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Are Influencers the Escape Social Media Wants During Coronavirus?

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Influencers, too, are navigating the coronavirus’ new norm.

Self-quarantining during COVID-19 has caused some, especially those in the travel industry, to take a bigger hit than others. Those who usually work from home have had to make less of an adjustment, though booking paid partnerships is a struggle industry-wide.

As a result, many influencers are getting creative with their social strategies. Those who are multiplatform and have more than one revenue stream are coming out on top.

Influencer agency Fohr, which works with nearly 100,000 influencers, saw its lowest number of sponsored content two weeks ago, said James Nord, Fohr’s founder and chief executive officer. That week, Fohr published about 35 sponsored posts, a steep decrease from its usual 200, but things picked up last week, when its sponsored content count climbed back up to 85.

Conversely, influencer monetization platform RewardStyle noted a 40 percent year-over-year increase within the commission on sales side of its business, said cofounder Amber Venz Box. RewardStyle has also seen a 30 percent increase in paid campaigns since the beginning of March. Within the Liketoknow.it app, conversion and sales are up.

That increase, said Venz Box, is due, in part, to RewardStyle’s use of “rationalized campaigns,” in which brands compensate influencers only if and when they drive sales.

“You do hear elsewhere in the influencer industry that campaigns are drying up,” said Venz Box. “That’s because those are the types of campaigns that are around reach or branding and alignment.”

Still, she said, “it’s definitely the time for creators.”

Generally, social media engagement is up. Users are left to their mobile devices while self-quarantining at home, driving Instagram engagement up by 20 to 50 percent, according to some influencer agencies. When Fohr polled its 100,000-member influencer pool — which includes Grace Atwood, Tiffany Benson and Sarah LouWho — 76 percent of respondents said their audience is engaging more with their content right now.

In the U.S., Instagram Live views have increased more than 70 percent in the last week, according to Facebook. Influencers have begun programming their feeds with Instagram Lives and takeovers, hoping to capitalize on users’ increased screen time. Some are even asking their followers directly whether they are open to seeing brand partnerships on their feed, said Reesa Lake, executive vice president of brand partnerships at Digital Brand Architects.

Influencers asked, followers answered: Social media seemingly still wants to see #SponCon during the coronavirus.

“The audience looks to [influencers] for entertainment and an escape from the heaviness,” said Lake. Brooklyn Blonde and Color Me Courtney were among those who polled their followers to gauge whether they want to see sponsored content, said Lake. In both cases, the majority of followers — 85 percent and 96 percent, respectively — responded yes.

“The root of social media was to connect and engage with people. We’ve always thought of it as an escapist platform,” said Jeffrey Tousey, founder of creative collective Beekman Social. Over the past couple of weeks, the collective has been helping brands re-allocate production budgets for influencer initiatives.

“In social, a constant funnel of content needs to be produced,” said Tousey. “We can lean on influencers to create content at home that can be repurposed on brands’ owned channels as well as the influencer channels.”

Allison Statter, cofounder of Blended Strategy Group, said she initially saw a “big decrease” in paid partnerships, but anticipates they will “slowly” come back.

“The reality is that social media is the main tool to drive any messaging right now,” said Statter.

BSG has helped Olly Nutrition adapt its social media strategy. This week, the vitamins brand unveils a six-week Instagram Live yoga class series, hosted by influencer and Olly brand ambassador Justine Marjan. Marjan’s husband, practicing yoga instructor Yoni Berk, will lead the series.

Olly’s digital initiative is in line with those that gyms, spas and salons have also enacted, as they have been forced to close temporarily due to coronavirus-induced government mandates. Influencers are doing the same, going live as a means of escape and entertainment for their followers.

After all, as Nord put it, “How much terrifying bad news can a person consume?”

Like Beekman Social and Blended Strategy, Fohr has been helping brands pivot to more relevant and appropriate tactics. One influencer campaign meant to highlight work attire is now a campaign featuring at-home loungewear. Another involving an alcohol brand has been altered from in-person happy hours to ones held over Zoom.

Fohr also asked its influencers whether previously scheduled brand partnerships have been paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic, to which 20 percent of respondents said all of their partnerships had been paused. Nearly half of respondents said they are reducing their rates temporarily, and about 75 percent said they are posting less sponsored content on their feeds.

Nord has advised influencers to expect to make 30 percent less this year than last.

“Everyone should be assuming they’ll make 30 percent less and adjusting their lifestyles accordingly,” said Nord. “Those influencers who have product lines [should] see them as something to continue to cultivate.”

Across industries, influencers are leaning into existing product lines as a mode of revenue. Amber Fillerup Clark of Barefoot Blonde brought her hair-care brand, Dae, to Sephora last week, and will soon launch it with RewardStyle and on the Liketoknow.it app, said Venz Box.

Influencer Rachel Parcell launched her clothing brand with RewardStyle last week and has already seen “high double-digit increase” in sales driven through the platform’s partnerships in promotion, said Venz Box. RewardStyle is moving up its launch of IVL Collective, the activewear line by influencer Emily Jackson (who is Parcell’s sister), as searches for loungewear within the Liketoknow.it app have increased by 1,030 percent.

Cala, which works with influencers and celebrities to create merchandise, has seen “a dramatic increase” in interest, said Andrew Wyatt, the platform’s ceo and cofounder. Cala’s average influencer has around 3 million followers, but the company is seeing interest from those with even higher followings in recent weeks. Already, it has signed three new clients and has added 30 influencers to the pipeline.

“Some of the biggest agencies are advising their talent to hold off [on launching merchandise] until the fall so that there’s more time for the consumer market to rebound,” said Wyatt. “What we’re advising is: to do a strong launch, you need three to four months. So if you start now, you can have everything ready to go late summer. But if you wait until late summer, when it’s certain that everything is improving, then you’re not going to be able to launch until probably Black Friday.”

Merchandise can be highly profitable for influencers, pending follower count and engagement rate. Influencers with more than 1 million followers and an engagement rate of 3 percent or higher can expect to bring home anywhere from $70,000 to $150,000 in revenue for their first collection, said Wyatt. The second drop is even more profitable: Influencers often take home between $150,000 to $400,000, said Wyatt.

Overall, influencers and influencer agencies are getting creative in order to sustain their businesses during the ever-evolving coronavirus.

“I do think COVID-19’s going to have a lasting impact on our industry. Overall, it will be positive,” said Venz Box. “Influencers are being challenged now to expand their content cross-category and lean into performance-based compensation as a safer foundation for them. We’re seeing that those influencers who are multiplatform, multicategory and multirevenue stream are the ones that are thriving.”

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12 Proven Methods to Make Money Blogging in 2024

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Make money blogging

 

Make money bloggingThis is a contributed article.

The world of blogging continues to thrive in 2024, offering a compelling avenue for creative minds to share their knowledge, build an audience, and even turn their passion into profit. Whether you’re a seasoned blogger or just starting, there are numerous effective strategies to monetize your blog and achieve financial success. Here, we delve into 12 proven methods to make money blogging in 2024:

1. Embrace Niche Expertise:

Standing out in the vast blogosphere requires focus. Carving a niche allows you to cater to a specific audience with targeted content. This not only builds a loyal following but also positions you as an authority in your chosen field. Whether it’s gardening techniques, travel hacking tips, or the intricacies of cryptocurrency, delve deep into a subject you’re passionate and knowledgeable about. Targeted audiences are more receptive to monetization efforts, making them ideal for success.

2. Content is King (and Queen):

High-quality content remains the cornerstone of any successful blog. In 2024, readers crave informative, engaging, and well-written content that solves their problems, answers their questions, or entertains them. Invest time in crafting valuable blog posts, articles, or videos that resonate with your target audience.

  • Focus on evergreen content: Create content that remains relevant for a long time, attracting consistent traffic and boosting your earning potential.
  • Incorporate multimedia: Spice up your content with captivating images, infographics, or even videos to enhance reader engagement and improve SEO.
  • Maintain consistency: Develop a regular publishing schedule to build anticipation and keep your audience coming back for more.

3. The Power of SEO:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ensures your blog ranks high in search engine results for relevant keywords. This increases organic traffic, the lifeblood of any monetization strategy.

  • Keyword research: Use keyword research tools to identify terms your target audience searches for. Strategically incorporate these keywords into your content naturally.
  • Technical SEO: Optimize your blog’s loading speed, mobile responsiveness, and overall technical aspects to improve search engine ranking.
  • Backlink building: Encourage other websites to link back to your content, boosting your blog’s authority in the eyes of search engines.

4. Monetization Magic: Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing allows you to earn commissions by promoting other companies’ products or services. When a reader clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase, you get a commission.

  • Choose relevant affiliates: Promote products or services that align with your niche and resonate with your audience.
  • Transparency is key: Disclose your affiliate relationships clearly to your readers and build trust.
  • Integrate strategically: Don’t just bombard readers with links. Weave affiliate promotions naturally into your content, highlighting the value proposition.

5. Display Advertising: A Classic Approach

Display advertising involves placing banner ads, text ads, or other visual elements on your blog. When a reader clicks on an ad, you earn revenue.

  • Choose reputable ad networks: Partner with established ad networks that offer competitive rates and relevant ads for your audience.
  • Strategic ad placement: Place ads thoughtfully, avoiding an overwhelming experience for readers.
  • Track your performance: Monitor ad clicks and conversions to measure the effectiveness of your ad placements and optimize for better results.

6. Offer Premium Content:

Providing exclusive, in-depth content behind a paywall can generate additional income. This could be premium blog posts, ebooks, online courses, or webinars.

  • Deliver exceptional value: Ensure your premium content offers significant value that justifies the price tag.
  • Multiple pricing options: Consider offering tiered subscription plans to cater to different audience needs and budgets.
  • Promote effectively: Highlight the benefits of your premium content and encourage readers to subscribe.

7. Coaching and Consulting:

Leverage your expertise by offering coaching or consulting services related to your niche. Readers who find your content valuable may be interested in personalized guidance.

  • Position yourself as an expert: Showcase your qualifications, experience, and client testimonials to build trust and establish your credibility.
  • Offer free consultations: Provide a limited free consultation to potential clients, allowing them to experience your expertise firsthand.
  • Develop clear packages: Outline different coaching or consulting packages with varying time commitments and pricing structures.

8. The Power of Community: Online Events and Webinars

Host online events or webinars related to your niche. These events offer valuable content while also providing an opportunity to promote other monetization avenues.

  • Interactive and engaging: Structure your online events to be interactive with polls, Q&A sessions, or live chats. Click here to learn more about image marketing with Q&A sessions and live chats.

9. Embrace the Power of Email Marketing:

Building an email list allows you to foster stronger relationships with your audience and promote your content and offerings directly.

  • Offer valuable incentives: Encourage readers to subscribe by offering exclusive content, discounts, or early access to new products.
  • Segmentation is key: Segment your email list based on reader interests to send targeted campaigns that resonate more effectively.
  • Regular communication: Maintain consistent communication with your subscribers through engaging newsletters or updates.

10. Sell Your Own Products:

Take your expertise to the next level by creating and selling your own products. This could be physical merchandise, digital downloads, or even printables related to your niche.

  • Identify audience needs: Develop products that address the specific needs and desires of your target audience.
  • High-quality offerings: Invest in creating high-quality products that offer exceptional value and user experience.
  • Utilize multiple platforms: Sell your products through your blog, online marketplaces, or even social media platforms.

11. Sponsorships and Brand Collaborations:

Partner with brands or businesses relevant to your niche for sponsored content or collaborations. This can be a lucrative way to leverage your audience and generate income.

  • Maintain editorial control: While working with sponsors, ensure you retain editorial control to maintain your blog’s authenticity and audience trust.
  • Disclosures are essential: Clearly disclose sponsored content to readers, upholding transparency and ethical practices.
  • Align with your niche: Partner with brands that complement your content and resonate with your audience.

12. Freelancing and Paid Writing Opportunities:

Your blog can serve as a springboard for freelance writing opportunities. Showcase your writing skills and expertise through your blog content, attracting potential clients.

  • Target relevant publications: Identify online publications, websites, or magazines related to your niche and pitch your writing services.
  • High-quality samples: Include high-quality blog posts from your site as writing samples when pitching to potential clients.
  • Develop strong writing skills: Continuously hone your writing skills and stay updated on current trends in your niche to deliver exceptional work.

Conclusion:

Building a successful blog that generates income requires dedication, strategic planning, and high-quality content. In today’s digital age, there are numerous opportunities to make money online through blogging. By utilizing a combination of methods such as affiliate marketing, sponsored content, and selling digital products or services, you can leverage your blog’s potential and achieve financial success.

Remember, consistency in posting, engaging with your audience, and staying adaptable to trends are key to thriving in the ever-evolving blogosphere. Embrace new strategies, refine your approaches, and always keep your readers at the forefront of your content creation journey. With dedication and the right approach, your blog has the potential to become a valuable source of income and a platform for sharing your knowledge and passion with the world, making money online while doing what you love.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos



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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

In a recent announcement, Snapchat revealed a groundbreaking update that challenges its traditional design ethos. The platform is experimenting with an option that allows users to defy the 24-hour auto-delete rule, a feature synonymous with Snapchat’s ephemeral messaging model.

The proposed change aims to introduce a “Never delete” option in messaging retention settings, aligning Snapchat more closely with conventional messaging apps. While this move may blur Snapchat’s distinctive selling point, Snap appears convinced of its necessity.

According to Snap, the decision stems from user feedback and a commitment to innovation based on user needs. The company aims to provide greater flexibility and control over conversations, catering to the preferences of its community.

Currently undergoing trials in select markets, the new feature empowers users to adjust retention settings on a conversation-by-conversation basis. Flexibility remains paramount, with participants able to modify settings within chats and receive in-chat notifications to ensure transparency.

Snapchat underscores that the default auto-delete feature will persist, reinforcing its design philosophy centered on ephemerality. However, with the app gaining traction as a primary messaging platform, the option offers users a means to preserve longer chat histories.

The update marks a pivotal moment for Snapchat, renowned for its disappearing message premise, especially popular among younger demographics. Retaining this focus has been pivotal to Snapchat’s identity, but the shift suggests a broader strategy aimed at diversifying its user base.

This strategy may appeal particularly to older demographics, potentially extending Snapchat’s relevance as users age. By emulating features of conventional messaging platforms, Snapchat seeks to enhance its appeal and broaden its reach.

Yet, the introduction of message retention poses questions about Snapchat’s uniqueness. While addressing user demands, the risk of diluting Snapchat’s distinctiveness looms large.

As Snapchat ventures into uncharted territory, the outcome of this experiment remains uncertain. Will message retention propel Snapchat to new heights, or will it compromise the platform’s uniqueness?

Only time will tell.

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

While it is tempting to try to appeal to a broad audience, the founder of alcohol-free coaching service Just the Tonic, Sandra Parker, believes the best thing you can do for your business is focus on your niche. Here’s how she did just that.

When running a business, reaching out to as many clients as possible can be tempting. But it also risks making your marketing “too generic,” warns Sandra Parker, the founder of Just The Tonic Coaching.

“From the very start of my business, I knew exactly who I could help and who I couldn’t,” Parker told My Biggest Lessons.

Parker struggled with alcohol dependence as a young professional. Today, her business targets high-achieving individuals who face challenges similar to those she had early in her career.

“I understand their frustrations, I understand their fears, and I understand their coping mechanisms and the stories they’re telling themselves,” Parker said. “Because of that, I’m able to market very effectively, to speak in a language that they understand, and am able to reach them.” 

“I believe that it’s really important that you know exactly who your customer or your client is, and you target them, and you resist the temptation to make your marketing too generic to try and reach everyone,” she explained.

“If you speak specifically to your target clients, you will reach them, and I believe that’s the way that you’re going to be more successful.

Watch the video for more of Sandra Parker’s biggest lessons.

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