Documentary – New Kings: The Power of Online Influencers (Influencer Marketing)

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There have been so many changes in the
past 30 years since I've worked in the business that they're too numerous
account probably the biggest one has been the
increase of social media we come from a history of humanity that is all about
communication between two people and then we go to a broadcast communication
style for the last one hundred hundred and fifty years once the public was
allowed to communicate back with us and this two-way dialogue was reestablished
I think it was a game changer for not just a journalism industry but PR
marketing across every industry and all sectors and category Wizards involved in
kind of the digital aspects of virtually everything that they do so I mean if
there's any one change it's just the going from the unusual to the ubiquity
of digital and its impact not just on communications but on business overall
if we look at these social media influencers and their ability to publish
and amplify content to large audience segments this is a paradigm shift in how
we do business today social media influencers are the new royalty influencer has always been an important
tool for brands because it is more powerful when someone else is talking
about you or your product in a positive way than when you are it gives you this
third-party credibility of sort of an endorsement it used to be that are the
main influences we dealt with in public relations or media the conversation used
to be about 5 10 years ago what magazine covers do you have what
magazine covers do happen that was the thing people don't even talk about
magazines anymore between Twitter and Instagram and Facebook reddit I mean
that's the place where you can see where the cultural conversation is going so
we've had to adapt to that people are reading about entertainment almost less
looking for factual information as looking for recommendations or looking
at what's hot or what people are talking about because not only do they want to
have their time sort of mitigated by only paying attention to the things that
that are hot or people are talking about they also want to be part of the
conversation so those people friends family people they may follow like
influences that you're talking about sort of sift through the madness and say
out of the 300 things that are in front of you right now these are the five that
you should pay attention to we just used to have radio television and print and
now you have dozens of social channels for there ways to reach people and also
have conversations with them that's changed the whole dynamic of our
business I remember it was novel that a brand would say oh my gosh people are
talking about us on Twitter what do they say and they would freak out about every
little criticism that really grew and awareness of the power of it on a
slightly negative standpoint but then there was a growing awareness that oh we
can influence that conversation or we can learn from those valid criticisms
and improve our products and build a better relationship by being good
listeners and hearing from our customers companies in the last several years have
seen an opportunity to become much more aggressive about self-publishing
so companies are much we're in the business of content
creation and syndication the attitude is if we don't tell our story who will
technology social channels platforms and so forth kind of provide a way in which
they can do that so you know virtually every company today sees themselves as a
publisher of one sort or another it's interesting what some of these large
brands are doing now around content marketing if you look at Marriott and
their creation of their content studio they're putting a flag in the ground and
saying look we are a media company having said that the impact of that
Publishing and the impact of that syndication is still directly linked to
how effective they are at getting influencers to embrace that content and
share that content you know about 85 percent of consumers want more of a
humanized two-way communication type of relationship with their companies on
social and digital but only about 20 percent believe that that's actually
happening the way they used to create content was in a vacuum one-way
communications they used to think about what's the new product what's B
initiative that we really need to get there let's create a one picture or one
video and we'll put it out across Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube now
each platform has a different type of person that follows that those are
different types of content and different types of people consumers are very savvy
right especially younger as you get to the Millennials Millennials with savvy
they understand what you're trying to you know don't try to sell me this and
try to push me this and I can immediately see to see that and when
this connection is non-organic you immediately switch the channel you
immediately press stop on your browser player because you understand them is
not honest the challenge is to find these content pieces that are one
obviously connected to a certain extent to the band but also connected to the
consumer in an emotional level in order to do that you need to really work with
people who are part of that group bringing in what we call now influencers
I would say the first time I really noticed the power of influencers rising
was when I was working at Google and I was helping launch Google+ and at first
our primary focus was to identify celebrities as we're working with
celebrities we actually realized that there were these other communities of
people who had followings that were just as big if not bigger and maybe their
numbers when it's big with the engagement was a lot bigger so the power
that those influencers had in a lot of ways is actually more impactful than the
power we saw this the celebrities having how to Gumrah a spirit if you're on the
internet and you want to find out something we all pretty much go to
Google so I'm going to do inspired by my girlfriend Google myself so I'm going to
type is PewDiePie and then there are people who exist outside of that
traditional power structure and traditional ways of getting their voice
across so maybe they blogs but they're not a journalist but still have a
significant following and a significant number of people that are listening to
them we've been influencing behavior one person to another forever but digital
and social media have allowed for that to scale at scale is unprecedented that
an individual who may or may not be of a postive authority or you know be famous
or have their television show or be a big personality of some kind they can to
earn an audience over time and and be an influencer from their living room from
their computer you know people often ask me why don't I
reply to negative comments that's because I only have two sides I really
see influencers as the sort of real embodiment of the social media
revolution for social media we've seen tremendous changes from 2000 through
2017 first in the late 1990s and early 2000s
the introduction of blogging platforms we move from there to sites like YouTube
that came along in 2005 which was very transformative in how we publish and
consume video content after 2005 we saw Facebook opening to the public it was no
longer only for university students that became open to the public in 2006 that
was the same year that Twitter also launched it was a sort of odd little
platform that had 140 characters on it 2010 Instagram launched itself 2011 was
the beginning of snapchat that came along Facebook then bought Instagram in
2012 Twitter bought a vine platform in 2012 tremendous changes in growth here
if I had told you in 2004-2005 that your MySpace page or fabulously bedazzled
MySpace page was no longer going to exist in a couple years most people want
to believe me but the fact of the matter is social media the social web has
changed from Mendeley in the last 15 years it's dynamic and changing it
doesn't stand still social media in general and YouTube
specifically and really all the platforms that have become famous at
this point really didn't start as Commerce based society and today we're
bringing you the winners who according to Forbes are making Bank this year
YouTube started in 2005 just to tackle a technological problem at that time which
was the difficulties in transfer video it had no intention to become a video
destination it had no intention to become an entertainment destination ladies and gentlemen let me tell you
about that bloodline 100 100 days of me recording my life there was a point in
time and and I'm very happy to say that I that I was part of it and it was
around 2010 2011 when once we figured it out the intellectual property protection
system and we made pieces with everyone that produces intellectual property
that's when we started to understand that we had people at the platform
creating content and aggregating a very large audience around their content
those audiences were going from these intimate crowds that they could no
one-to-one into crowds that they were really performing for that you know
indirectly and you really went from a friend network to an audience and I
think a lot of those creators realized that and started to started to refine
what they were doing I am your host Corey Vidal and you're watching my show
I'm trying to figure out what would make people come back to my videos and and
what can keep people's attention for more than five minutes because people's
people lose attention really quickly already this is probably getting too
long so I'm going to cut right here I've been posting on YouTube for two
years all kinds of videos of me sharing some of my random talents that I have
I dance I play guitar or I sing kind of the main three I also do some acting
here and there um and some of the videos I've posted have gotten a lot of hits
and in turn I ended up with a lot of subscribers so YouTube ended up actually
making me a partner nobody ever considered this would make
the money it was just how do we get people to watch our stuff I'm not quite
sure how you have this plan I don't okay that's the beauty of
YouTube oh shut up I hate that intro I'm a filmmaker and a producer it's why I
moved to LA to do originally and I met a bunch of people who were like YouTube's
really cool or making stuff and I was like oh I'm a I make some stuff so we
started to work together and make things together and try and figure out how this
YouTube thing was working and we were like oh if you upload at 2:00 p.m.

pexels photo 3758104

On a
Tuesday it does better than if you upload at 9:00 a.m. on a Wednesday
so everybody like okay I'll do that too and then we figured out thumbnails if
you make them look this way it'll get more clicks so we were kind of figuring
out how the whole thing worked and so I became part of that community that I
added slowly it started to grow and that initial group of people became the first
YouTube millionaires I think most of them are still around it happened
because we were the very first platform that empowered people for the very very
first time we're giving people the ability to draw together themselves Hey
look at this Shayla we love what we're not back we're not picking the winners
the audience is picking the winners so I think because we were the very first
platform to empower people we got this massive amount of young storytellers
many of them extremely knowledgeable extremely talented telling their stories
to the world I tried to put up a song of my daughter night singing and by
accident is all by accident ended up going viral on YouTube
I started getting restyled by a bunch of people a lot of a lot of media attention
to the past three years and to this day action and I decided to
to to go even deeper so you know singing songs with my daughter was fun and stuff
like that and I realized I was given an idea of like blogging what is hockey you
know and I and I realized that I've been blogging my whole life recording my kids
memories and doing and talking to myself in the counter I was crazy but on I
wasn't crazy I was blogging so then a light bulb hit you know I'm getting
ready to apply for Law School for graduate school and I decided to do this
instead I started to become a youtuber and share my life to the world focusing
on family community art and music and and really talking about things that
matter to me like immigration and everything I was
serving and things that I care about I really do really care about this and I
really want to share this world so I started to do a head of fun and like
really inspire people to think about it like influence or you know influence was
one point oh right the reason why is it's really challenging to make good
video content the level of complexity is higher than an image it's tough to find
people who are really passionate about editing video and creating that content
so your pool of influencers are potential influencers is much smaller
you look at a platform like Instagram or a lot of these mobile social platforms
their image phase so you don't need to edit it you don't have to have any sort
of knowledge on how to create the content you can just
you know plug and fight and so we saw a much larger pool of potential
influencers and we saw much lower barrier to entry to creating good
content so you put those together and rather than seeing a handful of
influences emerge we're seeing tens of thousands as social media itself evolves
and as we see new platforms there's going to be the people who get it first there's a whole different breed of
influencers on snapchat that didn't pick up YouTube and put it on snapchat
they understood snapchat is something inherently different they understood
that this whole concept of writing on the video is new and so you've got
people like geo snap and my ology and these and shonduras people who weren't
influencers on other channels but latched onto this thing so quickly and
so natively it was unbelievably creative and then you you see other people copy
them you see bring a copy of them and follow them staying relevant it's a lot
of work there's new apps all the time and you don't know which ones are going
to take off in which wall yes you have to get on them all musically is blowing
up right now I don't know why you know and if you didn't get on early enough
you're out I've grown as technologies grown so right now a really big thing
that we have in the world of technology is livestream so I was on livestream
very early on ATS back then we had meerkat and I was
one of the top near catters and then we had periscope when I found out that now
periscope was coming out and you could save it on your phone I was like yes the
tech gods could like kissed down on me and my my
effort so I dug into a periscope very quickly and very deeply I'm proud to say on the top latina
periscope are continue to be I'm actually nominated for a shorty award
this year for periscope of the year for me I've always had a natural inclination
for technology so being able to really combine that and more importantly being
able to use it as a pipeline for me to share what I go through with the hopes
of inspiring them to pursue their dreams and their passions is really what my
overall community theme is which is love bug nation in the interviews I've done I
often find that the the viral sensation has to do a lot of work to sustain those
those connections and you'll see that sometimes you'll see somebody who goes
viral and becomes sort of culturally famous for a moment in digital space
either through a newscast that ends up on on YouTube and blows up or one
picture that everybody starts sharing all over the place and and then we find
out who that person really is in the world and they become influential and
that was buzzing wondering just who this cashier Beauty might be I went from a
hundred and fourteen followers on Twitter to three hundred and fifty
thousand and one night 24 hours ago no one's just like a normal cashier at
Target and then some girl took a picture of me and I never saw her take a picture
of me but there was a group of girls that would come in and take pictures of
me every once in a while they I would notice it sometimes but this one I
didn't my manager came up to me one day it was on a Sunday I remember she came
out to me and she was like hi she's pushy has like 20 thousand retweets on
Twitter I was like no I thought it was fake right and then bad picture yeah
uh-huh and then about an hour later Ellen reached out to me a couple days
after that I went on suffer Ellen that was terrifying
because I was just like kid that worked at Target I had no like experience in
that whole realm and I just kind of went from there I got up to like 750 thousand
followers on Twitter in like a couple weeks two million on Instagram
and a couple weeks is the rollercoaster I think the other way to look at this
are normal people I mean people really who never intended to be entertainers or
influencers in the first place who were just having conversations about
something they really cared about whether it was a specific passion like
gaming or sports or makeup fashion there's so many different fields in
which this has happened they just talk about them because they really want to
connect with people about you know some aspect of their of their interest
I created the look at the first moment yes that's a passion just like a hobby
for the weekend so I'd used to take pictures with my mom in the garden of my
house and just I share the pictures only the weekend Saturdays and Sundays but
this is a hobby like because I always have liked fashion I like clothes how to
combine different styles I like fashion when I was little I was always looking
the magazine's with my month I create the blog and then Facebook Instagram was
my life media like two years ago but it has grown very fast I think because of
the the feeling with my followers I'm always trying to answer them all the
questions that they have the thing that the most important thing for me is that
they look at me like very natural I can be like this with makeup but I can also
show them with a bony one here mine with my hair and a mask at night or when I
wake up like good morning this is my morning face so people want to know that
not like more to feel you like more clothes not like a model or I'm not
perfect and I know pretend to be I don't like it
I'm just Martin and I try to serve in my daily life site it was my only passion
when I was kid I was plates okay and then when I was 18 a doctor told me like
you need to stop because you you have a problem a genetic problem underneath and
it was a big shock for me because it was the only thing besides
studied I was doing in my life and I select how I'm gonna do that and then a
door open and say like if you restraint you work out your legs in the gym with
certain exercise you may recover your knee and you may keep track the future
for soccer for everything so I hung out with Adam I met many people who helped
me out to understand this amazing world like Fitness how it better how train
harder I would exercise a million dollar so that became my my my passion so when I move here to Los Angeles any
exercise I was doing I posted anything I didn't trust at all in Salem I just did
it because this girl she became my friend she told me like you need to do
it that's like okay she knows better than me how is working Los Angeles so
I'm gonna do it but in few times I saw the people respond the people answered
to all the tips all the questions I posted in Instagram all the stuffs I
select oh this is working you know this is truly working and I was connecting
with people from all around the world which is fantastic and that in that
point is when I discovered the the potential of insulin so I took it
serious and I'm posting like very regularly like three four times a week
about tips of nutrition exercise training lifestyle I think a lot of them
had to come to realize that they had an influence that actually could be
commercialized some way I did it like a step by step and when I was about 50,000
or 60,000 on Instagram that was the moment the malls in the top when I
started like asking for money of course because I said I have these followers
and I think that this has to be like I went to wind while that was happening
more and more companies especially some you know really forward-looking
companies started to realize that this was an opportunity to talk to a
demographic they were having a hard time reaching what do you think of em as
Millennials people who are sort of on the cutting edge of digital technology
they were harder to contact through those traditional media and so they
needed to figure out new ways to to contact them in ways that felt authentic
so what we try to do is learn from influencers and learn from people who
are online and finding audiences online and take whatever bit of authenticity or
whatever piece of shareable that they've star
to the flourishing to create how do we incorporate that into a brand message in
a way that now we make one a piece of content for a brand it doesn't feel like
a commercial it feels like a piece of entertainment that I really enjoy add
value to my life and I want to share it with my friends
the traditional model has moved away from what it is the old-school
commercial thirty second to a more you know digital based advertising which is
what we now call branded content it has moved from trying to push in a 30-second
spot a product to like let me talk to you because as a brand we understand
what you are into and when the content creates this more of a lifestyle content
that is presented by a brand more so than hey look at the brand but what's
interesting is that a great social media campaign influencer campaign if it
generates enough conversation it then becomes newsworthy and then the earned
media channels will pick it up I was brought in initially to manage digital
content specifically for one of our clients which is Lexus at that time the
idea was to create a portal for the Hispanic and the American market that
would speak to that consumer beyond just buy this car or this is our brand we
really wanted to connect to that consumer this is a luxury brand so at a
high level or a lifestyle level to give you an example one of the pillars is
Lexus called them it's music right now Hispanics were very passionate about
music and through people here at the agency I was lucky to be introduced to
Gillian Tia who was the creator and host Olivia Lexus % stepfather Chris this is
the music show that you know day in the life of a up-and-coming alternative
artist and I find when I saw that that the concept was was really organic
you know pili went from one place to another one in the vehicle to me
specifically thinking about Lexus this is a perfect integration she is music
lover and she talks to music lovers and there's a very direct connection even
though she's not a musician she is a curator a connoisseur of what's coming
up and so her audience trusts her
I've been very lucky to work with really high friends Heineken Starbucks Lexus
and I've been very lucky to work with them because I think that there are
brands and my brand being la vida really go well together and that's why it works
you know that's why it's like okay these are successful campaign manifest you can
have the USA momentum my content is very it's really like my life so it's very
comes are very genuine place it comes from really connecting with my followers
and showing them what my life is like when it comes to a brand I really sit
down with a brand and listen to what their purpose is and what the goal of
that contain is and then through that information then obviously the concept
that without their will relate to them as well actually I think influencers who
are now being mentioned as you know the new kings of media and promotion I think
that I agree with it I think that in the last couple years we've seen how
influencers are very important to marketing however the one thing that I
will say is that when you look at an influencer you got to look beyond his
numbers beyond how many people he reaches you know I can have millions of
followers but if these are not followers are actually interested in his message
sometimes it's tough to gauge that right and there's tools that we use in other
production companies that you can see the top influencers and see the numbers
and that's one thing do you need to meet them one for personality and two to make
sure that these are actually talking to these audiences so when we're advising
clients or when we're doing research anything we're finding now everyone is
talking about you've got to engage people with smaller followings meaning
that they're trying to find their tribe this is me finding the person who I
absolutely 100% relate to and I am inspired by and therefore I'm more
likely to make a purchase from them then this person who's got a bigger following
so instead of there being the one celebrity or the one youtuber that
everybody knows sure they still exist right you're PewDiePie Michelle Phan
like they're still out there but what's more interesting to me and I think more
indicative of what's new about about influencers and online spaces
in general is that within certain niche communities in leash interests you have
those kings you have the person who is not you know gods to everyone but to
this particular group of people who love this kind of music or love this kind of
art or think this particular brand of humor is funny they dominate advertisers
and marketers feeling as if an influence or activation is pulling the wool over
the eyes of anyone is delusional like the viewers know this is a partnership
they know this is a brand thing so I think using the word authenticity
people often think like oh it doesn't look like an ad no consumers know that
they're being paid for this or they're getting something from it the FCC
requirements have made it extremely clear that you have to basically beat
people over the head with the fact that this is the partnership the language
that the FCC uses that requires influencers to disclose that there have
a relationship of some kind with a brand they're talking about it has to be clear
and conspicuous the rule is basically that if your grandma in Iowa can't tell
that this is an ad you need to be more obvious about it like it's a very low
standard so when we think about authenticity it's not about fooling the
customer the consumer it's about its feeling like there's still validity and
what the influencer are the same it's kind of twofold number one is the
content they are producing their point of view on life you know what is their
personal story is this a product they would or brand they would actually use
or be open to or if not is there a damn good super creative reason why and we're
intentionally disrupting it you should never try to deceive the consumer what
we see is there's nothing wrong with partnering with a brand right people
understand the same way a television network has commercials right or a TV
show has product placement it's the same thing but the way I like
to look at it it's almost like through the analogy of a professional surfer you
never look at a professional surfer and say oh you're being sponsored by Red
Bull that's so bad right or you're being sponsored by Channel Island that's so
bad you always look at it and say like wow that's awesome
you're partnering with a brand that you really like that you're associating
yourself with and so it's often a win-win cause I'm very true to who I am
and very true to that message most brands know when they reach out to me it
definitely has to be not just to win for them but for me the thing that I'm
always thinking about is how is this one going to be a win for my community if I
take care of my community and I also take care of the client I know it'll be
a win for me yet and if it's a great match as I said and it really meets a
certain amount of criteria then I'm in discovering that I could make money on
all this in like really Wow it was insane it wasn't like you really you
could just be yourself and get paid for it all right that's cool so I decided to
keep going keep going keep going and being myself and trying to be myself and
finally I came to these past six years seven years I really learned to discover
me as a person as an entertainer as a father as a youtuber as a fan as a
influence or power Latino I started attending conferences I started to pick
I started speaking at school I started getting to know other people I started
you know doing more on Facebook on Instagram and on Twitter and really
connecting with people and trying my best to really inspire families kids
fathers mothers to remember that it's okay B that it's okay to have fun it's
okay to be yourself and to not follow trends to not do what others do but do
you you know so and a lot of brands that I've worked with early on understood
that and I really tried mine to say my ground and to be honest with myself and
try to be real with people 20 comments from the video that I made
for my wife the one that is about about her about International Women's Day and
her voice being my voice and I a lot of you a lot of you were writing that I
don't know if it's new people I don't know if it's people that have been I
think the primary reason for success for influencers is trust they build these
communities in which they're in the center people subscribe to them and
connect to them and follow their lives in a way that we've never been able to
follow people's lives before even celebrities in movies were playing
somebody else you know the athlete on a field is taking on a role but but the
connection that you get through something like YouTube or Instagram or
Facebook is really banned themselves and so there's there's this trusting
connection that comes from this sort of mass friendship that they build together
I think we live in a trust deficit now so we have so much information we don't
know how to process it and so what we look for is trust and what we trust is
people and so we look at reviews to decide what movies we're going to
download we look at reviews to decide what restaurants we're going to eat at
we look at recommendations for which cars we're going to buy so we we really
look to people to make almost every decision in our life and so influences
are just one part of that influencers have the level of engagement they have
with their audience because there's a sense of friendship how's it going
everyone pewdiepie here and bang welcome to my very first non-game oftentimes
influencers start out just like anybody where they're just
a kid putting a camera on in their bedroom and just giving it a shot and I
think people really relate to that because they feel like oh that could be
me that could be my best friend I could be my neighbor the power of influencers
is that they have this direct connection with their fans the fans have been
watching them who knows for how long I trust what they say and they follow what
their suggestions are they have to be a little careful with that power where
we're always looking for what's happening next and in trying to be aware
of that and we partner with lots of outside companies to help us be on the
cutting edge coal companies have grown up in this space now who are
intermediaries between brands and influences I'm 26 years old I think I
made it to the fourth splurt under 30 list just because a lot of attraction
we're getting in the space we have a few awards and accolades from previous work
we've done and I think as well the influencer marketing space is a very
young space and has a lot of opportunity for young entrepreneurs to step up
influencers by one of the most talked about words and marketing today it
started at a really low price point in 2010 and it's been increasingly growing
due to you know marketers and brands just seeing the value in it and it's
becoming more analytical in today's day and age to where brands are a little bit
more savvy and influencers are also just as savvy as well because they're
receiving deals left and right from different types of brands I think in
terms of if there's a bubble I wouldn't consider it a bubble I think I think the
market will always will always work itself out and there'll always be a need
for influencers I think eventually there's going to be a point where is
there's more of a standard protocol instead of it being the wild wild west
at this point there's no exact science to it you

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