brand with thousands of recent UK university graduates, as well as younger 13–17-year-olds, the company has created content aimed at helping them decide on a career path.

For the effort, Microsoft Surface teamed with 25 top UK bloggers, YouTubers and Instagrammers to create a video full of career options for viewers. The campaign is timed to appear as students in much of the UK receive the results of their GCSE exams, which often have a key role in determining their education and career paths.

To aid the direction of the campaign, the brand conducted research which found:

  • 73 percent of 18–24-year-olds say they are now the “And” generation: They see themselves working the day job but following a sideline career in something they are passionate about.
  • 54 percent of 18–24-year-olds say following their dreams and passions is a priority over following a more traditional path when it comes to education and career.
  • Almost a third (31 percent) of 18–24-year-olds want to be their own boss in their future career.
  • More than a third (38 percent) of 18–24-year-olds admit they don’t have a clear idea of what they plan to do after leaving full time education.
  • A quarter (24 percent) of 18–24-year-olds didn’t feel they knew about all of the career options they could explore.

The resulting stunt-style video, MC’d by YouTuber Doug Armstrong,  features UK influencers Jim Chapman, Roman Kemp, Emily Hartridge and others. Each of the 25 appearances is accompanied by the person’s job title — which is a clickable link that leads to that influencer’s online presence.

The links lead to blog posts, tweets, images and other destinations that allow viewers to explore the endeavors and careers of these 25 influencers.

The campaign is hashtagged #DoAnything and leads to all 25 influencers’ content, as well as other campaign-related content.

Microsoft is promoting the video and associated content on its UK Surface Twitter page:

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They’re the people you probably watch more than any TV show. They have more power and a bigger reach than some movie stars. So isn’t it time you celebrated the best in Brit vloggers and bloggers?

We’ve got the Oscars. And the Brits. And even the World Dog Awards (we choose Pug everytime FYI). So we thought it was long overdue that we created an awards for the people, who let’s face it, we spent most of our waking hours with  - that’s vloggers and bloggers.  Because it’s them we regularly turn to for updates on their lives, style, beauty regimes and fashion hauls.  And if they’ve been tirelessly toiling away in those bedrooms with fairylights for us, isn’t it about time we gave something back? Hell yes! So welcome to InStyle’s Project 13, your chance to choose the best bloggers and vloggers of 2015!

What is it?
An awards championing the best British digital celebrities. And it’s called Project 13. Why, you ask? Because there are 13 categories in total, plus there’ll be a special, one off 13th print edition of InStyle created exclusively for you by the winners!

How am I involved?
We need you to honour your favourite vlog or blog by voting in the Most Outstanding category. We’ve created a list for you to choose from, along with need-to-know profiles. But we know were not perfect. So if we’ve missed anyone off, you can nominate your very own favourite, too.

How are you choosing the winners?
We partnered with digital experts StyleHaul, the largest global community of vloggers and bloggers in the style and beauty sector. Along with them, and a panel of industry experts, we’ll help judge the other 12 categories to decide on the best content out there.

When will we know who’s won?
The winners will be revealed in the December issue of InStyle, in a 13 page special portfolio photographed by a super cool fashion photographer. Alongside interviews where the vloggers and bloggers share their secrets on how to become a YouTube star.

Where can I get hold of Edition 13?
Meanwhile, you’ll be able to get your hands on Edition 13 at key fashion retailers on November 12th.

Who should win InStyle's Most Outstanding Online Star award? Meet the nominees, then vote for your favourite...

Tanya Burr
TalkBeckyTalk
Glam and Glitter
Ugly Face of Beauty
Zoella
Sprinkle Of Glitter
Beauty Crush
Niomi Smart
Fleur De Force
Essie Button
Patricia Bright
Susie Lau (Susie Bubble)
Pixiwoo
Sunbeamsjess
Klaire de Lys
In The Frow
Lily Pebbles
Shirley B Eniang
Tyrannosaurus Lexx
Amelia Liana
N1kk1sSecr3t
AnchalMUA
DaniellaChristina1
Lily Melrose
La Petite Anglaise
Navaz Batilwalla (Disney Roller Girl)
Giovanna’s World

Ready to cast your vote? Click this link to cast your vote.

[By Niki Browes] [Read More]

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Fat-shaming has just been taken to a whole new "absolutely horrendous" level, with a new Photoshop trend called Thinner Beauty. People have been digitally editing images of others, without their permission, in order to make them look thinner. They then post the two images side by side onto social media sites along with the hashtag #ThinnerBeauty. Although some of the posts feature men, the vast majority of those attacked have been women.So far, familiar faces including plus-size model Tess Holliday and actress Rebel Wilson have featured in posts.

An Instagram account titled Project Harpoon is dedicated to reposting images posted with the hashtag and on Facebook. A page with the same name claims #ThinnerBeauty is about ending skinny-shaming, rather than fat-shaming.

"In current societal fashion, a recent trending surge of 'pro-obesity' and 'fat acceptance' have paved the way for many people to renounce exercise and personal healthcare in general," the account's description reads.

"This page aims to only show that being skinny is okay as well. Skinny-shaming is not okay."

But not everyone is convinced this trend has an innocent motive.

Rivkie Baum, editor of plus-size magazine SLiNK, says she finds the trend "absolutely horrendous".

"Women's bodies are continuously dissected by the media, but this takes it to a whole new level and violates their bodies in a whole different way," she tells HuffPost UK Lifestyle.

"For some reason we still believe women's bodies especially are public property and that needs to stop.

"I also think it is high time that social media sites take responsibility for the content they allow, as something like this doesn't reinforce health but can in fact enforce the idea of chasing thinness whatever the cost."

Baum isn't the only one to condemn the hashtag.A model who features in a campaign for lingerie brand Neon Moon - a feminist company that doesn't retouch images - was among those who received the Photoshop treatment from Project Harpoon.

The page's creator reportedly shared the image along with the comment: "Wow, from a depressed chub to an elegant fox!"

The brand's founder, Hayat Rachi, demanded that the creator of the edited image take it down.

"I am shocked at the blatant use of Photoshop by Project Harpoon to fat shame women," she told the MailOnline.

"I was utterly disappointed to find a photo of our model Photoshopped [to look] unrealistically thin without any permission granted.

"A person's health cannot be determined from how a person looks. Their sole purpose is to harass women, and nothing more. They are disgusting."

We agree with Project Harpoon on one thing - skinny-shaming is not okay - but the #ThinnerBeauty trend is most definitely not the way to fix the problem.

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US researchers have trained machine learning algorithms to accurately predict the next batch of female models to grace the world’s top fashion runways.In a paper (pdf) to be presented at CSCW 2016 early next year, three Indiana University academics used data from the 2015 spring/summer season to help the machine learning algorithms learn what made female models successful in their careers – and predict who would next achieve success.

Success – for this study - was measured in the number of runways the new models walked in a fashion season. The machine learning algorithms were remarkably successful at predicting which new faces were most likely to be seen on the runways for the 2015-16 autumn/winter fashion season – which occurred earlier this year.

The research “correctly predicted 6 out of 8 fashion models who became popular” during the season, “using training data from the past season only”. It also "successfully identified 6 of the 7 fashion models who did not perform in any top event".

The past season data was gleaned from several fashion databases that track the identity and attributes of the models, their agency representation, and in which shows they appear.The researchers also looked at which of the ‘new faces’ from the fashion databases had Instagram accounts and tracked their activity, to see if there was any correlation between social media presence and runway success.

“As social media become a for fashion models a far more important showcase than magazines and billboards, we wonder if popularity on such platforms can be used as a proxy to predict success,” they said.

They found Instagram data alone wasn’t enough to work out if a new model will be successful or not, but it does have an effect.

“Instagram activity seems to have mixed associations with runway walks,” the authors found.

“Additional posts over the average activity yield a 15 percent higher chances of walking a runway but, surprisingly, more likes tend to lower the chances of walking a runway (about 10 percent less).”

While acknowledging that “increased activity on social media had only a weak association with heightened success”, the researchers believed that would change over time. Such changes could make machine learning the best friend of casting directors.

“When trying to cast a model for the upcoming seasons, a casting director is faced with a seemingly impossible task: predicting whom, out of the hundreds of new faces [he or] she may see at the go-see calls, will become the top model of the next season,” the researchers said.

“As the impact of social media — especially Instagram — becomes significant in the fashion industry, predictive methods have the potential to leverage collective attention and the wisdom of the broader user population, which reflect some of the popularity of fashion models, to predict their career success.”

The researchers noted some limitations to their work, including the lack of weighting to different types of fashion gigs (e.g. luxury brands) and the relatively small data set used to run the machine learning algorithm. The work also only takes into account female models.

“It will be interesting to see, when data become available, whether our results apply to the male fashion modelling market as well,” they added.

[By Ry Crozier] [Read More]

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(Photo : Getty Images: Astrid Stawiarz/Anna Webber )

Fashion social media superstars Aliza Licht — formerly known as "DKNY PR Girl" — and Erika Bearman — formerly "Oscar PR Girl" — both officially left their jobs last week, at DKNY and Oscar de la Renta respectively. 

Licht, whose official title was DKNY's Senior Vice President of Communications SVP, published a book back in May. "Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill It In Your Career. Rock Social Media" features a foreword by Donna Karan. Her last tweet on the DKNY Twitter account says, "Dear Friends: I have a big announcement. For all personal of @leaveyourmarkXO book related tweets, please tweet & follow @AlizaLicht. Thx" The New York-based brand recently emptied its Twitter and Instagram accounts of all past posts and content, making fans wonder what the accounts will be like upon implied relaunch. 

Yahoo! Style writer Lauren Sherman penned an article "mourning the death of fashion Twitter," upon hearing about Licht and Bearman's departures from famed social media roles. 

"Saying goodbye to these 'PR Girls,' as they named themselves all those years ago, felt like an end of an era in many ways," Sherman wrote. 

The Yahoo! Style writer also emphasizes the importance of Twitter as a news source, and brands' current shift to emphasize Instagram content over Twitter. 

"I do wish, however, that there were more interesting fashion people chiming in these days," Sherman concludes. "Twitter is the opposite of Instagram in that it's harder to keep your guard up. Maybe that's why it's not as appealing to those who are in the business of refining images, including their own."

What do you think about the "PR Girls" departing from their famous Twitter accounts? What do you think about the current social media shift from Twitter to Instagram?

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Aussie fashion blogger Nicole Warne, known by her 1.3 million Instagram followers and 29.4K Twitter followers as @garypeppergirl, caused a bit of a scare for her loyal fanbase recently. Warne went off the grid for nearly two weeks — and people freaked out. 

Warne’s last post before her unintentional hiatus garnered over 800 comments, ranging from curious (“Where did she go”), to concerned ("You have been missed!” and “Where have you been? Is everything okay?” and “I hope you have a well deserved break love, and get well soon, we all miss you!”), to a little confrontational (“She is killlllin me.” and “Why aren’t you posting on Instagram anymore?”). 

"WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? IS EVERYTHING OKAY?"

- FASHIONISTA_TRAVELER

Wrote Warne on her “Hi, I’m alive” Instagram post on Monday, "This is easily the first time in my life I've ever taken such a long break from Instagram and I didn't realize it would have so many of my friends, family, and all of you concerned. It was not intentional, so please know there's nothing to worry about.” 

The reason for Warne’s brief social media break was a gig as “creative director for a covetable commercial campaign.” “It's consuming all of my focus and energy, so despite the stress/pressure, I'm incredibly excited to have had the work I do behind closed doors lead me to an opportunity like this,” Warne wrote. We think a vacation not spent jockeying for the perfect ‘gram shot would (or should) have also been a perfectly acceptable reason to be disconnected for a bit.

"Having to be constantly present is literally the worst thing about working in social media. I don’t really dare to research into it — ignorance is bliss! — but I’m sure it’s bad for my mental health,” blogger Zanita Whittington says. “Lately, I’ve been posting less and less on Instagram and more on the newer forms, like Snapchat and Facebook Live. I’d absolutely love to have a week or two away.” 

Being a blogger has segued from the frivolous vanity project of a wannabe street style star to a viable career path. Case in point: Whittington and Warne were featured, along with The Blonde Salad’s Chiara Ferragni, on the cover of Lucky (RIP) back in February. Putting bloggers on a glossy cover was a big deal — that’s coveted real estate usually reserved for Tinseltown's biggest stars, music heavyweights, and the occasional model. A pop star has albums to make, tours to perform, and press junkets to promote themselves; Hollywood notables have similar to-do lists, swapping in screen time for hours in the studio. Bloggers are expected to create content and interact with followers, to be continually “active” and “available” to a degree that more traditionally famous folks are not. They're also expected to turn quiet, personal, private moments into shareable content.

For some big fashion bloggers, the omnipresence factor exists, but it’s not a problem. “WeWoreWhat is a 24/7 job, so of course there is pressure to always be ‘on’ — loving what I do definitely makes it a whole lot easier,” WeWoreWhat’s Danielle Bernstein says. 

Perhaps it’s a sign that we’re entirely too tethered to our technology — and we want our must-follow social media superstars to be equally, if not more, on. Or maybe being constantly reachable, like-able, and re-'gram-able a necessary evil of the (quite plummy) job of being a successful fashion blogger. There are much worse gripes one could have about a gig.

“When life and work gets busy, or you lose momentum and/or inspiration and can't meet [readers’] expectations, it can feel like you're failing...on top of that, hundreds of thousands of people are waiting for your next post — and there’s pressure that whatever you put up next better be amazing. Or at least you need a good reason for the hiatus to prove that you're 'really busy' with 'lots of meetings,' 'collaborations,' and just being a goal-kicking, high-achieving entrepreneur,” says Sara Donaldson of Harper & Harley. “Sometimes, it's just a simple fact that you would rather not be on your phone and instead, live your life in the present.” Amen to that. 

[BY ] [Read More]

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Jake-Jamie Ward, aka The Beauty Boy, has been making makeup tutorial videos for his YouTube channel for nine months and has earned over 4,000 subscribers for his male beauty tips

For many men, using makeup - whether it's to even out skin tone or cover blemishes - can be a minefield.  Birmingham-based Jake-Jamie Ward - a blogger also known as The Beauty Boy on YouTube - is hoping to demystify some of the uses and techniques, offering tutorials, guidance and tips, and says he is already transforming lives.

Here, Jake, 23, who barely left the house after suffering with acne in his late teens, spending £400 on products to try to cover up his complexion, helps four men with various skin conditions - including psoriasis, rosacea and scars. 

Jake, who has almost 5,000 subscribers, says when he suffered with bad spots at the age of 18, he searched for online tutorials to help him cover his skin, but could only find advice aimed at women or drag queens.

After spending years and thousands of pounds perfecting his own completely natural look in secret, the self-confessed make-up addicted started his own YouTube channel. His videos - about everything from the best foundation for bearded men to how to pencil in manly eyebrows - have attracted thousands of views.

'I had to make many mistakes along the way, and this is why I started my YouTube channel, to share my findings with other men - and women - looking to create a better version of themselves,' he told FEMAIL.

'I have been amazed at the level of support, and how quickly my following has grown.' 

'I was also amazed at the amount of messages I received from straight males, just wanting to make their skin look perfect - and why shouldn't they? We live in a modern world, and us men are worth it, too.'   

Jake invited some of his viewers to share their stories along with before and after transformations 

Jake invited some of his viewers to share their stories along with before and after transformations 

Jake no longer suffers from acne but still wears makeup to boost his confidence and enhance his appearance. He said: 'Although I no longer suffer with active acne, I continue to wear makeup. Why, you ask? Because it makes me feel good, complete, and ready to take on the world!'.

Despite the popularity of his videos, and with 72 per cent of his views coming from men, Jake says that men are still worried about the stigma attached to wearing cosmetics.   

'I receive emails daily from straight men, who are thinking about buying their first foundation or concealer after years of feeling unhappy within themselves, but they're scared to approach a beauty counter through fear of being laughed at. I think this is very sad.'

In a bid to stamp out some of the negative associations that come with men wearing makeup, Jake invited some of his viewers to share their inspiring stories of how wearing makeup has helped them rebuild their confidence.   

PHILIP, 23, HAS SUFFERED FROM ACNE FOR YEARS

'I have always battled with acne, redness, scarring and oily skin. It definitely wasn't all that easy during my teen years but I learnt to live with it.

'I had always wanted to try and cover it up with makeup but was never too sure, because I thought it was just for girls! I felt like I should just man up!

'After years of putting up with my skin, I started to notice more and more men were using cosmetics, I then became interested. I didn't know how to make it look natural, so I had a personal makeup lesson with Australian make up artist, Lan Cox.

'I definitely have more confidence wearing makeup, I used to keep it a secret but now I’ve started to open up. 

'I was so dubious about telling people but much to my surprise, my male mates told me that they secretly wear a little make up too. There’s still such a stigma attached, which seems silly when secretly most men are already experimenting.'

CREAG, 27, SUFFERS WITH PSORIASIS THAT LEFT HIM FEELING SEVERELY DEPRESSED  

'To have my skin condition is soul destroying. It makes me feel like a monster. Basically my skin regenerates ten times faster than normal humans. 

'My brain tells my body I'm cut, so it tries to repair skin, which causes layers. 

'When it is in remission and I have normal skin, I am a very outgoing, confident and happy person however, once I get the dreaded Bacterial Tonsillitis (my trigger), I change into a scaly, depressed and under confident hermit! 

'I liken myself to Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. That is the extremity of my feelings.

'Then I found makeup. It gives me enough courage to leave the house and even crack a smile each day.

'Looking presentable is a huge thing for me, the ability to sculpt my face into what is deemed suitable in this judging world means so much to me . Without makeup, I wouldn't leave the house. I owe my survival to it.'

MAXIM, 19, SAYS THAT MAKEUP HAS HELPED HIM TO COVER HIS OILY SKIN AND GIVE IT A BOOST  

'I wear makeup most days as I have dark circles under my eyes and an uneven complexion. My skin is very oily around the T-zone and dramatically dry around my cheeks and hairline. 

'I feel confident without makeup, but with makeup, I feel like I'm putting my best face on and pampering myself.

'This gives me a confidence boost; letting me concentrate on the most important things in life. I don't worry about an uneven teint or pimples, therefore I can just enjoy the day.'

DANNY, 20, HAS BEEN BATTLING WITH ACNE SCARS FOR FIVE YEARS  

'I have been dealing with acne (and all the scarring that comes with it), on and off, for the last 5 years.

'It wasn't until I started wearing makeup that I actually started to think that anybody could find me attractive.

'Now, I don't really go out unless I have makeup on. Even when my skin is going through a good patch, I still feel like makeup enhances my appearance and I think that every single person looks better with a little touch up courtesy of some good cosmetics.  

'If it wasn't for makeup, I don't think my level of self-esteem would be anywhere near what it is today. 

'I feel good about the way I look, which completely changes the vibe that I give off to people. At this point, I don't think I will ever stop wearing makeup just because I love the boost of confidence that comes from wearing it.

'The more guys that talk about it on a public platform, the better it is for advancing our cause.'

ALEX, 17, WAS FRUSTRATED WHEN HIS ROSACEA WOULD STRIKE WITHOUT WARNING  

'I started wearing makeup because I always felt rather lacking in confidence, which was increased by the way my skin looked - any comments would get me down. I just got so so red without explanation.

'I became interested in body painting and this manifested into makeup. I noticed how much more confident I felt, just adjusting this one thing about myself - it's so empowering!

'I can go days without makeup, but I do choose to wear it most days, I feel less like myself without it, as if I hide away more.

'Initially, I hid it from my family because of fear of bad reaction. It was a little bumpy but, I stuck by it and they accept it. 

'Makeup has nothing to do with gender or sexuality, it's to do with empowerment for anyone that wants it. I wish I'd had someone to tell me that years ago.'

STUART, 30, TRIED COSMETICS AS A WAY OF BOOSTING HIS SELF-ESTEEM

'I started wearing makeup in my early twenties as I felt self-conscious in photographs on nights out. I always hated the way I looked in pictures with flashes and bright light surroundings.

'Using make up allows me to enjoy a night out and gives me the confidence to have my picture taken in different lighting.

'It's very difficult for men to drastically change their appearance from a normal day to an evening out with friends but I enjoy the process of getting ready and watching a transformation take place.

'I introduced makeup in to my daily routine and whilst this is very minimal, it gives me more confidence in my day to day life.' 

You can follow Jake-Jamie on Twitter @makeupbyjakej and Instagram @makeupbyjakejamie

[By MARTHA CLIFF] [Read More]

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For a long time users have been asking on Facebook for a Dislike button to show their displeasure at posts that are upsetting or offensive. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg has resisted calls for this button: now a new app gives user the opportunity to judge for themselves.

Luxembourg based Judg positions itself half way between a game and a social network. The app was created by founders Amaury De Buyser and Maxime D'Hondt after observing that users on social networks seek popularity amongst their peers. The team wanted to take the "best of both games and social networks and merge it into something disruptive"

Brands too measure their success by the number of likes and comments their posts attain on a network.The ultimate goal on social networks is the pursuit of popularity, according to the founders. Judg aims to "gamify your social life". The app, available for iOS creates a world where sharing becomes "fun and rewarding simultaneously". Sharing enhances the quest for popularity within the app.

The home feed shows the content from friends and people you follow. you can rate the content you see on a score from one to ten. Users also have a monkey avatar which, as your popularity rises, your avatar levels up too. You can discover categories in the app that lead to content posted by the most popular users. These influences are the "celebrities" in Judg and have significant say across the app.

Brands could easily harness these celebrity users as brand advocates and influencers. If a Judg user stops producing quality content, their ranking reduces over time. Its a good way to ensure current influencers stay current - whilst new influencers bubble up to the surface. The founders say that the content quality is higher than on Instagram due to its voting system. Instagram thrives on hashtags to boost posts and users. Judj relies on real people posting content and asking to be rated.

Judg brings transparency into social popularity. Instead of posting images of your Caribbean holiday, your champagne evenings and gourmet meals, Judg blatantly asks you to rate each post. You might want to take a load of selfies pleading for validation, or your favourite location. Here, you blatantly ask for votes and step up the social ladder. It is brutally honest in asking for your vote.

But that is what brands try to do every day with their marketing campaigns and engagement strategy. They just are a lot less transparent about it.

[By 

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Lee Odden

In our last Ask the Expert post, we explored tactics for expanding the reach of your messaging on LinkedIn with RazorSocial Marketing Blog & Digital Marketing Superstar, Ian Cleary. This time around, we are joined by TopRank Online Marketing CEO Lee Odden.

Over the past decade, Lee has made TopRank Marketing an industry leader in co-creating content with influencers. This year, TopRank took home a Killer Content Award for their co-created marketing campaign for Content Marketing World 2014.

Lee also writes for the award-winning TopRank blog, and is the author of Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media and Content Marketing. He has been invited to share his marketing expertise at events around the world, and will be making upcoming appearances at Inbound, Content Marketing World, and the PRSA International Conference.

In our Q&A below, Lee talks about attracting influencers when you’re just starting out, the tools he uses to manage influencer relationships, and the value of seeking out “brandividuals” for your influencer campaigns.

Q&A with Lee Odden, CEO of TopRank Online Marketing

LinkedIn: What advice do you have for marketers who believe in the power of influencer marketing, but are hesitant to dive in due to lack of brand recognition or social following?

Lee: One of the major objectives for influencer marketing programs is for companies to grow their own influence as a result of working within those that already have it. Starting without brand recognition or a social following is normal.

The demand for influencers is very high and growing, yet most companies flush with resources are unsophisticated in their approach to influencer identification, recruitment and relationship management. A small business can differentiate and surpass big brand competitors in the influencer marketing game through:

  • Due diligence in influencer research for more relevant recruitment
  • Playing the long game in building influencer relationships
  • Approaching influencers by creating value for them first with creative, innovative communications

LinkedIn: You’ve co-created content with hundreds of influencers over the years. What are the most important lessons you have learned that can help marketers improve their influencer outreach response rate?

Lee: Rather than picking a list of influencers from memory, smart marketers include a combination of personal networks like LinkedIn connections with research using influencer discovery tools like Traackr, BuzzSumo or GroupHigh.

Following, commenting and asking simple, yet relevant questions are a great way to open the door to influencer relationships whether you’re a big brand or a start-up.

Figuring out what’s important to the influencer and approaching them in a way that shows you are considerate of their motivations is far more effective than the more common “ask”: “Please answer these questions for us and then promote the resulting content for free.”

Being creative works too. Our first influencer eBook asked influencers to participate in the voice of secret agent and many replied with their contributions, playing along with the secret agent theme.

LinkedIn: How can marketers use LinkedIn to improve influencer outreach?

Lee: LinkedIn has been an indispensable tool for me when researching influencers by keyword and seeing what kind of content they create and share. It’s also one of the most effective tools for communicating with business professionals when you do not have their email address. LinkedIn InMails are gold for making contact and generating interest.

Additionally, sharing the resulting co-created content on LinkedIn while being sure to tag those new connections that contributed creates a nice interaction and sharing opportunity. Those signals reinforce the value of exposure you’re providing to participating influencers.

Publishing excerpts or repurposed versions of your co-created content on LinkedIn also reinforces the value your company is creating for the influencers and can increase their likelihood of responding to future offers.

LinkedIn: You encourage marketers to distinguish between brandividuals, who are popular, and influencers, who can create popularity. How can marketers ensure they are targeting influencers who can create popularity?

Lee: It would be convenient if everyone that has actively created authority for their personal brand and a following was always a “brandividual” or an “influencer.” The reality is, popularity and effectiveness at inspiring action will fluctuate over time.

What this means for distinguishing those influencers that can create popularity is that tools are necessary for identifying topics, conversations and the sources inspiring action. When you have a draft list of 100 or so influencers, you can then use influencer management tools to identify the impact, reach and resonance of the content publishing and social media behaviors of those influencers.

For example, something as simple as looking at Retweets on Twitter vs. follower counts will often reveal that niche influencers inspire far more action amongst their community, even though other influencers may have substantially greater followings.

It’s important to note: most influencer marketing programs do best with a combination of brandividuals and niche influencers. Focusing only on influencers that inspire action can be very difficult to do without the “eye candy” of famous brandividuals to lure them to the project.

For more strategic advice on attracting and engaging more customers using an integrated approach to digital marketing, be sure to check out Lee’s book, Optimize.

[By Jason Miller] [Read More]

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Tag this! Ricky’s NYC, otherwise known as our go-to beauty supply store for cult classics such as Lucas’ Pawpaw Ointment and genius hacks including no-crease hair clips, has tapped almost two dozen hugely popular beauty brands on Instagram for one super-cool shop — and PEOPLE got the first look.

Ricky's NYC First Look

Located on 489 Broadway in the heart of Manhattan’s Soho district, the 1,300-sq.-ft store called “#” (yes, you say “hashtag”), will also house some indie-turned in-demand brands (think BeautyBlender and Tangle Teezer) as well as other cool exclusives including Pop of Color (the nail polish collection from Real Housewives of New York City star Kristen Taekman).

Ricky's NYC First Look

The unique concept grew out of a desire to see big-time social media brands thrive off of your iPhone screen, says Richard Parrott, president of Ricky’s NYC. “All these brands that we have brick-and-mortar exclusives with, that have these incredibly powerful social media followings, can get lost in our bigger stores,” he says. “Then it hit me: ‘Let’s bring everybody together in one place.’ This store gives us a chance to really showcase these special brands.” And Parrott has big plans for the store’s top performers: they will roll out into other locations (there are 25 in New York and two in Florida), and could be added to the RickysNYC.com portfolio as well.

Ricky's NYC First Look

While the store puts the spotlight on star Instagram brands, it also allows die-hard and new fans the luxury of testing products before buying them, as well as the instant gratification of a point-of-sale purchase. Some of its heavy hitters include Coloured Raine, a cosmetics line that Ricky’s NYC has already seen soar in its larger stores. “We introduced the line [in one of their bigger shops] and within 24 hours we had sold so much that we expanded to all doors. People are serious about their liquid matte [lip colors],” says Ricky’s NYC Creative Director Kate Frost. Adds Anna Daoud, Director of Product Research and Development, “We could not keep ‘Marshmallow’ in stock. Girls were literally at the counter fighting for this color. It was insane.”

Ricky's NYC First Look

Another featured brand is makeup pro-adored L.A. Girl. “All the makeup artists use it, especially the Pro Conceal,” says Daoud. “And their price points are really great so it allows yourself to try a bunch of things and just see what you like.” The store also will also carry Morphe Brushes, which has a whopping 1.3 million followers (that’s more than Carson Daly, just sayin’) and MakeUp Eraser, which thousands of people have put to the test on YouTube.

Ricky's NYC First Look

Parrott hopes to expand this face-to-face exposure with these brands to also include in-store tutorials and total makeovers. Basically, he’s bringing out the “glam” in “Instagram”. “The reality of business nowadays is you can’t just be brick and mortar and you can’t just be online, and you can’t just be social media,” he says. “We’re combining all three to make it into that experience that’s interactive, it’s extremely cutting edge, it’s on trend, and it’s so much fun.”

[By Jackie Fields] [Read More]

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From YouTube.com

If you’re looking for a model of how to turn social media buzz into big-business success, Michelle Phan is your woman.

At 19, Phan started making “how-to” beauty videos on YouTube. She now has 7.9 million followers on the site—to say nothing of the millions who track her every move on other social networks. And she’s parlayed that following into a boggling number of business ventures. There’s ICON, a global lifestyle network that she launched in partnership with content creation, production and distribution company Endemol Shine Group. She also has her own L’Oreal makeup line. Ipsy, her makeup and beauty product sales and subscription company, has more than 1 million subscribers, and she recently opened Ipsy Open Studios, a sort of coworking space for beauty and fashion pros.

Phan recently sat down with Fortune to talk about how she got started on YouTube, where she finds inspiration for her business ventures and how she plans to help other creators.

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Word-of-mouth is among the most credible marketing tools for large and small businesses alike. But a problem has been a lack of scalability. Vancouver-based SocialNature seeks to solve that problem, with a focus on companies selling green products. Clients of SocialNature include brands such as Vega, Larabars and Hippie Foods. The company, founded by Annalea Krebs, enables brands to scale word-of-mouth by delivering product samples to highly-targeted consumers active on social media. These consumers spread the word about products they love, sharing photos on Instagram, product reviews on Twitter or recipes on Facebook.

This is Krebs' second business in the green marketing domain, and arose out of her first company, ethicalDeal, which grew to a community of 100,000 users, and then sold to the daily deal site nCrowd in 2015. Brands can sign on to reach different numbers of influencers depending on the tier they wish to purchase and can target influencers based on their profile answers. The idea is that, if the influencers, who are already identified as being passionate about the product area, receive the product and like it, they are likely to share it over their social media channels.

According to Krebs, leveraging this trust in an authentic way is more effective than what is traditionally understood as influencer marketing.

“Most brands to date have associated influencer marketing with celebrities, famous people on Instagram, or high profile bloggers,” Krebs said. “But who would you trust more, a blogger or your friend?”

In order to encourage more sharing, the team at SocialNature plans create more user-facing reward programs, a dashboard that shows a user's influence, and recognition of those who share with invitations to more exclusive campaigns.There is a simple principle that underlies the opportunity, Krebs believes: “People trust friends, not ads."

[BTechvibes NewsDesk] [Read More]

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Digital lifestyle media company Refinery29 announced the launch of Here and Now, a talent collective that will partner with a new generation of social influencers by offering support and greater access across all platforms under the Refinery29 umbrella. Refinery29 has always fostered a community of emerging voices and Here and Now will continue that ethos by collaborating with tastemakers who speak to an independent-minded audience across multiple platforms.

Refinery29 will identify talent based on their unique story, point of view, expertise, and reach. The new collective focuses on creating a symbiotic relationship with talent and content that unites like-minded readers and offers new ways for communities to engage with their personal channels and Refinery29. Each member of this impactful group are figures of authority in their own right, having built their robust audiences on mobile and social platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and YouTube. Here and Now has formal relationships with a handful of the biggest YouTube stars and content creators, including Lauren Curtis (3.1 million subscribers on YouTube), Casey Holmes (nearly 1 million subscribers on YouTube), Danielle Bernstein of We Wore What (over 1 million followers on Instagram) and Justina Blakeney of The Jungalow (1.3 million followers on Pinterest), among others. Here and Now influencers will work closely with Refinery29 editors to contribute content and optimize the experience for readers on both Refinery29 and their individual outlets.

“Through Here and Now, Refinery29 is expanding its relationships with a select group of content creators whose mission aligns with our core belief of telling meaningful stories with a sense of purpose and an empowered point of view,” said Justin Stefano, co-founder and CEO of Refinery29. “Establishing Here and Now is a natural next step for us as we continue to find new ways to grow our network of contributing experts and delve further into mobile platforms.”

Additionally, Here and Now influencers will create new custom content and distribution opportunities for Refinery29’s brand partners. This will allow Refinery29 advertisers to tell their stories in a targeted way across the vast and highly engaged followings of these social media influencers with scale and reach.

Smashbox is Here and Now’s first brand partner. Refinery29 will work with its Here and Now talent collective to create highly engaging video and social assets to support Smashbox’s Camera Ready BB Water Broad Spectrum SPF 30. This program brings together top mass-reach YouTube creators (over 1 million subscribers) and top Instagrammers (over 1 million followers) from the fashion, beauty and style ecosystems. The video and social assets will be distributed across influencers’ social channels and Refinery29.

Nathan Coyle, Refinery29’s head of business development for the past two years, will assume the role of general manager of Here and Now, overseeing all aspects of its operation. “The Refinery29 audience spends so much time on the platforms where Here and Now’s talent have established followings, craving the real-time and relatable content they are producing daily,” said Coyle. “This new collective will create more opportunities to provide content that speaks to every aspect of our audience’s life, while vastly extending our reach across multiple platforms straight out of the mobile social core.”

“The power of influencers, particularly in beauty and fashion, is undeniable. They have real, authentic relationships with their subscribers and fans, and their reach is immense,” said Beth DiNardo, global general manager at Smashbox. “We’ve done such great work with Refinery29 in the past and are very excited to collaborate with them on this new influencer initiative. We really feel that they ‘get us,’ so we can’t wait to see what this partnership brings.”

With a dedicated focus uniting talent from across YouTube and other social platforms—both established and emerging—Refinery29 works with some of the best content creators in the world to deliver experiences that inspire and engage its audience. As these channels have grown, Refinery29 has used them as a point of discovery to ensure its audience is consuming the content best suited for each individual channel.

[B] [Read More]

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Summer in the City 2015 - bigger venue, more meet-and-greets, and no Zoella. This year the vlogging festival, which is sponsored by YouTube, has some high profile names missing from the usual line-up. Fans already knew that stars such as Zoella, Alfie Deyes, Joe Sugg and Jim Chapman were skipping it in favour of their own event - Amity Fest. It didn't stop tickets for Summer in the City selling out almost immediately though.

Newsbeat went to the event at London's ExCel, to see if fans, creators and organisers were missing some of the YouTube's most famous celebrities.

TomSka - creator

"It doesn't surprise me at all that different cliques of YouTubers... aren't here this year," says TomSka.

"It makes sense that eventually we're breaking off into separate events based on similar fanbases.

"In an ideal world we'd still be back in a field [where Summer in the City began], but we can't do that any more because there are so many people watching and creating."

Jess, 17, Hannah, 18 and Bethany, 18 - fans

All three are fans of Dan and Phil, and the Saccone-Jolys, who are all at Summer in the City this year.

Not one of them is worried that some of the big names from 2014 aren't here.

"I think they're more of a celebrity status now," says Jess.

"They have Amity Fest now," says Harriet, who says she won't be going to that event. "I prefer the more niche YouTubers.

Tom Burns - organiser

SitC Pikachu Parade!!

A photo posted by Tom Burns (@tomrpi) on Aug 15, 2015 at 5:52am PDT

"It was a bit of a worry at first [when Zoella etc revealed they weren't coming] but I think nothing has really changed," Tom tells Newsbeat.

"Here we have an event where you're coming and you're not coming for one creator or one group of creators, you're coming for a wide range of creators and panels.

"It's just like school, you naturally have your friends at school.

"Even in the workplace, you're all colleagues in the wider community but you have those people you prefer to work with, you trust, you're used to working with closely and that's all it is really."

Ramona, 16 - fan

Ramona has come over especially for the event from the Netherlands.

"If they [Zoella and Alfie Deyes] were here, it would be really fun," she says, but adds that it's still a good event without them.

Doug Armstrong - creator

"I think the fact that it sold out within however many hours or days it was says no really," says Doug.

"I think so many people come just because they love the event and they still get to meet a lot of their favourite YouTubers.

"Even when the biggest YouTubers, all of them were here, then the fans couldn't actually have met all of them."

[By Amelia Butterly] [Read More]

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