Study: Instagram’s “New Posts” Affecting Creators?

On March 22, 2018, Instagram announced that they were introducing a New Posts button to make posts in the timeline more likely to appear chronologically – see the full details in Instagram’s announcement here: https://instagram-press.com/blog/2018/03/22/changes-to-improve-your-instagram-feed/

Following the announcement, SYLO immediately launched a research study to see how (if at all) this change would affect creators (i.e. influencers) on Instagram. As part of this study, SYLO analyzed 61 Instagram creator  accounts (which were authenticated in the SYLO platform) and these accounts 6,068 Instagram posts that were posted between January 1, 2018 and April 22, 2018, to see if their engagement and reach metrics could have been affected by the change.

As part of the research, SYLO analyzed the likes and comments that the creators received on each post within each of the first few hours after publishing the post to see if their engagement traction could have been affected by the change, since the change was meant to increase the number of posts that would appear chronologically.

SYLO analyzed the creators’ post metrics for 2018 leading up to the change (January 1, 2018 – March 21, 2018) and compared that to these same creators’ post metrics for the month following the change (March 22, 2018 – April 22, 2018).

Here are the three key findings from this research:

1. Creators received post engagements much more quickly
After the Instagram algorithm change, the average creator received a much larger percentage of their total engagements in the first hour after their posts were published than they had received before the algorithm change, with an increase of 19% for likes and 18% for comments. (Total engagements are the combined likes and comments collected for seven days after the post is published.)

2. Follower growth per day increased exponentially
From March 22, 2018 – April 22, 2018, the creators analyzed saw an average 520% increase in follower growth per day compared to January 1, 2018 – March 21, 2018. This average accounted for extreme outliers, so SYLO also calculated a trimmed average of 64% increase in follower growth per day, which accounts for the removal of these extreme outliers on both ends of the spectrum.

3. Posting increased by 23% month-over-month
Comparing the creators month-over-month, in the month after the change (March 22, 2018 – April 22, 2018), creators posted 23% more than they did in the month prior to the change (February 21, 2018 – March 21, 2018). SYLO analyzed the month prior to that (January 20, 2018 – February 20, 2018) to see if this was a trend, and found that during that time period, on average, creators posted 11% more than they did from February 21, 2018 – March 21, 2018. In other words, the creators analyzed were posting less in the month before the change than they were two months before the Instagram algorithm change, and that trend reversed in the month after the Instagram algorithm change.

If you would like to receive a verified performance analysis of your influencer marketing efforts, please contact SYLO at contact@meetsylo.com!

 

Image source: Unsplash

SYLO Featured in The New York Times!

As a follow-up to The Follower Factory article that was published in February 2018, The New York Times just released another article to explore how agencies are using technology to fight influencer marketing bot and fraud issues. SYLO’s technology was included in this article, along with insights from SYLO’s Co-Founder and COO, Erick Schwab. Mediacom was one of the agencies featured in the article:

““In the absence of direct pressure on the platforms, it’s a way for advertisers to take more control of their own spend and not be at the mercy of the platforms themselves,” said Jeff Semones, head of social media at MediaCom, which has recommended SYLO to clients.”

Read the full article by clicking here!

Want to learn how SYLO is providing third-party verification and data transparency to the influencer marketing space? Contact us here!

 

Image source: Pixabay

Five Tips for Your Social Content Strategy

SYLO conducted a study on 4,334 pieces of branded influencer content, and the themes which were present in each piece of content, to analyze the most recurring content themes as well as the highest performing content themes. These pieces of content were posted by a random selection of 35 influencers in SYLO’s platform whose content can contain any of, or up to, the 85 content themes SYLO assigns in our content categorization process.

Performance was determined using the SYLO Score (learn more here) by calculating the average of the scores for each content theme present the overall content sample.

Here are several findings from the study:

1. Top 5 performing content topics

The top five topics, or themes, present or discussed in the content analyzed are ranked here:

  1. Motivational
  2. Advice/Recommendations
  3. Cars
  4. Beauty
  5. Collaboration


2. Top 5 most frequently used content topics

The study found that none of the top five most used content themes ranked in the top five performing content themes. The most frequently used theme, Lifestyle, ranked #24 in the overall list of top performing content themes.

  1. Lifestyle
  2. Fashion
  3. Food
  4. Personal Stories
  5. Beauty


3. Love of food and art isn’t always reciprocated

Though food was the third highest occurring content theme in the sample set, it just missed the top 10 performing content themes, coming in at #11, followed by art at #12.


4. Don’t wake up early to catch the sunrise

When comparing time of day content themes, SYLO’s study found that content featuring sunsets outperform sunrises by 67%! However, posts during the daytime outperformed nighttime posts by 3x.


5. A human element resonates with audiences

Our content themes also include whether the post includes a human or not. The study found that photos including a human element averaged a 28% higher score than those that did not.


If you want to find out the verified data-supported content themes and benchmarks where you or your creator partners perform best, contact the SYLO team
by clicking here.

 

Image source: Pixabay

Giving Brands & CMOs Exactly What They Want: Verified Influencer Marketing Data

This is the fourth and final video in David Beebe‘s series featuring SYLO‘s CEO Brett Garfinkel, discussing how the biggest problem in influencer marketing, that is verification and transparency, can be solved. CMOs and brands are demanding standardized reporting and measurement, yet are getting unverified data, conflicting reports, and no understanding of ROI. You can view the full discussion below, and view the whole series by clicking here.

David and Brett presented a webinar on why CMOs and brands are demanding third party independent reporting, measurement, and verification of influencer marketing data. View the presentation by clicking here!

 

Image source: Pixabay

Four Tips for Creators in 2018

After conducting countless analyses on campaigns, and conversations with creators, talent managers, vendors, brands and agencies, the SYLO team has pulled together these four top tips for creators to make the most of their creative strategies and partnerships in 2018.

1. Show Your Authority

The right “influencer” for brands will also be a creator who consistently puts forth quality content. True creators easily separate themselves from the fake accounts and bots that are casting doubt on the influencer marketing space. The creators that brands are now demanding for partnerships will carry out authority on specific topics and will resonate with their audience through innovative and empowering content. Both creators and brands should strive to build a lasting relationship instead of one-off campaigns which appear inauthentic to the creator and brand’s audiences.

 

2. Play to Your Strengths

Utilizing content benchmarks to understand which topics resonate with audiences on various social media platforms will ensure that you are reaching any and all of your engaged audiences. It’s rare that a creator only has “influence” on one topic or theme. Though the you as a creator may be regarded as a “beauty influencer,” you may also see high performance in other areas such as cooking and automotive – which could open up new opportunities to pitch relevant brands with the data showing this “influence.” This can also vary by social media platform. It’s important for both the brand and creator to understand the combination of topics and social media platforms that drive the highest performance and authenticity.

 

3. Cross-Promote your Content

Using the SYLO Score, SYLO analyzed nearly 500 pieces of influencer marketing content produced by creators to see if cross-promotion of their YouTube videos led to better performance. We found that YouTube videos that were cross-promoted by creators scored 47% higher than those that weren’t cross-promoted, and creators with cross-promotions accounting for more than 10% of their branded content saw a 58% higher score on average for that content. However, it’s important that you tailor the content captions to be relevant to the audience for each social media platform – we found that usually, a copy and pasted caption accompanying the cross-promoted content piece underperforms captions that are tailored to each platform’s audience.


4. Embrace Third-Party Standardized Measurement

There are countless articles quoting top marketers from the likes of P&G, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles U.S., and Unilever, demanding for transparency and accountability in the advertising space. Marketers need standardized measurement to track and justify their investments. For creators, standardized measurement will bring more budget into the influencer marketing space as there will be actual measured performance, as well as an increased confidence in the brand partnerships, content strategies, and creators themselves. With more money, creators can afford to be more innovative with their content, seeking out formats that work across different channels. Since they can now see what’s effective, finding content solutions that perform well on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube becomes that much easier.

 

Image source: Pixabay

Top 3 Most Viewed Posts of 2017

SYLO launched the SYLO Blog in June 2017 with the announcement of our third-party measurement standard for influencer marketing, and since that month have seen a 149% growth in views of our blog posts. Below, we’ve pulled together recaps and links to the most read SYLO blog posts of 2017all of which can give tips for your 2018 influencer marketing strategies!

1. Influencer Marketing in Desperate Need of Verification and Transparency

Digital marketing is under major scrutiny these days. CEOs of major international corporations (P&G, Unilever, Bank of America) are threatening to pull their marketing dollars if companies and platforms (YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and, to an extent, Google) don’t solve their reporting and measurement problems. Marketers are tired of spending their budget dollars without the safety net that is independent third-party verification and measurement, which builds trust and establishes credibility. This carries over into influencer marketing, which has massive potential but is sorely lacking when it comes to verification and measurement. Read more by clicking here!


2. Can Anyone be a Social Influencer?

Technology is enabling anyone and everyone to declare herself or himself an “influencer.” On the one hand, any of us can be an influencer in the most literal sense: co-workers, friends, family, acquaintances, strangers, and pets can influence our decisions and views all day long, whether it be in-person or online. On the other hand, in the realm of influencer marketing, brand marketers should be focusing on “creators” rather than just “influencers” – and if they’re going to use these two words synonymously – then no, not everyone can be an “influencer”. Read more by clicking here!


3. Is Influencer Marketing Still Experimental?

Answer: If you’re activating your first few campaigns then yes, it’s experimental. However, the costs will balloon up quickly, making its ‘experimental’ status unsustainable in the long run. That’s why it’s important to plug influencer marketing into your core marketing mix as soon as possible. Treat it as you would any other media you purchase so it can be evaluated equally against contributes to your overall goals. Integrating influencer marketing into your core marketing strategy and benchmarking it against past practices allows you to see its effectiveness in relation to everything else you’re doing. It also gives you an opportunity to measure the impact that influencer marketing is having on your other marketing mediums – what it boosts and by how much. Read more by clicking here!

The SYLO Team wishes all of our readers the happiest of holidays and much success in influencer marketing and beyond in 2018!

 

Image source: Pixabay

Top 8 Insights for Influencer Marketing Heading into 2018

By Brett Garfinkel and Erick Schwab, Co-founders of SYLO

With 2017 coming to a close, the SYLO team pulled together all of the trends we’ve analyzed, and now present to you in the form of these top eight insights for your influencer marketing efforts heading into 2018.

1. No one likes to be interrupted

Disruptive ads aren’t something that people look forward to. Platforms have been getting brands excited by trying to make ads less “disruptive” i.e. six-second bumper ads. But what it comes down to is that people really don’t care about what brands have to say about themselves in their ads. That’s why the rise of ad blocking software (600 million devices now block ads) and more than 85% of people skip TV and pre-roll ads.

Brands need to add to the story instead of interrupting it—and influencer marketing is an excellent solution. The key to developing great influencer campaigns is finding what already works for the creator and blending seamlessly into that narrative. 6-second ads and intrusive, sale-sy content just don’t qualify—they are as far from storytelling as you can possibly be.

Related: Stop Interrupting And Start Being A Part Of The Story


2. Influencer Marketing needs to be part of your core marketing mix

Influencer marketing campaigns are generally found on social media, but brands often neglect to connect it to their overarching marketing goal to see how it’s performing in relation to their other media investments. Instead of just using social media influencer campaigns to get exposure and engagement, think of ways to extend them to reap more benefits. For example, you could get creators to work behind the scenes to foster new relationships for your brand. Or, you could connect your influencer campaigns with TV ads and radio and billboard campaigns to increase impact and put out a coherent, uniform message across a variety of different channels.

Another point of consideration is SEO. While it is considered ‘below the line’ marketing, it can still benefit from the ‘above the line’ activities. Partnering up with ‘micro’ influencers (bloggers, reviewers) can expose your content to different audiences, plus your link diversity gets a significant boost, which will eventually affect your SERP rankings.

Related: Influencer Marketing In The Core Marketing Mix


3. No more one-off campaigns or fake influencers

Technology is enabling anyone and everyone to declare herself or himself an “influencer.” In the realm of influencer marketing, brand marketers should be focusing on “creators” rather than just “influencers”. Not only do the “influencers” need to be authentic creators, but brands looking to partner with them should focus on authentic relationships with these creators. Authenticity, both of a creator and a brand integration, is important to a successful partnership, and brands should strive to build lasting relationships with creators rather than one-off campaigns that hurt the authenticity of both the brand and the creator.

We wrote a whole blog post on tips for developing long-term creator relationships, which you can view by clicking here.

Consistently engaging in one-off campaigns without exploring longer-term partnerships can put both brands and creators in jeopardy. Influencer marketing campaigns will feel like advertisements, the possibility of sending a wrong message increases, and there is no access to any substantial data monitoring campaign performance over time.

Related: Can Anyone be a Social Influencer? | Is Influencer Marketing Still Experimental?


4. Utilize content and platform benchmarks

Harnessing content benchmarks to understand which topics resonate with audiences on various social media platforms will ensure that you’re reaching any and all engaged audiences for your creators. It’s rare that a creator only has “influence” on one topic or theme. Though the creator may be regarded as a “beauty influencer,” the creator may also see high performance in other areas such as parenting and pets – which could open up new opportunities to pitch relevant brands with the data showing this “influence.” This can also vary by social media platform. It’s important for both the brand and creator to understand the combination of topics and social media platforms that drive the highest performance and authenticity.

One thing that often holds back influencer marketing strategies is that they only focus on the category or theme that the creator is known for i.e. Beauty. In a beauty creator case study that SYLO compiled, we saw that beauty wasn’t the only theme she utilizes (or that resonates with her audience). For example, across Twitter and YouTube, this beauty creator’s content performed well when it featured product reviews or advice/recommendations, but not so much on Instagram.

Related: Storytelling Insights You Need to Know


5. Cross-promote your social influencer marketing content!

Last summer, SYLO conducted a study analyzing nearly 500 pieces of influencer marketing content produced by creators to see if cross-promoting their YouTube videos led to better performance (measured by the SYLO Score,) We found that YouTube videos that were cross-promoted scored 47% higher than those that weren’t cross-promoted, and creators who had cross-promotions accounting for more than 10% of their branded content saw a 58% higher score on average for that content.

The content study also showed that cross-promotion needs to be a consistent strategy, and one that is tailored to each platform. For example, one creator in the study used the same caption across all of the social media platforms where she cross-promoted her YouTube video. These posts may have performed much better if she had tailored her caption to a content/caption style that typically resonates with her audience on that platform.

Related: Three Tips for Social Influencer Cross-Promotions


6. Show actual performance with clean data and third-party measurement

Digital marketing is under major scrutiny these days. CEOs of major international corporations (P&G, Unilever, Bank of America) are threatening to pull their marketing dollars if companies and platforms (YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and, to an extent, Google) don’t solve their reporting and measurement problems. In effect, marketers are tired of spending their budget dollars without the safety net that is independent third-party verification and measurement, which builds trust and establishes credibility.

This carries over into influencer marketing, which has massive potential but is sorely lacking when it comes to verification and measurement. If the influencer marketing industry doesn’t start providing marketers with quality data and intelligence, CMOs will pull the plug on influencer marketing media to focus resources and budget on what is actually proving ROI.

Marketers should be also informed when preparing the content and creator strategies for their influencer campaigns. As stated in a recent MarTech Today article, “If you want to be a better marketer, you need to start with clean data.” By utilizing third-party, independent data sources that provide creator, platform, and campaign performance, and content benchmarks, you can truly have a data-driven influencer marketing strategy.

Related: Standardized Measurement Will Help Creators Win Long-Term Brand Partnerships


7. The “bubble” will burst…unless this happens

Several articles have described influencer marketing as a bubble that’s going to burst. Yes, it will burst—as long as brand marketers and CMOs are unsure of the value or metrics being reported.

Third-party measurement in the influencer marketing space can validate the results and truly justify the spend. But, what we need to prevent the influencer marketing bubble from bursting is: Participation! MCNs, vendors, talent managers, creators, agencies, PR firms, and brands all need to get behind a solution, that is third-party standardized measurement. You need a village to make this a reality, with all of the key players in the influencer marketing universe coming together for the betterment of the space.

Related: How the Influencer Marketing Bubble Won’t Burst


8. It’s time to take influencer marketing to the next level

It’s been years since influencer marketing started making a difference on the digital scene (at least in the format we’re familiar with now – first YouTube, and now Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms). We have a growing number of creators (and brands willing to work with them), agencies connecting them to each other, and startups offering all kinds of services to both sides. It’s definitely high time to solve the pressing issue of standardized measurement in influencer marketing so that the industry can continue to develop. SYLO’s innovative approach to this problem enables the influencer marketing community to move the industry forward – learn more at meetsylo.com.

Related: Influencer Marketing in Desperate Need of Verification and Transparency

 

Image source: Pixabay

Part Four: Three Tips for Social Influencer Cross-Promotions

By Erick Schwab, COO and Co-Founder at SYLO

We’ve reached the final post in our four-part blog series that will present tips to recap what we’ve covered so far. This series was based off of SYLO’s research study that was featured in a recent presentation that I gave at Buffer Festival in Toronto. Here are posts 1-3 of the series in case you need to catch up:

  1. Part One: Cross-Promoting Content On Social Media
  2. Part Two: Social Influencer Cross-Promotion Study
  3. Storytelling Insights You Need to Know

Utilizing the data, insights, and strategies that we’ve explored in this series, here are three tips on how you can create a comprehensive cross-promotion influencer marketing strategy.

  1. Data, Data, Data!

Marketers should be informed when preparing the content and creator strategies for their influencer campaigns. As stated in a recent MarTech Today article, “If you want to be a better marketer, you need to start with clean data.” By utilizing third-party, independent data sources that provide influencer, platform, and campaign performance, and content benchmarks (see: SYLO), you can truly have a data-driven influencer marketing strategy.

  1. Play to the Creator’s Strengths

Utilizing content benchmarks (see Part Three) to understand which topics resonate with audiences on various social media platforms will ensure that you’re reaching any and all engaged audiences for that creator. It’s rare that a creator only has “influence” on one topic or theme. Though the creator may be regarded as a “beauty influencer,” the creator may also see high performance in other areas such as parenting and pets – which could open up new opportunities to pitch relevant brands with the data showing this “influence.” This can also vary by social media platform. It’s important for both the brand and creator to understand the combination of topics and social media platforms that drive the highest performance and authenticity.

  1. Tailored Cross-Platform Strategies

Our study (see Part Two) found that YouTube videos that were cross-promoted scored 47% higher than those that weren’t cross-promoted. However, this needs to be a consistent strategy, and one that is tailored to each platform. In post three of this series, we explored how one creator used the same caption across all of the social media platforms where she cross-promoted her YouTube video – these posts may have performed much better if she had tailored her caption to a style that typically resonates with her audience on that platform.

Thank you for joining us for this deep-dive into the world of cross-promoting social influencer content. The three other posts in this series can be found below. If you want to find out if you’re forming the right partnerships, and utilizing the right content on the right social media platforms, check out www.meetsylo.com or email us directly at contact@meetsylo.com to access third-party unbiased measurement and reporting!

 

More posts from this series:

  1. Part One: Cross-Promoting Content On Social Media
  2. Part Two: Social Influencer Cross-Promotion Study
  3. Part Three: Storytelling Insights You Need to Know

 

Image source: Pixabay

Part Three: Storytelling Insights You Need to Know

By Erick Schwab, COO and Co-Founder at SYLO

This is part three of our four-part blog series based off of SYLO’s research study that was featured in a recent presentation that I gave at Buffer Festival in Toronto. In case you missed posts one and two, you can view them here:

  1. Part One: Cross-Promoting Content On Social Media
  2. Part Two: Social Influencer Cross-Promotion Study

This series’ third post dives into the storytelling insights that marketers and creators alike need to know!

As a quick recap of the study that produced these insights: using the SYLO Score, we analyzed nearly 500 pieces of influencer marketing content produced by creators to see if cross-promotion of their YouTube videos led to better performance. We found that YouTube videos that were cross-promoted scored 47% higher than those that weren’t cross-promoted, and creators with cross-promotions accounting for more than 10% of their branded content saw a 58% higher score on average for that content.

To illustrate the best practices that drove these performance rates, we compiled the case study featured below.

Keep in mind that a SYLO Score of 50 is good, as these are content benchmarks. Here we can see that YouTube and Twitter outperform Facebook and Instagram, when analyzing this beauty creator’s social media platform performance.

Tailoring the Messaging

Taking a look at the cross-promotion content produced for a brand partnership, we see that her Twitter content scored highest, followed by Facebook, but Instagram is not resonating well. Note that all of her content used had the same exact caption. As cross-promotion content typically drives up a creator’s YouTube video performance, perhaps varying the caption, particularly on Instagram, to a style that typically resonates with her audience would further boost both the Instagram and YouTube contents’ performances.

Know the Content Themes

One thing that often holds back influencer marketing strategies is that they only focus on the category or theme that the creator is known for, in this case: Beauty. However, beauty isn’t the only theme she utilizes (or that resonates with her audience). For example, across Twitter and YouTube, this beauty creator’s content performs well when it features product reviews or advice/recommendations, but not so much on Instagram.


And you can see this reflected in another brand campaign that she produced content which she cross-promoted:

The key takeaway here is to know what content themes resonate with your audiences across each and every social platform!

The final post in this series will zero in on how you can create a comprehensive cross-promotion influencer marketing strategy. In the meantime, you can read the other posts in this series by clicking the links below, or check out www.meetsylo.com to get insights into your content, storytelling, influencer, and social media platform strategies using our third-party measurement and reporting dashboard. You can also email us at contact@meetsylo.com!

More posts from this series:

  1. Part One: Cross-Promoting Content On Social Media
  2. Part Two: Social Influencer Cross-Promotion Study
  3. You’re reading it!
  4. Part Four: Three Tips for Social Influencer Cross-Promotions

Image source: Pixabay

Part Two: Social Influencer Cross-Promotion Study

By Erick Schwab, COO and Co-Founder at SYLO

This is the second post in our four-part blog series based off of SYLO’s research study that was featured in a recent presentation that I gave at Buffer Festival in Toronto. The first post is filled with stats and insights into the digital, social media, content marketing, and influencer marketing landscapes, and can be read here.

This second post now dives research study that SYLO conducted on several influencers and their content to analyze storytelling and cross-promotion trends.

The main question SYLO set out to answer with this study was: “How can brands activate influencers’ audiences and support their storytelling initiatives across every social channel?”

To answer this, SYLO conducted a study on nearly 489 pieces of branded content produced by creators on our platform who have cross-promoted their YouTube videos on other social media platforms. We measured the performance of these posts with the SYLO Score, the standardized metric for influencer marketing. Here is a quick overview of the SYLO Score:

The performance data on the content in this study is verified, accurate, transparent, and independently reported.

127 of the 489 pieces of branded content we analyzed were YouTube videos. 37% of those videos were cross-promoted on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram. 63% were standalone videos i.e. not cross-promoted.

Findings:

  1. We found that YouTube videos that were cross-promoted scored 47% higher than those that weren’t cross-promoted.
  2. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram content that cross-promoted the YouTube videos had an average 9% higher SYLO Score than any other type of content on those platforms.
  3. Creators with cross-promotions accounting for more than 10% of their branded content saw a 58% higher score on average for that content…proving that Consistency is Key!

So how can we use these findings to tell better stories? The next post in this series dives into the storytelling insights that marketers need to know! If you haven’t already, be sure to read the first post in the series on the landscape in which influencer marketing is quickly claiming a larger and larger stake.

More posts from this series:

  1. Part One: Cross-Promoting Content On Social Media
  2. You’re reading it!
  3. Part Three: Storytelling Insights You Need to Know
  4. Part Four: Three Tips for Social Influencer Cross-Promotions

Image source: Pixabay