After blowing off steam with April Fools’ Day jokes last week, smart marketers are getting back to work this week to ensure their second quarter builds on the success of the first campaigns of 2016. To keep on top of the latest news in the world of social media creators and native advertising, here’s ION’s weekly list of the top five influencer marketing stories this last week.
Brands Admit To Flouting Ad Industry Code On Influencer Marketing
ION’s Take: While here in the U.S., the FTC has been doing a massive campaign to encourage adherence to native advertising and influencer marketing standards, the U.K. is struggling. According to a survey of marketing professionals, barely over 1/3 are ensuring their compliance. Unsurprisingly, smaller brands were more likely to be out of compliance but Great Britain’s version of the FTC (Competition and Markets Authority) has made it clear they will penalize and ban ads from brands who flaunt the law.
The survey of 500 professionals found that 37 percent admitted to fully adhering to the CAP code of conduct, while one in eight people surveyed said they did not know ‘at all’ what the code is.
How Visual Marketing Boost Your Influencer Marketing
ION’s Take: SearchEngineJournal suggests additional ways to extend influencer marketing with some visual marketing tricks. While creating a variation of influencer content to extend their message for your brand is probably something a little more B2B advocate marketing than B2C influencer marketing (where influencers will expect compensation for associating them with a brand), the ideas the SEJ suggests are still interesting possibilities to extend content within a campaign. The immediacy of words presented visually is powerful and could be the key to effective amplification of the ‘gem’ content on YouTube or another long-form channel.
You aren’t going to make it without visuals. This is a fact that everyone should know at this point. Marketing comes down to a fundamental goal: connecting with your audience. Humans are visual creatures, which is why clear back through history you can see examples of advertisements containing drawn images, posted on walls through busy towns.
Verizon Buys 24.5% Stake In AwesomenessTV
ION’s Take: This week saw another big investment in AwesomenessTV, the MCN that is already half-owned by DreamWorks Animation, with another quarter owned by Hearst. This time, technology services company Verizon is the one to join the ownership pool, grabbing 24.5 percent of the company for a reported $159 million dollars. This puts the valuation of AwesomenessTV at $650 million dollars, showing massive value growth since DreamWorks Animation bought the company for $33 million in 2013. Verizon was already partnered with the company and its co-owners but this give it some exclusivity for their US networks, too. This isn’t surprising based on what Verizon is building within its AOL acquisition.
Telecommunications giant Verizon announced today that it has entered into an agreement to buy an approximate 24.5% stake in multi-platform media company AwesomenessTV. Verizon will reportedly pay about $159 million. DreamWorks Animation, which acquired AwesomenessTV in May 2013 for $33 million, will retain a controlling stake in the company, with 51% ownership of outstanding shares, while Hearst will retain the 24.5% it acquired for $81 million in Dec.
More Than Half Of The U.S. Is Now On Facebook
ION’s Take: Facebook has been called many things in recent days: bloated, uncool and dominated by ‘the olds’. Yet, Mark Zuckerberg’s social media monster continues to dominate, grow and push into areas where other smaller, more nimble platforms were winning. eMarketer’s latest report shows that Facebook’s massive audience now includes half of U.S. consumers and dispels the myth that younger audiences simply don’t use it. Coupled with their advanced targeting tools, Facebook is now the social platform to both zero in on your ideal prospects and also go wide with campaigns that would previously have been planned for television.
According to new findings from eMarketer, social media use continues to climb to the point where the biggest network, Facebook, is now being used by over 50 percent of the U.S. population. While growth will slow in some categories through 2020, that’s primarily because the numbers are so lofty.
Twitter Is Basically A Cable Company Now
ION’s Take: With so many MCNs and individual social media creators launching their own content networks (even Al Roker!), it’s inevitable that some companies will start to consolidate them in ways that feel like the cable companies of old. Twitter’s securing a contract to broadcast NFL games (live sports being one of the last reliable television ad spots) will help them compile a library of content with which to draw viewers in. But will the new ‘cable companies’ be smart enough to provide more customized experiences (including targeted influencer content) rather than force consumers to pay for massive bundles? Time will tell.
Twitter is basically becoming a cable company. The social network’s paid deal with the NFL to show Thursday night football games gives Twitter exclusive rights to stream the matches over the Internet.