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Here’s a breakdown of how both platforms compare and what makes each one stand out in the influencer marketing space.

If you’re responsible for keeping your brand focused on the right social platforms and leveraging the right influencer partnerships, you’ve probably spent some time wondering whether you should focus on TikTok or Instagram.

TikTok and Instagram both offer distinct attractions for their users. While both are visual, TikTok is more audio and music-driven and has a more creative and spontaneous feel to much of its content. Instagram, on the other hand, is a more established platform with a more polished aesthetic. Because of its longevity, a sophisticated advertising and influencer network has developed on its ecosystem, which can make it easier to venture into known-commodity partnerships with influencers.

Where are your time and resources best spent, and what differentiates the two? The right answer often differs for each brand and that the difference depends on their audience and goals.

What’s your target audience demographic?

The platform you prefer may vary depending on which types of users you’re seeking to connect with. TikTok’s overall audience skews younger, with half of all Gen Z American adults accessing the platform, as compared to only 22 percent of millennials and 14 percent of the 50-64 cohort.

Instagram has a wider user base among all demographics, with 48 percent of 30-49 year olds on the platform and a third of the 50-64 age range. Its growth has stabilized and it’s not experiencing the same rapid user base expansion as TikTok.

How are you hoping to get seen?

Instagram has an advantage on influencer choice, because the network is more established and there are more influencers working there. Because Instagram has been an influencer option for a while, influencers may have a formula in place and be more certain about tried-and-true ways to gain attention from their specific audiences.

Sponsored content and advertising make frequent and expected appearances in Instagram users’ news feeds, while on TikTok, only 5.7% of content creators post about brands, products, or services on a daily basis. That number grows to just 17.3% on a weekly basis, with 60.8% of content creators reporting that they have never shared sponsored content on the app, as per our most recent research where we polled 1,743 influencers from more than 20 countries. This is, by far, one of TikTok’s greatest advantages and presents a great opportunity for marketers looking to capture people’s attention in a less saturated space.

Which metrics are you using to gauge success?

TikTok’s structure and users’ top content interests (#comedy and #dance) mean marketing efforts need to be more subtle, humorous and creative to attract interest. It’s not the platform for a hard sell nor for brands who want to have tight and rigid control of influencer content.

However, it is the ideal place to level up on organic engagement and to create relationships that may boost loyalty and migrate followers over to your other social platforms. In fact, 87.1 percent of TikTok influencers and content creators say their engagement rate is higher than on other platforms.

TikTok’s potential reach also far outstrips any other social platform because its algorithm doesn’t limit views, so if you’re planning campaigns that grow reach and awareness, TikTok might be the best place for your influencer marketing efforts.

If your focus is on a quicker sales cycle or moving your target audience from the middle to the bottom of the sales funnel, you may be better off with a consistent storytelling strategy on Instagram Stories where you link directly to your landing page or ecommerce site.

How well-versed are you in influencer marketing?

Do you already have an established influencer program, or are you just getting started? Your own knowledge level may influence the direction you lean with your platform choice.

If you’re accustomed to working with influencers and have a good grasp on your goals and metrics, you may feel ready to venture directly on to TikTok. You’ll know where you need to go and what you need to do, and you can guide the partnership based on your previous experience, especially if you use an influencer database to source the right people for your niche.

If you’re new to the influencer marketing world, you may want to leverage the knowledge of Instagram influencer partners.

Instagram influencers we surveyed said they typically spend at least three hours daily using the platform, which means they likely have their audiences’ likes, dislikes, and propensities down to a science. If you can source the right influencers for your campaigns, you can rely on them to serve as co-strategists as you plan your new influencer marketing campaigns.

In our recent study on TikTok influencer marketing, marketers surveyed said that analytics and tracking is one of their biggest TikTok challenge areas. If you’re confident in your influencer marketing knowledge, and you’re willing to experiment a little, you can easily and creatively overcome these challenges and get attention in a less saturated market.

Is there a clear winner for brands building an influencer marketing strategy?

In the battle for brand positioning, there’s no clear winner between these two powerhouse platforms. Instead, you can find the right place to showcase your business when you think strategically and evaluate which media sources your ideal buyer consumes.

Not many things in business come down to feeling alone, but you can evaluate which brand feels like a natural fit based on the criteria we mentioned, then continue to adjust while monitoring performance data.

You may find that one platform is clearly right for your brand or you may see opportunities to connect with your target audience across both. As each platform refines its offerings, algorithm, and business-focused features, you can continue to experiment accordingly with your strategy.

And, if you find you’re ready to dive into something new, TikTok can provide a welcome platform for experimentation. By getting your brand in the space, you can see where content is resonating for your audiences, define your goals, then align with the right creators and make a splash.

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Sourced from Entrepreneur Europe

Major producers of unhealthy food and drink used the pandemic to promote their products at the expense of public health, the report claims.

A new report has exposed the sinister ways in which leading unhealthy food and drink brands have exploited the coronavirus crisis to further corporate interests at the expense of public health.

Since the start of the pandemic hundreds of examples have emerged of ultra-processed food and drink companies trying to curry favour with consumers under the guise of philanthropic donations.

Some transnational corporations have even used the crisis as a way to boost partnerships with governments and increase brand loyalty within desperate communities, the report claims.

The paper, which was published by the NCD Alliance and Spectrum on Thursday, reveals how companies across the world employed various marketing stunts to champion unhealthy products as part of the solution to the ongoing public health emergency, despite their known role in exacerbating poor health outcomes.

One example referenced in the report saw fast food company Burger King evoke patriotism in the US and gamify government stay at home orders by awarding give-away products to those who caught a QR-code moving around TV screens.

In Mexico, Nestle, FEMSA (the giant Coca Cola bottling group) and YSA Pharmacies breached the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes by offering to ‘gift’ additional formula to vulnerable families for every can of infant or toddler milk purchased.

Closer to home, international donut company Krispy Kreme leveraged Covid-19 in a marketing campaign purportedly ‘serving smiles’, which offered 1,500 free donuts to healthcare and other frontline workers at the Royal Free Hospital in London.

“Since the early days of the pandemic, we have observed two trends: the growing epidemiological evidence that people living with noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are suffering worse outcomes from Covid-19, and that many producers of unhealthy commodities have rapidly adapted their strategies in an attempt to capitalise on the pandemic and lockdowns,” said Lucy Westerman, Policy and Campaigns Manager with the NCD Alliance and a co-author of the report.

“It is a bitter irony that companies such as tobacco, alcohol and junk food, whose products increase the risk of NCDs, thereby putting people at higher risk of suffering through the pandemic, have positioned themselves as heroes and partners in the response and have interfered in public policies that seek to protect population health.”

NCDs such as obesity, hypertension and diabetes, which can be exacerbated by unhealthy diets and excessive alcohol consumption, are responsible for more than 41 million early deaths each year.

Since the coronavirus pandemic first emerged obesity and accompanying conditions such as diabetes have also been recognised as a major risk factor for contracting a more severe form of the infection.

Last week the NCD Alliance published another study in the Lancet warning that progress in fighting such diseases has massively stalled and stated that the UN and WHO targets to reduce premature deaths from NCDs will be widely missed by 2030.

“Governments already know very well how to reduce the risk of NCDs,” Katie Dain, CEO of the NCD Alliance, said. “There is a well-documented history of unhealthy commodity industries infiltrating public health organisations, subverting science, and interfering with and undermining public policies.

“Pre-Covid-19 this is something which has been charted and monitored extensively, and it has been a major barrier to progress on NCDs.”

Alongside companies promoting unhealthy eating and drinking habits, the report also highlighted corporations who sought to use large philanthropic donations as a means to secure legitimacy and political capital.

Having received widespread criticism from NGOs for its refusal to contemplate abandoning single-use plastics at the World Economic Forum 2020, the largest bottler of Coca-Cola in the United States has partnered with the US Department of Health and Human Services to manufacture plastic tubes for use in Covid-19 testing kits.

The Coca-Cola Company described this initiative as “utilizing existing soda bottle preforms to produce more than 7 million tubes each week”, which featured as a prominent item on the Coca-Cola website as one of the “new solutions” developed to support local communities.

Meanwhile in Kenya, the Government chose to include tobacco, alcohol and processed food and beverages on their official list of essential items and services, describing such products as “essential to the sustenance of lives and efforts” and granting manufacturers special protection to continue the production and movement of these products during lockdown.

The special status of tobacco and alcohol was opposed by local civil society groups, who warned of the growing risk posed by non-communicable diseases and urged the government “not to replace one pandemic with another.”

However, the report points to internal factors which might have influenced this decision.

An emergency coronavirus fund launched by President Kenyatta has received significant donations from Kenya Breweries and BAT Kenya, the country’s largest cigarette manufacturer.

The situation in these countries is far from unique. Throughout the pandemic international organisations have placed substantial emphasis on leveraging resources and partnerships with the private sector to aid efforts to support the international Covid-19 response.

One such example includes the creation of the WHO’s Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund in April.

While its due diligence processes prohibit funding from alcohol, arms, and tobacco industries, this has provided opportunities for ultra-processed food and drink manufacturers to signal active engagement in the global response.

Both Pepsico, the Mondelez International Foundation, the charitable arm of the sweets company which owns Cadbury, and the Starbucks Foundation are all listed among the Fund’s supporters.

The widespread involvement of producers of unhealthy commodities in public health efforts, while initially helpful, sets a dangerous precedent, suggested Linda Bauld, Director of the SPECTRUM research consortium.

“The Covid-19 pandemic is ongoing around the world and this report should be seen as just the tip of the iceberg,” she said.

“It is abundantly clear that unhealthy commodity industries will continue to adapt their engagement with Covid-19 as the pandemic, policy responses and economic crises evolve. Mapping this activity is vital if we are to shape a fine-tuned response to Covid-19 and at the same time avoid further exacerbating the pre-existing NCD epidemic.”

Feature Image: NCDs such as obesity, hypertension and diabetes, which can be exacerbated by unhealthy diets and excessive alcohol consumption, are responsible for more than 41 million early deaths each year

Sourced from The Telegraph

Sourced from appPicker

Every successful marketer would want to create a marketing campaign that would bring about the company’s desired results. Alas, every marketing campaign, no matter how well formulated is never devoid of challenges. Add in the fact that budgetary constraints is also another factor that complicates the entire process. The good news is that it is indeed possible to be able to do more even on a meagre budget. You just have to determine the best approach that will help make your marketing campaign entirely successful. Below are some tips that have been proven helpful in making a marketing campaign work to your company’s favour.

Invest on a perfect platform.

No matter how good you think your marketing campaign is but if you are not using the right platform for it chances are high that your efforts will only be in vain. If you truly want to make your campaigns reap the expected results, invest in the best marketing platform that has been known to work wonders in turning everything into a successful campaign. Never let your precious time be wasted on manually sending emails to your targeted audience. Let the power of automation send those emails to the right people, at the right time.

Be more specific.

If you think you can do it on a granular approach, then the better your marketing campaign would be. This way, you will be able to target your most specific audience and then design all your marketing efforts in a way that pleases every persona in your target market. Make sure that your created content, planned events and promotions will most likely engage every persona that fits your company’s target audience. Do not forget to harness the benefits of data capture as well so it would be easier for you to remarket later as you need to come up with future marketing campaigns.

Never settle for mediocre content.

Instead, always opt for an evergreen content that is classified high-value to your target audience. Although this may sometimes depend on the budget that has been earmarked for a specific marketing campaign but in most cases a greater amount of budget is usually set aside for content distribution rather than for content creation. However, if you want your marketing campaign to have increased organic growth then invest more into the creation of high-quality content.

Test and analyse.

Testing your promotional activities can be quite costly and time-consuming. However, if it is part of your first-ever marketing campaign you will realize that it will be more cost-effective if you consider testing your promotions to focus groups before declaring an official launch. This is when you have to make use of feedback and surveys. Afterwards, study the results and carefully analyse the efficiency of your campaign. If you need to hire an expert to help you analyse the results, then do so.

The best marketing campaign allows your brand to be known to its target market. Otherwise, your start-up business will only remain the best kept-secret in town – literally. Luckily, you have many ways to prevent such a thing from happening. Follow the tips mentioned in this article and be prepared to get blown away by the results.

Sourced from appPicker

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Influencer marketing is a relationship built between a brand and an influencer, where the influencer promotes that brand throughout social media outlets. Influencer marketing allows businesses to advertise directly to their target audience through an influencer that consumers follow and already trust. Influencer marketing has become a very popular social media strategy in the past

Influencer marketing is a relationship built between a brand and an influencer, where the influencer promotes that brand throughout social media outlets.

Influencer marketing allows businesses to advertise directly to their target audience through an influencer that consumers follow and already trust.

Influencer marketing has become a very popular social media strategy in the past few years. With the rise and advancement of technology, it’s important for businesses to learn and master this tactic to drive traffic and increase sales.

Here are the four steps an entrepreneur can take to successfully execute the influencer marketing strategy.

Define main goals and target audience

The first step to achieve success with any tactic in marketing is to define and set goals throughout the campaign. This preliminary step makes it easier to measure success and generate returns on any investments made.

Identify and make your product appeal to your target audience. Take time to research your target audience and identify what your ideal influencer would look like. Then, you will be able to target your product towards that specific audience.

“For a small business there’s one simple goal for influencer marketing: sales,” said Dhar Mann, an experienced entrepreneur and founder and CEO of LiveGlam, a cosmetics company that he took from $600 in starting capital to 8-figures in annual revenue in less than two years.

According to Mann, it is important to consider your company’s current stage when choosing where to focus your time and effort. In the beginning stage of your business, always place the focus on sales. After some cash is put away, you can focus on building up the brand.

Develop performance-based affiliate program that pays commission for sales

A business starting with a small budget can get the most return on their investments working with influencers by creating a performance-based affiliate program. Using this approach can help a business generate sales without spending any money.

“My company, LiveGlam, a beauty subscription box, will generate $20 million in sales in our third year of business and we will spend a whopping $0 on advertising. All of our sales come through commission-based influencers that love our products and make a great living selling them,” Mann added.

However, you must create personal relationships with key influencers in order for the performance-based affiliate program to be put into effect.

Create personal relationships with key influencers

Building trust and a personal relationship with an influencer is key to holding a mutually-beneficial relationship. People feel more of a connection with a person than they do to a brand.

“My advice is to take time to build personal relationships and don’t blow your whole marketing budget on a few pay-to-post activations.

“First, make sure the influencer loves your product and consistently uses it so their audiences know the love is real. Once that history is developed and the influencer’s audience is warmed up to your brand, then paid activations can start to work,” Mann said.

It’s also important to focus on developing a really good relationship with a smaller number of influencers then it is to depend on thousands of micro-influencers to drive sales.

“We constantly send them thoughtful gifts, fly them to our studio in Los Angeles, interact with them on all their social channels, take them on trips and do whatever it takes to build personal relationships.

“We pay attention to the small details and it’s paid off in a big way,” Dhar Mann added.

Also, creating a strong relationship can lead to many different, exciting opportunities to promote your product including giveaways, exclusive product bundles, and collaborations. These opportunities will also help expand your company’s social media followings.

Use the right platform

Using the right platform for influencer marketing makes a huge impact, depending on your brand. It’s also more efficient to become an expert one platform at a time.

“I suggest start with one platform, master that, and naturally it will start spilling over onto others especially since most Influencers are multi-platform. If they love your product and your brand, they’ll start talking about you everywhere,” Mann advises.

Facebook Live is a great platform to use for the start of your influencer marketing strategy.

According to a study held by Statista, Facebook is the most widely used social network.

“Not only do influencers on Facebook Live have the deepest engagement with their audiences, they’re also not being flooded with offers by big brands because live content is so new. So, you can get a lot of bang for your buck.

“Established YouTubers and Instagrammers have so many deals coming at them that you’ll have a tough time getting on their radar and will have to pay an expensive price to get in the door,” added Mann.

Review and Repeat

Keep your social media influencer relationships strong and continually monitor the success of your business. Reviewing your influencer strategy helps you to adjust any problems and replicate success. It also helps you find out what works best for your business.

“When LiveGlam first started we looked at everything like this: if we spend $X then we expect a $Y return. And we defined a successful activation as one that generated a positive return on our investment.

“As our business grew we started to look at the brand lift potential from an influencer activation. How many followers did we gain? How many impressions did we generate? How many people now know about our brand that had never heard of us, including other influencers?” said Mann.

Monitor your sales, leads, traffic, followers and engagement consistently. Make changes according to your business growth and keep your influencers happy for future demands. Influencer marketing is one of the most effective ways to improve your brand’s awareness. Using these strategies can help take your business to the next level.

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Sourced from THRIVE GLOBAL

By Ben Lamm

A clever marketing campaign will only take you so far.

Tech is suffering from a fundamental imbalance. Everyone wants to be a visionary without realizing they need to be salesmen, too.

It’s a widespread and shocking oversight. We constantly bemoan the lack of technical talent, citing shortages of talent in fields like engineering and computer science, but don’t realize we’re facing a similar crisis in a role that essentially every business needs.

Think about it — when is the last time you met a great salesperson? And no, I’m not including selling “yourself” or “ideas” under this designation. The top MBA programs in the country offer paths in marketing, finance and entrepreneurship, but not sales (something they’d be good at given their adroitness in selling overpriced degrees). This gap in education is a symptom of misplaced arrogance that assumes anyone can be good at sales if they just give it a shot. What we finally need to realize is that sales is a hard skill. As such, it deserves the same training and serious study more lauded degrees like finance receive.

However, before I teach you how to overhaul your relationship with sales, it’s important to first look you in the eye and tell you a hard truth, entrepreneur to entrepreneur. Even as the social stock and real capital of “thought leaders,” “influencers” and “disruptors” grows, so too does the doubt around the impact and true value of these companies. Eventually this bubble is going to burst, meaning you need a better long-term strategy to success than a well-executed Twitter campaign or viral op-ed.

While I have long been a proponent of good marketing and branding, I am also painfully aware that they alone won’t save you or your business. Selling well is not a nice-to-have. It’s survival, and here’s how you stay alive.

Start with your culture.

In tech more than most industries (except for used cars, perhaps, though I’d say we’re giving them a run for their money), salesmen and saleswomen are the people everyone loves to hate. They often rank lower than politicians and bankers in terms of perceived trustworthiness, which is a hard hit considering today’s political climate. Some words that come to mind, according to a study by Daniel Pink in his renowned book, To Sell Is Human, are “pushy,” “difficult,” “annoying,” “sleazy” and, believe it or not, “ugh.”

Because of this stigma, organizations go to great, and often silly, lengths to disguise their salespeople. In 2015, Kate Spade New York rebranded its sales associates as “Muses.” Microsoft calls them “Advisors,” and Apple goes as far as to dub them “Geniuses.”

Call them what you will, but each of these Geniuses and Muses are hired for a singular purpose: to make your company money.

However, rebranding sales does more harm than good. All these cutesy titles have real consequences, and they aren’t good. When we refuse to call sales what it is, we perpetuate the negative stigmas around salespeople. In doing so, you cause real harm to every aspect of your business, from your bottom line to the beloved company culture.

After all, without salespeople, your customers don’t buy and your business doesn’t run. Businesses and customers alike need to stop treating them as lepers to be trapped in cubicles or doused in euphemism, and begin giving them the respect they deserve, for who they are.

The nature of sales is changing.

While I’ll fight day in and day out for the honor of the salesperson, it doesn’t change the fact that there is a necessary shift happening in sales. We’re in the midst of the evolution of sales as a skill that we haven’t fully embraced or even acknowledged.

There is still a common assumption that sales is dictated by a funnel, and the two ways to force people down that funnel are brute force or over-indulgent charisma. You should read my post on sales and customer service here, but the honest truth is sales is simpler: I is about identifying a need, fulfilling it and making sure that conversation doesn’t just end when money changes hands.

As the world has gone subscription — in both B2C and B2B — this has become even more potent. Instead of the one-and-done sale, salespeople must engage in a relationship that lasts far beyond when money exchanges hands the first time. Each month, customers have a choice to keep or cancel — and that decision can be directly influenced by a good salesperson.

The interesting thing to note about this paradigm is that the stereotype of the storybook egotistical salesperson fails in this model. In practice, good salespeople act more as humble guides or patient teachers. As a job, sales requires intimate knowledge not only about the product, but an innate desire (or at least a good ability to fake it) to continue to help, even when you get nothing in return in the moment.

As a company, it is imperative to build a system that supports your salespeople as they start a thousand new relationships with each of your customers.

It’s your job, too.

As a CEO, it is your job to not only create a culture and system conducive to actually making money, but also to lead by example. In my experience, this is where most CEOs fall short. They think they are too good to sell, or that it will tarnish their M.O. as the fearless leader if they bother with something as petty as a sales call.

The Achilles’ heel of the Silicon Valley startup is that people are very good at selling themselves, their vision, their culture, and very bad at selling anything else.

If you are not willing to knock on doors, put your ego aside and hear “no” again and again, and be at the front line of building a relationship with your customer, you’re on a quick path to becoming just another startup or failed company statistic.

In the book I mentioned above, Pink provides a compelling and emotional plea to respect the great art of sales. I respect his work greatly, but I would add a crucial addendum to his thesis. Selling is not just human; it is the life or death of your business.

Feature Image Credit: sturti | Getty Images 

By Ben Lamm

Co-Founder, CEO and Executive Chairman of Hypergiant

Sourced from Entrepreneur Europe

By Jordan Scheltgen.
Creativity and work ethic can go a long way when it comes to marketing against the big players in your industry. These campaigns will help you outpunch your weight class without breaking the bank.

In a business climate where big brands are able to outspend small businesses on advertising, entrepreneurs are forced to be scrappy and creative when it comes to their marketing. With budgets tight, maximizing the impact of every dollar spent is crucial to you as an entrepreneur.

Blindly spending on ads without a well thought out strategy is synonymous with lighting money on fire. However, having some creativity, strong work ethic and an advertising strategy can help small businesses punch above their weight-class to compete with big brands in creating bonds with customers.

1. Start a blog/podcast/Youtube show.

Using your expertise as a vehicle for content is a great way to gain exposure. When you’re getting started with content marketing create content that is some mix of entertaining, inspirational and informative.

The barrier to entry to create a podcast, blog or YouTube show is extremely low. You can create all content from your smartphone, quickly edit and get online in a matter of hours.

2.Create partnerships with other businesses.

Strategic partnerships with businesses who share a customer base with you but are not competitors are great for marketing–especially if you’re just starting out. The agreement could be to co-promote each other or even to directly refer business to each other.

This could be as simple as a local gym partnering with yoga studio to offer discounted memberships at each other’s establishments.

These B2B relationships can be the fuel to your marketing machine.

3. Leverage paid and organic social media.

Social media is an amazing tool for marketing your business–if used correctly. Using social media to generate conversations and build a community organically is a great strategy. There’s an in-depth article on brand building through social media right here on Inc.

Paid social media is still highly underpriced. I predict the cost for impressions, and clicks will most likely be three to four times higher by 2020.

4. Double-down on your current customers.

The best customer to acquire is the one you already have. Your current customer base trusts you and has already opened their wallets for you.

Looking for new ways to engage your current customers with increased product offerings or price-breaks when someone buys multiple products are great ways to see a bump in sales.

5. Establish yourself as a thought leader.

Positioning yourself as an expert can provide exposure to your business you never thought possible. This can be done through consistent content creation of either blogs, podcasts or video.

The biggest roadblock in most entrepreneurs’ way is putting themselves out there online. Setting up yourself as a thought leader means you’ll be simultaneously putting yourself in a place to be judged.

That’s fine.

If you’re genuinely helping your customers at large then you have nothing to fear.

Feature Image Credit: Getty Images

By Jordan Scheltgen

Sourced from Inc.